Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Re:action – 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. (more…)

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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?

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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. (more…)

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too busy

I left my phone at home today. I feel naked. There’s no reason to have my phone today, so I shouldn’t feel anxious. Like most days I will drive home later on and probably won’t need to pull over and call someone for help. If I need to call someone regarding work, or even if I want to call home, I have my office phone right here on my desk. I have so many other ways to communicate it’s ridiculous. My computer blips with a new email recieved every few minutes. I check facebook at work. shhh…don’t tell anyone. On a normal day, I’m communicating electronically all day long. Whenever I do something it’s almost as if something electronic told me to. I wonder what would happen if I unplugged for a day. Or what if I took a sabbath day. I think I would nap.

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Dumpster Bear

The bear

While I was in college, I had the opportunity to be a lifeguard and summer staff leader at Pine Summit Christian Camp with my friends Thomas and Christal Castro. One of the best things about that summer was that I got to spend a lot of time hanging out and getting to know high school students. During one of those weeks of camp, a young man named Tony graced us with his attendance. Tony was in 8th grade and was too tall for his age making him just a bit uncoordinated. He wore the punk getup, with a sideways cap and baggy jeans perhaps to fit in or maybe to look dumb intentionally. This kid from the beginning had an easily identified M.O. He was there to impress the chics. Everything he did had the hidden or not-so-hidden agenda of scoring himself a camp girlfriend. (more…)

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“Thank you for that.”

I woke up today and thought to myself “I enjoyed life much more when I was writing.” I realize that by writing this thought down, my mom will upon reading this call and ask if I’m depressed. So, the answer will be no, because I’m writing. The trouble is where to begin when it’s been nearly 6 months since my last post. A few months ago, I lived in the suburban town of Clovis, in a new neighborhood, in a new house that my roommate Mike had bought right behind a brand new elementary school. We’ve been good friends and he knew my financial situation so he gave me a really good deal on rent. I had my own room, my own garage space, I could go out in our 100 sq. foot back yard (really little, but also nice and quaint) and sit on the brick wall and look at the stars at night. We had a fireplace and a huge tv, wireless internet, and a community pool 100 yards away, much more than a missionary needs. It was great and I was content. Mike is getting married at the end of May to his fiancé Ersilia, so a natural inclination to change domiciles became apparent. (more…)

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Re:action – Possession

Tangled Web


It’s the theme of many intense thrillers that has you at the edge of your movie theater seat. It makes for a great story in classic literature and it raises eyebrows when mentioned in conversation, but is it real? Demons…really? In the 1998 film ‘Fallen’ starring two of my favorite actors, Denzel Washington and John Goodman, a convicted killer Edgar Reese (played by Elias Koteas) holds a demonic power that is mysteriously spread by touch. Detectives Hobbes and Jonesy, (Washington and Goodman) must solve the mystery of this demonic power before it infects the citizens of their town and kills again. Jesus’ encounter with a violent demon named “Legion” in the gospel of Mark chapter 5 suggests that possession is real, but I don’t see too many crazy old men running around grave yards these days or serial murderers blaming their crimes on a demonic possession.   

I can remember an encounter that I had in high school in a coffee shop in town with a man in his late forties that spoke to me with such opposition that I claimed he was demon possessed. In hindsight, I was a closed-minded, content Christian that didn’t know better, or want to know better. I simply jumped to a conclusion when I was uncomfortable with opposition to my concrete faith. (more…)

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