Tuesday, May 25, 2004

A Look Back at 24 Years

Last week I celebrated my 24th birthday. It was a good day. I was able to spend the day with Jenn and many of my new friends here in Arkansas. It was different, as every birthday has been. After 24 years I am still curious, for which I thank God. After 24 years I am able to feel like a kid (although not as often as I like). However, at 24 I sometimes feel older than I am. I let things get to me that a person who is 24 should not let get to them. However, I am not ashamed of my 24 years. I regret very little in my 24 years. Yet, I have lived too little in my 24 years. I vow to change that.

At 24 I think of Switchfoot’s song “24”. I do not normally post lyrics, but these have always struck me:
“24 oceans
24 skies
24 failures
and 24 tries.
24 finds me in 24th place
with 24 dropouts at the end of the day.
Life is not what I thought it was-24 hours ago,
Still I'm singing spirit take me up in arms with you.
And I'm not who I thought I was 24 hours ago,
Still I'm singing spirit take me up in arms with you…”

I am also reminded of the sermon from Pastor Bob at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church late last month. His questions still resonate with me, and I am taking them to heart:
”When was the last time that you stopped your busy life and took some time to let God speak to you. To fill a moment of yours with peace and serenity, wonder and meaning. What are the significant moments in your life as you look back. The remembrances that you may have piled up like stones to remind you of the special time that God intersected your life, when you felt God close to you, when your hopes were renewed, when your strength was renewed, when life was special, fresh and precious?”

I look forward to what God has in store for me in the upcoming years. I am excited, but I will not sit idle and expect things to come to me. I’ve spent enough time sitting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Late Night Thoughts

“God is love, and the ability to love is inborn in every living creature, most especially in human beings. It is only right therefore that the Lover who has given us life and love itself should also receive love from us. God’s love is creative and selfless, giving itself for the joy and benefit of creation. If we do not love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and if we do not love others freely and selflessly, then the love within us loses its diving character and turns to selfishness. Love then becomes a curse. Ironically, those who are selfish end up destroying themselves.”

- Sundar Singh

Recently I have contemplated, prayed about, and meditated on the greatest commandments that Jesus gives us in Mark 12:28-31. Whatever seems to be going on in my life or in this world I always go back to this verse. I am not a religious scholar by any means, nor have I been a follower of Christ for a very long time, but I seem to believe that this is one of the most important pieces of wisdom and direction that Jesus gives us. He commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. But what exactly does this mean? If we are to love the Lord than love is a wonderful thing but, it is not something I think we can ever fully comprehend because the love the Lord gives us is perfect, however, because the Lord wants us to love him with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, than we must show our neighbors all the compassion and caring that we can fathom. True, we could never equal the love that God has for us, but I think he wants us to try.

I like what Sundar Singh has to say because he talks about how if we do not love freely and selflessly our “love” will turn into selfishness. I know I am guilty of that. I think we all are. I know it is so hard to remember that no one is perfect and that we may not get along or agree with everyone we meet (what a horrible place it would be if we did agree with everyone we met, we would have no free will). However, despite our differences we cannot forget about this wonderful gift and hefty commandment of love that God instructs us about. I do not see this as one of those things we can shove aside or remember later. It seems to me that these commandments of love should be central to our every day lives, central to our worship, central to our work and relationships. I think the words from the Bible sum it up best that “there is no commandment greater than these”.

Friday, May 14, 2004


Where I go in life from this point on will be an adventure. Here it is almost 1:30 in the morning. Last week I completed my first school year of graduate school. As cliche as it is, I must say it went more quickly than I thought it would. I have made a few new friends, have had a few really great (and not so great) experiences, I have begun my career, I have been away from my family in times of hardship (not the first time), I have been away from Jenn and I have had an incredible amount of time to think. I cannot change the past, and this is why I do not regret my decision to go to graduate school and to go 1000 miles away from the people and place I have known for the last five years.

It was a big step, probably the biggest in my life up to this point. There will be bigger, but I cannot imagine or predict the future, that is only known by God. I am very optimistic about the future. I am very hopeful about the future. However, I am scared of the future. I do not know what hurdles lie ahead. I must keep the faith and keep on going. Stopping or trying to turn around is much worse than facing what is ahead of me, I am sure about that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Happy Birthday Joe
My big brother Joe turns 26 today! Just yesterday it seems like he was 16 and driving a kick arse 1988 Ford Tempo! I am sure he is glad those days are over. I know I am and I know how glad and proud I am to have a brother like Joe. He can be a pill sometimes, but heck, can't we all.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Blogger stuff
So as you may have noticed I am having some issues with my pictures showing up on this blog. I am not really sure why, but I have been trying to figure that out... I am also having trouble with Blogger in general, which sucks...Please ignore the obnoxious "image hosted by Angelfire" nonsense for the time being. I am working on it, thank you :-).

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The "liberal" media

You cannot tell me that the media is liberal...especially after this from Yahoo! News:
Miramax Won't Distribute New Moore Film .
I still have yet to hear an actual decent reason why this is happening.

I am not the biggest Michael Moore fan out there, far from it. But what is America coming to when this movie cannot be released. What is so bad about this movie? Don't we have movies with sex, drugs and violence galore on the screens? I've not seen the movie of course, but I don't think that anything in this documentary could be as bad as regular Hollywood movies...seriously...what is going on with our Bill of Rights?