Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Oh goodness

I urge you, memorize these verses. Hardship has its purpose. 
In Christ you are much stronger, though you've been through more times fonder.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Emotional Roadshow - Part 0

Like do I even attempt to blog about this? On the night of July 29th, 2016 I experienced the TOP emotional roadshow concert. oh boy was that cool. Mutemath was cool. Chefs'pecial was also cool. The song order was cool, the music itself is wonderfully cool. The girl I was with was cool. The people around me were cool. So much was cool, however I feel empty and tired. Kara and I are ending on different notes each night, and that's truly okay. I thank God for this pain and longing and opportunity to lean on him and grow. It just sucks some times man, like all challenges; living. C and Q are cool. AHHHH it was all so cool. This is clear Tyler Joseph: neither yelling nor masking is the approach. However masking while yelling, this is fine.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's time

I realized something today. Though this something is not one that can be tangibly put into words and phrases on a random blog on the internet and be done justice. The first thing I feel is sad, that's very evident. The second is frustration because I want this blog to be raw but I'm caught up by the formalities of typing out my thoughts instead of them being directly projected onto the screen. 

Though that's not the main issue right now. I'm sad because I have a girlfriend, we have many mutual friends that she has met and has gotten to know in the past year and three quarters, we care for each other immensely and hope it's something special, and in three weeks all of that will change. I will have Kara, but it won't be the same. She'll have friends, but they'll all be away. We'll still care. but maybe not talk every day. I'll be two hours away; she's staying here to live her life in her own way. That's not to say it's a bad thing, this is really what she has to do at the current moment. There's a story there that is long and cumbersome, and I have work tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. 

I miss her already. There's a overture of longing and an undertone of fear wrapping themselves around a dissonant lydian melody. This phyrgian feeling swirls around in my head and my heart, wishing to pry open my lacrimal puncta with basal and emotion. But I cannot be wrung dry of snow, for I was left out overnight and now am frozen twisted. I'm shifting back and forth between this concoction of negative space and a blank, gray canvas. I hope my words are doing justice. But there's so much more. I want to get drunk. I want to numb more. I want to feel angry, broken, sore. But it's just headaches and longing. Just Advil and talking, you know? However a man once told me to run into pain, and that God will provide such a way to sustain that it breaks down each wall you cannot smash through on your own. Every grey canvas. Every inch of pain. I miss her already. I've missed every lost soul that's wandered into my life and suddenly disappeared, at least for a moment. Yet here I am hoping for just one single person to keep close and call home yet I know it's not so because it's not my plan. It's not my place to set in motion. I cannot change hearts, and whatever God has his set on must be where I am to go.

I don't want to go. I want to give up. I want to relax and let the wind sweep away my dust of a human being. I want to at least stop seeing all the things that I will soon have to leave behind for a very, very long time. 

I just want to cry, man.

Because I think it's time I did

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Beautiful Mountain Peaks

I wanted to put a different quote in that box, but instead I went with a verse because it makes more sense in the context of this blog. Just a quick update: 

Yes this blog is still active. Hopefully I will be posting once or twice a month, depending on how the world turns. This will hopefully help me get better at writing and graphic design. I also work at a Starbucks in a grocery store chain Hy-Vee.

And that's where today's story begins. I come in Wednesday morning and see a co-worker I haven't worked with in a long time K. She's a wonderful lady, and one of the most joyful people I've had the pleasure of meeting, next to my own father. However I learned of some sad news the other week -- she was diagnosed with stage 2 (really the end of 2) breast cancer. That floored me, and seeing her today also floored me. She is a morning worker, while most teenagers work nights and closings. This was my first, and last morning working with K, because Friday she starts chemo and I probably won't work with her afterwards. Every third customer and every third employee who walked past she knew, had a personal connection with, and loved to talk with. She talked with me about her cancer, her life, other people's lives, the day to day grind of working mornings that most of us kids don't know about. It was so wonderfully special and wonderfully sad. All these people knew of K's condition too, and knew that it was her second to last day of working until further notice. 

One special man is one that has come in almost every since opening the store and that's H. Around November K started drawing on his cup before he got to the store, just because he was a regular. This tradition has held throughout the store's lifetime. When he found out about the cancer Monday, he was stunned. His face was a somber slab of stone when he asked, 

"Who will draw on my cups? B (boss), give K a sleeve of Venti sleeves so she can draw on those cups while she's away."

K: "Well H what do I get out of this deal huh?"
H: "I've got a hat you can wear after you've gone through chemo and lost some hair."

So today he brought in a hat that looks like this. H actually smiled and dropped in sarcastic facade to wish her luck in chemo and to say that he hoped everything would be alright. 

K left at 1:30 today and I was alone until 2 when the other kids showed up. And good Lord did I cry. I cried because I'm the last young person to work with her before she goes to chemo. I say and heard how scared she was, yet how hopeful and trusting in God she was about the situation. This was truly the first time that someone very close to me has actually been diagnosed with cancer. There was my pastor's wife before this, but I truly did not know her that well. However in these thirty minutes were rushes of empathy, anger, frustration, longing, and sadness. 

I asked God why do the joyful always come down with the worst of sicknesses? I pleaded to the Lord to help her, and thanked him for what a beautiful day it was outside. I thanked God for the other people in my life who are alive and well, and prayed and prayed for God to give K strength in this upcoming battle with cancer. I got to thinking about how K said she was going to read her grandmother's book about suffering called "Through the Valley" or something similar to that. 
Based on this verse from Psalm 23. Click for an analysis of that Psalm

And just then a thought occurred to me: when are you ground level you see mountains in the background of everyday life. You might think they're beautiful, but you might not pay much attention to them. However once you're in the valley, you can see these mountains for how truly tall they are. You can see these peaks for how truly beautiful they are. You can see the clouds so far above the sky, and remember that there's still beauty in the world. 

The valley is not a place to stay, God leads us through to conquer mountains. Matthew 17:20 says that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. However God is the one who moves them, into ramps out of the valley. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Zeal - The Enigma of Enthusiasm

Zeal gets tossed around a lot in Christian circles. Some people quote Romans 12 and Revelation 3 in evidence to the claim that we must be zealous in our walk with Christ, or be opposite entirely as a cold entity of apathy toward God our father. However as I covered in a previous blog on Complacency, Revelation 3 isn't talking about that, and really neither is Romans 12:11. 
Verse 11 talks about how we are to never lack in zeal, but on the contrary keep our spiritual fervor serving the Lord. Yet two chapter earlier in Romans, Paul is talking about the Israelites themselves and how they have lots of zeal, but do not have lots of knowledge. And Paul says that because they live that way, they don't actually follow the righteousness of God. And as it says in Proverbs

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yielding - More Than Just a Sign

Yielding's traditional definition falls under giving way to pressure or give way to argument and demands. With that, it also means to produce something or provide something, usually a natural product like crops and whatnot. However in the Bible it has a slightly different meaning. The best way I can describe it is it's giving way to God's commands and his will, and then through that fully producing what he has planned for us and being an active participant in his plan as well as directly benefiting from it. 

Little different from just "yield" right?

That happens a lot in translations of Greek and Hebrew words into English. One example is in Ephesians 2:8 where it says we have been saved through faith. But the verb saved isn't just "past tense", it's "past tense with an emphasis on how it affects the present reality of the direct object to the verb." So yielding here is accepting God's will and at the same time living out what his plan is. This cannot be done simply by our own human conviction or effort. Romans 12 tells us that we are to be living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God, not conforming to the world. We do this not by own our efforts of anything physical or tangible, but the renewal of our minds, so that when by being tested we'll be able to figure out the will of God and follow it. 

Renewing our minds refers to how in Hebrew the word we translate as "repentance" carries the notion of a changed mind. Our thinking must be changed from our old ways (hence transformed) into new Godly ways of thinking. This is done by replacing our thoughts and natural brain tendencies with that of God's truth, that is his word. 

So yielding is both at the same time surrendering humbly to God's will and following it at the same time, by renewing our mind processes and natural tendencies with those outlined in God's truth. As gotquestions.org puts it...