Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Base Camp

I arrived back in Lafayette almost three weeks ago, marking the end of my "repose" and my readmittance into the real world. (I have been a bit reluctant to use the term "real world", after all, I wasn't living in an alternate reality or an unrealized dimension for the past three months. I was in Punta Gorda, FL in the USA; located in our current/known/observable universe)

However, I have come to accept the truth (i.e. reality) that I could not possibly maintain the style of living that I came to know while I was in Florida. Certain entities would start to take notice of my absence (my bank, insurance company, cell carrier, etc.) and my mother would almost certainly stop preparing delicious dinners and desserts, but I am convinced that my body would soon begin to revolt. From what I gather, as a human, I have been designed to work. The author of Ecclesiastes would say "toil". God said "rule"-or reign-(Genesis 1:26).

I most certainly had a wonderful time on my trip. It was relaxing, refreshing, and I was able to reconnect with Jesus in a very special way. But now that I am here, I am here. There is great value in living, as opposed to existing, in the circumstance(s) of the Lord's determining.

So, now I turn my attention towards Ball State. It seems far off, but in the coming weeks it will become more and more of a reality as the trips, meetings, and paperwork get set in motion.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Reading List

Greetings from South Florida!

Last week, I moved from Marcy's rockin' condo into my parents' house (which isn't too shabby). Things have been pretty quiet down here, which has given me some great opportunities to pray and read.
For those who are interested, I have posted my current reading list (in no particular order). I'd like to give a shout out to Josh Boman for helping me once again come up with a solid list of recommendations.

1. Submission and Authority
2. God's Greatest Passion
3. Counselling the Sexual Addict
4. Jesus: The Only Way to God
5. The Reason for God
6. The Good and Beautiful God
7. The Pursuit of God
8. The Attributes of God
9. Living in the Spirit
10. Getting Things Done
11. To Enjoy Him Forever
12. God's Armor Bearer
13. 7 Practices of Effective Ministry
14. The Bait of Satan
15. Celebration of Discipline
16. Practice of the Presence of God
17. I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
18. Anonymous
19. Tell the Truth

So far I've knocked out # 1,9,10, 11 and I'm working on 5 & 6. I've started to hit my groove in the past week or so, I'm still hoping to be able to finish the rest before March.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Sunshine State

I am happy to report that I arrived in Punta Gorda last week! I had the pleasure of leaving Lafayette on a beautifully frigid day and arrived in Florida under much better conditions. However, on Monday I went up to Tampa with my brother to check out his new campus and it was freezing, 30 degrees when we left in the morning. I felt much better after I noticed that the temperature in my home state was hovering near zero. Hope you guys are having fun up there.

I am also happy to disclose some more information about my future plans: I will have the pleasure of working under Josh & Allie Boman at Ball State University! I met Josh and Allie at Purdue through an organization called Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and now I have the opportunity to work with them at Ball State, needless to say, I am thrilled! We are hoping/planning/expecting to be on campus by the end of 2011, but there is still much work to do, please keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Object of Perpetual Hissing

I decided to read through the book of Jeremiah this week. Since I hadn't read Jeremiah for awhile and because I was reading the New Living Translation, I picked up some new things that I've overlooked in the past. My favorite phrase this time is found in 18:16 and 19:8 where God describes the upcoming destruction for Judah as a "monument to their stupidity". The NASB uses the phrase "object of perpetual hissing" which, I think we all can agree, is much cooler. 

So, the bottom line is that Jeremiah is a cool book.
The Bible is a cool book.
Take some time to read it!

On an unrelated note: I am still in Lafayette. I had a bit of a setback, but I should be on the road to Florida next week. The good news is that I didn't miss the first snowfall...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Journey Continues

As far as I can tell, today was my last day as a painter. For the last three months I have been blessed to have, as I affectionately called it, an "inbetween job". Something to hold me over until my "other job" begins. But these past three months have been so much more than just an opportunity to stash away cash and exist until my "real life" starts. 

    It only has three rotating sides!
  • I had the opportunity to spend a day crawling through a cave in southern Indiana
  • I visited the world's largest Rubik's cube (slightly disappointing, especially since it wasn't even a true Rubik's cube. Jacob, Rob and I have plans to build our own)
  • I finished reading "The New Testament and the People of God". I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was a big deal to me
I'll admit that this list doesn't look all that impressive.
But I've been able to invest quality time into friends and family. And I've learned a lot about myself and how I interact with God.

More than anything else though, I have been overwhelmed with the goodness of God. He is taking really good care of me...he always has. As I reflect on my journey up to this point, I am truly in awe of my King. Sometimes it seems that he orchestrates complicated strings of events just to get me into the position where he wants me.
My anticipation for the next 2-3 months is growing everyday. I cannot wait until I am able to give my full, undivided attention to the one who deserves it the most!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Change of plans

By now, you are all surely eagerly expecting my soon departure to Florida to partake in my sabbatical rest. Not so fast, my dear friends, the time has not yet come.

My original plan was to leave on October 29th, with the intent to be in Florida by the first of November. Recently, Gary Thayer (my current employer) asked me to stay for three extra weeks in order to help finish a rather large job we had recently acquired. Far be it from to me to refuse the man (and company) that has treated me so well in the past few years!

Therefore, I have decided to extend my stay in Lafayette until after the Thanksgiving holiday. This shakes things up a bit, but doesn't really rattle my cage. I don't necessarily believe that this is just a random occurrence, I believe that YHWH is orchestrating this and has more for me to accomplish before I leave. I will embrace this blessing, not just for the financial reward (I'm not working for free!) but because I know that God wants to do some things in me. 

Nevertheless, there are a few minor consequences to this change:
  1. My "sabbatical" will be shortened.
    Initially,I knew that labeling a 4 month time period as a sabbatical was a bit of a stretch, but I was willing to make the stretch because I knew that I would have plenty of time to rest and meet my goals. After
    factoring in some other variables, it might only be 2-3 months. Not that I'm complaining! I still feel very honored and blessed that I am able to take an extended break from work. But I wonder if the term sabbatical still applies? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I will not completely avoid the Indiana winter.
    Not really a big deal, but many of my friends were giving me a hard time for skipping the frigid temperatures...unless the heat wave continues, in that case, please ignore this point.
  3. My sabbatical/time off (seriously, we need to resolve this issue so I can properly address the time between Thanksgiving and my return) will look very different than I had originally planned.
    Again, not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure that God is using this to teach me a lesson (perhaps about time management?). Knowing that I might only have a couple of months amplifies the value I will place on my time spent with Jesus. It will make those moments that much more precious.
Just another reminder that "change is the only constant" (a favorite expression of the great Charity Ramlal)

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Surrender

Do you remember the song "I Surrender All"?
Wait, is it a song or a hymn? Hold on a sec, let me check.

Ok. Fun fact: according to Merriam-Webster, it is both. Interesting, I've always thought that a song had to be really old and be "voted in" to be a hymn.

Anyways, I had this song stuck in my spirit yesterday and I just kept on singing the chorus over and over again throughout the day. I don't think that Jesus minded that I kept it simple (I couldn't remember the whole song) because there is so much power in those words, or rather the meaning of those words.

I have surrendered everthing to Jesus, well, I'm trying. I give up my desires, my passions, my life so that I can have His desires, His passions, and His life. I don't release these things blindly, and I surely didn't release them easily. But Jesus has won me over. He has proven his ability to handle the things that I value.

The cool thing is that the more I give to him, the more confident I feel about him having control. My increased reliance on him brings forth a decreased reliance on myself. I don't even want to have control again! I have complete confidence in him.

Paul told the Philippian church that we have been given the privilege of trusting in the Messiah (1:29). How awesome is that?! This isn't something that we do begrudgingly. It is an honor that has been given to us as children of God.