Friday, October 31, 2008

Texas vs. Texas Tech

These are a couple of pics from the Gameday set up outside my office.

Tomorrow night is the big showdown (or more likely shootout)! 7:00PM on ABC! I'm can't wait! Wreck 'Em Tech!

I've Done My Civic Duty

I voted yesterday. I don't know why. Neither of the top candidates are worth much to me. I live in Texas, so regardless of who I vote for it has no effect on the outcome. And regardless of the state, the chance of my vote mattering is not statistically different from zero. So why did I vote? I have no clue. I guess just because everyone expects a Political Science PhD student to vote. This has to be the least interested I have been in an election in quite some time. Maybe it is because the election has been going on for what seems like four years. Maybe it is because neither of the candidates represent what I believe. Maybe it is because studying political science has killed the things I once loved. I have no clue. Anyways, go vote, but only if you want to. It is supposedly the "democratic" thing to do. Yawn.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ephesians 6 and a Simple Prayer

I finished reading Ephesians today. The Armor of God is probably the most famous part of Ephesians chapter 6, but the message about the slave and the master was most striking to me today.

God tells slaves to respect their masters and to work hard and enthusiastically for them. As you can imagine, I'm almost certain that this was difficult. God tells slaves to work for their master as if they were working for Christ. Can you imagine being a slave and wanting to do that? I can't. A lot of times these verses are applied to the employee-employer relationship. That is what got to me today.

I am FAAAAAAAAAAAAR from enthusiastic about school. I certainly do not work as if Christ was my boss. I'm a bit of a rabble-rouser; always have been. I'm not vitriolic in these actions. I just can't stand inefficiency and bureaucracy. When you are working on a Ph.D. at a state university, you are burdened with both of these. As you might could imagine, I voice my opinion when things don't go like they should. Here, things rarely go as they should and everyone knows it, so it isn't like I am the outcast.

Anyways, I really have to work on this. I often pray that I will enter school with a good attitude. It is difficult. Not only am I one of two professing Christians in the program, but the stress levels are high amongst students and faculty, and many of the problems are endemic. How does one survive in such an environment without becoming bitter?

Getting over this bitterness is probably one of the best ways to show people that a relationship with Christ changes people. If I can show students and faculty that I am always joyful, then perhaps they will wonder what makes me different. That is the kind of message I need to be sending. Ephesians 4:31 tells us to "Get rid of all bitterness." Please pray that I can do this.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fireproof: My Thoughts

My wife and I went and saw Fireproof this weekend. I wasn't expecting much. I didn't really want to go, but I didn't put up a fight either. I'm a 27 year old male. I like movies that involve guns-a-blazin'. That said, I'm glad I went. Here are a few observations:

1) The first 10 minutes or so were a little tough to watch. The acting was a little rough, but they figured it out.

2) It was more spiritually-based that I originally thought. I knew it was done by a church, but I expected them to hint at things in hopes that it would make people question life without God. I was wrong. The movie just came right out and talked about salvation and God's love. It was surprising, but a great surprise! It's a no holds barred movie about the love of Christ and what it can do.

3) It was actually pretty humorous. Even better was the fact that the humor was ALL clean! I'm not one for super-crass humor like what you might find on Comedy Central. Nor am I a fan of the stupid humor you see on Saturday Night Live. This was real life humor and it was funny!

4) The main point, in my opinion, was that you can't love until you understand God's love. God loves us regardless of what we do. Even if we, to quote the movie, "spit in His face" God still loves us. That is the way we should treat others, and that doesn't just apply to our spouses.

5) It had some good messages to those who are unwed as well. The struggles with pornography, materialism (in this case a boat), and work are things that many people struggle with. While those may not be your struggles, I would be willing to bet that there is something out there that keeps you from honoring God or those you love. Kirk Cameron's character, Caleb did what he had to to break free from these problems. I won't spoil what he did in each case, but his actions were bold and they changed his life.

6) The movie shows how loving God isn't always easy. It isn't pain-free. It is never a one time thing.

7) It also shows us the wisdom of Godly counselors. Caleb's counselors were his father and one of his fire station buddies. Both were Godly men. His wife Catherine had the counsel of her coworkers. They were not Godly women. They were more interested in gossip and retribution than reconciliation and love. It wasn't until Catherine had a short lunch with an older Christian woman that was told not to continue with some of her behavior (I don't want to spoil what she was doing). I think it is definitely a good lesson. Having Godly counsel doesn't always mean you will have a fairytale ending or that you will do the right thing, but I bet that your decision-making process will be much more inline with what God wants.

That's all I got at the moment. Maybe I will come up with something else. Who knows? If you haven't seen the movie, I suggest doing so. If you have anything else to add, feel free!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Something to Think About

Today, I ran across a verse that I thought was worth contemplating.

Ephesians 2: 6 says, "For He raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with Him in the heavenly realms - all because we are one with Christ Jesus."

Just think about that for a minute or two.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do You Play Like You Practice?

I just finished Philippians. In the notes, my study bible refers to many analogies of athletic training when speaking of the Christian life. The obvious one being that you have to work hard to accomplish your goals.

Sometimes, I find the notes to be a little bit of a stretch, but I went back and read the notes that I had taken and felt the analogy held. Being a follower truly is like being an athlete. Ever heard the phrase "you play like you practice"? I think that is the way Christianity is as well. If you work hard, spend time in the word, pray, fellowship (all = practice) then you will live (play) a life that brings honor to God.

Moral of the story . . . Don't be like this guy. (A touch of language at the end)

Many times I find my game play to be inadequate, the obvious reason, I don't practice enough. What about you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Citizenship Gone Awry?

Today, I read Philippians chapter 3. A couple of thoughts popped into my head.

Verse 18 says, "For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ." Verse 20 tells us "we are citizens of heaven".

It is very exciting to be thought of as a citizen of heaven. However, like Paul writes, many professing Christians conduct themselves in ways that are contradictory to the cross. We see many instances of Americans going overseas and acting . . . well, like arrogant, entitled, classless Americans. They bring dishonor to our nation. Their actions can negatively influence others' opinions of all Americans.

Paul tells us many who are Christians act the same way.

So, as a citizen of Heaven, are you acting in a way that brings glory to the Kingdom or are your actions producing backlash against Heaven?

Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 6:16-19
"There are six things the Lord hates--no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord among brothers."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where Am I?

It's been a while, I know. Things have been kinda crazy around here. My wife got sick (feeling much better now), I hurt my back working out (still not quite 100%, but close), school got busy, and my wife has been working on some sewing projects at her mother's business.

All of these things have led to a lack of blogging, and quite honestly, a lack of spending time with God. It's amazing how much I depend on routine. I really need to work on that.

Anyways, . . . I will just go ahead and throw this out there, my wife and I need prayer. We are kinda clueless at the moment. Last week my wife told me that she doesn't know what she is meant to do. She is currently a teacher at a private high school. She took that job as a way to make a living while in college, not as a career. I'm a Ph.D. student in political science who is growing increasingly embittered with said area of studies. I don't know what I'm suppose to do either, I just know that it isn't political "science" research. For a long time I have questioned my purpose, but now that we both are clueless, it only adds to the enigma.

Also, my wife needs me to step up and be a better spiritual leader. This is something I have battled with. I am not confident in my knowledge or wisdom when it comes to spiritual matters. I am uncomfortable talking about such issues with people I know because I just don't feel that I measure up. That is one reason I started this blog. I yearn for the knowledge, and I find learning quite enjoyable. I just have trouble expressing my Biblical knowledge (or lack thereof) with others.

Back to jobs. I HAVE to have a job that makes a difference. I cannot handle doing irrelevant things. Honestly, since only God is relevant, I wonder if I should look into Christian organizations like Family Research Council or Focus on the Family, but I don't know what kind of job someone with a background in national security and conflict would be able to get at such an institute. And of course, going back to paragraph 2, I don't know how successful I would be at that.

So basically what I am telling y'all is that my wife and I are completely lost, wondering aimlessly through life at the moment. I'm 27, she's about to hit 26 and we are ready to find our niche. We just have no clue what it is or where it might be?