Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quando Quando Quando

So I've learned that writing out my thoughts is very helpful in me understanding myself. Also, once I have my thoughts semi-composed I blog them out if I find them worthy enough, or am not too lazy to type it out. Tonight is a combination of catharsis and organized thoughts.

As strongly as ever, my desire for companionship seems to seep into my very core. As I've come to say so often, "God has given some the gift of celibacy, but I am not one of them." And it's true, I cannot even begin to describe adequately how I feel about having an intimate relationship with the woman who will be my wife. This desire is far beyond the physical realm, way beyond the desire to be married for sex. No, it is a desire to protect and to love, to serve and to sacrifice, to be God's arms, and words, and an expression of His love, as well as my own. I want to be married, and I truly believe I have found the person that God wants me to marry; but still I am restless, ever so tired of playing this game of waiting. I know I have to wait, because He is preparing me, but this time of preparation is also a time of trying to be agonizingly patient, and knowing that the only way I'm making it this far is by God and not by me.

"Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the LORD" And that has become exceptionally true for me this summer. I have always tried to let God move through me, mend me, stretch me, teach me, and to do everything by His power, but this summer has been the most I have ever felt that tension within myself to do it myself, or let God do it. He has had to remind me time and time again that He is Jehovah/Yahweh, the Self-Sustaining One, and that because He sustains Himself, and the entirety of the Universe, that He knows better than I on matters of the Heart. He knows me far better than I could even know myself.

So I'm left with a dilemma. Do I sit and wait for God to do it all, or does He want me to take the steps necessary to get me to that point that I need to be, helping me along the way? I'm sure it may be a combination of the two. I can't just sit around and wait, because that isn't being a steward of what God has given me, of the talents He provides to me. Not to mention the fact that if I wait too long my desire may consume me, and lead me down a path I do not wish to pursue. However, I also know that there is some waiting, and sitting in silence before God just waiting for His Word that will tell which direction I need to go. To, essentially, stand still and look at the spiritual compass and let it point north, and adjust accordingly.

Is it so odd that I look forward to the times of trouble as well as good? It's not that I want to go though the hard times, but rather this knowledge of knowing that as long as I have God, and can stand with this woman it will be a wonderful learning experience once it has passed and knowing that it's those times that we grow closest together, and closest to God.

Is it really so strange that I have such a passion? Surely not, hasn't humanity since the creation of Adam want to do the very things I desire? To have someone that you can face the challenges of life with, and to have at least one person who you can say you know as best as humanly possible? Haven't we... Don't we all have a desire to find someone that we can call our companion, our comrade, our (truly) best friend, our help mate, our "insert significant title"?

*sighs* All that to say, I'm glad God is in control, and I'm not, because He knows better than I could ever understand.

Grace and Peace

Monday, July 21, 2008

Salt of the Earth

I wanted to get some thoughts out before I went to bed.

Christians are known as the Salt of the Earth right? Well what does that really mean? When looked at salt in the context, salt had a couple of major traits about it (Thanks Erik :]) It was a preservative, a type of seasoning, and a healing agent. We all know, that as Salt of the Earth Christians should help each other preserve the faith, and our trust in God who has constantly reminded us that He is in control even when we are not. We should also be able to "spice" up our walk with Christ by actually having a relationship with God. We should help each other in "seasoning" our lives with diversity, searching deep within the scripture, hearing His voice, and constantly becoming more intimate with our Creator.

But what about the healing? Sure, we can speak truth into people's lives, and with the words that Truth (Christ) gives us, there can be healing, but I think that so often we forget that salt is not the most pleasant thing to have on a wound, in fact I would say that the only thing worse might be lemon juice. So even though, it's good for closing over the wounds, it is painful, and that is often how our spirits heal, I believe.

Being brought to a point where we must face God with all of who we are, scars and all, through whatever medium God chooses (preaching, a movie, music, anything) is a very painful place to be. Learning to let go of the things that we are so afraid to lose, not realizing that it is the very fact that we are holding onto it so tightly that we are causing the loss, being stretched and molded in ways we did not think possible, and being broken to become whole, are all such unpleasant feelings. They hurt, and we hate those times in our lives. Sometimes you feel so low that nothing seems to be going right, even then, we have to keep our eyes upon our Father's face. Healing is taking place, and when we come out of it, we will be better off for it in the end.

As Salt of the Earth, we are to stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and help them as they go through these times of suffering, but more importantly we need to express our love for the lost during these times, because it is these times that they hurt the most, and we can be a healing touch from God just by telling them that we are praying for them, or giving them a friendly smile, and treating them as the special people God has created them to be.

Just some thoughts. Time for bed now. Good night.

Grace and Peace.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Internet In Panera

Hmmm, so much to say, and yet I feel as though I really don't have the words to say them. I will say this though, it's nice to have wireless internet though it sucks that I have to drive 40 minutes to get to it. Oh well, Panera is tasty.

This summer, has felt insanely long, and surprisingly short all at the same time. Every day has been something different, yet redundant. It it's been painful, but good. What a paradoxical summer, eh?

God has been stretching me past my limits, He's been putting me through His refining fire, and shaping me more into the man I need to be. I'm in a constant state of being taught, which is good, because life without learning is boring. He has been providing for me, by taking things away. I know that doesn't make sense, but I suppose at the same time it does. He has provided for my spiritual life, by taking away luxuries that I am so used to in my physical life. Suffice to say that this summer has been extremely good for me, and changing. Not that the core of who I am has changed, I don't think that ever will, and that's OK, that's who God made me to be. However, there are definitely some things that are different about me, I can feel it. I may not see where those changes are at until a situation arises that involves that change but, they are there, I know it.

And here I sit, in a deli restaurant, wondering what more there is to say. Of how I feel so incompetent at times, and how I have had days this summer where I didn't see any way out. I felt trapped by my sin, by the hopeless wreck that I am, a complete mess. Days where I have felt a repulsive smell, and the trash that follows it, is more appealing than me. Do I say these things because I want empathy, sympathy, or even a little bit of attention by way of pity? Hardly, I am just expressing things that seem to have lodged themselves deep within me these past few weeks.

In reality, I am a hopeless mess, but that's what makes the gift of salvation and grace that much more awe inspiring. How could a God of such high standards come to love someone like me, a man who can't even keep his thoughts from himself for more than a few minutes? I have become ashamed of who I have been, of what I have done in the past that was anything but glorifying to God, but with His forgiveness and unconditional love, I have lived in improvement. He is constantly refining me from the dirt that I was into the treasure that I will one day be because of His love.

So, I keep pursuing this invisible mystery, this presence that is often incognito. I do not always see Him where I am looking, but that is often because I'm looking in the wrong place or in the wrong way. Sometimes, He is silent, and in those days I just have to wait until He is ready to speak. Some nights will be restless because of this, and others will be wonderfully peaceful. That is how my relationship with God has always been, and until He sees fit to change it, that is how it will be.

He is so real to me, even when I doubt, and ask questions, even when I feel that there is no hope, I remember Him, and He takes me in His arms and tells me, "I love you". How awesome.

Grace and Peace.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Long Weeks

What can I say? It's hard to be patient with dial-up speeds when one is so used to higher speeds. So, sorry for the late update.

Been working my butt off at Lake Swan, but it's been good. This week has been excrutiatingly long because I didn't stop working for this week until this morning (which is Sunday >_<) AND I get to start over tomorrow at 8 am. Wonderful. But really I shouldn't be complaining. Despite my aches, pains, groans, and moans, it isn't about me, it's about Him, whom I serve. It's about the hearts of the people, and hoping that even if the encounter if passing, they will see His love for them. After all, He IS Love.

I think, this is the most homesick I have felt in a long time. I am ready to be home, doing something else. I think that if something begins to seem repetitive to me then there is no hope in me having motivation to do it. I hate redundant tasks. I'm thankful they'll have me on Lifeguard duty for the final two weeks of my time here. It's not that I didn't enjoy being in the kitchen, it's just I need something new to do.

Kinda worried about this constant need for new though. Could prove to be problematic when it comes to finding a career. Gotta be able to support my family when I get one, and constantly changing jobs isn't going to help. Maybe I just need to find a job that has a new aspect every now and then. I like trying to think of new ways to present old things. I guess that's why God has called me into full time ministry, though I STILL don't fully know what that looks like, I'm willing to go until the door slams in my face. Then I'll pick a different direction.

This summer has been stretching me, though sometimes I'm not entirely sure where the core of me is being stretched. I see outward signs of an inward change, but am unaware of what that change is. Is that unusual?

I guess, I'll update later. Hope I don't get too burned out there.

Grace and Peace.