February 2, 2013

FUNDAMENTALLY FAILING

The thing about Christian fundamentals within a youth group is that it's destine to fail. Not completely or frequently but as humans, and as a club, people are going to get hurt and there will opposition. It's also likely that there will be a big group of self-righteous high schoolers running around with condemnation in their eyes. Fiery red eyes at that, with their fists raised, lurking for destruction of human character. It's as if Youth Group Culture (a 5' 10" handsome, clean shaven, skinny jean wearing man) gave them a razor blade with the warning label "DO NOT CUT ANYONE" knowing that it was impossible.

I had a friend tell me about an encounter he had. His name is Steve and at the time he was probably around the age of 18. Steve, not coming from a religious background, was invited to one of these Youth Groups by a friend of mine, Glenn. In Glenn's defense he was doing what he thought was right, and it was right. Glenn was inviting a non-christian friend to a christian gathering. Ultimately the best way to gain brownie points from the pastor and doing exactly what was told of him, "bring your friends to church, get them saved, BE A CHRISTIAN." I don't know what happened leading up to the instance but what I do remember hearing from Steve was that he was cornered and scolded. From what I was told the Youth Pastor was informed that Steve and his girlfriend were sharing an apartment and felt it necessary to confront the issue. Youth Pastor wanted to 'snip the bud' if you know what I mean, before it was too late, before Satan filled his heart. Youth Pastor then proceeded to take Steve aside and tell him how wrong this was and that it had to stop, immediately. Now I don't know what else was said or if there was some sort of violent argument but I do remember Steve saying 'fuck christians' at the end of the story. Steve, now 26 years old lives with his girlfriend of a year in the Seattle area and from what I know it's a fairly successful relationship.

I guess I say all this because I'm constantly confronted with poorly dealt situations being the reason why people hate church. We're human, so shoot us. But on the other hand my heart breaks. There's been a mental block put up for a very valid reason. In the same sense no one could convince me to return to jail, even for a visit. In my mind there's nothing relevant enough to cause me to return to such a terrible place. Even if i'm just visiting, even if I hadn't done something terrible to get me there. There's, and I have no proof, but is a condition of the heart and something cries out inside of me saying 'you remember the last time you were here? Yup. Don't do it.'

I remember becoming serious about my faith. There I was, 20-something days deep in my jail cell. I had the upper bunk so of course I was closer to God. He's up and the Devil's down and I'm extremely american. Now I can't really put into word what happened next nor do I want to try but I assure you, something happened. For the first time I desired to read the bible and for the first time it made sense. It's like the words were jumping at me and when it said "we rejoice in our suffering knowing that it produces patience, and perseverance and peace" I felt as though I had found something no other human had seen. All the years I grew up in church and never had I heard anything of this nature. It's as though all this jail and court and heartbreak wasn't just to break my heart. It was to build me as a human. And that was refreshing. I feel as though I could write an entire book solely on that epiphany but I wont. I'm not really certain why I write all these different aspects of my "Christian" experience other than to write them.

Like I told my friend the other day, 'I don't think i'd ever invite someone to church just to try and get them to church. Why humanize something that's completely not of this world?'

"go preach the gospel, tell others of Jesus and if necessary, use words." -anonymous

January 18, 2013

I'm an ignorant son of a man.


Do you love what you do.

Do you love what you do? Do you take time every morning to praise God in such a way that you are at the very least grateful for what you do. I believe that not everyone can say this. It's not statistical proof and I haven't done studies but by the demeanor of people and how they carry themselves and what they talk about and what, that as shallow as it sounds, they POST about; it doesn't reflect a life of gratefulness. They haven't found happiness in the simplistic sense and more importantly they gave up trying. Perhaps they've  never given it a chance. I was never told growing up that "I could do whatever I desired to do." I mean yes I heard it but I was never TOLD it. I feel like no one ever sat me down looked me in the eyes and told me one of the most profound yet stereotypical things: 'you can be and do whatever you so desire.' I feel resentful. I feel cheated and misinformed and I think that someone, be it my dad or counselor or probation officer, let me down. I feel like they all let me down and I think it's because they too never had someone say it to them.

Submerse yourself. This is a broad statement but we need to surround ourselves and submerse ourselves with people and things we enjoy. This sounds extreme but I'm convinced that if you're not happy at your job then you need to quit and find a new one. "I have a mortgage and bills and kids and..." I want to understand but I don't. What I do understand is that you got yourself to this place and in order to get out you need to not wait for anyone else. Like the parable of them man waiting for a helicopter in an ocean you need to open your eyes and see the boats and canoes and rafts passing by. The longer you or I or anyone waits the harder it will be. We have things called minds, with brains which may cause us to think too much and do too little. Common sense isn't always a thought, sometimes it's an action and sometimes it requires action to obtain. Quit living like a cookie cutter and be something you desire. Be someone you'd look up to. I desire for the world to be of character and integrity. While realizing that this is impossible my desire immediately switches to sympathy, love that shadows evil and a sense of "I really don't give a shit who you aren't" so that I may listen, understand and help them. It's important to be honest with yourself when you think such things though because if you proceed and act out if dishonesty or to feel good about yourself you will not only end up burning up but bringing people down with you along the way. It's a reason why Christians all of a sudden don't seem so 'Christ like.' Because they're motivation wasn't honest it was selfish ambition with Jesus written on it. A slippery slope. A recipe for disaster.

November 15, 2012

recycled religion

I often label myself as too dramatic. I find myself thinking too hard, feeling too much and longing for something greater than what seems possible to fulfill my immediate emptiness. 

It's been labeled as inappropriate to act out on these impulses. I read an excerpt from Oswald Chambers and he says 'Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different.'


How many people I know and how many I have seen come and go from Jesus. I think of those who enroll in an internship through an organization or church in hopes that it'll make them feel 'good'. In the end it's inevitable that some, those who put their faith in humans looking for the immediate gratification, will eventually be let down. Being part of something man-made and resting their intimacy on nothing more than people who like they do, have faults. What saddens me is that both the student and teacher have often allowed their personal experiences to hurl themselves onto the person nearest to them forgetting exactly what they were to begin with, personal experiences. I've done it and am as guilty as any other, I've not rested in the peace that God changed my life in a way not comprehendible. I've tried to understand completely and put into words that which was not intended, attempting to relate it to another persons circumstances and situation. In this I am ashamed and apologize deeply.


I believe Jesus pursues us desperately and daily and I believe we tend to ignore this intentionally. I've never wrecked on my bike and enjoyed it thoroughly. In the same, healing of the mind and soul will never 'feel good'. It'll never fulfill our impulsiveness. Jesus can and will bring immediate gratification but I wouldn't bank on it because while He's busy teaching us, we're busy being doubtful, pissing on the carpet in a fit. Sad isn't it, not getting what you want and what you didn't need?


Now don't get me wrong, not every Christian is religious and not every human is failing at searching for things that fulfill them, in fact just the opposite which is why I have no argument to those who seem happy. I don't doubt they love their place in life and the people who are engaged in it. I've been there and only look back with gratefulness. I just doubt they've broadened their input and genuinely been accepting to the thought that Jesus historically existed and that His Holy Spirit really does overwhelm you with life changing love; that's all.

May 27, 2012

John 10:10
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.



I want that life, I want that God in my life and I want others to see that God in my life.

May 5, 2012

the ARCHER and his friends simplicity.

I had a friend of mine, Kevin Reese, draw a picture for me that i'll never forget. He said life is like a Archer drawing an arrow. He said when God wants to use you He choses you, draws you back and waits to release you. The part about waiting to release, as the Archer waits for His target really got to me. I have a hard time waiting on things and although its said all good things come in time I wish it weren't so. I have yet to meet a soul that looks forward to the DMV or a hungry individual that would rather cook a meal than microwave one. I want to be a noble film maker but become discouraged when I see others around me with opening opportunity. No one wants to wait.


I talked in my last post about reminiscing and the power that's within ones past. I guess if it was possible or even constructive i'd just lay in bed every night thinking about what has been and how i'd prefer it to be once again, like the old days. A sort of thought process that extracts the good from the past and compiles it into one fancy movie tricking myself into thinking that these so called 'good ol days' were simply good, that I have forgotten about the struggle and loneliness and heart ache i've had to endure. I don't want to exaggerate that which has made me stronger but there truly has been some trials and tribulation. I read recently a short one liner that i'll always remember, "a person without a story is a person who doesn't exist." Profound don't you think? Confirms my theory that everywhere there is someone with a story that hasn't been told and that in the end we'd all be able to relate in one area or another with that person. You see the beauty about story telling is that it's an emotional painting of truth, that someone's experiences and opinions can be grasped or forgotten, agreed or disagreed with and that in itself is beautiful. How I so badly want to tell my story, and how so desperately I want to share others.


To end I want to highlight friends and colleagues of mine. Glenn Landberg and Andrew Ford began a blog to do exactly this, tell stories. They've taken two things in which I relate and love, story telling and bicycles and combined them into one. A NEW BIKE is a blog where they post weekly a different individual who tells a little something about themselves and their bike. The simplicity and effectiveness is amazing and I can't but help and applaud their originality. Well done boys.


So take time, sit in one spot before you walk out your doorway this afternoon and really give a good thought as to what you want to do. I'm such an advocate for doing what you love to do and doing everything within your will to make these things come to fruition. God really wants to bless those who are trustworthy with what they've been given. My feet, legs, desires, and hobbies. In one way or another they're all still functioning and working together to be a blessing to me and those around me. Nike hit it big when they began the JUST DO IT campaign...

April 27, 2012

BEEN A VICTIM. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH AND IF YOU DON'T; DON'T PREACH