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Saturday, December 12, 2009

christmas 'round the corner

Christmas time is right around the corner. How odd! I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed. Thank God this semester is wrapping up. I have 3 exams left. And then I am off to India for two weeks. I feel so unprepared! Yikes! I think more than anything I'm fearful that I'll come back exactly the same. Not that I won't care more for orphans or for different peoples. I'm afraid I'll come back just as dry as when I left. Alas. I share the sentiments of John in the last chapter of Revelation. "Come, Lord Jesus."
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

want a plane that loops the loop

i still want a hula hoop
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Friday, October 9, 2009

a prayer for the brokenhearted

A Prayer For The Broken Hearted

1. No day in my life has past, 
That hasn't proved me guilty 
Prayers are uttered too fast 
From a heart that's cold and empty.

Chorus: Oh Blessed Jesus, 
May we find a covert in thy wounds
Though our sins, they rise to meet us,
How they fall next to the merits of you

2. Oh, all in me calls for this 
It calls for my rejection 
This heavy unrighteousness, 
Oh is there no protection?

Bridge: My best services are rags, my best deeds are filthy.

Repeat Chorus

3. Grant me hear thy shoring voice, 
That in thy wounds is pardon 
Grant me see thy willing choice 
To make my hard heart softened 

Bridge 2: Keep the broken-hearted sure, 
Clinging to thy cross, our cure.

Repeat Chorus Twice

© 2006 Petit Bateau Music (ASCAP).


 

Words:

Chelsey Scott
Based on a prayer from "The Valley of Vision"

Music:
Chelsey Scott
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Monday, September 28, 2009

get behind me santa

In one of my classes a while back (in fact, I wrote most of this blog back in September but never finished writing it until now), we had to discuss the negative and positive effects of teaching our children the myth of Santa Claus. First of all, I'm annoyed at my professor's presumptions that all people love the myth of Santa and that no one wants to surrender it, even if it's for the better of their children. Further, she laughed upon the idea of any child not believing in Santa. (Just so you know, I was one of those kids. Perhaps my parents were bad liars or I was just too cynical at birth, but I never believed a fat guy came down my chimney--the chimney I've never had.)

There was a lot of discussion and murmuring on both sides of the issue. Disturbingly, though, the only solid reasons people could give in favor of telling your children the myth of Santa was that they would be that one kid in the class who knew the truth, and they may tell other kids that they're believing a lie. Oh, what a travesty! There were no arguments for the benefits of telling them about Santa except that they may not be able to conform to the world at a young age.

All kidding aside, what are we learning by promoting Santa? If you are good you get presents and if you're bad you get coal. This Santa knows what you're doing at all times, knows when you cry and when you laugh, everything. What are we teaching our kids, really? That in order to receive gifts you must present yourself worthy? I would much rather my kids believe they received gifts because they are loved, not because they were "good" enough. No wonder we have a complex over whether or not God loves us. We have been taught since birth that only the "good" kids get shown love and the others get crap thrown at them. May it never be said that God treats His children that way. He loves beyond our disobedience. He is faithful beyond our unfaithfulness. Praise God for He is a good father, very unlike our Santa Claus.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

bad decision

For my CRTW (Critical Reading, Thinking, & Writing) we were prompted to analyze our thinking through a bad decision using Nosich's fundamental elements of critical thinking. Here is my intro paragraph. I think it sums up well how this semester has started:

The clock reads 10:35 PM the night before the paper is due. The page holds a measly twenty-eight words, including the title and date, of course. The goal comes into view, yet the execution of the task at hand still becomes upset by text messages, slight thirst and developing eyestrain. Distractions, though, must at last lose their power to sway attentions, and all other priorities must wait until tomorrow to be addressed. Progress comes slowly, and everything within the writer groans, “How did it come to be like this? What on earth were you thinking?” Indeed, the writer contemplates the same question. There were many reasons for such a delay in writing, including but not limited to psychology tests, prior commitments and a praying mantis, but the single most influential factor has seemingly been a general lack of discipline in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. 
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Monday, September 7, 2009

school

it has officially begun. i am sitting in a starbucks so that i can focus on writing my paper, but i am, of course, not focusing on writing my paper. i guess i have learned some things, though: the paper is due wednesday not tomorrow.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

india

This post may come as a surprise to you, or perhaps it will be no surprise at all. Over Christmas break, specifically December 16-30, I will be flying to Central India. Our team’s ministry there will be to the missionaries and their work, specifically assisting in the long-term relationships the missionaries have developed. Now what does that mean exactly? Some of our basic activities will be: leading Bible studies with kids in the orphanage and Bible students, playing games and having sessions with the kids, construction, painting, and attending church services and other cultural experiences. Basically, we are going there to love on the missionaries and help them as they’re working to love, support and liberate the people of India.

So, why India? Why now? Well, I’ve always felt drawn to the country of India. I think I first discovered this as a young child watching movies like A Little Princess—which I still watch now and find myself just as intrigued. As I’ve grown older the desire has grown deeper into my heart as I’ve learned about the people and their struggles, e.g. the oppression of the Dalit people, formally known as Untouchables, who are ostracized as an “inferior caste” and often denied wells for drinking water, electricity and education; women and children (often Dalit in caste) who are forced to prostitute their bodies as the only means of survival available to them. Jesus came to redeem our whole selves—our intellect, body, heart and soul to liberate us from the brokenness of this world. The Gospel calls us to not only concern ourselves with the eternal security of souls, but also the sanctity and dignity of life, which belongs to all people for we have all been created in the image of God. I see in the work of RUSA and Crossroads the desire to not just make converts but to liberate broken people through the redemption of Jesus, to the glory of God.

Am I called to full-time ministry in India? I have no idea. Do I think this trip is a good step in trying to figure that out? Absolutely. I’m hoping that you and your family will be able to partner with me in this work, prayerfully and financially. The total cost of the trip is about $3,400, including everything from airfare to translators to food. A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 is due September 15, with the remaining balance due November 15. Yes, that is a very short time frame in my brain, too. But God is more than sufficient in power and faithfulness to see this happen. Please prayerfully consider supporting me in finances and prayer.

Thank you so much for prayerfully considering partnering with me.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

harmonicas. elephants. vanilla candles. colorful scarves. orange juice with some pulp. in these things i can taste/smell/ see/hear the sweetness of God
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Luke 15

"As long as you are trying to earn your salvation by controlling God through goodness, you will never be sure you have been good enough for Him. You simply aren't sure God loves and delights in you. What are the signs of this lack of assurance? We have already mentioned one sign: Every time something goes wrong in your life, you wonder if it's because you aren't living right in this or that area. Another sign is that criticism from others doesn't just hurt your feelings, it devastates you. This is because your sense of God's love is abstract and has little power in your life, and you need the approval of others to bolster your sense of value. You will also feel irresolvable guilt. When you do something you know is wrong your conscience torments you for a long time, even after you repent. Since you can't be sure you've repented deeply enough, you beat yourself up over what you did. But perhaps the clearest symptom of this lack of assurance is a dry prayer life...Why is it so important to know that Jesus exposes elder-brother lostness as being as wrong and destructive as younger brother lostness? The elder brothers of the world desperately need to see themselves in this mirror...The younger brother knew he was alienated from the father, but the elder brother did not. That's why elder brother lostness is so dangerous. Elder brothers don't go to God and beg for healing from their condition. They see nothing wrong with their condition and that can be fatal. If you know you are sick you may go to a doctor; if you don't know you're sick you won't--you'll just die...In this parable Jesus says to us, 'Would you please be open to the possibility that the gospel, real Christianity, is something very different from religion?'...There is a big difference between an elder brother and a real, gospel-believing Christian. But there are also many genuine Christians who are elder-brotherish...While most people do not arrive at these extreme places, each approach (younger and elder-brother) to life has the seeds of its own destruction in it, which draws its adherents toward the spiritual destinations [Jesus] describes so well...He has vividly portrayed both of the world's two spiritual paths (rebellion and moralism)....However, he exposes them both as profoundly mistaken, as dead ends. He clearly wants us to take some radically different approach, but what is it? Where do we find it? We will find the answer when we realize that Jesus deliberately left someone out of this parable. He did this so that we would look for him and, finding him, find out own way home at last."

--Tim Keller, The Prodigal God p. 63-66, 69-72
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

that list I made

Update on my goals for the summer. I still have two weeks left.....
  1. Learn to play the harmonica. I bought one while I was in Dublin and I have learned to play some of the songs in the little booklet that came with it. 
  2. Go to the gym. I've been to the gym twice all summer...but both of those instances were in the past week, so hopefully that will continue.
  3. Become a better photographer. I worked on editing photos and taking better photos while in Dublin--see old posts. I also bought a book called The Art of Digital Photography, and I plan to get a better camera with my refund check.
  4. Read good books. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  5. Visit places I've never been. The Appalachian Trail, Folly Beach
  6. Learn to cook Indian food. I bought a huge Indian cookbook, and I got ingredients for Naan today.
  7. Write new songs. I have some words in my journal and I have been coming up with tunes, too.
  8. Make dresses and skirts. I got a nice sewing table....
  9. See the face of God in the every day things. 
  10. Blog about these things as daily as possible. Well, I've been better this summer. 
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feed your soul

it is hungry

isaiah 55
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

julie & julia

I just saw the movie Julia and Julie and have been inspired to blog. 

Now...what to blog about? The film was sort of inspirational. It took something seemingly mundane--cooking--and turned it into a passion. It reminds me of Caedmon's song "Sacred"

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

I guess as of late I have been feeling less like myself. I feel like I've lost some zest for life, not in a suicidal sense, but in a way that makes me feel like I might need to just stop trying. I know it sounds awful, and, indeed, it is. 

There have been a number of times in the past year that I have wondered, "What am I doing, really?" And I have two different perspectives about this question of mine, and I think both are valid and can be true simultaneously.

1. I'm doing what God created me to do. (Or I'm sucking at it.) Either way, God has given me gifts and passions and opportunities that are particular to me and my life. He saved me to do good works. Sometimes you feel like shit because you foul up real bad. And sometimes you feel like shit because you're actually right where you need to be and the Enemy recognizes it before you do and he does all he can to screw it up--for example, deceiving you into believing that you are worthless and it is all your fault. Whether you're being honest or being deceived, you can't do your good works perfectly, so the solution is resting in the gracious arms of God.

2. God doesn't really care what you do. He loves you. When we try to make the Gospel about anything other than God loving you with an unmerited, unfailing and unending love it ceases to be the Gospel. You have the freedom in Christ to take a year out of your life and cook through a Julia Child's cookbook, because chances are (and actually there's no chance about it) Jesus is the one who knit that heart together in your chest that takes joy in creating something out of a lot of nothing, and making it taste real good. I mean, isn't that His heart as well? Taking a lot of nothing and throwing it together in a way only He can? As long as you love God and you let Him love you, it really doesn't matter what you're doing. Tim Keller writes in The Prodigal God, "Nothing, not even abject contrition, merits the favor of God." If you can't earn it then you certainly can't lose it, can you? What a freedom! Go cook and write songs and enjoy doing math problems. If that's the way God created you, what would bring Him greater joy than to watch you passionately pursue it? What kind of a Father would He be if he gave you great joy in making music, but told you that you had better things to do with your time than sing? If colors bring you joy, then paint. If wine overwhelms your tongue, then go and taste fine wines. Live life to the fullest. Jesus did not set us free to be boring, passionless people. He set us free to be like Him and He was never boring or passionless. He's quite the opposite. And so we should be as well. I think I'm starting to learn that those good works He created us for come a lot easier to us when we live in the freedom He bought and start living in it--by being fully who He created us and redeemed us to be. Yes, fight your flesh. The heart and the Enemy can be very deceitful. Don't just do whatever you want to do. Do what you were created to do. If you're good at cooking. Cook. And pray, wait and watch what God can do with that. I think there is beauty in experiencing the joy of God in the mundane. So what if you never feed 5,000 homeless people with your food? That doesn't mean it was pointless or un-Christlike. Jesus delighted in His Father and in being who He was created to be. We should do likewise. And this freedom and joy and healing and acceptance are things Christ desires for us and died to give us. What are we telling people when we make the Gospel about moralism and legalism. That's not what Christ offered broken people, so we should stop offering people that. Let's start offering who Christ really is. A Lover, a Healer, a Redeemer, a Creator, a Fighter, a Father....the list goes on and on. Let's let him be who He really is to people...He'll do the same for us. In fact, He already has, we've just refused the gift. 

oh and something else I should add, so people don't start doubting my Christian convictions so to speak--Until you start believing (therefore living in it) that this is the way Jesus really loves you, you will never change and you will never be like Him. When we believe Him is when we begin to live in Him and as live in Him we can love Him and when we love Him is when we start to act like Him. We have to stop thinking that we do the stuff then we get love and freedom. No. No. No. The love and freedom always come first or the stuff we do is meaningless and fruitless. 
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

gospel

"You're never going to be truly filled with joy unless you truly know yourself for who you are. And until you are a real sinner with a real savior, you are going to be a hypothetical and theoretical sinner and, therefore, the hypothetical and theoretical savior...If all that I can confess is a knowledge of how sin has affected me but not any of my real sins, if I don't really know that I am sinful, then I don't really know and I'm not truly encouraged by the fact that I've been saved...If I'm not really sinful, then what's the good news? It's just news. But if you know yourself, as exposed by the cross, then I believe you will begin to experience true joy because you will not constantly be looking over your shoulder all the time, constantly checking the knots in this great suit of fig leaves that you've sewn for yourself. But rather, you will be comfortably exposed in your sin and boasting in your great Savior cause He is real. Charles Spurgeon once said, 'If your sin is small then your savior will be small also. But if your sin is great, then your savior must be great.' And, folks, our savior's great, so what's that tell us about our great sin?"

--Derek Webb
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Friday, July 17, 2009

dublin





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xpresso take three





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xpresso night two





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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

xpresso












more photos to come.



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Sunday, July 12, 2009

1:35 am

It's 1:35 Sunday morning. I've really been wanting to update recently, but I've either:

a. not had time.
b. not had words.
c. not had the desire to delve into issues, personal or global.
d. all of the above

I guess I could share some updates, though. 

Today we had auditions for the Down Home Play Festival. I'll be directing a short one act along with 6 other directors. It was quite nice sitting on the other side of that table. (And not as a stage manager either, thank goodness.) I don't actually know the dates of the show yet. It's in August. I'll post when I find out.

Monday I'll be flying to Dublin to help in whatever way I can with Abbey's arts festival. (Check my old blog if that doesn't make sense.) I'm going to be there for a week. I'm excited. The only drawbacks are being out of my own apartment for the third week in a row and losing a week to connect with the youth. Which takes me to my next topic. 

I should be starting a small group with some of the girls from the youth group in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this will be able to continue into the school year. I think most of my anxiety with it is that I haven't been able to talk to any of the girls that are supposed to be in my group, so I don't even know if any of the girls will want to do it. If it doesn't work out, I will, honestly, be very disappointed because it's something I've been really wanting to do for a while, but I'll know that I need to be spending my time in another way. I have also been really interested in leading an RUF small group...Jeff and I just still haven't sat down to talk about it. 

I am seriously pursuing going on the trip to India facilitated by Crossroads--Clayton King's ministry. (Here's info: Crossroads India.) I am super pumped about it. I know I haven't really talked about it on here, but as people like Hannah Caughman and Erin Lee know, I feel a deep desire to go. I don't know if it is a "calling" or just an intense attraction. I'm hoping this trip will help me figure that out. Once I apply I'll know within the next two weeks. (Yikes! Quick turnaround!) Then it'll be time for raising support. I also forgot to mention the trip is over Christmas break. There are two trips. There's a real good chance I'll be going on the one that is during Christmas, though, because classes won't even be over before they leave for the first trip. I'm really excited about this opportunity. You'll definitely be hearing more about this in the not too distant future. 

I have been in a real season this...you know, I don't even know when it began. The thing is I don't really think this is so much a season as it is experiencing the way life really is, or at least the way it can be for long periods of time. God is faithful. And Truth is true whether I feel convicted of it or not. Praise be to God for that. Oh how He loves.

Just something to leave with you to wrestle with along with me:

3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
1 Peter 1:3-7


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Monday, July 6, 2009

i sense something moving and god i hope it's real

sometimes you don't have your own words, but almost as an intercessor, a brother or sister provides you with what you need to say, and what you need to wash over you. that brother right now is john mark mcmillan. here are some of his words.


ashes & flames
You and I meet
On the shores of the broken
You swallow the ocean
I Swallow my pride
Only to see
The way that I need you
Is more than I knew
I ever could

In between the ashes and the flames
Is a cry an awkward silence
Could never contain
And the falling of my hammers
And the writhing of my pain
Is just not as real as the way
That your calling my name

I cant help thinking
That the way that you want me
And the ghost that haunts me
Are one and the same
Cause you stand at my window
At night wile I'm sleeping
There's not a promise I'm keeping
That could ever repay you

In between the ashes and the flames
There's a song that burns brighter
Than Radio waves
Bout the remnants of my Idols
And the shadow of my shame
About how they scatter like the rain and I can't stop crying
Cause you wont stop calling my name

Calling my name up from the ashes


kiss your feet
I dreamed I kissed your feet
Between the cigarette butts
On the side of fourteenth street
I got down on my hands and my knees
With an alabaster jar

I dreamed I'd bleed with your praises
Just to make the world
Smell like your grace again
I got down on my hands and my knees again

And I'm crawling on the floor
Just to find you now
To tell you how I feel I'm falling all over myself

Good morning brokeness
You know you've cut me to the bone
Like one of those days in the middle of the winter
The kind that you can't run away from
And we've been here for so long
But I found a way to appease you
Inside this alabaster jar

And I'm crawling on the floor
Just to find you now
To tell you how I feel I'm falling all over myself
And all my afflictions
There only light ones anyway now


how he loves
He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

Yea He loves us
Oh how

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So heaven meats earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart burns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

Yea He loves us
Oh how

I thought about you
The day Stephen died
And you met me between my breaking
I know that I still love you God
Despite the agony
See people they want to tell me your cruel
But if Stephen could sing
He'd say its not true
Cause your good

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Monday, June 29, 2009

summersalt

We are now with the youth at Summersalt--the camp of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Should be fun. Prayer is definitely appreciated.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009


oh, and this is how he sleeps.


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atticus



this is the cat i adopted. it lives outside my apartment. i am in love. i just might bring him inside.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

God made beautiful things for us to enjoy. Man makes us pay for them sometimes. And i am sort of a poor college student.
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give a shit



“The twin towers fall every day in Africa for lack of clean drinking water—7,500 or 8,000 people dying every day and the church does not appear to give a shit." --Derek Webb

"Derek Webb wants to dig latrines for Jesus. And he’s looking for a few thousand friends to lend a hand. In a world where as many as 8,000 people die each day from waterborne diseases, he says, it’s the Christian thing to do. To get the word out about his latrine campaign, Webb, a Nashville-based Christian singer-songwriter who doesn’t mince words, is planning to launch a new Web site—www.giveashit.org. The name, he said, is meant to startle people into action." --Sojourner's Magazine
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

new friends and old ones

Hiking the AT for a few days with some new friends was quite an adventure. The first stretch I thought I was going to die. (I felt much better when it seemed everyone else felt the same way.) We didn't make it to camp the first night, but we actual found a perfect spot along the trail. The second day we had to go back to the car and go back into town because the gas didn't work. So 3 of us went back to civilization while 3 went on. We brought them pizza :) The second night POURED. Luckily we had made it to the super nice shelter. Bruce and I are so stiff. Haha. We only went about 10 miles. I can't imagine 220. Paul's words about enduring and running the race kept ringing through my ears. 

Now I am sitting in the kitchen of Kathy Fidati. Yesterday I spent some time with Jacqueline--love her! :) And now Bruce is hearing all the stories and discussions of Dublin that we so long to have but people just don't really understand but us. It's so nice to talk to people who really know what you're talking about. Dublin is still very present in my thoughts these days. Hmm...
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Places I've Never Been: Going hiking on the appalachian trail for a couple of days. Pictures to come...
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009



I also may have a puppy sitting job this weekend.
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Monday, June 8, 2009



God is faithful. It took less than 24 hours after emailing Andy Crissinger about jobs to have someone emailing me about babysitting their kids
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My cat never tires of your fellowship. Ever. It can actually become quite annoying. What if we believed God never tired of our fellowship either?
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Sunday, June 7, 2009


The face of God seen at 1:41 am Glory of It All by Crowder. Jesus speaks to me through my iPod. The glory of the struggle is Christ's redeeming love
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Friday, June 5, 2009

as thy days, so shall thy strength be




I stumbled upon a beautiful sermon of Spurgeon. I'm not going to summarize, but I wanted to copy and paste some of his words. (You can find the entire thing here.)

Well now, translate those two ideas, and you will see why it is that even our sin, our lost and ruined estate, has been made the means, in the hand of God, of manifesting to us the excellencies of his character. My dear friends, if you and I had been without trouble, we never could have had such a promise as this given to us:—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." It is our weakness that has made room for God to give us such a promise as this. Our sins make room for a Saviour; our frailties make room for the Holy Spirit to correct them; all our wanderings make room for the good Shepherd, that he may seek us and bring us back. We do not love nights, but we do love stars; we do not love weakness, but we do bless God for the promise that is to sustain us in our weakness, we do not admire winter, but we do admire the glittering snow; we must shudder at our own trembling weakness, but we still do bless God that we are weak because it makes room for the display of his own invincible strength in fulfilling such a promise as this.

When you are on dry land most of you are good sailors; out at sea you are vastly different. There is many a man who makes a wonderfully brave soldier till he gets into the battle, and then he wishes himself miles away, and except his spurs there is no weapon he can use with much advantage. That man has never been sick who does not know his weakness, his want of patience and of endurance.

 I have sometimes thought I would try to have more faith but I have found it very hard to keep as much as I had. I have thought, "I will love my Saviour more," and it was right that I should strive to do so; but when I sought to love him more I found that perhaps I was going backward instead of forward. How often do we find out our weakness when God answers our prayers!...That is, the Lord helps us to grow downward when we are only thinking about growing upward. Let any of you try to grow in grace, and seek to run the heavenly race, and make a little progress, and you will soon find, in such a slippery road as that which we have to travel, that it is very hard to go one step forward, though remarkably easy to go a great many steps backward.

We have all our tender points. When Thetis dipped Achilles in the Styx, you remember she held him by the heel; he was made invulnerable wherever the water touched him, but his heel not being covered with the water, was vulnerable, and there Paris shot his arrow, and he died. It is even so with us. We may think that we are covered with virtue till we are totally invulnerable, but we have a heel somewhere; there is a place where the arrow of the devil can make way: hence the absolute necessity of taking to ourselves "the whole armor of God,"...Man knoweth not himself so well as Satan knows him. There are back ways and subterranean passages into man's heart which the devil doth well understand. and he who thinketh that he is safe, let him take heed lest he fall...Tremble, for ye may yet be overcome! Ye are as weak as water if God shall leave you alone.

Now, I think, if we have well surveyed these different points of our moral standing on earth, every child of God will be ready to confess that he is weak. I imagine there may be some of you ready to say, "Sir, I am nothing." Then I shall reply, "Ah! you are a young Christian." There will be others of you who will say, "Sir, I am less than nothing." And I shall say, "Ah! you are an old Christian;" for the older Christians get, the less they become in their own esteem, the more they feel their own weakness, and the more entirely they rely upon the strength of God.

There is enough bullion in the vaults of Omnipotence to pay off every bill that ever shall be drawn by the faith of man or the promises of God...Believer, till thou canst drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, till thou canst break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, thou never needest to fear. Until thine enemy can stop the course of a whirlwind with a reed, till he can twist the hurricane from its path by a word of his puny lip, thou needest not think that the strength of man shall ever be able to overcome the strength which is in thee, namely, the strength of God.

First, it says our strength is to be as our days are; it does not say our strength is to be as our desires are... "Still," says one, "if I had faith like so-and-so, I think I should do wonders." Yes, but you would get the glory of them. That is why God does not let you have the faith, because he does not want you to do wonders. That is reserved for God, not for you...Once more, it does not say, our strength shall be as our fears. God often leaves us to shift alone with our fears,—never with our troubles...Troubles of God's sending are always suitable—the right sort for our backs; but those that we make are of the wrong sort, and they always last us longer than God's..."When you are weak then I will make you strong; but I will not give you any extra strength to lay by: strength enough to bear your sufferings, and to do your duty; but no strength to play at matches with your brethren and sisters in order to get the glory to yourselves."

"Ah! but," you say, "I could not do that."" Yea you could, if God called you to it. Any child of God can do what any other child of God has done, if God gives him the strength. You could not do what you are doing even now, without God's strength; and you could do ten thousand times more, if he should be pressed to fill you with his might. What an expansive promise this is!

Dost thou tremble, pilgrim?—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are robbers in the wood."—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are lions which shall devour me."—"As thy days. so shall thy strength be." "But there are rivers: how shall I swim them?" Here is a boat to carry thee over: "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are fires: how shall I pass through them?" Here is the garment that will protect thee: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." "But there are arrows that fly by day." Here is thy shield: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." "But there is the pestilence that walketh in darkness." Here is thy antidote: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." Wherever you may be, and whatever trouble awaits you, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Children of God, cannot you say that this has been true hitherto?

And when thou shalt see God face to face, though thy weakness were enough to make thee die, thou shalt have strength to bear the beatific vision: thou shalt see him face to face, and thou shalt live; thou shalt lie in the bosom of thy God; immortalized and made full of strength, thou shalt be able to bear even the brightness of the Most High.

What INFERENCE shall I draw except this? Children of the living God, be rid of your doubts, be rid of your trouble and your fear. Young Christians, do not be afraid to set forward on the heavenly race. 


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embracing accusation


The father of lies
Coming to steal
Kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies
Be telling the truth
Of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
Then death is mine
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

Oh the devil’s singing over me
An age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

-shane and shane
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

amazing adventures of a nobody

(my new friend, leon)


Well. This summer thus far has been an interesting blend of excitement and mediocrity. It started off with RUF summer conference, moved into bouncing from house to house, and has progressed with Julie Hammond and I moving into an apartment in Rock Hill. I have decided to stay here for the summer and work as an intern with Eternal's youth group. There had been a lot of options for this summer: working in Athens at Briarwood (my old church) being a (dare I mention, paid) intern, studying abroad in Dublin, being a (dare I mention it a second time, paid) intern at Clemson Pres, or staying in Rock Hill. There were a lot of factors here that I either can't or won't bother to mention which explains my decision. In the end, the most important reasons were that I wanted to get settled in Rock Hill paying bills, etc before the school year started and because I wanted to be able to really get connected into the body of Eternal, where I am now a member. I have almost daily questioned my decision, not for the reasons' validity but for the awkward feelings in the pit of my stomach which come and go often. I must keep reminding myself of a few things daily:

1. The internship, (really the summer itself) hasn't gained any momentum yet. The first real youth event is tomorrow, so how can you feel like you're out of place already?
2. You're still recovering from one hell of a year.
3. The decision is made. God is sovereign. Get over yourself and live your life. 

I started watching this show on Hulu, The Amazing Adventures of Nobody. There's this guy, Leon Logothetis, who because of a desire to "reconnect to the human spirit in [himself] and others," decided to travel across a continent or country on $5 a day. He's gone across the UK, the US and I am currently watching him cross Europe. His spirit is truly inspiring:
"There are moments in our lives where like waking from a dream, we are given the opportunity to challenge the status quo of our existence. In these moments we have the choice to either embrace the opportunity to redefine ourselves, or fall back asleep and continue down our well-trodden path of mediocrity, a path that is as familiar as it is mundane. I faced one such crossroads after watching the film "The Motorcycle Diaries" - a story about one man's journey of self-discovery through his connections with others. But by grace I made a choice that forever changed the way that I relate to myself and the world."
 You can read more about my new friend, Leon, on his website.

There are things that I want to do this summer. They may seem silly goals to some, but they are what I want to pursue this summer quite seriously. I hope to keep you all updated along the journey.
  1. Learn to play the harmonica.
  2. Go to the gym.
  3. Become a better photographer.
  4. Read good books.
  5. Visit places I've never been.
  6. Learn to cook Indian food.
  7. Write new songs.
  8. Make dresses and skirts.
  9. See the face of God in the every day things.
  10. Blog about these things as daily as possible.

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puddleglum


I obviously haven't been here in a while. There are a lot of reasons: exams, exhaustion, or just not really liking the thoughts in my head. Speaking of those thoughts, I'd like to share some wisdom from my old friend, Puddleglum, from C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair:

"One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say." 

Maybe all the awful things being whispered into my ear about myself are true. Perhaps. But I'd much rather childishly believe that the Creator of the stars and mountains and sparrows loves me with a furious love I could never comprehend than live any other way. And if in the end I'm wrong about such things, then it's no real great loss, is it? What good is this life without a God like that? What meaning is there in this broken world marked all too often by confusion and suffering and mediocrity if there doesn't exist a great Lover of us all who actually understands, and is, indeed, orchestrating it all for our good and His glory?
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

kateman music



i successfully procrastinated another 30 minutes by updating some things on my myspace music page. to check out some rough recordings of a few of my tunes, check out kateman music. hopefully more tunes will be coming this summer.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

melanin



An article was printed in the Johnsonian (Winthrop news) that has sparked a lot of discussion about diversity, racism and equality in the Winthrop Theatre and Dance Dept. In my completely biased opinion, the article was crap--it's not that the issues brought up aren't still alive and well in America but those issues were NOT the reason for what happened. But the article still rustles up some good questions and reminds us of how broken our world still is--how broken we still are. It also convicts me of how much I love to monologue about such issues when dialogue is what is needed. And maybe a facebook chat at 1 am was a good step forward.

 I just wanted to share a little bit of that conversation: "I really feel as though it runs deeper than Winthrop Theatre. I feel like sometimes our society has grown to race-paranoid rather than race-conscious. And I hope one day we don't even have to be conscious of it, that it ceases to divide people." And what I hate most of all is that I am guilty of what I hate, guilty of what I want to see our society rid of. And so is everyone else! But none of us, not even me, want to actually admit it. This is one step, but how on earth do we work to fix it? And, I'll be honest. I don't think it's just white people saying "I'm sorry." The whole world is guilty. Every skin. Isn't always assuming everyone is treating you differently based solely on race a form of racism in and of itself? Likewise, isn't accusing someone of just "using the race card" a form of racism as well? We are all hurting and we all terribly misconstrue other people based on race, gender, class, profession....the list goes on and on and on and.........

People are people. What is the matter with us? We rip each other apart--literally and figuratively. We've done it from the beginning of time. It's just this little thing called melanin. What on earth is the color of our skin? It makes us look different. Well, good! It's less boring that way. The same way flowers are much less boring because they come in different shapes and colors. I can speak vehemently about such things. But I am also a product of my culture. And I long for a day for myself that I cease to classify people in my head based on anything other than who they individually and beautifully are. God has made all things good. We're the ones who went (and still go on) mucking it all up. And yet, it is God who will be fixing it. Let us not lose hope. I'm not sure yet, but one day all things that are broken well be made well again. However, I think there's going to be a lot more painful realization of how desperately we need His redeeming hand before it is complete. 

I wish I could fix the problem. I know that I can't. But I think there's a lot more that I can do than I realize or want to admit. Because I don't want to face brokenness and I don't want to change. No one really innately wants to change their ways. Thankfully God is faithful enough to make us change anyways. It's for our own good. 

The question is: where do we go from here?

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

high school



"absolutely" by nine days. heck yes. on my itunes. i miss high school back when i first loved that song. because in high school i was never up at 5:15 am writing an "outline" which must be 3 pages long and in complete sentences. in high school i was never studying in denny's til 4 am for an exam either. oh oconee high, i never imagined i'd miss you so. 
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

nineveh beckons


I actually am feeling much better than I was about a week ago about some things in my life (and, yes, I am going to be that vague), but I still wanted to share some of my struggles recently. Partly because that's the whole point of the blog. Also because I'm not so sure this struggle is gone. I'll begin with the simile-allusion which defines the struggle. I feel as though I am in the belly of the whale, still wrestling, fighting with God over my call to Nineveh...but I'm not quite sure what is my Nineveh and what is my Tarshish. Some days I feel like I know, but it only takes about 24 hours for me to find myself convinced of the complete opposite. What I find most disturbing in myself, and in Jonah, is the attitude of my heart. I find myself quite resentful that God has made it as hard as he has and as painful as he has with no hope of relief anytime soon. And yet relief can also be terrifying because what if it is false? What if it is my flesh convincing me of untruth? And I find myself wanting to quit. Just stop fighting. Stop struggling. But when I do that, I don't find life; I don't find freedom or relief; I find paralysis and despair.

Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for your are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist;
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Isaiah 44:21-22

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Monday, March 23, 2009

on our way to crazy



almost no one slides on purpose
no one sells their soul for free
but once we learn the things that hurt us
we're on our way to crazy
-from "on our way to crazy" by don chaffer




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Friday, March 13, 2009

small things



You know, sometimes it's the small things, like orange soda, that get you through the hard weeks. As scrumptious and refreshing as a good, cold glass of this carbonated citrus is, i don't really think it's so much the bubbles and sweetness as it is what it represents: something to get excited about, a rediscovery of an old friend, a distraction from the developing methods of Stanislavski. 
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

abiding


I think my problem, among the plethora of ones I possess, is that I want God to swoop down and fix everything. It's like I have a broken toy and I'm crying and crying and crying for it to be fixed. Maybe I have to be patient. Maybe I'm supposed to move on to other things. Or maybe, being the loving Daddy/jealous Husband He is, He wants me to, before I do anything else, come and sit with Him, even if it's just to sit and cry in His bosom. I think that's what He wants more than anything else. And that is what I want, too. Now, that is. I want that now, it's not always been what I wanted, especially not right now, not in these circumstances. Maybe I've been scared to sit there because He would make me fix it. Or maybe I've been scared He'll let me tell my problems and pat me on my head and send me on my way with a task I feel I am incapable to complete. Or maybe I've been scared to go and find He's angry because it's all my fault: I broke the toy in the first place. But He's not like that. I know He's not. I know He's not. I know He's not. I repeat it for my edification as well as yours. Why I insist on tearing myself from the bosom of Christ, why I would rather believe the voices of all the lions of hell than that Great Lamb, why I keep being deceived that there's something I'm missing apart from Christ, I'll never know, but this I do: that bosom is the place I long for and it's the place I wrestle to remain. Maybe this struggle is what Jesus was talking about when He said "Abide in me."
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Monday, March 9, 2009

beginnings







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