Thursday, December 25, 2003

ran across this quote from effervescent16's xanga:

"keep her husband FOR her, so he doesn't get distracted and marry someone else, but keep her husband FROM her, so they can both be stretched and grown in Christ before they come together." -- paraphrased from Elisabeth Eliot
"His attitude toward his sacrifice was not sacrifice, but worship. That's the problem I have my friends. Is when God demands a sacrifice, we don't view it as worship. He didn't say, "Oh, I've gotta take my son, and I'm gonna kill him. Please pray for me as I go." He didn't say that. He said my son and I are going yonder to worship." Abraham does everything God wants him to do. ... Abraham does everything that God says. Lifts up the knife, brings it down, the angel stops him and look at what God says. God says, "Because you did this thing..." What did he do? Worship. "Because you did this thing, in that you did not withhold your son, your descendants shall possess the gates of your enemies." In other words, what you do today, and you give God a reason to move for your children, when he tells you to do something, He begins to bless those who have not even been born. Are you ready for that to happen? ... Sometimes God requires us . . . Will the word of the Lord affect your life? Will it affect your home? Your response determines the measure of blessing that will come out of these promises. I'm not talking about for the nation, I'm talking about your house, your children. I'm praying tonight that you would give an altar that has been sanctified by God's precious, precious word."

-- Kim Clement
From yesterday's "Boondocks":

"... And the angels said unto them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people ...

'For unto you is born this day a Savior. 'Tis Christ the Lord.' And suddenly the sky filled with angels, and they sang ..."


Go Jesus :) It's your birthday ... may the love that is manifested in the Father for you be reflected in our lives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Well ... I'm heading up to ski with the family tomorrow morning ... it should be oodles of fun. I'll be returning on Thursday ... and then I'm off to Urbana on the 26th. I'm bringing my laptop to Urbana ... so hopefully we can get some updates as the conference is progressing. If not, don't expect to see a load of updates in this space until 2004.


Monday, December 22, 2003

On a random note ... had a little family Christmas shindig today ... siblings were happy with the gifts, praise God :). I guess that's what happens when you ask God what to give people ... they end up being blessed. Suckers, didn't even know what hit them ;)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. -Psalm 37:23-24

To the child of God, there is no such thing as accident. He travels an appointed way. The path he treads was chosen for him when as yet he was not, when as yet he had existence only in the mind of God.

Accidents may indeed appear to befall him and misfortune stalk his way; but these evils will be so in appearence only and will seem evils only because we cannot read the secret script of God's hidden providence and so cannot discover the ends at which He aims....

The man of true faith may live in the absolute assurance that his steps are ordered by the Lord. For him, misfortune is outside the bounds of possibility. He cannot be torn from this earth one hour ahead of the time which God has appointed, and he cannot be detained on earth one moment after God is done with him here. He is not a waif of the wide world, a foundling of time and space, but a saint of the Lord and the darling of His particular care. We Travel an Appointed Way, pp. 3-4

Wow...hasn't that been true throughout this break.


Something I was thinking about earlier today...

... After going through so many books, talking to so many people in the search of the "next big thing" I need to do in my walk, or catching the next hot thing in Christendom ... I've come to the conclusion that it all comes back to relationship, to the Word, to prayer. In the end, your pastor, your awesome book, your friends ... everyone can be saying the right things ... but the impetus for ultimate growth will always fall into your hands. Will you walk in relationship? Will you risk with God? If you're looking for your church, pastors, fellow brothers/sisters, programs to grow you, it is my opinion that you wil grow a little bit ... but in the end, you will reach a point where those things will have to complement your own personal pursuit with God ... not be the center of your pursuit. matter where you look, whatever means you explore to pursue this relationship ... I'm finding (at least this has been true for me ... I can't speak for others) that it always comes back to learning to pray, learning to meditate on his Word, learning to hear his voice. A good brother whom I've often sought counsel from has always exhorted me to learn the discipline of waiting on God. God...why can't I do it? I realized today that I have yet to sustain prayer for a certain topic ... I think I have "doing devotions daily" down pat ... but having consistent relationship? sustained, persevering, prevailing prayer? Nope...not quite... which makes my "doing devotions daily" really mean for squat.

So I'm learning to breathe, learning to crawl, learning to return to relationship ... :)


Inside outside, pulling me in / No matter where I run I know you'll never give in / I see you in the storm, I see you in a kiss / I've been around the world and never found a love like this

Sunday, December 21, 2003

I love these lyrics:

"INSIDE OUTSIDE," Delirious?

Inside outside, under my skin
Never ending love I don�t know where it begins?
I don�t know where it ends, I don�t know how high
I don�t know how deep, I don�t know how wide
Outside inside around the world
Never ending love envelops me like a cloud
I feel you in front, I feel you behind
I feel you up above, And I feel you at the side

And you, you�re all over me, you�re all over me
Your banner is over me, I give it all �cos

You still captivate me, fascinate me
You still captivate me, saturate me

Inside outside, pulling me in
No matter where I run I know you�ll never give in
I see you in the storm, I see you in a kiss
I�ve been around the world and never found a love like this

You�re all over me, you�re all over me
You�re everything I want to be
I�m all over you, you�re everything I want to see
You�re all over me

You, still captivate me, fascinate me
You still captivate me, saturate me
You still captivate me, liberate me
You still captivate me

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Wow. The new Delirious? album is freaking epic. Yummy. Couldn't even stay on one track because all of them sounded fantabulous. OH YEEeeeeaaaaah.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


Well its been about five days into winter break. And...its been hard :). (I just took a walk with God ... so this will be as little whining as possible). I have no idea why, but been fighting against the emotional funk, apathy, laziness, and various temptations.

Have a little headache and cold symptoms as well.

But, I do not feel condemned ... though I did feel a bit discouraged. I have in mind what things I want to pursue this break, so I trust despite all external signs of suckiness, good things are happening.

Return of the King was as expected, quite excellent. There is a scene in there that was definitely scripted for all the Orlando Bloom fans ... undoubtedly. Go watch it ASAP.


And the things of earth will grow strangely dim...


I want to be set apart, right to the very heart ...


Praise God for my grades :). I ended up with a A- in CSE 101 ... the final which I thought I got totally worked in. Definitely provision going on there :). Its a testimony to God's faithfulness throughout the quarter. The irony is that the final that I thought I rocked, CSE 140, ended up giving me a B+. I thought I would be getting a B ... so that's kind of a praise as well.


Tozer for the day...

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. --John 16:33

We are all idealists. We picture to ourselves a life on earth completely free from every hindrance, a kind of spiritual Utopia where we can always control events, where we can move about as favorites of heaven, adjusting circumstances to suit ourselves. This we feel would be quite compatible with the life of faith and in keeping with the privileged place we hold as children of God.

In thinking thus we simply misplace ourselves; we mistake earth for heaven and expect conditions here below which can never be realized till we reach the better world above. While we live we may expect troubles, and plenty of them. We are never promised a life without problems as long as we remain among fallen men....

What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them. If we cannot remove them, then we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly. Of God and Men, pp. 121-122

"Lord, I'm so homesick for heaven. But until You allow me to come home, I do indeed 'pray for grace to endure [problems] without murmuring.' Amen."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

"I know what it means to be manipulated .... I have three daughters ... and a wife."

"I know exactly what my wife means when she says, 'Handsome' ... she means "Hand some over." -- Tommy Tenney"
Waah... 500 pages of LOTR ... got to have more ... mmm zesty. :)
'Do you advise me to look?' asked Frodo.
'No,' [Galadriel] said,"I do not counsel you one way or the other. I am not a counsellor. You may learn something, and whether what you see be fair or evil, that may be profitable, and yet it may not. Seeing is both good and perilous. Yet I think, Frodo, that you have courage and wisdom enough for the venture, or I would not have brought you here. Do as you will!'
-- The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 7

Monday, December 15, 2003

A man does what he can until his destiny is revealed. -- The Last Samurai
Learning to breathe, learning to crawl.
I bought the new Delirious? CD. I think that's the only purchase I'll be making for myself. Other than a hard drive enclosure. Yeah, I think that's it. It's so hard to resist the urge to buy some new CD's. *groan*

I can't resist anymore =P ....

David Crowder Band: All I Can Say $12.98
Eoghan Heaslip: Mercy (Live From Dublin) $12.74
Anberlin: Blueprints for the Black Market $12.74
Rock N' Roll Worship Circus: A Beautiful Glow $9.98
David Crowder Band: Illuminate $11.88
Casting Crowns: Casting Crowns $9.99
Dakona: Perfect Change $8.99

That's a whole lotta change. Well no more shopping for me anymore :)

Had an awesome time chilling with SJCAC folk this evening. I noticed a couple of things, I probably won't write them in this space here because I know some of them read this :). Realized a lot of things about myself ... some good, some not. Anyway, looking forward to the week. Jamming with the SJCAC folk tomorrow night ... should be awesome stuff. Hanging out with some Lynbrook folk later in the week. Chilling with God alllllll week. :-D

Sunday, December 14, 2003

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Well, finals has come and gone ... and true to my self-fulfilling non-prophecies about inevitable deep and pondering posts ... there were none. :)

And... I find myself at home. It's definitely good to be back. I drove back with my apartmentmate and good friend, Tim. Once we got on 101 to 85, it was a very familiar feeling of home :). Took an awesome hot shower, unpacked, and curled up to read LOTR again. I doubt I'll be able to finish before watching "Return of The King" on Wednesday, but I can hope.

Feeling a bit melancholy, I'm really stoked about break and everything ... but many things weighing on my heart. I've been saying that I've changed a lot in recent posts; it seems that home often reminds me how much I'm still the same. This is where the "new" Benson gets a bit refined and tested in the fire.

It can only be a good thing.

This break is going to be awesome ... beyond what I could ever ask or imagine ... it very well may bring the lowest of lows (not necessarily emotional ones), but set me up for the glorious highs. God, I got my shovel in one hand and my sword in the other. Let's do this.

You are the author of knowledge
You can redeem what's been done
You hold the present and all that's to come
Until your everlasting kingdom

Lord, I don't know where all this is going
Or how it all works out
Lead me to peace that is past understanding
A peace beyond all doubt
-- Newsboys, "I Don't Know"

Thursday, December 11, 2003

A.W. Tozer on Trials and Pain: Easter Without Good Friday

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
--Philippians 1:29

...God will crucify without pity those whom He desires to raise without measure!...

God wants to crucify us from head to foot-making our own powers ridiculous and useless--in the desire to raise us without measure for His glory and for our eternal good....

Willingness to suffer for Jesus' sake--this is what we have lost from the Christian church. We want our Easter to come without the necessity of a Good Friday. We forget that before the Redeemer could rise and sing among His brethren He must first bow His head and suffer among His brethren!

We forget so easily that in the spiritual life there must be the darkness of the night before there can be the radiance of the dawn. Before the life of resurrection can be known, there must be the death that ends the dominion of self. It is a serious but a blessed decision, this willingness to say, "I will follow Him no matter what the cost. I will take the cross no matter how it comes!" I Talk Back to the Devil, 96-99.

"Lord, this morning I come before You on my knees to say, 'I will follow Him no matter what the cost. I will take the cross no matter how it comes!' Amen."
When you don't have a goal, you will never reach it. When you don't have a plan, you don't do it.

"23Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
24Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.
25Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you.
26Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright." -- Proverbs 4:23-26

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

*sigh* ... I got a long way to go. God, seriously, save me from myself. The only one wrecking things around here is me.

So post CSE-101-final-that-I-studied-four-days-for-and-was-totally-confident-that-i-would-rock-it ... post that final, I am straight up bummed. I definitely am taking this a lot better than I used to, but its quite apparent how much I still try to find worth in academic excellence.

Oooh lookie, I study harder than everyone else ... ohh lookie, Benson has A.

Maybe we should give him a cookie.

As my friend Manish would say, "Seriously, that's just retarded."

It's not that I want to totally not care about academics ... but I want to be in a place where whether I fail or excel, I know that its from God. Is it so bad to scrape by on C's if that means knowing that God is your hope, your provision, and your wisdom?

I think the thing that bugs me so much is that there is a part of me that is thinking, "If you had only studied harder."

I studied as best I knew how to. The fact that it wasn't enough absolutely kills the pride.

If that's what it takes God. I've always asked to keep breaking me 'til You are everything. I am definitely in a better place than I was a year ago, even a quarter ago. You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ever ask or imagine. You are good. Blessed be Your name. You give and take away.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Finals does some weird things to your head ... is it because you're actually attempting to focus your brain for an extended period of time, and then your brain, in rebellion, just spouts off because it no longer wants to be harnessed for the purpose of studying?

I probably could have studied harder, but I can't stand the waiting. Just need to prolong the pain. I don't think I've ever gotten to a point where I've studied enough. You know those people who say they're done studying? As in, they have studied, and feel they have sufficient command of the material .. and further study would be redundant. I don't think I've ever gotten to that point. It's always ... oh, more time? I guess I'll study some more. Stupid Lynbrook mentality. I wish there was someway to just know when to stop.

(Some of you probably think I'm nuts ... but everyone has their eccentricities yes? Is that even a word? Eccentricities? How about caca-poo-poo-head? <-- Yup, there's your finals brain speaking right there...right-e-o.)

I guess that's part of learning to trust God too.

I'm allowed to live to make the Maker smile
I vow to give the best years of my life
Right now I live to make the Maker smile
I'm free to give the best years of my life

-- Ten Shekel Shirt, "Risk"
�The best way to waste your life is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don�t participate � be a reporter. Be a grateful audience.� �Chuck Palahniuk

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Come free me Oh Lord
Come save me Oh God
For I have known the hand of the Lord
I have felt the eyes of the Lord on me.

Come meet me Oh Lord
Befriend me Oh God
For I have seen the extent of your fame
I have found the maker of heaven and earth.

Heaven knows, I'm coming back this time
I 'm guilty of this crime
Cos I've been walking out on you
I've run across the world
And walked in barren lands
You've knocked this fool right to the floor
I'm coming back again.

Well all my roads
Lead to the cross
Where you have shown the way to turn
I thought I heard rejoicing in heav'n over me

Well I threw it all away
And I died to myself
But I'll never understand
How I rose again
You have shown your hands full of grace
Why you chose such a life of disgrace
I can never repay such a man
But I'm coming back again.

-- "Coming Back," Delirious?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Well its the last day of Fall Quarter 2003, my junior year at UCSD. Finals week is next week ... I'm sure a more contemplative post on the happenings of this quarter will be coming up considering my tendency to uhm...not study.

Note to self: Study hard, but find rest. Walk in the peace and grace of God. God will pull you through finals. Trust Him in ALL things. Love God, love people. Walk by faith, not by sight ... or emotions. Be thankful. Love humility.
Oye...a much needed word...

Trials and Pain: This Does Not Come From God

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
--James 4:7

I have had times in my life and ministry when the burdens and the pressures seemed to be too much. Sometimes physical weariness adds to our problems and our temptation to give in to discouragement and doubt. At these times it seems that even in prayer it is impossible to rise above the load. More than once, by faith that seemed to have been imparted directly from heaven, the Lord has enabled me to claim all that I needed for body, soul and spirit. On my knees I have been given freedom and strength to pray, "Now, Lord, I have had enough of this-I refuse to take any more of this heaviness and oppression! This does not come from God-this comes from my enemy, the devil! Lord, in Jesus' name, I will not take it any longer-- through Jesus Christ I am victor!" At these times, great burdens have just melted and rolled away--all at once.

Brethren, God never meant for us to be kicked around like a football. He wants us to be humble and let Him do the chastening when necessary. But when the devil starts tampering with you, dare to resist him!I Talk Back to the Devil, p. 15
-- A.W. Tozer
never meant to waste your time
never meant to fall out of line
I always tried to get closer to you
now it seems with every step
feels like I'm losing my breath
I don't know what else I can do
but you wash over me

you wash over me like rain
and you wash over me
you wash over me like sunshine
Somewhere in Between

I can't be losing sleep over this
No I can't
And now I can not stop pacing
Give me a few hours
I'll have all this sorted out
If my mind would just stop racing
'Cause I cannot stand still
I can't be this unsturdy
This cannot be happening

This is over my head
But underneath my feet
'Cause by tomorrow morning
I'll have this thing beat
And everything will be back
To the way that it was
I wish that it was just that easy

Cuz I'm wating for tonight
Then waiting for tomorrow
And I'm somewhere in between
What is real and just a dream
What is real and just a dream
What is real and just a dream

Would you catch me if I fall
Out of what I fell in
Don't be surprised if I collapse
Down at your feet again
I don't want to run away from this
I know that I just don't need this

'Cause I cannot stand still
I can't be this unsturdy
This cannot be happening

Cuz I'm wating for tonight
Then waiting for tomorrow
And I'm somewhere in between
What is real and just a dream
What is real and just a dream
What is real and just a dream

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Calvin: "Do you hate being a girl?"

Susie: " It's gotta be better than the alternative."

Calvin: "What's it like? Is it like being a bug?"

Susie: "Like a WHAT!?"

Calvin: "I imagine bugs and girls have a dim perception that nature played a cruel trick on them. But they lack the intelligence to really comprehend the magnitude of it."

:: Calvin gets beaten up ::

Calvin: "I must've put my finger on it."

Teehee... :-D
you're too much in love with the world to love anything in it individually. but realize that one love will always subtract from another. you'll have peices of love, parts of things, but in essence, nothing. you think you're too smart to give up anything, you must have it all. so you'll always be distant, always in a vantage point where you can see all expansively in that big picture way and touch all of the world collectively. spread yourself thin. it's all so shallow. having all is really having nothing. all is not purely, not solely, not only, not exclusively yours. but you like being detached and untouchable in that way. it's the only way to be unbreakable: not give yourself fully unto something and not having anything give itself fully unto you. -- yoinked shamelessly from deliriousiris on LJ

wow.'s been a struggle to see the abundant skies as of late. But I see them. I'm been trying to live it out by His grace ...

Where I'm at right now? Hard to say to be honest. A brother I know recently posted on his xanga about so often it is the external things that establish how we're doing with God. That somehow if I didn't wake up and fill out my "God-routine" of getting into the good book, praying a lot, and all the other external things that a good Christian boy ought to do ... somehow my relationship with God is off its axis. And yeah, I've been doing those things ... but honestly, there have been times where I haven't been and I've "felt" close to God, that I've been "doing" well. A bunch of rubbish indeed.

It has been on the back of my mind for a bit ... people have been asking a lot about how I've been doing. And I've been saying .... good. Because, honestly, I don't know what else to say. I'm clearly not doing bad ... well, I suppose not because usually when you're doing bad ... you know you're doing bad. And if God is good all the time ... then things HAVE to be going good right? Maybe.

So is the question of "how are you doing" really just an emotional gauge? how are you doing emotionally?

Somehow that doesn't quite cut it either.

To be honest, I don't know how I'm doing. Emotionally, its been better. its not so much the emotional roller coaster that I expressed couple weeks back. Which is a good thing I suppose, but dang ... are we on an emotional flatline now? Hehe ... I guess I can't be satisfied either way. :-D

Been feeling the push for something lately, not quite sure what. Just been trying to obedient to God's voice, sometimes I am successful, other times not. But I'm pressing in for more. I read someone's xanga yesterday of a girl that I don't know too well, just happened to run across it via someone else's journal. It was really encouraging. I'm personally not really a fan of the "cutesyness" (is that even a word...shoot.) that is prevalent on seemingly most girls from ages 8 -> infinity. (DISCLAIMER: Okay, okay .. not ALL girls are like this .. .and yes, it is more endearing on some people than not. Yes I'm biased. Okay fine, this is a totally unfounded statement that I'm pulling out from nowhere. Its subjective. =P Its my blog and I can be a poo poo if I want to :-D). Anyway, it was refreshingly personal and had substantive content. One of the coolest things in this world is hearing people talk about pursuing God, and wanting more of him. People have been doing this since the Old Testament, you had people like Moses, David, Daniel, the list goes on. A rich tradition of God-chasers that goes into even today ... and with each person, their own personality shines through when they share. That is what this girl did in her xanga. I thought that was pretty cool. Yup.

Anyway, if you managed to read to this point of the rambling entry ... I congratulate you. You get a big fatty gold star. Because now I'm going to talk about my day. So...its been kind of interesting seeing God working in my academics. For CSE 140L, we have a fatty lab due this Friday. I was expecting to work on this thing day and night. It was supposed to own my life for the next week. Well, my partner and I met up earlier today and we wrapped up the last portion in 10 minutes. It was anticlimatic really. I definitely praise God ... because I KNOW that it was definitely him hooking it up. I dont' even remember what I did or how I did it...but it works. This week is going to be a WHOLE lot easier because its done too.

Oh but wait.

There's more.

Yup, there is more! (God's goodness just don't STOP.)

So today in Music, because of the threatened TA strike ... our prof cancels the oral portion of our final exam this Thursday. You have no idea what a relief this was to me. For the most part Music 1A has been absolute cake ... but the oral protion of the exam SUCKS. But I don't have to worry about it anymore.

So. Consequently. AS A RESULT. Because of these developments, there's either a whole lot of studying that needs to be done this week that I don't know about yet, something FAT is going down that God is gearing me up for, or are just some things that God wants me to take care. Yesterday my d-group talked about hearing God's voice in the little things. Allllrightey then. He sure doesn't waste any time holding me accountable to that one.

Last song to hijack Benson's-in-the-head-playing-a-song-thingy: Tim Hughes' "Consuming Fire"

Stir it up in our hearts, Lord, a passion for Your Name!
cross-posting ... borrowed from the natroo's blog:

Charles Williams, a colleague and close friend of C. S. Lewis, wrote that romantic love gives us a new vision of one other human being, an insight into his or her "eternal identity." For a brief time, at least, romance gives us the ability to see the best in one other person, to ignore or forgive flaws, to bask in endless fascination. That state, said Williams, gives a foretaste of how we will one day view every resurrected person, and how God now views us. Romantic love does not distort vision but corrects it, in a very narrow range. The Bible uses explicit romantic images to describe God's love for us: What we feel in passing for one person, God feels eternally for the many.

I would say this is QUITE the interesting quote ... I am inclined to agree. Relationships are definitely the most rewarding and joyful things of this earth, yet also the things that can bring the most pain and discontent. Mmm...zesty. Bittersweet. :)

Monday, December 01, 2003

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. --Hebrews 12:11

If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure....

If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.

To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be. That Incredible Christian, pp. 122-124
"I will bow down toward Your holy temple and will praise Your name for Your love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word." Psalm 138:2

"When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted." Psalm 138:3

"For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men." 2 Corinthians 8:21

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Hrm ... spent some time chilling with God earlier today. I think its safe to blog now :). Attempting to think or ponder without God ... that's no good at all...

-- The CALL Texas is happening right now. I wish I was there.

-- Thanksgiving entry, in no particular order ... and if I forget you I'm sorry ... =P
Family: I praise God, because my heart towards my family has changed so much in the past year, even the past quarter. The parentals and siblings were down the past two days ... and it was good family loving. God is good. I can say that I love my family :)
Prayer Group: Sharon, Shaun, Tim and Yvonne. You guys rock. My life hasn't been the same since you guys, I am thankful that God saw it fit that I would be worthy to fight alongside such an awesome bunch. If there was such thing as spiritual kindred spirits, you guys would be it. Thanks be to God for your companionship, grace, love, and faith. May God take us deeper...
The roomie: Hey man, I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity to live with you the past two years ... and probably three. I couldn't have asked for a better roomie. Thanks for putting up with my whining about people and situations. You've grown a lot since our sophomore years. Keep pursuing God, you will find him.
Accountability Group: David, Shaun, and Tim. I love you guys. I am so thankful for the opportunity to know you guys heart to heart. I have been challenged and sharpened by your words of wisdom and lives that strive to glorify our Father in heaven. Keep on fighting the good fight ... may we die to ourselves. Its going to be good. David, may you live up to your namesake :). Shaun, my favorite Italian ... you bring joy to my heart, continue to be single-minded and set apart. I admire that in you. Tim, we go waaaay back now. We've been sharpening each other since high school, I am so thankful that its stretched into college. Thanks for your friendship and grace. All our talks about faith, school, girls, family and everything. God will be faithful to complete what he has begun in our lives. There will be some serious rejoicing when that happens.
Muir Leadership Group: You guys probably will never read this ... but I am so thankful that God brought us together. It was definitely tough initially, God pulled us through yeah? Matt, I grow to respect you more and more as a leader and a brother in the faith. I count it a privilege to follow where God leads you. Melinda, likewise :). You're a woman of God whose compassion is evident to all. Keep loving those sisters with everything that you have. God loves as you are. Yvonne, ms. taco, I am convinced that God has blessed me with the opporunity to work with you. You challenge me to walk the walk that I talk, thank you. Your faith is evident to all, and Jesus shines brilliantly through you. May He draw you ever deeper in the secret place! Nick, brother, your example is one that I look up to often. Thank you for your humility and determination to fight. I have been so blessed to hear of what God has done in your life. Grace, haha you always bring a smile to my face because the simplicity of Christ is evident in your life. Keep following him like a duck :)
Harvest folk: Ed, Bo, Jamar, Kebs, Steve C, Steve L, Steve S, Steph, Stella, Janet, Lee, Sabrina, Nora, Jenny, Angela. I know I'm no longer part of Harvest per se...but I still think of you guys. You've all been an encouragement to me at some point, and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to cross paths. Grace and peace be with you :)
Muirons: I have grown so much in this community. I thank God for you daily. May we continue to be drawn into the divine romance, growing and stretching each other in the process.
ol' SJCAC folk: Daniel, Gary, Melanie, Xanthy, Byron, Steve, Jaeson. Thank you. You have all shown me grace .. more than I deserve. Thanks for reaching out to me when I've been more reculsive. You encourage me in the faith and I am ever thankful for your friendship. Your kindness and love is noted, I am not worthy to be a recipient of such grace. :)
Old Friends: Michelle, Sanny, Menzies, Brandon, Gabe, Linda, Jill, Lekha, Annabelle, Jon, Mike J, Mike L, and a host of people that I have failed to mention because I simply haven't talked to y'all in awhile. For the most part our relationships have stood the test of time. We're all different, but we all can still smile and laugh together when do hang out. Brandon, off your profile, we can't love whom we cannot laugh with. This is true. I hope that our paths may cross more often some day.

-- Heading into the Fall quarter home stretch. Run the race with perseverance.

-- Its going to be an interested Winter break. God, may your will be done. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other. You're the Sovereign One.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

*cracks open journal to see what God's put on my heart lately*

"The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being." Proverbs 20:27

"5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him." Psalm 126:5-6

"1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain." Psalm 127:1

"I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession." Ezekiel 44:28

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." I Peter 1:8

"5 I wait for the LORD , my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6


I'm tempted to put up the notes from the Encounter Retreat ... but I'm kind of tired ... and I'm not sure y'all would be interested in reading notes anyway. As for the current status of God's excavation of my heart, its still going. Some days I'm not really sure where he's digging, but something always comes up.

EDIT: yeah, I really got to stop blogging past my bedtime ... I end up sounding whiny. :) God is definitely good, remembering to trust in His promise.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination. -- Benjamin Disraeli
"One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name." -- Sir Walter Scott

"Go big, or go home."

"I dare you to move, I dare you to lift yourself off of the floor."

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Mediocre Christianity

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
--Romans 6:12-13

It is disheartening to those who care, and surely a great grief to the Spirit, to see how many Christians are content to settle for less than the best. Personally I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart's holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve. And such are found everywhere....

Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be....

Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By "want" I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God's conditions to obtain. That Incredible Christian, 64.

"Oh Lord, give me that 'wholehearted desire' that keeps me from being satisfied with mediocre Christianity. I long to be as holy and as full of the Spirit as You want me to be. I commit myself this morning to a willingness to meet Your 'conditions to obtain.' Amen."
-- A.W. Tozer

What sets Christianity apart is that is focused on relationship ... pursuit of that relationship will set your life on fire.

Is your Christianity a "have-to" or a "want-to"?

Friday, November 21, 2003

desperate for changing
starving for truth
closer than where I started
chasing after You

i'm falling even more in love with You
letting go of all i've held on to
i'm standing here until You make me move
hanging by a moment here with You

yup. that pretty much sums up my day. heading to an "encounter retreat" tonight and tomorrow. pray that God breaks me down ... continue to fashion in me, humility ... that He would more magnified in my life, that I would know Him in His death and resurrection ... for the fire and power of God to fill my life.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

On a random note, I think its really tight how a lot of people seem to be going through stuff with God. God's fashioning his glorious church ... it's gonna look guuuuuuud. :-D
hey guys,

long time no blog. even after i promised to blog more. *sniff* so sad ... *tear* ... SUCK IT UP!! *sniff*

God's been working at me ... like seriously getting the chisel and just banging away at stuff that's in my heart. I guess it's really been going on all quarter. Much of it culminated at the Interpraise Concert of Prayer, where I had the opportunity to share about the importance of the motives of the heart. It seems like God's been holding me to accountable to that ever since.

Not that this is a bad thing.

Lately, its about my affections. Maybe a week or two ago, I had the opportunity to get a bunch of guitar tabs (hence the fatty update last week) ... one of the songs was Delirious?' "Intimate Stranger." In the chorus, there's a line that goes Jesus you still have my affection. I remember singing it a couple times and really being blessed by those lyrics, well the chorus really. Its really simple, Jesus I love you / Jesus I adore you / Jesus you still have my affection / And my song will be "I love you". But I guess I felt myself asking the question, "Do I really love Him?" and Jesus asking me, "Do you love me?"

It's a strange question ... and my response was kind of like Peter's (John 21:15-25). "Well of course God, I love you. That's why I'm here. I love you, God." And just throughout the week, it seemed like God was sifting my actions, sifting my thoughts, my desires.

I become entangled in any "inordinate affection";
if things or places or people hold me
back from obedience to my Lord,
then I know nothing of Calvary's love.

I hold on to choices of any kind,
just because they are my choice;
if I give any room to my private likes and dislikes,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
-- Amy Carmichael

And honestly, this is where I found myself. My heart filled with inordinate affection. Towards certain people, in holding and having my own choices, school work, just things that I'm interested. Nothing to heretical or sinful per se, but all these affections were competing with my affections for God. I wasn't exactly giving God much to work with in terms of having him as Lord of my life.

Bleh. Emotionally, I'll be honest here ... I've been a wreck. Up and down and up and down. I'm seriously the most fickle person ever. Spiritually, in some ways its been the same. I'm definitely different than I was at the beginning of the quarter. That's an answer to prayer in itself ... but gosh, it can be so hard some times. I'm sorry I'm being so vague ... I can't quite really remember or comprehend everything that has happened. I just know that I'm in a different place. I've taken the path less traveled, but its the path to glory. I want this to be an honest prayer:
"7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.-- Phillipians 3:7-11

I'm not there yet, I know that ... but I want to be there. I'm willing to go through the fire for it. I want to be radical for Jesus. Even as I type this out, I'm afraid. I'm afraid because once you decide to stand on the truth, God will always, ALWAYS test to see if you truly are standing on it. And I know I need to die to self. I know a lot of the reason why I'm not radical for Jesus is because I'm self-conscious, I'm worried about what other people might think, I'm afraid of messing up, I don't want to fail ... my pride. But I guess able to say with a little more confidence and faith that if being radical for Jesus means being a fool for Christ and being a bit "messy," then that's what I want.

A couple days ago I got an email from a brother back in the Bay Area ... a friend of his had passed away and they had been praying for God to raise her up from the dead. The girl was absolutely sold out for Christ, and they didn't believe it was her time. It appears now at this point, that it wasn't in God's will for her to be raised up ... about 50 people received Christ at her funeral, including her brothers whom she had been praying for. This following vision for her life was found in her room after her passing:







When I read it, it totally cut to the core of my heart. Benson, what are you living for? And I really didn't know what to say, I felt so convicted. I went for a run and started praying. As I prayed, I asked God for faith to see his kingdom come, and to be changed so that I could start living the life he's called me to. As I'm in the season of "dying to self," man ... sometimes I wish it'd just be over faster and then I'd be okay. I realized last night listening to a sister share about some her trials ... that I find that I have secret hope that I would never get out of this season, that there just be more death, every day. Less of me and more of Him. That if I were to ever "emerge," it would be like when Jesus went into the wilderness .. guided by the Spirit .. but came out in the power of the spirit. That I would be nothing, and Jesus would be everything. I guess that you would think that the most radical heart change occurs when you receive Christ ... after that its just a gradual process of sanctification. I'm asking for more, I'm asking for a complete personality transformation, complete heart change ... something that can only happen if I encounter the living God.

I want to be ready when there is a call to arms. Revival is coming to this generation. Are you girded with the armor of God, and with your weapons of warfare? Do you have the mind of Christ, a heart after God's, and a spirit that is set apart from this world? There is going to be a spiritual battle coming that is going to be unpredecented in scale, believers will win .. and there will be a great harvest .. but ONLY. ONLY if we become hot. God cannot use a lukewarm church. Brothers and sisters we must shed our apathy, shed our complacency. Its hard to maintain that kind of tenacity 24/7 ... but as iron sharpens iron ... we must not give up meeting up together, encouraging and sharpening each other.

And I'm babblng now. I leave you with lyrics from one of the greatest bands ever.

Here I am in that old place again
Down on my face again
Crying out I want you to hear my plea
Come down and rescue me

How long will it take
How long will I have to wait?

And all I want is all you have
Come to me, rescue me,
Fall on me with your love
And all you want is all I have
Come to me, rescue me,
fall on me with your love

Sanctify I want to be set apart
Right to the very heart
Prophesy to the four winds
And breathe life to this very place

How long will it take?
How long will I have to wait?

And all I want is all you have
Come to me rescue me,
Fall on me with your love
And all you want is all I have
Come to me rescue me,
Fall on me with your love

Lifted up I've climbed with the strength I have
Right to this mountain top
Looking out the cloud's getting bigger now
It's time to get ready now

-- "Sanctify," Delirious?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Seriously, this week is a perfect storm.

"God break me!"

heh .. did I deserve this one :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Tab site updated: here.
Update coming ... meanwhile ... Tozer excerpt:

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.'"
--Leviticus 19:1-2

No one whose senses have been exercised to know good and evil but must grieve over the sight of zealous souls seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit while they are yet living in a state of moral carelessness or borderline sin. Such a thing is a moral contradiction. Whoever would be filled and indwelt by the Spirit should first judge his life for any hidden iniquities; he should courageously expel from his heart everything which is out of accord with the character of God as revealed by the Holy Scriptures.

At the base of all true Christian experience must lie a sound and sane morality. No joys are valid, no delights legitimate where sin is allowed to live in life or conduct. No transgression of pure righteousness dare excuse itself on the ground of superior religious experience. To seek high emotional states while living in sin is to throw our whole life open to self deception and the judgment of God. "Be ye holy" is not a mere motto to be framed and hung on the wall. It is a serious commandment from the Lord of the whole earth. The Pursuit of Man, 102.

And some more!

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Fight or Die

For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. --1 John 2:16-17

Someday the church can relax her guard, call her watchmen down from the wall and live in safety and peace; but not yet, not yet....

The healthiest man has enough lethal bacteria in him to kill him within twenty-four hours except for one thing-the amazing power of the human organism to resist bacterial attack. Every mortal body must fight its internal enemies day and night. Once it surrenders its hours are numbered. Quite literally it must fight or die....

The church lives in a hostile world. Within and around her are enemies that not only could destroy her, but are meant to and will unless she resists force with yet greater force. The Christian would collapse from sheer external pressure were there not within him a counterpressure sufficiently great to prevent it. The power of the Holy Spirit is, therefore, not optional but necessary. Without it the children of God simply cannot live the life of heaven on earth. The hindrances are too many and too effective. That Incredible Christian, 86-87.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Thursday, October 23, 2003

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
--- Psalm 63:1-8

"If there's one word of advice I could give you for college: Never lose your desperation for Christ."

No, not having a desperation for the blessings of God ... or craving the fellowship of man, or the fruits of what this world has to offer. If you pursue Christ relentlessly, with the same purpose and focus that you have in having fun, do academia, or even pursue relationships with the opposite sex ... if you applied that tenacity to your pursuit of Christ, that uncompromising, single-minded pursuit of the luminous nazarene, I guarantee you ... you will enter into a life so abundant, so amazing, so beautiful, your life will never be the same.
Wow ... dang ... heads up yo. More Tozer:

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
--Psalm 34:3

I am positively sure after many years of observation and prayer that
the basis of all of our trouble today, in religious circles, is that
our God is too small.

When he says magnify the Lord, he doesn't mean that you are to make
God big, but you are to see Him big. When we take a telescope and
look at a star, we don't make the star bigger, we only see it big.
Likewise you cannot make God bigger, but you are only to see Him

My brethren, God calls us to magnify Him, to see Him big. A meeting
is not big because a lot of people are present. A meeting is big
because a number of people see a big God in the meeting. And the
bigger God is seen, the greater the meeting. A friend of mine has a
little saying, 'I would rather have a big, little meeting than a
little, big meeting.' There are a lot of big meetings that are little
because the God in them is a small God. And there are a lot of little
meetings that are big because God is big in the midst of them....

That is the first thing--magnify God. Your ministry will be little,
and you will live and die little unless you have a bigger God.
Success and the Christian, 36-37,40

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Why delirious, and namely martin smith .. r0x0rs. Absolutely brilliant. (in my most british of accents...):

It's 11.00 am US time and again I find myself in an airport excited about going home. Last night we played in a very pretty place called Boulder in Colorado and a great night was had again with some good people, which finished off a fantastic 10 day tour of the US. We fly from Denver today and land in at 7.00am Monday hopefully in time to take the children to school and catch up on domestics. It's always a tricky one getting home early in the day because you have to pretend that you're not tired but up for going swimming and playing enthusistically with barbie dolls while the dreaded jet lag creeps in. Being married, having children and being in a band means for a fantastic life but needs commitment and discipline to make it work. It can be done with good planning, the favour of God and a Godly wife!

Why am I saying all this? It's because I would have loved to have read stories like this when I was 15 years old and wanting to touch the world with music. Having Jons brother Ben on the road has made me realise again that the next generation of 'holy world changers' need all the help that you can get as you embark on a radical journey with God.

I have met many different people as we've travelled and it's the people who are looking at their lives 'wholistically' that seem to be the most 'whole'. It is wrong to put your 'ministry' before your family as you will cut off your right arm and will soon be ineffective and it is also short sighted to put your family before serving God as this will lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction when others around you are becoming 'movers and shakers'.

Of course none of us gets the balance right all of the time but we must try and this must be the mandate of a new 'worship movement' across the world. This is not just about lifting up the name of Jesus for the world to see but also about letting Jesus in to our lives to the point that we are changed. There is no point in singing songs to our creator unless we intend for this God to re-create us into people that are shaped in his image. People who love God above anyone or anything, people who are humbled by his 'majesty'.

So I have two prayers that I'm praying today. One is to see the glory of God come to our nations and the other is to stay awake tomorrow enough to give my four children love and attention and be a good man to my woman! You see both are valid prayers because both are about the kingdom of God and both are about faith at work.

Life is good if you see the good in it, cheers


Brilliant I say.

Monday, October 20, 2003

When Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, "What street is that?" but "What continent?" And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites. Wingspread; A. B. Simpson: A Study in Spiritual Altitude, 108-109.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Leave it up to Tozer for a great exhortation :)

The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Ok ok .. promise, last post of the night.

So i've come to the conclusion that extending use of internet/aim not good for mental health. You know that satisfied, complete feeling you get from personal interaction with others? Yeah, you don't get that with AIM or internet ... you just get this shallow shell, this imitation intimacy and closeness. Not to say that my chats with friends weren't good ... because they definitely were. But I think there's definitely more to be desired in those contexts.

Anyway, random realization of the night. I hope you're all doing well. Peace.
Re-read some old entries. I've definitely grown a lot this past year ... much of the frustration that was there before has been filled with promise and hope ... but new frustrations have arisen.

I definitely used to be a better writer. Even if it was about more trivial things.

Its weird though, I think I've definitely become more aware of the pride in my life ... this isn't too say I was total humble last year or whatever .. but I guess I recognized my insufficiencies and shortcomings, and I wasn't afraid to say that I was "poor and needy." And subsequently, whenever God showed me something pretty rad ... I was quick to share and quick to express the simple joy in that. (I suppose this is something that comes out from "growing" ... we somehow become more mature and our needs become more sophisticated and complicated. Yeah. right.) I would very much like to think that my needs and stresses have changed significantly in this past year (because yeah, I've become "older and wiser"), but yeah ... everything is very much the same rehashed in a different context.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Who are you? Where are you going? What are you doing to get there? What do you live for? What would you die for? What drives you? What's most important in life? What are you doing to ensure those things are cherished and valued? Are you breathing in abundant skies yet?
Three long articles posted ... definitely good stuff. Kind of reflects what I've been thinking about as of late.

I move towards impending "graduation" and "real-life," ... I'm finding myself increasingly conflicted in terms of what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

Conflicted with what I'm not sure, but how do you dream big, keep your feet on the ground, and still walk with faith? I suppose the obvious answer would be to ... "just do it." Right.
From our friends @

Adult Before 30?
- by Steve Watters

In the early 1980s, all thirty of the companies that made up the Dow Jones, including blue chips such as 3M, Coca Cola and Proctor and Gamble, were trading for less than their liquid value. That means if you bought out all their stock and simply sold off their buildings, trucks and machinery you could make a nice profit!

When you consider how expensive those stocks are now (even after inflation and some recent drops), it�s obvious those companies were undervalued. Even though those companies had all their fundamentals in place, the market just didn�t have high expectations.

If you are currently a man in your 20s, you should be aware that your stock is substantially undervalued as well. Many observers have downgraded your stock because of a growing number of twentysomethings who seem to be little more than kids in big peoples� bodies. In fact, some commentators now simply write off the whole period from age 20 to 30 (what I call in this column �The Hungry Years�). Watching the trends, they have little reason to expect today�s twentysomething to grow up and offer anything of value before the age of 30.

Consider these recent reports, starting with a quote from Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

�Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood. . . . Society has come to accept the idea that people do not become adults until they are in their late thirties. As a result, adolescence has extended well into the 20s� (Spiked, July 29, 2003).

In similar fashion Edward Eveld writes in the The Kansas City Star that �not too long ago, the saying went, it was a bad idea to trust anyone over 30. Now 30 is the new 21 or 22. It�s the threshold of becoming an adult� (Sep. 21, 2003).

Expectations are at an all time low. But what changed? Is it no longer possible for guys to become adults during their 20s? Like Coca Cola or 3M of the early 80s, the fundamentals seem to be in place. A 20 year-old man is at the same level of biological maturity that 20 year-olds were generations before.

�By 20, most of the mental and bodily characteristics that have been evolving in the pre-adult years are at or near their peak levels,� wrote Daniel Levinson in his classic book from the 1970s, The Seasons of a Man�s Life. Levinson marked the period from 17 to 22 as the age that men move from adolescence into adulthood.

But despite reaching their peak of physical development and having the capacity for the demands of adulthood, guys for some reason still aren�t making the transition.

What about the age milestones that once propelled guys into adulthood? For many in the past it was 18 � the point at which they finished high school and were recognized as mature enough to vote. The next big threshold was 21, when they were considered sufficiently responsible to drink alcohol. The last big age milestone before 30 has been 25 � the point at which they began sliding down the backside of the 20s. Incidentally, 25 is also the point of maturity rental car companies require their customers to achieve.

Such milestones appear arbitrary, however, when you read biographies about guys who didn�t wait for some magic age (especially not 30) to take on adult responsibilities.

David was 17 when he killed Goliath.

Bill Gates formed Microsoft at age 20.

At 23, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest man ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly.

Winston Churchill became a hero when he escaped from his captors during the Boer War. While captive, he penned the following line, �I�m 25 today � it is terrible to think how little time remains.�

These achievements prove that maturing into an adult isn�t simply the result of accumulating birthdays.

So what does it take to become an adult? When you survey the books on this subject, you consistently see two words: commitment and responsibility.

Of course commitment and responsibility are not as sexy as physical development or birthday parties. No one�s making sitcoms or movies celebrating commitment or responsibility. In fact, anyone looking to popular culture for their cues has to assume that everything good that will happen in their lives will happen before they become adults. For that reason, we tend to frontload our lives and try to push off the traits of adulthood as long as possible. But a guy who can embrace commitment and responsibility in a countercultural way during his 20s has an incredible opportunity to break out of the pack � long before his peers who are living down to low cultural expectations.

The path to adulthood and its undervalued benefits involves two key pursuits: making commitments and assuming responsibility.

Making commitments
�You need to make a commitment,� says Les Brown, a motivational speaker, �and once you make it, then life will give you some answers.� Commitment enables us to move from the disconnected random episodes of adolescence and into the more unified and sweeping chapters of adulthood.

One of the first commitments we make is to an employer. In exchange for payment, we commit to give a certain level of time and effort. Striving to meet employer expectations is a great way to experience the fruits of commitment.

The more complicated task is making commitments to people who can�t always respond with tangible rewards. That�s why we�re so often reluctant to sign up to teach Sunday School classes, serve as youth mentors or take on similar obligations. But it�s in making commitments to people that we experience community � the sense that we are not alone.

Among the commitments a guy can make, it is the covenant of marriage that has historically proven to be a reliable rite of passage into adulthood. The whole business of serving someone for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health has a way of challenging the adolescent in us. I still remember the wake up call I had a few months into my marriage when I came home with a bonus check. All the way home I thought about the things I wanted to buy with that money, only to have my wife greet the news by saying, �oh great, now we can buy a vacuum cleaner.�

Assuming responsibility
�Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all,� says actor and author Frank Carne, �yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us � gives us manhood or womanhood fiber.�

The first step toward adulthood is taking responsibility for yourself by cutting ties of dependence. Recent surveys tell us that as much as 38% of 20 to 34 year-olds are living with their parents. This arrangement greatly delays the maturity process because the safety net makes it harder for you to be fully responsible.

Taking responsibility for yourself is only the beginning, however. The real test is being responsible for someone else � allowing someone else to depend on you.

Of all the commitments and responsibilities I took on during my 20s that pushed me toward adulthood, it wasn�t until six months before my 30th birthday that I felt fully settled into the role. That�s when my wife and I brought our new son home from the hospital. Looking up at me from his crib, I could sense him saying, �I don�t know where you are on the whole growing up thing, but I�m counting on you to take care of me.�

�The value of marriage is not that adults produce children,� says author Peter DeVries, �but that children produce adults.� Our son and daughter are growing up quickly, but we feel like they�ve grown us up just as much.

The frustrating thing about responsibility and commitment is that they rarely provide instant gratification. By their nature, they challenge our adolescent desires for freedom, autonomy and self-fulfillment. But like weight conditioning, we need that challenge to tear the old muscle and build the new � that�s the process that finally makes us men.

Despite the dismal forecast for the third decade of your life, this is your prime time. All the fundamentals are there for you to be successful. The difference between you and the next guy is your appetite for commitments and responsibilities. Take them on now and you�ll rocket past poor market expectations and show a skeptical world what incredible things a man can still do before 30.
Yoinked from Jaeson's journal:

Students in Missions
by Kevin Little

"The evangelization of the world in this generation" This bold and zealous watchword characterized and motivated the Student Volunteer Movement, the most potent student mobilizers in all of history. From its outset the SVM called students to commit their lives, first, to the person and lordship of Christ, then, to taking the gospel of Christ to the unevangelized portions of the world. Students, looking for a cause worth giving their lives to and moved by the Holy Spirit, committed themselves in unprecedented droves to the evangelization of the world in their generation. At one point of its history, 75% of all female missionaries and 70% of all male missionaries were volunteers, who had been called to this pursuit by the SVM. In its history, the SVM was responsible for over 20,000 missionaries on the field, not committed to going but on the field. 20,000 college students had actually abandoned their dreams for the adventure of following Christ's heart to the nations. Four times this number, over 80,000, remained at home, supporting their fellow volunteers as well as increasing missions education.

Small Beginnings

This mobilization effort began in 1886 as a result of a random outpouring of God's Spirit at a summer conference in Mt Hermon, New Hampshire. The focus of the conference, led by D. L. Moody, was evangelism and Bible study, not missions, but the hearts of Luther Wishard, the organizer of the conference, and Robert Wilder, a senior from Princeton, longed for a nationwide movement of God's Spirit in the production of missionary zeal. At the beginning of the conference, Wilder pulled together eighteen other men who had committed themselves to going to the unevangelized portions of the world for daily prayer and conversation on the topic of world missions. By the end of the conference, this small group of missionary zealots grew to one hundred individuals, nearly half those in attendance. Although Wilder was only responsible for drawing only eight or nine of these men, multiplication occurred in an amazing fashion as men recently stirred by the flames of God's love for all men quickly spread that flame to others around them. Each of these men signed a declaration that read, "We, the undersigned, declare ourselves willing and desirous, God permitting, to go to the unevangelized portions of the world." From the momentum of this event arose the Student Volunteer Movement.

Catching Fire

Desiring to promote and conserve the missionary zeal that took root at the Mt. Hermon conference, Robert Wilder, accompanied by a fellow Princeton grad, toured the universities of the United States sharing the story of Mt. Hermon as well as challenging students to join them in their declaration. In the 1886-87 academic year alone, over 1,500 men and women signed the declaration. Once again, the power of multiplication was evident, for during the second year following Mt. Hermon, without the aid of a second deputation, the number of volunteers who had signed the declaration increased from around 2,000 to 3,000 during the 1887-88 academic year. God was moving the hearts of college students to give up their petty crusades and to lay down their lives for God's pursuit of the heathen.

Those who toured the campuses of the United States for the SVM, beginning with Wilder, presented a message that confronted complacency and excuses and that gave students a goal to which they could cling and pursue. The SVM advocates put the burden of proof on the students who wished to stay rather than those eager to go. Robert Speer, the advocate that followed Wilder, presented it best when he used an allegory of a drowning man. The one who sees the drowning man must explain why he stays on the bank, not why he dives into the river. In the world-wide cause of Christ, a similar situation exists. These students were called by Christ to "go and make disciples of all nations;" however, they lived in a nation that had been discipled, while other nations had not yet been discipled; therefore, the student who chose to stay in his discipled nation was forced to explain why the Lord had called him to that path, while the student who chose to sign the declaration and to go was simply obeying the commands of Christ. This argument caused men to confront the commands of Christ and the role they would play in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Also, the SVM advocates, after its development, called these students to a goal that was clearly and simply stated. This gave students a north star to pursue. "The evangelization of the world in this generation" became the watchword of the SVM. Students responded to the challenge of these advocates because they knew what they were giving their lives to ("the evangelization of the world in this generation") and they knew why (Christ commanded them to go to those who had not yet heard).


Today, these conditions remain. Christ's command to go and make disciples has lost no authority during these one hundred years. His command remains binding upon his people, for all the nations have yet to be reached and discipled. For this reason, the burden of proof once again falls on those who would choose to stay in an evangelized nation. How does your life fulfill Christ's Great Commission? This is the question you must answer whether you stay or go. At no point in history has the watchword of the SVM been nearer to fulfillment and within the grasp of a generation. We, like the students of the past, are called to make the evangelization of the world in this generation our heart cry and the purpose of our life, to the glory of God.
Yoinked from Jaeson's journal:

"The Haystack 5"- Prayer Meeting

"Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards, they simply unveil them."
- B.F. Westcott

It was 1806 and divine circumstances were about to reveal to the world its new unlikely heroes. Samuel J. Mills, James Richards, Francis L. Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Byram Green were about to decide their destiny. These five students at Williams College in Massachusetts found themselves in a time when revival and awakening were sweeping across America and this small college town. There were many prayer meetings being maintained by students. One, to which these five men belonged, met in Sloan's meadow north of the college. On a hot Saturday afternoon in August these five left to pray and discuss William Carey's small booklet, An Inquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. It was a controversial book that laid on all believers the weight of responsibility of world missions. There were threatening clouds in the distance, but the group met faithfully despite the thunderstorm that was approaching.

As they discussed world missions and specifically the needs in China, their attention was focused so intently on their responsibility to the unreached that they failed to notice the speed with which storm had approached. The young men were too far away to run for adequate shelter and were soon trapped by the angry thunder clouds. Within minutes the sound of the thunder was deafening and the pouring rain and strikes of lightening drove the students to scramble for the first shelter available - a haystack. Even as the storm rolled over the five continued their building discussion. Beneath the cover of the haystack, Samuel Mills, the leader of the group, continued to insist that the gospel must be taken to the lost in Asia.

All were inspired to act by Mills' passion except for Loomis, who argued that it was too dangerous in China. "We must wait until they are civilized," he maintained. Samuel suggested that they make it an issue of prayer, and they began to pray over the wail of the storm. All prayed except for Loomis. Mills, remembering the objections of Loomis, prayed, "O God, strike down the arm, with red artillery of heaven, that shall be raised against a herald of the cross."

Finally after singing a hymn, Mills looked at the others, and over the roar of the drenching rain, and with flashes of lightening reflecting in his eyes, cried out, "We can do this, if we will!" Something broke loose in that moment within the hearts of all five. All pointed back to that moment as the one that changed them forever. The five later consecrated themselves to full devotion to the Great Commission and taking the gospel to all the nations. They felt that it was the job of the American church to send its own missionaries and proposed to the General Association of Massachusetts that the first American missions agency be created. Their desire was granted, and in 1810 the agency was named, "The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions." Adoniram Judson was among the first five men that the American Board sent to Calcutta, India. Mills went on to inspire the creation of several other mission agencies and works such as The United Foreign Missionary Society, the American Baptist Missionary Union, and the American Bible Society.

This Haystack Prayer Movement became known all over the surrounding area, especially among college students. Samuel began a group in 1808 called the Society of Brethren, which bound its members together by the single-minded purpose of giving themselves to extend the gospel around the world. Several missions societies began to spring up on campuses all across the U.S. in the footsteps of Mills.

Years later, several women purchased with one gold dollar, the spot of land which Bryam Green identified as the location of the haystack that day. Today the Haystack Prayer Monument stands at Williams college as a reminder of what God did, not only in the lives of the five, but also in the life of Luther Wishard 80 years later. Luther, inspired by the Haystack Prayer Movement, initiated the mobilization of 100,000 college students through the Student Volunteer Movement. That moment in 1808 under the haystack was the spark for the greatest missionary movement that the world has ever seen.

They were ordinary young men - college students. Life forced them to search out their life purpose, maybe before it was too late; before the world had a chance to steal away their passion and talents into other great endeavors; before the roots of careers, and comfort grew too deeply into the American dream. These five had no idea that all of history was watching that day and what weight of responsibility lay on them. God uses moments like this, not to test our hearts, but to reveal them. He is unveiling to us what holds our true loyalty. Neil McClendon says, "Life's interruptions are God's invitations." Heroes like this are made, not born. Let us press on to know Him deeply and know His heart so that in times of testing and interruption it might be revealed that our heart has been replaced with His. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Out of the deepening of our passion for His renown and glory will come an overflow: our lives heralding a message to the world, "We can do this, if we will!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Well, I guess here comes some more:

"Don't question in the chaos, what God makes clear to you in the calm."

"BONDLESS!!!: the magazine for singles who will never get married but would rather read lots of articles on finding spouses!' -- the millions cry
Quotable quote of the day:

"Guys, learn how to be men. It's called being responsible, being considerate, and most of all, putting other people before you. That means before your sex drive, your car drive, and your moron drive. And if any boy jacks [insert-name here] in any kind of way... well, I won't kill you, because I'm a pacifist, but in defense of my family, I might kick your booty." -- Anarchangel

Monday, October 13, 2003

"True purity ... is a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness. This direction starts in the heart, and we express it in a lifestyle that flees opportunities for compromise," -- Joshua Harris

Sunday, October 12, 2003

"In Christian service motive is everything, for it is motive that gives to every moral act its final quality. " -- A.W. Tozer

Friday, October 10, 2003

"When Peter tells us to humble ourselves, he goes on to tell us in a way that few seem to understand - we humble ourselves by casting our anxiety on God, because we know He cares about us. Anxiety or worry is actually a very profound form of pride. It is pride that basically thinks our problems are too big for God, so we will have to deal with them ourselves. True humility is truth and reality. It is acknowledging the truth and reality that without God we will make a terrible mess of things. Therefore, we cast our worries on Him because we know He loves us, as the cross overwhelmingly proves, and He will help us, which He sent His Holy Spirit to us for....
... To be able to discern the truth of these times, or about anything else, we must cast all of our anxiety upon Him. Humility, knowing the love of God, and abiding in the peace of God, are required for discerning truth. If you are anxious, angry, bitter, etc. you will see these prophecies through those veils, and their true meaning will be distorted to you. In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul tells us what is required for true knowledge and true discernment: "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." - Rick Joyner

It's been a tough week ... and I think made it much more difficult than it needed to be by being anxious and trying to bear these things myself. I had one of the toughest D:77's yesterday, because I couldn't release my anxieties and tensions to God. As much as I wanted to, and knew that I had to, I chose to continue to be ignorant of the truth. Dude, wallowing in your anxieties is hard stuff :) ... it takes a lot out of you.

This morning's secret place time was really good ... I think I really bought into Satan's lies that I have to worry, and be concerned, to be resentful ... "lift up your eyes to heaven." Praise God, for he is worthy to be praised.

God, I ask for wisdom and discernment. I recognize that you are sovereign, and that you are control of John Muir college. Jesus, we need you to break through .. Holy Spirit we need your power and presence.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds
of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly
glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the
prophets who were before you.
--Matthew 5:11-12

Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular
Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John
Wesley into the streets. When it comes to religion, the crowds are
always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are
blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious
vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous....

Christianity's scramble for popularity today is an unconscious
acknowledgment of spiritual decline. Her eager fawning at the feet
of the world's great is a grief to the Holy Spirit and an
embarrassment to the sons of God. The lick-spittle attitude of
popular Christian leaders toward the world's celebrities would make
such men as Elijah or George Fox sick to the stomach....

Lot was a popular believer. He sat in the gates of Sodom. But when
trouble struck, he had to send quick for Abraham to get him out of
the jam. And where did they find Abraham? Out on the hillside, far
away from the fashionable crowds. It has always been so. For every
Elijah there have always been 400 popular prophets of Baal. For
every Noah there is always a vast multitude who will not believe
it is going to rain.

We are sent to bless the world, but never are we told to compromise
with it. The Next Chapter After the Last, 20-21.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

In light of the recent allegations against various political candidates: We're always willing to extend grace to those whom we approve of ... and we're always quick to dole out judgment to those we do not. Isn't it contrary to whole spirit of grace? Doesn't it seem ridiculous that just because a candidate is Republican, or as-long-as-he's-not-a-Democrat, or a Democrat, Independent, or whatever ... we are more inclined to show them the benefit of the doubt. Its so easy to swing from "well, those were his young days, everyone makes mistakes" to "well, what he did when he was younger is indicative of what type of character he has formed today."

I'll be impressed when candidates refrain from doing smear-campaigns and are up-front about their weaknesses and what they're doing to address them.

Monday, October 06, 2003

"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." � John Wesley

"Now let me burn out for God." Henry Martyn

Friday, October 03, 2003

I've said it once, and I'm saying it again ... school is the best time for pondering, and thinking. There's something about being mildly distracted by a specific task at hand (i.e. paying attention to class), and being able to meditate on something about God.

A friend recently shared about the recent acquisition of a girlfriend. (Yes, I know I said acquisition. No, girls are not property. Yes, this a deliberate attempt to be out of the ordinary.) Ok, he shared about how God has been teaching him about what true beauty is ... and in the process, how he ended up with a girlfriend. (Chyeah ... I totally should ask God to teach me about true beauty ... *snicker* ... no just kidding, mostly).

Anyway, he talked about between how there seems to be a discrepancy between what the world terms as beautiful as far as physical appearance and God, who is the epitome of what is beautiful (I would assume). A lot of those self-esteem workshops or "positive-thinking" types, they tend to encourage the belief that "you are beautiful, no matter what people say." And to some extent, yeah, I believe that is true. God looks down at us and thinks each one of us gorgeous. But at the same time, when I hear someone like Christina Aguilera singing lyrics like that; its a very self-empowering thing, and I wonder where that power comes from. Those lyrics clearly speak to an inner beauty, but exactly what that consists of ... I'm not quite sure.

I don't think Jesus was attractive in the sense that we might understand Jennifer Garner or Michael Vartan (ok ok, TOTALLY alias moment right there) to be attractive. But I think there was a certain beauty in Jesus, there was an attraction there that others were drawn to.

I am convinced that my wife is going to be hot. Like seriously. I know for a fact. No, she may not be what the world considers beautiful; or she might be. But the fact is that, she's going to be absolutely gorgeous on the inside and going to be radiating out of her pores. I want to learn to love that type of beauty ... to be drawn to it, and to exude Jesus' beauty in my life. Hot diggity.

Monday, September 29, 2003

I'm saying this line too often: "Things have been going good."

It sucks offering generic answers when a more detailed one could definitely be given. It sucks even more when you don't know WHAT to say for a detailed answer because you're just as confused as the next guy. And. Yes, and its a bit frustrating when you don't know anyone who is really able to make sense of your life by asking the tough questions. Sometimes I want to get a handle on what's up so I CAN tell others how things are going.

Ok I'll stop whining now.


From the private files:

It's so hard to journal sometimes. I just want to record everything the moment God tells me something ... but its so hard to put into words. I had a chance to talk to Byron maybe a week ago when the frosh moved in. I mentioned how I love writing, but absolutely abhor the process. Which is definitely true, I love being able to articulate my thoughts onto paper; its very satisfying reading other people's thoughts when they are able to capture a moment or feeling into writing. But yeah, Byron was saying that if you can't organize your thoughts in words, chances are you can't organize your thoughts in your mind. Which is a definite challenge for me, because I tend to say "screw it" when I can't get my thoughts onto paper. Coherency is definitely something I lack in my thought processes :).

As such, I felt a bit inspired to journal more and blog more to train myself to write. God is so gracious, and he does indeed reveal wisdom and revelation ... I need to think those things through. There are times when Satan just throws weird thoughts into my head and my thinking gets convoluted and cloudy as I try to grapple with it in my head. In a sense, getting my thoughts out onto paper or in writing is very much like shining light onto it. Is it truth? Is it ludicrous? Its funny how sometimes can see so clear and "makes sense" in your head, but once you say it or write it out ... you might as well have stuck your foot in your mouth. Deception is a tricky thing. Duh. (<-- see, my brain is Captain Obvious).

Friday, September 26, 2003

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life. " -- Proverbs 4:23

There hasn't been much original material here, and for that I apologize. It's not that I haven't had anything to say. (Though I have been getting writers block whenever I try to type an entry) ... but I've become a bit more conscious of the things I say and the things I share. I'm finding that even writing in a blog needs to fall under the authority of "guard your heart"... yeah, I can still share what are truly issues that I am dealing with, or things that I am celebrating. Life is too short to be attempting to chronicle what I do on a daily basis. My struggles with pride, lust, insecurities, love, all those things are much more enduring.

I really resonated with TJ and what he shared about saying how things have been. "Yeah, its been nuts and I'm tired." That's the typical response. But the fact is that I'm being stretched and prodded, pained and grown these days ... and most of the time, I don't want to tell people the new nasty thing that God revealed to my heart. I don't want to acknowledge I'm struggling, and the only place I want to go to is the cross. I've said it once, and I'll say it again ... it's so much easier dealing with God than it is dealing with people. A friend called me the other day and asked how I was doing ... we're friends enough to know that question doesn't just produce a simple "good" or "bad" response, but a transparent response on how things have been. Honestly, I just kind of blew it off with my trademark "hard, but good ... I'm tired" and said goodbye.

It wasn't fair to my friend, and I'm shortchanging myself of the accountability I need right now. Hrm. I'm grabbing for more and there's nothing to say. *shrugs* ... I'm journaling more in my journal journal; it's better because everything is laid bare there. I'm learning a lot about things in my heart ... it's not pretty in there ladies and gentlemen :).

Trying to fight the good fight...

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"This teaches us that unity is necessary to the outpouring of the
Spirit of God. If you have 120 volts of electricity coming into your
house but you have broken wiring, you may turn the switch, but
nothing works-no lights come on, the stove doesn't warm, your radio
doesn't turn on. Why? Because you have broken wiring. The power is
ready to do its work with all the appliances in your home, but where
there is broken wiring, you have no power. Unity is necessary among
the children of God if we are going to know the flow of power." - A.W. Tozer

Gotta love the circuit analogies :-D

Sunday, September 14, 2003

"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe." - On The Verge
"Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics...even if you win, you're still retarded"

Aww .. so mean but so hilarious ...

Monday, September 08, 2003

�Maybe there is a touch of insanity to think that you or I could really make a difference, knowing who we are, that we could somehow change the course of human history. If it�s normal to wake up in the morning and just try to make it through the day, then I vote for abnormality. I choose insanity.� P 56, Erwin McManus, Seizing Your Divine Moment
And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not
bring us up from here."
-Exodus 33:14-15

In what I have to say I may not be joined by any ground swell of
public opinion, but I have a charge to make against the church. We
are not consciously aware of God in our midst. We do not seem to
sense the tragedy of having almost completely lost the awareness of
His presence....

Revival and blessing come to the church when we stop looking at a
picture of God and look at God Himself. Revival comes when, no
longer satisfied just to know about a God in history, we meet the
conditions of finding Him in living, personal experience....

Modern mankind can go everywhere, do everything and be completely
curious about the universe. But only a rare person now and then is
curious enough to want to know God. Men Who Met God, 121-122,127.