I used to…

I used to…
By Dennis N (Sephallia)

I used to play RPGs
Because they were scripted,
So I would live the life of the hero.

Because they promised
That the actions I performed,
The training that I underwent,
And all my interactions with “people”,
Would make the world a better place.

And eventually
Yes, eventually.

Culminate.

In the ultimate boss battle
Necessary to save the world.

I played RPGs because
Because…
I felt a burning desire,
craving if you will,
to be important.

craving to be anyone
Anyone…
other than my,
boring
self.

But little did I know
That I was already important,
More important than I could ever know,
To God almighty.

Little did I know
That He had plans for me,
To join a club and reach others,
Within my own context.

Little did I know
That He had plans for me,
To participate in a project course,
That would allow me to travel to the U.S.

Little did I know
That He had plans for me,
To go across the seas,
To Japan.

Little did I know…
And little do I know now,
Of the plans He has,
For what lies,
Beyond.

Notably, I still play RPGs, but now for entertainment, rather than fulfillment.

I’m not very accustomed to writing free verse poetry, but that’s what I aimed for. It started as just a blog post, but ended up sounding more like a poem in my mind, so I went with it. Please feel free to comment, whether on the contents or on the form. :)

Miracles.

Hey all, would just like to share some words of encouragement in the form of a poem.

I wrote this poem approximately a year ago, and it always astounds me to look back at old pieces of writing and see what God was speaking to me at the time.

This universe is a miracle.
That’s the only way I know how to express
This unfathomable wonder that I feel
When out of my window I look

The leaves on trees
I think they all have their own name
If I wanted to count them
I’d have to spend all of my days.

Wouldn’t even be able to do it,
Because winter would be on its way.

Grains in the sand,
Little molecules in the sea
The “ecosystem”
And its sustainability

All of this we are only beginning to understand
How could I not be amazed?
The world is just so grand!

The stars in the sky,
The moon and
The sun
You and I,

Everyone!

We are all
Miracles.

Even from a secular standpoint, isn’t it rather amazing? I mean, the functions of the earth, right? Not even to mention space and the galaxies beyond. There’s so much out there that we are unaware of, yet there is still so much within ourselves that we are not aware of as well. We consider space to be so far “up above” sometimes, and but in doing so overlook all that’s going on down below at the depths of the sea. There’s so much going on, so much interacting, and somehow, it all works out. Personally, I believe that there is a God, who orchestrates all of these interactions in a powerful and beautiful way. What do you believe?

I don’t know why these words come to mind, but they do. Maybe they’ll come in use for me, or a reader.

When you’re down and out,
when you feel like trash,
just waiting for the garbage truck
to collect you from the curb.

Remember, that you are a miracle.
Possibly battered, maybe broken.
But still one of God’s own.

And the garbage man isn’t coming,
that’s not who you’ll see make the turn.

Instead you’ll see The Redeemer.
Coming to take you home.

Miracles and Wonders

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog! I’ve been plugging through the Old Testament in the Bible, and God has been giving me some interesting thoughts. Rather than just keep them in my mind, I decided it would probably be a really good idea to actually write them down somewhere more permanent.

I was thinking about how I sometimes catch myself saying to myself, “It would be so much easier to believe in God if He could just… I dunno… Do something crazy and miraculous right in front of my eyes.” I hear other people say this sometimes too, sometimes they’re Christian, sometimes they’re not. Essentially, the point is they want something tangible in front of their eyes that shouts out, “So amazing that there’s no way that God was not involved.” And I mean, I’m tempted to point out the existence and sustenance of this earth. All of the little details and complications that are required for this earth to just remain in orbit, have an atmosphere, and have a bearable temperature seem so delicate and intricate, that I don’t believe there’s any way that God’s hand is not involved. This earth in and of itself is pretty much a “miracle”. I however won’t go onto that topic in this post.

Anyway, going back on track… “It would be so much easier to believe in God if he could just… I dunno… Do something crazy and miraculous right in front of my eyes.” I have definitely had that thought before, but now I’m not so sure that a miracle would quite do the trick. Like I said, I’m currently plugging through the Old Testament, and in particular, I’m on Exodus right now, and Moses is leading the people through the desert, out of Egypt. Where I left off, they had just pretty much arrived at the border of the land of Canaan. It was at that point that I noticed something funny. God had done many amazing and miraculous things right in front of their eyes. He had swarmed Egypt with many different plagues and disasters. Many were so supernatural that the Pharaoh’s Magicians could not do the same. God drove the Pharaoh to a point where the Pharaoh was pretty much forced to let the Israelites go. God used plague after plague, should His power. And then, Moses leads the people out of Egypt.

And then, they come to the scene where Moses splits the sea. Before Moses does this, the Israelites again doubt God. Moses goes ahead and splits the sea by following God’s instructions, and then the people walk along the bottom of the sea, with the water halted water on both sides. The Egyptians give pursuit, but are drowned. The Israelites then sing a song of deliverance, praising God and saying that they put their faith in Him. They proceed to the desert, and become hungry. They doubt God again at that moment, and God makes food rain from the sky. Anyway, they get to the border of Canaan. I haven’t quite read what happens yet, but I remember the story from my childhood (I’ll see how accurate it is when I actually read it). They go in and are scared of the Canaanites and don’t want to go in. In the face of fear, they apparently have forgotten all the miracles and signs that God had thrown at them, that God had delivered them, protected them, warmed them, cooled them, and provided for them.

So I really doubt that miracles and signs will produce true faith. It may do it sometimes, but definitely not often. I mean, in parallel, in the New Testament, Jesus performed many miracles, yet the Pharisees still doubted Him. I believe that some Pharisees even proclaimed that Jesus was a devil, or something similar to that. So I definitely don’t think that miracles will necessarily make it easier to believe in God. It certainly did not make it easier for the Israelites to believe in God! I have a feeling that it’s partly because of all of the mishaps in the old Testaments that God inspired Paul to write “For we live by faith and not by sight.”

Anyway, that’s all for now! I hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving Weekend!

My viewpoint: Why Faith is Falling in North American Society

Viewpoints: Why Faith is Falling in the US.

The real issue is homosexuality.

Essentially, if you didn’t really read the article, that is what the article states is the reason for the fall of faith in the US. The author claims that there is a divide in the thoughts of the younger generation and the older generation regarding homosexuality. I won’t get into my thoughts on homosexuality as I do not think that homosexuality is the issue. I’ve written about it before, and I’ll reiterate it now, but it is because we’ve forgotten God. We, as Christians have left God out of the picture, and that is why faith is falling in North American Society (not just the US). I write about it in detail here.

The author of the article writes,

But now they say, “I guess I’m no religion” when seven years ago they said “I guess I’m Christian”.

(And then later)

This is why it’s good news that mushy-middle people are saying “I’m no religion” in response to poll questions. Not because anyone’s behaviour has actually changed—I doubt these folks were going to church anyway, even when they called themselves merely “religious” in 2005—but because it means that “no religion” is now the safe neutral thing to say.

I find this absolutely silly. “I guess I’m Christian”, was never supposed to be a safe or neutral thing to say. Being Christian was supposed to be something passionate and radical, not lukewarm. And yet “seven years ago” being Christian was apparently “safe” and “neutral”. I almost feel like using strong language to express my confusion over this. I can not help but find myself asking how did this happen? Regardless, I am going to say that it’s because at one point being “Christian” was the lukewarm option that faith is falling in North America.

As Christians in North America, many (not all) Christians are no-longer relying on the Holy Spirit for their evangelistic message, but rather relying on themselves. If one looks at the radical and transforming message of the bible and thinks, I have to share that to people that don’t understand?” What would the natural response be? If it was myself in that situation, I would honestly think… “Oh Good Lord. If I share this to people, they will think that I am crazy. I have to… tone it down a few notches, make it short and fast so that I do not take too much of their time, and make it appealing to current society.” And this is how the Christian advertisement scheme known as the “Prosperity Gospel” likely began, and this is also where things went horribly horribly wrong. What the evangelist previously mentioned should have thought was, “The Holy Spirit will give me the words that I need to say, and as long as I give Him control, His words will speak into the life (lives) of the people that I am speaking to and will move them toward God. His words will be much more powerful than anything that I could ever come up with.” There is a HUGE difference in those two statements.

People came to Christianity looking for life, and life to the full. Jesus promised that. But what did they find? They found some candy, a free, all expenses paid trip to heaven, and they found the gospel covered in a lot of whipped cream and icing. Some parts of the gospel were so covered in whipped cream and icing in fact, that they were completely blotted out. In particular the parts that come to mind are the areas in the Bible where Jesus speaks about the cost of following Him. They came to find God, but instead they found a cheap marketing scheme. Of course Faith is falling in North American Society. People are purpose, people are asking for life, but instead we’re giving them “an easy way to Heaven.” People are asking for water, people are asking for the Fountain that will not dry, and yet we’re giving them sugar. People are asking for spiritual food, and yet all we can seem to dish out is cake.

Please, rather than giving people sugar, start giving them Jesus. Please, instead of relying on yourself, start relying on the Holy Spirit. And maybe, just maybe, we will be able to see the amazing things that the disciples and the churches were able to see in the book of Acts.

Thank you for reading, God Bless.

What is Heaven?

Last night, I posted a facebook status that is essentially the heart of what this post will be. Today, I felt the need to elaborate on my thoughts. The facebook status post went as follows:

“Do you follow God because you want to get to heaven? Or do you want to get to heaven so you can follow God?”

Essentially, those two questions together for me ask one simple thing. Do you believe that heaven is simply the end destination for Christians? Or is that simply a “checkpoint” in our journey following God. I’m not talking about “physically migrating” or anything to another place afterwards, I’m talking about our spiritual journey. When we get to heaven, is that when we’ve reached the end of our spiritual journey? I think not.

I think that many of us realize this through instinct. We say things like “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God so many things” In other words, we realize that even when we get to heaven, our journey to pursue God and to learn more about Him still continues! (Just going to pause here and say that’s beautiful). And yet so many times, I hear Christians talk as if heaven is the final destination, heaven is where it ends. “If you enter a relationship with God, you’ll go to heaven.” and that’s the end of what I hear. I really feel like when we say something like that, we are saying that God is essentially our train ticket to heaven. I don’t think that’s correct. We enter a relationship with God, and we start our spiritual journey. As part of our spiritual journey, God takes us to heaven, and in heaven, we continue to walk with God.

Our spiritual journey can not possibly be complete upon reaching heaven. I believe that it is necessary to reach heaven to complete our spiritual journey. At the moment, we live for about 100 years. Give or take around 20, and then account for the many unfortunate incidents that may or may not happen to decrease that further, or end it abruptly. What I’m trying to say, is that we live for a very short time, and God’s character is so expansive and so amazing that we could not possibly learn all about Him in the time that we have to live. As a result, we need to reach heaven so that we have an eternity to study God’s character and walk alongside God. Because there’s still so many things that we need to learn about God.

I feel less confident about this post after having written it out. The idea makes so much sense in my own mind, but I’m not quite sure I found the right words to express it here. If you have any comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me in some form and we can discuss this further!

Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

The Lone Bird

The lone bird sings
Yet nobody hears
Though it chirps loud and clear
Nobody bothers to lend an ear

The lone bird sings
Its song of peace
Yet its drowned out
By the noise of the streets

The lone bird sings
To encourage those in need
But the tune doesn’t reach
Beneath Emotion’s constant screech

The lone bird sings
Hoping that people would lend an ear
Wishing to share the burden
And divide the fears

The lone bird sings
Wishing that people would hear 
Longing to provide hope
Because all feelings are beautiful,
    Because feelings should be shared.