And It’s Our [redacted] [redacted] To [redacted] Love Love Love.

I was listening to Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” today on Pandora, and singing overplayed lyrics that I’ve heard so many times. Today though, I actually paid attention to them. I started paying attention when the line “And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved" came over the speakers.

This phrase is catchy, and seems innocent enough at a first glance, but as I thought about it, I noticed some problems. And then, I realized that I didn’t just have some problems with it, but that it’s flat out wrong. Now, I realize that this is one line in the song. It’s not crux of the message, and it’s not meant to be. But just because it’s one line in a pop song does not negate the importance of words, the meaning behind words, or what they convey. Here are the issues I take with that line.

1. Love is a right. Since when has love been a right? I take this to mean an unalienable right, a right granted to all people. I see “love” mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, only Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The closest is happiness, and it’s not even happiness, only the pursuit of it (but I digress). No one is forced to love you. You are not entitled to another’s affection toward you. You can’t even earn love; that’s called respect. You can do things that are admirable, ethical, honorable, and courageous, and those things might cause me to have respect for you, but by no means do those things translate into love. Once you realize this, you are forced to come up with a new method to receive love. If one can’t do anything to earn love, then how does one acquire it? The only answer is that love is a gift. When one person chooses to love another, they have chosen to give that love. Certainly, the receptiant action’s can help in our decision of choosing to love them, but that’s only because we’re sinners and are choosing to judge someone based on our merit system (1st Corinthians 13 clearly states that love remembers no wrongs). But that’s a much longer and more complicated topic than I want to get into here. The point is that love is a gift. The line should now read, “And it’s our God-forsaken gift to be loved loved loved.

2. God-forsaken. Where does Jason get this from? What does he reference to make the assertion that God has forsaken love, and left it to us to use, give, and receive? Realistically, if you’re not a Christian, this point is null, because you have developed your own view of God (or lack of one or One). I’m not trying to get into a theological debate on the existence of God, but Jason does reference Him. The classic gospel verse, John 3:16, says that God so loved the world that he handed over his Son to the world, then to death, so that we might have eternal life (paraphrase). He was not obligated to do that, He chose to. Many more verses on that, but the basic point is that God and the Bible are very much about love; in fact, it’s the reason for the Bible and for our existence. Now it reads, “And it’s our God-given gift to be loved loved loved.

3. To be loved. This one actually just came to me as I was writing this, but this phrase is incredibly selfish. Mraz is mainly concerned with being loved. With being loved. Not loving others, but being loved. Is the point of your life for others to love you? It’s your right that others should love you? Doesn’t that mean that you are required to love others? And how can someone love you if you haven’t loved someone else first? If everyone is first loved, than who loved first to start that philosophical chain reaction? The answer lies in 1st John 4:19. “We love because he first loved us.” So, we can only love others because we were first loved. Let us not overlook that fact. We can only love another human being because we were first given the gift of love, by God. What about that makes it a right? What about that makes it God-forsaken? And what about that makes being loved the end-goal of love? I would change it to say, “And it’s our God-given gift to love love love.

Love is a gift, that was first given to us, so that we could gift it to others. This is the central meaning of love. It’s not something that others owe you, and it’s not something that God chose to discard. It’s our God-given gift to love. (love love)

I love how Adam Young (Owl City) is learning how to step up and live publicly for his faith and the cross. It’s been really really cool to watch

“I want to learn to pray
The way that David prayed”

- Starfield - Rediscover You

Phil Explains It So Much Better Than Me

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful

I see You there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful

I see Your face, I see Your face
I see Your face, You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful

- Phil Wickham, “Beautiful”

I always thought this was just another pop/punk song, like something all american rejects, etc would put out. Never listened to the words until today

Interesting. Ron Paul says that the reason the government wants to raise the debt ceiling is so that they have more time for inflation to devalue the dollar, making them owe less (according to him it will be close to 50% less).

paraphrasing: “What’s worse than a government defaulting on payments is when you take your money to the store and can’t buy anything because the currency is so devalued.”

hiatus

It seems I took an unintentional hiatus from tumblr. In the next few days, I’m going to be updating about Ecuador, as well as beginning to incorporate the rest of my life back in as well.

Be Thou Exalted Over My Reputation

by Jimmy Needham

Be Thou exalted over my reputation, 
'Cause applause is a poor form of soul medication. 

And I’ve tried it for years, but my symptoms remain: 
Still fretting the day that they’ll misplace my name, 
Still selling my soul for American fame. 
Treating the promotion of Jesus like a well oiled machine, 
Advancing His kingdom just to snag some acclaim. 

Now, I’m both comforted and haunted that it isn’t just me though. 
I see a nation of people needing to feed their own egos, 
Parading status like steeples. 
Do we not know it’s evil to love ourselves more than both God and His people? 

But see, here’s where you turn this poem on it’s head, 
'Cause the greatest among us came as servant instead, 
And You humbled Yourself to the point of Your death. 
Apparently love for the Father’s glory runs red. 

So friends, will we point to the Son till our own flames grow dim? 
Will our bright lights become merely night-lights near Him? 
Words echo once, let them echo again: 
Be Thou exalted over my reputation.

Notes from church
  • even a pastor speaking in another language can teach me something new about God
  • worship is not about knowing the songs or their words, it is about the filling of the Holy Spirit and our response to it
  • songs in spanish are just as powerful, if not more so, than their english versions
  • God shows that even through the consequences of Babel He will be glorified
  • with regards to the sermon: whether it be blessings, suffering, or tragedy, worship, praise, and thanksgiving should ALWAYS be the first response. always. (easier said than practiced)
I miss the ancient times when ‘awesome’ used to mean “Hey look! It’s Jesus.” Not “Hey look! It’s a dog wearing a hat.”

(Source: nilousaur)

Heart Breaking

We worked at a school for special needs kids today; Chloe and I worked with the 5ish year olds. It was very stressful at first, only because they were all so talkative to me and I couldn’t understand them. I had a great time there, but it broke my heart to see how some of them acted and to know that they were learning how to act that way at home. Children the whole world over have troubled homes and bad influences, not just in America.

Almost a week has gone by since my last post. Time really flies around here. We are so busy for half the day, and then get a few hours free, but those hours seem to just disappear somehow. 

There have been alot of things I have had to get used to this week. First off, you walk everywhere. We walk more than two miles to campus every day (probably 5 miles roundtrip). Any shopping, sightseeing, or exploring is done by walking as well. The weather here is a pretty constant 85 degrees, cloudy (but never rainy), with heavy humidity.

The city is a whole different beast than a small town. I have been learning how to keep track of where everything is in my head, since there are many fewer noticeable landmarks in a gridded (is that a word? I’m using it anyway) city. Cars also honk ALL THE TIME. We have pretty much decided that the cars here relate well to a toddler. Here are some translations:

"Hey So and So, what’s up!" translates to HONK!

"Why are you stopping? I want to keep driving and you’re in front of me. Please stop blocking my route."  translates to HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK!

"It’s sunny" translates to HONK!

"I’m happy." translates to HONK!

"I’m sad." translates to honk.

"You look very nice today!" translates to HONK!

And so on and so forth…you get the point. This equates to somebody leaning on the horn at every single second of the day. I’ve also learned that the walking signs and stop lights aren’t so much rules as guidelines.

The students are way different here than in the US. In the US, no one would dare mess with another person’s sacred schedule. If you want to hang out with someone or chat with them, you have to let them check their schedule, and possibly have to wait until another time. Here, if you want to talk with someone, you just sit down and start talking, and they will almost always stay as long as you want. There is also more open friendliness at an introduction, as opposed to a guarded hello.

The food here is incredibly cheap, but incredibly good. I consider American fast food chains (McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC) to be on the expensive side of a meal. Most lunches and dinners are around $2-$4, which is great.

I’ve also been learning how much I enjoy spending time with Jesus. Last night, we all had our own date night with Jesus. A few people and I went to this coffee shop about two blocks from our hotel and then split up within the shop. I spent a good two hours reading my Bible, taking notes, reading Tozer, journaling, worshiping, and praying. I realized how much I enjoy fellowship with my God and how much of a blessing it is to have times like that to just enjoy His presence.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Remember Sacajawea coins, and how no one actually ended up using them in the US? I think all of that currency came down here, because $1 coins are much much more prevalent than $1 dollar bills. And the funny thing is, I enjoy the coins much more than the bills. It’s just so much easier to grab a coin out of your pocket than to go fishing for dollar bills.

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