live & acoustic
it means not rehearsed or scripted. not pre-recorded... just live and acoustic.
i'm exhausted. but tonight was worth it.
if you're supposed to have a personal relationship with God, don't organize it. - Spencer Chamberlain
hon est y ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-st)n. pl. hon es ties
The quality or condition of being honest; integrity.
Truthfulness; sincerity: in all honesty.
next time. i promise.
i'm not saying it's not important. logistics and admin stuff and such.
but seriously. seriously. i'm going to punch someone if anyone starts talking about this and that problem, or why this or that won't work, or this and that.
and honestly. when someone like me starts to get sick of talking logistics. you know something's seriously out of whack.
where's the joy?
instead of being known as the church that gets into so-and-so drama...
instead of the yg whose leadership team is wholly messed up and performance driven...
instead of a worship time that's so cool with drums and electric and bass...
instead of being so engrossed into the next A or paycheck...
instead of knowing pop culture and sports cars better than knowing God's Word,
we were known as the church that prays. we were known as the ministry that, yeah, we're messed up.. broken, prone to wander, anger, frustrate... but God's got us. we were known as the church who might have all the instruments in the world, but that's not the point, it's who is worthy behind our worship that matters. that when people talk about our church, our yg, this ministry, they say... "wow, they're prayer warriors. wow, they're on fire for God. from the junior high, to the elders in the chinese ministry. they're a church who desperately seek God's presence in their lives."
this was something i kept thinking about as sam and i led the prayer time last night. and it was so good praying for and with the different classes we saw, and realizing how every age group really did have our own struggles and hardships that we're aching to escape from.
"what if we did this every week without prompts? what if people just say, hey let's go to the library on a thursday and check out books on poverty. what if we made this a month long thing and turn this into something of action?"
after the announcements, one of the kids on swavt approached me to talk about union station. we ended up talking for a really long time as he shared about misconceptions about evangelism and how if he could describe this yg with one word, it'd be sheltered.
and it's true. i was sheltered before college -- i still am to an awfully large extent. but i feel like this next week, this next month, is part of a process to rip those comforts off. and it'll be awkward, scary, frightening process where i'm sure a lot of us won't have any idea what God's doing.
but you know what? it'll be so deeply good. these are holy moments man. i'm excited =]
i could yell. rebuke. come up with a laundry list of reasons. but that'd do no good. i could scream until my face was blue about how stinking privileged we are and how we shaunt be complaining and how God does love all peoples of all nations.
sometimes i wish i could shake that into people.
God's shaking >> my shaking.
but it's okay. i'm okay... really :). something i thought about before the joint gcf/ccf event a few months ago, especially when i thought all the gcf-ers would be studying and wouldn't come out, was that you really do what you can. and the rest is up to God. it's that delightful mix of the active and passive that leaves me pushing yet submitting.
you asked me what was the worst that could happen. and i said for this summer to be over, and for us to feel like it was fun. cool. lots of hanging out. and leave it at that. i don't want that... i want this summer to be something that shakes our notions of normality and summer up. i want this summer to push and challenge and open eyes and hearts and minds. and to me, the worst that could happen is leaving the summer the same as we came in.
something i have a hard time trusting is that God will work through that. we may be planting seeds, or watering ones. a lot of people had to do a whole lot of splashing in my life for me to feel as burdened for things of justice as i do now. (as um... x, you could tell by my soapbox last night about compassion vs. justice :P) but it's okay. ultimately, God will redeem.
and i like the rain. so today's a good day :)
facedown.. this carpet tastes like coffee grounds ground into my face now...
"What?" He looked over at her as she looked in disdain at the email.
"Someone asked me to lead another bible study next weekend. I want to do it, but... I don't know when I have time for it." Her eyes skimmed the email on the blinking screen, mentally making a note of the time and date. "Do you have a pen?" He nodded and tossed the ballpoint he was twirling in his fingers to her. She caught it effortlessly, and wrote the time and date on the back of her left hand. "Well, I already kind of have the study planned for our trip to the soup kitchen, right? And I've done studies like this before during the school year... so I can just probably do it before work sometime this weekend. And..." She paused. "What?"
"It's not nothing. What?"
"It's just.. " He sighed, then walked over and took the pen back from her. "You're doing so much already. With work and your small group and all these different.. things that people keep asking you to do. Don't you get tired?"
"Jeez, I do get tired. But I hope that the people around me would encourage me when I do have stuff and not... yell.."
"I'm not yelling at you. Just..." He sighed and gave the pen back. "Just.. don't overexert yourself, okay?"
She twiddled the pen between her thumb and index finger. "Sometimes... sometimes I feel like it's all a game. I'm playing this game with God, with the people around me, with myself where I try so hard to serve and do this or that and I don't know what to --... I don't know. I'm so scared of losing that game, you know?"
".. do you think He'd let you?"
// inspired by an x.
i wish you were a stranger i could disengage.
my judgemental heart
how do you know justice until you have seen injustice? i've been "studying" justice for the past two years. i've done thesis papers on what it means for poverty to be sin, i've taken writing seminars on what it means for socioeconomics and racial background to affect liberties, governments, tragedies. and i thought i knew what it meant. i thought i knew what justice was.
then i went to new york. and that "i know what i'm talking about"s flew out the third story window of a broken down apartment in the bronx... and deciminated to a ... what the heck am i doing at my job. at my major. in my life. why am i learning about how acceleration affects time paradoxes and not doing something more tangible with my faith?
my small group leader emailed me yesterday, forwarding me the email i'd first sent him about wanting to go to nycup. i'd be meaning to call him lately.
he's going to the city.
and for some reason, i feel like i should be doing that too.
"yes, the city's scary. yes, inner city social justice is a hard, hard issue. yes, it will be a leap of faith. but i'm tired of this 'maybe' crap. none of this, 'i might have to work that day.' take a day off. or 'i have to think about it.' honestly, how long does it take for you to think? it's either a flat out no, or a 'yes i'm scared.. but i know God will be faithful.'" -- m. (maybe you should tell the rest of the yg this too.)
so beautiful and loud, fury filled and we collide
what does the sound of a heart breaking sound like?
since i've gotten home from school, one of the hardest things to witness is just how much.. is broken back home. it's so hard not to fall into times of despair and just... God, where do we go from here? i feel like these past few days have been filled with one heart breaking conversation after another about how relationships with other people are broken and seem hopeless, or how the current state about my home church's youth group seems hopeless, or how things in this world are just not the way they're supposed to be, and...
... sometimes i don't know what else to do but listen.
when they feel that despair, that brokenness, that helplessness... i feel like my heart's breaking alongside their's.
and if my heart aches this much, how much moreso does our Dad's?
are you the cactus, or the balloon?
// i think i'm more of a balloon. afraid of getting hurt.
the best part of work today? my desk is right near the coffee maker =]
// oh yeah, and the nice long lunch breaks. wanna have lunch?
so i finally started the holiness qt book that i've been meaning to start for a while.
Many people have found the words "let go and let God" helpful. Nevertheless, they raise a serious issue about holiness which Christians disagree. Some see holiness as a work of God to which the Christian makes no contribution. My part as a Christian is simply to relinquish control. His part is to work through me. My efforts to strive after holiness will be unavailing. In me -- that is, in my flesh -- dwells no good thing so that I have nothing of value to contribute. I therefore trust, that is, I rest in His goodness. I do not struggle to control my temper, but allow Christ to handle my angry feelings. I say with Paul, Not I, but Christ. It is as though, like a sea captain, I have been up to this point at the helm of my life, and now Another is going to take over. Even faith is seen as a passivity of the will -- a resting and a relaxing, not a seizing or appropriating.
it's that passive faith that we're all so used to. and it's not a bad thing -- it's a good thing. for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (philip. 2:13). but there's also the verse before it -- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
i think i'm realizing lately how i tend to go to one extreme or another -- i either fall into the whole, wow i can't do anything, so i'll just be passive about my faith and let God take care of the rest. or, i'll develop this supahwoman kind of mentality and try to tackle it all on my own.
Yet to Paul there seems to be no conflict between the first part of the sentence and the second. We are to work because God is working in us.
yeeeeah man... =]
black turned white.
a recording of a song my friend from school wrote on the way to church today reminded me of that. black turned white. there's this one line in the bridge that says, glory to the God who turns black to white. He does just that.
for the first time in a long time, i feel like these past 24 hours have been surrendered to God.
i hope you have a dream tonight that you remember in the morning.
i don't know
take battle scars and waste Your angels on me
'cause when You ask me if I love You
in all i do, at best I say "i don't know.."
1. Paul was lonely...
hm. pg. 1882
i think tonight has made me realized just... how wholly not enough i am.
No matter what, I hope you guys know that you’re not alone. You have brothers and sisters who are here for you, who are praying for you, and who you can go to individually or as a group. But even if you were to strip everything and everyone away, the most important thing is that there’s still God. And He is more than enough. I think it’s something that we all know but to really believe it can be hard. Let’s continue to pray for each other. For the incoming freshmen, for our brothers and sisters in other fellowships, for our brother and sisters in our own, for our families, for the people of this world. Yea it’s overwhelming, but God’s got it under control. So pray with open ears and open hearts. I miss you guys. But I say/write it with a smile cause God is good. And He's with you guys. As always. =)
"this is it, simeon."
"it's on. it's started. he's started."
".. who's he?"
"when Jesus rises on this day... Satan knows it's on. he knows that he's lost... that Jesus has conquered even death itself, and has come back to claim His loved ones."
".... wendy, are you okay?"
"but satan's not giving up that easily. he's desperate."
"and he's going to do whatever he can to get us away from that Truth."
"that's the question simeon. are we ready?"
// and then he thought i was crazy and asked to pray for/with me, haha. but yeah... for some reason, i remember that night. i remember the urgency i felt, the desperation, the spiritual tension. it feels muffled here for some reason.... but isn't that the question? even satan knows it's on. do we?
something i confessed to two brothers as we entered riverwalk for the first (but definitely not last) time this month: i'd feel a lot more comfortable sharing the gospel and talking to people in the inner city, in subways, in pastoral action centers in new york city than in the sunny, quaint downtown area of naperville. how odd. i'm scared of suburbia o_O
maybe it's the fact that we all hide our brokenness so well. it feels so contrived, so well put together, well polished and well sewn. somehow, the city feels more real to me. i need to learn how to love my surroundings better =/
but God is here too, in our comfortable potato of a world. our God is near, our God is here, salvation is here, here is our king. here here here. not there, not impending coming, not came. but here. in the right now.
11:15 pm edit: snidbits of a phone convo w/a brother --
"suburban evangelical projects is a whole another ballpark that needs to be analyzed.. they feel safe. if you tell them God's the only way to be safe, they're not gonna get it cause they're already comfortable. if you tell them they're sinners, they're say back, what are you talking about? we're not evil. telling them God is the only way to be secure is something completely foreign to them."
man... so true :/
from one perspective
// do you know what ads were next to the email you sent?
know the secret to men? no, guess not...
how to get your ex back! no thanks...
need a friend? ... =/
have you heard about theearthquake in yogyakarta, indonesia? it's a few hours from where i was in the summer. i got really nervous because it's a place a lot of people visit and stuff...and interestingly the site of some of the largest buddhist and hindu temples in the world...
ps. does anyone have a copy of kingdom come by allen wakabayashi?
pps. something else i realized this morning as i'm typing away. right after i called james to wake him up for the college mtg this morning, two leaders from back home IMed me -- my sg leader, and my pt leader, asking how things were, joking around, etc. and even though i hadn't talked to them in weeks... i realized how open and honest i am with them about the here and now. i openly told my pt leader how i was upset and frustrated i was at the administration back home and how i'm kinda not knowing what to do about youth vs. college and such. then my pt leader, knowing how excited i was when i shared about all this stuff during our mtgs, told me he knew me and knew i could do it, and said that we both know it's worth it.. i believed him, 'cause these are the people who have seen struggle and frustrate and extended truckloads of grace these past few months. i don't know if i know how to relate to anyone here about that anymore...