Sunday, August 26, 2012

RMP: Tim Hawkins

Sometimes, (not all the time) when you talk about a Christian band or a Christian this or that, people normally assume that whatever it is will not be as worthy as it's secular counterpart. But if this man were to contend with some world class comedians, he'd do just fine.

Tim Hawkins is the man. And he's a believer. And he homeschools his kids. What more could you ask for? I'll say no more.

Yuk it up, ladies and gents.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Far From Home

He knew it'd be hard because of all of the warnings he'd gotten, but words would never have been able to prepare him for this. He figured he'd have to push through the strict "no-outside-contact" policy, but he couldn't have anticipated the loneliness of soul he was enduring. As he laid on his cot in the middle of his team's camo tent, he desperately tried to think of better times. Before the draft. Before those last good-byes. Before the war. He tried to think of anything that would pull his heart towards faithfulness.

You see, they had brought in women. And beer.

They figured it would cheer the boys up after the toll this 6-month unrelenting campaign had brought upon the troops. They could have a night of fun and forgetfulness. They could party away their burdens of lost comrades and pain. And the best part was, no one would have to find out. They could consider it a one-night-gift from the good 'ole US of A.

But there was no forgetting the fact that she was still at home. Waiting. Faithfully counting the days that she would still have to endure until he came back. But she counted them joyfully, knowing her reward.

And with this, he wrestled. He paced the floor, sat down, and even kneeled to take his mind off of things. He mentally clawed for every reason he shouldn't go out there and claim momentary pleasure. It's why he was trying to remember. He tried to see her sweetness that, for some reason, so easily eluded his thoughts now. She felt so far, and unreachable. He wished that the feelings of joy present at their union would flood his mind now, but to no avail.

This went on for hours. It tore his soul apart as he fought with the animal inside, often leaving his body shaking for what could, with a few steps, be within his grasp.


Welcome to the desert. Where God feels as far away as Pluto, and sin is as near as your doorstep. This land has been traveled by many a weary stranger, of which it has consumed too many. Here is where man desperately tries to see the face of a God who seems to be intentionally hiding Himself. It is in this place that you want to want Christ, but yet the pleasures of the world have such a stronger emotional pull.

It is in this place that I call upon Galatians 5 to lend a hand, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

I know that these moments test the very boundaries of our soul, and in this stretching, I pray earnestly that we would become a church that solidifies our feet in blocks of concrete and says, "I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back."

Even when everything inside us says it's not worth it. That God isn't fun. That God isn't going to satisfy. That your distance from God is a good excuse to abandon Him. For these are our tests. How else will we know that we can stay true other than by being put to the test?

Stand firm, therefore. For at His side, there are pleasures forevermore.

Trust Him.

Monday, August 13, 2012

RMP: Coca Cola Security Cameras

There's really not that much to say about this video other than the fact that I really like it. That, and the fact that it's all about perception. And it's heart-warming. Like the "awww" kind.

Watch it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fake Beef

I've been gone for a while, due to various reasons, and I've had some time to realize some things about myself:

1. I am the living embodiment of the lyric, "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love."

2. I am never more than a few steps away from the person I'd never thought I'd be.

3. I don't understand God's grace, love, and righteousness.

4. When it comes down to it, I don't live in a way that shows I truly believe the promises of Christ.

5. Finally, I've been slapped with the reality that I've been wallowing in a cheap substitute for real life.

To put it simply, these realizations have come somewhat in order. That is to say that each thought led to the other. This all reminds me of a song named "Upgrade" by a band called Remedy Drive. Now, I know this isn't an RMP, but I figure since I haven't posted one in a while, no one will be upset. The lyrics go like this:

We're still sowing in the finite fields  
We're so content to live under a curse
We're still fabricating paradise
With the thorns, with the flies and dirt

Hold out for the upgrade man
Let go of your sinking sands
This bent world's not the promised land
This feeble frame's not meant to stand
I say all this because I've recently seen myself succumb to sin that I had thought for a long time was only a marginal issue. But I believe the reason I've been through this stuff, (apart from my sinful nature) has been God allowing me to see that worldly pleasures just don't cut it and don't give me what I need.

In short, I'm tired of the the world's replacement for satisfaction. Because from what I've seen, it is a second-rate, China-made, off-brand, high-calorie, low-nutrient, fake-beef decoy. And what do decoys do? They distract us from what we're really supposed to be looking at.

Ephesians 2 would say it like this:
"All of us also lived among them [the world] at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."
Cravings of our flesh? End in death. Riches of His grace? Incomparably sufficient. And it is not just sufficient, but the next chapter goes on to say that God is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Why are we letting this gold mine fly by us?! This, ladies and gentlemen, is the stupidity that I found I've been buying into for much too long. And I'm done with it. I'm ready to move on to those things that are better than what I could ever ask for.

Lately, I've been learning a lot about the fact that God made us to experience Him. Now, in our sinful nature, we run off to other things to try to "experience" something powerful. That's why people go to drugs, sex, and wild living. The truth is that the desire to experience something satisfying isn't wrong, but we're just digging in the wrong fields, as Remedy Drive would put it.

So when we talk to unbelievers about how God is better than what they've got, do we really experience God in a way that this is true? Well, I'm determined to do so.

And I invite you to join me.