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Re:action – Seriously

Seriously

I was called out as “one of those people” yesterday! What a demeaning slam on someone’s character! How is someone supposed to respond to a statement like “Oh, you’re one of those?!” I signed up a few weeks ago to be a part of a Bible Study geared toward understanding missions and a Christian’s call to spread the Gospel. We’re reading a book, a good book. The book I mentioned in the previous post Let the nations be glad by John Piper. Last night in our discussion of the book I mentioned a great point that was made in one of the footnotes that apparently no-one had read. No problem, i don’t always read footnotes. Throughout my collegiate career if I read just the preface of a book I felt like I was giving a reasonable effort. Last night though, when the guy next to me cracked his sarcasm, I wanted to say “yeah! one of those people that actually cares.” My friend might have less of an interest in Piper, which is fine with me. My encouragement was to take the subject more seriously, but I’m afraid it’s easier to ignore the challenging parts.
So, why is ignorance so blissful? Why is it easier to be apathetic? Is this sort of ignorance leading to a much larger problem? I hope you agree that it is. Continue Reading »

Re:action – Recurring

Recurring

Do you role your eyes when in conversation, random scripture reading, books and several different preachers and Bible study groups seem to be saying the exact same thing? Does it excite you that right then you’re experiencing one of those moments of divine clarity. Like God is setting the scene, and wants you to understand something. Personally, I would probably be more excited if I was repeatedly learning something like the importance of accepting gifts and receiving blessings from God, but that’s not or I should say, that’s not all of what I’ve been learning lately.
I’m not sure when it started, but the concept of the supremacy of God in missions through suffering has weighed heavily on me from the John Piper book, “Let the nations be glad.”  The supremacy of God’s will and when he says “no” to my desires was the topic of Sunday’s sermon and Wednesday’s youth bible study at two different churches I visited. We discussed the supremacy of God in the “Problem of Evil” dealing with a biblical perspective of man’s depravity and sole hope we have in Christ in a college group bible study this week as well.
I’m afraid of where this is leading. I’m so glad that I’m getting to a point of understanding these important lessons, but what is it preparing me for? What’s with the intense conviction that “pop-christianity” doesn’t understand sacrifice or suffering? Why right now do I need to learn how to accept “no” as an answer from my loving and all knowing heavenly father? Am I going to wrestle with this or is the lesson simply that I haven’t wrestled with suffering enough. That i don’t know what sacrifice is and that i need to begin seeking ways to give up the things of the flesh for the sake of the Spirit? Is it that there is not enough conflict in my life between my fleshly desires and my Spiritual calling?

Five Types of Camping.

(originally written In July 2008, post delayed). I decided to plan a fun little trip last month that I have wanted to do for a few years now. When we were kids, my brother and I would go up with my dad to a little lake in the west side of the Sierra’s called Ward Lake. The fishing was always amazing and the hikes were always a ton of fun to just take off and get lost. This time I wanted to do a little bit of back country camping. Hike away from the car and set up camp with whatever we could hall on our backs. My original thought was that I’m 24 y/o so backpacking in the sierra’s is a must, even if it takes getting back in shape to do it. So I called my dad up and asked if he wanted to go up to Lake Edison in the Sierra National Forrest at about 8,000 ft. We had a good time. He taught me how to fly fish, so we went up the creek a few miles one day and caught about 60 golden trout between the two of us. We took his kayak across the lake with us so that we could fish out of it as well. It was a much needed trip, but this trip got me thinking about camping and the people who do it.

So basically, there are 5 ways to go camping. Each style has it’s own types of camper and different people find there own comfort level based on their sense of adventure, their collective history of camping experiences and their financial situation & physical ability. Continue Reading »

Pink Elephant

The Pink Elephant

Dave and I were talking about what’s going on in our lives yesterday and the topic of faith came up. Long story short he gave me a message series that he’d listened to and loved for a long time from a guy named Michael Wells. I had never heard of him before but Dave made it sound important and worth the listen. He tells a story about how early on in his ministry he used to slander people in the church. He’d tear everyone down and he knew that he needed to stop. He tried all sorts of things, but decided one day that he should take his sin before God and for 40 days he fasted. At the end of his fast he realized that he hadn’t stopped, so he fasted for another 40 days and again didn’t stop slandering. In fact he says at the end of both of these fasts he was the skinniest slanderer around. I had these messages playing in my ipod yesterday as I walked the few blocks over to the park for my late lunch. He’s a great storyteller so i enjoyed listening, and his insight into Christian faith was so refreshing to ponder.

When I got back an old friend of mine named Katie, who was in my bible study a few years ago at a Fuge Camp in Glorieta, NM, facebook chatted “hello”. I said “Hi” and she explained that I probably didn’t remember who she was, but that she needed prayer for her cussing problem and asked if I would pray for her. Continue Reading »


Social Networking

I just had a great conversation with my good friend Dr. Fermin Whittaker this morning about the topic of Social Networking. We talked about ministry effectiveness and the need for authenticity in all of our motives. Are we really after the numbers or is there another bench-mark that we should place our aim? We talked about community and how that word has become elemental in our culture.  Questions began streaming as we talked, I’m asking myself: What am I doing to take what I do to the next level of impacting lives? How can I do a better job of communicating?
Dr. Whittaker is an out of the box thinker, which allows him to step into the thinking processes of young people and look at what’s coming soon with excitement for change rather than dread. Speaking of change… Continue Reading »

Mountains
Mountains On My Mind

It’s after 1am and I can’t sleep. I have to be up early tomorrow morning to meet with the guys for prayer and coffee, but every time I try to force myself to fall asleep my brain kicks into overdrive and I start to think about hiking in the mountains. I’m consumed by it. I bought a book the other day about places to hike and camp in California, I started reading a little bit and it’s seriously keeping me up at nights. Just looking at the maps and thinking about the wilderness has inspired me to want to climb all the highest peaks and see the most beautiful vistas California has to offer. I read about a bunch of 3-4 day backpacking trips in the Sierra’s that until now were never really my idea of fun, but now i can’t stop imagining how great it would be go leave tomorrow. I’ve decided that I need to buy a whole bunch of gear too. Every time I try to close my eyes, hiking boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, the new camera I want to get all flicker in my mind. They would cost over $2,000 if I went out and bought it all. If it’s not the gear its my need to get back in shape and ready for my next exciting adventure that has taken over my life. I’m losing sleep and all because of this new found passion I have to climb things. Seriously, more so than my birthday and Christmas, I can’t wait until July 8th-12th when I’ll be hiking up Mt. Whitney with Tim and Joe Gentry. I really need to sleep before then.



Out of the Rut

Music is an extremely important part of my life. I don’t play jack, but I listen obsessively. When I used to buy cd’s along time ago (now I buy mp3-4’s), I would listen to it over and over again until it became a boring sound. The cd’s were great. I practically wore the shine off of Matchbox Twenty’s “You, yourself, or something like you,” but they got old really quickly. I was in a musical rut for the last couple of months and I was listening to great music. It was so good that it was pretty much on loop. I do not recommend using the loop setting on your iPod. Most people do this with bands like Coldplay and Jimmy and my advice to you is STOP! Take a break from it or you’ll ruin great music! You’ll be like one of those smug music snobs that looks down at people who listen to music that’s not in “the scene.” Continue Reading »

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