Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Soul that yearns for love

What is love? I bet that the next line you thought of was "baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more". right? yeah.. nothing like really bad 90's techno to make ya laugh eh?

I've been reading a book lately called Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus. Basically it's a journal-style book broken down into 3 categories: love, destiny and meaning. The section on love was so amazing. We often hear that God is love (1 John 4:7). To my facebook friends you have seen many quotes about it lately. I will leave you with a few in a bit, but moving on:

What IS love anyways? emotional attachment? a deep respect? romance? Erotica? It can be any of said things. In a nutshell, all of us want to belong somehow, we all want to belong to a community because even the lone wolves seemingly run in packs. Contact with the real world-it's not optional; it's essential. We are created for relationship. We are born for community. For us to be healthy, we must be a part of others. Independence is one thing; isolation is another. The more we live disconnected lives, the more indifferent we become to the well-being of others- Erwin MC

We often ask ourselves the question-does anyone really care? Like REALLY care? Most come to the conclusion of No. Such a tragic place to live in. I've been there, it hurts like none other. A feeling of seclusion, loneliness  depression and hurt. Some believe that feeling never ends. So you join the disconnect, and seek to end the darkness by any means necessary. This also means suicide: a dark place to be, and not the resort that should be taken. I admit I thought of it not long before I made the choice to follow Jesus, but I turned it down for various reasons. 1) I knew it would wreck my family. 2) I knew that there were people who cared, I just didn't see it. 3) The Holy Spirit.

Back on love: I long for romance. I can be a little cheesy at times and don't care much for chick flicks (because of their phony predictable outcome)  but I like a story of a redeeming love because it reminds me of the boundless love Christ has for the world. I long for a girl to love me that unconditionally (forgive me if this goes far, but I digress). The loneliness about not belonging to someone cuts very deep, especially since two of my ex's left me for another with no legitimate explanation.

When I see many of my friends enter new relationships, propose, marry and have kids and I admit I am slightly envious of them but very exited for them as well. Is it so wrong I want that? That I seek the attention of my possible future wife? And soon? Maybe before years end (not engaged but dating of course).. or what ever God's timeline is. Such things have shattered my manhood, making me rather timid and weak, also shattering my world view on God's precious women.. I wrestled with trust issues with them for a while afterwards. I'm mostly over it.  I'm seeking God but honestly have my doubts. I've failed God when it comes to love with something that is opposite to it. Not hate, but lust. The human heart is not meant to be a container for both hate and lust. Love embraces and leaves no room for violence. 

To close this off, I leave you with a few more passages from Soul Cravings


All of us know how cold it is outside. It is almost unbearable out there. Especially when we're alone, isolated, lonely. You were never meant to be........alone


Love is not a four-letter word
All you need is love
God IS love.

I seek after His love, and long for hers. Wherever she is...my chase is making me weak. Give me relentlessness Lord!! I wait on you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ramblings

I had a lunch with PJ and we talked about many things. One thing that came up is the lack of or insane among of accountability that bible colleges do or lack. There are two examples of the extreme: one is at Emmanuel. Now I love EBC dearly, but there are some rules set in place that can be reactionary. Like: their stance on drinking is to be smart about it and don't get hammered. Some came from bars out of it, reaction? I think so, like saying "lets push the envelope and do something risky". Other colleges have ridiculous rules that lose them money from dropouts. One person and your down $10,000 + . Discipline is lacking. One or two events that have transpired during my time at EBC comes to mind. I will respectively not mention it, but some know what
I mean. Churches do the same and have such a stance against alcohol depending on the denomination.

Accountability is something that has to be sought after individually, which can be a pitfall. I have had countless accountability partners in my faith and life. When I started it, I thought it was kind of a confession booth, like Catholic churches have. Man was I wrong. What I am getting at here is that schools need to do a better job for preparing Christians for the real world. Some books by Duffy Robbins, Don Miller and Jack Van Impe (okay that last one was a lie) are what preps us. When we get into real life, we're trampled or we trample them. Co-op programs like I am doing are so beneficial because I am allowed to make mistakes now rather than later!!!! haha.. (kidding.. well..kind of). The way I see that is, say I become a youth pastor at a church or a director at an agency and I make dumb mistakes then: I learn too late. Training in co-ops pay off and are such a blessing. We want to go "the bible says so...." when its not relevant to.

The more I think about life, the more I learn things the hard way.

-as a kid: I learn the hard way that the stove and irons are hot.
- As a teen: learn the hard way the harmful and unpleasant effects of alcohol. Hangovers suck
- In ministry: I learn the hard way I dont have all the answers when I WANT to.
- That ministry requires not what the books say: relationships, programs and authenticity but a combination of them. Take the program: see how it;s made relevant to them and build the relationships based on it. Authenticity comes from it all.
- Evangelism is not saying "be saved or else". but a relational process over time that may allow for a lifestyle change.
- I learn the hard way: life is not always peachy in the faith. I feel let down by God at times. Like the past 18 months have been the hardest and worst in my life thus far. There are days I feel like crud, days when my cup is full, half full, empty or shattered. There are days I don;t want to read my bible, but pout and lie in bed. It's life. Psalm 23 says: although we walk in the valley of death, you are with me, I fear no harm (NASB)\
Christian life is always confused with happiness; that we are always Ned Flanders and nothing can rip that ear-to-ear botox induced grin off our faces. If only.

And, something that came out of a discussion: Christians are the only religion where we worry about our salvation. Do lack of good deeds take us to hell? When Jesus says useless branches are cut off, what does he mean? What about salt losing its saltiness? Enlighten me if you will. The go to verse for this would be "I'll never leave or forsake you" (Genesis 28:15) But what if we walk away?

Comment with what you think, I'd love to hear your response

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Insanity that is Playoff Hockey



Those who know me well know I love my sports especially hockey. This year's Stanley Cup Playoffs is no exception, with many series going 7 games and the occasional overtime tilt the teams have stepped it up. Now, we're on the brink of the best game of all: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks both get a birth to the finals for the first time since the 90's: Boston in 1990 (losing to Edmonton) and Vancouver in 1994 (losing to NY Rangers). Over the past few games, or series some rabid team fans have been, lets say a little over the top. In the playoffs, dedicated team fans turn the mic up to 11 and proclaim their team is the best til the cows come home. Some, who follow teams out of contention jump on the bandwagon to do the same. Vancouver has it's share of jokes and superfans with their Green Men. Now I admit, I am a huge fan of these obnoxious drunks. Their antics have been mostly fun and in decent taste; from taking cardboard cut outs of Chicago's Vince Vaughn, Nashville's Carrie Underwoood and Boston's Cam Neely and putting Canuck jerseys on them to meeting and greeting Nicole Kidman and Toby Keith during a Nashville game; in spandex and all.

In the finals, it seems some fans get a little wackier and out of line. Just because one despises Boston like I do. I would never do what some Vancouver natives did: spilling beer on a Bruin Milan Lucic's elderly grandparents, yelling at another Bruin players family and starting fights. Bruin fans have uttered death threats at Vancouver fans. It's really scary when you think of the dedication one has to a sport or team. Quite over the top. It's also become a war of the countries and I admit in getting caught up in it. I'm not perfect. I REALLY want to see a Canadian team win the cup, except if its Montreal or Ottawa.

In 2004 Boston played Montreal in the opening round of the playoffs. It started with Boston booing during the entire singing of Oh Canada in a classless act. Back in Canada, they cheer the entire singing of the US anthem. I'm not saying Canada is classier or better, but it shows you who has potential to take the high road. However, Montreal has its share of bat crap crazy fans by setting fires and tipping cars of Boston fans, and even booing the Star Spangled Banner themselves.

Every sport has its dumb fans, every team has superfans but most of them are smart. The occasional dummie ruins it for everyone and tarnishes that cities reputation. Passion is one thing, but it often goes too far. I bet if a Boston fan gets trampled to death if Canucks win the cup tomorrow, nobody will care because it's an opposing team supporter. Terrible. Cheer for your favorite team but be smart, be wise. And if your team loses, don't pull a LeBron James and blame God. Be Wise and GO CANUCKS! Know where to draw the line and enjoy the ride!

 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17