About Me

Phoenix, AZ, United States

Thursday, August 30, 2007


“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” - C.S. Lewis

I was reading The Journey of Desire today. I've read it before, but through my current situations I find it resonates differently to me today.

There are some extremely challenging ideas in this book. Ideas that can bring discomfort, ideas that might cause one to either dismiss what they don't like to hear or confront an enormous wrestling match... I'm wrestling right now.

God promises every man futility and failure; he guarantees every woman relational heartache and lonelieness. We spend most of our waking hours attempting to end-run the curse. We will fight this truth with all we've got. Sure, other people suffer deafeat. Other people face loneliness. But not me. I can beat the odds. We see the neighbor's kids go off the deep end, and we make a mental note: they didn't pray for their kids every day. And we make praying for our kids every day part of our plan...

Elderidge says this on the heels of a couple chapters where he explores God as a thwarter of our plans and agendas. He discusses the fall of man and the curses that God put into play for men and women... I know it's an uncomfortable idea, we think God only puts "good" things into our lives... and I still believe that in the sense that the end result will be good. But maybe it isn't necessarily aligned with our arbritrary concept/definition of what is "good."

We think success in our endeavors, prosperity, health and an enjoyable life is what is "good" for us. But perhaps we assume these things.

I agree with Elderidge when he goes on to say that we are essentially trying to make the life we believe we want. I say we're all obsessed with trying to make ourselves happy, especially us Christians because we often feel like it's our right as "children" of God.

We all have a concept of what tomorrow holds for us, we call these hopes or dreams. If we're real honest with ourselves, we believe once we have a successfull meaningful career, a loving mate, a family, great friendships and we can make a comfortable living, well then we'll be content...

Now you might conceptually disagree with this... You might tell yourself, that you know only God can make you happy...but if we really evaluate our actions, our behaviors and our desires as well as our disappointments, I think we will more often than not find such monologues to be insincere. So family, career, enjoyable life...those are all "good" things, It's not like i'm looking to have a mistress on the side, spend frivolously, deal drugs etc... but that doesn't necessarily mean God will grant me this life... It also doesn't mean I won't make idols of these very things...in fact it only increases my chances of commiting this fallacy... because they are intrinsically "good" natured things.

We know God hates idolatry. We know that God is a jealous God. We also know that He's a caring God who looks out for out best interest, our eternal best interest. Whatsmore, God has an agenda, the agenda.

I'm thinking right now of the apostle Paul, how he desired to glorify God with his life... He was called into ministry, went wilingly... but I doubt he knew all the things that he would encounter in his life... I doubt he wanted to be imprisoned, stoned, flogged and eventually beheaded...but the end result was what he did truly desire...that was to futher the gospel. Not a good life by any standard, outwardly...sounds like a rough ride to me...but Thy will be done. Now i realize it's an extreme example...but a real example nonetheless.

The last 7 or so years of my life I pursued a vision. I gave it all that I had, my time, money, energy, blood, sweat and tears. I was doing it for God and therefore, I thought nothing could stop me. It was a "good" thing, I wasn't seeking to be something immoral, I wanted to make a sincere impact in this world. I could feel it coming to fruition...I memorized all the scriptures about faith and trusted in what I could not see. Live by "faith not by sight," right? Regardless of whatever obstacle came my way, I moved ahead...full force. Because I believed. But it hasn't happened and it might not in this life...and I have to be ok with that. I have to love God so sincerely that even if I am devstated by this... I have to be able to raise my eyes in awe and wonder, thankful for His love and grace... This is by no means a retreat, or giving up. It's surrender to His will in my life. Real surrender. Surrender of my own agendas, my dreams and goals, my livelihood. Even if God isn't going to accomplish something grand and enormous by all common standards in my existence, I have to be ok with that.

He is to be my portion in this life.

I'm a dreamer... I have always carried with me tremendous visions... and I want to continue to do so... but I also have to be ok with them not coming to fruition. Yes I know whatever God does in our lives is enormous...and grand... but I have to be ok with that not at all resembling the pictures I have in my mind...the pictures that I've carried with me for so many years. They may happen, they may not. They may happen in the eternal life after this one... who knows? I have to be able to worship Him in light of all this...to truly surrender...then and only then will He truly be my God....

I also want to explore this idea, but I'm out of time today:

Elderidge writes:

It can't be done. No matter how hard we try, no matter how clever our plan, we cannot arrange for the life we desire. Set the book down for a moment and ask yourself this question: Will life ever be what I so deeply want it to be, in a way that cannot be lost?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here I go again...

i'm reading 3 different books at the moment...

The Journey of Desire, The Grand Weaver and In A Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day - which Tim left me before he went back to China. Each one touches on related topics... as a result I am kind of getting the respective ideas a bit mixed up. Plus my dusty memory doesn't help.

I believe it's John Elderidge in The Journey of Desire that talks about how men fear most failing in the marketplace...and women most in relationships. It's part of the curse as a result of the fall.

At this point, I've failed in both arenas... and since I emphasize a great deal on both relationships and vocational success...i'm quite devastated. I guess that's why this season's been so difficult. I also feel like I've been left to deal with all of this on my own...and that's proving to be pretty tough at times.

I started wondering today if i chose the wrong road... you see during my second year of college when i was all of 19, I decided to leave school to pursue my dreams... I started an internship at a recording studio, and got some guys together to start a band... that was many years ago... and now i'm 26 and pretty darn lost. It just went by so quickly...it seems like yesterday that I was so excited...bright eyed...and wet behind the ears... I'm watching my closest friends go off and do their things...and I'm still trying to make money with my guitar. I had the thought today about going on a pilgrimage... maybe move from one place to another for indefinite amounts of time... in an attempt to find myself again... I like the idea, but we'll see if I can come up with at least a loose plausible plan for it.

Anyway, I was seriously wondering if I should have stayed in school... and like so many of my friends, seen the world.. Taken a summer to backpack through Europe, or study abroad... or go into ministry, missionary work?

Taylor made me take a personality quiz today... to no suprise it categorized me as an "artist." I thought the questions were pretty ridiculous... here's a part of the results.

You are an ARTIST (DIAF)— creative, adventurous, and deep. Although you are an introvert, your dominant ideas lead you to assert yourself often— especially through your work. You actively put your creativity to constructive use, and because you are ruled by your heart you are less likely to be inhibited by logic.

You have an intuitive understanding of emotion and know how evoke it in others, but the real world can be a prison of foolishness and embarrassment if you don't get your head out of the clouds a little more. Also, you are 87% likely to write poetry. Please, for the love of God, stop now.

I love that last bit about poetry...

I'll be headed to Los Angeles this weekend with a friend... just to get away. I really can't afford it, but as they say, sometimes when you only have a dime to your name you should go get your shoes shined...I think it'll be nice to get away. I'm just afraid I'll have little to come home to... I'm not only afraid to hope right now...if i'm honest...i'm really afraid of the next shoe dropping, so to speak... the next change that might come my way... although at some point the tide has to turn...and change will be a good and welcomed thing...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Grand Weaver

I'm reading a book called "The Grand Weaver" by Ravi Zacharias. He opens the book with an illustration of Indian dress makers... In New Dehli where Ravi is from there are highly sophisticated wedding gowns which are hand made usually by a father- son team. The Father has the design in mind, only he knows how it will all turn out, and the son follows his lead carrying out intricate tasks which in turn culminate to form something beautiful. The son of course has no real concept of how his work will contribute to the piece of art... but trusts his father... I like this idea, I just can't feel it right now.

I drove for a while today just around my neighborhood... I was hoping to catch a podcast on my ipod that would bring me some comfort...but this I did not find. Nothing seems to speak to me at this moment... I'm not sure why God seems so silent of course it could be that I'm not listening. who knows?

Ravi's book is about how the events in our lives are a means of shaping us and our destinies. I wonder to what end this season will lead.

My strength is almost gone, how can I carry on, if i can't find you?

I was doing a little better the last few days... but today it's been a little hard to breathe again...i'm thirsting for air...

I drove up to prescott this past weekend... because i dreamed of the cool, brisk mountain air... i imagined what it would feel like to fill my lungs... it was satisfying, but only momentarily. Before long, the pragmatic brought me back out of fantasy land and into the valley... But it was beautiful up there...the drive was surreal... I think I'll be going up there again soon.

Everyday, I find examples of peoples lives who are far harder than my own... i'm not exactly imprisioned simply for my belief in Christ...or dying of some degenerative disease...or wheelchair bound...and yet all this just seems so distant....abstract... and it doesn't move me like i would like it to. I guess it won't simply be the realization that life is difficult all around that will save me from my own despair... it will taking nothing less than God moving. Whether He moves the mountains in my way...or moves me from the hills.

save me...

I have a great deal of turmoil within... it taints everything I see, touch, taste... I have this deep pain that keeps me up at night...that keeps me seeking company because i'm afraid of being alone... but company runs out...relationships change, conversations wear thin... everything in my life right now is so transient...and i'm anything but solid myself... i'm in a Seurat painting...dissolving into the background.

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alas, tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The wheels just keep on turning...

Til Kingdom Come (Johnny Cash)

Steal my heart and hold my tongue
I feel my time, my time has come.
Let me in, Unlock the door
I've never felt this way before.

And the wheels just keep on turning,
the drummer begins to drum,
I don't know which way I'm going,
I don't know which way I've come...

...For you I'd wait til kingdom comes
Until my day, my day is done.
Say you'll come and set me free
Say you'll wait, you'll wait for me...

Ray and Samantha are an older couple who frequent my store. They were gone for a while, but have returned in the last couple of weeks... Samantha has Lou Gehrigs disease and as it's a degenerative disorder, I've seen it progress noticeably over the past several months...The other day she spent 10 minutes trying to communicate to us a single question... I can remember only two months ago this not being the case. The song above happened to be playing on the radio while the two of them were lying side by side on a couple of the massage beds... She doesn't have a lot of time left.

In your tears and in your blood.
In your fire and in your flood,
I hear you laugh, I heard you say
"I wouldn't change a single thing."

And the wheels just keep on turning,
the drummer begins to drum.
I don't know which way I'm going
I don't know what I've become.

For you I'd wait til kindgom comes,
Until my day my day is done.
Say you'll come and set me free
Just say you'll wait, wait for me.

I don't have anything profound to say... just a moving situation and a story that deserves not to be forgotten i guess.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I met a kid today on my smoke break outside the store. He rode by me on a bike, shirtless with a back pack strapped tightly around his shoulders... i assumed he was a transient. He asked me for a smoke and I obliged, to my suprise he parked his vehicle and started to talk to me. His name is Chris and he's a 19 year old going to the local community college with no real direction... I smiled as he shared a little bit about the uncertainty of his future and where he should go...

I told him to explore, not to limit himself while in school to some arbritrary degree...i told him to take classes he'd never imagine himself taking before...to stretch and bend and try it all out... I told him that college was really about finding out what you wanted to do with your life, through a process of elimination- by finding out what you don't want to do. and then i couldn't help but think of the quote I once heard in a narrative song:

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

In all honesty I am a bit jealous when I meet those younger than I... because at times I wish that I could be 19 again... with the world at my feet... I realize i'm not yet a senior citizen, but the pressures I feel at 26 are vastly different from those of a 19 year old...

It was interesting sharing some of these ideas with Chris, knowing in the back of my mind that I was facing similar struggles in my own life... Our cigarettes burned out eventually, I shook his hand and wished him good luck...and he was off...


Psalm 86

Hear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant
who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul..

You are forgiving and good, O Lord
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will
call to you, for you will answer me...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Possibly the broadest title for a blog... life. There has been so much going on lately... an immense amount of change to adjust to. It's been the longest summer of my life...and it appears there be no end in sight.
The days are unbearably warm and long... the nights even longer. I'm stuck in a hole...but i'm fighting because that's what i do... but even fighters lose...the best are forced to forfeit their glittery belts, I just wish my opponent was as clear as a man with red over sized gloves... instead i spar with uncertainty, dashed hopes, broken dreams...a broken heart, loneliness, disconnectedness... and i'm not at all sure how to strike back... It's been raining. Raining for months... but just in my head. i'm tired, broken...and i feel like i've been broken for sometime now. Just when I think the sun is bound to arise a midst the darkly clouds... it starts up again... another downpour.... this is so hard.

So I will wait for you to come and rescue me
Come and give me life

It's common in times of great distress to ask, why? It's because we want to find meaning in suffering...we want to know that there is a point to it all... but that takes faith to believe...it takes faith to believe something we cannot see. At the moment i can't seem to muster it up... i'm exhausted. I dared to dream... but now i'm broken. Sometimes the most beautiful of dreams devastate us... we can actually get hurt by them... i guess i'm pretty shaken now... i'm afraid for the first time in my life to hope again. Sometimes all we can do is pray to be rescued... That has been my cry for sometime... but God seems silent... He seems distant and all I have to hold on to is His promise that He would never leave me nor forsake me...but i can't feel that right now... i feel completely alone.

Friends come and go, people change, dreams fade, hearts break, all in the name of life happening... And Life ain't kind. it's cold and cruel and relentless... maybe it's all a roll of the dice? Maybe there is no rhyme or reason... maybe the reasons are completely beyond us. Maybe i'm losing.