Monday, March 31, 2003

Spring break was okay. I realized how I really squandered an opportunity to catch up with old friends and to keep in touch with God. And that's never a good feeling. I literally just wasted the five days I had ... relaxation without God is just laziness. I felt horrible on Sunday, frantically trying to meet up with people whom I should have really called earlier. I think the thing that hit me the most was that in high school I desperately wanted to avoid the habit of many of just losing touch of the friendships from high school. Granted you can't keep in touch with everyone, but I can see now I've become the very person I hated the most. It's discouraging and angering that more often than not, I am reluctant to call someone a friend not so much because of something they've done, but because of what I have not done and how I've fallen short.

Suffice to say I felt pretty bad packing up on Sunday .... thank God for Switchfoot though:

Dare You To Move
>> Welcome to the planet / Welcome to existence / Everyone's here / Everyone's watching you now / Everybody waits for you now / What happens next?
>> I dare you to move / I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor / I dare you to move / Like today never happened / Today never happened before / Welcome to the fallout / Welcome to resistance / The tension is here / Between who you are and who you could be / Between how it is and how it should be
>> Maybe redemption has stories to tell / Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell / Where can you run to escape from yourself? / Where you gonna go? / Where you gonna go? / Salvation is here

Learning to Breathe
>> Hello, good morning, how you do? / What makes your rising sun so new? / I could use a fresh beginning too / All of my regrets are nothing new
>> So this is the way that I say I need You / This is the way, this is the way that I'm
>> Learning to Breathe / I'm learning to crawl / I'm finding that You and You alone can break my fall / I'm living again, awake and alive / I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies
>> Hello, good morning, how you been? / Yesterday left my head kicked in / I never never thought that I would fall like that / Never knew that i could hurt his bad

You Already Take Me There
>> When all I have is on the floor divided, divided / When I�m a world away from peace / Behind Your eyes is where I know I�ll find it, I�ll find it / 'Cause who You are defines my dreams
>> You already take me there / You already take me there / You already take me there / Heaven in the here and now
>> When I�m a broken-hearted man complacent and tired / When I�ve been knocked out of the race / I've been a fool for long enough to fight it, to fight it / It's in Your arms I find my place
>> You already take me there / You already take me there / You already take me there / Heaven in the here and now
>> You meet me where I am / Forgive me where I am / Where I lose myself in grace / Where I�m lost and found / I wanna lose myself in grace / Let your love reign down all over me / Cover me

I know for most of my life I've just been a Pharisee, a legalistic Christian pretending not to point any fingers of condemnation ... showing no compassion, no grace, and no forgiveness to others ... that I am a man with weaknesses far as eyes can see ... the usually the relationships I experience the most hurt in are the ones which I sabotage myself ... that I am in over my head with pride, with confidence in myself and my abilities. I dunno, listening to Switchfoot doesn't absolve the wrongs I've committed, nor does it change the reality of my inactions, and it certainly doesn't fade or blot out the reality of my nature ... but there is grace and there is redemption. I have two choices: to either wallow in my struggles and my flesh ... or to get up again and to clothe myself with Christ. The blood of Christ dares us to move again .... we have never deserved the blessings we receive ... in fact we deserve much worse. But His blood was sufficient for Him to press "delete" on all my sins ... to erase all memory of the wrongs I commit. Yeah, I deal with the consequences .. but He gives me grace to overcome.

I find that I'm not so much looking for comfort. I think I'm selling myself and God short if I just want comfort... but I want change. I want to be changed so that I am not the same. I want people to see in my the grace of Christ, the blood of Christ changing me! I want the full measure of Christ! I want to be love, I want to be grace, I want to be humility, I want to be encouragement, I want to be faith!

Such is the attitude I enter in this new quarter. Some thoughts, a new vision for this quarter:

To be a man of integrity, to have a grace which defies logic, a love which transcends all barriers, a faith which moves the heavens, and the humility which seeks glory only for God.

I'm standing here until you make me move / I'm hanging by a moment here with you / Forgetting all I'm lacking / Completely and complete / I'll take your invitation / You take all of me (Hanging by a Moment, Lifehouse)

That the love of Christ would compel me in all things, whereas it would be in the social, academic, or working spheres. Its "instinctive" to do things on my own strength, on my own perogative, on my own schedule ... it's time to stand until He makes me move.

...our santification does not depend as much as changing our activities as it does on doing them for God rather than for ourselves. (The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence)

A mentality shift. I refuse to lust with my eyes because I desire to see my sisters as God sees them. I don't want to be obsessed with my studies because my God is bigger than just knowledge. I no longer want to get into any type of relationship for my benefit, but to remain faithful to my wife (where ever she is), to be faithful to the love of Christ.
It's been a long road back ...

Friday, March 28, 2003

I'm convinced that whether its intentionally or unintentionally ... my goal in life is to fall flat on my face :)

It's great really ... after all, my nose is too big and my head really could use a dent to improve its appearance. Not that appearance matters anyway if I'm always falling on my face.

In any case, don't mind me ... I'll just be over here falling flat on my face and jacking up whatever I can touch :).

-- This here news brought to you by your local "REALITY CHECK: THE HUMAN CONDITION" station, stayed tuned for the scheduled fantasy programming.

You're a freaking retard. Yes let the "woe-is-me" soundtrack start now. >_<

Thursday, March 27, 2003

I find that if I post anything on my xanga I'll get a gazzillion comments. Dang ... xanga-culture. Post anything here .. and I have to try to handle this weird commenting system which doesn't even let me know when and where people comment. *shrugs*

I'm home :) And it feels great to be back! Man oh man I missed doing nothing ... My flight arrived 8:30 this morning ... I couldn't sleep much the last couple hours of the flight because I just so excited just thinking about the prospect of just relaxing. Hehe ... so that's been cool. I spent most of today grabbing precious family-time and me-time. The computers are being taken care of and tweaked to my heart's desire ... bugging the little brother and sister ... joking with parentals and ch'laxing ... watching HK movie (infernal affairs ... good stuff).

On a random note, I think its good that I'm off AIM. Yes, I recognize that being off AIM is conducive to my anti-social tendencies (you have no idea how much so) ... but its a good break. Trying to avoid checking blogs too (just for this week anyway ... I really shouldn't check so regularly as it is .... and I figure most people don't post anything really substantial during break anyway ... they're out having fun! :))

I'm thinking more.

Yesterday morning ... err ... it was in HK ... so like .. two mornings ago?! Anyway, it was pretty sweet ... I woke up @ 5 AM voluntarily (kind of) ... and ended up doing devos and just thinking for two hours or so. I felt much peace afterwards. For once, I think its best that I don't share publicly what was discussed between God and I (hah ... sounds like a business meeting :)) ... but if you HAVE to know (i.e. if you're noisy like that), you know how to reach me.

In any case, I plan to stop pretending I'm still in HK tomorrow :). (I told everyone I'd be back Wednesday ... I didn't say when though ... hehe) Some people that I miss much and must catch up on what's been happening. I've also been reading quite a lot .. I think I'm up to like 4 books right now ... it might hit 6 by the end of break. Score ... I love reading. Uhrm ... that's it for now ... more empty musings later ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Well ... I decided to check my CSE 30 score ... it looks like I did pretty well on the final. I ranked 43 in the class with a 95% ... 201 out of 212 ... the median was 90. It raised my grade 10%! ... but since I started out at 76% .. that doesn't help much. So I have an 86% in the class .. a C seems pretty likely with the high curve. I'm ranked 83 out of 131.

>_< ... ouch ... I knew I should have tried harder on the quizzes and midterm.

oh well God's still good. He gives grace to his children. :)
Quick update ...

I really recommend reading Phillip Yancey's "What So Amazing About Grace." I happened to run across the book at my aunt's yesterday ... its a quick read, I finished it this morning. But yeah, I haven't read such a mentality changing book since Jack Deere's "Surprised by the Holy Spirit" ... a lot of times we don't realize that the crux of Christianity is the gift of grace ... and it is the grace of God and the grace we extend to others to really sets Christianity apart from others. I find that I am more caught up in legalism and doing the "right thing" than extending grace to my neighbors, family, and brothers/sisters in Christ.

In any case, its 8ish in HK ... I will be leaving for the US tomorrow morning @ 1 PM and arriving around 8ish @ SFO.

Perhaps will blog more laters. God Bless y'all.

Monday, March 24, 2003

The Hong Kong Diaries:
Well its been one day since I've set foot on this god-forsaken island of Hong Kong ... and I think its about time someone get me out of here ... Ok ok .. I'm just kidding. :)

Its actually been a day of quite excessive pleasantness. I really can't complain much with how everything's been going. The trip started out with quite a rush ... I went to sleep @ 3 AM the night before my flight ... and because I didn't crank my phone to "Loud" ... I didn't hear my alarm at all for an entire hour ... which resulted in my ride coming into the apartment to poink me awake. Yes, I was pretty embarassed. In any case, I got my act together in about 10 minutes and off to the San Diego airport we went. Since my flight was for 9:15, I thought it'd be a pretty good idea for me to get there two hours before. What I didn't realize was that because I was changing flights in LA, my trip would be considered domestic and subsequently did not require me to be there two hours before departure (more like one). Boo. Either way, I feel bad for making my ride wake me and haul me to the airport so early .. esp. when all of that could have been avoided. And life goes on. >_<

So... the next gazillion hours (it seemed that way) were spent either waiting for an airplane, getting on an airplane, sitting on airplane, or getting off an airplane. The actual flight to LAX was only 30 mins ... but everything before and after took a total of 2 hours or so. I then waited for about 30 minutes to board my flight to HK. The flight was 10 hours, with a stopover in Tokyo, Japan. I wasn't planning to sleep much, but with the four hours I got before flying and all winter quarter's sleep depravation to catch up on ... I was out pretty fast. Hehe, now that I think about it ... with me waking up only when the food and drinks came around, most of my recollections consist of me eating. The latter portion of the flight I finally stopped sleeping ... it was then I started realizing that the movies were quite painfully horrible and all the flight attendants were grumpy. *shrugs* In any case, I finished one book before we arrived in Tokyo.

The stopover was largely uneventful (thankfully). I spent the two hours journaling some thoughts and reading a book ... it was relaxing. I napped for like 20 minutes somewhere in there. We finally boarded the plane around 7ish at night ...

The second leg of my journey was similar to the first ... definitely more sleeping though. I finished up my second book and crashed hard ... waking only for food and drinks. After four hours, we arrived in HK around 11:30 PM HK time.

I stayed the night at my Aunt Enid's place ... about 20 minutes away from the airport via the shuttle. Which brings us to today. Despite only getting 6 hours of sleep, I felt pretty refreshed when I woke up this morning. Several relatives called to check on me, and then I left with Aunt Kay to go to my grandparents' place around 10 or so. Today has been pretty relaxing so far. Weather is a lot cooler than I thought it'd be ... with minimal to no humidity (HECK YA). I ate dim sum for lunch ... which is always great considering San Diego is completely devoid of any good Chinese food. Anyway, I also got a haircut (sorry Patty, couldn't wait) ... man, I must say that getting my haircut in HK was quite the experience. Let me just say that a) barbers here have much more mad skills when it comes to cutting hair ... barely any work with the razors ... just scissors and a comb ... color me impressed. b) i never knew how sensual and relaxing a hair wash could be. daaaaaaang ... yea yea ... muchos recommendations. c) i never get the same hair cut .. looks different everytime.

Okie dokes, I think I've bored myself (and you, the gracious reader) with my recollections of recent activities. Signing out for now ...
Some words from the wise:

I was wandering amongst the brainfarts on the web and i tripped and smashed my face upon the ground at this: "I don't think we're desperate enough, I don't think I'm desperate enough. I don't think I've hit rock bottom yet." my heart said this: "I agree with you in part.. but ill just fart a little now.. i believe that absolute desparation does not birth itself from our actions.. But rather, its a responce to seeing Gods face.. His True Face.. then we can see that in comparison, we are by His nature at rock bottom.. its not that we haven't hit rock bottom yet, but that we haven't realized how infinitely tops God is.. and acknowledged that mankind is at what we call rock bottom.. or else we would give up everything at the value of Jesus.. Matthew 13:44-46.. God bless you."

Matthew 13
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

If the Kingdom of God is this precious, how much more "valueable" is God himself? He is so valueable that even if we sold everything we had and worked at home depot for 20 years ($20/hr),we would still not have enough to purchase such a beautiful pearl. He, Himself is so awesome that I can't not sell everything. It's not a matter of selfishness or desires of the heart.. but its a matter of give to God what He deserves.. Its His grace that pays what we cannot.. Just the very tip of his love is all this.. He is the infinitely great God.. So is Jesus calling us to sell everything? To give up everything entirely for Him.. I dont think so.. I think he wants us to see this treasure.. He wants us to see Him.. and when we truely do see it.. In our joy we'll give up everything.. The key is to seek Him first.. You must find the treasure and then respond.. and not respond in order to find treasure.. it cant work that way.. we've cheapened His grace, love, glory........ the merchant had enough faith the sell everything he had at once.. but im still selling it little by little (i'm ignorant to what i haven't sold yet) and i realize.. the value this treasure to me increases with everything i sell.. i want to just understand its true, infinite value.. but i want to see it.

There are times when the sheer deepness and vastness of this God of ours completes blows my mind away. I mean, it should always blow my mind away :) ... but the times I finally remember to take my eyes off myself and look in the being of this Savior, wow. A fellow brother, whom I am very priviledged to know, wrote the above in response to my statement regarding my lack of desperation in the previous entry. Definitely hit the nail on the head ...

My desperation is not wrought from anything I can do in and of myself. That is, I cannot create desperation. But yet, we need to be at that place ... we need to be at that point of utter hopelessness in ourselves, our abilities, and the ability of others to keep us afloat. It's the same paradox all over again, if I try to save my life .. I'll lose it. If I try to be desperate, I only become more dependent on myself. If I try ... it always comes back to me. What is desperation? Is it saying that I am not enough? Or is it recognizing the reality of God?

See its a fine line. It isn't sufficient to say that I fall short and that I suck and I, blah, blah, blah. That's just feeling sorry for myself. We're not going over anything new here people. The depravity and shortcomings of man, its written all over history. This is a given. So I suspect that needing God isn't about myself, and it isn't about my faults. I need God because He deserves it. The very character and person of God demands dependency on Him. I am commanded to love the Lord my God because He is Holy, not because I suck. And I give all of me to Him because I can give no less.

*pause* I think there's something more to this ... but I have to chew on it a bit. *scratches head* ... there needs to be a revolution in the way I understand God :)

Friday, March 21, 2003

Chris just left .. I'll be off in about ... 14 hours :). That's a lot of time to burn ...

Anyway, been doing a lot of serious thinking (as opposed to non-serious thinking .. which I do quite more often. ha.) ... and I must say that this quarter has been the fastest so far. It seems whenever you finally get a chance to sit and relax, life gradually moves faster. First it was a week, then a month, then 3 months, now it seems 6 months. I still remember when I came back to school in September, worrying about a lot of things and in eager anticipation of many more. And then here I am today, feeling as if I've just been "returned" after being sucked into another dimension of existence.

I'm going to Hong Kong for next four days of my break. I'm leaving Saturday morning and returning to the Bay Area on Wednesday morning. The purpose of the trip? Legal stuff :) I know I'm being vague .. I just don't really feel like detailing it at the moment. In any case, this'll be the first time I"m going to HK without my parents ... its a weird feeling. And as annoying as parentals and siblings can be, you still love them .. and their presence is one of stabilization and of comfort. This time, I'm on my own ... and I dunno. Its exciting ... yet a bit unnerving, a black void of unknown. I mean, I don't think anything bad is going to happen on this trip .. I fully expect it to be smooth sailing (right God? :)) ... but I dunno, its a new experience.

I'm praying that God really opens up the doors for some good conversation with my relatives. There's always been a language barrier ... its more acute now because I'm "all grown up." I had a little spat with my parentals earlier in the year about retaining my heritage ... its been resolved now, but I am definitely aware of my deficiences as far as speaking and understanding Chinese is concerned. And with all my cousins are my sister's age and younger ... its a bit difficult to find any kin which are my age which I can just talk to. You know how when you're in a conversation ... and you think of something to say .. you just say it. Whether its something witty, or just plain response to whatever subject matter, you just respond. Its weird with Chinese, Cantonese in my situation, where I think of a response ... and by the time I've figured out how to say it in Cantonese without butchering the language, we've moved onto a new topic. Definitely on the frustrating side of things.

So yeah, in light of those things ... I suppose you can understand if I'm not exactly thrilled with the prospect of going to HK. *shrugs* ... I am looking forward to it though. Its been a tough quarter/year .. but when is it not? God's challenged me on so many fronts ... and there are things that I am still wrestling with that I wasn't expecting to carry with me at this time and there are things which I am no longer concerned with, which seemed so precious 6 months ago. Change REALLY hurts ... but hurt begets perseverance and hope. And as I finish this quarter .... I know I've failed in many aspects of life ... name something, I've more than likely fallen short. But yeah, there is much to pray about, to meditate on ... I think with each successive quarter, I enter into a season of greater importance, of greater future importance ... that what I am sowing now has increasingly eternal consequences. Its a daunting feeling, I can feel it. Even now ... especially if I look to myself to fulfill those obligations, to meet these "goals."

Its showtime. I've gotten past the stage of dissatisfaction, the stage where there is the realization that everything I've done has fallen short. I've gotten past the stage of idealism, where I wax philosophical about what should be. And I've definitely gone through periods of inspiration, where dissatisfaction and ideals have driven me to action. But oh how they fail. How they fail fantastically! I dunno, I'm not sure where I am now. I don't really feel like talking about it ... talking often isn't for the listener, but for the speaker. We speak to the audience of self. And yes, I am still dissatisfied, even a bit disillusioned. So I suppose I'm in that place either before or after inspiration ... where the sunshine ends and the storm begins .. the place of trench of warfare .. where we just got to stick it out if we're going to make any progress.

Anyway, I suspect I'm just talking to myself right now :) I apologize you had to come with me this far (if you actually got this far ;)) .. .and yes, I was babbling. I'll try to produce something with more substance :).

So yes. I'm looking foward to my long flight to HK, where I can just reflect, medidate, think, and be quiet before the Audience of One. There's a lot of things to seek wisdom for, lots of choices to make. The spiritual tension, its building up ... guys, I pray that you would seek to finish this quarter strong ... to finish Spring Break strong. Is it any coincidence we're at war right now? There are things going on right now which are beyond what we can see, what we can comprehend ... but God will reveal these things to his children if they are willing to wait, to seek His face. I bless you guys that you would have that holy dissatisfaction which would move you to throw yourself at the feet of the Cross, to be moved to utter desperation.

I don't think we're desperate enough, I don't think I'm desperate enough.

I don't think I've hit rock bottom yet.
I'm finding that You and You alone can break my fall.

Monday, March 17, 2003

"The quality read, Your God is Too Safe, by Mark Buchanan, has revealed to me what Scripture attests to: God demands wild obedience. The book points to C.S. Lewis� profound statement about God in the Narnia Chronicles. When the children ask whether Aslan is safe, being the lion that he is, they are given the simple reply, �Of course he isn�t safe. But he�s good.� God�s not busy providing steady bank accounts, Volvos with driver, passenger and side airbags or an unwavering stock market. God�s main business is His appetite for His glory and His desire to make us holy. There can be nothing safe in doing this, and the safe god that we�ve replaced the true God with cannot comfort, change or renew us�only God can." -- Relevant Magazine, "The God Who Reigns/Rains
"you know what happens when you don't spend every single moment of your life walking right next to Jesus? you say, do, and think stupid things. and then you think, "dang. i'm a moron." but God shows grace anyway." -- christina young, a very very wise woman
Due to me finally realizing that God was kicking my butt, I will refrain from mentioning "the" CLICS girl ever again.

*shakes head* I should know better ... I apologize for the utter disrespect and lack of integrity.
Trying To Help -- Dennis Miller

All the rhetoric on whether or not we should go to war against Iraq has got my insane little brain spinning like a roulette wheel. I enjoy reading opinions from both sides but I have detected a hint of confusion from some of you. As I was reading the paper recently, Iwas reminded of the best advice someone ever gave me. He told me about the kiss method (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) So, with this as a theme, I'd like to apply this theory for those who don't quite get it. My hope is that we can simplify things a bit and recognize a few important facts.Here are 10 things to consider when voicing an opinion on this important issue:

1) Between President Bush and Saddam Hussein, Hussein is the bad guy.
2) If you have faith in the United Nations to do the right thing, keepthis in mind: they have Libya heading the committee on human rightsand Iraq heading the global disarmament committee. Do your own math here.
3) If you use google search and type in "French military victories,"your reply will be "did you mean French military defeats?"
4) If your only anti-war slogan is "no war for oil," sue your school district for allowing you to slip through the cracks and robbing you of the education you deserve.
5) Saddam and bin Laden will not seek United Nations approval beforethey try to kill us.
6) Despite common belief, Martin Sheen is not the president. He only plays one on TV.
7) Even if you are anti-war, you are still an "infidel!" and bin Ladenwants you dead, too
8) If you believe in a "vast right-wing conspiracy" but not in the danger that Hussein poses, quit hanging out with the Dell computer dude.
9) We are trying to liberate them. He is trying to kill us.
10) Whether you are for military action or against it, our young men and women overseas are fighting for us to defend our right to speakout. We all need to support them without reservation

In 48 hours, this nation is going to war ... as much as I feel Bush is justified in this war...I pray that this is in the right timing. There are spiritual implications in this war which will have far reaching consequences ... esp. as we enter in what was formally known as Babylon 2000 some odd years ago. Yeah, I wish there was a peaceful resolution ... and there is still hope for one. But, I think both sides can make arguments how they are right. We best be praying for our leadership and that God's will would be established on this earth.

Whether that will is pro or anti war ... does it really matter? I suspect its more an issue of "pay me now" vs. "pay me later." Either way there will be blood spilled in this conflict between the Western and Muslim worlds. (Is it Ishmael and Isaac all over again?)
And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've, I've never been so alive
And there's this burning
There is this burning
Where's the soul I want to know

-- Third Eye Blind's "Motorcycle Drive By"

Mmm ... I think Third Eye Blind is growing on me :)
Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me." -- Psalm 40:11-12

Psalms are a college student's best friend :). Keeping on pluggin' away ... spring break in sights! (Fleeting moment of optimism...;)
Uggggh... wow, I haven't felt so mentally spent in awhile. I think the last time I felt this way was when I tried to think about girls. Bwahahahaha ...

So, I stuck to my plan and did some hard core studyage today. And it was good studyage. After some uhm .. frantic scrambling for some plans .. Chris and I headed over to Giesel to attempt to get some studying done. We met up with Angela, Val, and Jenny ... and proceeded to find no spots available. Obviously right? We waltzed in around 3 o'clock on the Sunday before finals and expected to find a big table available. Hah! In any case, I gave Ed a call and asked him to give me a heads up if a table opened up @ CLICS. Ah .. but that was before we discovered the studyage goodness of Center Hall. Completely abandoned, doors wide open, and no distractions and Center Hall is an excellent location for studying. And study we did ...

It was good studying ... though I'm starting to be convinced that I study best w/o music (contrary to what I think is best for me). All of us decided to head over to Pho for dinner .. which was largely uneventful ... with the notable exception of the pronounced Vietnamese dubbed old school hip-hop (it just felt weird man ... like you totally get used to experiencing something in a given context ... and then place it in another context? bizarre...). Then .. back to Center for more studyage. Three hours of uninterrupted hard core studying. Ow.

Unfortunately, I am getting a bit more worried as I study more ... which I think is a good thing .. because it means I'm learning. In any case, I'm pretty wiped. I was actually studying quite intently .. so no extraneous thinking that often accompanies finals was done. I still aim to avoid CLICS for the rest of the week .. but we will see. Perhaps I'll try to drag more people who want to study (REALLY study .. not CLICS study ;) ... face it people .. you don't get studying done attempting to be social ... anti-socialness comes with hard-core studying!) to Center ... it actually is a bit lonely =P.

Hrm ... hope to study smarter and not harder ... but we shall see ...

I pray that God's grace may be extended upon all you guys during this week ... its a tough week .. and your emotions will be stretched all over the place. Resist the temptation to allow that to wreck your week. If we can say God is good day in and day out during the quarter .. how much more can we say so during finals?

DAY 7 - AIM status: Chatted actually quite a bit today. Although one was valid excuse ... other one was just me wanting to take a break =P. Ended up talking to Steph a bit online ... which is always a blessing because she's an awesome character :). In any case, still standing strong. No deep ponderances at the moment.

Song: Silence

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Song: Dishwalla - Once In A While

Well I wish I could say that I had overwhelming desire to take the blasted which-friend-are-you!? or the which-care-bear-are-you!? test ... but alas, there was no freaking INKLING OF DESIRE of wanting to do so. In fact, there was so much "no inkling of desire" that it has spilled over into "i-would-not-take-a-test-if-my-life-depended-on-it-so-please-stop-taking-those-blasted-things-or-someone-will-get-hurt." Yup.

Mm. Well I must say its been a fairly ch'laxing as far as finals week is concerned. Prayer meeting last night with Yvvonne's (yes, two of them), Sharon, Shaun, Tim, Dave, and Jeremy was certifiably amazing. I think I have forgotten what it means to taste and know that the Lord is good (hehe .. Israel Honey ...). Came home around 1:30ish ... crashed around 2 and slept 'til 12:30 today. Most I've slept in awhile. And then... didn't do much at all :). Worshipped a bit ... studied a bit ... ate a bit ... ran in the rain a bit (hehe :)) ... had good secret place time. All in all very ch'laxing. And yes, as it is inevitable with much studyage (mm nerney terminology) ... I was thinking. Usually thinking is bad, but that's because I forget to ponder with God.

That being said, I intend on putting on some gas and getting work done tomorrow :). Perhaps at CLICS. Now, I know I vowed not to step foot in CLICS during finals week .. but that was before I remembered that I can't study at home too effectively. So I will head over to CLICS and find a little cubby and get some hardcore reviewing done (four hours ... dinner ... another four hours .. 'tis the goal). Perhaps 3:food:3. Dunno, whatever works. I hope I can find a table for myself ... studying in groups is an impossibility (w/o earplugs / headphones) unless you're studying for the same subject.

'Tis been a peaceful day. Rain is definitely suh-weet. It's pouring now :)

Also, its been a week with much new music ... quite excellent new music I might add. Perhaps I'll post a new list of "CD's of Desire" sometime.

DAY 6 - AIM status: I've signed on like ... four times or something. Two time to help someone with programming (I failed ... boo) .. and the other times for various non-chatting reasons (yeah, I know what you're thinking .. how can you sign onto AIM w/o intending to chat ... believe me ... you can do it). How am I feeling? I dunno, most of this quarter has seen me sign on, put up an away message for the whole day and come home at night. So yeah, I guess there's been a minute increase of anti-social feelings and isolation. In any case, its been alright; I'd like to say that I miss talking to my friends in Norcal ... but because I haven't been keeping-in-touch as it is ... I really can't say that as a result of not being on AIM. Anyway, more as the fast continues.

Song: Ideal - Whatever

Saturday, March 15, 2003

It's raining :-D ...
"I exhort the body to not look at what people do to you, or the circumstances that surround your life, but at your reaction to it all. It is your reaction that the Lord is using to reveal the hidden things in your heart." -- Deborah Voetberg

Mm... doh =P
"i think that's sexist... i know so many guys who are like that, more than i know girls.

Posted By: a person 3/14/2003 10:25:19 PM"

Well then "a person" (who is obviously a girl ... unless you're a guy who has betrayed that male species!), could you not tell it was done in jest? hint hint? sense of humor? no? ... sexist? uh no? ... read my other entries on girls? uh you probably didn't?

Dude, if you're going to leave a comment like that .. at least be willing to stand behind it.

"A person." Gee. Weak-sauce.

(Edit: Blast online comunications and their inability to convey tone (well they can, its just that I can't do it effectively, which I suppose, means I should be saying "blast myself and my inability to convey tone in writing"). I am defending Relient K (and in the process defending myself); the reason why the song is funny because its blatantly generalized. Sarcasm people. They do have girlfriends.)

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Why Relient K is so rocking (Note: I encourage you to IM Quicksand83 and request a copy of this song before you read the lyrics. Highly enjoyable.):

We all know the girls that i am talking about
Well they are time bombs and they are ticking
And the only question's when they'll blow up
And they'll blow up
We know that without a doubt
Cause they're those girls,
Yeah, you know those girls that let their emotions get the best of them
And i've contrived some sort of a plan to help my fellow man

Let's get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
So we'll be tipped off to when they're ticked off
Cause we'll know just what they're thinking, just what they're thinking

She's so pretty but she doesnt always act that way
Her mood's swinging on the swing set almost everyday
She said to me that she's so happy its depressing
And all I said was someone get that girl a mood ring

If its drama you want then look no further
Theyre like the real world meets boy meets world meets days of our lives
And it just kills me how they get away with murder
They'll anger you then bat their eyes
Those pretty eyes that watch you sympathize

And i've contrived some sort of a plan to help my fellow man
Let's get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
So we'll be tipped off to when they're ticked off
Cause we'll know just what they're thinking, just what they're thinking

She's so pretty but she doesnt always act that way
Her mood's swinging on the swing set almost everyday
She said to me that she's so stressed out that its soothing
And all I said was someone get that girl a mood ring

'cuz when its black it means watch your back 'cuz you're probably
the last person in the world right now she wants to see
and when its blue that means you should call her up immediately
and ask her out because she'll most likely agree

'cuz when it's green it simply means she is really stressed
and when its clear it means she's completely emotion-less
that's all right i must confess

we all know the girls that i am talking about
she liked you wednesday but now its friday and she has to wash her hair
and it just figures that we'll never figure them out
well first she's jekyl and then she's hyde
at least she makes a lovely pair

mood ring oh mood ring oh tell me will you bring the key to unlock this mystery
of girls and their emotions play it back in slow motion
so i may understand the complex infrastructure known as the female mind

-- Relient K's "Mood Rings"
If you know what's good for you, you will click this link and purchase the new Relient K CD.

Relient K - two lefts don't make a right...but three do
I'm sitting here trying to post something .. but I really have nothing to say.

Try again later ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Words do not even begin to describe how difficult Job 31:1 was today.

Blargh .. beginning of spring ...

>> Ephesians 6:10-18 <<

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Why Derek Webb formally of Caedmon's Call is honest:
If you could love me as a wife
and for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I�d ever need
or is there more I�m looking for

and should I read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want

I am a whore I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
and I run down the aisle
and I run down the aisle
I�m a prodigal with no way home
but I put you on just like a ring of gold
and I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don�t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side

I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

Because money cannot buy
a husband�s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

-- "Wedding Dress"
I ran across Phil Joel's "Bring It On" today (again). I remember really wanting to get this album earlier this school year, but its still on the list. I dunno, he really knows how to capture the emotion of the moment, whether joy, happiness, or sadness ... all in a song. His first album really resonated with me ... even if it was somewhat excessively pop-py ... (ok it was REALLY pop ... ). In any case .. I just got this silly smile over my face when I listened to "All So Good" from the new album. Hehe ... Phil Joel's definitely pretty cool ...

From the bio:
- "Joel's spiritual gut check hit him one day two years ago playing guitar on the back porch of his Franklin, Tenn., home. "I wasn't doing anything bad, but I just didn't feel like I was doing anything right, either."
- "I began to see how I'd been ripped off, not by tragic failures we may see others fall by, but by the most simple of things, like attitudes and pride, things that made me take my life into my own hands." The attitude flew in the face of the image of the Christian he thought he was, and Joel knew it. "I was sort of sick of myself."
- "If people get anything from this music, I hope they will feel a hunger for the righteousness of God as I did-the crying out for God as David did, the very things that inspired him to write the Psalms.
"I hope they find the courage to simply say, "Here I am, Lord. Bring it on!"

Phil Joel
All So Good - Phil Joel

Thinking things over
What a crazy ride
You have blown my expectations
You are so very alive
Living in a time and a place
In the middle of the plans You made
As crazy as it truly seems
You far exceed my wildest dreams
I�ve got no room to complain
There�s never any room

It�s all so good
Carry me away
It�s all so good
Daily You amaze me
The things that You do
I will always be in awe of You
I will always be

Thinking things over
You really make me smile
You are more than a distant father figure
You are the unpredictable God
There is so much more now
There is so much more now
You�ll show us all if we let You
You�ll far exceed our wildest dreams
We�ve got no room to complain
There�s never any room

We all come into the world with nothing
We�re all gonna leave the same way
Everything is a gift from You
Without faith, hope, love
It�s a fool�s parade
We all come into the world with nothing
We�re all gonna leave the same

Ain�t got no reason to complain no, no, no, no, no
Grah! I so don't have the killer instinct to finish things off when I can ... must persevere, must be diligent, must finish strong! BLARGH!

�Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.� I Corinthians 9:25-27

Monday, March 10, 2003

My D-Group has been challenged to start fasting ... so, I'm going to ditch AIM until summer. Yup, no more until June. Also, gonna start cutting down on reading xangas and blogs. You wouldn't believe how much time has been wasted there. I know I've said that I don't want much TV as it is ..but I have been watching ... so .. no TV either.

Goal: Isaiah 58

1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [1] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD ,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

I know that most of the people who read are people I keep in semi-regular contact with ... so you want to reach me, IM me @ fo0tprintzcell to text my cell (it's free ... don't abuse it .. but feel free to send a message), email me at bblee"at" ... or reach me at my cell. I will be updating this more frequently though ...
Well its dead week ... things look like they'll be pretty clear from here on out ...

How have things been going? I'm not quite sure ... I'm no longer prepared to answer that question at length, because simply ... I don't know. The past couple weeks have been interesting to say the least ... I can't remember the last time I've felt so low. Not so much in the sense of depression ... but the acute awareness that I am tainting anything that I touch...

I think at some point in life, whether you're Christian or not, you say to yourself, "You know what, I'm alright ... I don't go drinking and doing drugs, I don't have sex, I study a lot, I have good, clean fun ... all in all, I think I'm okay of a person." See at that point, Christ's grace and forgiveness seems a bit frivolous ... no big things to worry about. I think I've hit that point a lot ... I get this spiritual superiority complex. In essence feeling that I don't need God, that I'd do just fine without Him. Of course, I probably won't say that outright; this complex isn't blatant ... more subtle, implicit in nature.

So I'm coasting along, things are going great, no problems whatsoever. And I kind of get the feeling that I've been spiritually standing still for awhile. So I press in ... and I realize that I'm out of touch. I'm not referring to the fleeting euphoric-feelings of the moment ... but in terms of just general sensing. A numbing of the spiritual senses. The radical viligante-like eradication of sin in my life has been replaced by a looser handle ... oh, watching that'll be fine ... just got to be careful. (what the heck does that mean ... isn't being careful, NOT watching it?) Eh well, she's been annoying all week, I'm just going to start ignoring her. Something on those lines ...

In any case, I digress, the point is .. the past week, God's been showing me the condition of my heart. And the fact remains that its pretty ugly in there. That, above all .. there's still a lot of pride, lust, arrogance, bitterness, and hurt. That everything is not okay. And see, I'm praying for all revival, for God to move ... but its asking God to fill old skin with new wine ... or to fill new wineskins with old wine. It simply doesn't work.

So yeah, I'm doing alright ... things aren't always pretty when it comes down to this .. but its a necessity, and I welcome it. The more I think about it, I realize that I've been trying to get ahead, to move ahead .. when I simply haven't been ready. *shrugs*

And I'm so filthy with my sin
I carry pride like a disease
You know I'm stubborn God and I'm longing
to be close
You burn me deeper than I know
I feel lonely without hope
I feel desperate without vision
You wrap around me like a winter coat
You come and free me like a bird
And my heart burns for you
Building your life is a lot like building a boat. The larger the vessel you set out to build, the steadier and more constant your course will be. To build it right, it will take much effort, planning and resources in the beginning, but once realized, it�ll be steady through the greatest of storms, and can leave from port for months at a time.

With a large ship, it�s also much harder to change course at will. To keep things from flying off of the deck and upsetting your cargo, you have to plan ahead. You may have to wait until you�re in broader waters, taking time to slow your engines, plot your bearings, and coordinate a change of direction.

On the other hand, if you choose to remain in a smaller, more agile vessel, you will have the luxury of being able to turn on a whim. You can weave in and out of rivers and streams whenever the moment strikes. But you won�t be able to sail the deeper waters of the oceans, you might easily capsize in the wakes of others, and you may find yourself without refuge or safety in the slightest of storms. There are pros and cons, and yes, seasons for both, but it�s ultimately up to you to decide what kind of vessel you will build with your life.

-- Quarter Century Crisis

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Smith A: Finding God In Your Wilderness
Alice Smith
Feb 12, 2003

by Alice Smith 2 Jan 2003

Whether you like it or not, God will send you to the wilderness at some point in your life. Don't resist--let Him lead you through the dry places and into a deeper relationship with Him.

During football season, once again we find Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick. But just as his foot is about to make contact, she moves the ball, sending him sprawling to the ground. Aggravated yet still trusting, he tries again and again. Each time he goes flying. Finally in frustration he turns and asks, "Where do you go to give up?"

No doubt each of us has looked for the "giving-up place" at some juncture of our Christian walk. For me it has most often happened when I've found myself in a spiritual "wilderness."

When the Heavens Are Brass

Spiritually speaking, what is the wilderness--and how do we know we are there? The silence of God and the absence of His felt presence is one of the ways we recognize the wilderness. Other evidences include:

* The heavens are brass. Our prayers seem to reach only the ceiling. * Intimacy is gone. There is a sense of barrenness in prayer. * We suffer feelings of spiritual rejection, loneliness and abandonment by God. We have no meaningful encounters with Him in prayer.

The spiritual wilderness can come in many ways. It can come through external circumstances that cause significant changes in our lives--a job loss, a move to a new location, family difficulties or relational struggles. It can also come through traumatic events like the death of a friend or loved one; divorce (the death of a marriage); the missing of a life goal or the fading of a dream; or sin--whether our own or one committed against us.

One of the more difficult wilderness times my husband, Eddie, and I experienced occurred in 1993. We had been nestled in a comfortable place in the ministry for more than 11 years, and we had no interest in moving.But the Lord had something else in mind.

Our intercessors began sharing with us their impressions that we were in a stage of transition. Our ministry as we knew it was about to be restructured, they said. Although we valued the insights of the intercessors, it was my hope that they were totally wrong on this one.However, by late summer it was obvious that the time had come to change directions. The Father moved us into a corner where we were forced to either go forward or disobey.

Without any further instruction, direction or plans for long-term income, we resigned from the church we had started almost 12 years earlier. Leaving a church we planted, trying to explain to loved ones why we had done so and still trusting the Lord for our future was painfully difficult. It was similar to a death.

The grief in the days that followed was overwhelming. We had no understanding. My solace was found only in the prayer closet, but even then I would sit numbly before the Lord. The heavens were closed to me. Questions flooded through my mind while I cried to the Lord for help. The enemy accused me of missing God.

Two months later, still stuck in the wilderness, I felt led to start a 40-day fast. The first 30 days in prayer were heavenly as I experienced a glorious recovery of my usual intimacy with Jesus. Then it ended. Physical fatigue set in.

The last 10 days were a battle I will never forget. The assault from the enemy was unrelenting. Deadness settled over me like a blanket. I began to understand in a minute way the spiritual warfare Jesus must have known the last three days before His crucifixion.

On day 30 of my fast, C. Peter Wagner from Fuller Theological Seminary called Eddie. "I believe the Lord is saying you are the man to start the United States 'prayer track' for the A.D. 2000 & Beyond Movement," he said.

"Will you do it?"

What I didn't know was that Peter had called Eddie one month earlier with the same offer, and Eddie had declined. This time he agreed to at least talk and pray with me about it. Immediately, I knew this was the direction for us.

Within weeks the Lord provided the new U.S. Prayer Track with an office, computers, a fax machine and volunteers. Hope, direction and revelation were renewed--and our wilderness faded away.

Our Response in the Valley

Perhaps you, too, have had times when you found yourself in a place of loneliness or darkness, overwhelmed by a sense of the silence of God. You are not alone! Some people refer to this wilderness time as "the valley" or "the dark night of the soul."

The fact is, the Christian life is not lived in a constant "springtime" of new life and fast growth. There are seasons in our walk with the Lord. From time to time we will each experience the cold blast of spiritual "winter."

Such times can prompt a variety of responses, some productive, some counterproductive. For example:

**Questioning. We may ask such things as, "What are You doing, Lord?" Or "God, where are You?" Or negative suggestions such as the following may enter our minds: "The Lord must not love me, because He is letting the devil do this."

In the wilderness, the devil attacks us with lies about the Father. He presents us with options other than trusting the Lord with our lives. He tries to force us to sin or to get ahead of God's plan.

Early on we need to make a choice to trust God and not the devil so that we don't falter in the midst of testing.

Someone once said, "When God puts you on hold, don't hang up." If we are not careful, the wilderness can produce discouragement, and discouragement can result in apathy. Like Charlie Brown, we may begin to look for a place to give up.

**Introspection and faultfinding. Although it is good to allow the Lord to examine our hearts and reveal any hidden sins, too often we adopt a "woe is me" mind-set. We begin to analyze ourselves, our situations and others. In so doing, we become critical and can eventually suffer "analysis paralysis."

Responses like these are just what the enemy wants. He wants us to question God's commitment to us and our commitment to God. Satan wants us to be critical and negative. When he engages us in spiritual battle, he wants to see us wave the "white flag."

Don't entertain the enemy! If you give him a toehold, he will take a foothold. And if you give him a foothold, he will build a stronghold.

The Purpose of the Wilderness

The wilderness is necessary. Yet we tend to misunderstand our need for the wilderness experience because we have not learned the ways of God.

King David said, "He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel" (Ps. 103:7, NKJV). Most of us are seeking God's acts when we should be learning His ways. It is through His ways that we will know Him. In our struggle for the anointing, a manifestation or power in ministry, the Father often allows us to grope in disillusionment until we are willing to be Spirit-led, not need-driven.

The wilderness is necessary because it brings us to a place of brokenness. We may try to avoid it, but the reality is that brokenness is our friend, not our enemy. A quick look at Scripture shows this is true.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matt. 5:3). Isaiah tells us that God dwells "with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Is. 57:15-16).

We often treat brokenness as if it is to be a onetime experience. It's not. As the late evangelist Mickey Bonner wrote, "Brokenness is the forgotten factor of prayer." Regardless of the circumstances that bring on our wildernesses, the crucial issue is that we learn what the Lord is trying to teach us.

Certainly, one of those lessons is to trust in Him. Too often, we assume the silence of God is a sign of His rejection of us. Not true! He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. But He has also promised to grow us up in Christ.

It is easy to overlook the reality that it is in the valley where things grow. On the mountaintop there is hard rock and exposure to the elements. But down below, in the valley, there is nutrient-rich soil that produces a bountiful harvest.

The psalmist declared that God enlarged him when he was "in distress"--that is, in the valley (see Ps.4:1, KJV). We need to trust that He will do the same for us. I believe there are many other reasons the heavenly Father allows the silence to come into our lives. Perhaps the most important is to keep us constantly in pursuit of Him. Too often we take for granted the privilege of experiencing His presence and hearing His voice. Our God is a jealous God--jealous for our time and devotion.

Furthermore, He wants us to learn to depend on Him, not on ourselves. His desire is for us to stay calm and unperplexed in the midst of turmoil. We glorify the Father when we accept the process of internal brokenness rather than striving for an end.

We should not forget that it is our God who prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies (see Ps. 23:5). The person who has no trials has no triumphs! Yet we tend to want the victories without the battles that, by definition, must precede them.

Learning in the Wilderness

Jesus explains in John 12:24-25: "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (NIV). I call this one of the Bible's "upside-down principles"--a way of thinking that is opposite to the way the world thinks.

Jesus teaches if you want to live, then you must die (see Phil. 1:21). If you want to receive, then you must give (see Luke 6:38). For Christ to increase, you must decrease (John 3:30). To be exalted, you must humble yourself (Matt. 23:12).

Wilderness experiences may seem like frozen, dead times. But God teaches us a great deal in them if we are willing to learn. For example, the wilderness:

1. Crucifies false spirituality. In the wilderness, we begin to take off our phoney "spiritual masks" that have been hiding our true love of self. Our carnal, soulish nature believes that self-effort, plans, projects, and spiritual disciplines will prove our worth before God and others. However, in the valley the Lord strips away false piety and foolish expectations about our own abilities and success.

2. Reinforces God-dependence.
We could never endure the wilderness without a profound sense of the Father's unconditional love and acceptance. The wilderness times do not come so He can torment us or because He is angry with us. They are opportunities to build a deeper faith and stronger determination to follow Christ.

The danger of falling along the way is real. The Israelites were challenged with several wilderness trials--and many fell. Numbers 14:32 states, "But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness" (NKJV).

We must not resist the breaking that comes through suffering. We must take the bitter with the sweet and let the bitter make us better. We must understand the Father is more concerned about our holiness than He is about our happiness.

3. Prepares us for new levels of revelation. In life, the wilderness always precedes revelation. Christ could not be glorified until He had first been crucified, nor can we. Don't forget Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness temptation (see Luke 4:1-2).But He emerged from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit (see Luke 4:14). Jesus set the example for us all by walking through the wilderness, accepting the experience with faith in God and coming out of His testing with a greater anointing.

Jesus' experience shows us a cycle Christians go through: wilderness, then revelation, then victory, then blessing. If we do not struggle against the process, the result can be amazing breakthrough and unprecedented communion with the Lord.

The wilderness experience is ultimately a paradox and a mystery of our faith. We will never be able to understand the mind of God; His ways are higher than our ways. But know this: The wilderness is a necessary encounter. In it, all confidence and pretense of the flesh is washed away, and a deeper intimacy and dependency upon God is forged.

For Charlie Brown, the frustration of circumstances led to a desire to give up and throw in the towel. But for those of us who go through the wilderness and learn its lessons, we have strength and hope to go on--no matter what comes our way.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

blargh for UFA's ... blargh for Sharks ...
Break time.

Friday, March 07, 2003

This week is finally done. Almost anyway.


... see you guys when school lets up sometime :)
Signs that guys are indeed as stupid as advertised (at least this author is ...) :

So like yeah, I realized that all the rumors that there are actually attractive women in the CSE department are true. Yes, they are.

They're all upperclassmen.

This epiphany occured at 2 AM last night in the basement of AP&M.

Hrm. While I was tired, exhuasted, lonely, and not wearing my glasses ... Hrm. Was I hallucinating? :-D

One can only hope ... a computer geek for a girlfriend ... LOL ... haha ... when will I ever learn that a pretty face without substance will be as satisfying as a picture of a hot chick. That is, not very satisfying at all ...
Yes things can be retarded.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

While studying at CLICS after Bible Study...

"With great power comes great responsibility." - Uncle Ben in Spiderman

In the same way, with great knowledge and wisdom (which comes from the Lord) comes great responsibility, comes accountability for our knowledge. When we are judged, we will not be judged for what we did not know. But we will be judged to the standards of what we do know.

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

"If ignorance is bliss, won't you save me from myself?" Jars of Clay's Fade to Grey

Why is being lukewarm such a detestable thing to God? "I have tasted and I have seen..." the goodness of the Lord, (ref Psalm 34:8) the beauty of the Lord, the laws and ways of the Lord. Even nonbelievers:
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisble qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:18-20

If to those who may be labled as "nonbelievers" are held accountable to such standards, how much more are we who are so-called "believers" held accountable to? For us to experience God the way we do, to know the goodness of God, His love .. and yet turn away and live a lukewwarm life. That is what God finds detestable. And that, that is what the world finds unbelievable. As it has commonly been said, if our God, if this "Christian-thing" is as great as we say it is ... I should be telling everyone whom I meet.

Which begs the question. Is my God worth boasting about? Is Christianity all that and a bag of chips? If Christianity is worth dying for, then why do I refuse to die to my flesh, to my pride, to my self-worth, to my status and my reputation?

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What 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 and 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. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Phillipians 3:7-11

See, this whole concept of "trading our sorrows." If we are seeking the higher pleasures of God, it isn't simply something that is greater than my lust and desire for acceptance, status, and monetary wealth. True change and transformation comes when God's desires replace our own, not just simply overriding them by being greater.

Resolve and determination only get us so far; they do get us to the foot of the cross, to the door of salvation. But there is nothing that I can do in and of myself which can change this flesh. This flesh must die. And the Holy Spirit must come in place.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in m sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. FOr what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

"So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within m members."
Romans 7:18-23

"Thanks to be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! ... And so he condemned sin in sinful man by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but [live] according to the Spirit." Romans 8:3,4 (paraphrase)

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Been sleeping more and studying less ... ahh this should not be yet ....

Monday, March 03, 2003

Uber-beautiful CLICS girl again.

I swear they're stalking me. ;)

Not much going on as of late .. learning Perl is a challenge. That's 'bout it for now.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

"The God of Ages burns with desire for you."

"We often come to prayer digusted, weak, mad at our insufficiencies. That's exactly where the devil wants us to be, and he hammers the ugly truth home. But we are all sinners .. we face our sin daily. But before the finished work of Christ, I'm a saint."

"So often we are the idiot fan. We cheer when God does something great. We pretend like we're on the field, in the game. The truth is, we're not in the game, and very few people are on the field."
Random thoughts while studying:
    Learn to bite, chew, and digest your Word. Its not a freaking smoothie.

    In regards to relationships: sometimes the lines are blurred and very difficult to define. When have we gone too far? When are we being too cautious? We're darn sure when we've breached those lines though.

    This blogger phenomenon is great ... really it is. Just like AIM has revolutionized the pressures and expectations of what it means to "keep in touch," I think bloggers have taken it a step further. But what ultimate use these online weblogs will have lays in the hands of the writers. Will we write about the mundane? The daily happenings of life? Or will we challenge our selves to "see" and "hear" more? God's always speaking, whether or not we're listening. (More often than not, I'm not listening :).)

    A lot of people post their frustrations, hurts, and pains in their blogs. See the easy response is to respond with:

    "Aww .. I still love you! God loves you! *hug* :-D :-D :) :) :)!!!!! Feel better!!"

    (As if the number of exclamation marks suddenly conveys the depths of our compassion and our sensitivity to the situation.) Which, I dunno .. as encouraging that is, doesn't seem to require much more than a click and a few keystrokes. Oh I know, maybe I should throw in one of those empathizing faces ... ":-/"

    As a Christian, a constant question I need to be asking myself is how I am "in this world, but not of it." I am called to live DIFFERENTLY than the world does. Not to be SEPARATE, but to be different. As a Christian who posts in a xanga/blog on a fairly regular basis ... how am I different? See, its easy for me to just click the "add comments" button ... and drop one or two lines of encouragement and sympathy.

    Don't get me wrong, I think those words have their place .. I have received those and they've totally made my day. But I think in more ways than one, I need to be taking a step beyond writing words of hope ... I need to praying words of hope. Not to just say "Oh ... I hope your day is much better!" but to take some time to lift that person up in prayer .. to implore the Real Thing, the G-Force, to be real in that person's life .. to touch that person's need.

    Jesus, regardless of who comes across this prayer ... I ask that You would be the Real Thing to these readers. No amount of proofs about Your existence or arguments about the legistimacy of Your Word is going to change this world, Jesus. Even more people preaching the Gospel, that's not what's goign to start a Revolution of epic proportions. But Jesus, it will be when the Father gives our natural realities a touch of Your supernatural Reality. Jesus, I ask that you would speak the language of the heart of these people. Meet them, wherever they're at. May they experience You for themselves ... Father, I ask they would cease to hear just rumors of who You are, but Father .. they would experience who You are. Amen.

Saturday, March 01, 2003


February 3, 2003 - Rick Joyner

This week we continue our study with Ephesians 5:20:

"always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father"

The first three words of this verse are crucial for a victorious Christian life�"always giving thanks." Why is this? Why should we thank God for problems or for the attacks of the devil? There are several good reasons for this, the first of which is in Psalm 100:4 that we, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise." The best way to dwell in the presence of the Lord is to be a thankful person. As we thank Him we enter His courts. As we go further and begin to praise Him we go deeper into His courts.

Thanksgiving Is The Language of Faith

Likewise, one of the quickest ways to be disqualified from living in the promises of the Lord is to be a complainer, which is one of the reasons why the first generation that left Egypt was not able to enter the Promised Land (see I Corinthians 10:10). Complaining is the language of doubt and unbelief. Thanksgiving is the language of faith.

To be a successful leader in almost any field one of the first things that you have to do is either remove the complaining, or the complainers from among those you are leading. Business leaders are taught how to recognize and either isolate or remove problem-oriented people, and replace them with solution-oriented people. Successful coaches of sports teams will all agree that if the most talented person on their team is a complainer they will trade him anytime for a much less-talented person who has a good attitude. The team is not likely to win with a complainer. If he or she is not removed from the team, the same problem will occur that Israel faced at Kadesh-Barnea where the ten fearful, whining, complaining, spies cost an entire generation their inheritance in the Lord. The two good spies saw all of the same problems that the ten evil spies saw, but they had a very different attitude about them.

He Causes Everything to Work Together For Good

Christians are given one of the greatest promises in Romans 8:28: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Therefore, how could we ever complain about anything that He allows if we believe this? It is only when we have been deceived into believing the lie that everything is going bad for us so then we can complain.

Psalm 100:5 gives us a very good reason to always be thankful, "For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations." God is almighty and He can do anything or be anyway that He wants to be. Yet, just think of how wonderful He is to not have just destroyed the earth and mankind after the fall, rather He chose to give His own Son for our salvation! Jesus left the glory and presence of the Father in heaven to come to earth and live among us and to suffer the cross. He then allows us to start again by being born again, giving us His Holy Spirit, and putting up with all we do after we have been born again and received His Spirit! Even then, He causes everything to work together for our good. What an awesome, wonderful God we have! How can we not be thankful? Eternity will not be long enough to thank Him.

Shut up and look at Me!
I had a whole bunch typed up.