Friday, September 14, 2007
I have no doubt in my mind that God put me in this program. The circumstances by which i came are to long and complex for me to write here. I do know that this is Gods plan for me and I am very excited to be back in communion with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I could use prayer that my walk would stay consistent even after ACTS ends, and I would rely on the Lord only for my strength. I am not sure what i will be doing after the program, but at this point i am really not concerned. It feels so good to be able to commit the majority of my every day to the study of Gods word and bettering my relationship with him, and not be worried about what comes next.
The Lord has blessed us with an awesome team. We all seem to get along great and have a ton of fun in our free time as well as during program. One thing i have been most impressed with is that this team is a praying team. We pray LOTS! It feels so good to be in good communication with the God of the universe. It has been most of two years since i have been wiling to bring any sort of requests before Him.
I would like to say a quick thank you to all of you out there who have been praying for me. I am sorry for the testimony I have lived these past two years and for any way I have offended any of you. The Lord is good and continues to pour out his love for me, when i run, time and time again.
I will try to be more faithful to updating this whenever I get new information. Maybe ill even post some pics. You can see some pictures for yourself on the ACTS website under Session 7 in the gallery.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Brave Saint Saturn Lyrics
did you hear the news today
i'm not coming home,
and i wished it all away
i felt so alone
and the darkness crept it's way
like stars we know will die too soon
there is never any sunrise here in the shadows of eclipsing moons
crawling on a tightrope
the bravest thing i have is hope
daylight, save me
daylight, save me
halogen, the lights will flicker
incandescent burning lies
and the silence stands for nothing
desperate i search the skies aching for a spark
trembling in pitchest dark
Mission Control: U.S.S. Gloria, this is mission control, do you copy?
we have lost contact with the U.S.S. Gloria
U.S.S. Gloria: Mission Control, this is the U.S.S. Gloria, do you read me?
Mayday, we have lost primary guidance functions
News Reporter: The crew is now out of radio contact.
presently there is no way for us to know whether they
are alive or dead.
our hopes and prayers go out with you all.
Mission Control: U.S.S. Gloria, this is mission control, do you copy?
U.S.S. Gloria: Houston this is the U.S.S. Gloria.
good to hear your voice
we are coming out of the eclipse now.
i see the sunlight. it's beautiful
the sunlight is beautiful.
Jesus Christ, Light of the World
You never did forget me
and when i bled in darkness, You held
still held me
when desparate nights i cursed You
You loved me, still loved me
Jesus Christ, You dry the tears
You break my heart of stone
Your words are life
cut marrow through
the darkness, to the bone
a heart of flesh You gave me
only You can save me
I am coming home
I only hope i can still find my way home...
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
-successful enough to fail;
-busy enough to take time;
-assured enough to cry;
-leading enough to serve.
-serious enough to laugh;
-rich enough to be poor;
-victorious enough to lose;
-important enough to be last;
-loving enough to be angry;
-wise enough to say I don’t know;
-right enough to say “I am wrong”;
-compassionate enough to discipline;
-conservative enough to give freely;
-mature enough to be childlike;
-righteous enough to be a sinner;
-courageous enough to fear God;
-planned enough to be spontaneous;
-controlled enough to be flexible;
-free enough to endure captivity;
-knowledgeable enough to ask questions;
-great enough to be anonymous;
-responsible enough to play;
-industrious enough to relax;
Friday, April 13, 2007
You offered something better
I took you at your word
Your promise in this letter
New life, a Creed, a Sword
I prayed that you would use me
You told me of your plan
I said I'll go and see
What adventures are in this land
You took me to the boarder
I complained about the giants
Don't take me any farther
I can be self reliant
I ran the other way
To become what i was before
I'll not stop to pray
Iv been down this road before
From you I ran my fastest
As far as i could
But the Giants just got bigger
The further that I stood
Still your love was for me
You dealt me a fresh hand
But not before you lead me
Through a dry and barren land
Even in that time,
You showed me I was blessed
Not a reason or a rhyme
Why you should love this mess
Now back to the boarder
The Giants are still there
To disobey your order
Seems not even to compare
I see these scars and feel the pain
Of mistakes iv made before
This time I see the rain
As cleansing gone before
I will go.
Use me, guide me, I know you will
Monday, March 19, 2007
Could catch my eye,
Then life was new and every new day,
I thought that I could fly.
I believed in what I hoped for,
And I hoped for things unseen,
I had wings and dreams could soar,
I just don't feel like flying anymore.
When the stars threw down their spears,
Watered Heaven with their tears,
Before words were spoken,
Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
When I was small, the furthest I could reach,
Was not so high,
Then I thought the world was so much smaller,
Feeling that I could fly.
Through distant deeps and skies,
Below the face of Heaven,
Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
Man versus himself.
Man versus machine.
Man versus the world.
Mankind versus me.
The struggles go on,
The wisdom I lack,
The burdens keep pilling
Up on my back.
So hard to breathe,
To take the next step.
The mountain is high,
I wait in the depths.
Yearning for grace,
And hoping for peace.
Healing hands of God have mercy on our unclean souls once again.
Jesus Christ, light of the world burning bright within our hearts forever.
Freedom means love without condition,
without a beginning or an end.
Here's my heart, let it be forever Your's,
Five Iron Frenzy
Every New Day
Sunday, March 18, 2007
As i stated in the opening paragraph, so many Christians today are constantly worried about "following the rules". Or maybe that Christianity is so complicated with all its do's and dont's. The point i was trying to make was that we can avoid all this complication if we simply love each other as Christ has loved us. I don't believe the Christian life should be such a hard concept to grasp. So if i could sum up the "rules" i would in saying, just love. "...for love is the fulfillment of the law."
I do not believe God to only be capable of love, we see God's wrath in scripture from beginning to end. God WILL judge those who reject Him and He WILL punish them for their rejection of the truth. His wrath is perfect and just.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who surpass the truth by their wickedness, since what may be know about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Another point i would like to make is in agreement with a comment my cousin posted. We can only truly love when we have been truly loved. The world does not know love as they believe. And when we speak of something greater they can only see foolishness. They have been blinded to the truth by their unbelief. So it is through the love of our Father in Heaven that we can show our love to others. And it is only as our relationship with Him grows that our love for others will grow.
Simply put i believe love to be a big part of out Christian life. I believe that we waste to much time trying to overcome our negative attitudes, lusts of the heart, dislike for others and self righteousness, when we could simple work on our love for others. How we do that MUST be in improving our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through prayer, Bible study, praise and time! You cannot get to know someone if you refuse to spend time with them. I am defiantly speaking to myself as i need to work on this as much as anyone. I hope that this has cleared up any misunderstandings from the recent post. Thanks for the read.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
From the trail-head, David and I started the loop opposite of what we will in May, heading up the ever so popular Eagle Creek Trail. Because it is so crowded on weekends we made sure to be on trail by 7am. As we started out we were the only hikers in sight. We passed several camps early on and found everyone to still be in their tents. The weather was perfect as was the forecast for the next few days. If you have never been up Eagle Creek, you are missing out. It is non stop beauty for over 11miles. Every corner you come around has a waterfall, viewpoint, or breathtaking scenery.
The first significant landmark you will come to, is Lower Punchbowl Falls. This is a short trail down to the creek where you meet a huge pool under a beautiful waterfall (guidebooks say this is a great place for a summer swim, it was much to cold at 7:30am). Further down the creek there is another series of smaller falls with places to camp along the shore. Back on the trail we passed a dozen more smaller waterfalls before coming to a suspension bridge that hangs nearly 80' over the creek. When you look up the canyon there are a handful of pretty waterfalls all in series. The view is certainly one to thank our creator for!
The grand-finally comes after a few more waterfalls and peaceful pools. As you come around the corner to Tunnel Falls, the trail gets very narrow. You have overhanging cliff to your left and a 80' drop to your ri nothing but a cable bolted to the ght. This leaves you standing on a rocky trail, no more then three feet wide, withrocks for comfort. The view is well worth any trail leads you into a horseshoe valley, right in the middle a huge waterfall pours over the trial and 80 feet down, into a vary large pool. The trail has been cut into the rock along the cliff and actually tunnels behind the waterfall. You get a little discomfort you may feel if you are not prone to enjoying heights. The now narrow wet from the mist as you pass under the falls, but on a warm day it feels great. On the far side of the horseshoe you get a great view of the falls and a chance to get some pictures.
Just on the other side of Tunnel Falls we stopped for lunch by a clear pool in the rocks. The pool looked so pleasant and inviting we decided to take a swim... the swim didn't last long but it sure woke us up! David got a picture of me horrified at the cold, and then gave a good smile and thumbs up when i took his picture. He called it "proof that hes tougher then I am".
After lunch the scenery slowed only a touch as we gained elevation. We had decided to stop at a campsite one of my guidebooks had recommended and get a good night sleep. The "recommended" campsite was about half a mile down the Eagle/Tanner Cut-off trail, and right beside Eagle Creek. It didn't prove to be a great campsite, but we made the best of it and got to bed early.
the opposite direction. Once back to Eagle creekWe woke up to a cool morning with clear skies. The half mile back to the trail seemed to be much longer in trail we made good time and a steady accent towards Benson flats and the Benson Plato. About a mile farther and we found a great campsite right off the side of the trail (live and learn).
The next great landmark was Wahtumtiful lake, a rich blue in color. As we passed by the lake, we watched as a girl pick up a violin and start playing amazing grace. We made lunch at a campsite, uphill from the lake, with pleasant music in the air. haha.
After lunch the trail climbed steeply for a mile and a half to junction with the Pacific Crest Trail and Chinidere Mt. trial. We dropped our pack, hid them in the brush, and set out for the view point atop Chinidere. The hike was short, and not too steep, we made the top in less then fifteen minuets. Despite the haze, the view from Chinidere Mt. is BEAUTIFUL! You have a clear s the cascades to the north and south, with Wahtum and Rainy lakeshot at below. There is also rock that looks like a scaled version of Pride Rock off of The Lion King. Below this rock the terrain drops incredibly steep to tree line a half mile below.
Coming down the trail we saw some people climbing trees near where we had hidden our packs. As we got closer we realized these guys weren't wearing any clothes. Just their briefs and boots. We stepped off trail, scooped up our packs and headed on... We were now hiking west on the PCT towards the Benson Plato where we planned to spend the night (in the only marked campsite on the map). The scenery was absolutely beautiful along the PCT and the trail condition was the best we had seen. We stopped often to enjoy view points off the side of the trail. We also found a HUGE ant mound. It was actually two mounds that had merged into one. They we consuming a large branch that had fallen from a tree above.
About the time we finished taking pictures of the ants, our streaking friends passed us on the trail. We caught up to them at the next junction and asked where they were going . They told us they planned to stay the night at Camp Benson.... which was the only camp in the area and happened to be where we were headed. So David and i took the opposite trial at a dead run. We made good time down the trail then cut across trough the forest and over to Benson Way, and Camp Benson. There was no one there so we set up camp and tried to look settled. That was the last we saw of them, and i must say we were glad of it. It was a pleasant evening so we started a small fire and sat in the dark talking and trowing sticks on the flames.
Once again we woke to a crisp morning with the promise of a nice day ahead of us. We only had about 6 miles to cover but it was going to be steep. We were somewhere around 4000' elevation and had to descend to the trail head at 100'. Then meant what we had climbed in two days and 32 miles, we were about to descend in a few hours and 6 miles. Ruckle Creek Trail proved to be a doozie! It wasn't long before my legs where trembling form holding me and my 35 lb pack from running down the mt. There were frequent view points and the weather was amazing. It was warm but not hot. We did however, find ourselves talking about Wendy's Frosties, and decided that was the first thing we would do when we got into town. By the time we reached the the Gorge Trail, we were more then ready to be done. A short hike back to the parking lot and we were set. We tossed our packs in the back of the truck and made good time to the nearest Wendy's.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
The other morning when I was doing my personal devos this verse struck me. I have read it many times but something I heard a pastor from Ecola Bible say the other day put a whole new light on the verse. I thought I would share.
-I Timothy 1:3-7 NIV-
“As I urged you when I went into
The pastor was talking about living a Christian life (Christ-like life) always running from what is “wrong”. It’s wrong to steal, its wrong to get angry at a friend. It’s wrong to gossip about a co-worker or to think of the dislike you have for them. The Pastor was saying we spend to much time and effort running from the wrong, so we can be more Christ like, when all we have to do is to love. And then he moved onto the next subject and that was it. He said no more on the subject but for weeks it’s been on my mind.
My first thought was too I Corinthians 13:13
“now these remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”
Although I have heard this verse all my life it has never made too much sense. How can love be more important then faith? Isn’t our Christian life built solely on faith? Another verse then came to mind. James Ch. 2
“What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds?”
2:17. “In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead”
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
So I went back to Paul’s words to Timothy and read them again.
“ The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Paul says "the goal of this command..." What command? The word is translated from the Greek word paraggelia, (par-ang-gel-ee'-ah) which can also mean a mandate or a charge. Paul is referring to the Christian walk, the New Covenant or the Gospel. The fact that Jesus came, bled, died and rose again to replace the “old covenant” or the code, that so many Jews were still hanging onto, and gave them a new way to live. He states that the goal of the Christians life is love. That simple. After ones faith is in place, action must take place in a very simple concept… love. Paul gives us three steps to pursue love.
-a pure heart
-a good conscience
-a sincere faith
Is that really it? Can my Christian walk be that simple? I believe from scripture it can. Think about it. Would you ever murder, lie or commit adultery if you really loved everyone? If you really truly love the brother next to you, would you get irritated when they mess up? Would you steal from him, or think wrong thoughts about him? Why would you gossip about her if you really loved her deep down as sister in Christ, or even just one of Gods creations? We can see from the gospels that Jesus’ entire ministry was summed up in loving people.
In Romans 13, known also as “the love chapter”, Paul again says starting in verse eight.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “do not commit adultery”, do not murder”, “do not steal”, “do not covet”, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love IS the fulfillment of the law.”
Paul sums it up right there, we need to Love. I find it interesting that we are told to love others as ourselves. If there is one person my flesh tends to naturally look out for it ol' number one. What a simple standard of measure... one we can all relate to and no one leave at home;) I think of these WWJD bracelets. Well maybe we should all start wearing WWID (what would I do) in light of doing for others what we would want for ourselves.
In Galations 5:6 we read
“…the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
As we all know it’s not always easy to love everyone. But it was interesting to me that Paul’s steps for true love were all personal, and internal. It’s not a formula or a list of do’s and don’ts. A pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith, all internal, for no one else to see. Hopefully we have the sincere faith. But think, how sincere am I? Do i have the passion i had the moment of my salvation? The Greek word for sincere can also be translated undeniable (a pretty good argument for eternal salvation i think;).
The other two steps might take a little more work, at least for me. A pure heart. I think of garbage in… garbage out. I am the king of putting the wrong stuff in. I have seen in my own life the roller coaster from Christian living to falling deep into sin and then back again. And I keep on doing it. How hard am I working to keep my heart pure. Clean and clear, with no dark smudges or hidden closets. The way I see it I can’t have that true love if I have things clouding my heart. And what clouds your heart is going to be different then what clouds mine. I don’t see Paul listing ten sins to stay away from. I believe that is left to the Holy Spirit convicting us on what we need to clean up in your own life.
Last is the clear conscience. Seems to me this follows the pure heart as a sort of checks and balances. I don’t think we could ever really have the pure heart unless we have removed all those things the Holy Spirit has put on our conscience. Again, I have seen in my own life, it’s no sooner then I give up that habit, that has been bugging my conscience for so long, that I notice some other sin in my life that never seemed to bother me before.
Remember God wants us to live our lives as close to Himself as possible. And God cannot walk hand in hand with sin. And he’s not going to give up. If we fail to remove the sin in our life he has placed on our conscience, He is not going to say “well he’s not getting rid of that one, we’ll move onto the next” No he will keep on faithfully placing us under trials until we yield to his will and take care of the sin. And only then after we completely repent and turn from that sin will he show us the “next step”. (i have had many such first hand accounts even in this last year; sad to say.)
We know from scripture God desires a love relationship with us, and gives us the tools we need to acquire it. I believe true biblical Love is one of those tools, and a very important on at that. Remember its only after our life is right with Christ that we can live a proper Christ like life with those around us.
I am preaching to myself here, as I need to learn this and work at it as much as anyone… maybe more. But it’s been on my mind allot the past few weeks and I thought I would share.
Please take this as a challenge. See who you can love this summer. Every time a thought enters your mind, stop and think, is it pure? I believe this is a challenge we all could undertake. If we only love, everything else will fall into place. We won’t need to run from the “wrongs”, because we will desire to do what is right. You can’t sin against a brother you truly love.
“… The greatest of these is LOVE.”
I Corinthians 13 describes love in such a beautiful way. It does not tell you how to love, it tells you, how love is. These are traits I desire in my own life. And I believe Christ desires them for all of us. How do we acquire them? Do we work to become everything on this list? No we simply love, and these beautiful personality traits are sure to follow.
-love is patient
-love is kind
-love does not envy
-love does not boast
-love is not proud
-love is not rude
-love is not selfish
-love is not easily angered
-love keeps no account of wrong
-love rejoices in truth
-love never fails
Monday, February 26, 2007