Tag Archives: Idiocy

It is only in Jesus

” We hold on to the things we should forget; and forget the things we ought to remember.” – Tim Keller

One of the hardest lessons I am learning, have learned, and am reminded of constantly is the need to dwell in Jesus on a minute to minute basis. Sometimes I am frustrated because this is one of the integral parts of walking with Christ, and yet I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS, forgetting it. It is especially apparent when I am having good days, not only good days where everything seems to be going great physically, but it is apparent when I’m having good days when everything seems to be going great spiritually. When I’m successfully overcoming sin, when my Bible memorization and Bible reading goes well, when prayer seems to go well, those are the times when things are going great for me spiritually. And I’ve been realizing that those are the times that I tend to forget to give credit and praise to the Holy Spirit for making things run smoothly. Especially overcoming sin. I forget that my righteousness comes from the shed blood on Calvary. I develop a swagger as if to say “Hey God, look at my own strength. See how I’ve been able to change myself for the better? Aren’t I amazing?” All the while not remembering, holding onto, giving thanks for, and continuing to press into the God who saved me, adopted me, forgave me and changes me.
It is during these times, where I get arrogant that I tend to stumble and fall flat on my face. My self-righteousness, my arrogance and pride kill me. But Thanks be to God for the Gospel of Christ because it is the restoration and rescuing of a rebellious sinners life. I am forever thankful for Christ, that He is still pursuing me and reminding me that the only way I am able to overcome, that I am able to ever truly change is through what He accomplished on the Cross. I am forever thankful that because of the Holy Spirit within me I am able to change through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And I am thankful to God the Father because of His love and mercy towards someone like me. Who despite being weak and a coward, still is arrogant, prideful, and self-righteous enough to think that he can save himself.

I need you God. Because only in you am I truly free to overcome and change.
In your Son’s mighty name,
Amen.

Hansen

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Some observations from a sunglasses kiosk

It’s wierd, when you work by yourself for several hours a day…in the middle of the mall it gives you an opportunity to people watch.  What I noticed is that some people (older and younger) put so much emphasis on the brand name. It’s interesting that when they find out that we don’t have Oakleys, or Raybans, or whatever other sunglasses brand there is they will often turn up their head in disgust, or say thanks with a voice almost either disappointment mixed with shock.

I can understand the desire to spend a little extra cash on brand names, because sometimes the quality is better, and sometimes the look is better. But over 200 dollars on a little piece of plastic to go over your eyeballs? really? actually, unless it’s an entire suit, I’m not sure I could justify spending over 200 dollars on any other piece of clothing.

For some people, just by their facial expression, it’s like what defines them is how many brand names they can put onto their body (does that statement sound wierd?). It’s like their entire face says (when they look at the prices for our glasses) “What will people think of me if they saw me NOT wearing 200 dollar glasses?”

Now I’m not out of the clear here either. Sometimes I catch myself thinking/believing that the brands I have, or brands I wear or whatever defines who I am. I sometimes believe that the money I spend on clothing indicates my worth and my position in life.  Forgetting that it is the Cross of Christ that defines who I am, that it is His Grace that gives me my worth and my position in life. Forgive me Jesus, for seeking the approval of man, instead of taking joy in You. Forgive me for judging others for seeking to find their worth in expensive brand names, when I do the same. Continue to remind me, continue to bring me back to the Cross of Christ. Amen

Hansen

Safely Home

There are times that, when I read a book, I am so often reminded just how “well” we have it here in Canada. Not only financially, but also in terms of “freedom”. Reading “Safely Home” was one of those times. Now I have no idea why I did not decide to read this book sooner. But I thank Jesus that I did! It’s been sitting on my shelf for quite sometime. I am so glad that I have read it. It’s probably one of the best books that I have ever read.

As I was reading through the story, one thing that I kept on being reminded of was how easy it is to become complacent, not even necessarily in North America, but just in life in general. My greatest fears were constantly being pressed against as I was reading. Not “Where do I fit in?” but “What fruit am I bearing?” “Am I willing to die for Him?” “What sacrifices does He call me to make?”…..and so forth. Now if I were to be honest with myself, which I know, I don’t like to be. I would say that my desire, my first instinct, is to run away from these questions. Is to drown out these questions that seem to run through my head on a daily basis with the vast amount of distractions that living in a technologically advanced age, and a financially well-off situation has provided me. Whether that be facebook, iTunes, video games, or television. I know that if I were to be honest with myself, I do not want to face the answers I would see. For I know that they would leave me ashamed.

And yet, after reading this book, I am once again facing these questions. I am reminded that the answer is not found in who I think I am, what I do myself. Rather the answer lies, and has always been and always will be, who He is and what He does. I am reminded that Jesus is for me, for my joy, and for my life….and not the opposite. I am reminded that in Jesus, and only in Jesus can I truly be free, in whatever situation. I am reminded that it is not always the believers in prisons that are in captivity, but with our freedom, and material wealth…without proper perspective, we are the ones in chains. At some point, I forgot all this. I forgot that prayer was far more than talking to air, I forgot that God does not serve me, as if He owed me something (I don’t say it, but my attitude certainly reflects it).

Sometimes one of the most gripping questions that haunt me is “Did Jesus really save me, or am I just tricking myself?” This is a question I wrestle with from time to time, but it certainly comes in stronger during times when, I believe, Jesus is pulling my out of my own idiocy.  As it is right now, and I know I will wrestle with it in prayer for sometime. My only hope that I have is Jesus.

I am reminded that my life is not my own, it cannot be grasped tightly in hope that I can live a long time. When it’s my time to go, it is my time to go. And when it does come to an end, I really hope that my life has left a legacy worthy of He who breathed life into me. That even in my unworthiness to call Him, Abba, King and Saviour, what I did will bring Him glory.

“Real gold fears no fire” – Safely Home.

I certainly hope that when the time comes, that quote rings true. That the life that I live, have lived will serve as a testament to who He is, and what He has done.

Hansen

PS: Pray for the persecuted church worldwide, as they pray for us. That the One we serve continue to strengthen them as they suffer for the Gospel.

standing still…

I’m not sure how well my words paint a picture, but I’ll try anyway.

I’ll admit, I haven’t really spent time with God these past couple of weeks. I think a part of me just doesn’t want to obey Him, a part of me just doesn’t want listen or converse with Him. It’s not like I’m running from Him, but its more like I’m standing still…

Disclaimer: I actually don’t smoke. I think it’s kinda gross. but I think for the picture I’m trying to paint, it’s kind of fitting.

It’s like I’m leaning against a wall facing a busy street. The wall has been beautifully graffitied, and all I’m doing is leaning against it smoking a cig. Meanwhile Jesus is beside me, maybe speaking to me, trying to strike up a conversation. I’m not sure, I’m not sure I care enough to listen. All I do is watch people and traffic go by. Day after day I do this, and day after day He’s there. Striking up a conversation, and all I do is ignore Him. Smoking my cig. Maybe one of these days, I’ll pay attention and reply back. Maybe one day soon I’ll agree to go for a coffee with Him. But for now I apathetically lean against the graffitied wall. Watching life pass me by. Feeling sorry for myself, about nothing at all. Wanting satisfaction, but not wanting it from Jesus. Maybe one day soon His voice will reach me, but for now I continue to lean. Not knowing where to go, not realizing what I need. But desiring something nonetheless.

Jesus help me.

Hansen

swinging on the pendulum

There are times that it feels like that there are multiple me’s inside my body. Which I guess isn’t inaccurate. However, this notion very often frustrates me to no end. Especially when I realize how much I swing between Effort and Freedom, instead of being in between. I tend to white-knuckle everything as if I needed to work to attain Grace. Either that or I don’t do a thing because I am under Grace and so my sins are forgiven. Something like that. I don’t actively live under Grace. And I know having the thought that I am under Grace and actively working should be the medium, but it’s like my pride won’t allow me to a lot of the time.  And of course the times where I am in the middle of those two, it’s usually only for like 7 seconds and then I’m back to swinging again.

I guess Jesus, still needs to grow me…I say that as if there comes a point in my finite life that I won’t need to be grown. As if there will come a time when I won’t need to be matured spiritually or mentally.

Jesus help me. Continue to change my heart, teach me, and help me understand you and your Grace.

Hansen

I am the older brother

I was listening to a Godfirst Church podcast from their most recent sermon series called “City Slickers” and this message he was talking about the brother in the Prodigal Son parable.

It was seriously convicting, especially because I am very often the older brother. I am the bitter, self-righteous judgemental older brother, that looks at the returning son as undeserving of all that the Father gives. I am the arrogant, angry older brother that is focused more on doing, on duty, than I am on my Father’s Grace. I find that when I am doing well spiritually, it is usually because I am doing [such] and [such], but I don’t think I’ve ever once consciously thought or attributed it to God’s Grace, I think that I’ve always conciously(or unconciously) attributed it more to me doing Bible readings and devotional stuff….not because of His good Grace. Which is why, even if I miss one thing, I feel like I’m the worst person in the world. When I don’t feel like doing something, I feel like I have to white-knuckle force myself to do a devotional, or read the Bible. Those are the times when I have no joy. those are the times where it is a begrudging submission. As if Jesus will be glorified in my forced submission.

It was this sermon, that Jesus used to remind me, that just like the prodigal, the older brother needs Grace as well. How often that I forget that it isn’t the devotions and Bible readings, it isn’t the duty that makes me close to Jesus, rather it is His Grace that brings me closer to Him. It is Jesus, Himself, that pulls me close, not because I am good, or dutiful but because He loves me. He continues to WRECK me with that notion alone. He loves me, not because of what I do. He loves me, despite all I have done. And that is all I could ever hope for.

Help me Jesus, to understand, believe, and cherish Your wonderful, matchless Grace.

Hansen

some thoughts

His solitude with Us. When God gets us alone by affliction, heartbreak, or temptation, by disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted affection, by a broken friendship, or by a new friendship – when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are dumbfounded, and cannot ask one question, then He begins to expound. Watch Jesus Christ’s training of the twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were perplexed. They constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly expounded things to them; but they only understood after they had recieved the Holy Spirit. If you are going on with God, the only thing that is clear to you and the only thing God intends to be clear is the way He deals with your own soul…..We imagine we understand where the other person is, until God gives us a dose of the plaguy of our own hearts. There are whole tracts of stubborness and ignorance to be revealed by the Holy Spirit in each one of us and it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone…Jesus can expound nothing until we get through all the noisy questions of the head and are alone with Him.” – Oswald Chambers.

I’ve been reading “My utmost for His highest” as part of my morning wake up. And although I read this a few days ago, I haven’t really stopped thinking about this one. Mostly I just love how God KNOWS what is best for us. Our sights are not often set into the future, instead our sights are usually set on what we think is best for us in the present. At least for me that can often be the case. But I LOVE that Jesus constantly and consistently reminds me that He has much more in store for me than I usually want to acknowledge.

I imagine, that if I was face to face with Him, and when my questions cease I imagine that with a twinkle in His eye and maybe with a faint smile, He would remind me that I very rarely have the best for me in mind…rather I usually have what is most comfortable in mind. I imagine that with a faint smile He would remind me that all that I have gone through is for my freedom. and my joy.

And what a Freedom and Joy it is. He constantly reminds me that He is always for my joy and freedom, even when I don’t think so. Even when I am a brat. It is only when my whining, groaning and questions cease that I am able to remember this. It is only when I remember that He is for my joy and freedom, that I joyfully submit to Him. Any time in which my heart is unsettled, when my mind wanders my submission is begrudging at best, which in reality is also at worst.

Thank Jesus that He still works in me for my joy, and for my freedom.

Hansen