Hi. I’m Matt Maldre. I’m a Christian and an artist currently working on the Psalm Everyday project (@PsalmEveryday on Twitter & Instagram). In addition to authoring this blog christiannotebook.com, I also write at spudart.org, mattmaldre.com, and 57hits.com.

Five years ago I wrote a very rough draft of a testimony in 2015

Why do I believe in God? 

Not because of anything I do. 
But for who He is. And what He does. 

Because He’s real. 
Because He’s true. 
Because He made us. 
Because He loves us. 

He’s more real than anything I know. 
This word. This experience. It’s so fleeting, so porous. 
Things aren’t permanent. 
We can wish things were permanent, but they aren’t. 

But I know one thing—one person—that is true. 
And that is God. 

I can be unsure of this world, but God is sure. 
This world can be uncertain, but God is certain. 
He is a reality that is true. 
That is honest. 
That is unchanging. 

My life has been getting to know him better. 
Through trials, through good times—getting to know God. 

He is a constant. 
An assurance. 

How can I be so sure? 

Take a look at the Bible. 
Look at how all the various parts are cross-referenced and connected. 
It all rings true. 
There may be those who wish to reject parts of the Bible, but they don’t understand why those parts are there; and how they fit into the whole. 
It’s all about Jesus. 
Seek to understand him—as God, Man, Creator, Savior, Lord—and you will understand the Bible. 

Jesus is a real man
who walked on this real earth. 

History points to the reality of him being here. 
Even non-believers accept that he died, crucified. 
It’s real. 

Please, remember this is a very rough draft. I literally just typed out the loose thoughts I wrote on paper.

[ We have to establish the realness
otherwise, it’s all a story. 
otherwise, it’s all something else. ]

God made time
Hundreds of prophecies in Old Testament predicted, forecasted Jesus. 
These came true. 
Archeology shows these events coming true. 
God’s plan all comes true. 
There are things in our lives he lets us figure out, but he has salvation figured out. 

[ I need to include sin in this ]

What’s wrong in this world. 
The bad.
The sin. 
The brokenness. 

We broke the world
We owe God for breaking it. 
We should die. 
(If you don’t see God as perfect, this makes no sense)
But God loves us so much, God covers the payment. 
He dies. 

[ Ok, so what about me? 
Isn’t this a testimony? 
Here’s how I view it. 
Big circle: the big picture
Tiny dot: me (oh, i should be inside the circle) ]

I’m such a small part. 
I believe in what I believe in, 
not because of me, 
but because of this external reality. [external is not the correct word, anyways]
God is the rock upon which I rely, not me. 

I believe in God because of the order he creates. 

  • in the universe—the mighty awesomeness of creation, the vastness of size down to the molecular details
  • in the Bible—the amazing stories, prophecies, God in action, justification, steadfast love. 

[ Ok, so how did I get to this point?

  • Baptized
  • Raised as Christian
  • Jesus’ love in 1st grade (accepting others, we are all not perfect)
  • 6th grade asked if ok to believe because of fear — LEARNED
  • 7th grade patient verse
  • 8th grade confirmed
  • High school: loved inter-connectedness of Bible — LEARNED
  • High school youth group
  • Didn’t go to church in college & 20s, but prayed, found comfort — LEARNED IN CHALLENGES
  • After college, set learning as life goal
  • Went back to church in late 20s
  • Learned we are God’s agents, his masks ]

I grew up knowing we are not perfect. God is perfect and demands perfection. 
— DISJOINT — [ I’m not sure what this means, disjoint]
So God took on the payment for our non-perfection by dying. 
Perfect God
Perfect payment, atonement
— WHY? — 
God loves us. 

When I pray I know he’s there. 
He gives understanding.
He gives compassion. 
He gives humility. 

The rock is not my experiences, 
The rock is the reality of who God is. 

He is the explanation

How do I believe? 
How do I yield to this? 
Simply. Faith. 
Faith allows me to yield. 
Faith allows me to open up. 
Faith allows me to see.
Faith allows me to understand. 
Faith allows me to be honest. 
Faith allows me to repent.
Faith allows me to connect.