Thursday, November 19, 2009

Decisions and Discernment

Since I last posted, I've had two more games for basketball. Each of them a loss. *shrugs* We'll win next time though; I can feel it. I mean, the biggest reason we lost today was because there was this guy who was practically six foot tall and he was really explosive and aggressive. Although my team hasn't had any victories yet, I was promoted to point guard!!! So now I take the ball up court on all our offensive possessions and am pretty much one of the main passing people on my team. I've found it to be a lot of fun, but in a way, extremely challenging. First of all, is the decisions. With a defender in my face trying to swipe the ball while I survey the court, I have to be ready to make a decision swiftly and pass the ball precisely. If I don't, the ball will be stolen, ripped from my grasp, or I will panic and make too quick a pass, going straight to the opposing team instead of my intended receiver. Secondly, if there's no one open, I'm all alone. It's up to me to make some kind of play that will enable my team to recuperate and get a basket. It's difficult. If you hesitate, the person guarding you will seize the opportunity to overwhelm you. By now, you might be wondering why I'm telling you all this... Well, because it's the same way in life: We're confronted with sin and darkness and it does not want us to get past it and into the light or make any kind of pass that enables us to move closer to God. It will try to steal first place in your life from God and attempt to rip Him away so they can gain possession of your heart. And sometimes, we're going to be all alone with sin standing maliciously and deceptively in are paths, discouraging us from doing something, advancing, making a play that helps us grow closer to Him. There's only one decision that will aid us. One that will get us closer to God. But it's hard and blocked by sin. I have to fight through it. I can't just sit there and allow my defender (sin) to come nearer and nearer until I'm buffeted and overwhelmed by it. If I'm not moving forward, I'm moving backwards. In our lives. we all have to make the decision to go towards God no matter what's in the way. The crowd tells you it's not cool. Sin displays before you things that tempt and coax you. Satan deceives you and tries to blot out Him with earthly things. But there's only one choice that will lead to salvation and ultimately, God.

Philippians 1: 9-10. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

1 John 4:1. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Even though we are confronted by so many spirits, deceptions, temptations, our own evil nature, and even Satan himself; we must be able to discern the one true path. The one true decision that will deliver us safely through any opponent and into God's compassionate, protective embrace.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pride and Selfishness

Well, basketball hasn't been as awesome as I anticipated. First of all, my team has lost both of its first games. They haven't been complete blowouts. Today's game was pretty close, but still, we've lost both and it's kind of depressing. Today, I was put in as point guard for my team, and I did pretty good. No big passing mistakes and no one got a steal off me. But in the game, for both my two lay-up attempts, I missed and they were really easy shots. At the end, the score was 26 to 29. If I'd made them, we would've have won our first game of the season. Sitting on the bench and watching as the game came to a disappointing end, I sulked and mentally reprimanded myself for missing the shots. When I got home, I kept sulking, still angry about my performance. And it wasn't until about an hour ago when my mom asked what was wrong that I finally stopped. I told her it was all my fault my team had lost the game, that if I'd done better we would've won, and whole bunch of other complaints about how I played. Then she said it: "It sounds to me like you're just being prideful, Jake."
I was speechless. Me? Prideful? I'm beating myself up for missing two layups! How am I being prideful?
I asked her how, and she replied, "You're only thinking about yourself. How you did. How your game went." In other words, it was all about me. Nothing else mattered. I sulked cause I didn't do great, I didn't impress everyone, I didn't make the shots and win the game. It was all about how I did. It really got me thinking and I realized that I'm like that a lot. Countless times I only contemplate how I'm doing and how I look doing it. And I don't spend one second thinking about anything else. How others are feeling. How others are doing. I'm completely oblivious to everybody else while locked away in my own little bubble where everything is about ME.

Proverbs 16:18-19
18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
19: Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

I like what it says in Psalms 16:19. It pretty much says: It's better to not do great but be humble and have humility. Then to do great and be prideful. *sighs* I really messed up. Hopefully I won't be as susceptible to pride and selfishness next time but instead, have a humble attitude and be considerate to how others are feeling and not just myself.
Just thought I'd share that...


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Amazing Song

Alright, click here and it'll bring you to a video of the new Switchfoot song: Your Love is a Song from their new cd Hello Hurricane. Utterly awesome. I can't get over it...


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Team

I'm utterly astounded. Two weeks ago, my basketball started for the seventh grade school team. It runs every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 to 5 and is a lot more strenuous than my practices last year, but it's been soooo awesome. And what's better, I made the A team!!! Everybody on the school team (21 of us in all) are divided into two groups. The A team: More experienced, B team: Less experienced. I can't believe it. Everyone there is really good and I missed two vital practices so I thought I had no chance whatsoever. But I'm really glad I was proven wrong. :D It's not permanent though. My position for the year depends on how I do in the games, not just the practices... *takes a deep breath* Hopefully I'll do well. :D
Ugh, I knew I'd regret not doing NaNoWriMo!!! argh... Everyones having a blast (or tearing their hair out) conjuring up awesome stories while I'm sitting around doing nothing... *slaps forehead* Oh well... I hope all your novels are coming along smoothly!