Random collisions with my brain

Trevor\’s ranting place… thingy

True Religion June 17, 2007

Filed under: Christianity,Essay,Life,paper,Religion — isaacme @ 4:27 am

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27a   

        Many people today have a wrong view of religion. A lot of these false views fall into one of two camps. Either they believe that religion is doing good deeds, or they believe that they can just call themselves religious and have no deeds. Both of these views are false. James 2:21-22 says …was not Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  

        After going to jail recently, Paris Hilton claims that she’s found “religion.” She says that when she gets out of jail she will be different; she will try to be a good person. Now I don’t know all the details behind this, but I’m willing to guess that all Paris found was a wake up call to change her ways. She claims to have changed on the outside, but to have true religion, a person must first be changed on the inside. Many people look at James 1:27 and see only the first part that talks about looking after orphans and widows. However the verse continues. It says that true religion keeps oneself from being polluted by the world. Since any good deed we would do outside of our life in Christ would come from selfish motives [pollution of this world], we need Christ to keep our motives pure and unpolluted.  

        There are many people today who don’t believe that there lives have to change when they become a Christian. I can think of many people who go to church on Sunday but if someone who they thought would mock Christianity asked them about their faith, they wouldn’t talk about Jesus. This is a dead faith. As it says in James, faith without works is useless. As Christians we are a new creation. We are no longer self seeking idiots aimlessly wondering through life not sure what in the world we were doing, but we are new creatures who are overjoyed by the grace we have been shown and are prepared by God to perform good works. Ephesians 2:10 says, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand.   

        Religion does not come by being good; neither does it come without cost. We must first realize our deadness because of sin, then we must accept Christ as our Savior, lastly Christ will give us the heart to serve. Not because he forces us, but because we are so overjoyed by the mercy he has shown. There are steps to obtaining true religion, and they don’t start with us.

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The Personality Trap June 10, 2007

Filed under: Christianity,Essay,Life,paper,Religion — isaacme @ 4:36 am

          Most of us probably have someone in our lives who we think of as the “model Christian”. Maybe it’s one or several traits that make this person stand out. It’s easy to look at someone like this and say, “Wow, what a great person, but I could never be like that that.” We so often get sucked into thinking that someone’s personality is just the way God made them and if my personality isn’t one to do that trait then that’s not how God made me. It is at this time that we get sucked into the personality trap. The devil tries so often to make us think that our lives fit into a mold called our personality. This is not so. Corinthians 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. We must not walk in our old earthly ways but as 1 Thessalonians 4:1 says, “Excel still more.” In interpreting this verse, there is no room to say “my personality isn’t one to forgive when someone cuts me off in traffic.” The bible makes it very clear that we are to always excel still more. Satan often tries to lie to us and make us believe that, “I’m not the compassionate type. I’m not one to keep his cool. I’m just don’t easily forgive. This is a lie. That is our sin nature not our personality. We must not get sucked into the personality trap, but excel still more. Looking at examples from the bible and from people around us is a practical way to see how to live our lives in a Godly fashion   

          I used to think that finding a hero was dumb. Heroes always have flaws, but that’s what makes them human. I think it’s important to find someone who you admire and come into contact with a lot and try to study his or her good character habits. There is much can be garnered from watching other people’s lives. Now remember that Christ is the perfect example; we should always study his example. However, sometimes it is helpful to see practical application of scriptural truths being worked out in people’s lives. The next time you see a person helping someone in need, remaining steadfast in the midst of struggles, or showing other scriptural qualities, don’t say, “That’s them, this is me”, take their example to heart and break free from the bonds of the personality trap.

 

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. May 27, 2007

Filed under: Comparison,Essay,Life,Politics,Ranting — isaacme @ 4:50 am

           There’s been a lot of talk that the Republican’s don’t have a chance this presidential election. In-between switching control in both the house and the senate and an unpopular war, things aren’t looking so good for Republicans. However there maybe hope. People are beginning to wonder, “What in the world is the democratic agenda anyway?” They don’t really seam to have one. Democrat’s have barely any real agenda; all they can talk about is how bad Republicans are, but America is noticing this. According to the pew research centre, only 37% of Americans approve of the job Democrats have done since entering office. When the Republicans took control in 1995, 59% of American’s said that they kept their promises; today, only 40% of Americans think the Democrats have kept their promises. What are the democrat’s promises? Pull out of a war, but who know how. Raise taxes. Gravel at the U.N.’s feet. Force people to buy cars that get from 0-60 in two days [maybe, that’s if the wind is with them]. Now that the dems are in control people are going “ok, now what.” Republicans haven’t lost yet. It’s time to make a stand.  

 

Rudy is a scary man May 25, 2007

Filed under: Abortion,Christianity,Essay,Life,Politics,Ranting,Religion — isaacme @ 4:54 am

Today I came across a news article in the Washington Post talking about Rudy Giuliani’s [a 2008 republican presidential candidate] liberal stance on a “woman’s right to choose.” The author of this article seams to be very liberal and yet he makes an amazingly good point. Here is an exert from that article [read the whole article here]. The article is talking about Rudy at this point. 

 

 

 

His argument comes down to this: “I hate abortion,” which is “morally wrong.” But “people ultimately have to make that choice. If a woman chooses that, that’s her choice, not mine. That’s her morality, not mine.” 

 

 

But the question naturally arises: Why does Giuliani “hate” abortion? No one feels moral outrage about an appendectomy. Clearly he is implying his support for the Catholic belief that an innocent life is being taken. And here the problems begin. 

 

How can the violation of a fundamental human right be viewed as a private matter? Not everything that is viewed as immoral should be illegal; there are no compelling public reasons to restrict adultery, for example, or to outlaw sodomy. But when morality demands respect for the rights of a human being, those protections become a matter of social justice, not just personal or religious preference 

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All I can say is RIGHT ON. I don’t believe this author is pro-life, but at least he sees the idiocy of believing that it’s ok to kill a human. If you think about it, believing that killing a human is a personal choice is way scarier than believing that an abortion kills a bunch of cells.

 

English class is over May 24, 2007

Filed under: Essay,Life — isaacme @ 4:20 am

English class is over!

My Wednesday English class is now over. Part of me is very exited that I’ll have more time, but part of me is very sad. I get VERY attached to ritual/routine. I have no idea why. I’m just very emotional that way. I’m also going to miss spending three plus hours with my friends every. However this will now give me time to study for the math placement test for college [a task I desperately need to do]. I hopefully will also have more time now to post on my blog [in case you haven’t noticed it’s been rather neglected lately.] Below is my last essay for English class. Because I was busy this week preparing for finals in English, it’s not my best. 

 

Why You Should Plan Your Day
    
      The Bible vividly describes our lives as a vapor that appears for a short while then vanishes. Clearly our time is valuable and should be used sagaciously. Planning your day allows you to spend your valued time productively, intelligently, and prudently. As you mature, you should schedule breaks in the middle of the day to alleviate stress and increase productivity. By planning ahead, you will be able to assign apropos time segments for these breaks. If practicing music is not important to you, you may wait until evening to pull out your instrument. However, you will not be able to practice after your younger siblings have gone to bed. Planning your day allows you to think of conflicts like this before it is too late to do anything about them. This is planning intelligently. Have you ever neglected to complete a particularly important task? You were probably not being prudent with your time. By planning ahead, you will be able to prudently decide what activities you need to finish and which ones you will not have time to accomplish. Planning your day allows you to productively, intelligently, and prudently spend your time.

 

The example of Mary Slessor May 12, 2007

Filed under: Christianity,Essay,Life,paper,Religion — isaacme @ 4:55 am

“What would I do with starry crowns except to cast them at His Feet?”

This quote showcases the humility and obedience of the life of Mary Slessor. Mary not only wrote this quote, she lived by it. On countless occasions she sacrificed personal gain and comfort for the sake of the Gospel. While she was not martyred for her faith, Mary Constantly put her life on line to reach the remote tribes of Calabar Africa with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mary Slessor was a woman who set aside gain and laid her destiny at the feet of her God.

 

 

     Because Mary was willing to trust him, God used Mary’s rough childhood to prepare her for the plans he had lying ahead. Mary was born 1848 to a poor, Scottish family who lived in a rough part of town. Marry’s father was a drunk and a gambler so at a young age Mary would have to work to support her family. As a child, Mary began to get into lots of trouble, but a concerned lady from Mary’s town told Mary about the punishment for sin and that there was a way she could be saved from that punishment. Mary chose to be saved and to accept Christ as her Lord. After that her life was never the same. Mary began to teach a Sunday school class in one of the most dangerous parts of town. One day after teaching, Mary was walking home when she was confronted by a gang of boys. The boys told Mary to get out of the area and stop teaching Sunday school. Then one of the boys took a piece of string that he had tied to a piece of led and began to swing it around his head. He came closer and closer to Mary, but Mary didn’t back down; She knew she could trust God. The boy came closer and closer until suddenly, “Whack,” the led hit Mary in the forehead causing her to bleed. However, Mary still didn’t turn and run; she just stood there. The boys were so amazed by Mary’s bravery that the next week they came to Mary’s Sunday school class and the boy who had hit Mary with the led accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. Sunday school was only a training ground for Mary for what God had in store. One Sunday as she was sitting in church, Mary heard a missionary speech about the work going on in Calabar, Africa. The missionary told about how these people desperately needed Jesus. He told about how the people there participated in witchcraft, cannibalism, and tribal warfare. At that moment, Mary felt God calling her to go to Calabar. After much prayer and preparation, Mary set sail for Calabar, but Calabar wasn’t going to be anything like Scotland. When describing Calabar, the captain of the ship that Mary was on told Mary, “sure tis no place for a proper young lady to be going”. “There’s no law or order there.” Mary wasn’t scared though. She knew that she could trust God in Calabar just like she could trust him when confronted by a gang of boys.

 

   Mary was not afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone to reach people for Christ. Unlike other missionaries in Calabar, Mary changed her customs to fit the ways of the Calabarian people. She eat their food, wore their clothes, and lived in their houses. In-between going from village to village, Mary would see baby twins alongside the road. The babies had been abandoned because the villagers thought that having twins was bad luck. Mary would take these children and either find good homes for them or raise them herself. Even though she never married, Mary raised these children as her own.  Mary was also a great peace maker. Whenever she heard that two tribes were going to war, she would run as fast as she could to go and try to convince the two chiefs to make peace. One time, a chief named Chief Njiri [Ninjuri] came into the village where Mary was. He and his men became drunk and then they started stabbing other people. Mary ran right up to chief Njiri, grabbed his arm, and told him, “Chief Njiri, you need to leave right now.” Amazingly that’s just what Chief Njiri did. He and his men filed right out of town. Mary did all her work for the Lord, but the government couldn’t help but notice what a great peacemaker Mary was. The governor, whose name was Claude MacDonald, told Mary, “I don’t know of anyone who does such a good job at making peace as you.” He then gave Mary a paid, official position as peacemaker for the region. The only reason Mary received this position though was because she did not let her fear of change or her fear for her life stop her from reaching people for Christ.

 

 

     Mary never let her health get in the way of her ministry. Africa is a place with many diseases and viruses. Several times Mary became so sick that she had to return to England, but every time she went to England, she always returned to Calabar. One time while taking a long boat ride in the rain, Mary became so sick that she started talking nonsense, laughing hysterically, and was unable to recognize her friends. By the time the boat ride was over, Mary was unconscious. The other missionaries were very concerned for her. They sent her back to England where she became better. After getting well, Mary returned to Africa even though she knew she might face some deadly disease there. As Mary became older, it became more and more difficult for her to walk from village to village so she came up with come creative means of transportation. At first Mary tried biking, but pretty soon she wasn’t able to even do that. So she had her oldest daughter wheel her in a wheel chair. Mary also got around in a motorized boat that children in a Sunday school class in England had bough for her. These modes of transportation were far from comfortable. Every joint in Mary’s body would ache every time she would travel. Marry’s friends bought her a nice house and told her it was time for her to retire. However Mary refused. She staid and worked in Africa until her death in 1915. Even when every joint in her body ached, Mary still pressed on to tell people about Jesus. Mary was more concerned with people’s spiritual condition than with her own physical one.

 

      Mary Slessor was a woman who set aside gain and laid her destiny at God’s feet. Mary allowed God to use her circumstances as a child to prepare her for missions work. Once a missionary, Mary went out of comfort zone to reach people for Christ even if it meant death. Mary put the condition of other’s hearts in front of the condition of her body. Like Mary we too should obey God instead of trying to gain passing earthly possessions.

 

A modern day Roman Coliseum May 4, 2007

Filed under: Comparison,Essay,evil,Life,TV — isaacme @ 4:54 am

      The gore exposed at the ancient Roman Coliseums was disgusting. However what was worse was people actually enjoyed it. In ancient Roman days, gladiators were worshiped celebrities. During a game at the coliseum, one gladiator would wound an opponent and then ask the crowd or the emperor whether he should kill the competitor or spare his life. What does all of this have to do with anything today? A little TV show called American Idol. While there is no blood on American Idol, the similarities are still there. People love watching contestant’s hopes and dreams get dashed to pieces just as lives were torn apart in the ancient coliseum. One must only look at the title of the show to realize that these contestants are “worshiped” by millions of people. Additionally, the outcome of the show is based on the votes of the viewers, just as onlookers decided the fate of gladiators. It’s amazing to think that our civilization could still love to see lives torn apart, and worship those that make it just like in the days of ancient Rome. How far has our civilization really come from the barbaric practices of the Coliseum days?       

     

        Note-I have never watched a full episode of American Idol. Ever. I do not claim to be an expert on either American Idol or ancient Rome. However I have done some research and from what I see these comparisons do have grounds, but I may be stretching the comparison [at least a little].