Where you are is where I belong

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dave Matthews touched me this time

Why is this song so good? Because it describes what I feel in Christ.

I do know
that where you go
is where I wanna be

Dave doesn't know the Lord, but he knows parts of Him, like I believe the entire world does. Humanitarian aid that isn't given by people who know the Lord, isn't any less good in my opinion. It's Love. The simplest of things that Man understands is Love. But Love, in itself, is unexplainable.

The kid that is a hellion, who spends countless hours disobeying his parents, who does nothing good for himself, or his parents, is none the less still Loved by his parents. 

The simplest example of this is the story of the Prodigal Son, which I am sure most of you know; Son asks Dad for his inheritance before Dad's death, Dad gives it freely, Son leaves Dad and squanders wealth in worldly living, and after having to work with pigs as a Jew, and having nothing to even eat, the Son decides to hire himself out to his Dad.

Love comes into the story here. As the Son just peaks over the horizon, his head looking at the ground in disgrace and his tail between his legs, the betrayed Dad cares not for his own image, but runs to his Son, whom he gives the best of what he has: A robe, sandals, and a ring, and then holds a celebratory feast for his son 'who once was lost, but now is found'.

I give this statement for consideration: Every act of Love gives glory to God.
From Bono giving money and time to help AIDS Victims in Africa
to a father accepting his son for who he is
to a man taking a bullet for his best friend
to a Man giving his life for Mankind's redemption

Praise and Glory be to Christ forever and ever

Will I stop short and fall to the ground?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Check out this masterful Dispatch song.

It has been my 'go-to' song the past week or so.

Today was a good day... Just a real simple day, you know? One of those days that you might think is 'wasted', if you look at what you could have accomplished. But, one of those days that everything you did do was full of grace and the Spirit. A rearrangement of my room has been completed with a new setup that I had seen in my head for a while, but only just now has been seen to fruition.

I had my first bible study of the new year with my 8th grade dudes, Tommy, Ben, and Tyler. It was good as always; I gave a lesson on freedom in Christ, deriving from Galatians 5 and Romans 7:15-25. After delving into that, I challenged them to produce a list of kids that need to be at our Spring Weekend. At first, it was like pulling teeth, but they slowly began to open their eyes to people that they might not have unless the Spirit had led them. So now I have a list of names to pray over, which is really sweet.

For the first time since I started leading, I am coming out of a break feeling incredibly ready to do the 'hard things': constant prayer, chasing kids, pursuing my teammates. Those things that are the most rewarding, for they give not only results, but immeasurable joy in Christ.

I'm also incredibly ready for these guys:

These are the Greatest...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I think Christ knew all along that we, the church, would fail miserably at following what he says through Paul, 'staying united in One mind and Love'. I think he knew this, and I don't think it should shock anyone.

How many denominations are there? How many dissenting opinions are there on doctrine? We argue all the time as a church, like a pair of teenage siblings. Not only do we argue, but we argue things OF THIS WORLD!!! Homosexuality, the death penalty, and abortion are just a few. (It is hard to put those final two items in there, but they are things that are of this world)

Our arguments only distract us from heavenly things, from the mystical experience of joy and happiness we receive in Christ. 

We need to get back to this, to being 'One in mind and spirit' and Love. And Christ knew all along that we would need his two Greatest Commandments:

These are the only things we need to have Oneness with each other, but we blind ourselves to it.

Mother We Just Can't Get Enough

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh, New Radicals, how you remind me of a simpler time

Of Killer Instinct and Tang
Of being content spending hours outside, running through the woods
Of being 10 years old again

I just finished the third book of the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and am content in having finished it. I love reading such books; books that have nostalgic quality to them. For some, those books are Lord of the Rings, or the Chronicles of Narnia. For me, it's reliving the lives of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbecca, and of course Lando Calrissian. 

I guess one plus of my nostalgia is that there are continually more and more books that bring me back to that galaxy far, far away. Narnians have 9 books, and the dwellers of Middle Earth are stuck with no more than 6 that I can count, though I might be wrong. But that doesn't compare to the hundreds of Star Wars novels, that bring to life my beloved friends from long, long ago.

Well, in the realm of the rest of life, the Steelers won yesterday, convincingly. Tech beat UVA in basketball, and school starts back up in a week. I'm doing some Algebra II tutoring, which is really funny, because I haven't taken a math course in two and a half years, much less Algebra, which I last took in 9th grade, six years ago.

Spring Weekend is in a month and a half, so prayer for such an event is always appreciated. We are hoping that the Lord will do amazing things, bring as many as 100 kids from Blacksburg Middle School to Rockbridge, which would be amazing. I'm starting to call kids this week about camp, so be ready for Brandon with a sick mullet if this 100 happens.

The Spice Mines of Kessel

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So, with the Barnes and Noble gift cards given to me for Christmas, I bought myself a trilogy of Star Wars novels known as the Jedi Academy trilogy. I received them, along with John Piper's work Desiring God, which I have also started reading.

Withing the first 24 hours of receiving these three books, I've already ripped threw a book and a half. That's 500 pages, along with my normal 75 pages a-day of 'educational' reading. I picked up the first book, Jedi Search, and tore through the 350 pages in less than 8 hours. It was awesome, and scary. Now if I could only do that with textbooks....

These books are real good. Dealing with Luke's founding of the new Jedi Academy, as you can tell by the title of the trilogy, but also has some interesting stories that tie very well in with subplots of the movies. Han and Chewy find themselves in the fabled spice mines of Kessel, the place where Han dropped his cargo load that got him in so much trouble with Jabba before A New Hope. It is also the run that he made in under 12 parsecs, faster than anyone else ever.

The rest of the book is good, dealing with the formation of the New Republic, and the finding of a new superweapon, the Sun Crusher, as well as an entire fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers still loyal to the Emperor, though he has been dead for seven years. Leia's finding life as the Minister of State difficult, particularly with her twins, Jacen and Jaina, born to her and Han only two years earlier. We also encounter Lando Calrissian, accompanied by R2 and 3PO, investigating a cheat at the galaxy famous Umgul Blog Races.

This post has officially entered my self into the realm of the nerd, but I could care less. I challenge any man to pick up these books and not be fascinated by being reunited with their favorite characters.

On the life side, tonight is shaping up real well. Tech-UVA basketball at 4, followed by the arrival of Doug and subsequent crazy behavior. What shall happen? One can never tell...

Day by Day

Friday, January 9, 2009

So, as you can tell, despite my lack of job and school, I have been horrendously bad about posting, and I make no apologies for it. I've been enjoying life, sitting in coffee shops for hours upon end, reading and sipping coffee, having good conversations (with the Sloops and my good friend from high school, Lauren), and also playing a few video games.

Promo: Rent Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It might be the coolest game I have ever played, particularly on the Wii

Now back to your scheduled programing:

Since my last post, I've finished the two aforementioned books: Dreams from my Father and Jesus Wants to Save Christians

Dreams from my Father was a real easy read for me, finishing it in less than a week. I really wanted a background on our future First Citizen, and it did not disappoint. The book is harshly honest about his past life, with the prejudices he felt towards people through his college career in California, to his famed work as a feared 'community organizer' in Chicago. He also spent the first few years of his life living in a village in Indonesia, which was interesting. If you want to know more about our future President, don't watch the television for news specials. Pick up his book and read it for yourself.

Jesus Wants to Save Christians might be better than Velvet Elvis, his entrance into the world of writing. The book is one of the hardest to explain it's specific topic, so I'm not going to try. Needless to say, it paints a picture of the American Church, and somethings that we are neglecting on a whole, though perhaps not individually. Read it, and you'll see.

With those books down, I've picked up two others: Starving Jesus and A War Like No Other. The first is written by the founder and a current pastor of XXXchurch.com, an anti-porn ministry. It's a call to action to "Get out of the pews, and into the world". It's a truly difficult read, because the two writers make no apologies for what they say, which is truthful, but very painful to read because of that truth as well. I'm almost finished, with only two chapters left that will probably be completed by the end of the day.

A War Like No Other is a modern telling of the Peloponnesian War, between the democratic sailors of Athens and the oligarchic hoplites of Sparta. I love ancient history, particularly the Greeks. Always have, and this book only cements that love even more. The author rehashes Thucydides' history, into a simpler read and provides some motiffs from wars that proceed the ancient clash. I've still got quite a bit left on this one, but I can't wait to get back into it.

What I find myself doing, is living in the future, something that is real easy to do as a junior in college, with no girlfriend and no job. You can't help but wait until you are out, with a job and a wife and kids, but I'm not there yet, and I have to keep reminding myself of that, right? Living Day-By-Day.

Jesus wants to save me...

Monday, January 5, 2009

A few days ago, a ventured into what have become normal three-hour trips to Starbucks or Mill Mountain. I go in, read the Word for 30-45 minutes or so, then delve into the two other books that I am reading. This trip was a little bit different though... I felt a definitive presence of the Spirit, in a way that I haven't in a long while.

I sat down in one of those comfy chairs that you always find. I went to a different Starbucks, since I just completed a shopping trip with my grandma and aunt, who came into town. These chairs are right next to the door, and it is freezing outside, so wearing just a t-shirt was good when the door wasn't being flung open, but hell (or the opposite, since it was cold?) when people scurried through the door.
Sitting in front of me was an elderly couple, easily in their 70's, sipping on a shared cup of coffee, discussing the latest happenings in Christiansburg, VA. Friends passing away, their kids and grand kids accolades, the things old people normally discuss in my head. The women stands up and throws away the cup, and the man began to hover over me as I was reading and asked.

"Are you reading the Bible?"

"Yea...I am"

"Good for you, boy, Good for you"

We carried on a small conversation about Romans, and a little of the theology behind it, as his wife came back from across the room. As he left, he uttered these words

"Good Luck"

Then, he walked out of the door. But, he turned around opened the door, letting the frigid winter air in, and said.

"Actually, you don't need luck, ya need Faith"

He walked out the door, arm over the shoulder of his wife and I could only thank God for this messenger.

I would later hear a song over the Starbucks radio that repeated the pharse "Jesus let me die little more everyday", while reading Isaiah 53, and the amazing prophesy that would be fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

I left Starbucks that day with a feeling of amazing comfort and joy, that my Faith is well placed, and not on shifting sand