Love trumps my pessimism. Thank God!

This post was first published on April 4, 2015.


There is so many things I dislike about the Adventist “culture.” Growing up in Mexicali and now having lived almost three years in Lincoln, Nebraska, I have experienced two different sides of Adventism. I gotta say both annoy me.

At the same time, both have things that I like. But I can go on and on about the things I dislike and how I wish we could be better and do more. I strongly believe God has granted us potential to do great things in His name, but we don’t. I become sarcastic and snooty. I get angry and cynical. I feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

This same anger has led me to focus on other things, like getting those things that are wrong right. It’s important work, it’s true. However, while I believe in and talk about God’s love as the answer, I feel like I show less and less of it.

God’s love can change us. His love can change what’s wrong. He can make it right. He can transform our laziness into hard work. He can transform our conformity (should I say mediocrity?) into excellence, our proneness to follow the world (or at least imitate so much of it) into leadership, our stagnant congregations into innovative communities.

If God’s love can do that, maybe I can get my recommended dosis and let that love do its work. God’s love can change our lives, it can change our communities, and it can change our church.

Advertisements

The Wayfarer by Stephen Crane

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”

—Stephen Crane

I first read this poem two years ago. However truthful, though, it didn’t leave a mark. I forgot about it soon after posting it on my previous blog. But it does address many of the things I’ve been struggling with and probably always will.

People have constructed many paths that people have taken over and over. Each person that passes through it makes it easier for the next one, taking down vegetation and marking a clear road. But the right path, or the path to truth, is walked by few, which means it is still full of vegetation, of weeds and knives.

Crane does an excellent job and to explain it any further would be counterproductive. I can just say I don’t want to be the wayfarer in the poem.

#008 – Rachael Boyd

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ofloversandfools/008_-_Rachael_Boyd.mp3]

Listen on iTunes!                 Listen on Stitcher!                  Download

This week, Rachael Boyd is on the show! She moved to Nebraska less than a year ago, and I asked her to teach me a little bit about the United States culture and how different or similar Nebraska is from where she has lived before. Apart from this lesson, we also talked about her dog Penny and dog parks. Finally, we tried not talking about feminism or the body positive movement. It was difficult!

Enjoy and let me know if you have any feedback.

God keeps blessing

Despite how inconsistent I am in my relationship with God, He keeps blessing. I don’t understand. No matter how many days I go without opening my Bible or how often my prayers are a repetition in what has become a ritual I must perform before I eat to not feel guilt.

God, on the other hand, is consistent. He’s been blessing me all this time even when I don’t recognize it. Sometimes the blessings are small; other times, they are so significant that I instantly thank Him for his goodness.

The biggest blessing God has given me are people who support and encourage me. As you can learn from previous posts, I have not had such a terrific time since school started in August. Just thinking about life after college is overwhelming.

However, whenever I am despondent (which is quite often), there is always someone who reminds me God cares. They don’t always mention God or even believe He exists, but their involvement in my life is definitely a blessing from Him.

One thing I’ve noticed is that although most people don’t tell me I will become a conductor, they do believe I will get to a meaningful place. They know I might end up in a completely different place from what I currently want and help me see more possibilities. They might offer some help with my grad school applications or simply let me know they believe in my abilities through their constant encouragement.

I don’t know where God is going to take me, but I’m sure He’ll continue to bless me. He has brought me to a place where I’ve met great people who have helped me grow intellectually and spiritually.

God has blessed even through my inconsistencies. I keep working on developing discipline in my relationship with Him. Hopefully, I can be a blessing to others just as He has used others to bless me.

A church that fits me

While going through some old posts from an older blog of mine, I found a quote from C. S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.” Every time I read this passage I think about what the point of church is. Is it important to find a church that fits you? Is it about something else? I’m really not sure of the answer, although sometimes it might seem obvious. Lewis poses some thought-provoking ideas.

In “The Screwtape Letters,” a demon and senior tempter named Screwtape writes to his nephew Wormwood, a junior tempter. The uncle provides advice to Wormwood, who has been assigned a man. His task is to prevent this man from following God. The “Enemy” referred to in the letters is God.

My dear Wormwood,

Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.

The reasons are obvious. In the first place the parochial organisation should always be attacked, because, being a unity of place and not of likings, it brings people of different classes and psychology together in the kind of unity the Enemy desires. The congregational principle, on the other hand, makes each church into a kind of club, and finally, if all goes well, into a coterie or faction. In the second place, the search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy want him to be a pupil.

Your affectionate uncle,
SCREWTAPE

#007 – Slade Lane

Listen on iTunes!                 Listen on Stitcher!                  Download

Slade is back! This time he is my guest. We talked about disappointment (kind of) and pretentiousness. Before that, Slade told me about his experiences with the guitar and why he has not given up on it, even though he’s wanted to many times before.

This is the first episode with explicit language! I am not sure if that’s a good thing, though. Anyway, there’s like three curse words (one’s enough to be marked explicit).

Thanks to Slade for this achievement!