Francis Chan at Passion 2013:
Do you believe….That God is looking at you regardless of what you’ve done going ‘I’ll buy you back? I know you’re faithless but I never stop being Faithful, pursuing you, loving you… And as long as it is still called today, as long as you’re still breathing, right now you’ve got a chance. I’ll buy you back right now. I’ll take you back… You just lay it at the cross.
From my current read, Ben Young and Dr Sam Adams’ book – The One: A Realistic Guide to Choosing Your Soul Mate.
- Is there chemistry? Are you sexually/ physically attracted to your partner?
- Is your relationship natural? Do things flow naturally or are you spending a lot more time resolving issues than demonstrating a natural fit?
- Would this be a good friend? If the chemistry was removed, is it someone you’d want to be with, whose company you enjoy?
- Can you accept his or her personality as is? Could you spend the rest of your life with the person as they are?
- Would you want your kids to be like him or her? Could you envision a future in which your children turn out like him or her?
Oh and to pass the test, it must be ‘Yes’, 100%…
Arthur Ashe’s moving memoir ‘Days of Grace’ ends with a heartfelt letter to his (then) six year old daughter Camera in which he unpacks all the things he suspects his illness will deny him the opportunity of telling her in future. Covering a range of categories from the importance of family, racial discrimination, loss, marriage, money and even faith, it reads like a distillation of many years of living and learning. The section where he talks about faith and religion reads like a primer for a balanced, liberal, yet essentially Judeo-Christian worldview. Excerpts below:
…have faith in God. Do not be tempted either by pleasures and material possessions, or by the claims of science and smart thinkers, into believing that religion is obsolete and that the worship of God is somehow beneath you. Spiritual nourishment is as important as physical nourishment, or as intellectual nourishment. The religion you choose is not as important as a fundamental faith in God.
… Beyond the different dogma must be the sense of yourself as created by God for a purpose, and as being under God’s law at all.
… Be ruled by that rule called golden; do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Do not beg God for favours. Instead, ask God for the wisdom to know what is right, what God wants and the will to do it.
A profile of the man and his wife’s thoughts on losing him in ’93.
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems..
…so said Salman Rushdie. The corollary is that memory is deceptive, and nostalgia can skew our recollection of things so much that it becomes an alternate reality far removed from the cold, hard facts as they occurred.
Sometimes clarity hits you suddenly like a blow to the solar plexus, at other times the bleeding obvious slowly becomes apparent. All told, some day a bloke has to decide – what’s important, what’s not, and what to leave to fight another day….
Breaking up has its perks – especially when there was the small matter of a six hour difference and 3,000 plus miles. On the plus side, the need to remember birthdays (I sucked majorly at this, which probably added to my being kicked to the kerb), answer phone calls at odd hours of the day and be a pillar of strength to someone finally vanishes, and one is free to pursue other interests. On the flip side, the months of getting to know someone from the ground up are then tossed away, as though all meaning were trivial. Only after a while does the real cost register – long periods that were once filled with sharing the minutiae of life are suddenly filled with solitude; solitude which has the potential to bend one’s mind and numb it into a stupor.
Any doubts I may have had that we were done died yesterday. It truly is goodbye to EJ, and that with an air of finality. In retrospect, not talking through our differences face to face when I took my trip at the beginning of the year came back to haunt me in a really big way. The major sticking point being my inability to define a coherent Worldview that is sufficiently liberal and is devoid of Evangelical underpinnings. Life goes on as they say. For me, all that is left is the arduous task of completely wiping her out of my mind, out of my memory, and out of every iota of consciousness…. Hard task, but a bloke has to keep his sanity…. 😦
Blogoratti’s shared an apt quote:
Sometimes old things need to go away. That way, we have room for the new things that come into our lives
-Randy K. Milholland
Can my new things show up already?
A few weeks ago, ‘Jane Doe’ prompted some deep thinking by Single Nigerian, leading him to ponder if trying now and then was enough when others had sacrificed things (even their lives) to ‘get the word to the common man.’
I was listening to an old message by Al Mohler – Being Men and Raising Men [mp3] – whilst walking to work today, and a section [begins at 51;11] struck me as being a very apt answer to that question.
The disconnect between labour and reward is one of the most unbiblical manifestations of the confusion of this culture. We must teach our sons that they are expected to work, and that labour is by God’s design followed by reward. And the reward is more than money and more than material; it is the satisfaction in a man’s heart of knowing he has done something to the glory of God.
There is the temptation for some men to say, “You know, I can see what he does. He gets to do great things for the glory of God, the world gets to observe him and see him in what he does, the church gets to celebrate that, but all I do is this! ”
Whatever you do, do to the glory of God……. There are no little people, there are no little places, there are no little jobs in the kingdom of God. You will never know what life you were touching by your honesty as an accountant, by your steadfastness as a police officer, by your integrity as a teacher. You will never know how the glory of God is shown until in eternity you are given a glimpse of how God worked through you.
If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.
William Wilberforce (Abolusionist & Member of Parliament)
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Jim Elliot (Missionary to Ecuador and Martyr)
The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife
John Piper (Pastor for Preaching Bethlehem Baptist Church)