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Friday, September 30, 2005

our friday

today was the most relaxing day i've had in quite awhile. i haven't enjoyed a solitude like today's in months... maybe longer. i've been listening to new music all day. did some laundry, some homework, took a nap, talked with some old and new friends online, and cleaned/organized my new room a little more.

but it was a pretty lonely day, too. i haven't been lonely like this in a long time. i checked for calls, and the only one i found out about was your 6:45p (or so) call to Jesse's cell phone last night. i don't know what it was about, but i wish i had not missed it.

in the midst of worries and loneliness, i found myself praying for you (lol i haven't missed a day this past week, actually!). God gave me a peace afterwards that i really needed, i think. i realize this will seem over-dramatic, since it's only been a day, but even though it hurts not to be physically close, it also feels good to love you from a distance, in my prayers and thoughts.

i don't know how your day went, but i really feel like God was with you for all of it (which is different from knowing that He is). it feels right to keep you in my heart and mind in this way, maybe because it leaves you more free to live the life you have with less stress and drama, and also maybe because it's something i wasn't doing in your presence. maybe i got distracted from you by you. i don't know if that will make sense to you...

it also feels right to write to you. in the past when i've felt like writing you, it's been out of a troubled heart, but this comes from a peaceful one, which i totally thank God for.

thank you so much for not giving up, for continuing to care about me/us.

your friend
isaiah

define blasphemy

a blog about common goings-on, posted by isjami, devoid of any worldview implications.

i have moved into my new room, where there is an amazingly refreshing amount of space, and where there is the absence of a roommate, since he's at a conference till Tuesday. wow. it's nice.

hey. i just realized i defined blasphemy, which means my post has worldview implications.

sweet.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

a few responses

all to Caleb, which makes me smile, because dialogue and interaction are better than monologue and autonomy.

"love everyone... you can do that you know."

i am not sure anymore. i believed it was a calling of Christians, each in their own ways and in their own contexts. i still do, it's just that my context is now challenging my ways of doing it. life gets way more complex as you go along. Christ come soon...

"Not too sure if you're that solid on everything, but then again, I'm not sure I'm that solid on anything..."

lol i very much respect and admire the pastor and author Brian McLaren for his classic opening line for his sermons: "about a third of what i'm about to say is going to be wrong. i just don't know which third it is." the post you commented on was mostly intense emotion, just barely controlled/expressed by my exceptional (if i do say so myself) yet certainly limited (unfortunately) ability with words.

"I'll be honest, I do the lame little conversation starters. But see, I totally mean them and use them as a way to establish a relationship."

that's exactly my point! so many people see them that way, but only because everyone else does. how did we get there? why can't we see the better (in my one opinion) ways to establish a relationship??? culture. it's the way we are, and people don't really challenge it. it's lame that we have to ease into it, that's all i'm saying. i long for a culture that encourages diving in. that's all i was getting at in that post.

"The majority of people would be freaked out by your "diving right in". This is not to say it's a bad thing, but if you truly desire a relationship with them, you would attempt to make them as comfortable as possible in doing so. Or something."

lol also my point exactly. the majority of people would be freaked out, simply because they've grown up that way, dang it! it's only scary because we think it is, and because we've been thinking it for awhile now.

and check this out: everyone wants to be "comfortable," too. *looks around* what is that?! if everyone got their way, no one would ever develop deep relationships! struggle and discomfort and all that other """bad""" stuff (HA!) have produced some of the most positive effects ever.

lemme say it this way. consider what a terrible person you would be now if nothing terrible had ever happened to you. let's even narrow it down to our relationship. discomfort is freaking essential in relationships.

now, that's not to say we should always strive to make people uncomfortable. but if i were the pastor in charge, i'd be encouraging everyone to be ready to accept discomfort, especially for the sake of growing/strengthening/deepening relationships. if you truly desire a relationship with someone, but they can't handle some discomfort, then you're going to have trouble getting past the surface, because this culture likes to be nice and comfy on that surface.

and now i feel like i've stacked an extra soapbox on top of the original one. i've always been kinda short... *sigh*

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

cutting corners in conversation

because of some awesome discussion i'm having with my roomfriends right now, i've decided to compile some good ways to spit on social customs and rituals, to get past the surface and dive right in. i'm so tired of the way our culture dangles its toes in the kiddie pool.

so behold the swan dives. or belly flops.
  • "hi, nice to meet you. do you mind if we sit in silence for like fifteen minutes before we start talking? i'd like to get to know you before i get to know about you."

  • "hey Matt. i'm isaiah. would you rather know my name, major, and ethnic background, or my personality? if it's the latter, then why were you about to ask me my name, major, and ethnic background?"

  • "so this is your first church experience. that's cool... if you could discover the perfect God for you, what would He be like?"

  • "hey, weren't you the girl i bumped into at lunch yesterday? sorry about that. sometimes i feel like an inferior being, with the five-to-three girl-guy ratio here. what do you think is the biggest barrier keeping people from being open with each other and experiencing a sense of community/common-ness here at Vanguard? and how can we break it down?"

  • "so you're my partner for that project in Research Methods, with professor Heuser. how's it going? and by that i mean, what's the biggest motivation for you in school right now, and have you been satisfied with your follow-through on it lately?"

  • "thanks for the jump, man. i thought i was gonna be late to work. wanna come by sometime and talk theology?"
isn't it way more fun to find out a person's middle name or favorite band after you've developed a relationship with them? example: "hi, what's your name? really? that's cool. what's your favorite band? nice." ... or, "dude, i've known you for like five years, and i never learned your first name. are you serious, you like that band? sweet!"

i would SO much rather know someone than know about them. am i unique? if so, why? if not, then why don't people show it? why do we have to learn pointless facts about people in order to care about them?

why can't we simply choose to care about people because of what we believe and who we are, rather than what they do for us and who they are?

if people would choose to care about people before they met them, it would change the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

II Andrew

the title of this post was almost "excerpt of a letter to Andrew," but then i realized that that post already exists as the story of Llaura and i. i've been learning more about epistles lately... they're basically letters written by early church fathers to specific churches about specific stuff that was going on. thus this post's title. i stayed up late last night to finish it.

most of it consists of instructions, rather than narrative, just to give you a helpful context.

1) if you want to make me really furious, just wait for me to show you kindness and love... then be offended by it, and tell me the love i'm supposedly giving has poison hidden in it. wait for me to offer you a hug, and slap my hands away as if i'm lusting after you. make sure you accuse me of all kinds of evil, selfish desires, and if i deny it, tell me i'm insensitive for calling you a liar and for purposely misunderstanding you and for trying to make you look as bas a possible so that i can look really good in comparison.

2) once you've infuriated me, you might want to try a counter-attack (in response to my evil, disgusting actions). so if you want to hurt me as badly as possible, simply love me for awhile, and let me love you for awhile... and then one day decide to stop, and to not let me love you at all. if you want to put the whipped cream and cherry on top, tie my hands and feet and make me watch as you light yourself on fire. put a fire extinguisher right next to me, and then scream at me to help you as you burn. oh, and don't forget to blame me for your pain. there's gotta be some anger in the screaming, in addition to pain and helplessness.

3) once you've twisted my heart and squeezed out most of the blood (as instructed in #2), you may feel like sealing the deal. in this case, what you want to do is gag me, which you forgot to do when you tied me up. gag me, and then put earplugs in your own ears, and then shout about how hard i am to understand, and kick me because you're so angry at me.

4) if by some miracle we survive through all that, bravo! you're amazing! and so am i, if i've lasted this long. but you realize that i'm not going to give up on you, because nothing changes how much i love you. in fact, all this crap has only made me love you more fiercely. So: what you want to do is tell me i don't love you, and when i tell you i'm willing to prove it in any way i can, ask me to sacrifice any or all of the following: a) my personal convictions about right/wrong, good/bad; b) a responsibility i have to other people i love; c) my responsibility to you, as your family in Christ (i forgot to say, too, that only one of my family in Christ could ever accomplish all this, since a non-believer would have every excuse to be overflowing with deep, dark emptiness), to speak to you any conviction i have that would be spoken out of love.

by the way, you can't ask me to prove my love for the sake of trusting and believing me. you have to ask for those things i can't give, simply because you want them really badly, and you believe your own satisfaction to be more important than anything in my life.

and lastly: if God brings you a mirror, and tells you to look in it, DON'T, because it'll ruin your plans to try satisfying yourself with everything you can't have.

if you follow all of these instructions, these will be the results (not in any particular order):

1) a strange mix of tragedy and irony, with bitterness and anger on one side (yours), and deep, profound, abiding sorrow on the other (mine), and supreme disappointment on both sides. the irony is found in the realization that everything i offered you was everything that would have satisfied you most deeply and most fully; yet you disregarded all of those as worthless, and asked instead for things that were never meant for you to have. so while you could have had everything fulfilling simply by asking me for it and accepting it, instead you demanded that i give you things that were not mine to give, which would never have truly satisfied you anyway.

2) i will be forced to leave you alone unless and until you change your mind and heart. you will have defeated both me and God, rejecting me to the point that nothing can change things except your own decision to be changed. this means i can do nothing for you but wait and pray.
(side note: make sure that if i tell you i'm praying for you, that you respond in this way: "i don't need your prayers." and make sure that if i tell you i will wait for you forever if i have to, that you say, "you shouldn't do that.")

3) you'll end up making me vent to my best friend Andrew about everything.

- - -

part of me knows that i can't even handle my own life right now. yet another part of me believes that others will always be more important, and so i continue to suffer as a result. it's like i have to choose between honoring God by being responsible, or loving God by loving others. i have a report due tomorrow at 1:35p on a book i have not read. at 10:30a i have an exam i have not studied for. i am two weeks behind in my homework for research methods and ethics. i was supposed to turn in my job application two weeks ago. even if mark hasn't given the position to someone else, who wants a guy who turns in some easy paperwork two weeks later than the day he said he could start?

i guess i have to ask myself this question: have i followed and obeyed God as best i can? have i been faithful in my actions and reactions? if i can ever say 'yes' to that question, i will be a man 100% content with my life, and though sorrow might follow me everywhere and every day, i'll have an unshakeable peace in the knowledge that i have been faithful.

~ the isaiah ~


oh. oops. i wasn't meaning to imply that i'm an early church father. i'm actually a late church son, like some of you guys. but "letter to Andrew Peterson" sounded alot like the subtitles under the epistles in my RSV New Testament, so... yeah.

btw, i always make bad situations look worse when i'm right in the middle of them. i know God will pull me through and work His suite will... it's just so freaking hard to live in this situation. some of the things that are most important to me are being threatened, and i'm helpless to do anything. God help this... i'd appreciate some prayer.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Beloved, pray for us. Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

;)

Monday, September 26, 2005

a little theology

i don't know why, but sometimes i just feel like prefacing certain posts with the statement "the person who will best understand this is ______ ." that's not the wrid thing, though... the weird thing is that every time i have that feeling, Evan's name fills in the blanks.

Andrew Peterson has been a friend of mine for about five or six years. our friendship's grown strong and deep in that time, and we now have six kids, with a seventh on the way. (i'll post the current lyrics, in rought draft form, below.) we have these incredible conversations where we never finish our sentences. either the other person finished it for the first person, or they'll perfectly and completely understand what the other person is saying when they're only 40% finished saying it. the to-and-from Fresno trips this weekend were like that.

we talked last night for two or three hours straight. i remember most of the topics we talked about, but i only wrote one part of it down, which i've never done before, but that's what i've got. after i said it, Andrew and i were both pretty impressed. i joked about writing it down, but he said i seriously should, so here it is. keep in mind it's a single snapshot of an experience/story that's been going on for about a year now. it's like five minutes of a movie which, if watched non-stop from beginning to end, would last at least a week or two.

let that fact show that there's alot more behind this than there first appears, but don't let it keep you from apprehending the truth of it.

she will never know how much i love her, because she cannot udnerstand the way i express or communicate it. if i found out that the communication barriers would keep me from forming as deep and meaningful a relationship with her as the sort that i have with others who speak and know my language, that would disappoint me more than any other twist in our plot could.

i wonder if that's how God felt. "how can I express to these mortals, who are below me, the nature and fulness of My divine love? . . . hmm. I know. I'll commit suicide! I'm radical like that." (God is an intense person.)

maybe in the cross- in more words, the death of the infinite God who is the only source of any life at all- we experience, in that impenetrable mystery and divine confusion, the deepest and most profound love we as humans can ever know.


i'm the kind of guy who will say/do radical things in order to express myself. if i wanted to express generosity in such a way that i could be sure of the recipient's full comprehension of that generosity, i would spend my birthday and Christmas money on them. all of it. if i wanted to show that i cared about someone who was hurting, i would skip classes and meals and sleep just to talk to or listen to or be with them, even if i had no good advice and nothing to do but sit there.

if i wanted to prove my love for someone, with ultimate finality and in the most expressive way possible, i'd probably kill myself.

"c'mon, isaiah... that doesn't prove anything."

it does, i swear. of all the things an individual human truly possesses, of all the things he has full ownership of, of all the things that she can rightfully decide to do whatever she wants with, the person's own life is the greatest and most important. therefore the giving up of that life, even if it accomplishes nothing else, can most truly and fully express the caring/selflessness that a person feels or is dedicated to.

i could write pages and pages on everything my head is currently digesting. does that make my blog posts fecal in nature? =
God grant me another day of the week... *sigh* thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

the art of incomplete

so the other day, my roomfriend was telling us about the hole in his . it leaves his brain exposed to . sometimes, he just forgets to finish his . it's actually the funniest .

so it was already funny, but since then, it's become a game we . one person will start a sentence, and the other person will-

-finish it like none other.

it's a little bit like mad . you have to improvise quickly, or else the truth of your slow mind is . the best part is when someone accidentally says a complete sentence. one time this happened, the amazing Bill Deans . we tried to express to him how funny it was, but his response was "hardy har ."

so if you want to play, just read the .

Rule #1 is, (When explaining something, or talking out-of-game, cup your hands and raise them next to your head so it looks like you're putting parentheses around your face. Then you can talk in complete sentences.)

Rule #2 is, you have to point at someone when you are finished saying your incomplete . this is so that only one person tries to complete the . otherwise it can be very .

Rule #3 is, if you form what you think is an incomplete sentence, but it makes sense all by itself, you lose one . the sentence before this one is a good example of .

Rule #4 is, always play this game late at . that's really the only time it's .

Rule #5 is, you advance to higher difficulties by putting more pressure on the completer of the . for example, .

that's all i . so many thoughts, so little .

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

catastrophe

one of the worst things that could have happened to this blog, just happened. it was so beautiful... i have no idea what's going on in the tomorrow. i think i'm losing my gift for blogs. it can't put up with this anymore. it's wiw. what's wiw? i din't kniw. giidnight!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

do not get me wrong

i should title every post this way. then my anger would be blatantly partially justified every time.

do not get me wrong. i am not comparing myself to God. i am not trying to convey the message that i am like Him right now. also, i am not looking down on anyone's perspective. what i am about to try to do is show the difference between my understanding of the world, and other peoples', for the purpose of helping people to understand, which is for the purpose of giving them the ability to do a better job living, which as you have probably discovered by now is something i am constantly thinking, speaking, or doing about.

doing about... hmm... let's take a vote on that one. yea or nay?

so here goes.

one of the mistakes i have made in my life is not keeping in contact with people. stage 1: i didn't even realize i was doing anything wrong. phones were for business, e-mail and AIM were for fun conversations, and face-to-face was for doing fun stuff. that was all there was to it. stage 2: a bunch of people said, "dude, you're stupid, and that hurts. it's like you don't care." then i was like, "what?" and started asking questions. stage 3: i learned about how people don't like it when good friends don't talk very often.

stage 4: i realized that i needed to blog about it.

sometimes God doesn't talk to us directly, in His own voice. how often does that happen? well, for me, God's spoken into my ears/mind/heart directly maybe ZERO TIMES.

now, if you were someone who was not invited to this blog, you'd probly say, "but isaiah, you're wrong. God speaks to people all the time, even you. He uses people and circumstances and closed doors and the word and even moves us emotionally sometimes and all kinds of other things."

pardon me for reverting to 5th grade, but NO DUH!! that's why i used words like "directly" and "with His own voice." it's become our task to try to discern the details of the will of God in our lives, in our contexts, in such a way that we hear what He's saying even though He's communicating through other voices/means/methods most of the time.

when God put me in solitude and darkness and silence for a season, He also put me in solitude and darkness and silence for a reason. i know that now, but i didn't know it at the time. i thought God had just left, or that His truth wasn't truth. i thought He didn't care about me at all. but He did.

preface to the bottom line: i cannot communicate with my friends the same way God does. i simply don't have the time (or timelessness), or the resources (like, infinity) or the wisdom (again, unlimited), or the power (i'm as powerful as the last feeble breath of a dying something-or-other).

bottom line: if i don't contact you, it's not because i don't care. it's because i am the type of person who can be cut off from you for two years, then come back and give you a huge hug and act like you never left.

that's how Andrew is, too, except we don't even need the big hug. when we get together, it's like we were never apart. i do not expect all my friends to be that way.

bottom line #2: at the same time, i think it's a tad bit unfair when they blame me for being the way i am.

now, granted some of you i have told you i would contact you, and then didn't. some of you, we've been through some plot twist where a phone call was definitely called for. mostly i've resolved those, i think. what i'm talking about here is the way some people complain because i don't talk to them every other day.

it looks like this: while i am livin' my story, other people are thinking, 'why hasn't isaiah's story connected with mine?'

had two realizations just now. 1) none of you are the people i really need to say this to. 2) it is lunchtime.

i have like... NINE overdue blogs, and *mumble mutter* almost-due homework, and *grumble murmur* forms to turn in. man... i need like two days to myself. maybe six. talk to you guys soon.

Monday, September 19, 2005

never, ever do this

do not ever blog while hanging out with Molly and Heather in their own territory.

sorry for the post delay... i REALLY NEED TO BLOG but i haven't had the right chance. it'll come, i promise. Evan, read the Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. go buy it. right now.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

two new songs recorded

too bad you guys don't get to listen to them yet. =D i'll post the lyrics, though... wow. lemme just say, i don't like to boast, but they're amazing. i'm listening to and for what right now, and it's amazing. thank you is amazing, too... it's mine and Andrew's favy right now. it's sort of almost a sequel to she's you. it's good and unique and original, though, don't worry.

today was amazing. i can't wait to share everything with you... stuff on heaven and hell, judgment, God's presence in Your life, blessings, OH MY GOSH LIFE IS AMAZING.

sleepy-time.

Friday, September 16, 2005

i'm not under attack??? yayhoo!

it's really good to get comments that don't inspire the feeling that i need to defend myself from a bloodthirsty debate team. =) hugs and thanks to each of you who has left me a comment (or more) since the recent progression (or regression?) to moon-bathing.

tonight was another good night, but not exactly blog post material. let's just say Andrew P., Heather L., Molly, Nancy, and Jackie are all awesome friends to hang out with. and "When Harry Met Sally" is a good movie. and i miss reading for pleasure. and i am way sleepy. and i praise God for the blessings in my life, both immediate and 'ancient,' blatant and subtle.

Beckee... why did you say "Noooo" ??? seriously, what do you guys think of isaiah the unchangeable, all of a sudden deciding to try this out? am i going sane? is this a phase? am i stupid? random? metro?

... pretend i didn't say that last one. ;) i would do my shifty eyes face, but blogger doesn't like special characters like that. =(

tomorrow's post should be awesome. it's the first day of my 'intro to youth ministry' seminar class. dang, i need to get the textbooks for that... *sigh*

('yayhoo' is a phrase i picked up and archived from last year here, in case anyone was wondering.)

i hate retainers.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

you're doing what?!?

i'm too excited and afraid to keep this secret any longer.

"So you should call me, or find me Ill be on campus at class in Heath from 3-like 4ish.. I need to know your availability so I can make your appointment at Paul Mitchell, that is if you still want to."

yeah. to borrow a phrase from Beckee Cedillo... "i dont know." i can blog the story later. basically, i'm going to let a 'trained professional' cut my hair. hopefully i won't cry when i look in the mirror. ;) oh, and apparently i'll be buying a pair of blue jeans, and a white t-shirt.

but seriously, it's scary. i think the spirit of freedom she summoned has temporarily possessed me. if you guys know any good exorcists, send them my way.

six

one being hell (figuratively speaking), ten being heaven (literally speaking, but referring to the kingdom of God that is both present and arriving as we are drawn closer to the Judgment), today was a six. the following lists are not comprehensive.

good: got to classes on time, with some homework done. my self seemed strangely calm and balanced today. i made two wakizashis out of cardboard and duct tape, and Daniel and i sparred in the hallway. he got me a few times... but his arms and legs are like 83% red from me slapping him and laughing. not that he turned red from me laughing. anyways, i was ninja tonight, which involved bottle-cap shurikens, empty laundry hampers, left-overs from the loft-bed i built the other day, my long-sleeve black shirt (as a mask), and evading my awesome roomfriend Jesse Segrist.

bad: i am getting over a cold, so my throat and nose weren't happy. didn't go to the SHINE worship service because i couldn't sing much. didn't have all my homework done. i had fun more than i got stuff done. missed chapel because i stayed up late last night (but it was worth it).

one of the good things that happened: i took notes on my laptop in both classes today. i like it ALOT better than my notebooks, as fun and necessary as those guys are sometimes. i made a rough draft of a daily schedule to follow, in the pursuit of devotion and discipline. i think i'll wait a while before posting it. it'll probly change as i experiment with it (if i even follow it at all).

so my notes are in a Word .doc, separated by class. i also have a section at the top called "personal thoughts," which happens to be just as long as the notes from either of my classes. =) here they are, headlined and explained.

oh, i almost forgot to say: i found the ~ key and the windows key today. i was pretty happy, and also pretty ashamed that i hadn't seen them until now.

~ i have been gaining wisdom in every class so far, sometimes unaware of that fact. ~

i had that thought after i had this thought: God's been blessing me alot and i can't figure out why. because He Loves me? yeah, yeah, churchy answer. i think God saved me from utter and everlasting loneliness because He Loves me. i think blessings might have a different explanation, however Love is involved in the whole blessing process. case in point: Solomon was all about wisdom. the Story goes that God was like, "Solomon, what do you want for your unbirthday?" and Solomon was like, "i wanna be wise enough to be a good king for Your people."

in other words, he wanted to understand life. then God said, "since you gave a sweet answer, i'll give you wisdom, plus a bunch of other stuff that you'll like."

ever since i heard that narrative, i have been praying for wisdom. and no, it wasn't just because i wanted God to give me all the other stuff... i seriously wanted to understand life. i've wanted that for a freaking long time.

you know how there are some character traits you wish you had? like, the ones that you sometimes seem to have, but then some other times you obviously don't? as i examine my inconsistent, undisciplined character, i realize that there's one thing that has never left me since it came: a desire for understanding. and i'm not just talking about the "how things work" book, or "the mysteries of the universe." i don't even know what people are referring to when they say "mysteries of the universe." sometimes they even say "multi-verse," and i think that's just pretentious, unnecessary sesquipedalianism.

but getting back to the point. my mind rarely stops for a break. it's usually thinking about something. and very often that something has to do with theology, or life, or myself, and very often i'm trying to understand that something. i could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure that's a thirst for wisdom. in the beginning, shortly after i was born, that's all i prayed for: understanding.

so i realized today that God's been giving me alot of that ever since i started praying for it... especially here at Vanguard. i've been saying that for awhile, but i've never said it this way before. i'm way grateful.

~ i should compile the wisdom and have it ready for transposition into the ‘rule of life’ I mean to create.~

if you guys did your reading ;) on the 'rule of life' that what's-his-face the monk made, then you know what i'm talking about here.

~ David provides an excellent story, in that his entire life is told in light of the significance and person of God. his story teaches us lessons of morals/ethics, discipline, and character development. Joseph also has a great story as a developing character in God’s story. ~

man... character development in the OT. pretty sweet. consider (maybe even read, maybe even study) the lives of David and Joseph. really good stuff. role models. narrative. Stories that help give our lives meaning and shape our understanding of life (wisdom). this was pointed out today in my class, "research methods for the study of ethics and Christian leadership."

~ when i asked if it was possible to have a romantic friendship, that was the wrong question. but God answered it anyway. ~

this one's pretty obvious, thanks to recent blog posts. more to come on that, of course. oh man, i have to mention this: HL came by last night so i could e-mail her homework to her prof (she's not much for computers), so we hung out with the guys on the floor. after she left, and i started talking about her, they were like, "soooo, isjami... what's the story? give us the skinny, the dirt, the low-down."

and before i could say anything, Bill Deans (yes, the amazing Bill Deans) said, "guys, it's totally not like that. i can totally tell they're good friends."

*tear* i was touched... he is truly amazing. sometimes. but seriously, a guy who understands me before i explain myself?! happiness!!!! and moving on.

~ my hardships have always produced senses of loss, which i refer to in my poem ‘made to be broken.’ i look inward so often because i experience senses of loss so often. the more hardship i experience, the more i learn. it’s not a bad thing; i just need to make sure i deal with hardship and loss effectively/wisely. ~

ahhh, this one felt good. still does, in fact. the text for research methods mentioned earlier that people often cannot move on from an experience until they understand the 'why' of it. loved that statement. people sometimes ask me, "why can't you just move on? dude, get over it. stop over-analyzing. why do you think about things so much?" i HATE those questions, because it implies that i'm doing it for no reason, which is some kind of stupidity that i don't have words for. does no one understand why i think about stuff?

well, if you've ever wondered, there's the answer, right up there in those two paragraphs above this one. excellent. gotta commit this one to memory, for my sake and for the sake of the potential conversations that invariably take place when i speak my mind and heart.

~ i should read Proverbs in several translations, and consider OT context. ~

yeah. love the book of Proverbs, used to read it all the time. i'm thinking i need to start applying some sweet hermeneutics to it, now that i'm starting to get a clue as to the way to begin to be capable of doing so.

~ blog about finding a balance. professor Austring says that the tension is important, that i should be secure in the constant back-and-forth between one extreme and the other. i have plenty of good examples… the balance between humility and self-esteem (or respect?), between constant self-evaluation and inner peace/satisfaction, between understanding hardship and moving on from it, between tact and a word’s need to be spoken… and many others. ~

yep. used to think that i needed to be one or the other, and then i thought, 'maybe i need to find the middle ground, the balance.' but now i'm thinking, 'maybe the back-and-forth can't-find-the-balance feeling is a good one. seriously, prof, thanks for this thought.

~ i still need to blog HL’s music. ~

my GOSH. how did i ever miss all this awesome music?! she'll be over one of these days with her collection (like a few hundred CDs) so i can do a little rippage and file-sharing-age.

just remembered something: go watch the new Cheat Commandos short.

~ explore/study spiritual disciplines. this is a potential research/problem statement. i should be able to come up with a few spiritual disciplines of my own… either variations on what i have been exposed to, or doxologies that i’ve been taught by experience. ~


i posted a list of doxologies at the rodent headquarters a while back. i'll post it again sometime soon... this thought's pretty straightforward, though. i keep hearing about the necessity of spiritual disciplines, but i think i am missing something important, still, and i hate starting out with huge pieces missing. could be a flaw of mine, but hey... i'm working on it.

~ i wonder if i hold any loyalties, more from a sense of loyalty than for practical reasons. like Cheetoes and Martinelli’s, for example. ~


don't know how in the world i got to this thought, but it seems significant. are there some things i do/eat only because i used to like them? need to look into this further. it might be time to make some changes to my 'favorites' list.

~ dedication to a person rather than a concept: does it imply something significantly more emotional than purposeful? ~

pretty direct. this one needs more thought, too. i mean, if you're devoted to stealth, there's alot of practicality in that. but if you're devoted to a spouse, does it have more to do with heart than mind? and if so, does affection = devotion? or something? needs more exploration.

~ the search for community, and even Christ (and thus (God) expressed/present in community, has been around for a long time. we’re moving into another time of community. ~

i guess Dietrich Bonhoeffer and some of his contemporaries were all about community. apparently. and then there was the first-century church. and before that it was all about the twelve tribes and everything... yea. the importance of community is not anything new. seems obvious, but i typed it up for some reason.

why is it that we write stuff down, but type stuff up? are mangas drawn left? are rough drafts done right?

~ if you want to be able to identify what is false, then study what is true until you know it by feel. study what you know is true until you could identify it without thinking. this has a lot to do with criticism and being receptive to the truth. this is supported by Christ’s metaphor concerning sheep who know the voice of their Shepherd. ~

prof told this story about the cashiers who could tell a counterfeit bill in like less than a second, no matter how amazing it was. this bank, then, sent its bankers to the people who trained these cashiers, so the bankers could learn to tell counterfeit stuff just as skillfully. first day of training, the bankers were told to go and count this huge pile of money. that was kind of annoying (they were expecting some straightforward class, or three-step program, i suppose), but they went through with it. spent all day just counting money. they come back the second day... same thing. annoying, but hey, they can't keep this up for much longer. eventually they are going to teach us all about counterfeit crap.

third day: same thing. now they're shaking fists (daaaang yooouuu!!!). they do it, but they complain this time. "we paid for an education, and you're making us do your lousy chores!!!" but the trainers were like, "relax, foof-heads. come back tomorrow, we'll start your training."

so they came back, and they were put to counting money again. they were pretty furious, but when they started doing it, they found a few counterfeit bills in the money they were counting. they weren't even looking for the crappy bills, they were just counting as they had been the last few days. they had handled the real stuff so much that they could tell the dumb stuff without even trying.

want to be able to discern lies and/or Christian candy and/or false teachings? study the truth.

~ i need to be subtly conscious of sickness- not oblivious or pitiful. ~

i sometimes pride myself on being able to ignore physical ailments. seems like people are always complaining about a headache or migraine or ADHD or dysentery or whatever... but i don't complain about sickness. seriously. most of the time i don't even notice when i'm sick. i used to think, 'dude, that's sweet...' but now i'm like, 'man, i need to be aware.' but i need to not whine about it. there's a balance here for sure.

~ God spoke, and the world was created; but the language of the Psalms seems to indicate that God’s voice is a destructive force. ~


weird, huh? needs more exploration.

~ repentance is a fundamentally a matter of the heart, which the Spirit is transforming/re-creating. ~

yeah, repentance, contrary to pop Christianity, is not about feeling really bad, or even turning around (the common youth-group definition, right? one-eighty?) it's all about a complete re-arrangement of your entire life, in light of the new kingdom God has invited you into. old thought in new form, really. i need to be reminded once in awhile. like every day.

~ recommend to the Vizion leadership team that the Vision video be shown and discussed. ~

more on this later. i'll find the text and link it for you when i am not sleepy alot.

~ are we capable of agape? perhaps not at all. ~

oh man. had this thought in the shower this morning (naturally), and i think it needs a post to itself. stay tuned.

~ when we question our salvation, having already professed faith in Christ and repented and entered the kingdom, does God say, ‘move on, we’ve done that already’ or does He take our doubts seriously? (in other words, does doubt shake the reality of our salvation) ~


comments are welcome on that one. and now, i am going to sleepy-time. tell no one of what you have seen here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

freaking.

okay, well, she must have this kind of fun all the freaking time, because she seems surprised when i tell her like 5 times in a row what an awesome time it's been with her. you guys know how careful i am with words! and even more so since the recent plague of i - don't - understand - isaiah's - heart - mind - and - soul - so - i'll - pick - apart - everything - he - says - like - he's - five - years - old - itis!!!

yeah. i'm still mad about that. gimme some time. where was i.

freaking amazing. i said "you guys know how careful i am with words" because i want there to be little or no doubt that what i am about to say, i say with the utmost (is that word getting cliche, or is it just me?) sincerity and honesty: i have never had so much freaking fun getting to know someone, in my entire freaking life.

i freaking can't say it all in complete sentences. i have to stoop to using 'freaking' 18 times in one post. moon-bathing, wave-watching, dish-washing... geez. rhythmic, melodic, and interval notation homework. glow-in-the-dark flourescent-y sea creatures. the eerily beautiful bright blue tinge on waves crashing on Balboa Beach at midnight. sushi that tastes good. trading life's stories. being real. laughing ALL THE-

okay, i can't say we laugh all the time, because we're serious sometimes. but you know how Garrett is funny? you know how Keith is funny? you know how Caleb and Tom and Uncle Greg are funny? they're each funny in their own way, and to their own degrees. Evan, i love how you describe Caleb, how you just stand next to each other and everything goes up by 195 on the humor scale...

...but this is different. it's not that everything gets funnier. it's that we summon this living, sentient spirit of laughter that hangs out with us wherever we go. i take that back. she summons it, i just stand there and watch helplessly as it emerges from nowhere and tackles me in such a way that, despite how grounded or solid or ninja i might be, i can't keep from falling and i never hit the ground.

it's almost like my whole argument about friendships having just as much potential and depth as romances, is being proven true to an even greater degree than i had claimed or thought possible. and which of you could successfully argue that watching the moon rise over the waves at midnight is not romantic? but which of you have ever been close enough to a friend of the opposite sex that you have no fear of romance? same thing again. she summons a spirit of romance. she's always summoning these freaking spirits!!!

two more things, and then i am going to bed, because- no, three more things. -because i was supposed to be asleep an hour ago.

first: her taste in music is rather remarkable. when i say 'rather remarkable,' i mean that she has introduced me to at least eight different music artists in the past week or so, none of which i have ever heard (and in some cases, heard of) before, and all of them have not only met with my approval, but also asked me out on rip-me-to-your-hard-drive-and-share-me-with-your-friends-and-fam dates. freaking amazing. you guys will not believe how sweet this music is, or how it could have slipped by you.

second: i've never met anyone so free of social constraints. i'm not saying she doesn't care about them, because she definitely still has some of them, but seriously. politeness, conversational taboos, awkward topics... they don't really exist. she summons a spirit of freedom.

third: God continues to call me to devotion, to my classes and to Him. one of those is simple but difficult the more you get into it, the other seems almost hopelessly complex yet i wonder how i could ever live without it for even a day. sometimes i look back and say to myself, "no wonder your life was sucky. you kept it to yourself, and only phoned Him every few nights or less."

advice for today/tomorrow (that's right, i'm talking to you): spend time in silence, simply waiting for what God might say. don't try to empty your mind... but make sure that what's already in it leaves room for God to guide your mind as it wanders.

man... freaking amazing...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

a few words

simplicity and organization are effective weapons against stress. too much sleep makes you sleepier. sometimes you don't realize how sick you are until you get well. sometimes God has to tell you something like 18 times before you get it, and sometimes He has to tell you 18 more times before you act on it. silence is frightening and reverent. patience is a fruitful, challenging, pleasant discipline in the context of Love.

and lastly: a bunch of pseudo-proverbs jumbled together do not constitute a good blog post.

more to come.

Monday, September 12, 2005

excellent

link from Tom, guys. this one's excellent.

a Rule of Life

read the whole thing. i want to have some good discussion on this with people i trust and care about...

brief update

0) a bunch of the 3rd-floor guys decided to move to 6th floor this year.

1) i requested a room with either Jeremy, Jesse, or Bill this semester, in that order.

2) Jeremy and Jesse requested each other, so i got a room with Bill.

3) Bill had a friend who was in some kind of jam, so he bailed him out by requesting him as a roommate, which would normally put me in another 6th-floor room.

4) 6th-floor was packed over 100% already, so i would've been moved to another floor.

5) Jeremy's gf works in student life, got wind of all this, and informed Jeremy who informed Jesse who informed me, otherwise i would have come to school expecting a room with Bill and getting anotehr building instead, all by surprise.

6) Jesse invited me to triple with him and Jeremy, and i accepted, knowing i wanted to be with people i knew.

7) i realized as the semester got started that i could deal with this if i had to, but i'd really rather not. i basically have to pack and unpack my stuff every day because there's nowhere to put it except in the corner. i asked my RA to find me a place.

8) they found me a place at Vanguard Center (the apartments right across the street) because some guy was moving out. i was supposed to move there today or tomorrow.

9) my RA came in today and told me that i lost my spot, because the guy isn't moving out after all. he gave me a loft bed to assemble over the couch i'm currently sleeping on. i had planned to use the bed for storing my stuff, but

10) after i took everything out of the boxes he gave me, i discovered that all the screws and small metal pieces i needed were actually missing, so i had to put everything away, and now i'm back where i started.

11) it's a really good thing i'd rather blog than petition. thank God for parents who taught me not to complain (out loud). ;)

i am more frustrated by the people in charge telling me i could move out and then telling me i couldn't, than by not being able to move out.

on the positive side: i have no class tomorrow, only lots of reading, because my professor (for two of my classes) is in France all this week, where all he'll be doing is eating gourmet food, sampling expensive wines, sleeping, and talking theology for like 6 hours straight every stinking day with a bunch of Lutherans and Pentecostals who are paying for his entire trip, one of whom is the author of my textboox, "Pneumatology."

i slept till 1p today and took an evening nap. why the heck am i sleepy?!?!

this has been a brief update, with your host, that one guy. stay tuned for further ramblings.

i miss you all.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

nice soundtrack

oh, forgot to mention: i watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time just now. excellent movie. i didn't kill it when it ended, so the title screen music has been playing this whole time. lovin' it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

what do i know?

i really don't. sometimes a post is a revelation of truth. other times it's just a bunch of speculation. hopefully all my speculation will not be for nothing... hopefully it'll reveal some truth. eventually.

i've been hanging out with HL alot the past few days. sat out on the top of the stairs with her a few nights, just talking and laughing. she's so different from every other girl i know, even from every other girl-

self-interrupt: remind me to buy a nice mic this week.

-i've ever heard about. everything she's been through, and everything God's designed her to be, has created this character (in my story) that seems to epitomize freedom, joy, creativity, maturity, child-likeness, and a sort of captivating inner beauty that is enhanced tenfold simply because she knows she has it. =) i've never met anyone like her. i doubt i ever will.

i met her last year, actually... there's a post on her in here somewhere.

*looks*

*looks again*

crap-for-crap. it should be here, dang it!

*looks some more*

wow. i found it. i'm an idiot... it was in my other blog, a private one i started for Llaura at the beginning of last semester. and i can't believe i'm about to give you the link. but you know, if you're reading this right now, then chances are you're one of the few i messaged after canceling my mice-base account, and that means i trust you.

well. if you have some strong reaction to what you find, simply e-mail me, and that wonderful blessing we call Conversation will restore balance to the force. of my relationship with you.

this was not it's original name, but the last name i gave it was apparently plan B. i think i call it that because 1) i once told Llaura to thbink of me as plan B if she was having trouble deciding whether to hang with me or other good friends, and 2) that's what i am. apparently.

you'll want to find the post from Tuesday, September 14, 2004. it's not long (for me, anyway).

back on track, now. oh crap, maybe not. i just had this thought. i was reading some other old posts just now, in my search for the one about HL, and i found one where on Wednesday, September 1st, i talked about accidentally getting up and ready for my day 60 minutes earlier than i had to. problem with my alarm. anyway, i ended up setting that extra time aside for God, and THAT is EXACTLY what i need to be doing in my life right now.

sometimes i realize i'm not doing anything, and i think to myself, 'i could pray right now.' so i start to, but then i stop, because i realize i'm giving God my freaking left-overs!! what kind of disciple is that?!

disciples put kingdom things first. always. perfect ones, anyway. that time i spent with God on the 1st of September was spiritually fulfilling and significant and valuable, not because i did something 'spiritual,' but (i think) because i set that time aside for Him. that's the literal definition of the word holy: set apart. i haven't been setting time apart for Him. i think it matters that i give Him my time, more than it matters what exactly i do with the time i give Him. and i should certainly be giving Him my first-fruits, as the OT teaches about offerings and worship and stuff.

morning-time? that's not only my first-fruits (being in the first part of the day), that's time i usually spend sleeping! do you realize how important sleep is? do you realize how much i love it?! i'm freaking semi-nocturnal, for crying out loud... how could i ever give up my sleep for Someone so mysterious and misunderstood (by me)?!?!

i think it will be one of the most important disciplines i engage in, this semester. no more giving God left-overs, and no more taking what is rightfully His and keeping it for myself. i might as well be eating the lamb that the priests offer at the altar. i'm pretty sure some guy got LIGHTNING'D!!! or at least smitten for that. that's how they rolled, in the OT. thank God for Christ.

okay, back on track FOR REAL now. this girl HL, she is changing my world. funny how she uses that phrase all the time. "check out this song by Jason Mraz, it'll totally change your life." "i'm taking this freaking hard aural music theory class this semester. it's totally changing my life." "the hot chocolate my roommate made this morning freaking changed my life."

but then there's times when she's serious about stuff that's changed her life, and that's awesome, because as i see how she was, and how she is, i see then how she will be, and that is changing my life. i think that's part of her inner beauty: God has re-created her in such a way that her intense past is not even visible anymore. her God-blessed future self shines through her present self, and gives me (and everyone around her) a glimpse of what completion (sometimes translated 'perfection' in the NT) really looks like.

i've been doing a ton of studying on the Holy Spirit. incredible stuff. there is so much we have missed out on as a church, so much i have missed out on as a disciple. the HS is leaving me amazed. i pray frequently that these seeds of study will bear fruit... fruit of the Spirit, perhaps?

by the way, the NT epistles (letters written to people by the HS through apostles/disciples) were each written in regards or response to a specific issue, question, or occasion. it is essential that you find out what that issue, question, or occasion was if you want to understand any of those NT epistles. take Philemon, for example... do some studying on it. find out about the theft, and the grace, and the example being set for you as a follower of Christ. it'll change your life.

and finally, i get around to the content that will earn this post it's title.

every time i come home after hanging out with HL and her friends, i feel this feeling of loneliness. why??? i am a man of solitude! my friends know this. i love being alone. but coming away from this friend, whom i have grown so incredibly close to in such an incredibly short amount of time, i feel empty, and all i want to do is go and be with a friend.

i take part of that back. i've known HL for a year, and we had some great phone conversations over the summer. but still... it just amazes me. i've asked myself like 10 times if i have some sort of weird crush, and the same answer comes back to me every time: "dude, you really don't." i try to convince myself that i have a crush, and i still can't do it.

this is my current explanation, and certainly subject to change, should i acquire new data or understanding of data: HL is being used by God to change me, and one of the changes being wrought is a greater desire for deep friendship, perhaps particularly with the opposite sex.

i've actually experienced alot of that this year, with the girls at home, whom i LOVE TO DEATH (if you're reading this, i want you to know that i LOVE YOU TO DEATH). but at the same time, i'm a junior in college. the companionship i have with the girls at home is so precious to me, but... it's missing something. i think it's that i can't relate to them very often, or very well. my connection with them is on a different level. HL and her friends are closer to my age. i guess that makes it make more sense that my relationships with them are sort of... fuller. more fleshed out. more complete. i hope none of you take that the wrong way. i don't consider my friendship with any of you to be weak or skeletal or shallow. i just... have things in common with my peers here that, for some reason, i can't find with you. that's not a bad thing, really, it's just a difference. this whole lame paragraph is just a lame attempt at telling you that i experience friendship with HL and her friends in a way that fulfills me like other friendships in my life have not.

i think that experience is common to alot of us... i think that's how God set things up.

anyways. i could try to analyze and science-ize... oh, wow. what an awkward word. scientify. science... scienciize... scientificize. i could try to study my experiences under a microscope, but they're still in the process of being experienced. i guess for now, i'll have to find a strange contentment in the question this post's title asks.

Friday, September 09, 2005

maybe not a one

this isn't going to be a good one. it may not even end up being 'a one.'

a job?

so if a bunch of things went smoothly, and God sort of 'followed through' with His blessings, then by the end of this semester, this is what i would be doing: 15 hours a week, for $8 an hour, i would be keeping my ear to the ground listening for juicy stories, editing/designing/maintaining HTML elements of the VU site, blogging for money, designing graphic banners, and occasionally fiddling with Visual Basic.

amazing?

every time i think i have something figured out about Heather Longoria, she throws me for a loop. i can't even... i don't understand how i can get along better and better with someone i understand less and less while learning more and more about them. it blows me away. i have come to the solid conclusion (maybe even 'conviction') that God is going to use my friendship with her to change my life in very drastic ways.

we throw the word 'amazing' around alot, right? if you ever hear me call her 'amazing,' know that i am attempting to convey the fullest and most literal meaning possible. she literally causes me to feel a sense of amazement on a regular basis.

pardon the brief cliche, but i think God really enjoys putting loops and upside-downers and sidewinders in the roller coaster of life.

discipline

ugh, i keep saying this, and it never gets past that. thought, word, and deed- a ninja creed. yet this thought will not progress past words.

next week. Sunday. my life is going to change.

classes

all going excellently. they deserve more from me. i need to go over my notes, do my reading and homework, and begin to earn the grades i want.

my creative mind is running on fumes right now, and i don't know why. i guess it's because i have all these

worries

about school, money, friendships (that's probly the biggest one), my walk with God, my responsibilities, my living in the Vanguard Center apartments for the rest of the semester (more on that later), and i know there was other stuff, but i can't remember it right now.

this post was definitely for my own sake.

current status

body: cold and hungry, but i can fix that as soon as i click "Publish Post."
mind: occupied, always busy. need to find some time to rest.
heart: troubled, but blessed. like my life.
soul: doing stretches in preparation for a 2k run, where 'k' means 'semester.'

Thursday, September 08, 2005

new moon

new moons are sweet. the moon in general is sweet, but new moons are awesome. pretty much, they're just... blackness. all you see is the dark side. like when you delete a myspace account. there's just a void there.

and where that void is, a teeny sliver will soon emerge, and then grow slowly into a Cheshire smile, then into a thumbnail, and then full circle.

need a new name for the upcoming blog, though... moonshadows, maybe? or i could incorporate the concept of Selune, the Faerunian goddess of the moon. we'll see. i need more time to innovate. and stuff.

i saved my friends list, as well as my blog/profile statistics. i'll probably post them on my new blog, once i get that up and running.

thanks in advance to all who plan on thinking along my lines... it means alot to me. man, it's good to be back to blogspot... *toasts to the space that was mine* fare thee well.