Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have not forgotten this blog. Instead, I have one word for you: midterms. My life is absorbed in the routine of school until school isn't as hard. But writing here is often my way of entering into a quiet place before GOD, so expect to meet me back here soon. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


School has begun. School is crazy. My life is crazy.

I understand my life to be surrendered unto the will of GOD, and therefore I try to understand everything that happens in my life through the eyes of faith. I like to call this "thinking in illustrations," but I think the broader, blanket term would be "Christian Worldview." When I watch a movie with emotional/spiritual significance, I digest it by means of my faith. When I get cut off, or stub my toe, or forget to go to class, the question is: what is GOD telling me? Since my desire is for Christ to be formed in me, I digest the world in juxtaposition to my faith, and through the person of Jesus Christ. I listen for GOD in the ordinary, the mundane, and the overlooked.

But sometimes, this gets out of hand. I have a pair of sunglasses that I got for my birthday almost a year and a half ago. The very fact that I still have them is a miracle in of itself, because I am one of the most forgetful people that I know. (Am I?) But for better or worse, I still wear them every day. But the journey that me and my Black Flys Mach 2 sunglasses have come on thus far is has been a lengthy, spiritually ambiguous odyssey. After having my sunglasses for about 6 months, I lost them. Poof. Gone. Not out of the ordinary for me, but the truth was that I was really attached to them. And so in the midst of my angst, I felt like GOD was telling my that I was a good thing I had lost them, and in fact he had taken them away, because my attachment to them was unhealthy, anyway. So it went, until I saw my dad wearing them one day on one of our bike rides. To this, I felt like GOD was rewarding me for learning my lesson about materialism by returning my sunglasses. Then, I felt like GOD was convicting me for my exorbitant materialism by reminding me that my sunglasses cost more than the per-capita income of many African countries, and so I tried to give them away in China. No one wanted them. And so it goes: I've thought and thought until it's been all thought out, and I still don't get it. My head hurts, and so does my heart.

My RST professor quoted someone famous in class yesterday, and I don't remember who it was. But the quote went like this: "True genius is the ability to hold two conflicting thoughts in mind without going crazy." I feeling like I'm on a roller coaster, and I'm screaming - what I don't know is if I'm screaming because I'm having the time of my life, or if I'm screaming because the train has come off the tracks. Am I'm going crazy, or seeing the light? Is my life turning upside-down, or right-side up? Am I growing up, or falling apart?

Both. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Well, I had the awesome opportunity to attend the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) this last weekend in Sacramento, and I can't tell you how much of a blast it was. I return home with helpful, encouraging, and practical knowledge, memories of time spent crying out to GOD, and a greater passion for following Christ. My mind is so full that it's practically overflowing, but I thought I'd lay down some of the highlights:

- Shaking hands with Tony Campolo, and telling him how much his passion for Christ has inspired me. When he's gone, I'd rather say I let him know rather than not. I like him a lot.
- The experience of spending 4 days with 3400 other people who are crazy about Jesus learning, worshipping, smiling, and growing. It felt so good, so safe, and so encouraging. I had to pinch myself, because it seemed too good to be true.
- Spending time with good friends, old and new, sharing meals and thoughts and praises and prayers and love. I said before that I was just as excited about the people I would be attending the conference with as the conference itself - scratch that. More excited. It was so good to take in all that GOD-knowledge with people who would help me process it, and put a hand on my shoulder and tell me that I'm not crazy. So good.
- Laughing a lot. I love to laugh.
- Being led in musical worship by Chris Tomlin and David Crowder. They are amazing.
- Louie Giglio's word on worship that we are not to be consumers of worship, but that we are to be consumed during worship. I'll be chewing on that for awhile.

So many more sights, smells, and sounds hang so vividly in my mind, but the song that continues to ring in my head is a new one of David Crowder's new disc, A Collision. If you've got iTunes or you got the flow to pick up the disc, I highly recommend it. This last weekend was the first time I had heard this song, but I was so taken by it because of the way it just bursts with hope and the beauty of Christ. Dave definitely has a way of expressing the deepest longings and emotions of the heart in song, but this one just makes me throw my arms open wide and cry out every stinkin' time I hear it. The song is called, "Here Is Our King," and Dave has a description of his writing process for the song up on his site. Here it is:

"What you are looking for is what is looking."
- St. Francis of Assisi

I wrote this song after watching television for two days straight. the day after christmas, december 26th 2004, my eyes were fixed to this thing blinking at me from the dark wooden armoire in our living room. i, along with the rest of the world, watched as the most powerful earthquake in 40 years erupted under the indian ocean near sumatra, causing giant, deadly waves to crash ashore in nearly a dozen countries, killing tens of thousands. the death toll would eventually settle somewhere near 200,000. this is tremendously hard to take in. close to 200,000 people, walking around, going about their business, stepping into eternity all together in a matter of hours. we watched story after story unfold knowing that each would end in either rescue or demise and our hearts broke. our hearts broke and it is still tremendously hard to take in. it is a difficult thing to observe so vivid and complete, the depth of our fall. i mean we know things aren’t right, we know that things aren’t as they were intended. but here is this thing that comes from the middle of the sea to bring upon us devastation and to take from us our fathers and our mothers and to pull from our hands our children and our friends and our minds cannot fit this in. it is the depth of our fall upon us. even the ground under our feet is not right. the air we breathe is not right. here though, the hope i have found in christ miraculously expands. i believe that we are part of a bigger story unfolding. i believe that the rescue of creation has been coming toward us for a long time. i believe that sure, there was a moment that i was found by this rescue and that i am rescued continually, but the even greater thing, the thing that expands in my chest in this moment is that there is more coming! he is coming to set things right. he is coming to set things straight. he is coming and this is tremendously hard to take in, but our hearts swell and this tide of hope grows and after all of this, after this brokenness, after these tears, after this fury, after this tearing that is life...finally, finally...we will lift up our heads...finally...and the clouds will break...and finally...he who is all light and healing... finally... finally... majesty. here.

"Here Is Our King"

Here is Our King
Here is Our Love
Here is Our God who's come to bring us back to Him
He is the One He is Jesus

From wherever Spring arrives to heal the ground
From wherever searching comes the look itself
A trace of what we're looking for
So be quiet now and wait

The ocean is growing
The tide is coming in here it is

And what was said to the rose to make it unfold
Was said to me here in my chest so be quiet now and rest
Be quiet now and rest

And with the conference behind me, this is what I feel: hope. I had a moment where I felt like I was looking down the road of my life and saying, "Am I really going to follow Christ for the rest of my life?" Yes, because I heard a voice within me say, "This is what you long for." Yes, because before is the GOD who's come to take me home, and I can't take my eyes off of him. My king, my love, the One. Majesty... finally. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

How to do Nothing

On my Google homepage, I have this little news ticker called “How-To of the Day.” Today’s how-to was entitled, “How to do Nothing.” I thought this was funny because I thought the last thing that you would need a "how-to" for is nothing, but at the same time I know how hard it is for people (totally me) to do nothing. I share it with you now:

How to Do Nothing
For those of us who are non-stop workaholics, doing nothing can actually be pretty difficult! If you're like the Energizer bunny in that you keep going, and going, and going, here's how to stop once in a while and just do nothing...

- Plan ahead. Whether it's an hour, a day, or a week of doing nothing, cancel all of your appointments for that block of time.
- Let people know that you'll be unavailable. Whether you choose to tell them that you're actually setting aside some time to do nothing, or you just give them the vague explanation "I'm going to be busy" (busy doing nothing!), tell them not to call, visit, or interrupt.
- Find a quiet, private place where you feel unpressured to do anything. This might be your bedroom, the garage, the car, or a local park. Find that place and go there.
- Set your watch or an alarm to go off when your "nothing" time is over, so that you don't have to constantly look at the clock and count the minutes.
Sit quietly by yourself. Stare off into the distance and let your mind wander. Avoid the temptation to turn on the TV, listen to music, write a note to yourself, get a bite to eat, or whatever. The only thing you should do if you need to is go to the bathroom.
- Don't respond to any phone calls or other requests for your attention. Ideally, your phone ringer should be off. Just stay low and behave as if you are not there at all.
- Learn how to meditate and clear your mind. That way, not only will your body be doing nothing, but so will your mind. Since your brain is constantly working, learning how to give it a break can provide a major sense of peace and regeneration.

Setting aside some free time to do nothing once in a while can actually be healthy for your mind, body, and emotional life, especially if you find that you're really wearing yourself thin. How often you do nothing is up to you, but it should be a rejuvenating experience overall.


At first you may feel nervous, jittery, and restless. Try to relax and understand that doing nothing does not mean that you're being unproductive or irresponsible. Ultimately, setting time aside to recharge your batteries will make you more productive and creative in the long run, and that's a very responsible thing to do.
The funny thing is that my life is such that I need to read an article entitled, “How to do Nothing.” I love my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything; the opportunities I have to do something are things that I treasure, but I definitely have a need to do nothing, too.

I’m going to the Youth Specialties conference this weekend, and I haven’t been this excited about going somewhere since I went to Hawaii in the 7th grade, the trip on which I ate nothing but Junior Mints and a Mocha Frappuchino for breakfast, and proceeded to throw up during takeoff. I’ll be sure to steer clear of that particular meal this morning, but the excitement in my heart is palpable as I head off for a weekend with old friends and fresh insights. The sweet part is that I am just as excited about the conference as I am about the people that I am attending the conference with. Man, I love my friends. Talk to you soon.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. (Romans 1:8-12)