http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/26/2551_How_can_I_conquer_gluttony/ – “How Can I Conquer Gluttony?” – an article by John Piper, DesiringGod.org
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByDate/1858_Dont_Waste_Your_Life/ – “Don’t Waste Your Life,” John Piper
“Samuel Johnson, a deeply committed Christian who lived in the 18th century, frequently wrote resolutions in his journals. Here is a typical entry: ‘I have corrected no external habits, nor kept any of the resolutions made in the beginning of the year, yet I hope still to be reformed, and not to lose my whole life in idle purposes.'” – Our Daily Bread
“If we have never had the experience of taking our casual, religious shoes off our casual, religious feet— getting rid of all the excessive informality with which we approach God— it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and disrespectful in their approach to God are those who have never been introduced to Jesus Christ. Only after the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable ‘darkness’ of realizing who He is.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 3.
“In every person there is a passionate, driving desire for more…The dilemma is that our longings for material joy are almost always partially blocked, our desires for better health and deeper relationships are never entirely possible, and the illusion of world peace seems no more attainable than the gold at the end of the rainbow. Our passion is more than usually stymied. The world simply does not bend to the desires that roar or whimper inside us. Our desires – from picking the quickest line at the bank to the overwhelming hope that our children will walk righteously with the Lord – are rarely satisfied in a way that relieves the ache of incompleteness…Our heart seems to rage against the ache. Our typical response to the heartbreak and row of disappointment is murderous rage…We want someone to pay.” Dan Allender, Bold Love, qtd. in Eldredge’s Journey of Desire, pg. 25.
We have desires, hopes, dreams – but until we allow God to truly be at the center of our heart’s desire, those desires threaten to be our end. The love and pursuit of food (eating supper and filling up on things we know aren’t good for us) brings us to the end of gluttony. Allowing ourselves to be exposed to porn (hardcore or softcore, even hintingly sensual) brings us to the end of lust. Craving power causes to marginalize others and create favoritism (strongly spoken against by Jesus). Craving money (and what it buys) leads to greed.
In a very non-psychedelic way, we’re part of a global community, and ultimately, we’re held accountable to how we treated each other while we’re here. What good are we to store up our own treasure, hoard for ourselves our own resources, and whine to the rest of the world about our own discomfort? $100 a barrel for light sweet crude oil? Half the world is starving to death.
I’m not trying to write a diatribe against the USA or Western culture in general. I believe that the average person does care somewhat about the less fortunate. I do take it as a challenge in my own life, though – what do I occupy my mind with? Do I think it a burden to pay $3 a gallon for gas, or do I rejoice that I even have the opportunity to own a car (again, a minority position, globally speaking)? I’ve been provided so many things to be equipped for every good work…now it’s time to see what I do with those things.
Oh, and Huckabee and Obama won the Iowa caucuses. While significant, I don’t think this trends an ultimate nomination for either. Sadly, politics reflect Keynes’ “average of the average,” meaning that ultimately voters will vote for the candidate they feel has the best shot to win – not the candidate they truly want to win. I suppose seemingly irrelevant economic theory has its place in our tech-saturated society. I’m a fan of using the futures markets to predict these sort of things. In fact, we already use it for the price of oil – remember that the “$ per barrel” quote on the news is on the contract expiring at the end of next month (February 2008). Therefore, the quote is on what an oil company must pay for a barrel of oil at the end of February if they were to buy it today. If you want to know more, let me know. These are the kind of things I’ve studied for most of my upper-level and graduate school education. 🙂
I just wonder what the Iowa Electronics Markets (http://iemweb.biz.uiowa.edu/quotes/Nomination08_quotes.html) site has to say about this…right now, they have Giuilani and Clinton as the front-runners for the RNC and DNC nominations.
Nevertheless, I leave my day in God’s hands, knowing that He has planned and ordained the steps of my life.