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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Over the Break

I am back. For some this sentence brings out feelings of pure joy, for others unfettered horror.

And you know what I don't honestly care how you feel about it. No offense, it is just not that important. What I do care about is how God feels about it and with that being said, I launch the New Year with a new blog domain and a new blog name.

All things have indeed become new.

So, what has happened over the break? Well, I have managed to compile 9 Microsoft Word pages of tidbits from various thoughts I had over the break (don't worry I am not going to share them all). I hope this gives you a small glimpse at my life as I have been away from social media; if you expected me not to write at all, were terribly mistaken.

Tidbits from November 26 - January 1 

  • My turkey was fantastic; it was so tender that it literally fell off the bone.  The dinner was fantastic and mom cooked it all...recovering from pneumonia. You can imagine how terrible of a human being I believe myself to be and I can imagine how terrible of a human being you believe me to be. Oh, well…I am learning and God has forgiven me of such indiscretions.

  • Won a free book off of Michael Hyatt’s blog, Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson.  The book is about things people wish people could say in church. Mine guesses would be something along the lines of, “How come I can predict our worship service down to the number/types of songs, the length of the prayer/sermons, and even the word for word welcome speech,” and “Did you have to preach on tithing or not speaking being charismatic again? That is like the fifth sermon in a row you have mentioned that,” or “I have found cemeteries and the actor who plays Professor Snape to have more enthusiasm than you have!” Look forward to reading it now that it has arrived.
  • Listened to an incredible talk from the opening session of Catalyst by Andy Stanley about   reframing our appetite based on the story where Esau sells Jacob his birthright for a bowl of stew. I shook my head in disbelief and even judgment, I then I proceeded to buy the same bowl of stew. Ouch.
  •  Flew off the handle about the complete annihilation of my Xbox 360 gaming career by my brother who broke the flash drive which contained all of my profile info. Since I have never registered for Xbox Live it wiped everything. It is the equivalent of accidently nuking your Xbox. Not cool. What was even worse was my response to the incident…which bordered on losing my best friend and having the killer within my reach. Not good.
  •  Proverbs 13:24 ESV, What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. This verse stood out to me because it shows how the unwise, wicked person has life happen to him; he is passive. However, the wise, righteous person is actively seeking life because his desires (active) will be granted. Godliness must be sought; one must actively pursue righteousness in order to not let wickedness and evil fall upon one’s life.
  •  If you are not careful, one wrong move will put you back in the same hole. Trust me on this, there Is a reason the Bible calls for diligence. All battles are fought in the mind and heart; the external is just a manifestation of the outcome of the internal battle. (Francis Schaeffer)
  •  I have way too many books; I went to the shed to recovering my remaining books and discovered that there was another library waiting to be unearthed.
  • I successfully wrapped my first present (that actually looked decent); it only took 20+ years.
  • When one grows closer to the Lord sometimes one gets worse before they get better. When you put something on top of a stinger to draw it out; it is pretty disgusting at first. Look what happens though once it is all out; healing and recovery.
  •  I wrote the most sincere note on a white elephant gift ever in the history of the Clements MPact college ministry (or perhaps not).
  • I just keep finding old junk from college to bring in the house; pretty soon my room will be an exact replica of my dorm room (we are talking about the Samford one, the Cottage one was kind of dingy). How I am going to get my own bathroom will take some thinking…
  • Christmas cards (personal ones anyway) are a pain in the well…use your imagination.
  • Videos of burning Tennessee objects are wicked awesome; not to mention drinking sparkling grape soda from a Starbucks mug.
  • JESUS IS THAT MUCH MORE EPIC WITH FACE-MELTING AWESOMENESS, POWER, AND GLORY! (just in case someone decides to “Jesus juke” me with a comment like, “Wow, if we would only get that excited about going to church or something similar to that)
  •  WHOA! Look at this: Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 ESV- In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing. Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool, why should you die before your time? It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
  • Ecclesiastes 11:9 ESV: Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. There is a reckoning coming for those who live carelessly; be merry and be glad…but do so with eternity in mind.
  • Rehoboam was an idiot, but how many times have I rejected the counsel of those older and wiser and paid a huge price?  But do you know who the bigger idiot is? Jeroboam, who was given 10 tribes of Israel by God on a silver platter, and still did not trust God enough to keep the people faithful…back to golden calves and Egypt anyone?
  •  There are some tensions that do not need to be resolved; in fact, if they are resolved there is a serious problem. We need to ask ourselves, “Is this a problem to solve, or is this a tension we have to manage?” Sometimes it is not about either/or, but rather both.” – Andy Stanley
  • “Can you distill your purpose in life into a sentence, or is it a muddled, mediocre paragraph?” – Daniel Pink, Catalyst 2010
  •   I am tired of living in fear; the snake has squeezed the life out of me for too long; God made me for more than this. It is not who am anymore; it does not define me. Who I am in Christ is the only thing that matters.
  • I will NEVER go to the Galleria during Christmas time again and I will NEVER again use the parking garage if I can help it. I felt like I was trapped in a dungeon without hope of seeing the light of day ever again…not to mention it wasted a quarter of a tank of gas.
  • Thomas Fletcher throws some pretty awesome parties and I hate parties, but…
  • Thomas Fletcher chooses the worst movies (Red has got to be one of the worst movies ever, period)
  •  The guys got me Free Willy for Christmas; I will have to tell you that awkward story some time…or maybe not.
  • I remembered to pack everything, except Thomas’ birthday gift…wow, what a fail.
  •  My parents’ marriage may have officially ended and my dad is living in their bedroom, like an apartment, by himself…yeah, my parents’ marriage was over years ago; it would have happened eventually. Maybe God can do something with all of this; that is what I am counting on now.
  •  Anne Jackson’s Permission to Speak Freely was a truly awesome book; I finished within three or four days of picking it up. Good writing from an honest, broken perspective…loved it.
  •  My new blog says that I wrote most of my blogs (regardless of date) were written around the 2 o’clock hour…that is a complete lie, I am just too lazy to write the real times in.
  •  So, three gifts (other than JESUS [just avoided another juke]) 1) A WHITE STINKIN’ CHRISTMAS!!!!!! WHOA!, 2) A LEATHERBOND, DIAMOND POINT LITHOGRAPHED, LIMITED EDITION COPY OF THE BROTHERS KARAMOZOV!!!!!, 3) A $25 STARBUCKS GIFT CARD!!!!...I have only one thing to say about this…ITS OVER 9000!!!!
  •  Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is still the worst Star Wars movie ever. Me don’t  think so, me so know so,
  • Drew Brees and Pierre Thomas just put the Saints back in the playoffs. Who dat gonna beat them Saints?
  • There are some things I learned while help painting the church, 1) Liz Simbeck, Nic Waddell, and Garrett Browning, and Justin Beddingfield have artistic talent, 2) that if you paint bright orange over a blue wall, without primer, it will show through no matter what, 3) my brothers will paint for like 15-20 min and then abandon the work to me, and 4) that stain remover can have the recoil of a shotgun and sinus clearing power of wasabi.
  • I really enjoy the fellowship time I have with Justin Beddingfield at Starbucks or doing ministry; I am amazed at how continues to work through our relationship. He is a good guy, loves his family dearly, and lovingly serves his church…all to the glory and by the grace of God.
  • I realized that I am relationally lazy toward God; I expect a relationship with to just poof like magic but I don’t want to spend the time actually communing with God. Yes, there is difference between reading a lot about God (even in the Scriptures) and communing with God. So, I think I am going to limit my reading of extra-biblical non-fiction for awhile so as to pursue the relationship with God I have always wanted…that only he really can grant and which he does grant through Jesus Christ.
  • I have some wicked awesome friends who have offered me such amazing support during this difficult time in my life and life of everyone in my family. I don’t care if you just (and I use this word ironically not belittlingly) offered to pray, or give me permission to retreat to a room in your house, you guys are truly a blessing from God.
  • The battle in my home and for my family is not a physical battle. I see, with the aid of the Spirit, that the enemy is losing his hold; the stronghold of fear and oppression is crumbling. A showdown is about to occur between the god of this world and the God of the universe and it is for the freedom and life of my family. Like the Israelites who lived in bondage for 400 years in Egypt…our 20+ year bondage is coming to close…our Deliverer is coming.

So, there you have some of the highlights of the last month and some change. What I learned from the experience will be revealed in a forth coming blog. Happy New Year!

Grace and Peace


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