Monday, January 28, 2008

Character Counts

I wrote this essay for a scholarship opportunity through the Grand Canyon State Games. Just thought I would share it.

It was really hard to not write about God, but I think the truth of these statements are as much a testimony to His character as actually mentioning His name would be. :)

Chevrolet and Character – Like a Rock

"Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."
— Theodore Roosevelt

In the same way that a building cannot stand without a proper foundation, so a person cannot stand without a foundation of good character. Integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness are just a few of the many values that demonstrate good character. These qualities are crucial to building strong relationships, enhancing a person’s inherent gifting, and exuding a personality that encourages others.

Building a relationship is like building a house. The foundation is the most vital step. The following is an account regarding two men who built new houses: one built his on a foundation of sand, the other on rock. When the storm raged and the rain came down, the house of sand crumbled, but the house built on the rock stood firm. A peaceful relationship is based on elements of good character – integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness - so that when conflicts arise, the establishment stands unshaken.

As humans, we are constantly faced with decisions that demand a response. Our character provides a basis for us to act upon. For example, as a boy is running in the park, the woman listening to her headphones in front of him unknowingly drops a twenty-dollar bill from her pocket. In this moment, the young man has a choice to make. Will he operate out of deception and greed and keep the bill, or will he choose to employ honesty and trustworthiness as the agents of his action? In this way, our core values directly influence and guide our behavior. Just as an apple tree cannot produce oranges, a person’s “fruit” is telling of the inner character of that person. Every moment, we have the opportunity to determine what kind of fruit will accompany our name.

A person’s “gifting” is what he or she uniquely has to offer the world. This gifting can be powerful, but without character, it can be dangerous. Many a leader has fallen to deception, dishonesty, or selfish ambition as a result of the intoxication of power. Like a kite tethered by a string, so a man’s gifting must be held taut by the qualities of good character within that man. Only then can he fly with strength and honor.

As ambassadors for the world, we must be grounded in truth and right character. We must make a habit of doing right things right in every area of our lives: in the workplace, in our interpersonal relationships, and in our own personal lives. This world needs a people who will walk with integrity in relationships and in their gifting through every moment of choice. Like a foundation, like a kite-string, like a rock – character provides the roots necessary for this sort of life to thrive.

Friday, January 25, 2008

All In All

I want to be:

Wildly submissive and
Radically set apart
for His purposes
Infinitely focused
on His identity
Eternally intent upon
His Ways and Precepts
Forever enthralled
with the One who has
stolen my heart.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chuck and Huck

Laughing my face off. This is hysterical.

I just registered to vote in the Washington Primaries on the 19th! WHOO!


- Jess <><

Friday, January 04, 2008

Input and Output

Through this time of fasting and praying, I've been recognizing this mandate to only put into my eyes, mouth, spirit, mind what is pure and good. What I put into my system is crucial. It's like worshiping the Father.

We honor him by not only what comes out of our person but what goes into it.

I sincerely believe that our bodies, souls, spirits are intrinsically linked - that every single thing we put in through our physical senses, emotional senses, and spiritual senses have a profound effect on the other parts too.

I have a friend who, when she enters into a dark spiritual atmosphere, her stomach hurts and she feels sick. Now, how could this transfer - from spiritual reality to physical reality - take place if the mind, body, and spirit were not wholly connected with the others?

Jesus commands us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." - Mark 12:30

I'm realizing that we, as Christians, are an example for those around us. I've been convicted lately of what other people see in me. I want them them to see the beauty in me... the God in me. As a Jesus-representative, I want to eliminate those things in me that cloud over people's perception of who Christ is. I want to be a clear reflection of His Majesty and Love. He's so good, and so big, and I don't want to get in the way. I want to cooperate with Heaven. In all things.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I love you Daddy, and I choose to honor you by only putting into my system things that will bless you and then allow me to function as your extension on the earth.

Thanks God for the revelation,
- Jess <><