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Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Saturday, February 27, 2021
This week, I have been praying about being a Student Representative at my College next year. This would be a great responsibility.
Is it my place to complain? No, it's not. As Paul with his thorn in his flesh said, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I thank God for Caleb, who takes the time to talk with me and text daily. He is awesome. I love that guy.
I miss giving hugs. I miss being able to smile without a mask. I miss going to my youth group and teaching. I miss seeing my loving brothers and sisters at my Bible Study on Mondays.
Often I focus just on these bad things about my life and get depressed.
Right now, I'm listening to the song, "I Need Thee" by Jadon Lavik. It's such a wonderful song.
This isn't just any breakup. He and his girlfriend are a lot older and mature. I know both of them as good strong Christian and amazing friends who have greatly encouraged me in the past.
I believe Ben is struggling though it and made the playlist to get his mind on God. I haven't talked with him for a month, but he is still encouraging me.
There is trouble all around me. Friends leaving, friends hurting, friends missing me, family unsaved and moving away including my very brother.
Two of my friend's dad died recently and they still come to my school. I asked and pleaded with the Lord that they would be comforted. God answered because He loves to do that though my friend Caleb's dad.
Life is tough. I find myself bearing many other peoples burdens without them knowing it in prayer. That is the joy.
My reward is sure in Heaven. My portion is with God. God's been showing me, that I don't need the approval of man. Only God. I MUST rest in that if I am to continue. That is my joy.
I MUST STOP LOOKING AT THE BAD PARTS OF MY LIFE.
Sure, my life is hard. But it's a joy. If I just stop. And look around me. I can see countless blessing on this earth that far outweigh the bad.
Please pray for me. That I would preserve. But please pray for my best friend Caleb, that we would have joy and love. Please pray for my brother to be humbled and confess his sins. And please pray for my friend who might be leaving. He is in great sin, but forgiven. Lastly, please pray for my family.
Thank you, and God bless you! To glory of God. May God be magnified! Thank you Jesus.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
I originally wrote this essay for my English College class titled, "Life Philosophy"
Aiden C. Gale
Chris J. McCandless vs. Aiden C. Gale
There are thousands of life philosophies circling the globe! How is it possible to break them down? From Islam to Buddhism, from Christianity to Catholicism, from agnosticism to humanism, from happiness to infinite survival, and to many more philosophies that do not have a name! Is it possible that an adventurer, Christopher J. McCandless, and a homeschool kid, Aiden C. Gale, could settle this issue? Chris McCandless was a hiker that died in Alaska at age 24, talked about in Jon Krakauer’s fascinating book, Into the Wild. As for me, Aiden, I am 17 and will do my best to present this case going from McCandless’s philosophies to my own. It will be shown that philosophy lies in where the philosophy is derived from-- from self or from others.
It is best to begin with his fourth most important philosophy of Chris McCandless’s life, his respect for nature. His admiration for the earth ties back to his childhood where the young family visited “Virginia Beach and the Carolina shore, to Colorado . . ., to the Great Lakes, to the Blue Ridge Mountains” (Krakauer 108). In addition, Chris’s grandfather, Loren Johnson, had great influence on Chris. “The old man’s backwoods savvy, his affinity for the wilderness, left a deep impression on the boy” (109). Then many years later on June 9, 1992, Chris shot a moose and greatly wasted its meat, agonizing much for doing this (166). Chris had such a respect for nature and its beauties that it drove him from civilization into the wild and moved the course his life.
What about myself? I once loved climbing trees with my own chickens. I would climb by putting chickens on a branch, climbing a bit, putting chickens on a higher branch, climbing some more, and continuing this until I reached a certain spot. I could look over the all the trees that surround my property, feel the wind on my face, and hear the scared clucks of the chickens and relax. I didn’t just love nature, but something greater which I believe to be the greatest part of the earth—life. My philosophy is that all life is a great blessing and must be loved, respected, and treated fairly. That’s why I hate abortion, to give an example. I also know that the entire universe points to its creator, God. There is amazement to be found in every corner of the earth pointing to the Creator. “You [God] have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them” (English Standard Version Nehe. 9:6).
Next is McCandless’s third greatest philosophy: his morality. His morality stretched only so far as to respect people he thought worthy and to keep personal morals, different from his family. This includes “absolute Truth and Honesty” (168), opposition to “all the evil in the world, all the hatred” (112), sexual purity (65), forgiveness (122), but also a strong opposition to immorality of his parents (64). Because of the family situation, it is hard to say Chris McCandless held these values to the dot (besides the last listed above). However, he valued morality.
When it comes to morality and ethics, I always go straight to these three facts: I can’t be perfect, I don’t need to be perfect, and someone was perfect for me. I must be perfect to live, but I am sinful, selfish and far from perfect (Matt. 5:48). But amazingly, God’s Son Jesus, lived a perfect life as a man without stopping being God Himself (Phil. 2:8). Then, He died as a perfect man, and decided to be punished for my imperfection (Col. 2:14). So now, if I accept Jesus as being perfect for me and trust in that (Rom. 10:9), I can be perfect in God’s eyes and be His Child. I have done that. A little over two years ago in the shower, I trusted in Jesus. So now, I only strive to be morally perfect out of love, joy, and obedience to God.
We have seen McCandless’s life philosophies: respect for nature and morality, which leaves his two most dominant philosophies, the second being his freedom. To travel, eat, work, and thrive freely, unhindered. McCandless wrote about himself on the bus, in which he would later die, “TWO YEARS HE WALKS THE EARTH. NO PHONE, NO POOL, NO PETS, NO CIGARETTES. ULTIMATE FREEDOM” (163). Chris barked at Jim Gallien when asked if he had a hunting license, “How I feed myself is none of the government's business” (6). By leaving his family and not being bound to any person, he gained freedom and kept it tight. He loved it greatly.
Oh, what privilege it is to be free. McCandless’s freedom was controlled by his will and his desires. I believe that I have a better freedom. Every night, I slump onto by bed and think, “I really messed up today,” because every day I fail at respecting my parents or being rude to someone. I do not work diligently on my school, follow my family’s rules, or even act lovingly when I go out. I fail. However, I know that Jesus took all my shortcomings and has made me free by His death. Every night I remember this and have so much peace. A freedom to continue and do what is right. This here is what brings me joy and encourages me to thrive to be the best person I can be. I am free.
Finally, Chris McCandless’s number one life philosophy, which guided his whole life, was his independence. One of McCandless’s old teammates, Eric Hathaway, believed that, “Chris just didn’t like being told what to do” (115). McCandless’s father remarked that, “Chris was good at almost everything he ever tried, which made him supremely overconfident. If you attempted to talk him out of something, he wouldn’t argue. He’d just nod politely and then do exactly what he wanted” (118). McCandless was his own man. McCandless was confident, brave, daring, cunning, and enthusiastic. His strong independence truly guided his whole life.
Here is my greatest life philosophy. Contrary to McCandless, it is dependence. I see it this way and must remind myself that Jesus died so I can live for Him and I am His. If I die, I will be His. If I fail severely, no matter, I am His because I am forgiven. I am guaranteed Heaven. I am dependent on Him alone for all joy, strength, and love.
McCandless was strong-willed, self-motivated, and independent. I strive to be gracious, motivated by love, and dependent. One is driven by self, the other is driven by others and God. Life philosophies are numerous. What I want to submit to you is that these two examples give us a road map for all life: life philosophy based on self or life philosophy based on the Creator.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Anchor, 2009.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV). Crossway, 2001. Print.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
I: Remember God’s Promises
1. Philippians 4:19, And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
2. Philippians 1:6, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
3. Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
4. John 10:28, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
5. 2 Peter 1:3, His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
6. Romans 8:31, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
II: Keep Repenting To and Believing In God And His Promises
1. 1 John 1:8-10, If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
2. Mark 1:15, (Jesus preaching) and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
3. Philippians 2:12, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
4. Mark 9:22b-24, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
III: Seek To Know And Love God More
1. Matthew 22:37-39 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
2. Matthew 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
3. Psalm 100, Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 2Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
4. John 17:3, And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
5. Jeremiah 9:23-24, Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
6. Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
IV: Depend On God By Supplication (Prayer)
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, pray without ceasing,
2. Ephesians 6:18, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
3. Philippians 4:5-7, Let your [gentleness] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4. Luke 22:41-42, (Jesus in Garden of Gethsemane) And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
V: Seek Church and Fellowship To Serve God And Others
1. Hebrews 10:19-25, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
2. Acts 20:28, (Paul leaving Ephesus) Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
3. Colossians 3:15-16, And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
4. Galatians 6:1-2, Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
VI: Live And Exist By Faith In God
1. Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, “...The righteous shall live by faith..”
2. Hebrews 11:1, 6, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ... And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
3. Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
4. Romans 14:23b, For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
5. 1 Corinthians 2:5, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
6. Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
VII: Give Your Entire Existence To God
1. 1 Peter 5:6-7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
2. Romans 12:1, I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
3. Colossians 3:3, For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4. 1 Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
5. Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
6. Philippians 2:12, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
7. 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20, You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
8. John 12:24-26, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
VIII: Walk By The Holy Spirit
1. Galatians 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
2. Ephesians 5:18-21, And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
3. 2 Timothy 1:7, For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
4. Matthew 26:41, Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
IX: Seek To Grow In Holiness
1. 2 Corinthians 7:1, Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2. John 15:16, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
3. Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
4. Romans 12:9-13, Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
X: Live In Freedom In God
1. Galatians 5:1, For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2. Galatians 5:23b, against such things there is no law.
3. 2 Corinthians 3:17, Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
4. 1 Peter 2:16, Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
5. Psalm 119:45, And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
XI: Seek To Be Taught Of God (Including Bible Reading)
1. Jeremiah 31:34, And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
2. Joshua 1:8, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
3. Job 23:12, I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
4. Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
5. Matthew 4:4, But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
XII: Tell Others of God By Speech And Actions
1. Romans 15:18, For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,
2. Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
3. Ephesians 4:11-12, And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,