Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thought #26

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and
the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you
are God.
- Psalm 90: 2

From everlasting to everlasting you are God.

From everlasting to everlasting  you   are    God.

From time to time, from beginning to end, from before this sunset sets on my notepad, before even the thought of sunsets or suns and moons and stars, the earth the skies the world the winds, and anything that has breath, you  are   God.

And then past the ending of time as we know it, past the blazing sun switched off like street lights at dawn to, what we may think of as, nothing, you  are   God.

You are God.  This doesn't make sense, but you are God.  When I wake at 7:00, you are God.  When I go to class at 10:00, you are God.  When I drive, when I walk, then when I stop, stand still, came to the end of the world and stared out on the bay wondering what more could possibly be in store for this life as I know it, you are God.  But I still don't get it.

Nothing.  Blank stares.  Zoning out.  Taken back.  Swept off my feet.  Smiling.

Take time to be awestruck by your God.

(When I end this,    you      are        still          God.) 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thought #25

Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from
the sky.
- Psalm 85: 11

I want a roadmap to life. Yeah, after high school I knew another four years of education were in store. But now what? College is done. That infamous "real world" sits on the stoop. And in two weeks it will knock. Constant rat-a-tats rat-a-tats rapping at my door. Do I sit back, go insane, listening to repetitive beats? What's next?

Well, I move with the day's rhythm. There are already pre-set cycles in existence like January till December, from Spring to Summer, Autumn leaves then a Winter frost. And they always occur. We are so acclimated to our orbit that we never stop to realize a roadmap's already present.

Winds blow. The cherry tree blossoms. Reds. Greens from the ground. Tulips in a circle. Still skies shifting puzzle pieces on a chess board chasing chasms slip and leave holes in the rain for the skies to fall down.

A constant reminder that all is not chaos. But that in Spring flowers bloom in the sight of the sun and by the touch of deluge nights. Morning dew. Frost is gone. And the world wakes even earlier like it is closer to the sun in April.

It is all faithful. The sun does not choose a different path each day. The sky remains. And in Spring color is back on the cherry tree in my front yard. The branches are weathered from Winter, but at least they have a covering now. Everything remains faithful before the sight of God and the sight of man.

But why don't we notice these natural testimonies? The world is alive around us and we should be taking notes on how to live. On how to keep going. On how to make it through anything no matter the eventfulness or dull or cathartic crazed moments causing an untamed aspect to life. Because, you see, our roadmap is right before us. And all it says it to remain faithful. That righteousness looks down from above. And because of these two denominators, life goes on.

Imitate. Remain. Faithful.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thought #24

Whoever gives thought to the word will
discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the
- Proverbs 16: 20

Life gets taxing at times. And those times remain stagnant like all your world went to destruction. Because your days are hard. Annoying. Tough to bear. Disappointing. You get hurt from what, at any other time, seems small. It's that open wound. It's your world changing before your eyes and you don't know how to handle it.

Rains fall. Flood. Beading off the windshield. Drops. Everything lets go. Cables cut loose. Sun's lost behind the clouds. Black. Dark. Damp. Waves swamp highways. And April's found drowned with Atlantis.

But the rains have to come. They have to. And, unfortunately, you have to deal with it. I won't tell you how to deal with it (because even I don't know). Sometimes you have to embrace the situation for what it is. And you need air. Plenty of times you will be choking. Gasping. Frantically fighting for breath. So fight. And fight. Fight some more.

But know that you need to go under the blankets of water to struggle. To battle. To rage against all happening; you can't change the situation. You can only look at it from another angle.

Drown in the dripdrop pitterpatter precipitation. Bells toll. Bells toll. Toll three times telling twelve o'clock noon holds no sun in New England skies. Muddy oceans toss and turn and never sleep. When out at sea all goes to hell. All goes wrong. Smooth sailing's only a love song for the optimist. Washed overboard. Gone.

You need to wait out the storm. Let the waves carry you where they will. And wait. You need to give thought to the matter, to the word. It takes time. It takes hours when hours turn to days and days to weeks till sometimes repetition is in order. You need to give thought, to dwell on the matter.

Okay. So remain angry. Remain hurt. Cycle through all the emotions this seemingly self-destructive life-ending turmoil of a situation elicits. (Who cares?) Go out back of the shop and stand in the rain texting that perfect person "i can't handle this anymore." And get soaked. And stand longer. And cry. Simply cry. Because that is the only language you know while you stand freezing shuddering not knowing if you're blurry-eyed from rain? or tears?

This is you.

This is you in life.

This is life.

There is never any getting used to it. I'm not sure if we're meant to . But we are not meant to float to seabeds and sleep eternally lost among the water wild. Those emotions are only passing. The time is temporary, but that doesn't mean it's quick.

Not only are we to think on the matter, but we're to trust God. It's a process. It's a period of time. It's something we constantly learn to do. The teachings stick more when they come in times of pain. Of grief. Of nearly giving up. Quitting. Not knowing how to get through another torturous overbearing can't-handle-it-any-longer moment.

But this truly is the perfect moment to give it all up to God, trusting. This is when we inherently, naturally and somehow supernaturally just let it all go. Most of the time it's not even thought about. Unconscious. We are ignorant to the fact that we actually give control over to God. Somehow it happens like it's built into us. Like God will always be there for us whether we ask Him to be or not. Like He won't overwhelm us to a final breaking point.

And the moment we break is the moment we trust. The moment we trust is the moment we're blessed. The moment we're blessed is the moment we discover good. And the moment we discover good is the moment we give thought to the word. Then it all begins again giving thought to the matter.

Each drop from a cloud hastens its path so the sun can be seen again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thought #23.1

Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters; 
yet your footprints were unseen.
- Psalm 77: 19


It's time for you to go against all you know.  It's time to let go.  Of.  Everything.

Those summer days spent swimming.  Hours in the water.  Back and forth.  Floating.  Swimming.  Diving.  Deeper.  And deeper.  To the deepest darkest regions of all existence.  And that is where you need to let go.  Because deep calls unto deep (Ps. 42:7); you are called.

See, you can lose yourself on those days so easily.  All it takes is bathing in the sun.  Maybe falling asleep and waking up burnt more red than a lobster.  You lose yourself in the freedom of sunlight scorching days.  You lost yourself at land's end.  Beneath the horizon and before the waves.

Do you hear it calling?  In that moment before you shyly dip a toe in the unknown, do you feel the urge to just run?  To run leaving all behind? not knowing what's ahead? not knowing up from down, but only that there is more to be found way out there where the waves foam at the crest and break?

Because out there is the wild.  Mystery.  Piquing your interest.  You know, you just don't know, but that's the whole point; we're not meant to know what's to come.  All we're meant to do is walk on.  No matter where our steps take us.  Even if those steps falter - by our own foolishness, folly, fallibility, our human nature that was weaned off all goodness and perfection left in the garden.  Even if those steps stumble fall and fail, we are still meant to walk on.  

Into waves.  Into sunsetting horizons, purples pinks then nothing but stars.  Into the deep way far from beach sands safety and all that's comfortably laid at our doorstep; God's way is not comfortable though we are given comfort along the way.

Tell me you've never wanted to jump from a bridge just to feel the freedom of flight.  To know what the morning birds sing of.  Then to feel the splash, whether it can be described worse than a car crash or sweeter than a Tootsie Pop or more refreshing than a glass of lemonade from some entrepreneur-kid's lemonade stand on the corner of Main and Wickendon.  

Because this it not a suicidal thought; it is our being screaming clawing clinging to the fact that there is more to life than even spending storybook times with the girl who means the world to you sitting on the jetty and watching night break, all fade, as you are finally together after months spent oceans apart.

Tell me you've never desired there to be more to life.  To one day look out your window and see the rain fall in slow motion.  Where you can collect drop for drop stringing together chandeliers above your head.  So after when you look up into silent stormy skies, all will be lit by reflections like the way the sun glitters when it hits Plymouth Bay in the evening.  

Because then you would help orchestrate all the beauty of life.  And then you would behold heaven on earth.  And then you would see your God face to face.

So today is the day when you drop it all.  When you stop trying to appease the masses.  

Because it's not about how much you read your bible, or how long and eloquent your prayers sound, or even if you believe in God or not.  It's about you finding the way.  (And I pray it leads you to God.  I pray it leads you to truth.  To life.  A life beautiful and good.  And one that you marvel at when you try thinking on what's to come because the future is unseen.)

Let go of all you know.  Even if for one second.  

Because if you find yourself at land's end not comprehending anything, not knowing up from down and any other opposite, tell me then, do you truly feel alive?

So take a step.  Let the waves crash like sun sets.  And follow the path through the waters. 

This is life.

Thought #23

Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
-Psalm 77:19


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thought #22

Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, beause God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.
- Genesis 33: 11

Money. Gifts. Giving to others. Our culture does not seem like much of the giving type. Is it all selfishness? Are we looking out for ourselves? Or do we have others' backs? I don't know, but I tell you the truth, it is all about giving. Blessing others.

Why don't you go to the streets of Boston and look for who's in need. Or how about you don't even travel that far; go to your downtown and look for the needy. Because they're not hard to find. I'll go as far to say that all of us are needy in one way or another. Because you know, it's not only about giving the homeless a dime or two and it's not only about sponsering some less fortunate child overseas. No. It's about all the people in your life that you love. And it's simply love.

Jacob and Esau were brothers. "But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept" (v.4). It's about family. It's about welcoming someone to be a part of your life. Community. Blessing others is just one of those things that brings people together no matter how far or close, or if she's a stranger or if she's family to you. Nothing matters except the giving.

"Please accept my blessing." This phrase says nothing of selfishness. But it screams of an urgency to bless someone. It begs the person "please." And the verse gives no reason for why Jacob brought it. But the fact is, he brought it to Esau. And he has liberty to give because God dealt graciously with him.

Oh, and just so you know, "God has dealt graciously," which means that He still will deal graciously. (Just a suggestion: don't skip over the little words when reading the bible because they clue you in on so many things.) In fact, God will deal graciously once we bless others. It's not really a give and take per se, even though it seems it might be. No where does Jacob give in order for God to give more in his own life. Rather, he simply gives: "Please accept my blessing that is brought to you." There is no other reason for giving presented in this verse.

So next time you are in Boston walking through Chinatown and you come across a beggar, then bless him with something. Hand him some change if he needs it. Maybe give him some cash. Or how about you ask him what he needs and then get it for him. I mean, the guy's need could be as simple as milk; so buy him a small carton of milk. We just don't know really until we ask. And we don't understand giving until we give.

What if next weekend you plan on visiting a grandparent in the nursing home? Just to spend time with someone who has watched you grow up and was there for you during much of your life. What if you were there for that person now?

Even more simply though, what if you chilled with a friend? More often than not she will need someone there, with her, just to know all is well in the world. Because even though she might not acknowledge a need, you're still being a friend, giving of yourself.

This whole giving and blessing thing is so easy. It's so much more simple than we make it out to be. Simple. And the opportunities abound for giving to another.

So stop thinking you need to be a millionaire in order to give the change in your pocket to the homeless man who accosted you. Then stop thinking of giving in monetary terms; that is very limiting especially limiting for how God can use you. And overall, stop thinking you can't give because you actually have enough, you just might not believe it.

It's time to be different: give.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thought #21.1

Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.
- Genesis 31: 13

But one thing, don't live in memories.  Don't remain in the past.  Always progress.  Always walk one.  This ending to verse 13 is a complete turnaround from the prior sentence.  The focus of this passage changes immediately from lingering in reverie to entering the future.  So God does give us reminders of who He is, who we know Him to be - connection - but with urgency the future is a step away.

You know, we take photographs and home videos and write in journals all to remember the past.  But it's time to open the shades; it's day time, the sun's out.  And it's time to put away the bottle of wine, turn off the VCR and box up the pictures.  The memories will always be there, locked away in a place where no one can steal from you.  For now, the day's calling.

I look out on the world from four stories up.  Clear blue skies.  Flowered trees.  And daisy lawns.  But my eyes can't see too far.  I can see where land and sky meet along the close horizon.  That's about it.  But I know there is so much more out there.  I know somewhere there are oceans and that somewhere there are stars, that somewhere my friends are going about their lives - somewhere the world is still spinning.

Exciting.  Mysterious.  So now it's time to wander.  It's time to let all those memories fast forward, quickening, hastening, forcefully pushing me to tomorrow.  Then those daily reminders of sunrise drifting to sunset preach a cycle of life.  And it's one we should follow.  Because we should change calendars.  And we should live for tomorrow while remaining in today, "stuck in a moment you can't get out of" (U2). 

Well it's time to find balance.  It's time to test the waters.  And this experimentation is what happens in your day-to-day.  Because there are no dead stops; you are in constant motion.

There is a certain balance afforded to the idea of memories and progression.  Verse 13 is split in two sentences.  One deals with our reminders whether they come by ontological form or our own developed photographs of past occurrences; then the other sentence deals with moving on, walking home where ever that home may be.

You see, we are not meant to linger; we are meant to use the past in catapulting us forward.

Progress.  Rewind.  Go.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thought #21

I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me.
- Genesis 31: 13

Sometimes we just need reminders.  Maybe that's why there's a sunrise every morning.  Maybe that's why there are those moments when everything lines up perfectly bringing you back in time to a place where all was well.  Childhood memories.  Nostalgia.

But maybe, really, we simply need to be reminded of who God is, of our connection with Him.  This will bring us back to times and places when, no doubt, God was moving in our life.  It will bring us back to a certain sense of security, of assurance that this Almighty Being who created the heavens and the earth actually exists intimately with us.

Most of the time there is way too much to try comprehending the Christian faith all at once.  That's when we need these reminders.  So then we know that God is here, with us.  You know other times, life is set in the digs.  Somehow, one moment, everything is perfect.  I mean, gas is under three bucks, that latte from Starbucks actually wasn't burnt - crazy phenomena, I know - and check this, Banana Republic is having a sale and a graphic tee, for once, is priced under $20.  Then all goes to hell per se.

And you know, those times spent in the slums call for reminders.  Well, they don't even call; it's more that in order to survive those reminders are key.

Remember.  Connect.  Nostalgia.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thought #20

And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray."
- Matthew 24: 4

I think the rains are coming.  At least the leaves are back on their branches.  Purples.  Red.  Yellows as bright as the day they left.  And a sky full of grey hazy blues - to think, sad songs could look so sweet.

All the norms of the day occur in their timely fashion.  I hope you don't get bored with the days.  I hope you don't always deal with the "same old, same old."  I hope you know that each day is different from the last.  And, most of all, I hope you know you play a part in this whole daily life scheme, that it's not all routine, that this life is so much more than sun-shiny days and finding four-leaf clovers.

You see, we have this It's a Wonderful Life perspective and life is such, but probably not in the way you actually expect it to be.  Just because you wished on a star doesn't mean it will come true.  We somehow forget that sometimes life takes work.  Well, how about we say we are ignorant to the fact that most of this takes work.

Anyone remember having to rake the yard of a cluttered Fall? Well I do.  I was a kid.  All I wanted to do on a Saturday was watch cartoons in the morning, have a kick around and run wildly until everything went dark.  No raking.  No chores.  No work.  Nonetheless, I'd be out there holding a rake that would tower over me if I stood it straight up.  I'd drag it all the way across the yard to make one massive pile.  I was always determined to make fun out of this work somehow.  So I tore up the grass and brought all vegetation together.  What seemed like years later and finally I finished.  Done.  Nothing more except to jump in the pile.  Yes.  Sweetness.

So yeah, life takes work, but there is a certain enjoyment allotted to it, if only we saw how to line everything up correctly.  I mean, wouldn't that be wonderful if we woke up every morning with this set plan in our heads about what will happen?  A predetermined adventure we dreamt up the night before.  And it would take us on unforgettable trips.

Jesus said we need to work.  That we can't let people lead us astray.  That translates into us having to do work.  We have to prepare ourselves.  

I could tell you that you should be reading the Bible everyday.  Then that you should be locking yourself away in your closet and praying for more than five minutes - tortuous, I know.  And that you should be trying to dwell on this whole God thing during every part of the day.

But that would be futile.

Don't do that.  Be with God how you want to be with God.  If that means you're just chillin' with the Big Man as you drive to the beach, or if that means you walk along, shoot up a prayer and just smile; then do it.  Live the life God gave you.  And live it with God, constantly, in any way that you feel appropriate.  

Be with God.  Know God.  And know where you stand with Him.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thought #19

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
- Matthew 22: 37

The day goes on by itself.  Cars speed through intersections.  It is one of those days where if you stare out windows you can catch the sun.  Like the light is some tangible object within the vicinity of your reach.

"With all your heart."  And like the light you caught, how much more impossible is this?  Not even speaking of impossibility, but merely the unlikelihood of such an action.  I mean, how can we actually control our heart?  Leave aside the whole life sustaining organ, and check this: "all."  (Okay, so confusion has just taken over.)

So I don't know for sure of how to do this, but here is what I do know:

1)  I know that I wake up every morning to enter a world that should overwhelm me to the point of psychiatric hospitalization; it doesn't.
2)  Then I walk into the essence of catharsis feeling everything from stress to joy, from ecstasy with the highway wind invading my Neon to visions of the end of the world because I am so busy but feel stagnant not accomplishing anything; 24/7, in the whole of life I am rescued, re-focused and fearing God via wonder and awe.
3)  I know I am called to love, but I don't understand how.  Though, as the day goes on I am showed.
4)  I know love, but can't explain it to you -

Because it all seems like I am trying to catch the light in the palm of my hands.  But the only luck I have is at night when the fire flies come out and I am put to the chase trying to capture one before it burns out.  This is how it is with loving God.  It's simply a chase trying to catch what most people say you will be unsuccessful at.  And then when day comes, you will realize you already have it since morning light peers through your window shades.

This loving God with our whole heart is a constant journey.  The thing about it is that we search for this love to show God, but we already have it.  And it's because He gave it to us already.

So, if you stare out the window and catch the light, know that this is love.  And know that it is yours to give right back - cycle.

Simple.  Beautiful.  Real. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thought #18

Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the
- Psalm 74: 12

I walked through gardens cluttered with stones.  Those stones carved with names and with dates like memorials for all the lost, gone with the past.  I walked on top of hills till I could see the coast, see how the waves met the sky - combined.  I stood on messy paths with Autumn droppings not even the wind could sweep away.  Looking.  Looking as far as I could, wondering if trees ever get bored, but then again, nothing is ever the same.  

From day to day sun spots never keep old shadows.  Burnt wrinkled rustic leaves are trampled and broken and strewn in different ways.  Then the winds never take the same paths.  The sky never holds the same hues.  And though gravestones ask for remembrance, the memories are constantly set in new frames like viewing the world through kaleidoscopes watching the beads squares - all the shapes - fall, form, coming together in new ways. 


This sense of awe came over me - smile; the only reaction I took with my eyes squinting in the sun.  A warmth radiating down covering me.  The wind gently nibbled at my sandaled feet.  But I could think of nothing; I could do not  a thing.  Awestruck in complete wonder of the state of creation.


Why move?  Why take myself from this moment when deep calls to deep?  When the only words spoken are that of visual language where the divide between truth and reality is blurred becoming as one.  When nothing else matters except standing on Burial Hill and knowing the fullness of life.  

Because when in life you are moved to remain still, silent and taking it all in, you better breathe slow and pan your sight along the horizon.

Still there is more.  It would be limiting to say this is all God has for you, that the day can't possibly get better.  Because He is always working.  Because His work is accomplished in front of you, behind you - surrounding.  His work is you.

Don't you get it?  Don't you get that these sights, these experiences, this life isn't all He has for you.  That you're in process.  That life is but a flash like going to the beach, picking up a clump of sand, holding your hand out, then letting it all drop, all go careening back to where it came from.  

But wait.



And take one breath for another.  Go from sight to sight.  Stay and linger.  Because there is much more for you than this and God is working it all out. 

I turned from all there was.  Smiled and didn't understand how I still knew to walk.  I went step for step - awestruck.

You don't have to entirely understand any of how the day comes together like the waves and the sky combining.  But understand that God is working salvation in the midst of the earth.

Remain.  Observe.  Experience. 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thought #17

So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
- Genesis 29: 20

I can't rightly say if I've ever been in love, but when I am I only pray it be like this:

A love that waits for another no matter the length of time.  No matter how many sun rises and sets accumulate; it will be a patient love.  It will be one that grows and matures, that never counts the passing hours leading onto day that slowly turn to months and those moons turn to years.  It will be one that honors the Lord in all that it is.  One that works like gears ever in motion bringing you from one coast to the next - moving with the horizon and following the cycle of the sun.  It will serve for the purpose of loving another.  By all of this, I know I am in love.

For what is it if we are not focused on someone else, someone other than our self?  What is it if we are not captured, wrapped up, held captive by the hope of being together with one other person?  And what is it without patience, without time advancing?

If after all of this love remains, I will know.

Now each person will tell you something different about love.  But it is for you to search out.  It is for you to find.  It is for you to try, to test, and then to draw your own interpretation.  And, most of all, it is for you to work with, to work at, because it is worth the time even if that time is seven years; when you are in love time doesn't matter.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thought #16

O God, who is like you?
- Psalm 71: 19


Ask soon.

Ask again and again and again.

And don't look for an answer.  This question doesn't elicit any conventional form of an answer.  There won't ever be words enough to string together in our language or any other that will even come close to answering this question.

So go outside.  Go outside right now.  And spin around.  And spin around just like you were a kid again.  Spin then let gravity take you down dizzy.  And stare up at the sky making animals for clouds.  Storybooks.  Fairy tales.  Kingdoms and castles.  Oceans and sand-dollars found in and out.  Out to in.  Begin again and let life take you away.

This is your answer number one out of a million lists of a million dreams of a million ideas of millions upon-skip-a-few infinity then you still haven't found what you're looking for.

Ask again:  "O God, who is like you?"

Now stay where you are.  Close your eyes.  Find a flower.  Or find the morning light.  Or find storehouses laden with snow.  Or find the foundations of the earth.  Or try to count the stars in the sky.  Or dwell - no, simply dwell on creation.  Wait.  Dwell on you, where you're at right now and find God.

You see, this doesn't make sense.  Nothing.  None of this makes sense at all.  One seemingly simple question and because of it you experience life.  So this whole walking with God thing isn't necessarily about answers.  Because the answer you might find will then lead you on to another answer which will in turn lead you to more answers, but ultimately leading you back to this one question: "O God, who is like you?"

So you thought you were going to find all the answers by signing up for this gig; you will.  Let me tell you though, it's not what you thought; it's so much more.

I look out on this world and on my life - I guess I'm just going along man.  You see, I stand in the sun when summer skies are here - answer number two.  I take those slow breaths on a winter's night finding there's a fire in someone's fireplace somewhere in the neighborhood - answer number three.  I let the last burnt and disheveled wrinkled rustic leaf fall and take flight in slow motion from a passing autumn - my answer number four.  I catch a glaring beam from highway driving then nothing but clear midnight - answer number five.

You see I find God in life.  Experience.  And that question of who is like you, Lord?  Who is really like you?  Is a question with answers forever in motion.  Those answers are different for you than they are for me.  There will never be the same answer even for you in your own life.  I mean, these answers don't repeat.  Never.

We say, "God, who is like you; who is actually like you?"  Well...

And we inherently ask that question.  Most times without even knowing it.


Then live life.  Experience all there is to be had.  But know that in living life, that in experience, you are asking the question: "O God, who is like you?"

Thought #15

Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
- Psalm 71: 3

The sun makes shadows in the kitchen. The air is still crisp with the morning frost. The coffee just finished brewing and all the remnants of breakfast clutter the sink. Then the day, there is so much of the day ahead. And the future waits even if it is only five minutes away.

This morning is one of those mornings where everything looks good and beautiful and perfect, but then you wake up knowing almost quite the opposite. It's like the day is merely a painted egg, but you know there is nothing left under the shell. It looks all good, but your insides aren't the one putting up the facade.

Each sip of coffee is a bland black void. The sunlight doesn't even make you smile. Because when you stop to think about it, you've been thinking the whole entire time: overwhelmed. stressed. Life is only casual and todays is just another day.

It shouldn't be that way. You shouldn't have to wake up and miss what God gave you:

Beauty - the way the light steals into the house. Shadows immitating all a thief took. Reflections on the ceilings and tiles. Morning sun.

Comfort - the birds singing their early hour songs. A testimony of God's provision for all of creation. Melodious.


So it's another day and so much is out their to capture your eye. Let God capture your eye today. Let Him bring you all the comfort in the world. And let Him show you all the beauty of what it is to not let burdens weigh you down. For the Lord is a rock of refuge to which you may continually come. And He already gave the command to save you.

Live. Life. Beautiful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thought #14

And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
- Genesis 28: 11&12

God will meet us anywhere along this road we call life.

So we have "control" issues plenty of the time. And sure, we find it extremely difficult to trust in God. Then it's even tough to do this whole Christian-believing-in-God-thing. But really, if we dwell on these issues, then we're just going to miss all the rest; we will be limiting God.

Because, yeah, we're supposed to trust, we're supposed to clichely let go, and we're meant to imitate Jesus, but the point is: God will meet you where you're at.

So what if you don't know how to completely give God control. So what if you don't quite get the trust concept. And so what if you're still working out how you're actually meant to imitate this man-God who was perfect when you are naturally far from it. (What?!) It doesn't matter because God will find you and to you it might seem like the most unlikely place He finds you in.

Now, this isn't saying we can just stop everything becoming apathetic, indifferent and all-together lazy with the whole spiritual journal deal. No. Because it is a journey. We are meant to be walking along (Ps. 23). Jacob walked toward Haran. He had a goal in mind. Something to accomplish. And a task at hand. But he was also not there yet. Even though Jacob hadn't quite finished what he set out to do, God still met him.

So if you feel clueless, confused, overwhelmed, burnt out, in the dark and what ever else you might want to coin it; forget it. Stop for a moment. Let the day pass. Rest your head. And know God will meet you where ever you're at right now.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thought #13

And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, "For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
- Genesis 26: 22

I think we're all control freaks when it comes down to it. We all have to have it our way just like Burger King says. Or else, "hit the road Jack and never come back," you know.

But no more no more; it's time we gave up control and let life roll on.

Seriously, if something doesn't work out for you then go on with the day. There is no need to stay and struggle. Just move on. And then if Plan B is not in the mix either, it's okay; your world is not coming to an end. Because God is in control. No matter how tough this is for you to grasp. No matter how many times you've been told this seemingly poor excuse for why things didn't work out. And no matter how many times you repeat the phrase, "It's okay Greg, God is in control." Now, people might think you're crazy for one of two reasons (if not for both):

1) Your name is most likely not Greg and for some reason you keep claiming yourself as him;
2) And you keep saying the same thing over and over slurring and drooling and acting all like you belong in the mental ward.

But really, serious, God is in control and this single verse is a testimony of such a magnificent relaxing completely comforting idea. This one solitary verse goes from what seems the impossible - digging a well that failed two prior times - to the Lord making room for the possible to take place. He makes it possible. He - the Lord, God. Don't you get it?

In one moment Isaac's servants are struggling to dig a well. The next moment God comes through and shows us everything will be alright.

So if you're in a place where everything seems to be going wrong; no worries.

Stop. Breathe. Relax. And know God. (Repeat)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thought #12.1

And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
- Matthew 21: 21&22

It is true. Don't give me all the reasons you think falsify Christ's statement. Don't give me all the instances you asked for something, then never received it.

Check yourself first. Take a step back and look at your situation. Ask yourself if you have the faith enough to throw a mountain into the sea. Maybe you're intimidated by such a large object. Well, ask yourself if you have faith enough to even throw a rock into the ocean, to even see a pebble, by itself, take flight and rapidly hurl itself into the nearest body of water.

Reflect on who you are. On what you believe in. I'm not asking you to believe in magic or in fairies or in the Lochness Monster, but I'm asking you to look at yourself and the world you live in.

Then reflect on who God is. On your connection with Him. And look at who He created you to be and the world He created for you to live in.

Jesus gives a psuedo ultimatum here: if you believe then it will happen; if you don't believe then it won't happen. Then He shows us how small of a thing He did in comparison to what we are able to do. If we have faith. Then Jesus shows us our connection with God - prayer. So not only are we meant to have faith, but it is a faith with a particular focus - on God. It is a faith which exists to expel all doubt where we first believe, then we act - acting through God when God grants it be done - then revert back to faith so the end result is a growth in faith from fig trees to mountains.

So may you succeed today and may God show His steadfast love to you.

Thought #12

O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love...
- Genesis 24: 12

What about this for a prayer? What if we brought God into everything we did, no matter the importance it held? So when I head off to school and I'm just driving along, what if I shot this sort of prayer up to God asking for success today and for Him to show steadfast love; I wonder how much of a difference that would make in my day?

I find that a lot of people always get bogged down with a high & beautiful art outlook on God like He's a DaVinci painting. Everything has to be perfect, you know. Where God is only a God portrayed on a Sunday - beautiful.

But you know, the true beauty of this God connection you hold is not found in a crucifix or on a pulpit; it's found where ever you want it to be found.

And the true beauty of this God connection is that He is not bound by our thinking, He is not bound by routine, or by the complex or by the simple. This connection you have with this omniscient God is not a matter of simple verses complex or intimate and distant because this connection is just that - a connection.

So if you want to connect with God then do it. Say something to the effect of what Abraham's servant said. Let God's steadfast love show in your life. Pray for it. Look for it. Wonder where it is. Search. Seek. Ask. Knock. Walk. Run. Jump. Skip. And do whatever you need to do in order to connect with God.

You see, the moment we bring God into everything we do, we will find Him because He is and already has been revealing Himself to us. It's just our turn to ask God to show his steadfast love.

No matter what, His love is ever enduring; we just might not be able to see it.

So look.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thought #11

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge to us.
- Psalm 62:8

It's crazy how quickly life can change. I mean, one moment you're having the best day ever and the next you're getting handed a $170 speeding ticket on a road you travel every single day. Now what?

You can't just forget what bothers you. Especially right at the moment of your affliction. No. No, you see, life is much more complex than that. Human emotion is a world all in itself. One moment you're as happy as happy can be. The next you're downright depressed dressing in black like the world is constantly in mourning and wailing. So now what?

Can you even pull yourself together?

Can you even give it all away, all that you deal with, whether big or small?

It doesn't seem to work that way. I mean, when you actually trust in God shouldn't every worry and care become null and void? Are we not trusting in God enough or something? But first, how do we truly trust God?

Look at the instructions here: "pour out your heart before him." Nothing else. You say you're dealing with the world; tell God. You say you're going through hell; tell God. You think no one will understand; tell God. Then tell God over and over again. Tell Him once if that's all you want; there is no measurement of time here, no tally marks for how many times you pour out your heart.

See, we're told to trust God. Life and all we deal with kind of implies that we must trust Him in order to make it through. Then we're told to pour out our heart before Him. Because, then, we are told He is our refuge.

Whether you understand the concept of trusting this Almighty God who is so far beyond everything or not, just trust regardless. All you need to understand is that He is our refuge.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thought #10.1

He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
- Psalm 55: 18

Life at times:

It's gone to night now. Darkness. Soundclips. Music. Repetition. The air is still cold in April. Everything seems to be changing around me; I can't see anything. It is too dark. She sings her songs. She sings her songs. Lovely notes and harmonies. Enough to send me to sleep.

Still I think nothing is right. Nothing is right. And it makes no sense (how these words are strung together, but that is just a reflection of life - random).

If only we could see the clips or understand the noise to be an orchestra score, then life would make sense. Hurt would expel itself. Pain would be no more. Depression would be the slowing down and silencing of a song. To. Nothing.

If only we could comprehend redemption and safety and the God who began it all (at the start of a sentence He opens). But what you might have me believe or what the newspapers would inform is that redemption and safety are impossible, let alone a God who acts in these ways.

Life at times:

"Not only is she not the same girl she used to be," your headlines read, "but she hardly smiles and hardly laughs and hardly knows when to relax around those whose world is her..." And they go on to detail your sad sad state.

Some kid told me one day he never said how much he loved this girl to her face; they never saw each other again. And another got into talking about home, but went silent quick.

I don't know why all of this and more happens to you. And I don't know the answers. And I don't know how much longer it will go on for. When it will stop. When it will re-ignite. Or when it will no longer exist.

But don't fall asleep crying again tonight. Don't wake up lonely tomorrow. Because the Lord is in the process of redeeming you to safety.

Let life be a symphony playing your song. It's gone to night again. It's all gone. Listen. Listen. Repetition. The air is still cold in April. If only we could see the clips or understand the noise to be an orchestra score, then life would make sense.

Life at times calls us to hope (for God redeems your soul in safety).

Thought #10

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice
to you;
I will give thanks to your name,
O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every
- Psalm 54: 6&7

As you start out your morning, just smile.  Why would there be reason not to?  I imagine you could tell me a plethora or reasons and maybe I'd have no response.  Maybe I couldn't give you advice.  But what I could give you is so much better.


Hope is something that cannot be stolen away from you.  If it goes missing, it is only that - missing.  But look again.  Turn over every stone, wreck your room until you find it again.  And once you found it, dwell on it:

"For the Lord has delivered me from every

Everything.  He has delivered you from that broken engagement.  He has delivered you from a mom walking out the door and never coming back again.  He has delivered you from all the friends that stabbed you in the back.  From hurt and pain, night's left wondering "Why me Lord?", dreams that came on from tears and wet pillows.  From that knot in your stomach when you think about it all.  And you know, He has delivered you from collapsing to not caring then letting the whole world pass you by.

I might not be able to convince you this hope actually exists or that your diminishing world will bloom again.  But when the life you know fails, remember your Lord, the Everlasting God, the steadfast love of God has delivered you from every trouble.  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thought #9

Hatred stirs up strife, 
but love covers all offenses.
- Proverbs 10: 12

When you walk down the street, tell me what you see.  Tell me, do you see adulterers and drunks, loners prostitutes and a man slumped in a dingy damp box for a house because he let his cocaine addiction get the best of him?  And tell me, do you see gays and gluttons, liars and thieves, murderers, pedophiles and that chic who got knocked up your sophomore year of high school?  Finally, tell me the reflection you see when you walk past a window.

Pass yourself off as just another person.  You blend in.  You are one in the same as other passer-byes of this world.  Your reflection is them.  What do you see?

Know love.  At this moment know love.  Look at your reflection; what defines who you are?  This is not a matter of right and wrong, of righteous and sinners; it is a matter of love and specifically of love covering all offenses.

You know, we walk through our days as part of a crowd.  And we come along side those who hurt.  And we stand with the oppressed.  And we cry with those who mourn just holding her for all the care in the world.  And we laugh when others make jokes.  And we party when the day calls for a celebration.  And we are intimate.  Still.  Silent.  And this life is all of our experience - together.

Now tell me, what do you see when you walk down Newbury?  Skip the world.  Skip the problems.  Skip the bombs and the blood and the fights and the wars.  Skip what everyone tells you to see because in the end all that matters is love.

So you, you love.  You must love.

Then you, cover all offenses; let your love cover all offenses.

Now, tell me, what do you see?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thought #8.1

The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
- Genesis 18: 13&14

I wonder where we got this mentality from? You know, this mentality that "I am not good enough," or "I am not quite there yet." So when will we truly be ready? Com'on now, I mean, don't we know who we are?

Somehow this deception has leaked into our being, this "arrival" mentality. Well let me be the first to admit that I will never arrive at that so-called "right" place. And honestly, once you get that notion stuck to who you are life will start changing. Your whole outlook on life will take a 180. Boldness and confidence might start to be defined as two virtues, which cannot be destroyed in your life.

This 180 will be about trusting the Lord and trusting Him completely. Yeah, you might not understand what complete trust is, but that is the whole point. Life is about learning. 24/7 education. You are in constant process. Ever-evolving. Maturing. Growing. Metamorphosis. You are forever sidetracked into a state of transformation. And all at the hands of the Almighty.

Abraham and Sarah were far advanced in their years. They were old. How could God possibly work through them? In thinking of a destination, it's like they already arrived, but then went even further overshooting the moon. Still God had more for them. They really did not arrive.

Get that. God always has more for us, but it is always the perfect amount to handle. And we might not fully believe God's power and His craftsmanship, but that does not disable Him from moving.

So don't think about a destination and needing to arrive; life is impossible at this point. And don't think about life with God in numbers and stats; you are not run by degrees or percentages that possibly could predict the abilities you actually hold.

Just cause God's name to be remembered in any way you can.

So know that nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Go. Live. Love.

Thought #8

I will cause you name to be
remembered in all generations;
therefore nations will praise you
forever and ever.
-Psalm 45: 17

"If only there were more hours in the day."  I've said that so many times.  "Yeah, when I have more time...[fill in what you'd do]"

Honestly, that's a cop out.  But I say it all the time.  Do I mean to make excuses?  Of course not but nonetheless, the essence of what I'm getting at is an excuse.  I will never gain time.  There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week and 365 days in a year; nothing has changed since it began.

So get use to it.  Get used to the fact that your time is only limited if you put limits to it.  Get used to the fact that your desire for God can be quenched anytime and anywhere.  Then get used to the fact that showing God to others can be done in the same fashion: anytime & anywhere.

Stop living like your pursuit for God is some high and mighty task only progressed on a Sunday of whenever your normal meeting is.  God is not a normal God.

Stop thinking you need to have it all figured out before you go out and tell your story to the world.  God will sort you out when necessary.

Stop overanalyzing this whole connection between God and you, you and the world.  The connection is simple: God is love.

You are in the right place; today is the right time.  And your God is right there with you.  So cause His name to be remembered in all the generations.  Do it by whatever means.  Do it your way.  And do it all to the glory of God.

Because then nations will praise Him forever and ever.

No worries.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thought #7.2

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
- Matthew 14: 13

Backtracking a little bit, Jesus withdrew to a desolate place. And he went alone. Loneliness and desolation, the roads to nowhere, but somehow those paths were already walked. God went before the crowds.

Get that. Christ has gone before us. And not only has he gone before us, but he has prepared a place for us. An easily accessible place. One readily available even on foot. Who ever said we would have no work to do on this journey? Because we are on a journey to find God. But God is apparent; He is not hidden from us. I mean, the crowds heard of Jesus then they followed him; they didn't have to seek for him; they simply followed.

Thus in following we seek God.

Not only did these people follow the Lord, but they also left their homes. They left all they knew to follow Christ.

Not only did these people leave their houses, their dwelling places, but they left their towns. They left friends and family. Jobs. Possessions. And they walked beyond the town borders.

Leaving all they had these crowds walked to a desolate place. To simplicity. Simple.

What would you leave behind if you heard the Christ was near?

How far would you go in seeking Him?

Would you simply follow?

Now catching up in the passage, a transition from desolation to abundance is made. Where once Jesus retired to a desolate place, crowds heard followed and gathered tother to be in his presence.

So may you find the Lord in a solitary place.

And may you be satisfied.

(with the simple)

Thought #7.1

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
- Matthew 14: 20

When I think of church I normally don't think of church in a desolate place. But then again, it is creation we are a part of. And this intimacy we hold with the Lord does not only have to be found in some stereotypical old stone church building. I have to say most of the time "church" will not be held in a structure built by man; it will be held in God's creation.

I can't say specifically where such meetings will occur or who with, but I know of some key elements: there will be Jesus then there will be people whose hearts are inclined to hearing the word of the Lord. And there will most definitely be satisfaction along with an overflow always waiting there for the taking. And not only taken, but given away.

That's just a cycle of life - give and take to give again.

Not one person is left wanting, but there is more for another occassion. Here is our escape from daily routine. Not only do we encounter God anywhere and anytime, but we encounter Him with others. We are led and given provision. This verse does not speak of allotted amounts of sustenance a person was allowed to take. No limits.

We could take as much as we wanted and needed and there would always be more left over.

We can't handle all that God has for us so we take it in bits&bobs.

God knows exactly what we need, but He always blesses us with more.

He meets our needs plus some.

So it's not a matter of asking God to provide; He provides nonetheless and He knows your heart. It's a matter of finding God, coming before Him and simply listening to His words where ever that might take place in a day. You might encounter God in a desolate place, but by the end of that encounter desolation will be satisfied.

Just remember: Don't limit God; know He is limitless.

Thought #7

Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
- Matthew 14: 19

Unfortunately we all get tired.  Can you imagine not having to sleep or eat or do any of that in order to be revived?  We would all be an Energizer Bunny.  (I wonder if that would ever get boring.)

So many times I get wrapped up in work.  A maniac.  My only goal is to finish the job, perfect the final piece and all together succeed.

But now I've got to sit back and ask myself if I'm doing this right?  I mean, I do all this work, but to what end?  Who's it for?  What's it even for?  Okay.  School.  Yeah, but seriously, I won't always be a student.  So when student life ends, what am I working for?  The "real world, " you say.  Well do tell, what is this real world you speak of?

Honestly.  This verse shows four things:
1) Jesus
2) disciples (or us)
3) crowds (or all who look on, but may not understand quite yet)
4) and some sort of food blessed by God.   

And it shows them in a particular order.  

Here the disciples are up on the mountainside with Jesus at twilight learning from him and it's supposedly dinner time.  Naturally, it's time for people to leave, have dinner and get back to the norm.  This normal thinking isn't what occurs though, at least, not in the mind's of the crowds gathered; it appears the disciples want people to get on their way so they can as well.  That's nice and all, but it doesn't happen.

The story goes the disciples collected what food they stored up, gave it to Jesus then Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them first.  

Am I working on myself first?  Apparently, my thinking can be completely wrong on the whole situation where I just want to fall back into the norm and all, but then something changes.  The Lord speaks.  The disciples listen.  The disciples act on what they were told.  They get given food, first, in order to then give the food out to the crowds.  

So, am I working on myself first?  I mean, I want to be able to give out to people.  I want them to know what I know.  I want them to have the love for God that I have.  I want them just to understand, to grow, to experience life and all that God has for them.

But what end am I working to because I can't give unless I'm in a position to receive first in hope of giving back to all in need.

The end goal is giving.  

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thought #6.1

When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
- Genesis 14: 14

You know, what of hypocracy? And what of not standing up to the faith you display? I mean, here we have this perfect God, we have this Almighty God, this God who created the earth and it was good, this God who is even eclipsed by his own love; and then there is us, we who attempt following God and all of His statutes, commands and everything holy mysterious; and then there is the world also, all the people who might not be able to believe in such a God at this point in their life.

It was the same for Abram thousands of years ago.

What did he do? Immediately upon hearing of Lot's captivity Abram assmbles a team to rescue him. Abram along with his men went after the enemy which just drove kings from their kingdoms only moments earlier. Abram, a rich man past his 70s owning livestock and managing herdsmen along with trying to keep a handle on his all-too-beautiful wife decided to attack an enemy and rescue his nephew; he was not a king with soldiers; he was a man following after God. (Sound familiar?)

So Abram actually lives up to all the talk of who he is. He does not give a false perception of who he is. Nor does he give a false account of who God is. This Hebrew holds true to himself and his God.

Are we actually this honest about ourselves or about our ties to God? Maybe it's time to start telling the truth for what it truly is. And maybe that time is now, the immediate moment.


Thought #6

Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol and of Aner."
- Genesis 14: 13

I am not alone.  Nor am I hidden on this earth.  I am watched (and) I am judged (and) perceptions of me are created (and) comments are made; I am only one person in this world, but I am also known to strangers.

Ask me how and I wouldn't know why this seemingly invisible connection occurs.  I mean, how would a stranger know me by name?  Or how would he know my heritage?  And, not to be creepy or anything, but how would he know where I lived?

Okay, some inferences: maybe my mind is extremely forgetful and I met this random person yesterday, sat down for hours at Starbucks specifically chatting about my name, heritage and address, or, the more likely option is, he saw my life as standing out from others.  Maybe I made an impression by the way I carried myself or how I spoke or what I stood for.  And maybe, just possibly, he noticed Christ in me.

I don't know how I got found out, irregardless, I did.

This person, this stranger, this nobody I've ever met or seen before somehow  knew to come to me interceding for someone else.  Here, a king of Sodom and Gomorrah had the wits enough and the impenetrable perseverance to not only escape the enemy, but before fleeing any further to safety he thought of someone other than himself.

Now I must ask, from Abram's position, how are people perceiving you?  What kind of image are you putting forth?  And is this merely an image, just another facade, or is it truly you?

And in light of the king, are you thinking of others even if you may be in a dilemma? 

If nothing more, know life, live life and testify of who your God is.  It makes a difference even if you don't realize it. 

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thought #5

Can man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
- Proverbs 6: 27&28

Plenty parts of life are inevitable.  It's like Solomon is just giving us common sense here, but it is usually the simple that we disregard.

Okay.  So if I take a night at a bar with some friends and have three drinks I will be buzzed, then five drinks and I'm pretty much gone.  Inevitable?

What about the absurd, say, driving on the wrong side of the road (which has happened by mistake on Rt. 6); won't I hit a car in oncoming traffic?  Most likely, but there is also an implicit option of turning around, immediately, and heading in the right direction.

You know, in the same way we are faced with so many decisions from day to day.  And most of them are all disguised common sense issues.  But more often than not we blow them up to be massive life or death decisions.  Then other times things are simple out of our control.

Solomon is not speaking of the situations we cannot attend to, but the ones where we do have the ability to affect.  And not only is he speaking of what we can affect, but he simplifies those moments to mere common sense.

Obviously your feet will be scorched if you walk on hot coals and you will be burned if you hold a fire close.  Maybe you're not into pyrotechnics, but what are you foolishly messing around with?

Do you not know that you will fall if you walk off a cliff?  And how close are you to that edge right now?

So maybe you should evaluate life, simplify life and be true to who you are and your God.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thought #4

These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their geneologies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.
- Genesis 10:32

And there is life after the Flood.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed to the point of exploding, letting it all out? Gone. Nothing; so you won't have to deal with it anymore? You know that point, which may not be as specific as one moment, but may be a string of events, where everything just, well, it just sucks?

And, no doubt, it will continue to be horrible. The end of that fantasized tunnel does exist somewhere, but you won't find it even if you search it out. No, the end of (what we will call) stress will blend into you like a chamealeon and life will continue with subtle changes. Then when you look back on the situation, you might possibly be able to define the moment when everything became happy&normal&cool&allthat again, but it won't even matter.

Because there is life after the Flood and that will be the focus. There is life full of prosperity, long years, peace and so much of the good stuff. But maybe the most important is the development of your life, the maturity, the growth (into nations spreading across the earth, as I figuratively extended). All of this encompasses the unfathomable, the dreams that have not been dreamt and a future you cannot even picture.

So if you are floating on the surface of the waters or drowning to the deep, just know that there is life after the Flood. There is the "new" (in such a broad sense that you should remain awestruck). And there is re-population of the earth, a re-discovery of the many places you may have gone, but never really knew.

If not already, may your feet touch dry land soon. So hope, live and know life after the Flood.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thought #3

As for me, I shall behold you face in
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with
your likeness.
- Psalm 17:15

I woke up this morning to the sound of tap dancing on the roof.  Clouds buried the blue skies and all the heavens opened - rain.

I searched for God and did not find Him in the way I expected to.  There were no revelations.  No epiphanies.  And no over dramatic Hollywood-esk sign exclaiming, "GOD IS HERE" with a giant neon lit pointer-hand showing exactly where He could be found.

It was simply a rainy day.

And at the same time I was okay with that.  I was okay with a simple day.  I was okay; I was satisfied.  You see, life isn't always about the big.  Everything doesn't have to be a Hollywood scene.  Your God is truly a big God, don't get me wrong, but at the same time He is One about intimacy.

He'll always show up in your life, it just might not be the way you expected.  So behold God in all of His righteousness.  Stare at the rain drops and follow a string from the heavens to the earth.  Walk outside and be drenched; come close to your God, feel who He is, and be satisfied.

And be satisfied with the simple.

(I found God in the rain.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thought #2

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.  This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.  Make a roof for the ark and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark on its side.  Make it with lower, second and third decks.
- Genesis 6: 14-16

You know, I've grown up always wanting answers; I've always wanted that billboard sign from the LORD - you know those massive ones you just cannot miss no matter how fast you're speeding on the highway.  And I've always wanted what Noah had: a detailed plan.

I never got one.

But now I realize that's not the point.  I shouldn't be seeking a plan for life; I should be seeking God.  Noah was 500 years old when God spoke to him of His plans for mankind, for earth (the formless did not take shape the way He intended).

God spoke to Noah after 500 years and I'm only 22.  I guess I have all the time in the world.

But what is encouraging is that God chose to work through man.  It was no longer the Creator working alone.  He chose man.  He chose His creation.  God no longer simply walked with man, but He invited man to help further His creation.

And He did give Noah a billboard sign, but that was after 500 years of Noah most likely seeking the LORD because God actually found favor in him (v.8).

I guess we all have to wait a little longer and focus on seeking the LORD.

So continue to seek God in your own way and know that the answers are coming even if it takes five centuries; it's all good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thought #1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
- Genesis 1:1 & 2

And from the beginning we are what matters to God (of course heaven matters too).  But right away in verse 1 God focuses on the earth.  Our home that we are to inhabit all the face of; we are meant to reside in every corner of the earth.  

And in the beginning there was still God's concern for our dwelling place even if our home "was without form and void."  He still cared.  He still pursued us before we even took shape.  He still kept close though nothing was concrete...


This is all from the onset.  This creation.  This thought (of us).  This idea (for more).  Then God acted.  He did not remain stagnant.  He did not remain indifferent.  He did not even stop - "The Spirit of God was hovering over."

Already we are important to God.  "The earth" holds emphasis in these verses, in the beginning.  And God resided here before all of us, even if He was only passing by, but the thing is: He remained - "The Spirit of God was hovering."

God took action for us: His creation.

Have you ever beheld a wave in the glory of the noon air?
Have you ever caught your reflection from rainyday puddles?

You know your God is in creation whether the sun shines on the ocean or your image is found in muddied pools.  God is a God in your face waiting to bring form and to fill in the voids of your existence.  He is a God concerned with never leaving you.  So what does it mean to reside in creation?