I'm a student at respectable university, almost done with two engineering degrees, and making a wedding invitation list will be one of the hardest things I will have done in college. We can invite ~300 people, which my fiancee and myself could each fill easily from our respective circles. Maybe I could win the lottery so we can afford to have an extra hundred guests... :P
Okay, so I've finally decided to do as some of you have told me already—I'm going to publish a book of my poetry. I'm going to start the process this week by selecting and organizing the poems I would like to publish, and then I'll make sure that the book will be coffee table-worthy, something that I would be proud to have sitting out in people's living rooms.
If you are interested, stay tuned for more updates!
These rings don't pay for themselves, after all...
I want to think like, speak like be like Christ in the way that I walk and I talk and I live my life so that in every way, everyday I look every bit like Christ like a city on a hill I want to shine my light on the path to the One who brings eternal life I want to walk in his goodness I want to do what's right so I can shatter misconceptions provide insight on the nature of God show them his greatness and leave 'em in awe show them his kindness and leave no doubt at all that God is Love but the order is tall
so I need to make sure that I walk in the Spirit and pray for God to open hearts so that they will hear it and understand the gospel of salvation and that they are near it so they'll know that Jesus beat death so that they won't fear it but the worries of this life are growing tall and choking me like a lasso, they're roping me makin' it hard to speak truth openly so I sit down and weep, brokenly as they release toxic fumes trying to infiltrate my system with seeds of iniquity meant to bloom and I know what goes in, comes out so I halt my mouth I silence my whisper I quiet my shout 'cuz I must stop my breath so I stop breathin' death for my sin has left me bereft completely of life and sight I'm not seein' clearly
but when my heart cries out I know that God will hear me and my troubles flee when I cry, "God, come near me! I need some answers! I need your guidance! Father, help me have complete reliance I need Your strength to slay these giants 'cuz this sling and this stone don't work if I do it alone but in Your hand I'm the sling and the stone sent forth to break both the skin and the bones of the powers of darkness" not of these brothers and sisters but of the one who throw the dart that blisters
lies against truth saying that it can't be done that my course has run but I won't relent because I have a promise from heaven that everyone who repents even at hour eleven can enter God's kingdom like change your address 'cuz that's where you'll be from so E.T., phone home and hear the Spirit speak truth rings clear like a xylophone 'cuz you have a direct connection no dial tone... so give Him yourself and make Him your own 'cuz those who trust Jesus are never alone
On the Origin of Worth The statements, "I'm not worth anything" and, "My net worth is X.xx[multiplier] dollars" are both corrent, and they are both false.
Worth is given, and seems to come from four main sources: the one who is, the one who created, the one who possesses, and the one who desires. In the two cases introduced above, the one who 'is' has assigned a value to themselves. The former finds no value in themselves, and the latter finds their value in the sum value of his or her possessions. The fallacy in both statements is that the three outside sources are neglected, and therefore the claims are inaccurate. We will focus on the three outside sources.
Worth from Creation When I invest in something, it gains worth in my eyes. If I help someone build a fence or garage, or if I tutor someone in their studies, it becomes important to me, it matters. I put some of myself into it: sweat, blood, tears and time (or some combination thereof). Similarly, God has an investment in us. Granted, he probably didn't break a sweat when he made the world, his blood was spilled for his creation, and many tears were probably shed while suffering with and for many people.
Then there's time. The Bible is specific about God committing not only time, but also care toward creating the world (many argue about the duration of the process, but that discussion is for another thread). He has placed in us a part of himself, or you could say he has made us in a part of himself: his image. Take a gander at the first couple chapters of Genesis, then immerse yourself in Psalm 139 to see how intimately he was involved in creating who you are.
Worth from Possession As I'm sure many of you can relate, I have odds and ends in my possession that would not bring me great returns on eBay, yet still have great worth to me. I may have assigned them great worth because of the history attached to them, or they may have become dear to me over time so that their worth has an intrinsic property. And while I do not 'own' my friends, I still use a possessive adjective when I describe them, and indeed, my friends are very dear to me. Just as Paul called the Philippians his joy and his crown, so also do we acquire some measure of worth from those who love us.
But wait—that's not all! Read on to find out about the next source with free shipping and handling, and no additional charge...
Worth from Desire Really basic descriptions of economics include 'supply' and 'demand'. The perceived value of items in a free market economy is determined by the quantity available and by how many and how badly people want it.
In heavenly economic terms, the supply is very limited. There is only one you. The demand on the other hand, is very great indeed. God the Father saw it fitting to sacrifice his Son to have you in his family, God the Son saw it fitting that he should lay his life down for yours to exchange his righteousness for our sin so we could be justified from our sins and so that the God the Holy Spirit could dwell in you to be your Guide, your Counselor, your Comforter, Teacher and Friend.
God so loved [insert your name here], that he gave his only begotten Son, so that if [insert your name here] believes in him, [insert your name here] would not perish, but have eternal life. And this is eternal life, that [insert your name here] may know the only true God, and Jesus Christ (the Son) whom he has sent.
That speaks to me of desire. God created you; wants to have you as an adopted child—an heir and a co-heir with Christ; and was willing to pay not just an arm and a leg, but his firstborn and only Son, so that you could be reconciled with him and live with him for eternity. That speaks to me of worth, and a worth that is built on something eternal and solid, not something temporal and fickle.
How would your life change if tomorrow I just dropped off the face of the earth, if you would never see or hear from me again?
Don't answer that.
This is a question I used to have. I used to wonder how much I impacted people's lives, to want to watch my funeral, to know my significance to others. But when coming from others, this question has a way of getting under my skin. There has always been something off about that question, and tonight, I figured out why.
The failsauce of this question really has three components. Numero uno, the question is intrinsically self-centered. Nombre deux, the emphasis is on the asker's worth, significance, and impact to and on the other party. Nummer drei, the emphasis of the asker's question rests on something that is temporal and often fickle, instead of something eternal and always constant. And number four, I wanted to write a number in English.
1) Numero Uno: Appearance The central focus of this question is self. How do I matter? How would your life change if I never existed? Now, this doesn't mean that there are no legitimate times to evaluate what kind of impact we are having, whether we are affecting someone's life (and how: in a good way? not so good?) But most times I've been exposed to this inquiry, that was not the underlying intent.
This is not particularly surprising, as our culture is so big on individualism. Individuals are important, but the face in the mirror shouldn't take priority over the faces you don't need a reflection to see. I believe that we should be less focused on how we appear to someone and more focused on how we can and actually are impacting people's lives for the better. Otherwise it is like chasing an 'A' while giving no regard to what knowledge and skills a course is trying to impart. A white-washed tomb looks nice, but is still full of death and decay.
2) Nombre Deux: Placement Placing too much importance on the perceptions and opinions of others elevates people to a higher place than we ought to be. Asking this question indicates that our worth is determined by others, that our significance and importance is determined by those around us, as though humans were possessed of the authority to decide such things about each other.
Again, this is not particularly surprising to me, in a culture that worships science and thought and says that we find purpose within ourselves. Yet so often this same culture tells us who we are and what we're worth by any number of factors including, but not limited to our usefulness, our entertainment value, our appearance, our intelligence, our abilities, and our values and beliefs. God, on the other hand know us inside and out, and created the whole of us, even our soul and our purpose (Psalm 139), therein lies his authority to let us know our worth.
Nummer Drei: Foundation Jesus told a parable about two men who built their own houses. One man built his house upon a rock, on a solid foundation, which withstood the coming storm. The second man built his house on sand, and his house was promptly swept away by the same storm. What is your view of yourself built upon? Is it built on something temporal or subjective? Is it built on someone's opinion (including your own)?
The prudent thing to do is build a house upon a solid foundation, not on one that is subject to change. Likewise, it is unwise to establish ourselves on that which promises nothing, except that it is subject to change and hangs primarily on our performance. Loose. God's word, however, can be relied upon, and does not return to him void. Solid.
Of course, when Jesus shared this illustration, he was talking about how we respond to his words, but it works for our purposes.
4) Number Four: The Fix In the words of Graham Cooke, "You can only change a mindset with a mindset." So instead of seeking to improve your appearance, improve your substance. Instead of placing importance on man's word, place it on God's. Instead of building on what other's say, build on what God says.
Don't pose a question to someone that asks how you impact their life, ask yourself how their life can be impacted, how they can be encouraged and edified. Recognition is one fruit of your labor, but that fruit is not always seen. Recognition is not the only fruit of your labor, nor is it the most important. More important is the growth of your relationship with that person, and the impact you made on an eternal being, on someone whose soul will last forever.
Do read and listen to the voice and the word of God. What does he say you are worth? Here's a hint: you are worth enough for God the Son—the creator of the universe—to leave his power, authority and praise (much deserved, no less) behind to come down and become a man, so that he could die in your place, taking your sin upon himself so that God the Father would pour out his wrath on the Son, so that you could be justified by his righteousness so the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, could dwell in you to lead you to initial, more and greater revelations, experiences, and relationship with the whole person of God.
Don't build your perceptions and ideas of self on the temporal and subjective view of people, but instead on the promises of God. Jesus said that even though heaven and earth will pass away, his words will never never pass away. Eternal. Solid. Lasting. Reliable.
Your foundation should be solid—you shouldn't have to check to make sure that it is still there. Your sources should be reliable—the voice you listen to should be the one with the authority in the matter. Your focus should be outward—make what you are doing line up with what you are saying.