What I Have Learned

It really has been a great summer.  Twenty-four hours from now, this summer will be officially over for me.  I have learned a lot this summer, both practical and impractical, both spiritual and unspiritual, but they all count for something, right?  Yeah, probably not, but regardless I feel much more knowledgeable in some areas.  So since summer is ending, I thought I would make a list of 10 things that I have learned this summer.  Here they are:

1. I can now get sunburned on the top of my head, so I should now wear a hat if I’m going to be out in the sun for a while.  I learned that the hard way. #thinningiswinning

2. LeBron IS the best basketball player of his generation.  This is not opinion, it’s straight fact.  I’m dropping knowledge right now, listen up.

3. Doing things costs $$$$$. 

4. It is possible to get payed below minimum wage if you are employed by the school that you are enrolled in.

5. I still cannot grow a sufficient amount of facial hair.

6. Everyone looks up to someone, and everyone is looked up to by someone.

7. God is faithful even when I am not.

8. God is always throwing us opportunities to serve Him and to serve others, and we need to be looking.

9. God is always working. ALWAYS!

10. “Christ is all, and is in all.” – Colossians 3:11

It’s been a really great summer, but I am ready to get back to school.  Cannot wait to see where God takes me in the next few months.

Till Next Time,

Michael Clinger

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Not this past weekend but the weekend before that one, I went camping with a group of my friends.  One of my main bros, Kyle, has a boat, so naturally we spent a lot of time out on the water.  A couple of times throughout the weekend, Kyle would take the boat into a little inlet, and we all get out of the boat and swim for a while.  This was a lot of fun, and we had a great time, but there was a little challenge to it: getting back in the boat.  There was no ladder, so you could see how it could be a difficult process.  Kyle was able to get himself into the boat somehow, so I, determined not to be “that guy” that was incapable of pulling himself up into the boat, tried a good bit to get into that boat.  I tried getting in from the back, I tried getting in from the side, I tried standing on inflatable floats, but that day for some reason I was just not man enough to get into the boat myself.  So after all of my efforts had ended with me back in the water, I finally swallowed my pride, threw an arm up and said, “Hey Kyle, can you give me a hand?”  He helped me up, and everyone else had to be helped too, so its not, for the record, like I’m that wimpy of a dude.

That’s not really a funny story, and frankly its not incredibly interesting either, so you may ask yourself, “Why am I wasting my time reading this dude’s blog about his non-funny and non-adventurous adventures?”  That’s a good question, but I think that story really illustrates my relationship with God at times, and perhaps yours as well.  So often, I just want to fix myself.  I want to prove to myself that I am a good person.  I want to be able to say look at what I have done, and look at how awesome I am, but honestly, I don’t really do much, I am not that good, and I am not that awesome.  My ego really likes to get in the way of me coming to the realization that I need help.  My pride doesn’t want to do bad, it wants to do good, but it can’t do good all the time.  Randy Harris, who is one of my favorite speakers, preached at my church on Sunday about baptism.  He said that baptism is the point where you decide that “what God can do for you is more than you could ever do for yourself, and letting yourself fall into the gracious arms of God.”  It might be just me, but I felt that when I got baptized, and I still get that feeling all of the time.  What I can do by myself does not even compare to what God can do in me.

In every world religion that I know of, people chase after an unattainable level of goodness to connect with their god.  People try and try their whole lives to do what is right in the eyes of their god in hopes that they may attain some type of spiritual righteousness.  They run after a god who is distant and is at the top of the mountain that they climb day in and day out.  My God is different.  I serve a God who came down the mountain to be with me.  I serve a God whose love I cannot escape no matter how far I run.  No matter how much I barricade the doors of my heart, His grace comes rushing in.  When I cannot pull myself up, all I have to do is throw up my hands, and He lifts me out of whatever situation I may be in.  

“But God showed his GREAT LOVE for us by sending Christ to die for us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS.”

                                                                                 Romans 5:8 NLT

“THERE IS NO ONE LIKE OUR GOD!”