Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Thanksgiving Challenge

So, here's what I've challenged myself and my Prayer Group to do:

  1. Each day leading up to Thanksgiving, write at least 10 things for which you are thankful.
  2. On Thanksgiving, take time to read over the list, thanking God in the process.
So, here goes.

Wed 14 Nov. 2012
  • My school - Its Christian morals, faculty, and emphasis
  • My RAs and SLDs
  • My Family - Their safety and their willingness to sacrifice all for Christ
  • That the Gospel may still be shared within the USA
  • That the USA is still "One nation under God," despite what others may say
  • All the Godly men and women in my life (Uncle Alan, Kelvin, Dad, Mom, to name a few)
  • My girlfriend - Both who she is and that she seeks God before me
  • That South Africa has maintained democracy and a relatively low level of corruption
  • That I'll be seeing my sister in a few days
  • The message that Clayton King preached this evening at Campus Church
  • That I'll be seeing my family in less than a month
  • That I'm passing my classes well
  • God's illumination of the Bible, allowing me to more greatly understand His word and His direction
  • My prayer group members
Thurs 15 Nov. 2012
  • Classes are almost finished
  • Thanksgiving for the community at work went well
  • I was able to stay focused/awake through classes
  • I got to talk to Dad today
  • My roommate managed to change his major successfully
  • My girlfriend & I were able to spend some time together before break starts
  • My girlfriend enjoys Lord of the Rings
  • I'm on top of my work
  • Home-cooked meals start in a few days
  • God has kept me safe through the day and the day's travels
  • I'm healthy
Fri 16 Nov. 2012
  • I'm now on Thanksgiving break
  • I'll be driving down towards my sister soon
  • My classes' grades are good
  • Work this week went well
  • I now have time to really dive into God's word
  • I have time to finish papers
  • I'm not driving alone tomorrow
  • I have enough money to pay for the gas for the drive
  • Almost everyone on my hall has had the chance to go home
  • My girlfriend arrived safely at her destination (as far as I know)
Sat. 17 Nov. 2012
  • Making it to my friend's grandparents' house (despite becoming lost)
  • Being able to travel for Thanksgiving
  • Home-cooked meals
  • God's provision & protection over the too-long drive
  • Soft beds
  • The generosity of my professors in not issuing overly much homework during the break
  • The ability to drive my friend to his grandparents
  • The humility to stop and ask for directions
  • Cell phones
  • My friend's grandparents being willing to open their home
  • Brotherly love and community in Christ
  • Company/a navigator during 12 hrs of driving
Sun. 18 Nov. 2012
  • Being able to freely attend church
  • Salvation (Justification, sanctification, and glorification)
  • My workload has diminished slightly
  • Generosity
  • Game nights
  • Southern Hospitality
  • Minimal damage to Jett (the car) after being bumped
  • The ability to read and understand the Bible
  • Professors who objectively examine evolution instead of assuming its validity
  • Being well-fed (despite my hosts' disbelief at "how little" I ate)
  • Having access to clean, running water
Mon. 19 Nov. 2012
  • That, as a Christian, I have the Holy Spirit to counsel and guide me away from sin and to alert me when I begin to stumble (or walk) into sin
  • God's forgiveness
  • The generosity of my current hosts
  • That I have been able to work effectively on homework during this break
  • That God can still use a sinner like me to do His work - the sinner must be genuinely repentant, though. Just qualifying the doctrine here
  • The sanctifying work of salvation that the Holy Spirit works in us as we draw closer to God
  • The strength and comfort of our God when everything's shaken
  • The constant nature of God
  • Brothers in Christ on whom I can lean and rely for Godly counsel and accountability
  • That God is near at all times in all places
Tues 20 Nov. 2012
  • That I have finished my RA application
  • My current RA's wisdom regarding the application & Sharepoint
  • That I don't need loans for university
  • That I was able to pick my sister up from college today
  • That I have a car
  • For my 2nd-cousins for taking me and my sister in
  • The ability to visit with family
  • Family
  • Thanksgiving itself
  • God's overall provision during this break
  • My current homework status
Wed 21 Nov. 2012
  • More homework is done
  • Being able to share a meal with some of my sister's friends
  • Being able to drive
  • Thanksgiving is tomorrow
  • Being able to be with family
  • Good professors
  • Having a place to stay
  • Rest
  • What God has done in my life in the last year
  • What God has planned for me (even though I don't know what it is)

Monday, November 12, 2012

That's It, I'm Gone

I don't know if you've checked the news recently, but it appears that secession fever has hit the U.S.

For you non-Americans, this means that certain states are wanting to remove themselves from the U.S.A. and become their own independent country - a right which is given to the states in the constitution.

This isn't the first time secession has come up in popular conversation: The Hartford convention, during the Madison Administration - Northerners meeting and discussing issues with the government and, off the books, tossing up secession - or the more well-known Civil war in which, for a number of reasons, the Southern states seceded and formed their own confederacy. These are the only two of which I know, but I am no historical scholar either.

The recent secession talks were started by Louisiana and Texas within the first few days after Obama's re-election. In all honesty, I'm not particularly clued up on the reasons given for the official petitions, but I can assure you that it has to do with more than Obama's upcoming 2nd term (though it may be due to some foreseen effects thereof).

What's shocking, though, is the number of states that have joined the secession bandwagon - an astonishing 20 states including, surprisingly, some northern states that elected Obama into office, like New York.

Now, Mr. President, I think this just might be a matter which cannot be overlooked. I implore you to fairly investigate the reasons given for these secession threats, surround yourself with qualified individuals of different political perspectives and liberalities, and tackle the issues raised head-on.

Unless, of course, you want to lose 20 states and be remembered as "Not-Quite-Lincoln".

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"The Most Important Election in U.S. History..."

Well, all the electoral college votes may not yet be in, but the writing's on the wall. Now, I'm not a fan of Obama or what he has and hasn't done as president so far, but, at the same time, if he is to remain president, then I will honor and respect him above my disagreements.

Why is that?

"Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God's command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves." - Romans 13:1-2

Hard enough as it is to swallow, we must remain respectful towards and obedient to the authority over us. In fact, the only time when we as Christians are not to do so is when said government's commands run counter to God.

So God has instituted Obama as POTUS for a second term?

Yes, it appears so. Why, I do not know, but I do know this: God is perfect, in wisdom, goodness, faithfulness, in everything, really. Because of this, I can trust that God has a plan to use Obama as president to ultimately glorify Himself. Beyond that, I have no fear of the future, for I know who holds the future and I know that He works all things ultimately for the good of those you love Him.

So, I implore you, Christians, conservatives, not to gripe and complain about the U.S.'s doom, Obama's shortcomings, or how you're planning to emigrate, but rather to pray. Pray that God would make an impact in Obama's life, that God's will would be done during these next 4 years, and that we, as Christians, would have an attitude of respect and support for Obama and the government, if only for the position.