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Dark Shadows Are Over Us

More and more today I am feeling a dismal heaviness, a dark shadow hovering over me and over this campus… over the people of God and over those who are needing Him more than ever.

Pray for us, pray for me, pray for each other. Cover the broken the weak and the meek in faith; for we are light in the world and we must not grow weak, we must remain strong- bright and burning: providing warmth to those stricken by the cold hatred in this world and stirring up flames to singe sinful desires.

Brothers and Sisters,

“Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

1 Peter 3:8-12

Spiritual Warfare

My God, we need you. Hear my prayer… come to the aid of your people even when they ask not for your presence or see that they need it. Forgive us, forgive me, for our ignorant indifference. Give us open eyes to see pain and counter it. Give us more of your living water so that we may pour it onto the tongues of the thirsty, the dry in spirit. Breathe into us the truth of your Word so that all that we say breathes into the world your Spirit of strength and power.

Fight for us, fight with us. Rally the souls of your Kingdom with the battle cry of the eternally victorious Trinity. 

Compare and Contrast

Today’s post will be a comparison and contrasting of my planned day as I see it going, and my actual day after it happens.

Just want to see the differences and similarities.

Planned/Thought of Day:

wake up, get dressed be cold outside, eat breakfast, be cold outside, come back to the dorm, be cold outside, go to work, write a paper for my boss, use the bathroom, get off work, be cold outside, go back to the dorm, undress, sleep a while, browse my computer, check my stats, play Solitaire, wake up, get dressed again, be cold outside, go to class, get out of class, be cold outside, take some pre-tests, do ok on the pre-tests, be cold outside, go to the dorm, wish I didn’t have class Friday, get a drink, play spud, talk with the guys, play league of legends, be cold outside, go to Dunkin’, be cold outside, go to the dorm, play more league of legends, do spanish homework, get undressed, go to sleep.

Let’s see how I do…

Actual Day:

wake up, get dressed, be cold outside, eat breakfast, be cold outside, come back to the dorm, be cold outside, go to work, write a paper for my boss, get off work, be cold outside, go back to the dorm, read a blog, browse my computer, check my email, check my stats, play poker, be warm outside, go to class, get out of class, be warm outside, go back to the dorm, play league of legends, be warm outside, get a smoothie,  take some pre-tests, do ok on the pre-tests, be warm outside, go to Walgreens, go to Tres Hermanos for 75c tacos, wish I didn’t have class Friday, play spud, play league of legends, go to sleep.

So… pretty close with some variations. Not too shabby.

Appreciation and Acknowledgment

For the most part, I would consider myself to be very observant. However, the observance of what I see rarely leads to much more than a mental note in my head. This is something that I find problematic with my life. It seems somewhat heartbreaking for someone like me to see so much and not acknowledge it. Primarily, I have noticed how much of an impact this has had on my relationship with God. When I look at something truly beautiful or see an amazing talent of someone normally unnoticed, I often fail to give glory to God for those things. Instead, I shrug my shoulders and minimize the realization even if i do it subconsciously. By failing to acknowledge the blessings that God has and is giving to me every day, I fail to acknowledge how great and glorious He really is.

God has blessed me with perception- open eyes, open ears, and open heart…  I have been filled up with so much of God’s blessings and goodness but at the same time I have disregarded the need and calling to let it all out- to let God use me to bless others by acknowledging the glory of God that I see every day. In doing so, I have been unknowingly preventing myself and others from knowing more about God and more aptly worshiping Him.

 

This needs to change.

(Not) Open For Discussion

This post is for any thinking man/woman who enjoys open-ended discussions about various topics.

One of the greatest joys I have experienced during my time at college has been the free dialogue about subject material covered during class. It has always been a pleasure to hear the thoughts and ideas of my colleagues and mentors while being able to interject my own into the mix. In my opinion, especially when discussing matters of faith, that dialogue can be one of the most useful tools in the process of hammering out one’s own beliefs theories and opinions. To quote Proverbs 27:17- “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This is the ideal collegiate experience in a nutshell. Together, the educated and experienced persona of a culture come together through discussion to form the intelligentsia.

However, this respectful exchange of ideas becomes grossly manipulated into a despairingly one-sided struggle when one’s haughtiness clogs his/her heart and ears. At this point, pride so encumbers learning that even the most clearly careless conjecture is unshaken in the presence of truth. Amidst such culpable conversation, what is the most profitable form of action? Silence – to discourage the speaker from imposing fallacies without accepting critique? Or is it best to speak the unwelcome truth – in hopes that it might fall upon those perceptive ears and minds mixed in with the arrogant?

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If this dismal result in personality is the consequence of age and education, then do I really want to consider myself a part? Or are the few open minds and willing hearts of the intelligentsia a clear enough beacon of hope to be sought after?

When the most important think they are the least important…

How do you get someone who should know they are the most important in your life to think they might be one of the least important? 

The answer is simple:

Forget to tell them that they are the most important on the one day of the year when they are definitely supposed to feel like they are the most important. 

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This is something I have been successful at now 3 times in a row. I have forgotten to tell the most important people in my life Happy Birthday on the day of their birthday. Mom, Dara, Dylan… I don’t even know how to begin to apologize. I didn’t remember to remember when it counted, even if I reminded myself for weeks even up to the day before what the day was. 

I am so frustrated, annoyed, and pissed off at myself for this huge flaw and problematic area of my life. Remembering one simple day should be such an easy thing. I am mad and deeply hurt because of the pain I have caused all of you. I am angry because this reflects so negatively on who I am; and I am furious that I have been so unsuccessful in correcting this problem of mine. 

 

Relationships are the driving force of my life (even my career choice), and time after time I fail to acknowledge the most valuable and meaningful relationships when they need to be. At this point, I have to beg for your forgiveness. In my own heart it will be impossible for me to forgive myself for such a thing unless I have first been forgiven by those I have hurt. Even then, it is obvious that I haven’t fully forgiven myself for when this happened with Mom. 

I don’t even know what else to say.

 

I am so sorry. I love you. 

Am I the Joker?

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Throughout movie, comic and tabletop history, the joker has always been the antagonist… a figure that everyone loves to hate. This seems like a relatively understandable and justified reality, but lately I have found myself doing just the opposite. I have found common ground with the Joker and can sympathize with him. What could I possibly have in common with the Joker? (Besides my outstanding sense of humor) I have been able to identify with some of the struggles that this poor man went/goes through in the majority of his acts. As the story unfolds, all of his plans become exponentially more complicated and likely to fail. This is what I have begun to see unfold in my own life.

Sometimes I am blown away by the complexity of certain aspects of life, particularly by the nature of higher education and life immediately thereafter.  I am now in my Junior year of college, almost into my Senior year. I get to the point where I feel like my time of education might just be coming to an end and I can finally say

“Look out world! Here I come!”

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I am finally ready to blow everyone away with my learned skills and natural talents, but then this happens…

“Wait! What do you mean I need to get my Masters? I didn’t know this bus ride would take so long. -______- “

So where do I plan to go after undergrad? What do I plan on doing with my life? What is God calling me to do specifically?

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As of now, I am placing one foot in front of the other, chasing my diploma and whatever else people say that I need to be what God wants me to be. If it means graduate school,  that’s another few years slaving away just to be able to love on the maximum amount of people and save the maximum number lives.

Is all of this really necessary? One broad, lingering question pretty much sums it all up:

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You know you’re ready.

You know you’re ready to go back to school when you start to dream about it.

Last night I had a dream that I was back at school and in a class learning about warfare and bunkers in Southeast Asia. It was a hands-on class in which I learned to dig out the bunkers themselves and place barricades around the battlefield. I also dreamed that I didn’t know where or when my next class would be. It was early in the morning and the vast majority of my classes are back to back in the morning, so I became extremely stressed out. It was the first day of classes and I didn’t want to make a bad impression by either being late or not showing up at all.

I woke up right at the point that my first class was over. I almost got right out of bed to go check my schedule online to see when I had my next class and what it was. Even when I was awake I was worrying about not having bought my books for my classes. Luckily I was able to come to my senses before I actually logged on to my computer. Thank God for work!

Anywho… I am ready to get back to school; to see all of my friends again, to go to class and write papers, and most of all to see the most important person in my life: my girlfriend Dara. Finally, we get to be together for an extended period of time! This January will be our 1 year anniversary, and I am very proud to be hers. We have worked so hard to make our relationship work. You have to work at it when you’re in love with a person halfway across the nation. Who would have thought that our love could last when we’ve been apart for more than half of our relationship. Honestly, I can. She is my strength and my joy. With a love like ours we can do anything… but it doesn’t hurt that I can hold her tight in my arms once again and never let go. Regardless of our circumstances, I will always hold on to her because my heart can’t let go of something so life-changing. I love her!

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