Finding Vienna

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Billy Joel is one of my favorite artists, and I can so easily get lost in his songs for hours. Some of them are just great to listen to, but others really make me think. Take, for example, the song Vienna:

Slow down, you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart, then tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You’d better cool it off before you burn it out
You’ve got so much to do and
Only so many hours in a day

So often I run around like a maniac trying to get my life in order; I try and pursue ‘Vienna’. I chase after contentment and a life of pure happiness, with no sorrow. But it isn’t in the times of happiness that I grow; it’s the hard times where I am on my knees and crying out to God for release that I grow. So why do I chase after times of tranquility? They aren’t the times that I move forward in. Admittedly, I do need times of rest, and the contented times do have their purpose. But I always say that I want to grow, get to know God more, learn what it means to fully trust him, but to get all of those things I need to go through hard times.

If I were to take a step back and gain a bit of perspective I would realize that what makes ‘Vienna’ so wonderful is the process of getting there. ‘Vienna’ to me is contentment; a settled heart with deeply felt joy. ‘Vienna’ is a resounding shout of joy that is laced with relief after coming through something hard. If ‘Vienna’ were to be handed to me on a gold platter I would value it much less than I would have if I had gone through hell to get there.

So why do I do it? Why do I run from the hard situations, and why do I shy away from challenges? Is the opposite of running away embracing challenges? Running at them head on? Let’s say that it is true- that I should embrace trials- won’t I get exhausted physically and emotionally; not to mention spiritually? Where is the happy medium?

Wow, there I go again. Too many questions. Maybe I should just stop right now before I try and figure too many things out.I think I’ll just sit back, turn my phone off, watch the sunset, and soak in the quietness for a little while.

In fact, Vienna waits for me.

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Fighting Against Society

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I’m not sure I like this world very much. Hmm, maybe I should take that back. I do like the world; it’s beautiful the way God created the trees leaves with such intricate patterns on them, and the way a wave rolls across the surface of water, and how willow trees sway in the breeze, and the way the birds start to chirp at around 5:00 AM everyday, and then I can’t go back to sleep. Okay, well maybe not that last part so much. But I do on occasion enjoy those birds, just usually a little bit later in the day. But back to what I was saying before… I’m not sure that this world is all it’s cracked up to be. Or maybe I should say “society”. Society is not all that it is cracked up to be. It is filled with so many ridiculous media influences. “Lose 10 pounds in a week!” “Get that great Bikini Bod!” “Make Him Notice You.” And I’m only speaking from a girl’s point of view. All of these messages change us, whether we want them to or not. I know some people (girls specifically) who say that it is best to just go with it. Let it happen, don’t fight what is going to happen eventually. But I have to disagree. I don’t want to let myself be tainted by this world. I want to be different. I want to stand out, and I want people to say, “What is different about her? Something is different.” But it is hard to live as a teenage girl in today’s society. We let our minds be won over by the media and it taints us. We are so tainted. Tainted by the world and what society believes. Every now and then God reveals some profound realities, and I have come to one specific realization recently: purity is not something that can be purchased, and its not meant to be played with (like it so often is); it’s something that has to be protected and taken care of.

Our world has lost much of its purity, and what a sad thing that is. We see girls falling prey to the lies of the media, and women who end up used and abused by the ones they thought they loved. Where is the beauty in that?  Is that what love is; giving ourselves to the partner we are currently with? Of course not. Purity is a beautiful gift from God found in everyone. With God, and only with his help, we can be made pure in our minds, pure in our bodies, and pure in out hearts/spirit. Purity is a gift from God, and can be lost and tarnished so easily. I challenge you, whoever is reading this, to believe me, and accept my challenge in purity. Because purity is meant to be cherished, and should not be disregarded:

 

Colossians 1:16-17 (NLT)

16God created everything

in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see

and the things we can’t see—

such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.

Everything was created through him and for him.

17He existed before anything else,

and he holds all creation together.

 

So what does that mean? It means that everything on this earth was made by God (even those birds I previously mentioned). It means that you were made by God. He made you. You are pure, you are whole, and you are beautiful in him. And so I ask you to not disregard the beautiful thing that is you. There is love, and his name is Jesus Christ. Embrace him, and you will never regret it.

Summer Is Almost Here

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Here are just a few distractions that are taking my attention away from my work today. Needless to say, I have a short attention span sometimes. Firstly, this guy says everything I can’t say without offending people. Well, maybe that’s not true; he probably offended a bunch of people. Anyways, watch this 🙂

And secondly, I was flipping through my friend’s iPod one time and I found this song (or something like that, I can’t exactly remember how or where or what I know this song from, but oh well) , and I fell in love with it! You know those songs that give you some sort of crazy hormone that makes you want to shout out to god and worship and dance and sing? This is that song!

Enjoy 🙂

Break Time

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For many students right now we are coming up on Exam Time. Unfortunately that means less sleep, more stress, and tons of homework. I mean, I’ll admit that it is pretty hard to relax when you have teachers throwing assignments at you from all sides, and telling you “this will go on your permanent school records, and will count towards your future,” or some statement along the lines of that. It’s about that time that I begin to freak out a little. And when that stressful time comes, I often put my bible in a corner and forget about it for a while… Even though I know that this is probably when I will need God’s steadying hand in an even bigger way.

 

And so, as exam time comes I am going to try and take a few minutes everyday, I’m think I will set aside about 20 minutes to deliberately sit quietly, pray, read my bible, journal; whatever it takes to get myself in the mindset of relying on God and to feel his strength working in me. I trust that these moments are when I do my best, all because God is with me. 

Definition: Christian

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Lately, I have become quite irritated with some of the ‘lingo’ that ‘Christians’ use. Especially that word… “Christians.” When people say “I’m a Christian too,” what is that supposed to mean? As if we are all set apart? Is there something that makes us better than others because we are Christians? In fact, there is nothing in the bible (or anywhere for that matter) that says “a Christian is a better person.” In the same way, I must ask: Who decides what is better? What is the standard for being a better person, and who are we to judge? Truthfully, the way we use this term nowadays seems to create a barrier, and widen the gap that has already been created. There is a stigma that seems to be attached to this word which does negative things, rather than positive things for us. 


The word “Christian” actually means ‘Christ-one,’ It implies that we belong to Christ, and that we believe that we have been welcomed into his family by accepting the grace that he offers, and if we ask he will ‘forgive us of our transgressions,’ or very literally ‘wipe the slate clean’ for us. It is our way of saying that we are his. As a ‘Christ-One’ we are called to be like Jesus; to love, serve and forgive as he did, but by saying that we are Christians it somewhat defeats the purpose of all of this. It creates a misconception that we are not equal; this is where society gets the ideas that Christians are all delusional, and think they are better than others, which is really not true. 


The next thing that I have to ask is this: why do we do this? and it took me a while to realize such a simple answer; we are afraid. Truly, we are afraid to lower ourselves to the sinful status of others. Although, its the human thing to do. We don’t want them to realize that we are just as disobedient as another person. By broadcasting that we are Christians we think we are giving ourselves an upper edge; painting the picture that Christians have it all together, and have their lives on track. But I will personally be the first to testify that my life is not on track. It strays off-track quite a bit in fact, and I am constantly having to turn to my Father to help me get it ‘back on track.’

 

James 1:22-25– Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a mean who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.

Order In The Court

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Whether it is a stranger passing by, an acquaintance, or our own best friends, we are guilty of judging others. It is a daily habit; one that has been formatted into our lives from the very beginning. When I distance myself and survey the feelings and thoughts that run through my head I feel astounded that I could be so hateful. When did it become my responsibility to decide what is right and what is wrong for these people? Truthfully, it hasn’t become my responsibility and never will. Yet I take it upon my shoulders to carefully critique the words and actions of others; people who are just trying to live their everyday lives. The way people dress, the way they act, and the way they speak will all fall prey to my terribly judgemental human ways.

 

I disgust myself by creating the idea that I am a good person when, in fact, I am the complete opposite. I am good on my own terms, and because of that I judge others on the basis and guidelines that I have created for myself. I am good in the way that I have created ‘good’ to be in my head. Yet only God is good. He, the Creator and Holy One, will judge fairly, with the mercy of a loving God.Who am I to decide that because certain people act or speak they way that they do that it is not good enough? When did it occur that everyone should act, think, speak, and do as I do? I judge by the ways of the world; the confused and highly prejudiced ways of the world. But our loving God, who has filled my heart is helping me see what is wrong with my ways. He is showing me little by little what it means to love others, rather than see them through the delusional eyes that I call my own.

 

James 2:12 – 13

 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Enemy Of God?

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Is that what I am? An enemy of God? I must ask myself what went wrong when I choose the ways of the world over my maker. In the Book of James it says: “You should know that loving the world is the same as hating God. Anyone who wants to be a friend of the world becomes God’s enemy.” As scary as it is to admit it, I must then ‘hate’ the Lord. When I realized this, my first thought was “alright, I guess this means that to hate the world is to love God,” but once again, I realized that I was in the wrong; although it took a lot of frustration, prayer and time for me to understand what the problem was. 


During the process of hating the world I found myself becoming miserable. I was disgusted with society, the media, North American lifestyle, and the life entirely; but as I moved along with this resolution to hate the world things got worse and worse. I stopped talking with God; worship songs no longer held meaning, hope was lost, and I found myself in a place where things were going from bad to worse. The word “meaningless” took on a whole new form in my life; it played a role that it had never played for me before. Only by the help a friend (and of course the grace of God) was I able to get off of my knees, and back onto my feet with a little bit of love as my solid ground.


Love.


Love. 


Where had love gone?


I need love.


I need the love of God.


Love begins coming back into my life; with it comes contentment once again. Contentment that I wrote about a few posts before this one. I find that little things no longer shake my world, and I find myself turning to God once again with my troubles. I ask myself the question: Which friendship am I choosing? One with god? Or one with the world? To have both is not possible.