5.27.2009

speeding and breathing patterns

i wish i had good words for this post. 
it's more like heartache bleeding to this page. 
that is so emo. 
but i can't figure out heads or tails of the matter. 

i love speeding. 
i love going fast. 
getting places fast. 
feeling the wind in my hair.
turning the radio up to 3/4 of the way so i can hear it over the wild breeze. 

i couldn't do it today. 
the radio was a garbled, faded mumble. 
the wind hardly flicked my hair.  
at one point, i realized i was barely pushing 40 on a stretch i often hit 80. 
something else governed my driving. 
something less adventurous. 
something sad and scared. 

it would seem that currently
i am isolated from most of the people i have ever cared about. 
if not physically (which is definitely so, as i am in a house, alone, currently), but emotionally and spiritually. 

something, something. 

i have a problem. 
i love love. 
but i will not accept it from other people. 

and i have some odd fear 
that if i am ever truly known
i will not be accepted. 
which isn't odd because i have never allowed people to know me, 
but rather, 
i share the deepest, darkest parts of myself with people on a regular basis. 
and so it is odd because...
...even when people still like me, i can't handle it, 
and i still insist on pushing them away. 

it's like i don't trust them.
even if i do. 

even if i trust them, 
innately, 
deeply, 
conscientiously,
i have a hard time accepting that i'm acceptable to them. 
i get this feeling they're just putting up with me. 
and i'm an obligation
or a nusiance.  

i feel like i ruin everything. 
me and my big mouth, 
running,
somewhere. 

i am sad, i am alone. 
i want to be held. 
i want to just be in someone's presence. 

and the more i ramble
the more my heart screams for some sort of healing
for some sort of bigger love to wrap itself around me
because i've heard of this love
and i've heard of this peace
and i've heard of this acceptance
and i'm oh-so-tired. 

and i miss my friends.  
i miss all the friends that i stopped hanging out with because i felt like i wasn't good enough
and that i felt like i was dragging down. 
because when i sit back and think about it, 
some people really like me. 
i miss all the friends that i stopped calling and visiting because i felt like they had better people to hang out with. 

what is this nonsense? 
i am so up and so down all in one day. 

i was feeling sick earlier, and i realized it was because i wasn't breathing very deeply.
  
i hate having to remind myself to breathe. 

5.26.2009

second-hand religion and chapter 4

Reading another book. 

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. 

I don't agree with some of it, 
other parts I find incredibly intriguing and interesting. 
And still yet others warrant further mulling and deliberation. 

[as an aside, in trying to spell deliberation, i was struck by the fact that the roots are basically, "from" or "away" and "to liberate".  wow, what a cool word.  setting thoughts ideas, and words free.  i love etymology...(after checking etymology.com...the root for 'liberation' in this context is 'to weigh' but they still have the same root somewhere in there! haha)]

anyways,
the book is by Marcus Borg.  



i hesitate to type that
because a lot of people don't like him 
call him a heretic
and stuff like that. 

ummmm. 



but he says a lot of stuff that puts a face to Jesus
that encourages me to look deeper and to pursue truth. 

something that has bothered me for a long time 
is this nagging feeling that we made all this up. 

now, i believe that the Bible was inspired by God

but in the end, they are just words. 
words that have been handed down from generation to generation
written by men
just like you and me
it is composed of stories
of little people 
trying to figure out what it looks like
for God to work
in their normal, boring, everyday lives. 
following the Good News
following the Truth they know
following God and Love.

and for a while that concerned me. 

well, it still concerns me. 

but not as much. 

in a way, i feel like everything ever written and done about God could be put in a Bible...
a Bible that catalogues YHWH continuously revealing Himself to mankind and pulling them closer to Him.  

a constant discussion between
Moses
and Paul
and Peter
and John
and C.S. Lewis
and Brother Lawrence
and Martin Luther
and Martin Luther King, Jr. 
and Augustine
and Billy Graham
and Rob Bell
and Saint Francis
and Francis Chan
and Marcus Borg
and you
and me.

it can't be about belief alone, 
because that encourages us to be hearers and not doers
and even the demons hear of Jesus and they shudder.

i believe God is alive, active, and moving in our lives. 
and i'm not just going to believe it, i'm going to chase it, love it, and pursue it. 

second-hand religion embraces only believing what other people have told you about God. 
it embraces the half-hearted pursuit of cultural wisdom, under the lordship of the things this world prizes. 

we are to move beyond that, to experience God face-to-face, to pursue this higher wisdom and to be aware of Him at work. 

i don't want no second-hand nothing. 


5.25.2009

why do you call me good?

i don't want to live a good life. 

i want to live a life
filled with
love
sincerity
compassion
power
miracles
redemption
peace
risks
danger
fun
innocence
knowledge
connections
passion
wonder
gratitude

those may be exemplified by people living good lives. 

but 

i want to live a life that encompasses everything. 
i don't want to keep a list of things that i do
and say, hey wow, i kept this list, i am gooood!

i don't want to keep a list of things i believe
and beat myself up everytime i question them. 
or to make up answers that make sense in my mind

because we all know that God is much bigger than the box we put Him in 
and God is both...and.  

i want to transcend the garbage that we pretend is real. 
the american dream
the good paying job
the security
and the accumulation of wealth. 

i'm not saying these are evil

i am saying
i pray
to never
become bogged down
in the pursuit 
of the status quo. 

i want to be extraordinary. 

not 
good. 

5.19.2009

the irresistible revolution, page 85

But what had lasting significance were not the miracles themselves but Jesus' love. Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, and a few years later, Lazarus died again. Jesus healed the sick, but they eventually caught some other disease. He fed the thousands, and the next day they were hungry again. But we remember his love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers. And the incredible thing about that love is that it now lives inside of us.

5.17.2009

page 78

working through crazy love.
Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control...[they] do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to...The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God...

They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness
...

[In the parable about salt in Luke 14:34-35,] He is saying that lukewarm, halfhearted following is useless, that it sickens our souls. He saying that this kind of salt "...would ruin manure[.]"
there are a lot of other little quotations that totally hit me hard. Stuff about faith, love, and new life.

I really am so torn. I want to do the right thing, I want everyone I have had the opportunity to meet to walk away feeling closer to God. But there are so many times that I want the fleeting pleasures. The things that make me happy now. I get confused, I get selfish, I get irritable and discouraged.

I get stuck on the things that cause Hell in life. Pride, anger, fear, selfishness, greed, bitterness, gluttony, lust...

and it's unfortunate that I know the only thing that will make me happy is Heaven. Heaven on earth--Freedom, Love, Trust, Patience, Hope, Self-Control, Humility. I know these things will make me happy, but I forget.

What I would give to single-mindedly and whole-heartedly be focused on what matters.

Here's to figuring it all out.
Or to not figuring it all out,
and just doing what is right,
and knowing it will all be okay in the end.

because His sheep hear His voice because they are His.

5.14.2009

reading

i apparently only pick up books when i have 18 million other things i really should be doing.

like
packing
or studying
or cleaning.

yesterday, i finished jesus wants to save christians, by rob bell. today, i just started crazy love, by francis chan.

jesus wants to save christians was great...mostly because i agreed with like, everything in there, and it was a simple, easy read.

i'm trying really hard to get into crazy love, because i've heard so many good things about it, but so far...so far...i've only been through the intro and the first chapter, and i'm really struggling through it. don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book. there are a lot of really good thoughts in it,

i'm just having a hard time identifying with all of them in my gut.

i want Truth.
i want it so real that i don't have to feel like i'm choosing it.

the introduction was right on. i want more. to quote mister chan,
"this book is written for those who want more Jesus. It is for those who are bored with what American Christianity offers. It is for those who don't want to plateau, those who would rather die before their convictions do. (p.21)"
i want a new beginning. new eyes. to look at the world more like God does, and to kick off the silly ideas that are holding me down. i am dissatisfied, continually dissatisfied with how i live and what i do. and i don't want to do something because it's the right thing that will make me look good.

i want to do stuff because that is who i am. that i identify with Love and Truth so wholly, that what i do and what i say and how i relate to others isn't for attention or affection, but rather an outpouring and understanding of God with us.

i'll keep you posted on the book. i'm sure it's gonna be great.

i just wanted to mention again
that i want Truth
and i want something more Real
and i refuse to believe that by hoping it's true or real
will make it so.
i must know.
and i will not be content.
if God is there and God is Love, and God is as big as He says He is,
i cannot be content,
because
i cannot ever know everything about Him.
but, dag.

i'm gonna try.

on to chapter two.
or to pack.
i'm not sure which.

5.12.2009

good morning.

so i can't sleep.

sometimes when i can't sleep, i have something or someone on my mind, so it is understandable. in some ways, it makes it worth it, because i have something to do or think about while i'm awake.

for the past week, however, i've just woken up at the most inopportune times, with nothing on my mind.

i don't even have anything good to say.

maybe i should talk a little bit more about my last post, since i can type better and think better now. but i don't feel like it. it's six thirty in the morning, on what is like summer vacation, and bethhyde's stupid, silly self cannot sleep.

so i climbed to the top of a building on campus yesterday. it was fun. there was a breeze, we carved our names on the clock guts, and talked about freedom.

that's all i feel like saying right now, i hope that was exciting.

i guess i'll go and read or something.

have a great day :)

5.11.2009

brokenhearted.

if this is what breaking up feels like,
i never want to fall in love.

but then again,
what a way to be reminded of God's love for us.

the searing pain
of realizing
all the time
and love
and attention
and good
and laughs
and talks
and memories
and dancing
and beer
and carefully planned outings
and birthday cakes
and dinner
and rain
and music
amount to naught in the eyes of one you have loved.

that you have lost your
newness factor.

you're no longer
shiny,
interesting,
or fun

you are baggage,
a handful,
demanding,
and a bore.

your heart heaves
and you want--
oh so badly--
to be held.

but there isn't anyone there to hold you
and maybe you should learn how to stand on your own two feet.
you don't need someone else to define your worth.

and while i feel so alone right now,
and while i wonder why i didn't see it coming,
and while i hope and pray that this isn't the end of our friendship,

i think the Divine Lover feels the same way.
and He understands my hurt.
and i will learn to be more like Him through the pain.

oh, but friend, it hurts. It hurts bad.
and oh, it is but a small step to wholeness.

to wholeness, to freedom, and to love,
and the fact that i will continue to love,
continue to pour out,
continue to be incredibly dumb and wasteful with the feelings in my heart.
because other people need to feel love too.

i will love Love.
for He loves me.

5.07.2009

happy.

i just wanted to let you know,
in case you were wondering,
that i am happy.

a lot of my posts in the past...9 months...have just been vent-sessions
of my fears and frustrations
and nothing really about the good and happy things in life.

so i just wanted to make sure
that you knew
that i don't think life is all bad.

i go watch movies with friends
and go out to eat
and play music with them.

we talk in funny british accents,
watch cult classics
and laugh about musicals.

i have had numerous opportunities to exercise my
artistic and musical talents
and have been able to help a ton of people and groups through doing so.

i had a wonderful job with admissions,
meeting people and giving tours
for three delightful years.

i have friends that trust and love me.
that ask me for advice and
request that i consider being a roommate.

i have friends that listen and guide me,
that tell me when i'm being dumb,
and praise me when i have done well,
and listen to me when i can't figure out up from down,
and remind me that it's okay to not have all the answers.

i have a life.
and it is beautiful.
and there is hope for more good,
even after this part is over.

thanks for joining me on the ride.
i pray you are enjoying it
even half as much
as i am.

5.04.2009

God of the angel armies.

i am watching ctn for some reason.
it's some sort of christian television network.
typically, i steer clear of christian programming:
too much drama,
too much asking for money,
too much trickery,
too much preying on insecurities and naivete.
not enough good news--that is, of the free gift of Christ given to us, undeserving and unwarranted.

occasionally, however, i'll stop in,
listen to what is being preached, taught, prayed and sung.
i'll evaluate it, contemplate it,
and see if there is anything of worth.

most of the time it is some ridiculously nicely dressed man yelling about name-it-and-claim-it or $1000 seeds.

and i roll my eyes and change the channel.

today, it was world revival church.

it's stuff that i don't understand from other religions and denominations that make me question what i believe and why i believe it, not atheists, alcohol, or evolution.

watching this show,
all the people were singing and dancing wildly,
all the congregation knew the lyrics,
and man, they were into it.
shaking their fists toward heaven in unrestrained, dramatic movements,
claiming God's promises,
crying,
yelling,
pleading
for His presence.
the pastor would pace back and forth, and walk up to people, and they would fall over.

honestly, i judged it off the bat.
it looked like acting.
playing off emotions and well-cast leaders.

whether or not that's true,
whether or not that's real,
i can't help but wonder how that all fits into faith.

is it real?
is wild, unabashed, passionate loss of control a part of faith in God?

i'm not saying it isn't,
but from where i come from,
the verse about being filled with the Spirit, but not in excess comes to mind.
and then i go back and look at the verse, and it says to not be drunk with wine, but filled with the Spirit.

so, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
like, literally.
growing up,
i feel like i learned being filled with the Spirit was to be wise and good, and honorable. not wild or uncontrollable. Is the passage saying don't be drunk and wild in the Spirit the same as you shouldn't be drunk and wild in wine, or is it saying that's okay in comparison?

i just feel like i'm missing something in my faith.
the emotions - love, faith, hope...
the knowledge - how to get close to God.
ancient cultures figured how to build pyramids,
lift large objects with sound waves (yea, totally odd!),
arrange large monuments to follow, precisely, the movements of the sun moon and stars.

I'm continually dissatisfied with the answers contemporary Christianity gives me to questions about the depth of human abilities and connections.
I know there are answers, and I am satisfied with the hope that I have in Christ, that life is full in Him, but

i
just
wonder

how much is straight from the Throne of this great God-of-the-angel-armies, and how much is strategy and human planning.

because i don't want to believe something just because it makes me feel better.

i think that's why Christians got a bad name in the first place.

5.02.2009

crushing.

i am enamored with someone who isn't God,
and i have a serious problem with it.

but i love the feeling of being all lighthearted and silly.
because i am like that a lot of the time,
but when it brings joy to someone else,
that makes me happy, too.

it concerns me that my thoughts are towards someone who is not God
almost constantly.
wondering what they are doing,
thinking,
feeling.

i wish i could explain all the garbled nonsense running through my head.

that i think i just ache for a relationship
that i think i just want to know i am acceptable to someone else.
that i think it's real at sometimes and fake at others.

i doubt anything will come of this crush,
but i wonder
how i'm going to learn more about God
and His love
through it.

because i seem to always love.
quickly and deeply.
and i yearn for people's approval and affection,
but i don't know how to be comfortable in God's approval and affection.
even though i know it is mine to bask in.

hm. love.

gah.