Sunday, October 24, 2004

Big news

I have big news that I must share with you all. I hope you guys are periodically checking this site, since I do actually post my news here, like this bit. It is much easier to post news here than to email everyone, whether individually or collectively.

As of Sabbath, October 23, 2004 (about 2:20 PM), I have a new girlfriend. Her name is Yesenia (pronounced "Je-SEN-ee-uh"). She is Peruvian, but lives and works in Mexico. I met her there over the summer, while I was working there as an English teacher. We have been emailing ever since, and though she has been devoted to me, I have been debating entering a relationship with her since then. Finally, I have made my decision. Even though there are some factors that will be difficult to overcome (including culture and language, though I do speak pretty good Spanish), I have decided that she is the one for me.

I wish you as great a week as I'm having. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Thoughts on God's Will

I appreciate the comments I received on my last post. There is certainly truth in them. Since then, however, I have had a sort of epiphany/reminder. As my last post shows, I generally go with the accepted view of God's will, which has to do with there only being one truly "right" answer to a particular issue or decision, the brightest thread, and nothing else is God's will. But I keep forgetting something my Bible teacher in high school once told me, which I really like, and I believe it when I think about it. I was reminded of it again today when I was having a discussion about relationships with my favorite teacher on campus, one of the English teachers: I was telling him how I want to do God's will in my choices in relationships. He said, "I'm not saying this facetiously, but have you ever stopped to wonder if God really cares?" This made me think: I'm always so worried about what God's will is, but sometimes, when the choice isn't going to interfere with my salvation or my usefulness to God, maybe he leaves it up to us. He just says, "You can choose this, or you can choose that, and I'm with you either way." I really like that view of God's will. It seems more open and reasonable than some other ways I've heard it. My teacher also told me in our discussion today that God might say, "I don't want you to look for a sign from me, because then if it doesn't work out, you might wrongly blame me. I'm okay with it either way." That seems much more in tune with the idea that God gave us free will, and gave it so that we could use it. When we talk about free will, we often focus on only two options, right and wrong, and focus on the fact that free will gives us the option of doing what is wrong. This is an important aspect of free will, but obviously right and wrong are not the limitations of the options: there may be many right options and many wrong options, and free will was given for us to choose between those right options and avoid the wrong ones. We were meant to CHOOSE. So begging for a sign or something is like throwing my responsibility (and privilege) of choice and free will onto some sign, person, or ultimately God, which is not what He wants. Otherwise, why did He give it to us? That isn't to say that we shouldn't search to follow His guidance in the deeper matters, when we truly do not know what is right and wrong, or other possible scenarios, but in general questions in which there is no wrong answer, why don't we use what God gave us to use and choose?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy Sabbath

Vespers was really good tonight, but I couldn't pay attention very well because of distracting people all around me. I am going to try to never sit in the back of the sanctuary again, if I can help it. Too many distractions.

My favorite text for quite a while has been Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires," but I'm starting to think that even though that is a really cool promise, it is kind of selfish, because I tend to focus on the "getting" part. I think I should choose another one of the ones I really like. Any suggestions? What are your favorite verses? (Hint: this is where you comment, as I've been hoping you would all along.)

I wonder so often what God's will is for my life, especially in regard to relationships. Maybe I shouldn't focus so much on it, and focus more on my relationship with God and being the best person I can be (which will put me ahead in the other area besides), but it is a pretty important part of life, overall. Tonight, the speaker at Vespers talked all about when God is silent, just so we can wrestle with the question we have, and find the solution we need, which makes us stronger and better, as He desires. This was a very deep and powerful sermon, and spoke to me. I often feel God is too silent, but I need to remember that sometimes that is what I need. I am also reminded of a sermon I myself once preached about spiritual growth and God's will. I concluded that we often wait for the big project God has for us to be beamed into our mind, when in fact His will is all around us, in the little things we know we should do. If we do the first things, the things we are sure of, God will give us the next step. I still think that is true. At this moment, the thing I am sure I need to do is start to get to bed earlier, starting with tonight. :)