Archive for October 13th, 2013

Missing Vehicles & Romans 8

This morning I hoped to try out TPC (again). I woke up around 10:00, which I thought would give me enough time to get ready and eat breakfast before catching the van from OH. I was finished with breakfast at OH by 10:45, when I figured the shuttle would be there. Either I just barely missed it or it wasn’t running because of fall break, but for whatever reason the van never showed up, and I dropped to 0-4 for church attendance over the past three/four weeks.

Anyway, Romans 8 is broken up into four major sections, each with a slightly different but related topic. Paul first discusses a little bit more about living in the Spirit as compared to living in the flesh. His main point is that, while we live in the flesh, falling to the temptation all of our earthly desires, we cannot be close to God. As Paul puts it, “For the mind that is set on the flesh [sin] is hostile to God… Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8: 6-7) Accepting Christ is the only way to change that, bringing the Holy Spirit to live within and with you, according to God’s will.

The second section provides a very important reminder about life as Christians. In verses 17, Paul writes that “[We are children and] heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” We are all children of God and, because of Christ’s sacrifice, are on the exact same level as Jesus himself. But it is explicitly stated that following him will not be without pain. I don’t know what kind of suffering Paul is referring to, and it may be a number of different types, but we should always remember that a life of faith will not always be a cake walk.

The next section doesn’t really have one theme in particular, but one verse in particular stands out to me. A lot of the time I hear about people who don’t believe in God (or any other religion, for that matter) because there is “no proof” of him. Having a very scientific mind, I often think about, and even struggle, with this fact as well. But Paul gives us another important reminder about faith: “For in this hope [of everlasting life] we were saved. Now hope that is not seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8: 24-25) There are a lot of unanswered questions about God and Jesus and faith in general, but refusing to believe or waiting for further proof doesn’t make sense in this context.

Lastly, the final section has one of my favorite quotations from the Bible, so I’ll close with that. From Romans 8, verse 31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?

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Isaiah 40: 30-31

I was hoping, until about 5 minutes ago, to make a post about Romans 8 tonight (or this morning…). After trying to read and reread the first couple of paragraphs three times though, I don’t think that it is going to happen. My mind is racing, but I can’t process what I’m reading or focus my thoughts, so I’m probably not going to get much out of trying to study something new. My exhaustion reminded me of one of my favorite passages of all time, from Isaiah: “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 30-31) As tired as we may be, whether physically or spiritually, God will give us the strength to push on so long as we have faith. I’m still going to go to bed tonight (sooner than later), but am so glad that our God is stronger than my body and will, and will give us that strength when we need it.

Lonely Bus Rides

I spent most of my day (Saturday) on buses. Today I went with our marching band to an away game. It wasn’t required, and because it is fall break, the band was significantly smaller. It was fun, but it was also a long day. I woke up at 9:28, after my alarm had been going off for 28 minutes, and had to run to the band building for our 10:00 report time. That was so much fun, especially on an empty stomach. (That was sarcasm.) I ended up not getting anything to eat until after 2:00, when we finally got to the opponent’s stadium after getting lost and other adventures on the bus. I always like Chic-Fil-A, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for a chicken sandwich, especially for breakfast. The game was so close, but we barely lost, which was disappointing. Then we changed out of uniform and got back on the buses around 7:30 for the long ride home. It took over 45 minutes just to get off campus because of all of the traffic, which was insane. A little bit after 9:00 we stopped at a gas station/Taco Bell/Subway for food, which was much appreciated. We left again by 10:00 and got back home shortly after midnight. After helping to unload, I finally got back to my room a little bit less than an hour ago.

In the 15 hours I have been awake, I have spent over 8 1/2 on the bus. I’m becoming really good friends with the other players in the band, especially the horn section, but it isn’t close to the friendships I had in my high school band yet. Junior and senior year I spent every bus ride with N, G, E and D, reading, watching movies, just joking around, sleeping, and so on. I did end up playing some Hearts and Poker with S, M and M on the way back, but rest of the time was pretty lonely. Having an entire seat to oneself can be nice, but I also missed being a “pillow” for N and having someone to talk to whenever I wanted to. I’m guessing future rides will become progressively less lonely as I become closer to my new band-mates, but I still am going to miss my other friends a lot. That’s about all I can think to say about the topic right now. I should go to be soon, but my mind is still pretty busy, and have a Daily Devotion post to write.

Avicii – Wake Me Up