The Move

We actually only decided to move about a month ago. Then we quickly found a place (which went unbelievably quickly) and started to get ready for the move. Fun fun! I’d never actually really moved before. I mean…I’d moved with my parents, but they took care of all the lovely paperwork and everything, so it wasn’t really that big of a deal (for me). And when I moved to Germany, I just had two suitcases and I moved into a place that my friends had already prepared for me (of which I was really thankful). So I was pretty excited about this move because it was my first real move that I had to organize myself.

It turned out to be a pretty stressful ordeal, so I think I’ll just stay put for a couple of years at least.

In any case, it was a good learning experience. I didn’t really realize what was happening until a couple of days before. Which was when we actually found a truck to rent (bad idea. Rent a truck a long was in advance). We also had to somehow find a place to park the car at our new place because parking is kind of scarce. It turned out alright in the end. We had a lot of help to carry all of our stuff up 5 flights of stairs!

This is my packed up desk area at the old house. This was just about the time that it hit me that I was actually moving (the night before). I still have the keys to the old place (and I went over there to clean today), so it still is kind of weird to me that I don’t live there anymore. It was home for almost three years:

On the morning of the move, we (my roommate and I) went to IKEA and bought some new furniture (a sofa, two dressers, a table for the kitchen, and two wardrobes). We got out of IKEA with a packed up truck in record time! Then we went to the new apartment and, with the much necessary help from some very strong men, carried it to the new place. I snapped a picture of what the room looked like before I actually moved all of my stuff in:

Then we went back to our old place and loaded up the car with boxes. We didn’t actually get a big enough truck, so we had to make two trips, but in the end it was alright because our new apartment is only about 5 minutes away by car. Here is my room after all the stuff got moved into it:

I spent most of Sunday and Monday in the evening building IKEA furniture. Whoever thought up the idea for IKEA was a genius. Just sell the parts, leave out the manufacturing costs, and leave the people to suffer on on their own! I did manage to build the sofa (I’ll get pictures of that at another time maybe), my dresser, and my wardrobe:

Today I finished unpacking the boxes. The floor is still dirty, the lamps are not installed, and the pictures are not hung, but it is at least “quasi-finished”:

 

 

 

And I’m Back!

At least for the present. Tomorrow I am jetting off to Poland for a week, so “back” is maybe a bit presumptuous. I am back long enough to write some posts, so there will be something to look forward to. The past couple of weeks have literally been crazy. I finished my second final on the 10th of July, and then, because we just decided to move apartments, I had to pack up all of my things in boxes, catch up on a lot of stuff at work, and pretty much have no time for blogging. Last Saturday we moved house, but I can honestly say that I was not aware that the packing stuff up and the unpacking stuff later takes way more time and energy than the actual move itself. I also was unaware that not having a vacuum cleaner would annoy me this much. We didn’t clean the floors before moving in, and they are so dusty that whenever we walk around, our feet turn black. So we are going to have to get on that.

But in the meantime, I finally have a quiet evening where I can sit back and relax and blog a bit.

Here is a list of the things that I mean to accomplish this summer (I typed this up on Evernote a couple of weeks ago, but never actually got around to posting it):

Places to go:

  1. Paris, France
  2. Berlin, Germany
  3. Male Ciche, Poland
  4. Amsterdam, Holland

Things to do:

  1. Blog!!! In German and English.
  2. Move into the new apartment. ***DONE***
  3. Arrange new bedroom. ***DONE***
  4. Work!!!
  5. Read (at least) a couple of good books ***DONE*** (I just re-read Little Men and Jo’s Boys. I certainly intend to read more good books, but I have at least already read a couple of good books)
  6. Start learning French! (I am going to attempt to use the Babbel app on my tablet to try to learn French. I’m curious to see if it actually works…)
  7. Write some more cool bash/groovy scripts
  8. Learn some new German vocabulary
  9. Go on a couple of bike rides
  10. Learn how to make vector graphics with Inkscape
  11. Create a workout routine
  12. Have an awesome time when my awesome sister comes to visit!!!
  13. Write?
  14. Create an idea for a web comic?

A lot of ideas for my blog have been running through my head, and I hope that I’ll have time to write about all of them. I intend to write a post later today about the move (with pictures). I’ve also recently discovered the power of the bash scripting language and groovy scripts (which I am more comfortable with because of my background with Java), so I might blog about that, and I’ve been meaning to do an updated post on the list of my favorite things… So it looks as if it will be a long, busy, happy summer!

 

Why did God create the unbelievers?

I recieved a long and very well thought out reply to my post about atheism last week (which I loved by the way. I love discussing just about anything. Arguing…not so much, since no one ever changes their mind after an argument. So please feel more than free to post any comments or reactions that you have to anything that I say!) In the comment, the author asked me the following question (which I will try to answer):

If God loves everyone, regardless of whether or not they believe in Him, why did He create the unbelievers?

It’s a very good question. And the answer is quite simple: God is romantic.

What?

Yep. That’s what the Bible says anyway. He created the angels to serve Him. They didn’t have a choice in the matter. But God didn’t just want a people who served Him out of choice. He wanted a people who would CHOOSE Him. In Genesis, the first thing that God did after creating Adam was to create a wife for him. He said “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). This was directly after making man in His image. So we can see here that God also wanted someone to match Him. He wanted a people who could be His bride. This isn’t the only place in the Bible where this is the case. If you read the Bible carefully, you will see a God who desperately is waiting for His bride. How does the Bible end? With the bride of Christ (the believers in Christ) marrying Christ. Seriously. It does.

So why does this explain why God created unbelievers?

Not believing in God is a choice. And God wants you to choose. Were Adam and Eve saved right after they were created? No, because God wanted them to choose Him. He still does. Yes, He did create everybody. And yes, He does love everybody. He has also accomplished EVERYTHING through Jesus Christ so that there is only ONE THING left required for us: To choose. To choose Him. It’s so simple. Just a simple prayer, “Lord Jesus, I believe in You”. That’s all it takes.

God is a righteous God, and I truly believe that all those who have honestly never heard about Christ and have never been told about all that He has accomplished will be judged righteously by Him. After all, “faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of God”. But once you have been told about Christ, it is a decision that you have to make. And you don’t belong to the group of people who have never heard about Christ. Because I just told you about Him.

What is the difference between an unbeliever and a believer anyway? It is a one second decision. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). In that one second, God saves you. At that point, it doesn’t matter what you decide to do. You don’t have to try to do anything. You don’t have to join some religious group and try to be useful to God. You have just become a child of God, and as a God who is absolute, He will never take away the salvation from anyone. According to the Bible, God desires ALL MEN to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth (Titus 2:4). So who is actually an unbeliever? Only dead people really count. Only those people who have died before believing into Christ really count as unbelievers. Because everybody else still has the chance to believe into Christ and to be saved.

This isn’t me pressuring anybody in any way. It is just a fact. I just told you that Jesus Christ has accomplished everything, and that if you believe into Him, you will be saved. Now that I have told you this, you have a choice. You can believe what I say and believe into the Lord, or you can choose not to believe. And it is your God-given right to choose NOT to believe into Christ, so far be it from me to pressure you in anyway.

This isn’t religion (I think I’ll do a post on that in the next couple of weeks). I am actually not all that fond of religion. Neither is the Bible, actually. This is 100% Jesus Christ, who is the most amazing person in the universe and who I love with all my heart and my soul.

The Implications of Atheism

In this post, I just want to point out a couple of things that atheism imply. But first of all, I want to make it clear that I am not attacking atheists, but atheism as a rule.

1. Life is Random

Atheism is the belief that there is no God. This is coupled with the belief that life has evolved over a long period of time. I’m not going to go into the details about why I don’t believe this is the case, because I already wrote a post about that. But the belief that life has evolved randomly has its own implications. It implies that life is unimportant. If every organism is random, and every organ has come into this world by chance, why should we treasure life? When someone dies, they just stop existing. There is nothing else that we can do about it, and they are no longer happy, sad, or feeling any other emotion, so why is death even sad?

This belief would imply that we should be completely self-centered. After all, we are here on this Earth because we were the stronger organisms, the survivors. We need to survive at all costs, regardless of the harm it may do to others. After all, the are only here by chance anyway.

2. Authority is irrelevant

A further implication of the first point is that authority is irrelevant. We could make a very strong argument that the government and the other authority figures in our life are just as random as we are, and thus have no ground to tell us what to do. After all, laws and ordinances are in place to protect not only our personal freedom, but that of everyone around us. It is the whole “you are free to do whatever you want unless you endanger the freedom of somebody else.” But if you no longer care about the freedom of other people, why would you respect authority?

Atheists do NOT believe these things

I stated above that I believe that Atheism implies the above two points. I do, however, have many atheist friends, and I would say as a rule, they do not believe either that life is unimportant or that authority is irrelevant. Why? I would argue it is because they are created by God, whether they believe it or not. God created human beings. Which means they are not random. And every human being, unless they have been hardened by some outer situation, has an implicit respect for human beings. Which is why a life ends, it is incredibly sad. And atheists usually respect of authority. Because as humans, we have an innate sense that society will function better if we respect authority.

I would argue, however, that belief in God strengthens both of these senses. In my experience, the more I have come to know and love my God, the more I have implicitly loved and respected all those around me. I was raised by God-fearing parents, so a love for all creatures was imparted to me while growing up, but as I’ve grown older, that love has been strengthened. After all, if God has created a person in a particular way, who am I to criticize His work? He’s God. And He loves all creatures, great and small. So who am I to disagree with Him? No one. My respect for authority has also increased. The Bible says that all authority is ordained by God, and I believe it with all my heart. It says in 1 Corinthians that “all things are lawful to me, but not all things are profitable.” Christ fulfilled the law on the cross, so actually there is absolutely NO offense that He can not or will not forgive. But, as a Christian, I can testify that the life of a Christian is not a lawless life. The more I come to know my God, the more I have an inward desire to become right with both God and men. The more I come to love my God, the more He limits me in what I do and say. I have found that when I respect not only the God-ordained authority around me (the government, my boss, my parents, etc.), and when I take care of the God-given feeling in my conscience when I deal with other people, my Lord is much, much richer and enjoyable to me. He doesn’t allow me to do everything. I disobey a lot (because I am also a fallen human being), but I am happiest when I allow my Lord to rule me.

Introducing my new “German” blog

I’ve been considering trying to blog in German for a while now. And now that I have started my summer break (YAY!!) I actually had the time to do it. At least…I had the time to log into my server, quickly install a new WordPress site, redirect the name servers for my domain names, and write a quick post.

But I did it! Only time will tell if I will actually post on the blog regularly.

You can access the blog from the following two addresses:

www.denglisch.me      –OR–     www.denglish.me

Or you can click on this spiffy graphic and it will take you there too:

I wanted to name my “German” blog Denglisch/Denglish because if my readers want to read it and expect me to write perfect German, they will be sadly disappointed. Maybe now they will expect the worse and be pleasantly surprised! I couldn’t decide between the two names because both words “Denglish” and “Denglisch” are valid Denglis[c]h. “Denglisch” is a combination of the two German words “Deutsch” and “Englisch” whereas “Denglish” is a combination of the German word “Deutsch” and the English word “English”. This is why I bought both domain names and why I made the “c” really small in the graphic.

I am actually more proud of my graphic than of the fact that I started a German blog. Playing around with Inkscape is a lot of fun! I have added it to the list of things that I really want to learn some day.

What would have happened if Adam had never eaten of the wrong tree?

We all know, or have heard, some version of the story in Genesis. God put Adam in front of two trees: The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam, being deceived by the devil, Satan, ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and thus the whole human race fell.

Should we take this story as being a literal interpretation? That is really another question that I hadn’t actually intended to cover in this point. I would say yes. Because think about it. God is a simple God. He loves man. He creates man. He puts man in a lovely garden with lots of things to eat. Then he tells man that he should eat of the Tree of Life. And He tells man that if he eats of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he will surely die. Adam and Eve, the two humans on the Earth at that point, were simple people. They didn’t have the philosophical background and understanding that we have today. God never intended them to need to have a huge philosophical background. He didn’t need them to ponder their psychological condition. He just wanted them to eat. Whatever they ate, that was their choice. And whatever they ate, that is what they received into themselves.

They ate the wrong thing.

But what if they hadn’t? What if they had not listened to the devil and had never partaken of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

They would have continued to live their meaningless lives. I am not saying that their lives were completely meaningless. After all, they were good people. They were surrounded with beautiful plants and trees with things that were good to eat. They lived a life of enjoyment. They even were able to talk to God Himself. So they definitely enjoyed their lives more than we ever have. But they were still empty. God had created them as empty human beings because He wanted them to CHOOSE HIM.

Which they hadn’t done. And they obviously weren’t completely satisfied with their lives. Because that was how the devil deceived them: He came to them and said, “eat of this tree. Then you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” Man had that desire in his heart. He wanted to become like God. But he ate of the wrong tree.

So that’s my answer to the question. If Adam and Eve had never eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would have continued their life of pleasure in the garden. For eternity. But there would always have been that hole in their deepest part. UNLESS they wised up and ate of the Tree of Life. Then they would have fulfilled God’s heart’s desire as well as the desire of their own hearts and then would have lived happily ever after for eternity.

But what of the devil? What would have happened to him? He had rebelled against God. He stood against God’s authority in the universe. God Himself was actually the contents of the Tree of Life. In the same way, Satan was the contents of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before man ate of the tree, Satan was free. But as soon as man ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Satan became trapped in man. Man was like a giant mousetrap.

And from then on, Satan fought a losing battle. God preached the gospel for the first time in Genesis 3:15:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He will bruise you on the head, but you will bruise him on the heel.

It was as a man that Jesus was able to defeat the devil. And it was because the devil was trapped in the flesh of man. Not of Jesus. He was without sin. But on the cross, the sins of the world were laid upon Him and He took them into death with Him and thus utterly defeated the most powerful weapon that the enemy had: death. And since that day, the devil loses more and more everyday. This is because He no longer has any ground, no hope, no standing. As long as we stand on the blood of Jesus, the enemy is helpless. Soon (we don’t know how soon, but it probably won’t be that far away) the Lord will consider his believers on the Earth to have matured to the point that they are ready for the purpose that he had intended us for: We will be ready to marry Him. At that time, he will resurrect and rapture all of the dead believers who loved Him to the uttermost. They will be brought up to heaven and there will be no place, no room found in heaven for the devil anymore. So he will be limited even further. He will be thrown down to Earth and the Great Tribulation that is spoken of in Revelation will take place. It won’t be a nice place to live because the devil will scourge the Earth knowing that his time is short.

After the Lord Jesus returns to the Earth, there will be no place left on the Earth found for the devil and he will be bound for a thousand years. After that, he will rebel one last time but then will be thrown into the lake of fire to suffer for all eternity.

That’s what I call justice.

And, now that I glance over the last couple of paragraphs, I realize that I kind of summarized the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And I would also like to point out that those fans of epic fiction should give the Bible a run for its money. Even if you don’t believe what is written in the Bible, the tale is better than any other tale I’ve ever heard or read.

So if man had never eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God would not have been able to judge Satan by crucifying a man. I assume God would have defeated Satan in some other way, but we will never really know. Personally, I love the Lord Jesus more because I am a sinner. I am fully aware that there is no hope for me. Yet He still loves me, and He is able to save me to the uttermost. How can I help but love Him?