Monday, November 29, 2010

Unexpected, part 2...

I wrote back in August about unexpected events. That post was in response to one of my best friends breaking his neck in an accident playing in the water at the beach. This happened at the worst time (not that there is a good time to break your neck). Just a week or so before classes started back up he was in the hospital going through hours of surgery to fix his neck. More than three months later, he is doing fine. He can walk, he can talk, he is still taking classes, he is alive. He is still getting his full range of motion back, he still has a little nerve damage that is getting better, but he is alive.

A week ago today, one of my good friends from high school died in a hiking accident. Hiking with some other friends from high school, he slipped and fell.

I wrote back in August: "I think it's since we don't know what may or may not happen, that these events can shape us, mold us, bend us, and sometimes break us. I think that's the beauty of faith. We trust that God is going to use anything and everything he does for his glory."

As hard as it is to accept that my friend is gone, I still believe what I wrote three months ago.

He was a man after God's heart. He sought to know Christ better every day of his life. He put others before himself. He loved the people around him with the love of Jesus. He stepped outside his comfort-zone and was stretched by God.

As hard as it is to accept that he is no longer here, I know that he is with Jesus now. I know that he is forever with his Savior. He ran his race hard. He ran with perseverance. He ran to the finish.

I apologize for the somber nature of this post. I write this in hopes that if... when... you find yourself in an unexpected circumstance, that you realize the reason why you are there.

James 1:2-4 reads,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Trials suck. I hate when my faith is tested. But, I know my trials are producing steadfastness. I know my trials are producing perseverance. I know that my steadfastness will have its full effect. I know I will be made perfect and complete. I know that I will be lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 has become something I read often. If... when... you find yourself in trials, I recommend reading it too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I love the Sermon on the Mount. I find it to be one of the most convicting few chapters of the Bible. Jesus completely flips the entire lifestyle the Pharisees had been living upside down. He pulls the rug out from under them entirely.

Sometimes I read this, and I'm like, "Yeah! Go Jesus! Show those dumb Pharisees what's up!" However, most times I read this, I'm like, "I am one of those dumb Pharisees. I care so much about what the people around me think."

The church I regularly attend (Aletheia Church) is in the middle of a series on the Sermon on the Mount and every Sunday morning I find myself convicted to change the way I live my life.

I find myself asking myself why do I do the things I do? Why do I live the way I live?

Is my utmost concern with glorifying Christ or is my utmost concern with glorifying Isaac?

A lot of times, I think I pick the latter. I want people to notice me. I want to be remembered. I want people to say, "Wow, Isaac sure is wise." I'll admit, even in writing this post, I am fighting my pride. I want everyone to read this, I want everyone to comment. I want to be important.

I wish I knew why I do what I do. I wish I knew what my true motivations were. I wish I could step back 10,000 feet and watch myself from a distance. Would I be appalled with my self-centered, narcissistic nature... our would I be surprised and comforted by my humbleness and willingness to go unnoticed?

I hope that each day I live less like I once was and more like Christ. That's all I really want to do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've found that one of the biggest things I struggle with on a day-to-day basis is knowing and believing that I am loved beyond all measure.

I don't know why I struggle with this so much. I sing songs proclaiming this truth. I read Scripture expressing this fact. I thank God for it. Yet... I struggle so much to simply believe it.

I find that often times I am very one-track minded. I get fixated on something that I think I want or would be good for me and I run all-out until I either attain it or it falls away. This is true for so many things in my life. I run all out after ministry, after future jobs, school, relationships, friends... the list can go on forever. I run, with blinders on, as hard as I can after what I think is best for me believing the lie that if I get it, I will finally be happy. That I will finally be content.

That is never the case.

Often times... most times, I run and run. I chase and chase. I pursue and pursue, forsaking all other things, for the opportunity to get what I so desperately want to find that I never get it. I end up broken. I end up frustrated. I end up angry. I end up hopeless. How vain must I be to think that I control the means of obtaining true happiness... joy... love?

I can say that God loves me... that he is my true source of joy... my true source of happiness, but I don't know that in the depths of my heart I believe it.

It comes back to this idea of Lordship that I wrote about a month ago or so. When I am not surrendering everything (and yes, I mean everything), I am not believing that God is my true source of life, joy, happiness, and love. When I hold on to things, I am saying, "No, no, I need this. I need this to be complete." I am stiff-arming God... I am boxing him in. I am saying, "You can have all this, but these few things are mine. I'm holding on to them."

I so desperately want this to change. I'm tired of chasing down things that I think are best. I am so tired of winding up broken, hurt, angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless, because I thought I knew what was best for myself.

I quit.