Reflections of a Broken Man


On Intentions and Actions (Or Why I Hate Speculation) by StephenMac
May 28, 2010, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**Copeland’s You Are My Sunshine (cheesy name, good music) is really cool – loving On the Safest Ledge and You Should Return (despite the lame intro to that song)…**

To my peers: please do not draw intentions from actions. Speculation of this sort isn’t helpful.

If I have lunch, or dinner, or coffee, or speak or wave or look at a girl, this does not necessarily mean that I have a crush on her, or are dating her, or am in the middle of a proposal.

Let me ask you this: whether or not this affects me, I don’t care. My thoughts are for her, who has to suffer the whisperings and speculations which are now thrust upon her. Do you think that’s fair? Here’s a thought: instead of assuming that boy-girl relationships are because “he likes her” or vice versa, let’s assume that they are brother and sister, and work from there. You have no idea how hurt some people are by you holding the former and not the later, and I am honestly not just speaking of myself. I have a close friend who prefers the friendships of women, and so is constantly subject to such whisperings and speculations. You have no idea how cut he is because of it.

Please, for the sake of the single-person’s godliness, please please please don’t speculate. I beg you and plead with you. Don’t.

End of rant.

So my question now is: what can I do to protect her from this sort of speculation? Whether I like her or not, what can I do to prevent this sort of unhelpful thing happening in the future? I guess from my position, learning to treat all women as sisters, and knowing how to do that in a godly and edifying way.

EBHG

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On Wine by StephenMac
May 24, 2010, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**Bought Copeland’s You Are My Sunshine on the weekend – very similar to Anchor and Braille, which is to be expected because of the Aaron Marsh influence. Safest Ledge is really cool**

You can drink wine not long after it’s made, but the best wines take time to mature.

I hate being impatient…

Oh, and yes, this is a metaphor, and no, not saying for what.

EBHG



On Rediscovery by StephenMac
May 18, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**Currently listening to Define the Great Line – Underoath… solid album… haven’t heard it in ages until my bro was listening to it yesterday, so I pulled it out again…**

I found out on Sunday that during the previous week’s evening service, two people became Christian. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet. I know that Sunday evening was merely the latest in a long series of things that God has been doing in their lives, so whether they had prayed the prayer before, I don’t know, but I do know that as of two Sundays ago, there was some serious dancing being done in heaven by the homies. Its a turning point. Sure, things may not change immediately, they may have not felt much of a change at all, but something amazing and wonderful has happened in their lives, and now, all of God’s promises apply to them. And that’s pretty awesome. (I love the simplicity that my minister’s sms message relayed the news: “More good news: Little … followed your prayer and accepted Jesus into his heart”)

It’s been a pretty life changing week. Last week contained a pretty low low, but was then followed on thursday by one of the most life changing sermons I’ve ever heard (see previous post). It’s like a lightbulb moment, where the lightbulb is a halogen floodlight, and it’s midnight in a room with no windows (possible use of hyperbole). I wouldn’t call it a conversion, but it was most definitely a rediscovery of the greatness of God (and the smallness of me in a non-emo sense). When I became a Christian, there was a little moment of golden light, a lightbulb moment, as I lay on my bed praying the prayer of a child, and I knew that something almost ontological had changed. My whole existence was different. The following morning the feeling was deadened somewhat, but my new life continued. I write this because at the moment, that lightbulb moment which existed on Thursday is slowly beginning to dim. It makes me long to rediscover God each day, each moment. Feelings are deceptive, but they’re pretty cool when they work.

There is something deeply joyous about rediscovering God. So much of what I do is head stuff, and every now and then, some stuff filters down into the heart, but I think that Thursday was the first time that something had really really hit me in a positive way. Last year, sure, there was the Doctrine lecture that had me curled up on my bed crying. But that was a truly saddening moment, when you see what Jesus went through on the Cross, and you look down, and in your blood-splattered hands are a hammer and nails. But this was different.

God knows that I am a prideful man. He doesn’t usually let me know if someone has become a Christian so that I don’t all of a sudden think I’m a super-hot preacher boy and uber-evangelist. But sometimes, when we need assurance and affirmation of the ministry that we are in, God sometimes gives us a glimpse of what he is doing. He’s pretty cool that way.

Praise him for the work that he’s doing, and sometimes allows us to share in his work.

EBHG



In Regards to Myself by StephenMac
May 13, 2010, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Reflections

** Latest music purchase is Great White Whale – Secret and Whisper. Really good album, been on repeat for the last week and a bit… **

It’s been a while since I last posted… Mainly because of various things, like church and such. My side project has come to fruition, and with it, a number of stresses. I’ve been convicted of recently how much I run on adrenaline, and that it’s probably not the healthiest thing…

But that’s not what this post is about.

For the past week and a bit now, there have been numerous things bubbling up under the surface. I know that I’m hitting the redline when it starts to seep through into visible life. In M&M class, we’ve been going through the list of things that are dangerous for the spiritual life of a pastor, but for me, it has felt more like a checklist (Stress… Tick. Anxiety… Tick. Caffeine… Tick Tick. Alcohol… Half a tick. Low Self-Esteem… Tick Tick. Loneliness… Tick. Pride… Tick Tick Tick.)

The positive has been finally being able to self-diagnose: I suffer from an unhealthy case of preoccupation with self.

Everything, from my loneliness and childish chasing after girls, to my precious little outburst at some people yesterday, to my self-congratulation after publishing, all of this crap in my life comes down to the fact that I’m chronically self-obsessed… M&M had done little to help on this front, other than providing the diagnosis.

It wasn’t until a sermon yesterday that I finally found the cure: God is Great. Not just great as in very good (though that too), but God is kinda… well, big. Awesome. Amazingly so.

Psalm 139 reminds us that God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and frightfully holy.

There is nothing that God does not know, not even my deepest and darkest thoughts. He is omniscient.

There is nowhere that I can go to hide from Him. He is omnipresent.

There is nothing He cannot do. He formed and knew me, even before my mother knew she was pregnant. He is omnipotent.

There is nothing he cannot stand more than sin. God is terrifyingly holy.

There is a comfort in knowing that God, this God, who is so terrifyingly massive and great, is concerned with me, knows me, and loves me. There is something that clears the narrow vision when I realise that introspection, for all its worth, only serves to draw my gave away from God and onto my navel. So much of the rants on this blog, so much of my agonising and self-hate, stems from my preoccupation with myself to the exclusion of the awesome picture of God.

God is big. I am small. Praise the name of the Lord.
EBHG