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Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Disclaimer: I am talking about worldly issues in this post, and they are mainly about they way the world sees sex. I use semi-graphic language. I have these viewpoints because I know Jesus. So, bear with me before you jump to any conclusions please.

There’s this magazine blurb taped to the inside of the wheelchair accessible bathroom stall in my dorm. To sum it up, the article talks about what to do when you feel like you are going too far physically with a guy or what to say if he won’t wear a condom during sex. It’s “Safetember” in ResLife land. They like to use the first full month of school to remind us of the dangers of college life (like drunk driving, drugs, robbery, and unsafe sex). I am about to rant. 3…2…1!

First of all, I want to stake a claim. No one can honestly believe that humans are inherently good. They just can’t. If they do, then they are sheltered, lie-believing souls. When my campus dedicates an entire month to warning us about the dangers of college life, I just cannot believe that we are inherently good. These problems: rape, drunk driving, theft, and being taken advantage of, run so rampantly that university campuses are incredibly serious about them. My secular campus finds it vital to warn kids about the dangers of entering this world of “fun” put on by other…kids. And those kids are evil. Sometimes I think: how could some jerk slip a roofie in a girl’s drink and rape her? How could some kid in his early twenties be so desperate for unattatched sex that he would knock a girl unconscious and have sex with her limp body? That’s evil. How can someone be so desperate for money to go into someone else’s room and steal their laptop? It’s evil. It’s lies. People believe lies that they need money, sex, and to feel good. People are evil.

Rant #2
As much as magazines pour out article after article about sex positions, how to have naughty sex, and pleasing your man, lately, I’ve seen a few articles about how to stop going too far physically. I was surprised. What a mixed signal though! To be telling girls how to do this and that in bed, and then turn around and say, WAIT!!!! if it’s uncomfortable for you, don’t do it. The article in my bathroom about how to slow down your man dripped with compromise. It made me woozy. My version of that article would have been a lot shorter:

If he won’t wear a condom, DUMP HIM!!!!

If he does something that doesn’t feel good, WHY IS HE DOING IT?!

If you’ve gone too far and don’t want to again, DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN THAT SITUATION!

But this article is full of empty grace. It encourages speaking up and honesty with the guy you’re “hooking up” with but also to be positive. “Hey we went too far, but I still like you, and I like kissing you….but we went too far, but I still want to be with youand you’re awesome, but we went too far, but don’t get me wrong, I still like youdon’t break up with meplease…?” Now, hopefully said guy respects that and is just as determined to never go there again, but why, 17 magazine, WHY are you making it about HIM? If I am freaked out of my mind about physical activity, and my womanly emotions are out of whack, why are you asking me to preserve his feelings and build him up for something I’m uncomfortable about? I am just not that mature.

Cosmo, write me an article about being confident in myself. Write me an article about waiting for a guy who makes me laugh. A guy who thinks I am awesome. Who loves me for me. Stop telling me how to have sex. Guys do not need to be impressed. I don’t want to live my life to please a man unless his name is Jesus. We were not made for that. 17, write me an article about something I can be passionate about, inspire me to change the world, empower me to learn about it and DO SOMETHING, not DO it.

Having sex does not change the world. It might change mine, and I don’t mean in a good way. But this blog isn’t about that. This blog is about what the media communicates. Yes, I feel so strongly about this because I love Jesus, and I know the truth. But if I didn’t, it’d be so discouraging to hear this message (over and over and over):

Your value comes from being in a relationship.
Your value comes from pleasing whatever guy you’re hooking up with.
You don’t have value unless you look good.
This life is about sex.
Sex changes you for the better.
Sex will make you feel good.
Sex is #1.
Your man is #1
You are #1.

LIES, I tell you, LIES!
Every girl I know is insecure. Cosmo, 17, you’re feeding her insecurities and adding to her lies. You are making a weak nation of women who give in, who wrap themselves in darkness, hide behind facades. I’m trying not to cry as I write this. I get it. Sex sells. But what any of those girls wouldn’t give for someone to tell them they are beautiful and worth it as is, without a man, just them.

The Lord delights in me. He knows me. He loves me if I’m dressed up and loves me if I’m in baggy clothes. He loves me when I’m good and loves me when I suck. He does not ask me to be better. He just hopes I will love him back. And that love, changes everything. It changes the way I live, the way I go to class, the way I love people, the way I see the world, it will change the world, God through me. This love moves, it is lasting, it is not confined to a bed, not confined to a few minutes of physical pleasure, it permeates everything. This love is where I find my value, it’s where I find my worth, it’s what I let enslave me. I refuse to let sex or earthly relationships mean so much to me. Sex is a beautiful thing. I want to have sex with one person, I want it to be an act of love, not of lust. But sex isn’t eternal. Neither is my future husband. And I want to live for what is eternal. And that’s Jesus. And it could be you.

Now, I don’t want to leave out the guys. Guys need to be told the exact same things. They need to know where their worth comes from. Guys are not told “how to be” as much as girls are. They need to be told. They need good examples. Honestly, all I can think of is Jesus.

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I’ve thought of several more titles for this blog, my blog of all blogs, for example:

Don’t Count Your Chickens Until They’ve Hatched
Loss, Loss, and more Loss
Glenyce Conte is my New Best Friend
The Price of a Broken Heart is About $500
The Most Historic Week of My Life

If you haven’t heard, I just had the worst week of my life, and if you know me well, I don’t say things like that very often. But, before you read this blog, I want to make a disclaimer. This is quite the story. I’m going to do a bit of story telling that will sound like complaint, and will quickly turn into “the lesson of the story” type deal, but if you didn’t believe in Jesus before this, then you will after. And if you don’t, I will punch you. =)

Oh yeah, and feel free to repost this blog, I want people to hear this story.

Have you ever read the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well, that could be another title of this blog, except my name’s Bridget Gee, and it was not just a day, but a week.

Hmm, well, let’s begin at the beginning.

My boyfriend broke up with me a week ago. Now, I do not want him to be vilified in any way. Simply put, he’s not in love with me. And, it’s not fair to keep dating someone you’re not in love with. That’s how I see it. Also simply put, it broke my heart. We’ll revisit this in a few minutes.

The next day, I was off to Italy for a few days, because I didn’t have class. I have always wanted to go to Italy because it is so historic, beautiful and full of PASTA AND GELATO! However, I went with a heavy heart, and no appetite. In Rome, Glenyce (my American friend) and I, had a good time seeing some of the most historical ruins in the world, trying to find good gelato, enjoying ancient Catholicism and questionable statues. I even had a Nutella crepe! Thursday morning, the Good Mood Blogger Contest I was in, was over for me because I was #22, and I had to be in the Top 20 to move on to Phase 2. It was sad, but I wasn’t in a very good mood that week, so I was kind of apathetic.

Early Friday morning, Glenyce and I left Rome for Milan, to explore that industrial city and shop before coming back to England. Saturday evening is when all Hell Broke Loose. (Except not really, this is me exaggerating.) I was in La Galleria, all the shops surrounding the Duomo, Europe’s 3rd largest cathedral (beautiful, by the way), when I was determined to spend my last 70 Euro before leaving the next day. I was feeling better about my heart, and life, and being in Italy in general when I walked into this shop called Love Therapy. There were gnomes everywhere. And immediately, I thought, I am spending the rest of my money on Alissa Smith, my friend back in Tucson who ADORES gnomes. I could not pass up  the opportunity. After picking out a great shirt, and spotting a fabulous sequined vest that I wanted, I decided I was ready to get my money out.

But my wallet wasn’t there. I searched and searched, and, no wallet. Which meant no passport. I went into an immediate state of shock. This couldn’t be happening to me.

Glenyce and I sort of retraced my steps, but the truth was, there was no hope. Milan is a big place with professional pickpockets everywhere. My one regret is not leaving my passport at the hotel that morning. It was then that Glenyce and I embarked on the next most stressful 62 hours of our lives. I went to the Polizia to file a report, they had no other way to help me. I went to the US Embassy and it was closed, so Glenyce and I went back to our hotel, trying to come up with plans.

Luckily, our hotel had scanned copies of our passports, so I made them print me out a copy. I also had my letter of acceptance from UEA, proving that I am supposed to be in Norwich studying. I called the US Consolate (word of advice, they say only to call in case of life or death when they are closed, but you should press that number anyway, especially if you have NO CLUE WHAT TO DO) and they told me to deal with the airlines/immigration myself, or else see them on Monday morning (which was not the next day). So, Sunday morning, Glenyce and I made our way to the Centrale Station, got on an hour bus ride to Bergamo Airport and talked to RyanAir Italian workers. After speaking with UK Immigration, I was informed that Italy would let me leave, but the United Kingdom would not take me, so I had to get a provisionary passport the next day.

Which meant spending hundreds of dollars. (New plane tickets, coach tickets, bus rides, hotel room, and passport.) Glenyce, angel that she is (as well as her parents), paid for everything. So, Glenyce and I went to a hotel that wouldn’t have let me stay if it weren’t for the copy of my passport, tried to take our minds off of the chaos by wandering around Milan, came back and crashed, and woke up in the morning for more fun.

And by fun, I mean waiting at the Consolate for a couple of hours to get me a new passport. Things steadily got better from there. Glenyce and I spent a lot of time sitting around at airports. We missed our 2am coach ride from London to Norwich, so we waited until 6am, and finally got back to Norwich around 10am.

Oh, and did I mention that halfway through I got my period? Icing on the cake. On the big fat delicious cake of Life. (I don’t even like cake…or icing…haha.)

Alright, so there’s my story. The main point of this entire blog is the lesson.

1. The Italian Police are worthless. But, a police report is NOT.
2. Don’t ever carry your passport with your money. In fact, carry all your stuff in different places. That way, if you lose one thing, you don’t lose it all.
3. The UK really needs to get over themselves.

But more than that, I learned, that I am so blessed. I am blessed to not have been mugged the way I heard someone else was that I met at the US Consolate. I am so blessed to have a friend that stayed by my side through it all. I am blessed to have parents that don’t have a price tag on me, they just want me safe. I am so blessed to be loved by many, many people who have been praying for me in the past week.

Sometimes, I don’t understand how people make it in life without Jesus. During the whole process from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning, I was under control. Glenyce and I had our times of tears, but we had many more times of laughter. We were able to look at the irony of life, take it for what it was and move on. I was so lucky to have someone like that with me. But more than that, I wasn’t mad at God. I was really comforted by him.

He kept telling me that there are worse things. And that this life isn’t about me. And that I would be ok. Just because I lose things, doesn’t mean I’m lost. He kept speaking over my heart that I am greatly loved, even if the man I love isn’t in love with me. He kept speaking over my heart that I have an abundance of wealth even though I had no money. He kept telling me that he has something REALLY good for me even though I did not move on in the Good Mood Blogger Contest.

Before leaving for Italy, I was talking to my friend Andy and he said, “Man, when it rains, it pours.” Little did I know, it would pour in my life that week. Taking blow after blow after blow really tested my character and integrity. It tested my faith and hope. And not for one moment did I lose either of those.

What I know about God is that he wants us to turn to Him for everything. Literally everything. He wants us to ask him for stuff. He wants us to rely on him and not each other, and not ourselves. I got the best opportunity to do that this past week. Jesus was my Comfort. He was my Provision. He still brought me joy even in the middle of all my pain and loss. I never felt alone, or abandoned or hopeless. And seriously, without Jesus, I would have felt all those things, and worse. I would have been mad and bitter through the entire process of getting home. But, I had peace. I have never been more convinced that Jesus is the answer to everything.

Because with Jesus, I don’t need any man to tell me he’s in love with me.

With Jesus, I don’t need money.

With Jesus, I don’t need a great job.

There’s this verse I’ve heard my whole life, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” This week, I’ve figured out what that really means. I’m going to stop asking God “why?” because he knows what’s up. Eventually, I will know too.

I’m still hurting, but day by day, things get better. Plus, I can completely rest in the fact that the Lord has promised good to me.

And, I’m really excited to see just how good. =)

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The Bachelorette

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve wathced the last few episodes of this season’s Bachelorette. I’m also ashamed to admit that I can often be a critic.

In this bachelorette’s case, Ali is very serious about finding her husband amongst the men who ABC has provided her with. She gave up her job, time, and her fear of commitment because she wants to find love. She’s one of those broken hearted second chance at love candidates who was on The Bachelor– and fortunately for her that guy didn’t pick her because he’s not even with his number one girl anymore.

I have endless problems with this show.

First of all, it is a huge publicity stunt. There’s never a Bachelor/ette with normal looking people on it. Everyone is stinking gorgeous or just very well put together. That, in and of itself is fabricated. Because, say one of the more normal guys brought all of his best clothes, but half of them are just your average T-shirt and jeans. No Abercrombie, American Eagle or Banana Republic. Just Target. And Walmart. If that’s not the qualifications for ABC, do they have wardrobe and makeup for the camera? For viewer eye candy? That’s something I wonder. And with everyone looking so good, it’s hard to get past that being an actual standard to find love. It makes me feel like they should rename the show, One Hot Girl Dates a Bunch of Hot Guys and Then Acts Out a Phony Proposal with her Favorite.

Secondly, in this season, the girl and her hot men travel all around the world to find romance in the most romantic places. It is so unrealistic, it’s playing with emotions. In real life, every guy and Ali couldn’t afford the way they travel and eat on the show. Ali would need to realize that this is the peak of her relationship with whoever she ends up chosing because only on honeymoons do normal people travel to romantic and exotic destinations for love.

Lastly, it is super naive of Ali (or anyone participating) to believe that a television company could set her up with her soul mate. This TV show has been around for years now and only one couple has survived so far. Ali has put her love life in the hands of a company who has their own money-making agenda and has to chose from a random bunch of guys chosen based on their social standing and looks. Ridiculous.

What I am trying to say is, it isn’t anything more than a game. That’s why there’s a winner. We watch it because it’s dramatic, we love to see rejection and acceptance in one fell swoop and hot people make out on the show every episode. The thing is though, that not everybody is hot. Plenty of successful people are very plain, even goofy looking. I find that the better a person looks, the worse their personality is, 8 times out of 10. I don’t mean that to sound rude, but I have experienced this first hand my entire life. And honestly, love has nothing to do with looks. I understand that initial attraction is important in some atmospheres, but it really has little to do with love. Then, like I said before, being all over in these beautiful places eating great food all the time just enhances the experiences but detracts from the actual relational stuff. While the fairytale love stuff is all good, again, it’s not reality. It’s hard to pull that all aside and see the person for exactly who they are, no game. Then, the last part is the fact that love is a choice. Not a choice between 12 men, a choice to love one person. No matter what. Everyone wants to be loved unconditionally, but this show teaches love based on conditions and qualifications. They can travel weeks and weeks all over the world wearing great clothes and being hot and make out all the time, but none of that would stand the test of love like real life.

Here’s my idea. Make this same show, but no travelling. Everyone is from the same city. Each man has to make up the dates and pay for them. Just as if he were dating the girl, just as if he actually wanted her. They live where they live, but all congregate for the ceremonies and times when the bachelorette invites them on dates. They’d obviously have to have time to plan, but not too much time. The point though is that it is supposed to be as much like real life as possible. If everyone is really set on settling down and after the first couple of days and realizes that they could really go for the girl, then the last two would end up together. And no proposal. That’s just an option. Because otherwise, it really sets the standard of marriage low. And while I know divorce is soaring these days, what the show should teach is to not settle for less than what you want. That real love is a choice that is worth it and fake love will never work out. Oh yeah, and the people have to all be normal looking. Dorky, in fact. No hotties. Maybe one. Just to see.

Last point. The contestants that go into this show hoping to come out in love and with a fiance are seriously screwed up. If I were one of many girls hoping to win the bachelor’s love, I wouldn’t be able to continue on the show. I would want him all to myself and tell him that from the moment I realized I wanted to be with him forever. I wouldn’t be able to share him or stand the thought of him kissing on other girls. In fact, I think a guy who would be a bachelor on ABC tells enough about his personality in the first place. Also, I wouldn’t be able to genuinely date more than one guy and give myself to that person. I could not fall in love multiple times over. I just don’t think it would be a hard decision at all. I would pick a favorite and not kiss anyone. You can fall in love without kissing.

Ignore this if you think it’s silly. It’s just a rant that springs from the fact that I know what real love is. Not because I have a boyfriend, but because I have Jesus. Real Love personified.

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In 1954, the Swanson Food Company made a good entrepreneurial move by creating the TV Dinner. Television was becoming a booming form of entertainment, and apparently freezers were becoming more common as well. In my opinion, this changed everything in American society forever. After TV dinners, the time that was taken to make a quality dinner was cut in half for a mediocre meal that you could eat in front of the Boob Tube.

While I’m glad for wonderful inventions that make the world go faster, like high-speed wifi, I hate the attitude this generation has about instant gratification. I was expressing this to a close friend over a year ago now and his was response was, “It’s all because of TV dinners.” After talking to my mother about it, I came to the conclusion that he’s right. In the last century, so many inventions have shaped society to want satisfaction and want it now. The microwave made TV dinners even faster. We can get information without so much as flipping a page in a book. We get impatient if is takes 15 seconds for a webpage to upload. We want love, but we want it easy, and we want it now.

Honestly, it’s unfair for me to say this about society today and America alone. We- humankind- have always been like this. We cannot wait for the good things to come. I mean, why should we?! Good things are exciting and wonderful! We shouldn’t be able to wait! But, we should wait.

Take, for example, the Israelites who just escaped Egyptian slavery with Moses. They are out in the desert and have been traveling. Moses goes up on Mount Sinai to talk with God for 40 days. (This is when he gets the 10 commandments.) When he comes back down, the Israelites are worshiping this golden calf that Aaron, Moses’ brother, made for them. See, those 40 days that Moses was gone for, the Israelites were growing restless. They wanted something to worship, something to live for. Apparently, the God who took them from slavery and parted a sea for them was not enough. So when Moses found them in this state of craze, partying, drinking and dancing around a golden statue, he was really upset. So upset that he breaks the tablets with the 10 commandments on them. Another time, the Israelites (and take into account that these are God’s chosen people) get sick of the manna, God’s dietary provision for them while in the desert. They wanted real food, and were so desperate for it that they say they wish they were slaves again to be eating fish and fruit.  Would you ever think of going back to slavery?

We’re a lot like the Israelites today. We are so unsatisfied and long for satisfaction. We want to be a part of something good, big, important and exciting! However, we just can’t wait. We take that deep longing for quality, for the best thing, and we try to fulfill it with much shallower things!  My favorite analogy to make is that it takes sweat, time, and hard work to build a muscular body so why wouldn’t it take time to get other things of quality? Like a home-cooked meal. That should take at least an hour, from preparation to finish. Lasagna always takes 45 minutes to bake, cheesecake has to solidify over night.

Even as someone who has written a blog entry all about Jesus, proclaiming that he is the core of all my desires, he can only fulfill my deepest longings, I still have a long way to go to be in that place I long to be. And I want to be at a place where I speak tenderly to God as if he were my lover. I want to have such a deep relationship with him, that I have peace and joy in every situation. I want to be so obsessed with Him, that it changes my life, and makes me never stop telling people about Him. Everyone wants to be in love. Deeply in love, a place where they can give their all, and be given everything in return. We as humans, were made to glorify and worship. Everyone has a god. But none of those gods, unless it’s Jesus, will make them feel whole.

In Acts 17, Paul says:

24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

The way Paul talks about God makes God soveriegn. Everything is because of God. He made it all for us so that maybe we’d reach out to him. He wants us so bad. He wants our worship and praise adoration because he wants to be loved back. He doesn’t need it. He wants it. And Paul makes a great point- God is different than all those other gods- he actually responds. He actually exists. He actually knows who you are and wants a relationship with you. Some people think this is bologna. But unless you know God, and have tried to know him, I wouldn’t shake my head.

Jesus is so awesome. Sometimes, his gratification is instant, but more than that, it’s lasting. And that’s my major point. It’s not a magic trick to be in love, a love like no other, with Jesus. It’s a relationship that we have to work at. And I know for some of you, that’s just not going to cut it right now.

But hear this. I was driving down the road listening to the radio tonight, and these song lyrics came on:
“Oh Tonight could last forever
We are one choice from together
You and me
Ya, you and me”
The song challenges the listener to take the chance now, to make the choice now to be a part of real love. I teared up because I know so many people that are living in selfishness, because it is so much easier to live a life of instant gratification. Whether it’s drinking or drugs or sex- things that can feel so good, they end up being really empty and pointless. I get to live this life everyday of such purpose and joy. I know real Truth. I know life and love. I don’t know a whole lot of people who don’t know Jesus and can say the same.

In John 4, Jesus meets the town slut. She’s outside the city wall, drawing water from a well at noonish, when no one else is going to be there. Jesus asks her to draw him some water, because he just walked a long way, and was tired. They are alone, he’s a man and she’s a Samaritan woman (and a sleazebag nonetheless), he doesn’t have a jug, but he still asks for water. She’s a little shocked, but the conversation quickly changes into Jesus telling her that he can give her water that will never make her thirsty again. He basically tells her, “I will quench your thirst, FOREVER.” WTF?!?!
I’m going to be honest here. This story is so important to me. For a few years now, I had such an aching heart because I wanted a man to quench my thirst for love. I wanted an intimate companion who wanted me passionately. And I had him all along! Jesus knows me. And he wants me. And he gives me love that will never go away, and never die.

So it kills me to see my peers and everyone around me copping out. Taking the easy route. The easy route does not lead you to the prize. Ever.

Perhaps I just succeeded in making you really hungry for a Michelina’s Wheels in Cheese. Truthfully, I want you to be hungry for the best meal. I really hope that your heart is aching for deep satisfaction. And I really hope that you reach out to God to get it.

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I’m frustrated. At work this semester, we started playing the radio on loudspeakers so that the entire Park Student Union could hear the music. Usually, it was a hip-hop/hits station. So naturally, Rhianna, J-Biebz, and Miley Cyrus came on a lot. The song that repulsed me in particular was “Rude Boy” by Rhianna.

I go back to the lyrics and I just watched the video and honestly, I’m just saddened. This blog isn’t some kind of challenge to stop listening to this music. It’s pointed at the entertainment market today. Watch this video and listen closely to the lyrics:

First of all, to me, the song is all about Rhianna thinking she deserves the quality of sex that she’s asking for. It’s honestly egotistical for her to think that because she is who she is, that she deserves the type of satisfaction she’s asking for from this Rude Boy. Secondly, what kind of message is this sending? It’s sad that it is acceptable for Rhianna to teach her listeners promiscuity. Society today becomes more and more tolerant of casual and open sexuality. Sex becomes a less and less special thing. Rhianna is reducing it to a carnal act in her song, there’s nothing beautiful about it. Lastly, I am tearing up just writing this, but the most repeated line in this song is “love me love me love me” and even at the end of the music video, she crouches there, with the word love behind her. Love is beautiful. To make love is supposed to be beautiful. But she invited us in on something sweaty, desperate, and rude. I’m not saying Rhianna does not know that this is everything that she’s doing. I don’t know though, that she’s aware of the fact that she’s desperate for love and healing. She demands someone to love her throughout the song. I achingly see it as a plea.

Then there’s Miley. Hannah Montana, loved by millions of little girls all over. She doesn’t want to be Hannah Montana anymore, nor does she wish to be the role model of 12 and unders all over the world. When she had her pole dance scare at a recent awards show and then denied it, she went back on her word in this video:

Miley is trying to do something new and different. She wants the fans that Lady Gaga and Britney Spears have, so she’s being a copycat. I honestly think she had a good thing going in “The Climb” genre of her singing, but that only applies to her teeny bopper fans apparently. She says in this song that she’s not a fake, but I don’t think she is being true to herself. I think she’s being true to her desires (which are pretty selfish). The first lines of the song are the worst because as a girl in a relationship, she talks about going through guys like flying money. She has the Rhianna ego to match. But the winner of the saddest line is, “I can’t be saved.” Maybe she’s speaking in terms of being saved like a damsel in distress gets saved, but I just see a huge wall around her heart.

I’m sitting here, trying not to cry (I’m writing from a coffee shop). Not only is the entertainment market pumping out junk today that majorly consists of sexual promiscuity, but they encourage instant gratification, selfish behavior, and huge egos. People like Rhianna and Miley get to be the voice of these lies, that fame or sex will set a person free. How enslaving that must be for them to believe those lies! I recently read that Jennifer Aniston fears aging. That she believes her value as a human goes down as the years go by.

I ache for Hollywood. I ache for people who don’t know Jesus. Because then they’d know that they can really be free. They would experience real love that satisfies to no end. They would know that their value lies in Christ alone, and no one (including themselves) can tell them who they are or devalue them. I long for these influential people to know real life. These are people who have it all but seem to be crying out. And I ache for them.

I guess I’m gonna have to add more to my list:
Marilyn Manson
Owen Wilson
Oprah Winfrey
Miley Cyrus
Rhianna
Jennifer Aniston
Alec Baldwin
Hollywood in general

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So here I am on a lovely Saturday, with no responsibility other than those that I chose to take, and I decided that writing a blog would be one of them. This week has been quite the week for me. For many a reason. But in class this week, God has been there. As I have mentioned before, I am taking a class on the works of John Milton. It is one of my favorite classes. Milton was a poet back in the day of England before America, when the Church was the State. Milton spent his entire life on literature and writing. He knew the classics and the Bible like the nearest and dearest thing to his heart. So, that’s what he writes on. His most famous work is Paradise Lost, an epic poem on the fall of man. So these subjects come up, about Jesus, God, Heaven, Hell, and predestination. I may be tackling a handful of things in this blog.

Our conversations in class can get pretty theological, but more than that, I think they get personal. Milton writes from his background, what he knows and what he thinks. He never claims to be 100% correct. Sometimes our discussions veer off into this place of discomfort, where my classmates are begging to know the truth. Seriously, one of my peers once raised her hand and asked our professor “what happens after I die?” As if he could answer that! Needless to say, this class for me, is quite exciting, but I seem to be the only one who speaks from my viewpoint. And that viewpoint comes from my wild bias that Jesus is the answer.

Here’s what I wanted to discuss though. When the handful of people in my class bring about these questions and viewpoints, they all agree with each other. Here’s something that they have commonly agreed upon: if God made us, knowing that we would screw up no matter what, and he made a way for us to screw up, then he is a jerk. Or, if not choosing him is the worse of two options, then God doesn’t really love us if he will punish us for not choosing him.
I hope either of those made sense.

So here’s the deal. And I’ve written about this before. God made us not because he needed us, but because he wanted us. Instead of making worshiping drones, he made us individuals that can accept or reject him at any time.

Consider this analogy. A rich father has two sons. He loves them both dearly and has given them everything they ever wanted their whole lives. Well, the younger son decides that he wants everything that his father was planning on giving him anyway, so he could leave. He was so over being a stay at home son. So, because his father loved him, he gave him his portion of the inheritance and let him leave. This son ended up squandering the money fast. Probably went to Vegas or something. When he got to the point where he was doing humiliated things just to eat, he decided that he would go back home, and tell his dad that he would work for him. But when he was still coming down the street, his dad saw him and came running to him, and embraced him crying. So, the dad threw a party in celebration of his son’s return! He wasn’t angry at all, just relieved to have his son back.

That’s how we are with God. He made us to be in his family, in a relationship with him. He has promised us life, and everything we need. All he wants is our lovin’. But we are not obligated to love him. We can pack up at anytime, when the lovin’ gets too hard, or we just don’t want to be around God, or most likely because we want to live for ourselves and no one else. No matter what we do, how far we go, how much we’ve hated on him, if we turn back around, he’ll come running down the road after us. God wants us to be with him. He wants to give us life, and throw us parties. He doesn’t want us to work for him, he wants us to LIVE WITH HIM.

Kids in my class say that instead of living in Eden, in perfection, in perfect relationship with God, with everything they could ever want and need, they’d rather be in the Land of Nod…out in the world, where it is a desert, but at least they made that decision. Eden doesn’t exist anymore. There’s no place you can travel in and out of. But, you can chose anytime to go be with God, or go be with yourself. I am under the strong opinion that the Land of Nod sucks compared to Eden. The Land of Nod is where Adam and Even went when they had to leave, in the story. The Land of Nod is probably a place where you dig through a dumpster behind a casino off the strip in Vegas. It’s an armpit. It’s death. There is no life there. Without God, there is no life.

What I hear in class is sad. A bunch of kids think ‘being good’ is enough. They think that if they are well off, don’t really hurt anyone, but still get to do what they want, therein lies life. That doesn’t leave me satisfied. I think people in my class raise these questions because they want so desperately to know that they’re okay. And when there’s an inkling telling them they’re not, they go into the Land of Justification. “God should be more like me. I mean, he’s cool and all. He can exist and all that, but I don’t want to love him. I don’t want to invest myself in him. I want to do what I want.” So cool. Be that way. God gives you the choice to do that. But he respects it by saying, you can’t be with me unless you want to. You can’t change your mind once you’re dead. God doesn’t want you to think he’s nice, or cool, or a good idea. He wants you to KNOW him, he wants you to want him. Because he wants you so badly.

It makes me ache that people are scared. They are scared that there could be something more than their complacent lives. People ask these questions because they want to find some truth. Bu nothing has told them yet that they are fine. I am going to say that they aren’t. It’s not okay at all to live in the Land of Justification and Lazy, where you try desperately to convince yourself that it’s all good. It’s not enough. Nothing on this earth will ever fill you up or make you ok or make you good enough. Except Jesus.

So think about this tree, that God told Adam and Eve to leave alone. Maybe that tree symbolized something greater. God says, “I am giving you the chance everyday to surrender to me.” Because, I can ask my entire Spanish class, “Quienes Crisitan aqui?” and more than half will raise their hands, but does that really mean that they surrender every day to the King of all Kings? I don’t everyday surrender. If we have the chance everyday to say “God, I am going to chose you over myself today,” then you’d think we’d take it. A day without God is a day without real life and real love.

It is easy to live your life for yourself. It’s a numb feel-good feeling. For a while. But everyone. And I mean everyone, has that ache inside them that this isn’t all there is. So people start justifying their lifestyles and they don’t try to grow and expand. That is so sad to me. Rethink what you think about God. The best of people on this earth were those who never lived for themselves. Take Mother Theresa for example. Not one of her days was lived for herself. And her life was filled with more love and joy and adventure than anyone. But it wasn’t easy. Not for a second.

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If Jesus is God, and he knew that becoming man and dying for our sins would lead him only back to Heaven, then was it really a sacrifice?

Here’s how I see it. No one else was going to do it. No one else was capable of fixing the world we screwed up. No one can fix our screwed up hearts. Until Jesus. Imagine being given an ultimatum. Either everyone dies, or you humiliate yourself to the point of death, and then everyone lives. Imagine that humiliation to be the lowest form of degradation. Is your pride too big to save the world? I know it’s a stretch, but I have a hard time believing that being God as a man was easy. I’ve said this before, but that must be so confining. In the Gospel, Jesus is tempted in every way that man is tempted. And he doesn’t fall into sin. He is given every opportunity to indulge in himself and be selfish, but he doesn’t. He’s God! Why wouldn’t he?!?!

I think that is a sacrifice. To say, I have laid out freedom for you people. I have given you the opportunity to know me and love me and be in a perfect relationship with me. It’s either me, or not. There’s no in between. I am the Right Choice. I am the Best Choice. And Jesus knew that about his Father. That he had all these choices at the tips of his fingers. He could’ve proven his divinity in a much more grandiose way, but he chose humility. He chose to be a mere man. A perfect man. He gave up his immortality in some respect. Would you do that? Would you try to win the heart of the world and save the world by giving up your super powers and being normal?

If you were superhuman, would you just let them crucify you? They told him, get down off that cross, Oh Son of God! But he wouldn’t. He sacrificed all pride. Jesus doesn’t even know pride. Sure, he knows he’ll be back in a couple days. But think about being God in that moment. Man, who has always tested you, always rebelled and ran from you, always spit in your face and cursed at you, is challenging you to be a better God. Man is the reason Jesus was up on the cross, man will not be the reason he gets down.

Maybe a Just God is also a jerky God because free-will seems to be split in two: Choose Me or Yourself. And if you choose yourself, you can’t be with me. Which is to say, eternal gnashing of teeth. But you should always know you have that choice. To chose God or yourself. And he respects it perfectly. He didn’t deserve the death on the cross. We do. Because we suck as humans. What a sacrifice my Savior made for humans who don’t deserve grace!

I am so lucky that before I was created, God wanted me. Even though he knew I wouldn’t always want him back. Why should God want such a wretch like me? I am so selfish. But he loves me. He aches for me. He is jealous for my love. And even if I rebel and turn my back, he still got up on that cross just in case I would recieve his grace.

You are my hero Jesus. Else, I’d be dying. There would be no justice.

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