Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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In Defense of My Faith

In Defense of My Faith Banner {Living Outside the Stacks}

A few years ago, I wrote a post about religious civility and the lack of respect that some people show towards people of faith, specifically towards Christians. The post was a reaction to some of the things that a few of my friends and acquaintances had posted over Easter weekend.

I honestly hadn’t planned to address the issue again but after seeing the same recycled “jokes” this past weekend, I realized two things:

  • The Bible says if I deny Jesus here on earth, He’ll deny me in Heaven {Matthew 10:33}
  • The comments and jokes are hurtful and rude, and instead of letting it fester, I need to get it out of my system

I know that much of the animosity towards Christians stems from the vitriolic actions of a few. But understand this: my love for Christ isn’t based on the condemnation of others but on the free {and sacrificial} gift of His love for me {John 3:16 and John 15:13}.

When I was in the Army and we went through sexual harassment training, one of the speakers said something that stuck with me: “Nothing is wrong until you say it’s wrong.” Meaning the initial responsibility for protecting my body, my heart, my spirit begins with me. People may not know they’re being offensive until it’s pointed out. So I’m pointing it out: calling my Lord and Savior out of His name is offensive and hurtful.

I know that we may not share the same religious beliefs and you may not understand why I believe what I do, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean or dismissive. I may not agree with your beliefs but you’ll never hear me say anything that would grieve your heart.

Writing this post may cause me to lose some friends and I’m OK with that. Just know that I care for you and I always will. I’ll miss you and will always respect you. And, yes, I’ll even pray for you, because that’s what friends do {1 Thessalonians 5:11}.

But, ultimately, this is about my relationship with Christ and I never want to be in a position where He can say “Depart from me, I never knew you…” {Matthew 7:23}. I love my Lord and Savior and it is His approval that I desire.

Daenel T

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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

He Is Risen {Living Outside the Stacks}

Matthew: 28:6

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

Jesus offered himself up as a sacrifice for my sins. But the redemption wasn’t in the crucifixion, it was in the resurrection. Jesus stated that he would die but that he would be raised up from the dead three days later. This is the foundation of our faith.

Even though there are days when I stumble, I walk in the knowledge that Jesus is the risen savior. And my confidence, my life, is in his hands.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much that you took the punishment for my sins. It is through your life, death, and resurrection that I am guaranteed eternal life. I love you and I thank you. Amen.

If you’d like to accept Jesus as your personal savior, all you have to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus loved you so much that he died for you and that God rose him from the dead {Romans 10:9~10}. That’s it. 

Daenel T

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The Bible in 365 Days: Day 13 {In the Church}

The Bible in 365 Days: A Year with God {Living Outside the Stacks}

Scripture

Genesis 14:15~16

And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Observation

Four things stick out to me from these two verses:

  • divided ~ Abram was a soldier and a protector of his family; he found out Lot and his wife had been taken and he rounded up everyone and formed an army
  • defeated ~ he beat them
  • pursued ~ not only did he defeat them but he chased them
  • brought back ~ he claimed what was the enemy had stolen {his family and his possessions}

Application

Abram was a warrior. In my head, I heard him giving a battle cry when he found out that Lot and his family had been taken. You know that deep belly cry, the one you see in the movies where all the birds take off flying from a central location? Yeah, that one. Then I saw him rounding up his men and telling them that they were going to take back what the enemy had stolen.

I think that’s how God wants us to be. When the enemy comes into our camp {our home} and steals our joy, God wants us to gather our army {Psalm 91:11} and take back our possessions.

Prayer

Dear Lord, please forgive me for any sins that I knowingly and unknowingly committed today. Help me to be a warrior like Abram. Grant me the wisdom to know how and when to pursue. And, Lord, help me to bring back all of my possessions. In your name, I pray, amen.

Daenel T

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The Bible in 365 Days: Day 12 {In the Church}

The Bible in 365 Days: A Year with God {Living Outside the Stacks}

Scripture

Genesis 13:16

I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.

Observation

God made a promise to Abram that required faith on his part; Abram and Sarai were both old and she was barren.

Application

Believing in God is not a passive activity, it requires action. That action is faith.

Prayer

Dear Lord, please forgive me for any sins that I knowingly and unknowingly committed today. Help me, Lord, to walk in faith, trusting and believing in your promises. In your name, I pray, Amen.

Daenel T

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The Bible in 365 Days: Days 10~11 {In the Church}

The Bible in 365 Days: A Year with God {Living Outside the Stacks}

Scripture

Genesis 12:1

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

Observation

God called Abram out from the comfort and security of his parents’ home in order to bless him.

Application

Leaving his father’s home and everything that was familiar to him, had to have been a big step of faith for Abram. As long as he was surrounded by his family and in familiar territory, there was no need for him to be totally dependent on God. But his blessing wasn’t in his homeland, his blessing was in unfamiliar territory.

I think this is what God wants from us, faith that leads us into unfamiliar territory. That means total and complete surrender {dependence} on God to supply your needs.

Prayer

Dear Lord, please forgive me for any sins that I knowingly and unknowingly committed today. Thank you for your love and grace that carries me through each day. Lord, I trust in you to do exceedingly great things for me. I’ve been moved out of my comfort zone in so many ways, and I thank you for that. I trust in you and know that you can do great things through me, within me, and for me. In your name, I pray, Amen.

Daenel T

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