Monday, June 30, 2008

no guilt in life, no fear in death

this blog is going to be a very incomplete thought (as is 98.3% of all my writing). many times my thoughts begin and never quite develop. very stream of consciousness and incredibly unorganized.

i was sitting in church yesterday and i realized how differently i see the Lord than i used to. i am struck by the Lord's ability to change my perspective and his ability to give me a new heart when it comes to Him. i feel like i say this all the time, but it is that amazing to me.

for years and years i saw the Lord only in the light of "if I die tonight, will i go to heaven?". what am i doing in my life that maybe i shouldn't be, that might cause God to look upon me in a lesser light? i should probably go throw away all of my secular cds or not watch a movie that even has the word 'damn' in it.

God was about pressure and performance. i know this is something that is common in the church, but i really don't care if this was every single person's story, because to me, it still seems miraculous.

i remember knowing as a child that i should love the Lord, and i remember praying to Him as young as 10 just begging Him to show me how to love Him and how to understand a little more about who His son is. in order to have even a speck of love for Jesus i would really have to concentrate on his death on the cross and then i'd be like, "okay, i guess i really need to love Him because, ya know, his beard got ripped out and stuff".

many times in my adolescence my only motivation to continue to pursue the Lord was to ensure that my life would "turn out okay" and that i wouldn't do __________ (fill in the blank with whatever silly taboo thing you desire). my decisions to abstain from certain activities had nothing to do with a love for the Lord, but everything to do with a fear of judgment from other christians, and a fear of making a wrong choice, and then dying in a car accident that night, and going straight to hell.

in the physical sense, this year (actually the last several) has been very taxing. having thought this way about the Lord for most of my life, i began to be really angry, and then looked at myself in the way that i assumed the Lord must. but as i began to seek something different, and come to place of full understanding that my life wasn't turning out okay, and not necessarily by avoiding "taboo" things, but by not seeing the Lord for who He is, and for not allowing Him to love me in such a way that i was challenged to seek Him and let these other distractions fall to the wayside as a result of my pursuit of Him. not because of responsibility, but because of an obsession with the full, vibrant, and bold life that He has called us to.

sitting in church yesterday, was one of the first times ever that i talked about the book of revelation and wasn't nervous or uncomfortable. we talked about Heaven and Hell, and i didn't think about "the rapture" or "end times" or "judgment day" (not that these discussions don't have their place).

i thought about being able to sit with Jesus, and it wasn't scary.

and no matter what, that change from fear of Hell to living a life of vibrance and freedom before the Lord, will be the greatest miracle of my life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

pups and babes

jess got it right when she called our situation "a grand sweep of irony".

as i am notorious for doing, i picked up a dog this week. more specifically a very young little puppy. i have tried to think of how many times i have picked up a dog in the last 10 years, or how many times someone in my family has had a dog just show up at our house. let me just tell you, the number is pretty high. oddly high.

i found our beloved dog, jake, at the gas station right by our house the day after christmas my junior year of high school.

the irony of the situation is that nick and jessi have literally been battling through the last few months on little to no sleep. all the while, i have had zero sleeping hindrances. now glor is sleeping through the night, and i took on crazy baby dog who wants to cry and cuddle all night/go outside to pee all night.

her name is beulah. some of our closest family friends pastored a church called beulah baptist church, and it is the church our family went to when we first moved to columbia when i was five years old. i was baptized there, and have many good memories of falling asleep with my head on my dad's lap during sunday night sermons. plus our little beu looks like she should have an old country dog name, and i think beulah fits the bill.

so on this sunny summer night i am thankful to sweet glory for sleeeeeping. i mean, this is at least as big a deal as graduating high school. or maybe kindergarten. or something. good job little girl!
i am also thankful for crazy biter puppies that curl up to sleep on your feet. and for waking up at 5am to run around in circles kicking elias' red ball in our front yard trying to poop her out so i can get a few more hours of sleep.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name"

psalm 61:5

i just got off the phone with my dad.  

the last few days i have been walking through some muck.  i could easily blame it on hormones, etc.  but i don't think i'm going to.  it just sucks when you see yourself making mistakes/having wrong attitudes.  you know those days where no matter what you try to say or how you try to say it, it just comes out wonky?  i have just felt like one giant ball of wrong.  

but let's get back to my dad.  growing up, especially in my middle and high school years, my dad and i butted heads.  a lot.  i was mean and disrespectful, and hard to live with.  

despite these times, my dad and i would have moments of complete vulnerability and honesty that would totally change how we interacted.  for a little while.  

i don't know what the secret is to having a great relationship with your parents.  i don't know how you get through your teen years without dishonoring them or disrespecting them.  and i really don't know how you get through your adult life without laughing about them with your siblings.  

here's what i do know:

my Dad is the person that i respect most in this world.

my father has walked a road that i won't ever fully understand.  i have seen him hurt so many times because of hard choices he had to make.  he has always been willing to choose the Lord above whatever is easiest.  for all of those years that i caused your heart to hurt, or your mind to worry.  i am so deeply sorry.

it is because of you and Mom that i love the Lord.  you taught me how through your lives.  

so--even though it's been one of those weird weeks, talking to you, Dad, gave me perspective and a really basic joy about life. 

thank you for having the patience to teach and the courage to love.  

love you Pop.

new family member.

Meet Beulah.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

buyer's remorse?


i've been avoiding coming over to the dark side for quite a while now.  everyone eventually heads on over to blogspot.  i know it.  you know it.  we all know it. 

i was holding out as long as i could, and i'm still not sold on this whole deal.  i feel like i am cheating on xanga, as it has been the home of my "sullen ramblings" for almost 3 years.  3 incredibly eventful years.  

i also sucked jared into writing on xanga, and have now officially abandoned him.  for greener pastures.  

all of this said, i stuck a link to my old stuff on the sidebar, and am going to try to create a new home here.  

so for now, welcome.  here is a meaningless video.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

starting something new

we'll see how it goes.

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