Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Gratefulness is like hope .. a roaring fire in the middle of a cold night. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I would hope that Christianity never becomes just a religion .. or something that people do just to "fit" into their lives. Watered down to simply something that's just "good morals" ... you don't need to be Christian to strive for good morals, there are people all around, people that I'm sure you know that aren't necessarily "Christian" who are good moral people. I mean, I was like that for most of my junior high and high school years .. I was a fairly moral person. I didn't lie (too much), I didn't murder anybody, didn't smoke, drink, no wild crazy sex (not that those things are somehow the epitome of wrong morals ... but I suppose that there's a lot of stigma attached to those things and most would consider these things to be bad). But, so did a lot of other people. How is me being a Christian any different than what this world has to offer? What good is my Christianity if its just about having good morals?

I often hear people say that Christians are often the most closed-minded people ... though its debatable, I definitely think there's a lot of truth in that (though, I suppose in light of such a strong, generalized statement about a very diverse group ... wouldn't it be true vice versa as well ? ;)). Though I think there's definitely an important aspect of faith that needs to be exercised, more often than not that Christians tend to go on mental auto-pilot, with our critical thinking out the window. If our "religion" or whatever is all that, why is it that we're so afraid to think critically about it? Sometimes people aren't looking to disprove Christianity .. they have questions and supposedly we have the answers. By our God-given nature we are inquisitive creatures, we're only using a minute portion of our brain ... the other part has GOT to be doing something of use. :)

I dunno, I'm sick of Christianity. You'd really think people would have the same gripes if actually lived like the Christians did in Acts? I'm not looking for a god to pray to, a moral code to live by, or a safe theology which gives me something to hold onto when things go tough. Yeah, those things aren't necessarily so bad in themselves, there are things in life that will drive us to that point ... but the institution of Christianity, the culture of Christianity, all those things in its current state leave a LOT to be desired. I suppose we could give the disclaimer that we're just sinners saved by grace .. but doesn't that stick Christianity in a minimalistic mentality? I'm "just" getting by. I'm doing "fine."

Jesus Christ promised life abundantly in Him. Where's it at?
On the topic of C.S. Lewis' quote:

I'm wondering ... at some point in your life ... things are going to get busy enough that you're going to have to ask the question of whether what you're living for is worth dying for. I mean, some people say that we should be living life to its fullest, living la vida loca (no that's not living life to its fullest .. that's living the crazy life :) but i digress). Well ok, I mean living life to the fullest .. that's all good and well, but I dunno. There's not much out there to live to the fullest. I'm only 20 years old ... I'm already pretty disillusioned with this world. Living life to its fullest? You better offer me something better than that. Everyone is running the same rat race, everyone is trying to do the college thing, the job thing, the wife and kids thing, the house thing, the money thing ... bigger and better right?

Is it worth living and dying for?

That's debatable. We're all trying to do things that will make us happy .. whether in the short or the long run. And yeah, it'll be hit and miss .. there wil be things that will indeed, make us very happy. But if we're going to live life to its fullest ... shouldn't we be shooting for something better. I mean, isn't that happiness we're shooting for only temporary? We live our lives for just those brief, ever-fleeting moments of glory.

And then we do it again. We find something new, and do it again.

Why don't we ever shoot to be content?
on relationships: yeah they're there. i want one. so does everyone else whether or not they want to admit it. and yes they suck because our timing isn't always God's timing .. and subsequently somehow all girls suck because God has the red light going on while we're on green. And I suck too .. because I feel that I somehow "deserve" a relationship and because I "need" one, and subsequently I'm justified in whining and demanding one.

clearly, I need to get over myself.

God, why am I so miserable? Where is she?

*knock knock* .. you're looking for love in ALL the wrong places.

quote from jeff deyo:
�Yeah, I mean, we gotta get to the point in our lives where we actually believe that God and his desires for us are the truly the things that are going to make us happiest, give us the most peace, and satisfy our souls. We talk about this and we know in our minds that it�s true, but somehow these beliefs don�t make their way into our everyday lives. I mean if they did, wouldn�t we be different, wouldn�t we act different, wouldn�t we talk different? I don�t think its �cuz we don�t want to be happy or we try to sabotage our own lives � maybe we just don�t really trust God. We�ve got to decide that no matter what the cost, we want to be satisfied in God alone, in Him alone. And aren�t you tired of reading your Bible because you feel you have to? I want to want to love Jesus, I want to long to spend time with him, I want to wake get up in the morning and can�t wait to be with him� And anything in my life that is more exciting and more valuable to me than God, that thing�s an idol. I don�t wanna do it like that. I wanna be like John Piper said in The Pleasures of God, �God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.� I want God to be glorified, so I want to see what I can do to be most satisfied in Him.�


from the venerable c.s. lewis:
"Indeed if we consider the unblushing promise of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures like an ignorant child who wants to go making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
Tyranny of the Urgent

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

As seen on a poster on library walk: "Princeton Review: Extortionists"

---

As seen in Geisel right now: guy sitting in a chair, leaned back, mouth splayed wide open, snoring loudly with those lovely gutteral gurgles.

Yeah.
It is a remarkable irony that the deeper we come into the knowledge of God, the more we see ourselves as less. Instead of becoming more exalted by the increase of our knowledge of God, the further down we go in seeing how abase and pitiful we really are. It is a contradiction and a paradox, and it is a paradox to be found only in the faith. Authentic meekness or humility is not something that one can learn, emulate, or pick up at school. It is the dividend of God out of the measure of actual, real relationship with Him. It is the revelation of God as He is and the unutterable depths of it, that bring a man to this kind of awareness of himself.


o_0

I heard it once said that true biblical humility and meekness can come off to the world as being arrogant ... hrm.

Edit: from Jae's journal ... "True humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less."

Monday, April 21, 2003

In a nutshell .. things have picked up ... every waking moment is spent eating, studying, working, classing, or praying.

*boing* So yeah, things are getting a bit hairy around the edges .... I will update when I can. A Spirit-centric lifestyle, I must be in.

How does one keep his eyes set on the fire and glory of God when all around is falling? It's easy to start "lowering" your expectations and desires of God when things get tough ... your eyes stop lifting up to what is truly beautiful and righteous and concentrate on what is only fleeting.

If I come out of this tired, that is fine ... my body is temporary. If I come out of this giving my all, my best, that is fine ... it is discipline and full-effort that I seek. If I come out of this with my GPA in tatters, that is fine ... my goal this time around isn't so much the result .. but the process. I am giving my all that I can in all that I do ... fighting the good fight isn't always necessarily winning the war.

"3Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer." @ Timonthy 2:3-4

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Updated guitar tabs ... click the link on the top.
You opened my eyes to Your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on earth is as beautiful as You

Friday, April 18, 2003

defenestration \dee-feh-nuh-STRAY-shun\ noun: a throwing of a person or thing out of a window

Sunday, April 13, 2003

There is never a "right" time to do a fast ... its never convenient.

The only good time is God's time.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I'm sorry, I don't want to need you anymore ... I just want You.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

As long as we approach relationships with the mentality of a "me-first," of "what can I get from this relationship," they will always fail. The premise of "unconditional" love is just that, it is not conditioned on the other part giving love or contributing to the relationship. Love in this form is always giving, it is always pouring itself out. If we ask ourselves what we can get out of the relationship, human performance will always fall short of human expectations.
1 Samuel 17
32 David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."
33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."
34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

What can I do with my obsession?
With the things I cannot see
Is there madness in my being?
Is it wind that blows the trees?
Sometimes you're further than the moon
Sometimes you're closer than my skin
And you surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss

And my heart burns for you
And my heart burns

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
And my heart burns for you

Monday, April 07, 2003

The reason we sing / Is to bring down You're glory / Show us Your face -- Audio A's "Pour Your Love Down"

Whew... I wasn't planning to blog this ... but I think I really need to reflect on and write down the things I've learned and experienced as of late.

:: The car rides up and down were a definite blessing for me. I rode up with KBaba, Scott, Vanessa, and Jeff. We played 20 questions ... I learned a lot through that ... just being able to bounce ideas, thoughts, and expectations off each other was sweet. I had the opportunity to be in the passenger seat...so I had a lot of KBaba time. *chuckle*

:: We had a good chat about relationships in the car ... I shared a bit ... it reminded me to stand firm in what God has shown me and to not compromise.

:: I don't think I realize how deep-seated my pride is ... its a very deep root ... and its going to take a lot more than one confession and one filling to be changed and have that root yanked out.

:: Change isn't instant. I know that sounds obvious ... but I guess when it comes to spiritual change ... I'm pretty darn impatient. I desperately want .. and need to be .. changed. Change by definition is a process ... how is spiritual change any different? *shrugs* ... being changed to stop whining and complaining and get on my knees.

:: I love to love Him.

I am free / For the first time / Left my fears behind / In front of me / Is the open sky / I'm taller than trees / I can see / Further than before / Everything's different now / Now that you've ruined my life / You took my dreams / And stole my schemes / And turned my life upside down / You took my heart / Stole every part / And made it a miracle -- Audio A's "Miracle"

Edit:
:: I always complain about sucking at writing, or blogging in particular .. but I never really thought about praying before I do it. I shall do that from now on.

:: The highlight of the Call was when the worship team, (I think it was Kate Miner! She worked with Jason Wade ...) did Lifehouse's "Everything." It was really surreal ... I was standing there .. and when everyone started singing it, it seemed so out of context. I dunno. This song has such an ability to reach into the depths of your soul and stir something ... aw man. It was pretty intense ... the platform was moving up and down. I was literally screaming out the lyrics ... must have looked like a love-struck fool standing there with hands out-stretched screaming for something beyond myself ... who cares. :)

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose...you're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You still my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause your all I want, Your all I need
Your everything,everything
Your all I want your all I need
Your everything, everything.
Your all I want your all I need.
Your everything, everything
Your all I want your all I need, your everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Friday, April 04, 2003

Gone 'til Sunday afternoon to The Call SF. Watch this space for updates.
What a lot of this "peace movement" is all about (Right click and save target as)

c/o Janelle's LJ :)

Thursday, April 03, 2003

In regards to MUIR 50 topics:

(11:48:31 AM) me: ethics of terrorism, extreme violence and oppression
(11:48:37 AM) me: i was going to take one on paranoia
(11:48:44 AM) me: but i accidentally signed up for this one =P
(11:48:55 AM) steph: hahaha
(11:48:56 AM) steph: those both sound like u =P
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

--- Isaiah 40:31
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

-- Hebrews 10:36-39
I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe {it} on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.
-- Hab 2:1-3
It is imperative that we possess a heart for Jesus to receive His full inheritance through our lives, even if it requires us to fight, war and even push. God is so gracious that He will only disqualify us if we close our hearts to the willingness to obey Him. We have to keep our hearts softened in this season.

So much can happen when we maintain a willing heart, even if our hearts 'yes' to God seems small. As a dear friend of mine says when she preaches 'Big babies are birthed through small openings." God wants you to realize that your small faith is big enough for him to move mountains and if your motive is for Him to reap His reward, there is no stopping the kingdom of heaven from advancing! Isaiah 62 talks about Jesus coming back with His reward in His hands, and making us a city that is no longer deserted because we are His reward!

God is Exacting a Price to Walk in Kingdom Living

Every month I meet Christians who are discouraged, depressed, and who have fainting hearts. I don't mean those with chronic illnesses, but those who have been fighting the battle hard and are on the verge of giving up because the price of forerunning seems so hard. If I had not been building a real sustained relationship around my love for Jesus and not just my ministry to man, then I would have quit a long time ago after hearing all the Christians who were jaded and filled with discouragement in the Kingdom.

It is a great privilege to be able to minister to these ones though, because I can relate to the dark night of the soul that God allows us to go through.

I want to be vulnerable. I remember just 3 years ago being at the end of myself, my gifts that God gave me...my desire for church... my desire for people. I had to check myself into a season of seeking Him alone or else I might have yielded my calling to love others.

God wants lovesick men and woman who pursue Him and then press through the pain of suffering in our passions. That is part of the building process and our needed growth. When people begin to get jaded towards their church, their leadership, their ministry, or their family, it is a sign that they no longer have a willing heart. In that mind-set, walls of protection go up because of pride... not just because of real wounds.


The Dark Night of the Soul

I know that this is a season where I have been talking to more people then ever who are going through the depths of the dark night where their love is awakened to God but He is still in the process of winning their affections. God is breaking people out of their addiction to live vicariously through human relationships. He is even allowing people to be persecuted inside the church. This can look like a discouraging process. However, in all reality, isn't there always the pain of longing for more intimacy in any real love relationship? This is part of the maturing work of love, persecution and suffering. I know that I have gone through it, as have others, and will go through it again. It is just hard for many who misunderstand the opportunity for growth when persecution comes from those closest to us. Jesus spoke about this and prepared us for it, but the reality of it hitting home is very hard.

I encourage those of you who are in this time of testing to read Philippians 3 about Paul's description of His dark night of the soul. It is worth it and when we are experiencing this discouragement it is mostly our flesh confirming that we are no longer living for ourselves, but, abandoning ourselves to Him and Him alone!

If we can understand His processes right now, we can agree with the Holy Spirit's work in us. Most of the proclamations in the body of Christ are not coming through the Spirit of Wisdom, but from the understanding of man based upon our experiences of suffering. Let us set a higher goal then, to embrace the Spirit of God, and all His workings without complaint! Knowing that He is fully with us, and that we have nothing to fear... only everything to gain. When the world sees a church like this, they will see Jesus.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Update: killed the comments section because its darn near impossible to keep track of them ... not like the xanga or LJ style .. which emails you when someone says something. Back to the soapbox style with no feedback ;)

School's been relatively straightforward (for now) ... classes are definitely going to be very hard (some things don't change). God's really been gracious to give good teachers though ... so we'll have to hang in there :).

Well, yesterday was my birthday. Hehe ... God has definitely been gracious there :). I was feeling the love! Haha ... thanks for all the messages and notes ... they all went a long way :)

Anyway, this soapbox has been switched to a quieter state ... perhaps more later.

The Call SF is in three days. It certainly hasn't felt like 40 days.
Song of the Moment: Matchbox 20 - Disease

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Thank you muchly everyone :)