Thursday, March 29, 2007

An 8 year old girl playing in the woods barefoot...

Carmen Reitnour gave me an amazing book and I want to share a passage that just hit me so hard. It's so pure and raw of what it really means to be human. I think at some point in everyone's life--unless they are unnaturally lucky--you sort of get cynical about life. It's so full of pain, and hurt. Sometimes its a bad childhood to recover from, for me, it was growing up and things seeming to fall apart from how perfect they were. The realization that life isn't easy and learning to deal with it and recover from the hurt is just part of it. At some point things will not be easy. But we all live in pursuit of some kind of happiness. It's universal to all of humanity to try and find some form of joy and to avoid all life's pain.

"He had been won't to despise emotions: girls were emotional, girls were weak, emotions--tears--were weakness. But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain in a tower, nothing but a brain, wouldn't be much fun. No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky--no feelings at all. But feelings--feelings are emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But, then--this was awful!--maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself: showing one's emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least partly, is emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How a did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love--a great love--though maybe for the saints there was joy in the love of God. He didn't aspire to that though, he didn't even believe in God. Certainly not! So, if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain--if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice--and he suspected that there was--a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of sage, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths." ---A Severe Mercy (Sheldon Vanauken)

"The highs will make you fly, but the lows make you want to die..." - Missy Higgins

Ah, emotions. I've always despised them. Because there is no way to control how you feel. And for me, being a girl, it effects my entire body. If something huge in my life happens to cause me a great amount of pain, my whole body hurts. I don't eat, I have trouble sleeping. I try to do both but am incapable of doing anything but just praying, and waiting for the pain to dull. Despite wanting to avoid those kind of realize that low was in response to losing something amazing, be it love, someone close to you (death), or any other high in your life. It hurts so badly because you don't want to see it go. So at some point you decide if it's worth it. And in the above is a boy coming to the conclusion that great joy, which is often accompanied by great pain, is a much better choice in life that living a mediocre, sage, boring, "safe" life, with no significance. (This is only the beginning of the book of course).

"Only after disaster can we be resurrected." ---Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

It is because of the pain in my life that I have grown. It's because of the pain in my life I continue to grow. Without it, I'd still be a carefree six year old. Which, may have been safe. Maybe happy. Maybe a place that you constantly want to go back too. But you could never stay there. There is a desire in everyone to grow, to explore, to understand life, to impact others and the world. Ignorance is bliss, but it's hard to find happiness in ignorance. It's like an oxymoron. You may wish you didn't know somethings, but in a state of unknowing you'd only restart the search of that knowledge. It is a quest God instilled in us from creation. Discovery and...curiosity.

I see it as a good thing. I see it as a process. I understand now why older people are either bitter towards life or full of wisdom and optimism, with very few riding in the middle.

And love, well, that's a big part of it. A desire deeply set in most, a picture of God's love for us. And something I greatly look forward too when the timing is right.

Frank Costello: How's your mother?
Man in Bar: She's on her way out.
Frank Costello: We all are, act accordingly.
The Departed


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Balance and Paul Newman

From my experience I've come to believe that people don't always need their sins pointed out and reminded of judgement. B/c a lot of times they know its wrong. They don't need someone to tell them it's wrong...or they just don't care if it's wrong or not. People aren't afraid of hell. Why? Because their lives are a living hell, and they don't see how it could be any worse than what they're already going through. There are plently of people in their lives pointing out whats wrong with it...but very few loving them through it. It's not a matter of condoning and overlooking their sins. It's loving them out of them.

Sometimes people have to hit their lowest low to realize there is no more happiness to be found. Sin if fun, and it makes you happy. You cannot contest that fact. But the problem is that its only temporary happiness. And it takes different lengths of time for people to realize that. Some people only need a taste to realize its unappealing to them, others take years to hit rock bottom. But when they get there, you can almost garentee they'll be looking for a way out, happiness, "something." And one of the most effective ways to reach people is to live a fufilled life of love. They'll notice you have something they want and that you've got the love of God shining through you. The fact that you don't judge and condemn them but show them love and acceptance despite all their mistakes is God's true nature shining through.

I'm sure their is a balance. It's painful to watch a friend hit rock bottom, and you shouldn't ignore it. Sometimes they need blunt honesty. But from my experiences with friends...and with myself...people respond to love better than judgement. God is pro-love. There are so many verses warning 'do not judge lest you be judged' and that there is no condemnation in Christ. It's not our place to judge others, its Gods. At the same time He also says speak the truth. But you can stand up for the truth and not condone sin while still acting in love and not making people feel like dirt. You don't need to make them feel guilty and push them away. They're unhappy enough as it is...our job is to show them hope, love, and forgiveness.

God is a God of love. And people don't realize that b/c they get more judgement from Christians than compassion. We should constantly have others on our mind, and be looking for ways to show people that love.

"Therefore if there is any encouragment in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, mainting the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing for selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regarding one another as more improtant than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others." - Philippians 2:1-4


There's a man on the roof
Ignoring the fireworks
The city walks by unmoved
Their laughter looks like tears

The city keeps hurting him
He crawls to it for medicine
All the answers are here
He's asking the wrong questions

On top of a skyscraper
With a foundation of fears
Empty works and dreams
He thinks can't come true
For what can he do?
What has he to offer to You?

Your Majesty, he's jumping
He's jumping

He's falling�
Into Your arms

Cool Hand Luke

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Protest Signs and Blues

"Is there anyone who
Ever remembers changing there mind from
The paint on a sign?
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
For something someone yelled real loud one time?" ---John Mayer

I've always disliked protesting. I personally don't see what it accomplishes. Most of the time, at least with student protesting like that on the campus of my college, it's just a lot of yelling. Sure it gets your attention, but most of the time if you stop and talk to them they really don't even know what they're talking about. You ask them what their solutions are for the issue and they have none, no arguments. If you're going to argue least HAVE an argument, a well thought out point about something and good suggestions on how to fix it so that maybe something will actually be done. Rather than yelling about the problem...come up with a way to solve it.

Lately however, its the "Christian Protestors" that get me. They stand there and yell at people walking by...things like "YOURE GOING TO HELL!!!" These people embarress me as a Christian. And if you say as much to them they just yell at you too b/c they think they're doing something good.

But when did Jesus ever ostracize people? I'm pretty sure he was in the business of loving people and people liked being around him, not ran the other way. Rich Mullins sang it best:

"The whores all seemed to love him and the drunks proposed a toast." -Rich Mullins

Jesus was in the world but not of it. He hung out in bars and loved people into the kingdom. Not many people being human can go into a bar and stand out like that, but the point is, sinners and otherwise...people were drawn to Jesus. Something about him just pulled you to that hope. Protesting my lifestyle would only offend me and make me want to be as far away from people like you as possible. Has anyone ever really stopped and said..."Oh're right, I really did not know I was living a life of sin until you just now pointed it out, please read the salvation prayer with me." I doubt it.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Eric Clapton Lyrics and Low Budget Films

Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." --- Luke 1:38

I am at a crossroads. And I don't mean a substandard Britney Spears movie. For the first time in my life I have no plan. I'm having to learn how to listen to God, and fully trust him. I know he will show me where to go next.

"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this." - Psalm 37:3-5

Things that have happened recently have caused me to take a step back and evaluate. I've realized things about myself that I never really knew. I've been wounded, but also strengthened. I've hurt, but also found a new sense of hope in God. I've had life changing experiences that cause me to understand things I never truly understood. And I've learned the value of things I took for granted.

"If you would be loved, be loveable." - Ovid

I've been thinking about my future husband.

I'm not ready to get married. I need time to prepare myself and be worthy of the husband God has for me. I have to learn to love God as my bridegroom. Only when I am content in him and him alone will I be able to give my love to a man. I give away my love easily. I'm vulernable and desire affection. These can be good things, but only after I find contentment in being single, and serving God. Only once I can trust him completely, and not look to a man to fufill me, will I find true fufillment. And in the meantime, I not only need to trust him completely for a Godly husband, but also prepare myself to be the kind of woman that man also deserves. If I'm going to set my standard high, I need to be worthy of that man's love.

"She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure." - Captivating

I realize now I need to not settle. When you are in love you overlook things that if you could take a step back and observe, you'd realize they are bigger than you let on. By no means is any man perfect, but a Godly man strives to please God with his life. He is strong and capable of protecting you and your relationship, capable of loving you deeply and passionately even while loving God more, and all the while growing and fufilling his callings. I need a man who is willing to lead. To guard our relationship and keep it pure. And I trust God completely to show me who that is, and in the meantime I continue to grow.

"I simply loved feeling wanted and fought for. This desire is set deep in the heart of every little girl---and every woman. Yet most of us are ashamed of it. We downplay it. We pretend it is less that it is." ---Captivating

I'm not ready to get married tomorrow, but I imagine in the next couple of years I may meet a man with which I can build a strong friendship with, eventually a relationship with, and know he's the one God was preparing me for. All my past experiences only force me to grow, learn, and appreciate my future husband for the extrodinary man he is. I don't expect him to be perfect, just perfect for me. And I know he will want to fight to keep me his.

Someone who cares about my details.

What next? I do not know. I'm excited though.

"You will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

I'm not running away from this
I'm not falling asleep
I'm not taking a bribe from anyone for anything
I'm not running away from this
I'm not falling asleep
I'm not turning back on the one thing that I know
Cool Hand Luke