Archive for October, 2008

san francisco

So I’m in San Francisco for the next few days and I am so excited.  I’ve never been here and it’s wonderful.  Also, these are the first days I’ve had off work (besides sickness) in 5 months!  So I’m pretty stoked.

Tyson met up with me as soon as I landed at the airport and we went nonstop all over the city until this evening.  I ate seafood @ Fisherman’s Wharf, hung out at Pier 39 with the infamous sea lions, saw Alcatraz from across the water, went to the top of Coit tower over looking the entire city, saw a glimpse of Golden Gate bridge through the fog, visited Chinatown, and had my first ride on a Cable Car down California Avenue.  I would say that’s a lot to do in about 5 hours!

I’m up here for a meeting that has to do with discipleship.  Several ministers have gotten together and we’re just having discussions about what it means to follow Jesus– and so far it’s been great.  I have pages of notes and we’ve only had one session. 

Anyway, just wanted to drop a line to let you know where I am.  I’ll have pictures once I get back.

Peace on earth

the Bible for those with ADD/ADHD

I had to post it because it’s too funny for you not to know about it.

morning with Bill

Well.
Life is going fast and I love it. I think that pretty much sums it up, but because there is so much that I’ve been experiencing that I would love to share, I’ll try to elaborate a little more.I don’t know where to start. Sunday I played worship downtown @ the Anchor Gaslamp, a relatively young church plant that I have become very connected with in recent months. I’ve been telling everyone in Poway about the pull I’ve felt to really get involved with this church for the next few months and everyone has been really supportive.

Before the church service Sunday, I met a man at Starbucks that is one of those people you’re so glad you get to meet. Bill was sitting right next to the table where I had placed my bible, and reading a Louis Lamour book, a black gentlemen, elderly, nicely dressed with slacks and a button-up shirt. He asked me if the book in front of me was a bible, and I said yes, and that it was big enough for both of us (I have a HUGE NIV study bible).

We started talking about God and it didn’t take long for me to know he was a believer. He was asking me questions about my calling and my relationship with Jesus, and he was really good at making me talk – which makes sense because later on in the conversation I found out he had been a lawyer for much of his life.

Bill said something that has stuck with me all week. I was telling him about my faith crisis around age 19 and dealing with big doubts and questions, and he told me about taking medical depositions from doctors. As a lawyer, he had sat down with numerous doctors asking questions. He said they all tended to acknowledged that medicine is as much an art as it is a science…. “There is more in medicine that they don’t know than what they do know, but they still practice medicine.” And it was encouraging because there is so much more to life and God that I don’t know than what I do know, but it doesn’t mean I have to stop life until I figure it out… and it doesn’t mean I have to stop communicating with God until I can fully understand him.

Bill’s wife Dana came downstairs from their meeting and they were leaving to go to church, but Bill stopped and they both prayed for me in Starbucks. It was awesome! I’m just really thankful for the people God brings into our lives that encourage us.

I have a lot more I would like to write about, but I’ll save for next post. I’ll leave you with a thought I on the way to work a few days ago:

I’ll never get to live this day again.

I don’t want to need a good reason to smile…

Oh what a perfect afternoon
I don’t know why it’s perfect, but I’ll find out.
Oh what a perfect afternoon
I couldn’t have made it better on my own

I don’t want. I don’t want. I don’t want.
I don’t want to need a good reason to smile.

Oh what a perfect sky so blue
You could cloud it up and I’d think it was perfect too.
Do you believe that we can change our stars?
Well surely we can find some beauty, surely we can find some beauty in every day.

I don’t want. I don’t want. I don’t want.
I don’t want to need a good reason to smile.

Those are lyrics from an old song that an old roomate, Benjamin del Shreve, wrote.  You should check out his myspace. 

I was sitting in the lab at work today, and I began to think of that line “I don’t want to need a good reason to smile,” and I just began smiling for no reason.  I know so many people that are wound up so tight that it seems like something amazing has to happen before they even start to grin or crack a smile.  Actually, that sounds a lot like me most of the time.  But there’s a scripture that’s been on my heart this week in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.  In Philippians 4:6 he says, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Don’t be anxious about anything.  Don’t be anxious about anything.  Sounds ridiculously impossible, eh?  Well it is if I’m trying all by myself to quit being anxious.  But whenever the bible seems to prohibit one action, it always seems to offer a better way instead… and Philippians 4:6 is no different.  The way to keep from being anxious, is to give everything to God- to put it in his hands and then not worry.  The next few verses talk about the peace that God gives us when we do this. 

So I’m just reminded this week to not be anxious about anything, but to give it over to God.  And I’m also reminded that I don’t want to be the kind of person who has to have something wonderful happen in order for me to smile.  I want to be the kind of person who realizes the inherent wonder already present in each day of life.  What a joy it is to simply be alive another day, to live this day once, because I’ll never get a chance to live 10/22/08 again. 

On a side note, several things have kept me smiling this week. 

1)  Heidi, Duff, and Raleigh got baptized Sunday!!

2)  The K2K Trip is ON, as long as I can raise money.  (Thanks Heidi for the sweet abbreviation)

3)  I randomly met a really cool believer on Sunday morning at Starbucks who talked with me about God and all sorts of stuff.  (I’ll probably write more about Bill later.)

aromatic thursdays

The other night I was reading the second letter Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and I came across this passage:

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 cor 2:14-15

When I hit the word fragrance I said, “What??! Jesus smells?” I guess it’s true though, because sometimes I’ve been standing next to someone in church praying and I’ve thought I smelled their B.O., but I guess according to Paul it was just Jesus. And other times I’ve been in church bathrooms that didn’t smell so good, but now it all makes sense.

Ok. I’m being fecetious, and I’m also an idiot, but think about it. Whenever you’ve thought of Jesus and how he interacts with us, have you ever thought of a ‘fragrance’ or an ‘aroma’?? I will have to admit, I’ve never made that connection. But I read a note in my bible about this passage, and I think it opened up some understanding.

In Roman times, a magnificent procession would be hosted in honor of a victorious general, the highest military honor he could obtain. He would enter the city in a chariot, followed by the senate and magistrates, musicians, the spoils of his victory and the captives in chains. Sacrifices were made to Jupiter, and incense was burned by the priests. Paul undoubtedly had such a procession in mind when he wrote these words.”

When Paul says that, to God, he and his band of traveling ministers are the aroma of Christ, he’s saying that everywhere they go, people know that Christ is victorious. Everywhere Paul goes, it’s as if God is leading him in a procession– as if Jesus has won the battle, and taken over Paul’s heart, stolen his allegiance, and now Paul and his fellow ministers are on a parade through the city. They become the fragrance of victory in Christ, they become the aroma, the burning incense, that alerts every nose in the city that Jesus Christ has come to the world to defeat death and evil, to usher in the kingdom of God… and he already won!

Paul even says that to different people, the message of Christ’s victory on the cross means different things. To some it’s good news, to some it’s bad news. He says to some it is the “smell of death” but to others it is the “fragrance of life.” But regardless of how the news is received, it’s still NEWS. Paul says it’s worth sharing with people even if they completely hate the smell of it.

And I thought to myself, “I want to be the aroma of Christ.” When I meet someone I want them to know that Christ has won the battle for my heart. I want them to know that I used to live only for myself, but now I life for him who raised Jesus from the dead. I want to be the fragrance that lets people know there is hope. I want to be the scent that alerts people of good news. Wherever I go, I want to be the aroma of Christ… and I’m pretty sure they don’t sell that cologne in the mall.

cube daze

I stand up from the chair in my cubicle, its beige walls corralling me in on three sides.  The sun bursts through the window at my back, leaving my shadow on the cubicle wall in front of me.  Fuzzy-eyed and lanky, I stand sipping coffee from the same white mug I sip coffee from every weekday.  I scan the room, a maze of cubicles and computers, thinking that from a really high arial view the office area probably looks a lot like a finely circuited computer chip. 

Everything here is safe.  Everything is predictable… even the coffee machine has a 401k. 

Some mornings I function completely on auto-pilot.  My default response to any individual I see before 10:30 a.m. is a simple, “Mornin’.”  Not, “Good morning,” or , “How are you?,”… Just, “Mornin’.” Doesn’t matter if I know the person or not, they all get the same response. 

The copy machine waits for my company.

I take a look around at this office wasteland, the child of the apex of modern civilization.  Streamline, professional, stifling, grating slowly away at the souls of men and women.  Men and women who would do anything for adventure.  Men and women who think deeply to themselves that this place is eerily too safe.  Men and women who want more. 

Then I take another sip of coffee, watching my shadow on the beige cubicle wall, and sit down in front of my workstation to begin the day.

If you were you…

I’d throw it all away- if it all turned out to make me someone I don’t want to be… if I were me – I’d sell it all and get lost on a train in Europe some place, but let the “Johnny Depps” on the television have all the fun.

How much of life is spent asleep?
How much of life just working for the money?
So small the part of life we lead that no time is worth the re-telling.
Oh to live vicariously through myself.

What would you do if you were you?

Don’t hide behind my face and talk about all of the great things that you would do and that you would say if you were me.
Your heart would guide, you’d never hide your scowl or your smile. You’d be so great and passionate, spontaneous and bold in confrontation… and great with the ladies.

How much of life is spent asleep?
How much of life just working for the money?
So small the part of life we lead that no time is worth the re-telling.
Oh to live vicariously through myself.

What would you do if you were you?

-Benjamin del Shreve