Monday, September 29, 2008

Ethics... or the lack thereof!

In that same ethics class, we talked about a couple different situations mentioned in our textbook. The main one we talked about involved the owner of a software company and salesman from an advertising company. Long story short, the owner of the software company hired a bunch of people for just that day and had people call in as fake calls to make it look like their phones were ringing off the hook. He also made a media mock-up and crossed out the advertising company that was coming to his office so that they would give him a better deal. In reality, the owner of the software company could not pay $20,000 for the advertisement that he wanted in that magazine, and didn't have the credit to support himself, so he deceived the salesman. It ended up working out and they sold like $125,000 worth of software. The question was if it was ethical or not (for both parties). Believe it or not, I was the only one that said that the guy was unethical for making his company look like it was doing really well and stuff in order to get this advertisement put on credit with no way of paying it back if his idea failed. It is a sad world out there! These business majors are all ready to graduate with the idea that things like this are perfectly okay in the business world. No wonder we have such financial crisis in the United States right now! It would be nice to have business men and women that are committed to being ethical even when it is painful. It's sad that people feel the need to resort to lying and deceiving in order to make some money. Please keep me in prayer as I have started to see a pattern of me being the only one on my end of the equation. I'm very thankful that my teacher generally shares my views. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Are we like Ephesus?

We have been studying Revelation in Bible study at Cal Baptist. I am so thankful for men like Mr. Babb who take the time to study the Word in great depth in order to present it to us at Bible study. Not that we shouldn't be checking to see if it is true, but it is truly a blessing. It's been a great joy leading worship as well. One thing that God brought to my attention tonight during the study is that we can be like the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:2-3) having thought through almost everything... checking to see if there are false teachers, maintaining a high level of doctrine... and still lose our first love (Christ).
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot
tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles,
and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance
and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.

That is very sobering to me. By all outward appearances, they were doing everything right! It seems almost impossible for that to happen, but I guess when we are relying on our own strength in these things, we are prone to lose our first love. What a tragic thing! I pray that we would have a balance of upholding high standards in doctrine and yet be completely 100% dependent on the Author of the doctrine. He is the One that we need to depend on.

I had lunch with Pastor Tim today. He is such a blessing and encouragement to me. We talked a bit about what God might be doing in my life in the near future. Yes, that sounds rather abstract, but really, it is so much fun looking at the situations that God has put me in to make me who I am, and to try to peak into what He is leading me toward in the more long-term way. I am extremely excited about what He is doing and what He will do. Graduating in December (Lord willing) and being really not sure what God is leading me to do next, is both scary and very exciting (more on the exciting end)! I could go directly into grad school and get my doctorate, but I am not sure that I should go that direction or not. I do want to work toward my doctorate degree, but I could do that online as well. Obviously, I want to come to the point where I am ready to support a family when that time comes. I've been researching a bit, and extra degrees are likely to help in the initial application process, but they seem to care more about experience than degrees. I'm thinking maybe work full time and start working on my doctorate online or something. I don't know yet. We'll see where God opens and closes doors. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Absolute Truth

On Wednesday, one of my teachers asked the class of about 32 students if they believed in absolute truth. At first, I thought maybe I had mis-heard the question because no one put their hand up. After a moment of him looking around, I knew that I must have heard him correctly and put my hand up. I look around... and I am the only one. I had always heard about things like this happening, but never fully experienced it until this senior capstone class with 30+ other seniors. He began questioning... "really, is there only one person in this class that believes in absolute truth?" The tone of his voice was encouraging... I thought I was about to get blasted with all sorts of arguments against absolute truth. After asking a few more times, the guy next to me put up his hand (probably because I did). After the teacher asked him some questions, it pretty much confirmed that he did not believe in absolute truth. It turns out that my teacher actually believes in absolute truth! I was quite thrilled. It was definitely a sobering experience knowing that all of those students are about to be the next business owners in the world, and they have nothing concrete to hold onto! I can't even imagine what it would be like to live in a world with no absolute truth. I guess that would give everyone the complete freedom to create their own gospel. Maybe that is why we are seeing such wide acceptance of all religions as ways to heaven (even amongst "Christian" pastors). Let me tell you, the absolute truth is that we have sinned and deserve hell, yet He has given us one and only one way to escape hell, and that is through Christ's death and resurrection. Join me in prayer for these people who have allowed themselves to put their ideas above the consequences for sin which are clearly spelled-out in scripture. This people need to be submissive once again to the One who is the source of all absolute truth. I am reminded of Philippians 2:9-11.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The truth is that every one of us will bow to the source of all absolute truth regardless of if we believe in Him or not. He is not a God that goes based on what we think is the way to heaven. He is creator and ruler. Let's be submissive to Him now, not only when we have no choice. Don't think that we are above the temptation to put ourselves above the absolute truth of scripture. This is a "Christian" institution... definitely not the most godly of instructors, but all the same... it's classified as a "Christian" school. There are future pastors in this group. This is scary to me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Memorial Service

I went to the memorial service of Mr. Souser (one of the people that died in the train crash over a week ago) yesterday. Honestly, it was the best memorial service I have ever been to. God was completely glorified. There was a lot of emphasis on what he would have want said at his memorial service. He wouldn't have wanted it to be about him, but rather about God. The gospel was made clear several times during the service. It was presented with completely boldness. It was very refreshing. The music was incredible... many great hymns as well as a worship dance to "I Can Only Imagine." The message was about Christ conquering death... and Christ being our life. The greatest tragedy isn't the way men die, but rather the way they live (in many cases); however, it was Christ that lived though Mr. Souser... there was no loss. Remember the words of Paul... "to die is gain!" What a blessing it was to hear about the legacy this man left. He led his family in devotions each morning. He was committed to his family and to the Lord. If I understand it correctly, he doesn't even usually take that train, but he was going home to cook tri-tip steak for his family. Even up to his dying moments, he was putting his family first. What an awesome example. Obviously, Christ is our ultimate example, but it is a blessing to have godly men go before us and show us what it is to really live for God. I couldn't help but think through Colossians 3 as I was listening to people talk about him. For me, it was a rekindling of the fire in my heart to live completely for Him. It is soo worth it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Depending on Him Revisited

I really have been meaning to post more on here. I guess it's not the end of the world. God has been working in my heart once again in the area of depending on Him. It turns out that I had three classes scheduled for the same time which was completely beyond my control. I've spent the whole last week talking back and forth with different people. One of the classes has been changed. :D God is good! I still have a few things to work out.

1) This discrete math class that I was planning on taking at UCR, I won't be able to take... so I am requesting a directed study for it at La Sierra.

2) I have talked with my advisor about a directed study for my operating systems class, but I haven't heard anything recently... and I haven't registered for it, so I need to work that out on Monday as well.

3) I still need to register for my internship units, but need special approval from someone.

If you would keep me in prayer for these things, that would be great. Tomorrow at 2pm, I go to the memorial service of the dad of a boy in my cabin at camp this summer. His dad (Mr. Souser) died in the train crash a week ago. If you would keep the Souser family in your prayers... and me as I try to be an encouragement (specifically to Zach), that would be excellent.

This last minute stuff with school is definitely less than ideal, but there is such peace knowing that if God wants me to graduate in December, He will make it happen! :) It really does help me to depend fully on Him. Lately, I've been encouraged by the Psalms. I was thinking about Psalm 91 quite a bit this last week, and it is such a blessing to be able to hide under the shelter of His wings.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

He is Coming Again!

This last weekend, I learned how to play team handball. For those of you that don't know what it is, you can probably find it online. :) It's not like the 4th grade handball up against the garage. It's more like water polo on land. It's awesome! I saw it in the Olympics and honestly, I'd like to play it in the 2012 games if the US has a team. I think it is do-able... I'm just not sure if I want to commit to something like that. A couple of the guys told me that I could play on the national team if I was committed enough. Obviously, most of the people (if not all) would be unsaved. It would be challenging in that way for sure. I'm praying about it at this point. I only want to do it if He would be glorified. I know it would likely create a lot of opportunities to talk about Him, but I also know the risks involved in going among the unsaved for extended periods of time. It takes a lot of commitment to the Word and to prayer as well as encouragement from those within the body of Christ. If you would keep me in prayer about this, that would be excellent. :) Work has been a lot of fun. I've had the opportunity to work on a few different projects. We just had a meeting with a guy about a new project that we will be starting soon if all goes as planned. It's looking like about a $100,000 project by the time it's done. I'm writing out the specifications for it at work. It's going to be pretty cool I think. At Bible study on Friday nights, we are starting a series on Revelation. I read Matthew 24 today. It was such an encouragement being reminded that He is coming again. He will win in the end! So often I find myself getting caught up in the concerns of this earth... what happens if we get a bad president... etc. The fact is that He has everything under control! It brings such amazing peace.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Life getting busy...

Believe it or not, I have only started one class thus far. I have been working a whole lot though. School is going to be really expensive since I am going to three schools and taking excess credits. God will provide though. He always does! :) I had a great opportunity the other day to talk with a guy that I kind of work with. Basically, he works on the computer fixing side of the company, and I work on the programming side. He is definitely unsaved, but seems very open. He shared with me some recent life struggles that he has had. He wouldn't strike you as a nice person based on ear rings and stuff, but there is something behind all of that. It was definitely a step in the right direction. :) I had just been praying for opportunities too! God is awesome! Please keep him in prayer... and me as I plan on doing some follow up with him. I'd like to invite him to church. I also talked with a guy that has fallen away from the Lord. I had talked with him a couple months back, and had a very difficult time getting a hold of him after that. It seems like his heart is changing. He said that he would probably go to church if he wasn't working so much... which was a big step from what it said last time I talked with him. God is working! Anyway, I am exhausted and need to finish homework. I spent under an hour home between 7 am and 11:30 pm. It's been a full day, but a very good one. I hope to update this a little bit more often. It seems like I am finding lots of other things to do right now, but I find that this helps me to remember the things that God has done much like the Israelites had all those feasts and stuff to remember what God had done for them in the past. It is important!