Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Self-awareness, Christ-awareness

I was reading some thoughts from Oswald Chambers the other day that are actually related to my last post. He's being a little disjointed and mystical, but I like some of his ideas about how we view things. (Read the full texts here and here) He says:

Never allow anything that divides or destroys the oneness of your life with Christ to remain in your life without facing it. Beware of allowing the influence of your friends or your circumstances to divide your life. This only serves to sap your strength and slow your spiritual growth. Beware of anything that can split your oneness with Him, causing you to see yourself as separate from Him. Nothing is as important as staying right spiritually. And the only solution is a very simple one— “Come to Me . . . .” The intellectual, moral, and spiritual depth of our reality as a person is tested and measured by these words.

And again:

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest. Never allow anything to remain in your life that is causing the unrest. Think of every detail of your life that is causing the disintegration as something to fight against, not as something you should allow to remain. Ask the Lord to put awareness of Himself in you, and your self-awareness will disappear. Then He will be your all in all. Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue, because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is satanic. Don’t allow yourself to say, “Well, they have just misunderstood me, and this is something over which they should be apologizing to me; I’m sure I must have this cleared up with them already.” Learn to leave others alone regarding this. Simply ask the Lord to give you Christ-awareness, and He will steady you until your completeness in Him is absolute.

I appreciate Chambers' directness, and I like the way he characterizes closeness to Christ as "rest." I'm still chewing on the Christ-awareness-replacing-self-awareness part, but it seems to speak to the subject of self-definition that I raised in the previous post. If any of you have thoughts on this, I would love to hear them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How do you define yourself?

I heard a sermon a few weeks ago in which the pastor said that we shouldn't define ourselves by our failures. We have to let them go, he said. Discussing it afterward, a friend asked me if I think I do define myself that way or not. I don't really think I do, and I said so, but for some reason the topic still made me a little unsettled.

Well, I was thinking about it again the other day. I agree that we shouldn't define ourselves by our failures, and I still don't think I am in a habit of doing that, but I think I do define myself by my successes. And, looking around, it seems that we're taught to do that on a social level, and more or less innately want to on an individual level (I'm not going to try to prove that it's innate right now, but it makes sense, right?).

There are two problems here.

First, if you define yourself by successes and not failures, then your philosophy of self is incoherent. It can be both or neither, but picking one and leaving the other is invalid.

Second, and at least equally important, is that we, as Christians, are not supposed to define ourselves by our achievements. I know the Bible talks about crowns and whatnot in heaven, but success does not define us as much as we would like it to. This is difficult to come to terms with, at least for me, because even within the church, success correlates with rewards and praise, good things. And I want those good things to be mine. If the success is mine, then the rewards are mine as well, and suddenly I am defining myself by successes.

Obviously the answer is not to fail at everything, but to have a new perspective. And that is the hard part...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Proverbs by NWHC Members

Here are some of the funny and life applicable proverbs we wrote last week.

Never wear pleated pants regardless of current fashion trends. You ill look back at pictures and regret that decision.

If you're one of those people that jogs in place at stop lights, knock it off, you're killin' the vibe.

Never underestimate the power for rich, chocolate Ovaltine.

If you need gas, get some before you run out.

A tear in your clothing never improves on its own. Attend to it immediately.

Try to find the positive in every situation.

When someone knocks on the bathroom door and you're in the tub, don't say "Come in."

An epic road trip reveals your true nature and who your real friends are.

Always leave your keys in the same place.

If you want long nails, you must stop biting them.

Double check the license plate before hot wiring your car.

If you fall in a well, don't' worry. Somebody is probably going to find you.

When someone is speeding and cuts you off they're probably on their way to the hospital to have a baby.

Soup is good food.

Do things quickly and walk away.

Do thinks quickly, without thinking and you will not be slowed down by doubt and worry.

Make a habit out of exaggerating your stories to the benefit of the main character.

Don't worry about what others may think... dance when you get the chance!

If you are physically sick about a decision/action you are about to take and your family and friends think it is a bad idea, don't do it!

When going downhill on a bike, you lose your brakes, try for the land speed record.

Sometimes "good enough" is just that, enough.

Don't start a fire in an occupied chimney.

Make peace with the songs that are in your head.

Squirrels who do not remember where they buried the acorns go hungry.

Remember the road you've come down so you can drive it in reverse.

In most cases plugging appliances in helps the process.

Peeling paint is like peeling skin after a sunburn. Once yous tart, it never stops.

Keep a running lawn mower only on grass to ensure only the lawn gets cut.

A well written pros and cons list is like a well balanced scale discerning the heart and desire.

If you want clean pants, don't feed a naked baby on your lap.

A bumper sticker has yet to change someones opinion.

Listen to people when they're talking to you.

Don't try to meet everyone expectations or you will find yourself wondering what yours are.

Thread your golden thread as you walk into the labyrinth and you will escape the mini fawn.

Your foot and a hammer do not have the same effect on a nail.

So remember your own history and you will not be lost when the path seems the same as before.

It is impossible to alert other cars your around when both your blinkers and horn are broken.

Learn to knock on the walls (or ceiling/floors) if your neighbors are being loud.

Food will not solve your problems or create happiness, but cheese comes awful close.

Stress and worry lead to gray hairs and wrinkles. Avoid both and it will be like finding the fountain of youth.

Pretend the driver who cut you off is blind and deaf.

Buying jeans a size too small as motivation is a bad idea. They never fit.

The terrible thing about patience is waiting.

Never name the animals in a town with no market.

Those who wear blue tooth while not on the phone are like finding the milk jug empty. They have the appearance of content but are only stale air.

Anything outrageous/dangerous that you are bribed to do for under $5 is not worth it.

It doesn't matter how simple a project seems on a house. It will always get more complicated.

Jaws is probably not waiting for you at the deep end of the pool.

Eat ice cream daily. It makes you happy.

Can't decide? Order the sampler.

Money always comes and goes. But hard work will bring it back again.

Don't wear socks in the kitchen if you don't like wet feet.

Like a man who stubbornly rocks a mullet, there comes a point where it is time to move on and embrace change.

Once the soles of your shoes have worn through it is necessary to use duct tape at least every three days. Otherwise - not water proof.

When being chased, run faster than the person chasing you. If this is not possible, hope you are dreaming.

Smile with your eyes...eventually something will happen.

Falling in love is harder than it looks. Remember to wear a helmet!

These are fun, funny, smart and all around wonderful! Great job everyone!!