Posts Tagged ‘America’


November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve come to realize something this morning, and it’s something that’s been simmering in my heart for a while. This morning at church, Mike told us a quote, “I do not fear failure; I fear being successful at things that do not matter.” As he went on to preach on our significance through Christ and “to sit down on the inside,” I realized how successful I am. But many times my flesh, and the pressure of the American dream around me, tells me I am a failure by those standards. I live in the town I went to school, hanging out with the same people, bumming off friends to live and work, and not even a job using your degree.

But these are not the things at which I wish to be successful.

I love. A lot. I live in a household full of support and encouragement and growth. I work in an environment focused on asking the wisdom of God in all decisions. I spend time building relationships that are Christ-focused and trying to make each other better. I have a church family in which I serve and receive love and worship and learn who I am in Christ.

This is where I am successful.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you do determines your worth. I have held onto this lie for far too long. I am not what I do. What I do is an outflow of who I am, and only things done under the power of God will last. All the good things I’ve done under my own power will burn away.

Burn away.

Categories: Life Tags: , ,

What Matters More?

October 20, 2009 1 comment

I follow Derek Webb, the former lead of Caedmon’s Call, on Twitter, and when he offered a free download of his “uncensored” single, I readily took it. The first time I listened to it, I didn’t catch many of the lyrics except for the “hell”, “shit” and “damn.” But I sure as heck loved the techno, synthesized beat. So I took a second listen and began learning the words.

Here’s the video:

Since then, I’ve come across a lot of people on blogs, especially Christian music ones, that have berated Webb for this song being “pro-homosexuality” and of course for his use of profanity. Personally, profanity for shock value is sometimes the best way to get a message across. But what struck me the most was how much of this actually matters? It makes me angry that people who don’t know Jesus may stumble across these blogs/opinions and chalk it up once again to those “close-minded fundamentalist Christians.” This large scale berating of other followers of Christ just irks me.

Because what did Jesus preach? LOVE.

And when it comes down to it? What is Webb’s single trying to emphasize? That we LOVE the hurting around us. Yes, homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle. But so is lying and manipulation. So is selfishness and self-centeredness. We ALL fall short of the glory of God. Those of us who have Christ dwelling inside us have the answer to this shortcoming. Why aren’t we sharing this with those who don’t know/understand/accept it?

The closest opinion I have found to mine on this subject is here. I really recommend the read.

I love this song, especially these lines: “Cause if you really believe what you say you believe / You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak / Wouldn’t silently consent when the liars speak / Denying all the dying of the Remedy”

Because that is what my Jesus is: the Remedy. The Remedy to the hurt, disappointment and injustice on this earth. The Remedy to the anxiety, restlessness and discontent of those of us who live here. And I have the Remedy. And the only way to share it with others is love and relationship. Period. What matters more? Love.

*steps off soap box*

The Dominican Republic Trip – How it’s STILL changing my life

March 19, 2008 1 comment

First off, I wrote this on the evening of Wednesday, March 12, 2008. That was while I was in the DR.

“It’s the third full day and it was another early one. Biembo, our crazy driver we have come to adore, was sick and so our new driver was 45 minutes late. While waiting we worshiped with the YWAM staff (where we are staying). It was amazing because we were singing the same praises in 2 different languages at the same time! It was awesome to realize they love the same God the same way and just as deep.
Being the third day, we have started to rub on each other, the kids really act as a buffer. They loved our cameras as always. Today I brought my guitar and they swarmed me! I sang ‘Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord” in Spanish and they had me repeat it 4 times! Then I sang almost every song I had memorized. The kids came and went, but Jeffrey stayed. He was my buddy. All the work with the water system paled in comparison with Jeffrey asking me if I was coming back tomorrow and then banging on the window to yell “Hasta manana!”

So now it’s my second day back to normal, scheduled, college life. I was excited to get back to Kentucky and see my friends, and my family this weekend, and was especially grateful considering the effort it took to make it on the plane to Louisville (good story, ask me). But some things took me by surprise yesterday and have continued on into today. Please don’t take any of this as my judging anyone, I’m still confused as to how I’m feeling.

First, I had a hard time seeing everyone go right back into the swing of things like they didn’t just have a week of their lives that was so separate form everything. Now I know everyone didn’t go on a mission trip, and that’s fine. This is the first one I’ve been on. But my week in the DR was a removal from everything I knew: my language, my culture, my values. I am having a hard time being the same I was before Spring Break, and I am having a hard time seeing everyone else do it.

Second, some of the things I did that were completely normal and routine somehow seemed wrong to me. And they were random things like picking up a Kernel on my way to work, talking about the NCAA brackets, and filming the Kyle Craft and Kahne show. I don’t know how, but these things seemed wrong to me. I can’t explain it further.

It’s just like this week of my life without air conditioning and clean water doesn’t fit into my life here in Kentucky. How can I see the things I saw down there and come back here and pretend to be happy with how I’m living and how we’re living? It’s not that I’m mad at America. I realize we’re blessed and that’s just how it is. Life isn’t fair because of the sin in the world.

But the Dominicans were SO happy. The kids in the village only had chicken and rice to eat, but they didn’t care. I have choices of pretty much anything I want to eat, and I complain. The Dominicans don’t always have electricity, even in the city. So what do they do? Open up their homes to nature and enjoy the landscape. When my power goes out I complain ’cause I’m not comfortable. The Fathers at the church we were at are facing elimination by gold mining with cyanide, and they keep teaching the kids how to read. I lost a presidential election and got upset that I wasn’t picked to be the ultimate leader. I should be thankful I get to serve in any aspect.

And so I feel stuck. I am used to the luxuries we enjoy here in America, and there is NOTHING wrong with that, and I don’t want to stop using them. It’d be stupid if I didn’t take advantage of the heat in my house. But I don’t want to live as if I haven’t experienced this. And I don’t want to have this one week be the only time I travel to the Dominican, or Costa Rica, or Haiti, or wherever.

I could go on and on about this because I feel so full, but I won’t.
Things have changed, and even though I thought they might, and even though I was warned they might, I’m still having a rough go.