Faith, Love, and Pride

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

In the fifth century, a monk by the name of Telemachus believed he had heard a voice that had told him to leave his home in Asia and to travel to Rome. Spurred by this calling, Telemachus left. While visiting the crown of the Roman Empire, he followed a crowd into the Colosseum. There, he witnessed two gladiators who were fighting in the ring, and Telemachus was horrified by what he saw. He jumped over the wall that separated the crowd from the fight and tried to get between the two men to stop them, shouting three times, “In the name of Christ, stop!” But despite his words, the man was run through with a sword, and was then stoned to death by the angry crowd who didn’t want their entertainment to be interrupted.

But Telemachus’ death did not go unnoticed, for it touched the heart of the watching emperor. Impacted by the saint’s death, Emperor Honorius then issued a ban that ceased all gladiator fights within Rome.

The story of St. Telemachus is aspiring. And though there are differing details in the stories of his legend, which make it difficult to know exactly what happened, one thing remains constant: Telemachus was a man who was struck to the heart by the violence of the gladiators, and he was willing to sacrifice his own life to make a difference. Telemachus was willing to follow the example of his Savior, who had sacrificed himself upon a cross to save the world, and to give up what he could not get back, in order to show love and compassion.

Even today, the stories of Jesus and Telemachus are amazing, and should be stories we keep in the back of our own minds as we make our own statements. For too often, we let our pride get in our way and worry more about being right than being love. Continue reading

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All of Me

Unlike my favorite book and my favorite movies, my favorite song does not stay consistent. But one thing which is consistent about it, is that it usually changes every three months. Two reasons for this, is because one, I usually listen and listen and listen to it, until I burn myself out. And two, because my life changes; therefore, different lyrics tend to speak louder at different times, depending on my mood and what I’m going through.

At the moment, my favorite song is Ashes Remain’s “All of Me.” A song that spoke loudly to me when I heard it on the radio. A song that has become an anthem for my life. And a song that I’d like to share with you:

What’s Most Important?

I’ve heard this song on the radio during the last few weeks. And though it has a catchy beat, and I get what it’s trying to say, I wish it wasn’t being played–that there was more “Joy to the World,” or “Away in the Manger,” instead of “Christmas with a Capital ‘C'”.

The reason I say this, is because I believe there is too much time and energy spent on arguing and debate, rather than on sharing the Gospel. And heated debates being made, without one knowing all the facts. I say this, for though I am a Christian, and I believe we should talk about Jesus daily, I have no problem with saying, “Merry Xmas”, or “Happy holidays.” Why? Continue reading

To or to not Christmas?

It is December, which means it’s the Christmas season! (Though for Wal-Mart, it’s been Christmas ever since August.) A special time of year to celebrate with carols, special foods, and presents. But for some, it’s just an ordinary month. Now, I have no problem with those who choose not to celebrate Christmas for one reason or another. I am in complete accordance with Romans 14:5-6:

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

However, what does cook my oysters, is when one tries to push their opinion on another. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to celebrate Christmas; nevertheless, please don’t try to discourage others to do the same.

There are many arguments that can be made why not to celebrate this holiday; yet, there are equally as many good reasons why it’s perfectly okay: Continue reading

God is not Interested in Mutant Sheep and Puking Goats

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD‘s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:6-8, ESV)

The book of Malachi takes place about 100 years after many of the Jews had returned from the Exile. Yahweh had allowed them once again to dwell in their Promise Land. The temple had been rebuilt, and so had the walls of Jerusalem. Under such men as Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, the Jews had outwardly rebuilt portions of their nation. However, the majority of them had not restored that which had caused them to be exiled in the first place–their hearts. Continue reading

Harding Chapel: A Wake Up Call

This week in chapel, is both an awesome week, yet a challenging one. The theme this week, is “Struggles of the Faith.” Several speakers have graciously accepted the invitation, to come and to speak to us about personal struggles within their lives. Yesterday, we were spoken to by a friend of mine, Aristides (Aris) Ortiz, Jr., who was involved in a scary automobile accident just last semester. This, is his story:

https://hu16.viebit.com/vod/?v=gg3M23L60ajE&s=false

(Skip to 15:47 for Aris’ testimony.)