Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It's A Choice

Wow.  It's been a while.  Sorry guys.
Whelp, track season has started again and because I didn't do anything in the off season like I was supposed to, I have shin splits again.  Shocker.  So this means that in practice when it starts to hurt even when walking, I have to sit on the sidelines and stretch, not getting the conditioning that I need.  It stinks to watch my team work their butts off, when I'm looking lazy and wishing I could do the same.  Once again, it's entirely my own fault.  If I'd been running, stretching, and preparing my shins before the season started, I wouldn't be in this predicament once again.
Just like I had the choice to prepare at the beginning, we as Christians also have a choice.  We can be evangelists for the gospel, or we can sit lazily on the sidelines while "going through the motions."  We can be lazy in our faith and not strengthen and prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for when God sends us someone to minister too.  If we aren't seeking out Christ and equipping ourselves for His ministry, then what's the point?  Christianity isn't easy.  It's filled with trials.  When Jesus gave us the great commission He didn't say "And everyone you look at will turn to me in repentance.  There will be no suffering, no pain, no persecution, and my name will sound forth while you do nothing!"  He ordered us to GO and make disciples of all nations.  He didn't tell us to SIT, He said GO.  And if we aren't preparing ourselves to go, then we won't be able to do God's work to the best of our ability.
Recently I realized that I didn't know much about how to defend my faith or even why.  My faith was something I had been around my entire life, it was natural.  I was surrounded by people that shared my faith, so I was never challenged by someone who didn't.  When my dad announced that he was going to teach a class called Theological Foundations 1 and that it would go through the book Bible Doctrine, I decided I would take it.  I felt that it would help me learn more about my faith and get me deeper into God's word.  It would also get me around other people who wanted to grow in their faith as well.
I believe that God gave us the freedom of choice.  I made the choice to not train before track season, and it's costing me.  I made the choice to take TF1, and it's equipping me.  In one I'm hurting, in the other I'm growing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Suffering and the Problem of Evil

This is an email from his daughter that Mark Driscoll shared on his website.  My mom sent me this article and I thought it was too good not to share!  Hope you love it:)

A Quick Word from Pastor Mark:

Our oldest daughter, Ashley, is an eighteen-year-old young woman who we are very blessed to have in our life. Every week she sends us an email about what she is learning. In one recent email she shared what she is learning about suffering and the problem of evil. I shared her email with some people who  found it helpful. So, I thought it might be helpful to pass it on to you as well. I did not know the Lord at her age and am overjoyed at her strong Christian faith and want to publicly thank her for giving me permission to share her email with you.


From Ashley, On Suffering and the Problem of Evil:

We dealt with the classic dilemma of how a good God could allow evil to exist if He is all powerful. First, we must distinguish between good and kind. Our teacher used the example of a doctor treating a patient with a life threatening disease. The kind thing to do would be to administer painless treatment so that the patient can feel some relief. The good thing to do would be to stop the disease at all costs, even if it is a painful procedure. In a fallen world where we’re all dying from the disease of sin, God will always choose to do the good thing, not necessarily the kind one. That’s His character. Instead of saying, “How can there be evil if God is good?” we ought to ask, “How could anything good possibly exist apart from God?” You see, James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above. He gave us the choice to sin or choose what is right, yet we continue in our sin.

I am so thankful that God’s goodness outweighs and atones for the evil of the world. And talk about the innocent being punished…God sent His only perfect son to die for the salvation of the entire sinful world. We want free will and good simultaneously, but we often fail to understand that those two can’t coexist in a fallen world. For those of us that find hope in Jesus and see our need for Him, the more evil we see, therefore, the more we see God’s goodness. The contrast makes us thankful for His grace and love and ability to use bad things for His good. If we only lived in a perfect, blessed world we wouldn’t see the need for a savior and we certainly wouldn’t understand God’s absolute power over evil.

To identify good and bad in our lives, we made a list of the top five worst things that have ever happened to us. Then we made a list of the top five best things that have ever happened to us. I had a sort of lightbulb moment when I saw that the bad things were all results of sin and evil, whether mine or otherwise. Many even involved spiritual warfare. I honestly couldn’t blame God for any of them.

On the other side of the spectrum, the good things were solely results of the grace of God. I couldn’t take credit for any of them. In fact, the best things were the ways that God had redeemed the bad things. I have a much greater appreciation for God’s goodness the more I see the gap between my total depravity and His continual faithfulness.
I have never fully understood what it means to fear God, but I realized that I should fear Him because I know that He will always be just and good, which sometimes feels evil and bad to me. I don’t have the same perspective that He does.
He won’t choose to kindly let me keep sinning, but rather will give me trials and tests to learn to turn to Him. Such trials will certainly be difficult, but I will count them as joy if they give me the chance to be steadfast in my relationship with Him.

We often ask for ease, comfort, happiness. God instead gives us love, because He is our good Father. And sometimes that love feels like discipline. Hebrews 12:6-8 says that to be sons of God, we must endure discipline. It feels painful in the moment, but it later yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Of course not all suffering is a punishment for our sin, but, nonetheless, all suffering gives us a chance to learn and grow.

 This lengthy explanation may not convince anyone in an apologetics debate, but if I learned one thing this week, it’s that my own testimony of God’s work and faithfulness in my life is the strongest evangelical tool He has given me. The more he teaches me and tests me, the more testimony I am able to give to the rest of the world.

Ashley Driscoll

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Life is busy.  Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough hours in the day.  But through the business and chaos, we still have to trust Christ.  This week I'm working much more than I normally do and I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed with work, school, and my steer.  Not to mention the fact that NaNoWriMo starts Sunday!  Even though I may feel overwhelmed, God has a plan for this craziness.  He has everything under control and reminding myself of that every day is comforting.  I'm not alone no matter what.  Hey, maybe God is trying to teach me how to use my time wisely and focus on the things that are important instead of the things that aren't a huge deal.  My point is, no matter how busy your life gets, God is always there and He never changes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

School Makes an Unwanted Return

School started a couple weeks ago...hurrah (note my excitement).  Coming out of summer is never easy.  Being lazy, hanging out with amazing friends, and lounging around the house is so nice.  And once it's time to buckle down and get back to school, it seems like the fun is over.  I've found that the chaos of summer is enjoyable for a time, but when fall comes, I am glad for a routine and structure to my days again.  Yeah sometimes I dislike school with the burning heat of a thousand suns, but it's necessary and there isn't anything I can do about it.  Might as well get it done.
Sometimes balancing school and a job is a little overwhelming.  But I've found that trusting Christ with my schedule gets rid of the worry.  Just knowing that God cares and is willing to help me is great comfort.
So remember through the school year that God is there for you to talk to when you need comfort, and love you when you get overwhelmed.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Culture, Attack!

Our culture is constantly feeding the young adults of our world lies and "desensitizing" them to things that they know are wrong. Music, books, TV, and video games of the secular culture that we live in are always trying to show us that little things like lying are okay.
I've found that in my own life, the music that I listen to doesn't have much of a filter.  I find myself singing songs that have horrible content because they came on the radio and they're "catchy".  Do I always skip the songs I need to skip?  Nope.  For instance, the song Uptown Funk is pretty popular right now.  So because everyone is listening to it, it must be ok, right?  Wrong!  My dad found my little brother singing it.  You know, lyrics can sound okay until a little kid sings them.  All of the sudden, you hear the song for what it is.  Ever since then I've been trying to filter the music that I listen to not just for myself, but for my younger siblings and their friends as well.  I don't want them to be corrupted or pulled into the things of the world like some of us are so easily.
Yesterday I got a book from the library that I've been waiting for for so long!  I was so excited and as I started reading, I realized some of the things that the characters were doing was considered appropriate in their culture, but to a Christian, they were very wrong.  I stayed up until 1:30 A.M to finish this book.  It was interesting in that the world they lived in was very different, but the way that their culture had no morals whatsoever disturbed me.  As I was talking to my mom about it this morning in the kitchen, we came to the conclusion that musicians, authors, and the internet are attacking children and young adults while they are young.  Because when people aren't solid in their faith, they can be easily swayed by things that seem enticing.
"There was just one swear word in that song, it isn't that bad." 
"I just told a little lie."
"It's okay that I stole.  They'll never miss it anyway."
The bible says:

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect"
Romans 12:2

Our culture's worldliness is so enticing, so "fun" that young Christians (and sometimes even older ones) are drawn into their sin.  I never understood when I was younger why my parents wouldn't let me watch certain movies or TV shows.  Sometimes still today I get a uptight about some of the rules that they give me, even though I know they are to protect me.  Mom likes to look at reviews on books before she lets me read them, movies before we watch them, and read lyrics to songs before I buy them.  Sometimes I'm none to pleased with her decision to not let me read certain books, watch certain movies, or buy certain songs.  Some of the things I want to read, watch, or listen too "look good" on the outside.  But just like sin, underneath the beautiful book cover are harmful things to my mind, soul, and heart.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things"
Philippians 4:8

Filtering our media intake is important.  What we focus our thoughts on matters.
That one swear word can turn into using them yourself.
The little lie can tempt you to tell more.
The little thing you stole can make you steal again because it was "okay" the first time.

"Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour"
1 Peter 5:8

When Jesus died on the cross, he defeated sin and death so that we could once again be with God.  Sin no longer has a hold on us if we believe in Christ Jesus.  Culture cannot manipulate and twist us if we have Jesus.  Because in the end, Jesus always wins.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Love is Hard

My little brother is probably the most adorable kid I've ever seen.  He's funny, cute, and cuddly.  It's easy to love him on days like today when he has a good heart and isn't complaining about anything.  Loving people isn't always easy.  Just like my little brother has his hard days and I struggle with being patient with him.
People will let you down, disappoint, and trample you.
As humans we tend to love others when it's easy or convenient for us, when we should love them no matter what.  The bible says:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is hard.  It's difficult to love people when they are complaining or are having a hard day.  But God's love for us is endless.  And because He loves us, we should strive to love others. So because of Jesus's example of love, I'll fight to love my brother even when he's being annoying.  God doesn't abandon us when we mess up, He still loves and cares for us.  So because of that, we should love and care for others even when it's hard.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Unfathomable Beauty

I was riding home on the bus from a track meet last night and the world couldn't get any more perfect.
God's glory surrounds us everywhere.  It's undeniable that something as complex as the earth must have an intelligent designer.  How can people look around at the world and say there is no God?  Evidence of His existence is everywhere.
The sun rises and sets in complete and utter beauty.
The waves on the ocean roll in and out with ease.  They never fail.
The seasons change and the world still spins.
We are alive by the grace of God.  How can some people not realize what an amazing creator He is?  And how merciful He is that He allowed us to live and His son to die?
My track team went to the beach to eat dinner after our meet and the vastness of the sea still has me in awe.
The bible says that God's voice is like rolling thunder.  What power He has that He holds the whole world in His hands.  It makes me feel so small and insignificant.
The waves crashing onto rocks is quite the display of strength and power, but God made those waves.  He gave them that strength.  Can you imagine how much more power God has?  How much more strength?
It amazes me that God loves us so much that He created the earth for us to enjoy.  When we fell into sin, He still loved us, and promised us a deliverer.  His own son came to earth in the form of a humble child to grow up like a normal man and to spread the word of God's love.  Eventually, He was put on a cross and killed.  The sins of the world were placed on his shoulders and in that moment, God saw His chosen ones as blameless.  He saw His people without sin.  He saw them as He saw Jesus.  He saw them as Perfect.
What an amazing God we have to worship that He sacrificed His own son for a sinful people so that they might be drawn to Him.  What love.  What beauty.  What indescribable grace.