Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"Discipline is the human effort to create the space in which God can be generous and give you what you need. When you are fearful, worried, or anxious, you want to control your life and to hold onto the reins. You want to do it your own way, whether it's like the younger son or the older son. The practice of discipline is to let the Father touch you, let the Father forgive you, let the Father receive you. And for that you need to be available; you have to be home. You have to have an address if you want to be addressed. You have to be at home in order to receive a guest or to receive God. So disciplines are ways of creating a space, a home within, in which God can come into your life to forgive you, to heal you, and to bring you many gifts.

"The first discipline is listening. The word listening in Latin is audire. And if you listen with great attention the words are ob audire. That is the word for 'obedience'. The word obedience means listening. If you are not listening, you are deaf. The Latin word for deaf is surdus, and if you're actually deaf, you're ab surdus. The 'absurd' life is a life in which you're not listening. An obedient life is a life in which you are listening." -- Marcs Messages

Monday, March 29, 2004

"God, let eternity be in my eye." -- Jonathan Edwards the night before preaching "Sinners at the hands of an angry God"

Monday, March 22, 2004

Spring Break...

There is a tip here for God's modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is open. A closed mouth before God and a silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is qualified to speak who has not first listened. It might well be a wonderful revelation to some Christians if they were to get completely quiet for a short time, long enough, let us say, to get acquainted with their own souls, and to listen in the silence for the deep voice of the Eternal God. The experience, if repeated often enough, would do more to cure our ulcers than all the pills that ever rolled across a desk. -- A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

"Intimacy requires a heart that is released; one can not be truly intimate if your heart is pinned down with unknown fears and grief." -- John Eldredge
Some things to think about ...

Life In A Different Time Signature -- Joel Kiekintveld

A friend of mine is an outstanding jazz and blues guitar player. A few weeks back I got an e-mail from him inviting me to come down and hear his first �solo� show at a new club in town. So around dinnertime I headed down to the club to watch Bill play. The show was great and the food was wonderful. The food service was ultra-slow, but this isn�t a restaurant review so I�ll move on. As great as that part of the night was, it was the after concert conversation and observations that remained with me.

Bill sat down at our table and we talked about life. He shared about a mutual friend of ours who is now becoming a follower of Jesus; it seems she had been convicted by being around Bill. She knew about Jesus, but had no relationship with Him. Bill also shared how a few concerts I had helped promote through our church last summer had, in his opinion, helped her make a return to God. The nature of the shows were different� they were concerts in a church by a mix of musicians, who may or may not be followers of Jesus. It was a show open to everyone where they could hear �Christian music�, and not just hear music, but good music at that. Bill shared how giving people a place to play and not expecting them to be �good Christians� had made an impact on more than one of the musicians involved. Seems too simple doesn�t it? Can the kingdom of God come just by giving musicians a place to play?

As the second act kicked in, I finished eating and we moved to the lobby to talk some more. Bill began to share how he had learned early in his Christian walk that God can use you anywhere and that being involved in a ton of things at church didn�t work for him. He shared how he and his family had �kept it simple.� He had seen God work in the lives of the people they had time for because they weren�t in the choir or on five committees, etc. I think this message would have been mostly lost if it wasn�t for the fact that our talk was interrupted frequently by people coming over to talk to Bill. He literally knew everyone in the room! I, on the other hand, really only knew the people from my church. That�s when it hit me - Bill was living like Jesus.

Bill had moved his life into a different time signature. He was moving to a different beat � maybe a jazz beat. His tempo had space for people and relationships. My tempo, more like techno beats, barely left me time to sleep. What was the difference? Bill wasn�t involved in five things at church like I was. He had the time to have kingdom building relationships out in the world. I barely had enough time to get the stuff I needed for the Sunday morning worship service done. Maybe following Jesus has little to do with how much one serves at church? Maybe following Jesus is about having time for people?

Jesus said, �My yoke is easy and my burden is light.� I honestly could not say that as I reflected on my life. The church felt like a burden. It was heavy. Worst of all it was keeping me from the types of relationships I saw Bill having, as well as the relationships I saw Jesus have during His ministry on earth. Changes needed to be made.

This week I decided to quit doing too much stuff at church in order to follow Jesus better. I want to live in a different time signature. It�s strange what a trip to the jazz club can teach you.

Monday, March 15, 2004

The great deficiency to which I refer is the lack of spiritual discernment, especially among our leaders. How there can be so much Bible knowledge and so little insight, so little moral penetration, is one of the enigmas of the religious world today.... -- A.W. Tozer

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Mmm...a timely word.

When He says, "Seek My face," what does your heart say to Him?
by Francis Frangipane

There are some things in life that cannot be attained cheaply or superficially. Scores of scriptures call us to something much more consuming and fulfilling than just having a religion about Jesus Christ. Yet, the challenge is to focus and centralize our efforts to appropriate what Jesus came to give.

He warns, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt 24:37-39).

Redeeming the Time

The biggest battle we each might fight is to stay focused on God long enough to learn how to abide in His presence. Before we can redeem the world, we must redeem our time. And we would think that with all the time saving conveniences we have in life, that this would be easy, but it is not.

The real test at the end of the age is: can we live in a place of focused renewal? Those whom I have known who have fallen into sin, never were taken in suddenly by the enemy. Their failure was always precipitated by an earlier erosion of their focus; their time with God was incrementally replaced with non-spiritual things. Left without the help of God, Satan's temptation came to a heart vulnerable and without strength to resist.

"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into" ( Matt 24:43).

The First Thing the Devil Steals is...

Speaking of the devil, Jesus warned that the "thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy" (Jn 10:10). Beloved, the first thing the devil steals is time. Once we surrender our devotional time with God to non-spiritual things; once this world becomes more important to us than the next, the enemy has easy access to "kill, and destroy" our virtue and spiritual strength.

Again, Jesus taught a parable about a certain man who was having a banquet and "sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.' But they all alike began to make excuses" (Lk:14:17-18).

When the Lord calls us to Himself, do we make excuses? I'm tired. Hungry. Busy. Jesus tells us that the reasons for avoiding Him will seem legitimate: "I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused"; "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused"; "I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come" (Lk 14:19-20).

I know it seems radical, but Jesus' final point is so contrary to the image we have of Him that His next admonition seems almost non-Christian. Let me also remind you that He wasn't only talking to His apostles or other "higher ups" in His staff; He turned and spoke to the "great multitudes [which] were going along with Him" (Lk 14:25).

"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Lk 14:-26-27).

Choosing Him Above All

Here's how His words strike my heart. To me, He is saying that I must not let any relationship challenge His love and call upon my life. And, if there is a decision to be made about doing His will, I must always choose Him above everyone else's interests, even my own. By comparison, every other relationship I have could appear like hate when measured by my love and obedience to Jesus.

Of course, loving Jesus brings the very best of heaven into all my other relationships; I possess something of Christ's life that brings greater love back to my family and friends, and even my own soul.

But above all, the choice must be made for Christ.

You say, "This doesn't sound like the Jesus I know; He loves everyone." Yes, but He also knows the battle for our souls will be fierce and that to be successful in our spiritual journey, He must be first.

A Time To Seek God

There are many seasons in life. Proverbs tells us there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Beloved, I believe it is time to draw near to God, to prepare our hearts for His presence. There simply is no substitute for the presence of God.

David was a king. His life was filled with many responsibilities and he was clearly very passionate about many things. Yet he wrote, "When Thou didst say, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to Thee, 'Thy face, O LORD, I shall seek' " (Ps 27:8).

If the Holy Spirit were to whisper to your heart that He wants more of your time, when the Lord says, "Seek My face," what do you say? Oh beloved, here is the true battle for your soul. Your victory is not in getting more counseling, but in your answer to the Lord's call.

The result of seeking God is that He guides us into an absolutely fearless life (see Psalm 27:1-4). David says, "For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock" (Ps 27:5).

Today, with so many distractions, what place does the Lord have in your life? If He called you to deepen your walk, to seek His face, how would you respond? When He says, "Seek My face," what does your heart say to Him?


by Francis Frangipane
Web: http://www.frangipane.org/ Email: comments@frangipane.org

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Saturday (12+ hrs)
Sunday (0 hrs)
Monday (12+ hrs)
Tuesday (19 hrs)
-----------------------------
= Too much time in the lab

:-D
Churches Preach Fitness

Hmm... what I would call selective obedience. Guys, I guess we need to be careful to eat vegetables and get exercise then right? :)
Quotes rampage!

"Honestly, everybody can be a stud. Wanna know the secret? Forget about yourself. The most attractive people I know don't really notice (or care too much) about how attractive they are. Their focus is on something outside of themselves... and it drives the opposite gender crazy. They tend to see it as "confidence without being cockiness." As soon as the "desperate" seminary boys take this to heart, they lose their desperation and become eminently dateable.

You know what Rich Mullins calls this "self-forgetting"? Humility. "Humility isn't about putting myself down. It's about being so lost in God, and so aware of others, that I forget that I even exist." (That's as close as I can get the quote... I heard the interview on KLove a few years ago)" -- christopherchu
On a really really awesome note ... my partner came up and told me that "It works." right after I finished posting this previous entry. Oh yeah baby.

I've been in the lab for approximately 36+ hours for the past four days. No, you did not read that number incorrectly. CSE 141 Lab, project 3 ... its approaching the final stretch.

The progress we've made in the past day has been quite significant ... I honestly do not think I could have made it this far without God's grace. People might just say that we got lucky, or we persevered and figured it out. No...this was by God's grace we got this far. You gotta understand that debugging this project is very much looking for a needle in a haystack. I can't even count the number of times where I heaved a sigh, walked out of the lab room, and prayed all the way to the bathroom, prayed outside getting fresh air, prayed walking back in. And soon after we would iron out one bug after the other. Its been slow and steady progress ... I praise God because he's caused this to work for the good. Several times I thought of just random things to try that worked out successfully ... today, a friend suggested a solution to a huge problem that we were having. Lo and behold, the suggestion worked perfectly. We saved at least 4-5 hours there.

I dunno, most people would be content to say that they got lucky or fortunat ... I personally find it much more plausible that I recieved divine help than the fact that we just "happened" upon the solution.

Anyway, its been physically draining past couple of days ... I'm thankful these times in life because even though its a lot of work, the pace of life is definitely slowed down. I don't make appointments or run from place to place ... I just chill in the lab to get as much of the project completed as possible. Inevitably, there has been ample time to think and process ...

Something that has been on my mind recently, is the prevalence of human weakness ... and how that is actually what God desires to work with.

Yeah, obvious enough right?

Haha, I dunno ... something that I've realized about myself is that I'm constantly fighting in my mind ... the "what is" in conflict with "what should be." If you've read my blog, you know that I often criticize followers of Jesus Christ for the "what is," how we have fallen short ... and to believe and strive for the "what should be."

I can't stand weakness ... whenever I approach God, the thing I am most aware of are my own limitations, insecurities, fears, and failures. I tend to operate in a performance-oriented Christianity. Somewhere in my heart, I have been led to believe that if I don't "perform," that God somehow is displeased ... and things aren't going good unless I'm hitting all cyclinders in what a Christian ought to do. Very much similar to how we may view our relationships with our boss at work, our friends perhaps, and often our parents.

But this is clearly not consistent with the fact that God's love is unconditional; it is not dependent on what I do. He doesn't love me anymore if I led 6 million souls to heaven, than if I lead 0. He doesn't love me anymore if I am able to do my devotions every day of the week, if I'm nice to everybody I meet, or even *gasp* if I pray daily.

It is a difficult concept for my mind to really wrap around, that God actually doesn't love me anymore (or less than) than the murderer on death row or Billy Graham. Mike Bickle writes in The Pleasures of Loving God, that we are all God's favorites ... how is this possible? It blows the mind ...

I think the one of the most mind-blowing things about being a Christian is that God doesn't work the way we do. I've heard this so many times, and in my mind ... I understand it to be false and yet ... my actions tend to reflect the belief that God's just chilling up there in heaven and shaking his head in disproval as I go through life. And something I've realized is that God actually LIKES working through me in my weakness. The verse:

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -- 2 Cor. 12:9-10


has only just started been unveiled in my life. It staggers my mind when I realize that God really doesn't need us, yet he chooses to work almost exclusively through weak human vessels. Moreover, God doesn't need my talents ... he is more glorified in my weaknesses than in my strengths! So why is that I keep on acting like "when I get my act together," God will finally start using me?

A group of us at UCSD have been praying every Friday night almost without ceasing (I think we only stopped during winter break), for a little over a year now. We started as a group of five us ... all of us desperate for more of God in our own lives and on this campus. Believe me when I say that who you surround yourself with significantly affects what you say and do ... even what you want. I have changed more in this past year and I could have ever imagined. Our little prayer group has now expanded into a little less "little group" of about 20. And there are another 70 which are on the way. Has it because of our accomplishments that suddenly we have enjoyed a four-fold increase?

There couldn't be anything further from the truth.

The greatest growth you will ever experience in your life will come from the greatest pains, frustrations, and struggles. The growth that the five us have experienced has been wrought from intense struggles between the flesh and spirit. It was pretty awkward, dirty, and nasty ladies and gentlemen. God apparently loves to do his work in the dirty stables in tiny insignificant places like Bethlehem.

I find myself here, in light of all the blessings and growth of the past year ... I find myself with such an increased awareness of my own limitations in the presence of a living God. The past couple of weeks have seen our group engage in some discussions regarding how the group was going to be run. The prevailing feeling at the end of the meeting? We really don't have a clue of what we're doing.

Last week during prayer meeting I was totally rocked mentally ... struggling with fears, doubts, accusations, and temptations ... I don't know how I made it. I don't know what happened but somehow I ended up praying in the Spirit, ministering to others, and ministering to the heart of God. I didn't know what i was doing ... and if anything, I was not ABLE to do anything ... and yet God moved!

The list goes on, even this CS project is a testimony to God's faithfulness. You think I know what I'm doing around here? I don't. But God does ... so I throw myself at his mercy and grace every day as I remember to.

The point? I don't know where you folks are at. Maybe you're struggling with the piercing reality of your weaknesses ... In the Bible ... Peter struggled with the same thing. Jesus exhorts Peter in the garden ... "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:41) And we find Peter denying Christ three times shortly after. How often do we find ourselves in that position! We know temptation is coming, we know that there will be tests ... we tell ourselves ... must watch and pray ... must be vigilant. And BAM. We fall ... we miss the mark, we fall short. Perhaps we don't feel like we've denied Christ (perhaps we have) ... but we feel horrible. How could God possibly be happy with this?

Later on we see Jesus reinstating Peter:

15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." 18
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" -- John 21:15-19


I read a commentary from the same Mike Bickle book as mentioned above ... and he notes that Jesus isn't questioning Peter's heart. When Jesus asks a question ... he seldom is looking for our answer. The question is for our benefit. What we see here is Jesus showing Peter where his heart is ... in his heart of hearts ... Peter DOES love Jesus. Even in spite of that failure in denying Christ three times, Christ shows Peter that there is a difference between weakness and rebellion. We somehow get into this idea that OMG ... we must have "shocked" God back there when we failed to share the gospel, or we let a swear word slip out in a moment of frustration, or we fall into some other sin.

He is not surprised.

"13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." -- Phil 3:13-15


If we are ever to progress in our faith, if we are ever to "be mature," ... we must remember this. We must forget the failures of the past ... we must even forget the successes of the past. Not to say that we shouldn't learn from the past ... but if our past begins to prevent us from moving into the future, we must give those things to God. He delights in us even in our weakness.

"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"
-- Switchfoot


So dang it, don't let the enemy whisper you to the floor, motionless. Get up get up!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Quote parade:

"Financial numbers of all kinds annually reach "record" levels until inflation and buying power are taken into account. At the end of Bill Clinton's second term, the defense budget was at a "record" level, but adjusted for inflation was nearly 50 percent lower than the peak Ronald Reagan budget. If Social Security payments were not indexed for inflation, they would still set a "record" every year while annually declining in real value. Etc. It's an embarrassment to journalism when big news organizations act as if they don't know about real-dollar valuation." -- Easterblogg


Interesting post today regarding gas prices... I encourage y'all to keep tags on this blog. Speaks from a conservative mindset, but actually *gasp* thinks about what he's saying. He's willing to challenge the status quo w/ compromising his beliefs. I don't agree with him on all accounts; but he gives credit where its due and criticizes when its appropriate.
Interesting Quote:

"Good art does this very thing: it focuses on the small, obscure and ignored, and shows us its worth. Praising sex, drugs, and cash is bad art in the same way that poems about puppies and pictures of horses are bad art � no one needs to remind us that sex is fun or that puppies are cute. Bad art is essentially just giving us back to ourselves, allowing us to turn further inward and away from the world outside. Taking the sexual metaphor a bit farther (perhaps too far), maybe bad art is really just a way of pleasuring ourselves � making rap that reaches no further than our basic impulses is really just a form of musical masturbation." -- On Hip-Hop and Model Dinosaurs, Felix Tallon
Struggling to believe what is unseen and to trust. TRUST. Such a simple word, such devastating implications....

Friday, March 05, 2004

Something that stuck out from my sister's xanga:

"I've learned.... That when you're in love, it shows."

... to the body of Christ of UCSD: you say you love Christ. How does it show?

If all of us were put on trial for being Christians ... exactly what would be the grounds our conviction? That we meet outside of church? That we have a social clubs? That we sing worship songs? Because we have our own Christian sub-culture? Because we only associate with fellow believers? Because we have our Christian-ese?

"They will know that you are Mine by your love for one another."

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I think one reason I haven't been posting as much this year is because...believe it or not... I'm more busy. Yeah, I came to this grand realization in the middle of one of my classes. You see, during my freshman and sophomore years ... I was "busy." Studying was definitely a choice that I made ... whether I actually studied wasn't as critical as it is now. Frosh and sophs .. even high schoolers ... for the most part, if you choose not to study, you'll be okay. When you get to this point ... studying is a do or die. When I said I needed to study as a freshman, I really meant that given the choice between hanging out and studying ... I would err on the side of studying because I was nerdy like. In retrospect, I probably didn't have to study half the times I said I did. Now, I find myself saying the same thing .. except, doh...I really need to study.

So, back to the point. I think life's gotten a lot faster. Today I walked to and from the bus stop ... which is a good ten minutes of walking. You compare that to the frenzies 2-3 minutes it took to bike to school before, I found myself today with much more "quiet" reflecting time than I have had in awhile. Even though I was always studying as a frosh/soph ... I still had remarkable amount of time of quiet. Which would explain the long posts from the past two years :). Many of those came out of several days of pondering, not about anything serious ... but being able to process through my thoughts. Now? *faaaarrt* Yea, you have the opportunity and you let it alllll out.

Hehe...anyway, I'm still learning the balance. I'm finally finally being more intentional in relationships ... which has been definitely awesome. Now, if I could just be more consistent in responding to email...

*detour*
So yesterday I finally got a chance to go running for the like the first time in...uhm. Right, so I was listening to John Piper sermon ... and oh man, it was really really good. Maybe it was because I just so hungry for something new, something to chew on ... but wow, it was excellent. And to top it off, not only did I feel cleansed and refreshed in my spirit .. it started raining towards the end of my run. Dude. There are few things in this life that are more awesome than light ran in the evening while you are running. Man. Anyway, I encourage y'all to take a break from listening to music sometimes and pop in a sermon. We're called to be transformed by the renewing of your mind ... what you THINK on will is what you will ACT on. What you speak will be an outflow of what's in your heart. What's written on your heart? Dreams of your career, money, relationships? What's on your heart will translate into what you think about and in turn flow out of your mouth. So yeah ... get cleansed yo. You can download John Piper's sermons online ... listen to Pastor Judah Smith from The City Church Seattle too.
*/detour*

Monday, March 01, 2004

Its March 1. Which means several things.

Switchfoot this friday for Winterfest. Strangely, I'm not as stoked as I have making it out to be.

The day after February 29. Leap day, last leap day that lands on a Sunday for 28 years. More on that later.

It's Week 9 of school, which means that finals is less than two weeks away. Spring break is rolling around, and my old nemesis spring quarter returns.

Its nearing time for end of quarter reflection.

In regards to Switchfoot, I dunno ... I guess I'm not excited as I would think. If you've known me for any measure of time ... you know that I just about went buck wild when the Switchfoot cd came out. You will also know that I wasn't as swept away by the Switchfoot concert I went to last quarter as I would have hoped. Which generally seems to be the trend this year ... things that I've been emotionally stoked for have let me down almost without fail. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing ... but sometimes I feel like I've been emotionally flatlining. Some people have told me that I'm maturing. I hope not. But maybe this is what happens when you get past that infantile emotional up and downs and start living out consistency. Who knows. I guess I'm just bracing myself against an emotional letdown. I'm not even sure if I'll be going this Friday.

I would say that Sunday, February 29, 2004 was probably one of the more memorable days of my life.

To backtrack a little bit, you've probably noticed I haven't posted as much on my blog this quarter ... and its not that I don't want to, I do. Some of you have expressed being encouraged by my sharings, and that's encouraging to know. I've always made it a point not to just leave this blog as a "what did Benson do today" thing because I'm sure y'all have better things to do with your time. This blog challenges me too ... to write with clarity, to communicate what's so clear in my mind to other people. It also challenges me to remember what God has been doing. Its easy to forget that sometimes. Anyway, I've been learning a bit to babble less and to think more. A lot of times I'm tempted to just write about what has been going ... what struggles. But honestly, many of those things fade away after several days. And when you step back, they're really inconsequential...

So in some ways, that's where I find myself right now. Its been a horrific quarter in some ways ... I've never felt so yanked so far up and down emotionally than I have this quarter, I've had to work through some pretty tough moments with me and God (which basically consisted of me just hanging by a thread and asking God for the grace to make it through), been a lot of changes in my heart and life. I'm not sure I can necessarily elaborate on all those specifically ... but I do know I'm different. Very much in the same way I felt significantly different after Fall Quarter. And yeah, in many of the previous ways mentioned ... it has been a glorious quarter.

This Sunday was definitely a memorial of sorts for me. Made several commitments that I've been wrestling with for the past several months. All the shaking and transitioning that went on this quarter has put me in a position to be where I am right now. It certainly was not apparent when I was in the midst of some of this stuff ... but here I am. God has certainly proved himself to be the best author of this thing called life ... He's been sovereign and faithful to complete what he has begun.

Anyway, 'tis all for now. More laters