namely, john wayne

somewhere between lather, rinse, and repeat; i had a revelation (sorry) a realization. i will now relay to you the truth i found in the shower tonight.
pride in one's self is a sin.
now, i know youre thinking, "thats so basic, how could this guy not know that? he seemed smart...".
but theres a difference between a realization and a revelation. a revelation is the discovering something previously unknown, while a realization is to understand clearly. i now understand clearly that ALL pride in one's self is sin. i think that i have been subconsciously suppressing this truth all my life.
if you were to ask me if pride was a sin, i would have surely answered yes with a prideful smirk that says, "well its about time someone recognized my spiritual savvy. are there any other mysteries of the Word i can assistance you with?".
i think a part of me has always thought that having pride in one's self radiates the pivotal vibes that prove one's masculinity. thats the same part of me that wishes i lived back in the days of the real cowboys. you know; herding cattle across the deserts of new mexico into the rocky mountains, sleeping under the stars, drinking from a canteen, all that. and like every other male on the planet (every male that doesnt wear eyeliner and/or watch the view, that is), i too have idolized the illusive "self-made man". namely, john wayne.
but no matter how self-sufficient a man is, or how quick his guns are, he is nothing without Christ.
still every time these words come on the radio, "shoulda been a cowboy. shoulda learned to rope and ride...", this particular part of me envisions myself as one of the cartwright boys, riding full speed across the desert chasing after the rightful owner to the bag of gold that hoss accidentally found in a ghost town we passed through, while searching for water for the wounded native american we rescued named Runs For Fun, on our way to save the blind girl that joe is in love with from her crazy father. we cartwrights are nothing short of amazing. (if you have never seen bonanza or listened to country music, this whole paragraph will make zero sense to you).
basically, i should boast in the Lord and in Him alone. and ill take pride in myself only because Christ lives in me. one could argue that what im getting at is simply semantics, but truth is found in those small details at times. it was for me tonight.


The Alchemist

I quit my job last week.
I'm fairly certain it would have been hypocrisy to have stayed there any longer. It wasn't the job, the job was a huge blessing. not pursuing what Paulo Coelho calls my "Personal Legend" was the problem.
That's right, a novel, The Alchemist, made me quit my job. (in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, of course)
The novel is the story of a boy who has a vision. In his vision he sees a treasure near the pyrmids of Egypt and so leaves Spain, his sheep, and all he knows to find it.
It's a fable. Not so much like Animal Farm or Charlotte's Web though. In this fable Coelho personifies all of creation, thus creating a wonderfully foreign, yet deeply familiar, journey for the boy and reader. I recomend it. I've read it three times.
It's message resonates in the unfurnished chambers of my heart. It screams, "go and be!", not, "stay and remain". You would need to read the book to truly see where I'm coming from, but basically my "Personal Legend" wasn't being sought. I don't actually know what mine is, but at least now Im actively seeking it.
Every friday when I got paid, I saw myself, two summers ago, standing in front of a couple hundred junior high and high school students passionately giving a devotional about the emptiness to be found in the treasures of this world. Not that there is anything wrong with getting paid, I just know God wants me to live for more than a paycheck. To live for more than comforts and security.
In more practical terms, I've saved enought money to survive till may when I go back to work with student life. I'll be working a few days a week on a cabin outside of Hempstead, Texas and the rest of my days will be spent exploring my God-given passions and getting moved in to my home on wheels.
I'm poor again and it's actually very refreshing.
Consider yourself updated on my life.

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this song hit me like a small feather in a light breeze.

"he is jealous for me" - john mark mcmillian
its quite intriguing to me.
merely speaking the word sends a barrage of tainted ideals into my head.
its a heavy word.

ive been called jealous before. in high school i dated a girl that was way out of my league. it still amazes me that she didn't see me for the weirdo i was. besides the fact that she was a ten and i was somewhere between laughable and mostly avoided, she was also two years ahead of me in school. on a different campus even the whole first year we were together.
id sit in geometry class thinking about her and the elaborate con id created, hatching up schemes to appear charming and mature. all the while, luring the target closer and closer until…. well, i never got that far. ladies, just so you know, that is how we work at that age, and beyond for many males. we cannot understand what a real relationship with a female looks like until the hormones stop surging through our strange little bodies long enough for us to sit down and read the sacred text that is Captivating. haha. i actually have a friend whos girlfriend broke up with him after reading that book, which i think is beyond hilarious.
but really, we are horny and stupid. especially at that age. you have been warned.
my jealousy was juvenile, rooted in insecurities and distrust. but for my God to say he is jealous for me and my affections… thats profound.
it wasnt my self-sacrificing, unconditional love that made me a jealous boyfriend, it was the deep love for myself that saw a relationship with her as an opportunity to build my ego and then protect it at all costs.
hosea is jealous for gomer though, time and time again, she commits adultery. the bride/bridegroom relationship between Creator and created blows right over my head when i try to push the metaphor, but this i get. this is the most beautifully simple concept in creation. this is redemption.
to be honest, when i first heard that song, he loves us, i dismissed it. i was at the lobo theatre in albuquerque and kristian stanfield was preforming that night. i imagination took it as the timid ramblings of a hippy-turned-christian that was no longer allowed to cover songs like, "all you need is love", now that he was a church member. i could see him singing it on a white stage with pastel flowers and peace signs. oh and a rainbow.
the new derek webb album came out that week and i was in this "the church sucks at doing church and i suck at being a christian"-kind of mood as a result of it, so this song hit me like a small feather in a light breeze.
i was like,"really? thats the best you've got? that didn't even begin to discipline me or tear me down! hahahahaha! "
only God is not honored in our constant self-deprecation.
being bold is just submitting to the ocean of love we are sinking in.
that is the meat of our faith.

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Cue slap bass.

Sometimes I feel like my life is a Seinfeld episode.
Myself (Playing the part of Jerry, of course) and the rest of the cast go about our ridiculous day-to-day storylines, and somehow unite around a specific theme, our sub-plots intertwined, before the credits roll on a climactic still shot. Cue slap bass.
What I mean is that my days seem to carry themes in their happenings. Perhaps this is why we can relate to sit-coms so well.
Themes such as, the power of God's Word. That was last weekends theme.
I left the piney woods, crossed over the Louisiana state line and headed down south to Pineville, LA to accompany a friend of mine as he lead worship for a disciple now at the first baptist church.
Lately I've been reading through Matthew as though it were a novel, not a divine problem solver or the topic of my next religious debate. I just want to hear the story of redemption. Jesus, merely as a character, becomes more and more amazing each time I read and this experience has begun to change the way I interact with scripture. But this is just one element of this theme.
While at the dnow, some of us went to see The Book Of Eli. I was blown away. Does Hollywood have more faith in the Word of God than believers?
To further convey the message, verses were read aloud from the stage on Sunday morning. We played Tell Me Story of Jesus and following each verse a student read a verse that told the story of Christ's life here on earth. I wept behind my djembe kit at the power of the Words.
I think God likes to reveal truth to me in this way. Like little thematic tidbits on life.
I've never really asked for input on my blog before but I'd like to know if you have felt the same.

I think I'll take this paragraph as an opportunity to recognize a few of the cast members in my version of Seinfeld. The part of Elaine is played by Jill. For obvious reasons, but also cause we have a history. (Crucial to the part.) George is currently being played by Andrew. That could be taken as an insult but I don't actually know anyone as pathetic as George so I make this paralell based solely on our long standing friendship. David will be playing the role of Cramer. David you may not see the similarities but I assure you Amy does.
I would also like to point out that I am not responsible for the casting. If you have complaints, take them up with my Creator.
Like Derek Webb says, " you can't chose your friends but you can chose your enemies."
If would have cast it Rachel McAdams would play Elaine. Sorry Jill. I'd find another part for you.
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