"… worship is not only “doing what pleases God,” but also “being pleased with what God does.”"

William Barclay quoting and paraphrasing Burroughs

#mylife

 

i don’t do the whole twitter thing; to be fair, i do indeed have a twitter account, but only because i read somewhere that “people my age” are supposed to, and when looking for a job, it is suspicious to be completely absent from the social media scene. i literally sat on the floor in our house and created a linked in, twitter, and facebook page that night; years of my wife and friends trying to convince me meant nothing, but being told i was being profiled against when seeking employment was reason enough. that’s not to say i don’t use hashtags; you know, #, the thing we used to call the pound sign or number sign. i have a blog where i write and post pictures and whatnot. well again, one day i was reading about how to increase your readers for your blog, and it mentioned the importance of proper hashtagging, so since then i try and make one or two hashtags for every post. i know, it’s a pathetic trend really that i tend to only do things if i read it somewhere; but that’s not why we’re here. we’re not going to talk about my insane fascination with the written word; we’re going to talk about #mylife. eventually. i never cut to the chase.

hashtags are a curious part of internet life. they really came on the scene because of the influence twitter has had on the digital world, evolving over the past 6 years or so into the official way to find out anything about everything. just do a quick search on the internet, type in the thing you wanna know about, leave out the spaces, and put a # in front, and see what you get. sure, there is a lot of information that this will miss, namely anything at all official, academic, older than 2009, in print only, or otherwise “adult” in nature, but then, you shouldn’t be using the internet for the pursuit of “factual knowledge” without knowing these things are hard to come by in any world, virtual or otherwise. this ease of access leads people to start causes, like #helpmegrowmyhairreallylong or #wannagooutforadate. this has also led to businesses trying to exploit this for marketing like #ilovehamburgers or #eatatjoes but to no avail; funnily enough, most businesses that start hashtag campaigns soon find their hashtag is inundated with connections to complaints and disgust. pretty much, for corporate america anyways, hashtags are only a means of observation, not direction. a recent attempt by the NYPD is sign enough; check out #myNYPD and see how an attempt at a positive presence in the media turned into an outpouring of disgust and anger.

ok, i promise i have a point. sometimes when writing i forget it, and others i didn’t actually have one when i started, hence my rambling; but whatever the case, by the end of my writing, there is a point to be found. somewhere. eventually.

my life is complicated. to be fair, this is true for everyone, and for quite a number of people out there, my life isn’t complicated at all by comparison. one of the more convoluted properties of being an adult is keeping up with all the changes. kids are always growing, bills coming and going, cars having issues, the news just updated, job searches, groceries, random parties and get togethers with friends and family, don’t forget homework, did you finish that project… one of the real difficulties is just in trying to keep everything straight. in the hashtag world, you can set up a feed similar to a news channel. instead of tuning into CNN every day to know what is happening around the world, you could just check in with #Philippines and be up to date on what is going on in the pacific asian country with little to no difficulty. ok, get ready. i’m finally going to make my point here! i need a hashtag for my life, a way to be up to date at all times with my own life; a way to know where i’m at and what i’m doing, what’s important and what’s a waste, who i am and who i should be. sure, there are technology aids that can do some of this for me, but that’s not what i’m talking about. the Bible is my daily news feed, tuned into #k.a.w.-richée; or maybe, even more accurately, it is tuned in to #God with a k.a.w.-richée filter. either way, it is a concrete, universal means by which i can know what is really going on in my life. because that’s what hashtagging really is all about, usable information at an up to date speed. and there’s nothing in life more usable, more worthwhile, more relevant and to date than the Word God has for His people, His creation, His world. His message is timeless, His advice always sound, His updates are so current, their downright prescient!

there are evenings when i sit on the couch, scrolling through headlines as my wife and i talk about our days. i am catching up on life, on the world, on what has, is, and will be happening; many mornings even begin with this same ritual. my days are filled with endless perusing, digging, looking at what is going on. well, to be fair, not every day. the really good days are the days i’m too busy to “check in,” too busy to see what’s going on, as those are often times days spent not only being present in the moment with my wife and kids, but also being conscious in my walk in Christ, commutes listening to sermons, or better still, family car rides with all of us singing His praises. it is at these moments when i am tuned in to #God that complications fall away, and a thorough knowledge settles in; i know what’s trending, i know what’s going on. i need this. maybe you don’t get overwhelmed with a desire for knowledge, or the desire for at least an allusion of security in a world with so many unknowns, but i do. that’s why i need to hashtag my life; that’s why i need to check in all the time to see just what’s trending in the Word of God.

"the demand is for a family likeness: God’s son (the nation in the Old Testament, Exod. 4:22; the individual Christian in the New Testament, Roma. 8:14) must stive, just because he is God’s son, to be like his Father. this is what the call to holiness means; and the noun (in the New Testament, hagiasmos, sometimes redered “sanctification” I the English versions) denotes the state of being dissociated from the practice of sin and devoted to the life of Godlikeness."

J.I. Packer, “18 Words”, on Holiness and Sanctification
before reading this, never knew that holy and sanctify were actually the same word in the original Hebrew and Greek languages. at one point he jokes that “holify” and “sanct” are such ugly sounding words that it makes since to have separate words for the noun and verb forms; either way, it is driving home the importance of the pursuit of holiness in the life of the saint, as the process of “holifying” unfolds in the life of the believer.

"God draws us into fellowship with Himself by different routes; it is a mistake to expect one man’s journey into faith to be a carbon copy of another’s. The demand that conversion experiences correspond only stirs up misplaced and distracting anxieties. We are all different people with different starting points, and God deals with us as we are where He finds us. Richard Baxter said, ‘God breaketh not all men’s hearts alike.’ But at one point all the roads to Christ converge: at the point of realizing that one is out of step and out of fellowship with God, and has no hope but in the reconciliation that Christ Himself brings. Different people express this in different terms, not all biblically adequate, but what is expressed- the sense of need for a new relationship with God, the exclusive trust in Christ to bring it about, the resting of all hope henceforth on Him, the risen Lord- is the same thing everywhere. Real Christianity- the life of knowing God, as distinct from the life of being prepared for knowing God- starts here, in what Paul calls the receiving of reconciliation; here, and nowhere else."

J. I. Packer in “18 Words” speaking on the importance of the concept of reconciliation in the Gospel message

"pride and luxury are the twins of prosperity… the common mercies wicked men have, are not lodestones to draw then nearer to God, but millstones to sink them deeper to hell. their delicious dainties are like Haman’s banquet; after all their lordly feasting, death will bring in the bill, and they must pay it in hell."

Thomas Watson (a Puritan minister) in the book “All Things for Good,” where he spends 127 pages to expound on Romans 8:28. an inspiring and challenging read, to be sure.

country mouse or city mouse?

most of my really good stuff comes to me while i’m driving. i wish i had some sort of system where i could just dictate these essays that float across my consciousness as i drive; i guess just give tech a few more years and we’ll be there, right? well speaking of technology, that’s actually what got me thinking. tomorrow my family heads to Las Vegas to be in town for the start of CES, the biggest tech show on the continent. every year we go, and it is always a ton of fun. this year my wife’s parents are coming too, the plan being they’ll help with watching the kids and also enjoy the venue. my father in law, however, does not do well with crowds, and yes, it will most certainly be crowded. what caught my attention, though, was that i do. as i thought, i realized that a fact of myself is probably peculiar to most: i hate suburbs, but love cities and the country almost equally. i love being in the middle of nowhere, nothing but plants and critters for miles, and i love delving deep into the concrete jungle, surrounded by civilization and convenience. epiphanies are funny in how they are so similar to a slap to the face; not always painful or surprising, but always jarring. i realized that i love the country and cities for the same reason: they remind me of what i imagine Heaven will feel like. Heaven, a place where i am eternally isolated from anything not directly created by and praising the LORD; and Heaven, the place where we will be surrounded forever by innumerable crowds of the saints gathered together.

my sister has a nickname for me, as do i for her; i am mouse, colloquially referred to as mouser pouser or just plain mouser for shirt, and she is kitty. i have no idea when this started or why, though knowing us it is likely related to a cartoon somehow. but the funny thing is, i am not the country mouse, only at home in the field and lost in the crowd, nor am i the city mouse, perplexed by the simpler life and only content in chaos; no, i’m just plain mouse.