Neglecting the Full Truth

October 8, 2007

I finished up Harry Potter 5 a couple of weeks ago, and there was this one discourse between Dumbledore and Harry that stuck out to me so much that I wanted to share it with you:

     “Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid.”
     “I don’t -“
     “I cared about you too much,” said Dumbledore simply. “I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.
      “Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have – and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined – not to want to save you more pain than you had already suffered. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands.”

I find this to reveal what I find myself feeling so often when working with youth. Sometimes the full truth is as tough to tell as it is to hear. As a spiritual leader I hate talking about hell or the truth of what will happen to a youth if they continue on the path that they’re on or telling a parent the truth about what their teen has been up to.   A partial truth is at times so much easier, but undoubtedly, you’ll end up with a regret-laden discussion with the one you withheld the full truth from – like Dumbledore.  It’s just another symptom of the part of our fallen nature that doesn’t want to ruffle feathers and just be a man-pleaser.  I want to be a spiritual leader known for my integrity – known for the fact that I’d rather be a God-pleaser than a man-pleaser – no matter how hard the “full” truth is to tell.


Random Quotes

September 13, 2007

“My role in submission to Christ is to cultivate, encourage, love, and build up my wife regardless of her response.”
-Matt Chandler

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
-Martin Luther

 “It’s ironic that in our culture everyone’s biggest complaint is about not having enough time; yet nothing terrifies us more than the thought of eternity.”
-Dennis Miller


rift.

August 29, 2007

This is a writing by one of my friends that I wanted to share with you because I really enjoyed it. Don’t worry – I have her permission.

____________________________________________________________

rift.
by LeighAnn Blaszak

Within me there is a woman who loves discipline like a mother cherishes silence. She wraps rigidity around her ribs and stamps unruliness on her heel so that it can be crushed against the unforgiving ground with each of her measured steps. She clings to rules, repeating them with the reverence of the Hail Mary, with the evenness of rosary beads, while she papers the straight shelving of her mind with marbled maps and bulleted inventories.
She has known joy, known laughter, known love, but within each of them she senses the heartbeat of a nameless shadow, a brooding dragon from whose nostrils coils the smoke of unconquerable passion, unassailable freedom, an invincible torrent of insubordinate emotion. These latent nests of temptation stir within her fingers the desire to strangle, within her feet the desire to smother, within her mind the desire to overcome. So she binds them in steel wool, cages them in barbed wire, and presses them inside the confines of a locket which she wears over her right breast, keeping it at a calculated distance from her heart.
In her life there is music: the icy whine of a violin, the sorrowful slur of a cello, and the reverberating thud of a goat skin drum. But it is the rhythm of her own restraint that causes her to dance: each of her movements etched into her joints, scrawled in scars across her hipbones, choreographed even before she took her first breath. Paced. Precise. Perfect.
She speaks in metaphors, lies by omission, and practices manipulation, but she feels no guilt. To her, there is only her. To her, she is her own motivation, her own defender, her only hope. Her body is her temple to her own divine possibility and within it she finds peace and blessed assurance of her own strength. She loves bones, loves the idea that she is held together by powerful white pillars that are hard, and cool, and that would rather break than bend, rather self-destruct than allow inconsistency.
She is rigid. She is cold. But within her is a strength and a restraint that would make Spartans envy, a discipline that would make hooded monks seem like lenient lushes in hollow houses of lost kings.

Within me there is a girl who loves freedom like a mother cherishes kisses. She wraps rebellion around her wrists and pencils her mother’s rules in between the lines of her poetry so that they can be mocked by her sympathizing audience with each flippant roll of her eyes. She clings to passion, letting it flow unbridled through her blood with the ardor of Amazing grace, with the honesty of hallelujahs, while she papers the winding pathways of her mind with Van Goghs and wildflowers.
She has known joy, known laughter, known love, but within each one she senses the seasonal migration of temporary euphoria, a taste of heaven that only lasted for the length of a stolen sunset, a hurried hour of abandoned inhibitions, a momentary tangle of legs and thighs and secrets exchanged under hotel sheets. These brief encounters with ecstasy stir within her fingers a desire to intertwine with another’s, within her feet a desire to dance, and within her mind to renew her belief in the future and to draw wisdom from the mistakes she has made. So she wraps them in the thick pages of a hand bound journal, folds them into little white birds, and lets them nest over left breast, keeping them warm above the steady beat of her heart.
In her life there is music: the warm breath of a guitar, the sweet ring of a piano, and the reverberating thud of a goat skin drum. But it is the rhythm of her own free will that causes her to dance: each of her movements born a moment after their completion, spun spontaneously by the twists of her hipbones, choreographed by the tension of melody and harmony that exist from second to second. Pure. Passionate. Perfect.
She speaks even the most revealing of truths, lies only by exuberant exaggeration, and practices sincerity, but feels no vulnerability. To her, she exists only as part of a global whole. Each of the world’s mysteries is her motivation, each person is her defender, and each child is her hope. Her body is merely a vessel for her own divine possibility and within she finds peace and blessed assurance that each of us is derived of the same substance. She loves every aspect of her own unique shape, loves the idea that her inherent curves echo the silhouettes of Isis and Eve, soft and secure even in their untouched passage through time.
She is exposed. She is faltering. But within her is a strength and an imagination that would make Lennon envy, a passion that would make celebrated artists seem like blundering blindmen in hollow halls of blank canvases.


“Sing and pray”

August 7, 2007

I’m writing this more for myself than anything else.  I want to remember this one thing that my youngest, Caleb, requests every night at this stage in his life.  Before he goes to bed he says that it’s time to “sing and pray”.  So I pick him up, and we start singing this playlist, in this order:

  1. Jesus Loves Me by Unknown
  2.  Lollipop (just the chorus) by some girlie group in the ’50’s
  3. One Way, Jesus (with hand motions) by Hillsong Kids
  4. Never Give Up (just the chorus) by Hillsong Kids
  5. Zippity Doo Dah by Unknown

It’s always in that order with the exception of #5 which was requested for the first time tonight so I’m guessing it will always be there from here on out.  Then, we pray.  He rests his head on my shoulder as I pray for him, Tyler, and Mandy.  I pray for their futures.  I pray that both of them fall in love with Jesus Christ some day.  I pray that Mandy and I send them in the right direction despite our mistakes.  After “amen” we hug (“squeeze, squeeze”), kiss, and say our I love you’s, goodnight’s, and see you in the morning’s.   Man, I love being a dad.

Sidenote: Sorry, but the blogging thing kind of slipped through the cracks, but I intend to do better in the future.


My Next 10 Songs

July 4, 2007

Adam tagged me for my next 10 songs so here you go:

  1. Nothing Without You – Bebo Norman
  2. Ready Fuels – Anberlin
  3. When I Go Down – Relient K
  4. Wilderness – Supertones
  5. The Reason – Hoobastank
  6. Lead of Love – Caedmon’s Call
  7. Definitely Maybe – FM Static
  8. How To Save a Life – The Fray
  9. I Am Understood – Relient K
  10. Phoenix With a Heartache – Kids In the Way

“Earn this.”

June 12, 2007

“Earn this.” These are Captain Miller’s last words to Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan, one of my absolutely favorite movies. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that these 2 words are the burden that the veteran Ryan has to bear as he nears the end of his life. He wanted to know if he had lived a good life, a life that was worthy of the men who died to save him. If I were in his shoes, I know I’d never feel like I had lived up to that request. And I think we all see that Miller’s plea is justified.

Then, I think of Jesus’ death. What if He had looked at you as He breathed His last breath, and said, “Earn this”? No person could ever earn the death that He went through. That’s the most beautiful thing about salvation. We can’t earn it, and we don’t have to earn it. Could He have said this? Yes. He had every right to. But instead, He died and defeated death by resurrecting and offers us this victory out of grace and mercy. But I still find myself working for His approval, working to earn the blessings that are in my life. Humanity is programmed to work and earn the things we have.  I think this goes back to God telling man after the curse that he would have to work in order to take care of himself and his family. We work for our paycheck.  We work for our spouse’s and friends’ approval. We work to impress people. Even when people give us gifts, we want to think that we deserve it. Gifts aren’t earned. But we even want to earn the gifts we get. And it’s all about pride. But for salvation we have to lay down all our pride and just give up our desires to earn what God freely gives. So God’s plea isn’t “earn this”. It’s “accept this”.


The Latest

May 21, 2007

Just some of the stuff I’ve been into lately.

Book I’m reading right now: What Is the What by Dave Eggers – I’m about 100 pages in, and it has me captivated. It’s the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. I highly recommend it even though I haven’t finished it yet.

Last book I finished: To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller – Although this is only the second book I’ve read of Miller’s, he’s one of my favorite Christian authors. This one’s good, but it could’ve been a little longer.

Book of the Bible I’m reading: Ezekiel – There are some gems in this book. Read it.

Last movie I watched in the theater: Spiderman 3 – Not the greatest superhero movie, but it served its purpose. Some great action sequences. Some cheesy stuff, but when it was cheesy, it was very cheesy. All in all I’d say it was average.

Last movie I watched at home: Curious George – What can I say? I have 2 kids under 5. Still, not bad for a kids movie.

Last real movie I watched at home: Saving Private Ryan – I’ve only seen this movie a couple of times, but it’s so timely. I’m a big fan of war movies, and they don’t get any better than this one. What a great story.

Music I’ve been listening to: Funeral and Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire – Very different sound for me, and this time different is really good. I had to give both these albums a few listens before enjoying them, but now I’m hooked. Also, Add to the Beauty by Sara Groves – There’s some really great stuff here.

Last cool website I found: kiva.org – This site asks for people to invest in entrepreneurs in developing countries. Very cool idea, and you can invest as little as $25.