Saturday, February 16, 2008


I've made some valiant steps as of late to begin down-sizing my life. A multiplicity of endeavors I've gone on in finding out how to "decrease so He can increase". My inability to minimize the indulgences and strengthen the necessities has cost me plentiful both spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. In such a multitude of ways my life has become one of instant gratification with no true-and-genuine concept of the importance of longterm satisfaction.

Growing up with just the bare-necessities as the son of a 9-5 hard working Nam' Vet father one would think I understand what its like to 'have' and to 'have-not'. However, during my upbringing I watched my father work two full-time jobs for over 15 years and he did so without complaining or bickering. He had this incredible sense of pride in work; he understood the true value of labor.

I've worked since I was 16 years old. It wasn't really an option after my father died my sophomore year in high-school. It wasn't as if I went out and decided to get a job so I could afford to get some nice shoes or go to a concert; I was working to eat. My ridiculously low paychecks from Safeway went to Hamburger Helper without meat (without helper) and Kool-Aid (without sugar). The Helper and the Aid did little to 'help' or 'aid' me in my times of stomach crunching hunger or downright despair.

In that time of absolute drought in my life, mentally and financially I learned what it took to get by. Instead of having an attitude of 'thrive' I carried an understanding of how to 'survive'. In place of the Spirit of Excellence that my father bestowed so richly unto me as a child I accepted a Spirit of Mediocrity. The thought of actually getting ahead financially was in dire-contradiction to my firm belief in 'sustainment'.

As I moved away from living in a house where we just had enough, I moved into a place where I had too-much. Living at a place where food was everywhere and all the time was both exciting and daunting. I wasn't prepared to make the transition from 'enough' to 'too-much.'

For the last four years of my life I've lived as if I have 'too-much' yet never truly understood the sin therein. The concept of gluttony, over indulging, is not merely a physical tangible act but is very much so a state-of-being. For so long I've failed to plan ahead. For years I've failed to really appreciate anything beautiful or abundant thats come my way. Dwelling in mediocrity has fitted me like Cinderella's slipper; so never has there been desire to remove myself from such an immensely-high level of comfortability.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how to decrease. I've been vigorously attempting to simplify my life. I've been fighting for the ability to shed off some layers of abundance and begin to truly-appreciate what is needed. Paul talks about this idea in Philippians 4 when he says, "I have learned to be content in much and in little..." The ability the apostle Paul had to find joy in both a plethora, and the lack thereof has stood as a testimony of the importance of dying to self.

Apparently, even though the world and the church has told me for years and years that all this life is about is 'living'. I feel that Christ himself is telling me otherwise. I'm beginning to believe that living within the internal centrality of Christ is more about dying than living. It's more about
the holistic-abandonment of all we think and know and giving ourselves fully-over to Him and all that encompasses; which is an unfathomable amount.

I wonder how significant the differentiation would be in Christianity today if we taught this Gospel as often or more often than the Gospel of Life. The wavering and t tarrying from the necessity of redemption and the unconditional need for repentance has produced a weak and watered down Gospel of Self. This is why soul searching and self-help is the primary methodology that people lock onto instead retreat, surrender, and sacrifice which in full-actuality will lead you to the truth: Jesus died for us, not so that we could dwell in our own sickness but so that we would have a measure of escape into healing that is only found in Him and His blood.

A quote I heard a while back that sums up a life of dying and living...

"If the Lord makes your cup sweet,
than drink it with grace.
If the Lord makes your cup bitter,
than drink it in communion with Him."

I hope my scattered and ill-structured bucket of words has somehow been an encouragement to you...

Monday, February 11, 2008


It has been such an incredibly long time since I've actually blogged it feels like all this time has been wasted. Although I journal often and am probably what could legally be considered an addict I know that theirs something about sharing my words with others that brings me a sense of completeness and intense fulfillment.

I am absolutely trapped in this current state of being. For as much as I vigorously attempt to plan out the future I cannot break out of the restraints that hold me in this temporal place of thought. The true and genuine desire to break out and find a sense of newness and adventure has been pulling me in every direction; some sort of ancient stretch-wheel torture tactic from within.

The more I think the more I process and the more I process the less sure I become. About anything. Often times everything. The sad ability to be such an extremist is either a blessing or a curse; depending primarily on the given date of its occurrence. I have for so long desired to be so much more than the a-typical individual. The utterly0-unquenchable chase after holistic excellence has only infiltrated some particular parts of my life; leaving many a places within me feeling incredibly dissatisfied.

I feel like it’s unnecessary and unjustified in its attempts to find me illegitimate. I'm a term away from graduating and less than 2 years away from achieving a masters degree; a life long dream.

But, why is it that this when we get so close to what we've always fought for that drive, that passion, that untamed persistence within us is somehow dampened by the reality of it all. Perhaps it comes from setting up normative circumstances in life and operating within minimal diligence so often that we understand not what it truly is to fight. We fail to recognize greatness because for so long in our hearts, minds, and spirits have beckoned mediocrity.

Mediocrity. Is that what I've worked this hard and this long for? The norm? Have I spent 22 years of enduring grief that few have the opportunity to go through for a settlement with the average? It is astronomically debilitating to consider for even a nanosecond that I have some how allowed the thought of insignificance sneak into the avenue of my future and mug me with a sense of inability or weak-minded-fragility.

Greatness. I can stand that nimble and ineffable conceptual idolatry that tells you, that tells me that we 'have' to come to a position of compromise with the belief that we exists primarily to 'exist.'. This thought that the only reason my matter fills this inertia-basket and that my lungs rob the globe of good oxygen is so that I can merely live? So that I can function within a cage of inadequacy for eternity?

Maybe I've spent too much time the last six months thinking about how screwed up I am. Perhaps I've spent too many a countless hours up late at night alone asking if life will ever get better. Will I ever have questions to the answers that plague my heart? Will God, in my time of weakness ever rear his head for long enough for me to know He's with me?

Will people ever quit destroying me with betrayal? Will those who are close to me ever breach the normative gates of comfort-ability and open them selves up before me in blind-vulnerability and give me a chance to see that I'm not alone. Will this promise of God for a partner ever become a reality? This inevitable-singleness that haunts a heart desiring love cannot truly endure more years upon years of such drought can it?

I guess from one perspective this whole blog seems scattered and unnecessarily downcast. For those reading it and for me, the guy who wrote it. But I attest it is neither. Isn’t this what we owe ourselves? Is this not what the world needs? A few voices of dangerous transparency to alarm those in hiding that it’s safe to burst fourth and find after revelation and completeness. I don't want to live my life under a blanket of fear. I have no need to hide who I am before god or before people.

I am raw from being seasoned in life through trials. I am raw from pain and pleasure that been mixed like a bad bloody marry. I've been fooled many a times into believing that this is a stage. No longer will I dwell within this false realty that freedom comes in the form of release of pressure; for it is under pressure that Gold is refined. This work of beauty that God is forming within me is one that needs chipping, needs breaking, and above all ultimately needs restoration. Redemption from a fallen nature. Recovery from a life of let down. Reconciliation from an identity that molded the sickness in my heart, the pain in my mind, and the discontent in my spirit. I need a big God to deal with my big issues. I need a real savior to wash away some really big sins. I need a potent faith for an incapable being. I need so much of him and so little of me.