Saturday, November 10, 2007

Which is it?

I was reading an article the today on the church and
where it stands today and making some interesting
comparisons to the Old Testament. The author was
writing about the Old Testament characters of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. About how they had no church
affiliation, no denomination, no records of attending
a church, no pattern of what we would consider
worship, tithing, etc. Now I do think its an
interesting point, but times are different and I'm not
saying that we shouldn't strive to be more like that
and be know like Abraham was simply as a "Man who
knows God." I think we should strive for that
simplicity in our faith, not as someone who worships
this way or goes to this church or a part of this
denomination, but simply as a people who know God.

Now when we look at the life of someone like Abraham
and people of his time, it almost seems like about the
only way to know God was through a personal, real
experience with God. It seems to me that their
relationship with God was one that was real, honest,
open and simply raw. They didn't base their
relationship and knowledge of God upon what someone
had told them or what they read, but rather through
who they knew God to be through personal experience.

I find this interesting to how I often base my
relationship with God on and how if I honestly look at
the church today, how they base their relationship and
knowledge of God off of. We are told almost every
Sunday three points on how to live this week and then
go out that week and then check off that we did those
and move on to the next three steps to conquer. There
often is no actual personal experience of God

We have everything "Christian" today that we could
think of. There are "Christian" t-shirts, bookstores,
schools, conferences and just about anything else you
can think of. We have created sub-culture and copied
everything else the "world" is doing, but just tag the
word "Christian" on them to make ourselves feel better
about them.

But many "Christians" today abuse, divorce, get drunk,
lie, steal, cheat, live gluttonously, hate, etc, just
as much as the rest of the "world" does.

So maybe we have simply just accepted God on an
intellectual level and nothing more. There is no
life-transforming action being taken place. The
author of the article says that maybe we have
"accepted all the cultural Christian trinkets without
accepting Christ, replacing the reality of a blessed
Jesus connecting us to God with just another religious
patter of how to look clean while remaining sick and

Pretty deep and cutting words, but possibly true.
There is no transformation happening, we simply accept
on an intellectual level, but not enough to challenge
and change how we live. We have no personal
experience to pull from.

Going back to the life of Abraham, simply living as a
man who knew God and allowing that to effect and
factor into his daily thoughts and activities. Maybe
we (and I mean myself) have got caught up in making
sure we dress the right way, say the right words, know
the right things, act a certain way, that we have
forgotten or disregarded the simplicity of just living
with God. Maybe we can't find God in the midst of our religion.

Friday, September 21, 2007


So its been a long time since Ive updated and its been super busy as well. Just to give you a little bit of an idea of whats been going on and whats to come . . .

Well I started a new job. Im working for one of the city's Parks and Recreation department around here, the city of Hampton actually. Its an interesting job to say the least. I actually dont really do anything for the parks or recreation department. Really what I do is I mow, weedeat, and landscape most of the city. I work with some interesting people, but for the most part most of them are pretty cool. So Im trying to figure out and balance everything with work and get into a routine of life I suppose, if you can do that.

Ive also been getting involved with church stuff here. Ive been asked to try to lead up and head up a college age ministry, but its going really slow because it just takes so much time and energy to try to start up a new ministry, especially college age because everything is so relational and most college students are at least a bit skeptical about everything, especially a ministry and a church. So needless to say its moving slow.

Im also unofficially leading a young adult small group. Court and I started going to the small group and there was a leader, but not really. They all wanted something deeper, but no one wanted to step up and lead or felt like they could. So being a "bible college graduate", everyone assumes you know the Bible better than they do, which is far from the truth, at least with me, but Im willing to lead and step up. And it gives me a chance to lead and challenge myself and others as well, so thus far its actually been really good, for both the group and myself.

Court and I also are going to start teaching another bible study, for high school students. A lot of Court's sister Sarah's friends are very interested in going deeper, but arent being challenged at church or in the small groups they offer. So Court and I decided to offer a bible study for those willing to go deeper or wanted to go deeper. Im actually really looking forward to teaching this because these students are willing to learn and go deeper and you cant ask for anything more than that in a disciple of Christ. So this study will be fun and very challenging for them and Court and I as well hopefully.

I also go asked the other day to help teach an all guys small group of 7th, 8th and 9th grade guys. They are going to be going through Every Young Mans Battle. So this could be very very interesting with these guys, but Im actually looking forward to this as well. Im teaching these guys with my father-in-law, so this could end up being really cool.

So my week seems to be planned and scheduled for me, but thats ok, its going to be good to teach and to be challenged again.

. . . . .

Im also very excited for October to get here.

Every weekend in October is booked, 1st weekend - Montebello, 2nd weekend - Trip to go see Kenny, Nicole and Ella (CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THEM!), 3rd weekend - camping with friends again, 4th weekend - Trip to Knoxville to see Old Crow Medicine Show and to see Ktown and friends.

Im super excited for all those weekends, cant wait to go camp at Montebello with everyone again and just to be up there and take a break from everything, cant wait to see The Gooches, it will be soooo good to see them, but it will make us want to move there and be close to them, and the trip to Knoxville, gosh I cant wait for that either, to finally see Old Crow, with Bill of course, then play disc golf on saturday morning like old times with some good friends, and hang out with the Wolfs, Taylor and my brother and see Ktown.

October will be great.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So Im ready for fall. Im coming to the realization that I might be a polar bear or something cold natured. But fall will be a different one this year for me. Every fall Ive been somewhere where you experience all four seasons pretty distinctly, but Im not sure that will be the case here with the winter season. Im going to miss Knoxville's fall to be honest, not so much because its beautiful there, and it is, but I think more because of the things I associate with fall now are downtown Knoxville, disc golf with Bill, Worlds Fair Park, starbucks with friends, UT football games, dates to McKays (which I miss greatly) and just about anything else Knoxville.

But Im looking forward to this new transition of our life. Court and I can experience fall in a new light, from a new spectrum.

So I was just sitting around last night with Court and we were talking and I began to think about Crossings, which is a church plant we used to help out with in Knoxville. I miss that family but I got to thinking about the people that I missed there and I thought of what Rich Mullins said, "When I go to church,. . .I involve myself in something that identifies me with Augustine, that identifies me with Christ, that identifies me with nearly 2000 years of people who have come together once a week and said, 'Lets go to the Lord's table and enjoy the feast that He has prepared for us."

I get to worship every week with Crossings, not physically there, but we still worship the same God, so in that light, I do worship with you guys. When we take communion, when we sing praises, when we heard the Word being preached, we involve ourselves in something bigger than ourselves, we involve ourselves in bigger purposes, together, something that happened long before we were here and will continue to happen long after we're gone, the worship, purpose and praise of God. We together get to go to the "Lord's table and enjoy the feast that He has prepared." Wherever we are, we do that and it identifies with each other, for bigger purposes.

Its crazy when you step back and see the bigger picture and see that as C.S. Lewis said, "The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose."

We as human beings are to draw man into Christ.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I’m amazed by life
And it’s amazed by me
We’re a strange old pair- me and eternity
It don’t make good sense
It ain’t easy to see
But I’m amazed by life
And it’s amazed by me

It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end
And if I keep on walking on past the crooked bend
I will meet my Maker
I will meet my Friend
It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end

Thursday, August 16, 2007

(disclaimer - this post is more directed to myself than anyone)

So I was reading a friend's blog and he mentions two words that are very popular right now among the young church movement, attractional and missional. I like what he says about how he believes that we place to much value on these two words. I fear that these two words and in particular, missional since its kind of the "new" movement of church or at least its the one thats being talked about a lot right now, is going to be just another trend, something people do that is simply just "different" for being different's sake and not for believing its truly transforming. And I'll be the first to admit that Ive been caught up in the phrase game and saying the word missional cause it sounds cool and because its kind of "cutting edge" or whatever you want to call it. However I fear that thats all these words meant to me and thats all these words mean to many among our generation, is that its the next "cool" thing to say or do among church.

I was at a little get together last night for a group of people that just got back from Mexico City to help out the local churches. And as a gentleman was speaking about the trip, he said that as physically uncomfortable as it was, the spiritual rewards far out-weighed that and that he was ready to go back tomorrow.

Now I dont have a problem with him or anyone for that matter saying that and in fact Im probably guilty of saying the same thing many times, but the thing that gets me is that he and myself and whoever else says it usually, wont go back to being in that "uncomfortable" state of mind and physical discomfort for at least another year or so or whenever the next "mission trip" is and will come back and say the say things again, that "Im ready to go back tomorrow." If we truly mean that we'd go back tomorrow, then why are we waiting around chasing after this "American Dream" and going on these trips once a year and challenging ourselves once a year and getting out of our comfort zone once a year. I dont believe we need to go out of the county for this physical discomfort and spiritual rewarding feeling, just look around our communities, why do we feel like we have to go out of the country for this feeling?

Getting to my point about this blog is that in both of these little paragraphs, I believe the same thing is happening, we're just simply talking about these things, simply talking about doing these things. We entertain the thought of doing these things but we never take it serious enough to actually implement these ideas into our lifestyle. We (including myself) make up all kinds of excuses of how they dont fit in with our current lifestyle or way of living. Well maybe its time for you and myself especially to look into changing our lifestyle and way of living so the things that really matter to Jesus start to matter to us as well. That we stop trying to fit Jesus into our way of living to make us feel safe and warm inside, but that we start loving people unconditionally and start giving more, not necessarily of money, but maybe more of our time and energy to things that really matter.

I see people(including myself) who talk about change and want change and want to help and make a difference and I see people talking about being missional and talk about making sacrifices, but I rarely see people who actually do these things.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

. . .Green. . .

So it has become almost a nightly thing for me to lay in bed and read at night before I go to bed. Its a good time for me to do that, it seems to be hard for me to find time to really sit down and just read, Ive wanted to find time, and this seems to be best, when Court is just about to fall asleep or already asleep and the rest of the world around me seems to be sleeping except for the candle I usually have lit by the bed. So as I was reading the other night, I asked Court if she wanted to start a spiritual discipline with me and try to memorize scripture together. But I dont want this to just be, the kind where you just memorize it for memorizing sake, I really want to try to take it to heart what we try to memorize and to allow it to effect our daily lives and lifestyle.

So we decided to try to memorzie different sections of the book of Proverbs. We're starting off with Proverbs 1:7-18 and Im memorizing from The Message translation and all week the very last verse has been stuck in my mind. The Message translates it as "When you grab all you can get, thats what happens: the more you get, the less you are." All week Ive been thinking about how much my life revolves around trying to grab all I can get. I mean isnt that the American dream?

Ive also been listening to a series of sermons from Mars Hill Bible Church, which is titles God is Green and its talking about how we are to take care of the earth and all kinds of examples of how we can do that and Ive been convicted by the talks, but I also to some extent feel like, well is it really going to make a difference if its just me that trys to make a difference in caring for our earth? I know I know I shouldnt think that way but I do. Do you ever feel like your the only one around you that actually cares about downsizing the things in your life and your lifestyle? Or that you dont even know where to begin to downsize your life or lifestyle cause all you've been trying to do is "grab all you can get"?

Well I realize that downsizing and taking care of the earth is a journey as well, that its not something that is just going to happen over night, but sometimes I just look around and feel so overwhelmed that I dont know where to begin or if its maybe too late even sometimes.

But I feel like Im starting to care enough, or at least starting to really feel convicted of how Im living and how much stuff I just try to grab to make me look cooler or better or smarter or whatever feeling or adjective you want to insert. Tonight Court and I baught energy saving light bulbs, hopefully the first step to many new ways of living in trying to do our part. I heard that by buying energy saving bulbs, that the energy that you are saving is like taking somewhere around 100 cars off the road, I believe thats what I heard, whatever it is it saves a ton of energy just by buying little energy saving light bulbs. So if you have anymore new ideas or suggestions of how we can take care of the earth better let us know.

And if your at all interested in memorizing scripture with us, we're on Proverbs 1:7-18 this week, and I can update each week. I know most of you that read this and we miss you guys and hopefully we'll see you guys very soon.

"When you grab all you can get, thats what happens: the more you get, the less you are"

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Well the weekend was great. Court and I camped, with Jake and had great late night talks and caught up with Jake. It was something that was much needed and it was a great get away. I loved being in the mountains and being in a place where you can get away from everything and really honestly feel like you can be who you are. We went out and got coffee in an awesome coffee shop and if I lived there Id probably spend most of my time there. We had great talks about church and possibly planting one, Im not sure I like that term, but it will work. Ive been wrestling with the idea of community and "church planting." I've had a few talks with some close friends about the possibility about it and so its been on the brain lately.

This post is really meaningless, sorry for that. Just an update on what Ive been doing. Hopefully there will be a more thoughtful and provoking blog to come.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Well my next post will have to wait a bit. . because. . .Court and I are going camping this weekend with one of our best friends. . Jacob. . .I cant wait. Its going to be great to see Jake again, to camp and maybe do some swimming in a lake or jumping off water falls or something. . .I love being outdoors and it cant get much better with your wife and and of your best friends. . .this weekends is much needed.

ps. . .I might look into getting my other tattoo, we'll see. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beloved. . .

So I've been extremely busy with everything going on. All of my favorite people coming for a long weekend, our wedding, then honeymoon, then getting back into the grind with working and just getting used to this area and this stage of life.

So I finally started reading a book that Ive been wanting to read for a while now. Its called Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. Within this book, he talks about a conversation he had with a reporter that later became one of his good friends. This reporter came to him to do a report on his life and in their first conversation, Henri just out of the blue asks him if he likes his job and what he would really like to do. Well the man wanted to write a novel but figured he couldnt, because he either didnt have the time to take off work, or the money or the talent to write a novel. Well Nouwen suggests to him the he come stay with him for a year and write his novel and he makes a statement that has been with me, challenging me ever since. Nouwen said to the reporter and to us as well that we are to ". . .claim your deepest desire and do what you really want to do. . . time and money arent the real issue." And the reporter repsonds with, "What is?" "You are, you have nothing to lose. You are young, full of energy, well trained. . .Everything is possible for you. . .Why let the world squeeze you in?. . .Why become a victim? You are free to do what you want, if, that is, you really want it."

And when I sit back and look at my life, I feel like too many times Ive allowed the world to "squeeze me in." I just do things because thats what the world tells us we are supposed to do. But hasnt God placed these desires and passions and longings in us for a reason? Arent we to act upon those and enjoy those and enjoy our jobs and whatever else we do? Maybe this apply's to no one else and thats ok with me, because Nouwen's quote spoke to me about not doing things just because thats what the world tells us to do, but to follow and pursue your passions and desires, to act upon them.

"I believe that people can make choices and make them according to their own best aspirations. I also believe people seldom make these choices. Instead, they blame the world, the society, and others for their 'fate' and waste much of their life complaining."

Part 2 from Life of the Beloved soon to come. . .

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Redeem . . .

So Ive been teaching a college age Sunday School class for about 3 weeks now, and we're going through the book of Malachi. And Ive felt ok about it so far, nothing spectacular or anything, and I honestly havent gotten a lot of feedback from the students, they just sit there and listen and dont say much. So Ive been a little skeptical about it, and wondering if it does happen to grow, if this is the age I want to try to target my energy towards.

Well tonight I had dinner here with the Blums and one of the guys that is in the class, well he's been questioning a lot of what he knows and believes, which is a good thing, to make it his own, so he has been one that I have wanted to connect with. Well tonight at the dinner table, Courtney's younger sister said she was talking to him today and said that he just loves me and wants to be my best friend and hang out with me. Which that makes ya feel good and then someone else said that they were talking to one of the college age girls that hasnt been able to make it yet and has been disappointed cause she really wants to come to my class. So thats good news to hear that maybe Im making a bit of connection with the students and challenging them.

Thats really what Im trying to do with the students, is challenge them and really to challenge myself as well and make them think a little bit and to see that the Bible and the Old Testament here in particular is applicable to us today.

Here is an interesting statement and a question for you that I have . . proposed by Neo in A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren, Neo says that "That's why, in my mind, it should be possible to be a Christian and yet be culturally Buddhist, Muslim, or Navajo."

What do you think, is it possible?

"Jesus came not to drive the culture from the people but the sin from the culture. He came not to condemn our culture but to redeem it"

What do you think?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

First Day. . .

Well Friday was my first day of my new job. I have to drive across the water to the other side of the peninsula to get to work in downtown Norfolk. Well traffic can be horrible some days getting across the water, so I made sure that I left early enough to get there at 8. So I left the house at 6:30 am, just to make sure I got there. Well I pulled into the parking garage at 7:05 am, and I wasnt supposed to be there until 8 am. Luckly I had brought an old C.S. Lewis book with me to re-read and so I sat there for 45 minutes and read until I was supposed to get into the office.

This weekend is a big weekend in Norfolk, its called Harbor Fest, dont really know what its about but its busy downtown, so we're opening up our 3 garages that we manage and selling parking spots to the public, so we have to be there to "man" the garages so to speak.

So my first day on the job, was a VERY long day. I got there at 7:05, due to no traffic, and I left downtown Norfolk around 10:15 pm. Thats right, around a 15 hour first day on the job, and I get to back into work this afternoon and probably work just as late again tonight. But it was horrible, not something I would say I enjoyed, but it wasnt horrible. But that ranks up there on the list of first days on the job Id have to say.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Parking anyone?

Well friends, the 3 of you that maybe read this, I am no longer a bum, well maybe, but I am no longer unemployed. I accepted a job today with a company call Lanier Parking Systems, they manage parking garages. I will be an Assistant Manager/Manager In Traning with them. Bascially it will be a lot of relational managing. Ill be in contact with the owners of the parking, the tenants of the garage, and all of the other guest parkers, the employees, (cashiers, maintenance crew, etc) and all of the business that rent from us. I will also assistant in the financial side of things and making sure everything matches up and so on. So we'll see how it all goes, for the time, Im excited about the opportunity. My manager is a younger guy as well, maybe 2 or 3 years older than I am, so that will be cool to work with a guy my age. Just a little update for you all out there.

Im reading A New Kind of A Christian, I know its a little older, but anywho, its still good and its a good break for me. I tend to read just information books type of deal, and this one seems to be a little more fictional type of deal. And after this, I really want to try to finish reading Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton.

What books are you all reading?

What music are you into right now?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Trying. . .

so im trying to get used to the scenery of what im calling "home" now. yorktown, virginia. its kind of a bigger transition than what i thought it would be. i thought that i was pretty good at making changes and adjusting well to new situations. ive come to find out that im not as good as i thought i was. which has been a humbling experience to some extent. its been sort of lonely out here for these few weeks ive been here without courtney and without you all. im starting to make some friends and become closer to them, which is good, really good. but they seem to be a lot more used to this suburbia lifestyle and more ok with it than i am, which is ok, its just not me. im not saying im right they're wrong or that they're right and im wrong, although thats probably the better answer, im just saying its not me.

but you all know me and know that i just dont care much for the dressing up of stuff to make it look all pretty and inviting and try to lure people in. whether thats church or just businesses around here or your own lifestyle with the clothes and cars you buy/wear/drive. so it will be a challenge to see how i adjust to this. and on one hand i hope i dont give in or fall into this trap of trying to look to impress everyone and dress a certain way on sundays or whatever it may be. but i dont want to do that do just be the black sheep and stand out and say hey look at me. i just want to be true to who i am and not fall into this game that seems to be played.

on a lighter note, i think im going to buy a mountain bike sometime soon (hopefully) and start training and entering these adventure races. you paddle (canoe or kayak), then you run, then you bike and you have check points you have to go to. a friend of mine here and i and possibly another guy here are wanting to get into it. so im really lookign forward to that.

and i might train to run a half-marathon (13.1 miles), i know not the smartest idea, i want to, but i dont know if i have the will power to do that or the ability or the mind or. . .whatever it takes to do that.

i know im rambling off about stuff that is meaningless to most people. but these are just thoughts that have been in my head since ive been here a few weeks and watched people and met people.

ya know, sometimes i just want to go to the brewery, have smoke, drink a beer, and have good conversations about god, church, life, and friends with some of the best friends a guy could ask for.

but instead, you all with just have to come to me in a month or so and we'll do that somewhere out here, when you all come to my wedding. cant wait to see you all then!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So I know it seems like it has been years since I have updated, and it almost has. And Im sure the two of you that read this think. . well he doesnt have anything else to do. . and maybe your right but . . . . tomato. .tomoto.

All I want to post is that Im going to miss some of my best friends in life with this move that is happening. And Im sad. Happy about the new opportunities but sad about leaving you.

I'll have to find new people to share my same laughter, same taste in books, same taste in music and people that I can call at a drop of a hat to go out for a drink or smoke or a talk. . .

I guess this just means that we'll have to really make time to see each other and to have vacations together and such. My friends. . .I cant tell you how much Im going to miss having you 15 minutes away. I love you all. . .but we'll see each other soon and we'll go to the local bar and have a drink and smoke a pipe and catch up and talk for hours like we havent missed a step, and for that, Im thankful.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cross that river. . .


Well we had our first service today. (sigh) Its been a long time coming for some people and it was good to finally start meeting and get the ball rolling so to speak. Everything went really good with set-up and the service went great and God was definitely blessing everything that happened today.

So I just got back from about a 2 hour escapade of driving around to all the Knoxville Super Wal-Mart's with Bill trying to find a video camera. We finally found it at the last stop of the evening, which happened to be at 11:45 pm. But it was a good trip and well worth it and as always. . .good conversation, something I needed.

So I've been feeling like this large weight has been on my back as of lately with trying to figure out this job situation and really this life situation and where Court and I are supposed to be, whether thats here in Knoxville or maybe California or who knows where. And Bill and I just talked a little bit about that this evening. You know, sometimes I just wish things weren't so hard sometimes. And thats what Bill and I were talking a little about tonight, he's been here in this situation and understands it and its not the easiest position in the world to be at or the easiest thing in the world to do. But there has always been this scripture that has always challenged me in my life and its found in Matthew 7:13-14. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." These two verses have never failed to pop up in my life when times are getting rough and things aren't going like I had planned them to, but they always seem to show up at these times to challenge me.

Its not so much saying that its hard to become a Christian, but rather its hard to live as Christ lived and to live as Christ calls us to live and few decide to take that road. But Im not even sure if Im close to even being on that road or if I've ever been on that road, or maybe Im walking on that road right now. I dont know.

Its hard path at times to be upon and not the most popular path, but I really do believe with everything in me that its the only true and right path to be upon. And aren't we all searching for life anyway? And we're told that Christ has come to bring us life and to have it to its fullest, and then we're told to enter through the narrow gate which leads to life, which is Christ. So if Christ is what brings us life and to get to Christ, you must enter the narrow gate and walk along the narrow road, then shouldn't we do that? What else is there for us to do?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something More?

There has to be something more, right? Something more than just living this thing we've come to know as the "American Dream." And who came up with the "American Dream" anyway. As I sat in what has become one of my favorite places here in Knoxville, The Orange Martini and smoke my pipe, which is part of why I like it, I like smoking my pipe because I feel a little smarter when I do and maybe a little bit like C.S. Lewis or someone like that. I was sitting there watching the individuals in that place thinking, "Yeah, I wouldnt mind living the American dream, but isnt there something bigger, arent we made for something more? Something more than just going to work, making money, getting married and supporting our families and buying things that we think make us happy?" Isnt there something bigger than this "American Dream?"

Sure following after Christ and giving up our lives isnt always as appealing at first as all the money, power, fame and materials that the "American Dream" offers us, but from my experience, nothing compares to the love, acceptance and family that you gain from giving up that "American Dream."

I might be off or wrong, but to me, pursuing that "American Dream" seems like the gate that everyone goes through that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:13, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." I love The Message version of this passage, Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life--to God!-is vigorous and requires total attention."

Does it seem in some way that it really is like a shortcut to try to get to God by pursuing after the "American Dream." You make it all about you and what you want to do and where you want to go, and you isolate yourself from other people and even God. Im not saying that when we chase after that dream rather than God, that we stop seeking God, but it becomes harder for us to catch the vision of God and of being in community with others and stop being dependent on God to some extent and even to others. And by all means I am not saying that if you are wealthy, you are going to hell, dont hear that, Im not saying that at all, but what I am saying is bless others as you have been blessed.

The market is flooded with formulas for a successful life, but the way to life, to God is vigorous and it requires total attention. Until we, and mind you I am talking to myself probably more than anyone here, but until we come to see the dream of God, this dream of taking care of each other, of loving each other as more liberating than the "American Dream", nothing will ever change.

I believe that giving is more fulfilling than keeping, that love really can over come hatred and that light really can overcome darkness.

"If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And you made it disappear." (1 John 3:17 - The Message) To quote Mark Nelson, "Live beyond yourself."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I have. . .

So I had been wanting to get this fleece jacket for a while now. So Court and I were out and about one day and we happened to stop by The Mast General Store, which is awesome and I found it there on sale for 50% off and I just couldnt pass it up because I couldnt bring myself to pay full price for one, which is why I never had one until now. But here is my dilemma with the purchase I have made.

When we first showed up there, I wasnt in a bad mood at all, I was just kind of its good to be here and with Court, but Im not overly excited type of mood. When I first saw the jacket I thought, man thats a really good price and I liked the color of it and thought, you know what, Ive been wanting this jacket for a while so why not. As soon as I made the purchase, I immediately entered into this new realm of happiness for the day.

As we continued on our journey for the day, we were driving out west and my mind was just bouncing around as usual and I thought to myself, you know, Im in a better mood. So I thought, what got me into a better mood, and I came to the conclusion that it was the buying of the jacket. And its already been kind of a long month or so with wrestling with some questions and with trying to find a new job and so I was happy about a very good purchase I made.

Then I thought to myself, why cant I be this happy about my relationship with God? Why cant I be this happy after a good read or a good conversation Ive had with God or with a friend or after an encounter with a customer or with Sam at Panera? Why do I have to buy something to make me feel better? Buy? Why is it that buying things make us happier but spending time in prayer doesnt, we just end up complaining, whether in our head or verbally after 5 minutes of prayer. Im not saying buying stuff is bad at all, because I love to shop, I know, its the girl side coming out in me, but I enjoy buying stuff, which Im sure we all do. But why do I have to buy something to make myself happy? Why cant I just be as happy when I hear about a friend getting a job that pays pretty good when I still dont enjoy my job? Why cant I be just as happy when Courtney has had a good day teaching? Why cant I be just as happy about someone overcoming an addiction or whatever it may be? Why is it that I really only become happy inside when something good happens to me? This just seems so selfish on my part.

Maybe because somehow in my life Ive bought into this idea that its about me and in order to be happy and make myself happy I have to be the one succeeding and I have to be the one doing good and I have to be the one that looks good and I have to and I have to and I have . . .

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


You ever feel just beat down?

And not just physically, but mentally, spiritually. I feel like my head is just way to full to hold all of the information, all the questions, all the doubts and fears that I have going into my head. I have been meeting with two of my closest friends one night throughout the week and we have been discussing a book(The Shaping of Things To Come) and this book really challenges the way the Western Church is done and how they have gone about being Christ in the flesh and even how we are still going about being Christ. And this book has been great and we have just been through the introduction and the first chapter and already I have myself questioning a lot more than I ever imagined, on good level though.

And in one of the paragraphs, he explains that our Christology(study of the nature of Christ) should define our Missiology(study of the mandate, message and work of the Christian faith) and then those should define our Ecclesiology(study of the scriptues pertaining to the Church itself as a community and what the "church" is). And this was a beautiful to me. How did I miss this order of things?

For too long I myself and I would almost go out on a limb and say that we here in the Western World have gone backwards with that. Our Ecclesiology defines our Missiology and they define our Christology. We have made Jesus into who we want Him to be for us in our comfortable world. During the end of the discussion Tuesday evening, my friend Kenny made one of the most soul bearing, raw, honest and truthful statements I have heard in a very long time. With bearing his soul to us, he said "Im not sure I know what my Christology is." That comment cut to the core of me. This is what my mind and my soul has been telling my heart for the last few years, but I've missed the signals and all the signs and I just got hit with it Tuesday night. Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus to me? What does my life say about who Jesus is? Who is He really in our lives? Is He really the Lord of all, the King of Kings, the Savior of the world? Or is He just a prophet and someone that said some really meaningful and thought provoking things 2,000 years ago? Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? What is your Christology?