christical

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

Turning the Other Cheek October 2, 2013

Filed under: Applied Faith — christical @ 9:20 pm
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(Please note: a social media comment is shown and referenced in this blog post. The language used may offend sensitive readers.)

After a long break, I’m back.

While I was gone . . .

  • I fell in love with playing music again.
  • I adjusted to a new school schedule.
  • I deleted my blog’s instagram and started spending more time on my personal instagram.

Although I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been eagerly looking for opportunities to “let my light shine” and allow myself to share what I know about God when possible.

When I was scrolling down my feed, I found an argument between a One Direction fan and a Doctor Who fan. For the record, One Direction is a British band who recently announced that they would hold a “live stream” video event for their fans on November 23rd. Doctor Who is a British television show that started fifty years ago. A new, super-important episode will air worldwide on, you guessed it, November 23. The One Direction fans have dubbed the 23rd “1D Day” in honor of the event. Doctor Who fans are not at all happy because they believe that the day should be dedicated to the first doctor. The below comment came from a One Direction fan, and it was directed toward a fan of both One Direction and Doctor Who.

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The part I want to comment on is, “The reason we are nene [mean] to swifties [Taylor Swift fans] and the wanted [The Wanted is another band] cuz in case you haven’t noticed they have all been rude to us first.”

This mentality really grinds my gears. I take issue with the idea that one is justified in being rude to someone because that “someone” was rude first. There’s a difference between justice and vengeance; there’s a difference between forgiving and enabling.

See, if you do something unkind to someone because he or she has done the same to you, then how does that make you any better than the other person?

Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. This means releasing the anger and the grudge that you hold against the other person. Really, withholding that forgiveness doesn’t do much for you. Letting your mind be consumed by their actions, being reminded of the ugly things they did to you, is letting their misdeed defeat you. If disharmony is a basketball, you just caught the ball and will most likely pass it down the court.

If our goal is to think like God, then how can we think like God if we aren’t willing to forgive someone else for their rudeness to us?

If we simply pay back what we have been dealt by others, then don’t we just move in circles? Where would the circle stop?

Do yourself a favor. You don’t have to be your adversary’s best friend, but at the least you can vow not to let their actions take over your life.

 

Ecclesiastes 7 May 10, 2013

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 9:41 am
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Happy Friday, everyone! As the week culminates in the events of today, we can see how God has worked in us this week to show love to others.

I’m surprised I haven’t touched this series in a while. Today’s chapter 7 in Ecclesiastes.

A good name is better than a good ointment,
And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Your reputation serves you better because it lasts, unlike a cut on your skin.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart. If you feast, you become drunk and don’t learn anything from the experience that will help your faith. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember why you need Jesus.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure. If you don’t live for the party, then you’ll live more fully.
It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools. Again, by hearing the serious side of things, you’ll become more spiritually mature.
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
For oppression makes a wise man mad,
And a bribe corrupts the heart.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. Today is a gift. Have no anxiety about anything that will come today, but release your worries to God.
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an advantage to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is protection just as money is protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. Money can be a danger; wisdom is a safeguard because it helps you stay safe in life.
Consider the work of God,
For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him. God causes all things to work together for good. Our sin blinds us so that we do not know everything about God, but one thing we do know is that He is good.

I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. Wisdom brings sorrow. Unfortunately, it can drive people to search frantically for meaning, which is what brought Solomon’s downfall. At the same time, some wisdom is good. If you live in wickedness (or without God), then you will die, and there will be no heavenly reward.

Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. There is no righteous man who never sins. Jesus tells us that we cannot see clearly because of the plank in our eye. I believe that this passage serves to keep the righteous humble. Nobody’s perfect–both the writer and God realize this. I’m glad we have salvation then!

I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it? I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her. The writer wanted to know the depths of the world. He learned that it is better to leave the body behind on earth than to leave the soul behind in sin. By living for God, we can avoid being permanently trapped in our sin.

“Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” This may point to the Messiah. He knows of one perfect man. The part about not finding a righteous woman may be in reference to his numerous wives and concubines (that none of them are role models of godly women).

–JFG

 

Good Friday: The Buffalo. March 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 5:54 pm
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Good Friday is like a buffalo in the middle of a trail you’re hiking on. Ignoring it and going on your way, as well as throwing yourself into it, is a bad idea.

No; we respect the buffalo.

Likewise, thinking about the gory and bloody death of Jesus on the cross (especially how He died in OUR place) is not an easy topic. However, it is the rock on which we stand. Through that cross, we have salvation and life.

Is it hard to see that God payed the ultimate price to free us? Yes. Is it mentally painful to know that your sin did that to him? Yes. But remember John 3:16–God loved the world in such a way that He gave His son, that whoever believes in Him won’t die, but have eternal life.

Hear that? Our guilt doesn’t have to remain! Our God doesn’t keep obsessive records of our every deed. Jesus conquered death and freed us from that obsessive record-keeping. Now, we have family. We have identity. We are healed.

Have an observant Good Friday. May God bless our hearts.

 

What’s up with Communion? March 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 8:03 pm
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It’s Holy Week.

It’s Holy Week, and tomorrow is Maundy Thursday.

It’s Holy Week, and tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, and this “Lent” thing is about to take an interesting turn.

Do you know why? Tomorrow, in church, you’ll hear about one of the greatest paradoxes the church has ever seen.

Communion.

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

If you think about the words of Jesus, you’ll see the reason that people call Christianity a crazy religion. Jesus gave us His body and blood to eat and drink. If it were anyone but Jesus doing this, we’d think cannibalism.

See, communion raises questions. “Why do we do this anyway? Do we just eat, drink, and be merry?”

For this, we look to 1 Corinthians 11:

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Hey, look, there are actually answers to our questions in the Bible! Gee, this whole “Inspired by God” thing comes in handy.

To sum up the above passage:

  1. We take communion because Jesus told us to do it.
  2. Taking communion helps us to remember Christ sacrificing His body for us and dying (and, more importantly, coming back to life!).
  3. Taking communion involves repenting of the sins which we have committed. this is because Christians receive forgiveness through communion, and we accept forgiveness by realizing our need for it.

Have an observant Holy Week, everyone!

 

Broken February 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 10:28 pm
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In love’s service, only the wounded can serve.

When we are at our lowest and feel the most useless and worthless, that is when God uses us the most.

You know why?

That is the moment in which we can let God in to work the most.

Do you think that you’re too damaged to do anything of worth? Think again.

Broken soil leads to soil that can bear wheat plants.

Broken clouds lead to rain which waters the wheat plants.

Broken wheat plants at harvest lead to broken wheat heads, which means grain that can be used to make bread.

Broken bread gives strength to the hungry body.

Have a thoughtful Lent. May God shine His face upon you and pour His grace onto your soul.

 

Don’t Go Job 38 on Me! January 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 9:57 am
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The everlasting candle in the church is like the refrigerator light in the refrigerator, except the everlasting candle stays on when you close the door.

God: all-powerful, constant, loving, just, all-present, all-knowing. A great guy to have on your side, isn’t he?

But sometimes, we’d just prefer if God didn’t know everything. Especially when we sin, we try to be like Adam and hide. God sees us all the same. Praise Him for his forgiveness, or else we’d really be in trouble!

There’s another time in which we start to get a bit annoyed at God’s infinite wisdom. That time is when something goes wrong in our life and we want to blame God.

Job learned his lesson the hard way in Chapter 38. He asked God why his life had gone so terribly wrong. God had a long response (almost two chapters) full of questions for Job.

“God, I try to be a good person! I go to church, read my Bible, pray, try to be nice. Don’t you remember that one time last Tuesday where I could have gone to Vegas for the weekend and didn’t? So why did you let this hardship happen to me?”

God will turn right to you and say, “Were you there when I made the world? How deep is the ocean? What does the earth look like from high above the universe? If you know that a great injustice has been done to you on my watch, then you must know everything. Do you not trust me?”

In chapter 40, Job realized his mistake and admitted that he was human. Job is not alone; it’s natural for humans to question God.

Trials in life are inevitable, and yes, they’re hard to go through. But God is God. If God were to give us whatever we wanted and prevented every event we wanted Him to prevent, that would just make us greedy and make us think we were the ones in charge.

We’ve put the fate of large countries in the hands of men. Take a look at Ancient Rome, China, and even the USSR. Imagine what would happen if every person controlled their fate for themselves. The world would be a disaster!

God commanded the morning and gave the sun its light. He formed the earth when it was tohu wa-bohu (formless and void) and sacrificed Himself for all of humanity. If God can do all that, then I will certainly trust him with my life!

–The Jesus Freak Girl

 

Drawing Jesus October 30, 2012

Filed under: Homemade Praise — christical @ 9:14 pm
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Jesus came to my pencil as a sort of a rugged-looking guy today, more than a bit physically flawed though.

I’m glad that Jesus isn’t always depicted as being this hunky dude (Malibu Surfer Jesus, anyone?), because I think I’d find an overwhelmingly perfect guy sort of intimidating. Imagine that you meet someone with a spotless record, a gentle voice able to silence the greatest of religious leaders while healing the lowest of sinners, and astoundingly beautiful physical features? I’d shrink back faster than you could say “transubstantiation” (which, I suppose, would give me a lot of time, but I digress).

Jesus may have been God, but he was human, too.

It’s okay to approach Him with anything. He understands it all.

•JFG

 

 
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