Event Planning 101

  1. Never completely trust an “I wanna go!!!” Save yourself the heartache. Don’t get excited until you’re all on the road / at the party … etc.
  2. Asking “Do you want to go on a road trip?” is the same as asking “Do you like road trips?” It gives you no indication of whether the person will actually go on a road trip with you on any day you suggest.
  3. Instead, ask, “Do you want to go camping at Location Alpha with myself and so-and-so from the umpteenth of Mayvember to the impteenth of Apruary? It’ll cost $300. We’re leaving by 19:07 and returning by 15:29.”
  4. Remember that your friends are still your friends, even if they keep bailing on you. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Sometimes, I feel that righteousness alone would not actually be that hard. (Now really, it is, but let us conjecture for a short while.) That would be to claim, perhaps rightly, that you are in the right and have been wronged and there’s no argument about it anymore.

But to have righteousness with grace and mercy and peace is another thing completely. To be in the right but not to boast, or be proud, or seek to dishonour others by pointing out that you were in the right (unlike somebody), and not be easily angered, and yet after that to keep no record of wrongs, and then following all the aftermath to still want to trust and hope and persevere? This is where the Bible gives us a far far higher standard than to merely be righteous.

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Found it on the Web 18.09.12

I’ve wondered for a while if I’m allowed to do this. Tim Challies has an A La Carte post he does where he amalgamates interesting things from the web into a post, by providing links and a little blurb. These cover theology and beyond. I wasn’t sure if I should do this because often the things I’d want to post are just things he’s posted already. (Spell “redundant” for me please.) However, I’ve started to read a bit more far and wide, so I think it’s about time to give this a try, if only for the sake of organizing all these extra ideas I’m putting into my head.

On the gospel, expressed in the idea of 3, 2, and 1. Clearly expressed and the most logical I have heard thus far, perhaps because this way of presenting it is novel to me and not full of over-used phrases.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/48734715]

On our responses to times in our life when we thought we were walking with and following God’s will on the road to blessing, but end up in a mess. How should we perceive these events?
http://www.ccef.org/blog/when-god-pulls-rug-out

On the wrong way to be faithful – the notion of “I must try harder” which is hopelessly oriented towards self-achievement.
http://www.ccef.org/blog/what-christians-really-believe-i-must-try-harder

On the criteria for baptism of children. A well-reasoned discussion that gives good points to extrapolate to understanding what conditions should be met for an adult baptism.
http://www.challies.com/articles/when-should-my-children-be-baptized

On solid advice for youth ministry.
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/08/10/some-advice-for-youth-ministers/

On the right way to “wait” for those who are single. “I Don’t Wait Anymore” also inspired another post.
http://gracefortheroad.com/2012/02/03/idontwait/
http://www.boundlessline.org/2012/09/what-are-you-waiting-for.html

On observing the responses to the anti-Islam video from the Muslim world. Consider the premise of Islam as a religion compared to Christianity: the effects of valuing honour versus valuing humility.
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-mocking-of-muhammad-and-condemning-of-christ

—–

On 20 things that are useful to know for those in their 20s.
http://theburiedlife.tumblr.com/post/24011465597/20-things-i-should-have-known-at-20

On the magic of photography and the lapse of time, juxtaposed.
http://dearphotograph.com/

and slavishly…

Wanting something so much that it hurts is probably a sign of enslavement.

““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.” Galatians 4:8

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Here’s a thought that I’ve been mulling over for weeks now. It’s satirical.

In order to live a safe and steady Christian life in an orderly and manageable fashion, you should stop reading your Bible(s), listening to sermons, and praying. Disown all strong and mature Christian friends who might pray for you. (Oh, wait. It might already be too late.)

Ever think, “Lord, I hope not,” and then catch yourself? You know, because of Ephesians 2:10, or Titus 3:8, or 2 Peter 1:5-11, or 1 John 2:3-6  –  they all talk about how we are not saved by works, but we are saved for works.  (To paraphrase.) Something my pastor talked about this fine Sunday morning. But any good sermon that involves 1 John 2:15 and the principles behind that isn’t meant to leave you in fine weather on the inside, eh?

In any case, at least there’s still Proverbs 21:1. That helps get a “Lord, I guess so.”

Loving = Obeying + Serving

I’ve been pondering Jesus’ ‘commandment thesis’ to Love God and Love Others for quite a while. (weeks, months…) Love is such an ambiguous word. Google it and you will get “Results 1 – 10 of about 2,350,000,000 for love [definition]. (0.09 seconds)” Isn’t that ridiculous? What is love? Click on that definition Google directs you to in the [] and you’ll find that 9 out of 10 of their definitions centre around some feeling of affection, passion, attachment, desire or enthusiasm. The one that stands out is #9 Christianity/Charity. We’ll get to that. I think that to ‘love’ is more than just some-kind-of-feeling, however strong it may be.

The Old Testament

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18

The New Testament

This ‘commandment thesis’ is quoted/mentioned in 3 of the 4 gospels. In Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:28-34, it is discussed because teachers of the Law (Pharisees) ask Jesus what he thinks the greatest/most important commandment is. In Luke 10:25-28, an expert in the law asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.

If you look further down chapter 6 in Deuteronomy to verses 13, 18, and 24, they read: “Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name” and “Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight” and “The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God…” As much as we may prefer to define love in a fluffy huggable way, that kind of love might better be called “luf” – love for God is slightly, if not majorly, different. That is because of who God is. He is the ultimate authority of the universe! He is not ‘an invisible friend’. Although God loves us and though “to all who received [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12), when children have a father who is GOD… that merits some respect. Can you really say you love your parents unless you respect them and are obedient to them?

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:6)

This is more bluntly put in the book prior:

This is love for God: to obey his commands. (1 John 5:3)

That is the kind of love that requires all your heart, soul and strength. Obedience to a holy and perfect God  can hardly ring up to less than that.

As for loving your neighbour as yourself, that is perhaps the more self-explanatory command of the two, but requires thinking about what the greatest act of love you’ve received is… Perhaps, first, love is to share that gift of salvation.

4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
 6Who, being in very nature[a] God, 
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
 7but made himself nothing
      taking the very nature[b] of a servant, 
      being made in human likeness.  (Philippians 2:4-7)

When [Jesus] had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. (John 13:12)

I think the love for your neighbour is a love inextricably linked to Jesus’ attitude. It doesn’t mean serving other’s whims so much as bearing their burdens. Just as Christ bore the burden of our sins, though he was blameless. It is an attitude of serving that keeps in mind always that the master is God.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature[a]; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

That verse comes before yet another summary of the law to love your neighbour as yourself, this time given by Paul.

So, the conclusion after this long-winded quote exposition is:
Loving God  = Obeying God
Loving others = Serving others