Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is guilt a good motivator? Is it what keeps home-schoolers going and actually turning in tests on time? Is it what keeps this blog running? Sometimes I think it is...

Irregardless and nonetheless, it is time I updated. But what should I say? Life is going on much as it always is. We are getting used to having a baby in the house (and I must say, I am spoiling him...), and school is going much as it always has.

So I will put down a few random thoughts. First of all, I am so glad that we are car-pooling with Dad to school now! He works only a few minutes up the road from us, and since we are taking classes the first two periods this semester, he gets there at a good time.

Our car was having pretty serious issues with its battery back in January, acting as if I was leaving the lights on all the time. We drove it up to Denver for a debate scrimmage, had to get it jumped twice while up there, and then only got home by God’s grace (it’s always by God’s grace, but this time it was more obvious that He was taking care of us), which included going 10 miles per hour on the snowy highway, bumper-to-bumper... At least I could see in front of me, though! It was rather cold, unfortunately, because we couldn’t run the lights and the wipers and the heater for fear of killing the batter...

Because the Camaro (wonderful car that it is) was having issues, we drove the Geo Metro into town for about a week. I got to be skilled (maybe not better...ask Lydia if you want an honest opinion) at driving manual cars, which is good. We finally discovered what made the Camaro die: a malfunctioning cigarette lighter that wouldn’t pop all the way out and thus sucked all the energy out of the batter. *mumbles under breath about cigarette lighters* :-P

I had a math quiz on Thursday (Thursday is normally quiz day) and got a better grade than I had expected. The front row is so much more conducive to good learning than any other row! I am serious.

We have a speech and debate tournament this next week, starting Wednesday and going through Saturday. It is a National Open, which means if we do well enough, we will be qualified to go directly to Nationals (do not pass Go, do not collect $200). Sweetuh! I am expecting some stiff competition and to not qualify, but it will still be a lot of fun, and I hope that we do at least moderately well. The last time we participated in this tournament, my partner (Lydia) and I were totally creamed. *sigh*

So what is predestination? What is free will? God gives us the choice to choose Him, right? But He is the One that gives us the desire to know and have Him in our lives. We cannot even stir up the desire to know Him!

I propose what my dad told me to all of you: God created us. We chose to turn away from Him. Because we turned away from Him, we are totally dead. There is not even a spark of life in us.

But God, in His infinite mercy, chose some of us to give Life to. That is where predestination comes into play. He offers His Holy Spirit to us, and because He chose us and offers us such irresistible grace, we cannot but choose to accept His amazing offer.

Before you offer objections, hear me further. God’s grace is irresistible, but we still have the choice to turn away. Recall the parable of the sower who sowed seed on different types of soil.

Some people are offered grace but then choose (free will) to not grow in Christ but go their own ways. Ouch!!! So we have a harmony of free will and predestination. It seems to make sense to me, although this is a huge issue and I do not believe we can fully know what God is thinking when He chooses only a few.

But Dad explained it this way: We were completely dead. We chose to be dead. We totally rejected Christ and wanted to live in darkness. But He chose some of us (and those of us who were chosen are not somehow better than those who were not—we were equally dead) and not others. I cannot protest this way of working because He could have chosen to leave all of us in death without knowing Him. He has revealed Himself to all mankind, but we have rejected Him. So His revealing to some of us is amazing grace in and of itself, and I cannot protest His not revealing Himself to all of us—because He DID, but we’ve turned away from Him. (Am I making my point? I’m probably repeating myself now.)

I do not think this is even an issue of free will versus predestination as much as realization of several crucial facts:

1. Christ died for all mankind. Why would He do this? Because
2. All mankind has fallen. We are totally wicked. If you think we aren’t, go visit the penitentiary. Better yet, stub your toe...
3. But even though we are wicked, He died for all of us. Not all have chosen to receive His amazing gift, but that does not nullify the fact that it is indeed amazing and far beyond what we deserve. I say we. I certainly do not deserve the amazing gift He chose to bestow on me!

So those are my thoughts on free will and predestination. I welcome your ideas/comments/arguments. May God bless you as you seek to know Him more!


Mark Watson said...

Statistically the people sitting in the front of classes get higher grades. Of course that's where all the nerds sit. And it's harder to text without being noticed ;-(

Matthew said...

Guilt, hmmm... I think it depends on the person. I also think it depends on whether it's retrospective or prospective. I might do something because I would feel guilty if I didn't, but guilt about things I've already done just depresses me. But if guilt keeps this blog going, it must be a good thing!

As for predestination, here's a thought I heard once: If Jesus died for all of mankind, then aren't people who go to hell paying for their sins twice (since Jesus already paid...). And then again, just for the sake of argument: did we really choose to be dead? I can't quite get my arms (actually brains) around that one.

Anonymous said...

No, guilt is not a good motivator. The best motivator is God!

Predestination, there's a verse in the bible that says, who God knew He PREDESTINED. So I would say yes, God does predestine. However, I would have to say that God reveals Himself to ALL people. another verse in the Bible says, (I wish I knew where it was, go to and find it) "So that NONE may perish" Just my 0.02

Matthew, you bring up an interesting point, however I'd have to disagree with you. Jesus paid for our sins so we don't HAVE to die, but we CHOSE to die. We choose to reject God and unless you CHOOSE to follow Jesus, and CHOOSE to have Him pay for your sins, then you get sin's penalty, death. (I'd be more than happy to continue this discussion)

Yes, we did choose to be dead, when we choose to reject God then we can't live. I'm pretty sure the Bible says, "apart from me there is no life."

Does that all make sense?

(Again, I'd be thrilled to discuss this more)

Allegra, sorry for this REALLY long comment.

Sarah B said...

I'm very sad we can't stay with you. :( (I understand, of course.)

We have so much to catch up on. So, so much!

See you soon!

Love ya.

Sarah B said...


Tournament update?

*tip-toes away*

Allegra said...

I will *try* to update after the tournament. Thanks for the reminder. Hope all is going well in your part of the world. :)

Sarah B said...

Call me if you break! Or if you don't break and need to vent/cry.

History Maker said...

Hey Allegra!
I just wanted to tell you, if you're going to RMC, I"m TOTALLY praying for you!