07 September 2018

But can there be life before death?

I have wondered if the Adventist doctrine on the state of the dead has any more meaningful theological meaning than the ho hum antagonism towards spiritualism. I think it can be this: if we believe that when one dies, one does not immediately enter the gates of heaven,  should we not be more occupied with the question of whether there can be life before death, rather than whether there is life after death? We believe that there is ‘life after death’ per se, at the Resurrection. If Jesus says, “I have come that you might have life, and life to the fullest,” then are we not looking for meaning in life before death? Shouldn't we be teaching about the state of the living?

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon

23 April 2018

Yes No and Wait

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that the only three answers that God provides to our prayers are, “yes, no, or wait.” 

When the Adventist Tutsis prayed to God and wrote to their conference president to save them, the conference president replied no. I cannot believe that God’s response was equivocally the same. Who is God to say no to cries for deliverance?

If His answer is not no, then it must be something else.

Ryan
Nairobi, Kenya

30 December 2017

Another expat Christmas

Every Christmas, I am searching for Christmas. I am looking for that feeling I had as a child, staring into our Christmas tree, into the lights, pondering deep in thought, there in the loving warmth of home.

When I got to Auburn, I tried to recreate those memories with my roommate. We'd stare at the Christmas tree together, and listen to Delilah on the radio. Since then, I've been searching for Christmas.

I attend as many church services as I can. I wander around the city or the shopping centers, trying to gather the energy of the atmosphere.

I stayed Nairobi town for  Christmas Eve and Day. The streets were drastically quieter than usual in the city. I attended three services at All Saints Cathedral. The sermons didn't speak to me. I know i could've preached better sermons myself.

But the music and the words always speak to my spirit. This is what I was looking for:

Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies

Ryan
Kileleshwa, Nairobi, Kenya

14 September 2017

I will try

Where are those lights that guide us home? They are people. The solid rocks in your life that you can always rely on. They ones who are always there for you. They are those way marks that carry you to safety.

Ryan
Nairobi, Kenya

01 April 2017

Before every sermon

I think I was terrified, but I'm not sure why. You'll always be afraid of your delivery, whether you can make a difference, whether God will speak.

But when its all over, and you go through the rhetoric and you articulate as best you can, there comes an emptiness. Because youre not sure if it was enough or if there was more left to say.

Maybe I was afraid because at the end of my delivery, reality would return after my brief time as a writer and theologian, and I'd have to face the harsh future which I fear.

Ryan
Seattle, Washington