Archive for Thoughts

On Gossip Magazines

We are constantly bombarded by the media and its attempt to infiltrate our minds with the latest cultural fads and fleeting passions. We have entire magazines that are devoted to celebrities and their seemingly exotic lifestyle. These gossip magazines are everywhere from local news racks, grocery stores, gas stations and even in your doctor’s office. In fact it’s hard to think of a place where we don’t find these types of magazines or this use of media.

 

One can argue that gossip magazines are not even ethical, the reason being that they portray a false image of reality. As we devote more time into reading about what celebrities walked the red carpet and what fashion designer they were wearing, we become increasingly debased and lose track of the bigger picture. There are greater things in the world that need addressing and far more pressing issues. We must also keep in mind that the media may just be giving us (society) what we really want. Or should we dare to ask if the media giving us what they want us to have? Either way this is a striking reflection upon the world in which we live and the ethics which we live by. I’m hesitant to say that it is wrong to read these types of magazines due to the fact that it’s boarder line legalistic and in fact I’m not even interested in addressing that issue. What I’m interested in is how our society has become consumed by the self. When God’s righteousness and the beauty of Christ’s love have been put on the back burner we must ask ourselves what are we truly living for? These magazines are just a tangible example of how we are living for ourselves. We have lost sight of what really matters and have found ourselves in the midst of self-indulgence. As we begin to look around we can see that we have been given over to our degrading passions and our hearts are becoming increasingly hardened towards God. Gossip magazines are just an example that show us how we have begun to worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). We begin to idolize humanity not recognizing its sinful and completely flawed nature. In fact gossip magazines and this type of media can be actually seen as worship of humanity’s sinful nature. These magazines pride themselves on the lust of the flesh and pride of live. They do not reflect the heart of God but rather the heart of man.

 

I believe that the beauty of man can be celebrated, but with the recognition that God is the creator. All things belong to Him and we have been created in His image and not our own. When we lose focus of this we begin to fill the truth of God with the lies of Satan. Our society has embraced the lies of Satan and has begun to replace the beauty of God with lies that only leave us with insecurities, doubt, passions that can never be quenched and a sense of pride that will never truly be filled.

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On Psalm 23

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the path of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever

 

There are times when our lives don’t make much sense and it seems like God just isn’t there or He has failed to listen to the lament within our heart. This Psalm made me realize that God is beyond faithful. The beauty of this Psalm is that David is reflecting upon his life, it is a reflection upon David’s heart and his understanding of the greatness and faithfulness of our Father. If we look at David’s life we can see that it was filled with many hardships and extremely difficult times, but as we can see in this Psalm and throughout scripture God’s faithfulness leads us into a place of rest.

As the Shepherd mentioned in the first part of the Psalm Christ cares and watches out for us. It seems that this world presses against our sides and tries to rob us of or joy and destroy any remaining hope with the seeds of confusion and doubt. But we must remember that Christ remains by our side and has laid down His life so that we may have life and have it abundantly. As we strive for contentment we are lead into a place where our souls are given rest and where we can rest our weary heads against the tall green grass and drink from the restful waters that hydrate our weak and aching hearts. In this place we are simply able be with our Father as we look up at the heavens with the sun and all of its glory shinning upon or face, all the while knowing that the Good Shepherd is watching over us.

As we set out on our journey into the presence of Christ we may at times find ourselves seemingly alone walking through the valley of the shadow of death. In these dark places our soul begins its hardest journey. It begins to travel into a place where our faith, our love and our perseverance are refined and tested. This is a place where our Christianity takes on new meaning. This is a place where we drudge through the mire with every step becoming increasingly harder. Our legs and hearts grow weary as we travel further into the dark night so that we might rest our fragile bodies against the outstretched arms of Christ. During this time we are guided by the right hand of God and protected by his rod and staff. This dark night may seem lonely as if the wilderness has consumed our very heart, but we must know that God has not left our side (Deut 31:6). Just as the Children of Israel lifted their heads and gazed upon the cloud and fire in their time of wilderness we can see that God remains with us. The veil has been torn and we can now inter into His presence. We can now walk into the most holy of places and worship and commune with Him. As we sit at the table that God has prepared before us we can take refuge as we find ourselves in a place of true and absolute communion. Much like ancient covenants were concluded with a meal symbolizing the bond of friendship, our covenant with God has been sealed by the blood of the lamb. This perfect sacrifice has freed us from any form of oppression and has anointed us as heirs to the Kingdom.

There is a joy to be found in hard times, a joy that surpasses all understanding. The goodness and lovingkindness of God fills our hearts and God’s faithfulness becomes strikingly clear. As you sojourn for God’s presence you may find yourself in places where you may have never intended to go, but where God has guided you. These dark places are good places even though at times they may seem unbearable. God has prepared a way for you and has prepared a place for you at His table. Whether it’s climbing a sycamore tree, touching the fringe of Christ’s robe or finding the strength to lift your head and press through the pain.

 

Your faithfulness will be rewarded.