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it's funny really

it is funny how when something happens, i know how my friends will react.
sometimes i want them to wow me and do something spectacularly different.
unfortunatly, we are all too predictable. some of us are flaky, some of
us are apathetic, some of us speak too much, some too little. some of us
are too afraid of being rejected to take a stand, some of us stand and get
rejected by the people who are too weak to make a decision for themselves.
we are all too comfortable with being who we are.
we need to wow ourselves.

lauren

keep on keepin on

i get so sad
when i read the lives of the people i love.

remember to pray for the people you love.
remember to love them.

sometimes it's the only/best thing that can be done.


muchlove:lauren

i wish i were stronger...

but standing strong can only take you so far.

to each his own, i've heard it before,
but these tears tell me it can't be true.

though things appear different in each who observes
the grey is in our minds but not for real.

if there's something i've learned in my few years
it's that not all will see, and not all are willing
to hear, but the truth is still worth living out loud.

mendhi and offended

so today i stopped by this little salon owned by indian women and i asked how much
it cost for them to do a henna tattoo...

she asked me if she could do my eyebrows.

i said no... mumbled at the bad costumer service under my breath and walked out.

to quote stephanie from full house,

How Rude!

killing in Jesus' name?

i believe that the Bible tells us the truth.
i believe that it reveals to us how we are suppose to live and prepares us for how we will have to respond to future issues that arise. in the past year, i've been bombarded with a multitude of ideas that don’t seem to fit within this idea.

at bible study last summer, we learned about revelations. it was a very passionate and single sided view of the book. it approached the book as an explanation of the end times in a very literal interpretation. after the study was over, i heard more explanations, different interpretations on it. there were two people who brought to my attention that what i learned wasn't the only possibility. apparently, many more theologians are taking a different look at the book. what these two people told me made me question everything i've ever been taught about the Bible. i feel like i can not trust anyone's teachings. it's really turned me upside down. i realized that i CAN'T sit back and just listen to what other people tell me is truth. i must go to the Bible and back up any and everything i hear. i now question everything people say.


in my questioning of things that people say, i've kinda hit a wall. only kinda, you'll see. in the bible study i go to on monday nights, we, on many occasions talk about what we will "have to do" in the end times when the book of Revelations will be underway to the times of the anti-christ and such. they talk about being prepared for the trials that will come and about being brave and willing to do anything for God's sake. now, it's hard for me to sit and listen to so much stuff that i'm not entirely sure is accurate and not pipe in and bring in other possibilities. for instance...and this is what i really intended this to be about... this past monday, we talked about how during the end times, we will have to do whatever is necessary to get the gospel out there. when the name of Christ is a crime and preaching punishable by death, what will we do? now, like it has many times in the past, the idea of defense...physical defense... and violent action was mentioned as a solution. now this topic of killing in the name of God has come up before in this study, and each time i voice the opinion in my heart put there by Christ that violence and killing is never an option. this is usually a debate between myself and the majority of the group, but mainly the two leaders who are older and very very well respected. many people at the study follow their teaching without question, which is just as unhealthy as blindly following someone who isn't a christian. so, when these debates happen, i'm usually one of the only ones who stands strong against violence, against killing as an option. it really blows my mind. usually i'm cut off and the discussion ends at the other sides argument. well, i really need to say my argument... and it isn't even MY argument. it's truly what i believe to be Christ's
opinion on the matter.

i'm going to start by saying what i am standing for:
i believe that there is NO justification for christians to purposefully take another life, ever. this includes capital punishment, violent protest, and proactive defense... what i mean by that is, if you shoot someone in "self defense", you very well know that the person will probably die. i believe that it is not the duty of a christian to carry or use guns. this is my personal conviction. does this mean that christians can't be police officers, in the military, or anything else along those lines?...maybe? i don't have all the answers. what i do know is what the Bible tells me and the Lord convicts me.

How does the Bible speak about gun use and violent protest?
well, first, the Bible is a timeless collection of historical accounts of what has happened. Even more, the Bible is the Word of God. The way to read and apply scripture to understand what it was saying, to whom, and why. When you look at these three things, you will get the message behind the words... you get the big picture that can be applied to today AND tomorrow. looking into the scripture for direction on “modern” issues is kinda tough. A lot of work has to be done sometimes to hear the truth...not just what we want to hear. If we don’t follow this method of hermeneutics...big word meaning how to study the Bible.... we can get some crazy and wrongly interpreted messages from scripture. for example, one could say these things: Don't ever plan for the future. (Matthew 6:34), Don't save any money. (Matthew 6:19-20), Don't do any work to obtain food. (John 6:27), Don't have sexual urges. (Matthew 5:28), Make people want to persecute you. (Matthew 5:11), Let everyone know you are better than the rest. (Matthew 5:13-16)... but when we look at these passages in context, asking the three main questions, what, to whom, and why, we know that the scripture does not say those things. back to the main question... let’s look at a few verses.

Philippians 3:10 says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his
resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming
like him in his death,”
-the what: Paul talking to the philippians about not having confidence in the flesh even though if anyone had a right to, it would be him. He then told them what was really important... read it in full text, it’s an amazing passage...
-the who: the philippians
-why?: the church of philippi was a loving, giving, and joyful church, according to scripture. they gave joyfully and welcomed kindly. This church strived to do the best they could. this verse is intended to guide and instruct.
-conclusion: this verse tells us that we, like the philippian church, are suppose to strive to know and be LIKE Christ. It tells us that if we are going to follow His way, then we are going to share in His suffering. it's interesting to me that this verse says, "becoming like Him in His death." the "in his death," part really gets me. if we are to be like Christ, if that is our goal, what we are suppose to do? we really need to know who Christ is, how he lived, and then we can know who we are suppose to be and how we are suppose to live.

before we move on into that, i think it is important to take more than one scripture reference for the idea of becoming like Christ and suffering for Him:
“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3
“Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.” Ephesians 6:6

please go back and read all of these verses in full text and follow the three steps to interpreting them. i am going to not include my analysis of verses in this writing from here on out. I have, though, gone through each verse and encourage you to do the same.

-so, how did Jesus live? what was his character?
well, i’ll start with the traits that are widely accepted... He is loving, patient, kind, righteous, calm, rational, wise... if you need references... look it up in a gospel, or ask me... but, what else?
Jesus also mourned...”When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept. “ john 11:33-35
Jesus was firm and had righteous anger...”Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'” luke 15:45-46
-when Jesus told Peter, “get behind me, satan” in both Matthew 16:23, and Mark 8:33
-“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” mark 3:5
of course there are other traits of Jesus, but these are the main points.

next question.
with these characteristics, how did He live?
simply.
and in Love.
I believe that the characteristics above are all different aspects of Love. Jesus is Love, so in Him, our definition of Love lies. We all know the cheesy WWJD phrase, but we seriously need to know what Jesus DID. WDJD. how are we to know what He WOULD do or what we SHOULD do if we don’t know what he DID do? He healed the sick, even though many times they didn’t deserve it. He wisely spoke up for the truth regardless if it was accepted or not. He fed the poor, loved the unlovable, and died so we may do the same.

so, when people tell me that it in the end times, things will be different and it may be necessary to kill in the name of God, i can, with full confidence, deny that. We were called to be like Christ. Well, what did Jesus do? when satan tempted Him in the desert (matt 4), he used His intelligence to fight back, not force. when the pharisees accused Him, he uses their own knowledge to fight them. When Jesus was betrayed and was arrested, he commanded this to his companions, “’Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’” matt 26:52.
Jesus had opportunities to use violence, but he did not. some may say that Jesus knew what His fate was and that it had to happen. Yes, but Christ’s fate is also our fate. Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of his
resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
the times will be hard, but the calling Christ made is always true and His strength will always overcome.

This call to nonviolence does not mean sit back and be slain. Look at how Jesus handled the lights. He fought back using the scripture, intelligence, and divine power. look at a man after Jesus’ heart, Paul. He was persecuted for his faith but he never once...as Paul, though he did as Saul... lift a fist against another. He fled when the Lord told him to and he was silent when the spirit led, but he did not fight back. He wasn’t stupid with his life. He didn’t ask to be killed, but he trusted in the Lord to take care of him. he put down his sword and preached the Love of Christ.

on monday, the idea of killing as a witness was brought up. to try to get me to falter, my unsaved parents were used as an example. here’s the scenario: my unsaved parents lives are being threatened by the bad guys of the end times. is it the christians duty to defend my parents and kill the bad guys before they kill my “unsaved” parents? I said no. first, killing the bad guys isn’t saving my parents. Killing the bad guys is compromising Jesus’ message of Love for ALL...hate the sin, love the sinner... and also, if you know my parents, it’s your duty to tell them the gospel and to show it to them always. they’ve heard it from me. they know it and choose not to accept it. if it comes to their point of death and they still choose not to believe, then they wont ever believe, even if you kill the bad guys. the reason i say this comes from the story with the poor man lazarus and the rich man who was in Abraham’s bosom. when the rich man wanted to go and warn his family, abraham said that if they haven’t believed yet and listened to the prophets, then they wont believe even if he went back. now, my argument wasn’t well heard at BS because there were lots of people at this point who had taken the leader’s side and were speaking against me...while i was speaking. i would hope that if that situation ever did arise, that the right thing would be done, even if that means that my parents die, because before i love my parents, i love my Jesus. "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” matt 10:37-39.

many questions or rebuttals may arise after reading thus far. well, that is expected.
here are some contrary ideas i have anticipated:
-The Jesus of the New Testament was there with the Father in the Old Testament. Why would God command wars and killing in the OT but forbid it in the NT? well, i am going to set a few things out right away, God’s character never changes. Jesus’ character never changes; it is always the same. How come it appears that the OT and NT character of God is different? Well, it isn’t, the covenant is. the purpose has shifted. in the OT, the main purpose was preparing and maintaining the way for the Messiah. Being a fallen world, there are wars, there are fights, and there are things that jeopardize. Things in the OT jeopardized the lineage of Jesus. The Christ had to come a specific way and God worked to make that happen. If one man died that shouldn’t have died...well, Jesus wouldn’t have been able to be. does that justify killing? No, but it allows for it. the men of the OT made lots of bad moves that had to happen. God knew and God allowed. Do we really have that kind of motive or justification to kill, ever? well, let’s think about it. will Jesus return if i DON’T kill someone? yes. is there anyone who could stop Jesus from returning if they remain alive? no. to me, it doesn’t seem like we are in the same scenario as the OT. plus, though, God never changes, His dealings with us and for us do change. for example. in the OT we sacrificed animals for sins. In the NT, we ask for forgiveness and it is given. in the OT God spoke through the prophets, and in the NT He speaks through Christ, who now lives in us through the Holy Spirit. things change, God stays the same. In the OT wars were fought in the name of God, now they are not. here’s something interesting, 1 Corinthians 9:21 says, “To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.” This touches on the idea that God’s law and Christ’s law are different. Now the OT was under God’s law and we, the NT, are under Christ’s law. i’m not too informed on that point, but it’s interesting at least.


-jesus never said NOT to kill, it is only a commandment not to murder...
well, this is just a silly rebuttal. i am not even going to use my words here, just scripture.
-Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
-Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


So, here is my argument in outline form for clarity.
A. We are called to live as Christ. Philippians 3:10, 2 Timothy 2:3, Ephesians 6:6
B. We must know the character of Jesus and how He lived, and model our lives after that(matt 4, matt 26:52, matt 10:37-39.)
1. Jesus was loving and yet stern.
2. Jesus fought with mental and spiritual power, not physically or violently.
C. Arguments
1. The OT God wages war.
Though the OT God is the same as the NT God, the OT law is different from the NT law (1 Corinthians 9:21.)
2.Jesus doesn’t command NOT to kill
Matt 5:21- murder defined
Matt 5:43- Love and pray for your enemies.


that pretty much sums up the why Christians should not kill argument... for now.

i feel obligated to add that it is my personal conviction to take these ideas and apply them always, without compromise. i believe that the message of Jesus Christ is radical. I believe that christians shouldn’t carry guns, shouldn’t fight in wars, and shouldn’t support capital punishment. to me, saying otherwise is compromise. I understand that war must happen, and people must die, but i do not believe that it should be at the hands of christians. i even believe that it is God’s will... which many people see conveyed in revelations... that death and war must occur, but, like i said, i don’t believe that the christian individual is the one to do it. i don’t find it scriptural. these are just my opinions, my convictions. i believe them to be true for all, but i understand that all do not feel the same.

thank you for reading, anyone who has. i hope you learned something. i hope you go out and seek the truth... even if that means proving me wrong.

be strong and courageous.

muchlove:lauren

sometimes i feel like

this is my philosophical outlet...

please, people, be all crazy brillant.
and then let me read.

ok.

muchlove:lauren

i committed a crime

and it was exhillerating.

i'm done with school, and man,
was i ready for this year to be
done. i've been on a rollercoaster
this year. a lot has happened, and
i'm just ready to go home. just be.
it's one of my biggest fears that i
wont learn from my mistakes and that
i wont be growing and overcoming, but
i think i have been this past year.
it's been tough 06-07. but i've been
growing a whole lot, and that makes
it more than worth it.

but, i'm almost ready to cry about it.

se be prepared.

hehe.

be strong and courageous.

muchlove:lauren

one more day.

tomorrow is my last day of intense stress for a while.
please pray that i can get all of my stuff done.
just one more day. oh please pray, thank you.

muchlove:lauren

i'm in...

i pretty much rocked my portfolio review.
that's right, i made it into the program.
uh huh....
we can all breathe now.

Praise Jesus.
for having a plan for my life.
even if i don't fully know
what it looks like yet.

muchlove:lauren

May. 1st, 2007

i don't have much to say, but i know
i always want people to post things,
so i'll force it.

well, ryan already has another GF.
i talked to lukaz last night and
we decided that he is just a man
whore. it was a good revelation.


i'm working on stuff for portfolio
review and it's pretty stressfull.
that's on thurs/fri. it's getting
down to the wire, and i'm getting
a little anxious. keep me in your
prayers about that one.

oh, and last night i had a dream
that i was at a weird new camp,
and my college group was in the
cafeteria getting dinner or something
and i went through the line, got
everything i wanted to eat and went
to a table by everyone i wanted to eat
with. the next thing i knew, i couldn't
find my food. i looked around hoping
that maybe i had left it somewhere by
accident, but i couldn't find it.
i kept asking people to help me look
for it, but they kinda ignored me.
i went back in line to get more food,
but it was all out. then, i sat in a corner
and cried hungry and alone.

it's a very sad dream that i think i
know the meaning to. not good. so, i just
can't wait to get home and get fed by
my family of believers. i miss everyone
at home dearly. whenever i am feeling
bad or something crumby happens here,
all i want to do is go home to my little
multicultural family who loves me and
cares for me. i'm ready to go home.

well, i'm off.

be strong and courageous.

muchlove:lauren