Tuesday, January 25, 2005


To Love, to Be Loved

Fear can dibilitate the best among us. Daily we are faced with the decision to succumb to the secret fears we all hide beneath our pretentious facade, or we can step out beyond the false limitations we've allowed to be imposed upon us.

I am captivated by the fearlessness of children. They will learn to walk, crawl, run, and get into all sorts of things because they are curious. Untainted by what others think of them, they will explore, reveal all emotion, and be completely fine with themselves. Children have no inhibitions and are not caught up in social drama. Understanding that parents are there to provide unconditional love, the thought of hiding emotions never exists. For this reason, I dream one day to have a few around.

Maturity is inevitable. We may not transition smoothly, but it is wise to remain as pure as a child in many ways. The fear that grips me revolves around not being good enough. I can panic if I allow myself to believe I am neglected and overlooked. My worth at these points is not found in the right places.

1 John 4:18There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love.

Perfect love is from God alone. We cannot find complete satisfaction, and will continue to live a life of fear if we rely on any other means to overcome this fear. Continuing to live bound up, maintaining the identity we wish to project, and dwelling on whatever holds us back from freedom will only weary our souls further. However, focusing on who we really are, accepting this fact, and finding those to bear with us through this will be worthwhile. True, humans fail at some point. Due to my superhero mentality, I would love to ensure everyone has their fair share at being real, and living without crippling fears. Yet, I too am human and fail. God is the strength.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Inner struggles and in desperate need of more

After a long and crazy week, I've got a bit of time to settle down this weary mind and think about what really matters for more than a few seconds. I'm battling my way through a cold, and stretching myself as thin as God allows.

I've come to the reality that once again, I am desperately in need of help. On my own, I want to do what is good and right, yet left to my own devices, my haughty pride will stand in the way of anything productive. Though I aim to do right, I neglect the One that all this is for. I must steal away to enjoy His presence more than I naturally desire. Struggling between what I mentally know I ought to do and deciphering human intellect imposing religion is not easy. I adimantly oppose religion for religion's sake. My God is is after more than lip service and habits... He is after unrestrained love. Yet somewhere within me, I still avoid this. I look to carry out His will and serve Him in any possible way that I can, yet I overlook spending time just enjoying His presence. The inner battle rages on.... I want to do what is right... but by who's definition? I certainly don't look for my acceptance in humans, as they will let me down. I want so much to do what God wills and recognize it when I see it, but yet my time with Him is nothing near as profound as it once was.

Romans 7:15-25What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. 16So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

17But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! 18I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. 19I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. 20My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. 22I truly delight in God's commands, 23but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Monday, January 17, 2005

downward spiral

Rambling thoughts...
I stand on the edge of a downward spiral, not my own... but clearly right in front of me. Longing to reach in and help, risk myself in the process. Falling faster each day that passes, making more choices that will not rescue from the darkness that overwhelms. No longer is this about my abilities, because they have been essentially closed. I must watch, wait, and hope for the best. I will not move, alter, or fade away lightly. Standing on the edge of a downward spiral is no place to be. Being caught in the undertoe is not meant to be lived alone. Open up and see that help is all around. Risk all the image, risk all the facade, lay it all down, and grab the line.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Circus

More from Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller.

The circus, and I am talking about life now, really sucks. It feels like we all have these little acts, these stupid things we do that we all hang our hats on. The Fall has made monkeys of us, for crying out loud. Some of us are athletes and others of us are physicists, and some of us are good-looking and some of us are rich, and we are all running around, in a way, trying to get a bunch of people to clap for us, trying to get a bunch of people to say we are normal, we are helathy, we are good. And there is nothing wrong with being beautiful or being athletic or being smart, but those are some of the pleasures of life, not life's redemption.....

One writer said that what we commonly think of as love is really the desire to be loved. I know that is true for me, and it has been true for years, that often when I want somebody to like me, I am really wanting them to say that I am redeemed, that I am not a loser, that I can stay in the boat, stay int he circus, that my act redeems me.

Galatians 5:19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; 20trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; 21the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
My reaction: What I long for, the desire to be loved, is genuine and authentic. In fact, it is designed to be that way. Deep within, the cry is to know that the God of the universe who fashioned the fibers of my being, truly loves me. It isn't about what can do to deserve it. I cannot do anything to earn more love, nor can I do anything to prohibit it either. God loves each person, me, in a way that is disconnected from what we can bring. He chooses to love free from all our ideas on what love is. I can look to all sorts of ways to satisfy this longing, but the only fix is Christ. It took so long for me to realize this. Standing on this side now, I know that Christ's love consumes everything I do. As a result, I can give love, and not merely the romantic mushy stuff, but the willingness to go to any length for others, whether or not I "feel" love or they deserve anything. I aspire to shine forth the love I've received in a like manner from which it orginated.

Friday, January 14, 2005

in God alone

With the week I've endured, I'm left to realize I can only get through all things because God makes the way. There's been a lot to process, and I'm left thinking through so much of it all again. Unwinding isn't simple. But, again, I am merely the vehicle to get from here to there, or the conduit to transfer. On my own, I was empty by Tuesday morning, or for that matter, before the week began. Yet, as I lay down my will, I find more endurance to bear things under pressure. God alone is the reason. I must again step aside, praying the hope of God is clearly revealed and made known. Into His hands I commit all things.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'm weak

Jennifer Knapp - Hold Me Now

From glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul.
O foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotries known?
Falls a tear to darken the dirt.
Of humblest offerings to forgive the hurt.
She is strong enough to stand in your love.

I can hear her say..I am weak. I am poor,
I'm broken Lord but I'm yours.

Hold me Now. hold me Now.

Let the first without sin cast the first stone if you will.
To say that my bride isn't worth half the blood that I've spilled.
Point your finger and laugh if you choose
To say my beloved is borrowed and used

I'm feeling rather weak myself today. Nice to know that even being in such a place, I will never walk through it alone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mistaken Identity

Funny night. I was mistaken for a student by a police officer this evening. Nice that I still look young, but a blow to my professional facade for sure.

Monday, January 10, 2005


John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (Amplified Bible) Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Been going through a pretty rough spot as far as stress goes. I have sooo much going on, feel a bit drained... especially when things don't seem to improve. However, God's been showing me how to rest in His peace. I don't have the ability or ambition on my own. When I reach my limits, and oh have I done that lately, I come back to the point of surrender. I let go of my control and turn it all over. This isn't ever easy for me. I fear how others will take me, I fear what will happen if I do or don't do certain things, and I want to control everything. Relenquishing this, I know will somehow provide a longer impact that I cannot accomplish on my own. The peace of God is unshakeable. I'm going to go rest in that until I drift to sleep.

and lurkers, I see you... I want a comment from someone that isn't me!

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Under pressure, a human being can rise to unnatural circumstances. Putting off what could be done today for the stress and deadlines of tomorrow, in hopes that some sense of panic and crunch time will cause a moment of sheer geniusness when we most desperately need it, we wear ourselves down to the last nerve. We push beyond the limits, not because we must, but because our time management has left us without option. I do this all the same myself. I just got through a huge stack of papers, have a few more, and will be finishing up another marking period of grades. I need to get lesson plans in, clean my desk, clean my trunk, and clean my house. I want to call off for a day to just rest, but then again, I will miss out on so much in one day. Under pressure, under stress, under anxiety... breath in, breath out. It must come down to a smaller more manageable focus. I surrender.

Weariness fades

In the long week behind, and another one ahead, I've managed to pull away from school, from coaching, from grading, and from all the extra stuff I do to process for a while. I went to Denny's with Emily and Meg for a long chat over breakfast for supper. Looking around, I saw quite a few high school kids doing the same thing I had.... what seemed so long ago and only yesterday. I miss the days of feeling so free to give all I've got without much responsibility. Thinking through all the things I do now, I wonder how weary I've become... but as my mind lingers on this for any length of time, I soon realize that I am now giving all I've got because I want to. I want to make an impact, to be available, to change something, and to shape those around me for the better. Granted, I do miss out on socializing with my peers more than I'd prefer. Tonight was refreshing... to just stop and think about life, the world, and all that goes on. Reflecting on what I've been through, where I'm going, and what is currently happening makes the world of difference.

I concluded a few things tonight. You must truly love life and be willing to step out without inhibitions. This is not an easy task, as doing so requires finding something to make this bearable. Many will claim to be more themselves when they are high, drunk, or blinded by "love". Others are content to ascribe to whatever appearance style they prefer and keep it rather surface level - preps, punks, goths, jocks, you name it... they've got a front to wear for it. They are all right in one sense... in order to be okay being yourself, and not hating yourself for all the stupid things you may have done/said/thought/or whatever else... for all that.... you need to turn elsewhere first. In order to feel comfortable living without inhibitions, we must know that what we do is not going to cause social outcast, but rather bring more acceptance. We must know that whatever we do has no bearing on being loved... no matter what we do we can't end love, or create deeper love. Love just is. The challenge lies in this: to realize who we are, to lose ourselves, and yet find ourselves. God has created us, and knows every detail of our lives. He has made us for a purpose, though not always revealed on our timelines. No matter what we have done, will do, or didn't and won't do, God still loves us. With all the times I've allowed my anxiety, fear, and stupid moments to overwhelm my sense of reason, I'd expect Him to give up. For as often as I've messed up, I'd expect wrath to be dealt. Living through all that I have, I have wondered where He is in those moments. Yet somewhere beneath it all, my soul cries out in desperation to know and be known. Knowing is not merely head knowledge, knowing means to be acquainted in the closest possible way. God of the universe, in whom my very being relies, is the only thing that will strip away all that disguises me. It is time to become very real about this life.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Only so much

I've been getting the feeling lately that there is only so much one person can do. I can wish to do it all... to be there to help others, to get all my tasks accomplished, and to still have time to rest... yet I've come to the reality that in the end I can only do a certain amount. I wish I had more to offer, I wish I had more to give, and I wish I had all the energy in the world. For now, I'll step back and know that God didn't give me every ability that He has for a reason. I'm not sure what that reason is, but I'll trust Him to pull it all together. Somehow it always goes that way.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Breathin easier

So I have survived the better part of the first week back to school from break, with all the anxiety of the first week all over again. I don't want to see this group of kids go. Mentally I'm gearing up towards next quarter already, and all the new names to memorize.

Been dealing with the inability to do it all. I tend to give so much of my time, effort, and everything else I've got into the rest of my life that the personal stuff gets pushed aside. I need to catch up on cleaning, financial stuff, and just rest in general. So, I've added some pics to
my deviantART account. I must confess.... I'm longing for the freedom of summer.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Had a song hit my mind today... guess i'm feeling it.
BREATHE by John Reuben

(chorus) breathe in breathe out i'm tired of holding my breath

it's been a while since i've seen this side surface feeling far from home and distant from purpose worthless this earth is i wished to vanish from it is it pointless or am i too stupid to take advantage of it isn't life more valuable than just existing and aren't dreams more valid than just simple wishing force myself to listen sit in the silent golden as it may be at times it feels violent but i'll be patient and wait for your calm to come even though i get anxious and feel the urge to run for i know where my strength comes from even though i get anxious and feel the urge to run

sometimes you feel like no one can stop you and other times you feel like you have nothing to offer like right now i might be scared to death of death and tomorrow i won't even care about my next breath left in the dark mad i can't see somewhere between pride and apathy and i continue on and press past the chaos i feel i just wish for one moment it would all stand still for real i wish the world would just stop and let me catch my breath return to that place of child like rest in attempts to gain more sometimes you come up less it's got me wanting to get away i guess were all looking for a place of simplicity but it's a complex world and you can't hide from it's activity but it sure would be nice to leave the world around so i run towards the son/sun to shed the earth that surrounds (chorus)

I think I need to go chill out and just breathe.

Saturday, January 01, 2005


I rang in the New Year in Baltimore...under lots of fireworks. It was a great time... a bit weird watching the crowd, but fun none the less. I've been pretty captivated watching how others act and react, wondering what really lies beneath. On the surface, most people seem somewhat pleased with life. There are some that love misery in one form or other too. As I watch the crowds, I wonder... where does my identity lie? Where does their's? For those that enjoy pain and misery, they will habitually focus on all that is wrong, and how awful life can be. I lived through this. The tumultuous years of high school left me focused on what was wrong with me, how terrible the circumstances were, and in general, a rather unhappy kid. Then I moved on to long lasting relationships... spent all of 7 months single through the course of 3 or 4 years. My identity was found in being appreciated. Each devistation sent me into a short but deep cycle of feeling worthless, and looking for a new person to become. Athletes hide behind their wins, preps hide behind the money available to them, misfits hide behind their guise as unhappy, and the band geeks... they hide behind their tubas. To make light of our identity is awkward... but the reality is... I'm still learning, life is what I make of it. How I choose to see things, myself, or others entirely depends upon me. Though the circumstances may not change, how you see them makes all the difference in getting through this process called life. Live on!