Monday, January 30, 2012
Some of Jesus' words and my uneducated, super random thoughts on them:
"3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" We all have sin in our lives, but its so much easier to identify and dislike sin in other people. We need to focus on bettering ourselves instead of bringing judgment onto others.
"7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." This sounds so easy! Am I doing something wrong here!? LOL! I think this is in reference to finding salvation, but it doesn't seem quite clear, like maybe if I ask for a million dollars... heheh!
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." It takes around twelve weeks to establish a good habit, and about two weeks to pick up a bad one. It's definitely easier to go wrong than right in this life. I've gotta watch where I'm going and stay on track; I wanna make it through that narrow gate!
"17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit." We can say we're 'good people' or 'Christians' or whatever else makes us feel special, but really it has nothing to do with what we say about ourselves. It's about how we live life. Its about the fruit we produce. I'm always telling my kids at work that they can only do 'bad things' for so long before they're just plain 'bad people.' Our deeds will speak for us...
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I love carefully detailing each project for church, whether its a background for the worship slides, an announcement slide, or a new series image. Its a way for me to use my creativity, photography, and eye for detail as means to serve God.
But in this act of service, I am human and flawed. I want everything to look great, so when I've spent hours perfecting the minute details of a sunset backdrop to compliment the carefully chosen font I've used to present the lyrics of the worship set... and the old dying bulb in the projector makes everything just look like fuzzy blobs of neon ooze... I get a tad bit annoyed.
The new projector projects the images I've spent the week tolling over beautifully. My flesh is pleased. But more importantly, we're back to giving God our best and serving our congregation a higher quality service.
Mi gusto mucho.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday was similar as far as the work conditions, but I was a tad bit irritable. The water just wasn't rolling off my back quite like it did Thursday.
And then today... oh, today. Today I was the Uber Grouch.
I was one giant exposed nerve.
A giant exposed nerve being poked at by some very hyperactive group home children.
Here's hoping tomorrow will be a whole new day!
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 6:1
My thoughts: One of the major themes that jumps out at me from this book is the importance to have a humble heart. Our deeds are pointless when done for the applaud of men. Everything must be done for the honor and glory of God.
Lord, continue reminding me that everything I do must be done for Your name and not my own.
Me: Um, you know, since your arm is broken and you're wearing that cast, you're technically retarded now.
Him: (long pause, eyes cast down, looking ashamed) Oh... sorry man... (Speaking towards the gentleman across the street he was mocking earlier)
Me: I'm just kidding. You were retarded way before you broke your arm. Nah, not really...
Him: (sheepish smile) Oh. I believed you.
Me: I know you did. Don't make fun of people, got it?
Him: (lots of laughter) okay!
*it definitely won't stick, but creative interventions are a blast :-)
Friday, January 27, 2012
I LOVE this book!
Light of the world. Salt of the Earth. Beatitudes.
LOVE it all!
Lord, make me hunger for righteousness; create in me a clean heart. Thank you for Your mercy, and I pray I am able to demonstrate Your mercy to others, so they'd know Your love for them. Make me a vessel for Your light, that I might lead others to You.
It was totally awesome.
Such a beautiful bird! I'm always surprised at how calm the kids become around animals. Guess God knew what He was doing when He put us all here on this rock together...
Thursday, January 26, 2012
"The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned." Matthew 4:16
"From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”" Matthew 4:17
"And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Matthew 4:19-22
Again, lots in this chapter. I have a lot are random, unconnected thoughts. Here's just a few: Jesus withstood great temptations. His first followers left everything behind to follow Him. As in chapter 3, the concept of repentance come up.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I've applied for grad school, I've begun to live the life of a real grown-up with a schedule and routine, I've been in the bible and in prayer consistently, I'm pushing myself creatively, I'm doing more around the house, being more financially involved...
It's a good feeling. I told Kimberly I didn't realize how good these little things could make me feel; the rush of a completed 'to-do' list. The pride and satisfaction of finished projects. Actually getting out of bed and doing something before leaving for work...
I like it. Seriously.
You read it, too!
Just click on the link.
"Bear fruit in keeping with repentance."
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Thoughts: There's a lot in this chapter that stands out to me: the word "repentance" is used twice, John's response to the Pharisees and Sadducees, John's ascetic lifestyle, when people went to the Jordan to be baptized they confessed their sins, I love John's response when Jesus comes to him to be baptized.. lots that stand out!
Lord, help me seek true repentance. Baptize me in your Holy Spirit.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Read Matthew 2.
"...behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him." Matthew 2:9-11
Monday, January 23, 2012
We've been hanging out together since about 4pm.
We'll most likely spend 9 or 10 hours together consecutively today.
That happens...not often enough...
It's been nice.
And the movie was great.
Read it! It took no time at all.
And I made it effortless for you by adding the link ;o)
My thoughts: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel...” - Matthew 1:23
Immanuel. I love this word. "God with us." Always.
Lord, help me remember you are always with me, even when I don't feel like it, and increase my faith in You, that nothing is impossible.
Why? Masochism, I guess.
In this picture I'm wearing some of the awesome pieces of clothing Kimberly got me for Christmas from LA.
The problem is, there's just too much of me!
I know, I know... I'm so 'on again, off again.'
But right now I'm 'on again.' So, whatev.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I've gotta say, I love it.
It's peaceful. It's the sound it makes...
It's how green everything becomes...
It's that cozy feeling of staying inside, yet not feeling trapped because you know that in about an hour its gonna stop raining and be all sunny again.
And its always neat to find someone who feels the same way about winter as I do! Its a special kind of camaraderie. So SMILE ;o)
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Until I saw that big hot stack of grilled cheese sandwiches...
And then all self-control was lost.
I must've eaten four or five.
Maybe tomorrow will be the day!
Or maybe the next day.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Bashing his head against the walls.
Biting his own arms until the skin bursts.
Punching himself in the face until he's spitting out blood.
Then a tooth.
It's almost perfect: a missing tooth to match a missing mother.
That is what triggered this, after all.
It's been weeks since he's seen her last. This morning she was supposed to show up.
And, of course, she didn't.
Maybe she doesn't love him? Maybe something bad happened to her? Maybe she's dead?
In reality, she probably just didn't save up enough money for the bus ride, or maybe she woke up with a hangover. But thinking rationally isn't possible for this kid...
All he knows is that he misses his mommy...
He didn't get to see her today when he thought he would...
He completely lost his mind for about ten minutes...
And now, he's missing a tooth.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I'm not sure of the artists inspiration.
Or if I'm interpreting it as they'd hope.
But I guess that's the beauty of art.
I love this photograph.
I love the script.
I love what it says. What is says to me, at least...
Is it the randomness?
Must be the randomness...
Anyways, thanks for sharing life with me!
Oh, and Jesus loves you!
I should probably start writing things like 'Jesus love you' more often...
But other than that, all is well. Motivated, sleeping good, being semi-healthy (although today is an exception).
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Today I spent some time contacting several different people to request recommendation letters for graduate school. One of those people, one I who respect professionally and look up to as a doctor of psychology, emailed me in warning of the particular school I'm applying to. Her concerns were disheartening, and the fact that they came from this specific individual made it even worse.
To be honest, it wreaked me.
Completely. Its lame, I know.
But I discourage easily at times.
But after a nice hot shower, some prayer, and chat with my wife, I'm feeling better. God's been with me through this process so far, and He's not going anywhere. Sure, I have a few new questions for my admissions counselor, but I'm not gonna freak out.
God's not going anywhere.
I just need to be proactive. Not reactive.
And work through it.
Wreak and recover.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Oh, the warm fuzzies of childcare...
Friday, January 13, 2012
Denny's. I can see the ocean. From Denny's.
Weird. In a good way....
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I've had conversations recently with a couple of unemployed graduates. One is a lifelong friend. She's brilliant, and undoubtedly good at whatever she puts her mind to. The other is a newer friend. A very kind man, educated, experienced, and passionate.
Both are over qualified. Over qualified for the jobs they're educated for. Over qualified for the jobs they've worked hard for. And what does it even mean to be over qualified? I'm not exactly sure, but I'm guessing it means, "You cost too much to pay adequately, so instead you'll get nothing."
I get it. Everyone is struggling. Schools are struggling. Businesses. Non-profits. Ministries. Everyone. The money just isn't there to pay out.
But I've been thinking about this. I've developed a special place in my heart for the unemployed graduates. Just think, who are graduates? Most likely, people with lots of ambition and drive. People who, in one capacity or another, have succeeded. People who've become accustomed to a way of life. People who've developed a sense of belonging in society based on their careers and education. And now, for a significant portion of them, that world doesn't exist anymore...
It's been destroyed.
My heart is heavy for them. These people, they may never again see the world they once knew. But that doesn't mean they won't rediscover belonging. And that's what I pray for them the most: belonging. Belonging, where works are the fruit of faith, not a requisite for worth or value.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Today I met with the admissions counselor of Argosy college and have decided to officially apply to their masters program of counseling psych and begin a long journey to becoming a licensed therapist. I feel very encouraged and supported, and am looking forward to the possibilities and new challenges. I'm as equally nervous and overwhelmed as I am excited, but the mere fact that these two extremes exist within balance of one another is healthy.... I think.
I've been feeling a little more motivated lately. I didn't get as much done as I wanted today, but I did manage to visit La Jolla after my meeting with Argosy, get my haircut and visit with my wife at work, give the bathroom a good scrub down, and run an errand at the mall.
Small steps, but a leap or two from spending a majority of my time lounging. And with my current ambitions of schooling, it seems my motivation isn't just focused on the now, but on tomorrow as well, which has always been something I struggle with.
So, yay for motivation.
Thank you, God, for your constant grace, for the great people you've put in my life, and for good pharmaceuticals!
- slightly paranoid about relationships
- a little overwhelmed
- sleeping wonderfully still
- feeling inadequate yet capable to grow
- desiring to pursue God strongly
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Travel in packs. Don't go home with strangers. Don't leave your drinks unattended. Don't dress too provocatively, etc.
You've heard the drill.
But this new campaign is taking a whole new direction, with efforts towards prospective rapists instead of victims.
It's an interesting twist, encouraging men to use self-control to express their strength and power; essentially the opposite of rape.
I like this approach. I don't think they've quite hit the mark yet, but its a good start.
Teaching boys to not grow up and be rapists. What a concept.
- My Mac charger has gone kaput and my Mac just ran out of juice. Sad face :-( Gonna be hitting the mall tomorrow for sure!
- Visiting a school in the AM in San Diego so they can give me their salesman's pitch for their masters' program for counseling psych. I'm excited to learn more!
- Had a nice day with my wife. I've gotten so used to not really seeing each other very often that when we do finally get a day together, it makes me sad for what we're missing. Le sigh. But alas, a good day is a good day!
- Greek food is yummy.
- I miss Lori Brow.
- Me thinks I might go on a big hike the day after tomorrow! Anyone wanna join?
Monday, January 9, 2012
1 Corinthians 10:13
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I believe real men and woman saw Jesus' face, heard his voice, and felt his touch. I believe real men and woman witnessed the miracles he performed and saw Him with their very own eyes after his resurrection, heard the gospel from his very own mouth and were encouraged personally by God himself. I believe His hands held a foot to wash it, that His touch healed, and that he gave the best hugs; the kind that are warm and make you feel loved and cared for.
Today James challenged us at the Branches to imagine what it'd be like to be a firsthand witness to Jesus' life on Earth; to see, hear, and feel.
Witnessing Him in Spirit?
Witnessing Him in corporal form?
To see His face. To hear His voice. To feel His touch.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Blah. Blah. Blah.
I've just felt blah today.
At any moment I wasn't actually moving, I was sleeping. Irresponsibly. It was almost as if I didn't have an option.
I just felt too... blah for anything else.
But feeling blah is way better than feeling bleh, so I'm not complaining :-)
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins."
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Almost every year for a while now, I make the same New Year's resolution: GET SERIOUS.
I'm financially involved and well focused. In small spurts.
I'm dedicated to being a good husband to my wife. In small spurts.
I strive for professional development. In small spurts.
I live a healthy lifestyle. In small spurts.
I work to grow creatively. In small spurts.
I pursue God fervently. In small spurts.
I work towards a lot of things, but never for very long.
Every year I hope to get more serious about life in general.
And in retrospect, I have.
A tiny bit.
But clearly, a 'tiny bit' is not indicative of taking seriousness seriously.
So, will this be my resolution yet again?
It depends all on how serious I decide to take it...
So we'll just have to see.
We went to the Oak Riparian and Lake Calavera of Carlsbad, and had a good time hiking.
Right before making it back to the car, I realized I didn't have my car keys.
We hauled butt all the way through the park again until we reached the base of the mountain once more. And of course, by this time, it was dark.
Monday, January 2, 2012
I mean, I get pretty self-righteous sometimes. I work day after day with these kids that'd make most men beg for a vasectomy. And I do it well.
That ONE kid.
For WHATEVER reason.
IRKS. MY. NERVE.
Its not always the same kid. And its not always the same pet peeve. But one way or another, some little bugger works his way under my armor, and all defenses against his unbecoming qualities diminish.
Now is one of those times. A kid has risen to the occasion, taking the role only few have ever been able to fill.
And just to look at him... just to think of him...
So here I sit..
Praying God makes me love regardless, regardless of whether I want to or not.
Feeling ambitious! And for the most part my ambitions seem within the realm of reality :-)
- Thoughts racing around potential lyrics for a new(ish) song.
- Excitedly (and a little obsessively?) working on an interactive blog to coordinate with a bible reading plan. I wanna push for a Jan 10th launch, so its work work work!
- Looking into and thinking more about school...
Today I was a little irritable, but mostly because I wasn't feeling quite up to par (recuperating from laryngitis) and the kids at work were irksome.
Mostly, I'm content :-)
Been sleeping wonderfully recently. Love it!