more relationship stuff.

my little sister is very wise.



i have been listening to a wide array of music lately.

part of me feels good; i'm engaging the opportunities and world around me...the smart and gifted and talented people that have poured out their hearts to share what they do and feel.

but part of me feels so sad inside.

their words make me long for love and attention, but mostly physical affection.
my wide-eyes and soft heart are led astray by their erring words.
they turn my eyes toward things that cannot satisfy and will not fill.
they cram my heart with dreams and ideas that make me sorrowful in the end.

the music is excellent.
their voices are immaculate.
but the stories, the pain...

the constant outpouring and drive for acceptance...

sometimes it makes me sick.

bad thoughts in my head; it's not focusing on what is pure and right and holy.

sometimes i feel like i'm just dumb or overly emotional because i cannot listen all the way through.

i want to be wholly focused on the good in the world.
on the right way to live.
on the right way to love.

and many musicians are lost and floundering just like us.
because they can put how they feel into music doesn't make them more enlightened than the rest of us.

there is a truth and a freedom that can sit in our hearts.
that can provide us a way to live beyond ourselves.
that can make a difference in the world.

i like music that runs that constant mantra through my head.

not that love sucks and we are lost.
because we are.
but there is a better way.



Holy Cow.

Don't look now,
but I'm totally posting something that I think is FUNNY.

I can't remember the last time I did that.




Numbers 35:33-34

"You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel."

Talking about providing refuge for people who killed another unintentionally. (For context, our reading today was Numbers 35-36)

And as I read the two verses, above, I couldn't help but question our thoughts on abortion and war.

In my mind, abortion is a small representation of how our land views life.
Instant gratification and no visible consequences that directly affect me.
these verses also make me wonder about war; how does the shedding of the blood of war have an impact on a nation?

I could go on and on about industrialized agriculture and how it is killing us.
About how, in order for us to have the type of food that we want, when we want it on our kitchen shelf, we have separated ourselves from the way that life works. We have sped up life processes so that we can live in a way that makes us happy. But I think it's killing us.

And one day, the land is going to need a break.
and we will be sick and dying,
and we will wonder where God is.

But as much as He tries to let us see Him,
it's hard to catch a glimpse when we've surrounded ourselves with the things that we have made;
when we ignore His hand in our lives and our world;
when we insist that we have the wisdom -- the knowledge of good and evil --
when we don't realize it is determined outside of us
...that it is determined by Him.

Because the earth, it weeps at its rape.
it awaits a savior,
because we are too busy living our own lives
to be willing to be held accountable
for the blood that is on our hands.


faith, hope, and klove

i listen to the radio in my little beat up '93 toyota corolla.

the presets on my radio are:
1 - 88.9 - Family Life Radio (Mostly talking now a days; don't listen too much)
2 - 93.3 - The Fish (An Atlanta station; doesn't come in very clearly)
3 - 102.1 - KLOVE (The point of this story; don't worry, it's a good point)
4 - 104.7 - I don't know what this one is called. It's another Jesus station.
5 - 95.1 - Today's hits.
6 - 93.7 - 15 minutes ago's hits.

but yea, i listen to mostly 102.1, unless Third Day's "Born Again" comes on (can't stand the harmony part towards the end) or any other song that drives me up the wall. we can discuss my overly critical nature later.

i even listen to their pledge drive shenanigans.

today, in the middle of their fall pledge drive, they read a letter from a woman who has four children, her house is being sold in a sherriff's sale (whatever that is) and they are just having a hard time making ends meet. regardless, she felt the call of God to give to KLOVE, so she gave ten dollars, which was hard to do.

the next day, there was $100 in her mailbox.

and the thought that ran through my head was this:
why don't i just live on the edge of faith like that my whole life?

how great would that be, to continually be trusting God; to throw our lives wastefully towards His kingdom, knowing that He is good and He will give us what we need, and that what we want is going to be what He wants.

I was convicted about how small I live; that paychecks are to be hoarded, money is to be carefully counted, and the passionate sways of a heart trying to get closer to the kingdom of God are sinful and errant.

So. not. true.

There are stories of men and women who tithe 90% of their paycheck.
There are stories of men and women who try to live on a dollar a day.
There are stories of men and women who sell all they have and give it to the poor.
There are stories of men and women who sell all they have and give it to each other.

But right now, they are just stories.

I would like to live one, please.


Balaam, again!

If you've been following me for a little while, you'll know that last May I read through Numbers, and I was totally enthralled with Balaam. I even posted about him on this blog (read it here!).

And I still like Balaam a lot.

It reminds me of the power of the tongue. How it holds life and death; that the things you say either encourage or discourage others, and you can bring people up the way of life and hope, or lead them away to death and hopelessness.

Sometimes I heed that, perhaps to a fault; I worry about what I said, hoping that a joke or a comment didn't cause pain or discouragement. I want to be deliberate in casting visions and dreams for people--seeing what they can be, the potential for what they can do--and encourage them to seek that beautiful future.

Goodness knows the many times I've felt I've failed. Where people have told me I was insufficient or a let-down. And not that I get everything right, and not that I want everyone to tell me that I'm doing everything right even if I'm doing them wrong. And thinking like that leads to living small and living death.

We have a big God with big plans for the world.

And we're a part of it.

In our weakness, He is strong,
and in our strengths, He is there as well, because they are His.

Let's go do big things, because

"God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Behold, I received a command to bless:
he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it."

Who would deny the blessing of the LORD? He is the One who spoke it first. It is for us to hear, love, and pursue.

Be blessed, friends.


death, donkeys and dogs.

is it just me, or did israel's history get really weird at and after the death of Aaron?

could it be the psychological impact on the writer of the death of a close friend and brother, that the events kinda all jumble together?


i also think it's funny that we say Balaam's donkey talked.

it makes me think of a friend who has two dogs--and actually, most any friend that has dogs that i know of does this to a certain extent, but that's another story--she makes them talk! she knows their personality, or what she projects as their personality (which is very realistic; meeting the dogs, they definitely seem to act exactly how she says they will...almost always), and she'll speak as if the dogs is speaking...like in their voice.

and so i can't help but think of that as i read about Balaam; who is to say the donkey spoke audibly, but that it was in the softness of Balaam's heart and his connection with the nature and character of a long-love and trusted pet that he heard the warning.

i say this not to discount my elementary sunday school teachers or to deny the truth in the Bible; on the contrary, this makes faith much more exciting for me, because that means God can speak to me, too, and that He does, and i just have to learn how to listen better.

maybe He'll speak to me through a dog.

i hope not, though.

they are stinky.


numbers 18-20

part of a priest's job description was to become unclean in the process of providing spiritual cleanliness for the person providing the sacrifice.

if, under the new covenant, the veil is torn, and we are priests,
why are we putting our own holiness continually over providing and encouraging the holiness of the people around us?

it was uncleanliness for a day in exchange for bringing someone a little closer to God.



i stepped into my room today.
well, my old room.
i was grabbing a text book so i can do some work on kenya stuff,
and i was flipping through pages, and when looked up from the book, i glanced at my bookshelf.

i have a lot of books.

some i've read, many i haven't.

but still, i've read quite a few books.

and it made me wonder how much of my thoughts are mine,

and how much are from the world around me.

and also, how much are ours...that God lays on the hearts of His people at the same time in various ways.

and then i was reading in the Bible about the jealousy offering, and couldn't help but wonder how much of our lives are mystical, and how much divine interaction we ignore.

you have this ritual that God is very, very apparently a part of. If the woman is guilty, she...I dunno. Esplodes? If she isn't, well, she's free to go and have kids. I would like to say that eating dirt isn't the sole source of infertility. The hand of God...hm. I don't know.

But hearing the voice of God and feeling His touch on our lives is not common practice.

Not to say it isn't practiced,
but we just don't think to be sensitive to the spirits in us.

Oh, to hear the voice of God and to act on it.



if love isn't a choice, what hope is there for a lasting relationship?

saying it's based on attraction and infatuation,
things that may last for years,
but will never last forever.

because if you can't choose who you love,
there are 7 billion people out there who are much better than i am.
much better than who you currently love is,
and when you find them,
you know,
it's hard to choose to love who you are with.

i have broadened the argument, i understand.
choosing who you love isn't the same as choosing loyalty to the person you have committed yourself to.

i can't help but feel they are the same.

i love quickly and easily.

a lot of times, we boil love down
to how we feel when we're around the other person.
and while that's great,
love cannot be used for such selfish pleasures.
there is a greater good to live for,
there is a greater push for what should be our driving desires.

it is not filling our cup
at the throne of man,
acceptance and accolades and attention,
for us.
for ourselves.

there is something deeper,
something more profound.
something that draws us all,
a purpose and plan for the world,
that our emotions and drive to succeed and be accepted fall into.

it is to be wasted at the feet of a King,
pursuing His kingdom,
and loving all into reconciliation with Him.

finding completion in Him,
not in a relationship,
not in a business or money,
not in a hobby,
not in a single thing other than Him,
because that is idolatry.

and His Love?
it is perfect and unconditional.
we only love Him because He loved us first.
we live each day in common grace extended to mankind, because without it, we would destroy ourselves.

He chose to love us,
to waste Himself for us,
in order to fulfill the requirement to allow us to get close to and to know God.
(not to get to Heaven, not to be prosperous, but to know God. think about that.)

Love is a choice,
like everything else in life,
and that is part of what makes it so beautiful.


on mothers and missiles.

if you didn't know this already,

i am adamantly pro-life,
against the death penalty,
and incredibly against war.

there are a lot of issues that arise because of the interactions of these three things. moral issues, arguments with other people, blah blah blah.

mom walked in the house this morning, looking frazzled.

i cocked my head.

"are you okay?" i asked.

"oh, i'm just really concerned about the things we know and we don't know about our government," she says.

"oh, really?" i said, knowing that i was about to hear was going to lead to upsetting one or both of us. and she goes into the whole Obama-removing-missiles-from-Poland issue. and how the people over there are scared of Russian occupation and how the Bible history says that Russia is going to be a superpower and...

i had two thoughts.
1.) if Russia is going to be a superpower, and it is the God given truth, what are the missiles in Poland going to do about it?
2.) i am small. we are small. i have no idea how war works, worrying about this will get us nowhere, so we should be happy now with the things that we have, and do what we can to change the things that we can.

thinking i was playing the convo intelligently, i verbalized the second point.

insert your favorite four letter word here. i fancy boat.


"what would you have done if you were around during the Holocaust? would you have said no war? when all those people were dying? you're being two faced, all anti-war and we shouldn't care about it, when you are only here because of them!"

ummmm...okay, i'm two faced.

what do you say when you believe that there is a natural order, and that God's will (here that is mostly likely to be read: "that the world should come to repentance and restoration") occurs in crappy ways sometimes and that i don't trust the government and i don't trust war and i don't trust men that i don't know (and maybe even some that i do know...) because it is God alone who is wise and loving and right. and i might be wrong, but in most of the Bible stories where people earnestly sought God re:war, He delivered them with minimal death (think Gideon).

but i respect the President. God has ordained his place in US history. As well as the lives of Roosevelt and Churchill and Hitler...i don't know if i agree with the last name, but maybe i do.

she ended up attacking my holier-than-thou-ness, my apathy, and my apparent lack of empathy for those people in Poland who might die, whereas she is the opposite, and can't help but care.

because i am not empathetic.


i just have enough cares in life, and i am doing what i can to make the world a better place.

and i don't know what to do to make Obama put the missiles back in Poland.

does she?

does it matter?