Insidecy


[changes]
February 13, 2007, 7:41 am
Filed under: Church, Spirituality, Thoughts

Life teaches you that not all things are secure. You can’t always be 100% certain of what is right in front of you.

People change. Situations change. Lives change.

Granted, some things are certain for everyone. For me, my faith is certain. God is certain. Really. Does anything matter in this life? In this world that we live on? Apart from following the Lord and his commands, I don’t think so.

My friend is going to be facing some hard times up ahead. His future is only as uncertain as he allows it to be. If he learns from this mistake and puts God first, I think he’ll come out of it okay. Possibly even stronger and more secure.

I hope and pray that he doesn’t use this as a crutch to fall deeper into sin and despair. I pray that he continues to seek guidance and help in his life. I pray that he places his value solely on God and not the things of this earth that are perishing. I hope that he comes out of this trial victorious and ready to do whatever for the Kingdom.

If he does these things, then I know he’ll be taken care of. Sadly to say, if he does these things, I’ll be seeing much less of him. Honestly, I want what’s best for him. I still love him and he will always be my big bro.

For new life, there must be sacrifice. For him, the sacrifice is living in close proximity to us. I understand that him moving away is part of this sort of repentance that must take place in order for him to live once again for the Lord and not for himself. Yes, I’ll be sad by his departure and will miss seeing him week after week, but if it is what is necessary for both of us to live in eternity with our Heavenly Father, then I am all for it. “Not my will, but yours be done.” Right?

He will be third of those who have ‘left’. My closest friend and mentor during my early teen years Scott moved away to Sacramento in the summer of 2003. That same month, my own father decided to leave God and the Church and live a completely capitalistic life, seeking after things so temporary and worthless. Both were a huge hit to me that year. I used those two ‘leaving’ as an excuse to hate and doubt God. An excuse to fall deep into sin, taking me to a place I never dreamed I’d be. I’m still healing from the things I’ve done and making reparations to the people I’ve hurt.

This time around, I’ve learned my lesson. I cannot use this as an excuse for failure. I cannot use this as a reason to be ineffective, lukewarm, and selfish. Rather, I must use this as motivation to fight harder because the spiritual battle that this life truly is has become even more real to me. Satan has brutally attacked someone so close and dear to my life, that I have to fight back. I have to resolute to do God’s purposes for me in this life as vengeance for those lost in the battle.

I hope my comrade picks himself up and rejoins us on the frontlines sooner than later.

I’m thankful that through giving myself wholeheartedly to ministry work, that I’m learning more discernment and obtaining ‘greater wisdom’ (with it, I wouldn’t do it. (inside joke)). Seriously though, God has been teaching me a lot. I’ve become much more spiritual focused and it’s been a huge blessing to me. Because I’m devoting my time, energy, and efforts into other people and into the ministry, I have not had a lot of time nor opportunity for sin and all the guilt, shame, pain, and hurt that comes with it.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
-Jeremiah 29:11

Bro, I believe in you and love you. I know you’ll bounce back from this even more capable and ready for the calling we’ve been given. Use this as an experience you’ve gone through to help those you encounter in the future who have a problem dealing with the same thing. To be cliche, this is your curse and your blessing. I encourage you to take the advice of those leaders that you have talked to. If that involves moving away from the Antelope Valley, I understand and am supportive of it. I hope you do this for you and for God and for no one else. Remember that I’ll always be there for you and will always listen to you and hear you out. I am sorry that I couldn’t have been a better help to you to keep you away from doing what you did. Unfortunately, it happened. Yes, God does and has forgiven us of our sins, but we do have to deal with the very real earthly consequences that comes with some of those sins. I believe that if you don’t let this get to you and if you don’t use this as a crutch, God will continue to use you for his glory. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4) Continue to seek him out, man. We can never stop searching for Christ. I love you and believe that in God, you can still do amazing things. Take care of your relationship with Him and everything will follow. You’re still the bomb.com.

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[untitled]
February 9, 2007, 1:25 am
Filed under: Bible, Blog, Church, College

2007.02.08

I feel absolutely drained today. The marathon starts at seven this morning with the alarm clock pulsing through my ears to which the snooze button provides relief for a good twenty minutes, after which I realize that I actually do need to go to school. I make an attempt for a quick shower, skipping the conditioner this time around. A quick brushing of the teeth, shrug on some clothes and I’m out the door by 7:55a. Luckily for me, the college is almost literally right next door.

Have you ever seen that movie where someone is chasing a bad guy or a sweet sudden love interest and the pursuit leads the pursuer into some crowded area, say a train station or a busy metropolis with people pouring down the sidewalks? Finding a parking space at AVC is similar to that during most times of the day. However, at 8:00a, it’s not quite as difficult. I find a spot close to the building of my first class, check my face in the mirror to make sure nothing is sticking out of my nose, double check that the car is locked, and briskly make my way to ART102 – History of Art, Renaissance to Modern.

As I enter the classroom, everyone’s eyes turn to me to acknowledge my tardiness. Their eyes shift back to Rae Agahari’s face to see her response. She smiles at me and quite loudly says, “You name is Cy? Right?!” I respond in the affirmative. She takes her eyes off of me as she checks off my name on her attendance sheet. I take my seat. For the next hour and twenty minutes, my attention is captured by this middle aged Indonesian woman with a distinct accent who has such passion for art and history and even more so when combined together.

She explains to us that by the end of this semester we will have gained the skill to be able to analyze artwork and be able to explain why we feel how we feel about the piece; what works and what does not. She makes a point to say that if anything, it will help us to impress our dates with our vast knowledge of art. For the men especially, it’ll show we’re are softer than meets the eye. We have an air of sophistication and refinement. I chuckle at her statement and raise my hand. I share with the class that earlier on in my teenage life, I took a girl on a date to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for me and probably her as well, it turned out to be the most memorable date in a notorious kind of way. Neither she nor I understood any of the art despite our best efforts. It did well to shut us up for the rest of the drive home since we had absolutely nothing to talk about and I ended up falling asleep on her for a good fifteen minutes. I wasn’t the one driving obviously. The class laughs at my (and her) misfortune and Rae says that indeed this will be a great class for me.

After she dismisses us, I head straight for my next subject; ECON102-Micro Economics. It’s 9:30a and our teacher Ron Halcrow is late. After only an hour and a half of being on campus, I can feel my body shutting down. Before I can think to get something in my stomach, Ron comes through the door and starts lecturing about basic algebraic equations. I’m a master at basic algebra and am quickly put to sleep. I’m roused several times in between discussions of Price and Quantity in comparison to the X and Y axes, but stay unconscious for the next forty or so minutes when he lets the class out twenty minutes early. I use this opportunity to actually place my head on the desk and attempt to get some quick Zs, but to no avail. I figure if I can’t actually sleep, I’ll try my best to stay awake. I leave the classroom and head out to the vending machines in the lobby of the building. I grab a packet of strawberry PopTarts and a bottle of water and head back to class.

Back in the classroom, Ron is back for my next hour and a half bout with economics; ECON101-Macro Economics. Mr. Halcrow is an interesting man. He chuckles after almost every other phrase as if he is saying something either deeply profound or incredibly witty. Through most of his chuckles he interjects his signature murmuring of “Okay?” It’s odd and a bit distracting for me, since I do focus a lot on people’s speech habits. However, after a couple of months it will not be an issue. Last semester, Mr. Taback, my biology teacher, really irked me with his constant squinting in the first couple weeks of classes. After that, I didn’t really notice it anymore, although he did continue to squint a lot as if some stinging sweat was continually creeping into his eyes. Due to my quick sugar rush, I’m able to stay awake and involved in Halcrow’s Economics Part Deux. By 12:20p, I am done with economics for the day.

As I make my way over to the center part of campus, I’m greeted by one of my former classmates from my Vocal Class. Kelly and I chat for a bit about what classes we’re taking this semester, how our grades were last semester, and what our plans are after the semester; typical collegiate chit chat. Somewhere along the conversation, I let her know about the bibletalk groups I lead every Monday and Thursday. Then, somehow I find out that she’s been going to church down in the valley every weekend because she hasn’t found a church up in the Antelope Valley yet. She had just moved prior to the fall semester. We exchange phone numbers and I let her know that our church is always looking for more people to join the singing ministry. I also let her know that I lead the church’s college ministry and would love for her to come out to things. We exchange pleasantries and go on our ways.

Ten minutes to bibletalk and I having a conversation with a complete stranger named Troy about his take on agnosticism. He doesn’t think so much that there is no absolute way to know God or if there is a God, but rather has quite a distaste for organized religion, denouncing everything from Hinduism and Buddhism to Catholicism and Southern Baptist Christianity. He believes in taking the good of all of those things to help shape his own morals and beliefs, but because of each Church’s flaws with odd traditions and inequality regarding women, he has no faith in the institution of religion. When he tells me that he does, however, believe in God, I ask him if he would like to join us for our bibletalk where we could talk more about it. He kindly declines.

I start bibletalk five minutes late because of my lengthy discussion with Troy. Everyone else who I am expecting to be at the group is there; Luke, Amanda, Hunter, and Mike. Victor is a new face that I introduce myself to amicably. We all sit down and I have everyone open their Bibles to Leviticus chapter 4. We discuss the Sin Offering of the Israelite nation and the imputation of sin from man to animal and the sacrifice that had to made for the atonement of sin. We then discuss Hebrews chapter 10 about Christ being the sacrifice in place of bulls, goats and lambs. We talk about him being the final sacrifice and atonement for sins for all of eternity and how, in today’s society, we are applying that to our daily lives; whether or not we’re taking the blessing of the freedom we have in Christ and using it for his further glory or if we’re keeping it locked away in some secret place in our lives. As I’m leading the thoughts in today’s bibletalk, I myself am convicted to follow through on being more expressive of what Christ has saved me from: Damnation. After the bibletalk, I talk separately with Victor about having a bible study on Monday at 10:00a.

Legitimately tired and hungry, I head to the cafeteria with Mike and Hunter. These days I haven’t been caring too much about eating healthy, so I order the greasy chicken quesadilla and the even greasier cheese fries. Like a starving lion in the Savannas, I eat the two orders with much voracity. After the meal, the three of us drive back to my house to watch a couple video clips saved on my computer; A South Park episode about Cartman’s hand being the next pop star, Jennifer Lopez and the first episode of Robot Chicken. We laugh for a bit and try to waste two hours browsing the internet.

3:30p comes around and it’s time for me to go to my three hour Anthropology Class; ANTH102 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. I find a parking spot adequately close to the campus and make my way to the Anthropology room. As I enter, I count nine students other than myself. Small class. I sign in, take two handouts from the teacher; a 17-page syllabus and a 5-page guideline for writing the research paper. For the next hour, Beth Bridgers discusses the syllabus while I try, but fail, to stay awake. I should think about getting more than five hours of sleep on Wednesday nights. Luckily for me, she dismisses the class two hours early at 4:30p. Oddly enough, I snap to attention at the words and promptly make my way off campus, to my car, and back home.

Needing some time to relax before heading out to my church’s men’s group tonight, I browse around on facebook, check my email, read some blogs, and write this one. On the subject of reading some blogs, I stumbled across the blog of one of the guys I went to High School with, Kai Kaapro. He was a senior when I was a freshman, but we’re somehow friends on facebook. His blog contains his journal entries from during his 70-day hike along the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia and concluding in Maryland. It’s a very good read. Kai is an extremely good writer and I found myself reading several of his entries at a time with no problem. Check it out at Into The Wild.

Well, it’s now time for me to go pick up Lonnie, a guy from our high school ministry, and head out to the men’s group. Hope some part of my day was interesting enough for you to read, although it was quite wordy. I’ll work on that for next time. It has been a while, though, since I’ve posted. I guess this is the accumulation of all the writing that has been stored up in me and is bursting at the seams.

Cy