Jan 26, 2011

Zombies, Liberation, and Chivalry

Chivalry is dead. That's what everyone says, right? Well, if that's true, a few of my guy friends must be zombies. However, since my brain is still intact, this can't possibly be true. Though an endangered species, I believe that the chivalrous gentleman is still far from extinct. Still, they are rare creatures indeed; about as common as a modest woman, making me think those two things go hand-in-hand.

How did this happen? I may have an idea . . .

You see, somewhere in the 1950s-1970s, American women became more "liberated". (Basically, morally unacceptable things became acceptable; like one-night-stands and wearing clothes that don't even belong on a street-corner.) Women didn't have to be classy anymore, the whole "modesty" topic became an old-fashioned and somewhat drab alternative to the flashy styles that are much more popular. Thus, the majority of women became cheap and flirtatious- it didn't take romance and time to win their hearts, just hard liquor and a few compliments. With chivalry unnecessary to win a woman's virtue, it rapidly disappeared.

Now, there are still a few scarce gentlemen left in this world; godly men of honor who are willing to pursue a lady's heart and mind and fall genuinely in love with her, not what she can do for them. And there are beautiful, modest ladies who are willing to wait for said gentlemen to sweep them off their feet with romantic gestures and heroic patience. This type of romantic love may not be "liberated", but it's slowly appealing to a lot of the Christian youth of this generation, myself included. I don't know about you, but this un-dead "zombie" chivalry sounds like a lot less heartbreak for everyone involved, including God.

After all, would you like to see your children sold off so easily and recycled like old paper bags? I wonder sometimes what he feels about it.

Jan 25, 2011

Mothers of Annoying People . . .

For Second Semester at the school I go to, all of our schedules change around. (I don't know if they do this in some other schools, so I 'm just clarifying, but mine completely jumbled.) To add to the confusion, a certain annoying fellow classmate of mine is in all of my classes.

You see, this person and I have a history of annoying the Jolly Ranchers out of each other. Our personalities just clash, rather severely; he really drives me crazy, and I him. And until June, he will be with me (seated next to me in most cases) every moment of the school day. Why? I'm not sure, to tell you the truth, but I think God may be testing me a little bit- giving me an opportunity to grow. A faith-stretching exercise, as I like to call it. Will this be pleasant? Probably not. Will I survive?

Perhaps.

I'm trying to ask God to change my heart towards him. It seems that I've tried everything: random acts of kindness, being polite, turning the other cheek, ignoring him all together. . . EVERYTHING. I know that if I try hard enough, I can find the human inside the obnoxious shell; I found that it helps to try to think of him like his mother would see him.

Weird, I know, but it's been working pretty well. Because, well, mothers have a personal relationship with their sons- simply the connection of having given them the life God planned for them. Mothers watch their children grow, thinking that their boy is the handsomest, kindest, truest, most talented creation the world has ever seen. They buy them clothes, wondering how they ever got to be that tall and broad. It's the innocent, godly affection that constitutes motherly and brotherly love.

When he makes weird faces, I try to imagine him as just a little boy trying to get a laugh.

You know, when you think about it, mothers see their sons kind of like God sees us. Whenever we do stupid, annoying stuff, God doesn't abandon us. He disciplines us sometimes, but like a parent. Out of love. He sees the little children in us, seeking attention and affirmation. He sees our potential and the true desires of our hearts, and he cares.

And, like a parent, I think He's setting an example for us, that we may love our neighbor/annoyance/friends/enemies/lab partners not because of what we like or dislike about their personalities, but what we see through the eyes of someone who loves them unconditionally. Like the mother that watches them grow up. Like the God that makes that happen.

Jan 22, 2011

Three Story

Their Story
Our Story
God's Story

I currently participate in a local Friend 2 Friend group. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a group of teens who get together who usually go to the same school as each other and pray for the unbelievers/believers of your school.

We met last Sunday and we talked about Three Story. It's about where we are ministering to other people through listening to their story, telling them about yours, and eventually getting to God's story. Some of us may say that we should give them the "three minute" speech about how they're sinners, but they've been saved through Christ. Have any of you ever noticed how they respond to that? Usually not very positively. That's why we need to get to know them first before start God's story.

Make them feel comfortable with you. Show them that you can be trusted and that you relate to them. They'll feel more open with you later if you build that trust up first. It'll take a lot longer than the "three minute" story, but it'll be worth it. I tell you this, heaven rejoices more over one who comes to believe Jesus is Lord than a hundred people coming to Christ.

Are you ready to participate in your own Three Story? You know who's waiting for you. :)

Jan 10, 2011

Strong Tower

You are my Strong Tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my Strong Tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is True and Holy
And Your face is all I seek

Some of you may know that this is the chorus from Kutless's "Strong Tower" and if not, well, now you know. If you have never listened to the full song before, or even read all the lyrics for it, I strongly suggest it. I think it's a great example of how we should be living, and who God really is. He is true and He is the Everlasting King.

Maybe some of you who are reading this are not Christians, and you're thinking, "Yeah, right, there is no God." Or maybe some of you are in a tight spot with your faith, family, or friends, and you think God has completely abandoned you. Maybe you are so weary and don't think you can make it through another day. Well, in any of these cases, you're wrong. God is right there beside you, comforting you, taking your hand and saying, "Child, I am your strong tower, and I will shelter you in this storm." No, it won't suddenly make what is happening disappear, but it will ease your pain. He will shelter you from the driving rain.

For you, the unbeliever, you have only to look around and see the might of the mountains, the roaring of the sea, the majesty of the plains to know who God is. He's there, though you may want to deny it. He's ready for you, waiting, with open arms to lift you from the shroud of darkness.

"And Your face is all I seek." I think that perfectly sums up what we all need to do in this life. Seek God's face, and run towards him with reckless abandon. Seek Him with all your heart, delight yourself in Him. . . He wants that from all of us.

So, are you ready to take that challenge? Are you ready to become more like Him every day of your life?

It's a new year. A clean slate. Prime time to become who we really are in Christ, not who the world, or your family wants you to be. Be who GOD wants you to be.