31 December 2010

In Days of Auld

Christmas may be the most sacred of Christian holidays, New Year’s is not. New Year’s may well be pinnacle of secular celebration for in it atheists and humanists alike see it as an opportunity to “imagine there’s no heaven”, to make a world with peace, sans religion. And as Christians we have no claim to New Year’s. It is simply a date on a calendar – the last date on the calendar.
AND while that is the case, Adventists can lay claim to New Year’s this year (and 2011) because New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day lie on the Sabbath.
This time around New Year’s is sacred to us, as it not only begins another sacred day of rest, but another year.
To celebrate special occasions, there is a Jewish blessing prayed called the Shehecheyanu. It is as follows:
Blessed are you Lord our God, king of the universe, who has kept us in life, has sustained us, and has permitted us to reach this moment.

24 December 2010

So This is Christmas

What a deal I made, eh? Blogging everyday over Christmas break: Not at all possible for me. Writing everyday is something I can’t do, even though I take a class where I have to do that anyway.

So here we are on December the 24th Christmas Eve, the holiest of nights though not even holy at all. Regardless, the event is something important that changed humanity forever.

I hope you have a blessed holiday,
and pause beside the weary road and
hear the angels sing.

21 December 2010

I Saw The Light

Public radio journalist Jay Allison has said, “Your beliefs are in jeopardy only when you do not know what they are.”

I’ve never really addressed the issue of why I am a Christian, let alone an Adventist, over the duration of my life. Like many, I’d like to think I’m a Christian because I have established a relationship with Jesus and I have accepted Him as my personal Savior (I saw the light!). In all honesty, that isn’t true for me. My story as a Christian is not at all lovely or inspiring.

My parents raised me in an Christian household. Since kindergarten I’ve been surrounded by Christians, and I like some Christian things like gospel music, theology, and hoping for things unseen.

For a while, I’ve struggled with humanism, sometimes deism, or even agnosticism but not atheism; no damnation for me thank you…I only jest (I do think, by the way, that it should be alright to go through these struggles because it develops character). These ideas seemed appealing because I didn’t need faith, only reason, on top of a lot of indifference. That way I would not have to deal with spirituality. The thing is, those world views could not complete me, as trite as that may sound.

Now I acknowledge that the best answer to our problems in society and in the world is what the Christian writer C.S. Lewis calls “mere Christianity”. The solution is the simplest yet most profound statement of theology and philosophy. It is how another Christian author, Ellen White, closes “the Great Controversy”, and it is “that God is love.”

If you can't beat ‘em, join 'em.

20 December 2010

More, Some Other Time

I really am quite lazy.

But not without reason; it is truly difficult thinking of something to write on everyday. In regards to yesterday’s post, I would like to elaborate on that. . . some other time.

As for now, I am writing a sticky note to myself as to specific au courant essay topics I should write on before January:

Nerds and Geeks Becoming Popular and Accepted in Pop Culture

Why Canada is Actually an Extension of New York

The Resurgence of Hymns in Contemporary Christian Music

The Opprobrious Pejorative of Christianity and Adventism

You should be looking forward to these essays as much as I should.

19 December 2010

My Struggle

          Last night I saw once again a film whose plotline I adore, though its mise-en-scène is at times boorish and dull. “Billy Elliot” is the story of a British coal miner’s son who is drawn to the art of ballet; he tries to follow his dream while his world is falling apart. No it is not the story of an identity crisis; it is the struggle of inner angst seeking a medium to express itself.
          Usually I’m attracted to films and books I can relate to, “Billy Elliot” being no exception. Sure the themes of alienation, misunderstanding, depreciation, and angst are all feelings familiar to myself, but when I look at my environment and my breeding, it seems like those struggles (or my struggles, meine kampfe !) should not even exist.

Should I elaborate?
Well, I’ll look for you right back here tomorrow night.
Or if I’m lazy, the night after next.

18 December 2010

Shalom Shabbat

The Sabbath is a weekly holy day celebrated primarily by Jews and, supposedly, Adventists. Its grounds of existence are based off of the Biblical account of creation, the Ten Commandments, and it is defended by Paul and Jesus.

Now I say Adventists supposedly celebrate the Sabbath because there is little indication they (or if I were to include myself, we) actually rest on Saturday. I once saw a cartoon of a bustling, harried lady in an apron in a kitchen, with the subtitle “An Adventist woman on the Sabbath.” Its point being the Adventist culture has created these expectations in a pressing environment, where our focus on Saturday may not even be God, but rather it is simply the motions.

Clifford Goldstein, an Adventist theologian, points out in his book “A Pause for Peace” that it is odd that those who keep the Sabbath are accused of legalism when in actuality their Sabbath rest symbolizes their rest in the completed works of Christ, or at least it should.

The PBS show NOVA featured “an innovative way for observant Jews to use elevators on the Sabbath.”

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Though strict in their policies, the Jews hold ideals closer to their roots.

And to those supporting the petition to air an advert about the Sabbath during the 2011 SuperBowl; verily, verily I say unto you it is a waste of time, money, and energy. Efforts by Adventists to enlighten people to the truth should be done on a personal and humble level. An advertisement such as this would cause more harm than good, the $2.8 million needed for such cause should be used for the 10/40 window or Adventist Education. Am I being like Judas the Iscariot here? Maybe, since I sure could use some help funding My Adventist Education, but let's show how important the truth is to us by living it instead of frivolously selling it.

16 December 2010

Christmas Again

Can you believe it has been more than six months since I have last posted? And the second to last post was about this time last year?

Once again I must offer my sincerest apologies. The life and times of an Adventist kid are busy and filled with too many cares to say the least.

There is so much to say, in regards to my education, to my emotions, to my relationships, to my accomplishments, and to my life; so as a pledge in penitence, for the next two weeks until school resumes I shall blog everyday - something.

I myself am on a journey of self discovery, for I do not know entirely I am yet. Assuredly I would like to know a little bit about myself, and perhaps I can unearth something as we close this year and move on to the next. Through writing (and perhaps a video or two), I hope to empty myself of all my "phoniness" and find what's real within me.

But for the most part, everything remains unknown, which is where the road lies tonight.

29 June 2010

I've Returned

With great sincerity, I apologize for not blogging here now for quite a while.

School was quite busy as I finished off junior year, and I found it difficult to to find the time to write, even though there was much to write about.
"The world is too much with us."
- Williams Wordsworth
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This summer I'm out colporteuring. A friend of mine recommended me to do it. I am told work of literature evangelism was and still remains an important part of the Adventist ministry.

As of now, I can tell you it is hard work; people don't like salesmen at their doors. But I'm not a salesman. Few recognize that.

Tonight I'll be flying to Houston, with a stopover in Atlanta, which will actually be my final destination. I'm headed to the General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have relatives in Houston, and we'll be driving with them across southeastern America to Georgia. And just like with my blogging for our family's trip to the Pathfinder Camporee in 2009 in Wisconsin, I will be keeping you updated on Twitter and this blog as well. I'm pretty sure I'll have much to say once I'm on the road again.