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Monday, December 19, 2005

overwhelmed

God,

i have enough tonight for dozens of pages... but my energies allow only a few sentences. so thank you for my friends, each and every one, who deserve blog posts of their own. thanks especially for the growth of relationships, like Yours and Caleb's, God. Your work inspires us, and Your work in him inspires me. i see You in Him. i worship You when i think about what You've done and what You're doing in/with him. keep using Him, God, because his heart is becoming like Yours. may He be blessed even more, God, with challenges and tasks and adventures that will make You say "SWEET!!!"

thank you for the love that i am drowning in.

amen.

Friday, December 16, 2005

promises to keep

i have plans. i sometimes never follow through on them, but here i am posting them anyways. i want to organize my blog... i almost said 'life' instead of 'blog.' there's so much here about me and my life, it's kind of scary to see the scroll bar for some of the archived months.

i plan to at least change the way this thing looks. i was HAPPY to find my old moon-bathing template the other day, but it needs updating. i think i know what i want, i just don't know how i'll do it yet. and it's going to take longer than this one did, to code it and everything. it'll be worth it, though. i think.

i want to blog... i want to express, to overflow. i just can't right now. i hate that.

good-night, all.

Monday, December 12, 2005

empty and full

my heart, that is. my core. i don't have the energies to speak what needs to be.

perhaps later.

new poem. link on the right, click 'home of the wind'

Thursday, December 01, 2005

you'll tied

so it's December the First. suite. only one more week of school-ness left before an entire month of madness. it's going to be a-MAY-ziiiiiing.

this is more an update that a true Isjami-post, sadly. i have six hours of work to do tonight.
  • talked to professor Heuser (Hoy-zer) last night about my work ethic. it's a really good one, i just never apply it. he said that i'm not alone... he could tell i'm the kind of student that puts things off, knowing they can be done last-minute and still earn high grades. he and i agree that my skills are a blessing and curse. apparently i'm brilliant but lazy (i knew about the lazy part already). seriously, i would give up my brain-power if it meant getting higher grades. what a strange statement.

    i wasn't expecting him to be so friendly. he's genuinely interested in my personality, story, and plans for the future. he wants me to succeed because he really cares how well i do, not just because it reflects on his efforts and ability as a professor. he really respects each of his students, and has the kind of heart i think every teacher should have.

  • Andrew Peterson did a number on me last night. we were up talking life and theology till 3:30a (again), and he pulled out some stuff that made me say, "where did you get that?!" as well as "why didn't i sink of dat?!" so it was awesome. he's been an isaiah to me lately.

  • Heather L. continues to impress and amaze me, though differently now than before. she's beginning to see more clearly, and possibly even respect/look-up-to me as a Christian and friend. i'm proud of what she's doing with her life, and i'm proud of myself for being here to impact that life. which reminds me, i need to praise God for being used in ways i could never have been used without His direct involvement. Hallelujah (that's an imperative, not a Christian cliche)! oh, and Andrew P.'s name goes in this one, as well, since he's been an isaiah to her lately, too.

    (and yes, peeps, i do expect you to look up words from time to time... what? Rybarczyk does it to us all the time. just like Mom used to do. *sigh*)

  • got an A on my What Will Heaven Be Like? paper. planning on teaching Evan, Devon, Caleb, and others everything i know (and some stuff i don't know) about Heaven & Hell when we have the chance.

  • got like 8 hours of sleep last night. WOW.

  • if someone out there insists on getting me something for Jesus' b-day that i can't share or give away, just letting you know i wear a small-size top, and very much enjoy iTunes shopping. these aren't what would make my Christmas amazing, per se, but that's another post for another day later this month.

i seam to have developed a strange taste for misusing homonyms on porpoise.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

confessions of a lazy mind

it's sad, i admit. it's true. i haven't posted in 9 days or whatever. as always, i have reasons. #1: end-of-semester craziness. it is taking away from more important things like friends and creativity. #2: i've had other outlets, like Andrew P., a guitar to play, a visit home for Thanksgiving, where i had great conversations, wrote some lyrics for song #12, and wrote a new poem (link on the right). #3: life just hasn't thrown me the right mood in awhile.

i'm still here. waiting for Christmas break. procrastinating on some things, but doing well in others. not sleeping, obviously. wishing i could blog.

hi peeps. bye peeps.

Monday, November 21, 2005

answers?!

i was looking through some old blog posts, and i found this one.

The only times I'm not trying to figure life out is when I'm enjoying it, and when I'm asleep. I guess I feel like life is supposed to be good. I'm a problem-solver, and I don't like to give up, so when life isn't good, I assume there's a problem that I am supposed to solve. And then life will be good.

I only put all this together today, when I was out walking. I also came up with some questions for heaven.


i read the first question and realize... 'wow. i think i can actually answer some of these now! these are from January 27th. pretty exciting stuff for me. let's give it a try, shall we?

#1. Is the pursuit of happiness a God-given right, or a mistake I'm making?

the pursuit of happiness is neither a right nor a sin, but rather an integral part of my design as a human being... for i was created to experience God and others, and ultimately that is where the most profound and satisfying happiness will come from. in that sense, i am designed and therefore intended to be happy.

#2. All I know is what I experience. Is my faith based on what happens to me?

yes, but what happens to me is often determined by what i do. the former doesn't preclude the latter.

#3. Does God's consistency of character make it alright for me to validate or invalidate His actions as 'good' or 'bad'?

ooo this one's delicious... so basically, 'if God sinned, could i condemn Him?' certainly not, if i can't even condemn another human (i am the chief of sinners). but there's more to the question, i think. God's character is subject to no one's judgment, but is that because His character is perfect, or because He is Sovereign and Ultimate? or does His sovereignty and ultimate nature rest on his consistent character? would He still be Sovereign if He 'stepped out of character?' is it possible for God to step out of character?

*licks lips and burps* so good...

#4. How do I know what is and isn't from God, unless I know what His goals are?

not only goals, but passions. passions work from within and behind... goals pull at us from the future. discerning what is and isn't Godly is a spiritual gift, and i guess that means there are many answers to this question, most of which God wants me to experience the answers to as i live in Him day by day, choice by choice, thought by thought.

#5. Is my value as a person affected by my choices? What about my importance in the Story?

yes, but not on a choice-to-choice basis except for the choice to respond to God in the affirmative. my value as a person is entirely contingent on my Choice, not my choices, and my Choice ultimately rests on His, and/or on Him. and i think my importance in the Story is the same.

I could think of more, but... I feel like five is good for now.

man... i can't believe i just did that. usually i think of my questions as being unanswerable (otherwise they wouldn't be my questions anymore, they'd be my worldview). this is seriously huge for me. i am LOVING IT.

the only problem is that it's sort of an open forum Q&A tonight at river47, and i was hoping to find some good unanswered questions here in the archives. *shrug* oh, well... the search goes on.

see you guys (some of you) next week!

EDIT: wow. shame on me. seriously... i continued the walk down memory lane, and i find myself criticizing some of the things i said with confidence that should not have been said at all. i actually said straight out that musical instruments serve no practical purpose! and that's just the least of it. man... i have been a fool. alot. call me foolish. alot.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Em/maj7add9

time, the great healer, and i, on my deathbed, am counting the moments that bring me to life. but why come up for breath, for an incomplete feeling, when all i feel like doing.... is dreaming

Monday, November 14, 2005

six-shooter

i have no inspiration, but i bear glad & bad tidings.
  • andrew and i have been invited to start leading worship for the college group at river47 on sunday mornings. we're headed there tonight to hang with them and work out details and mess around with some worship music.
  • the worship team leader for the adults at that same church invited me to be on their weekly rotation. i haven't received a single compliment for my loud voice (which stands out more in a small congregation), except from the youth, but apparently several people have been suggesting to this leader (Dave) that he check that one guy out. (they go behind my front, those insidious Christians... they have a subtlety and strategy i've not seen before.) unfortunately, he used the word 'audition,' so that kind of cinches that... but it's still a glad (and bad) tiding.
  • on the way to have lunch with those peeps yesterday, a manager at the Starbex across the street noticed me move an acoustic guitar from the bed of andrew's truck to the cab. he ran out and invited us to play there for anywhere from 45m to 120m one of these mon. or tues. nights. doesn't pay, but it should be fun.
  • i finish one of my classes tomorrow... we take our final two weeks early. kind of like a rapture.
  • whoever posted anymousely doesn't know me very well. they don't even deserve to be addressed personally... when i find out who they are, i will be happy. until then, my rule stands: anymice are summarily sentenced to be fed to the anycat of DELETED!!!
  • i came up with a good title for this post. kudos and a smiley-face to whoever figures it out first.
nap-time.

EDIT: good observation, bad conclusion. forcing any blog post, partially or in entirety, is pretty close to killing babies, in my book... i had five tidings and a sixth bullet when i thought of the title for this post, so the sixth conveniently became the "challenge."

consequently, since that sixth bullet was an after-thought, it wasn't meant to be a challenge. it was the kind of thing that made itself known at the last second, rather than something i tried to come up with for awhile before posting. i wouldn'yt expect you or any Ninrabbight not to see the 'joke' right away. =)

all that aside... you still were the first one, so kudos are headed your way. everybody head over to Sir Camiwe's blog. find out what the heck a Ninrabbight is. discover the goal of man... without using Google. ;)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

voices

there's something else you taught me. i forgot to mention this. i never understood the phrase, "afraid to commit."

i see it, now. not only that, i see why i didn't see it. it's because i have never been afraid to commit. quite the opposite, actually... i have pursued commitment as if it were a person! i've longed to understand it, to experience it, to learn it, to know it intimately- but most of all, to live it. and i have. like i said: i'm always the last to give up.

thank you for teaching me how to commit.

it's not that you don't care... it's that you don't commit. see, to me, these two things are the same. caring and commitment are the two sides of the coin, in my mind. but you see it differently. you see commitment as this extreme form of caring. "i don't care that much..." you say, as if anyone could ever truly care without committing.

i am an all-or-nothing sort of person. there's no in-betweens, only pass or fail. if i've worked as hard as i could, i've earned that A. if i gave it less than i could, i've earned a ZERO. that's right... nothing. and that's what you've received, your zero, though you'll never face up to it, or even acknowledge it to yourself, in the privacy of your own heart. if you did, you'd be back. and then my heart would leap at the chance to be who i am again. the best opportunities for me to be who i am are the people who choose to be who they really are.

you're afraid to fail, so you won't try. good luck living.

this defeat, my greatest victory

everything is meaningful when you are emotional. that's why we fall... it's not to learn to pick ourselves up. it's to find out who we really are. that's why people put beat themselves up while they're down (me, at least). it's because everything becomes meaningful when you're hurting.

it's like pain opens our eyes where we were blind before. it's like we are only really here= i mean fully, intensely present in the moments of life- when we're taken away.

feel your spirit pull
feel the flow of pain and pride
open your eyes to your life
until darkness is all you see
it is there you will find me

but there's a wrong way to lose, too. sometimes when you lose, you win... other times, you feel like you've won, and have no idea how much you've lost.

have i wasted these hours away, day by lonely day
have i wrestled with everything i know i could never say
i know a fight is what you don't need
but you know that i would fight for you
you’ve got no idea how much this could mean
you think you know everything

i'm the kind of guy who's always the last to give up. i don't like leaving things unfinished, and i don't like setting my own limits in front of me. i like setting them behind me. because you never know how far you can go until you go farther than you can.

should i try to remember
should i wonder how
so close to so real, something from nothing at all
hoping a little more pain might heal

it's not like cauterizing a wound. that's the kind of victory that hides a deeper defeat. i would rather let it bleed until it stops on its own, than burn my nerves off and pretend it doesn't hurt anymore. there's more to a scar from a cut than from a burn. and that's what i am. cut. what's so ironic is that i would cut myself for others without hesitation... and yet, every time, i find myself being cut for my sake. it's backwards. someday i will understand why, and it will bring to a point all the gifts of joy and sorrow that have ever been given me.

i get so tired of feeling so far, feeling so far away
i hate to, i have to abandon you, to yourself again
wond’ring what should’ve been said
begging the question, oh, would you have cared that i did
does it matter that none of this matters to you
if you’ve stopped caring, then why should i...

because. even as i abandon you to yourself, i'm hoping- such a foolish heartset- that you will realize that the person who has abandoned you to the most harm, is you. your apathy will numb you, sure, but it'll also be your death. you're a wolf in the arctic, and apathy is the dagger sticking out of the snow, with blood frozen at the tip. you draw your tongue against it, bottom to top, and it tastes so good that you can't stop. your tongue goes numb so you don't feel the edge, and soon you're sucking your own life away. apathy.

...try to remember
should i wonder how
so close to so real, something from nothing at all
hoping a little more pain might heal
hoping the you i see can’t be real

but you are real. you've chosen who to be, and you didn't choose yourself. you chose someone like God, Who can create ex nihilo. stop pretending. a little more pain might remind you that you're dying, and memory becomes so much more vivid and significant when you're dying. and if you remember, maybe you have a chance. maybe.

can i walk you away from your fake perfect world
should i show you the lie you’re surrounded by
would the truth understand if you said you’d been blinded
by the world that you love doesn’t love you

how many more times will you show how much you don't care about yourself by pretending to care about others? there's no path that will lead you to nothingness faster than the path of selfishness. someday you're going to end up there, and not even Truth will have the wisdom it takes to make you understand. and what will you say, standing there before Truth? you chose to be blind, rather than open your eyes to your life, and find me.

i’m pulling you out as you dig further down
call back if you hear this sound...

tug-of-war, isn't it? the further you go in your misleading confidence, the louder my shouts become. my anger isn't a sign that i don't care... it's a sign that i do care. if you can't understand that, if you've forgotten it (whether on purpose or not), if you really do want to leave, then i cannot stop you. but because i Love you as intensely and intentionally and freely as i do, i'll not stop calling.

can you hear me calling
how far have you fallen?
find your truth, i’m waiting for you to be free
wondering whether or not you’ll see
what in this world do you think you need?
is this the life you’ve been searching for?

it's not like you can't beat this. it's not like this gap can't be bridged. and even if not all problems have solutions, they all have a reason or a purpose or both. what you're telling me is that you've found your solution... you're giving up. you care, sure, and don't let me get you wrong on that, but that kind of caring's not what i saw when you sat down to talk with me at lunch. who you are now is not you. it's someone else who's taken your place. it's someone who's convinced you that she can handle things better than you can, and because these trials have weakened you, you're selling your spirit for security.

define tragedy.

nothing left to remember
nothing here to see
so close to so real or closer to nothing at all
hoping in someone you’ve never been
hoping we’ll never be here again
feeling so far away.

it's called 'far away.' Andrew and i finished it just now. in some ways, you finished it... but i like to think of it more as you finishing it off. somehow you've dumped all of this incomplete homework here on my desk, persuaded the prof to give you an A (a fake one, but you still get to feel good about it), and left me with the F. normally i would take that from you happily.

but here's the thing. it was our project, our desk, our friendship. take your transcript and frame it on your wall, if you want. you can show it to the next friend that comes along, and use it to pull them in. i'll be right here, putting two and two together.

and when it's all over, when i get an F for all the hard work i've done, i'll be the one who got something out of the class, and you'll be getting your resume rejected at every turn, because you thought you could earn your MA without finishing your GE. yes, i'm bitter, but that's not the reason i'm writing this. i'm writing this because it's the truth.

you know how naive i am? i used to not understand what it meant to turn your back on a friend. i guess it was because no one had ever done it to me. so i thank you now, for teaching me about life. thank you for teaching me how to fall. someday i'll think back on this, and realize that i never could have caught anyone, had i not fallen first.

thank you for every kindness, though they came from a heart that only nodded in passing. don't worry about remembering anything that happened between us... i'll take it all, the pain and the happiness and the excitement and the disappointment. i'll live through it every time i think of it, and maybe that way i can make up for the time you've stolen. or lost.

either way, thank you. i Love you. always.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

yayhoo

i think i've spent so much of my life expressing darker emotions, that i actually don't know how to be happy. first i slapped my desk with both hands... then i rode like 15mph around the school on my bike and got drenched by a puddle. then i sang alot.

now i'm blogging. and all the words i come up with seem stupid. i don't know how to be happy... most look forward to someone teaching them, sooner or later.

i don't even know that i should be here blogging. probably not. wait.

i'm usually a pretty intense person... on the inside, not out. things matter to me. yeah, i know things matter to everyone, but seriously, would you ever describe me as apathetic? uncaring? cold? dispassionate? half-hearted?

one of the ways this comes out is in my relationships. most of you don't see this much, but the number one biggest thing on my list of things that i am intense about is relationships. i worry about alot, but nothing burns me like relationship problems. i get excited about few things... excitement's just not me, usually. but when it is, it's probably about relationships, or at least people i have relationships with.

you know, it's strange... i think about how time's been speeding up since i was a kid. you know how that is. a week when you're 19 is like a day when you were 4... time speeds up as you get older. almost like watching a movie for the second time, it seems alot faster than it did. it's bizarre, but recently that process has been reversing. time is slowing down again. i'm reverting to childhood.

=D

i am trying not to get cheetos and cream soda on my keyboard... say you're welcome, Andrew.

anyways. basically i hadn't heard from Heather L. in like four weeks, since our last argument. i'd contacted her several times, but she hadn't responded, until

don't give up... going through alot...

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: James
Date: Nov 8, 2005 9:45 PM

should i just give up? at least tell me you've decided to excommunicate me... the feeling's even worse without any resolution. i miss your laughter.

that was this morning. i hadn't danced in my pajamas like that since Camiwe sent me his e-mail about joy. more on that in another post, though... i want to talk about discipleship, youth ministry, theology, and the funnel concept in that one.

but i saw her tonight, and she was in the middle of a deep convo with someone else. she gave me a hug and told me to call her. i saw her smile again.

so i rode like 20mph (c'mon... it has to increase every time i tell it, or else it's not a good story) all over, like i said. wished that i could dance. i probly would never trade singing for dancing, though, and i can't say singing doesn't do the job like dancing does. it's just been an incredible day, with Nick Parsons' concert (Hotel California was A-MAY-ZIIIING), hanging with Jacquelyn (i need to tell that story, too...), finding a recording studio Andrew P. and i can use (Vanguard just built a new one and unveiled it tonight), hugging HL for the first time in months, getting picked up off the ground by Andrew Mundschau, and lots of other things i could list that each deserve a smile and a prayer of thanks.

i'll go get to those.

EDIT: forgot to say... i had the Last Samurai soundtrack on all night, and had three distinct dreams that were all about me as a hero. i remembered all of them vividly when i woke up. i'm going to try it again tonight.

Monday, November 07, 2005

nosce te ipsum

solitude is not being alone, it's being by myself. sometimes we have good discussions. alot of that discussion is fueled by personal, creative thought, in addition to the discussions i (or we) have with others.

self, what do you want to do with your life when you're done with your formal education?

i don't know. i have a very focused goal, but not much in the way of structured plans. i know i'll be loving God and serving others (which overlap), and i've known that for awhile now. but as i told Andrew a few weeks ago, it seems like my vision in life is not only broadening (having the blinders removed... thanks heather!), but also narrowing. it's all coming down to a point, like a funnel or one of those things you put coins in to make them spiral down and down. wow, how awkward... i'll hereafter refer to those thingies by the official technical term, 'coin-spirally-down-things.'

but yeah, i gained a little definition yesterday with one of the servant-leaders at river47 (i'll blog that later). he asked if i wanted to teach (which opens up about thirty pages of blogging, for me), and i told him i had no idea, except i am certain that i want to get people to ask more questions. it's all about learning to think critically, particularly in a world where people think queries such as "why doesn't the glue get stuck to the inside of the bottle?" and "did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?" are profound and clever.

i want to make you ask questions. i want you to stop thinking in the way your life has taught you to. break out of the hamster cage of life (see a post below). stop running the wheel, and start exploring everything that might seem nebulous and philosophical at first, but will be discovered as meaningful and fundamentally significant on the way.

so here are some questions for you, and i want you to answer them (to yourselves is fine, comments are welcome as always) with more questions only. no answers. only questions. i'll give you an example first (kudos to Kevin and Western society for inspiring this example):

Q: why do we think of music when we think of worship?

A: do we only think of music, or is that just the first thing?
A: is 'we' every Christian in the world, or just American churchianity? or just us? just me?
A: why is the desire to worship more important than the act? or is it?
A: is it possible to worship in a new way that's just as valid as any older form of worship?
A: what is the value of music by itself, without worship?
A: is worship a feeling? a longing? a word? a voice? an understanding? a request?
A: if the literal historical definition is "to ascribe to God His worth," what the heck's that mean?!

and of course, each of these "anstions" or "queswers" leads to even more queswers and anstions. you see how i can say that my brain rarely turns off, even as i'm desperate for sleep or enjoying some new music. there are virtually unlimited avenues for our minds to explore, many of them yielding treasure that we could live off of for the rest of our lives! imagine what it would be like to truly know what worship is, and to then live that understanding from moment to moment, in such a way that your every thought, word, and deed could be sanctified and offered to God as something meaningful and valuable to Him who IS meaning and value.

here are some more for you guys to chew on / interact with:

Q: why do we admire and idolize athletes, authors, and musicians, yet forget the saints and heroes of our faith?

Q: is it really a valid expression of our beliefs to say that we can pursue (and find) God on our own, without the help of, guidance from, or even subservience to those who are older and more mature in the faith?

Q: if we can at times be so skeptical of the truths offered to us by teachers and other experienced mentors, why do we so often assume that the conclusions we come to ourselves are so right on?

Q: if the disciples wanted Christ to stay, but He left (and there's more to it), then how do we say that He is in our hearts (which certainly would have comforted the early believers) when Jesus Himself didn't say that?

Q: if we believe God is everywhere, why/how do we pursue Him?

Q: what does it mean and how does it look to let the word of God form us?

Q: if we all desire intimacy with the opposite sex so strongly, why do we throw it out so easily?

Q: would Jesus have ever come if no one had ever sinned?

Q: how can we believe there was no physical death in Eden if Adam and Eve ate fruit?

Q: what, biblically, is the purpose and work of angels?

Q: if Jesus' body went up into the skies, where is it now?

Q: what the heck was going on in Matthew 27:53-54?!? those cheaters got cuts!

thanks for comments... they plant warm fuzzies in my heart-garden.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

change is bad

true sometimes, stupid other times. this time it's good.

Andrew and i are in the process of having our tenth little bundle of joy. goes a little something like this... *sings it* nice, huh? first verse goes like this:

have i wasted these hours away, day by lonely day
have i wrestled with everything i know i could never say

i know a fight is what you don't need

and you know that i would fight for you

you’ve got no idea how much this could mean

you think you know everything

yesterday i went to academic advisement and made plans for spring semester. these are the classes i might be taking:

Christian Worldview
Late Roman-Byzantine Empire
Intro to Christian Leadership
the Corinthian Letters
Ecclesiology and Eschatology (ekklesia = church, eschaton = end times)
Developmental Psychology
Christian Heritage
Primal / World Religions
the Gospel of Mark

obviously i'm not taking them all, but i had to come up with a back-up plan in case of closed classes. i was really sad to see that Spiritual Disciplines isn't being offered till next fall. =(

today i made $40 walking a precinct in Oceanside, passing out literature as a volunteer for the Republican Party in San Diego. Jeremy invited me last night, so i got up this morning much earlier than i had previously intended. we left around 10:30a, lunched at Jack in the... Box, and enjoyed some rather gorgeous weather in a rather suite neighborhood. every house was unique, many of them overlooked the ocean, and the streets had hardly any order to them at all. the area was almost elvish in quality, with all the palms and exotic (to a guy from Fresyes, anyway) plants (which people didn't mind covering their entire property with) and (i use alot of syntactically confusing parenthetical statements, huh?) with the ocean and hills and everything.

still, it was exhausting, and i was up till almost 4a (partly with Andy-pooh and partly online), so when i got back around 4:30p i slept for almost four hours.

i don't understand why naps often leave me depressed. it's like my seratonin leaks out my nose when i'm that relaxed. i don't get it. maybe i just miss everybody. but why would naps bring that out? i guess that's why one of my recent prayers has been, "Spirit, please help me understand myself."

lastly: Jones Cream Soda is suite. get some.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

i survived survival

if you take a walk backwards with me, to my old-life-house, you'll find the room i stayed in. it's a hamster cage.

i ran happily in it for awhile, amazed by how cool my pad was. i mean, seriously... i had my Owner taking care of me, giving me a new toy once in awhile, cleaning up my sin-poop, feeding me water and milk and sometimes a little tidbit of processed nutrients.

then i started to wonder... what's outside? because it looks like there's this wall here, and yeah. life's starting to seem sort of lame. i am a hamster, it's true, but sometimes i wish i were a lion. why can't i be a lion? this wheel gets boring after awhile. i've noticed no female hamsters have come around. i feel like something's missing in my cage.

flash-forward. my Owner must've turned the light off... like A YEAR AGO. it's been pitch-black for 364 days, and He hasn't been in to feed me. i've been squealing at the top of my lungs for almost twelve months. i'm starting to drown in my own feces. where the heck is He?!

i left that cage awhile ago, to explore the unknown. but i didn't even come here to tell you that. i just want you to look inside the cage, at all the claw marks i left on the walls, where i tried to break out. i want you to see the desperation that drove me, the reminders of silence and loneliness and abandonment and the dark night of my soul. i attacked my own home for months before finally escaping.

keep scratching.

Monday, October 31, 2005

all hallow's eve

i don't really have the heart for this post... it's tough dealing with myself sometimes. i can win battles, but the war won't be over until the coming parousia, and Who knows how far away that is. i have some good stories, though... there's no way i'm keeping these to myself.

i found out the webmaster's new assistant, Erick Lazarte, is actually a full-blooded Filipino. how did i find this out? when the webmaster (Mark Merrick) enlisted him to be the 'judge' from the Philippines. judge for what? for the Olympics.

at this morning's business meeting.

i walk in for work around 8:15a, and Sharon Fain (marketing & communications coordinator) is wearing this colorful windbreaker thing. she has some weird make-up on. i'm thinking, maybe she's just cold in here, and that's the first jacket she found in her closet.

several minutes later, an old, silvery-haired guy in a white, blue, and red trainer's suit (whatever they're called) walks by, and Sharon screams, "AHH! It's perfect!!!!!"

???

the old silvery-haired guy comes back, and walks in this time. i look closer. it takes me a few seconds ro recognize Mark, who is supposed to be like twenty-something. i can't believe it... totally ready to represent Mother Russia (as he kept saying all morning in a fairly good accent) and cheer his girls on. Sharon then grabbed a twirly-ribbon thing and started waving it around and dancing.

these are my supervisors.

"Mark... what in the world are you doing?!"

"hey, man! is that your costume??"

oh. Halloween. =P

"ohhh... wow. just wow."

"...you forgot Halloween??"

yeah... on purpose, though.

so apparently the plan is to walk into the planning session for the Alumni magazine, play that one song from the Final Countdown, and then hold up score-cards. i got to be the judge from Manila (sp?), since the Philippines were already taken. (Erick says i don't look Filipino. *deow*)

so that was bizarre... i'm all focused on my tasks, and all of a sudden my supervisors are in character. pretty cool, though, how casual/fun my morning was. =) after that was homework as usual, lunch as usual, and Rybarczyk's heaven & hell class as usual.

and now, the story of the most unusual part of my day. lemme just say that this story is completely made up, and it didn't happen. i'm not lying. i mean i am.

i'm riding my bike across the street around 7p to check out the "Hullabaloo" harvest carnival alternative thingy halloween-is-evil event that some local churches put on every year. now, disclaimer/preface... it was fully night-time (dark sky, but 87 degrees freakin' Farenheit!!!), and there weren't many lights in the parking lot i was riding through. and these girls were fairly far away, so that they had to shout when they said,

"hey!! hey, you! you're HAWT!!!"

they were in costume... i didn't realize they were female-types until it was too late.

"WOOOH! WE LOVE YOU!!!"

everyone knows guys who ride no-hands are haw-tees. *SARCASM*

oh, but wait, this is the best one:

"you can ride my bike anytime!!"

conclusion: they were drunk.

the hullasomething was pretty cool. it was fun watching people play around, dance, and wear weird stuff. there was a worship band that played salsa all night, and the sax player was also a flute player who was pretty suite.

found out i have two homework assignments tonight, not one... *sigh* foofy. i don't think i'll go down to watch Batman Begins in the Cove after all...

lame post. feels lame, anyway... i need sleep. most of the time. happy monday peeps.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

good work, my young trinitarians!

that's been his farewell these last three class sessions. ;) fear not, mumsy and dudsy, i'm not being brainwashed. you know those thingies that hinder a horsey's peripheral vision? yeah, professor Rybarczyk's removing those (or he's one of the people having that effect on me). the stuff we're learning about the trinity is wild. did i already quote him about the percentage? "you guys now know more than 99.9% of the world, about the Trinity." ^_^ it's wild. it'll change your life. or replace it with new life, i should say, since that's what Spirit does.

read an entire 145-page book yesterday called "the Source of Life: the Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life" by Jurgen Moltmann. pretty awesome. i'm thinking about having a class / discussion on the Spirit with the youth group this coming summer.

anyways, i finished the book around 2a, and then got up at 7a to write the 5 1/2-page paper, so i could turn it in at 1:35p today. i have the same bad feeling about it that i had about the last one, which probably means i'm getting a low A. thinking about this always makes me wonder what kind of GPA i would have if i gave myself plenty of time for every assignment.

so we all show up for class, turn in our papers, and then go for coffee at Dietrich's. Darren just got a $6,000 scholarship out of the blue (he works at a church that's pretty supportive, apparently, and VU appreciates it, too), so he paid for most of the drinks. fyi, vanilla caramel javas are better than caramel frappucinos. (sp?)

so i'm over the hill homework-wise. oh, forgot to talk about the job. so far i've done some simple graphics work (i do website stuff for the Marketing Department, under Sharon Fain and Mark Merrick), some video training, a little html, and today i worked on a form submission and mailing thingy. the stuff Microsoft Outlook can do is pretty cool... didn't realize you could set up some fairly powerful processes. i see now how useful/powerful it can be, though i don't know that it's better for personal use than Gmail is.

in other news, i saw Heather L. today. eye contact and everything. it must've been God, and the attitude He's still cultivating in me, but as soon as i noticed her i smiled, waved... and kept walking. she gave me this half-smile. it was kind of like what a stranger gives you when it would be really awkward not to acknowledge you somehow. i was proud of myself, though, for not freaking out or exploding or ignoring or avoiding or confronting. with as much as i have no clue about (regarding her thoughts and feelings at this point), i think i'm doing the right thing just giving her space and waiting for something to happen. although, i haven't been praying as much for it lately. i think it's because even though it is really unsettling to have this unresolved conflict with someone i really care about deeply, who seems to have reciprocated but then abandoned me for unknown reasons, i have a peace about it that is only partly due to my inability to do anything but be at peace.

what else... tomorrow i have work early, then long class over the weekend. i really need to do some reading for that. especially considering the exam's Saturday. it's an easy class, though... same prof and format as my evangelism class last semester. Sunday i hope to visit Professor Rybarcyk's church, Orange Covenant, or river47 (Ezekiel), or whatever it's called. i've actually been wanting to go, but it's also for an assignment in my 'research methods for the study of ethics and Christian leadership' class. should be suite.

hey. new blog for anyone interested in being the church, and not just going to church. i have some visions with people, similar to the way i had a vision with Brandylion over the spring. i'm posting them at overflow, and don't hesitate to comment or e-mail me. there are a few i still need to post (one with Lisa, one possibly forming with Andrew P., and a retro post for Brandon), and i hope to keep adding more and more, and eventually even beginning connecting other pairs (so that it's not me having thirteen visions and everyone else having one each).

lastly: if anyone is willing to e-mail me with a description of Sunday's Emergent service, i will personally see to it that they receive a gold star next to their name in the Lamb's Book of Life. you can also earn one of these by describing to me the current status (or dynamic!) of the youth group, church in general, or any specific ministry program that's goin' on. i would really like to remain connected with my home.

for reals lastly: i'm also really starting to like questions that people have about life or God or stuff like that, because more often than not it leads to a suite discussion, which sometimes leads to spiritual renewal or inspiration, which sometimes leads to the fulfillment of our mission as the body of Christ indwelt by the active, present Spirit. e-mail me. i love that kind of thing.

nap-time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

foofy

just a quick word: i am not dead, neither am i bored. stuff besides blogging demands all of my time this week... it just might be the busiest week so far this semester.

in other words... don't leave me!! i'm still a blogger at heart!!

tbc.

EDIT: http://print.google.com/ !

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Luke 6:38

transcendental theology here, guys, not exegetical or systematic or anything like that. narrative theology. 'lived' theology. (and maybe a tiny or two of pneumatology.)

(Disclaimer: never let it be said that my posts are too sesquipedalian for anyone who has an internet connection. google is here for you.)

so several days ago i was at Starbucks with King Andrew, and i decided to get in line and buy a gift card. 'why am i buying this?' i asked myself.

'i don't know,' i answered silently. 'probably not for me, though.'

'really? who for, then?'

but then it was my turn in line. "what can i get for you?"

"just this card... here's a $10."

"okay, cool..."

'soooo who's this for?'

'still don't know... someone at home, or at Vanguard, or in Zimbabwe, for all i know.'

a few days later, i heard my roommate (on his cell) having a small argument with his girlfriend. i sat there with my lips zipped, otherwise i would have started vomiting advice all over him, until finally he hung up and i asked him, 'did you say Starbucks?'

"yeah, she likes Starbucks."

'now, isaiah... if you give this to him, you realize you won't be able to spend it on anyone else. you just met this guy a few weeks ago, and you haven't even seen his girlfriend before.'

'why does that matter? i think this is it.'

"i think this is yours."

"what?"

it took a few tries to convince him, and explain to him (as far as my explanation could go) what i was doing, but he eventually took it gratefully.

a few days after that...

* * cue the plot-thickening music * *

...i received the following e-mail from Christine, the Religion Division secretary.

Dear Religion Majors

THIS IS A TEST, this is NOT a joke, or an email virus.

If you read the letter you received in your mailbox last week regarding VU Email and are the 10th person to reply to this email

You will receive a Starbucks gift card from the School of Religion.

(You must bring in the Congratulations You are the ___ th reply! E mail from me to claim your Starbucks card. )

The next Religion Majors Fellowship is this Thursday. See the flyer attached for details about out next speaker and location.

It pays to read your VU email! AND every second counts!

Christine Williams,Secretary,
The School of Religion
Vanguard University of So. California
Heath Bldg Office 233 (714) 556-3610 Ext: 233

(i really like how Blogger is smart enough now to preserve formatting. *tips hat*)

yeah. i'm the kind of guy who does not enter contests. when i perceive an opportunity to WIN BIG!, i file that observation away under "gambling" right next to "lottery."

but this time was different. i checked the timestamp... 2:21p. it was like 9p at the time i received this. i considered the number of religion students we have here, and the time this was sent, and the time i received, and a bunch of other factors i can't remember now, and i was like, 'hey, you know... this one's not too bad.

so i replied, and...

Congratulations You are the 9th person to reply back to this email and have earned a Starbucks Gift Card from the School of Religion!

Christine Williams,Secretary,
The School of Religion
Vanguard University of So. California
Heath Bldg Office 233 (714) 556-3610 Ext: 233

-----Original Message-----

From: Micu, Isaiah
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 5:09 PM
To: Williams, Christine
Subject: RE: RE: Time sensitive Information from the School of Religion

Hi, am I the 10th replier?

yeah. so here's this card on my desk that i just finished giving away. i can't decide whether i should keep it, or try the whole thing again.

;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wildredge

"and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said,
'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"

apparently, John Eldredge has been in cahoots with Dallas Willard and Jesus. the first three paragraphs of the prelude of Willard's Renovation of the Heart already match up with everything i've been experiencing. this is exactly the reason why i started taking notes on life (course synthesis).

Eldredge's book is Waking the Dead, in case anyone is feeling my motivation. the question i asked myself as i read this verse was, "where is this water flowing to? what's it flowing into?"

where else but empty hearts close by?

least favy class

wanna know what's worse than having little-to-no motivation for or interest in a class, and having your teacher get on your case for it?

i'll tell you.

what's worse than that, is having little-to-no motivation for or interest in a class, but hearing frequent compliments from your teacher on your admirable character as a student.

i hate it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

quickie

things that are amazing:
  • wind and rain
  • my heaven & hell class
  • my other classes
  • music that comes from inside, not outside
  • friends that forget how lame you are
  • remembering how amazing things are

Sunday, October 16, 2005

if water were dry,

i would read in the rain.

seriously, wouldn't you love to put some shades on and sleep in a stormcloud? it's been thunder-stormy all day today. i can't get enough of it. i'm happy because they say it'll continue into tomorrow and the next day. man... i wish i had a greenhouse.

that's for sure on my list of things to tell Brandon Scott to add on to his plans for my house when he designs it someday.

it's been all Andrew Peterson all the time the last few days. he actually spent two nights here, Friday and Saturday night. we have a new song called 'find me.' i think it's one of the most powerful ones yet. i should probably upload that... we really need to get a recording studio.

*adds another item to his Brandylion house list*

that's nine songs total. nine. okay, so one of them was adopted (we took the lyrics of a 250-yr-old hymn and gave it some sweet music), but that doesn't make it any less our little baby.

how i long for my shifty-eyes face... dang you Blogger... *shakes fist*

i'm rambling now, but it's okay, because i'm in one of those rare (for me) good moods. yeah, i have a hefty mid-term tomorrow and a lot of homework and a job to start next week, but somehow it doesn't get me down. today's been like that. i felt so awake and alive. i can't explain it, even though i could give lots of things credit for it.
  • hanging with Andrew, who understands me as well as Brandon does, which is saying something
  • my open window, letting in the sight and sound of rain and thunder (and the clean air... this room just naturally stinks, i swear...)
  • music, whether Jeremy Camp's Revive Me, or any of the ones Andrew and i have been really enjoying
  • the solitude (my roommate's been gone, and even with Andrew around, i find space for my self to wander alone)
  • the amazing things i'm learning about God and life
  • my amazing friends (hi heather! i hope you can somehow read this despite your grounding)
  • free caramel apple cider (amazing Bill works at Starbucks, where i studied tonight with some friends from Rybarczyk's Heaven & Hell class)
  • white rice (you don't understand the significance of having a rice cooker of your own, until you've moved out of your Micu home)
  • John Eldredge's stuff, which i am starting to get back into
  • John Cusack in Identity, which i am going to watch as soon as i upload the lyrics for find me
  • sweet conversations, like the one i had with Caleb
  • being welcomed back to rodent headquarters by some of the greatest people in the world
  • lots of other stuff that i am not going to list because i'm eager to get on with my night
so here it is... find me. i think you will cry if you can experience it face to face. i almost do when i sing it. you'll notice (if you read my blog regularly) that alot of it came from that weird crap that refused to not come out of me in my post "oops... is my soul showing?"

=)

bye for now.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

wind and rain

i totally forgot about this poem. i had to IM Caleb and ask him if he recognized it... i actually found it in one of my old back-up CDs. i think i'm starting to remember it now.

wind and rain, smooth and grey
gentle hands caressing my mind
lifting my soul despite the gloom
they comfort the deaf, and soothe the blind

i lift my voice as my thirst is quenched
but a mischevous gust takes my song away
only to bring the notes back again
as its feathery fingers continue their play

each teardrop, each breeze, each firm, cool embrace
speaks of glory and peace to my wistful soul
though i long for the storm, and the calm that it brings
still content is my spirit: fulfilled, calm, and whole

wind and rain, refreshing my heart
more silent than death; sweeter than wine
melodies, harmonies, teasing my ear
weaving a song far fairer than mine

i am the deaf man; i am the blind
my senses are stolen by sunshine so bright
though others may smile at the rainbow horizon
i find greatest solace in the absence of light

weary from toil and sorrows abounding
i lie under shadows of cloud-strewn skies
dreaming of nothing (and finding it pleasant)
my vision returns when i close my eyes

wind and rain, fickle and fair
guiding the lost, inspiring the found
stilling the busy, exciting the sloth
chaining the free and freeing the bound

Friday, October 14, 2005

quotation question

"It is possible to provide almost endless quotations from the early Fathers up to modern theologians who believe in eternal punishment and who do not." - John F. Walvoord, Four Views on Hell

so here's the question: how much is 'almost endless' ???

;)

prince of the toothpick people

i'm in my home in Fresno. there's just been a birthday party, so there are snacks and decorations everywhere, and kids running around. the party's for my brother Eli, a freshman in high-school. i take a handful of colorful plastic pirate-sword toothpicks from a small cup on the table in the living room, and then head back to the playroom where the real party is.

Eli notices me playing with them.

"isaiah," he whines, with a pouty face, "those are mine!"

'i was just playing with them, i won't-'

"Mom said they're miiiiine!!!" he whines. "you're gonna break them!"

'i won't break them, look, they're only-'

"Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!"

"what's the problem?"

"he's ruining my toothpicks!!"

'i wasn't even-'

"and it's myyyyyy biiiirthdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH-"

"isaiah, what are you doing?! give those back to him!!"

'FINE!' i throw the stupid toothcrap on the ground. 'take 'em! if you don't grow up a little, you're going to be a pathetic homeless all your life!'

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!"

"isaiah!!!" Mom starts crying too.

i've had enough of this. i take my Mexico blanket and run out to the front yard, shouting at Mom and Eli the whole way and dodging crazy wee bairns who are high on sugar.

it's so dark outside that the sky is actually black, with no glow on the horizon. the stark contrast of the few house-lights from the neighbors makes me think of a blog background. i wrap the blanket around me as if i'm DW in the Arthur cartoon, or myself at a train station. i hear some loud crashes, and conclude that they must be thunder.

[i left the Last Samurai soundtrack playing all night... there are some tracks with heavy drumbeats that sound like thunder.]

i want a better look at the storm that seems to be behind me, but when i try to walk away from the house and turn around, lightning blinds me and i fall back against the wall of the house where the hose is coiled. my vision is skewed now, and my balance is off. no matter how hard i try, i cannot leave the wall. the storm is getting more and more fierce, and it's raining now. every time i open my eyes, i see double, where one view is tilted and the depth is wrong. i keep trying. i can't seem to turn my head very far.

finally, i realize i must have been hurt pretty badly, and i need rest. so i fall to the ground and give up, letting myself go, as if to sleep.

a few seconds later i get up, and i am healed... but the storm is over. maybe i fell asleep. it's just as dark as it was before.

i see Mom and the kids a little ways down DeWitt street, laughing and talking and headed for Uncle Greg's. but Mom turns back at one point, leaving the kids to go on alone, so i rush into the house before she gets there and start hunting through the fridge so that my fanny greets her instead of my face.

there is some weird stuff in that fridge. i pull out some fake egg-nog, but Leah (sitting in my spot at the table) tells me not to drink it, it's not good. i get some orange juice concentrate instead, go to the table, and pour it into a large pitcher that's already half-full of some creamy pink slush.

"just pour the whole thing," Mom says.

i get a stirring spoon, but Mom stops me. "Reuben will do it. just watch!!"

Reuben (sitting at the end of the table) smiles a weird smile at me that lasts way too long, and then he sings a low Bb. "ooooooooooooooo!"

huge ripples dance across the liquid in the pitcher as he makes it vibrate. the juice mixes.

the end.

rhite wice

it's so good. we usually go to Jack in the Box, but tonight i made rice. it was this particular cooker's maiden voyage, and i have to say, it was less than a skosh below perfect, if that. i haven't eaten anything that gastronomically satisfying since Aunt Grace's sauteed mushrooms and onions.

my intestines are telling me it tasted good.

the kingdom of heaven is arriving... in my stomach.

my mouth complained about having no salt, pepper, or Yoshida's, but whatever. it was amazing. it changed my life.

with his first bite, Andrew P. became an honorary Filipino.

and we sang all night.

the end.

EDIT: i just did the stupidest thing. i was brushing my retainers, and i accidentally flicked toothpaste into my left eye. it hurt pretty bad, but even before the pain hit, i instinctively stuck my face in the sink and turned on the hot water full-blast. the burning sensation only lasted about 10 seconds, and i have to say... and this is the honest truth... my eye feels fresh and minty now. -_o

Thursday, October 13, 2005

feed me

Galatians 5: 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.

Romans 8: 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh -- 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

- - -

after two years at VU, with three buffet meals a day and care packages and everything else, i've realized that i have a mild addiction to snacks. i used to say, 'my mouth gets bored.' now that i've begun to resist that urge to eat, i see myself more clearly.

the best thing in the care package my family sent was gum. i had just run out. i use it to occupy my mouth when it wants to trick me into eating. i'm a fast eater... so usually, i am full about ten minutes before i realize it. at lunch today, the guy who sautees veggies ('made to order') asked me if i was on a diet or something.

"nope... i'm just not that hungry." he totally put too much salt on the mushrooms and onions. i could barely taste them.

when i eat too much, not only does my stomach bulge uncomfortably, but i have to be really careful when i burp, otherwise my food/drink tries to escape. i hate that taste. now that i'm eating less, it doesn't happen nearly as much.

i know if i heard a sermon on this two years ago, and someone said that these verses were telling us all to eat less, i would've laughed and ignored it. now i can't help but read it literally (for myself), because it's what my body (and God) is trying to tell me to do.

maybe eating fast and alot, and snacking all the time, doesn't really hinder the Spirit's work directly... but indirectly, it does, and even if it didn't, i'd still be trying to oppose myself. Paul is right on.

lesson for today: don't hate yourself. commit suicide. in other words, don't get mad... get even. or odd, even.

good story: i had a debate with a guy last night, about "once saved, always saved." he was amazing. this guy is my age, and he's only gotten a B grade once in his life (which he cried over). as an elementary school student he was up past midnight studying.

what did he study? well, alot of the bible. in fact, he has memorized some books, like Galatians (which i'm taking a class on right now). he knows his stuff... he's amazing. over the phone, with no bible or anything, he was quoting from Hebrews and Exodus and all over the place preaching to me about the Jews and Judaizers, about circumcision and the role of the OT law and NT grace and justification by faith. he blew me away. nineteen years old!!! he's brilliant. he was schooling me.

anyways: after we had a huge (and slightly tangential) debate on justification by faith, and the whole theological conflict between Jews and Gentiles, and circumcision and faith and everything, and the exact definition of what free will is and living by the Spirit, i was like, "okay, it's obvious you know your stuff, so even though i've generally been opposed to the doctrine 'once saved, always saved,' i have to say you know your stuff..."

"...but tell me this. when Paul first went through Lystra, and Derbe, and the whole southern area of Galatia, when he established the churches there, did he leave any genuine believers in those churches?"

"oh, I'm sure he did! certainly."

"right. so we've established that. and do you think that, in this letter to the Galatian churches, he is including those genuine believers in his address?"

"oh, for sure, i'd say he was including everyone in those churches. yeah."

"right. i think so, too. and when he says, in verses six and seven of the first chapter... 'I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ,' do you think he is actually accusing them of deserting Christ and turning to a different gospel?"

". . . oh, well, [this and that] . . ."

[ this and that ] = he totally went off on some other tangent. totally dodged the question. i let him run for about two and a half minutes. then i asked him again.

"right, i totally see what you're saying. but about verses six and seven... they couldn't actually be deserting Christ and turning to a different gospel, could they be?"

"oh, uh . . . I suppose they might."

"so Paul could be speaking fairly literally/directly right there. his tone certainly seems that way throughout the book."

"yeah, sure."

"so tell me if you think that someone who was once a genuine believer could actually desert Christ and turn to a different gospel, live out the rest of their life that way, but still experience the fulfillment of their salvation on Judgment Day."

"oh, well . . ."

"Paul seems pretty serious about this whole thing, as if he's actually worried, you know? that's the whole book, not just this chapter."

"well, the bible certainly doesn't support the idea that you can lose-"

"how can someone desert Christ, turn to a different gospel, and still be saved? Christ is the only way, right?"

"oh, for sure."

"right. so tell me... if i were to decide in my heart to believe that salvation can never be lost, or even given up or rejected, then i would definitely have to interpret these verses very loosely."

". . . i haven't really, uh, done much studying on that . . ."

"if i believed in the whole 'once saved, always saved' thing, like you're saying, then i would have to read these verses this way: 'I am astonished that you are so quickly thinking about deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are being confused by a different gospel -- not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ, even though you can never be turned away from it once you accept it.' ? that would have to be my interpretation, pretty much... right?"

"uh . . . yes, i guess it would have to be. i'll have to, uh, do some more studying on that..."

"cool. hey, thanks for the discussion, you really know your stuff... i wish i had it down like you do." i was totally sincere, too... you guys know i am. i honestly do wish i had that stuff memorized.

but if i had to trade my familiarity with the truth, for a memorization of the truth, i wouldn't do it. not in a million eternities.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

what am i?

EDIT: i am not Love; i am not Death. good guesses, but i am something else.

in me, all is revealed only as it is destroyed. a brief moment's terror brings perfect clarity that blinds you.


in me, there is evidence of a great and hidden strength. it can uproot and toss you to the furthest corners of the earth, or it can bring you home.

in me, everything in you trembles. my heartbeat steals yours away.

in me, children play, or perish. all the while, the whole world watches, smiling or sighing or screaming.

in me, you can drown peacefully. otherwise, you would die.

in me, your world shrinks. its color is pulled away, then weaved into a promise.

in me, my Creator is cursed and worshipped. after i am gone, those who cursed begin to worship, and those who worshipped forget.

in me, Time will end.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

sorry to waste a post,

but i have just experienced the rather stunning revelation that Heather L. reminds me of Jeremiah. that means nothing to most of you, a little to some of you, and a ton to me. wow. it's still coming. things make alot more sense now.

wow. just wow.

calling all rabbis

actually, just one. i'm wondering if Rabbi Evan Wade II is still around. comment if you can hear me. if not, comment anyway. leave it blank if you want... just curious.

oh, hey, while i'm here, i might as well burp.

i think that all it would take to satisfy my loneliness as a guy, would be the certainty and understanding that i would someday be in love forever with the person forever in love with me. i think that with that, i could live contentedly (as Adam did), even if she lived on the opposite side of the world right up until the Last Day.

what sucks more than not having that is needing it. this type of loneliness is inherent to my nature. if it were evil, i could ask God to empower me to fight against it and perhaps even conquer or banish it. if it were a blessing, i could sin against it and thereby have it taken away.

but no... it's in my core, my true self.

it is LAME.

don't tell me it's awesome once you fulfill it. i already know that, because i've experienced it. but notice the past tense. i only thought i had experienced it. really, i hadn't, because if i had really experienced it, i would still be experiencing it. and even though it's a possibility that i might some day, i understand that the concept of 'possibility' is based on what i do not know about my future, rather than what i do know. i say it's a possiblity only because i don't know what's going to happen.

frankly, i'd rather know that it isn't, than be uncertain. it would make life so much easier! i would basically be able to completely avoid that whole sinister bog of dating and crap. of all the beautiful things in the world, romance is probably the messiest.

*taps his fist to his chest* ugh...

what did i eat?

pneumawhatama?

since when does anyone ever enjoy studying for a mid-term?

yes, i'm ashamed to say that i'm not ashamed to say it. i can't get enough of this class. not like that sets it apart from the rest of my awesome classes, but this one is probably my fav of the semester. pneumatology. study of the Holy Spirit. if i don't stop typing now, i'm going to end up teaching a class on it right here and now.

ohhh yeah... i remember what i wanted to blog. my phone number.

(714) 966-6314

my thanks to my family for my big box of snacks, two movie tickets, and one phone cord. whose idea was it to send the tickets?? could this be a Mifrangercu thing, by chance? whatever it is, much, much grass.

i can't call off campus, but off campus can call me, so if you're bored and a good listener (or good talker), and if you don't have to pay bank to phone at night, then call anytime after 10p. that's not the only time i'm around, but it's what's common to most nights. hopefully i'll get a cell soon.

hmm... who should i take to the movies... myself, or- *shifty eyes* -someone else?

i'll probly end up taking King Andrew. our most recent joke-phrase (just between the two of us): "man... if you were a girl..."

miss you all...

EDIT: i couldn't help it. i need to clarify: i have not just been studying the Holy Spirit. i have been experiencing him. wild. glossolalia and getting slain in the Spirit and giant mules jumping off cliffs into the ocean. it's pretty sweet.

Monday, October 10, 2005

course synthesis

a few weeks ago i decided to start viewing my life in more of an academic sense.

everyone's got a worldview... a certain way of understanding reality. my worldview has been heavily influenced by my experiences in homeschool (as opposed to public school). your worldview has been somewhat influenced by my blogs, just as your comments influence my worldview. since high school, my worldview has been gradually become more and more centered on (and emerging from) my belief in God, and the idea that all truth is God's truth. i believe it is possible, and even right, that i view everything in light of God. i think it is possible, and even right, to interpret every experience and judge every thought in light of my growing understanding of and relationship with my Creator, who designed not only my self but also my purpose; He designed not only my world but my particular context (where i live geographically, socially, historically, et cetera).

if you got anything out of that paragraph, then you'll understand me when i say that, recently, more and more i've found understanding of my life in scholastic (school) terms.

example: it might look like i'm only learning from four professors right now, since i have five classes and two of them are taught by the famous Vanguard legend Edmund Rybarczyk (ree-BAR-check)... but in my worldview, i have dozens of teachers. the variosu music artists i listen to are teachers. every friend with whom i have a meaningful relationship is a teacher. every weekend retreat, every job, the constant struggle against temptation, my bible, the Holy Spirit, the stories i tell my loved ones about life... these are all my teachers.

it's weird, i know, but i've been taking notes in my "life" class since my first blog post. in that context, you'll find that my own mind and heart are teachers. even my body is a teacher; right now, i'm learning (the hard way) the lesson about not eating lots of crap when i'm not really hungry. i look forward to that part of the course that teaches me discipline, to the point where the application of those lessons becomes second nature. in other words, i'll be fit.

blogs are a pretty informal way to take notes. i'm starting to drift into the more 'hardcore' realm of a scholastic worldview, i think. tonight, in addition to reading a chapter of "Models of Contextual Theology" and writing a page of notes (as professor/pastor Austring requires), i also took notes for my "Course Synthesis" class.

"isaiah... what the heck is a 'course synthesis' class?"

Course Synthesis: analysis-of / reflection-on the synergistic lessons to be learned from the complementary and mutually reinforcing/affirming elements of the various 'teachers' in my life, including academic courses, experience, the Spirit, the eight sources of authority, self-motivated / self-selected / self-taught studies, et cetera.

that gibberish up there (some call it "Minglish," a mix of Micu and English... others call it pretentious sesquipedalianism) basically means that i'm totally appreciating the way my classes sometimes coincide. one class will talk about the Augustinian response to Pelagius' theology of grace; the other will simultaneously tackle the topic of Paul's gospel to the Gentiles as a defense of grace and as a response to the Judaizers' attempt to add to the good news (and thereby nullify it).

i don't think that paragraph made much more sense than the one before it. get thee behind me, Satan, and confuse my blog no more...

once more: i want to learn more than my individual classes are teaching me. i want to learn what they might teach me if they were all part of the same course, taught by the same teacher (Teacher?). i want to get more out of this than a bunch of A's and B's, and a GPA of 3.5.

i want to take Life as a course, and use what i learn to Live it better.

i guess everyone wants to do this, at some level... but you know as well as i do that wanting to do something, and understanding how to do it, and then actually doing it, are three different things.

and check this one out: according to the praxis model of theology, doing what i learn will teach me more about it. this has been taught more simply, by way of the idea that you learn best by doing. but it goes beyond that. since i was born (somewhere around freshman year, sitting alone in my room and, for the first time, really being conscious of and intentional about interacting with God), i have wanted to act out whatever spiritual truth was out there. but how can you do what you don't know, especially if your teachers have a lecture but no lab?

seriously. it's time to combine the thinking of my faith with the doing of my faith. there's really no God-given task that's unique to this period in my life, that's closer to the core of my heart and the front of my mind, than theologizing. it's gotta go beyond mastering the material, and into the realm of being mastered by it. or, more appropriately, being mastered by the Master through obedience to what i know, however uninformed or naive or questionable it might seem at the time.

that's pretty hard for me... i want to learn how to pray from my heart, guided by God's. i want to know the joy of being shaped by the word, which is something i have never been taught (though i've always been told to, and even my biblical interpretation class did not touch on this topic that is so vital to my spiritual well-being and growth). i want to discover the Holy Spirit as a powerful and present gift, and to walk in that Spirit in such a way that my gifts are not only discovered and revealed but used for the building of God's kingdom, not just in my own life but in the world as we hasten the Last Day.

these are just a few of my desires right now. i think all of them will begin to be fulfilled as i learn what i know by living it, even if i don't yet know it.

did i leave out the negative part? yeah. i've been thinking and talking about it alot lately, the whole discipline thing. i'm a pretty irresponsible person. what's worse is that i can often get away with it. fortunately, God is making life harder for me, so that my chances of getting away with it are gradually dwindling. metaphysically speaking... let's just say it's been a very theophanistic semester so far. thank God. =)

i think i'm just rambling now. i've got about thirty blog posts' worth of thought in my brain. fortunately and unfortunately, i have a big enough brain-stomach now that i can resist the urge to vomit, if i choose to. for your sake, i'll only burp now and then. ("this has been a burp of the isjami broadcast system. this is only a burp.")

bottom line: i had my first week of that "learn between the lines of life" class, and it's pretty sweet so far. by some miracle, the mountain of homework i have in this one (from beginning to end) is encouraging, rather than intimidating. i look forward to it.

by the way... Andrew P. and i had our eighth yesterday. the thing is, it's adopted. still a beautiful kid, though, and it's no less ours for being adopted. i think i'll end with that.

*does his hand-salute-forehead thing* L8r.

come away to the skies (original hymn)

come away (hijacked version)

hopefully i'll teach it to the worship team at home one day soon...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

oops... is my soul showing?

so today after my 8:30a -> 4:15p class, i went to dinner with Jeremy, and met up with like 5 other guys i know. even though the table was crowded already, i pulled another chair over and then walked away to get my food.

when i came back, someone else's food was set at my spot, and i arrived at my chair at the same time as this other guy. not realizing what was going on, i took the food that was at my spot and moved it to the center of the table, saying, "Jeremy, get your crap out of here!" in my best fake angry friend tone.

Jeremy goes... "dude, that's not my food."

"...what?"

"it's mine! why are you moving my stuff?"

i turn to face this other guy that i've never seen before, and i'm like... "what the heck are you doing?!?" still using my best fake angry friend voice, even though i'm facing a stranger.

the cool thing was, he played along. to me, that speaks of intelligence and a developed, confident sense of humor.

"i've been sitting here for like an hour!!"

the caf only opened like 20 minutes ago, and this guy (and this chair) were not here when i walked in.

"i brought this chair here myself only a few minutes ago!!"

"oh, yeah?!"

"yeah!!!"

"YEAH?!?!"

"YE- naw, man, not really. have a seat, i'll grab another chair."

"cool, man. i'm Kyle."

"hi, Kyle. oh, hey, by the way... i brought you some food."

i reached out for the food i'd moved in the midst of my fake rage, and set it nicely in front of him.

"hey, thanks, man! you're so caring."

"anytime, Kyle, anytime."

so then we're just sitting there eating and talking, like ten of us at this tiny round table, and i'm loving it because even though i'm exhausted, i'm hyper. i guess i should explain that. you guys know how it is at 2a and 3a when you have friends over. everything's hilarious. well, due to my lack of sleep and the way this weekend class threw off my arcadian rhythms (no spoon-feeding for you guys... go google it), this was sort of like that, except different. i was completely calm on the outside, but on the inside, my sense of humor was having a party. so it would whisper a joke to me, whether in word form or action form or a mix of both, and i would edit and refine it in the blink of an eye and perform it for everyone.

i didn't realize how scary that is until i described it just now. 0_0

yeah, so i'm this relaxed incarnation of funny (which my friends notice, and even though it freaks them out to see me energetic and in a good mood, they go along with it), and all of a sudden Kyle looks at me and says, "are you a religion major?"

i'm thinking... 'uh, yeah, but how did you know that?'

so i say, "uh, yeah, but how did you know that?"

"you look like it."

i laughed. "what do religion majors look like???" i had attended the Religion Majors Fellowship dinner a few evenings prior, and had at that event come to the realization that you can't tell a person's major just by looking at them. even with the poor turnout, appearances were diverse. we're certainly not peas in a pod, we religion majors. anyways.

"you look like that intellectual kind of person, who's always thinking about stuff, and really cares about people. you just look like it."

this is... i don't know, guys. i've had people make good guesses about me before, and i've been surprised at times when i find out that some people judged me very accurately without having any way of really knowing who i am. but this is... i guess unprecedented.

it was almost (but not quite) the same feeling i got when, instead of telling me i had a great voice, Llaura asked me, "are you a worship leader?" they were the first words she ever spoke to me, and only a few hours after first seeing me. i couldn't figure out how she had known. i was just singing along with Switchfoot... i hadn't said anything to her or anyone about worship, and she had never heard anything about me. freaked me out.

so this guy tells me like three isaiah-characteristics that, personally, i consider some of the most important and significant in my life right now. if someone asked me to briefly identify the most important aspects of the me in this chapter, those would have been some of them for sure. i mean, those of you who've known me for awhile have heard me described that way, even by me!

how does this complete stranger see into my life with a mere glance?!?!?!

in return for his rather nonchalant divinations, his carelessly poignant comments, i made some funnies. after i got over the initial shock, of course. it was great... Jesse Segrist was across from me, so i looked at him with a huge question mark on my face, and said, "??????"

and he just laughed and said, "!!!!!!!!!"

so i looked back at Kyle, raised my palm and said, "so what does this line here mean?" i also remember asking him, "how long have you had the gift of prophecy?" as well as "how embarassing... is my soul showing???"

Kyle couldn't explain. he says he could just tell. he asked me what i thought he looked like, and all i said was, "... a person."

"oh, thanks alot.. that's great."

"okay fine, you look like not a person."

"..."

"jk. what are you?"

"a biology major."

"mmm. interesting. what kind of... biologies... interest you... most?"

*laughter all around*

he says histology is really cool. he also says he's a transfer. "you're a transfer too? wild."

i forgot to say... he asked what year i was before he asked if i was a religion major. i told him i was a junior, just like i tell everyone else when i don't want to tell them it's only my second year here and i'm 19.

oh, that reminds me, someone told me the other day that i look twenty-two or older. all the guesses people have made about my age, since high school, have been all over the place. i like to think that i have a little bit of that ageless look about me.

(reference to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, there. sorry if you aren't familiar)

back to today. just to end the story: we spent the rest of the time making (and being) jokes, and after dinner i came back to my room to wait for Andrew to show up.

i hate to do this, but there's alot more to my day today than i am going to narrate. it's either out of tired-ness or because i haven't worked through my experiences yet. blogs are one way to do that, but this stuff might be too thick to blog. i don't know.

whatever. what i'm about to copy & paste into this post is the stuff that spilled out before i started narrating. i opened a new post with the full intention of narration, but some of the other me that's been brewing kind of overflowed, and even though i don't really like it, i'm going to share it.

here's the disclaimer, or the preface, as Heather L. would say. this cannot be truly me speaking, since i... well, actually, i guess it could be. maybe this is way more me than it would have been, had i held back. the point is, i didn't refine it. i didn't make it sound right or acceptable. this is completely pure, an expression that i didn't take time to smooth or finish, like you would with nice furniture. except i'm not talking about my writing skills. i'm talking about wearing no make-up. i'm talking about being real.

: 'evening
: hey alexa
: how're things
: things are good. had a very pleasant evening.
: you?
: wild.. weird... it's been a long day.
: class?
: class was a big part of it, and not just because it went from 8:30a to 4:15p
: ouch
: there's this guy i've known for a long time. i have been hanging out with him one-on-one alot recently, which is awesome, but i'm finding out that i didn't know him as well as i thought i did. and that's a good thing, that i'm knowing him more deeply, but it's a strange experience
: how so?
: lol well, first of all, the guy is me
: lol i see
: i don't know what the second of all is.
: in my current state of exhaustion and profound 'awareness,' my self is free to be, without social constraints or limitations on creativity
: which is fancy lame poetic language for, "i'm being real in a rare way and it's trippy"
: lol
: well, do go on
: there's not much more to it that i can articulate
: thanks for listening, though
: anytime at all
: check in on your blog?
: lol a very good idea. almost done writing it

and here's the second part of the disclaimer: i am in the midst of exhaustion and tripping out on the drug that is myself. i don't really know what i'm talking about here. i thought a poem was coming out, but it just wouldn't stop, and it didn't want to be put in a box, either. quote me on this if you want, but don't assume that i know what it means.

all i know is that it means.

thanks for being listeners... stay tuned for more weird stuff.

~ ~ ~

i want something intense and real, something as fierce as the sun and as deep as the ocean. i want music that brings dreams to the surface, and forces the soul to come up for breath. i want to know life as it was in its first moments: vivid and overflowing. i want to be aware of every spiritual eddy, to feel the flow of unseen tides. i want to live in the day of triumph, in the deep emptiness of defeat, in the passion of romance, the blood and joy of birth, the calm before the storm, the hour of betrayal, that fleeting half-moment between day and night.

i want to wrap myself in thick shadows and drown in liquid light. i want to shed a tear that quenches the thirst of the dying world. i want to taste the fruit of the tree of life, and dip the tip of my tongue in death. i want to speak with spirits, to call them by name, and to be called. i want mystery to take off its disguise and invite me in to stay the night. i want beauty to run away with me, to a place where time is our servant and eternity, our balcony. i want to bear a child who can take me back in time and forward into the future, both at once.

i want to sing the song that's never been heard, the one that everyone has been listening for. i want to whisper and turn the world's ear. i want to blind people to their own lives, so they can see each other.

i want to be with the lonely, whom the world has left behind, and feel my sorrow smile as they walk away to be with the world again.

~ ~ ~

i'm sure i'll re-read this in like four days, and say to myself, 'wow, that was lame stuff. i'm deleting it.' for now, though, it's my heart and something more.