Saturday, February 7, 2009
November 12th, 2008-
Feeling lost in the world can feel as though it lasts a lifetime, and sometimes it really does. Yet, there is a comfort, a joy, a blessing beyond ourselves... one that infiltrates our very soul... and that is Jesus Christ. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a thousand words worth?
I have found that my greatest joy, and my greatest grief is simply that I love people too much, and sometimes it blindsides me from their true intentions, and other times it blinds me from my own feelings, but regardless of all the internal strife, I want to love others, as Christ loves me, and if it means sacrificing everything for another, then that is what I hope to do. Sometimes singleness is difficult, sometimes it is amazing, but all in all it has taught me that I can one day be 'someone' for another in hopefully all the best ways. It will cost, it will mean perseverance, but I think that God has made relationships in a way that balances out these things, and allows for true connection to occur. I am ready for when it occurs, but I do not wish to be careless. I have been shaped by those relationships in the past... and those in the future will do the same, yet this time I wish to stand up if any are to fail... rather than toss myself aside...
Faith is sometimes the biggest hurdle, and yet other times it is our greatest comfort. How can that be? lol... Finding ourselves is literally something that takes an entire lifetime, and it is very interesting to me how so many people doubt their true potential. I think reassurance is key, in any friendship, or relationship, because it shows the truth beyond all aesthetics. Getting down to it... I have learned that as I continued to fight against the world, it was winning all the hands, but as I gave things to God... I allowed the true victory to occur.
Sometimes that feels like losing control... but if one has faith in the reporcussions of "giving it to God", one should know that that is the greatest trust that you can have. To want to love like Christ is what we should all be striving towards, yet we will never truly be able to... but as close as we can get (in our short yet meaningful lives), the closer we get to seeing just how amazing that truly is. We are all in this together, we should not fear... Yet that has to be both action and emotion, truth and consequence... reality and concept.
I try to love everyone... and I admit my love is sometimes selfish... sometimes directed... but it is because those who have been in my life, have all added to who I am (even in the smallest ways sometimes), and in that connection I have found that people are fallen, yet through Christ can be redeemed... and that love... truly is... universal.
I have realized what being apathetic, and unapologetic, and "countering" have done to me, and I no longer wish a jaded life...
There are two lines, each from the same CD, that are really sticking in my head today...
1"this heart of stone it lives here no more"
2"to lose sight, of every gift unseen, and every single piece of who we are meant to be... oh if we only touch his cloak, we will be healed... oh if we leave the night behind, we will be revealed. There is life, there is love, still too remain. Though I still forget that time to time."
wow... so amazing...
It reminds me that sometimes when we feel so low... so out of touch... that there is something that draws us back... by the grace of God... by the love of Christ... by the love of others...
I fought the world, until it won... and then I asked God to step in...
Thursday, February 5, 2009
So here it goes:
What is a fond childhood memory? (asked by Dana Adams)
I think more than anything.. memories of my Grandfather Cliff are by far my fondest. Although when I was a kid, he would tease me constantly about girls, and tell me random stories that turned out to not be completely true... he had a rhetoric that comes around only in a few people, and I truly loved him. He was an inspiration to most everyone he met, and I hope to one day be a funny grandfather...haha... I think spending time with him in Lake County was probably some of the best moments of my childhood. RIP.
What is your favorite day of the week? (asked by Taylor Lukeheart)
No one had ever asked me this question before, and so when I was thinking about it, I discovered that Sunday is my favorite day of the week... and here's why.... http://www.hulu.com/watch/1397/saturday-night-live-snl-digital-short-lazy-sunday
Have you ever seen a banana slug on top of an elephant that was riding a bike? (asked by James Spencer)
No I haven't James, but I would sure like to.
If you were stranded on an island with only one chance to call someone for help who would it be and would they pick it up? (asked by Mike Gallegos)
I think I would call MacGuyver... I mean he can escape from anywhere with only a few household items, so he could probably help. But knowing Richard Dean Anderson, he's probably at some Stargate convention...
What is the dumbest thing you have ever done for a girl? (asked by Paul Wilson)
Wow, this is a very revealing question...haha... um, I have said plenty of dumb things, I have done probably even more dumb things... but nothing really bad. I think one time I thought that I was being really romantic by sticking a rose up my sweatshirt and caressing the top in my palm, and so I went over to this girls house in an attempt to "woo" her... and she was 2-3 years older than me (I was just a freshman in high school... I was so naive... but as a hopeless romantic it makes sense), and so I started talking to her about life... and eventually I said "I wanted to ask you, will you be just like this sweet rose?", and I pulled the rose out my sleeve, cutting up my arms with the thorns... and I handed it to her... haha... she smiled, and reassuredly said "that was so sweet of you... but I just can't... I have to go on a cruise next week, and it would be too long distance".... oh man... I wasn't all that heartbroken though... mostly because of my arm...haha.
Dumbest thing I ever said to a girl.... I said this summer to a girl who worked as a waitress at Tokyo Garden... she said something to me, and I responded in my most nervous way "you have... good... waitressing skills..."... haha...
What is your favorite vacation spot? (asked by Adam Crawford)
It is interesting to bring this question up, because I have found that in my life I have had more unpleasant vacations, than good ones. I would say that if I was going to pick a place to go back to vacation in, I would probably go back to Florida. I don't mean Disney World, or high-n-fancy Florida... I mean real coastal, suburban Florida... nice stuff.
How long have you known that you're right handed? (asked by Josh Waters)
Oh wow.... I never knew... TILL TODAY! GLORY REIGNS!
What is your greatest fear (asked by Katie Tam)
My greatest fear is that I could be all alone... both friend/romantic relationship wise, and emotionally/physically/spiritually wise... It scares me to the core... but it is something that God is helping me through, and that friends/family are showing me that I don't have to fear this...
What was your favorite cereal growing up and what is your favorite cereal now (asked by Matt Lopez)
My favorite cereal when I was a kid, and now... is Honey Nut Cheerios.
If you were a girl, and you could have any color summer dress, what color would it be? (asked by Matt Lopez)
I'd probably go for something in the tangerine color... maybe orange...
What is your favorite animal? (asked by Rachel Martinez)
I actually think Wolves are amazing animals... who get all the bad wrap in folktales... :( I think they are awesome + misunderstood.
Who is your favorite Scottish chef? (asked by Dan 'The voice' Anderson)
CHEF GORDON RAMSEY!!!!!!!!
Woah.... um.... what is that? haha... no, I think if I saw a diseased person... a part of me would sink inside because I would not be able to know what they are going through... but out of sheer compassion for that person... It would be difficult to watch/see...
What is your favorite type of pizza, and who makes it the best (asked by Justin Ostrander)
Oh man... I think that I would have to say Pepperoni + Jalepeno's with crushed red peppers... oh so good... but the most filling pizza I have ever had was at North Lake Tavern, they make amazing Seattle style super pan pizza! Two pieces and I was stuffed!
If you were a diver and found Atlantis...what would be the first thing you would do? ( asked by Justin Ostrander)
Such a good question... the first thing I would do is find out if people were still living inside... and possibly then find out if they were Mer-People.... If no people existed... I would look for some cool artifact/ treasure....
What is a God dream that He has placed upon your heart? (asked by Tessa Ratner)
Why did you go to Simpson? (asked by Nolan Mr.T Burns)
I visited Simpson twice before I actually came in the fall of 2005. The first time I was like "no way would I ever go to Simpson, its so small and I don't think that I could ever meet anyone... so I don't think so"... and then the second time I visited with a bunch of friends, and we were all deciding that we were going to come here together... that got me excited for things... and then I made the decision to go (on my own... after much consideration) and it just so happens that none of my friends ended up applying/coming... so then I was here at Simpson... and my freshman year was fun and random...
If you had to kill one celebrity who would it be? (Jake Bruns)
It would have to be someone who ultimately annoyed me/ represented the fact that 75% of celebrities do not deserve the recognition that they recieve.... so I would have to say Nicholas Cage...ugh...terrible
I have been having some crazy dreams lately... it has been both revealing and confusing to my current state of being. I think that it has solidified in my mind that this semester has been (by far) my most difficult to date, but it is getting better, getting better all the time.
Do you ever get dreams where you just get scared? But rather than panic about them, you try and understand what was behind the very fear that scared you? I discussed my dream with a good friend, and she gave me some good reassurance, and even helped me to realize that it was different than I had originally thought... All this to say, sometimes we need reassurance, even though we know the answer the whole time... I think that people want that reassurance, because it is so easy to get jaded by things in this world, and the support of those who we care about, share life with, can be the very thing that lifts our spirits...
All in all is all we are....
but are we more than we think we can be?... maybe not enough of the time....
Monday, February 2, 2009
I think its become a yearly tradition for me to get sick around this time of the year, it doesn't make it any easier when it comes... and it REALLY sucks that it is happening at this point... because I have so much to do... and can barely even move around...
Prayer is always needed... Drop by and say hello... Wish me better days... whatever you see fit... I am so exhausted and I have been sleeping for 5 hours....
It is such a great opportunity and a great blessing from God that he has been preparing me for, throughout the last few months. I just got my acceptance email last night, and am now looking for prayer for our team of 5! We have quite a ways to go until May 17th, and quite alot of money to raise... but God will make it happen.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I have never felt like I have had a "legitimate worship experience", and by that I mean an experience that moves me, breaks me, and uplifts me... as perfect communion with Christ as can occur within our earthly testimonials, taking away all distractions, and allowing for you to commend your spirit to the most high.
I have never had that, at least not to a great extent, every worship time I have been in, I felt as though I was professing in truth, yet I was not truly connecting to God.
.....until this morning.
I wept. I could not hold back. Every word sung, was a word that opened my soul and exposed my very being to the God who knows everything. I always thought that I couldn't cry, but I have proved that wrong today, and at other points in the past few months. Tears of joy, tears of anguish, tears of release... asking, seeking, opening.... loving, cherishing, pronouncing my love of Christ. I have never felt so close to God in my entire life.
It wasn't the music (although most of my tearing was during worship before and after the sermon), it wasn't the preaching (although the sermon seemed to be speaking to me), and it wasn't even the community of people (although they were encouraging)... it was my closure, my encapsulation of all the stress, all the drought, all the pain... it was me finally opening myself up to God, after so many months, and saying "take me... I'm not much, I'm not anything, I am nothing... yet you love me... you love me and I don't have to earn it, I don't have to be in the "right place, or right time", you love me.... and you have reached your hand down to comfort me.... and in that comfort I give you everything...."
I could barely contain myself when I was singing, but I kept going... not so that someone could look at me and say "wow...what a spiritual guy..." because that was not it at all.... but rather, it was all for God, and I give myself to him.
This song really encouraged me... and made me tear up the most.... (Mighty to say/ another song...)
"So take me as You find me
All my fears & failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender (I surrender)"
It was epic that the stained glass behind the worship team was filled with glorious angels... I felt as though they were coming down to comfort me....
1 John 4:18a- There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:19- We love because he first loved us.
All the fear, the anxiety, the stress, the uncertainty, the struggle, the hardship, the sorrow, the lament, and even all the good that has been going on in my life... was all given to Him... laid at his feet.... torn (by me) from my heart... for Him... and I felt released.... I felt loved.... I felt the pain in my chest disappear... I felt the peace that I have longed for..... a taste of it.... and I don't want to turn back now... I cannot....
I feel... good. I feel light... I feel hopeful... and I feel closer to God, and community than I ever have... and that is not a feeling I would trade for anything....
Thank you to all who read this, may it encourage you to know that we serve an amazing God. Thank you to all who have stuck with me, through the good times and bad. And even those who didn't stick around, thank you for being a part of my life. And as I say this... I ask myself to love like Jesus loved... open my hands to friends and offer all that I am for them... because in others I have found that the love of Jesus can be testifyed... but that is not the only way.
I pray to be a better example. I pray for humbleness. I pray for friendships, and changes. I pray for my heart.... that I may be a more loving, more caring, more helpful friend...
Thank you Lord. For yours is the kingdom... and the glory... forever and ever amen.