I Am Finley

Life

Matt Chandler on Abortion

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A compelling 6-minute argument against abortion by Matt Chandler. This has gone viral for good reason.

Posted by AskDrBrown on Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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Wake Up! #DeathCulture

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In a culture that glorifies death, does any life matter? We walk around trying to make sense of the senseless, find meaning in the meaningless, peace in a war zone. Born blind and deaf, only able to scream out in the empty darkness.

This isn't how life was meant to be. You aren't made to be living for the next nap, the next weekend, the next sexual encounter, or the next high. This is death. This is meaningless.

Wake up, oh sleeper, rise from the dead!

There is a life that welcomes all to pick up their cross and follow a King not of this world. Our leaders in this world might fail to meet our expectations, but this King set our expectations for something more because He wanted us to yearn for more.

Nothing here is good enough to fulfill that yearning. You've all felt it. That need for more. A different job, more money, a different girlfriend, the latest gadget. Maybe that will make me happy. I'm sorry to spoil it for you, but none of it will work.

Wake up.

This world is but a glimpse of the eternal, a taste of the divine. The best steak doesn't compare to the eternal. Neither does the most amazing woman, the highest paying job, or even a secluded island with no worries. We long for the eternal.

Your King knocks. Do you hear Him? Will you get out of bed and invite Him in? Wake up.

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For Baby, #AnotherBoy, and Millions More

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This cold calculation is a lie. Whether embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, college student, or senior citizen, the product of a successful human conception is a human being.

But perhaps there is reason that Dr. Gunter’s lies can be perpetuated. In one way, she is right: As a culture, we fail to understand the truth about early pregnancy. The public conversation is hushed at best, leaving room for falsehoods and misconceptions. The absence of public discourse concerning early pregnancy diminishes the thing itself, leaving women confused and unprepared for the worst.

Public Discourse

For the last day I’ve been buried in old hymns, trying to ease my heart ache. In 3 days I will be celebrating being a father for a year. My daughter, my Charm, is easily one of the best things that has happened to me. And while we are preparing to celebrate, the news is inundated with the atrocities of Planned Parenthood. With each video released, their crimes against humanity, funded by our tax dollars, becomes more clear. To say that a cloud has been over our house is an understatement.

To avoid these videos, as most of the elected Democrats are doing, would be to turn a blind eye, but to watch is gut-wrenching and makes my heart cry out.

Many of us turned to our politicians and demanded that this evil organization be defunded, while our President said that he would veto any such bill and even those that we elected into office refused to watch the videos and do anything. I’m honestly not surprised by their actions, or lack thereof. The one that we should be turning to is Jesus. Our country needs revival. Our country needs Jesus. As we remove the Bible and faith from more and more institutions, the effects of that are being felt more rapidly. Without the one that gives life, death becomes ever-present.

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When Your Twenties Are Darker Than You Expected

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The human body starts dying at age 25. Our twenties slap us with the expiration date of sin’s curse (Genesis 6:3): slowly, in our ligaments; tightly, in our muscle fibers; subtly, checking for bumps; decimally, with a rising BMI. We feel death in our twenties; emotionally and relationally, in ugly and odious ways. Death latches its chain to our frame, slowly pulling us deep into an answer to the question “Death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Our twenties bring so many answers to that question — transition, failure, desperation, dependence, accusation, responsibility, moral failure, stagnation, unfulfillment. “Sting” isn’t sufficient. Our twenties can be a dark time.

Coming out of a very rough and dark weekend and a hard start to the week, this article is exactly what I needed.

Leslie Newbigin said, “I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist; Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.” Is Jesus irrelevant? How is wallowing in a dialectic of self-deprecation and self-pity going? Is that doing things for you? Is that doing more than Jesus has done? If so, get off this article. Get off the Internet. Go and drink and at the very least be merry, for tomorrow you die (1 Corinthians 15:32). But if you’re clawing for a grip — for something, anything — keep reading. Jesus actually changes quite a bit. Here are five things he offers.

Easily 1 Corinthians 15:32 has become a favorite verse of mine today. A kick to the gut that I needed. It’s amazing how those can come at the right time.

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Life Is Fleeting

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Life is fleeting, if one thing can be a guarantee. We all go out. Some in a blaze of glory and others as a low whisper. One way or the other, our candle gets snuffed out. And once it does, do you know for sure where you’ll stand?

In a blink, you could be gone. You may have told yourself that you had time to think about this later, but life doesn’t work that way. All it takes is a blink.

Do you know what comes next? Do you know for sure?

We all know we’re not perfect. It’s like a meter is built into us. Something tells us that we make mistakes. This conscience is real and is a gift from God. You are not perfect, but perfection is what God expects.

You may think that faith is for the old, but death does not discriminate on age. You may think religion just a list of do’s and don’ts, but that’s not the way it was supposed to be. The law is to protect us from sin. The things God considers wrong can hurt us. Disobeying these laws is sin. Disobeying God is sin. This isn’t petty, but protective.

A perfect God judges perfectly. What crimes have you committed? Have you committed adultery? Jesus said that if you look on a woman with lust, that you have committed adultery in your heart. Have you ever looked at a woman lustfully? If so, you are an adulterer. Have you ever lied? If so, you are liar. Have you ever committed murder? Jesus said that if you call you brother stupid, you’ve committed murder in your heart.

If you were judged today, what would be the verdict? You might think that your good deeds might count for something, but imagine sitting for a judge in your hometown. You murdered your brother. The evidence is stacked against you. And so you plea with the judge, “Look at my bank account, sir. I have given so much money to charity! Look at my calendar: I have given so much time to help others!” But the judge is to judge you for your crime. You killed a man. You killed your brother. What should a just judge do?

The good news, though, is that your sin can be covered. The law came with a sacrificial system. Pay your due for your sins. Count up all the sins that you have committed and pay the fine.

Is the number too large, the task to hard? You’d be right to think so, because the law was to point people to the hopelessness of our sin. It binds us, holds us down. Even if we provided sacrifice after sacrifice, we would never be free from our sin.

But your sin can be covered. A sacrifice was made. Jesus, the Son of God, came down not to extend a sword, but a hand. This is why a Christian cannot believe that multiple ways to God exist. Our sin is the problem and the only way for it to be forgive is by a sacrifice. Jesus was that sacrifice, he was that pure lamb, the first of creation. His life was without sin, he lived by the law. But the purpose of his life was to take our sin away, so at the prime of his life, the government took him before a judge, accused him of things he wasn’t guilt of, and gave him the ultimate punishment: death.

You might not believe this story. You likely have heard it before. You might think that Jesus was just a good man, but that good man said he was God, man. He claimed to be messiah, the chosen one, the Son of God and God himself. You can do the research. I have. You can read it in the Bible or you can read what historians say. No historian disagrees with Jesus’ existence. No historian disagrees with what is recorded in the Bible about him. Some question whether he was right.

But would you take the chance that he was wrong? His followers didn’t. They followed his words until their deaths, often at the hands of oppressors and aggressors. Stoned to death for disagreeing with the establishment, crucified for teaching a different message, thrown in prison on a remote island to grow old. But in the face of death, their faith seemed to grow stronger and bolder. A sane man following a lie would not die to not look like a liar. At least one would break rank. But none did. Historical accounts show that the early Christians, those that saw Jesus after he rose from the dead, lived life at the edge, never fearing death and always preaching life everlasting.

Life is fleeting.

The story is not a lie. It is no fabrication. You will die. You will face judgment. You know what the verdict is because it is written on your heart. You know that you haven’t done enough good to outweigh your crimes. Blink and life is gone.

The good news is a single choice is all it takes. Make the choice to follow Jesus today. Not later today. Right now. The Bible says all you must do is turn from your sins, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. You are not expected to come to him clean. You’ll be cleaned by him. You are not expected to have things in order. He’s got you covered.

A blink can make the difference. Don’t blink and let your life be taken away. Make the choice right now. Follow Jesus. Assurance is given to those that follow him. Your sin will be covered. The judge will look at you and see his son. He’ll see what his son did. You don’t want the alternative.

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Cleaning Up

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164.

That’s how many apps I had this morning as I flipped through the homescreens on my phone this morning. Half of them have been deleted or relocated to my iPad now. Games I played a few times, social apps I tried for a day, lots of photography apps, crappy keyboards, and stuff that had been filed away into folders to never be touched in months.

75.

That’s a lot better now. Not great, but a lot better. I could get rid of 10 more if I remove those I use once a month. Another 17 if I remove those used less than that. But for now, 75 is better.

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Hope in the Ballads

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In our regular office jesting of camaraderie, my love for heavy music has been poked quite a few times. In response to my coworker saying that the lyrics could never be heard in metal music, I reminded him of the ballads present in most metal albums.

I’m here again
A thousand miles away from you
A broken mess, just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard
Thought I could do this on my own
I’ve lost so much along the way

Working on a review for the latest Red album, I am once again reminded of how much I love their ballads. I got their first album back in 2006. With my girlfriend— now wife— with me, I popped the CD into my car’s player. With the screaming and distortion coming hard, we both looked perplexed when Pieces came halfway through the album. This is still one of my favorite songs.

I’ll never be the same
I’m caught inside the memories
The promises, our yesterdays
When I belonged to you
I just can’t walk away
’Cause after loving you
I can never be the same

Before proposing to Nikki after a Red concert in 2009, Never Be the Same was playing non-stop on my iPod. This album is still one of my favorites overall.

Slowly fading away, you’re lost and so afraid
Where is the hope in a world so cold?
Looking for a distant light, someone who can save a life
Living in fear that no one will hear your cry

I worked for a church, what I considered my dream job, between the end of 2009 and the start of 2011. As I have mentioned before, that didn’t end too well. Until We Have Faces came out less than a month after I lost my job— along with half the staff— and a little more than a month before I got married. Not Alone and The Best Is Yet to Come helped me get up and out of my broken will.

Sometimes I need to scream out my terror, my rage, my fear. But sometimes I need something to hold onto. Hope in Christ echoes through the words of Red’s ballads. These songs have gotten me through a lot. So I thought I’d share them with you. You can listen to them on Spotify or buy their albums on iTunes and Amazon.

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