Wednesday, December 22

A New Direction

So I feel like my blog needs a little revitalization. It might help if I posted more often, granted. But, beyond the fact that I don't post often, I also ramble and randomize. I say nothing in a particular fashion on a particular topic. I think it's time that changed. I work much better as an organized person, and why not carry that into my blog writing? Instead of this blog being about anything under the sun that tickles my fancy, I think it's time that the blog lives up to its name: Unintentional Ninja.

The name stems from several extended conversations with a friend. I would do things quite often that for me were unintentional and accidental, but to others seemed quite ninja-ish. So, I think to live up to the name, whenever I post, I'll recount how I lived up to the name that day. Obviously I can't intentionally be an Unintentional Ninja, so I'll just have to post when I am unintentionally an Unintentional Ninja. That said, I probably won't begin posting everyday. Maybe once a week though.

I think the best way to start would be a brief definition. Unintentional, according to is "accidental, unplanned, inadvertent" and Ninja is "
a member of a feudal Japanese society of mercenary agents, highly trained in martial arts and stealth (ninjutsu), who were hired for covert purposes ranging from espionage to sabotage and assassination." Since I am obviously not a highly trained mercenary feudal Japanese agent, we'll go with my definition of "sneaky, awesome, and amazing".

So I'll let you know when I am Unintentional Ninja once again. Until then,

Sunday, November 7

A New Post!!

Oh my goodness! I'm posting after four months of silence! And honestly I don't have much to say right now, I just wanted to let the blogging community know that I'm still out here, though very busy. Actually, right now I'm trying to listen to Music History stuff for our test tomorrow. 16th Century Madrigals. Bleh. I liked Gregorian Chant much better. Anyway, so that's what's up. Maybe I'll post more sometime.

Leave a comment! I like to know when you read :)

Friday, June 25

"Here is your Theological Butt"

Last night, the first meeting of the Longview area Christian book club met to discuss the "Introductory Essay" to The Death of Death (John Owen) by J.I. Packer. Five members out of the fourteen invited members were present; Stephen W., Stephen C., Adam, Cameron, and myself. We had an excellent discussion that ranged from Calvanism vs. Arminianism to VBS.

When Cameron walked in, the first thing he said was, "When I was told we were reading an Introductory Essay to a book, I didn't expect to have my theological butt handed to me! I was expecting a biographical introduction." I don't think that anyone was expecting what Packer had to dish out to us. The essay was informative and challenging at the same time.

We started with the first section of the essay, which is a broad overview of The Death of Death as a whole and why this book is applicable and necessary in our world. The Church is in a poor state now, as it was when Owen wrote the book. It seems almost more applicable to us now, then it possibly could have to Owen. "In such matters as the practice of evangelism, the teaching of holiness, the building up of local church life, the pastor's dealing with souls and the exercise of discipline, there is evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with things as they are and of equally widespread uncertainty as to the road ahead." (Section I, Paragraph 3) Packer continues to say that "Without realising(sic) it, we have during the past century bartered that gospel for a substitute product which, though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is as a whole a decidedly different thing." (Section I, Paragraph 3) Now there are two gospels: the old and the new. One would argue that the old is Biblically based and should be what we base our faith on and that the other is a diluted, perverted image of the old gospel, dumbed down so that people today can believe what sacrificing too much of their own free will or surrender fully to God.

Here we deviated from the topic of the book to the tone the author employed in his essay. Several of the members felt that the author very offhandedly dismissed Arminian arguments of
salvation as being inconsequential. The author states that if one follows Arminianism to it's "inevitable conclusion" that one would not be able to logically accept such arguments. Stephen C. said that he wasn't sure he could take Packer's "inevitable conclusions" for all they were worth and that he thought that the arguments weren't as conclusive as initially shown.

We raised several questions in response to the author's tone. Do most Christians really believe that God is not completely Sovereign or that He is impotent? Do Arminians honestly argue that God plays no role in salvation, or is that the author's hyperbole in play? Couldn't Packer have stayed away from such Strawman-inclined language?

It is abundantly clear that Packer is a Calvinist and believes wholeheartedly in Reformed Theology. Three of our members found his tone rather grating, annoying, or amusing in his quick, seemingly arbitrary, dismissal of traditional Arminian arguments. That isn't to say they have no ground, but Packer certainly gave them none to stand on in his essay.

At this point Cameron read his favorite segment of the essay aloud. "Now, the Calvinist contends that the Arminian idea of election, redemption and calling as acts of God which do not save cuts at the very heart of their biblical meaning; that to say in the Arminian sense that God elects believers, and Christ died for all men, and the Spirit quickens those who receive the word, is really to say that in the biblical sense God elects nobody, and Christ died for nobody, and the Spirit quickens nobody." (Section II, Paragraph 14)

This leads us into the main section of the Introductory Essay in which Packer systematically outlines Calvinistic/Reformed Theology as contrasted with Arminian Theology. I won't get into the contrasts, but if you click the link in the title of this post, you can read Packer's Essay yourself. If you aren't interested in biting off all that meat, here is a very succinct discussion of the two theology's opposing viewpoints: Keep in mind that the website I directed you to has an Arminian viewpoint. Try to read it un-biased.

Now our discussion became very interesting as we started talking about God's complete Sovereignty. A large cause of the division in schools of theology comes to God's Sovereignty. It seems as though Arminian's aren't comfortable with the fact that God is absolutely Sovereign. our question (and discussion from the question) was that if God was completely Sovereign, could He choose to lay aside His perfect Sovereignty? We discussed the question in isolation and in the context of salvation. I believe that the final majority conclusion was that only a perfectly Sovereign God would be capable of setting aside His Sovereignty and that it would be done in order that His Power could be more clearly displayed to man.

Out of pure irritating curiousity, the question was asked: Why doesn't God call all men to be saved? He is certainly capable of it. (Limited Atonement)

One thing that Stephen W. said made him a little queasy when considering Reformed Theology was the question of the origin of sin. If God is a Perfect, Sinless Being (which we believe is biblical), and God created the world and all that was in it, doesn't it logically follow that God must have created sin? Not directly, certainly not, but indirectly. And if that is the case, how can God be Perfect, and Sinless, if He is somehow the originator of sin? The discussion: God wanted to create humans that would choose to follow Him and accept His love. In order to have a choice, one must have multiple things to choose from. Logically, there must be an anti-God in order for humans to choose God. And so sin was created by default.

A question on Free Will Logic: Even if God made no active participation in a man's decision to follow God, isn't God still the creator of man, and therefore the creator of the ability of man to decide, and consequently the decision?

Determinism versus Free Will. Determinism is based on the idea that man will always choose what he most desires. If a man or creature is faced with a choice, say fight or flight, he will choose what he most desires. If he most desires safety, he flees. If he most desires victory, he fights. Free Will is based on the fact that man, unlike any other creation in universe, is capable of choosing whatever he wills- he must not always choose his desire. The discussion led us to: Man possesses intellect. His intellect helps to shape his desires- hence free will. Also, Deterministic man is consistent with a deterministic nature, which is obviously the reality. However, "None of us want to be pawns" - Cameron

Are the terms Calvinism and Reformed Theology synonymous? or is Calvinism a subset of Reformed Theology?

Do we choose God because we are elected or are we elected because we are chosen? Do they correlate, are they coincident, or are they the causes?

If God has elected only a few people to be saved, why should the already saved preach or evangelism? God will get the work done one way or another. Through you, or through someone else. It is your choice whether to be a part and receive that blessing or to go on your own way, trusting that God will work it out on His own. Also, knowing that God will definitely save the elected is comforting to know that you can't do anything to screw up someone else's salvation. You can't dissuade them, convince them otherwise, or scare them away. Even if you don't tell them, someone else will. God's plans cannot be foiled by man. Stephen C. decided that might have been the clincher for him in believing in God's elect.

Most of us decided that previously we had believed a mix of Calvinism and Arminianism, but after being challenged by this essay, we will all rethink what we believe about theology. I would say that I personally have begun leaning toward Reformed Theology, but I need to spend a lot of time in prayer and exploring the Bible for further confirmation.

Our discussion was very energetic and edifying. I appreciate all that participated, and hope that those who couldn't make it will come next week. :D Until then, go get some ice cream. You deserve it after reading all of that!

Wednesday, June 9

He Is

Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, I’ve never been so weary
How I need to know you’re near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Till I’m on my knees
Till my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

He lives
He loves
He’s always with me

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Through every fear
And every doubt
And every tear I shed
Down every road
I’m not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
And He always will be

He lives
He loves
He’s always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still, and know
Be still, my soul
He is

Tuesday, June 8

Behaviour in Christ

Read. Reread. Meditate. Memorize.

Galatians 2:17-21
17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Romans 8:1-17
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,a]">[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,b]">[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.c]">[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,d]">[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful mane]">[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mindf]">[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.g]">[g] And by him we cry, "Abba,h]">[h] Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Monday, June 7

The Lost Post and the Internal Workings

I logged on last night so that I could post, and lo and behold! The site was unavailable. All evening long. I was going to post about my weekend. The amazing, relaxing Saturday in which I did nothing important. The great grades I've been making on my online class. The Sunday sermon on memorizing Scripture. But I lost all that momentum from one day of work.

So I've decided to post something else that I am not entirely sure how to communicate clearly.

I'm having internal, emotional issues with one of my friends. They did something recently that didn't sit right with me. I've never been one for 'premonitions' or the creepy gut-feeling, but that's what I got about this situation. I saw something on their facebook page that confirmed it. That's when I decided to go to one of our mutual friends. (Gosh, isn't this ambiguous?) I asked them about the other person. They said things that almost confirmed my fears, but what they said were directed at different areas of this person's life then what I was concerned about. Then I discovered that these two people don't really get along. So, doesn't that kind of negate our mutual friend's opinion? I don't know. There are things I need to know. There are things I want to know. I have to make a decision. Should I approach this friend? Should I leave them alone? Is it going to kill me if I don't say anything? Will it kill me if our friendship dies?

I've been praying about it a lot. For some reason, this situation has me incredibly stressed out. I didn't really eat today, and I have been sick to my stomach. My parents will attest to that fact. I came home from work, sat down to take off my shoes, and woke up some 30 minutes later. Dad said he had been bellowing my name, but I didn't hear a thing. I wish that I trusted God more. I wish that I had more faith. I wish I had the faith of a mustard seed. I wish I wasn't so dramatic.

Sorry that my story wasn't clear...since this is an internet posting, I absolutely will not reveal information about other people that could influence others' opinions of them without their explicit consent. Also, I don't want anyone to know what really is bugging me. That is as close to the whole story as anyone is going to get. Sorry. Deal with it.

Thanks for reading that whole depressing, ambiguous, confusing post. Go get a bowl of ice cream. You deserve it now.

Friday, June 4

The Long Days

I had a very long day.... It wasn't a difficult day, just long.

Work seemed especially long. There weren't many kids at the daycare. I only had six in my group for the morning, and three for the afternoon. That made it really pleasant. I was really able to play with each one of them and spend quality time getting to know them. I enjoy it more the less kids there are. I even got to color and play legos with them. But it made the day seem a lot longer..... and I worked an extra hour later than I normally do. Nothing really stressful happened today either. I even got to have a very nice lunch hour with my mom. We ate, played a game of Rummikub, and talked about boys.

I feel a lot closer to my mom than I used to. I used to have a lot of trouble talking to my mom about boys....mostly because I thought I knew what she was going to say, so I never bothered to talk to her. Now I truly want her opinion. Another reason I didn't want to talk to her about them was because I knew that I wasn't behaving in a Christ-like manner in my relationships, and it's hard to admit that kind of thing, especially to your parents. Thankfully, I've gotten back on the path I'm supposed to be on and I'm making better decisions, so conversing about boys is much easier and doesn't lay a guilt-trip on me.

I've been taking a Personal Finance class online this summer. I started on Tuesday and hit the ground running. I had to read and take a quiz on Tuesday, repeat on Wednesday, and then do double duty on Thursday. I got a 60% on the second quiz I did and that really discouraged me. But, I know what the problem was. I was distracted. I thought that somehow it would be ok if I talked to my friends online while I tried to read. It didn't work, and my grade suffered because of it. Then I had to go back and re-read it and try to understand it. I think that I got it now, but I'm still kinda leery about it. I did better at the next to quizzes, and hope that I'll be able to make a really good grade on the test to pull my overall grade up. Right now it's at 83%, not acceptable for me.

Tomorrow is house-cleaning day and my parents are getting a load of bricks to finish the new patio extension. Pretty soon I'll go to bed so I'm well rested for it. G'night, my non-existent readers!

Wednesday, June 2

Kings, Dreams, and Schemes

It's June 2! I am two days into work and two days into my class, and only one day into my Bible Study. Looks like someone is procrastinating by working on their blog. :-P I wouldn't have any idea who that might be!

A disclaimer before I continue: I am really dizzy currently and unreasonably sleepy. I'm not tired, but I'm having trouble staying awake. I think that my iron is really low and that's the problem, but I don't really know. But at any rate, I'm positive that my writing (typing) will be affected, so please pardon the typos, spelling, and grammar errors.

My boss asked me to direct a musical this summer! Since I work at a daycare, we have 110 plus kids to participate in this musical. I chose to do Kings, Dreams, and Schemes. It's a re-telling of the story of Daniel and how God is in control of everything. I think that the kids will really like it. I hope that they will anyway!

I'll have to re-write part of the script though. It's written for two different sets: Daniel in Babylon and two kids re-living it in the modern world. So I'm going to do it just in Babylon, no extra kids in modern days. And that means a little bit of re-writing. Not a whole lot, but enough to keep me busy.

I'm really kinda nervous about this whole thing. I'm in charge of teaching 110 kids 10 songs in 10 weeks, dialogues and lines for the scenes, making costumes, set, and props, and figuring out how it all fits together..... Yikes!

But it's already starting to fit into place. My boss found some large pieces for the set that my church is making for their VBS. As soon as the VBS is over, we'll get the pieces.

Now, I've procrastinated from homework and Bible Study too much! I go to complete them. Until next time my friends!

Monday, May 31

Here comes the next post and the last post of the month of May!!!! We're coming to summer :-)

I have to say: I have a love/hate relationship with Summer. We're great buddies when it comes to getting out of school and being able to relax a little bit. I'm down with the whole full-time job too. Summer and I start fighting when two online classes get through in, practicing for an upcoming 25 minute solo piano recital, being actively involved in my church college program, social life, pursuing a significant friendship, and the many other things that I try to get done while there isn't a school semester to fight.

So here's the question: How can I stay balanced with so many things that I want to do? More importantly, how in the world can I stay actively focused on God and growing in my relationship with Him?

I am so easily distracted. I bounce from one thing to the next almost instantly. I did this as a child. I'd start playing with barbies, and ten minutes later want to color. Then after fifteen more minutes, I'd hunt down my brothers to play with their legos. And so on. The same is true of me today only on a longer time-span. I start something and then get bored with it and want to switch to something else. Yeah, I do have a lot of things that I'm interested in and I am seldom bored for long periods of time, but I never get anything done. It's a wonder that I have stuck with piano as long as I have. Honestly, if I evaluated my life, you would definitely think that piano is more important to me than my relationship with God.

Let's be serious. It is. I can say in my mind or to other people as much as I want that God is way more valuable to me than piano is. But look at the facts! I live my life as if piano is the most important thing to me. At school, that's almost necessary. At least, it is a different situation than the summer. But now it is summer and I have to find a way to pursue a love-struck relationship with God while still practicing piano.

Tomorrow is my first day of work and the first day of one of my classes. The struggle will begin. I have a lot on my plate for one day. Work, quiz, piano, musical (I'll try and talk about that another time), Bible Study, work-out, making dinner, etc. It's just hard to fit all of that in to one 16 hour day. And no, I can't stay up late. I'm one of those people that absolutely has to have 8 hours of sleep.

Tomorrow is also the first day of my new Bible Study. I'm going to use the Inductive Bible Study Method to work through the book of John. I'm also going to resurrect my prayer journal. I need to do a lot of praying.

So that's my plan of attack. Get up early and get into God's Word first thing so that I can think about it all day long. Pray for me as I struggle against myself. My Victory is in Christ and I have faith that He will win for me. He has already won for me!

Now, if you will excuse me, it's past ten, and I still have some crunches and push-ups to do before I get to read "The Case for the Real Jesus" by Lee Strobel and then hit the hay. Have a wonderful week and Happy Memorial Day! May God bless and protect the men and women fighting for our country!

Saturday, May 29

Welcome Back

So I started thinking the other day about making a vlog. I thought that it would be a lot of fun and that I would be able to put forth a lot of my ideas and be able to maybe influence some people. I don't know, I just thought that it would be really fun.

Then I realized that it was going to take up a lot of time and a lot of effort. This summer I won't have very much extra time with working full-time, taking two summer classes, and practicing for my Junior Recital. So then I fell back to this blog and asked myself these questions: Why wasn't I posting on my blog? Why did I want to start a v-log when I couldn't keep up with my first blog.

A few weeks after that, I answered my own question. I didn't want to work on my blog because I wanted to have an audience. A built-in audience. Someone to read my blog. Something that I didn't have then, and don't really have now.

Then I discovered something else. Sudden Inspiration! Maybe, just maybe I ought to post some, and then people will actually read my blog. Wow! What a thought!

So I shall persevere in my blog and post. At least, as much as I can post. And hope that people will read me. So, read! yay!

That is all. My agents need me now, so I have to go.