Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Desires reveal Design, Design reveals Destiny

Okay, so it's looking like I may be getting back in the swing of this whole blogging deal.

I'd like to start off with a little backstory to whats been going on lately.

Over the past few weeks, I have been participating in the interview process for a very important internship. Long story short, the internship puts me in a branch manager position for a major painting company. I would be in complete control of the branch and to everything from managing supplies and money to hiring and firing employees. Its a pretty big deal that offers me pretty big money, as well as pretty big experience. My fourth interview was yesterday and it ended with a smile, an handshake, and a friendly, "Welcome aboard".

So thats that. Now on to the big stuff

I'm struggling with what my life is supposed to be. I figure that needs to be stated just incase you didn't get a chance to read the scatter-brained, poorly communicated piece of blog-post shaped feces I wrote last week. And I've been looking for answers in a lot of places.

Today as I sat down at my desk I looked up at my small selection books. All spiritual books, and all books I bought during times when I felt extremely spiritually connected. I said, "I'm gonna read this book." But that translated into, "I'm gonna read the first chapter of this book and then never touch it again, but every time someone brings it up I'll throw in my two cents because, hey, I read the first chapter.."

The most recent of these books is the New York Times best seller, "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge. The book dives into what it really means to be a MAN. Like a real man of God. The book argues three overwhelming desires that a man feels. The desire for a battle to fight, to charter an adventure, and a beauty to fight for. And I think Eldredge hit the nail right on the head with these three.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to dive into these three right now, rather let's operate under the assumption that all men in fact DO have these desires. I can confirm this minutely by stating that I have a strong desire for all three.

So why is society filled with men who are unsatisfied? Men who go to the same job everyday just to come home, go to sleep, and wake up to do it all again. When you think about it, it's quite pathetic. And that's okay for me to say because I consider myself part of it. I go through this same routine everyday hoping that it will lead to something more, but in reality, I know that at this pace, I'm just setting myself up for a new routine. And routine is not even the right word. The right word is rut.

Leave it to my mom to point out the obvious:

This isn't an adventure! This isn't a battle for us as men to live and die for! So why are we so stuck in these ruts? Why don't we get the heck out.

Eldredge explores this question. And basically, he calls men a bunch of pansies. He breaks it down into two very simple reasons:

"We doubt very much that we have any real strength to offer, and we're pretty certain that if we did offer what we had it wouldn't be enough." 

And thats the reason we sit around refusing to give in to our real desires. The desires that are exactly what make us men. But those reasons are bull. Eldredge explains this wonderfully when he talks about design. See, a persons desires are built in. They are engrained in his soul. They're permanent. So logically, we can say they are part of his design. If they are part of our design, then we can probably assume they were not an accident, and they were put there by our Designer for a reason. And from what we know about our Designer, we know that we were designed to fill a purpose.. a destiny, if you will.

God put those desires in us as men because they are what we are made to do. 

God gave us a desire for adventure. Why? Because when he gave us this earth it was a blank page. Without that desire how would we ever explore, create, and enhance? We wouldn't. At all.

What about the desire for a battle to fight? Why were we designed with this desire? Well.. take a look around. The battle is everywhere. It started when God cast Lucifer from heaven, and as Christian men, we have adopted the same enemy. God has given us a desire to fight so that we can fight for Him.

And lastly, why do we have this desire for a beauty to fight for. Why does Adam long for a woman. Because there is Eve. The perfect God given helper for Adam. The one who was made to compliment him in every way. 

These desires are in show us our destiny. through design:

Desire reveals design, and design reveals destiny.

We aren't just here to kill time. We're here to fulfill the God given longings of our heart. It's HIS purpose for us. And guess what?

It's dangerous. It's risky. Some people will look at you like you're downright stupid. But it risk presented to us  by the One and Only. The God of all things. So why do we hesitate?

I discussed why Eldredge says we hesitate, (Because we don't think we're good enough). But you know what? I don't think thats whats holding me back. Because honestly, I could care less if I'm good enough. If I fall on my butt I have no problem with that. If I fail in whatever I do, thats okay. I can handle failure. Thats not my fear. But I think I know what is.

I'm about to get pretty real right now..

I have an overwhelming fear that I won't be able to provide for the people I love. It's a fear that I won't be able to give them what they need. And when I say the people I love, I am mostly referring to my future wife, whoever she may be, and children. The people I'm supposed to be able to take care of as a man. And my fear is, if I pursue my desire for adventure, if I break the rut and live a life of passion and vigor and danger, how will that effect my wife? my kids? If I decide I don't want to be a doctor and go to work and do the same thing everyday for the rest of my life, but rather I want to pursue my passion for music, (in whatever way that may be), where does that leave my future family?

It seems to me that i'd be making a decision that would directly negatively effect how well I could provide for my wife, right? That's how it seems to me. And I don't want that, I want her to be happy, I want her to be comfortable, and satisfied. I want to be able to give her the things she wants. The same goes for my future children. 

So lets go back to this internship. This is an internship that will not only provide me with huge money and experience now, but also has record breaking statistics for their interns future success. Something like 90 percent of interns get jobs making over 50k a year within 3 months of graduating college. So how come, when I shook this man's hand yesterday, did I feel like God was saying, 

"This is not your adventure."

I don't know. But I hope to find out. I plan on sitting down and talking with my father soon, as well as other impactful men in my life. And you better believe I'm gonna be talking to God as much as possible. But I'd really like to hear from other people too. 

Opinions on my outlook on provision for my future family would be greatly appreciated, from men who have dealt with this in your family, or women who can give their side to this. I haven't figured much out, but I do know that God has designed me to be a man in him. And thats what I want to be.

A good song of the day: "Therapy" by Relient K

I'm hoping to go see these guys next month. Theres a lyrical genius present in every on of their songs.. whether the songs as deep as this one, or written about a high school dance. 

And I guess that's all I've got. Thanks for reading.. I just realized this was a tad long.

Also.. feel free to comment right here on the blog. Like right here..

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I wish I was British..

So. Its been a while.

Like.. a long while.

Let's act like it hasn't.

Heres a quick recap of some high pints in my life since the last time I blogged.

I got a new car, graduated high school, performed at graduation, pranked the school, attended some concerts, went on some random road trips, got some speeding tickets, bought some guitars, worked all summer with rbcstudents, went to CAMP, prepped for college, WENT to college, made new friends, got a job at Jimmy John's, and I've successfully survived on the least amount of sleep I've ever gotten in my life!

Theres been a lot of other stuff to, but those are some big ones. So..

I'm sitting here in my dorm room, it's late, and I'm exhausted, but I can't go to sleep. Which is pretty much the story of my college life thus far. Theres a lot of school, and work, and extra-curricular activities, not to mention being the social butterfly that I am. And man, am I busy. I feel like I fit 5 times as much stuff into a day as I did last year. I don't know how I'm doing it.

But all that aside, theres not much to complain about. I'm doing great, in every area I can think of.

As far as school goes, I'm doing well in all my classes. I'm on the fast track to graduating early, heading to medical school, and starting a real career. Then theres work. God's blessed me with an amazing job, (I actually get payed to drive fast.. It wonderful), and I'm working great hours and making great money. And through school and work, I've met so many new people. It seems like the number of people I would call friends has grown exponentially over the past few months.

Every thing is great. If there was ever a time for me to feel satisfied, it would be now.

But its not doing it for me. Not even close. Im so discontent.

See, God's been stirring up all sorts of stuff in my heart. And I can't interpret any of it.

So here I am, preparing for whatever He's got going on in His head right? Im headed for a successful career. Im saving money. I'm working hard in school. I don't know what else I'm supposed to be doing. And every time I ask God what I'm supposed to do, I get the same dang answer.


And you know what? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tired of it. And I mean that in the most literal way.

I am tired. I'm emotionally and spiritually worn out.

Theres things that I want to give up on. I want to tell God I can't do it anymore. I want to be done. But He keeps telling me to wait and its so. Dang. Hard.

I don't know what He wants me to do with my life. But here I am on the fast track to a medical degree, where I'll be able to own a home, get married, support a family, give the people I love what they need. I should be happy about that right? Yet I'm sitting here strongly considering pursuing a completely different career. Where I won't make enough to do anything except the bare minimum. Is that my desire? Or is that God? I don't know, but picking the wrong one could really mess me up.

Thats been my biggest struggle spiritually. Detecting the difference between What God wants, what my Heart wants, and what my Brain wants. Theres always Gods voice, but theres also my logic, as well as my passion. And I wish I could say they always matched up.. but they don't.

This was really messing me up, but after a good long talk, a friend shared this article with me.

Billy Graham | How to follow God’s path for you -

It helped. 

A lot.

So heres my plan. If I can't tell which path God wants me to take, I'm just gonna wait. I'm gonna trust that God will make His will evident to me when He WANTS to make it evident to me. And until then, I'm going to live for Him in everything I do.

(But If you've got a better Idea, please feel free to share..)

If I remember right I usually end these with something pretty random.. But I don't have anything so..


I'm actually going to leave you with a list of new(ish) and notable music. Because there has been some seriously good stuff lately. Here's a list of albums to check out:

Battle Born - the Killers
Babel - Mumford and Sons
Fallen Empires - Snow Patrol
North - Matchbox Twenty
Keep Your Eyes Open EP - NeedtoBreathe
Away from the World - Dave Mathews Band
Night Visions - Imagine Dragons

And if you never checked out Relient K's newest album, "Forget and Not Slow Down", I suggest you do. Theres some deep stuff.

Also.. the title has nothing to do with this post.. I just think it'd be cool to be British.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eve Was Probably Pretty Hot..

Ok, so I'm reading this book called "Searching for God knows what". And by "reading" I mean I've read a few pages a week.. maybe. So I'm moving pretty slow. But in this book, the author keeps referencing Genesis, and the creation of Adam and Eve. And he makes some really cool points, so I'm going to elaborate on those points, and I'm going to start with the same one that he does. He talks about the story of creation and how it references a model relationship.

So get ready, because this is going to come out a little sappy. And before I write it, to save face, I wanna say that if you think I'm righting this about you, you're wrong. Cool? Cool.

Okay, so in Genesis God makes everything. He makes the earth, the stars, the land, the sea, the animals, etc. Then He makes man, and man is called Adam, and man is given a lot of things. Man is in control of everything. And he has everything. But it's not enough. Adam is lonely, and God notices this.

In chapter 2 verse 18, it says, "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him'"

So what did God do after he said this? After he realized Adam was lonely? I'll give you some choices:

A) He ate some chicken
B) He learned to play Piano
C) He told Adam to go name all of the animals in the entire world.

It was C.

God notices that Adam is lonely, but he doesn't fix it right away. In Verses 19 and 20 it says: 

"Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found."

So Adam just ran around the garden pointing and yelling names for an hour or two, right?

Highly Unlikely.

Heres the deal, even if you believe in evolution, there would still have been one million to fifty million animals in the world. And he had to name all of them. It would of taken him almost a hundred years to do so. And scripture matches up with this. In Genesis 5:3 we are told that Adam was 130 when they had their third son, Seth. Which means that He would have been over 100 when they had Cain and Able. So either it took almost 100 years to name those animals, or Adam and Eve waited a century to have sex. And for some reason, I doubt they sat around 100 years, naked, just hanging out.

So I'm gonna go ahead and conclude that it took Adam a long time to name the animals. And in the whole process, Adam found no suitable helper. So God puts him to sleep, takes his rib, and forms Eve. And when he was done, he brought Eve to Adam, and this is what Adam says:

"This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23)

So heres what happens; God has this man, who is super relational, who is lonely, and who needs a suitable helper. Instead of giving him that helper immediately, He makes him hang out with a bunch of smelly animals. Then He finally gives him Eve.

And he appreciates her more than he ever would have if God had just given her to him.

Because after a hundred years of searching for a helper, Adam KNOWS that Eve is perfect. He has seen every other possibility. And do you think after that amount of time, if you were finally given your perfect partner, that you'd would even consider taking advantage of her?

Heck no.

And God knew this, and He put Adam through what He did, so that when Adam was given Eve, he would treat her with Appreciation, Respect, Thankfulness, and Love. And thats the same way that women should be treated now. I can only pray that God makes me wait the way that Adam did, Because I promise you, once Eve came to him, Adam immediately knew it was worth the wait.

(I mean, she was naked.)

Cool. Well that all I have on that subject. I'll write about another one next time. And it is now Thanksgiving, so I hope you have a good one.

If you are reading this, I am thankful for you. And if you aren't reading this, I'm thankful for you too.. but you'll never know that.

Here's a great video to help you enjoy the holiday:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wobber-jobbed is a word..

Huh, I keep saying I really need to sit down and blog, but I have no time. SO at this point, I'm just doing it. I don't care if its late and I'm exhausted. I'm doing it.

I recently taught on the power of prayer in my high school's FCA. During the preparation for that lesson, I learned a lot. First, I learned that there are a ton of verses in the bible concerning prayer. Like, it probably gets close to 1000. Second I learned that the story of the two farmers is NOT a parable from the bible.

Let me explain. There is a story about two farmers. Both of them desperately need rain, and they both pray for it. Farmer A prays, and then sits down and waits. Farmer B goes out and prepares his crops to receive the rain. Who do you think expected God to send the rain? Obviously Farmer B.

For some reason, that story was in my head as a parable told by Jesus, but it's actually told by some old guy in the movie, Facing the Giants. Moral of the story is, we have to be willing to invest ourselves in what God is doing in our lives. We have to "prepare our fields", if you will.

Thats something I've been hardcore experiencing. As I've said before, I feel God calling me to something weird, something different. And while I don't know what it is, I do have this overwhelming feeling that its coming fast. And I want desperately for my fields to be ready to receive the rain, but it seems like every time I turn around I'm falling behind somewhere. Whether its school, family, my quiet time, or my finances, I been feeling like I'm never going to be prepared. But I think I'm a little wobber-jobbed. (That is a word. Don't fight it.) I think I'm a little different then those two farmers. I think I fit a different description. I'm spending plenty of time preparing my fields for rain, but I don't spend nearly enough time praying for his help.

So theres my thoughts. The song that got to me today is "To Know Your Name", by Hillsong Live. Who I am seeing this weekend. So pumped. A

So thats it. I promise to blog again soon. Maybe I'll blog on thanksgiving. Who knows.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's not so bad, It's not so bad..

Okay, so I don't really know what I need to be writing about right now. But I'm writing, because writing is always a good thing. So heres some stuff:

This weekend I went to SBU for a college visit. I loved it. It's a place I could definitely see it being a place I call home for a small fraction of my life. The professors are great, the atmosphere is great, and I can tell its a place where I would be able to grow spiritually. A lot. This was mega good for me, because I've been stressing about college stuff. And now I know I have one solid choice. Even if nothing else works out, I have one solid choice.

Also, I've been sick. But I also had a dang busy weekend, so that didn't work for me. So I decided not to be sick. End of story. Plus, when I'm sick, it gives me an excuse to do less that what I am capable of. And theres no reason for that.

I've been listening to a lot of "The Killers", which is actually kind of bumming me out, because they broke up a couple years ago. Which means theres no more new music. But anyway, I love them.

Okay, time to get thought provoking. I started reading this book, called "Searching for God knows what" and I'm digging it. Its more of a collection of essays than a straight forward novel. But I love it. The author talks about his time as a christian before his relationship with God actually becomes a relationship. He compares Jesus to santa. He talks about how before, he thought of God as someone who was there, and who he believed in, but who he didn't bother to have a relationship with.

The relational aspect of my faith is something I know I need to work on. I mean, it's there, but it isn't strong. I want my love for God to grow. You know? I want him to be my friend, not just someone who I go to when I'm in trouble.

And thats another thing. Sometimes, I think that God can use trouble to prove something to us. Like I may have reached a point this weekend where I thought, "Okay, the only way I could have to go through this much is if God's gonna use it to better me." And that made me feel amazingly calm. I slept well. I got to church at 6:30. I got everything I needed to get done, done, and that allowed for me to help one of our associates set up, since they may or may not have had an alarm clock malfunction.

And it was good. I was able to put together 2 separate services with a 3 man band. And I really thing both went well.

So tonight we had switch, and we discussed the rich man who asks Jesus how to get to heaven. Jesus tells him he has to give away everything he has. He doesn't like this. So he walks away disappointed. So I started thinking about what I'm putting in between God. What would Jesus tell me that I need to give up? Food for thought.

Also, there is a student that comes to switch, that I really enjoy talking with. He's a genius. Here's an example: Think about the analogy of the camel going through the eye of the needle. Picture it in your head. How many of you pictured a metal needle?


Tonight I learned, that during that time, the needle was most likely made of animal bone. Thats the kind of stuff I love learning about. All of that extra stuff from history.

Okay, I guess that's probably enough for tonight. Theres more going on in my head, but I'm gonna wait and try to figure out a little more before I rant anymore. Cool? Cool.

Song of the day: "Bling, (Confession of a King)" By the Killers. Here's my interpretation. Its a song about things being dang hard. And this guy knows what he's supposed to do. But in his mind, life is already hard enough. "When I offer you survival, you say it's hard enough to live"  I like to think of this like the chorus is what God is saying. (But I think it was written as a man to a woman) It goes on to say, "Don't tell me that it's over, stand up, poor and tired, but more than this." Like, things may suck, but you're better than that, and things will get better.  The breakdown says "Higher and higher, we're gonna take it down to the wire, we're gonna make it, out of the fire. Higher and higher." This is my favorite part. I think its talking about the best part of rock-bottom: You can only go up.

The last line says, "It ain't hard to hold, when it shines like gold, you'll remember me.." I totally agree. If everything was perfect, if it all "shined like gold", then we wouldn't have to have faith.

So have faith.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dr. Phil would be proud..

Tonight at church we talked about being a "player" in your faith. Player, as in speaking the part but not feeling the part. They used the analogy of cleaning the outside of a glass, and leaving the inside filthy. Would you drink from it? James did..

This lesson hit home for me. Not directly, because I feel like my relationship with the Lord is true and honest. But I feel like my church life may be suffering. I think I've gotten so caught up in being involved that I'm missing opportunities to grow. And I feel like my motives have been off.

I'm not saying that I need to quit doing tons of stuff at the church, but I am saying I need to change the reasons I'm doing it. I shouldn't be doing it to impress, or to prepare for a future career, or to hang out with the people I get to hang out with. I should be doing it for God, because it's what he wants me to do.

Okay, lets talk about feelings. And sharing them. (How straight did that sound)

Tonight, along the same lines as the lesson, we talked about feeling one way, and acting another. Is that wrong? To suppress feelings and act the opposite way? Feelings are something of the heart, right?

In Jeremiah 17:9 God says that the human heart is decietful. But He goes on to say in verse 10 that He is the one who can understand it. So how do you know a feeling is from God? And if you feel positive its a God promoted feeling, than lets go back to original question. Is it wrong to suppress those feelings and act the opposite way?

I don't have answers. But I want some. So please help me out. If you read this, give me some sort of input. I'm pretty sure you can comment anonymously. I just want to see what others think.

Here's a link to Jeremiah 17:

Song of the day is "Boston" by Augustana. Just because its an amazing song. The main them of this song is starting over, and abandoning whatever "Chains" are holding you back. Doesn't really relate at all. But I love it.

Okay, thats it.

Here's a picture that I find extremely relatable.. (Make sure you read the caption)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm tired.. so I wrote 90% of this with my eyes closed..

Okay, so while sitting here on the couch, I thought to myself, "Hmm, no random spiritual thoughts today, my day actually went pretty well". That thought, ironically, sparked a random spiritual thought.

How come it seems like I only grow closer to God when things are tough? How come when things get good do I tend to forget how much I need God's help? Heres how I think that things SHOULD work:

When times are bad, we need to trust God, have faith, and show him your love.

When times are good, the we need to thank God, and do our best to live the way he wants us to live.

Just some food for thought, let me know what you think..

Is this post abnormally short? Yep. (Because I want to go to bed). And I can't promise I'm going to be doing this every night anymore, either. Because I'm sure there are going to be times when I don't really have anything to say.

So until next time, check out this insane snowboarding video that blows my mind every time I watch it.

This is just a teaser, you can see the whole thing right here: