The musings of Kelsey. Be excited.

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Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.
G. K. Chesterton (via mvickip)

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Conspiracies, Gun Control, Governments, and Jesus: The King Eternal

There has been a lot of hype recently over government, government conspiracies, gun control, wars, political elections, etc. It’s pretty obvious people are scared. Whether they are scared of predators abusing the law, foreign powers, failing economies, or our own government, one thing is clear: They are vocal about their opinions. I’ve been accused of seeming apathetic or even ignorant to issues going on in the world because I have remained silent or seemingly passive at times. I’ve been told to “open my eyes,” and “get my priorities straight.”

I would like to share my priorities now and explain why I don’t really plan on rearranging them.

It’s no secret that I am a Christian. If you follow me on Tumblr now, I’d say that’s painfully obvious. One of the basics of Christian doctrine is that man is sinful and fallen. For this reason, it should be no surprise when we see corrupt governments and bureaucracies because every person is susceptible to evil desires. Sometimes people worry and freak out over corrupt governments as if this is a new thing, but it’s been going on since the very beginning of society. All you have to do is take a look at a history book to see that war, government conspiracies, and corruption have all been around for thousands of years. These characteristics are not unique to one country or to one race or ethnicity. They are human, unfortunately.

So if these are matters of broken humanness and not broken society, what can we do? We could be passive and accept this as fact and then become depressed. Or perhaps there is another solution.

Christianity says man is fallen, yes, but not beyond redemption. God loved His people so much that He Himself took on humanity and lived and died to correct all of the brokenness. Trusting in Him and His work is the salvation of man. God then works in the heart to root out the hate, the corruption, and the greed. In fact, the Bible says this:

2 Peter 1:4 — “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

So if we trust in Him and escape corruption, what are we supposed to do with the world and these governments still in a mess? The most popular verse on this is when the Pharisees asked Jesus about paying taxes and, essentially, giving allegiance to the government. Famously, He says, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17) In other words, there is a healthy alignment with country and with government, but ultimately you are to separate that alignment from the most important one: the one with Him. Pay your taxes, vote, follow the laws, be a good citizen. But at the end of the day, your body, your mind, and your heart were created by God and belong to Him. Give everything truly important to Him.

Jesus fought the corrupt and oppressive Roman government not with militant force and insurrection nor with money and power, but with Himself. He brought His loving words of life, truth, and freedom through salvation. He took care of widows and the poor. He healed the sick. The only way to cure the disease of corruption was to attack it directly at the human heart, not treat the symptoms that manifest themselves in the broken government and oppression. This was frustrating to His disciples at first. They wanted militant power, but instead, they got the patient, slow, loving Messiah who targeted the very nature of man. This is what we should do, too. This is how we should combat the darkness of the world—with the light of God’s truth.

And don’t be afraid. At best, the political powers of this world are temporary. The greatest empires have always failed, the most evil dictators have always passed away, and the darkest regimes have eventually died out in time. Christ and His love and power have lasted for centuries and will continue to last for eternity. Ultimately, the government of not only the world but of the universe lies in the very hands that were pierced with nails for you and I.

Isaiah 9:6-7 — For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

This is the promise He has given us. He will rule eternally as the perfect, benevolent King. He will reign with justice, righteousness, and great peace that passes all understanding forever and ever.

I do not fear the powers of this world because they have already been overcome. With Christ’s death, He destroyed the dominion of death and evil in the world. My peace with the situation does not mean a naivety or trust for political power, but rather it is a sign of my allegiance with another power all together. I am not afraid of any president, government, or bureaucracy, because my King is the King of Heaven and He reigns eternal.

Filed under government conspiracy Sandy Hook gun control Christianity Christ Jesus God love hope encouragement King the Bible Scripture peace

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Our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960)

love this.

(via hislivingpoetry)

(Source: haereticum, via hislivingpoetry)

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Thoughts on Connecticut and Christmas

Yesterday, I was going to The Hobbit with my boyfriend as one of our last dates together before we went our separate ways for the holidays. Before we left, though, we heard about the shootings in Connecticut. I felt incredibly sick to my stomach, not just because these were innocent lives lost, but they were children—the definition of innocence. Also, I want to be a teacher. The reality sunk in that teaching actually has risks, not just for myself but for the students that I love deeply.

Sitting in the movie, I found myself to be angry. I found myself questioning God and having that typical, angry debate with Him after instances like this.

“Why? Why God? Why children?”

No answer.

“He was awful. He was evil.”

Still, of course, no answer.

“His evil spilled into the lives of others. They took the punishment he deserved. The blood of the innocent should never be spilled to correct the sins of the wretched.

It was that moment that I caught myself. It was that moment that I think I had my answer. The blood of The Innocent had been spilled to cover all of the evils of the world, and it was the blood of God Himself—God, who humbled Himself, and came as a beautiful, innocent child.

I found myself guilty of the very thing that the disciples of Jesus were guilty of: they wanted a powerful, militant Messiah who would come in and crush opposition and forcibly put everything right. In fact, that’s what they thought they had, even after spending all of this time with Jesus and hearing sermons on “turning the other cheek” and “loving their enemies,” they went to buy swords during his last week on Earth. They were ready for a military insurrection until Jesus had to gently tell them to put their weapons away. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. The point is that Jesus had a different kind of salvation in mind, and He was thinking of a different kind of battle—a spiritual one of the heart armed with swords of truth and love.

You see, you don’t fight fire with fire, you have to douse it in water and choke the flames out. Then, you have to begin repairing the damage of the fire by planting seeds, tending them, watering them, and working with patience and care. The results of such a process aren’t seen for months or maybe even years, but it is the only way to truly reverse the destruction of the flames. God knew that He could come and force His reign. He could come on clouds with terrible lightning and swift justice, but who’s to say we would have actually liked that kind of salvation any way? The human heart is so dissatisfied that we might have decided we didn’t want to worship a God who would force His rule. No, the only way to root out the evils of the human heart is to patiently and meticulously plant humility and love.

This is the Christmas season. My heart is broken for the families in Connecticut; for little children who will not get to open their Christmas gifts; for families with  hearts filled with grief at the empty spots around their tables. In that movie last night, there was one part that stood out to me. Galadriel asks Gandalf why he chose to bring the hobbit Bilbo on their journey, and he said, in so many words, that evil is never vanquished with great strength and force, but with small acts of kindness and a mysterious love and courage against the odds.

Remember that this Christmas season. Remember that God chose a young virgin, He chose to come as a child, He chose things that were unexpected and completely against our ideas of salvation. I’m not saying to not be upset about the awful things that have happened. By all means, be upset. I don’t pretend to understand everything that happens in this world. I don’t pretend to be okay with these kinds of terrible acts. Yes, I believe that God has purpose and plan, but none of those things are comforting at all in the face of immense pain. Truly grieving is comforting, and I think that’s okay. Jesus, God Himself, wept deeply. Tell God you’re upset. Be honest about how you feel. But know that the King of the Universe has humbled Himself to a manger and subjected Himself to the darkness of the world so that He could overcome it. Know that He weeps, too.

In fact, that may be the only comfort in such terrible situations. Jesus has felt it, whatever it may be, He’s felt it. The good, the bad, the terrible, the happy, the joyful, the sting of betrayal, the thrill of life and the chill of death—He’s felt it all. God is Emmanuel; He is with us.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Filed under christmas connecticut god joy love hope encouragement faith suffering pain doubts jesus messiah emmanuel manger virgin amazing amazed by his grace salvation evil hope hope hope