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


[untitled 2]
February 11, 2007, 7:39 am
Filed under: Spirituality, Thoughts

God, you are so real to me. So real.

My eyes are red. My face streaming with tears. My bottom lip quivering. In darkness, I sit in my car in the middle of the desert, engine running, radio off. I look up at the stars. They’re beautiful.

I’ve been driving around west of town, looking for a secluded place to just throw open the floodgates of emotion that I’ve been holding on to since talking with him in the crowded restaurant. I am alone, but feel comforted. Scared, but secured. Hurt, but mended.

My forehead rests on the steering wheel as I utterly just weep. I’m at a loss for words. All I can do is cry. I think about what my friend just told me at Denny’s. I can believe it. It just hurts. It hurts a whole heck of a lot. I think to myself, this isn’t about me. But in a lot of ways, it is.

He tells me the wrong he has done; the hurt he has caused; the sin that pierces his soul. My heart breaks in front of him and I try to hold my composure. I can see the fear in his tired eyes. He’s been up for quite a while. They’re moist and red. He’s been crying a lot today. I’m devastated to see someone so full of life like this. But we all have our downs.

I tell him with tears that there is absolutely nothing that he can do that will make me love him less. I tell him that he is my brother, always will be. I accept him fully for who he is, faults and all. I continue on as he lays his head down in his hands and convulses with tears. I put my hand on his and tell him,

“I’m here for you. I always will be. Never doubt that.”

We look at each other with wet eyes. I share an experience in my life that I can relate to him with and tell him that it’s not the end of the world. God loves to use broken sinners like us. The difference between him and I is that he got open with it quickly, whereas I let this sin infect and wound my soul while I kept it hidden for years. It only got worse until I hit rock bottom. That’s when I had to be honest with myself, God, and some close spiritual friends who would let down the rope and pull me up out of the well.

He thanks me for my friendship and love, but says he doesn’t deserve it. I reflect on the things I’ve done in my past and how I’ve hurt those I love as well.

“Bro, I don’t deserve it anymore than you do either. But that’s what’s so great about God.”

He nods in agreement. I’m glad it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. All throughout the day, multiple things ran through my mind. The worst of which was that I thought that he would be moving away somewhere and that I most likely would never see him again. That thought killed me. Hopefully, this isn’t the case.

He tells me, “Cy, I still want to be faithful. I still love God. I care about God. I care about discipleship,” he starts to break into tears, “I care about you; about the ministry…” he goes on and my heart is reassured that he’ll come out of this victorious and ever more faithful and sure of his promises in the Lord.

We both say our peace and I let him leave to go home and do what he needs to do. I pick up the bill for our two coffees and head out. Once in the car, I explode into hysterics. It’s almost uncontrollable. I feel I need to drive away somewhere far, organize my thoughts, and pray.

I find a good place to pull over and just stop everything. I sit for a while in silence. Just thinking. Just wondering.

As I go through the multitude of feelings and thoughts in my mind, I experience sensations of pain, where I cry so hard and so loud, and sensations of joy, where I rejoice because I know it’s not all in vain.

This hits me so hard because it’s about the people I care for the most in this life. I confess to God that getting an awesome education, landing a high-paying job, and any other material thing I can gather for myself is worth absolutely nothing to me. What I care about is my family and what I can do to help them and make them happy. So this hurts. It hurts because I feel powerless to fix what he’s going through, but at the same time, I am at ease because I know that God works for the good of those who love him and luckily for this guy, he still loves God.

I continue to pray for the ministry and the people involved in it. I pray for the mission that we have on this earth. I pray for the leaders of the church and that they’ll be wise in the decisions they make. I pray that I would be completely empty of myself and filled with His spirit because the ‘Cy’ I know really sucks and can’t do much, but if God is for me, who can be against me?

I drive off after a while of thinking and praying and sing a couple songs out loud to God. I sing about God letting his blessings and promises rain down on his people. That he would open up the floodgates of Heaven and bring consistency, sovereignty, righteousness and mercy to his people. I sing another song about being absolutely nothing, but everything to God. About how he commands us to come to Him, stand in silence and be overwhelmed by who He is. All of it. About how that silence is broken by my weeping over my own wretchedness. How Christ’s redemptive blood covers my entirety and my shame. How God’s powerful and booming voice shakes the Heavens with his words, yet also whispers my name. How Christ catches my tears and wipes them from my face with his hands scarred by the nails of the cross. How I am just so overwhelmed by everything God is and everything I am not.

I think about how relevant those songs are. As I drive home in song, I shed tears of happiness because of life. All I can say to my creator is, God, you are so real to me. So real. I see that tonight more than ever.

I look up at the stars in wonder of the Lord. They’re still beautiful.

[last night]
February 9, 2007, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Friends, God, Spirituality

I had a talk with Luke, asking him about another friend of ours and how he is doing. He tells me, “Not good.” I figured as much. I’ve been calling him and he hasn’t returned my calls. He didn’t show up to church on Wednesday night and he missed the Men’s group. It’s not something he would usually do, so naturally, I worry. Maybe worry is the wrong word. I’m concerned.

What concerns me most is that Luke says to me, “He’s made a mistake and unfortunately, he is paying for it now.” Several ideas pop into mind, but I don’t want to speculate. I love this guy. He’s pretty much the older brother I’ve never had. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but what Luke says to me is troubling. I resolve to pray for this guy and hope that God works out the best.

I absolutely dislike being in the dark on issues that deal with people close to my heart. I want to know what’s going on, but I trust that the proper people do know and when this brother is ready, he’ll call me up and tell me what’s going on in his life. Luke reaffirms me saying, “All will soon be revealed.” He shares that what’s going on with our friend won’t stay hidden for long; that I will soon know what is happening and that I will be hurt by it, but that I will be able to cope with it and still love him.

Now that scares me. What is going on? As I start my day, I can only push wandering thoughts of endless possibilities aside and trust that God is doing what God needs to do and that man will always have sin and that’s just the facts of life.