Monday, April 28, 2008

the greatest of these

I'm sad for a handful of Jesus-lovin friends right now. I don't know their hearts, but I hope that they are not seeking companionship for the sake of companionship.

A verse that has helped me is Proverbs 4:23:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

I think it's important to look at the context prior in Proverbs 4:1-22. We see that to live righteously, we need God's Word instilled in our hearts and for the Word to guide our actions so we don't fall into disobedience. So when we look at "guard your heart," we're talking about more than just something along the lines of "don't let your heart get broken" which is what I feel most people think of when they look at this verse. Guarding your heart is about guarding your decisions, discernment, thoughts AND your heart (1 Kings 3:12). It's about being completely honest with yourself and God about what motivations and worries are at the core of your heart. We are told to guard it. Preventing ourselves from being in sketchy or misinterpreted situations is a good start. But the world suffocates us with gossip, immorality, greed, idolatry, and lust to enter into our hearts--it would be impossible to guard it ourselves. Who better than God (Isa. 43:2, 2 Thess. 3:3, 1 Samuel 2:9, Psalm 61:3)? How? We can do this by letting His truth apply to our life.

It's so important that our heart is right with God because from our heart comes our words and actions (Luke 6:45). You're not going to be able to separate them--it might work for you for a little while, but not for long.

As an individual that has been there (a lot), I know the longing to be adored by someone and I know how good it feels when you're valued and wanted in a committed relationship. The big mistake that we make is that we are way too quick to assume that what we want and what feels good to us must be what's right. I'm not going to lie, it's really hard to let God write our love story. We have our own timelines and agendas, and we can pursue (or be pursued by) person after person, but what it comes down to is evaluating where your heart is (Prov. 23:15). If you're pursuing someone or even thinking about pursuing someone, I would strongly encourage you to question why you're pursuing them. Is there desire in your heart to connect with them at a physical level? Is it because you feel like the only one not in a serious relationship? Do you just want to be loved?

It's so cliche', but it's so true: God has the most amazing love story in the works for you. He loves you more than anyone ever did, can, or will. I was once told to think about my favorite romance/love scene of any book or movie of all time. For me, it's Somewhere In Time, and I like to think about the whole movie rather just one specific moment. This guy (Christopher Reeves) is absolutely intrigued by the lady (Jane Seymour) and travels backwards in time (kinda Sci-Fi weird, I know) to figure out why. He gets to know her and they fall in love, but are separated once again by time. Now that Reeves understands his love for her, he realizes he cannot live without her. Recollect any love story, be awestruck by the fact that God loved you before you were made and loves you more than anyone else, and know that He knows you better than anyone (Psalm 139:23).

Don't settle. If you pursue, pursue someone that will build you up in Christ (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1), not leave you where you are, and pray for oneness with that person so that you have the same heart and that you might add to His kingdom (John 17:20-23). 1st Corinthians 13 is so commonly acknowledged as what we define love to be that we almost look past each of its promises. "Love is..." There's a lot of good and common-sensical stuff in there and it's easy to say "yeah, yeah, 1 Corinthians 13, I know." If you're pursuing someone, ask God to reveal to you each day for... let's see, there are 14 (15 if you include the one in verse 8) promises of what love is... so, if you asked God to show you each of these promises every day for a year, you'd have reflected about each promise at least 24 times. Excessive? Maybe.

Also, I think there's this funny notion that men feel like they have to be constantly pursuing someone. Okay, so God probably isn't going to drop someone in your lap, but He will provide someone who's going to capture your heart and He knows what you need (Psalm 37:4-5, Romans 8:32). Seek God first. (He's going to throw someone at your heart anyway.) Constantly seek Christ. You don't have it all together, none of us do. We all need Jesus and you can't overdose on Him. Are you content with God alone (Isaiah 58:10-11)?

I think a common flaw in our mindset is when we treat love like we are fishing. Love is not like fishing. We cast our little theoretical pole into a lake, aiming for the good fish, hoping it bites and when that doesn't bite, we can always ease the line over to the next best fish still swimming there and hope to lure it in, oh that didn't work either, but fortunately there's another one to try... and so on. "There's plenty of fish in the sea." Of course you're going to get a bite.

Love is more like hunting. I actually know very little about hunting, but I do know that it's about patience and going after the one you've been waiting for. I'm completely guessing with these terms... but it's more like seeing a 6-point buck when you know that there is a 24-point buck that is going to walk by if you chill for 30 more minutes. "Wait for it... .... ... wait for it... .... NOW!" Kinda like that.

Regardless of where you are in your relationship, I'm pretty sure you'd rather choose the hunt while holding fast to a guarded heart on God's timeline, not yours.

----------------
Now playing: The Almost - Drive There Now!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zzzz

You know you're tired when... you're standing at your locked front door pressing the "unlock" button on your car remote.

----------------
Now playing: Eagles - Love Will Keep Us Alive

Thursday, April 17, 2008

sueña

I went to the park today to catch up on some reading (thanks to the gorgeous weather). I set up my blanket on the lawn at a relatively safe distance away from the kid-dominated play structure. After looking around once I noticed a little guy not any older than 4 was swinging by himself. We smiled at each other for a second and he kept swinging.

I tend to zone out when I read. A couple minutes later, I glanced up from my book and the 4-year old kid, who I now noticed was sporting the cutest little mohawk, was standing directly in front of me, hovering. He stood there for a second and then said, "Hi mom." Then he walked back to the playground. Needless to say, I was very confused and just stared after him until he walked up to a very pregnant woman that I assumed was his mother and then he left.

I got back to the park a couple hours later after I decided to be ambitious enough to go running. I think that I was wired to only do things requiring sprinting and short-term strength. Long distances and endurance just doesn't work out for me. I'm not going to write-off running just yet, but man did that suck! There are way too many sick people out there that enjoy running for the hell of it. I envy them.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

distraction



Monday, April 7, 2008

canadian show

Sunday, April 6, 2008

nickyisms

My roomie Nicky is the funniest depressing person I know. Don't be worried, she thinks she's funny when she says these things... Krissy and I probably don't help when we're doubled-over in tears.
N = Nicky
K = Krissy
S = guess



N: I think I'd be alright if I died right now. I feel like I've accomplished enough for me. Death would be such an easy way out. No more student loans. No paper to write for tomorrow...

K: But then you'd miss hanging out with us all the time!

N: Well, I'll see you up in heaven. I'll be patient, just chillin' on the couch. Actually, I'll probably be at the table... eating. Actually, I'll be so skinny in heaven you probably won't be able to recognize me.

N: Is that sad that I want to die? You want to die too, don't you?

--3 minutes later--

N: Let's go to Europe next summer?! You want to?

K: Yeah, I'm already going!

S: Yeah, I wanna go too! I'll have enough saved up by then.

N: Screw that, I'm taking out student loans.

S: Yeah, then you get to pay it in 10 years.

N: Hopefully, I'll just die the day after I get back from Europe and don't have to worry about that.

N: Let's go to Germany. And just be like, 'Hey Germans. Peace sign, from America.' Then leave when they throw eggs at us.

--10 minutes later--

N: Seriously though, you don't think about how life would be if it just stopped right now? I'm so excited to die it's ridiculous! Heaven sounds much better.

K: Yeah, I don't really want to die.

N: Just take me up like you did Elijah! ...I want a chariot.

K: You don't want a family?!

N: Screw that. Kids scream. I was at church today and there were kids crying. My dad's like, 'Shhhh...' ITS A BABY, get your baby out of church. I can't stand kids--I really can't.

K: I want to have a bunch of kids.

N: Ugh, gross. If I have them, it will be accidental.

--2 minutes later--

N: Seriously, if we all went to heaven together it would be way more fun! Then I could donate all my organs and I'd save at least five lives of people that are probably really smart. Someone could have my heart, another my kidneys... my skin.

S: They can't take your skin!

N: Yes they can! It's called skin grafting. It's on the back of my driver's license. I'm not trying to creep you guys out, I just don't want to go to work. I need coffee.

K: Let's go shopping right now.

N: I can't, I have 15 more minutes before my cupcakes come out of the oven. See? Life sucks. I can't go shopping.

K: Let's just plan our Euro trip.

--15 minutes later (with laptops)--

N: This might be racist, but I don't really want to travel to any Middle Eastern countries.

S: Really? I really want to go to the United Arab Emirates.

N: I'll Google that.

N: Dubai? It's a fricken crop circle in the middle of the ocean.

N: Oh look! It's Finland, the land where I'm from!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obama's speech

I'm just getting around to posting this great speech which should be required viewing. Obama didn't want to touch on race at the beginning of this election, but his pastor left him no choice and he addresses the nation with humbling charisma and an undeniable concern for justice.

fly

Most recent email from my professor:
I am trying to send this important article as an attachment. If it does not "fly," I will try resending it another way. Try to read it asap.

1. "fly"... hahahaha
2. That is one generous article. He just sent me a 17-page novel in .doc form. That certainly does not "fly."


Friday night I was thinking to myself, I wonder if my favorite band is done with their tour yet and is playing anywhere else in the near future. Then I see their next gig is a free show at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI. What?! How did I not know about that sooner. Here's a picture I took (from our 5th row seats) before the concert-halting moshing started. At one point, my hand was 3 inches from Stephen's hand... for some reason it was vital that I was able to touch it Monday night.


----------------
Now playing: Anberlin - Naïve Orleans (Acoustic)