Saturday, 27 August 2011


There it is. The topic that every great and small philosopher, poet, musician, pastor, priest, thinker, touches on and elaborates their point of view. It is such a grand topic because it is common among all cultures and people. It is something inherent to our very existence as humanity. But the question is how do we define love? Every person has different ideas about it. Of course many of these ideas overlap, but there is some shade of nuance that makes each person unique. Is love an emotion? A character quality? An action? A virtue? A vice? Something to be used? Something to be cherished? Something to be attained? Something to be given? The list goes on and on.

The topic most often falls upon either romance, that is the intimate relationships between a man and a woman, or in Christian circles the love of God as manifest chiefly through Christ, but also through many different mediums as well.

It would be very easy to continue and write an entire book on these things and many books have been written on the subject. But I'll just point out one thing that I think is relevant that God has begun to reveal and exhibit in my life.

I have recently begun a romantic relationship with a young woman whom I am rapidly falling in love with. And in this sense I am talking about the emotions, attraction, hopes, dreams, etc. I feel towards this woman. But it didn't start out that way. In fact, I had very few emotions concerning her for quite some time except trepidation. But I made a choice. I think love is a choice. Yes, it is actions, the way we treat people, and even emotions. But before any of that can happen a person has to make a choice. The choice is whether to love or not. We make the choice every day when we decide to be kind to our enemies, or to snub the rude driver who just cut us off. I think how we act and how we feel are a result of that choice. So when I made that choice I knew that my actions would fall in line with that choice and the emotions that we so often attribute as love itself would come as well. I've learned that our idea of love can not be dependent on the emotions. Emotions can not be the basis for our love, but must be the natural result of our love. God chose to love us and as a result he sent His Son to be a substitute for our punishment in order to redeem us. It has radically changed all of our existences on a core level. And we are called to love like Christ loved. We need to make a choice, and I've made mine concerning Christ and concerning Brenda. What choice will you make?

For His Glorious Name,

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Have you ever scolded yourself for having any doubt? I know I have. I wonder at it though. Doubt is definitely set in contrast to faith. But how bad is it really? I'm starting to think God takes a little pleasure in overcoming our doubts and fears. In the Gospels Jesus says things like, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." John 20:27 He doesn't just simply tell us to stop doubting, but gives us a good reason to stop doubting. I don't think God is standing in front of a giant score-board keeping track of our faith and knocking us down a peg or two whenever we have some doubts. Remember, Satan likes to put such thoughts in our heads. What matters is what we do with the doubts we have. We can go one of two ways. We can have faith and in spite of our doubts trust in God's unfailing love and mercy. Or we can affirm our doubts and believe them to be true and important. I think Thomas gets a bad rap for that little incident and we all know him as doubting Thomas. I'm sure Peter and John ran to the tomb that morning because they doubted and had to verify it for themselves. I think it is perfectly okay for us to come before our Lord and ask him to show us himself to alleviate our doubts. Sometimes he leaves us to our doubts for a time, but inevitably He will reveal himself. All doubts will be wiped away and in the end only three things will remain, Faith, Hope, and Love. All of them are gifts, and I thank God He has given them all to me.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Summer of 2011

This afternoon I woke up from my nap.

In my mind was a song.

The song was one that has been playing in the fitness center that I work at fairly frequently.

The song's name is Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams.

The strange part was I woke up with a particular lyric altered. In the song there is a line, "Those were the best days of my life." But I woke up to the sound of "Today is the best day of my life" instead in my head. That gave me a lot to think about.

To be sure, life is going really well for me right now. I'm halfway through my grad degree. I'll be heading out onto the mission field after that to serve my Savior and King. I'm talking to an amazing girl from Montana. I can't really think of anything to complain about. So maybe today really is the best day of my life. But what about tomorrow? I think it will be too. Here is what I mean. Every day living in the moment is the best days of our lives. You're either living in the moment, in the past, or in the future. You either appreciate and thank God for today or look back on memories or look forward to future expectations. Not that memories or expectations are bad. They're a necessary part of the human experience. But there is something seriously wrong when we fail to live today to the fullest. There is something inherently superior to the experiences of now over the hopes of the future, or even the memories of the past. Ultimately I think its because the other two aren't livable. You can't live in the past or the future. You can only live now and accept it and live it to the fullest, or you can deny it and lose out on all that God has for us. In this case I think the wisdom of Yoda is appropriate, "This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away. . . to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmmm? What he was doing. Hmph."

One of my favorite worship songs is "Better is One Day". This perspective has helped me to look at this song in a different way. The one day can be seen as today. If we spend today in the presence of the Lord, it is better than dwelling on a thousand great days of the past. It is superior to the expectations of a thousand great days in the future. No amount of living elsewhere but the presence of God is worth living. And he expects us to live today. Though his focus was on not worrying, Jesus talked about this issue in Matthew 6. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Verse 34. So I say this to you. Don't dwell on the past or get lost in the future. Enjoy the memories and share them and learn from them. Maintain your hope for the future and continue to pray for God's will to be done in it. But do not do so in sacrifice to living today. Live today to its fullest and enjoy the presence of our Lord each day now and forevermore.

For His Glorious Name,

Sunday, 14 August 2011


What makes you feel significant? We all seek our significance in one way or another. Inherent in our nature is a sense of our purpose and meaning. It is truly tragic when we meet or hear of someone who has lost all sense of significance. They are truly to be pitied, because within all of us is the desire to be recognized as important, as significant. We do it in many different ways. Some of us rely on our achievements, hoping that we will be remembered for the great things we have done. Others look for it in their relationships. That is a complicated one because there are so many ways for relationships to make us feel significant. We can feel significant from our spouses, children, friends, social groups, etc. But what significance do any of these truly hold?

When I think about something such as evolution I realize that if I believed in it I personally could not continue to exist. Everything would become meaningless. I would lose all of my significance and desire to live. Its because I am forced to look at everything in big picture form. I see the whole universe and how small I am compared to it. My actions, my relationships, everything is meaningless in such a grand scale.

Even though I don't believe in evolution, there is still that issue to deal with. With the universe being so big and grand, and having a God who created it and is even bigger and grander, I have to wonder at why my existence is significant. Why am I important at all? Ultimately God doesn't need me. He can do everything he wants to do without me being here. But thats just it, he chooses us. He has chosen me for His kingdom and given me significance. He doesn't need us, but He chooses us. Through His significance as creator of all things, He has imputed His own significance upon us through the cross. Ultimately its not about what we ourselves do or who we know or who we love that gives us significance. It is quite the opposite. It is about what He has done, and that He knows us, and that He loves us that gives us significance, meaning, and importance. So much so that it is impossible for any of us to fully grasp the breadth of it. And I am grateful. And I will worship Him forever.

For His Glorious Name,

Monday, 8 August 2011

Great Minds

Today, as I ate lunch, someone said, "Great minds think alike." And I started thinking about that statement. Most of the time my initial thought is, "Great minds think for themselves." But that isn't entirely accurate either as many people who have thought for themselves have led many others astray and done some of the most harm to others. Plus, if you think about it, just because you think the same thought as someone else doesn't mean both your minds are great. If the assertion that similarity of thought equals similarity of greatness is true, which I wouldn't necessarily assert. But even if it is, then that doesn't prove the minds are great, only that they are similar. One might accurately say, "Insane minds think alike," or "Baffled minds think alike" and still follow this paradigm. This eventually leads to the question, "What does a great mind think?" And I think the only satisfying answer is truth. A great mind will neither necessarily think like others nor for themselves, but rather understand and think about truth, namely Christ. A great mind thinks like Jesus. In my understanding, that is what defines a great mind.

For His Glorious Name,

Sunday, 7 August 2011

How to Make a Man Humble

Every time I have the privilege and responsibility of preaching I am humbled. Today I preached at The King's Community Church in Langley, BC. The Pastor is away in Cameroon and a few weeks ago asked me if I could preach this Sunday. I agreed. Whenever I have preached whether it be at my home church in Fairfield, CA or in Tanzania I go into it with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. I go into it knowing that everyone there is hoping to hear some revelation and truth for their lives and I feel like a vessel completely unworthy of delivering something like that. I don't think I could ever be a full-time preacher, i.e. a Pastor. I wouldn't last long. But maybe thats the point? A man who preaches and preaches well should be aware of the weight of his words and that either the Spirit will take over on what he's saying, or he will fail miserably. Though it wouldn't be true of every man, for pride can sometimes be greater than the lesson, but if you have an honest man the easiest way to promote his humility is to have him preach a sermon.

For His Glorious Name,