Sunday, April 24, 2011


I watched the movie 'Rio' tonight, and I quite liked it :)
I was, however, slightly put off by some of the song-and-dance routines, as I was not expecting a musical, but I decided that I should just get over myself and enjoy the music. It was not that hard :)

So, the movie starts off with a blue macaw being in Minnesnowta. Excuse me, Minnesota! hehe :P
Anyway, this macaw, appropriately named Blu, is brought up by this girl until the girl has become an adult and Blu is, by macaw standards I am guessing, also an adult, or at least some sort of post-adolescent. They both live/work in this bookstore, and they are both comfortable doing that. However, neither of them is challenged much. Blu does not even know how to fly, and Linda (the woman) is hesitant about leaving her bookstore (and Blu).
Then, they are both called upon to leave the bookstore. The characters are given a calling.

Neither really want to leave, but, it is a movie, and their decisions have already been decided for them. (Tangent here: Free Will vs. Predetermination. I will not get into that now, but mayhaps another time.)

So, at one point in the movie, just after the chain is no longer part of the equation, Blu and Jewel are faced with a choice. And it is pretty clear that both of them want the same thing, but for some reason Blu seems hesitant, and eventually ends up making the decision that neither of them wanted to make. It is quite unfortunate. But it reminded me of some things humans do, or rather, some things that I have noticed guys sometimes do. Maybe it is just in movies, maybe it is in 'real life' too. We shall see.

Anyway, Blu seems like he is blocking his feelings, and misinterpreting the 'signs/hints' that Jewel seems to be giving him. He, perhaps, is feeling like she does not want him around anymore. So he says that he will leave. He tries other options, but yeah. The thing(s) I noticed (I do not want to give away too much about the movie): Blu seems to either hide or block his feelings, and in doing so, he causes unnecessary pain to himself and to Jewel. It is sad, in my opinion.
Blu seems to think that he is unwanted. He seems to think that he cannot learn to fly. He seems to think that he must learn how to fly, or Jewel will not want to be with him. As I said, it is sad. Blu seems to feel that he must earn her affection. That he must work to receive the love that he desires. He seems to think that he will not be loved until he can fly.

So here is the question: Can you fly? If you cannot, are you loved? If you do not feel loved, do you feel like it is because you cannot fly? And do you feel like you are not able to learn to fly?
Where do you get your answers from? What do you base your answers off of? Is that base reliable? Has it given you truth in the past?
(The word 'fly' is used as a placeholder. It may be switched out for another word, one that is more personal, more applicable to you.)

I do not think I have yet learned to fly. And by that, I mean that I do not think I have yet learned how to love properly. After all, birds are made to fly. And I think that I am made to love. By not flying, a bird is not doing what it is supposed to be doing, and therefore it is not fulfilling the purpose for which it was made. When I am not loving, I am not fulfilling my purpose either. However, I know that I am loved, despite my lack of the action of loving. I know that I am loved, even when I do not love. Even when I make the choice not to love. I know that I do not please God because of what I do. And I know that I do not please God because of what I do not do. God seems to find pleasure in me because I have been given the righteousness of Christ. (Now that is amazing!)

I am learning to love, but I have not yet figured it all out yet. I have seen (or at least read) what it looks like to love wholly and perfectly, but I am still nervous about jumping off of the mountain. [There is a scene in Rio where Blu is trying to learn how to fly by observation and imitation, by jumping off of a mountain ;) ] I know that when the time comes, I will be given something (whether it be the ability, desire, way or something else) that will help/allow me to love in a way that is very similar, but not quite the same as the love that God has shown. Just as Blu was provided a hang-glider, I will be provided with something as well. (Yay Holy Spirit!)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid... But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. -John 14:26-27; 16:13

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. -Jesus (John 16:33)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Feel Great

Just peachy-keen-lemonade-goodness. I feel thankful! I feel loved :)
I feel a bit tired, but mostly I feel like I am waiting for something. What am I waiting for?
Maybe I should just go to bed.
I'll let you know more, haha my bad :P

I just got back to my house after going to a church sermon (of sorts) that lasted about 6 hours, with 10 minute breaks every now and then. It was amazing! Secret Church 2011. Good stuff! Check out Twitter, I heard there were a lot of 'tweets' on there. Or just google search it.
Anyway! The speaker basically went through the whole gospel. Outlined our sinfulness, God's goodness and holiness. Talked about how God is just, loving, merciful, and He has nothing but absolute wrath for evil. In fact, God abhors those who do evil. (It is in the Psalms, I can find it if you want.) I don't know about you, but I do evil :/

And that reaction, in itself(!) is enough to make me wonder how much I really care... As it was said tonight, true repentance involves a feeling of regret and a decision to turn the other way. A decision to run towards God. And in order to turn and run towards one thing, you must turn and run away from another thing.

Then we talked a lot about faith, and justification, and works, and sanctification, and it was really interesting! I learned some things about 'official' Catholic doctrine that was quite concerning, and I was reminded that just because it is the 'official' doctrine does not mean that every individual who claims to be Catholic believes those things. People are different. Opinions are different. Experiences are different.
But God is always good :)

Propitiation was mentioned, which is similar to atonement. We talked about the different parts of what happens when a person repents and believes. We talked about why Jesus died, and about what happens now that Jesus has gone up to heaven. In plain speech, we talked about some of the activities of the Holy Spirit and what it means to be adopted as a child of God :)

Then we talked about more stuff that I am currently not remembering apparently, and then we talked about the idea of election and God's will and love. That is, God's will is that all people be saved, and His love extends to all of creation, which includes all humans. Yet, God's character, which includes justice, would not simply allow anything that was not good into heaven, and would also punish anything that was not good. That would be just. And so we have the problem of predestination and free will. But, it was late, so we didn't go into it too much. I really liked the analogy that was used at the end though :)

There should be more to come, as I keep reading Romans and consider posting my thoughts here.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. -Philippians 3:8-9

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



Just in time :)

Here is a picture:

Hope you had a good day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Struggle with Evil

Many call it a problem. Some call it an issue. Everyone agrees, it is bad.
Pain. Illness. Worry. Death.

What are these things? Why are they here? If God is omnipotent, omniscient, wise, loving, and merciful, why do we still have these things? Sin sucks, no doubt, but what is stopping God from stopping sin? Why does God not stop the things that hurt us? Why does God not heal the ones we love and are now missing? If God has the power to stop these things, then why do they still happen? Certainly they are not part of His will, are they? Is pain something that God wills us to go through? Are illness, worry, and death things that He wants us to experience? And if not, then why does He not stop them, why does He not mitigate them, why are they still here?

People feel alone. They are afraid that no one understands them. They want friends to provide the comfort, the healing that they are yearning for...but what human can provide comfort from loneliness at any and all times of day? If you have not already learned it, take it from one with experience: humans, even your best friends, will let you down. It may not be today, or tomorrow, or even a month from now, but it will happen. We are prone to it, prone what? to hurt? Perhaps. To disappoint? I suppose. Prone to...forget? Prone to leave?

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love

We are prone to go against God...? I think that makes sense, and it is biblical. (Tangent available: True because it is in the Bible, or in the Bible because it is true?) And if we are prone to go against God, what does that entail? Going from the description above, we are prone to go against omnipotence, omniscience, wisdom, love, and mercy. What would go be prone to go towards, then? weakness, stupidity, foolishness, hate (or indifference? probably hate), and revenge (vengeance, punishment, justice?)...? Those would seem to be opposites. And those would seem to be a fair amount of the evil that is so prevalent today. Sad.

Are humans prone to evil? Shoot son! That is quite the question, isn't it? Quite the accusation, if nothing else!
After all this, has God changed? Hebrews 13:8 says no. Malachi 3:6 would seem to also say no. Hosea 11:8 seems to show that God can, and has, and maybe still does change. Does God change? His ways are above our ways, and His thoughts are above our thoughts. If we change, is that not less than not-change? Which is 'greater' or 'better': a thing that changes, or a thing that does not change?

And if God does not change, then how does He feel when He looks on the earth? (Genesis 6:5-6 comes to mind.) But what about Luke 15? "For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate."
There is a party because of the child that was found; The child that was brought back to life. That does not suggest pain or regret.

Romans. That is what is going to happen. Keep me accountable, ask me about it, make sure it happens. I am going to post some of my thoughts on Romans. If you have suggestions of things I should look at 'extra' let me know. If you have something you want my opinion on, let me know. If you have anything else you want to tell me, let me know :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Conversation

This was inspired by a friend's comment last night, as well as years of confusion concerning the ways of women. Hope you enjoy it :P

Last night a friend of mine, who is a girl, told me that she learned something about guys. She said that she found out that in the following situation, the guy does not actually know what is wrong:
Guy: What is wrong?
Girl: You know what is wrong! -OR- no specific response

Now, being a guy, it is obvious to me that the guy does not know what is wrong, or what is bothering the girl. Perhaps that is because I am a guy. My friend seemed quite surprised that the guy does not know what is actually bothering the girl! Now, she had a reason for it, and I understand the reason, but still. If the guy knew, he would (most likely) not be asking the question in the first place.

Now, it is your turn. What is it about the opposite gender that confuses you? Or, what is something that you learned that you would like to share with others (concerning the opposite gender)?

(The title of this post is referencing the conversation that I am attempting to start. So comment away!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Haiku

This is a letter I wrote, then received a couple weeks later. Only then did I realize I was one word away from a Haiku. So I added a word (the word is 'always' in case you are wondering), and the following came to be:
Love more, worry less
Trust God, pray about all things
Trust His plan always
I received this letter on the same night that I went to Worship Night. It never ceases to amaze me how God reaffirms things and reminds us that He is always with us.
Earlier tonight I was talking to a new friend of mine about their experience at church. They said that their pastor talked about persevering, getting up even when we fall, and how God is always there with us, even when we fall down. I don't think she knew it, but I was definitely questioning some things earlier today about whether or not to keep talking to someone. Now I know.
Love never fails ;)

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. -1 Corinthians 13:8

Friday, April 8, 2011

UNL Worship Night - April 8, 2011

So tonight I went to East Campus for dinner. Twas quite tasty, and fun, and of course, a bit stressful. Traveling in groups is always stressful, isn't it? But it is tough to beat a bacon cheeseburger with spinach on it dipped in chili-cheese sauce. Yum :9

After I got back to City Campus, I went to UNL Worship Night. It consisted of a bunch of people singing, giving high fives and hugs, prayer, more singing, and some good times! Plus, it is tough to beat some time praising the Creator of the Universe. God is pretty great, after all ;)

While I was at Worship Night, I did some praying. I asked God to show/reveal Himself, because I was feeling a bit like I was just singing, and not really experiencing His presence. Boy howdy, God sure does answer prayer!

I was thinking about...well actually I don't really remember, but apparently I was distracted. Then I felt like God was telling me to just sit down and talk with Him for a bit. (Not to, 'to' implies one-way conversation; 'with' implies an actual two-way conversation.)
So I sat down. And tried to listen. And I thought I heard God say, 'Psychology'
Oh, ok. So He also could have said, 'Geology' right? ehh..doubtful. I've been thinking about changing my major (again) to Psychology, but/because I am really not sure about what I want to do after college. Right now I am a Secondary Education - Natural Science(s) major. That means I would be able to teach grades 7-12 in science classes, hypothetically. Now, I think I would like that. I think I could do that. But I don't know if that is where God wants me or not.
I have also considered working in Youth Ministry in some way. I think I could do that, and I think I would like to do that. But I don't know if that is where God wants me or not.

So here I am, hearing, perceiving, whatever you want to call it, this word. Psychology. (God, is that really you? Unfortunately I did not see an angel or have a potential sacrifice to offer, as Gideon did [Judges 6]) And so I am thinking, 'Lord, I just switched to Secondary Ed, maybe I should just go with some of those classes and see how it feels?' I did not receive a direct/explicit reply, but I may have felt some sort of look, something like, 'Oh yeah? You think that is a better idea?' hahaha who is the smarter one here???

So, I basically pulled a Gideon and asked God to reaffirm that for me at some point in time. Obviously I will have to focus, and not be distracted by all the noise that is so prevalent in this world. Punks.

Can you tell that I like the story with Gideon?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some things I don't understand

I shall make a list! In no particular order...
  • When people complain, and then don't do anything about whatever they complain about
  • The size of the universe
  • Certain denominations and religions (differences, specific beliefs, origins)
  • Why people do a lot of what they do
  • Why people don't do a lot of what they don't do
  • How I waver between different thoughts and perspectives
  • While I'm at it, how I think at all!
  • Women
  • haha but for real, I don't understand a lot about humans in general :P
  • God
  • Why things are the way they are
  • Love
  • And many, many, many other things that I have not (yet) listed here...
Let me know, do you have anything to add to the list? It could be something that either you or I do not understand. Would you like to try and explain one or more of these things to me? Perhaps you have a comment about one of the things I listed, or something I didn't list?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What is a hug?

To me, a hug is an expression. It is an embrace. It is an affirmation. To me, a hug is more than just putting your arms around another person while they put their arms around you. Physically speaking, yes, that is a hug. But hugs are never just physical for me. They always mean something more.
A hug is a way of saying I care about you. It is a way of saying I appreciate you, and I am glad we are friends. A hug is a way of saying what words cannot. At least, there are not words that I can think of at the time that adequately express what a hug does. But I'm not usually so great with words, so maybe it is different for other people.
In my experience, a hug is healing. It can provoke tears that have been locked away, or it can dry tears that have broken loose. A hug is a refresher, a reminder, that can make a person's day and let them know that they are still cared for.
A hug is a greeting; a hug is a good-bye. A hug is a 'I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!' and a hug is a 'So I will see you later this week, right?' A hug is a way to keep someone close to you for just a bit longer. To me, a hug is a 'I am glad we got to share this time together, and I hope to do it again sometime.' A hug is a 'I want to tell you how much I care about you, but I don't know how. So I will do this instead.'
Hugs are how I try to show that I love my family and friends. To me, a hug is a way of showing that I want to know you more, that I care about what you have to say, and that I will listen when you speak.

To me, a hug is not just a movement of the arms, it is a movement of the heart as well.

Wisdom Writing

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

Oh gosh. It is too late to type things now, right? I think so. I'm going to take my own advice, and go to bed before I die.