God is Absurdly Ridiculously Good

God is crazy.

Look at this weather! The sun is bright, breeze is blowing, flowers are blooming, green covers every hill, beautiful blue sky, a few white puffy things hanging out up there for no apparent reason, birds are chirping, (they’re getting twitterpated you know), and the breeze is so beautiful as I stand in the shade of this great pine tree.

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The people of God gathered together, they washed there faces clean, clothed themselves with fine garments, the children’s eyes are bright with joy, their teeth are brushed and their hair is tamed.

And so many colors! Every shade of green, brown, blue, pink, purple, red, yellow! Large plants and small plants, trees, grasses, shrubs, flowers; insects in the ground, birds and squirrels in the trees, and so much I have no names for, but which I know true lovers and observers of nature do know how to taxonomize.

It’s all just too good! God, do you not know what we did last night? Why did you let the sun rise on such a people?

Last night I was angry. I hated my parents, I hated myself, I hated my life, I hated everything. I ate a lot of chocolate.

God is too good. He has filled my heart again with gladness, because of the great glories he shows by the works of his fingers. Truly the heavens declare the glory of God.

My beloved is like a mighty cedar; birds make nests in his shade. I too will rest in his presence.

My beloved says to me, “Arise, my love, and come away with me! Behold, the winter is past, the rains have come and gone! Flowers are blooming and the air is full of singing!”

I will hide in my beloved. He is a mighty mountain, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who put their hope in Him will never be put to shame. He covers his children with his wings, and we rest without fear, though evil surrounds us on every side. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made – I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed – when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze – then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee: “HOW GREAT THOU ART!”

My heart will sing no other name. Jesus. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and honor and strength forever and ever. Alleluia. Amen.

I wish I could just sit here under this tree forever. Why would I want to do anything else? God is so absurdly ridiculously good to me. I don’t deserve any of this.

I just want to say: “I love you God! Thank you! I love you Jesus! You are so beautiful!”

If this is what heaven will be like, then maybe it won’t be so bad.

You can’t run away from Jesus, my dear brothers and sisters and friends! He will chase you down and be good to you no matter how much you know he shouldn’t love you. He loves you anyway.

O Lord, reveal yourself to a stiff-necked, hard-hearted, rebellious people! Have mercy upon us, O God! Save us from our foolishness!

What a good father you are. You are too good. And your love never fails. When we are faithless, you are faithful. I could sing of your love forever. I will open up my heart and let the Healer set me free. I’m happy to be in the truth, and I will daily lift my hands and sing of when your love came down!

Oh friends! How I yearn for you to know Him! How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that he would give his only Son – to make a wretch His treasure!

I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I WILL boast on Jesus Christ: his death and resurrection! Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know, with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom.

Friends, believe in him! Trust in him! Hope in him! Don’t fight your creator, your Father who only loves you, who made you for perfect joy and peace in his presence, to enjoy everything he has done, everything he has made out of his unrestrainable creative joy!

My dear friends! Accept who you are! You are more evil and pathetic and worthy of death than you are willing to admit. But you are also loved so much more than you could possibly ever deserve, or even imagine. Your Father loves you! Your brother and king and savior, who substituted his life willingly for you, who absorbed all the destruction you had coming to you, like a great big spongy shield. He literally became a man just so he could literally die in the way you deserve, in your place, to set you free from death! Friends, let us now live on him! He literally came out of that grave with a resurrected body that would never again die, and he will give the same to us, if only we are willing to suffer like he did in defense of his good name! Let us not be ashamed of the one who loved us most! To live is Christ! To die is gain!

The day is coming when he will come back in power and glory, and all nations will tremble and hide themselves in the mountains. But even the mountains will not be able to hide them from The Father’s fury and wrath, because they despised and rejected his Son. So why fight God? Why mock his son? Rest in him. Let the world crucify you if it will. Sigh. Even so. Come Lord Jesus.

The Confessions of Saint Alishan

I loveee the ‘Confessions’ of Saint Augustine, even to the point of unashamedly spelling ‘love’ with extra ‘e’s.

It is nothing but a book of reflective prayer to God, but written so that others may listen in and perhaps be helped. God answered his prayer, and many have been helped by his book, including myself.

I want to be honest too. I feel a great pressure, whenever I write, to be interesting. I want people to like me and consider me as smart and funny. This people-pleasing attitude is debilitating, as it causes me to excessively censor my writing, to the point where it disappears, failing to exist before it comes into full being. It is rather like a mental abortion, as I am afraid of the responsibility of owning my words, which can never be truly retracted.

I am afraid of being judged by you. “He is ridiculous! He is wrong! He is foolish! He is arrogant! He is pathetic! He is needy! He is immature! How cute! But not really! Why would he post that? Does he really think anyone cares enough to read it?”

I am afraid of this because I know it is what I do to you, as I stalk my Facebook feed, reading so many postings and ramblings of so many people. I judge you. I hope you can forgive me.

Lord, give me honesty like Augustine, but let my honesty be true and helpful to someone. Guard my words so that I will not speak foolishness into the world; let that kind of talk stay between you and I. You, Lord, put up with much foolishness, but your patience is infinite. This is not true of these beautiful people you have made, these who are reading. Our lives are short, and we must find truth and life before then end!

Show us the way, Jesus. You say you are the way. You will bring us to your Father, to dwell in his house forever. So indeed our hearts must be restless until we find our rest in you.

And may my pretentiousness in quoting Augustine without attribution be overlooked. Amen.

Depression

Sometimes when I’m depressed I remember all the other depressed people in the world and how terrible it must be for them. It’s truly a terrible state of being. I feel that there is no joy and hope and all I want to do is stick my head into a meat grinder to make it all stop.

But there is joy for me on the other side. And I tell you the truth, there is one way I know best to get out of the pit. I cry to the lord, and he hears my cry. I remember his past faithfulness, I tell the stories of the things he has done for me. Then my heart rejoices in God, my savior. When the storytelling ends, the physical sense of despondency returns, but I wait in hope for god my savior to give me joy again.

And thus I battle through this life, when I remember to fight. Lord, let me not forget to turn to you quickly! Let me turn quickly to recount your deeds in my times of sorrow and self-hatred! You are good, and your love never fails, even for a wretched sinner like me. Thank you. How can I repay the one who has given me everything? I can only lift up my cup again, to be filled again by your grace. I will drink again from your living water, I will eat your daily bread of life.

Passivity = Death

Passivity = Death.

What’s the difference?

Notice how boring this blog is if I do not actively write anything interesting. It is as if the blog dies before it starts.

The nice thing about blog posts like this vs. facebook posts is that I can edit them as I feel so inclined. So someday there may be only cogent thoughts refined here in this repository of randomness. In the meantime I am content to write even my babblings.

The novel Gilead is written as though it were an extended letter written by an old and terminally ill father to his 7yr old son. This father wants to put into this letter everything he would have wished he could tell the boy, if he could have lived to see the boy’s maturity. And so he writes from his heart about himself, his thoughts, feelings, convictions, observations, and wisdom of many years, all in the context of attempting to write a meaningful family history for the boy.

These are the kind of things I want to write here. Meaningful, significant things that are worth reading. Things that I would want my children to read, to know me better as 25-yr-old-me with all my struggles and adventures and spiritual journeying.

Lord, give me wisdom not to waste my words. Let me speak truth from my inmost parts. Fill me with truth and wisdom, with bravest fire, but with love and grace, lest I run this race in vain. Let me continue till the end, faithful and active. Let not my soul die and in its passivity be carried along by the currents of this world which have no end but to fade into vapid entropy, a vast nothingness of self-dissolution. For this life is truly but a breath, and all the vain pursuits of this life are but a chasing after the wind.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. Though enemies encamp on all sides, I will not be moved, for you are my rock and my fortress. I will be passive in you. I will die to myself daily. I will crucify the old man in me, I will take up my cross and follow you to death. I will live in the new life you give; I will not walk in my strength. So if I do anything, it is not I, but your spirit working in me and through me. I surrender myself and all my passions to your will, O my God, my Savior and Lord. Amen.

I wonder.

I wonder many things. Perhaps I should write about them. I have many thoughts. Perhaps I should share them.

I had a Xanga blog in high school. That was fun. I have not done any regular blogging since then. 7 years is a long time. Every cell of my body has replaced itself. I am a completely renewed person in that sense. But also spiritually I am a very different person in my soul. In what ways am I the same, yet different? What is the thread of my identity? I wonder.

I would like to write interesting and life changing things. I would like to see God face to face also. I would like to read more great literature so that my soul and my writing would be enriched.

Gilead is a great novel. I am being enriched by it. But still I am poor and needy. Lord, come to me.

I have a friend whose blog is entitled my love is loud. It’s a good name. Her love is loud. I think that is very special and beautiful. I want my love to be loud too.

Lord, I want to see. Give me this water, that I may thirst no more. Let there bubble out of my heart springs of living water for eternal life.

I’m just me. God is God. I am but a man. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I want to be real. Thoughts are messy. Disjunct. Free flowing. They don’t always make sense or follow a structure. But I think there is a meaning behind it all.

God is God. God is Good. I love you God. I do.

I used to look down on people who spoke in this way. I did not understand. How can you love God whom you have not seen? But I love you God. I do. And now you have made me into a very peculiar person indeed. But no matter. I am yours, and you are mine, and nothing can separate me from this love. This love is a flaming fire, jealous and consuming. And many waters cannot quench this love. It is the way of lovers to act most peculiarly. And so here I am. Here I stand, I can do no other.

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life.

Brothers and sisters, hear and believe the good news. In Christ, we are God’s forgiven people. This is truth. This is life. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. In Christ you’re secure, you’re loved and accepted.

O Lord, open our eyes that we may see wonders in your word! May these words not be foolishness to those who hear!