(w)Hole

We meet and begin the perils of getting to know one another.

We converse, find out each other’s interests, compare notes, and see what we like.

But then comes an interesting thing.

Do we really choose if we’re friends or acquaintances, or do we just resolve to knowing what we both look like?

We send sweet nothings through text messages, yet if we’re in the same room couldn’t even manage a sentence.

See the problem?

Digital friendship is as productive as shooting your own feet off and then trying to walk.

If you really want to know someone, why don’t you try putting the phone down and talk?

You don’t even have to get rid of the phone so much, if you really think you’ll die without Instagram.

Just take a break from Pintrests and Facebook for even five minutes, and dial a phone number.

Hearing a voice is such a luxury,

It’s like conversation is a diamond ring at the bottom of the sea.

Aspects of it’s beauty are remembered, replicated, and mass produced

While it’s true uniqueness is aged and forgotten, a lost unappreciated part of history.

Relationships ending and divorce seem to be constants,

But yet people say it doesn’t make any sense.

Well when it’s more common for contact to be made digitally than personally,

How do you suppose anyone actually gets to know each other?

A heart with holes, some are born that way and some unfortunately get them along the way.

But I want to see the day that these hearts with holes are broken no longer,

And all the lives once lost and rejected, people left alone, will be made WHOLE.

My Heart is a Dumbbell

My heart is a dumbbell.

It’s both a muscle and weight that I carry every day,

I exercise it, feel it’s beat, fear it’s speed, hear it’s repeat.

This bomb inside my chest, sometimes feels like an atom bomb headed for the earth’s core.

 

Tear me open, cut it up, what did you find?

This heart broken, tattered, and put back together several times.

Repentant and ugly, pulsing and struggling.

Beating so hard, pumping so much blood, it’s a messy collage of perseverance.

 

But my heart will not be a slave, no not once.

For chains that once bound me are now broken,

The innocence and cleanliness I’ve been told could never exist in me , that was stolen;

Now lives in me.

 

But it’s a two way partnership.

My heart only stays clean, you see, if I take care of it as well.

If I put it on a tray for others to cut deep and never have it repaired,

Then what business do I have being surprised when my pressures abound, and my heart beat is impaired?

I know I have a messed up heart, but does that stop my head?

I mean think about it. You put your heart out at risk, no matter what’s going on, you don’t take care of it,

What’s going to happen?

Will your heart remain committed and clean, or will it convince you that rest can be found in the dark and bleak?

 

For out of your heart comes all your love, cares, joy, and life.

Why if you take care of it, would you let it be sliced up by a dirty knife?

God purify our hearts, that we may love again.

Blot out the stains of sin on our blood smeared hearts and hands, that we may find resilience

in this pursuit of Happiness & Perseverance.

 

My heart is a dumbbell, I once thought  was really heavy.

But then you met me and said, give me that weight you’ve been baring.

I’m glad your training, but it’s still too much for you alone, and I would love to help you with it by carrying,

Carrying some of the weight, taking it off you and letting you know progress.

Give yourself some mercy, don’t call yourself weak and drive yourself weary.

Come to me, and I’ll bear your load as my honor to you.

Lord God I prayed, “GIVE ME REST”.

Then you said, “stop acting like every challenge is a test.”

I say it again, GIVE ME REST!

My dear child, I will as soon you allow me to look upon you, relax, and be BLESSED.

 

My heart was once a dumbbell, a task filled burden.

It’s now a work of art again, because my king is alive and he’s broken my chains the same way his life and death tore the curtain.

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All scriptures listed are from the NIV translation.

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

 “Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:45-54

“Around here, I’m known as Big Red”

So today I had my first experience with the Metro bus system in Madison. I have to say, it’s much better than the experiences I had with public transit in Los Angeles and cheaper too. But that isn’t what I want to write about. God is doing some great stuff lately, and today was an interesting day to say the least. As I woke up today, I had no idea what to do and wasn’t really looking forward to anything particular about today. After working on a project due for the seminar I’m currently apart of, I felt like just getting out for a while. So I got my things together, put my hat on, and set out for State street. State Street is a downtown area of Madison,WI near the university that has various shops, restaurants, etc. that make it an in demand place of interest.

Another feature of State Street though is the homeless population. I mean it’s not like a staggering thing, at least during the day, but there is a definite likely hood of coming across someone asking for spare change. Well as I came from a nice time of conversation and encouragement with some friends in the YWAM community, I came across one of the people asking for change today. I believe I gave him twenty cents, as I felt compelled to give but skeptic about giving much of anything at the same time. To which he admitted not long after, “Thank you! Don’t worry sir, all proceeds of your donation will go towards a half gallon of whiskey tonight and don’t worry I won’t drink it all in one place.” My heart sank, I felt like a complete idiot. Here I am, a person who’s struggled with temptation to drink and takes sober living pretty seriously, and now my money is going to contribute to someone getting drunk. Not exactly the best feeling to have on a day of rest. I was then told if I wanted to drink later on that I knew where to find him, to which I quickly and a bit sarcastically replied, “Thanks, but I’m good.”

I later walked around this same part of the sidewalk, the man I had given the money  to was nowhere in sight. As I felt a sense of relief, I no sooner felt my jaw drop as I happened to see him just further up from where I was. Then came the rubber meeting the road, I felt like I was supposed to pray for him! He was talking to another homeless man at the time, so I waited politely not sure and hesitant to even approach the situation. Suddenly, “For Today! You’re back” my name he’d given me was For Today due to the fact I was wearing the T-shirt of a favorite band of mine, For Today. So since he waved me over, I just took the opportunity.

After his “friend” left, He asked me what I had planned for the day and what I did for work. I explained to him I was trying to have a day of rest and that I’m a missionary. This led to a very interesting chain of events. We sit down to talk and he begins to share with me some of the “tidbits of wisdom” he’s gained over the years. He was just released from a two year sentence in prison and is 41 years of age, he shared a devotional with me from the book “Jesus Calling”. in my head, “Wait a minute, he’s a christian?” As our conversation went on throughout our time together, it seems He has a mystic view of God but believes that ultimately there is one God that rules everything. He welcomed me to spend time with him if I wasn’t busy, and to my surprise, I accepted. So on we went, encountering other friends of the “community” in State Street. We were accompanied by Tommy*, Big Red’s chosen drinking buddy of the day. We then chose a nice spot to sit in an alley as they drank their beverages of choice and I just sat, observing and waiting to see what God had in store. He began sharing scripture with me and Tommy, asking more personal questions. Our conversation was quite nice actually, and surprisingly I felt very calm and comfortable.

Then things got more interesting, “GET DOWN” Big Red spotted a cop car in the parking lot across the way, possibly looking for homeless people to clear out. He instructed us as we dodged a very unwanted situation, as I’m thinking “what in the world am I doing here?!” I was still very calm though. Tommy* was an Atheist that was raised going to youth group and hasn’t as he put it, “felt a real need to believe” After hearing some of my own personal story he said he could relate to me a bit, but that why he’s doing his life the way he is on the streets is because he wants to “enjoy” his young adulthood while he can. In my opinion, he’s essentially living for the moment with an emphasis on party like tomorrow isn’t coming. I had a bottle of water with me, which I then gave to him. He asked me if I was sure, then in an effort to remove the awkwardness while still keeping it as a kind gesture I replied, “the beer just dries you out, at least the water will help you stay hydrated” He agreed and thanked me.

Tommy left and various others were encountered, of all various ages as well. The youngest homeless person being 18 and the oldest probably being in the range of 40s to mid-50s. Big Red, near the end of our time together, told me that he enjoyed having me around. That I had a “calm presence” about me that he liked. And anytime I make it down to State Street and found him, that he’d be glad to hang out again. I thanked him for his time and his kindness, but felt released and quickly began the search for my bus stop to get home! We ended our time with a handshake and a hug. It was one of the weirdest, fun, and interesting times of trusting God with a homeless person that I’ve had yet.

I’ll be praying that my “friend” Big Red changes his life and begins a real relationship with God leaving the mystic junk behind, and for Tommy as well that he would feel a need to believe.

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*Tommy’s name has been changed for writing purposes, I want to respect the privacy of the very interesting participants of my adventure “For Today”. :)

God can really use anyone, at anytime to give us new perspective. I hope that this entry will only further instill that in all who read it, because you never know when you’ll meet a person like Big Red. But if God thinks you’re ready and need to, it may just be the adventure you never expected and definitely won’t regret. Take care, and in all things…

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

Return to First Love

I’M IN LOVE! I’M IN LOVE!

It’s what I’m all about.

But wait a minute, who do I love?

How do I love and how can I prove it?

What does it look like, & how shouldn’t it?

Am I rein ally in love with someone, or something?

Are you love with a human, the ocean, or just an emotion?

Before you go shouting from the rooftops,

Restrain your words and don’t let those bombs drop.

Love is more powerful than we give it credit to be.

Love can change lives, nations and people.

It can also bring a nervous breakdown.

But is that love fulfilled, or love unrequited?

Yes, our emotions still run from us quicker than a toddler who just learned to walk;

We have fallen in love with being in love with people who aren’t in love and possibly don’t know we even exist!

“Well, fine!” says this “victim” of tragedy.

I know I’m in love and I’m going to find someone who appreciates me.

But instead out of fear and no real concept of love in the first place, they look to things.

Addictive substances, sex, dreams, lies of their own and of others, the list goes on.

But at the end of the day, in the quietness of their lone time of them and their soul.

Their heart still longs, and waits for more.

Waits for…What?

LOVE! You mean none of these artificial, temporary, replaceable things filled your heart with passion?

None of these made you want to lay down your life in honor for it?

You didn’t see any significance, uniqueness, or specialty?

The light is shining through, down in my direction.

Wait, it’s on me.

But why?

” My child, do you feel unworthy? unloved, lied to, cheated, and deceived?”

Yes, and I don’t how I got this way or why.

“My dear, look to me. You look to all the imperfect temporal things of the earth, and ignore me. But in this I’ve never stopped loving you.”

Why not though?

“Because you are worth it! I Love you, I laid down my life for you, I watch you grow into the amazing person you were made to be, and can’t help remarking to myself just how lovely you are.”

Stop it, this can’t be about me. No really, how is any of this true?

Love is conditional, and broken. A lie, and easy to see through.

“My love, love is transparent this is true. But a lie, you have been mistaken. Conditional and broken, let me rescue you from the ruined land where you’ve been shaken. You see my love is real, and surpasses all understanding or limits. And I give it to you, not because of requirement or tasks being fulfilled, but simply because I love You. And I love you because you are the only “YOU” in the world.”

God teach me how to love others and especially myself in this way, so I don’t run emotionally and struggle every day.

“My dear, it’d be my pleasure to share it with you. Just remember this always.”

We love, because He first loved us…..

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“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19  We love, because He first loved us. 20  If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:18-20 NASB

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18 NASB

Endeavor For Purpose Part 2: Come Clarity

Hello, for all those that have read my post “This is my Endeavor for Purpose. What am I here for?” this is a bit of continuation. For those that haven’t read it, please read it before this so it’ll make a little more sense.

Part of finding your purpose in God is receiving confirmation. When you will receive that confirmation though, that can be tricky. You see because God’s plan isn’t our own, no matter how much we think it’s unfair or don’t like it, it’s his alone. Meaning: We have to wait until He feels we’re ready to know what to do.

Now you may have just felt ripped off, but if you came asking God your destiny like it was an instant win lotto ticket, you are mistaken. If God’s plans we’re really that simple, that easy and comfortable, don’t you think people would seek Him more? It’s not necessarily because they don’t believe in Him. They’re scared! Scared to know what they may need to do different, what changes they should consider, and what they may lose in the midst of following these plans.

Because materials and their convenient familiarity, have become exactly that. Convenient and comfortable, also it’s redundant and pathetic but don’t tell them that. They’ll jump down your throat, exclaiming their freedom and how judgmental you are. By my writing this, I may have even just offended you. But I’m not saying it for this purpose. I’m saying these things, because I’ve been through it.

It wasn’t long ago, I didn’t want to live for anyone but myself. I knew there was something more, but it just felt too hard and I wanted the easy way out. I didn’t want to live for my true potential, I just wanted to live comfortably. But once I woke up and really saw how things were, both about me and between other people, I knew things needed to change.

Romans chapter 12, verses 1-2 say, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

You want to please God? Ask Him what to do, and wait. Yes, that’s the brilliant idea you’ve been waiting for. If you want to please God, try asking Him and be patient in waiting for His leading. Don’t be afraid to seek advice once you feel lead a certain way, but be careful who you ask advice of as well. Only do it if it’s someone who you trust is a Godly example in your life, and that you are willing to receive from. Sometimes our greatest struggle in getting advice, is that we won’t listen to the one person who can offer it to us. No, people don’t have all the answers and they never will. Thank God! I’m glad I have to depend on Him for clarity, it really makes things easier than you’d think.

His purpose for your life though, comes with sacrifice and even some pain at times. But even when we live for ourselves, and be honest, is life ever really easy? Even if it was, as nice as it sounds after a stressful day, would you even be able to handle an “easy” life? I think if we were allowed to live our ideal, easy life; we’d go mad! In a sick sense, we’d miss tragedy and struggle, stress and pain. Because it gives our life variety, experience, and lessons to be learned. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 8 through 12 we read,”We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.”

Are you willing to realize that to face struggle effectively, we must not do it alone? Are you willing to lay down your pride, and not only receive help, but cry out for it?

I will leave you with this, I love the insight I’ve found in the book of the Bible Ecclesiastes. Here’s a verse I feel very accurately tells what it’s like to live for ourselves only. “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”-Ecclesiastes chapter 6 verse 9.

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All scriptures referenced are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

Writer’s note: I’m not perfect. Don’t plan on ever being perfect and wouldn’t be even if I did try to plan for it. I’m simply just sharing my heart, and asking of those who are interested to seek God and start a relationship with Him. Because as much as He desires to know you, it’s a daily choice. Thank you, and God bless.

You hear me, but are you Listening?

You hear me, yes I know you’ve heard.

But are you listening, have you even listened to one word?

Why do you ask me things,

Then check the time, your phone, or turn away?

Are my answers worth something to you,

Or is it just white noise for you in an effort to play?

Play the game of conditional kindness,

You only want the world’s finest.

As long as you’re entertained and your eyes are well fed,

You’re fine not worrying about the trail you’ve left behind of the dead.

“What!” You say, for I am not a murderer.

In the physical sense, you may not be wielding knife or sword that you can see.

But as you’re ears fall deaf to those who need them, and the cries grow faint.

Blood is on your hands, and it’s far from fake.

We’re born sinners, and I know it’s hard to even try being a saint.

But at least act like you’re trying, so that it won’t hurt so much when others find you’re fake.

My mouth is moving even if you don’t care.

My voice will be projected, even if you wish I’d run out of air.

I’m a child of the true king, because of this I’m free.

If you don’t want to be apart of my life then leave.

My father and king has a perfect plan for me, and I want to live it out.

ETERNALLY.

You have heard, but have you listened?

You look at me, but do you see me?

You hear me, but honestly… Are you listening?

“Take The World, But Give me Jesus”

It was from a conversation that these words were said, and now as I sing them some two-hundred years later they have just as much meaning. I want to thank you, those who read what I post regularly or maybe just came across this post, because although I’ve loved writing for a long time I always felt like it would be just for me. But not because I wanted it that way, more because I feared the rejection and criticism of what I felt was part of me.

For those that haven’t seen or read what is on my profile, I will be leaving California for a six-week Children at Risk seminar in Madison, WI tomorrow night. To try and express my excitement in words would only prove limited. To give you an idea of some of the topics we’re going over, here are some specifics from the ywam Madison website:

  • What the Bible says about orphans
  • What are the needs of children
  • Child Growth and Development
  • How to restore attachment and bonding for orphans & children at risk

These are only a few of the topics we will cover. As I sit here tonight on my last night at my parents home, I’m so grateful for the way God has enabled me to use painful passion for good. I’m also thankful that He has helped me see when I was blinded by the lies of this world. Children at risk can represent a range of aspects that children shouldn’t have to face but do. One that particularly weighs heavy on me though is prostitution and sex trafficking. My heart breaks inside me when I hear of a little girl or boy being violated by a parent, relative, educator, etc. But this is just the first offense unfortunately. You see some of these same boys and girls that have had this happen to them without their story being known beyond them and God, they have grown up to become famous. Really more infamous than famous, but the fame has come no less. How you ask?

Pornography. The “industry” that this world has grown to shamefully love. Something that is forgotten about those consenting adults who are being paid for their “entertainment job” is that they were once children. Children who may have grown up with an overtly touchy father, a mother who didn’t love them, an uncle or aunt who exposed them to adult aspects of life at a young age, or sadly a teacher who was too physical. Now am I saying that all people in porn are victims of abuse during childhood, no because I can’t honestly say that. Are they all victims of some type of abuse, YES.

Whether they have given consent or not for their bodies and what they will do, it is abuse that they are supposedly doing for entertainment purposes. Is this really what people find entertaining? Is this really how people think they should use their time? Whether of “legal” age or not, how isn’t this illegal?

Now as I mentioned in my last blog, when referencing how God has a plan and purpose for every person, I have sadly been exposed to porn. I am guilty of letting modern day slavery seem fine, because it’s done with two consenting adult “entertainers”. But it’s NOT fine. Exploitation of our bodies, taking advantage of people desperate for love when they don’t even know what it is, thinking that a persons body should be accessible for a specific dollar amount, this isn’t fine at all. It’s vile. More importantly though, it’s not of God. In the New Living Translation of the Bible the section of 1 Corinthians for verses 12 through 20 is actually titled, “Avoiding Sexual Sin”. Take a look at what it has to say about our bodies, our actions, and who truly has ownership starting in verse 12. “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead. 15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

Do you think, or could you even honestly convince yourself, that by someone being in porn they honor God with their body?

“Lord God, I pray to you tonight for forgiveness of the fool I’ve been. I’m no better than a pimp on my own, but because of your redemption you have helped me see the truth. While this is a definite problem in America, I wish it were that simple, as if it’s only one country that doesn’t understand that sex should be sacred and not a business. Please help this world Lord come back to seeing the body as a beautiful creation, and people as people. Please forgive us for sinning against our bodies and dishonoring you horrendously, all for momentary pleasure. May the men and women in sex trafficking, prostitution, and porn around the world come to know that you love them just as much now as you did when they were born. That you remember forming them in their mother’s womb and planning a wonderful life for them, much different from what they’re now living. Most of all help them find a Christian brother or sister that can love them in the way you would, purely and unconditionally. I ask this in your holy name Jesus, AMEN.”

To end this and quote a wonderful hymn, I want to share one last thought. For some it’s money, for some it’s food, for some it’s sex. The world is all there is, today is all we’ve got so we better live our life to the fullest and fast. Take your fast world and keep it, please. “TAKE THE WORLD, BUT GIVE ME JESUS.”