Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Some things

Greetings my "followers,"

I have some news for you:
- I got a PA driver's license after waiting in a very long line at the DMV.
- We had friends over at the apartment for the past two weekends - how I love spending time and sharing with others.
- I was NOT carded for the first time a few weeks ago (am I getting old, or did they recognize me from before?).
- Slightly related to the above comment, I am growing out my chin hair again. Call it a goatee, a soul patch, whatever, I'm really just trying to fit in with my fellow western Pennsylvanians. Considering that I am one of them, I don't think it will hurt to look a little more like them too.
- Why am I blogging and not just updating my facebook status more frequently? Because blogs are more substantial in nature, and do not impose a character limit for every wall post. How much can you really say in just a few lines? Well, you can say a lot, but we rarely if ever do. How substantial is this blog post? You tell me.
- Aldi sells macaroni and cheese for 35 cents per box!! How is it that cheap? And how is oatmeal so cheap? And rice! And why is meat so expensive! Needless to say, I am paying close attention to food prices for the first time in my life, and I am making some discoveries.
- Apparently I look good in a tie. Good to know.
- I love getting free leftovers from motherly friends from church!
- Tim Keller sermons are amazing. Extremely engaging, gospel-centered, theologically rich, and profound. You should listen to them online at http://sermons2.redeemer.com/redeemer-free-sermon-resource. Give me more.
- There is much more to say, but I need to finish dinner.

Yours truly,


  1. You = hilarious. Even if it's just a little phrase tacked onto a larger 'serious' message. And that's okay.

    p.s. I told someone the other day that I'm not a good Calvinist because I don't reflect on my sin enough (translation: I laugh too much). Your thoughts?

  2. Yes!!! Someone thinks I'm funny. I'll take it.

    P.S. - In order to be a good Calvinist, you need to stop laughing. Jocularity, jocundity, and gaiety are not characteristic of the "frozen chosen." Really though, laughing is a good thing. To quote the Bible: "a joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." You can look it up online if you don't believe me.

    However, as Christians, reflecting on sin is also a good thing, even a necessary thing, but with a caveat. We will be plagued with guilt and despair unless our reflections drive us to Christ as we recognize two things: his righteousness and his grace and mercy. As the one who never sinned and thus fulfilled the law, Jesus' righteousness stands in sharp contrast with our own grievous sin. If this is the end of the story we are still gloomy. But even more importantly, Jesus' grace, as the one sent from God, the one who chose to sacrifice himself for the unrighteous, and who unconditionally loves sinners - his grace is what brings us into the presence of God, where we are totally accepted for who we are - children of God.

    So really, what's not to be joyful about? A true Calvinist will recognize the wonderful grace of God, and will respond in gratitude, while a legalistic Calvinist will be stuck thinking that the important thing is to see one's sin, and to feel guilty for it. In reality, Jesus took the guilt for our sin, and so it's wrong to continue to feel guilty! Maybe it sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but if we really are forgiven by grace of Christ, then reflecting on our sins will not make us depressed, but actually grateful and even joyful. On the other hand, denying our sin will make us proud, and we will be living a lie.

    So the real power to change does not lie in reflecting on our sin and leaving it at that, but in recognizing who we are despite our sin, and turning to Christ in gratitude. When we realize how much we are forgiven, we can see how deep God's love for us is. So God's grace is what gives us the power to repent. And what a relief to know that we don't have to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, but instead rejoice because of what God has done through Christ - that the one who created and sustains the entire universe is also the one who cares deeply for each of us, and loves us because when he sees us, he sees Christ's perfection, a beautiful and glorious child of God.

    Well, I hope I didn't overwhelm you away with the Christianese jargon, but it's important stuff. I love you Cece, so I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. I also hope that work is not overwhelming you either - give me a call sometime.

  3. Ah! I am already noticing sum misteaks. As Nathan puts it, I am the "grammarian" (a.k.a. paranoid). I confused the lay/lie verb distinction. So to clarify, "the real power to change does not lie in reflecting..." but rather "the real power to change does not LAY in reflecting..."