Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Writing and Such

Yes, I realize it's been over a week since I last posted. My sister's wedding was last weekend and I underestimated what my role was going to be in the pre-wedding preparations. I had no idea our phone could ring that much. I felt like a secretary.

But somehow in the midst of all of the busyness I also found that I feel like a writer again. I've been kicking around four ideas for my next book and I think I've settled on two to start on.

The first is another non-fiction book that'll be a devotional type book. I'm still in the early stages of planning it, but I've got around 3000 words down on paper and I feel inspired to keep writing.

The second project I'm excited about is a novel. I mentioned before that I was thinking about writing one, but this is actually a different story idea that came to me than before (I guess I'll leave that one in the "idea's" folder for now). I don't know if it's ever going to be something that I'll want to try to get published or not, but it's one of those stories I feel that I can't help but write down. I was working on it the other night and within a half hour I had the entire story mapped out from start to finish. So I'm going to keep writing and see where that takes me.

A quote to leave you with:

"Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering." (Ida Scott Taylor)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Not Knowing

Tomorrow I'm set to walk into another doctors office and I have no idea will what the appointment will bring.

Will I finally get the answers I've been seeking for what seems like forever?

Will it lead to more tests, more possiblities?

Will I be stuck waiting for a diagnoses? And in the meantime have no clue what I can do to get rid of these trying symptoms?

I don't know.

But I do know that no matter what happens in that doctors office tomorrow, Someone already knows how it's going to go down. He promises to walk with me through every part of life, both the highs and the lows.

So I do know Who will be with me. And right now, that's all I need to know.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." (Romans 5:3-5)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cave

Right now at College and Careers we're working through a video study based on the book "If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat" by John Ortberg.

I read this book for the first time a few years ago and through prepping for the studies, I've been going through chunks of it again. A quote that caught my eye this week:

“Sometimes you are in a cave and no human action is able to get you out. There is something you can’t fix, can’t heal, or can’t escape, and all you can do is trust God. Finding ultimate refuge in God means you become so immersed in His presence, so convinced of His goodness, so devoted to His lordship that you find even the cave is a perfectly safe place to be because He is there with you.” (John Ortberg)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Life To Give Away

I read this tonight and it really hit home. It comes from the blog of Jon Foreman (Switchfoot). You can follow the link at the bottom of this post to read the whole thing.

"Pieces of us, significant ideals and dreams, now reduced to dust and ash drifting away. Washing away. In every moment there's always the option to run from the momentary pain. momentary little alters to momentary little gods.

But maybe that's just what we've been given: a life to give away. time. meaning. love. we lay these, our gifts on the alters of our choosing. Memories, knowledge, wealth, friends, scars- these are what we accumulate. But these do not come cheap: these possessions will cost us our very lives. We lose ourselves whether we like it or not. This is not a choice. "Listen man, if you lose yourself for my sake you'll find yourself, try and hold on to yourself and you'll lose it."

Yeah, I suppose even Divine love is like that, erosion. washing over us like the rain or the sun or the shore. But to compare the two is absurd. One is life the other is death. But it takes time to tell them apart- I can usually tell which is which a few weeks down the line. The creator's love is creating, additive, purposeful. I feel more complete, more whole, more at home in the "in" and the "of". Make no mistake, he takes things away, and it hurts like hell. It sometimes hurts worse than the other sort of pain, the numb deadening sort. Maybe partly because your more alive, more aware. Or maybe because you're the hands of a friend.

But I suppose thats the difference between the doctor and the dealer: one is the touch of a sculptor one is the glove of a thief."

Read the rest...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Portable Seminary

Today my day started with one of my favourite things: getting a new shipment of books.

I save up cash and every couple of months order a couple books that I'm interested in. By ordering them all at once I save on shipping and it forces me to be self-controlled and read the ones I already have first.

Anyway, today the book that came in that I'm most excited about is called "The Portable Seminary". It's a huge book- about 700 pages and the purpose of it is to go over a lot of the topics that you would learn if you went to seminary.

Now the people who write the book say themselves it in no way replaces a seminary education, but for people who are interested and can't afford to go or don't have the time to, this gives you a starting point for many of the topics you'd see covered there.

So I'm excited to dive into it. Some sections that look pretty appealing:

-Old and New Testament surveys
-systematic theology

For myself I'm hoping this serves as kind of a diving board to get me started on studying topics that I've been interested in for years, but have never really taken the time to look into fully for myself.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Paul Alan

For years I've been a Paul Alan fan. I've made it no secret that in my opinion his CD "Falling Awake" is one of the best Christian albums that has ever been recorded.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that he has released a new CD! It's called "Drive It Home" and after ordering it, I got access to download the album and after listening to it a couple times, I think it is fair to say it's another classic!

Right now my favourite song on it is "To Bring You Back". Check it out on his myspace page and be amazed!

Paul Alan - To Bring You Back

are you thirsty
standing in the rain
not sure where you are
or how you lost your way
hey, hey, hey
are you drowning
in some bar outside of town
searching for something given…
not found
a crowd of people and totally alone
at the front door
but worlds away from home

light up the night’s last regret
burn your only safety net
step to the edge
it’s such a long way down

I left the ninety nine to find the one
and you’re the one
I’ve walked 1000 miles in this desert sun
only to bring you back…

are you tired of chasing the wind
do you aspire to breathe again
are you dying
is that the best that you can do
’cause you can’t find your place in a world that wasn’t meant for you

I left the ninety nine to find the one
and you’re the one
I’ve walked 1000 miles in this desert sun
only to bring you back…

hello it’s me
I couldn’t sleep
I was just counting sheep and I’m missing you…

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Weekend Seminar

So this weekend I attended the Growing A Healthy Church seminar at my church and wow, was it ever good!

Often I find we tend to overcomplicate things and with church and ministry it's no different. But this course wasn't something to add to the confusion, but rather to clarify it all. To remove all of the extra's that man has added over time and to focus on how Jesus lived His life.

So using Jesus' ministry as the framework we learned how to effectively live out a life that multiplies and blesses the lives of those we come into contact with. And this applies both on a personal level and a ministry one.

I took a lot of notes and we were each given a workbook, which I'm going to be going over many times in the coming weeks and months. I see there are a lot of areas where I can improve how I minister to others and how I grow myself. Not so much by following steps a, b, and c, but rather by having a different mindset in the way I do things.

I'm sure as I process the lessons learned I'll be posting more on it in the near future, but for now I'll leave you with a couple quotes from the seminar that are still swirling about in my mind:

"Because we're busy we settle for what's easy, but not for what's best."

"Your attitude towards people reflects your attitude towards God."

"Sunday morning is a reflection of what is taking place in people's lives throughout the week."

"You can teach skills and you can teach knowledge, but you can't install a heart for God and service in someone else."

"Because of his humanity, Jesus faced limitations like we do. Even though he passionately loved all people, he could not be everywhere at once. He knew that to reach the masses he had to invest in a few- so that the masses could be ultimately reached."