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too much freedom

…freedom is complicated…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to Dr. Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC) for the first time. This guy is really pretty amazing. Glad I finally decided to check him out! Right now I’m going through his “The Reason for God” sermon series (correllates with his book I’m sure). I’m listening to his sermon titled “Absolutism: Dont we all have to find truth for ourselves?

In today’s society, absolute truth is thought of to be the enemy of freedom. But truth is more important than you think, freedom is a lot more complex than you think, and Jesus is a lot more liberating than you think. Surrendering to God’s absolute truth gives you a deeper, richer freedom in every area, without oppression.

Give it a listen for free by clicking the link above! I would recommend this whole sermon to anyone (especially believers, no wait… especially everyone… especially you! Go, listen to them now!!)

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O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
and my nearest kin stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
and meditate treachery all day long.

But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.

But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!”

For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.

Do not forsake me, O LORD!
O my God, be not far from me!
Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

(ESV)

I was just looking through my blog and found this post I wrote two years ago on Winter Break, but didn’t post. As I’m reading The Slumber of Christianity (Dekker), Mere Christianity (Lewis), and Desiring God (Piper) my mind is once again drawn to this subject but with even more clarity and this post becomes current in my mind again.

~~~—~~~—~~~—~~~

Why does man suffer? Or, why do we not find answers to why we have suffering for different reasons?

I think this all goes back to the purpose of man.
All people are created with purpose. The need for a purpose is easily visible in people today throughout our nation. Many people make this purpose out to be the old “American Dream” of wealth and independence. Some people take the apparent morals which are popular in society today such as a happy family or the advancement of mankind. While not bad, these purposes are not the ultimate purpose of man which he was created to fulfill. This purpose, I believe is to glorify God through the means which God has provided and through the plan which conforms to His will or plans for our lives.

Is man’s purpose to fulfill his desires, to be happy for happiness’ sake, to have knowledge for knowledge’s sake? This brings up another question: Ultimately, what fulfills man’s desire for happiness, and joy. Is it being free from pain? Or is it from being healthy? Or, does material wealth give ultimate happiness and fulfillment?

A look around: There are wealthy people that commit suicide in every generation. How can wealth bring happiness? It would appear that it does not. According to the scriptures, it does not. In Ecclesiastes 2:1-10, Solomon, one of the richest and most wise men ever to walk the earth talks about how he thought wealth and material possession was his fulfillment. He talks about how through hard work he built up wealth and possessions for his enjoyment, but in verse 11 he says “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.” He explains more in the rest of the chapter, but that seems to answer that question.

Another look at today’s people shows that people with health and wealth alike are equally not happy and bring themselves to bitter and untimely ends. How can health alone bring happiness? We see people that are in some of the worst of physical cases with the happiness not found in ten people around at a glance.

Does knowledge bring happiness? Do we have knowledge today? As my Prof. Mr. Phillipps said in class “knowledge for knowledge’s sake is not knowledge at all. Knowledge for the Lord’s sake is true knowledge.” (that’s a paraphrase since my notes are still in my dorm) With the invention of the internet we have knowledge galore. Everyone’s knowledge is everyone else’s knowledge. Again from Solomon we hear “For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” (Ecc 1:18). Knowledge has not fulfilled man ultimately.

If the ultimate purpose of man is not fulfilled with health, wealth, or knowledge what brings ultimate fulfillment of man’s purpose? Ultimately nothing can be as great or as noble as bringing glory to the creator of man. Bringing glory to God, the creator of the universe and mankind is the greatest purpose mankind can ever have.

All people are created with purpose, or the need for one. The need for a purpose is easily visible in people today throughout our nation. Many people make this purpose out to be the old “American Dream” of wealth and independence. Some people take the apparent morals which are popular in society today such as a happy family or the advancement of mankind. While not bad, these purposes are not the ultimate purpose of man which he was created to fulfill. Those without purpose become enslaved with depression and self-loathing because of the lack of purpose, the disillusionment that is cast by the thought that one is useless and worthless. This purpose which is ultimate fulfillment, I believe, is to glorify God through the means which God has provided and through the plan which conforms to His will or plans for our lives. Bringing glory to God is the greatest purpose.

~Yokanchi

Well, this has been quite the semester. My friend and next-door neighbor eloped and dropped out of school, I was put on chapel probation without even going over the 6-miss limit, my roommate and good friend graduated this semester, I had a new boss, and I punched someone in the face while I was asleep.

Learning all along the way, I feel that I’ve matured greatly in the school of life, with my grand God the presiding head professor.

The most important lesson I feel I’ve learned this semester is how to let go of strong feelings impeding godly behavior like anger and resentment as well as feelings stemming from desires for revenge and stress from various things, not excluding homework, work, roomates and other trials of life.

God has shown me my innermost thoughts can be revealed when I least expect it, and therefore the importance of developing the right mindset brought about by correct beliefs in truth, and evidenced by correct attitudes, producing ultimately right, godly actions in my life.

Though I haven’t reacted perfectly and maybe not even in the best way, I feel that overall God has brought about these situations, and sometimes even trials, while providing me the strength in maturity and discernment to have come about through each of these things having provided an adequate and righteous reaction. In this way I feel that my experience, knowledge and wisdom have been increased this semester in a visible way, and for this I thank my almighty Creator for His providence, wisdom and loving care towards my soul through these times.

I also want to tahnk all my friends and professors fora ll the things you’ve done for me and taught me, Thanks for being there for me. Whatever happens in the future, whether I see you all again or whether your path in life departs from where God has led you to in my life. I pray that God would heap blessing upon your life and bring prosperity and joy more and more into your life!

Thanks friends!

Till next post.
Your faithful typer,
Billy A.

Two things I request of You

(Deprive me not before I die):

Remove falsehood and lies far from me;

Give me neither poverty nor riches-

Feed me with the food allotted to me;

Let I be full and deny You,

And say, “Who is the Lord?”

Or lest I be poor and steal,

And profane the name of my God.

-Proverbs 30:7-9

Till next post.
Your faithful typer,
Yokanchi

This here is my simple guidebook to the good life. I guess alot of it is thigs I’ve learned throughout 19 years of my life. I wanted to make this more comprehensive, but I’m going to have to post more later if I get around to it.
If you want to see more, or if you have questions, holler.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but this is the simple guidebook. That means that it is summarized and each solution to something or advice to remember is the easiest or most convenient while still being most effective. Think of it as an optimum mix of fuel and oxygen for the engine avaliable. If you don’t like that analogy you can just be sad, because I’m not coming up with another one.

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General

#1 Go do it yourself.

#2 Don’t be a slave.

#3 Don’t be controlling.

#4 Don’t be uneconomical. This goes for alot of things, but if you can afford to be uneconomical in whatever it is, and you feel like it then go right ahead. Just don’t tee people off while you do it (very much).

#5 Share. This doesn’t go for everything. Be polite. But share your interests, share your stuff. That’s basically it.

#6 Don’t be selfish (see number five for more information)

#7 Loyalty with friends is gold.
Have it, don’t let it go.

#8 Fun. Have it, share it, remember it’s like money, you can’t always have it.

#9 Be happy, and relax. If you’re a Christian that is, if not I would worry and figure out how to get to heaven. If you’re wondering just ask, any Christian knows and any Christian is dying to tell you.

#10 Remember you can’t always be happy, but even when you’re in the dumps, don’t go dumpster diving.

#11 Be crazy, but don’t get in trouble. There’s a million ways to accomplish this, without getting in trouble, trust me.

#12 Remember, your influence reaches alot farther than you probably think. People notice how many times you blink. You are watched and you effect.

#13 Advice is helpful, experience is life-changing. (of course I have to note that the wise learn from Advice, but remember the people who do so have probably learned from experience)

#14 Have real conversations to sift away the silt or you will become shallow.

#15 Always use your time for something productive. (refer to number four)

#16 Sometimes things are the way they are. Keep that in mind and know when to realize that.

#17 Change is good

#18 Change is bad

#19 Paradoxes are everywhere, deal with it.

#20 Too much of something good is often not good.

#21 Collect maturity within yourself, and be patient with those that have less and don’t seem to be trying.

#22 Pray often.

#23 Don’t quit on what is important. Read your Bible everynight no matter what. Don’t fast your eyes from it!

#24 If there is a problem Don’t worry about it, just keep it in mind, and try to fix it most efficiently and

#25 Summarize everything, unless people don’t get it. Worse than not unerstanding something is understanding and not being able to do it, because someone won’t stop explaining it to you.

#26 Don’t take everything too seriously (This includes your self, you can cry if it helps you get over it). See the humor in everything but don’t get hung up on it and miss the big picture.

#27 Bluntness can be a useful tool in communication, just like a hammer is useful. You can’t always use the diplomatic chisel to get your point across, but don’t forget hammers aren’t pretty and they don’t make things pretty. Blunt honesty is just one tool, not your toolbox.

Health

(these are a little longer, the human body is more complex and diverse and that’s just the way it is)

#1 If you want to lose weight, drink lots of water and avoid fatty foods (aka foods with fat in them) and processed sugar (aka anything that doesn’t come out of a fruit or vegetable). The more strictly it is followed the faster you lose weight and the slower and more loosely the harder it will be. Of course some type of excercise must be involved weekly preferrably at a minimum of two times a week.

#2 To stay extra healthy. First of all, lose some extra weight (refer to #1) and follow instruction number one easily. Second, get more and more excercise. This means excercise consistantly at least every other day.

#3 If you want to grow more muscle. The best start is to do a bite size se of pushups every night. Something that pushes you a little beyond your limits. Most important to this tip is to continue faithfully. Try 25 pushups a night or something. You’ll be looking better before you know it. After that you can expand all kinds of ways. Don’t push too hard, but don’t back off.

#4 If you’re having problems with your moods (which is part of your body, do not forget) or any other health problem don’t worry about it, just keep it in mind, and try to fix it by being more healthy in the particular way that directly effects the problem you have.

#5 Don’t forget to relax. That can be very bad for you.

#6 Eating dead animal is never really good for you even if there may be some benefits.

#7 The dairy companies have lied to you, milk is not really that good for you. It’s not worth the benefits they advertise. Just take calcium vitamins or something. Sorry to pop your bubble.

People

#1 Talk to people. No one likes being too shy. It’s boring.

#2 Don’t talk too much. Some people have this problem. Trust me I know some. If you keep saying dumb things or things you wish you hadn’t, try talking less often.

#3 Listen to people. This doesn’t mean stop talking, it means be patient and understanding when people talk to you.

#4 Be easy-going. That is the polar opposite of being anything people don’t like. Don’t forget, too much of a good thing is not a good thing (so to speak) so don’t take anything, including this, too far.

#5 Laugh at people’s jokes even if they’re not always funny.

#6 If someone is never funny or thinks they’re funnier than they are you can cool the polite laugh for a while and give them a chance to go have their fun on their own. If they still like it, good for them. They may find themselves short of people to hang out with.

#7 The opposite sex (boys or girls, whichever you may someday date or marry): Relax. Don’t get so uptight. Their weird, but they’re still human.

#8 Don’t have too few friends, don’t have too many.

#9 Have a good variety of friends. It’s good for you.

#10 Be unselfish. The Bible says alot about this, but this is the simple version, go find it yourself.

#11 Don’t get all uptight about annoying people. Especially if you’re related.

#12 Don’t be a wet noodle around annoying or obnoxious people. If they’re running head on, let them run into you sometimes, but don’t be a roadblock.

#13 Don’t be so shallow you can’t talk to friends about deep things.

#14 Always remember that what you say (or do, or write, etc…) can have unintended consequences no matter what it is.

#15 People are stupid.

#16 Keep in mind you aren’t going to find many unselfish people.

#17 Keep in mind everyone is selfish but how much depends on how mature they are.

#18 Along with 17, people aren’t perfect. Even if you don’t see a thing wrong with them, remember something is there. Everyone has issues. Expect it, deal with it, forgive, forget, heal, help, and be unselfish and loving overall.

#19 Remember everyone is proud of themselves, whether you see it at first or not.

#20 Finesse in communication should be key over all. If you’ve got other problems it can be a cure or point towards what you’re looking for so get some practice and get good at it.

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Till next post.
Your faithful typer,
Yokanchi

PS Hopefully I will be able to add to this. Especially more sections. If you want me to do a particluar section, holler.

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