by Ernest Liu
about the author

  • Random Snippets
    • Vote God’s Values?
      Many preachers will encourage their congregation to neglect the last item. In which case, they should, quite literally, vote for their pastor.
    • Spiritual Growth & More
      …Because when they graduate, that’ll be the the last time we’ll see some of them. Many will go off and pursue a life without Christ and never consider Him again.…
    • The God Problem
      You and Me Forever — Reading Journal Log 4 As a pastor for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems. They can be traced back […]
  • Misaligned
    There I was, a twenty-three-year old, but my hands were acting like they’d never dialed a phone number. I gripped my cordless phone as if it were a wild animal trying to escape and tried again.

    You can do this, I assured myself.

    The phone rang three times before an answering machine picked up. She wasn’t home. I gritted my teeth. Should I leave a message? The machine beeped, and I took the plunge.

    “Hey Shannon, this is Josh…uh, Harris.”

    I was sure my voice made it obvious how nervous I felt. I’d never called her at home before, and I had no excuse related to work or church for doing so now. “Um…could you give me a call when you get a chance? Thanks.” I hung up, feeling like a complete idiot.

    For sixty-four agonizing minutes I analyzed whether or not the message I had left sounded cool and collected. Then the phone rang. I took a deep breath and answered.

    It was Shannon.

    “Hey, thanks for calling me back. How’s it going?”

    We chatted for a few minutes about her day and did our best to have a natural conversation, even though we both knew that my calling her was the most unnatural thing in the world. I finally got to the point and asked if she could meet me the next day after work at Einstein’s, a local bagel shop. She said she could.

    Before we hung up, I offered an ambiguous explanation for the rendezvous. “I need to talk…about a guy I know who’s interested in you.”

    Above is an excerpt from Boy Meets Girl, a book on courtship authored by Joshua Harris. I can easily empathize with Josh’s experience. I’ve survived several instances where dialing a number would make my heart rate skyrocket. I have sat around for several hours trying to get myself to hit “Send” on an overly proof-read email. I can recall the moment I asked a girl to prom, angry that my body jumped into perspiration overdrive, only to have my friend jump in between us right before I popped the question.

    I think most men would agree that we’d be a complete mess without girls. There is something about the female phenomena that keeps us in check, something that prevents us from turning into monkeys. Props to God for proclaiming this truth during His creation. (I do, however, wonder if women would do fine without us).

    I met a girl not long ago. She loved serving God, she was smart, and she was attractive (and of course, still is). Simply having met her made me a better person. I started reading more books, my prayer life took a boost, the fight for purity became stronger, and I worked harder. I thought to myself, “There is absolutely no way I could hope to pursue a girl as Godly and pure as her unless I present myself the same.” Everything about her was worth the extra effort at life, and I concluded that God had put her there as a practical means of bettering myself.

    I soon realized that something was wrong, that I had somehow misaligned myself from God.

    It was the fact that it is God that is worth all the extra effort at life, that He should have been my focus all along. Though God may have used her to keep me on edge, I had subconsciously placed her in God’s spot as my main area of influence. I had let slip the basic teaching from Colossians 3 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

    I ask for your prayers that God will keep me in check, that I would keep Him at the forefront of my mind.