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Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life. Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much. We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world.

Let There Be Light and Darkness

Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you. It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction. I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured.

But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left. None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life. Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me. Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation. Home Communities Create Shop. Kateri Hartman Kateri Hartman Jun 28, At University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Welcome new, meaningful ideas to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Thank you for signing up! Check your inbox for the latest from Odyssey. At Grand Rapids, MI. Connect with a generation of new voices. Learn more Start Creating. Rebecca Miller Rebecca Miller Jun 24, At Temple University.

A Blooming Faith by Meghan King. He will just have a new darkness. Any way that men propose from their own thinking and reasoning as a way out of the darkness is just another way to remain in the darkness and prolong it. Every age has its own way of remaining in darkness.

The changes that are happening in the world now fill men so full of hope for the future, but those changes are also being used to find new ways to remain in the darkness. The times may change, but some things remain the same. Darkness continues to exist in this world. The depth and strength of darkness, we even see in ourselves, in our original sin.

Our old Adam loves the darkness. In our darkness, we are guilty. The darkness is still within us during our lives on this earth. The struggle against our old Adam who wants to remain in the darkness is constant. Even Christians struggle against these things in their lives.


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Darkness claims to be light, but rejects the true light. If a person knows the devil and recognizes him as such, and then makes a god out of him, that is putting darkness on top of darkness and yet claiming that it is shiny and bright. We might think of the religion of the Incas of Peru, who worshipped the sun, thinking that they were in the light.

Their worship led to all kinds of atrocities, sexual perversions and bloody sacrifices. Spiritual darkness is a terrible state in which to be. Who will rescue me from this body of death? When we look at the profundity of the darkness, things seem pretty hopeless. Who can see any hope for me? The darkness is so deep and affects us all so that it would appear that there is no hope for anyone.

We have all been lost in the darkness of sin. There is hope. The world obviously is in need of light. Therefore we pray in song to the one who created the world:. Even the worst effect of the darkness has been defeated, death. Light has penetrated the darkness and defeats it and all of its results. God himself is the essence of spiritual light. All light even physical light proceeds from Him. He is the one who conquers all the results of darkness.

In the spiritual realm, He did this by sending His Son. It is the incarnate God, Christ, who is our light. The reason that Jesus came to this world was to do battle with the darkness and defeat it forever. He is the only one who could accomplish this task. For that reason He is the only light for all mankind. If we define darkness as ignorance and lack of knowledge, light would have to be knowledge. In the light, we clearly see our goal and the way to get there.

We know the way. The light is also the restoration of the perfect righteousness and holiness which was lost in the fall into sin. Our lives are no longer worthless. God has given us back the purity and blamelessness which was lost in the fall into sin. He has justified us through the work which Jesus does for us as the light of the world. What Jesus does for us as the light is take away the results of darkness which we have mentioned. We no longer have to go searching for the way.

Every bit of spiritual life and energy that we have is due to Jesus as our spiritual light. In the light, we cannot be deceived. The lies that are told are obvious. If someone tells us to do works in order to be saved, we know that it is a lie and we can avoid it. The work is done for us. There are still obstacles, but we can avoid them. Our Lord gives us the strength to avoid the obstacles. The spiritual enemies are still around. The devil, the world and our own flesh want us to fall back into the darkness, but we are watchful.

We can be watchful, because their tricks are in the light. We can see that they are there and we can see the truth concerning these enemies. And finally, our end is life, rather than death. That life begins here on earth, when we first see the light, but it is also eternal life. We will be living in the eternal light of our heavenly Father and our Savior. In the times in which we live there are many errors concerning the light.

We hear stories of people who claim to have died and been resurrected, that they saw a light at the end of a tunnel. People claim to have found the light through meditation or other experiences. Others accept only human reason as light. These are deceptive lights. They are lights that are created. We must take care not to be deceived by these false lights. The fact that God is light shows us his interest in missions.

He wants to shine. He wants mankind to see his light. He sent his son to earth to shine as the light of the world, also. Jesus was sent. Apostle means one who is sent, just like a missionary is sent. There is light for the world. That light is Jesus. He is the uncreated light. He is the only light. He is the light for everyone. We can pray in song to him:. Some say that the light is inaccessible to human beings, that we cannot find the light in these modern times.

We know that this is true of natural man. But it is not true in an absolute sense. We do have the light available to us. It has always been accessible to mankind through the promises of God. The light comes to us, not through some speculation, not through meditation, not through a special revelation, not through human reason, but through the Gospel in the Word of God and his Sacraments, the Means of Grace.

We cannot say that we have seen Jesus with our eyes. We do not see the light in that way. God uses the Means of Grace to bring the light of Jesus to us. Jesus is the light of the world, but this light only enlightens us through the Means of Grace. The Word and Sacraments illuminate us by uniting us with him who is the light.

The Means of Grace are a message for us and for all mankind. That message is called the Gospel. It tells us who the light is and what he has done. In that way it enlightens us. Without the message of the Gospel, the light does not shine. The light is not shining where the Means of Grace are not being used. The light began to shine when the word began to be preached. The light shines where the Means of Grace are used, and does not shine when the Word is silent and the Sacraments are not rightly administered.

This is the way the preface to the Book of Concord spoke about the light also. The Law clearly shows us our darkness, our sin. The Gospel clearly shows us our salvation through our Savior. There can be no clearer spiritual light. The Word of God is a light because it shows us the way, the truth and the life. When we consider the light of the world and the means by which that light shines in the world, we have to talk about the way that the light becomes ours. But we Christians know what the light is, Jesus, and we know how it gets to human beings, through the Means of Grace.

When we speak about how those Means of Grace cause the light to come into our possession, so that we can say that the light is ours, we are speaking about the doctrine of conversion. The light is made available to us so that we might believe. Conversion is the way in which the light becomes ours. Illumination is one of the synonyms of conversion. The first thing that we need to realize is that we cannot convert ourselves. Our darkness is so deep and our blindness so severe that we cannot even get a glimpse of spiritual light using our own powers.

A dead man can do nothing. A man without the Spirit has nothing to do with anything spiritual. We cannot convert ourselves. We are in darkness. Conversion begins with the sinner in darkness, but he does not remain in the darkness. Conversion is what happened to us when we were brought out of the darkness and into the light. It is due to his grace alone.

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Because man is born in spiritual blindness and darkness, he cannot see the wisdom of God for what it is. We can clearly see why it is called conversion by comparing the results of the state of darkness and the state of light. In darkness we are ignorant, with no knowledge concerning spiritual matters. In the light, we know who our Savior is. In darkness we are groping to find the way to heaven. In light, we see clearly that the way is our Lord Jesus.

In darkness we are lost. In the light Jesus has found his lost ones. In darkness there are lies and deceptions. In the light our Lord is the truth. In darkness there is fear, anxiety, worry, terror. In the light there is the joy of salvation. In darkness is death. In the Light there is life, eternal life. The first of these is our faith. As results of our conversion, we also look at our fellowship. Those who are in the light seek each other out and find each other. Strictly speaking, conversion is that point at which we become Christians.

The effect of that conversion continues throughout the life of a Christian. We are saint and sinner at the same time. We still have our old Adam, along with the new man. When God converted us into Christians, a beginning was made, but we continually struggle against the darkness that remains in us. It is a daily struggle in which we continue to repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness which God gives through his Son Jesus Christ. God is the one who works by His Holy Spirit. It is his light that is now shining in our hearts.

God spoke to us in his Word. That Word worked conversion in our hearts, giving us faith in Jesus. It is natural for Christians to speak about that faith in Jesus. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. It is the nature of light to shine.

It is the nature of Christians to let their light shine, to talk about their Savior and show forth his glory. We see this natural speaking of the wonders of God in the Old Testament. When we have been converted, we will naturally teach others. We see this in the example of the early Christians, even in times of persecution. They just naturally did it. Continuing with our example of light, Paul gives a good summary of what we are now that we have been converted and what this means for our life after conversion in Ephesians Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth and find out what pleases the Lord.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. There is a light for the world in Jesus Christ. That light has become available to us through the Means of Grace. We have been converted from darkness to light. Therefore, God encourages us to live according to our new state. We are encouraged to do away with the darkness that remains in our lives. Because God has converted us, we are to show forth his light that he has placed in us. We have been called out of darkness, but there are many who remain in darkness.

That is why he has brought us to faith and has left us in this world. They were following the example of Jesus who looked at this dark world and entered it in order to save it. After due deliberation and exploration, it was decided to begin in Lima, Peru. On July 16, , thirty years ago, our first missionaries arrived in Lima.

They arrived at a truly dark place on the earth, a place where the pure Gospel light was not shining. Although Christianity has been in Peru for years, hardly any effort had been made to cause people to trust in Jesus or live a Christian life. The people in Peru were still living in that darkness from the 16th century and many still are.

The time and place have been right for Lutheran mission work in Peru. Each conversion is like a little Reformation. Since our missionaries first began preaching to the Peruvian people, the light has been shining there. Thirty years later we can still say that the light of the ELS is shining in Peru.

It has since begun to shine in several other places. But we have to constantly take a look at what we are doing, take a look at what God has done for us and through us and ask ourselves some questions. We are often frustrated, or in other ways feel that we cannot participate in mission work. When we look at the darkness, we may feel overwhelmed, thinking that the task is too great or too difficult.

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It is true that there are many difficulties in mission work. It is surprising that it should ever have been attempted. It quickly becomes apparent that Peru is a profoundly sick nation.


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  • We may also feel our own inadequacies, thinking that we are not capable of shining. Or we may have become discouraged by the lack of response to the message of the Gospel. We need to be motivated. We see our motivation in all of the things that have been discussed so far. From them we learn several reasons why we are encouraged to do mission work. These are our motivation in all times and serve as our motivation in the changing times in which we live. We are not motivated by selfish reasons, none of these things are for ourselves.

    And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Your email address will not be published. You will also gain access to our exclusive subscriber resource page! The earth is being made new. Well, the Bible tells us that God is making all things new. He is creating a new heaven and a new earth, and all will be as it was in the Garden of Eden once again.

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    And as the Kingdom of Jesus grows, we are bringing His light to the darkest corners of the earth. Never forget… darkness cannot overcome the light! In Christ, we can love each other unconditionally the way He loves us. Our eyes have been spiritually open and we are no longer easily deceived by the enemy. We have been set free. But we are no longer in bondage to sin and death! And not only are we free, we have been given the right to become children of God.

    That means the enemy no longer has any. The only thing he has left is lies… as well as a devastating future.