Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Princess

my princess

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Throw a Sheet on the Ghost

so i quit my job. yeah, the one that was keeping me from believing that time is not money. there are other reasons why i quit, but i don't wish to discuss them in this post. i have a part time job as an editor, so it's not like i had nothing to fall back on. but as i said, that is not the reason for this post. just felt like an update on my last blog entry.

i have learned a lot in the last little while. one thing bouncing around in my mind is the "desire for exclusivity". we all have it. we all want special treatment. we want what nobody else has.

we all want to go where no-one else has gone before. we want to be the first. we want the free vacation to Florida and the Bahamas. we want the penthouse suite. we want the perfect wedding. we want to know what nobody else knows.

christians even incorporate this in their lives. we want to experience God like nobody else has. we want our prayers answered on time. we want God to be on our side. we want to preach a sermon that hasn't been preached. we want to start a church like no other church. we want our ideas about God to be heard.

i admit i am guilty of all of this.

but i must acknowledge that i haven't experienced God the way others have. i haven't had all of my prayers answered. God has opposed me at times. i've preached from the same verses as others have. i've never started a church. and i'm certain that all of my ideas about God are inadequate.

i learned recently that we cannot understand God because our mind is simply too small. don't rely on our own understanding. we ask, "make a nonsensical thing make sense to me; make a mind-blowing thing fit into my mind for me; make an unbelievable thing believable for me - then i'll believe." but action is required to experience God, because your mind isn't big enough.

Proverbs says to taste and see that the Lord is good, not look and observe from a distance. stop thinking about something that cannot make sense to you. throw a sheet on the ghost and see it for yourself - hang parts of your life and your future on it.

it is far better to give than to receive
when you want love to be earned, give it for free
when you get status and can turn it into privilege, turn it into servanthood
when someone takes your tunik, give him your cloak as well
if someone makes you walk one mile, walk two
what difference does it make if you love your friends? love your enemies as well

follow these teachings and you will understand what is beyond your understanding. i know God doesn't make sense, but He exists anyway.

i quit my job because God told me to. that's why i hate talking about it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Time Keeps Ticking

some words from the wisdom of Oswald Chambers:

"The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others. It is not the practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College— its entire strength lies in the fact that here you are immersed in the truths of God to soak in them before Him. You have no idea of where or how God is going to engineer your future circumstances, and no knowledge of what stress and strain is going to be placed on you either at home or abroad. And if you waste your time in overactivity, instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God’s redemption, then you will snap when the stress and strain do come. But if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens."

it's interesting to think that most of my stress endured on a daily basis is self-inflicted. personal time with God takes a back seat to the endless need to keep busy. i feel that if i stop and catch my breathe, i'm wasting time.

i have learned recently that time is not money. applying this to my current workplace is utterly nothing more than a ridiculous idea, since it is primarily based on commission. but i forget that the "system" is built on this idea; to keep me from God.

even devotional study isn't time with God.

i must repent.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Avoiding Foolish Disputes

maybe "avoiding foolish disputes" means not arguing about anything with no eternal value.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Good News?

Mark 1:14-15...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the good news."

Time is fulfilled. 
Jesus is referring to the time set by God for his children to become adult sons and heirs. through Jesus, all things in heaven and on earth would be brought together under one leadership. when Jesus made mention of the fulfillment of time, everyone under law was waiting for this time to come, because they would have understanding of these things (Galations 4:4; Ephesians 1:10). a contemporary way of putting it might be to say that in a world of confusion, where things do not make sense, we look forward to the time when everything will be brought into meaningful relationship under the headship of Christ.

Repent and believe. 
"Repent" comes from the root word metanoia -- meta meaning "again" and noia meaning "to think." Noia comes from a root word that has to do with cognition or thinking. So literally, "repent" simply means "to think again." But usually, given the context in which it's used in the New Testament, I'd say that "repent" has this sort of connotation: It's like, if I were on my way to see a particular movie, and I called a friend who I knew had seen it and asked, "What did you think of ____? Was it good?" And they said, "Absolutely not! It was one of the dumbest movies I've seen in a while. In fact, all the funniest parts were in the previews." Then, I'd probably respond by "repenting" of what I had originally intended to do. I'd respond by not seeing that particular movie.Now, given our understanding of the language, a good rendering of "repent" would be to "reconsider the direction you're headed." Or, in light of its typical usage in the New Testament, it means "to reconsider your entire way of living." Come to think of it, in my own life, repentance takes place fairly often. Even on a weekly basis! - Understanding God's Will (Kyle Lake)

Kingdom of God. 
salvation is, essentially, access to everything in the Kingdom of God. when Jesus said that it is "at hand", he was saying that you could have salvation now. you could experience God now.

Let me take this further: If we only have a legal-transaction understanding of salvation in which we are forgiven of our sins so we can go to heaven, then salvation essentially becomes a ticket to somewhere else. In this understanding, eternity is something that kicks in when we die. But Jesus did not teach this. Jesus said that when we believe, we have crossed over from death to life (John 5:24). God always has been and always will be. And when I enter into a relationship with God through Christ, I am connected with God now and I will be connected with God forever. For Jesus, salvation is now. - Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell)

Good news. 
does any of this sound like good news?
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the good news."
Edit: "The time of confusion has ended, you may now recognize yourselves as sons of God. Full life is available to you now; reconsider your ways of living and believe what I teach you."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some Technicalities

i want to address some theological issues, if i can.

there is always going to be faulty doctrine, this day or the next, but there are some arguments that i have run into lately, for which the following statements are true:

God is not Omni-Benevolent 
i'm trying to be careful with this, because it is a blanket statement. God hates sin. God hates the unrepentant sinner. Matthew 10:20-24 has Jesus denouncing whole cities for not repenting and following Him. therefore, consider it an act of love that you are alive today.

We are not all God's Children 
Jesus said that everyone is born into sin, and that unless we have experienced a rebirth, we are called Sons of Hell (Rebirth explained in John 3:1-21). therefore, any verse regarding God's beloved, the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Good Shephard, etc. must be understood with this in mind.

God Doesn't Send Anyone to Hell 
with the previous point in mind, this should be easy to explain; God's children spend eternity in Heaven, and Sons of Satan spend eternity in Hell. God is only the Judge. your sins are what determine your fate.

i have been analysing the story of The Rich Young Man (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-30; Luke 18:18-30). it is the age-old, straightforward question of "How do I enter Heaven?" posed to Jesus. these verses are addressed to a rich man, and then to the closest followers of Jesus. i guess i keep wondering if this passage is directed to me as well... if i need to sell "all of my possessions" in order to follow Him. in any case, i think the common denominator is following Jesus.

P.S. if you are simply having trouble understanding the Bible, try praying for understanding.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How to Live

suddenly i have rekindled a passion for the weary and heavy laden christian. i am reminded that when i displease God, i should encourage my brothers and sisters. i want to start here, where you are. where you're discouraged. where you've failed.

may you find God's overwhelming love and acceptance, again and again. may you reignite passion. may you rekindle hope. may you rediscover truth. may your path be made straight. may your words fall on deaf ears. may you endure hardships. may you bask in the infinite peace of God. may you store treasures in Heaven. may you become weak. may your prayers be heard.

perhaps it is true that God does not count how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. perhaps God understands your self-hatred and disgust with your sin. perhaps God loves you regardless of how many times you turn your back on Him. perhaps God wants you to come only broken.

sometimes i am afraid that my sin will indefinitely separate me from God. i lose hope. i forget God's promise. He will never leave me nor forsake me. i feel spoiled. like God's injustice is in my favor. is God content if i quit the big sins and don't worry about the little sins? if all sin is the same, then i'm screwed. there's no way i can become righteous. how is God pleased with a saint/sinner? can i trust Him to provide? how do i show my commitment to God if i will inevitably go on sinning?

there's no other way it could work. i must come back to Him.

i think there is something heavily spiritual about the inability to break through to the inner court, to the throne of God. the veil was torn, but we've put it back up. there is denial there. there is fear there.

i love football movies. but i've seen some cheesy pep-talks for a worn out climax that could only work on a big screen. this reminds me of christians. we're the worst for encouragement. but i think it's deeper than our reputation. i think it's ultimately a lack of faith. it's a spiritual battle.

the idea of true encouragement is a very lost one. the lifting of spirits... encouragement means to give courage. true courage, in the life of a christian, is not an emotion. it is not an attitude. it is the unleashing of intrinsic boldness.

i want to encourage you, not inspire you.

Father in Heaven, send your Spirit to guide us, to rest on our shoulders, to make our paths straight. let us tear down the veil to your secrets once again. let us worship You until our breath runs dry. let us pray until the rocks cry out. let Your truth burn on our tongues. let us storm through the valleys and shout from the mountain tops. let your Kingdom come down. let us have faith once again. give us the Holy Boldness, sharpen our tongues, teach us to pray. let us hear your voice, o God of Elijah. let us see your face, o God of Moses. let us sing Your name, o God of David. let us be with You, o God of Israel. in Jesus' name, Amen.

may you never believe prayer to merely be a thoughtful gesture.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


if you could love me as a wife
and for my wedding gift, your life
should that be all i’ll ever need
or is there more i’m looking for
and should i read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
to make me handsome, rich, and wise
is that really what you want 
i am a whore i do confess
but i put you on just like a wedding dress
and i run down the aisle
i’m a prodigal with no way home
but i put you on just like a ring of gold
and i run down the aisle to you 
so could you love this bastard child
though i don’t trust you to provide
with one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side
i am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
that i would take a little cash over your very flesh and blood 
because money cannot buy
a husband’s jealous eye
when you have knowingly deceived his wife
i don't normally post song lyrics on here, i never read them on anyone else's blog, because i figure there's nothing i've never heard before (laugh). but i was recently introduced to Derek Webb and this song. it hit me so hard because it has such deep, forgotten meaning. it is written from the perspective of a shameful bride. at second glance, it bears the awful truth of an unfaithful church. watching her as she repeatedly breaks every vow. Derek calls any follower of Christ to love the church. Jesus himself said "If you love me, you will tend my flock."

it's incredibly easy to point fingers at the church, to say what it should be like, what it needs to do, and to hilight the flaws. when i condemn the church, i condemn Jesus also. God loves the church. i want to love what He loves. i want to see the bride of Christ as He sees her.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Got Served

sorry, i couldn't resist.

i am sorry for such a delayed post, perhaps some of you have given up on this blog because i don't update it enough. i've been busy living life, i guess. i've experienced quite a lot in the past few months. i've been seeking God, and evaluating motives. one thing i'm struggling with is pride. it seems that when i am delighted in the work of the Lord, the enemy is dedicated to boosting shots to my ego. i start getting wise in the ways of man. i use persuasive words. i lose my innocense to the facade of 'being real'...

yes, i know, you're wondering how being real could be a facade. believe me, it was news to me as well. it seems that honesty has become this upcoming generation's preference to holiness. while both are pure and good, they can also be taken to an ultimate extreme. i have been a sucker for this. my desire to live hardcore. "because you're not hardcore, unless you live hardcore." but if that's all talk, how am i a follower of Christ? it seems i've found a new comfort zone that tells me i can get away with only talking like i know God, talking like i've experienced God, thinking about God, even telling others about God.

God has been revealing to me (because i'm so dense) that i can't be Christlike unless i feed the hungry. heal the sick. give to the needy. serve others.

i never give money to homeless people. heck, when they ask if i have any change, i outright lie to them. i don't even look them in the eye.

someone asked me for a quarter once. i gave him one. i started to feel good about myself, giving myself a little pat on the back, and a little Jesus star beside my name. i was downtown Hamilton. then i needed to make a phonecall. i realized that i had given this guy my only quarter - my ticket home. thoughts overwhelmed my mind. i got bitter. i cussed, i swore, i punched the payphone. i resentfully bought a $20 phone card. one i would never use more than once. this little punk inconvenienced me, and ruined my day with one simple request. i didn't have to say yes. i told myself that was the last time i would give away cash. it was also the first time.

i read a passage of scripture that has Jesus saying,

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
if a man asks you for money, give him money. look him in the eye, and acknowledge him as a person. servanthood is not a gifting, or a calling. it applies to anyone who is in Christ.

i have to admit, this is a hard message. i will have to struggle to live up to it. everything within me burns to want to be Christlike but avoid my responsibility to serve others.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Street Evangelism

Benny Hinn Healing Crusade
in all seriousness, if i take someone with a terminal illness and bring them to the front of a church, and challenge anyone who thinks they have enough faith to heal them, to come and do so, is this wrong in God's eyes?

Jesus heals man with Palsy
i've been doing a little street evangelism and young people are generally very angry with church. they say the church isn't what it should be. well, i've heard this for a long time now, and i don't care to cast any more stones. revival is happening in Canada, and i want in on it. i just need to know my bounds. i need to know what is promised, what isn't, what i can tell people, and how to have faith. you might just tell me to read my Bible, but i have been. i'm amazed by the book of Acts. can every christian heal people? prophecy? cast out demons? i know different people get different giftings based on their measure of faith, but what does that mean? how can you base it on your faith? does that mean that if i believe i can heal, i can therefore heal? i don't think i have the gift of healing, specifically. i've done some online tests, talked to lots of people, and i believe i am gifted in the area of teaching, and prophecy. i've heard rumor that everyone really has every gift, we just specialize in certain ones. if this is true, i should be able to do anything, and just focus on one or two or three. i've been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but i haven't spoken in tongues. i've had a few tiny prophetic experiences, nothing too bold or outrageous.

i find that people that we talked to on the streets are generally hurting people and are in need of healing, or some other miracle. i'd just like to know if i can have faith that my prayers for them will be answered.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Full Flannel Jacket

there is no such thing as fruitless ministry. only good fruit and bad fruit. what is not beneficial can only be harmful.

is it harmful to think in only black and white? i almost don't want to believe that my faith holds any power or authority. yet i sing about moving mountains and forget that Peter walked on water. i must admit, Christianity to its full extent is unfamiliar territory. i need discipleship. i need tougher meat to chew. i need to interact with God on a new level. i want to know how to get to that secret place. i rationalize the mystery of God and seek purpose behind His miracles. if it is not good to move a mountain, it must be bad.

i want to see someone make a Holy Spirit felt puppet. i want to know what that looks like. and use it to teach a lesson explaining the Trinity.

"In every encounter we either give life or we drain it. There is no neutral exchange." - Brennan Manning

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Avoiding Gossip

when talking with christian peers about congregational affairs, remember:

"christian concern" resolves to correct an issue and looks for a way to confront the guilty party. anything else is borderline gossip. we need to be intentional.

Monday, May 15, 2006


i find it annoyingly difficult how my "zero-sum-mind" will allow me to think i have a firm grasp on a given theological subject, but when asked a simple question, i draw a blank. even if i am well rehearsed in a complete answer. often i find myself combating this when i teach sunday school. a battle of intellect is much like a wrestling match. if i block, i am momentarily unguarded in another area. in this new position, my mind is very busy determining my next plausible move. considering my options, their outcomes, my advantages, my weaknesses, and an eventual goal in mind - to pin you into submission.

what is it like to hear God's voice?

do not despair. it's only as hard as you think. if you don't think it's hard, it's not; and if you think it's hard, it is.

i believe God is absolutely capable of having a relative relationship with us. if i say, "God is good", this is an absolute statement; if i say, "God is good to me", i have made the statement relative to me. both are true statements. one is not less true than the other. sometimes i struggle to think that God loves me as much as someone who is more successful, or happy.

i find it annoyingly difficult how my "zero-sum mind" will allow me to think i have a firm grasp on a given subject, but when asked a simple question, i draw a blank. (a zero-sum game has winners and losers. if you believe that in order to make $100, someone else needs to lose $100; that’s zero-sum.)

if i dwell on the question, my humanness struggles to come up with an answer. "I don't know" is not satisfying enough for me. but if i focus on the direction of conversation, where it is going, what my options will be when i get there, what i know to be true... i can pin you into submission.

i believe God speaks to me. i believe it is in my thoughts - it even sounds like me. i believe i am created in God's image. made complete, fully capable of living independantly. i believe God wants me to make decisions in life. i believe, in my humanness, i am fully capable of interacting with God. i believe God manipulates my compassion when i ask Him. i believe God has given me control over my life.

this is all relative truth. but God wants to speak to you too.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Unchained Son

the following is a testimony of a man whose story you may have heard, but never knew:

Jim is a thirty-something teacher to whom people are drawn. but Jim breaks all kinds of rules. he's confrontational, opinionated, filled with will-power.
he threatens to fight scoudrels who are making money off of religion, even grabbing their TV camera, a tool for this sordid gain, and smashing it to the ground, creating one long commercial break. 
he has called his students dumb and dull, asking how much longer he'll have to endure their company. 
in order to stem his influence, his enemies play word games and devise interview scenarios in which to embarrass him; he's so cunning and shrewd that he constantly shows them up instead. no one has the guts to talk the way he does. others talk like they understand God; Jim talks like he knows God. Jim forcefully disrupts the order of things and disregards convention. Jim's inappropriate. 
he calls people bad names that "respectable men" never say. he verbally confronts one of his most powerful government officials. when Jim has faced an authority figure who, because of manufactured charges, could actually invoke the death penalty, Jim's slow-to-come responses have been obscure, searing, and disrespectful. 
Jim doesn't mind his manners around important persons. Jim causes problems for society's respectable people. no wonder they want to pull him down. 
in one public speech, to illustrate a profound spiritual truth, Jim has spoken of excrement going into a drain. he's colourful, but some think his language is too coarse for a spiritual leader, and the press has a field day: PREACHER OR POTTYMOUTH? YOU DECIDE. 
he has told reporters that his mission isn't to discover or promote a lifetime of warm and cozy. au contraire: "i bring division and conflict! live as i say you should," he tells morning news shows over coffee and crumpets, and it may "tear your families apart!" then he states the obvious: "those who don't find me offensive will be blessed." who booked this guy? Regis wonders, glancing at security, hoping they're keeping a sharp eye. who in the world does he think he is? muse countless others. 
Jim is sarcastic, sometimes bitingly so; he doesn't apologize. Jim goes to parties and hangs out with others who do. at least once he has supplied the wine, for free, during a wedding where children were likely present. drinks are on him, even though he knows he'll be accused of corrupting others and touting sinfulness. the bureaucrats and government workers with whom he spends time are the ones everybody else hates. Jim doesn't even shun mentally imbalanced devotees or politically leprous radicals. 
many murmer and complain that they don't understand him. his own students sometimes won't ask him questions because they fear his response. 
most religious leaders enjoy the attention of large crowds, but Jim's wary: he doesn't trust them, and he doesn't hide his distrust. he actually confronts empty compliments during public gatherings--not a seeker-friendly ministry approach. even though he still takes students, Jim's been unemployed for at least three years and doesn't even look for a job. he lives off handouts, owns no property, doesn't even have his own cardboard box to return to at night. 
one choice that led to further attacks was Jim's allowing a prostitute--in public--to anoint him with rare and expensive oil that could have been used to feed the poor, support missionaries, or pay for part of a child's life-saving surgery. while his students and his opponents boiled with anger over this wasteful extravagance, Jim would not hear it denounced and had the audacity to say that whenever God's liberating message is preached, this one event will be mentioned favorably. the woman wiped Jim's feet with her own hair, a lure she has used to draw men to her bed, but he has no care for his reputation. the scandal of it all! hear the good folk gossip! film at eleven! 
he warns his students that people will despise them. some will even be brought to court by blackmailers with unfair charges. Jim tells them to pay off the blackmailer before it goes that far. he instructs one student to sell some clothing in order to buy a weapon.
Jim, who's loving, kind, and compasionate, is not owned or influenced by fear and shame. still, he does all the above and more, which begs the question: do you think Jim's a "good Christian man"? is he a nice guy? 
this is part of the life of Christ as recorded in the Gospels, but are you surprised by how foreign some of it looks? if we compare these actions of Jesus to the behavior expected of the average guy in most churches today--and, if we were honest--we'd say, absurdly, that Christ is not a "Christian." we wouldn't pray to him; we'd issue prayer requests for him. 
something doesn't add up.

- Excerpt from Paul Coughlin's book: No More Christian Nice Guy

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Irrational Grace

do not scoff when a logical mind questions your faith. his inability to see the rationale behind the sacrifice of Christ is due to an unappreciation for the unreasonable. surely your laughter is infused by your childlike faith. and for this you are blessed. but to dismiss the seeker of knowledge is to withhold the key to the Kingdom of Heaven, which was freely given to you.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mary, Did You Know?

it's Easter weekend and i'm just not feelin' it this time around. the cross. the scars. i don't want to mourn. it's a time when our King conquered death, He didn't succumb to the depths of a grave. i am reminded that He rose again, with every intention of saving our lives so that we may rejoice and tell others. how many people get 'saved' after watching a Sunday morning Easter play? i think our caricature of a one-dimensional bearded white guy gets over-drawn. the message gets old. we try desperately to re-enact the trauma and resurrect a grieving calloused heart. maybe squeeze out another tear. then go home and watch football.

i don't want to keep ranting about this. i've already done that. i want to paint a new Da Vinci picture.

the other day i lost my sister. i was supposed to be at the church rehearsing for this Sunday's Easter play (i'm Judas). but i skipped out and went to Oakville with some friends. i got back to one of my friend's house, about 3 hours after Lydia was finished work. i called everyone who might know where she went, but nothing. so i went home to see if she was there. she wasn't. she left a message on my mom's answering machine, crying about weird creepy people around where she was. my grandma called the police to report her missing. i stayed at home to wait for phone calls and my mom to get home with the vehicle so i could go find her. my mom was freaking out by now. on our way to Simcoe, we got a call that she had been dropped off at home. she was found waiting outside the empty church building. needless to say, she was very mad at me.

in one instance of His childhood, Jesus disappeared during the Passover Feast. Mary and Joseph were frantically looking for Him among friends and relatives. after three days of searching, they found him in the temple back in Jerusalem. His mother said, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and i have been anxiously seraching for you." Jesus said, "Why were you searching for me? didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:41-52)
i imagine countless times, Mother Mary tried to tauten the reigns of parental-influence on Jesus. but like a stubborn mule, He resisted. i think we've scratched out this picture of Mary. is she at fault? no. simply miscommunication with the Father, like we all have from time to time. Mary is the symbol of our inner struggle with a concept of God as an authoritative puppeteer with whom we are at constant tug of war for control of the marionette strings. while our lives are lived on stage, responding to God's direction. we don't like it.

while Jesus was talking to a crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak with you." Jesus replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" pointing to His disciples, he said, "here are my mother and my brothers. whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50)

Jesus wasn't really much of a family man. He left His mother's house for the life of a homeless man. His family members even questioned His sanity. look what His instructions are for His followers: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matthew 11:34-36). He gave children ammo, and gave parents an option: "teach your children to follow me, and they will obey you." (Paraphrased)

even when His mother and brother stood at the foot of the cross, weeping, He said to Mary, "dear woman, this is your son," and to his brother, "this is your mother." (John 19:25-27) as if to graciously remove Himself from the equation.

obviously, different people draw different conclusions from the scripture references i have provided, but i like mine. perhaps i am biased, maybe out of context. i do believe Jesus loved Mary, and chose to obey her because God wanted that. but to disregard the conflict of interest between Jesus and His family members would be to assume Jesus led an easy life, with a perfect upbringing. this might put Mary up on a pedestal? i believe Jesus relied heavily on His Heavenly Father to teach Him the ways of the world, and has made that option available to us as well.

Vim and Vigor

i dusted off my old bike today. had to take advantage of this beautiful day. i remember as a kid i didn't think i could ever get as far as Jarvis. i went there and back in about an hour today. there's nothing like conquering childhood challenges.

sometimes i get lost in the complexity of life. the vibrancy fades from this pastel drawing. call me crazy but i think God is fascinated with His creation. maybe boastful at times. longing to show me the pages of His sketchbook. if God wasn't interested in the material substance of reality, why would He take so much care in creating it? why would He leave the blemishes of artistic signature in places so delicate and intimate if not to say "This is mine, I am indeed well pleased!" we see blemish and think of rubbish. much the same way a lucid mind will question the value of abstract art and ask "what's the point?" and go about his regular business, frustrated with limited ways to express himself.

if God wasn't interested, why spend the time working out the kinks of a functioning brain and life-giving heart and lungs? why baffle our simplistic minds with an unexplorable universe? if not to say, "You could not possibly know."

yet He thinks me fonder than all His other works of art.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

For Those Who Are Thirsty.

to be perfect is to be compassionate. this is righteousness beyond legalism. love people as they are; not as they should be.

to walk in liberty is to live the Gospel. this is to walk a fine line, not a path of rebellion. this necessity requires responsibility.

do not confuse the weaker brother for the younger. teach them to be strong and dangerous, not crippled and safe.

make your words soothing to the ear, but convicting to the heart. then you will be heard.

parables speak life to the eager, and stories to the cynic. this is how you hide pearls.

God's love is a great secret. it requires searching. this is Christianity.

Parables of Jesus 
Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well
Growing Seed 

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Love and Addiction

i've been hard-pressed lately to share a new revelation that i believe is truth, but not widely accepted in most circles. i'm choosing to walk a finer line, and i pray that i'm not just infactuated with a controversial image. but i look at Jesus, and he was the most controversial man in history. so maybe i'm onto something.

yesterday i was walking downtown Simcoe, pondering things, and i noticed a woman running around proclaiming to random aquaintances (i assume) that she was snacking on a bag of chips. seems kooky, i know. don't worry, it gets better. she was holding a bag of spinach. "I tell myself it's chips" she said. obviously this lady was dealing with an addiction in a rather bizarre way. but it got me thinking: is this diversion actually beneficial? she's only deceiving herself to produce a better choice of craving. i think we often do this. but in the end, is it what we tell ourselves we're eating, or what our tongue tastes that we begin to crave? i would hope that it's the latter. but i doubt this is the case.

i've heard it said that when a person is thirsty, it is not water that they crave, but the nutrients in the water that our body needs. the body sends a signal to the brain, which translates to a container formula that is identifiable to the tongue, as well as edible. it makes sense, to think that what tastes good to the tongue is good for the body. God is responsible for that phenomenon. but chocolate tastes better than cabbage, c'mon!

now for the controversial bit...

Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) this is a complicated verse. challenging, provocative, and seemingly impossible. what does it mean to deny oneself? i'll start by explaining firstly what it isn't: it isn't denying reality. if i tell myself i'm moving forward, but really i'm stuck in the mud, i'm outright lying to myself. my actions tell me better, what i'm doing and what i'm not doing. sometimes i need a second opinion to see my error. secondly, it isn't antipathy. Brennan Manning coined the term "Imposter" to represent the inner struggle with sin. he says, "Hatred of the imposter is actually self-hatred. The imposter and I constitute one person." once we accept who we are, sin and all, we can accept Christ. once we love ourselves, we can love God. denying oneself means to take opposition toward fleshly desires... confused? how is this different than self-hatred as i described it? simple: love your enemies.

i think admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming an addiction. you can't change what you don't acknowledge. this is all cliche advice.

the second step is to surrender. accept your depravity and inability to correct your habit. John Kuypers says, "Whether it is smoking, over-eating, over-working, alcohol, dope, sex or gambling, your addiction is your biggest opportunity to develop your own compassion and trust in God to do His work and show His great love for you." God actually wants you to give up and let Him take over.

the third step is to turn away from sin. this is the "taking up the cross" bit. obviously this has a death connotation to it: dying to oneself. go and sin no more. Jesus retorted this to the worst of sinners.

the fourth step is to now remove the speck from your brother's eye (Luke 6:42) i think this verse also a much deeper meaning than it first appears. it holds the process of "removing a plank" as a prerequisite to discerning steps to be taken to help a brother. Jesus meant for us to undergo the admission, submission, compassion, and repression needed in order to conquer sin. and to tell others how to do it. there is a huge lesson to be learned here; unless you're willing to demonstrate all these to a fellow believer, you have no right to judge. and even then, Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me." (John 8:15-17).

God help me

God help me to love my freakin' enemies.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Humor Me

so i'm 21 years old as of March 16th. i feel slightly older now. highschool seems like it ended a decade ago. yet i surround myself with 17- yr olds. kind of strange, perhaps inappropriate now. i mean, i enjoy their company, and we have fun, but i feel pressured to find new friends. obligated to grow up. move out. get a girlfriend. this just seems weird that i've been there, done that (minus the g/f), and returned home to the highschool crowd. maybe what i feel God has called me to is unrealistic. unreasonable. maybe i was wrong and now i'm wasting my time. i'm just hard pressed to get a life. it's just that whenever i get up to leave, i find out i've already attached my heart to something else. it sucks you in. tells you that you can't leave. not now. i wonder if this is inevitable no matter where i go. and if that's the case, i can't be afraid of it. because i'll fit in somewhere else.

i've felt for the longest time that i was called to youth ministry. now i don't know anymore. young-adult ministry doesn't really appeal to me either. maybe it's just their lack of interest that is discouraging. i just want to make my film this summer and get out of here. i feel this is unfinished. and that's frustrating.

i think i'm just in love with the idea of leaving. i don't really want to leave, i don't have anywhere to go. but i don't feel needed. appreciated. or really wanted. that is an irrational reason to leave, though. i want a different life. i like who i am inside, but nothing else. sorry none of this is really poetic, or encouraging, but i'm totally drained. i should be praying more, and reading more, and listening more. maybe i'll just end this miserable post now. just had to get that out.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I run, You fly... Brilliant

Take me with you
Run on air
Carry my burden
Lest I don't get there
Beneath your talons
Remove my dignity
On your wings
Share with me divinity

Funny How Blessings Come

yes, i'm back. or maybe you have not noticed. i've been away from home for almost two weeks now. bumming around town, crashing at friends' places here and there. my mom got a flat tire in Hamilton, and our van has been in the shop, had some framework done, some alignment, anyway, it's been a mess. but i am home now, and very glad to be. might i recommend the new Mutemath CD. i ordered it online a while back and it was here when i came home. along with the NOOMA soundtrack. also fantastic.

i'm finding that anywhere i go, whatever i do, my circumstances are made painfully aware to me. it's annoying, to say the least. let me elaborate.

funny how blessings come, guised as curses. this is a recurring surreality. i find myself resentful of anything given to me, free of charge or service. i want to earn my happiness. yet God will not grant me that satisfaction to my ego. i'm not sure i want to share every impudent circumstance i find this nested in. i just don't want to accept blessings. and i know it's my pride in the way of that. because some blessings bring me to humility. i think i should pray for more of these. but i find my prayers more dedicated to passing my blessings on to others. i think now God is showing me that's not what He wants for me. rather, He wants me to cherish the gifts He gives.

my friend Matt and i ran into an old friend from highschool the other day. he's having a kid in about 20 days. it was unexpected, but we congratulated him anyway. name will be Christopher. funny how blessings come.

i feel like God is moving me to a new place. in the wake of Easter, i've been spending a lot of time observing the man of Jesus. of course, this is an ongoing thing for me, but lately i've been intrigued by His character. learning how to imitate Him. word has it He was a man of great sorrow. this is because when He came into contact with the poor and sick, He carried their burdens. i wonder about this. to bear the sin of the entire world. how that would affect a man.

it's truly perplexing to think that we as christians are called to carry eachother's burden. not just pray for one another, but intercede for them. lately i'm noticing that negative prayers have more of an effect than positive prayers. praying against crisis. against sickness. against temptation. rather than for happiness. for healing. for freedom. i think it's more of a nip-the-bud technique. it allows God to work freely without the constraint of your will. praying that His will be done, His way. in His timing. i think this is closer to God's heart. i think God wants us to have more of an activist role in His work, and less of a passive tone. and i think God wants us to notice when our prayers are answered. and rejoice with Him.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Short and Sweet

when one accepts that ignorance is bliss, the possibilities and conclusions to be drawn are endless. in a state of bliss, one is not faced with obstacles, but has already overcome them. one does not contemplate but has already decided. it is a state of serenity. peace of mind. peace, coupled with joy. why the distinction? can i have peace without joy? or joy without peace? is either really an object of aspiration without a foretaste of the other?

if ignorance leads to complacency, when does this become bliss? is bliss a sinful desire? does God want us to have peace and joy?

okay, this is something i beleive i have already come to a realization on. God wants to divert our attention to Him, rather than our situation. so is God being the object of our distraction, thus promoting ignorance? are christians out of sync with the world because our focus is Christ? is this a good thing?

i think there is more to the equation. we are called to love the world, not ignore it. we are called to be a light, not to wear infared goggles.

is there an alternative to ignorance? if so, is there a higher cause and effect? once we validate Christ as a reason to harness this serendipity, the burden is lifted. bliss is not a sinful desire, but a precious need. ignorance is temporal bliss. Christ is eternal bliss.

Prayer Request

please pray for my cousin. she's in the hospital, not sure what exact details are. pray it isn't life-threatening.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Music Blog #2 || mewithoutYou

"Catch For Us The Foxes" -mewithoutYou
Jeremy Tremblay wrote Walked Away(mp3). it will bring a tear to your eye. guaranteed. oh, and i will also mention, Jeremy graciously stepped into the recording studio with me for a collaborative demo. or, i should say, i went to his house and recorded that song i wrote and sang at the NCCF winter retreat ("Side A"). but this is top-secret information. don't go spilling all over the web about this production, now.

i've fallen in love with this band mewithoutYou. i'm not sure how to describe them, possibly poetry-core or something. sounds kinda like R.A.T.M. meets CAKE. i dunno. anyway, they have some good songs to download: Bullet to Binary(mp3); Gentlemen(mp3)

my old roomie, Andrew Primmer, is up to his old antics in his hilarious new video, Kung Fu Madness(wmv)... i know, i was going to make a seasonal 'mp3 blog', but i couldn't pass this up. it's really funny. i luv it! i luv it!

anyway, hope you all had an enjoyable V-day. i celebrated with a heart-shaped cookie at work.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My Embrace

i can't stand this. i feel like my life is on repeat. i keep asking the same questions over and over, trying to come to different conclusions... for the sole purpose of changing my mind again, and again. like repainting a canvas with all that old paint underneath. somehow it still shows through. not really sure what i'm trying to describe here, just my display of raw emotion. i am contending with apathy now. i want God to take everything away from me. beauty, pride, joy... take things that are dear to me. so i can relearn what it means to be thankful.

i try to represent Christ. but all that comes across is my self-consciousness. guarding my heart. analyzing myself. second-guessing my actions. analyzing myself again. it gives me a headache. advice says, "just be yourself." it proves rather frustrating when it's your self that you're trying to kill. kill this self-righteousness and pity. take away my better judgment so that i may learn to forgive and forget. kill my senses. let me become numb to the pain of reformation.

reason will only validate a need. my reason is Christ. i need morality. i need unconditional love. i need something to live for. i need acceptance. i need forgiveness. i need progression.

random thought: there are plenty of fish in the sea. but my lure is caught in the weeds of an irrigation pond.

i signed up to be on the worship team at church today. i don't know what this means for me. it's something i used to help my mom with. maybe i want to induce more discipline in my life. more restrictions. more commitments.

this oddity of joy proves rather amusing. need i say, my last sentence is redundant. i get stuck at a traffic light, and burst out laughing. excuse my pizzahut-lingo, but when there's 40 bills up and the make table is a sea of chaos, i am ecstatic. technical mistakes in music stimulate passion.
"when the Spirit meets the flesh, it is a beautiful collision" - David Crowder.

one thing i've been thinking a lot about lately is this metaphysical sensation: conjoining of the senses. for example, tasting red. seeing heat. hearing pain. when we worship, we have this interaction with God's Spirit. and it is coupled with overwhelming passion.

i have this burning desire to be able to read a book while i sing to music. being one-track minded, this is virtually impossible for me. i can't split my attention to share two sources of information exchange. it's like breathing in through your mouth, and out your nose simultaneously. they cancel eachother out, and you stop breathing. your lungs do not function, so the oxygen transfer is pointless.

now that you're experimenting with your nose and mouth, allow me to continue...

why do we worship? to glorify God. to interact with the Spirit. right. i don't want to poison your mind with my next comparison, so this is a forewarning: don't read too much into this.

God gave us marriage, to exemplify how we are to interact with Him. a relationship that is consummated by venerating eachother, showing the highest execution of love known to man. this may seem rather misplaced and awkward, when in conjunction with my last post displaying God as a father-figure. but our understanding of God is that He desires to be the ultimate satisfaction to every need. He is our be-all and end-all. He is our everything.

this upsets a lot of christians, because they don't want Jesus to be their boyfriend. they suggest that this image of God is too intimate, and that God is to be revered above all else. i'm not disqualifying that Christ wants to be revered, but the marriage scenario doesn't undermine this. at least, in a Biblical sense.

"In one blinding moment of salvific truth, Christianity became no longer merely a moral code, an ethic, or a philosophy of life, but a love affair." - Brennan Manning: Above All

i am thoroughly convinced that God desires an intimate relationship with us. and when we limit ourselves to lip-service, a good deed now and then, and a warm pew, we're missing out. surely, all that we can ever achieve is merely inadequate. but God is still exuberantly pleased. much like the delight a father has in a child's finger-painting, God not only knows our limitations, He embraces them.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Arms of Love

in my storm, You are patient...
sometimes, we want God to hear our cries. we want attention. we want to feel loved. such a simple concept; do what i want You to do.

my dad often reminisces about a time when i was a baby, i was sitting on a pew in a church service, next to my dad's gym bag. my dad loked down and saw me sucking on his stick of deodorant. needless to say, he took it away from me. i hope i don't need to connect the dots for you...

when parents give their child everything and anything they want, whenever they want, we call them bad parents. we say they spoil their child. we say they do their child a disservice by giving them everything for nothing.

"When you want something really bad, God's the one who ignores you."

so let me go a different direction with this... because the preceding only applies to christians. we have a dilemma. we have a God who knows what's best for us, but evidently, He doesn't know what's best for amputees, handicaps, orphans, or poverty-stricken countries. we're talking about children, here. innocent, guiltless children. that have no greater dream than just to be given a chance to live life.

i'm a big believer in this concept: "if scrutiny is my wrecking ball, adding a few more bricks to a condemned building isn't going to save it."

Courtney Love's father force-fed her LSD from the age of four. He would also take some himself, then paint on her naked body and watch her run around in an entertainingly confused state. she said, "if my parents showed me unconditional love, i would have a better chance for survival." i suppose this wouldn't be the most strategic spot to start talking about God's unconditional love... nonetheless, let me explain how God 'loves the little children of the world.' God created us to love us...

i was sitting in the car yesterday, staring out the window waiting for my mom to come out of a shop. i watched as a mother walked down the sidewalk carrying a baby. the baby looked happy. most times when i notice a baby in public, it's because the baby is crying. certainly, the first thought that goes through my head isn't "wow, that baby must really be loved." it's more often than not, "that mother must feel embarrassed, surely she doesn't want people to see her baby upset."

has God heard our cry for help? has He seen our pain? has He ignored us?

in a drastic attempt to soothe a baby in public, a mother will use this tactic: distract the baby with a toy, and promise a reward for behavior upon home arrival.

quite brilliant, really. what is God's gift? Jesus. what is the reward? a crown. where is home? Heaven.

of course, these are all but distractions to achieve a greater purpose: to love God. to obey God. so why does God present Himself as the only answer to this world's problems? because He wants to love us.

yes, we will suffer in this world. God understands that. Jesus experienced that. but evil only corroborates the existence of God. here's a fun little argument for you to ponder. if it doesn't suffice, at least it's an entertaining puzzle:

An argument for God's existence based on the existence of evil
1) If God does not exist, then objective moral principles do not exist.(6) 2) If evil exists, then objective moral principles do exist. 3) Evil exists. 4) Therefore, objective moral principles do exist.(2 & 3) 5) Therefore, God exists.(1 & 4) -- [excerpt from]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

(No) Construction Ahead

if you are right, you can still be foolish; but if you are wise, no-one will say you're wrong.

i like to make people think. in fact, i like to be right. it's funny how i say that, as i often consider myself one to admit when i am wrong. but for me to admit that, i must see extensive research to prove it. or just listen to my mom. she seems to take great pride in proving me wrong through debate. it's all in love, so i enjoy the debate despite the outcome.

but when a fundamental-faith value comes into question, i tend to throw my bias in favor of christian heresy. and this makes me ignorant. the results are chaotic. and i believe ther are many people like this.

forgive me, i try to make my faith reasonable. rational, sometimes. i cannot have faith in faith alone. i like to test things before i acknowledge certainty. but i believe God does confound the wise. perhaps i am reading too much into this, but when we take a pedantic stance against the world and argue unlovingly 'til we're blue in the face, i think God sheds some more light on whatever our cause may be. He gives us an even bigger picture. and in doing so, He proves us wrong. this is a great irony. God somehow glorifies Himself by proving christians wrong. telling us to just shut up and love one another. i don't believe this applies to every situation, God clearly sets a standard for how to live, and what gods we should not revere.

karma, in its most basic form, is biblical. God thought of it first. "do unto others as you would have them do to you."
there is ample evidence for a very old earth and galaxy. but this does not negate God. perhaps it makes the creation story more elegant. if someone is willing to follow Jesus, who are we to set unreasonable standards for them to do so?

some truths are still sin. too much alcohol will get you drunk. cutting wrists will make you bleed. but these are not opponents to God's acceptance and forgiveness.

sometimes i want to take credit for the things God does. sometimes i want to justify the irrational decisions i make in life. God often calls me to take a detour when there's no construction in sight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Evolution... revisited

i know, i know, it's flippin' 6 am. maybe that can attest to my new conviction. perhaps you are a veteran reader of my blog and have witnessed this post and have seen my grade 12 arguments presented in essay format as to the question of evolution and my fundamentalist claims.

well, i haven't made up my mind yet, but this thread has provided some radical insight for my Creationist viewpoint. i'm not sure. i'm honestly not sure. this doesn't change my christian faith, as my faith is not based on my understanding of a 6 day creation. it appears as though the Evolutionist view has evolved into Intelligent Design, and i almost regret having moved on from the debates and inquiry. the contending worldviews seem to have eradicated my previous stance, for which i am eternally grateful. science seems to have moved on from the Creationist-Evolutionist debate. one thing that has not changed is the faulty data still being distributed in textbooks.

in case you are wondering, i believe the Bible to be infallible and inerrant. i believe science can provide evidence for this, but like everything else, science cannot prove anything.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Humility: An Observation

Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama 

hum·ble (hũm'bel)

adj. hum·blerhum·blest
1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.
3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.
tr.v. hum·bledhum·blinghum·bles
1. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
2. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
3. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin humilislow, lowly, from humusground; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]

over the past few months, i've been struggling with the true meaning of humility. what does it mean to be humble? what is the opposite of arrogance and pride? in my attempt to imitate a form of humility, i am afraid that i have only redefined it. my version of humility looked more like self-pity. or denial of my ability. and in doing this, i felt fake. and that was frustrating. because it seemed that no matter what i do, i appear to be prideful. even in stating that, i somehow take pride in acknowledging that i'm proud. and then feel a need to explain myself. figure that one out.

recently, Barbera Walters did a documentary called, "Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?" where she conversed with numerous leaders of various faiths. one being His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. i observed this man and the position he took when asked, "the Tibetans claim that you are a god. is this true? are you enlightened?" his response, "no! i am not enlightened. i do not know what will happen tonight, or tomorrow, i can barely remember what happened yesterday. my eyes have bad vision. if i was a god, would i need glasses? ...i am just a teacher."

okay, there is an obvious christian response to this interview. but for the moment, i want to skip that. because what i find to be so attractive about this man's character is his denial of his given title. is this humility? is humility really just acknowledging that your reputable identity is a lie? this is upsetting to me. because to mimick his realization would mean denial of my identity, which is found in Christ. and with that being the foundation of my faith, i know this to be absolutely true: i have been born again. can i have pride in truth? the truth is that my self-inflicted shortcoming is worthless. yet Jesus' death on the cross has saved my from my sin.

i suppose the scriptural summation of this would be (Galations 6:14) "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

as well as Paul's vision in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


i must say, i have been blessed by God today. God has been doing many things in my family's life as of late, and i can't give any credit to anyone other than God for their happenings. should i be thrilled? what is the correct manner of expressing gratitude to God? i am rather shocked by what has happened, and i can only imagine God's ecstatic delight in doting on a loved one. namely, me. my mom is more into the blessings-tallying than i am, so needless to say, she is very excited for me.

i have received a new bed. yes, a mattress and box-spring. and did i stress new? i'm not one to complain, or at least throw a tantrum, but i've been brawling with an old spring mattress since i came home from college. i don't know who gave me this new one. truly, i have no information other than that a pastor of a church in waterford which my mom attends (not i) called our house yesterday with a bed, wondering when a good time was for us to pick it up. i suppose my mom told them i was in need of a bed. i've been looking to buy one for some time now. but mattresses are costly. and that coerced me back to coping with my old one. but apparently God thought i needed one now. which i am content with. in fact, i am looking forward to a good night's sleep. that said, goodnight.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight
how to i bring myself to test God's abounding grace? o, how i detest this rotting carcass of a body i have been given. how do i live in a lended shell, only to continually betray my brethren for turkish delight? so foul. so disgraceful. in the end my tongue is sweet, my hands sticky. traces of my crime lie everywhere i touch. who committed this crime? the one with sticky hands. how will you judge me? will you accept me. what are the conditions? if i continue to indulge my fat body with sweets. surely not. if i promise to turn from my wicked ways, perhaps. yet the smell awakens me. it heightens my senses. i am dumbfound. i must have this. so delectable. hinder me, o God. wake me up from this dream.

provide an exit from this plague of mirages in my desert. i am thirsty. i know what i want, i know the satisfaction of my cravings. Your water that never runs dry. but your springs are found deep. and i am too tired to dig. Lord give me strength. save me from myself. why do i not pray this when my eyes are fixated on this dream of lush. the greenery so intense. so inviting. this tree of knowledge. its fruit, hypnotic. o God, why do i never pray for a shovel in these times. i long for a drink, yet lack energy and motivation to turn my eye from this delusional counterfeit. why am i afraid to call it what it is?

i pose for a picture. a backdrop behind me. yet i give no thought to what page-turners of my future photo album will see. i can make up my reality. deception. is it nothing more? tear down the backdrop to reveal the crack in the white washed wall behind me. take off the filter to reveal the stale, green halogens illuminating from overhead. this is where i am. nothing appealing here. better yet, wait until my smile wears off. reveal my inner beauty of inattentiveness. o God, restore my inner joy. let my peace be found in You.

Christian culture eludes true emotion, unfortunately. shouldn't we all walk a fine line?

i believe there are a lot of christians who don't know what direction they are headed. so intimidated by the ones who do.

Monday, January 09, 2006

40 Days

today i started reading my Bible. i'm on a mission: to read the entire Bible in 40 days. that's right, by the end of February, 2006. it started as a make-shift newyears' resolution. then it turned into a challenge - matt and i were going to do it together. and now it has become an accountability group project. complete with an online forum. should be interesting. i am hoping that this messageboard will spark some discussion, as i am sure many biblical questions will arise. should be a fun endeavor. and if we succeed, even better! if you would like to accept the challenge, make it a new years' resolution to read your entire Bible in 40 days, join our online community! just click Register to sign up and create a profile, and start on day 1. if you are a Bible-scholar, or a skeptic, this will be both profound and fulfilling, i am sure. the Bible will change your life. and if it doesn't, at least you have the ammo of saying you've read it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

In the Next Room

lately i've been discouraged. not a very nice way of starting a new year, but sometimes i want to stare out the back window of a car, and watch the road disappear behind me... listen to a cd and single out the invisible voice of a backup vocalist and recognize the beauty of harmony... try every scenario of a puzzle, avoiding the solution merely to discover every possible way to come to the wrong answer... i want to roll down a hill, but it's winter... i'm eager to say i've lived life, but i have not lived it yet... i want to have children, but but the math requires a piece of chalk and a chalkboard... if only life were that simple. why are God's ways not our ways? why does He require of us what does not come naturally?

why do i care to not smell like a perspiring human? what makes profanity offensive? why must i mourn the death of a loved one?

sometimes my best medicine is my dog. she loves her walks, and getting fed at 6:00. for my dog, life is simple. she would not recognize my deep, inner turmoil, or the complexity of my life, but she recognizes my face when i walk in the door. she knows the smell on my pant leg if i've been around another dog. she instinctively knows when dinner time is. how do i love such an ignorant, selfish animal? morally, my dog is corrupt. she is not considerate, empathetic, hospitable, or virtuous in any way.

i continually come into contact with people who want answers to questions. they want advice. they want to be told what to do. they want someone to understand them.
My dog, Annie

if i told my dog that the bag where her food is kept lies in the next room, gave her a leash and a scoop to take with her on her walks, showed her where her dog shampoo is, and then left for a 2 month vacation, i would come home to a dead dog. my dog has not developed opposable thumbs to open the door to her food, or developed a sense of human tolerance to walk herself without coming into contact with other dogs and violating someone's property rights, or able to determine when she smells too much like a dog and needs a bath. i would then be faced with animal cruelty charges.

often i feel like the answers i give to people's questions are unsatisfying. the advice i give is irrelevant. i fail to empathise with them. i feel like a dog who knows where the food is, but i can't open the door.

i fear a new movement in christianity is on the rise: relevance without godliness. christians trying to relate to everyone's problems, but failing to give God's divinity justice. agreeing that christians have bad taste in music. that we look foolish when we worship. that striving for holiness looks like arrogance. if we see someone confused about direction for their life, we tell them to pray more. if we meet someone with an addiction, we tell them to quit. if we find someone struggling financially, we tell them to tithe.

christians have a habit of saying uncool things. ever have a conversation with someone, and bring up God, and watch them as they get this glazed look over their eyes? i get discouraged. immediately what comes to mind is that they've heard it before. they've tried it and it doesn't work. it's like i can see where they're coming from, build up to a climax where i'm going to offer some deep, philosophical solution, and i bring up God. a beautiful letdown.

i think we need to re-establish what godliness means. godliness means humility. what does it look like? is it something that is desirable? 2 Peter 1:3-8 talks about making one's calling and election sure. adding to your faith. a systematic breakdown on how to become an effective, productive christian. it is some of the best advice i have received. we talk about christianity like it's a breeze through life on a white, puffy cloud, without a care in the world. we tell people about the hole in their heart that is immediately filled with the acceptance of Christ. yet we see 80% of born-again believers fall away from God. we see children raised in christian homes going off to college and leaving church behind. do we keep these statistics in the dark? are we embarrassed by what the records show? somehow Christ's "unfailing love" has failed a lot of people. either that, or they never found it in the first place. i tend to believe the latter.

sadly, people have heard where the kibble lies. they've even heard about the master who opens the door. how do they get His attention?