Reflections of a Broken Man

Why I Blog by StephenMac
March 24, 2009, 7:07 am
Filed under: Reflections | Tags: , , , , ,

**Currently listening to Define the Great Line by Underoath**

My MarsEdit trial has ended so I am back on Windows Live Writer after I sold my soul and installed Windows on my mac…

There has been a lot of talk recently around the place about a greater “web presence” for our community. I’m all for it: I think that to reach people like my and those in our generation, we need to use the web. But somehow I found this blog as part of the lists of “students who blog”. True enough, but I specifically did not respond to the email because I did not want this blog to be a “college blog”.

I was discussing this with one of my friends, and I was asked why I then blog. Why? What do I hope to achieve? What is the purpose of ROBM? So I thought that I should probably clarify myself…

I think, therefore I blog. For me, blogging is sometimes a way to be able to collate thoughts and have them in text, to be able to better understand what on earth is going on. Hence the Reflections part of the name. But, as she asked, why not simply write things down in a word document? For me, blogging includes a level of openness, of being able to write, to share, to wear my heart on my sleeve to use yet another cliché. It is a chance to get things out there, while maintaining a level of anonymity that otherwise would have made the whole process impossible. And finally, it is a chance to speak to those who have similar tings on their heart, for those who love music and want to know what songs mean, for those who desire more than the superficial from their speakers, but want to be moved, provoked, challenged, by their music. And so I will provide reflections on song lyrics, and should do so more often.

Finally, I end with a postscript of EBHG. It stands for Ever By His Grace, a tag that I picked up off one of my dearest friends, who would sign off his emails with that, reminding me that whatever we do, it is continually by God’s Grace. The ability to blog, to hear the thoughts of others, to share with them my life somewhat, but to eventually tell them that there is real meaning, and real hope, and real life found only in Christ, is purely by the grace of God. These reflections are sometimes an attempt to point you to the reality. They are broken, as the man who writes them is fallen and broken, but the reality they point to is not.

And so I write,

Friday Chapel by StephenMac
February 20, 2009, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Reflections | Tags: , , , , , ,

**Currently playing in iTunes: The Resistance by Anberlin**

I think this year, I might try something different, and rather than merely being a hearer of Friday Chapel Sermons (in one ear-out the other) I want to start thinking, processing, and discussing things from it. I want to be able to pick out what it is that God is saying to me, and then actually be changed by it.

This morning was a good example. We looked at Colossians 3:12-17. We began by asking the question of how we measure success as Christians. Now unless I missed something, I don’t think that this question was ever answered. I think the point that was trying to be made was that when we measure our success as Christians, we often use the “world’s” measures of success, and thus categorise ourselves as failures. We fail at prayer, evangelism, bible reading, moral life, all these things that we can measure, we know that as Christians, we are all poor at doing. And I understand this. But I think I missed the alternative measure of success…

I do remember that the final section was looking at how we should be clothed as Christians, as the “chosen ones of God”, “holy and loved”, we should act in a certain way. In particular, I was challenged by the fact that we need to be doing things with gratitude and thanks to God. I so often complain, whinge, whine, etc… I think that I need to be a lot more thankful and mature in my attitude.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him
Col. 3:17

The last few days I have drafted posts ranting about this or that, complaining about this or that. I’m very glad now that I never published them, because I realise that it’s just another sign of my immaturity.

There is a reason for this thankfulness too… it isn’t merely “that’s what nice Christians do” thing. It’s a response to grace. Personally (not sure if this was the reason mentioned this morning), it seems as though “achievement” and “success” in the Christian life are the wrong terms. Our life is not characterised by how much success we have in living the Christian life (we fail epically on that count), but rather the fact that we are called and chosen in Christ by God. There is no yardstick for that: we are in Christ who was successful, who has obtained all the achievements possible. And so we are to live like that, as people who are holy and loved. And so we are to be clothed in all these things that are mentioned in 12-16. Thankfulness is the result of being chosen, holy and loved.

I think our problem is that we see our lives, filled with daily sin and failure, and we forget that we are forgiven, we forget that we are chosen, we forget that we are holy, and we forget that we are loved. Why else would Christ be on that cross unless we were loved by him? And so we search for tangible success and end up disappointed. Perhaps the first part of thankfulness is being aware of the reality of our salvation. It is tangible. It is real. And it needs to be remembered and acted upon every moment in our lives.