Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Blog!

My friend Rachel and I have started a new blog!  It is called Trailblazer's College Talk and offers practical encouragement for the "college-age" years!  Come check it out at


Be sure to follow us and tell all your friends about it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Life

John 1:4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 6: 35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Many times throughout the gospels, Jesus preached that He is life.  He is life, in Him is life, and He alone can give life.  Life as evidenced here on earth, in no matter what form, is a symbol of Him and a manifestation of His glory.  Only God can create life.  Only God can give life, and only by believing in Jesus can we receive eternal life.
This is why life is so precious.

Life is not something that you and the next guy can create.  Not even scientists can just up and breathe life into an inanimate object. Life is something that only God can produce.
God has given each and every one of us life to some degree.  We are all breathing and our hearts are beating.  Plants also are alive, and animals, and yet we have souls, which differentiate us from them.  It is because of the immortal soul that God has given to man that a human being in a coma, is very, very different than a vegetable.  It is insulting to God and the human race to make such a base comparison.  And yet although we as humans have souls that will exist forever, not all humans have received the gift of eternal life, which again, God alone can bestow.
1 John 5:11-13 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
God alone can give us life--here on earth as well as eternal.  Life, therefore, is an attribute peculiar to God alone.  This is why Satan hates life.  It reminds him of God, the only one who can create life.  When we see the Mona Lisa, we think of Leonardo da Vinci.  When we hear the Messiah, we think of Handel.  And when we see life, we should think of God, the creator of it. 

Satan does all in his power to destroy life--as much life as he can--and especially human life, because it is the most precious, for it contains an immortal soul.  In this way he attacks God, by destroying His best creation. 
John 10:10 The thief comes only to kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
And many have died over the years of history as a result of Satan and his servants.  Take for example abortion, or the many holocausts.  Death is Satan's trademark, and his way of twisting and distorting the beautiful thing God created called life.  However Satan can kill the body, but he cannot kill the soul.  The martyrs are a beautiful example of this.   Men who did not fear God (and any who do not fear God serve Satan) rose up with a mind of hatred towards the children of God.  They sought to murder and destroy all they could.   They killed many, many innocent people.  And yet the blood of the martyrs is seed for the cause of Jesus Christ.  The martyrs gave their earthly lives for Christ, and went to live with him forever.  In doing such they were a thundering witness to the world around them.  Many more came to know Christ, and to accept the gift of eternal life because of them.
It is because Jesus is life that life is the most precious thing on earth.  And it is because life is the most precious gift, that the giving of one's life for others, which is called redemption, is the most noble, beautiful, amazing thing there is.

Mathew 20:28 Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus set the example for us in nobility.  He gave His life that all those who believe in Him might not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16) rather than an eternal death in hell.  Life is the most anyone can give, and the most precious.  This is why we honor and respect our soldiers and veterans--because they were willing to give their lives.  This is why we honor those who died for our freedoms.  This is why most every great book has an element of redemption in it, even if it be only so little.  This is the case in books such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Pimpernel, A Tale of Two Cities, Pilgrim's Progress, The Celestial Railroad, and of course, the greatest redemption story ever, and a true one at that, the Bible.  Giving your life to save others is to follow the highest call of nobility, the greatest example ever set, that of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:1-4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
And it is because Jesus is life, and God alone can create life, that life is the most beautiful, majestic, holy, sacred, precious evidence that there is a God ever created.  And it is because life is so incredible that any form of life is not to be thrown away or taken carelessly.  And human life--life to whom God has granted the gift of a soul that will last forever, through all eternity--that human life must be preserved and protected at all costs.  But this alone is not enough.  We must share the good news--the gospel of Jesus Christ--with all, that God might use us and cause the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts, that their ever-existing soul may not go to die an eternal death, but to live an eternal life, in communion with God.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Shadowlands

The closer a subject is to my heart, the harder time I seem to have writing coherently.

I have always read that a good author will draw from their own experiences.  I have started several stories in which things happen to the characters that have happened to me, but they never run smoothly and are difficult to write.

Even now I am having trouble.

I can always seem to make my point in a fictional story.  I may go to the extreme of making my points too well.  But when I write from my own experiences, with the thought of allowing someone else to read it someday, I can never seem to get the point across.
Perhaps it is a subconcious guard against vulnerability.

Anyway, this is a short sketch I wrote last October, early in the morning, watching the sun rise outside my hotel room window, in preparation for the funeral of someone who I loved very much.  It was dark in the room, but outside the sun shone in all its glory.  I could see the brilliant rays reflecting off the roofs of the buildings across the street.

Please comment and let me know what you think of it.  Is it coherent?  What did you understand from what was written?  I am not sure I quite understand the full meaning of what I was writing.  I had a vague idea of what I was trying to get at, but was having difficulty putting it in words.  However I seem to have managed to put several concepts down in trying to get at the vague one. 

Oh, and as I tend to do when something has affected me deeply, towards the end I rambled off into poetry.:)  Blank poetry, which is unusual, but there is certainly a difference between that and the previous prose.

The Shadowland

“What a bright day it is today,” Muriel said happily.  Two candles were lit in the dark rooms. 
“Yes, it is rather bright,” said her twin, Judy. 
   “It was kind of the landlord to send us two candles,” their mother commented.
The family and all their friends lived in a castle with no windows, where it was always dark.  The landlord sent them a candle every day, and occasionally two candles, to light the dark rooms. 
   Every few years, the landlord would come during the night and take one of them as they were sleeping out of the castle to the world outside.  He would leave a note to inform the others.  The loss of these was always mourned by those remaining within, but the landlord’s plan was to one day bring them all outside of the castle. 
   One morning Muriel rushed out of her room.  “Mother, Mother, come quickly,” she said.  “I can’t find Judy!”
   The mother followed Muriel back into her room.  Glancing at Judy’s empty bed, she asked, “Muriel…what is that on the bed?”
   Muriel went to it and picked it up.  “Oh, no Mother, it is a note!” She cried.
   “Then the Landlord has taken her away,” the Mother replied.
   Muriel and her Mother and the rest of the family wept for Judy for a long time.  But they could only see what went on in the Shadowlands.  They did not have the whole picture.  They wept for Judy having been borne away in the darkness.   BUT,
   Outside, in the sunshine, Judy stood with the Landlord gazing at the castle.  The tears were running down her cheeks.  “We never knew it was so bright outside,” she said.  “I wish we had known.  I wish everyone inside knew now.”
   “They do know, but it is hard for them to understand what the world really looks like. All they can understand is the great brightness of two candles in a dark room.  They cannot envision anything brighter.”
   “But they have the candles themselves!  Cannot they envision it being as bright as the candle itself?” Judy asked sadly.
   “They could…but they do not.”
   “We used to mourn for those who were borne away in the darkness.  How little did we know that we were the ones who walked in darkness!”  Judy mused.  Another tear slid down her cheek.  “Rather I should mourn for those who are still in darkness.”
Catching a vision of something so much brighter
The sun is bright yet there IS something brighter
We mourn for those who have gone on before
But perhaps they mourn for us who are still behind
And yet in and through it all the landlord…Our Landlord…has a purpose
brighter and better than anything we can here see.   We are confined by our dimension.
We can picture things less than what we have here but nothing more
Yet in glory we will see things as they really are
In catching a vision of something brighter…better…more…we catch a vision of heaven…and yet
 the vision will be far surpassed by the reality.