Thursday, August 4, 2016

The One About Contentness

Finally. The one you've all been waiting for... Turn with me to my biggest biblical pet peeve.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who strengthens me.".
Okay, now having a Bible verse as a pet peeve probably isn't a great thing. But hear me out. It isn't so much the verse, but the way it is used...

Do you hear that?! 

That is the sound of a Bible verse being ripped from context. This verse, Philippians 4:13, all on its own has been used as a Christian defense for attempting stupid things. Because you are a Christian, doesn't mean you will be able to run a marathon without training, you won't become a MLG COD Player with out gaming, and you won't pass that big exam at school if you don't study. God CAN do those things, but lets be honest, He won't always allow that happen if you don't put in the work.

So what does this Philippians 4:13 mean? .
Philippians 4:10-12 "I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need..."
Time for some context. Paul was writing this from prison. Prison is not a fun place to be, I think we can all agree on that. But what is Paul saying? He isn't saying that with God he would be able to break out of Prison and live a free life. Paul says that with God he is able to be content in all situations. Even the unpleasant ones. Paul is being content in prison and I find it hard to be content while being hungry for more then an hour.

Now just to be really clear, what is contentness?(I actually don't think contentness is a word, but I'm in I.T. not English.) In this passage the word "content" is used, It's the only time the Bible uses this Greek word for content, and we are told that it basically means "not needing aid in spite of external circumstances." Paul was fully trusting in God and through that he had everything he could ever need, even though he was in Prison.

Another thing I want to make clear just so we can end this with no confusion. Contentness doesn't mean being complacent or stagnant. As an example of what I mean: I currently live in my parents basement, I am single, and only work part time hours. What this verse ISN'T saying is to just accept where I am in life and do nothing. God wants us to be useful. Of course He wants our relationship with Him to be number one priority. But he also wants us to work hard, to enjoy life, and live productive lives.

The trick is to do things in God's timing. To wait for God to prepare our path, to be patient. This is the hard part. But judging by the Christians who have accomplished this task, it is so totally worth the wait. Contentness breeds patience. Or vice versa?

Well that is all I got to say. I hope you can follow my train of thought. If you can't, to bad. You'll just have to be content not knowing.

Nolan Out!

P.S. I love living at my parents house. I love my family. It's just that I am getting older and want my own space.

P.P.S If anyone knows any Christian, single, attractive females. Feel free to give them my email.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Problem With Nolan

Recently I've been noticing a downward trend in the world. Nothing super specific, it just seems that more and more bad things seem to be happening. The world is drifting farther and farther away from God's law. Valuing things that are wrong. This sort of thing.

I have been seeing people I used to know, some of them very good friends, that have been drifting away from God. When I was younger these people used to seem like they had it all together, I was even envious of their spiritual life. But from observing their lives now, clearly, they did not have it all together, they gave up, or missed something important.

Now I know that sounds really harsh, and maybe it is. Just a little. But want to know the the worst part of this story? I sometimes look at these people and feel like I am better then them. I mean, I go to church most Sundays, I help run the sound booth, I do other things at the church.

But the truth is that I'm no better. If anything, I am worse off then these friends of mine. I wear a mask. I play a role in the musical called Church. I know my lines. I know them well. 

But when I am not at church I have hidden sins that I indulge. The ones no one sees. The ones that are best kept secret and are easy to keep, at least from most. My sins are worse, at least in my mind. I see mine as less "bad" just because mine just aren't out in the public eye.

From the outside, people think I'm doing well. I'm not. My life is a Christian roller coaster.(See previous post.) It definitely has its ups, and let me be clear, the ups are wonderful and hard work. But I get really low some times. Sure I know how to smile and keep things nice on the outside. But inside I am somewhat of a wreck.

Sorry for the depressed late night post. I really do plan on getting around to writing that post about being content. Eventually.

Here is some homework. Read Psalms 73

Nolan Out!

P.S. Just to lighten the mood: Why did the cookie go to the hospital? Because he felt crummy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Consistently Inconsistent

So I have something to say. It is something new, it is something you have never heard before. Are you ready for this? Daily devotions actually help. Crazy right!?

Okay, so not mind blowing. Let me briefly explain how I came to this conclusion. I grew up in a christian home and have been told this since I was able to understand language, this is not how I came to this conclusion. You'd think I would have been smart enough to maybe figured this out log before I was 24(Wow, I am SO old). But I didn't! Because I need to learn things the hard way.

Lately I've been really trying to focus on  actually doing daily devotions. The bad news is that I am consistently inconsistent. After a day when I do my devotions I find it is much easier to withstand temptation, and sin, and my days just go WAY better. When I don't do my devotions the day isn't , what you'd call, Ideal.

I'll leave you with this:
Psalms 1:2-4 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away."

Nolan Out!

P.S. I know I promised this post to be on being content in life, but you'll have to wait till next time, sorry!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wise Guy

So a couple weeks ago, as I was at the gym in the morning. Okay fine, it wasn't really the morning, basically the afternoon, but morning for me. And as I was sitting on the bike, and not like an actual work out bike, but the one that the grandmas use. And I was just answering some work related email on my phone...

This was the exact moment it hit me. It hit me hard too, it was like getting hit a a pillow case full of venomous baby porcupines. You feel it, you get bruised, it sticks with you, and it stings a lot.

I am an adult. Like almost for real. Now I am not just going to ramble on about how much I don't want to be an adult. That complaint overdone. But what I do what to talk about it Wisdom. Since I am older, I should be wiser. Is age the only way to get Wisdom?

Lately I have been reading through the book of Proverbs. This is an entire book of the Bible written as a dedicated "How-To be wise" book. Wisdom for Dummies. 

This book covers most major things we need wisdom for: Relationships, Careers, Family, there are more, I'm just to lazy to write them down. And then on top of the book of Proverbs, the guy who wrote it, King Solomon, he also wrote two other books, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes(yeah, I had to consult the googles for proper spelling of Ecclesiastes). Both similar to Proverbs, just more focused on certain topics. Song of Solomon is for love and relationships, and Ecclesiastes is telling us about how pointless life can be(It does end on a happier note then that). 

So at least 3 books of the Bible are dedicated to the subject of wisdom and they were all written by the wisest man to ever live, Solomon(1 Kings 4:29-30). So I guess we can just assume that this is an important topic. Otherwise why talk about it so much?

I guess it's time to go on a long and dangerous quest to find out what and where wisdom is. I am sure we will need to answer riddles, fight trolls, climb mountains, destroy rings... Whoa! started getting a little off track. 

It's actually really easy to find and acquire wisdom. Check this out: James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

Notice that the verse doesn't even mention anything about age or knowledge. Sure those can be factors. But this says that all we have to do is ask for wisdom and God will give it to us. That is pretty cool. We all need wisdom no matter then age. We need help in choosing schools, what to take, where to go. We need help in our relationships, who to date, who to not date. We all need help in being adults, money, jobs, houses, cars. God care about all these things and wants us to make good choices with them. Wisdom will hep with this. We all need wisdom. Ask for wisdom.

Well that is all I got to talk about today. Come back next time to hear me talk about being content. 

Nolan out!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Egg Overload!


So here I am writing another blog post about my life. Currently sitting in a basement. I don't particularly want to be in this basement. The weather is gorgeous and I'm not in it. There are no windows down here, just walls and sadness. I think I need to set up a webcam so I can always see the outside.

The real reason for the post is to inform the world that I am back on a low carb diet. Bread is so delicious. The reason I am on this diet is that I joined this contest that Popeye's(Not the chicken, but the supplement store) is hosting. Winner can get $30,000. I think I'd like that much money. I also really like carbs  

The big question when it comes to low carb diets that I still have no answer for is eggs. Now let me clarify,  I love eggs. They are a wonderful creation of deliciousness. The only issue is that I have, is after eating 3-4 eggs every morning for two weeks, your mind kinda starts to not want to eat them. There are some foods I could eat everyday for the rest of my life, Pizza for instance. But eggs get old. 

Breakfast is hard with out Fruit, Cereal, and Toast. Other then eating eggs most breakfast foods are carbs, which I guess makes sense, get that energy boost in the morning. But when not eating carbs what does one eat for breakfast, other then copious amounts of eggs and protein shakes?!

I need some breakfast variety. 

Nolan Out! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Confessions from the sound booth

A few weeks back I was at a church that was not my own. It was very enjoyable. But the sound and projector was almost unbearable. Since I normally run the sound and projector at my church I find myself being very judgey of other people who operate it at other churches.

First off, It's not hard to use one font for song sides is it? Like seriously. Mixed fonts, inconsistent font size, Why is that word bold, and the other italicized? Just remember, consistency is key.

Secondly is music volume. Now I know at my church we don't have drums. Heaven Forbid! But when I go to other churches that do, and find that the volume on the drums, or any instrument is set to 11. Well that just won't do. I want to hear the singing. Oh, and if you have people singing with mic's at the front, lets keep that a normal level too, Sure they might be good, but I still want to hear the rest of the congregations singing too! 

Slides in the wrong order. This is my biggest pet peeve. Now it has happened to me, so I do give some room for error here. Some times the person leading music just decides to go all crazy and sing the bridge in the middle of the song for no reason. I get it. No one is perfect. But when EVERY SINGLE SONG is not in the right order or is missing the 1st verse, I have to think that it might not be the music peoples fault. But that maybe you forgot to coordinate with the music people. Lets remember that as the sound booth guy you play a big role is facilitating worship so lets put some effort in(PS you are not leading worship, that is the Holy Spirits job. He is the worship leader. Another pet peeve. Sorry I'll get back on track now...)

To many "Churchy" backgrounds. This just makes me laugh. Like when you see a slide and the background is like this:
The dove, the cross, a fancy bible, a beam of light. THESE ARE NOT COOL. They make me think I'm singing a cult song. Now I'm not saying a cool background is bad. I do my song slides at a brethren assembly where my definition of a crazy background is when we set it to red for Christmas. I know, crazy right? So I might be a little harsh on the whole situation. But I don't mind to occasional cool background, but lets keep it from getting too "Religious" looking. You know what I mean.

And my last point is about when to change to the next slide. This should be common sense, but apparently not. Also I am guilty of what I am about to say, but once again the is more meant for those who do it every time! Lets change slides when the we are done singing the words on the current slide. Or even a half second early so people know what is coming next. It will make everything run smoothly. If you don't believe me, that is fine. But try it just once, to prove me wrong. It it goes better then normal I win and you change your ways. If not, just keep doing it all dumb like. I don't care.

Well that is my rant for today. Maybe I'll rant again soon about something. Who knows with this blog.

Nolan Out!