Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ask + Right Answer = Faith

Lately I've noticed that my faith in God is directly proportional to the amount of times that he gives me what I want. It's like the more prayers he answers (by answer I mean answers yes to whatever I'm asking for) the more willing I am to give and to feel secure in my faith.

Honestly, sometimes it frustrates me. To think of God as an unreasonable elitist who requires his followers to give things up, to measure themselves by an impossible standard. God wants us to sacrifice in order that we might gain?

I've heard it once, and it makes sense, that when God tells us not to do things, he's not arbitrarily throwing around rules for some divine amusement, really, what he's saying is "Don't hurt yourself."

Don't cheat on your wife. Don't hurt yourself

Don't steal. Don't hurt yourself

Don't concern yourself too much with possessions, people or feelings. Don't hurt yourself.

Because these things will hurt.

My experiences only confirm this. Any time I've spent following my own plan, earning my own trust, spending time distancing myself from where God wants me, has resulted in insecurity, worrying and pain in myself and others.

I'm always going to struggle with contentment, sometimes I feel like God could give me the perfect job/wife/car/child and I would still wonder if there were something more out there. It's my Achilles and I want nothing more than to overcome it. I'm learning though, that you can't crawl out of a hole by digging deeper (trite analogy.)

Freedom isn't found in having everything, it's found in having nothing and wanting nothing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pray for me.

How many times have you prayed healing for a sick friend? How many times have you asked someone to pray for you?

If God's will is that you are sick, you are sick right? If God's will is that you are suffering, you are suffering.

Is it God's will then, if you make a decision and are forced to suffer the consequences? Something profound has crept into my thoughts (through the help of Mr. Eldredge)

What if we understand that it IS possible to live outside of God's will? That God's will is his perfect path, but we're able (and often do) choose another way.

It is possible to live outside of God's will. To choose another way. If there was no way, why pray? Why evangelize? Why ponder the deepest meanings of scripture or recycle?

Because it's possible that we haven't made God happy. Think about the Lord's Prayer -- A scripture memorized by Catholics and Christians alike.

"Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven."
Why would Jesus tell his disciples to pray this way if it weren't true? Nowhere else in the bible does God have us repeat some mantra, in fact there are myriad verses describing that we're saved by faith, rather than works (Eph. 2:8 for example.)

So why, if God's will was not up for our choosing, would Jesus bother to pray for it? God doesn't seem interested in rote memorization.

But, what if God in his perfection created us to have stories that ended in us, and stories that ended in God and the ability to choose between them?

In one is found the peace of God's action, in the other, no promise of security. But each were written by the same Hand.

It almost seems like parallel events are happening in heaven, God's perfect will being acted out, and Jesus is begging God that what happens here on earth be a reflection of the goings-on upstairs.

Where people are choosing God's will.

So when Jesus prays this, he's asking that the perfect will of heaven would be made to happen here. On earth.

God's will is present in our lives, whether or not we are living it is our fight.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Green is the New Red (Herring)

Al Gore released his report showing that there's been no change in the climate since he released his Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth."

There's an interesting phenomena that surrounds tragedy. It seems that people, regardless of their affiliation, like to surround themselves, at least partially, or perhaps "voyeristically", in tragedy. It's the reason people line up to attend the funerals of their acquaintances. There's a certain commiseration in corporate suffering.

I think the same thing is happening with "Global Warming." Now, I don't know exactly where I stand on the subject, I believe it's an issue the needs attention, but I think it's a bit blown out of proportion.

It's moved beyond a humanitarian concern to become a political and economical necessity. If you want people to vote for you, make sure you include the words "Green, Sustainable, Environment" in any order. If you want to sell cars, make sure you have a green leaf or similarly nature-themed icon located on your car.

I think we've been inoculated by our mass-hysteria. There is a placid sense of security, knowing that our impending doom is solvable, and solvable only through believing in our mighty government.

I'm not prone to conspiracy theories, but think about it. I don't believe our government created global warming, but isn't it possible that they've perpetuated it? Or at the very least supported it?

In hysteria, we become weak. We become needy, we become dependent. Isn't that an old military tactic? Starve the country and take them over? What if our recent obsession with sustainability has left us insecure and defenseless?

Here's the gravest injustice. While we're all paying attention to the waving hand of global warming, we're not paying attention to the suffering, and hunger and disease which is real, and not hypothetical.

People are dying today. The ice caps are melting tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Being an A-hole is something that never came naturally to me. It's just the sort of business you fall into. Like answering a mystery ad. in the paper, or taking over your father's business.

I feel like an actor some of the time. Like I'm playing a role designed for someone else, a better actor, someone who wants to be an actor. I've always wanted to know, and to be known.

Pride is an anchor dragging, weighing into me in still moments that require my strength. The anchor that proves me, that qualifies me.

It jumps in front of my character, speaking quickly, before integrity can answer, calling all of the camera's attention. It steals every first impression, and preceeds my physical presence, often my representative speaking on my behalf.

My New Book.

I want to write a book, I just don't know what about.

I think the crazy stuff I think of would make a fine book, maybe a "Blue Like Jazz" meets "The Great Gatsby." That would be excellent.

I'll call it "Hemingway and Fitzgerald are Raging Inside Me"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I have probably 500 unfinished stories and just as many songs in the same condition. I don't know why I can't seem to finish anything, the more I realize myself the more I'm understanding how distractable I really am.

I'm tired of being inside my head so much. This slothful start to a spring break has got me thinking about how much I really like being busy if only so that I don't have time to sit and think. Must turn the editor off.

I'm just sick of thinking about myself so much, not in a (well possibly in a) self-centered way but really, I'm tired of it. I think maybe it's God's agenda, the more we think about ourselves the more empty we realize that paradigm is.

See how distractable I am?

I want to start less sentences with "I."

Maybe the reason I have trouble finishing things is because I'm afraid to. I think that's what alcoholics call "a moment of clarity." I think that if I finish something, I'll be afraid of how good it's not. It's really easy to talk about all the things I "almost" did.

It's really easy because you don't have the responsibility of ownership. When you finish something it's done, and it's over and a new project waits to be approached, but if you leave things unfinished, there's always the possibility of revisiting it, or better yet, there's NO responsibility involved, no real risk.

But, the consequences of living a life filled with "almosts" and half-written pages is an empty one.

I will finish something everyday, starting with this stupid unedited blog.