Friday, July 24, 2009

Of death and other edible things.

So I'm back again.

Once again, I have no good excuse to offer you, no mind-boggling tale of which to enchant young minds into believing in a world of the unknown - a good yarn spun to document why I haven't written in awhile. No.

In the most diluted sense, I have been busy. And to you, my dear friend Joash, I offer my heartfelt apologies.

And without further monkeying around:

I've been learning to value life differently since I've been here. I am with close friends who've either experienced near death, seen death, dreamed death, watched death take away someone they love -- but death all the same. It's a hard thing to grasp, death. But it's even more fantastic a thought to know that death is life to us. The very foundation of faith. The stitches that hold the seams.

To be rid of the normal expectations; No, this is not a paper about death. These are just disgruntled thoughts, that I will gradually (hopefully!) piece together at the end - forming the distorted image of what I've been thinking about recently.

Death has always seemed more melancholy than what it is -- mainly because of the pain of separation. We experience an ounce (maybe less) of it when we say goodbye to someone we dearly love[d]. Whether of a relationship, family, or close friend. The very act of leaving -- the possibility of not seeing the other for a long time, (or perhaps even ever) cuts a little (if not a lot). Leaves us broken. Hopeless.

In the world we live in, it is commonly seen in age, mistakes, accidents, war, disease, murder and the like. The Circle of Life. But i wonder what it looks like from God's point of view. A teleportation device? II Corinthians 5:8 ("To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.") I wonder if our world could not be likened to a virtual world: Like a scene out of the manga, "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles". (Get over yourself, look it up.) Where you fall out of the world when you're dead - and things finally make sense. C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle, really.

But then we wonder, why the hassle of creating virtual reality, right? Why can't we just be? If there is a God, why is he putting us through what seems to be a test site? Rumor has it (valid source), we did this to ourselves. Death itself is caused by a darkness that we seem to play a lot in. Sin. (Romans 6:23) (oh, don't roll your eyes. death never was for the "logical"; neither is it for the faint-hearted.)

If this is temporary, why do we try so hard?

Hebrews 9:27 says, There is judgement after death. So, there is a God who is just. There is payment for injustice. There is payment for wrongdoing. This is why we are in consistent despair, emptiness and loneliness. Despair. We understand what despair is, because we have experienced it's antithesis. (I.e. I understand what darkness is, because I have seen light.) Therefore, if there is despair -

There is hope.

There is more to life than death - and I have nothing to fear in death. In fact, it's been conquered. It's a battle I no longer have to fight against/for. My more current quest, is to strive for purity. Never fully achievable -- but to be sought after with Christ.

But again, this query remains: why do I have to try so hard? For me, it is a simple answer, but a difficult task to accomplish.

I am not my own. The salary that is deposited into my account, the time I squander, the words I speak. It's all a deposit.

My life belongs to someone else, subject to the bidding of one greater than I. Kind of like chess...somewhat. Slavery? No. I still have freedom to go my way and ruin this game, if I haven't already. But I am doing it for the sake of finishing this final battle we call life. Even though it's already won. For the glory of the Chess Master.

Think final episode of "Band of Brothers". The company still experienced death and hardships, though the war was already over. While waiting to be reassigned or return home - many died in the most ridiculous of ways.

I used to think I was great at damage control. But I am nothing compared to THE ultimate damage control extraordinaire. The author and finisher of our faiths. So I'm sticking to him who knows what this mess of thoughts mean; I'm sticking to him who knows my end.

So even if my life is truly shorter than what most intend, I will still say - Since all of this is for the glory of our Chess Master,

It is well, with my soul.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So, question.... (or Blonde Moments)


I came to America, right? And landed myself some good friends. Two of them eventually hooked up. All of us still hangout, thanks to the fact that we all know each other. NO changes there. But i have two other friends who are still single, beside me. I know both of them are looking, but for the right one. I see that. But sometimes, i feel so selfish. I get so afraid that things will start changing among us as a group. I didn't realize that i was being very selfish by hanging out with them too much. Rob Mahto was giving a bible study about LOVE yesterday and Jesus is the ultimate example of a life that overflows with love. And here am i, a little afraid about some changes that are BOUND to happen eventually anyway. I can't stop life from happening. HOWEVER, I can stop my life from being self-seeking.


Change Happens, right? Let it be! Change is growth. and Growth is good. Good friends are for always, and have no conditions, no excuses. We say this is a cliche, something we hear everyday. But are we truly listening? It will be a growing experience for all of us. I think I need to start opening up the circle, and invite MORE good Christian men and women into it. and Maybe,just maybe my close friends could find their soul mates through positive, and healthy interaction. One of my close friends told me that I am an initiator. I start things up, and they help me execute them. And they were talking about me setting up events for them to get to know more people. I struggled with this because i'm not exactly liking the idea of having to host 20 people all at once, all the time! I like the quiet 5. But now that i know they actually depend on me to organize things like these...what exactly am i doing with that? On the one hand, I felt a little sulky. Why on earth do I have to initiate this? on the other hand, Why am i NOT initiating activities and meetings that matter?! I feel like i visit with them and talk with them, whenever i NEED them (a shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent, a place to chill). What about what they need? What about what God wants from us? From me? To sort out my frustrations, What I need is a game plan.


I'm thinking healthy interaction, right? And here are some ideas. To always remain as a group is a great idea. But what can we do as a group? I want to make sure there is opportunity for conversations. 1) Bible studies: It's always, ALWAYS a great idea to learn more about God, to grow together in our faith and to live out Daily Christ-like lives - lives that please God. 2) Coffee & Tea Sessions at Cantabria (Bemidji's Starbucks): That has always encouraged great get-to-know-you conversations. 3) Camping// Weekend trips: Short weekend campouts to learn cooperation and team work. 4) Volunteering: Maybe we should all sign up to volunteer to do something at an old folk's home, children's hospital, homeless program, soup kitchen, etc. This can encourage us to serve others, or at least constantly think about what we can do for someone else. 5) Picnics//Grill outs: Food and friends are always a great combo for convo. *chuckles* today's phrase that pays, that one. 6) ...


I can't think of a sixth idea now, right? But it'll be okay. I feel like i am pretty set for at least the next couple of months. I've never had to worry about the relationships of my friends before. But since this is what has been brought up to me, and although i am as clueless as fogged up glass after a hot shower, I will take on this challenge. What they do with the opportunities created will be up to them entirely. Hero, we want to live out lives you can be proud of. Help us to live worthy of your calling and glory. Keep us dreaming up your vision, so that we won't walk aimless, egocentrical or dead.

Teach us to live.