Pills and how to swallow them – By David Landrus

Song: Forget Me Not – The Civil Wars

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When making a tough decision you really only have two options. Shakespeare put it this way, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” When your asked to do something by a person who has authority in the situation you also have two decisions, to obey or disobey. However clearcut this may seem, when in the “moment” these truths are hard ones to swallow. Maybe you have self interests involved, maybe your heart is on the line, and maybe your just feeling rebellious. Either way, one thing can be concluded; the decision not to make a decision does not solve the situation or clear you of responsibility.

The past months of my life, the last week in particular, has been a season of much tribulation in my life. Situations have presented themselves to me and decisions have been made. But, as a Christian, each situation is governed by obedience or disobedience. I don’t think I have obeyed in every situation, which has caused confusion, but I know that I have on the ones that have counted. Some of the hardest decisions have been made through sadness, anguish and healthy sized tears, but I believe that these have been the ones that I have shown the most obedience in. When we truely let our heart and gut get involved in the tough situations it often is a sobering and uncomfortable thing. The sadness we have and the tears we shed are ones that are worth remembering.

Often times I console myself saying that “God has a plan for my life.” But what I really mean is, “God loves me, so he must have a plan full of serendipity and things that are easy to swallow.” The truth though is that Jesus died on the cross and bore my sin and shame for my fullness of joy, not my happiness. This is a truth that was made for me to cling to, especially in the rough times.

So I leave you with these words,

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Had any other condition been BETTER for you than the one in which you find yourself, divine Love WOULD have placed you there.

-Charles Spurgeon

a few words on Faith By: David Landrus

Song: Explosions in the Sky – Last Known Surroundings
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everything is derivative, everything except one

Cause and effect, one situation to another, and that my friends is how babies are born. When thinking of existence in all of its wondrous expanse, the details of why and how get very jumbled up. This is why many prefer to not think about the “deeper things”, or sum everything up and happily call it random chance or dumb luck. This, I know, is a simple solution that at the surface seems harmless, but when you don’t care to count the details many things you wish not to happen arise out of ignorance.
I believe there to be a solution though. Faith.
As stated in Hebrews 11:1-3 NLT
1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
The first thing I find interesting in this translation is that Faith is the combination of hope and confidence.
Today hope has become a very weak word, lacking much of the desire that it originally commanded.
For instance, if you were to tell a friend heading home for spring break, “I hope you make it back safely”.
Now, it is understood that you will not see them again until after they have traveled may hundreds of miles. And through their traveling of these numerous miles you will not be able to see to their safety first hand. So this leaves the question, are we really certain of their safe return (do we have confidence) or do we just hope that dumb luck will land them back into your company one day.
Enter Faith.
It gives us sureness. But where does sureness come from? Perhaps a promise, and from whom does this promise come? And if so, why does this promise give us assurance. There are many times that I promise my friend that I will meet up with him for coffee, but when push comes to shove, sometimes it doesn’t always work out. But the truth of Faith shatters all of these doubts, as verse three comes roaring in.
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command.
One command, one Word, one God.

everything is derivative, everything except One

Unhitch that Plow– By: David Landrus

Song:

Mumford and Sons – Thistles and Weeds

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Farming is a topic that doesn’t really enter into our daily patterns of thinking in the 21st century; unless you’re watching a documentary that talks about how nutritionally deficient America is, or driving back to school through the beautiful rolling wheat fields of the Palouse. Whether you acknowledge it or not, farming plays an intricate part in all of our lives. In actuality, our country was founded on agriculture, and it wasn’t until after WWII that large farms and conglomerates were responsible for our food production. Farming, surprisingly, is very interesting and the people that bear the title of farmer are even more interesting. Many parables told by Jesus actually pertained to this topic, and there is one in particular that I would like to bring to your attention. So sit back and enjoy some Mumford while I have you ponder this quote, “unhitch that plow off your back.”

Jesus said in Matthew 9,

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

As a matter of fact, he said it twice. Here’s what Luke recorded in Chapter 10 of his biblical contribution,

2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Most of the time, the Bible says something once and moves on to other statements to strengthen the point. However, there are times when the Bible will repeat itself; one example is Jesus starting a statement with the disclaimer “Truly, Truly I say to you”. This might seem excessive, but I promise you that Jesus had nothing resembling a stutter. In Hebrew culture, repeating something twice witnessed to its importance, and futhermore, repeating it thrice witnessed to the statements(or Gods’) perfection. The fact that this verse is repeated in separate Gospels therefore witnesses to me its importance. But why is it so important?

Land is commonly measured by the unit of acres; but how big is an acre and who decided its size? Well let me tell you! An acre was originally the amount of land that one man could tend to in a days’ time. Now I want to apply that definition to a topic at hand, our lives. Many times we feel weighed down by all the things we have to do in our days. Whether its school, or a job, or community service, or a relationship, or whatever you find yourself doing today, that is your acre. All the while the laziness within is appealing to us, “You work so hard in the field everyday, just unhitch that plow off your back. It would make your days a lot easier.” Granted, many of us don’t “entirely” listen to this voice, but we do allow it to affect our actions at some level. I’m not saying that all of us are throwing in the proverbial towel because the truth is that many of us realize that quitting is not an option; but we do get awfully comfortable watching our favorite sitcom on Netflix each night as our relationship with God gets shoved to the side. As we do this, the voice in turn encourages our self pity and entitlement and, without noticing it, we start agreeing with it. “Yah! That’s right, I have been working hard! I just spent all day getting my school work done and now I NEED me time. Maybe my friends want to get drunk tonight.”

You’re sunk…

Let’s go back to what Jesus said now. He said that the harvest is plentiful! Those are positive terms that he’s talking in folks. The harvest IS something that is to be desired. And then with all the insight that you would expect from the Son of Man, he accurately states that “the laborers are few.” God just called every lazy servant out, including you. And he’s actually being nice! Read the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) to see how laziness is rewarded in reality. But that’s not my point. My point is that you should rejoice! There is a harvest, and its plentiful, and we are being called to put our plows back on every morning when we wake up! Lastly I want to leave you with a verse of encouragement. This one comes from Matthew 11:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

A word to the wise, “get used to your plow and harvest all you can until the master gives you a bigger one.”

An Active Pursuit– By: David Landrus

With every blog post I will put a song to accompany it so that you can listen to the same thing that I am when I write it. Music has the power to inspire and I believe that sharing the song I am listening to will increase communication with the reader. Enjoy.

Song: “Ghost Man on Third” – Taking Back Sunday

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The title of this post, as you might have already noticed, is “An Active Pursuit”. The title is a bit ambiguous, it begs the question “an active pursuit of what?”. In my analysis, throughout life every human is in an active pursuit of something. Here at WSU, that pursuit is after a degree and a job. For others it’s a man or a woman chasing after a significant other. Maybe for you it’s an active pursuit of a sub sandwich when lunch time rolls around. The point is this, we have needs, wants and desires that orders our lives in our constant pursuit of happiness. What we don’t often times realize is that these pursuits are ultimately trivial and will inevitably end in death and decay. That may sound harsh, but in reality it’s true. You chase your whole life until you can’t chase anymore and keel over of exhaustion or just good ol’ fashioned old age. So to those who aren’t dead yet I want to share with you why I think our “Active Pursuits” need a make over.

The biggest flaw I see in the average man’s goals and desires is that they are after things that are headed towards the same fate that is given to him/her. So, using that logic our pursuit needs to be after something that is metaphysical, or in laymens terms “spiritual”. This is usually the part where people begin rolling their eyes and squirming so I invite you to bear with me. If one was to look objectively at human history objectively, you would notice some key things:

  1. Ice floats
  2. Man harnessed fire/energy for his/her benefit
  3. There was a man who died and came back to life

There are obviously other huge things that could be noted but I believe they all fall into insignificance when seen in the grand scheme of existence. Ice floating is vital for our planet to be inhabitable and is the foundational premise for life to exist. Man harnessing fire/energy is solely responsible for all technological advancements and the fact that we could destroy all life on earth with the push of a button(or multiple buttons). But the last thing you would notice is the one that is imperative for this post. The fact that there was one man who died and came back to life is evidence that we can set our desires on something that is beyond this existence. And if you were to read the book written about him (a best seller) you would also find out that this man also claimed to be God and invited everyone to ACTIVELY PURSUE him and him alone. If your wondering what Jesus actually said, here is a little snip it from the Gospel of John in chapter 6:

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

So that’s my food for thought today. I encourage you that the next time you find yourself in active pursuit of something you think twice, maybe even three times, about why you are and whether it is better than pursuing God. A God who became flesh and bore a cross that was not his own for the sakes of Dick and Janes like you and me.