Monday, June 30, 2003

Unfortunately, I have run out of things to say.... I have no great ponderings or exciting things in my life to document.

Please pray for me, it is an increasing challenge to get away with God even with free time. It appears that its easier to hold onto God when the times are tough, when things are pressing in on all directions .. when you KNOW that you HAVE to hold on, you have to press in. But why should it be any different when things aren't necessarily crumbling on all directions? There OUGHT to be that urgency, that "have-to" mentaility when we approach God in times of relative quiet.


"Deeper Walk: Under the Umbrella" - Jennifer Moore

I hate rain. Rain really ruins everything. Picnics, driving, walking�you can�t do anything when it�s raining. You get trapped indoors and have to read, watch television or clean the house. Even in elementary school, they would cancel recess, and we would have to play bingo or heads up seven up.

Rainy days only get worse when you get older because it�s not just about the rain anymore. Now it�s all about your achy joints, or how much the grass is going to grow before the weekend. Let�s not even talk about how you have to fight the crazies on the highway who don�t seem to understand that you�re supposed to drive five miles per hour slower in torrential downpours. Let�s face it�kids might hate rain, but adults hate it even more.

In fact, the only people I know who like rain seem to be lovers. Oh, you know the ones. Those mushy couples that squish together real close under the umbrella. Goodness, some even forget the umbrella altogether and chase each other kicking the puddles and laughing! What is it about lovers that make them so excited to see the rain coming?

Yeah, that�s easy. Lovers look at rain differently than the average person. They see it as a chance to dance. They see the chance to get closer. Sometimes they don�t see the rain at all. They just see their love.

Now the question lingers: Why can�t I get myself to see the rainy season in my life as a chance to squish under the umbrella with God? Why is it that I start pouting when I see the clouds on the horizon? Hasn�t rain always been God�s way of getting us back to the shelter of His arms? When the forecast of our lives is clear, we can handle it, but we can�t get through storms and rain without God. When lightning strikes all around me, do I hold more tightly to the Lover of my soul, or do I run around flailing my arms as though I were alone? And most importantly, when the rain falls heavy on everyone, are there people passing by who smile at the beauty of my lover and me dancing?

Rain really is a true test of what matters to us. When we see storms coming, do we get worried about our hair or our clothes? In my life, am I worried about how this storm will affect my image among other people in the Church? Am I afraid that they will comment on how disrespectful I am of my relationship with God? To think of the mighty jealous God as the Lover of your soul � preposterous! Am I worried that God won�t really be there to hold me�that He�ll only keep the umbrella over Himself? Or am I so desperately in love with God that I will throw all common sense out the window and dance?


Perhaps my times of pouring rain aren't found in the moments where life threatens to thrash the living daylights out of me, but in the moments where things are quiet, where relaxation, laziness, and action are commonplace.

Listening to Switchfoot has always challenged me to move. After all, their staple songs are arguably, "I Dare You To Move" or "Meant to Live," songs which demand a response from the listener. I dare you to move, I dare you to move / I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor / I dare you to move, I dare you to move / Like today never happened / Today never happened before.

But its frustrating to say the least. To know that we have to move, to realize that the price of inaction is too great, and yet still remain motionless .. that perhaps, is the most maddening aspect of our lives as Christians, as people even. So I urge you with the love of Christ, I dare you to move, reader. We must continue to fight the good fight, we must press on, we must not grow weary of doing good.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. " - Galations 6:9

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

w00t. things have been pretty nuts down here in "its-freaking-summer-but-hey-let's-rain-even-though-we're-in-san-diego." chris and i moved into our place last week, i'm about 80% moved in.

anyway, no internet at home 'til friday. and since i should actually be doing work at work, i won't be updating 'til then. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2003

So I've got to tell you that if you do not worship God seven days a
week, you do not worship Him on one day a week. There is no such
thing known in heaven as Sunday worship unless it is accompanied by
Monday worship and Tuesday worship and so on....

We come into God's house and say, "The Lord is in His holy temple,
let us all kneel before Him." Very nice. I think it's nice to start
a service that way once in a while. But when any of you men enter
your office Monday morning at 9 o'clock, if you can't walk into
that office and say, "The Lord is in my office, let all the world
be silent before Him," then you are not worshiping the Lord on
Sunday. If you can't worship Him on Monday you didn't worship Him
on Sunday. If you don't worship Him on Saturday you are not in very
good shape to worship Him on Sunday. Tozer on Worship and
Entertainment, 9,24.

Friday, June 13, 2003

To carefully weigh what is set before you...
Back in San Jose. I didn't realize how much I miss it.

Well its time for the post-school year moment of reflection... It has definitely been an awesome year; I wish my freshman year was like this and that next year would be my sophomore year.

There's definitely been much to regret this year, and even now I am floored by the grace of God that has been upon my life this year to cover all my insufficiencies and mistakes. And yeah, there's been much to be thankful as well.

I don't think I'm ready to launch into full-blown rehash of my ponderings of this past year, and I don't think any of you guys are really up for reading it. Heck, I'm not up for writing it :).

In any case, something that just happened to hit me harder than usual:

Relationships take work. Anybody and anything that tells you otherwise is selling something. I don't know at what point I began thinking that "good" relationships have zero problems and everything thing is always sunny. I've lost track of how many relationships I've let slide, guys and girls, because I've deemed to it too dysfunctional to continue. This isn't to say that there haven't been relationships which have genuinely been too messed up to progress in a healthy manner, but I think its safe to say that that's been more of an exception than the rule.

In any case, that's a half-baked thought, but kind of what I've been thinking about. Maybe it'll be better baked later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

from ninjaalice's LJ:
Settle an arguement with my friend. He says cramming for an exam doesn't work. i saw staying up all night sutdying and going right into the exam makes the information fresh in my brain just long enough to take the test. What do you say

response: I say, if you'd listen to your friend, you could be a Rhodes scholar. then you'd get to hang out with bill clinton at reunions. but if you're just a b kinda guy, happy to breeze along with the occasional all-nighter, then read no further. three sentences may be your limit anyway. but don't take my word for it. they've actually studied this very question at harvard medical school, and i'm sure the shrink who ran the tests got plenty of shut-eye.

two groups of subjects were taught a new skill and given plenty of time to practice. then one group hit the rack and the other sat out by a freeway all night or something like that, still practicing. the well-rested sutdents performed way better than the other crowd. but the results had nothing to do with fatique, sez the science guys. according to the chief inquirer, sleep is critical to the formation of memories, which is basically what learning is. after a bout of studying, the say, a bare minimum of four hours of sleep will give your brain a chance to tidy up and put all those facts in brain slots where you can get at them.

the first two hours, when we're in a very deep deep sleep, brain chemicals "move" all those shiny new facts into our brain's cortex, the site of long-term memories. hours two through four, the brain sorts through all the tripe and files it in appropriate cranial cubbyholes. nerve cell links are solidified, and the place starts to look pretty organized. if we can manage five and six hours of rack time (REM/dream sleep), our brains use that to shuffle back through the night's work and process it. sounds a little like working for the post office.

the problem with all-nighters is that whatever you're trying to cram into your headbone never makes it to a plce where you can retrieve it easily. you derail the chemical process of memory storage. use this as ammunition when you doze off in class.

::end::

one of the few articles from the San Diego Weekly Reader that is worth quoting.

Monday, June 09, 2003

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Losing tenacity! MAYDAY!

Saturday, June 07, 2003

One of the craziest weeks ever is over. And God is so ridiculously good.

Sleep counter from Thursday 6 AM to Saturday morning 6 AM -- five hours.

Yep. That crazy. Gotta study for finals now ...

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

26 "To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You are my lamp, O LORD ;
the LORD turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

31 "As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You give me your shield of victory;
you stoop down to make me great.
37 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.

-- 2 Samuel 22:26-37

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

"The simple truth is that worship is elementary until it begins to take on the quality of admiration. Just as long as the worshiper is engrossed with himself and his good fortune, he is a babe. We begin to grow up when our worship passes from thanksgiving to admiration. As our hearts rise to God in lofty esteem for that which He is ("I AM THAT I AM"), we begin to share a little of the selfless pleasure which is the portion of the blessed in heaven."
-- A.W. Tozer
Random nerd and geek things I want to do this summer:
- fiddle with coolmon plugins (maybe write one!? haha, perhaps...) ... fiddle with samurize .. *evil grin*
- clean up my themes and visual styles collection.
- move my blogger over a new code base. I really need a reliable means of having public and private entries. I'm not really into uber-flashy sites ... so it can be pretty ghetto. as long as i have control! *muahahaha* .. ok i'm weird.
- find some new winamp skins ...
- reformat both comps
- figure out a way where i can use my desktop as a backup database and my laptop as my primary machine. auto data-syncing would be nice.
- organize movies!
- perhaps get a bit more acquainted with flash and html stuffs
- just general computer fiddling and organization.
- program more. in perl, c, c++, java ... anything. need to get off my arse and do some learnage.

i could have sworn there was more interesting stuff. i think most of this just trying to appease my organizational and control tendencies. bad benson. bad.
Well, it wasn't as horrible as I thought ... and seriously, God it hooked it up ... even if I felt like I faked my way through most of it. *shrugs* At least I don't feel floored like I did last time. :)

Hrm ... Well I got my blended Mocha Biana, Starbucks Expresso Double Shot, Gatorade, hot water, my Bible, and lots of prayer ... I think I'm ready to pull an all-night. MUIR 50 Paper #1 you're going down! Down to China-town!

Tomorrow MP4 is in the sights ... may His grace prevail!!

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The cool thing despite all this academic suckage is that God has been absolutely fantasmic. I used to think that Paul was a total loony when he wrote that he rejoiced in his sufferings ... but since I've been getting a taste of what that is like, I guess I've become a loony as well. (This is beyond the assumption that I'm weird, that part is assumed.)

Anyway, last week I was talking with Tim, Shaun, and Dave Romano (hereto referred to as "the guys") ... and we talked about the issue of swearing. Some random thoghts:

- Swearing is not explicitly wrong in the Bible. (Unwholesome talk might be classified as swearing ... but that's definitely not conclusive)
- From a non-religious context, swearing is pretty accepted part of culture. I think movies are pretty indicative of such sentiment ... just watch "Shaft" with Samuel L. Jackson or "Pulp Fiction" with hey, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta to get a very detailed lesson on how to use the f-bomb in every context possible. However, there still remains a small portion of "respectability" when it comes to swearing i.e. we think its pretty cool/shocking when our TA or Prof busts out with f-bomb or other expletive. So I suppose there are contexts in which swearing is certainly wrong or inappropriate.
- I think everyone can agree that swearing in a general, every-day context is probably not a good thing. Especially if your vocabulary has been reduced to "I just fucking got out of that fucking piece of shit class ... I'll talk to you later, I'm going to take fucking nap. I'm tired as hell." (I had to think hard for that one ... I suppose that's a good thing) I'm sure you can probably recall something worse than that.
- Words only take on the power that we permit them to. Or do they?
- I'll admit that when someone swears, Christian or not ... it always catches my ears. I'll be the first to raise my hand when it comes to judging people on the words that they say. It shouldn't be happening, but it does. Why? Is it possible to be sensitive to borderline stuff like this and yet not be judgmental about it?
- I don't seem to have a similar problems when it comes to watching movies ... i.e. I only really noticed the swearing in say "Pulp Ficition" and "Shaft" because of the sheer volume of it.
- Are we just being nit-picky when it comes to the language people use? What does swearing reflect on the character of the person? Does this reflection matter? Is it a subjective or objective observation?
- What does the Bible say anyway? How does this play in the big picture? Should we care what the Bible says?
- There are fucking 50,000 babies being aborted every year all over the world. Okay, the 50,000 babies thing is just a random number .. I'm not sure if its higher or lower. What drew your attention first? The statistic or the expletive?
- Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be in the world but not of it.

That's all I can think of right now ... perhaps will post more random thoughts and questions later. I don't know why you're reading this .. its more for me than anyone else. Sorry if you were expecting some four page diatribe or discourse on swearing. Its tenth week here... ease up yo!

Man I'm looking forward to the summer ... so I think and write. It feels good to fart out thoughts on the keyboard.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

*shakes fist at academia*

ARGH for this perfect storm!

God will get me through this ... I will see you on the other side. Freaking rejoicing in THIS suffering baby. =P

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The challenge this week and the next:
"12 Therefore, dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..." -- Phillipians 2:13-15