Can I just say:

that the Lord blows me away? I mean, seriously, the things that I don't comprehend about Him... they are limitless. I'm going back through Romans and finding all the different facets of the Lord, and I can't even begin to understand. I can't think about His wrath that goes alongside His unending grace and mercy; His incredible power- that mighty fortress of strength- that lies in one hand, and the lamb-like meekness in His other. God is so... crazy. So amazing. So perfect. So... I don't know. The 26 letters of our alphabet cannot form a word that fits Him. 

He is God.
He is.

Also, as I've been reading through Romans, I was given a key verse- it's kinda the summation of the first 11 chapters. The first 11 go through theology, while chapters 12-16 are the application of that theology. Romans 11:36 gives a perfect answer to the question "WHY??" 
"For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

Amen. I mean, wow. It's so true. Everything is for the glory of the Lord. Everything is from the glory of the Lord. Everything is His- so I need to make sure I am reflecting that in everything. 
It's beautiful. And challenging. More like beautifully challenging. I've had it written on my wrist for the past few days to remind me. 

My God? He's gloriously incredible.


Take this as you will...

Call me old-fashioned. Call me legalistic. Call me a CHRISTIAN. I dare you, but I get so frustrated with the idea that we can be inoffensive, passive Christians.
It CAN'T be done. 


And I'm not just making that up. It's Biblical. 
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!" Galatians 5:6-12

That doesn't seem like a shallow, lovey-dovey, hippie gospel to me.
Don't get me wrong- I love being a hippie and loving on people. It's what I do.
But love..without TRUTH? It's empty. 

We absolutely can not be afraid to step on toes. It's sickening. 
Mark Driscoll has a sermon called Death By Love in which he gets angry at the idea of being "inoffensive Christians." I like this quote a lot:
"At one of the largest churches in America, the pastor said 'We don't talk about sin. We don't talk about blood. We don't talk about death. We don't talk about hell. We don't talk about the cross- because we don't talk about things that people find offensive.'
Well then you don't talk about JESUS. And THAT is offensive

AMEN. We, as modern Christians, are so terrified of being conservative! We are terrified of being seen as crazy and heaven forbid we lose a friend because we shared the gospel.

But, friends- if you aren't sharing the gospel... your LOVE of your neighbor is POINTLESS. It is completely IN VAIN.

I don't care if you gave your life savings to the poor and fed 600 hungry in one day and drove your new friends to Walmart because they didn't have a car and don't know English well-- if you aren't sharing with them your faith in a way that doesn't sugarcoat the gospel, that doesn't turn Jesus into a long-haired, wimpy, girly boy... you are doing NOTHING to further the kingdom of the Lord.

 I recently watched a video by a popular pastor, in which he encouraged Christians to avoid words like "sin" and "repent" in connection with Jesus.

I'm sorry, but without "sin", there is no forgiveness. Without repentance, we can not meet with Christ. 
The gospel of Christ, His truth is being lost in the murky water of modern-day Christianity. It is being perverted to something so much LESS than what it is.

What are we so afraid of?

"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness." - Charles Spurgeon

Jesus, I want a righteous anger. I want to be furious about things that are not of the Lord.
I want it to disgust me. I want it to repulse me. I want to be so angry that I do something about it. Lord, forgive me for being afraid to step on toes and afraid of losing friends. Your glory is more than enough for me and I should be willing to give up all of my dignity for it. I know that your gospel is offensive and I know that people will be turned away because of it- but Lord, I don't want to stand in front of you and say that the things I did on earth were not eternal because I never had the guts to share your name in connection with anything other than a wimpy man-god version of who YOU ARE. God, you are MIGHTY. You are HOLY. You are more powerful than I could ever imagine. Help me to stop creating an image of you that is simply a man. Help me to be bold and to have confidence in the cross, to know that the cross is bloody and disgusting and that if I am not sharing the offense of that, then I am not sharing You.

Things you should check out:
Mark Driscoll's "Death by Love"
Charles Spurgeon's "The Offense of the Cross" 

I may have gone all over the place.. but I'd like to hear your response.
I love you, my friends.


Being polite... at any age?

I don't get it.

Okay. Here's what I get: I GET that I look young. I GET that "one day you'll be happy about it".
What I don't understand is why people feel that it is socially acceptable to point out how young a person looks.

Example from this morning at a garage sale:
Me: I’m just looking for an end table for my new place.
Homeowner: Really? Aren’t you a bit young to move out on your own?
M: I’m actually in college.
H: Oh! Are you getting excited about heading off to the dorms and meeting new people? Where are you going to be?
M: I’m a junior at OU… I just have my own duplex now…
H: Wow! You just look so young! Kids these days.

Gee, thank you. Thank you very much.

And then another favorite: I went to the doctors office back in April. The receptionist asks me- “Now, are you 16 yet?”
Um… I was 4 years ago. Does that count? A simple, “Can I see your license? I need the number for insurance,” would have sufficed. Again, I appreciate the thought.

So here’s my thing. Because, like I said, I know I look young. I know plenty of people do… but you would never walk up to a 40 year old after you found out their age and say, "Oh man. I thought you were at least 55!" You would be considered horribly rude! You would never tell an older person that they looked ancient- that would be distasteful. You wouldn't have to lie- just keep your mouth shut as to not offend.

So who makes it okay to tell people how young they look, before they are at an age where that might even remotely be considered a good thing? No 20-something wants to be told they look as though they could be in high school.
It makes me angry that people can get away with those things under the guise of, “Trust me, you’ll appreciate that when you’re older.”
Under that pretense, it would be completely okay for me to tell some old lady just how OLD she looked as long as I followed it up with, “You would have appreciated that when you were younger.”
Hi. Not okay.

I’m asking that you ALL show some respect- be it to someone older or younger, or even your same age. If you make a mistake when judging their age, don’t make a big deal out of it- especially if you hadn’t previously said what age you thought they were. If they tell you that they ares 23, keep the words “Dang, I guessed you were 17..max…” in your head. Don’t tell someone how much older/younger they look, unless you are absolutely POSITIVE that it would be taken as a compliment. I don’t care how old you are, learn to have a bit of tact.

That’s all. ☺