March 23, 2008

seasons for everything under heaven V

Balance has always been a goal and desire of my heart. When I consider Christ and His character I see the most balanced individual in history. What I mean by balance is living through the tension of paradox. Jesus is a paradox. He is God and He is man. He balances a contemplative and solitude life along with a beautiful social life. We all need a balanced amount of opposites like play and work, saving and spending, exercise and rest, etc. yet how do we achieve this without becoming schizophrenic?

Opposites attract, compliment, complete and are interdependent to each other. Yet I have found that they need to take turns. When opposites take turns, contradiction is no longer present. This taking of turns can also be known as a changing of seasons. King Solomon said that "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."(Ecclesiastes 3:1) When it comes to christian doctrine and christian living there are many contradictions. We are told to be peacemakers yet we are warned that we will stir the waters with controversy and walls will appear between family members. We are told to not be drunk with wine and then we see Jesus creating wine out of water because the wine ran out during the wedding party.

In this discerning and balancing of seasons I have struggled. I try to listen to the Spirit and consider the example of Jesus. I mess up. Others mess up. I get frustrated when I or someone else reacts to something so extremely that there is a pendulum swing in conviction. Moderation is thrown out the window and division is apparent. This frustration of mine has just been festering and I know it. I've had good intentions but perhaps I've lacked some hidden goodness. Have I in my search for balance been too extreme in my reaction towards imbalance? Lately these days I think the Lord has brought a bit of tenderness into my situation and I am starting to come to a conclusion. I would say that there is a season of balance and there is a season of imbalance. When Christ is king over someone's heart I think He sees the need for the pendulum to swing all the way to the other side in that person's life before it lands in the center. Jesus is present in the imbalanced place, not just the balanced. I have been slightly mistaken.

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
what he has made crooked?

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future.

In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?

Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?

It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.
(Ecclesiastes 7:13-18)

..thanks for the verses sweetpea!


March 19, 2008

Goodbye Winter

Not that I don't like spring, I do, but just like autumn it's a short tease of perfection. I'm going to miss the brisk cool air and the calm grey of winter. Especially when I think of the dog days of summer and that layer of sweat that congeals on the skin. Yuck!

March 17, 2008

proverbial rant

What looks like virtue may actually have roots of bitterness or pride.

The bible does not have contradictions, it's called a paradox...
deal with it!

Disco stinks.. except Jamiroquai.

The only thing I hate more than legalism is passive aggression. I am guilty of both.

I am my second worst enemy and my third best friend.. maybe fourth depending on the day.

America is beautifully messed up.

No. God is not in control but He is sovereign. Don't ask me what that means. I don't have the brain power to explain.

...perhaps more rant than proverb.

March 11, 2008

Meteors & the Christian Bubble

It's great every now and then to immerse one's self into the christian sub culture. Seriously. Back in 2004 I went to the CreationFestival with my wife and a friend, it was our first time since 1999. Tens of thousands of christians come together to form one big christian bubble and I love it! It is refreshing. But like candy, something so sweet can only last so long before I get sick, at least in this life.

In my listening of music if I listened to one too many melancholy songs I find it good to put in a little FFH, or Michael W. Smith or something like that to balance things out. At CreationFest 2004 Melissa and I were deciding whether or not we should see the Newsboys play or not. "Been there, done that" was our attitude. Plus, I thought they were a bit showy in their entertainment. We went anyway and thank God.

During their set is a time of worship. This was so cool. I was sitting at the top corner of the arena shaped hill with my wife. There came a time during the song "it is you(I think that's the name?)" that the band dropped out and all 80,000 of us were singing the holy, holy part. Cheesy? nope. It was one of the most beautiful moments. It was night time, we were in the middle of nowhere, thousands were worshipping and I could see everyone from where I was as everyone was illumined by the stage light. This continued for what was probably just a minute but seemed like a longer lapse in time. Then suddenly from one far end of the sky appeared about four orange meteors. They spread across the sky very very slowly some of them splitting several times in a fashion that was in a way, complimenting the singing. This continued from one end of the sky to the other and soon after they dissappeared the voices did as well into a brief moment of silence and then applause. I confess my first thought was this was a special effect the Newsboys were doing but I was quickly humbled with the deep conviction that God was touched and He touched us back with this gift.

March 06, 2008

On Side B

I deleted my other blog. I thought it was lame and figured why make a rule for me to only post artistic/musical stuff on that certain blog and not this one. So I'll be even lamer (I don't care) and repost some selections (like this one)from that blog every now and then...

The year is 1996. I am almost fifteen years old and I have just been at a youth group event with my buds and we all have been changed so to say. We were as high as a kite, our hearts were strangely warmed, we were baptized with the Holy Spirit and very in love with Jesus. This was not just because of this event but more so God planting seeds of the gospel during previous years especially from this very cool dude named Aaron who was my youth group leader. The seeds came out of the ground.

After the event we had a sleep over at our church and this was when Aaron gave me a blank tape of stuff he recorded. I never heard of any type of christian music that was good, only hymns (I like hymns now by the way) and that sort. He said that this band called Jars of Clay was pretty good, maybe a little mellow for my taste (I was into some hardcore stuff back then). I told him I was open to any type of music which was true and gave a listen. Not bad I thought as I listened to Jars of Clay's debut album. He failed to mention what was on the other side of the tape. This was another band that I never heard of and apparently was not christian I guess. The music on this side of the tape was Rusted Root's "when I woke". This was a supercool album, still one of my favorites. I don't think this was just an accident. I would even go as far as to say that this was God showing me what musical excellence was(yes Jars of Clay was included as well...especially now). It was also here on out that my general taste in music started to mellow out and I grew my hair out and wore my clothes to where I was a mix between Cliff Burton and ... I don't know... something hippy.

Aaron brought along his friend Chris who we just met a few weeks before and this event was like the shift between leaders. Chris was just as dear to me and significant for my spiritual walk with and towards Jesus. During the sleep over I think Aaron left around midnight and Chris later talked about worship songs and said he wanted to teach us a few so he did. Me and my friends were all starting out on guitar so we may not of known how to play every chord that he mentioned but we were learning stuff anyways. I remember the song "He is exalted" was my favorite out of all the ones he taught. This was my first time playing newer worship songs.

Rusted Root kicks butt. The lead singer was an acquired taste but one that was acquired very fast. The percussion/hand drums with acoustic folky funkiness was soooo cool. Everything about this band I liked. Years later (five maybe) and supposedly more mature in my walk with Jesus and in my musicianship, I was glad to come across what worship with hand drums and acoustic guitars could sound like. The enter the worship circle series has been a source of encouragement for me. Encouragement to push even more forward with my music stuff in regards to worship.