Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobblin' [it up]

My best friend stopped by... this lead to that...


and he decided to impress his new in-laws...


and i decided to be a one-upper and make a "flock of turkeys"...


... i'm thankful for friends, family, and construction paper.  Lord, you are good. oh, so good.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

truth light

no one knows you like your best friend.  there are many things that go unspoken and are just simply understood when being in the company of a best friend.

69 days separated me and my best friend from being with one another in person.  This is what followed:

spinning in circles in the parking lot. closing the door and sitting on the floor with the "truth light" in between us. speaking truth. laughing. remembering. dreaming. encouraging. and not speaking at all, just, BEING.

i'm so thankful for my best friend and for his heart and his new wife and the beautiful beacon of hope and light that Chirst shines through their marriage.

i'm so thankful for my other best friends that are 'newer' (over the past 4 years) and that the Lord has blessed me with.  we all celebrated love as one of our brother's was married off this weekend.  it was a weekend of joy, remembering, laughing, and best of all being brothers.  praise the Lord for the truth that was spoken and for the love that was shown.  my heart is full.  i am blessed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

economic home front

My sister asked me about the economy last week.  At first I forgot what time period I was living in so I was about to tell her about the economy of classical greece in contrast with the ideal "republic" that Plato wrote about, which took me 27 hours to read then I realized that I live in 2011AD not 389BCE.

Some say we're going into a double dip recession.
Some say the Fed and Obama are ridiculous in the way they annul one another's policies.
Some say America is addicted to __________ (oil, money, fame, technology, accessibility, "the good life.")


I would agree with any of those statements. I love the United States of America.  I am so very thankful for the freedom(s) that I enjoy because I am a citizen of this great country.  

But I came across a statement today and for some reason it has been ringing in my ear all day:

“Homes must once again become places of production if they are to provide alternatives to the global economic forces that form us into consumers.”
-a thought from Wendell Berry

Sunday, September 11, 2011

say what you need to say

...because the words do not say what they mean.

Sometimes I want to articulate a thought but no matter how many times I change the words in my sentence I find dissatisfaction with the diction.  I think its simply because the words do not say what they mean.  "That's absurd," you say. "Of course the words say what they mean.  They're all in the dictionary with the definitions scribbled out right beside them explaining their meaning to the world."

This food is good.
God is good.
God made food- and now they're equal?
Please say it isn't so!

I've come to the conclusion that God doesn't speak English.

Monday, August 22, 2011

getmesomerhythm.

While sitting through a seminar I found myself drawing a picture of the earth shaped like a heart.  After that  I was inspired to write a few lines:

The world spins to the rhythm of the heart.

A Steady beat of love 
is all you need to dance.
The racing of the heart
before you take a chance.

As Ben Rector so beautifully put it "Dance With Me Baby." 

Monday, August 1, 2011

moving.

Driving down the road on a beautiful sunny day, the kind where nothing else seems right but to let your arm hang out of the window of the truck and your hand taps the rhythm to the music playing on the radio, on the side of the truck.

Then it happens.

"Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy." A hurricane in the middle of a sunny day.  A gentle breeze that brings you to your knees.  

As I travel, I notice the force of my tapping has increased.

"When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory, and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me."

How can you even see past my arrogance?  Did you happen to overlook my selfishness too?  What about that 'little' pride problem I have?  Hold on a second, you see your Son in me?  He's blameless?  Perfect?

Exactly, He said.  I'm going to love you through that arrogance. I'm going to love you through that pride.  And I'm as sure as {Christ}mas going to love that selfishness right out of you too.  I know it's hard for you to believe right now.  Yes, I know you've never seen this type of love before.  You're right, Halmark love is lame compared to this.  

Thanks for letting me ride down the interstate, in this old Ford truck, with you.  Oh, her name is bessie- yeah that sounds like a nice name- English still sounds a little bit funny to me, but I'm starting to get used to it.  Remember, Oh, how I love you.  Now live like it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

teach. me. patience.

[most%2520now%255B5%255D.jpg]

The C.S. Lewis quote is scrolling through my mind... "I am afraid not that our desires are too strong, but too weak..." {ie. "Travis, my son, why settle for anything less than Me and the plans I have for you?"}

Thursday, July 14, 2011

close call.

An endless supply of love songs flood the radio... my claim as a 'He-man-woman-hater' weakens when I soon realize I am a hopeless romantic that sympathizes with each song.  My mind slips off and before I know it I'm walking hand and hand through the prairie, placing a flower behind her ear.

Oh no! This is not good.  Ah, I know just the thing: Bob Dylan, "It Ain't Me Babe."  As the song spins on my ipod my heartbeat slows and my sanity returns.  The sign over my heart has once again been put up: 'NO GIRLS ALLOWED.'

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

wrinkles.

If I were a bird I'd fly.  If I were the sun I'd shine.  If I were a pencil I'd write.  If I were a book I'd tell a story.  If I were coffee I'd DEFINITELY be bold and robust- and leave a hint of blueberry on the palette.

I love truth and facts.

"Nobody wants wrinkles."

Sit and listen my child, let me tell you how this story began.  Look at the wrinkles on his face.  Can you tell the difference?  That one on the corner of his mouth is from laughing and that one on his forehead is from... well... from you.  That wrinkle has grown with the love he has for you.  You don't know of the sacrifices that are inside of that wrinkle.  You don't know of the sleepless nights and early morning prayers that formed it's walls.

Yes, you're right. It may not fit your formula but remember, there's more to the truth than just the facts.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

if you must go, then go.

"I am dwarfed by thou painted maple."
-A midsummer night's dream

My favorite line, by far.

Ohio to Oregon- It's been an amazing month of laughs, stories, eating, fires, gardening, music and being a FAMILY.

German food. Suasage and suasage and more sausage. A bed of sauerkraut with a side of spaetzle please.

An easy stroll, pushed by a slight wind in the right direction, landed us in front of a romantic conundrum written by the Bard of bards.  Sit back and enjoy the show, but please don't go- 31 hours away that is.

I believe in the Lord's will. I believe in His beautiful, perfect plan.  I'm excited, don't you worry these are tears of joy.  Before you go, please, let me send you with just one more thing. {A hug and a kiss don't count because those aren't debatable} but rather a small prayer that has shaken the millenniums':

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
-Ephesians 3:14-20

Now get. go. be gone my sister and brother.  My love will be chasing you...

{"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."} ...and Dr. Seuss of course.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

how sweet the sound.

Spin around 10 times then run towards the light.  Fuzzy sun spots are in clear view, they are bright- red, yellow, and blue.  They inspire thoughts of a childish lesson "put sunblock on or else you'll regret it."  You'll burn with that age old question, "What is truth."  A feat of strength displayed to hold up those five letters in that assortment would have to shadow even that of Sampson.  Only from a king indeed.   37Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered,"You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." 38Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

...Listen to my voice.  

It's all around you, possibly right in front of you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

picture perfect

It's crazy how you come across truthful sayings at the right time.

thank.you.Lord.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

stengthened in our differences

Sometimes differences in thought or action frustrate us and at other times they inspire us.  It has been said that a person's best quality is also their worst quality.. which I believe to be true.  A simple way to explain my point is someone who asks a lot of questions can be a very engaging and welcoming person.  They can make group situations easier and can make everyone feel more comfortable.  Then there are the moments when the questions become overwhelming or annoying because you're exhausted and have been driving for 8 hours or you're trying to focus on another project... etc. etc.  After you have known someone for years there is honestly times when you see their "best" quality only played out as their "worst" quality.

When we start to look at differences between various peoples thoughts and actions through the same lens as being a best/worst quality we lose the romance or our first love or appreciation for diversity because we begin to think of it only with negative connotations. Sometimes I feel this way in my thought process about faith and Christianity... almost like their has to be some sort of mold that each person fits.  Then I realize that the church universal is what makes up the body of Christ and that each of us are a piece of this beautiful body.  We are not all the entire body ourselves or even hands, arms, or shoulders but rather a finger on the hand or a tendon in the shoulder.  This thought excites me for one simple reason: I need brothers and sisters on my journey.  I'm not alone- I'm never going to be alone.  We have the freedom to interrelate within, among and between the vast differentiated multitude that we are. We are united in our individual uniqueness; we are alive in our diversity, we are strengthened by our differences.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

getting personal

Does the personal space we require suffocate the people in the world around us?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

an onion of a relationship

So the other day I was talking with my Dad and telling him about all of the vegetables I like while we were dreaming up our garden for the summer- that is if it ever stops raining so we can plant it!  I came to the conclusion I really enjoy eating every vegetable raw except onions.  I still have not became the biggest fan of onion.  My relationship with onions is kind of complicated- let's say layered :]-  I know it has it's role mixed in to many dishes, but still a raw onion is low on my list.

Then it happened.  The old saying be careful what you wish for came true.  A lovely witch doctor lady that works with my dad heard that I was fighting off the final stages of walking pneumonia.  She told my dad that I needed to boil an onion, cut it in half, then put it in my socks so it pressed against the bottom of my feet while I was sleeping.  Then it was supposed to draw all the mucus out of my body.

Well, I was sick of being sick, and so it was time to face my fears.  I pulled a raw onion out of the fridge and popped it into boiling water.  After 10 minutes I pulled it out, cut it in half, and plopped it into my socks.

I laid there laughing for a second then fell asleep.  An hour later I woke up sweating profusely and fell right back asleep until morning.   Morning came and I could have swore it was Christmas!  I was free of congestion!  It was the first time in a month.  Needless to say I have a new level of respect for onions... they're going to make it into the garden this year :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

it's all about the body.

I'm a nobody who wants to tell everybody about Somebody who can save anybody.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

pea{i}r

Lets play truth or dare.
Working from right to left
Take a bite of my pear
Then share your deepest theft.

My teeth began to sink
into the juicy green pear,
and without one blink
It's my time to share.

All in one breath,
My mumbles hit the air;
It was life or death-
"I think we'd make a great pair!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

midnight coffee

Lupe and I were sittin' up late the other night drinking coffee and talking about life and I wrote this little poem about coffee and of course he made it into a sweet song.  The cords he uses are really folky and light hearted and happy.  Hopefully one day I can put a recording on here of him playing and singing it so you can hear it... Here is a taste of how he sounds. Now put that voice and talent to our new coffee song :)  Have a great Tuesday!

Rooster crows early morning, smell of coffee fills the room
I sit down at the table, see the flowers in bloom
She fills my old mug, the one from my granddad
We sit and talk about this world, all the good and bad

Coffee maketh the spirit bright
There’s no need to pick a fight
Grab a cup and stay awhile
Take us down memory mile
As we sip our coffee the truth unfolds
It’s the little things that heal the soul.

We move to the porch swing, coffee in hand
With each creek, we begin to understand
It’s all about the people that surround
It’s not deep or profound

Coffee maketh the spirit bright
There’s no need to pick a fight
Grab a cup and stay awhile
Take us down memory mile
As we sip our coffee the truth unfolds
It’s the little things that heal the soul.

Friday, April 29, 2011

print

Maybe it's me just being emotional because I am parting ways with friends that have become like brothers and sisters to me over the past four years... but I've been doing a little thinking.  {OH NO!!}

I feel that leaving my heartprint on the world is better than leaving my footprint.  I feel that many people can leave footprints whether they are just passing through or staying a while to cause trouble.  But to leave a heartprint one has to become vulnerable, entangled in relationships, give themselves to others, and embrace their community.

I want to pray for a heart that reaches out-  I want to be willingly inconvenienced.  I believe in Divine appointments.

Every day they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes;
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where
On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides the silent cry's,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord.
People need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams,
He's the open door.
People need the Lord.
People need the Lord.
When will we realize
People need the Lord.
  -Greg Nelson & Phil McHugh

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

extraordinarily ordinary

In our quest for extraordinary, we often overlook the importance of the ordinary.  This thought was implanted in my head months ago after reading a book by David Platt called "Radical." It just recently came back to the forefront of my mind. When I was a little kid I wanted to be an extraordinary football player and become famous- I wanted to be an extraordinary doctor and find a cure for cancer, and most of all I wanted to be an extraordinary Cowboy and save the "Wild West."  As a kid it is good to have dreams and want to be "extraordinary."  Those thoughts CAN transition into wanting to "pursue excellence and bear fruit" as an adult, which is what we are called to do as Christians.  But now being 22 years old (as of Thursday :] ) and a Christian man I've had to asses my heart's desire to become extraordinary.  What's my motivation?  Has my quest to be extraordinary transitioned into being Christ centered or self-centered?

Elizabeth Elliot talking about Christ's example points out, "not even dying a martyr's death is classified as extraordinary when you are following a Savior who died on a cross... Suddenly a martyr's death seems like normal obedience."

The goal is not for us as individuals to live extraordinary lives but to join together in communities of faith, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, and following after Him.  We will need to show one another how to give liberally, go urgently, and live dangerously.  It becomes ordinary to give more when it hurts and love after we've been slandered.

It is hard when we find ourselves surrounded by the lure of temporary pleasure and security.  But all of the sudden when we fasten our affections on the One who will never spoil or fade, He will show us that our greatest security is not found in the comforts we can manufacture in this world, but Himself.

"He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose... You and I have an average of about 70 or 80 years on this earth.  During these years we are bombarded with the temporary.  Make money.  Get stuff.  Be comfortable.  In the middle of it all, we get blinded to the eternal.  But it's there.  You and I stand on the porch of eternity.  Both of us will soon stand before God to give an account for our stewardship of the time, the resources, the gifts, and ultimately the gospel he has entrusted to us.  When that day comes, I am convinced we will not wish we had given more of ourselves to living the American Dream.  We will not wish we had more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more television, pursued greater retirement, or been more successful in the eyes of this world.  Instead we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and deserves eternal worship." (David Platt, Radical)

I'm humbled by His example.  "Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips..."  I find myself wanting to be extraordinarily ordinary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sing it to me.

Today I wanted to be a little boy being rocked by my mom while she sang to me.  I'm almost done with my undergrad- A week from today to be exact.  I needed some encouragement and since my momma isn't around to hold and sing to me, I went to the next best thing.  I had Sarah McMillan sing it to me.  A final speech, 1 paper, 1 test, and 2 final exams away.  Oh how sweet the smell...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Old. Used. Worn.

I love things that have a story- You know, the things that you own that aren't worth anything to anyone else because they've become old, used, and worn.  When you come to think of it, those old, used, and worn things have done exactly what they were intended to do.  They've served their purpose and stood the test of time.
That old pair of shoes that you have literally done everything in. They've been faithful for many morning runs, afternoon shopping sprees, and evening gardening.  Or my personal favorite- a good book that you've recommended to several friends over the years and now boasts bent corners and torn pages.

"Newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice.  Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist.  Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern."  (J.Piper)

To me the true beauty in antiquity is the perseverance behind it.  Paul says in his final letter to Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful."  I can picture Timothy holding this letter in his shaking hands, rereading that sentence over and over, tears of joy flowing down his face.  This was a letter from his closest companion and friend.  Paul, was in prison and coming to his final days on earth.  He was reassuring Timothy that everything he had shared with him about Jesus Christ and Him crucified was still the same thing he was preaching even in prison, on death row.  Paul wanted Timothy to know that the gospel they were preaching, was and always would, stand the test of time and not even death could nullify that.  He led by example and encouraged Timothy to persevere and to be faithful to his calling.  He was to become old, used, and worn for the sake of the gospel just as Paul so beautifully had done before him.  When you come to think of it all they were doing was exactly what they were intended or created to do: "Take up their cross and follow Him."

I am encouraged by their story tonight.  I want to become old, used, and worn.  I want to do exactly what I was created to do.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Drink Deeply


Christ took your cup of grief, your cup of the curse, pressed it to His lips, drank it to its dregs, then filled it with his sweet, pardoning, sympathizing love, and gave it back to you to drink, and to drink forever!
                                           -Octavius Winslow

Drink deeply- Let it trickle to the depths of your soul. ...and He said "drink the water I give you and you will thirst no more..."

I'm overwhelmed by Him. He won't relent.
He is so good, oh so good.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coloring to Conformity

A kid coloring on a wall is so free to explore creativity.  He uses the wall as His canvas, he sees no limits to the proper use of a wall.  He's never heard of conformity and rules he must follow; like:

  1. A wall needs to be plain and white
  2. There must only be a few pictures that have similar themes.
  3. Never let a creative design be free to roam outside of a frame.
  4. ...fill in your preconceived notions of how things should go...
Sometimes if you watch a kid carefully they reveal our Savior to us all so well.  They teach us in their freest moments to "...offer our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God- this is our true and proper worship- and to not CONFORM to the patterns of this world..."

Lets be the crayons He uses to color on His walls.  It's His masterpiece.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do

People are constantly teaching and telling you how to live your life.  They are giving guidelines and rules that help them to live their own.  They will tell you exactly what you did wrong in a situation and say how they would have handled it so much better.  This is the beauty of community and life but the problem is there is always a point or moment when the teacher falls short- When the one who gives the advice doesn’t follow it themselves.  Then we hear the famous line "Do as I say, not as I do."  But fear not, there is One who has lived out exactly what He preached and never, not even once, fell into what He so mightily preached against. 

Isaiah 2:2 says “You should not put your trust in people to save you, because people are only human; they aren’t able to help you” and later Jesus says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 

We can’t put our faith in man because men are not God and WE WILL let each other down (I am the first to admit I constantly fall short of my teachings). 

But as long as I teach and point to Jesus- then it is not I who holds up the standard but Christ.  “I claim to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.”  Do as He says, and as He does.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Samaritan of Today

Staring from the inside out we see a 6 year old boy watching his "Daddy" walk out of the front door for the last time because Daddy says "He's had enough and he's probably not his kid anyway..." We see him hide behind a chair while he watches his mom get beat to a bloody pulp by her new "Mr. Right" boyfriend.

Staring from the inside out we see him being shoved off from one relative to another because no one  ..."has enough time or room..." and "...he's not their problem to live with anyway."  Oh and don't forget that time he was 14 and found true love with Sussie Stevens.  She said she wanted to be with him forever and two weeks later started a rumor that she couldn't be with him anymore because he was "gay."

It was only a joke.  He's overreacting.  That's a fake tear drop in his eye.

Or is it?
Are we afraid to try and understand?
Would it take an awkward conversation and holding his hand?

But we have rules to follow and laws to obey;
Surely Jesus wouldn't want us to disobey.

I'll talk to someone about it and we can "deal with him later."  I'll wait for an answer and until then "he'll be okay."

Lost. Lonely. Left to die. That's what's behind the tear drop in the corner of his eye.

Believe it or not Jesus died for him, that filthy piece of trash.
He called him his own and healed every rash.

He showed love and mercy.
Go and do likewise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lost Time.


A friend of mine sent me an email sharing their heart. To me it was such a beautiful display of how God is revealing the Gospel to them. Here are a few lines of the email:

"The goal of my time on this earth is to point to Him, to Worship Him, and lead others to Him. The time He has allotted for my life is to be spent for this purpose. Not personal gain, but service to the One who created me, gave me gifts to be used for His glory and purposes, and who gives me the time to do as such."

They went on to say...

"And so tonight He just spoke to me about how since it's HIS time and not mine, it's silly of me to be upset about potential 'lost time.' It wasn't my time to lose, and God's time is NEVER lost."
Time is a curious thing. Sometimes it's comforting, and sometimes it's terrifying. You may have heard it said, "We have all the time in the world..." and in the same stroke of a pen "There is just not enough time in a day..."

Though I've only lived for a short time (approaching 22 years or 192,720 hours [without counting leap years] or however you like to look at time) I have experienced both the "ups" and "downs" of time. It has taken my life prison and has set it free.

Friends, I have come to the conclusion that maybe it's time to put my time in the hands of the One who created time- because lets face it, outside of Him, time is nothing but a race to death. But fear not because the Creator of time has overcome death. It's time to be free.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Childlike Mess

I love eating hot wings for many reasons.  Obviously the taste would be at the forefront of them all, then the ease of accessibility, and then astonishingly enough because of the mess they make.

I don't think any picture could get my point across better than this.  I love eating hot wings because all of the sudden- I become a kid again.  I get down and dirty and become totally engrossed in eating each individual wing.  My face begins to be the masterpiece of this whole experience.  The fortification of my lips gives way to the excess of sauce, my nose begins to run from the fiery aroma, and my cheeks start to feel the tingling of the zesty sauce that's plastered to them.

I love it.  I cannot eat a wing and be mad at the same time, it's sheer bliss.  I know what you're thinking "Travis you're such a weirdo."  Well, definitely Yes, but maybe not because of this secret fixation.  What if when we become like children again, we start to use all of our natural God given senses for everything we come in contact with?  All the sudden we can taste, touch, smell, see, and hear everything we do.  

I think that when Jesus said, "to enter the kingdom of heaven we must become like children again," maybe, just maybe, It could of had something to do with using all of our senses to connect ourselves with Him.  Because let's face it if God is everywhere and in everything then we can't just feel Him, or hear Him, we have to learn how to taste His goodness, see His faithfulness in every part of our lives, and smell the fragrance of His forgiveness and freedom.

Every time I eat a hot wing, I become like a kid again.

Every time I taste, touch, smell, see, and hear God, I become more and more like a kid engrossed in a hot wing.  I become covered by His grace, hope, and love.

Beware the hot sauce is sticky and tends to spread onto everything you touch.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

i start to fit in.

My greatest desire should not be to fit in but rather fear that I "fit in".

In a book I'm reading, "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper, he goes on to say:

"I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in.  I start to love what others love.  I start to call earth "home."  Before you know it, I am calling luxuries "needs" and using my money just the way unbelievers do.  I begin to forget the war.  {What war you ask? The war for peoples souls.}  I don't think much about people perishing.  Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind.  I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace.  I sink into a secular mindset that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do."
*My emphasis added.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.
-John 15:18-19

Later in the book of John, chapter 17, Jesus prays this prayer over His disciples: “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."

Sanctified means to be set apart for a sacred purpose.  Once we become a Christ follower, by repenting [i.e. turning away from the idol of ourselves and our selfish desires] this life is no longer our own.  It is now time for Christ to live through us.  He is who we live to serve, not the idols the world puts in front of us, or even more tempting the idol of ourselves.

I stop dreaming about the triumphs of His grace.  I start to fit in.

It seems I soon forget.

He is jealous for me, love like a hurricane and I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

Set apart for a sacred purpose.  I don't want to start to fit in.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kylee Ruuuuth

Twenty Four years ago to the day the world was changed forever- for the BETTER.
My earliest/best/hilarious/sad/enlightening/loving/angriest/joyous/hardest/encouraging/life-changing MEMORIES are with her. She is my joy.  She is my life long best friend.  She is my sister.  Happy Birthday Ky.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Biology

The sun is everything to us
You've got the sun, you've got energy
You've got energy, you've got power
Squinting  eyes speak volumes about the brilliance of the sun
The eyelids of my heart are squinting from the brightness of the Son

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nothing to Lose.

In general college students are known to be more passionate about things and pursue reform in various states of affairs.  Is it because they are young and na├»ve?  Or is it because they have “nothing to lose”.  Some may argue it is a bit of both, which, pending the circumstances, may be the case.  Let’s look on the plane of “having nothing to lose”.  You may have heard many times over “I’m just a poor college student”, which in my experience is very true.  Fact: If you don’t technically have anything, it is impossible to lose anything.  Therefore, materialistically it is true; a college student has “nothing to lose”.  Being in the state of having nothing to lose, naturally you develop a mindset of “having everything to gain”.

Everything can mean a lot of things: For example: It can simply mean “Everything.”  Career. House. Life. Family. Dreams.  None of these things are inherently bad in and of themselves, but, there is always a but…

Philippians 1:27 says “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ...” 

Francis Chan uses a perfect analogy for this: Imagine an old fashion scale that has two baskets on either side of a post with a fulcrum in the middle.  Put the Gospel in one of the baskets and put your life in the other basket and let the scale settle.  Obviously, If we try to uphold the gospel with our flesh and not by the Spirit of Christ then we will fail miserably and the basket with the gospel in it far outweighs our lives and fleshly attempts at being Holy.  But once the gospel truly fills you and your life stands on the truths of the Word, then by His grace, the scale settles evenly.  We are living in light of the gospel.

“OK, cool Travis, get to the point.”

The point is this: The fervor of our youth doesn’t have to fade.  Those things mentioned in the second paragraph aren’t inherently bad until they become the objects of our “everything to gain” instead of it being Christ.  This attitude negates living in a manner worthy of the gospel.  In my life I have seen a tendency to want Christ + something else.  That something else turns into something else + something else which does not equal living in light of the gospel.  Because if I take the gospel seriously we read things like “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and… follow me.”  We see the words “follow me” quite a bit from Jesus, my guess is he doesn’t mean only follow me when it’s convenient for you or you’re in a squeeze.  Or we pray the familiar prayer that Jesus prayed …”give us today our daily bread…”  Living in light of the gospel and this prayer doesn’t mean save up a million dollars for the last ten years of your life so you can “go out with a bang”.  This could mean save money until God leads you across the path of someone or something that needs the financial means you have saved. Or if we look earlier in Matthew Jesus says “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.” 

Yes, I agree it’s crazy to cut off your own hand or foot physically but what about getting rid of other things in our lives that cause us to sin.  All over scripture we have a call to put on the mind of Christ.. Is spending every evening watching a television before we go to bed helping us do that?  Or, would a genuine, deep conversation with a spouse or a friend, uninterrupted by television, be more helpful for us to do that. Possibly, the Lord could help us put on the mind of Christ if we spent that time reading a book of substance.  Don’t get me wrong television is not a sin; this isn’t about television or retirement. This is about the things that aren't considered sins, but don’t push us toward living in light of the gospel.  I am currently trying to walk through what this means in my life and I would also encourage you to as well.

I don’t say these things pointing fingers at anyone but myself.  The Lord is showing me that living in light of the gospel is a higher calling than living in self centered convenience.  I pray that we are continually in prayer for the Spirit to show us what this means.  He is so patient with me.  My heart yearns for Him in my life.  It’s His power.  His grace.  Again, Amazing grace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

iWant

I've been consumed with doing my best at pronouncing what God wants for my life and consumed with every possible angle of what He could want for my life, and then I realized I'm more worried about MY life then GOD'S will. I realized that my first problem was being consumed with my needs/wants/desires and not first devoting myself to the desires of my Creator. i.e. Everything is judged by how it affected me.

In David Platt's book "Radical" he states,
"You and I have an average of about seventy or eighty years on this earth. During these years we are bombarded with the temporary. Make money. Get stuff. Be comfortable. Live well. Have fun. In the middle of it all, we get blinded to the eternal. But it’s there. You and I stand on the porch of eternity. Both of us will soon stand before God to give an account for our stewardship of the time, the resources, the gifts, and ultimately the gospel he has entrusted to us. When the day comes, I am convinced we will not wish we had given more of ourselves to living the American dream. We will not wish we had more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more television, pursued greater retirement, or been more successful in the eyes of this world. Instead we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people, and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and the God who deserves eternal worship."

Truth. Being saved by God's grace means that I get to stand, praise, exult, worship, and adore God. In my worship and prayer and listening to the Word, His shalom [Peace] will well in my soul so that I will leave with a glad sense of personal blessing- a great lift. But that is a byproduct, not a goal, a further evidence of the generous grace of God.

I'm starting to understand that by calling myself a Christian I must understand that worship is the ultimate priority of my life.

Jesus said "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak for Myself. he who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. -John 7:17-18

Notice the capital letters signifying God in that verse. It is all for the glory of God. He teaches us. He knows us. It's all about Him. His love. His grace. I think David wrote it best in the Psalms "O Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it."

Yes he knows and still died for me. If you feel like you've let God down, you have to realize you were never holding Him up. He is our Alpha and Omega. Our beginning and end. He already has all the glory, it is by His grace I am able to worship Him and live by His Spirit. Amazing grace.