Made New

I’ve recently been in a fog. I’ve never really had writer’s block, which is something pretty amazing after the past four years of writing here. I was contemplating not doing a post this week, I missed my early Patreon post schedule and was about ready to just take a week off. Then I realized that there was a mix of circumstance and spiritual attack. Last week I ended one of my favorite series I’ve written, all about having spiritual victory. It seems only fitting to then the next week fight some spiritual attack. This season in life has also been super busy, each day seems to be filled with projects, planning, and small moments of rest in the evenings. Spending time with Danielle and my family has really been the biggest driver keeping me from not getting lost. In this season of busyness, my quiet times are often rushed and not as filling as I usually have. In times like this, I feel inadequate. That I’m not doing enough or feeling like I’m not good enough. I can start to internalize this, and then everything that happens around me just hits again and again, with the whispers of “I’m not good enough,” plague me. I want to be open because I think often we have days like this. We feel like we are overlooked, that we aren’t living up to our potential, or because one bad day will cause us to fail. The truth is, we aren’t made to work enough to be used by God, we are simply people made new through the love of God.

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Foundation Focus

I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression over the past few months. I’ve been so afraid of the future and the path I will take over the next months after school. The stress of trying to finish well but not have a clear direction after this season scares me, it makes me feel like I am failing at my purpose. All I desire is to write words that will inspire others and serve the next generation in ministry, but the path is so unclear and that’s what makes it so difficult. That’s the reason I need Christ more than ever. It’s the reason we all need Christ more than ever. This past week I was worshiping with my brothers and sisters and received prayer of encouragement for this struggle I’ve been facing. After this I prayed with Matt the artist. I call him this because he truly thinks in abstract ways like an artist, and we prayed together in an abstract way. We prayed to look for the moment of origin for anxiety, and when I found it, he asked me to now put God in that situation. Everything changed. You see, Matt the artist helped me understand that I can’t go about things on my own, my foundation needs to be focused on my savior. Our focus needs to be on the foundation of our life.

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Counter Culture

Culture is all around us. We are exposed to each of our cultures on a daily basis; the messages and ideas are thrown at us constantly, and we don’t even pick up on all of it. It’s so ingrained in each of us that these messages don’t even phase us anymore, things become normal. In our normalcy we become numb. I bring up this idea of culture because I study culture at my university. I am a communication studies major (not communications, you’d lose a hand if you said that to any of the professors), and in this field I am able to look at how messages are communicated to each other, and culture comes from this communication. A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication. Culture influences us, culture changes the way we think and culture has us accept things that they are normal, but we are weird. When you become weird, you can never go back to being normal.

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Triumph in Turmoil

“And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Life can be really tough. We go through many trials and things we don’t understand, and if we’re honest, it’s hard to see the silver lining in everything. I know for me this is a hard concept to grasp. God tells us in scripture that he will use all things, but that idea of “all things” isn’t always the most joyful of times in our lives. I love that quote above from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, because it is a picture of how God uses the tough times in our lives. You see life is full of blessings and good times, but it is equally filled with turmoil. The word turmoil means a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty. I think many times in our lives we are filled with disturbance, confusion, and uncertainty. Yet in all of it we can have triumph in the turmoil, because our God has already conquered the world, so we can stand strong through it all.

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Airplane Reflections

I love flying in planes. Something about it is so therapeutic, giving me a chance to simply sit back and reflect. Right now it is Christmas day and I am flying with my family up to Wisconsin to visit my grandparents. Wisconsin is fun because it’s cold and filled with cheese (I mean, what’s better than that?!). The past month I wrote about self-image and knowing the worth we all have in Christ. Last week my post was called, So Worth Loving, which was the climax of the series (check it out if you haven’t yet). This week I want to conclude this idea, giving the reasons why I wrote about this topic and share some of my heart with you. Reflecting is a word which here means looking back on where I’ve come from to see how God has moved in all things. That’s the truth in it, in all things that happen in our lives, God has orchestrated that to cultivate us into stronger people. We are all strong people. We have all been through some of the toughest times in life, and we have made it through these chaotic storms. Each of our lives is a story. Our story is a picture of what we have been through and where we are headed. The thing we need to remember is that the creator of the universe is in every piece of our story. We have been made in his image and he has given us the ability to write our stories because of that.

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My Beloved

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

I think one of the hardest things to feel is not being loved. So many times in our lives we try to earn the love of others. We try to have the people around us look up to us, think that we are important and relevant. Sometimes we try to earn the love from another person in a relationship, which can leave us empty and broken. Maybe you are trying to earn love from a parent who wanted nothing to do with you. You try to earn love in your job, hobbies, in most things you do. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We are creatures that were made for love, because our God is love. The thing is, we have become disconnected from God; we’ve lost our source of true love. This love is a deep love, one that enters into our life and breaks our heart, making us new creatures. We are searching for love in all the wrong places (that’s gotta be a song, right?). We are wanting love because we feel incomplete, and in our incompletion we feel the farthest thing from beautiful; we feel ugly. This is the lie Satan, the great deceiver, is speaking over us. The truth is, we follow a God who is all powerful and made us in his image. We have a God that calls us sinners, those who have chosen independence from him; he calls us his beloved.

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Radiant

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

I love this verse. It seems so simple yet it reveals so much about who we are and the purpose that we have been created for. I used to not think this way. I used to feel like I didn’t have a purpose or that I wasn’t good enough. My self-image was based on what other people would say or treat me like, and this made me feel so crushed. I used to be self-conscious about my body; I’m a very tall and skinny guy with a large nose, and kids I used to go to school with would rip me apart because of it. I hated it. I would wear hoodies all the time to hide my arms and never tried too hard to stand out. At home and with my close friends I felt great, they made me feel the way all of us should feel; wanted and important. Then I would go to school, it was difficult. I have always been a geeky kid who read comics and watched science fiction TV (If you couldn’t already tell by the name of the blog). I felt bad about who I was, yet I was exactly who God made me to be. The truth is, I think this is true for many of us, for you. We feel as if we don’t add up to the super-model standard that society seems to adore. We feel that we have to like what everyone likes, have a perfect body, have a picture perfect life; but we weren’t made for that. God made us for more, because he made us in his image, and those implications mean so much more than we can imagine. God created us to seek and save the lost, to bring hope to the hopeless, to fight for what is good and right. God made us to be radiant.

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