Sunday, January 28, 2007

A beautiful promise

"Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory."
-EGW, DOA p. 38.

I was just reading this and I was amazed at what Christ wants to do in our lives! How happy it must make Him when we allow Him to change our hearts and reshape our character. It is my prayer that each one of us will let Him work on our character this week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A mini-essay on Islamo-Christian growth through history

This blog is in response to to Caitlin’s comment which was in response to Paul’s blog entitled “Call To Arms”. Caitlin said the following:

I'm glad that you addressed this issue Paul, cause it is something we all need to be more aware of! and thanks for that quote from Ganhdi, it is profound... I recently learned that at about 1900 Christianity represented 1/3 of the worlds religions, and today that percentage is still the same! This is sad for many reasons, one being that other religions such as Islam are growing faster then Christianity is now. There are so many people who have no clue about the beauty of Gods' grace. We can not become stagnant!

Caitlin, I noticed that you mentioned Islam. And since you brought it up, I can't help but add my two cents, small as they are.
It is interesting to note that when Christianity and Islam were "growing up" side by side, they were alike in many and numerous ways. They both experienced many of the same circumstances in their first toddler steps, and even up to their teenage steps. (That is not to be taken in literal toddler and teenage years) But it was their reaction to these events that began to separate them, much like twins who grow up together but simply make different choices and end up in two different places in life. (Note: this analogy is not my own. See "A Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization" by Richard W. Bulliet) Christianity began to put more emphasis on hierarchal structure and became extremely centralized while Islam focused on extreme purity and were spread out all over the Arabian peninsula and other conquered lands. Soon, the Christian church split, dividing into Protestants and Catholics. Muslims experienced similar internal issues but instead of splitting, they bent with the change and became even more unified. (Don't worry, I'm about to make my point. You just needed a little history to understand it.) As these two religions moved into more modern times, we can see a definite split in their priorities. Christianity had previously been mainly about converting the masses, but as the period of enlightenment came about, they became focused on increasing their knowledge. This is when many people believe that Christianity shot far ahead of their sister religion, while Muslims trailed behind because they weren't able to keep up in the more technological and intellectual world that was developing. However, in actuality, Islam was not left far behind but was actually far ahead of Christianity in regards to the number of conversions. Christians got so excited about increasing their brain power that they forgot about what it really means to be a Christian. (I am not insinuating that all Christians of this time period were of this nature. We have many examples of those who weren't, such as the Waldenses, etc. However, they were the exception, not the rule) The point of this mini-essay on the growth of Islam and Christianity is that many times we make the same mistakes that the early Christian church did. We get so caught up in technology and modern-improvement that we forget that the point of our faith is to share the love of Christ to others. That is why Islam is growing much faster than Christianity. Sure, they have their extremists, but then so does Christianity. My prayer for us as SDA youth is that we will keep our eyes fixed firmly upon the reason that we are followers of Christ and not loose sight of our Heavenly goal.

P.S. If you're wondering why I randomly expounded on the Islamo-Christian heritage, it's because I'm taking a Middle Eastern Politics and History class this semester and it's causing me to really rethink some things that I have always just assumed.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Just David

I was extremely excited when I got back to school and found out what Kristin had gotten me for Christmas! It was a book that we were discussing on Paul's blog. Or, well, maybe it was Barry's blog, I forget. Anyway, I just thought it was pretty cool and I'm about to start reading it. The copy I have doesn't quite look like this but that's ok.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In anticipation of the many hours of studying this indicates...

On the first day of second semester I woke up at 3:30 am to get ready for work at 4:oo am. After I got off work at 8, I ran over to the bookstore to spend mountain-loads of money on a mountain-load of books. When I arrived (it doesn't open until until 8:30) there was already a line outside the store reaching far down the sidewalk! I was quite exasperated and made my way to the end of the discouragingly long line. Thankful that I hadn't arrived any later and waiting for the doors to open, I alternated between looking at my watch and watching more people get in line behind me. Finally the store opened, and so I joined the throng of people inside the store. Well, to make a long story short, when I finally reached the head of the line, I looked on with dismay as the nice lady loaded arm full after arm full of my books on the table. How was I ever going to carry this AND a duffel bag of nursing supplies that I was required to buy back to the dorm in time to get to my 9:00 class? A look at my watch showed that it was nearing 8:50. Frantically calling my brother's, Caitlin's, and Kristin's cell phones. I started to become slightly frantic (in my mind only) when I realized that they were all in class. Thankfully a friend was just leaving who had a car and so I piled all my books in the back of her car. It's now approaching 9:55 and here is Christy racing up the dorm staircase. I had to go back to my room to print out a paper that was due for my nursing class right after my Life and Teachings class at 9:00. At approximately 9:03 I walked breathlessly into my first class. They had already started and I'm sure the professor just thought I had gotten lost or something. I must have looked slightly frazzled. Anyway, the whole point of this blog is to post pictures of my monstrous pile of books.

I would like to thank both of my dear suitemates, Kristin and Christen for helping me with this lovely photo shoot. The legs that you see next to the books in the picture above are Christen's and this is Kristin smiling beautifully for her silly friend Christy.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Barry's Imaginary Brother: "Paul"

I have concluded that Barry's "brother", Paul, is just make-believe. Barry probably just wished he had another brother so he created a fictitious one named Paul. He even went so far as to create a blog for Paul, where Barry and Paul argue over philosophical issues. What about the pictures? Well, it's not hard to find willing models who are desperate for a claim to fame. But then who is Petra engaged to? I have decided that she, out of the goodness of her heart, is playing along with Barry's imagination, hoping that he will move on after a bit of time goes by.

This conclusion has come about after going to GYC, where I was excited to meet these people who I've been conversing with in the blogging realm. Good 'ol Barry, he said that Paul was taking advantage of some extra time with Petra. That was definitely a convincing excuse, so we must give Barry some credit for coming up with such a good alibi for his dear "brother" Paul.

It is a sad day when you realize that your friends are living in alternate realities. Sad indeed. Does anyone know any good psychologists that we can refer Barry to? I do believe that I now need to embrace the truth and say goodbye to Paul.

p.s. lol, I can't wait to read the responses to this one :D