28.12.09

from his low-tech command center

pawpaw cried tonight.
we were in the cook shed (the back porch of my grandpas house that has evolved over the years into a second kitchen/ living room/ diner/ meeting place/..., of which my pawpaw is very proud of) sitting around talking about the origins of the mob we call our family, back when my parents, aunts, and uncles were spitting out us grandchildren. pawpaw, perched in his iconic directors chair, smoked his cigarette and listened to us cackle over the same priceless family stories we love to tell every year around this time. when the phone rang he answered it from his low-tech command center, a homemade chopping block sitting beside his chair complete with a cup of pencils, a notepad, ash tray, phone book, and of course a phone.
we continued our stroll down memory lane while pawpaw got news that his cousin may be on the losing end of an infection that entered his blood stream. we knew something was up, so when he hung up the phone we all looked at him, awaiting the news. he made it through about ten words and he just stopped.
ive never seen him cry before tonight. never really seen him show any emotion outside of happiness (if the cowboys win) or frustration (if mawmaw uses all the hot water in her bath).
the tension created by those opposing forces, Joy and Sorrow, in that moment brought my mom to tears and the rest of the room to silence.

may the revelation of my genesis be the fulfillment of my joy.

23.12.09

-chapter 3-

She woke early that morning. much earlier than usual.
as her eyelids opened, thoughts of her friend immediately found her. apart from the untimely hour, this was commonplace, she thought of him often.
she rolled over to see snowflakes floating past her window. she then pulled her bedding up, leaving nothing exposed but her wandering mind.
carter was prone to the unexpected and anne had begun to expect such behavior from him. fortunately, by this point in their story, she could forecast, weeks in advance, the next front to blow in. she had spent the last few weeks preparing her self for this one.
she thought about the comfort that their friendship provided her and how she would miss it dearly if he were to go away.  she thought about that same comfort and his avoidance of it, fearing that that warmth would be enough to keep him sheltered from the fronts that periodically blew in to sweep him away.
they loved to study one another. to look into the deepest motives of each others being and then compare them to their own, anxious that they would not align. but they always did.  still she knew his ways were not hers. but it was those traits anne most adored.
"hope to see you soon, friend", she whispered aloud towards the icy window, smiled, and closed her eyes.

-chapter 3-

21.12.09

ive been reading my friends blog lately

ive been reading my friends blog lately. http://brett-land.blogspot.com/ feel free to check it out, and ladies hes single by the way.
ever since ive known him hes been struggling with what it is that God wants him to become. we have that in common.
in our america, laboring through the torrent of careers and dreams, each with their seemingly life or death stakes, is the trademark of this season of life.  but i dont believe that should be the fate of a 20-something that is impersonating Christ.
heres one thing i know. in a sea of measurless options and possibilities, successes and failures, i am meant to create. its not much of a direction in life but its a start i suppose. thats what God has given me and apparently thats all i need right now.
i love to look back on some of my older posts and think about that time, those thoughts. and so i want to record some of my projects as well.

this is a djembe stand i just finished for a friend of mine.  it was a lot of fun. its a new trend so it was definitely a new project for me, lots of brainstorming and development. merry christmas.


8.12.09

Rationallity

Suppose I abandoned the icy chains that shackle my warm veins to this boulder, known as Rationallity, and became that man I rightfully deserve, and truly desire, to become?
Perhaps great risk would be perpetually rewarded with good fortune. Maybe overgrown paths would again be walked, with gifts of affirmation found along the way.
But if I discover that what I rightfully deserved is a far cry from the man I want to be and the woman I want to love, oh God give me mercy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

5.11.09

My Sister, Hannah McKay

my little sister asked me for advice tonight.
hannah is a 13 year old in junior high and this is all becoming real to me now.
i remember her at a teletubbies birthday party and her as a lady bug for halloween.
now we watch house together and she uses words that ive only recently learned.
it was sincere and innocent. i wasnt much help to her, i know that, because she cares more about her friends at school than my selfish heart can comprehend. luckily she didnt really need the advice, she just needed someone to talk to and i was happy to be that someone.

music fans: check out this band that ive been addicted to lately, sleeping at last.

16.10.09

chapter 2

    i walked to the end of the sidewalk, off the curb, and out onto the street; thus leaving the monotony  of my childhood's culture in search of something new.  those first steps across the canvas of fresh powder, sparked a life into my bones that i will not soon forget. a brilliant concoction of innocence and adrenaline had been served to my glass. bottoms up.
                    ==========
    the growth began stirring in the deeps of my chest about a year ago, pounding from my sternum a primitive rhythm. so pure and true for reasons i still cannot explain.  a quite unsettling notion.
    then benign took the offensive to invade my veins that morning as i walked confident strokes down that white street; uniting the foreign to the beating in my own chest.  to unmask this mysterious, infectious, growth would render my adventure a success.
    but if i had found that the growth were nothing more than my father's world in disguise, that all i knew, forever was, all this existence could offer my longing soul, would i have survived that winter?
    the station stood smirking before me.
    "well, well, the boy did show". he remarked with a chuckle.
    we had met many times before. a stalwart portal sewn with stone and mortar and laced with discarded ignorance. i grew infatuated with its energy. i often sat on the platform to breathe deeply the joy of the homesick reuniting with the the homes they left incomplete and to covet the look of uninhibited wonder and anticipation on the faces of my fellow adventurers as the unfamiliar desert wind draws the moisture from their pores.
    i removed my hat and reached for my ticket.

3.10.09

it probably says something about where my subconscious is

i wrote this as the beginning of a short story, but cant seem to continue it. it probably says something about where my subconscious is though.


i have a friend.
thats right, a friend.
and i wouldnt have it another way.
    despite the roaring anxiety pulsating through the very cells that created its lukewarm electricity, the morning was truly serene. silenced by a foot of fresh snow and my fear that seemed to have infected the thin air that surrounded me, the desert patiently awaited the dawn. i stood on the sidewalk with my head tilted back in surrender to the spectacle as snowflakes broke through the blackest sky and appeared inches from my nose.
    then the snowflakes became falling train tickets.
    "damn, i forgot the ticket!", i thought to myself.
    i gave myself a frantic pat down and quickly felt the thick paper ticket in the breast pocket of my coat. this led to a mental inventory of everything i had in my pack, as if i had not been through this with my self everyday for the last year. 
  

30.9.09

only its the opposite

i have a sermon on my ipod that ive listened to about 5 times since it was recorded in july at a student life camp in san angelo. i like it a lot.
in it, matt carter says things about the Church that ive felt, but not been able to put into words. kinda like intuition but im pretty sure its more the Holy Spirit than my anything. he talks about how God can detest our worship. and that,
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27 NIV
its been challenging for me and if you want to hear it, let me know.
but to take that a step further, i cant help but believe that our current state of affairs in the united states is a slap in the face of the Christian.
the way i see it, its not the governments place to provide help to the poor and needy in this country. or food to the hungry, or clothes to the unclothed, shelter for the homeless.  its the job of the Church. matt. 25.
yet all we choose to do is hate the men who are unsuccessfully trying to fill the void of our disobedience.
churches fleeing to the suburbs to avoid the inner-city. there are too many homeless people there.
church members fleeing the country to do ministry over seas. the people here dont deserve our love.
church calendars littered with events to bring in the types of people that we want inside the walls. thats basically what Jesus did. only its the opposite.





26.9.09

very joel osteen-esque

i heard the first sermon of my best friends preaching career today. it was worth driving home for.
he spoke on suffering. the suffering we are called to as Christ followers. the whole thing was very joel osteen-esque.
as i sat in that small, one room, country church, surrounded by 150 year old stone walls rising twenty feet into a cracked and leaking ceiling, i found some truth.
Christ suffered while he we a member of the human race. therefore my life here will not be all cowboys games and hot wings either. and that is worth rejoicing over.

13.9.09

the north face

im no photographer, but im convinced that almost every photo is better with a person in it.
we bring perspective to photos, and a story that each viewer can imagine for themselves.
i love the ones on the north face website. adventurers trek miles into remote territories, packing heavy cameras and other equipment, to discover landscapes that would make even a mommas boy detest their cozy suburbia.
i imagine the hike that brought them to the location and the excitement that consumed them the weeks before they put their boots to the snow. and that they had to survive a great storm that left them with no food for three days until the rescue crews found them, their sweet north face clothing, and the one roll of film they managed to save.
(its one of my life dreams that i would be able to survive a survival situation and have heroic stories to tell about my adventure. stories that that even i couldnt ruin. im just not a good story teller.)
but its the contrast between nature and man that is so powerful to me. the little men, head to toe in the latest and coolest north face gear, become beautifully insignificant amidst the glories of an awesome God.
i love seeing creation towering over mankinds self-righteousness.
on the opposite side of that idea, i think God likes pictures with people in them too. that really makes Him who He is. a brilliantly inconceivable deity, who calls the stars by name, the maker of love, music, logic, and grace. He knows me. He wants me to be in the picture.

12.9.09

that is just part of the give and take.

i had the great privilege of being a part of a weekend retreat for the youth group of an old friend labor day weekend. i hope it was a beneficial experience for the students that attended, but i know it was good for me.

it was good to travel to austin, great to be on the road and in a cool city. it was great to play some music with a great guitarist and worship leader, and i got to try out some new ideas musically that turned out really sweet (if i do say so myself...). i needed those things. i need to feel inspired in order to function well. i need to ponder in order to keep my mind on track.

the guy leading worship has issues, but he does harbor some pretty interesting ideas. every time we get together we always seem to get into these discussions about the christian church and our, ever so, humble critiques of the institution. normally i hate these conversations, most likely because those that want to discuss this are typically arrogant college students who somehow imagine that their a minus in an intro to new testament class gives them the credentials to revolutionize the american christian church with “new” ideas about how it how should should operate and ultimately cater to their “needs”. but these conversations arnt like that. they do turn into arguments on a fairly regular basis, but that is just part of the give and take.


4.9.09

the trinity is awesome.

so its about 9pm on a monday and its past my bed time. im watching bear gryles take on the wilderness of vietnam. but i have to get up quite early.

how early you say? when i wake up, the clocks are still sleeping. time is bobble-headin it from an antique wooden chair precariously perched in the corner. i wake him to the sound of my boots hitting the floor. he jerks and mumbles a disoriented, yet quite conscious line (hes always warning me to let him be), and so i begin my day with a smile.


im learning more and more about a side of God that has always been strange to me. God as my friend. im still not a fan of "i am a friend of God", but ive never labeled it as hypocrisy.

the trinity is awesome.


29.8.09

i just want something to move me.

one of my favorite things to do is to change my guitar strings.
it has a therapeutic aspect to it but the part i love comes from the expectancy of the first note the strings make. its a crisp, smooth, light, yet heavy enough to send chills through my body. in a moment my guitar, the one ive had for 7 years and heard trillions of notes resonate from, becomes new all over again.
the other day i was playing my guitar at my grandmaws house and my aunt asked me if i was practicing. to be honest, it was kind of insulting. not that im so good that i dont need to practice, that couldnt be further from the truth. i dont pluck the strings to become more skilled.
i play for those moments when my fingers find a tune that takes me by surprise.
i just want something to move me.
the thought of playing just to become more proficient seems so shallow.
i think our christian lives should be more like this too. less legalism. more passion.


ive also been thinking about that matchbox twenty song, bright lights. not the whole song, but one line in particular.
i think in some way people are actually looking for scars they can talk about. if i was looking, it was purely subconscious though.

15.8.09

audibles from the sideline

life after camp this summer has been different than other summers. while every fall seems to be a "play it by ear" kind of thing for me, this year my ear has had a hard time hearing the audibles from the sideline. but God is faithful.
its been on my tongue for some time now, the idea that christians are not called to the "american dream". but i think God is finally teaching me what that means.
im going to north east texas to work with my uncle for a while. i dont know all the ways that He plans to use me there yet, but i know that He has work for me there. going there means i will not be going to school this semester, which troubles me more than i expected. i care what people think about my decisions. God must work differently in other christians lives, i guess that only makes sense.
to know that He has called you to something and acting on that calling, gives one more security than any degree could ever create.
this fall is also different because of the girl i took on a date last night. its been atypical so far in all the right ways. i think i have a lot to learn from her, if i dont ruin it.
its as if we both know there is something beautiful to uncover, under layers of time and knowledge, a prize that neither wants to disturb. so we surround it, discuss its whereabouts, and peel back layers one by anxious one.
this blog is not becoming a diary, just hang with me for a while...

9.8.09

hour-like instants

its wasnt the greeting that i had envisioned in my mind after coming home from a 3 month trip, but i dont think God's timing has any trouble trumping my ideas of order and preference.
on our drive home from the airport my family and i received a call form my aunt saying that my cousin had likely been killed in a 4 wheeler accident. now i considered building the suspense a few more lines but i dont think thats fair... he did not die. hes in the icu in texarkana right now, his body outfitted with some of the finest equipment modern medicine has to offer: a ventilator, iv, and enough meds to keep him unconscious for a very long time.
he has a broken shoulder and road rash from head to toe, creating enough pain to require him to be unconscious, and creating enough scars that his chances of finding a hot wife went from "Unlikely" to "Maybe Pity Is Your Best Bet".
i speak of this lightly because we know now that there is no life threatening damage, because hes really tough, and, well, because hes an idiot.
but those long minutes and hour-like instants change you. he would have been the closest person to me to die. we grew up together. in the summers it was just me and him. our closest neighbors were farther away than our bikes were allowed to take us, so it was just us.
today hes been known for his share of screw ups but anyone could tell you hes a great guy at heart.
i just hope theres a way he can avoid doing time when he gets out of the hospital. i wish that was a joke.

6.8.09

cran-apple

after a long morning of driving, loading into the warehouse, and goodbyes, im on the surprise second leg of my flight to houston. we just stopped in new orleans and dropped off the gang of drunken sorority girls sitting across the aisle from me. klynn is in the window seat next to me listening to her ipod. she doesnt even look out the window. i love the window seat. jerk. im putting down my second cran-apple juice and trying to replay an exciting summer in my head.

there was the morning at lee university when alyssa changed my rec partners and i had to switch the rec leaders colors 5 minutes before orientation.

or the load-in at estes park colorado that will forever live in infamy as the snowy load-in of 2009.

or at the same location when kevin and i watched elk right by our porch. at like 6am. in our underwear.

and the kickball game under the lights of the oklahoma baptist intramural fields, while campers watched from all 4 stories of the adjacent building, cheering us on to victory over the student staffers...

now its time to go back into a world where Gods will seems harder to pinpoint and my will is crystal clear.


1.8.09

same truth, different shadows.

were finishing this thing up at palm beach atlantic university in west palm beach florida. while sitting in the back of the worship room, a thought came to me that i need to get into text before i lose it.
a few weeks ago my rec staff and i had a very productive "end of the summer" type meeting. i try to make sure we dont have many meetings, mainly cause i get tired of fighting the side conversations. love those guys , gonna miss them a lot, ADD and all.
the meeting was centered around the idea that if we are not becoming a better rec staff, we are becoming a worse rec staff. we could continue to go throughout the summer doing our jobs well or we could continue to seek excellence and improve everyday.
we shared our struggles, encouraged each other, and prayed together. very touching. the kinda stuff lifetime movies are made of.
but right now im thinking how this is a truth that all Christians should embrace. i think this should be one of our distinguishing qualities.
a few weeks ago at oklahoma baptist university, neil mcclendon said something that has stuck with me. he said that Christians used to be known for and could be identified by their work ethic. Christians were dedicated to their labor and performed their tasks with integrity and excellence. this idea should be taught in our american churches.
but this isnt specific to our jobs, because complacency rots your whole self. physical, mental, and spiritual.
it just makes sense. we as Christians are alive, the world is dead. we have hope, the world has despair. but do we act like it?
i know for me, if i am not seeking Gods will for my life and the righteousness that He has called me to, there is very little happiness in my life. because God did not create us to be complacent. like a runner, who was born to race, that has made a detour halfway through his final marathon to have dinner with his mother-in-law.
if youre not running, youre sliding down a slippery slope towards sin.
its funny how something you have taked about all your life is uncovered in a new light. same truth, different shadows.




19.7.09

once it was in my hands, it lost so much of its grandeur

i believe there are two types of people in this world, those who are unhappy and those who know that they control their happiness and are, therefore, happy.
i had this discussion this summer with one of the truck drivers somewhere between tenn. and colo. theres something about the open road and the dynamic that two guys in a small cab create, that facilitates meaningful dialog very well. this whole idea of happiness came from a discussion on our futures. for a while now people have been telling me that i need to pick a career that will allow me to do what makes me happy, everyday. thats always seemed like a sound argument.
heres where i see the problem, do things make me happy or do i make me happy?
before i get too far in to this i should give a definition of what i am calling happiness. to me its enjoying life, having a smile on you face. what i am not talking about is joy, which i believe can only be found in Jesus Christ.
so.
when i was a kid pogs were cool. my entire class would play before, after, and sometimes during school. the pog companies were constantly putting out new slammers and there was one i wanted bad. i saved up some money and bought it at the Comic, Cards, and More store on my way home from school. i hadnt bought many things with my own money up too that point so it was a big deal to me. one thing i discovered was that once it was in my hands, it lost so much of its grandeur. so i found a new slammer to fantasize about.
this pattern continued through elementary school with nano pets and yo yos, then in high school with guitars. i see the same with friends and their jobs.
this is why i think i am the one who makes me happy.
the same goes for sadness. i think you can follow my logic there.
there are people in my life who are not happy. i want to scream into their pitiful eardrums, "suck it up!"
im working to be happy now. today. because i have no excuse not to be. and neither do you. because 90% of the time unhappiness is weakness. God has given us great things to rejoice in. a joy that should be expressed.

14.7.09

banana gram hangovers

our time at ft lewis college has been packed with more ridiculous situations than a daytime soap... we should make a soap opera episode for our end of the year video...

i think our team has grown a lot during this time.

there are more questions rolling through my mind at this point than at any other moment, of any summer ive been a part of. and theyre rolling faster and faster around each turn of thought, threatening to collide in a mess of broken hopes and redirected ambition. im hoping theyre not all talk.

also, i may have slipped back into a summertime addiction. ive been waking up every morning with a banana gram hangover from the night before, head jumbled with random words, groggy from sleep deprivation, and stomach in turmoil from late night snacks that were slightly less than nutritious.

along those same lines, our team have discovered the texas taco at serious texas bbq here in durango. its youre basic artery clogger. pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, and jalopenos in a flour tortilla and covered with bbq sauce. if youre ever in town, it has my recommendation.

3 camps left. holy crap.


6.7.09

the 4th

so its sunday morning here in durango, co (and most of the rest of the world i suppose). these past few days our team has had some much-needed, much-appreciated, time off. we left louisiana tech university on wednesday and drove directly to arlington, texas. that night some of the team went to a texas rangers game, in which the rangers won over the angels thanks to a thrilling bottom of the ninth, full count, home run score.
the next day most of the team spent the day at six flags.
im realizing now why my last few posts have been much more abstract than this one, im boring myself.
but i do want to be able to read this one day and remember the incredible blessings, in relationships, experiences, and knowledge, that i received this summer...
so yeah, we went to six flags, it was fun.
albuquerque appeared like the mirage of a smoking hott brunet on the horizon at about 8pm the next day (im trying to spice up the details). not too surprisingly, despite all our history, i was excited to be back. we ate deserts at flying star and laughed under the neon lights of historic route 66, as though walking past those tattoo parlors, bars, and quirky coffee shops, in each others company, embraced everything we were searching for in a summer.
yesterday, we spent the afternoon at our final destination. durango knows how to do the 4th right. from parades, a live country western band, to street dancing, all set in the quintessential colorado downtown tourist trap. and to top it all off, we sat shoulder to shoulder (on prop stools from the set truck) in the glow of the firework show against the mountainside backdrop. the girls oo'ed and ahh'ed over each colorful burst and began to plan how they would incorporated fireworks in to their weddings, while the guys sat smiling and shaking their heads.
it was great.

2.7.09

short questions, short answers, and long pauses

im just not the hugging type.

i guess its been my experience that “huggers” are a needy bunch of people.

although, i hugged a guy tonight and it was great.

a few days ago miriam, our resource coordinator, came and found me in the overflow room here at louisiana tech. i had been checking my facebook and writing on this blog and frankly did not want to go see if the crying boy on the stairs needed any help. when i got to the stairs he was sobbing, head between his legs, the occasional tremor, the whole nine yards.

so i sat at the foot of the stairs, with my back to the wall, just a few feet from him. i asked him if he wanted to talk; apparently he did.

the next 45 minutes was littered with short questions, short answers, and long pauses. clayton's story made mine look like a fairy tale a mother would tell her daughter just prior to turning on her princess nightlight and shutting the door. his story was a nightmare that had reached its climax with the news of his best friend's suicide.

i spent most of the time there with him, staring at the gum wad on the carpet below me, not knowing what to say, but listening to every word and sniffle. listening to him tell me of two other suicides he had gone through in his world, and the one of those that left their body for him to find.

and now, tonight, he blamed himself for her death. the one who name appeared in the earth-shattering text message he had just received. they had fought over something silly a week before. he said she had no one else.

i checked on clayton through out the week. he told me he was doing better each time i asked.

tonight he found me after the worship service at front of house, hugged me tight and sobbed.

he had found Christ and couldnt wait to tell me. he was overjoyed and i was so happy to share that with him. he told me he wants to see his friend up there one day. we cried and smiled for a while, prayed and talked.

im praying for you clayton.


27.6.09

august 6th

the haunting reality of august is finally setting in. on august 6th my contract will end with student life and i will again be thrust into my task-oriented, ambition-driven life.
id rather not.
id rather stay in a place i know im called to be. id rather remain here, in this ever-changing location, void of the standards that decide our success. here, where God works through our humility not our pursuit of petty treasures.
i know that i dont want to continue to let this world render me bankrupt. my resources are meant for more than the profit of sinners.
i could continue the carpentry. i do like the Jesus-like qualities there.



22.6.09

dont get your hopes up mom.

am i really meant to be in the constant state of romanticism i find myself in?

i mean, im not reading romance novels by a fireplace in my pjs, but i do think about it. i have for some time now.

the question is, does He perpetually put people of interest in my life to occupy my time and affections, or do i create these divine gifts out of my own rosy imagination?

this must be one of the most difficult emotions to decipher, the crush.

divine or not, returning the innocent smiles that flash through the heavy fog of perfect tension may be the one of the greatest experiences one can have.

now im sure if youre reading this youre thinking that this is a current issue in my life (dont get your hopes up, mom, this has been on my brain for a while)


18.6.09

two paragraph teaser

today is one of those days that i really want to write. to process all that i have experienced, heard, and done. its been a full day.
full of hard work, stress, joy, encouragement, and bit of frustration. but im not sure if this is the proper medium to exchange these thoughts. i dont want this to become a open forum diary, so i think ill keep the unrefined thoughts to myself. ill just dangle them in front of you guys who care in a two paragraph teaser.
we are at the close of another week of camp. tomorrow we will leave the intensely dry heat of san angelo, texas and move eastward to the sweaty mess that is louisiana. its been a good week. my job is slowing down due to an ever-improving rec staff.
the ongoing saga with the feeble topple boards (one of our rec games) continues. ill be fixing them for the thousandth time before next camp, but i think i has finally found the solution. i also have a new nemesis. we had two girls hurt on our game with stilts. one of which ended in a hospital visit, the other created a furious father and caught the attention of the higher-ups around here. lets just hope this isnt a reoccurring phenomenon.


14.6.09

heres to rick

last week i had the privilege of meeting a wise man. when he first walked into the quaint, mountain-side, building that we were using for our youth minister registration i wrote him off as the stereotypical youth minister, hell-bent on making students like him regardless of his age. he wore a baggy baseball jersey, tucked in, with 1980's length khaki shorts, long socks and sneakers. his face showed his age in wrinkles and colorless beard. part of his mouth hung slightly lower than the other side, possibly a health issue in his past was to blame.
he, like many who have some before him that i have, so judgingly, lumped into a stereotype, made his way in to the building greeting and talking with everyone in sight. as he approached me he made eye contact and began to introduce himself rather matter-of-factly.
his voice didnt seem to match his rough and worn body. it was meeker than i would have guessed. it was difficult to distinguish his accent, but it was clearly different. i now believe it was somewhere in between an accent and a speak impediment, likely in related to the possible health problem i alluded to before.
we exchanged names and hometowns as i escorted him in to be registered. aztec, nm was his home and has been for some time now. i recognized he didnt fully fit my initial analysis, but i wasnt too impressed until the following night.
every night of camp at 6 oclock we host a youth ministers meeting. on this night the director was asking the ministers what they wanted to see God do that week. there was an array of answers but only one stood out to me. not that others didnt seem important to me, or that im looking to be impressed by the prayers of men, but this mans answer, to me, showed wisdom.
he was looking for God to grow him. in a room full of extreme unselfishness, he was asking God to move in his life. he shared that he had been doing youth ministry since 1983 and one thing he had learned was that in order for God to move in the lives of his students, God had to be working in his own life. it was simple, profound, and true to my experiences.
i had other opportunities to speak with him throughout the week; he was nothing but encouraging. i guess i just dont want to forget that experience, so im making this record of it. heres to rick the youth minister.

ryan

12.6.09

so good

so i just left the most ridiculously fun staffer social i could have imagined. after every week of camp we have a small get together with the volunteer staffers. a small token of our gratitude for the work they do with us. usually these things are, well, pretty lame to be perfectly honest. we only have a 30 dollar budget. but this week it was magic.
the band offered to buy pizza; awesome. we also used the conveniently located skating rink behind the worship room. disco ball, limbo, couples skate, races. enough said.
now im trying to avoid packing my stuff. we leave tomorrow afternoon, headed for texas. it will be quite a climate shock though. its been in the 50's with wind chill in the 40's and raining all week here in estes park colorado. san angelo, texas... in the 100's. i think thats how you get pneumonia.
tonight greg matte spoke a simple truth that hit me pretty hard in his sermon. "He chose you." i like the simple stuff that God uses to show His love.
dad called me today. it was right in the middle of rec, but i could tell it was important. sarah, a girl that has been attending our church and i have had on my heart for some time, is no longer lost in this world. my dad was able to point her to Jesus this morning during her unprecidented visit to his office. so good.

8.6.09

estes park, co


this could easily be the most beautiful place i have ever been to in my life.
ill try to paint a picture for you. the descent into the city after a breathtaking, 30 minute, winding, and twisting, drive of crescendoing beauty, you come down into a valley with a huge lake and the most amazing mountains the Rockies have to offer. the mountains are still snow covered, though its the middle of june, and believe it or not it snowed on us during our load in. intense snow.the city of estes park is a tourist landmine. the town itself is littered with shops and restaurants that scream western culture.
this morning i woke up around 5:30, still disoriented from the 2 time changes ive experienced in the last 3 days. i sat up in my bed and looked out the huge window and saw something i have never seen before. so there i am, in a matter of seconds, out of my bed standing at the window in my underwear, telling my roommate to get up. 5 elk were grazing 5 feet from our porch. ive never seen such an animal to close, not to mention the incredible backdrop that was provided as the icing on the cake. You are a good God.
in typical colorado fashion, The Centennial State casually and effortlessly puts the rest of the nation in their places. a natural beauty where any given square mile is exponentially more dramatic and awe inspiring than its neighbors. time to shower and get warm for a very strange registration day with student life camps.

6.6.09

limon not limon

we finally made it to colorado. today has been full of driving and thinking. good times. saw an incredible sunset for the last 2o minutes of our 12 hour journey today. got challenged by a david platt audio sermon. and wrestled with my recently injured neck, definitely did something significant. i miss my dog, macks, and friends. although i know that this is precisely where im supposed to be. tomorrow we load into the ymca of the rockies in estes park, co. and so begins week two.

25.5.09

the dotted line

this summer will resemble my others with student life very little. which is just what i need. the mix of people that are shuffled around, moved, and traded to finally make up a student life camp staff is unique to say the least and God breathed to say the truth. He has really out done himself this summer, these guys are amazing. 
im working through the challenges of my new position and finding more every minute. i can see the makings of quite possible the most rewarding and growth filled summer i have seen as a part of this organization.  i seems as though i have all the preliminary issues worked out, i know what i want, and the contract is in front of my waiting to be signed. why is it then, that our wants and desires dont often align? i suppose one could blame it on adam and eve, lucifer, or even society. in the end i imagine this step will be strikingly similar to other steps i have climbed in the past, only accomplish by surrendering to a divine will.
well, its time for another meeting. 
i think ill sign it pretty soon, its kinda one of those divorce/new hire contracts if you care to know.

ryan


23.5.09

Whos Insecure? i-i-im not

for some time now i have been almost completely disinterested in casual and flippant conversations and relationships. in my mind, i have this mindset because i dont want to be fake with anyone. i know that there are some people in this world that i enjoy and many people in this world that i do not enjoy. realizing this allows me to focus my energies on the people that i care about and also care about me.
but perhaps my prideful focus is simply a display of insecurity. one could ask, "why would a guy avoid simple conversations with aquaintences and seek out "meaningful conversations" with people who also care about him?" maybe im hiding behind the security of relationships that are without consequence. relationships where no matter what i do or say, that person will not change there mind about who i really am.
so am i showing insecurity by not making small talk? or am i rising above the insecurity of our society by not trying to boost my ego with half-hearted compliments and lip service?

21.5.09

birmingham

im going to make this site into a travel journal of sorts as well as a journal of thoughts, decided that just now. im kinda bored. but i do think this is going to provide, much needed, release this summer as i travel with Student Life. (granted i actually continue writing)
flashback-
i left on tuesday, may the 17th from hobby airport in houston bound for birmingham. every time i drive to hobby airport i am baffled that one can be in houston and still be an hour away from your destination,on the interstate, no traffic. if everything is actually bigger in texas, then houston is our poster child.
my first day in the office in birmingham would rival a black family reunion in the hug and "oh my goodness, (insert name) ! how are you?" department. i love these people though. i dont say that about too many people. in many ways i feel at home here.
present-
tomorrow we pack the trucks for travel. its gonna be a long day. very exciting though. that will be the last thing to be done before the rest of the teams get here for training on sunday. its hard to believe this is my fourth summer with Student Life. when im here those summers seem like they happened last week, just with a different hair cut and a much smaller worldview.
you should definately check out The Bittersweets. i downloaded them from Noisetrade.com
just found them.

20.5.09



cargo pant day will come

im not sure whether or not i posses the level of openness that a blog like this requires but i think i might conjure up some thoughts worth reading.
my understanding of the world of relationships is that one can only be truly close to one person in this life at a time. by "truly close" i mean a mutal love and respect that envolves a mutal investment into a single account, acessible to each, if and only if, they are making deposits.

the bank that holds these accounts is quite small. the tellers in the lobby dont see a whole lot of action. the New Account Forms are gathering dust. too bad it cant receive a bail-out.

some people have a piggy bank. and piggy banks are great.
cargo pant day will come. (d. martin) youll walk up to the first homeless person who asks you for change and say, "you just hit the jackpot fool!"
well maybe get to know the homeless person first...

if you have an account with a friend, realize the wealth you have available to you.
if you dont, youre not alone.

ryan