You know you’re fast approaching a new stage of life when you add “Wingback armchair” to your wish list.
But seriously. How else does one read a book comfortably.
Sometimes sin grabs a mirror and thrusts it in our face, showing us for a moment how truly disgusting and corrupting sin makes all men, especially you, and soon enough the image you see in the mirror is so compelling that you begin to think that that’s the real image of who you are. The devil is cunning in his attack on your identity.
But be reminded of Galatians 2:20 I times like these.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”
The danger of over-generalization is real. If you’d like a general response to such a question there are countless other websites that offer some answers from any perspective - reformed, charismatic, liberal, etc.
The truth is that there IS space in the church to talk about it, and that is what I’m communicating here. I am part of the church, as are many others and I am open to speaking about it. It’s true, some in the church find it hard to talk about, and we should respect that they’re not open or ready yet. It reminds me of when I first started talking about spiritual gifts and how confronting that was for me, because I was brought up thinking they didn’t manifest in the way I was witness, etc.
Either way, I am communicating that I am open to dialogue in a safe place. These issues have real identities and real people who are hurting. What’s more, I myself am learning to have compassion and understanding with lots of different people, and I refuse to speak whilst making a thousand assumptions, especially when it comes to something so personal.
But I get where you’re coming from. We both want to care for people, it’s clear. I guess the way we are expressing it is different. I personally explain better when it comes to relating with people directly. I’m not so good at offering sweeping explanations. It’s an area I’m genuinely trying to grow in. I’ve had deeply negative experiences with sweeping overgeneralized and half-baked perspectives, and I’ve learnt the potential that these statements has to hurt others. I’m not going to run that risk, anon. That’s just not on.
For this reason, I realise that having anonymous people asking me questions is counter-intuitive to how I relate with people best. I’m going to turn off anon asking questions. Thanks for messaging though, it helped me understand another perspective and consideration better.
Contact me directly? email@example.com I’m happy to share my views with you personally.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt on tumblr it’s when you have a view, you have to think through it thoroughly - but no matter your convictions or how carefully you word things, people will still hate on you.
I don’t think dialogue about this issue needs anymore heat. It’s an important topic, and discussions should be had, but I don’t think it’s appropriate putting it out there where someone can misunderstand. It’s sensitive, it’s hard.
In terms of how I’ve been slowly formulating my understanding of the issue, I’ve changed heaps too, and I trust that I will keep changing as God shows me the best way to think about it from His perspective, but also how to share it with others, so it’s not something I’m comfortable with immortalising on my blog.
Thanks for understanding.
Praying that Dave would be blessed with this.
Struggling pretty hard with body image. Whenever I look at wedding dresses, even the “real” weddings have thin women in beautiful gowns, and I’m finding it hard to be content with what I am in comparison? And then any effort to lose weight/get fit is laced with anger, self-hate and hopelessness.
What do you use your blog for?
- get back into the habit of starting each day with Scripture & prayer
- read fiction (home, 1984, the boy in striped pyjamas)
- read christian lit (passion and purity, life together)
- exercise (dance, team sport)
- get better at music (violin, drums, singing)
- teach japanese & english
- study (japanese, english grammar)
- play catch-up with friends
I was going to put ‘rest’ down, but looking at this list it doesn’t seem very feasible…
This is such an awesome list for the coming winter holidays! And the beauty of this is that all these things constitute “rest” to me.
I think the reason why I love this list so much is because it is encouraging, showing me that time spent away from our main occupation can still be spent productively. I think the beauty of this productivity is that it is inherently creative, that there is a sense of worship for what God has given us, first with Scripture and prayer, then expressing it through the diverse avenues of art, accompanied with all the opportunities to learn new things and to enjoy the light hearted pleasures of other things.
I am thankful that social media can be a vehicle of much encouragement, motivation and change. Also, I’m thankful for Miss Allie! Because she is awesome, talented, beautiful and encouraging in so many ways.
Talk about answered prayer!
This morning I had a catch up with our rice general manager and sister in Christ, Ruth. I got to follow up with her heaps of stuff - catching up on church, networking, rice and marveling at the wonders of aging (haha)
It was a real answer to prayer. I was just praying that God would grow relationships with others and that I would once again be motivated for RICE Twelve - but this time for the right reasons.
My testimony of how I became a Christian when I was 14 was really centered on relationships. I grew up in a Christian family so the gospel to me as truth was never something that I understood for years after I was saved. God presented to me His family - because I was struggling with bitterness and fear - and offered me adoption through Jesus. That’s how I became a Christian.
So it seems like the nature of my Christian walk was always relational, but relational specifically with people. That has been true for any ministry I’ve ever done - all based on personal relationship.
That was actually why I made it through last year for RICE Twelve. The relationships that kept me going then were super effective. But they quickly became toxic. I was taken with meeting other people’s expectations and measuring myself up against them.
This was dismantled almost directly after camp as God challenged me. Should I be placing my hope in man? When the king of Judah trusted in Egypt to fend off Assyria rather than God, He said
"Do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear. Let him be your dread" Isaiah 8:12-13
I had forsaken God in the midst of busyness and ministry - that seems to be a pattern with me.
Rather, I feel this year God is really absolutely challenging me to depend on Him only. Even though relationships matter, and God will provide them, we are called to prioritize and fear Him above all else.
It’s called a drift for a reason. You make one decision, and that one decision proceeds to betray you to making more decisions in the same vein. Before you know it, here you are, feeling dry, like you skipped a beat.
That’s kind of where I am right now. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know what fell through. But here I am.
I think I clock something like tens of hours consuming mainstream material a week. It could be anything from memes to professional research journals for the sake of my degree. But time spent in the Word or reading Christian material does not come close to matching up.
I’m kind of at a place where I don’t know how to catch up. It is so tempting to head down the legalistic path and assign readings for myself or start measuring how much or little I pray but I am reminded time and time again that that is just not the way to go. Down that path holds even more fear, condemnation and disappointment!
Rather how can I change organically? Dave always reminds me that no one desires God without His help to change their hearts. So the first thing I have to do is pray, pray that God does change my heart to desire Him more.
The second thing is to pull back on how much input the world is having on my mind. God calls us to renew our minds in Him. I started to look back at the articles from website I followed that had reformed theological content. I’m deleting imgur off my phone and replacing secular literature with some Christian books (who doesn’t have a massive reading list?).
I would also like to encourage personal reflection more. In this I hope to enlist you, my generous followers. I hope to engage more posting/editing thoughts on tumblr, preferably complete ones (particularly after reading this article). I would love to start writing on the train!
That’s all for now, my friends. Thank you for joining me in this journey.
David bought me a beautiful engagement ring. It feels restless, impatient to never stay one color and when it picks a color to be - for even a moment - it is beautiful and piercing.
This is such an ironic (dangerously ironic) statement to consider in light of the fact that RICE Twelve trials is coming up. I am thankful for tonight’s youthworks study camp meeting because there was one particular moment when our director said, “how will you frame the bible for the first timers?”
Of course, I deferred to my usual answers and thinking - until I felt God take my perspective - as if it were a window or a camera viewfinder - with both of His hands and just physically shift it. Suddenly I realised that it is a big thing that non-Christians are coming to camp willingly, and spending two hours a day in chapel and bible study with us to present the gospel to them for all six days.
Wow. Evangelism is not only a gracious gift, it is an imperative for Christians, to keep sharing the gospel, the good news!
This realisation couldn’t have come at a more timely moment. Straight afterwards, and due to amazingly gracious codirectors, we had a RICE Twelve meeting.
Our event is in TWO WEEKS and we have TWO REGISTRATIONS. Cue panic.
But no. Tonight, I really felt God blessed our meeting. It wasn’t that hard, it wasn’t super stressful, but if there was anything we had to realise tonight it was that we really really really needed God.
Only God can bring people to RICE Twelve. Only God can administer His word through His people at RICE Twelve, and only God can save them.
This is a supremely sobering and humbling thing to realise. Although I am tempted to stress in this time I really feel convicted that instead, God wants me to take evangelism seriously - every single opportunity is a divine opportunity to share the good news of Christ! That, and God has convicted me to trust in Him. Two of the biggest marketing portals for us isn’t actually until two days out from the event. That’s an admin’s nightmare. But again and again God is asking us as a team to TRUST in Him.
I really hope one day to share with you the testimony of how RICE Twelve Trials even happened - it required a lot of God’s wrestling with us, and us slowing down His vision because of our love for structure and personal vision. It has been such a lesson of focusing on what He wants and having the faith to be brave and take it on.
But I thank God that He has been repeatedly gracious and gentle with us, reasoning with us when we needed reasoning and bringing us in line when it was necessary. God has worked with us despite our limitations and provided for us all through it, encouraging us to depend only on Him, and to submit to His goodness and perfect will.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
I’m discovering a side of social pressure in being engaged. There were the customary questions after we announced our engagement, “How did he propose?” and “Let me see your ring!” I feel the pressure to be careful to recount things carefully, and to hide the ring, because I don’t want to misrepresent who David is to me. It’s hard to explain a lot of the things that surrounded our engagement.
I love to share my life with people, but I don’t want to do it if it subjects Dave or I to judgement. Just really praying that we could stay focused in this time on what matters, on continuing to grow faithfully and spiritually.
Getting engaged was a massive struggle for us that started over two years ago, considering we hadn’t wanted to start dating without seriously talking over marriage down the track, and then when we did start dating we realised that the less marriage was far away, the better. Having this huge spiritual journey ultimately boil down to how David proposed or how big the rock is… it’s hard. I’m challenged to question myself: how does all this bring glory to God?
Can finally come back to blogging! It’s been hard to blog honestly when I wasn’t allowed to talk much about future plans with Dave, but now that we’re officially engaged (yay!) I can get back to it, hehe.