Monday, April 17, 2017

A Mind That Cannot Be Stilled

It's been an interesting week - I'm somewhat stuck between several columns of thought and being.
Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina | Dmitry Pichugin

  • Part of me is clearly a scientist. I have this work I have to do and it requires my complete attention, but I don't really want to give it my full attention. The whole let's-all-be-logical-down-to-earth-thinkers-here-and-get-some-good-data is starting to grate on my nerves. I really just want to have it all done, but all the paper work keeps piling up endlessly and that bothers me so much. 
  • Part of me wants to be some chic, artistic, mellow lady who sips tea, reads books, and writes all about my adventures in a thick, expensive journal. I want to sequester myself in a little nook far away at some sea-side villa where no one will ever find me. I want to write, I want to dream, I want to create. I want to walk into an antique store and splurge on silly little nick-nacks that no one cares for, just because. 
  • Part of me wants to never be around people ever again. Turn up the music really loud, paint violently, and scream into my pillow. 
  • And part of me wants to drop everything, go be a missionary in some exotic location, tell people the Gospel, learn a new language, and give up everything I have for the possibility of leading others to Christ. 

I am a whirlwind of the unknown. I am as inconsistent as the lines I try to sketch (and let's be real, I can't sketch worth anything). Sometimes it feels like all this stuff I'm doing now is just to pass the time so I can do what really needs doing later. Like I'm stuck in a waiting room, anxious and tired, but the train will pull up soon enough and I'll get on and be whisked away to some distant, melodious adventure. 

Of course, all this line of thought will disappear tomorrow, when I'm back in the lab quarreling with the software that runs my experiments. But it's always kind of there - rustling in its own little frustrated way beneath the surface. It's probably one of the reasons I get this overwhelming desire to wander at times, and because I have no where to wander I simply devour book after book until part of me is a little bit more okay with my current lot in life. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Christ in Me: 7 Scriptures & A Challenge

My devotions took me to Luke 4 today, where Jesus begins His ministry in Galilee and the surrounding regions. This occurred immediately after His time in the wilderness, where He was tempted. As I was reading, I was struck by how often Luke has mentioned the role of the Holy Spirit - and in this chapter, Luke records how Christ was led into the wilderness under the compulsion of the Spirit, and how He operated in the power of the Spirit when He left the wilderness and began His ministry among the Israelites. 

This then had me start thinking about our lives as Christians and how we are sealed with the Spirit of God (Eph 1:13, 4:30, 2 Tim 1:14). Are we our own or are we claimed by another? Here are 7 Scriptures that give us the answer...

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love Him and will disclose myself to Him." Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." -- Jn 14:16-23
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. -- Rom 8:9-13 
For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. -- Gal 2:19-21
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. -- Eph 3:14-19
...that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. -- Col 1:26-28
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. -- 1 Jn 9-14
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. -- Rev 3:19-20

My comments on this topic are as follows: if you are a Christian and have accepted Christ as your Savior, He has promised that He will give His Spirit. Why then are we still living according to the old self? Why do we struggle with depression and pride and self-esteem? Why are we seeking after the affirmation of other people? Why this need for acceptance and understanding from those in a world that do not live by the same standard or by the same Spirit? We can't expect to be understood or praised by those of this world. Paul clearly tells us,
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. -- 1 Cor 1:18
So why do we submit to the decisions of the world, which continually condemns us for what we believe? Why do we seek the approval of men and women who are on the fast track to hell? Why do their words mean anything to us and why are we giving them the power to hurt us? Why are we not going out and speaking life into their lives and sharing the gospel of Christ which has saved us from an eternal death? I desire the courage that Paul had, which enabled him to truthfully say,
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. Rom 1:16
Followers of Christ, we need to renew our minds and boldly proclaim the salvation of God which is for all people. Jesus commanded it of us,
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. -- Mt 28: 19-20 
We have His Spirit, we have His command, and we have no reason to be afraid of the people or principalities of this world, so why are we living like we haven't been saved? Why are we living as though we haven't been given the power of His Name and His Spirit?

Here's my challenge, to myself and to you, my fellow believers in Christ - let's work on living daily for Christ. Let's be free in allowing our faith to permeate our relationships and our workplaces. Let's be unafraid of what people will say about us. Take your encouragement from Scripture and from other believers who are walking in truth and love. Spend more time in the Word of God and spend more time talking to Him and listening to His Spirit. "For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you throuh the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." (2 Tim 1:6-7) Be bold in Christ, be humble in spirit, be compassionate and kind, and above all - press in to the deepening and strengthening of your relationship with Jesus. He wants to hear from you right now. I guarantee it. Start living like you're actually saved. Live a life that is faithful to Christ and He will reveal Himself to be abounding in grace and mercy and faithfulness to you.


{Jesus died for you in public, don't just live for Him in private}

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boston 2 - In Which I Recap on Day 1

So I'm in Boston, Massachusetts with my dad for a thingamabob (science stuff, guys) and I figured why not blog a little about my experience, assuming I have time later on in the week to discuss what's been happening.

Unfortunately, I have zero pictures at this point of my journey. However, I can still explain a couple fun/not-so-fun things :)

Yesterday we got up at 2:30am PT (Pacific Time) - to which I was terribly monsterous about. The last time I woke up at such an ungodly hour I downed a German energy drink, which had me bubbling pixie dust out of my nose (practically...), but this time I was bereft of any caffeine until we reached the airport. Needless to say, looking back on the whole matter I feel slightly ashamed at how boorish I was.

The flight over was nothing adventurous. It was long and cramped, and apparently more cramped for my dad, who had a tiny lady elbowing him the entire time. Getting off would have been pure relief, except that we stepped straight in to 75% humidity (oh eastcoast how I've missed you - not!).

From above, Boston looked a little like the Canadian maritime coastline, but (at least from what I've seen) it appears to be a slight knock-off of true Canadian beauty.
[[side note: I have nothing against the rugged masculinity of the American cityscape here, but it just strikes me as being less elegant and more squat-ish whenever I compare it to my homeland - still, it is wonderful and fascinating in its own unique way]]

Pinterest: Green Dragon Tavern (apparently a place in Boston)
After procuring a rental car, dad and I realized a moment too late that the map we had been given was utterly, and indisputably, useless. We asked the lady at the exit booth if she could direct us in the general direction of our hotel. After watching her interpretive dance techniques in an attempt to explain the path that was clearly emblazoned in her mind, we set off and promptly got lost.

It took us about an hour of navigating the less-prosperous side of Boston (at least, this is what I'm assuming is the less prosperous side), 5 near-collisions (la, the drivers here are insane!), and 3 cases of I-feel-like-I'm-being-watched-in-a-really-scary-way we made it to a hotel (but not ours). Thankfully, a fellow there gave us a print-off from Google Maps and we were able to find our hotel within 10 additional minutes.

I fell asleep quite swiftly (somewhere around 7:30pm PT) and woke up thoroughly rested at 3:30am PT. Yay me! I now feel quite rejuvenated and content, ready to explore Boston with my dad and hopefully survive any further harrowing navigational mishaps.

My labmate (I should come up with a nickname for both of them - there's two now! and they're amazingly wonderful people), let's call her LabMateT for now, and our supervisor are flying down today. Tomorrow we'll meet up and have at this scientific learning experience!

Friday, May 20, 2016

We Can't Move to This

I've always loved Ellie Goulding; she has such a unique voice and her music is usually quite upbeat and has that electronic vibe that makes you feel like waking up to sunshine filtering through a beach-house :) yay for happy music!

Anyway, I've been slightly obsessing over We Can't Move to This from her album Delirium. It's the beat, I think, or maybe her airy voice - or perhaps both :P 

One of the things I've been accepting in the last few months is that, in certain cases, you need to take time to care for yourself. Ok, so at first that might sound curious (aren't Christians supposed to be self-sacrificing and all that jazz?), but I assure you it isn't. I'm not saying go spoil yourself and be selfish or take the best of everything because it makes you happy. What I am saying is that it's ok to say no. It's ok to decline events - it's ok to turn off your phone and throw on some tunes and lay in silence for a couple hours. Take a little time to care for the body that you've been given. 

I've gone through some very difficult things in the last 4 months and I've come to the re-realization that I can only handle so much negativity and crap from the world. That being said, I'm really trying to make the right decisions that both honour God and line up with His Word while also being healthy for me. Both of those things should go hand-in-hand. 

Now this isn't to say that we won't have to deal with negativity or bad situations; that's undeniably going to happen (first, Murphy's Law; second, that's just the way life is - it isn't fair; third, it's pretty much a given thing if you're a Christian). However, it is to say that you have a choice in how you handle situations and it's absolutely ok if you need to take a step back and breathe for a bit. 

So if you're having a bad day, go for a run, put on some upbeat music, get a little sunshine, put on some makeup ladies, just go do something that lets you be free for a bit - take the time to care for yourself. Be brave <3

Signed with love, 

Monday, February 15, 2016

And It was Change. II

I knew a girl with deep brown eyes,
a heart of gold and the clearest mind,
fierce as a diamond.
And in her loving, her soul was warm,
but in forgiveness, yes, 
that was her truest strength.

"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."
Isaiah 1:18
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