[in the world, not of the world]

Today I am joining Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival.

The word for today:

SECULAR.

We, as Christians, are called to be in the world… yet remember that we are not of this world.

One of the biggest problems with us is that we easily can go to the extreme of being completely “not of this world” and forgetting about the fact that we are still here, for a reason.

At one of our Friday small groups, we were discussing whether middle ground is good. I actually think that sometimes middle ground is necessary. It is necessary to meet people half-way.

I am not talking about compromising our values just so that we can be closer to the people.

No.

However, staying on one side and waiting for everyone else to come is silly too.

Jesus did not wait for people to change in order to come meet them.

He did not wait for all of us to die and then coming and doing something. He came before we even knew we needed Him.

He came to Zacchaeus ‘ place for dinner before Zach decided to give up his way of life and follow Him.

He is proactive in His relationships.

Secular… something of this world. 

Holy… something of the God’s world.

Two opposites, yet this world is where the two clash.

Secular – something usual.

Holy – something set apart. 

Can something usual rise to being set apart? 

I believe so.

We are not of this world. But we are in this world for a reason.

What are your thoughts? Can there be a balance? Is middle ground safe in this case? 

[bike memories]

Wind messing my hair, swooshing past my ears, making me feel as if I am about to fly…

I rode a bicycle today – something I haven’t done in a couple of years (to my deep disappointment).

To say that I was excited when I mounted on that bike today is to say nothing. I was exhilarated, a wide grin stretching from ear to ear. I rode with anyone who wanted to ride (there were two bikes available) and simply by myself. I suspected that I will have to pay for riding later because my knees are still not up for a lot of physical exertion, but I just couldn’t give up the opportunity. (Vicks’ VapoRub is doing magic to my knees right now as I write.)

As I rode, the memories flooded my mind.

The memories of summers when I would get off the bicycle only to eat / sleep / swim and play lotto with my grandma. The memories of a happy childhood when I enjoyed life to the fullest.

I am not saying I don’t enjoy life these days, but I do miss my family. And random things like bike rides or even the smell of cows evoke the thoughts of happy moments we’ve shared over the years.

Riding a bike takes knowing how to balance. That’s what I’ve been trying to do lately – balance and not fall over one of the sides. Seems like there are always sides these days wherever you look. Knowing how to balance is a useful thing.

I’m glad that my friend Tonya did talk me into going to our friends’ house. Fresh air, bright sunshine, bikes, good company, and a couple of hours of simple one-on-one talk time were just what was needed.

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[which one is the right one??]

A lot of times, I am inspired by what I either read or watch. Such was the case just now after I finished watching Mr. Nobody. WOW! I love the Big Bang theory (because I think it directly speaks of God creating the universe, but that’s not the point of the post) and the theory of 9 dimensions! Ooooooh, suffice to say that my forever-curious soul’s interest was intrigued.

I do not want to spoil the fun of watching this movie for those who would like to see it, but it is a very good one. Granted, there are a couple of scenes I would not show kids, but the overall experience of it is worthy of taking the time to watch it (IMHO).

Nemo Nobody, a 118 year old man, walks a young reporter through his (Nemo’s) life and the journalist can’t help but wonder… What was true and what wasn’t? The stories Nemo tells contradict each other: different girls, kids / no kids, life / death… The question that bothers the reporter is the one that bothers all of us at one point of time or another: “Which choice is the right one?”

Nemo laughs and says, Each of these lives is the right one! Every path is the right path. Everything could have been everything else and it will have just as much meaning.”

We often wonder what is the right job for us or who is the “one” for us… but I do not think there is only ONE job where we would be using our God-given abilities best. Neither I think that we only have ONE person we were destined for – as someone (I can’t remember who, I think it was Pete Wilson or James Brett or someone) said “What if our “ONE” was accidentally taken by another? The world would collapse then.”

It boggles my mind to think that God can keep track of all these infinite number of possibilities. Every choice is like a butterfly effect – brings on consequences.

Whatever we choose – let’s make our choices count.

IMPORTANT SIDENOTE: (I thought that I better make myself clear before someone else misunderstands me) – when I talked about “the one,” I meant it in the “husband / wife” way… NOT God. I still believe (and will continue to believe and know) that He is the One God, YHWH, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Some may call me narrow-minded, but in this case choosing God is the only right choice. The other one will not result in pink and fluffy happy ending. Just thought I’d mention it.

[i'm fine with God, but i am not fine with His fanclub]

I had a talk with a friend of mine (whom I’ve never even met in real life… he used to work for the Chamber and left about a month before I started working there) regarding Christianity.

He claims to be an atheist and so I guess he enjoyed asking tough questions, but I’ve got to admit I was excited that he at least asked the questions.

We chatted in GoogleTalk for probably a couple of hours (thankfully there was nothing to do, work-wise) and one thing I’ve noticed throughout all his questions. Made me sad.

We, Christians, have to remember that we preach without words most of the time. And we’re watched closely by those “outside of the band” so to speak.

He kept pointing out that Christians have to give up stuff; we have to sacrifice stuff… that if we don’t do what is asked of us, we’ll burn in hell.

I told him, yeah, Paul said that “everyone has sinned and don’t deserve God’s glory.”

“So why try?” he countered.

“Because there’s so much more BEYOND the dos and don’ts of the religion!”

*sigh*…

I am upset because people are so engrossed in religion and rules and regulations that they forget the reason why they have to follow those rules and regulations. They forget about the LOVE reason.

I hate religion. It’s a box that people have tried to squish and squeeze God in.

He’s sooooo much bigger than anything we can imagine.

Yet, please make no mistake – I love my God and try to serve Him, even though I don’t like religion.