christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

Big Brother is not Our Father August 30, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 3:54 pm

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I finished reading Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four two nights ago. A word of advice: don’t finish anything by Orwell at night.

Anyway, I was intrigued by the idea of a Big Brother and the Thought Police, watching our every single movement. Sounds creepy, doesn’t it? Thank goodness that its not true.

For some reason, I found myself remembering the children’s song:

Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see.

It’s not possible to love what you fear. So why teach children this song? It makes God sound less like a loving, but just being and more like the Thought Police! Intimidating people into doing what’s right for God’s love isn’t loving God on either side.

Three types of believers can be found in a church: the ones with an active relationship, the ones going through the motions, and the ones who go to church for the fire insurance. The ones going through the motions in their faith often end up becoming the fire insurance believers–believers who believe just to not go to Hell.

Unfortunately, people seem to be afraid of God. Me? I can’t honestly say that I’ve had enough life experience to know what it’s like to have that amazing respect and love for God I see in my older friends. All I know is that he is an amazing soul, almighty, beautiful beyond description, and I am in love with my Savior.

Some say that we should do the right thing because God wants us to do it.

I say that we do do the right thing as a fruit of God’s Spirit working in our lives.

Objective morals definitely exist. Have you reached a gray area? Check out the Ten Commandments. But remember that some other laws in Leviticus really don’t seem relevant to today’s world. I personally don’t worry about them, but it’s not my place to judge what laws I should follow.

Either way, remember that God loves you despite everything you’ve done. He understands your tendency to sin, which is why He gave you that freedom from it in Christ. And many people get so caught up in guilt that they get pushed away from that freedom. I suppose that happens to everyone at different points.

But throw yourself onto God. A relationship with Him is a freely given gift. Hand Him your shortcomings and iniquities, because God has His hand on the relationship. Remember, Jesus isn’t called the Alpha and Omega for no reason, amen?

*The Jesus Freak Girl*

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Princess Bride Christian Memes August 28, 2012

Filed under: Christian Culture — christical @ 9:05 pm

What? I didn’t post yesterday? Oh, that’s right. I was having some posting errors. :-/

But here. I made some memes to make you happy.

So the question: are you happy? ;-p

—The JFG

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Christian-izing Secular Songs. August 24, 2012

Filed under: Christian Culture — christical @ 9:40 am

“I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing, Roman Calvary choirs a-singing, be my mirror, my sword and shield, my missionaries in a foreign field, for some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name, never an honest word, but that was when I ruled the world.”

“So free me, I just wanna feel what life should be . . . I just want enough space to turn around and face the truth, so free me . . .”

“When lies become the truth, that’s when I run to you . . . This world keeps spinning faster, to a new disaster so I run to you, I run to you, baby, when it all starts coming undone, baby you’re the only one I run to . . . I run to you.”

Whenever I listen to these songs, I can always imagine someone singing to God. Even though the songs aren’t Christian, they sure sound Christian.

The first song is “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. It sounds Christian to me because of all of the biblical references. Perhaps it’s about Satan, or even Judas. Or it’s simply another believer who spent his life building sand castles and then realized their total depravity (more about depravity another day).

Our second song in the lineup is called “Free Me” by a ska punk band called Goldfinger. I had stumbled across it whilst looking up PETA videos (my teacher was feeling vegetarian that day and decided to tell us about slaughterhouses). Note: I wouldn’t recommend listening to the song if you are offended by cursing. The chorus of the song, which I posted, seems like a cry to God, asking for freedom from lies and themselves.

Last, we have “I Run to You” by Lady Antebellum. Clearly, I could never talk about Christian-sounding music without going to country! I relate to this song so well, simply because God is that rock of truth in my soul. And though our lives are filled with creations that fade eventually, we focus on those more than the Everlasting! I guess that the human soul searches for safety.

The lyrics of Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise” come to mind:

There’s a peace I’ve come to know. Though my heart and flesh may fail, there’s an anchor for my soul, I can say “It is well”!

Happy Friday everyone. Peace be with you.

*The Jesus Freak Girl*

 

Spam Commenting God August 23, 2012

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Wow, look at these awesome comments! Oh, wait . . . I found a few problems with these comments:

  • The commenters were commenting on my post about future blog posts.
  • One of them called the post “informative”.
  • Another one said this was great for increasing their knowledge.
  • Yet another commenter went off talking about how they were looking for an easy task.

I know exactly what these comments are (hint hint: it has four letters, starts with “s”, ends with “m”, and has “pa” in the middle).

And if you have ever truly strived for a relationship with our Lord, then you have done the exact thing: spam commenting God.

You must be reacting to the fact that I pointed the spamming finger at you. “Why,” you say, “I pray every single day!”

But remember that Jesus said to not be like the babbling pagans, with their many words and little if anything else. If you are saying a prayer just for the sake of saying a prayer, then your words have no force behind them. It’s just babbling.

I’ll even admit that up until about 14 months ago, I was pretty passive in my prayer life. Freestyling my prayers was a thing I rarely did. My prayer life used to consist of:

  1. Hail Mary 3X
  2. Lord’s Prayer
  3. Infant Jesus Bless Me
  4. Dulce Madre
  5. Angela de la guarda
  6. Oh my God, I am so heartily sorry
  7. Hail Mary 1-5X
  8. Hail Holy Queen
  9. Another Mary prayer
  10. Apostle’s Creed
  11. Memory verse every Thursday and/or Friday

Yeah, I was Catholic when I was younger. Anyway, this eventually became a ritual, something without the force behind it. After a while, I tried to mean what I was saying and found that coming up with my own prayers better suited my needs.

What surprises me is that God still listens despite the fact that our prayers can be so lifeless sometimes. If someone were just babbling (duckspeak, Orwell calls it in Nineteen Eighty-Four), you wouldn’t be as likely to listen to them when they actually have something to say.

But God doesn’t work that way. He’s listening, expecting, reacting. And the way He works is just so astounding! He changes our lives, giving us blessings every day that we might not even realize.

I hope you can reflect on that for a while.

—The Jesus Freak Girl (Ιησού)

Have you ever noticed yourself spam commenting God?

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter Six August 21, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 11:12 am

Hey blog-readers, I’m picking this up again. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten how fun it was reading the Bible, but now I definitely remember!

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men — a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction. People work and work all their lives, but those people end up simply giving their riches to another person to enjoy. It’s okay if it’s a rich person working and their tax money goes to the truly disabled, but there are cases where working-class people give their money so some person who just doesn’t like working can enjoy them. I heard about a guy who was a lifeguard half the year, and lived off of government assistance the other half. He could have gotten an education, in fact, it’s just that he didn’t want to work.

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, “Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he. The writer must really be hating the world. Imagine – the man with a long life and a lot of children is worse off than the child who never saw daylight! If existence is really what the writer says it is, then consider how awesome heaven will be.

Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things — do not all go to one place?” Ashes to ashes, dust to dust (the end of Genesis 3).

All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied. For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind. Isn’t it interesting how when we use our own hands to build our fortresses, we dig our own grave in order to use the ground for our sand castles? That’s truly what earthly treasures are: sand castles. Sand castles are beautiful, but they crumble.

Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun? When it’s all said and done, most people want to have done more than they have said. Except for talking, because then it wouldn’t really matter. This is the writer’s point. It’s not really of any use just filling the air with your words. Who are we to judge what is best for us in our short lives? We have no idea what the next chapter of our life will bring, so what is there to do but enjoy everything as it comes? ❤

Remember your Creator always, and have joy with each new day. Having wisdom is great, but the truly wise can look at the world and see all there is to celebrate. Have a great day!

–The Jesus Freak Girl

 

 

Reach August 20, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 9:39 am

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How do you accomplish your goal(s)?

Some will try to take the easy answer and say “by practicing” but that’s not what I was asking.

How do you accomplish your goals?

Some people simply dream about what they would do until they get the courage to try. Others plan it out so carefully that the entire plan will fall if one little thing goes wrong. Still more people just simply go for it. Either you accomplish the goal or you don’t.

It’s okay to not accomplish your goals the first time. There are two takes on accepting failure. The first is more popular:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

The second isn’t as well known but probably more realistic:

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Failure intimidates people. It turns the brave ones into the background, because they are afraid to take a risk, lest they fail.
It’s like doing high ropes. Even though one is harnessed in, they’re still afraid to take that risk and go to new heights. However, a team of people are on the ground to work the harness and help the person up on the ropes come down safely.
God is like that team. He can hold us steady, but only as much as we need it, because we were made to become wise.

Where have you felt God holding you up?

—The Jesus Freak Girl

 

The Story of the Fall of Man: Conservative Church Style August 18, 2012

Filed under: Christian Culture — christical @ 12:37 pm

I decided to try my hand at humor today. I was inspired by a Jon Acuff guest post. I included a few references to what my church is like (no, I’m not bitter at all :-p).

Once there lived a loving church lady. She had two grandkids, a tall, polite boy and a petite, soft-spoken girl. Their names were Liam and Genevieve. One day, Liam and Genevieve’s family moved into town, and the church lady took the kids to church and put them in church volunteer groups to cultivate and keep the garden of believers. However, the church lady warned them, “You may sing in the choir. You may help in the kitchen on soup supper nights. You may help the church however you like; but of the electric instruments and Christian rock songs you will not partake, because it is the devil’s music, and he will have drawn you in.”

Now the worship leader was craftier than any member of the church, and he wore the most hair product too, and had the “Green”-est car. And one day, he approached Genevieve and said, “What do you think of my hair product?”

Genevieve said, “Indeed, you have more hair product on your head than my aunt Harriet the stylist in 1985.”

And the worship leader said, “Rad. But that’s not what I’m here for. Did your grandmother the church lady really say that you shall not volunteer in the church?”

“We can participate in any volunteering we wish, but as for Christian rock music and electricity-powered instruments, Grandma said, ‘You must not participate in it, or you will have been drawn in to the devil by his music.'”

The worship leader said to Genevieve, “You will not have been drawn in by the devil’s music! For your grandma knows that when you partake of it, your ears will be opened, and you will be like all the other cool Christian teenagers, knowing good and hymnal.”

When Genevieve saw that the music was fun to listen to, and that Jars of Clay was delightful to the ears, and that the electric guitar was desirable to make one awesome, she partook of the contemporary music; and she took Liam with her to a MercyMe concert. Then the ears of them were opened, and they knew that the hymn music was making them fall asleep in church; so they went to the contemporary service, and tried to keep their grandma from finding out.

While they were at the contemporary praise service, Liam and Genevieve heard the sound of the church lady walking through the church. Then their grandma the church lady called to Liam, and said to him, “Where are you?”

Liam said, “I heard you come in to church, and I was playing electric guitar, so I hid.”

“Who taught you to play the electric guitar? Have you listened to the music of which I told you not to listen?”

Then Liam said, “Genevieve, whom you have taken to church with me, she started playing the music, and I listened.”

Grandma the church lady said to Genevieve, “Why have you done this? Wasn’t singing in the choir enough?”

And Genevieve said, “The worship leader deceived me, and I listened.”

The church lady said to the worship leader, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all people with tattoos, and more than every person who doesn’t tithe ten percent; in your TOMS you will go, and imported coffee you will drink all the days of your life; I will put enmity between you and the senior pastor, between your kind and his kind; he shall not allocate money to you for repairs, and you shall play music that is more recent than 1937.”

To Genevieve she said, “I will increase your frustration in the buffet line at church events, with a struggle you will get the last plate of Jello; yet your desire will be for the macaroni and cheese hotdish, and the older people will go in line before you.”

Then to Liam she said, “Because you have listened to Genevieve, and listened to the devil’s music, cursed are the contemporary worship services because of you. In toil you will try to get attendance up all the days on the praise team. Both no-attendance summers and poor equipment will become commonplace; and you will play live music with it; by sitting through church council meetings the contemporary service will have a voice, until you return to the regular services, because from it you came. You are an LCMS, and to LCMS you shall return.”

–The Jesus Freak Girl

 

 
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