Thursday, December 25, 2003

ran across this quote from effervescent16's xanga:

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

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


Monday, December 22, 2003

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

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

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

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

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


Something I was thinking about earlier today...

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

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


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

Sunday, December 21, 2003

I love these lyrics:

"INSIDE OUTSIDE," Delirious?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2003

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

Thursday, December 18, 2003


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

Have a little headache and cold symptoms as well.

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

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


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


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


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


Tozer for the day...

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

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

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

Monday, December 15, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2003

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

Saturday, December 13, 2003

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

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

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

It can only be a good thing.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

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

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

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

Maybe we should give him a cookie.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 06, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

-- "Coming Back," Delirious?

Friday, December 05, 2003

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

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

Trials and Pain: This Does Not Come From God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Calvin: "Do you hate being a girl?"

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

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

Susie: "Like a WHAT!?"

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

:: Calvin gets beaten up ::

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somehow that doesn't quite cut it either.

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

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

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

Oh but wait.

There's more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 01, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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