July 28, 2012

Christian Thoughts Rather Than My Own

It's interesting what goes through my head on a daily basis.  Work, home, God, people, friends, frustrations, family, all these things have meanings that really affect how I act, think, talk, react, and live.  Recently my pastor tweeted:

This led me to this post, which I hope will again renew my Bible reading and Christian living.  I thank God I'm saved by grace, because I'm not cutting it in the "religious works" column.  I mean, let's look at the list I created above of things that have meaning in my life, and notice the order in which I typed them:

1.  Work
2.  Home (which could be family)
3.  God
4.  People
5.  Friends
6.  Frustrations (which could be foes)
7.  Family (again because "home" didn't really feel as connected as "family" should be)

Are you kidding me that I put "work" first?  I mean, my employer would probably like that I'm consistently thinking about my duties and working hard, but even they would say that it's not very good "work/life balance", which is a term we use to say, "we make sure to balance life and work evenly."  But more importantly, I thought of that over God and family?  What in the world is wrong with me?  If I was going to list this on some "spiritual scale" I'd have to list God, Home, People, then maybe work.  I'm not even really concerned that it's work first, more that it's NOT God, or at least Home.  I mean, even non-Christian people would say home or family is more important than work.

Last year in July I was renewed to be a better spiritual leader in my family's (specifically kids') lives because of my uncle's encouragement to have a family devotional time.  And, while that lasted a little while, it didn't last even a year and we completely neglected the Bible for the most part after that.  I'm raising two boys in a desperate time, and I'm not even leading them in the truth of scripture?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?  I continue to battle my anger over losing my job with the county, and yet that's the plan God had for me at that time.  And I don't turn that anger over to Him until I get so angry I literally scream with frustration because of my complete failure in that pursuit.  My point is, there are so many issues to address in my life and I turn none of them over to God. WHY NOT?!?!?

Well, the answer is because of what Lance said.  I'm not listening to Christian thoughts.  Specifically, I'm not listening to the Words of God.  I'm not in the Bible studying.  I'm not praying, at least not more than a simple prayer with my kids at night.  I'm not involved in church.  I don't surround myself with Christian friends.  I'm a mess.  I claim Christ, and yet no one would believe that I'm His child.  My anger rules me.  My frustrations control my every thought.  I focus on what I can not control because I think I would do things better than most.  I'm driven by what's not fair or right or correct because I demand it be that way and hate that I can't make it so.  WELL, LIFE ISN'T FAIR BURCH.  And frankly, neither is God.  I mean, if God was fair he'd kill me and send me to hell for eternity because I sin against Him daily.  If I have someone do something against me only a few times a year, I am disgusted with them.  BUT, ALL of us fall short of the glory of God.  I learned this confusing phrase as a kid but I still remember it today as the definition of sin.  Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.  This is a truth which damns us all to hell, apart from Christ.  We can not achieve Heaven on our own because one failure eliminates the required perfection.  Once we've sinned just one time all hope in ourselves should be lost, at least in gaining Heaven apart from Christ.  It's only thanks to Jesus' death, which paid the price of all our sin, a price tag of death and separation from God, that we have salvation if we believe.  But, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW GOD AGREED IT WOULD WORK, He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to be that payment, because perfection could not be held in the grave and Hell could not keep the Son of God contained.

Now, if you've read this blog over the years, you may recognize the pattern of frustration I have with myself, and the fact that I go back and forth, up and down, in my apparent spiritual life.  But really I want to assure you, there is no pattern of success; there is only a pattern of failures and recognition of those failures, which could be argued as a success based on our hopelessness to achieve success over sin while separated from God.  Possibly, the recognition of our need is the only true success we can have here.  I'll say it again,  I am thankful that it's grace that saves, not works, because I'm an awful Christian.  I have no religion; I care for no one.  I claim Christ and God yet do not live to prove Him.  In fact, really the only evidence of transformation I have is a peace that comes from the knowledge of grace, and the hope I have in a God who is Holy and Unchanging, who promises to save all who believe in Him.  I wish so badly that I was the guy who lived how a Christian should live, transformed by the Spirit, renewed by the gift of Jesus.  But I struggle more than I can bare to live out my faith.  I conform to my surroundings and blend into the ways of those I work with, play with, live with, interact with, and the things I read, watch, hear, and all the things I immerse myself in.  If these things were Christian Thoughts, I'd be more successful as a child of God, but they are the things of the world: people, places, things that are not how God designed them, but of man.

Okay, but how do I change?  How do I rid myself of the anger and frustrations that lead me to not live a life that is pleasing to God?  How do I discipline myself to think on Christian things, rather than earthly things?  How do I listen to the voice of God and the Holy Spirit and read the Bible, rather than being tempted by the damning voice of Satan and his demons, calling me to sin in anger, frustration, and hate?  Honestly, I have answers to these questions but don't do the things I know I need to do.  Instead, I surround myself with fools and sinners and temptations and anger, rather than fellow believers who can build me up and who can be built up by me.  I need to worry less about my place in the world and more about my place in Heaven.  This leads to the Bible and studying the things of God, Christian things.  This leads away from the things of earth, the things that people tell me will make me happy, successful, satisfied.  I must press on toward the upward call of Christ and hope in Him and listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting.  I must commit to reading and studying the Word of God, to surrounding myself with the things of God, and to have Christian thoughts envelop my life.  I must find Christian friends to be closer to, to encourage and be encourage by.  I really need to work on my devotion through the Word of God, and know what God wants me to know from His own inspired words.

via jeremydburch.blogspot.com

July 19, 2012

Amazon Yesterday Shipping (VIDEO)

This is awesome.  But, it really helps if you were a Star Trek fan and you understand the Space-time continuum.  It all really makes sense if you understand that.  Yes.  Yes is does.

July 15, 2012

A Google A Day...Why I'm Thinking of Switching From Apple

I'm thinking about switching to Google products...again.  Why "again"?  Because I seem to go back and forth between whether to buy Apple or Google products.  Why Google?  I already use all their cloud services to take care of my digital life.  It seems like the logical plan would be to switch to the Google devices too.  The Nexus 7 is the main cause for my recent desire to switch.  It is a pure Google device, which promises to always be up-to-date with the latest version of Android and to be the best 7" tablet out, with a quad-core processor and more.  Here's their intro video:

That, combined with the Galaxy Nexus, which would be the best Android phone available because it too runs a pure version of Android, would allow me to seamlessly switch from phone to tablet without losing information or access to my files.

The only problem I have in making the switch is the commitment I've already made to Apple.  App purchases are the biggest, and as I write this I'm realizing I don't really use many apps that cost me money, but I know they work the way i want them to work.  Really, I use the free apps like Twitter and Instagram to update my least favorite of apps, Facebook, so all my life is available to the waiting 50 people max that follow me.  I just know all my wit can not be wasted or missed.  Beyond apps, Apple's market share makes it hard to leave the devices most people are using.  From my parents to most of my coworkers, the iPhone is still the majority device.  Most of the Android people are diehards and praise their phones, but sometimes I can't tell if that's denial talking or true praise for their phones.  iPhone is everywhere and works well with other iPhones.  Android, although popular as well, does not have the market share the iPhone has.  But, maybe that's a good thing too.  Just as Apple once was the underdog, pushed to make better products, so too are Google's devices and they've continued to get better and better.  In fact, I would say from the first version to current, Android has increased in abilities and features much passed that of Apple's iOS software.

Anyway, I thought I'd post something about it.  Maybe Google will want me as a tester....ha...a guy can dream.  I actually watch a documentary last night on Google called "Inside the Mind of Google".  It made me want to work for them.  Produced by CNBC, and available to watch on Netflix or in a browser here, it was a balanced view of the company's business, weighing pros and cons on the type of business Google conducts.  With access to so much private information about so many people, Google is easily demonized.  But, I felt like from the top down, people at Google want to follow their own policies (not required by law) to protect its users privacy.  If anything, I believe I gained a deeper respect for Google and their commitment to operate within its policies and attempt to be fair, private, and reliable to its users.  If you want more on my opinion of Google, check out my old post "If I Were CEO...Google" from 2010.

July 9, 2012

Cello Wars...cheesy but good (VIDEO)

This is Cello Wars.

Yes, it's cheesy.  But I think I'm more entertained by this guys ability to incorporate multiple parts of John Williams music from across the franchise.

July 2, 2012

The Star Wars That I Used To Know (VIDEO)

This is really funny for us Original Star Wars fans.  It's Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" redone to complain about how lame George Lucas is for making Episodes 1-3 in the way he did.

If you haven't seen Gotye's original, here it is: