Monday, October 31, 2005
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
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
in other words... don't leave me!! i'm still a blogger at heart!!
EDIT: http://print.google.com/ !
Thursday, October 20, 2005
(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."
'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."
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!
The School of Religion
Vanguard University of So. California
Heath Bldg Office 233 (714) 556-3610 Ext: 233
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
'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?
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
Sunday, October 16, 2005
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
bye for now.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
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
so here's the question: how much is 'almost endless' ???
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-'
"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!'
"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.
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.
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
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."
"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
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
wow. just wow.
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?
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.
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
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
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."
"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!!"
"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.
: hey alexa
: how're things
: things are good. had a very pleasant evening.
: wild.. weird... it's been a long day.
: class was a big part of it, and not just because it went from 8:30a to 4:15p
: 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"
: 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.
Friday, October 07, 2005
"Let me say right from the start (from personal experience) Wombats are smart. They have a large brain and they know how to use it. They are frolicsome and will play with what seems like inexhaustible energy. They are also quite fast afoot, able to run at around 40 km/hr. They are particularly fast and smart when a packet of chocolate biscuits is about to be put out of reach. (First rule of Wombat keeping - never get between a Wombat and a source of chocolate biscuits. Remember you can't out-run it, you almost certainly can't out-wrestle it, but you will be stream-rolled by it.
So if it comes to a choice of being assaulted by a Wombat or giving up your favorite biscuits, surrender the biscuits, it's less painful.) Note the Wombat in the photo is running straight at the camera and appears to have all legs off the ground!! They really can run. Fortunately for the photographer (me), the wombat (Brutus) was only young at the time and was responding to my call, not the irresistible smell of chocolate biscuits."
that site is hilarious, seriously. that's only an excerpt.
oh, and about the title... that's currently my best idea for a halloween costume. (gimme a break, i'm broke!)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
EDIT: okay, so i forgot the link. happens to everybody, right? -_-
Monday, October 03, 2005
*switches to Sting's Shape of My Heart*
ah. much better. i'm still in a happy mood because of some other stuff, but i'll just have to deal with it.
i have this problem where i do things at the last minute. i don't get it. check this out:
reasons to get stuff done ahead of time
- it prevents anxiety and stress about stuff i have to do
- the better job i do when i can dive into a task of my own positive motivation is better than the better job i can do when i am coming down to the wire (you know, that whole concept of doing better under stress)
- it gives me the chance to make my free time coincide with my friends' free time
i love my classes. i'm still not doing the work for them. but i think i've figured it out. i was going to explain it all to you guys, but i think i'd rather go to lunch, take a few weeks to experiment, and then come back to this.
God is blessing me... please pray that i will be able to jump through all the right hoops for the on-campus job, without catching my foot on any of them and falling on my face. kind of like i did when i realized my driver license was expired and therefore probably not a valid form of ID.
do your homework ahead of time.
this e-mail was entitled, 'got another one,' and it's addressed to Alexa Champion, what most of the world would refer to as my first girlfriend.
seems like the near-ceaseless activity of my brain is one long search for understanding. most of the time i'm trying to figure something out, whether it's me, a friend, a theological dilemma, my homework assignments (it's like trying to work out a math problem in your head, without writing anything down), the chord structure of a new song i downloaded, how i'm going to organize my day tomorrow, et cetera.
got another what, you might ask? another realization (it's a really good thing you like listening, otherwise all these e-mails would make me feel guilty of blogging outside my blog).
i have this friend Ben, who i met at church. i didn't really hang out with him much until he started teaching me how to play dungeons & dragons. i mean, chess. yeah. (is that any less nerdy? i might as well just be honest, huh?)
most of my time with Ben was spent doing nerdy stuff, like d&d or discussing music or the latest fantasy/sci-fi novel, or playing video games. this isn't to say that our relationship wasn't substantial; we did have some good serious discussions about stuff that has significance/relevance/deep meaning in life. we did go through some struggles together.
but then there was a period of about a year and a half, more actually, where i didn't hang out with him anymore, so now whenever i see him, all i can think of to say are jokes and analogies with references/allusions to d&d and music and video games. if we wanted to have a deep discussion, i'd probably have to catch him up on everything that's happened to me since we stopped hanging out, and he'd have to do the same for me with his life.
i feel so dumb when we hang out, because he'll be having a great time with his close friends, and i'll be having a great time with mine, and then at some point it'll be just us standing around for a few moments and i have nothing to say but, "remember that time when..." followed by one of those times when. it's like i can't disassociate Ben from the fun (but relatively meaningless, now) stuff we did, and i have the hardest time associating him with anything that's relatively meaningful in the now, since we don't do anything together anymore. all we have is what we had, and what we had is 100% outdated, which leaves us with nothing but decomposing pop-tarts when we feel like we should be having filet-mignon, considering how long we've known each other and how similar we are.
so check this out. i've come up with a new quiz, custom-built for Alexa & Isaiah. answer these in your head, and i'll answer them in mine, and then we'll compare answers without saying anything and probably come to the same conclusion.
1. What mutually-enjoyed activity best characterized us during the strongest part of our relationship?
2. How often and to what degree did we discuss or exchange anything that could be considered timeless, or at least long-lasting? Were those discussions/exchanges more often positive/encouraging/satisfying, or otherwise?
3. How often did we enjoy each other's company in the context of other friends whom we enjoyed and who enjoyed us?
4. What meaningful, character-building struggles, if any, did we experience together?
5. How much time/effort did we spend working towards a common goal? What kinds of goals?
6. How often could either of us have honestly said, "i really needed you at that point in my life" ? (speaking, of course, about the kind of need a hero or heroine in a story has of his/her companions, not an emotional attachment.)
7. What are some things we have always had in common, even up to now? How often do/did we actively/intentionally relate to each other through those things?
i'm sure i could think of more if it weren't past my bedtime.
i don't mean to make our relationship seem less than it was/is. i do, however, mean to expose whatever it is that might possibly be making our relationship look like more than it was/is, because if we can expose that and see who we really are, then maybe we can start to freely be who we're going to be.
it's true that i've trained myself to see women very differently than i used to. it's true that i have much better self-control and self-awareness than i once did. it's true that i care about you deeply, and that i value our friendship, and that i am always trying to better myself, especially in the context of relationships... but i see now that part of the inexplicable awkwardness between us has to do with the way my brain and heart remember you. who you are to me now is not the same as (or should not be, at least) who you were to me then.
there are associations my mind and heart still make because of the way we built "us." i think you said this more poetically (and thus more mysteriously) when you said, "first loves are always hard to forget" or something like that. i may be unintentionally hiding those associations from myself, when i tell myself how i am different today than i was yesterday. but in this sense, you are my yesterday. i should say that differently. uhm..... you sneak my yesterday into my today without my realizing it. you've been unknowingly (and thus innocently) smuggling memories in under the radar, memories so very subtle that they have become second nature to me. like a filipino who learns great english in high-school, but accidentally slips back into tagalog once in awhile without being aware of what he's doing.
this is all just a theory, of course, one that will gradually be either confirmed or dismissed the more i hang out with you. i have a hunch that it will be confirmed, though.
hopefully this was all more interesting than confusing. once again, your friendly daily reminder not to kill yourself with schoolwork: don't kill yourself with schoolwork. i'm keeping you very intentionally in my heart, mind, and prayers.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
not sure where this is coming from... i just finished pointing out that you should not enjoy it, and now you're asking me if you should enjoy it. uhm...? a little clarification, maybe: you should appreciate the writer's ability to accomplish what he intended, rather than making fun of it. for example, if you watch a movie scene where someone gets tortured and it's really graphic and everything, here are two potential responses. #1: "oh my gosh, this movie is so bad, look how horrific that stuff is!! i'm leaving, this is a terrible movie!" or #2: "oh my gosh, look how horrific this stuff is, the director/writer did a GREAT job with this part."
i think that's clearer... i hope it's clearer.
Also, I usually do try and enjoy a film as much as possible, but there are times when the movie is so bad that I can't enjoy it (Time Bandits anyone?). I'm sorry, part of it is, as you said, my workings in the film industry (no... not porn....) but I also have standards. Why should I try and enjoy a bad movie? There are bad movies, and I think we should be honest and just say it was bad! Why try and make it better? Dang, I am such a pessimist.
i totally agree with you. i was really looking forward to Brothers Grimm, but... oh, man. sucky movie. there was nothing great about it. Evan and i both agreed that it would have been stupid of us to say, "that movie was good." no. it just wasn't.
but the Professional was not such a movie, so... i see your point, and agree. i just don't see how it applies in this case.
You should know me well enough that I am one of the most child-like people you know. Come on, seriously.... Lol.
i think we're working with different definitions of "child-like" here. you can definitely be child-like in behavior and humor (which is a compliment... i often wish i could do the same, because it's freakin' fun and freakin' funny). but one can also be child-like in worldview. i haven't developed this thought completely yet, but in this case, an adult would go see a movie and critique it throughout the viewing, and afterwards. that adult would see alot more of what's really going on, and would be able to appreciate things in the movie that a child would not. but a child would go see the movie and soak it all in without even thinking, thereby missing some of the details and most of the intricacies, but enjoying the experience a heck of a lot more than the adult would.
disciplines of the heart, mind, and body are so much easier to grasp when you live by yourself. i envy those Desert Fathers of the Sahara, who pursued God freely and single-mindedly. Stoicism isn't particularly appealing to me, but why should it be? i would rather go with C. S. Lewis' philosophy in the Great Divorce, where the fiery angel spoke to the man with the little red lizard on his shoulder, and the voices of the Valley of the Shadow of Life sang out,
"for the strengths that once opposed you shall be obedient fire in your blood and heavenly thunder in your voice"
mm... love it. go read it. it's only like $12 in bookstores, or $4 online, including shipping (or so i'm told). keep in mind that if you don't understand what the heck's going on, it isn't necessarily because of Clive Staples' olde english. there's some stuff at the beginning that won't make sense until the end. kind of like life.
anydangway. seriously, live by yourself (mostly) for a week and you'll find that pursuits of mental, emotional, and physical health/growth are more fruitful.
's all i got.
EDIT: or not. i just found a possible explanation for why John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey. check this out: follow the link i gave you and read through the second paragraph. some of the guys who lived in solitude saw John as a model for self-discipline. it could be that he ate bugs and stuff made by bugs so that he could live out in the solitude of the wilderness, you know, and not be dependent on cities.
oh, and lastly: i watched the Professional last night. wow. excellent. Natalie Portman (she's 12 years old in it), and Gary Oldman, who plays weird villains all the time (like in Fifth Element). go watch it. it's about an assassin who trains a little girl to be a killer, and a little girl who trains a heartless killer to love again.