Saturday, July 23, 2005
My summer has been absolutely breath taking. I haven't updated this thingy, but I feel moved to today. Today evil stared directly into my eyes and taunted me as if nothing I could ever say or do would challenge its existence. I know there is injustice in this world, I’ve been told -- I am avid in keeping up with the news. I sat down to have dinner with my host for the summer in honor of my and an underprivileged kid's birthday at Ryan's. First I want you to understand who this host is, this man is an awesome warrior for Jesus. He’s a single retired lawyer and his selflessness shines about him. He has volunteered as a foster parent for decades and ended up adopting one some odd years back. Since then his son graduated high school and joined the military. Now he is married and lives in North Carolina. Since his son's departure, he began a new project. This new project has proved to be the toughest and most disheartening. I've lived with Gary since May and we have discussed life and it's follies over and over again. On his refrigerator a quote adequately defines his philosophy of life:
" A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." Reader's Digest, January, 2002.
He loves kids. That is his passion in life, it always has been.
Now back to our conversation this evening. This underprivileged kid’s name is Jonathan. He was included in the newest project of Gary’s life. Jonathon just turned 19 and he was born with a brain tumor that left him mentally handicapped. There are three brothers in this family, each with a different father. Gary began this project five years ago when he received word via a business associate that this family was in desperate need. They had no money for clothes or food or anything any child deserves. When Christ calls us to have faith like children, what he is saying is that we are to not worry about provisions in life. We are not to worry about how life will work out or whether we will be accompanied by a mate till the end of our days or whether we are to maintain a decent level of health. Children are completely innocent in their stature. As a child you hold the belief that life is good, and that tomorrow holds endless possibilities. We must identify with this! We must strive to understand that there is a place where our trust is safe, a place where we are never rejected, a place where we are always listened to and cared for. This is what God longs to do for each of us, he really really really wants to serve us as Father of our lives. We should be capable of running up to God and grabbing his hand at any point in our lives without questioning whether there would be food to eat that night or not. These children were not able to play the role as children, just like the others scattered across the globe. This is injustice. Children should not have to worry about basic needs, how are we to have faith like children when we have never been able to play the role of child? So this is where Gary took action five years ago. He began by buying them cloths and food. He took them to games, invested hours upon hours of his life feeding these kids with a positive role model. One day during the first year he was with them another man reveals himself to the family and begins assisting Gary in helping out the family. This man’s ways and motives were a mystery to Gary until today. While we were eating supper his brother Jonathon shares what Gary had feared was true for the past three years. This other man in these boys’ life is there because he is driven by sexual motives. He has paid Tony for the past five years to do these things. Tony is 16 now. He has told Gary about all the pictures of children this mysterious man’s computer a few years ago, and they had him investigated, but apparently nothing happened. This man continues to lure these vulnerable ones with money and it is absolutely sick. The pedophile had an apartment for the past five years right across the street from the high school, how convenient is that? So we’ve unveiled the monster and here is the problem. Tony’s head is so poisoned with what society deems is important that he compromises sound morals in order to feel included with the fast pace world around him, have you ever related to this feeling? Have you ever felt like morals could be thrown out of the door so that we could be more valuable in the eyes of the monster which deems us valueless? Gary has fear this conclusion for years now. He has inquired and pried into Tony endlessly but he never responded. Tonight as we were talking he told me that he doesn’t even know if he could stand to be in the same car as Tony, he feels like he’s wasted the past five years of his life serving as a mentor. This is where I interjected though. This is when faith must be our only crutch to stand on. This is when you know you believe that unseen forces are at work and that your efforts are never wasted. Paul woos us to feast our eyes upon the unseen in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. He concludes this chapter of assurance with an amazing charge, "Therefore we do not lose heart.... our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all". This is powerful. Even though Gary has seen everything but God glorified through this relationship, there is still great hope and purpose in his labor. How often do we get blinded from reality? How often are we lost in giving glory to other things, things that poison our hearts and minds? There is yet great hope for us all. I want anyone who has read this to the end to stop, sit and think now. Think about what is important in your life. What are things you do now that poison who you strive to be, what are things that promote and serve everything you know are wrong? What are these things??? Put yourself in Tony’s shoes now. Now ask yourself the same question. Why do I, a 16 year old guy who loves to play tennis and go to jack in the box, submit myself to an obese man and do horrible favors for him? Tony is a victim to evil. Why do innocent people suffer? Why does the Almighty Creator not interject his life-giving powers and protect the innocense of this world? I challenge you to answer this question for yourself. I have my answer. It is one that was beautifully crafted by the experiences of my life. But it is my answer and mine alone.
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. 5He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Oh well. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing, but I'd really enjoy long-term mission work. The doors just haven't opened yet. I've got an interview at Lakeview March the 1st for assistant programs directing job this summer. That would be totally awesome if I had that job this summer... I know I would absolutely love it.
Lunch Bible study and Fish Care Group are going awesome. I'm totally blessed every second God uses me in those groups. It’s so awesome accepting the role as servant and allowing Him to use you to a point at which you know its not your strength sustaining you anymore. It feels like Kamp all over again... haha I love it! Being exhausted for Christ! My Triathlon training is put on hold due to my ankle injury... its still swollen and very week so I can't run. I've been biking though! I love road biking it’s so energizing and freakin awesome. In April I’m doing the MS150 ride from Houston to Austin with my roomy. My quiet times are a must. I've become so dependent upon them I really don't have a choice. If I don't spend an hour or so just falling in love over and over again I have a horrible day. I know some fokes are like well I don't have to read everyday... but I totally disagree man the Word does not return void! it comes with power! anyways... I seriously have 5 hours of schoolwork to do today.
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord Proverbs 11:1
Friday, January 28, 2005
Saturday, January 15, 2005
I finished A Longing for Holiness by Wesley. Very sweet book.
update:: I am still a freakin sinner!
my plan was to be sinless this break but.. ya know as always that plan doesn't work out too well.
So let me tell you about something that matters.
My walk this break had its ups and downs but man in the midst of a down God totally reconciled myself back to Him, and brothas and sistas it swept me away. So I was doing one of my consistent events and pondering on what I had been reading and learning about when God just kinda gives me some sweet information. Man you gotta love when that happens--very cool. It felt like I was a freakin brand spankin new CPU installing the newest and hottest first person shooter game of all time on the first day of release! .... well it was just really cool.
But, this data installation, if you will, was the same message I have heard all of my Christian walk.
God said, "Ryan you know how to live, I've taken care of that with my new convenant. My Counselor is within you. Now live free from the bonds of sin, Go."
So I'm like cool... so what makes this special is that the definition of those words have been defined in a spiritual sense. Words with heavenly meaning have no meaning unless heavenly knowledge is given. God also told me that he would more than love to fill my head full of every bit of heavenly knowledge possible, but it will require myself to truly live because understanding how to truly live is found on a daily basis from the heavenly knowledge God provides.
So how can i truly live to the fullest every second of my life?
Seek heavenly knowledge on what truly living is.
Whats cool is that only God knows how your life can be lived to the fullest because He is the only one who knows your future plans of prosperity and significance.
I cannot live and not suffer, because when I suffer for the cause of Christ I truly live. I cannot live and consider myself capable of producing significance, because if I claim all significance in Christ I realize there is nothing significant about myself and on about Him. Php 1:21 "To live is Christ, to die i gain"
Christ is the Spring of life that must quench every desire. It is the only thing that will satisfy your soul. Seeking satisfaction from the world will only harden your heart towards God and possibly transform yourself into an enemy of God.
Matthew 6:24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
In order to live and never thirst again; in order to live and reject the thought of gathering and filling cisterns in order to satisfy thirst, we must drink, feed, be nourished by the source, the flow, the rush found in a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ that is in continuous, flesh aching battle with the Prince of the Earth.
"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
When sin is welcomed by man's free will, not only are they separated from God until repentance, but they are transformed into a "sin magnet" if you will. Sin crouches outside of your door. You have no choice but to open the door and either master the next specialized temptation that Satan has specifically prepared for you to stumble on, or be mastered and live in darkness as a captive to sin.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on youwell now I think I'm gunna get to bed... get up early and go to school!