Friday, December 16, 2011

Everyone is Worth Dying For

Today I drove by a homeless man and I felt guilty.

I said hey to him and he said hi back. My window was open and his sign read: Homeless, Anything Helps. As I drove down the road I thought of a poem entitled Okay by Lowell Jaeger and a discussion that I had with some coworkers about it. I thought about what I could do to help, what I should have done to help. An internal war waged within my being. A war of guilt, shame, and disgust. I thought of how I could turn around and take him to lunch and almost did so at several turns. "Who knows if he's even there still," I thought to myself. "He'll be fine, someone else will help him," I tried to convince myself. But I couldn't help thinking that Jesus is found in the "least of these." I did not feed Him when He was hungry, and the guilt and shame grew like a thorn bush around my heart. I imagined myself having a conversation with this man over lunch, him sharing his story. And I imagined his life without my having stopped for him. What were his holiday plans? Was the season even colder for him. I saw him crying himself to sleep, somewhere on a street downtown. My heart broke and nothing came out but a couple small icicles and a pebble or two. Why didn't I turn around? Why do I let fear and discomfort determine my actions?
I told myself if I saw another such person on the way home I would do something about it. I did see one as I passed another intersection ten or so blocks down the road. But again I convinced myself that it was too out of the way. Too inconvenient. He was facing the other way and I would have to turn around. HAVE TO TURN AROUND!? What remained of my heart fell like a paper weight made of glass onto a cold cement floor. I could not even turn around?! Could I have saved this man's life by giving him a temporary relief from sorrow and strife? I thought of who I am and who God has revealed Himself to be. I thought of how I was like a crying baby left out on the street. I was as good as dead with no one to help me. I could do nothing on my own to save myself but God did not leave me there. He saw my pain and He took it on Himself so that I might live. It was not easy for Him. It was more than just turning around. More than giving of earthly resources like money or food. It was giving His Son and enduring unimaginable pain. But He knew it would be worth it. He knew that through the pain there was gain.
So I prayed. I asked God to teach me to how to love as He loves. Then I thought, "Have I not been taught to love in this way already?" So I prayed for boldness. Boldness in love. I prayed that I might learn to be bold in the way that I love others. I don't want to be bold about foolish things that exalt myself. I want to be bold in ways that show people that they are truly cared for and truly appreciated. When I'm testifying about what and how my life was, I don't want it to be a shame to look back at. I want to know that I was bold in how I loved God's children. Every person who has lived on this earth was made in the holy and precious image of God. No one should be left out. No one should be excluded. Every person, man or woman, should be loved as a brother or sister.
I write this as a warning to my brothers and sisters. Do not let anything convince you that you are more important or valuable than anyone else. You are valuable and you matter so very much, but you must keep a humble heart. You must remember where you come from. Where you have fallen so that you can know how to help others up who are on the ground. Have a plan for when you come into contact with people you're uncomfortable with. Learn to love patiently and without hesitation or second thoughts. Don't let the world or anyone convince you that life isn't precious or that certain people don't matter. Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes all we need are listening ears and an open heart.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Words to Remember when Day Breaks and Night Falls

We say the night falls. Another name for the dawn is daybreak. It would seem that we have brought brokenness and the fall into every part of our lives. I think that we have. We have done nothing to bring redemption to the world. It was nothing on our part. Nothing we could help. We can claim redemption but we cannot claim its authorship. The day breaks because the heart of the world is broken. That's right, it's broken, bruised, torn, bleeding, and in need of repair. This world we live in is worn and needs mending. If any of us claim perfection we are lying to ourselves and the world. What can be done to fix us? Nothing on our part. Anything that we do in an attempt to mend the world is a defunct screwdriver screwing broken screws; it just won't work. True, it may seem to fit together for a time, but that won't last. We, as humans, only know how to temporarily solve our problems.
No one has cracked the code of death. No one that is, except Jesus, the One who is both God and Man. The One who was before and will still be after time ends. It is through Him that we find redemption. Through Him that we can claim Truth and Life and Wholeness. As broken as we are, He is that much more whole. He can make us whole. And while we are here on earth we may never truly experience the gravity of our togetherness, but we can experience small glimpses of it. Our bodies long to be a part of something whole. We long to know true gratification and acceptance. We long to be accepted for who we are, not what we are, how much we are, what we wear, or anything like that. We want to know if true, lasting love is possible.
That's why so often we try to find love and acceptance elsewhere. We forget what we were made for. We try to put off some of the feelings that we're having for the sake of temporary gratification. We think an ounce of happiness will help hold us off until we find the unlimited joy. We deceive ourselves into thinking we'll be happy with the small imitations of joy in this life. This life is not all that there is; we so quickly forget that. Many times it's not a forgetfulness but rather an ignorance. We want satisfaction now. We're impatient. But we must learn patience for we will be held accountable for this life.
Please remember that His love never ends. His care for you will not dwindle. His pleasure in your life remains. Though this world bends you back and forth until you are torn, broken, bruised, and bleeding, He can revive you. Though things may not seem to get better, or nothing seems to be new anymore, He can make all things new. The One who knows everything and has seen and felt it all, somehow manages to make it all brand new.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hopes, Fears, Pride, and Humility

If I'm honest I don't have the best confidence. Or perhaps more specifically I have little confidence in myself. Maybe it's an issue of self-image. I feel that we're typically our most critical critique of ourselves. But I have gotten better about it. It is hard to find the balance though sometimes between humility and pride. I'm also sort of confused about where I stand in some situations lately. Well...maybe

I'm trying to stay clear of pursuing relationships with the opposite sex for a time. I want to rely fully on God for my fulfillment and it can be a difficult lesson to learn. Maybe the way to do that is not to dwell on singleness but to love everyone equally. It may seem cliché but it seems that something went off in my mind this morning, showing me how this may be possible. It's a love that doesn't play favorites and a love that doesn't pursue relationships out of selfish interest. I want to learn about people, male and female, and how they desire to be loved. I want to learn about people's hopes and fears and share life with them. Not with a desire to find "the one" but simply to show them they are loved. I want to show people this love that I have so graciously received. I know that I don't deserve an ounce of this love that dwells in my heart but God gives it freely, and how can I not share that? We all want to be held in some way, part of life is just finding out how. I have spoken before about how laughter can build bridges but also close doors. I believe that if we use it to build bridges people will be willing to open their heart's doors to what we have to say. When we build bridges that connect our funny bones, people aren't so afraid of the words that follow. There must be a healthy balance between laughter and love. Love must overcome all emotion, but laughter is just a tool used to gently ease into conversations of Truth. I don't mean to sound cultish and I'm not sure if I do, but maybe that's just the lack of self-confidence coming out through my fingers as I type.
To conclude, I just want to say that I'm learning to love with little self-interest. It's a difficult task, but with help I can do it. Life must be a sacrifice and we must remember that even the boring moments are included in our lives for a reason. The times where we do little, or have little to do, are not breaks in our lives. They are moments with every amount of potential as the rest. Let us remember that we will be held accountable for the moments of action and the moments of inaction. When in doubt, choose to love and not shout. Use gentle words when possible but remember that love is not genuine without at least some discipline.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Hey there. If you are like me, sometimes you need a little encouragement. So here you go:

When your heart is breaking, the pieces are falling into His lap. He'll restore you. When you feel like you can't even trust yourself, know that His trust hasn't waned a single bit. When love is hard to find, and you don't feel worthy of anything, remember Him. He became the lowest so that He could know your feelings and love you where you are. When you seem to be constantly reminded of your failures, seek Him; He will show you just how precious you are in His sight.

Jesus be my shelter that I can live inside. Be the place where I can run and hide. I don't want to hide myself in tents made of tearing plastic. I want to be found in You. If I'm broken, may it be for You. Take my heart and mold me like the clay that I once was. Purchase me from my desires and the death that seems to so easily entangle my life. Change me for You and make me a liberal giver of all of the resources that You have so generously given me. Take my life and make it Yours. In Your most holy Name, Amen.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Hey world. I like to try and post on this Blog at least once a month and have thought about it recently, but I've been pretty busy. So just a quick update. I am currently moving to Denver. Well, I'm actually in Denver already and am mostly moved in. I've still got a lot to do so I'm going to go ahead and end this post, but if someone wants an update soon and I don't seem to be getting on it, just go ahead and let me know. You can leave a comment here or contact me some other way. Hope you are well!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sometimes it's not the yeast that builds the Bread of Life

Hello readers and simple observers. Here's an interesting anecdote. I just finished not making bread. Yeah, that's right, I said not making bread. That's because while making it this time, when I got to the part where I was supposed to let the bread rise in some relative heat I decided it was hot enough to do it outside. Why not? I mean it seemed hot enough and I could save some energy while doing it and I could still cover it. So I went for it! An hour later I came back to the bowl and removed the towel I had placed over it to discover about a handful of ants in the dough. After doing a little research, including calling my grandma, checking online, and talking with my mom, I decided not to complete the bread making process. It was going to be soo good too! It had Italian seasoning (done that before and it's delicious!), mozzarella cheese, and sun dried tomatoes. I think I'll try making it again sometime soon.
So that was an unfortunate turn of events. But I know that it wasn't an accident. Sure, I didn't intend to prepare an entire loaf of bread only to have to throw it all away. But as I was cleaning up the counter I believe the Holy Spirit led me to a certain realization. As some of the excess dough and flour remained on the counter, it was a bit of a challenge to clean it all up. I had to use my fingernails and really scrape at the granite surface to get the dried ingredients up. Before doing that I tried just washing it with water and even some soap but that didn't work. Only after I had removed most of the dough with considerable effort was I able to use soap and a special cleaner in order to completely clean the counter where I had been. Had I not cleaned it completely, it would have attracted ants, creating a greater disaster than before. So I had to clean it all, I couldn't leave a crumb and hope that it somehow cleaned itself.
And somehow, I truly believe it was by the Holy Spirit, the thought entered we as human beings are like the counter. We will all be judged based upon the same guidelines. We are all held equally responsible for our own actions. Though so often we think that if we do something good, it will erase the bad that we've done, it won't. We justify our sin by comparing ourselves to others. I know that I sometimes I'm guilty of thinking that although I'm not pure in heart, I'm trying, and isn't trying enough? The sad fact is that it may not be. I must strive to be the best that I can be, to be pure in heart, pure in soul, and pure in mind. I know that I cannot do it myself. I need my Savior's help. But I can't lean on Him as a crutch. I can't think lightly of sin, because then it creeps into the cracks of my life and begins to expand them until I no longer no what to do about it. He will deliver me, but I must do my part. I must live my life as a living sacrifice, sacrificing temporary thrills for true life, sacrificing brief despair for future joy, sacrificing uncomfortable feelings for everlasting placidity.
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit revealing this to me and allowing me to share it with you. I hope that you can benefit from it and you can truly take it to heart. Analyze yourself. Challenge yourself, for if your life is not positively challenging, are you even really living or are you just existing?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Right Now

Hello there you. Here's some words:
I'm pretty sure I first thought about this about a week ago. A lot of my thinking lately has been regarding the future. Before graduating from App, a lot of my thinking was about the past. I was beginning to miss the life that I was still living because I knew that it would soon be gone. So I have come to realize that I need to focus more on living in the present. This is not to say that I am going to forget the consequences of my actions and just throw caution to the wind. I must seize the day though. I'm looking for a new job but have to remember that where I am is where I am. Also, who I am is who I am. Who I am is not who I will be, or who I was, but who I am at the moment that I am. Perhaps this is a step after crawling. Maybe it's learning while living. This step involves others, but I know that I can climb them because I know that I am not alone in this climb. When another day comes, another story or lesson may, but today I am who I am in this moment.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Strange Feelings

It's a strange feeling. The world is in a state of celebration. A man has been killed and we are celebrating. Sure, he was responsible for the death of thousands, but should we really be celebrating his death? He was made, just like you and I, with a plan in mind. I just think it's a little strange that people all over the world are rejoicing that one man is now dead. I'll admit, I do feel a strange sense of patriotism and a certain level of comfort, but I know that the war isn't over. I know that we all still live in our own wars and this worldly war may have only escalated. Still, an odd comfort rubs my shoulders.
It's like another feeling that I currently have: midnight hunger. You know the feeling? When you're pretty wide awake, it's late at night, you think you should be sleeping, but you're also somehow hungry. You think, "Should I eat something or just try and get some sleep? It wouldn't be good for me to eat something now, but I am quite hungry."
I also just watched a video of a couple friends from when we were studying abroad. It was a video of them swing dancing at the international festival. It's kind of hard to believe that was about a year and a half ago now. That video was a nice initiator of happy thoughts and nostalgic butterflies.
And I've got three more exams and a critique before officially graduating. It's pretty surreal. Am I really graduating in less than a week? Where am I going to go? What am I going to do? I try not to let those questions get too far into my skull. If I did, they might cause some sort of anxiety attack. But just below the surface I'm a little excited about this time of transition. I don't know exactly where I'll be in just over 6 months and it's pretty exciting. I'm ready for new opportunities. I don't want this life to end but don't want to love my life in a way that I shouldn't. This life is nothing. I mustn't get too caught up in all the living of life.
Am I falling for someone? Not really. My heart says yes, but my mind knows it's infatuation. I barely even know her. So often my heart thinks it's my mind and desperately tries to think things through. I think the thinking should be left up to my mind, maybe even sometimes the feeling too. So I'm preparing a little more each day to jump this ship, hoping that the water will hold me up, or I'll land softly on solid ground and I won't regret the day I jumped.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Vicarious Life

Some feelings lately:

"There's a voice in my head but it's not me."

"I think way too much on a one track mind."

"I don't know what else to do...Are You sure You want me?"

"You said, 'I know that this will hurt, but if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse. If the burden seems too much to bear, remember the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.'...And You promise me that You believe in time I will defeat this 'cause somewhere in me there is strength...Reach out to me. Make my heart brand new."

"...I was positive that unless I got myself together I would watch me fall apart and I can't let that happen again...See that line? I never should have crossed it...It's the very moment that I wish that I could take back. And who I am will take the second chance You gave me."

"I've thrown away so many things that could've been much more. I've thrown away the secret to find an end to this. And I just pray that my problems go away if they're ignored, but that's not the way it works...Any control I thought I had, just slips right through my hands, while my ever present conscience shakes its head and reprimands me. Then and there, I confess I'll blame all this on my selfishness. Yet You love me and that consumes me. And I'll stand up again, and do so willingly. You give me hope and hope it gives me life. You touch my heavy heart and when You do You make it light."

"And I've been locked inside that house all the while You hold the key."

"You're the only One who understands completely. You're the only One who knows me yet still loves completely....and through the times I've faded and You've outlined me again."

"...I know that I don't want to die sitting around watching my life go by. And what we take from this is what we'll get. And we haven't quite figured it out just yet because all of us are all too stuck. Strapped to a chair watching our lives blow up."

"I just fall apart 'cause that's my trademark. It's my trademark move to turn my back on You. It's my trademark move to realize I should improve. And sometime soon after that You'll see me come crawling back."

"Everybody makes mistakes, here's your lifeline"

"...even if your hope has burned with time. Anything that's dead shall be re-grown."

"Something's broken and seems unnatural."

"I'm not the one to admit it's helpless. I have a sense that we will be alright."

"...Keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load. I walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes."

"You make everything glorious and I am Yours. What does that make me?"

"Ever faithful, ever true. You, I know, You never let go. You never let go. You never let go. You never let go. You never let go. You never let go."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just a Moment

I'm 22 for a moment. Just a moment though. The world passes by at the speed of life. As much as I wish I could, I cannot slow it down or speed it up. I'm just another broken piece in this imperfect world. I cannot escape that. There is no way. Nothing of my own doing will ever change that. It is only through grace and mercy and, ultimately, love that my circumstance will change.

I'm 22 for a moment. Yet sometimes these moments seem so long. Sometimes I long to fast-forward to the next period. The next moment. I sleep during the day and lie awake at night. The stars keep me company but the room is so cold.

I'm 22 for a moment. And that moment is going so fast. I look back and 18 is only a day away. Where did the last four years go? My life is moving and I'm trying to catch up. I'm trying to make the most of it. Or, I wish I was. There are so many days that I would like to have back. If that means that I could change them. Could do something about them. Sure, there are days that I'm glad I am through with, but my heart keeps beating and sometimes I would just like a pause.

I'm 22 for a moment. And more than 21 moments have passed me by with regret. More than a month has been wasted. Should that not inspire me to change? I guess it goes back to me being powerless to change myself.

I'm 22 for a moment. And there have been so many moments where I've been living for something else. Things not worthy of my time. Even noble things with the wrong motive. I have tried to convince myself that the reason I want a relationship is to reflect the relationship of the Triune God with Himself and with Man. But I am only deceiving myself. I pursue relationships to find identity. To find where I am, even who I am. This is not what they were meant for. No wonder I have not found that authentic relationship yet. I'm not seeking the Kingdom first. I've become a person who is only Kingdom-minded when it is convenient for me. I have lost the order of my priorities. My heart has deceived me. I have listened to my feelings rather than my Creator. Perhaps when I listen to what God has to say to me I will better understand these feelings I have. Maybe He'll let me have a relationship. But I cannot be pursuing that with my heart and my life as I have been. That is only messing with my mind and pushing away authentic time with the One who made me from scratch.

I'm 22 for a moment. And I can't let that moment pass me by. I can't let my heart forget how to fly.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just Let Go

Hello there. I've got a few feelings worth sharing lately but I'm also quite tired. I'll just go into one of them this time. Recently I was listening to my iPod on shuffle and a song came up that I felt really pertains to one of my current situations. The song is called "Just Let Go" and it's by the band Mae. Something interesting about the fact that this song is describing my situation now is that I believe it did the same around the start of my college career. I remember there was a period where I listened to it for a while, which is usually because I can relate to the words spoken in it. So it is as if I have come full circle here in college. Situations have changed and I would say many can see that I have as well. But somehow I have come back to this song, or rather it has returned to lay in the lap of my ears once again. This time listening to it, I hear it as a duet. The duet allows it to make more sense for me now. So I am going to put the lyrics here in the way that I hear it. B (for boy) will be me, G (for girl) will be her, and T (for together) will both of us.

B: We've got all night just to make it alright. Would you take a walk with me? I'll give you all I've got just spare me your time and I promise you won't want to leave.
G: Are you, are you falling for me?
B: (thinking to himself) This time we'll find what we both need.
B: There's an old oak tree, we can swing and sway, we'll lock arms and legs. You're so far away. When I look at you, you're so far away, I'm so far away.
G: Oh if you could just let go.
B: Wet your eyes with me just for a while. I'll take you out of harm's way. And like these branches that shelter the rain we can lay here in our own shade.
G: Are you, are you falling for me?
B: Just watch, the two of us will see. There's an old oak tree, we can swing and sway, we'll lock arms and legs. You're so far away. When I look at you, you're so far away. I'm so far away. There is so much that I could give to you, just say you want me to. I know these roots could break the ground. And in the meantime our leaves will turn. But rest assured, we'll get through anything.
T: Are you, are you falling for me?
B: Like I, oh I'm falling for you. There's an old oak tree, we can swing and sway, we'll lock arms and legs. You're so far away. It's just you and me. We can get away. We can get away.
G: You're so far away.
B: (thinking to himself) In this lover's play we are happy here, oh in every way. Oh, and then we just let go.
G: Just let go.
B: (to himself) Just let go.

So I envision this song as a conversation between myself and someone that I sort of have feelings for, knowing she doesn't share them. Not only does she not share those same feelings, but I've fallen for her twice before, only to realize she was just being herself. She wasn't trying to make me fall for her. So it's as though I'm falling for her and partially trying not to. I'm trying to tell myself to just let go but for some reason my heart keeps beating on in a direction pointed toward her. So perhaps that explains (to a certain extent) why this song applies to my current situation.
Anyway, that's one of my feelings lately. Maybe one day soon I'll post some of the others. What do you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Couple Quick Lists

A quick thought about what I'll miss and what I'll be able to go without once I leave Boone:

I'll miss:

1. Snow days where I can wake up, check my email, and go back to sleep
2. Calling friends and finding time to hang out just 'cause
3. Having a community of believers my age to share life with
4. Having (more or less) a schedule to live by
5. Sometimes I like the homework; it gives me something to do
6. Inspiration for art assignments and feedback on my art in classes
7. Friends
8. Beautiful weather; a nice breeze and no humidity
9. Looking around and seeing beautiful mountains/creation everywhere
10. Meeting new people (in class, on the bus, at CRU, etc.)
11. Being able to go to campus or somewhere just to be around people
12. The feeling of completing a big paper/being done with a test

I think I can go without:

1. Early classes
2. The feeling of assignments hanging over me
3. Multiple tests on the same day/big assignments due on the same day
4. Not many places to park on campus/in town
5. Apartments without air conditioning/heat
6. School + Life stress

These are just a few things I've thought about real quick. There definitely seems to be more stuff that I'll miss than not. But life moves forward for a purpose. I must not try to hold the emergency break while I'm driving. It's not effective, nor is it healthy for my engine.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Here's my heart. Or, to put it another way, here's how I feel:

It's a time of transition, as I've mentioned before. It's a time of excitement. A time of joy. But it's also a time of uncertainty. A time of sadness. I'm becoming more conscious of the people and the places that I am going to miss. I'm thankful that I'm able to have a great time cramming some final hang out time and some final journeys and excursions. I'm thankful I've been able to have some new experiences and some mind-rewinding experiences. At the same time though, they make my heart a little heavy. I don't want to leave this place. I don't want to leave these people. My life is here. What I go home to doesn't really feel like home anymore. Going home feels more like a vacation. But I also don't really want it to feel too much like home. I don't want to get stuck there. I don't want to return and my feet get stuck. This decision does not reflect the feelings I have for the people back home in the least bit. I love my family and have some really good friends around that area as well. But I really just don't see myself there at this stage in my life. I can't get stuck there, like a fly on paper. I was made for so much more than a lukewarm life. Maybe that's why I don't want to be there. I feel like I'll sink too easily into comfort and become more lukewarm than I am. I don't want that to happen.

And then there are people here. My heart nearly cracks thinking of the fact that there are probably some people I will never see again. I know it may sound unreasonable to say that but I look back on people from just four short years ago and feel like some of them are all but forgotten. How does this happen? How does such a significant stage in life just evaporate from true existence? How do people live on separately and in my life become only memories? There are several people that I don't want to become memories. There are times that I don't want to live without. Times that have heavy influences on my life. I don't want to be alone on Thursday nights instead of worshipping the One True God with my peers at CRU.

And I know that the only way to experience new things is to move on. But is it possible for me to move on somewhere while I live on somewhere else? I cannot live in two places but it's like my heart will be in two places. I don't recall feeling this way when leaving home to go to college. I felt so much potential and still felt I would see my friends down the road. But that road has become a dusty path and only a few remain near the mile markers. How do I keep that from happening here?

To put it short, but not exactly simply, I feel halfway. I know there is so much potential that lies ahead, so much joy that is still before me. But I'm just not ready to leave this all behind me. Not yet. I'm just getting to know people I care for. I'm reaching out, but perhaps I'm reaching too far. I'm stepping into lives that I want to be a part of. I'm wishing to walk alongside some who probably don't have the same intentions. Perhaps they only see me as a passing glance. Not even two arms holding. Maybe to them I am just a butterfly on their windshield of life. It was beautiful to watch me fly while we were together, but now that I've collided with them, the time has come to wash me away. If I were to stay in view, they would not be able to see all that lies ahead. Perhaps my wings no longer have a purpose here. Perhaps the time has come for me to learn to fly somewhere else.

Talking to others, I try to make it better, but it only makes it worse. I see them and enjoy their company and cannot help but to think it will soon be over. Soon we will be hundreds of miles apart. Then perhaps thousands of miles apart. Yes, we'll see each other in pictures and maybe passing glances by coincidence, but what is that? Even in moving pictures we'll see each other and talk about our lives, but is that really the same? Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I want something that I can take from here. I want someone who will tie me back to this place. Someone who when I leave, has a tear-drenched face. I want to know that someone feels like I do. I want to know that this time has been worth it and that I'll be missed. But I want to be able to come back into arms.

My arms are empty but they don't want compromise. My heart is cracked, although it's been circumcised. I'm broken within and on the way to fullness. So I'm just trying to say, this time is difficult for me. I need more than a way to get by. I need a beginning that will not forget this time. I need a way to remember and be satisfied. Will memories ever satisfy the desire to return? Will, for the rest of my life, I look back on this time?

So, to conclude, I will say this: I'm not ready to go but I'm ready to stay. Yet I'm not equipped to stay, I'm almost halfway. I'm living somewhere between where I am and where I'll be. It's difficult to tell how I feel in a sentence. But maybe someone will understand me. Maybe I'll find contentment, or it will find me...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't just wear a smile, Be it!

Hello world. Can we talk? I've just been lifted today. It has been one of those days where I can feel joy shining from the inside out. I have felt the joy growing from my heart, leaving through my arteries, and standing firm in my mouth. I want to share it. I want to show this love. I've had signs of love, signs of life, that have are typical of myself. I've walked along the slippery slope called love. Here, so easily, do I fall, but perhaps many times I find myself in a well of infatuation. Some of these wells are harder to escape than others; sometimes I find myself jumping back in, forgetting that the water only flows one way. My love will be a river. My love will be renewed and renewing.
Though today is a holiday, it does not feel like one. It's not that I'm down today. In fact, I've been quite full of joy today. The climate spiritually, relationally, and meteorologically has been great. But today we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Have I done that? I wore green, not much else. But it's a great today to be living. Graduation is near, about a month and a half away. And community is here. I feel community in this place where I live. Now that I'm leaving I feel acceptance and friendship. I feel relationship with my fellow man. Life is a fisherman pulling me toward reality. I'm not ready to leave this, I still feel new discoveries. Inevitably the hook will attach to me and I will have to leave. Perhaps not outwardly will I fight the pulling line, but inwardly my heart may leave something behind.
So I'm not ready to leave, though sometimes ready to be done. Not quite ready to be gone. I see changing winds in the future, but not before a steady calm. I can smell the salt of the sea that is far off in the horizon. My life will soon be something very different, yet I will be a man made for mission. I will live out what I feel within, is there any other way to live this life. I do not wish to live a life of regret. So in due time we will see the next stage. It's an exciting transition, it's just hard turning the page.
I will leave you with a song. It may seem general, sending it out into a constantly expanding web of information, but that is not my intention. I want you to know in a very personal and true way that you are beautiful. You are the way you are for a reason. Don't change yourself because you were made with intention. You were made with an ability to love. You were made to be loved, and indeed you are. Don't let it go to your head, unless by way of your heart. Know deep inside that no one can take away the love that God has for you. No matter what you do, you are loved by One who cannot love you less and cannot love you more. His love is perfect, there is nothing that would increase it, try as hard as you wish. There is nothing that will ever cause it to leave you; all the mess of your life is washed clean in His love. Did you "hear" that? You're clean!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's Time to Live Awake

You are at once a reason for joy and sorrow. You give me hope that I will not have to compromise. You show me that perhaps, at times, I have compromised who I think she is. And you're not with me. It's a simple sorrow. A love you have for another. You're sincere. You're gentle. You're true. You're authentic. I want that. I want someone who is that. Then, I see you with yours. I know him too. I appreciate him too. I know you both are great (and at the same time no one is good). So it's hard to be saddened because I know you both are happy. I know he appreciates you. He knows he is fortunate to have you. That is what I would want.
I also want that for myself. Someone I can appreciate. Someone who I may not truly deserve.
But sometimes I find myself seeing that potential in so many. It's as if I want it so bad that I am willing to give my love to anyone. I know that it's true that I should love everyone. But I also just want to find that one. I want to know she is there. I have high hopes that she is. You may call me a hopeless romantic but I have a burning hope. Does that make me even more hopeless? Perhaps in some human eyes.
I know I should not envy. Envy has no place in this new life. So how do I wait? How do I live patiently? I know "love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (1 Corinthians 13:4) It's just, it's hard sometimes, and by sometimes I mean many times. I want to love. I want to show appreciation. I want someone to know me for who I am and how I can love. I know God is perfecting us. God has created us and is still creating us. We were not created for each other; we were made for Him, to serve Him. So I cannot spend my time wondering where she is or when I'll get to meet her, when I'll get to spend time with her, when I'll get to love her for who she is. I must focus on the time at hand. I must learn to live this sacrificial life. Life isn't my own. The day I was born I was given a gift, and that gift is my life. How can I just lay down and let days roll over me like an ink press? I was made for so much more than that! I was made to love, to serve, and to live. Do I do each of these three things on a daily basis? Not as often as I should.
My life is not my own, though I live it as such. All these years that I've grown, I've just wanted someone to touch. But that is not the point of life. Life is living. Living awake. Life is living each day brand new, because indeed it is brand new. How can I even think to live differently? It's time to live in and live out this gift that I was given, this life that I have. Why start tomorrow when today has just as much potential. Live. Love. Serve.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Living Sacrifices

In Romans 12:1 the Apostle Paul writes: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.

I feel that the Holy Spirit spoke multiple things to me last night at my weekly Community Group (Bible Study) that I attend. Sure, the Holy Spirit is probably constantly speaking to us but I don't think we're always listening in a way that we could. We weren't even focusing on this chapter but rather a section of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. Anyway, I put the verse above up there for a reason. For a large portion of my true Christian life I have heard the phrase "to live our lives as living sacrifices" and for whatever reason it seems to have really set in last night. I haven't really known how exactly to do this but I now have a better understanding.
I think of it as there are times when I want to do things to bring temporary enjoyment or satisfaction to myself. Living my life as a living sacrifice means that in these times I am not to give into these selfish desires. A life that is a living sacrifice is a life where we give up immediate comfort, happiness, or any other type of acceptance so that we might receive it later. We give these up to show that we are not of this world. We live in it but are not of it. We give these things up because they are of little to no importance to us. What is much more important are the souls of those around us. We should long for those around us to be filled with a passion for our Lord, Savior, and Friend Jesus Christ. We should long for people to know the One, True God, and that He calls us friends, even through all that we've done and will do. All these other things are so temporary, they do not merit near as much attention as we let them. So I pray that we can learn to "offer our bodies sacrifice[s], holy and pleasing to God". After all, this is our reasonable act of worship.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Weathered Life

I live a weathered life. I'm weathered and worn from experience after experience. I've been tossed, turned and torn to pieces but somehow I manage to continue in this life. I've been walked on like a welcome mat but I'm still here. I'm not complaining about it, just placing it somewhere new.
I try to think of excuses for those who hurt me but why? What's the point? I think most people have good intentions. I think circumstances change situations. She had a lot of classes. She was busy with work. There was someone else she's been talking with. She doesn't have a lot of time. Sometimes I really treat myself with very little respect. I tear out a section of my heart knowing it will grow back. Do I do this to others? Then why should I do it to myself.
The main reason I had for writing this post was the new artwork included in it. I'm not really down. I have feelings that run the gamut. Don't run to me with words of sympathy. Still, I don't want to be ignored but it's so hard for me to say. It's easier to write down. I struggle to write myself up. But you, my friend, keep your head up.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Somewhere a Blank needs Filling

It's like there's something stirring in-between my shoulders, somewhere between my ears, at the space between my knees. But I can't point it out. It's a loneliness, a discomfort, and a knowledge. It's a spark of anxiety but a hint of excitement. I can't put the proper words in order so that I may describe it. I can't remove it because I can't find it. It's a loneliness that feels sheltered. It is sheltered and safe but trapped and restricted. It's not that I'm trying to hide it but rather that it is trying to hide me. It's trying to convince me I'm someone else and if that doesn't work it's working to make me that person. It's writer's block for a specific topic but an open mouth exploding with words through the hands. Perhaps it is a writer's clog; not everything is shut off. Some words, some ideas, some emotions still escape. But if here is where they go who is the sponge to soak them?
I'm not the best at expressing these emotions in picture, moving or otherwise. My face may not be the proper place to look for true feelings. These words allow me to paint something true although I'm not exactly sure what it is. I do feel a longing to be more than alone. More than lonely. More than one. But I also think perhaps it's not time yet. Perhaps I'm not ready. And over in my mind run words to another. Over in my mind run words not yet spoken. Words and emotions longing to be dispelled from the inside and poured over to another. Certain people may wish to be my canvas but it seems only a specific few will right now do. There aren't exactly tears but a knot wells up in my chest. It hasn't figured out where to spill. After several times of exploding thoughts my being has covered each hole with its own weak adhesive. Each new time the thoughts must find a new hole to escape. When a new cavity isn't found a weak one is busted and my head falls down. But not outwardly. I try to stay up, at least where they see. But that's not always easy on the inside of me.
The small shake of anxiety is built at least partly of obligation. Partly of tasks that have yet to be done. Is that not one of the grand mothers of anxiety? Incompletion?
"Look out below!" cries my mind to my heart.
And, "look out above!" comes the reply from my heart.
Still they're not sure if they're arguing, so neither am I. They're just exclaiming what comes to them. They're warning each other of potential disaster. They're working to decipher what really is going on. And so living as the puzzle that these pieces make up, I am left wondering how much is in the cup. Is it half full or half empty? Or has it just blown up?
I'll leave you with that you soaker of sentiment. In time, I'll go back to understanding the immediate. Maybe someday I'll come back to this stage to ponder and gaze. Perhaps when I do so, I'll understand what I feel in this age. But until then I'm off to places not known. I'll be out and about without even goin'. Perhaps we will meet, perhaps truly a treat, but for now I am off to fill in the blank.