Monday, July 31, 2006

Finding a hobby

I've been trying my hand at indoor rock climbing lately, and it's pretty cool. I'm not very good. My friends say I'm all arms, and I take a really long time to get up simple walls, but I had a good experience with it so I might take it up. Last Saturday I tried a 5.9 level wall, which is higher than anything I've done before. I worked my way up painfully, relying too much on my arms and killing my strength. Then I hit this spot that I just couldn't get. There was this hold that was just a bumpy mound of plastic, and you had to pull urself up on it to reach the next footing. After 10 minutes of struggling, I just gave up. My friends let me down and gave me some encouraging words, but it was pretty disappointing. The first wall of the day is your best chance at surpassing your previous level, so I was getting left behind. My friends had already done the wall in about 8 minutes.. (Then some little asian girl did it after them equally fast...)

But I hit that sucker again. My bro's kept my rope tight and coached me up to the point where I had failed before. I stopped, looking down at them, gave the 'thumbs up,' and lept for that bumpy mound. I grabbed it well, but my foot slipped and I flew off. Bummer. I tried again, same deal. I just couldn't get it, and I sat there swinging in my harness looking dejected. There would be no giving up this time though, my friends were holding that rope patiently, telling me to go on. One of them said I wasn't getting a drive home if I didn't finish. So I just kept trying. It was a stroke of luck that I ever made it past that stupid hold. Even after that I still had struggles. But the main deal is my pals stuck it out with me for about 45 minutes on a wall that took them less than 10. They were proud of me, and I was couldn't have done it without them.

So I think I'm gonna take up rock climbing, see what happens.. Hopefully I'll get to the point where I don't get punked by little asian girls all the time.

This quote is for a friend... not really related to the above.
"Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you beome what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible's astounding words about God's love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God does?" Phillip Yancey, What's So Amazing about Grace

Friday, July 21, 2006

The only fashion debate you'll ever need to worry about

I've been having a recurring conversation about what constitutes a murse, or 'man-purse' as some refer. The English language lacks some standardized criteria for the word, which really wasn't anyone's problem until male icon Jack Bauer (who's face has graced this blog and many others) appeared on TV with this bag. For more pics, check out (go to episode 1, pic 11,12 or episode 16, pic 5),

This bag has challenged the model of an ideal male, divided friends, and held a lot of guns and cool stuff Jack has used to kill people.

So what do we classify it as? Some say murse, others satchel. Webster's has no clear definition for either, so don't bother. It's up to the common person. So I'm throwing it out there, what do you think?

Make an argument for your stance, we're looking for cold logic here. No majority, no feelings. Pure critical reasoning folks. In two weeks I'll give a tally of the best arguments, and hopefully some definitions of 'satchel' and 'murse.'

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

tonight's care-taking shift

so i'm working at my church as a care-taker. setting up chairs, emptying trash, helping random people... it's a good job when i have a good attitude. For example, when I'm emptying the numerous office trash cans, sometimes I get these neat little obstacles that can add a lot of fun to a relatively mundane task. Gum is cool, cause it acts as a adhesive for little pieces of garbage. Dirty kleenex's have to be tackled with a little strategy to avoid touching moist parts. But the best is, by far, half-full coffee cups. My dad is better at this than every other pastor. Tonight he had around four, which made for a pretty ncie trashcan flip into the large bag. Can't mess those ones up. Coffee stains are never fun.

Anyhow, I think I'm a pretty cool janitor. I try not to be bitter, and be nice to the youth that come in and out of church. Sometimes I think they find me intimidating cause when I find them loitering I tell them where their program is "in case they're looking for it." I gave one some free yogurt from the kitchen today... just to show that I'm cool too.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stabbed in the heart with a Sloppy-Joe

I'm learning a lot these days. A mixture of good reading, down-time, and some testing experiences are serving me well. I'm learning a lot about myself. Don Miller, in Blue Like Jazz, mentions this chef that told him he was able to clean-up after messy, ungrateful people everyday because of JC. He said something like, "Don, every morning I die to myself."
I got angry at him because he was so convicting. I like to think that in the future, I'll be pretty hardcore with the Great Commission, diffinitely not serving and cleaning at a Christian retreat centre. I'm just too committed to Jesus for that.
You get the picture. So I'm going to try and judge people less, and focus on the Great Commandment before trying to fake it out in the Great Commission.

It'd be cool to meet this chef, or one like him, and just make a beautiful mess. Maybe I'd drop a Sloppy-Joe. Then watch him as he comes out in with his messy apron, gets the mop, and goes to work, all the while humming some hymn and looking pleasant.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

is anyone able to coach me on how to set up something cool looking for my blog. like how Josh has a pic behind his title

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

two little things. Check out my sidebar. I added a friend, his name is Russell. He's got a worthwhile blog about universalism amongst other things.
I'm also gonna switch that top link to the talk soon, so listen to it SOON, cause it's stinking wicked. About adopting eternal values to guide your life decisions.

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Love: communion

Rev 2:14 "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first."

When in North Africa it hit me that I had really ignored this problem in my life, even though it's a pretty common one. I give things like daily devo's and lust a lot of attention, but the heart of it all gets lost. So I'm committing myself to learn loads about this topic, and apply it. I read a super sermon by Spurgeon,
He's got a couple devotionals and commetaries on the passage. Blue letter bible can really hook you up if you check Rev2:4 out (and if you're looking for a little love, Spurgeon can do better than me).

Spurgeon outlines what's it like to live in the first love, which I found useful. But for now, all I want to comment on is the section that most hit me. Here's a quote,

"Dost thou not think, again, that thou hast lost thy first love by neglecting communion with Christ? Now preacher, preach honestly, and preach at thyself. Has there not been, sometimes, this temptation to do a great deal for Christ, but not to live a great deal with Christ? One of my besetting sins, I feel, is this. If there is anything to be done actively for Christ, I instinctively prefer the active exercise to the passive quiet of his presence."

I can relate to this. In the go go activism of C4C, the Inductive Bible Studies, the prayer requests, and everything else, I stopped having the... what should i call it. Waiting for a small little voice to go off in my head while I refrain from sleep? Getting that nice feeling? That's what I often saw communion with God as. But here's what I think now. Child-like expectancy. I think it was pride before that made me make such a difficult thing of communing with God. Not only did it require patience, but it's intellectually difficult. "I DO my Christian activities, i can figure them out. Why do I have to stop everything and listen, especially when I don't really know what to listen to?"

Child-like faith is simple. It doesn't get caught up in the guilt of sin or the pride of working hard for the cause, or the worries of circumstance. It can wait in the unshaking grace of God (Jesus loves me, this I know) and just expect.

To the beautiful peeopl that read this unshapely attempt at describing a quest for Godly communion, I hope you all are putting in the faith to listen to the gentle whisper of the soul. Read some of those Spurgeon commentaries, he's a passionate read.