Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Birthday

Growing up I never liked the acknowledgment of my birthday. I would desire to be allowed to stay home from school and I would rejoice the years when my birthday was on a Saturday. I did not like birthday cards, while I loved what normally came inside them. I did not even like having birthday parties. My goal was to always have a bon fire or something around the time of my birthday so that people could come over but that I was not "special" for the occasion. A few of my favorite birthday memories include, having someone fall down the stairs while holding my sweet new voice recorder and then listening to the thuds over and over again. That was a great party. I also enjoyed my first birthday at college because no one knew, and my parents forgot. My least favorite birthday memories were when everyone sang to me on the bus, I cried when I got off the bus. I also remembered when I turned 20 and my grandma who always sends me 50 bucks sent me 20 for my 20th. That was sad. Probably my main disappointment over the years was wanting something unparticular, telling my family, and not getting it. I would always expect to get it, but disappointingly get something else. The other thing would be cool, like a Foosball table, but because I wanted something simple, and normally less expensive than the other gift, I would always be disappointed. Like the year I wanted a game called splat but got a game called sorry. While sorry is actually cooler than splat, I wanted splat and therefore didn't like sorry.

Overall, it was never the gift or remembering the day, it was always being special that I did not like most. It was not like I accomplished something or did something great, I just didn't die for another year. Birthdays have always made me just simply want to be praised for something that I have actually done or worked for, and for this reason most birthdays have been a disappointment.

I have felt this way for many years, and now that I have written it out, I feel better about it. See there is a point to having a blog.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

The dream

Imagine beginning your day and just feeling like something is off. You have no reason to believe that there is anything wrong but you simply feel off. You continue your day as if everything were okay but as you go about your schedule you just know that something is wrong. Then it happens…always different but always the same…you bite down on something and crack a tooth…you feel a tooth is loose and before you know it that tooth falls out…or you hit your mouth on something and accidentally knock a tooth out. It’s painful…every time. It’s bloody…every time. And every time it happens you think, “this is just like in my dream.” Each and every time is just like in my dream. It always happens differently and it is always so real. I think or say out loud, “I knew it would eventually happen, and today’s the day.” And then it happens again, another tooth. Again painful…again bloody. Sometimes it ends here with a mouth full of blood other times they all fall out. The end result is always the same: Hopeless, Pain, Sickening…

I have a reoccurring nightmare of pain and blood where my teeth fall out about two or three times a month. Every night it is real and every night I wake up feeling hopeless, pain, and sick. And the odd thing about all of this is that I actually hope for the day when my teeth do fall out so that I will know that it truly is a dream.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The dye has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or back away. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future secure. I’m done with low living, sight walking, small planning colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals: I no longer need pr-eminence, prosperity, positions, promotions, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, live by prayer and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.”

-Extreme Devotion, Voice of the Martyrs, pg 150-

To you, I am invisible

Recently I had a very meaningful conversation that taught me a lesson far beyond the conversation that actually took place. “To you, I am invisible.” I was looked directly in the eyes and told that every time you walk by you act as if I’m invisible. You may even look at me, look directly into my eyes but not acknowledge that I exist. I may be in the wrong place and in need of someone to just point me to where I need to go, we may have even talked before and you know who I am and where I belong, but yet you leave me there wondering where I need to be. You leave me thinking that I must have messed up. You left me thinking that it was my mistake. You could have simply said three words and given me the answer but instead you looked directly at me and ignored me. This conversation continued with her say how Christians should not act this way and that this community of believers should be THE place where people are not invisible. That this should be THE place where people know they are loved and encouraged. She said that you need to do better at this and you need can not go on treating people like this. The conversation ended with encouraging words and I walked away understanding what she said but feeling exhausted from the conversation.

From this random encounter I learned how someone could feel when he or she experiences being invisible to a community with searching eyes. The sadness and hopelessness of being in the room but completely excluded. I learned how we need to be intentional in our interaction and to always be sure to treat others as important friends who mean as much to us as they do the Lord.

Through this random encounter I also learned that a little communication slip could cause you to completely lose your audience. One little grammatical error, such as saying you inclusively when you mean exclusively can cause the one with whom you are talking, to feel invisible or defensive.

So as you walk around, keep your head held high. Talk with those around you, be a friend to those in need, be the Samaritan Neighbor. And as you talk with those around you, remember to communicate effectively so as not to lose your point in taking a stand.

The Beginning

Over the past few months I have been having a desire to read. This may seem an odd way to begin a blog but it really is the beginning. Growing up, I NEVER liked to read. I was so against the whole concept that it took until 4th grade before I really understood that it was actually important and that I should learn how. So after graduating from college and never “having” to read again, I gained the desire. I started with some practical books on ministry and than began the Old Testament. After finishing, my desire had subsided but than I began thinking about all the events and thoughts that I could write. Thus the blog desire began, but along with this beginning came the beginning of school and the end of free time. As I have conversations with people I think about how I could word my thoughts into a blog and how it could be related to other situations in life. So tonight at 2:10 I lay on the couch giving up on the desire to sleep and giving in to the desire to begin a blog. Thus it begins.