by Ernest Liu
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  • Random Sniplets
  • ErnestLikedaGirl
    Ernest Liked a Girl

    Once upon a time, Ernest liked a girl. She was pretty and wicked intelligent. So Ernest thought to himself, “Hmmm… could it be? I gotta get to know her better!” So that he did, and he fell in like with her. Jane was her name.

    But then he noticed something… something that would complicate his pursuit. He noticed that one of his friends, Matthaios, also had affection for Jane. But Ernest wasn’t super sure, so he decided to have a chat with Matthaios. After all, God calls His people to strive for a high level of unity, and the last thing Ernest wanted was to jeopardize his friendship with Matthaios over a legit girl.

    So Ernest talked with Matthaios, and Matthaios admitted that he had a thing for legit girl. Love triangle confirmed. And Matthaios was honest… he said it would be hard for him to treat Ernest the same. But Ernest understood and did his best to continue showing brotherly love to Matthaios.

    In order to proceed with wisdom (Proverbs 19:20), Ernest often sought advice from his friend Pericles. Ernest knew his judgement was clouded whenever it came to wicked intelligent girl, and Pericles was very supportive in helping Ernest process his thoughts. It turns out that Matthaios also sought advice from Pericles. Smart man.

    Then Ernest and Matthaios both cannonballed into the water. They both asked Jane if she was down for more!

    Her Answers

    She told Matthaios no.

    She told Ernest no.

    Wait, there’s more! The love triangle was a lie. It was a love square.

    She told Pericles yes.

    Well, not quite. She actually kind of told him no, because she felt under-qualified.

    Before we go on, remember that Jane is wicked intelligent. She is very methodical and convicted in her beliefs. No one trumps wicked intelligent girl.

    Upon talking to Ernest on a later date, Jane told Ernest that Pericles was out of her league. She had the utmost respect for him, and thought that perhaps, just perhaps, he could do better. Ernest was utterly confused about her logic, so he inquired,

    “Do you truly respect him and trust in his opinion?”

    Jane responded, “Yes, of course.”

    Ernest reasoned, “Then shouldn’t you trust in him if he chooses you?”

    Jane gaped. Ernest did it. He trumped wicked intelligent girl. Effectively, Ernest convinced the girl he cherished that another man was right for her.

    Years Later…

    Ernest and Matthaios found themselves standing up on stage facing the bride and the groom. Jane was marrying Pericles, and the two prior suitors were groomsmen. They stood up there because they were all close friends, because they refused to let their feelings compromise their unity under Christ, and because they trusted in God’s plans. All were content.

    Unified

    This is the power of living according to the Word, one that compels us to live peaceably with those around us (Romans 12:18). Furthermore, we read in Matthew 5:23-24,

    So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

    Wait… just ditch your offering and go reconcile with your brother? Did Jesus seriously say that? Does He really value church unity that much?

    Yes, it appears that He does. After all, how can we, in good faith, worship God when we’ve forsaken unity with our siblings? Would you truly dare sing to Him and give Him your money if you haven’t put effort towards living peaceably with His people?

    By no means! We must keep our eyes on the gospel and work together to make disciples of all nations! We must never let our love life, as pursuer or the pursuee, get in the way of our friendship and brotherhood as children of Christ.

    Gratitude

    Jane, Matthaios, and Pericles – Ernest thanks you for your genuine efforts in preserving true friendship. He thanks you for not allowing the love square to inhibit his worship of God. Furthermore, he thanks you for strengthening his relationship with Christ! He also thinks you’re all crazy for choosing these names for his blog post.

    summerChristians
    Hot Summer Christians

    There’s this giant ball of fire floating in the sky, and it’s been heating things up! You know what that means… time to whip out that summer attire! Beach, anyone?

    Fine. You caught me. I’m not writing about having fun in the sun. I’m writing about that loathsome topic: modesty. You know the drill, girls. Cover up. Hide your goods. Help a brother out. Don’t let him stumble.

    ┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻

    A lot of girls find the reminder annoying. Some see their brothers shirtlessly frolicking along the beach and instantly think double-standard! If girls gotta cover up, why don’t them guys? Certain individuals even disregard modesty on the idea that their brothers should just control their wandering minds.

    Yeah, brothers should control themselves. I will be the first to say that. But war on lust has never been as hard as it is now.

    Sexual Revolution

    You see, we live in a fifty shades of gray culture where sex is shoved into movies and our neighbors shout things like “free the nipple!” The internet is adulterated with porn stars who advocate open prostitution, because prostitution is basically what they do in front of a camera. The magazine rack at your local Target is stacked with photoshopped models who capitalize on the lusts of wild men.

    Welcome to the sexual revolution. Society teaches us that women should be as sexy and stylish as they want only to chastise men for having inappropriate sexual fantasies when tempted by the women who decide that erotic is the way to go.

    On several occasions, I’ve even had church girls tell me that they should have the freedom to dress however they want. If a guy has lustful thoughts, it’s his sin. His fault. Other girls get irritated when they hear modesty, modesty! while rarely hearing men talk about their own sexual purity.

    Edit: Since some have voiced concerns, I believe it is worth clarifying that my references to lust refer to sins purely within the mind. When it comes to sexual harassment, I believe attire makes negligible, if any, difference. The scope of this article does not cover sexual assaults.

    When It’s Just the Men

    To all my beloved but frustrated sisters who aren’t aware, I think this is worth surfacing: sexual purity is a big topic in male circles.

    Some men band into accountability groups just to fight lust. When youth groups separate boys and girls to talk about relevant topics, boys often tackle lust. I’ve discipled three pairs of guys, and I always bring up the topic of lust.

    In a decent church, men will confront sexual purity more frequently than women will confront modesty. “Hey. I don’t want details or anything, but does the topic of sexual purity come up when you talk with other guys from church?” Ask that to a devout male leader in your church. Honestly, if he says no, you may want to consider switching churches. A healthy church deals with the congregation’s sin, and especially in this culture, lust is every man’s battle.

    We don’t normally share about this stuff with our lady friends, and there’s a reason for that. Perhaps that’s why girls rarely hear about it, and maybe that’s why they feel that it’s unfair whenever they are confronted with modesty.

    Fair enough. I get it. This is largely why I’m writing about this topic in the first place, to let my beloved sisters know that we aren’t trying to pin our sin on you. Our thought life is something we take seriously, to love God and to love you. In the end, we talk about modesty because we want you to help us love you. We certainly don’t do it to shame you.

    Understanding the Girls

    For much of my life, I didn’t understand why modesty was so hard for girls. It didn’t occur to me that girls got so much pressure from society to be beautiful and sexy. They’re taught that there’s no difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract.

    Brothers of mine have even been quick to judge girls by their attire. “Oh my goodness, she’s wearing yoga pants. Oh my goodness, she’s in a sports bra. What’s she trying to get?!”

    I found it inappropriate for him to judge so quickly, because there was no way he would know why any girl chose a particular article of clothing. Perhaps she wore something for comfort or for practicality’s sake. Case in point:

    My wardrobe was pretty much free t-shirts and basketball shorts – I didn’t exactly fit that demographic most modesty talks were geared toward … And so for years I skated through church life never bothering to think that modesty applied to me until one day, while I was out running, I suddenly realized that what I was wearing was… pretty immodest.

    I wasn’t exactly thinking about modesty at the time either. I just happened to be paying attention to the cars that were driving past me along the road, when suddenly I realized that if anyone from church saw me at that moment I would probably feel really embarrassed. But why would I feel embarrassed? I wasn’t at church, and I wasn’t explicitly going out of my way to make someone stumble. I was just wearing what was comfortable for the activity that I was doing. Deciding then to take more back streets than not, I struggled with that thought for the rest of my run.

    –Monica, Summer Means Everything is Modesty

    Eventually, I also learned that many girls are confused about what passes as “modest.” Truth be told, it’s confusing for me too. Midriffs don’t generally cause temptation for me, but it might for a brother. Every guy is different. Should we suppose that girls can read our minds?

    How to be Modest

    In the end, all I can do is ask my sisters to use their best judgment. If you can stand in front of a mirror and affirm, before God, that your attire is pleasing to Him and mindful of your brothers, go ahead and wear it. Modesty, after all, is an issue of the heart.

    For you girls who love us by considering our struggles, thank you. Thank you so, so much. It speaks volumes that you value our relationship with God more than your outfit. Sexual immorality is one of two explicit sins we are told to flee from in the entire Bible (1 Cor 6:18), and you are helping us do just that.

    Final Thoughts

    Since someone’s going to bring it up–yes, men can be immodest and girls can lust, too. They are undeniably important subtopics under the parent node of sexual purity, but as they do not contribute to purpose of this post, I have chosen not to cover those distinctions here.

    Edit2: I found it appropriate to acknowledge that many monstrous men have made a call for “modesty” out of power, to the shame of others, in order to avoid responsibility for their sinful actions. This is absolutely inexcusable. However, we must not empower these culprits by allowing them to overshadow those who ask for a heart of modesty out of love.

    So yeah. Have fun with your summer outfits. Don’t be legalistic about it. Just be loving. And thank God for giving us attractive people and romantic drives, because He ultimately designed it for His glory and for our enjoyment.

    pray
    Do You Pray this Rare Prayer?

    Tap. Phone loaded.

    Swipe tap. Messenger loaded.

    Tap tap tap. Friends get shotgun spammed with texts.

    I’m asking for prayer requests, and my friends are usually more than happy to accept free prayer. Over the years, people have asked me to pray for many different things, such as…

    • “Pray that I’ll do well on my finals this week!”
    • “I’d like prayer for my grandma. She’s in the hospital.”
    • “Pray for my contentment at work.”
    • “I’m going to share the gospel with Sally. Pray she’ll accept Christ!”
    • “Praise God for helping me find a job!”

    …and so forth. Most prayer requests I get now are variations of things I’ve prayed for in the past. But there’s one prayer that rarely gets asked of me.

    The Rare Prayer

    “Pray that I will love orphans and widows in their affliction.” Or, “Pray that I will love the starving, the homeless, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Help me love the unlovable, the least of these.”

    orphanTrue religion is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). God tell us that those who love Him by loving “the least of these” will inherit the Kingdom. Furthermore, He condemns those who fail to love the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).

    Think about that for a second.

    God explicitly damns people to Hell for this failure. He commands them to depart from Him, to join Satan and his wicked angels in eternal punishment. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to assume God takes this responsibility very seriously.

    If we really love God, then we must really love the least of these. Christ shows us the kind of heart we should have for the impoverished. We must emulate Jesus and provide for the physical and spiritual welfare of these people. Even the busyness of our middle class lives must not be an excuse for neglecting the needy.

    How about You?

    When’s the last time you fed the hungry? Have you ever helped the homeless or the naked? Do you make it a habit to visit those who are sick or disabled? Have you ever visited anyone in prison? Have you visited the orphans and widows in their affliction?

    If this isn’t something you usually pray for, perhaps now is the time to start. Ask God for a heart to love those whom the world throws away. Ask the Holy Spirit to move you into action, to do something. Because last I checked, taking a minute to feel bad for someone never actually helped them. Ask Him to move you to minister and serve and sacrifice for the least of these.

    Avenues

    I’d encourage you to find a local Christian ministry that enables you to serve these people. If you’re near me, join me at Street Life Ministries. This group has allowed me to exercise love to the homeless, to help them in a way that matters. You can also help people through Christian Aid or International Justice Mission.

    Let’s be a generation that rejects spiritual complacency to love those in the shadows.

    burrito
    Microwave that Burrito, Jesus

    Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that He cannot eat it? Think about it. If He is truly the omnipotent God of the Bible, then He should be able to zap that poor burrito so bad that Hell can’t handle it and He can’t eat it. Omnipotence means He has limitless power, after all.

    The Rock

    This is a variation of the classic question, “Can God create a rock so heavy He cannot lift it?” It’s an attempt to dissolve the possibility of an all-powerful God. As classic as it is, I still find many Christians who have trouble tackling it. So let’s tackle it. The argument:

    1. Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?
    2. If yes, then God is limited in strength (can’t lift the rock).
    3. If no, then God is limited in creation power (can’t make the rock).
    4. Either way, God is limited and therefore cannot be omnipotent.

    The counterargument is rather simple. Since God can lift a rock of any weight, no rock can exist that He cannot lift. Asking God to create what cannot exist is silly. The question is as nonsensical as “Can God make a square circle?” or “Can God toad an eleven?” Inability to accomplish the logically impossible does not limit His omnipotence, as the trait does not require Him to do such things.

    So no, Jesus cannot diabolically abuse any burrito ’til it is divinely inedible, because such a burrito cannot logically exist any more than a square circle can exist. The question is not really valid to begin with.

    Yes, God technically has limitations. He cannot do anything that contradicts His own nature. For example, He cannot lie because such an act conflicts with His righteousness. But turning water into wine and creating everything from nothing still ranks Him as omnipotent in my book.

    Question the Question

    confusedManI’ve noticed that apologetics is often tricky, since Christians get bombarded with questions that are intrinsically invalid. Recently a friend staggered when asked “Why do you need to add religion to your life to be moral?” As a Christian, we must recognize that we haven’t added anything to our lives. Why assume we have added anything? We simply recognize the reality of the living God who defines the morality by which we live. If anything, others have stripped God from their lives in attempt to escape true and absolute morality.

    We should always question the question before attempting to answer the question, because the question may be invalid or make false assumptions.

    The Beauty of Apologetics

    I am thankful for Christians who devote much of their time to the study of apologetics. They remind us that our faith is based on reality and rationality. Ultimately, they assure us that we believe in the truth, because we believe in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and He is beautiful.

    Post sound familiar? This is an update to an old post.