Thursday, January 30, 2003

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
--C.S. Lewis

Its amazing how you can find encouragement simply by finding friends who echo your wants and desires .. your struggles and fears.

i just had a huge debate with emily and dave (and caleb, sorta) about abortion. roudn and round circles cyclic circles, until we finally agreed that we all believed abortion to be morally wrong but unwise to think it could ever be wiped out from our society. yet, if taking a life is wrong, then why do people make it relative to their situations? why does any absolute truth, like the worth of a human life, especially a human life that has no choice over it's own existence, rest in the callous hands of situation...

one cannot expect a human to decide to do the rigght thing, especially when it means that the responsibility to preserve human life means overriding your innate drive for self-preservation.

i want to be able to say that i live my life for Jesus, but i am afraid i cannot. i cannot honestly say that every moment of my life finds it's cause in the desire to follow after the one who gave his life for me. it'sjust not possible. things are always changing. in this world, nothing is ever certain. you will always have faith with some doubt, always, it's only healthy. how do men and women ever find favor with God? what does it mean that your heart is fully committed toward him, i cannot comprehend. and yet i could name a few out there who i can see living out this calling. lou engle, for one. hah, and yet maybe he thinks about this same thing as i? yet he probably doesnt, because he knows some deep truth about God, about how he chooses how he chooses, and how in the end people like me, who in our futile foolish minds, will always be eating the rotted curds and whey of baby milk that i left out on the table too long. the woman, who was praying, and saw the gold dust on her hands. how could God favor a HUMAN? how could that be possible? why is it that every time i pray for the favor of God to be with me i open my eyes and check my palms, just for second, should i find a few golden specks, but they are never there.

i don't get it. i want to get it so badly. i want to be able to understand things of the heavenly realms. i want the fire of God in my voice and the holy spirit in my touch. i want to run. i want to hide. but you say, Walk with me.

we do things like find metals, find its properties, the properties of light as a particle, color, wavelength, electrical impulses into our eyeballs, computers, screen, keyboards, voice recognition. so we can do what? plan our day and figure out this thing called life? so i can type away at 1:23am in the morning trying to figure out what it is that draws the fine line between love and hate, death and dying, friendship and liking someone, sin and sinner, money and evil. was i meant to know these things? and how could God's favor be upon me?

i want peace. that surpasses all understanding. i want to know in my heart that i am loved. i want to be able to accept that i am so weak i could never stand on my own. i want to sit a in a cell of solitary confinement and feel utterly content with it. i want to children in my arms and treat them right. i want faith. hope. love. righteousness. faithfulness. holiness. i want to be cute. in the way that doesnt involve hair, the size of your eyes, or the way you sneeze. i want freedom. i want to know Jesus Christ in his life and his suffering and his death and resurrection. i want to live. abundantly. i want the favor of God upon my life. i want God to be a fire of wall around me and the Glory within me. i want him to hem in behind and before. i want peace. that surpasses all understanding.

Thanks God.
"Someone asked: "Mr. [Daniel] Webster, what do you consider the most serious
thought that has ever entered your mind?"

"The most solemn thought that has ever entered my mind is my
accountability to my maker," he replied.

Men like that cannot be corrupted and bought. They do not have to
worry if someone listens to their telephone calls. What they were in
character and in deportment resulted from their belief that they
would finally be accountable to God. Echoes from Eden, 130."
That post laters? Yeah, delay that for about two weeks. Things have finally heated up .. and it doesn't look like it'll be cooling down for a good while.

In any case, I'm barely making it out alive ... and its seriously a struggle between balancing God and everything else. But its a trial right? If God brings you through it ... He'll bring you out. But that doesn't guarantee everything will be in one piece when you come out.

*sigh* ... I need strength more than anything. That in itself is sufficient encouragement. I sometimes wonder why I took God up on the "break me, shake me" deal ... =P And then I remember. Oh yes. God is always good. I can never friggin see when I'm going through it though. :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Its been a crazy crazy day. Need to crash now though. Will post laters.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Oh yeah! I scanned/skimmed through High Fidelity instead of focusing on the Super Bowl on Sunday. A SUPER SORRY performance by the Raiders by the way. The half time show was super sorry too. Then again .. not too many people can top U2 (half-time show last year). U2 is excellent. From what I've seen ... a guh-rate movie with John Cusack. When Catherine Zeta-Jones (yeah. she's hot. its just a fact) popped up .. I could have sworn I was watching America's Sweethearts. Not that I've watch chick flicks. Course not. ANYWAY. Its an excellent movie from what I can see .. and I intend to watch it properly eventually.

Alrightey back to programming.
"For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men." I Corinthians 4:9

"If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." I Corinthians 15:19
Freaking ... its 11 AM and I feel wozy and drowsy ... this again!?

Sunday, January 26, 2003

"Anyone who wishes to check on his true spiritual condition may do so
by noting what his voluntary thoughts have been over the last hours
or days. What has he thought about when free to think of what he
pleased? Toward what has his inner heart turned when it was free to
turn where it would? When the bird of thought was let go did it fly
out like the raven to settle upon floating carcasses or did it like
the dove circle and return again to the ark of God? Such a test is
easy to run, and if we are honest with ourselves we can discover not
only what we are but what we are going to become. We'll soon be the
sum of our voluntary thoughts...."
A.W. Tozer
So ... one side of my head is a bit barer than the other =P.

Its ok Patty :) I'll live.
Oh yes .. for those who have seen those apple switch ads .. Apple Switch
Well random update tonight. Finally added a semi-good commenting system on my blogger. Kind of ghetto . .but it works. Jacked it off Daniel and Natalie's =P. Also added weakage linkage of my blog on my xanga. :)

Anyway, staying up late tonight to finish reading. Progressive dinner was wildly entertaining ... perhaps will comment on the exciting happenings of the night sometime. Okie dokie ... its time to finish this reading.

Saturday, January 25, 2003


"Graham Cooke taught me you can never embrace anything properly while you're holding onto something else because a proper embrace requires both arms. In other words, to fully embrace something new in God, you have to completely let go of the old to take hold of the new .. and let go of everything we did. "

"As it was for Moses, Jesus likewise wants to teach us His ways .. the ways of Kingdom. The way up, is down. If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want receive, you must give. If you want to lead, you must serve. If you want to live .. you must die.

We have foolishly allowed the standards and logic of the corporate world to permeate our thinking and our belief systems in the western church. We have swallowed the lie that tells us we are unsuccessful unless we are seeing financial, numerical and market-share growth in every area of our lives. But ask yourself this: was Jesus unsuccessful in the Garden of Gethsemane? Was Jesus unsuccessful while being flogged by the Romans and mocked by the crowds? Was Jesus unsuccessful while hanging on the cross? Was Jesus unsuccessful by laying dead in a tomb? Was Jesus unsuccessful by departing the scene into relative obscurity to allow another, the Holy Spirit, to take his place?"

Mmm...the upside-down kingdom.

Friday, January 24, 2003

New Battle Cry:

LLJD = Live Like Jesus Did

c/o Samuel Truong
From Jae's blog "However, even the most elaborate and even preparation PRAYERFUL praise rallies won�t succeed without the sovereignty of God. We can ask and ask, but God works in His time. I mean look at Israel in the desert for forty years don�t you think they pleaded and pleaded and God moved when HE wanted. This can only conclude that Christians are always desperate people. Desperate for God to move in the people they love and care for. Is the life a Christian one of desperation, yet uncertainty because it is only in God�s timing? I don�t think God speeds up the process because you�re pounding your fist on the ground. However, maybe you pounding your fist is the sign that the Spirit is moving. It is possible that desperate prayers can be a sign, like dark clouds that warn us of a storm?"

Mm.. words of the wise ;) ... Prayer doesn't change God .. it changes us. Sometimes we don't get the answers we seek because we're not asking the right questions.
"Yet even now," declares the LORD,
"Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments."
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the LORD your God?
Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
Let the priests, the LORD'S ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations.
Why should they among the peoples say,
' Where is their God?'"

JOEL 2:12-17
Hehe, I've always thought of this friend as an awesome writer. Hey .. even her AIM profile is thought provoking ;).

supreme linkage

Thursday, January 23, 2003

23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
28 Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"

Some random thoughts and observations on the passage.
v. 23 - It looks like Jesus must have been praying for awhile. He probably sent the crowds away late afternoon, and now its evening. A couple hours?

v. 25 - fourth watch, 3-6 AM ... this is right before dawn

v. 27 - "It is I" Its almost as if Jesus was something to the effect of "Hey guys, calm down, its me, Jesus .. the guy who eats, sleeps, and talks with you." Although, he could be alluding to his diety.

v. 28 - This was not just Peter's initiative. I think Jesus had been praying for Peter earlier (from v. 23). Nevertheless, it seems that "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid," was sufficient for Peter to ask for a validation.

v. 29, 30 - The implication is that Peter hadn't noticed the elements before, it hadn't registered in his. He had his eyes on Jesus ... his mind was on the reality of Christ. The temporal reality which he was in, the elements, the storm, the concept that you don't normally walk on water .. it was almost as Peter was now able to see those things better than before, they were truly temporal. I recall the scene from the Matrix when Neo realizes that he is the one and he sees the matrix all around him, manifested in glowing, scrolling, green numbers ;). I think in some ways, we can draw parallels with the Neo and Peter walking on water. In that instant, the REALITY of God was far more real than our physical world was. The eyes of his heart were in perfect focus.. He could see Jesus for who he was! I mean before, Jesus has been doing all these miracles ... and the disciples are kind of tagging along. I believe that this is the first instance of where a disciple acts on (somewhat) his own initiative and exercises true faith (that's just a thought). This is the first instance where their minds finally make that connection between who Jesus says He is, what Jesus has done, and what is subsequently implicated in their interactions with Him. Connect the dots almost. And shazaam! Walking on water.

v. 31 - Immedaitely. We shouldn't be expecting to fail nor to have a pessimistic view of things. Neverhteless, when we do falter .. he will be right there, right behind us to catch us.
"Why did you doubt?"
   --> Sometimes the issue and struggle of faith isn't neccesarily getting out of the both .. but to keep on walking once we get out. The initial step isn't too bad .. we are able to see past the difficulties and set our eyes on God. But then we take a couple steps and this temporarl reality invades our senses again and we cry, "Lord, save me!"
   --> If God's promises, His Word, are sufficient for me to get OUT of the boat, they should be enough to keep me walking.
Quick post:

People, please bug me to do a study about spiritual gifts/manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I've been hit on several fronts this past week to really dig deep into what the Word says about it (Link). Given the fact that I'm not quite getting school work done .. this'll be a challenge.

Aye, I need balance badly ...
Who's the famous one?

Its all about God's fame.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Yeah ... things are definitely a bit off today. Couldn't stay awake in chem .. went to my History discussion one hour early...

Well I can't say I didn't get the unusual today ... fell asleep in all my classes. Almost ran into a pole on my way out from lecture.
Man, I don't know what's wrong with me ... I got enough sleep last night .. but I've been dozy all morning. *shakes head* Freaking half-slept through all of chem lecture. C'mon wake up foo!
Haha ... I don't post forever and I then do the equivalent of a laying a FAT BRAINTURD out of no where.

It'd be a lot less nuts if I did this more regularly ;)
Oye. That's enough. Haha ... I should really re-read the entry I wrote about lies that I tell myself. Still telling them. *shakes head*

you said
come up here
come up now
my beloved

I haven't had a substantial entry in awhile ... that's for a variety of reasons. First, I've been relatively sticking to my non-chatting fast ... haven't really talked to anyone except out of necessity. My original intentions for doing that was because I wanted more human interaction with other people, but I'm find that I'm just checking blogs more and spending more time doing work. The result has been a relative "detachment" from a lot of things. Its just easier to deal with God ... but I know I'm out of God's will on this one. He hasn't called me to an island ...

In any case, its been interesting having a detached view of people blogging ... not so much about the mundane, but venting about others knowing that those people will read what you have written. I guess, it challenged me to why I have a blogger in the first place.

I think its comforting being able to think aloud with an audience in mind. I know my blog started out catering to a specific audience ... friends whom I trusted, brothers and sisters whom I desired to share my life with . Given my schedule and inability to spend time everyone I want to spend with .. this was a means of getting out what was going on with my life. In the past month or so .. my Xanga reading list has grown by at least 10 members. People, that I'm not sure I even know to well .. but hey! Its a xanga to keep track of. Kind of sad really.

In any case, I'm still not sure what I want to do with this ... I think there's importance in talking about the mundane ... I think God meets us in the valleys as well as the mountains of life. For now ... this'll be a place where I'll unwind after the day is done. Or writing a letter to a bunch of people I know ... :)

Back to the original point, I haven't blogged for a variety of reasons. Mainly because I just haven't felt like it .. a bit on the antisocial side. I've been alright though. There have been some low, lows and very high highs .. which averages out to alright .. but I think I have a joy that is real, one that has been blown at in every direction. But amidst the blurriness, God has shone through. It seems every night, I just have to praise God for coming through. And why not? He has in everyway. He has answered my prayers in tangible ways. It really feels like I'im praying the will of God this season, the result is that I'm seeing a lot of answered prayers. "The prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective." It was interesting, because I was actually thinking that today .. that somehow, my righteousness has had something to do with everything that has happened in the last two months ... and I just got spiritually smacked upside the head. Hah. MY RIGHTEOUSNESS? Man, that's got to be an oxymoron ... no, I have been MADE righteousness before God by the blood of the Lamb. I have been righteousness in Christ, that I may approach the throne with confidence. Nothing that I have said, nothing I have DONE has made me worthy to accept what has happened in my life.

I've been somewhat consumed with promoting The Call as of late ... and its been interesting. In so many ways, I was just tossed into the fire... but God's provided more than I coudl have ever asked or imagined. Hehe, I guess this kind of "fantasy" of me being The Call point-man at UCSD ... has been blown to bits so many times. Which is an awesome thing really .. God's repeatedly humbled me to keep me recognizing that The Call is bigger than me, bigger than Crusade or Harvest, bigger even than UCSD, bigger than Calfiornia. The Call is about God. Its about us as a generation starting a revolution of holiness. A revolution, a recognition that without Jah, nothing. About God turning the hearts of his people back to Him. Man, I'm just praying that I catch that vision, that raw passion right now. God, that the love that You have for the Son would be manifested in me.

I think we as a church have been just so caught up in petty things ... don't sweat petty things and don't pet sweaty things right? Aye. We get caught up in our own soap operas, our own agendas, our own issues with ourselves, our issues with others, we even get caught up in serving God. I think we still fail to realize the lesson of Martha and Mary. We're busy doing things for God, we point our fingers at fellow brothers and sisters, and we've spiritually flatlined. And we don't know what happened. We have NEGLECTED to sit at the feet of God. *sigh* Its tough, no doubt ... its something that I constantly struggle with ... I can't be quiet long enough to even hear what the heck God is saying to me. Freaking moo (where did this come from). I feel that in SPITE of everything, I'm still flatlined. Lukewarm.

Its getting late ...

oh God, let me cease to strive for the things of men, let me cease to strive for the things of this world. God, let me, oh God let me strive after you, not after the things of you, but strive after you. Oh God, there's a huge hole in my life which is waiting to be filled .. and Lord I can't fill it completely with good fellowship, friends, relationships, or money. That those things fall short. I'm frustrated that I don't have what the Psalmist described as the "deer panteth for the water," that I don't have PASSION. I'm so freaking mechanical. GOD I'M SICK OF SETTLING FOR FREAKING LESS THAN YOUR ABUNDANT LIFE. Lord ... I just want your peace .. no, not just that ... I just want You, I just want You. Freaking MOO, God. Haha, I'm so frustrated Lord ... and I realize that I'm not frustrated with You ... I'm frustrated with me, and everything that is me. I'm frustrated that I fall short ... just come and shake this place. God just shake what can be shaken. Break what needs to be broken, humble what is prideful, take all that is not of you and replace it with everything that is You. Aiyah, God ... don't let me get in the way of you ...

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Ok I apologize for the lack of original material. Hopefully I'll post something that a) is not whiny b) is relevant and c) and is of bare-minimum interesting. But yeah .. we can hope right? :) Here's an interview with Switchfoot's Jon Foreman ... kind of a slice of how he thinks .. .and why I love Switchfoot.

Switchfoot will release their major-label debut The Beautiful Letdown Feb. 25 thanks to a recent deal with Columbia Records. The album is the follow-up to the band�s 2001 Grammy-nominated Learning to Breathe. After a morning surf, I sat down with Switchfoot front man Jon Foreman at his home in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif., to discuss the Columbia deal and the new album.

[RELEVANT magazine:] How will things change with Columbia and the new album?

[JON FOREMAN:] � [We have] the idea that �Okay, we truly think these songs are special and that they�ve been given to us. And we want to be a good steward of these gifts. Where do these songs belong?� And so, with Columbia we feel like we have the opportunity to play them in venues that would not be open to us with Sparrow [Switchfoot�s Christian label]. We�ve always said that our songs are for thinking people, and that�s people in the church and outside the church. Many times outside the church �

It all started when we got this email on our [] discussion board. This guy was like, �I totally respect your music. I really relate to what you�re singing about and the searching lyrics that you have about spirituality, but I went to a show, and the atmosphere was so, basically, so heavily �Christian� that I couldn�t get into it. I don�t think I�ll come to another Switchfoot show.� And that was pretty heavy because, for someone to say that, they thought it through and they were totally offended. I think it wasn�t so much what we said or what we did on stage but people in the audience and the atmosphere and the other people that got up on stage before and after us. And this really challenged us because other people wrote in (to the discussion board) saying they felt that way at our shows and it was like, �Wow. Are we so inside our little bubble that we are completely unable to see how irrelevant we�re being?�

So we thought about it for a long time and prayed and went over who we are. We talked and argued and really just fought it out. We came up with two essential things that we want to be. We want to be represented by two catch phrases, one being �a revolution of being� and two that we want to be salt and light. And so the revolution of being entitles�they�re both very related�but the idea of transformation, regeneration, abundant life, truly living out what Christ was talking about. And then the second aspect�doing it in context, in culture, in darkness, where it�s needed. Not high up on a hill, unaffected, ineffective �

There�s no easy way to say, �We�re just going to be a Christian band.� Okay, well how do you do that? What defines that? Let�s talk about that. I met a girl at a show who said she collected guitar picks from Christian bands. I said, �Oh really, what�s a Christian band?� She didn�t know. So that�s a good question. �Maybe you should think about it and I�ll give you a guitar pick once you figure it out.� I didn�t say that, but I kept asking her, �What�s a Christian band? What�s a Christian band?�

I think that the more we can try and figure out who we are in the body of Christ and not come up with our cultural world of �I only eat Christian cereal and buy Christian products and use Christian shampoo.� Pretty soon, you�ve surrounded yourself with this Christian ghetto. You�re completely free from the chains of Christ. Buying Christian products doesn�t make you a Christian anymore than going to church. It�s easy to get sucked into that thinking of �I went to a Cristian festival. That means I�m Christ-like.� No. Actually, those people make money, too, and maybe they don�t do it in the most ethical way. Is that �Christian�?

So we have all these questions, and ultimately, the individual has to look God in the eyes and say, �Hey, this is how I live my life.� That�s what we�re trying to do as a band.

[RM:] What�s Columbia�s take on Switchfoot? Do they see you as a Christian band or simply a band?

[JF:] They didn�t sign us because we�re a Christian band. They signed us because they love the music. And I really appreciate that because I feel like, if you�re doing anything well, if you�re a good architect, you�re going to be creating your work excellently. If you are a good artist, not every piece you do has to be a crucifix. You�re going to be creating work excellently. And I feel like as a guitar player, as a songwriter, as a singer, I want to be doing what I do excellently. I want to have well-crafted songs. That�s why Columbia signed us �

[RM:] Do you want to talk about the new album [The Beautiful Letdown]? Where does the title come from?

[JF:] It�s the idea that, okay, the beautiful letdown. Everything in our lives will fail us. Everything is moving towards disorder. That�s the second law of thermodynamics, the idea that [picks up a plate] if I fool around with this plate long enough, it�s going to break. In the same way, the more I am involved with various aspects of this world, they�re going to fail me. People will forget to call me back. I might accidentally step on your toe. I might make the food a little to hot. Things will happen.

But all those letdowns are redemptive and beautiful when they show us the fact that that is not where our hope is to be. When we realize that all these things fail us, then we are forced to seek a truth that will not fail us. And that�s what the beautiful letdown is about �

We want to be coming to the very bottom of human existence and the pain and the suffering and the things that all of us go through, hopefully only from time to time. We want to come to the very bottom and see that even there, there is a light that�s shining, one that the darkness has not understood. That�s what I hope this album is.

SOURCE: Q&A with Jon Foreman, Relevant Magazine

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Cause you're on fire when He's near you
You're on fire when He speaks ....

Jon Foreman on the new album:
"The letdown is the idea that your hands are ripped away from all the things that the earth has established. Sometimes, your fingers are torn off in the process. When all those things are stripped away and all that remains is who you truly are, that's where the kingdom of heaven lives. [Christ] didn't come for the people who have their hands on the money. He didn't come for the people who didn't need a doctor. He came for the sick, the poor, the broken, the losers, and the ugly jerks. He came for you and me, and that act is basically the beautiful letdown."

"It�s the idea that, okay, the beautiful letdown. Everything in our lives will fail us. Everything is moving towards disorder. That�s the second law of thermodynamics, the idea that [picks up a plate] if I fool around with this plate long enough, it�s going to break. In the same way, the more I am involved with various aspects of this world, they�re going to fail me. People will forget to call me back. I might accidentally step on your toe. I might make the food a little to hot. Things will happen.

But all those letdowns are redemptive and beautiful when they show us the fact that that is not where our hope is to be. When we realize that all these things fail us, then we are forced to seek a truth that will not fail us. And that�s what the beautiful letdown is about �

We want to be coming to the very bottom of human existence and the pain and the suffering and the things that all of us go through, hopefully only from time to time. We want to come to the very bottom and see that even there, there is a light that�s shining, one that the darkness has not understood. That�s what I hope this album is."

this is your life
are you who you want to be
this is your life
are you who you want to be
this is your life
is it everything you've dreamed it would be
when the world was younger
and you had everything to lose

More Switchfoot Goodness (The stream kind of sucks .. I had to buffer a gazzillion times ... but its better than the 30 second clips on grassroots).

Friday, January 17, 2003

"The prayer of a righteousness man is powerful and effective."

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Continuing the trend of less than three line entries ..I'm starting realize why God allowed me to enjoy break so much. Because he knew how hectic this quarter would be. Lord, just let me breathe and rest in You.


Tuesday, January 14, 2003

At this moment, I really dislike being a programmer.

Monday, January 13, 2003

"I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:26

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Friday, January 10, 2003

Hmm .. an interesting article.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Miller H: Ambivalence
Holly Miller
Jan 10, 2003

Received via: "AP List"

By Holly Miller
Dec 27, 2002


I am the natural mother of two, a spiritual mother to a number of young men and women, and I've had the privilege of being midwife to three natural children not my own. In these last days of 2002, the Lord has been prophetically quickening these birth experiences to my spirit. The first two births were unwed mothers in their early 20's. The fathers were no longer in the picture, and they were frightened of going through this experience alone. The contrast between these two births was so crass that it's made me ponder the significance of its spiritual parallels.

The first mother, a university student, was not at all sure at first that she wanted to keep this child, who was an "accident" conceived through a brief relationship which had since dissolved. In fact, L. seriously considered abortion, but waited too long to decide- and after she felt the baby move in her for the first time, could not go through with it. L.'s next option was giving the baby up for adoption. What changed her mind was going to the state adoption agency and hearing the clerk exclaim with joy over the prospect of finally getting a baby whose mother was neither infected with a STD nor drug-addicted. This shocked L. so much that she started seriously thinking about the life growing within her and feeling responsible for it. We'd been low-level evangelizing L., who lived in our apaprtment building, and one day she poured out her story to me and could hardly believe it when I offered spontaneously to coach her in Lamaze and be her midwife. We met weekly and did breathing and stretching exercises. She stayed healthy and mobile, and from the back didn't look pregnant at all. When the time came, L. worked hard. She'd grown to love the little life within her and wanted to have this baby, although there were great uncertainties about what her life would now look like. She'd also begun reading the Gospel of John with us and exploring the idea of faith in Jesus. The birth was strenuous but successful, and so was her conversion. The little girl she'd wanted was born healthy, and L. became a Christian.

The second mother was a different story. The word that seemed to describe her condition best was "ambivalence". A. got pregnant by an older man with whom she later broke off relationship, upon advice of her Christian friends. She denied her pregnancy, even to herself, until she was well along, and then panicked. A. was a fairly new Christian, but also ambivalent about trusting God. When I offered the same to A. as to L., she was grateful for the offer of midwifery, but it turned out she was still denying the basis facts and did not want to practice for the birth. The literature I gave her remained unread. She said it only caused her to fear. A. decided to keep her baby mostly out of a sense of Christian duty. She'd created this life, and now she was required to care for it. But I never felt she really developed a positive relationship to the baby growing within her. Her pregnancy was physically uncomfortable and annoying to her. When it came time for the baby to be born, A. was still ambivalent, but it was now too late to start learning the things that would have helped her and made the birth easier. During most of labor, her constant question was: How long will this go on? You mean, it gets WORSE?! At one point late in delivery, the baby's head became almost stuck behind the cervix. Normally in this situation, a few good strong pushes will deal with it and the baby pops out fairly quickly. But when A. pushed, it hurt her more, so she refused to push. Every time the baby would get that far, she'd say: Oh, it hurts too much to push! and would fight against the natural impulse to do so. For this reason, the delivery of A.'s baby boy took a good half-hour longer than would have been necessary- a half-hour of intense pain. When A. finally realized there was no escaping this, her face looked almost like a cornered wild animal. She finally bit the bullet and pushed with all her might, and her little boy was born. But A. was so exhausted (and so ambivalent) she didn't even care much about holding him, the cause of her pain, after he was born.

I see parallels to our life with God. At some point along the way, we got intimate with him and he made us pregnant with his purposes. Maybe he came upon us in great power. Maybe we spent hours with him on the carpet or in the privacy of our own homes, and he filled us with his presence. But perhaps nothing much has happened for awhile, except that now our condition has become stretched and uncomfortable. It chafes. Nothing seems to fit right anymore.

How we subjectively experience our pregnancy -the time between the conception and birthing of what was conceived- will have almost everything to do with our whole-hearted acceptance of and receptivity to this Life that he's placed within us. If we are ambivalent regarding its existence in us and its purposes, if we aren't sure we can trust the father, or if we greatly fear the pain that will bring it forth, we will experience pregnancy as a time of restriction and frustration. If we are joyfully looking forward to finally seeing with our eyes the manifestation of what has been growing within us, and count the birthing process as simply part of the price worth paying for it, we will experience pregnancy primarily as a positive, anticipatory phase.

I believe God is saying that some of us are in a place of ambivalence in our life with him. We've been intimate with him, and he has planted his seed in us, but we're now at the point where the pregnancy is getting irksome. Maybe my back aches, or my feet, or I can't fit behind the wheel of the car...I've been waiting so long already. The promises and professions of love seem so long ago and far away. I'm getting tired of this, and sometimes wish that I could just go back to "normal" life. In spiritual, as in physical birth, there is no turning back- aside from spontaneous or intentional abortion. There is no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant"! Once I am pregnant, that Life is growing inevitably within me until the day when it MUST emerge. Once it starts to come, no power can hold it back. Once that baby is born, my life can never, ever be the same.

The question I believe God is challenging us with this year is: Will you put aside whatever ambivalence is in your heart, and push? Will you push through --even when it hurts more? Will you, like Jesus, suffer whatever pain is required for the sake of the joy set before you? Will you focus on that joy and count it all worthwhile, for the sake of my purposes coming forth in the earth, through you? Will you see your time of gestation as a joyful anticipation, and practice breathing the air of the Kingdom now, so you'll be prepared when the time comes? And will you utterly trust the Father?

Lord, give us the grace to see the ambivalence of our hearts, and rid ourselves of every trace- so we can be co-laborers with you in bringing forth the fruit of your kingdom in this coming year. Help us embrace what you bring to birth through us, and nurture it to full growth and maturity. Give us the eyes to see what you are birthing in others, and to be birth assistants for our brothers and sisters in your kingdom. And in the meantime, Lord, give us the grace to stay in that place of joyful anticipation. We want no ambivalence. We want to be able to say, from a whole heart: I receive this child, whatever it may be; because you are the Father of lights, and every good and perfect gift comes from you.

Holly Miller
Graz, Austria
*coughing fit*

Here's some linkage to some good music (from a person here now referred to as "Big Man Steve"): Jonathan Hartsaw

Great lyrics and good moosic. Have a great day peoples.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

One thing I thought I would never hear:

"Have you gained weight?"

Yeah. That's guh-rate!
I wish I could put a finger on why I feel so funky at night. I have a good suspicion its some form of allergies, the cold, and whatever. In any case, feeling crappy and praying that God'll take care of it soon. Don't worry peoples :) just appreciate some prayers headed this way. I'm not feeling depressed or suicidal or lonely ... just in a funk. And I don't want to drug up.

Monday, January 06, 2003

No deep blog tonight. Sorry disappoint y'all who were waiting for it (all zero of you).

Gonna go chill with God and then get some rest ... it seems like its been a long day. On the bright side ... I've said $20 buying my textbooks from Score.

God, you are my shield and my very great reward. God I pray that I may have a passion for Jesus that You have for the Son. Lord I ask for life abundantly ... I ask for humility and perseverance. God I have much do this quarter. I don't want to end up being like Martha. Lord I want to be like Mary ... at your feet .. seeking your face. Help me to rest at Your feet Jesus. You said in Your word that I should not be afraid and to not be discouraged because You are with me always. Despite being sick, being bleh, being whatever God ... God you are my shield and my very great reward.
In an vain attempt to drive up hits to my blogger ... I hereby announce my temporary departure from the intensive chatting scene of AIM. No, that's not my real reason.

I got a lot on my mind ... I'm a little irritable ... so hopefully I'll be able to blog all this tonight. In any case, I need to do a bunch of random stuff .. we'll see if I get to it.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Sometimes I'm too rational to own detriment ... don't understand it how people can get irrational when they're upset and whatnot. Haha ... DUH of course people get irrational when they're upset. *sigh* gotta learn :). I just gotta shuttup and listen sometimes ....

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Well amidst somewhat random circumstances ... I believe I will be bringing down a second computer this quarter.

Superfluous? Probably. Cool? Definitely.

Our room will consist of 3 desktop PCs and a laptop. Since I'm a nerd, I think the second box'll be penguin powered, Linux style.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Haha ... after I watched My Sassy Girl with my parentals and siblings ... (this was a while ago) ... me and my mom started joking about how the tonality and pronunciation of Korean conveys so much emotion. LOL ... I want to learn how to be frustrated in Korean .... ;)

Oh and french? French is just beautiful ... just because, like. ... yeah. Praying in french :)

Seigneur ce sior je veux te lever plus haut
Saint-Esprit, viens, danse avec nous
Jesus, mon Jesus, je t'aime
Wow Mission peak was great ... I'm finding that I like the outdoors a lot more than I previously thought. Chris, Mike, and I ... (because Steve's a bum, K2's a bum (a legitimate bum), Jenny and Val are too far, and Jen Han's a chicken (yes, we have a grudge against her. note: its a we. not i.) were feeling a bit adventurous and decided to go off the beaten path. Ehehehee.... that was great. We took a shortcut straight up the ridge of the mountain, which was pretty steep to say the least. But yeah, we clambered up straight up and then got back on the main trail. Along the way, the view was pretty excellent .. but the top was awesome. The amount of clouds was substantial though .. that got in the way of the view. Not to mention it was FREEZING ... man my hands were half-frozen when we decided to go back down. It took us about 2 hours to get there. It might have been even better if all of us were in better shape .. but its all good. In any case, yeah .. Mission Peak was quite excellent. Sorry you other guys couldn't make it. :)

On a random note ... I want to read the Chronicles of Narnia again. That is all.