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A great poem I came across while reading Ravi Zacharias’ book “Can Man Live Without God?”. Also see the writing by Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos.

Creed
by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don’t hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of “hurt”,
and to the best of your definition of “knowledge”.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes,
UFO’s and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were very bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What’s selected is average.
What’s average is normal.
What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

Postscript:
If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear:

“State of Emergency!”

“Sniper Kills Ten!”
“Troops on Rampage!”
“Whites go Looting!”
“Bomb Blasts School!”

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.”

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.” — Malcolm Muggeridge

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“What you have made me see,” answered the Lady, “is as plain as the sky, but I never saw it before. Yet it has happened every day. One goes into the forest to pick food and already the thought of one fruit rather than another has grown up in one’s mind. Then, it may be, one finds a different fruit and not the fruit one thought of. One joy was expected and another is given. But this I had never noticed before–that the very moment of the finding there is in the mind a kind of thrusting back, or setting aside. The picture of the fruit that you have not found is still, for a moment, before you. And if you wished–if it were possible to wish–you could keep it there. You could send your soul after the good you had expected, instead of turning it to the good you had got. You could refuse the real good; you could make the real fruit taste insipid by thinking of the other.”     –from C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra

Perelandra

This is too often true in our lives, particularly my own. We set out to obtain something that we desire…a particular school, a mate, a job, etc., and the one we receive is not what we were looking for in the first place. Often we are so caught up in thinking of the joy we expected to find, that we cannot enjoy what we are given, and so make the blessing we have been given taste insipid by thinking of the other.

Recent developments in my life that pertain to this concept, and that others may relate to as well, include my job, school, and my relationships.  I needed a job in early May, and was disappointed that I couldn’t find one after sending in dozens of applications. I finally got a job, much later than I expected but still in the nick of time, at Sam Ash Music. I quite enjoy working there, and there are some slight irritants in scheduling that I’d hoped to avoid, but this is the good I have been given. As far as schooling is concerned…I was uncertain of what to do with my life, wanting to do something great…but also wanting to have a very family oriented life. Where am I now? I am transferring to USF in the fall as a music education major. I didn’t particularly want to do either, because I didn’t want to go with the flow and do what every other music student in the area does…major in music education at USF. But God has worked it all out in such a way that this will be the perfect set up for me.

By far the biggest example in my life of expecting one joy and receiving another is also one most people could relate to…relationships. I’ve always had an idea in my head of the kind of person I’d like to be with. Since my experience in the romance department was limited (i.e., no official relationship ever), I didn’t know quite what to expect.  As I met people through the years (I quite enjoy making new friends), my ideas of what I wanted in a future husband changed a little with each serious interest, as usually happens. I eventually found someone who was very much like me in personality and values. He is a strong Christian, talented, a good man, and someone I might consider spending my life with. I prayed often about him and the potential for relationship with him, as well as conferring with trusted counselors, getting to know his friends and family (I’d be doing that anyway though, because he is still a very good friend) and other such things. In the end, however, he was not interested, for whatever reason. I was alright with that at first, because interest can develop as the friendship progresses, and I was very much looking forward to continuing the friendship without any of that awkwardness between us. All was well until Justin came along. lol. One joy was expected and another given. Justin and my other friend get along quite well, and are very much alike in personality, as well as in some mannerisms. But their differences are great when you compare them in context of relationship potential, and what I had been expecting from someone I was interested in. I was in great turmoil between the two; both wonderful men, one I had been praying about for almost a year who was not interested, and the other newcomer who was interested and already quite devoted to winning my heart. I realized during all of this that I may be ruining what should have been a blessing (Justin’s appearance in my life), by focusing on the good thing that I had been looking for initially. (And I actually thought of this quote at the time.) Now I am happily in a relationship with Justin, and the other guy is still a close friend, and like a brother to me. As my relationship with Justin progresses I discover many things about him that make this relationship better in the long run than the other would have been. Had I continued to focus on the good thing that I had initially wanted, instead of accepting the blessing that God was trying to give me, I would never have discovered these things, and would not have found my sweetheart. ^.^ One joy was expected and another was given.

I encourage you, my friends, don’t ignore the blessings that God sends your way by focusing on the things that you haven’t gotten. Sometimes things happen for a reason, such as losing a friendship or not getting something you sincerely desired, but God wants to bless us abundantly, all things will work out for good in His plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The choice is yours, my friends…you could refuse the real good; you could make the real fruit taste insipid by thinking of the other; or you can accept the joy that you are given, rather than focus on the good expected.

Be blessed.

Lewis, C.S.. Perelandra. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1965. Print.

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God is amazing! He brings things together for our good, and knows just what to do to encourage us when we are down…read on…

Yesterday I was feeling in a rather down mood, and I’m not entirely sure why. Could be stress, hormones, the fact that my back hurts a LOT…the moon, the end of the semester, betrayed friendships…but I know one thing that probably added to my mood: uncertainty. My life right now is not certain at all. I’m uncertain of my career, housing arrangements, lovability, and even of my friendships. I plan to go to USF in the fall to study music education…but right now I am not sure that’s what I want to do with my life. I’ve contemplated being a counselor of some sort, either a relationship counselor, or maybe even a children’s counselor. I hate seeing children that are unloved or abused. I HATE it. If I could help children know they are loved, or help a marriage to work out, that would make me happy. (I once had someone prophesy that I would work with children in the future…possibly be a music teacher in a foreign country too.) I also don’t know about housing…I can’t really go back home, the condo may not be usable, and I can’t live in a dorm either. Oh, and I don’t have a job. My friendships have been betrayed lately. Sometimes I feel like certain people don’t trust me…and often like certain people aren’t trust worthy. Mostly because of the hurt of one friend, I am now questioning everything, I can’t help it. And the romance department in my life has never been certain, though the “man club” did make me feel good, there were no potential relationships.

Last night I was at my family’s house for my brother’s birthday party. Just a family party, cake and bar-b-q, and the typical loudness of my family. We watched “The Tale of Despereaux” (cute movie) and as we watched I was thinking this poem up in my head (it’s unfinished):

Uncertainty’s the stuff of life,

Or so the sages say.

It prods and pokes and picks and prys,

But will not go away.

To some life may bring years of love,

And to their fields rain,

To others grey and lonely days,

And long life filled with pain.

I was feeling kind of meh as I went to sleep last night. Too much sugar, back hurting, uncertainties swirling around in my head…am I doing the right thing? Should I be pursuing these things? Should I change my course of action? Should I give up on him? Does anyone care? And then I reached over for my book, “My Utmost for His Highest.” I’ve been behind on reading it, but the page from yesterday was PERFECT. It was about gracious uncertainty. (The page is below, you don’t have to read it though.)

And yesterday I got a comment in my honesty box: “I can tell that you are an awesome person! Stay close to God and the rest will come.”

These are all little whispers of love that God uses to encourage me; tiny things that some people may consider coincidences, but I know that they are little things meant to remind me of his goodness. Though I’m uncertain, and still feeling a bit off today, I am reassured of God’s great love for me. He is good, and he has my life in His wonderful hands. I may be down, but He will help me through it. “The king of love my savior is, his goodness faileth never. I nothing lack when He is mine and I am his forever.” Amen!

April 29: Gracious Uncertainty

“…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be…” (1 John 3:2)

Our natural inclination is to be so precise-trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next-that we look upon uncertainty a a bad thing. WE think that we must reach some predetermines goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life-gracious unccertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belieef, something within us dies. That is not believing God-it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are no uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1) not, “Believe certain things about Me.” Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in-but you can be certain that he will come. Remain faithful to him.

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