Friday, December 4, 2009

Encouragement comes from the strangest places.

This week I had some hard, but very joyful conversation. The hardest one came from a very deep place of pain as well as shame, and I realized something from my friends (many of them) I love you means when you hurt I hurt. Friends want to be with you in your mess. and that one of the reasons i don't see God, is because I havent been looking for him. (and Crispers has magical honesty/truth serum powers!)

These verses have been speaking to me this week:

Psalm 18:16-24 - 16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

20-24 God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

and these verses occured to me to be a great giving up all your mess passage:

Isaiah 35:4-10

Tell fearful souls,
"Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He's on his way! He'll save you!"

5-7Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
the voiceless break into song.
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis,
thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly.

8-10There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It's for God's people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ask hard questions

As well as funny ones...

Its been rolling around my head, and therefore bothering me quite a bit lately on what I actually believe about God and Jesus as well as faith in of itself. Or any faith for that matter. Reading velvet Elvis has encouraged me to ask hard questions, there is nothing wrong with asking! I don't Want to believe because I'm "supposed to" I want passionate faith and I'm trying to figure out how to at least get started. I figured this would be an interesting way to see what others believe in, lol and see a good mix of what ppl around me believe. These questions are meant for believers and non believers, and as what God does for you, and how he impacts you. Individually.

i don't really understand God, nor do I think I ever will, and that whole trinity thing throws me off, so let's pretend that Jesus and God are 2 separate ppl but can hear each others thoughts. Always knowing what is going on with the other.

I'm going to answer these questions as well, and tag some ppl when I have internet access again. Until then its just me and the blackberry.

Let's get started:

Why do you believe in God?

Who is God?

Why do you believe in Jesus?

Who is Jesus?

What is god's character?

What is jesus' character?

If you had to assign God a physical body as someone in pop culture, who would it be ?

If you had to assign Jesus a physical body as someone in pop culture, who would it be ?

What do you think of this quote "but God doesn't need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He already revealed his plan in our lives: to love him with our whole hearts. To obey his word, and after that to do what we like"?

What exactly do you think of the do what we like part?

What does it mean to love God with your whole heart?

How do you love God with your whole heart?

If you could give up one day of life to spend an hour with some one that died, who would it be? What would you do?

Do you take the bible literally?

How do you decide what part is applicable and what isn't?

How is this not picking what you like and throwing out what you don't?

Do you ever feel like not praying when you feel stuck?

What do you do instead?

When do you seem to struggle in faith?

How do you overcome it?

Is God always the answer?
What if sometimes God isn't the answer?

What verses, books, quotes have helped you develop tie faith?

Are faith and passion the same thing?

When you imagined the voice of God, whose/whom voice do you imagine?

When you imagined the voice of Jesus, whose/whom voice do you imagine?

How do you get to know God?

How did you get to know God?

Did you "look into" any other religions other than the one you are currently in now?

Who is more important God or Jesus? Why? You can only pick one!

Is one more important?

What is heaven like?

Do you think we all get our own like customized heaven?

What would yours be like?

What is hell like?

Do you think hell would be customized?

What would yours be like?

What do you think about God having a plan for your life?

Do you feel like he will give you turn by turn directions?

If you could ask God anything and he would give you a the correct answer, what would it be and why?

Why do some people not feel gods presence?

Do you think that feeling disconnected from God is always our fault? Is God ever to blame?

If you don't believe in God what do you believe?

What do you use as your morality meter? Ie ten commandments, karma, etc.

Who/ how do you see God ?

Who or how do you see Jesus?

Do you think its possible to believe in an all loving Jesus, but a hands off God?

What do you think is a necessity in faith? Ie what do you HAVE TO believe?

That's all I have for now, this will be a growing list

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good stuff

God is not a vending machine you don't put in a prayer and pull out a prize

Also bee thinking and discussing the concept of isolation vs. Solitude.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I am Wholly Yours

All my baggage. All my pain. All my sin: shame, lust, pride, lies, deceit, Judment, selfishness. I’m leaving it here. I’m placing it at your feet. I’m leaving it here. I need your help. I’m going to want to pick it back up. But I know you love me enough! That it’s okay for me to let it go. For me to be free. – Here I am. All of me. Finally. Everything. Wholly. Wholly. Wholly. I am Wholly. Wholly. Wholly. I am Wholly. Wholly. Wholly. Yours. I am Wholly yours.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I and Love and You

This made me smile.

"The words "I" and "Love" and "You" are the watermark of humanity. Strung together, they convey our deepest sense of humility, of power, of truth. It is our most common sentiment, even as the feeling of it is so infinitely uncommon: each to proclaim these three words with his or her very own heart and mindset of reason (or lack thereof); a proclamation completely and perfectly new each time it is offered. Uttered daily and nightly by millions, the words are said in an unending array of circumstances : whispered to a newborn in a mothers arms; shared between best friends on the playground; in the form of sympathy - said by a girl to a boy, as the respect continues but the relationship does not. It is said too loudly by parents to embarrassed children in the company of their friends, and by grown children - to their fading parents in hospital beds. The words are thought in the company of the photograph and said in the company of the gravestone. It is how we end our phone calls and our letters... the words at the bottom of the page that trump all those above it, a way to gracefully finish a message, however important or trivial, with the most meaningful gift of all : the communication of love. And yet the words themselves have been the victims of triviality, a ready replacement for lesser salutations among near strangers, burst forth casually as "love ya." Truly? To what degree? Why, how much, and for how long? These are questions befitting of the stature of love, though not the everyday banter of vague acquaintance. The words have also been twisted by the dark nature of deceit : To say "I love you" with a dramatic measure of synthetic emotion; a snare set by those who prey upon fellow humanity, driven to whatever selfish end, to gain access to another's body, or their money, or their opportunity. In this realm, the proclamation is disgraced by one seeking to gain rather than to give. In any case, and by whatever inspiration, these words are woven deeply in to the fibers of our existence. Our longing to hear them from the right place is maddeningly and simultaneously our finest strength and our most gentle weakness.The album "I and Love and You" is unashamedly defined by such a dynamic of duality. As living people, we are bound by this unavoidable parallel. We are powerful yet weak, capable yet temporary. Inevitably, an attempt to place honesty within an artistic avenue will follow suit. This is a piece which shows us as we are : products of love surrounded by struggle. The music herein is, in many ways, readable as both a milestone and an arrival. A chapter in the story of young men, it bridges the space between the uncertainty of youth and the reality of it's release. The record is full with the quality of the question and response. As far as questions go, there are plenty-normally residing within the tone and delivery of the lyrics themselves, which, ironically, are sung with so much confidence. Among songs and thoughts so driven and purposeful, the most basic relatable doubt comes through with a resounding clarity. Outside of the eternal theme of romantic love, the album speaks thankfully upon a landscape of light-filled rooms, word-filled pages, time machines, forgiveness, singing birds, ocean waves, art ,change, confessions of shortcomings, and reasons to continue on. Hope and a cause for smiling follow naturally. In the midst of all this, there are allusions to the less-than-ideal conditions of life : the loss of memory, the inability to control temper, insecurity, indecision, jaded indifference, and the general plague of former and current weakness. "I and Love and You" is an album of obvious human creation, characterized by it's best and it's worst. Emotional imperfection is a reality for those who recorded the piece, just as it is for those who will hear it. The conclusion of the song from which the title is taken admits that the words "I love you" have become "hard to say". And perhaps that difficulty is as common as it's counterpart. Perhaps the inability to say these heaviest of words is as much a part of life as the lighthearted candor of those who say them without any difficulty at all. And so it ends with the phrase whispered to and by those of us most defeated and most elated... I and love and you..."
- The Avett Brothers

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


When things get hard, or more accurately tragedy strikes, I tend to want to scream at God "Why did you let this happen...How dare you... what kind of God are you..etc..." Today i am reminded that I mess up everyday, minute by minute, unintentionally and intentionally, but God loves me all the same. Sometimes I want to say "God you should have done this differently!" Like when I hear that a young pregnant girl and her baby are killed in a car accident,or today when i heard that a Child murderer died of natural causes, and a 16 year old boy who is friends with someone at my church has died. I want to say “um excuse me… *tap tap* What were you THINKING!”
But I know for myself that if I were God, if I had the ENORMOUS responsibility to keep the world going ‘round that I would suck at it! Epic Fail! But I also think about what I really want in the times I want to scream at God, and I think this story describes it best!
"One day a rabbi stood on a hill overlooking a certain city. The rabbi watched in horror as a band of Cossacks on horseback suddenly attacked the town, killing innocent men, women and children. Some of the slaughtered were his own disciples. Looking up to heaven the rabbi exclaimed: “Oh, only if I were God.” An astonished student, standing nearby, asked, “but, Master if you were God, what would you do differently?” The rabbi replied: “If I were God I would do nothing differently. If I were God I would understand.” - Joanna Laufer and Kenneth S. Lewis in Inspired