30 YEARS OLD…JUST TODAY

January 30, 2008

Today (or yesterday..the 29th) I turned 30 years old!  I know, I can’t believe it either but I’m thankful!  I’m not having any midlife crisis or any extreme thoughts about why at 30 I’m not married and don’t have any children (like a lot of the other 30 year old men in the world).  I have thought that but it doesn’t consume my thoughts.  I am content, and it isn’t without wrestling or fighting for it but I am.  Here’s  the deal, I really cannot boast about tomorrow, though many times I fret about it because all I have is today.  So, while the years come quickly and the relationships come and go, I have to cling to what is good and abhore what is evil.  And to be honest I’ve not done either very well, at all.  So far, turning 30 didn’t exempt, nor does it exempt me from being convicted.  This happened just today.

I have had very many people be used by the Lord, today (just in one day) of His goodness.  And this list is, in my estimation an exhausted list of people who have faithfully fought for me and my relationship with the Lord at some point in my life – again, just today alone, the Lord powerfully showed Himself kind through these people and their acts of love.  I share this in hopes to encourage you:

  • Hotchkiss (the entire dorm dressed in “black & bling” for my birthday) sat together in chapel (the day before my birthday) and sang for me in front of the entire chapel audience – embarassing to some but very pleasant for me!
  • a bunch of guys & girls along with my partner in crime from the otherside of the dorm (Jackie – you’re great!) surprised me at 12am on my actual birthday with ice cream and oreos (mint ones)
  • then in the early morning the texts, phone calls, emails, chats flooded from: Mom, Debs, Moni, Een, Bert, Thomas Millar, JPK, Dan Talcott, Rick, Josh Ward, Hulet, Jesher, Juan, Jonathan Holmes, Kate Wright, Summer, Eric & Jennene, Becs, Holly, Sam, Mandy, Jan, Brad & Nadine, Betty Price, Anna Nason, Jeff, Jackie, Jen, Ko, Gunner, Leslie, Meredith & Jake, Heidi, Sam & Noah, Jared, Casey, Josh, Ben, Jake Dennis, Seth, Zane, Pete, Ryan P, Will, Zimmer, Leah, Jared N., Flower, Kyle, Matt Errington (these are people who just text, called or emailed me…isn’t this insane?  I’m really overwhelmed by this – the flood gates literally opened and the Lord poured…man, so undeserving, seriously!)
  • Anyway, the Joe, Kathy and the RDs threw me a lunch party – that was so fun!  Heidi Keller even made chocolate cake – I love chocolate!!!
  • For dinner Chapel Band took me to Macaroni Grill – I know, I seriously have gained like 20lbs today alone! 
  • Jeff took me to a basketball game…here on campus – haha, thanks man!
  • had a great SLS dorm staff meeting tonight
  • and topped it off with good conversations on Lower Front

Honestly, I could’ve gone without posting this but it made me think about Hebrews 3:12, 13 which says:

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”

I thought, ‘Man, if we could encourage each other as if it were each other’s birthday’s that would be great – not the feel good type which I was very much tempted to fall for and fell prey to all day today, because it was my birthday, but because it would be great to stir each other on towards love and goods deeds “as long as it is still called “Today”. 

I don’t do a very good job at encouraging people but there were definitely some really cool examples, just today alone of that.  Its things like this that help. 

I guess it would be very bold of me to say (because I need to be responsible for my words) but it would awesome to encourage each other, celebrating each other in the Lord daily…so as long as it is still called today!  I have much to learn about making the most of every opportunity.  I think, well its because I forget that the days are evil.   

Being 30 is old, but its definitely been refining already; even if were just today alone.  Don’t waste today (or right now), encourage someone, celebrate somone in the Lord, at least just today.  Don’t wait for their next birthday, it may not come.      

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FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL!

January 26, 2008

First week of school update:

  • the start of chapel for the semester went rather well, with the exception of our drummer (Dave Zimmer) having mono [spending 4 hours in the emergency room with him] and our rythm guitarist (Ryan Patterson) being very sick as well – otherwise, chapel band’s been going rather well – they were actually all on time this week (yey)!
  • other guys in the dorm have been getting sick as well – so, I’ve been stacking up on the airborne – grapefruit flavor is my favorite so far. 
  • started running again – its been very much needed!
  • really late nights and early mornings have been familiar friends to me this week – which is pretty normal
  • the other night I received 22 knocks at my door between 7:30pm-10:30pm, is that insane or what?…you just have to chuckle at stuff like that
  • the rain has been non-stop this entire week
  • dorm chapel was great! 
  • Suzi Zimmer is engaged – congrats Suz!  miss you in chapel band! 
  • was planning on going to a wedding of a friend of mine down in Carson on Saturday but realized it was actually today, Friday…I know, I’m an idiot!
  • had a good guy RD meeting time – man this team is awesome!!!  I learn so much from every one of them (Joe, Gun, Dave and Jeff…can’t beat this team!)
  • Esther and Rick planned a mexico trip this weekend with a couple of peeps for my birthday – bummer I couldn’t go!  But Rick told me last week that he’s moving back!!!  I’m so excited about that its not even funny!!!  I have prayed and hoped that Rick would take my place as an RD here in Hotchkiss but now he’s marrying the RD of Sweazy!  That’s good enough!   
  • had dinner with Zane and his roommates tonight then watched “The Bucket List” as recommended by Hulet – good movie!
  • got an email from my sister!
  • having breakfast with the Keller’s tomorrow
  • going to Costco for kid’s choir stuff!
  • maybe getting a hair cut…I’ve been thinking about growing my hair out again. 

That’s about it for now! 

I do love my job but sometimes there are some discouraging things that happen that I think are worth mentioning. 

I have been surprised by the lack of respect here on campus by the students of “the Master”/The Master’s College – granted a lot of being here and being older is working through immaturity, irresponsibility and sometimes sin.  I was very much suprised by the tone of how students think they know everything or that they seem to know more than their professors.  I was also surprised by the approach and tone some of the students had for people older, let alone to authority.  Common courtesy and respect for elders (as in people older in age) have not been marked by the students that I have come across inthe last couple of years.  But there have been a select few that were/are. 

It saddens me and sometimes it initially makes me so mad.  Other times its so discouraging that I feel like moving far away from it – a few times its just been ridiculously retarded and I think to myself, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”.  At least with elementry children its almost expected but should this type of behavior be expected from students here, who claim they are adults?  Really?  This type of behavior coming from adults?    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of students (past and present) that have been a huge blessing with their respect and kindness…sometimes it just baffles me with the things I have heard and continue to hear and see in the dorms and the campus alike.  Disrespectful, no thank you!  

So my question to myself and those of you out there:  Are you respectful?  Do you think you know more than you actually do?  Do you respect those older than you?  Do you respect those in authority?  Are you considerate?  Are you mindful of your actions and words?  Are you humble enough to communicate your ideas and opinions without being disrespectful?  Are you arrogant enough to think you’re right; even if you are do you need to be disrespectful about it?  

SUSHI, GUITAR HERO & B-DAYS

January 20, 2008

Here are some highlights from the week (and the reason I do highlights is because I want to communicate particular things in my life that are worth mentioning which are also things that I would love to give more time and attention to and elaborate on but just don’t have the time to…but would love to – here they are): 

  • hanging with Rick, Esther, Kyle and Kath last week 
  • helping the Margrave’s move last Sunday with Jared Foy, Ben Blakey, Josh Beakley, Thomas & Trenton Millar, Chris Travis and Adam Carmichael!
  • Evaluations with Joe – Joe’s really encouraging, affirming, honest and loving and so insightful!  Its great ministering with Joe – I love him alot and I love that I can have a job where I minister to and with people that the Lord uses so much in my life and I can enjoy them so much at the same time!
  • Seeing Chapel Band minister with the Getty‘s – I felt like a proud dad!  They were so pro! 
  • Sushi with Jeff
  • J-Foy’s bithday with the guys at BJs on Thursday
  • lunch with Nate Madden (a really good friend from college) and his wife Rachel at the Keller’s – man, Heidi CAN COOK!
  • talking with Bert on the phone
  • paid some bills
  • Dinner with Zane and his family – its funny meeting the parents of the guys that live or lived in my dorm – things start to make sense! 
  • Jennene’s Birthday and the Margrave’s house warming party – the house looks great!
  • then Guitar Hero with Joe, Heidi, Dave and Jeff – good times!

RD & KO

January 13, 2008

Rick Dennis and Esther Ko are engaged!!!  This one was a fast one but here’s the deal:  Rick and Esther are amazing at getting to know people.  They are great at asking questions and having a curiousity for people (because they love people). 

Rick is watchful and is very observant.  He’s patient enough to observe the need of a person and makes it his intent to meet that need.  He asks amazing questions, deep questions, detailed questions, fun questions, honest & sincere questions – questions that draw a person out – not just cliche or surperficial questions (because he’s not a cliche or superficial guy).  He cares about others and he’s not fake or show-ie.  He’s able to draw a person out making them laugh and be natural because he doesn’t care about the way he’s coming across.  His presentation and appearance doesn’t matter – his goal is the other person.  If any of you know Rick, you know that its because its never been about Rick – he has a deep rooted love for Christ and a deep rooted understanding of His love for him and for others.  That’s why he loves people and is interested in knowing about them, who they are, what they’re about, what they enjoy, who’s in their life etc – and that’s why I’m confident that he knows that Esther is his choice to love and serve for the rest of his life. 

Esther has a “natural curiousity for people” (that one’s for you Ko) – she’s great at getting to know them and getting to the heart of who they are.  She’s great at spending time with them and making it very available for them to be welcomed.  Esther is a servant pushing through to make it very accessible for others to feel at ease to be near her.  She’s pleasantly inviting and safe.  Esther is not a threat, nor does she have an agenda other than to just honoring God in serving others.  She too asks amazing questions drawing a person out – knowing them and who they are.  Esther knows Rick because he was able to open up to her.     

Somtimes people know each other for years and still don’t really “know” each other.  Sometimes there are people that just don’t know how to ask questions and inquire about more than just the superficial, redundant things (most times it’s guys: c’mon learn how to ask, inquire and get to know others) – some people just ask the same ‘ol, same ‘ol – and say that same ‘ol, same ‘ol.  Others just don’t know how to open up for fear of being known.  I love what a dear friend says about that: “To know and to be known is a blessing” –JPK.  I have a lot to learn from that. 

If you can spend some time with either Rick or Esther or both of them together (even better) then you’ll find out soon enough that they waste no time trying to impress you or trying to present themselves in a “particular” way so that you would think highly of them.  They’ll make it about you before the Lord and won’t be superficial about it.  And you’ll learn soon enough that they just care about you.     

I can’t tell you what a joy it is to affirm your friends (it’s actually a blast, especially if you know both of them really well & love them a lot)!  Its cool to have been apart of the process and just kinda nod my head and say, “Y’know what?  Yeah.  Cool.  Real cool.”  CONGRATS  you two!

This one was fun!  …hahaha!

31 QUESTIONS

January 11, 2008

Kyle Davis (a friend and former co-RD) sent this to me as the new year begins and I thought it was helpful.  So, I share it with you all: 

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who do you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

30. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

RE-ENTRY

January 11, 2008

Just about ready to step into our last meeting for RD re-entry for the Spring semester!  Its been the most productive and most transitional of transitions.  Its great following leaders that really work hard in making it the most of the opportunities we have were to learn, grow and craft what we get to do here in the dorms – (Thanks Joe and Kath – they take really good care of us!) 

My thoughts have been stimulated and my heart has been stirred to work hard at pursuing the Lord and to labor in ministry for the students here, for the sake of the church! 

Re-entry has made this start of the semester very focused!  I’m really grateful for my job!  Now, I jsut gotta get ready for my RAs (YEY – that ones for you Joe). 

REFERENCE

January 10, 2008

I just finished filling out a reference for HappyHappy is the second friend of mine (and former RA) that I’ve filled out a reference form for, and Kyle being the first (a while back) for seminary.   

Its pretty exciting (!!!) to see these young men of God pursue further study to learn how to effectively impact people for the name of Christ.  Happy and Kyle have definitely demonstrated that when they were here and when they were RAs under me.  I can affirm that most definitely!  Life is busy and seminary doesn’t make it any less busy or comfortable.  In fact it can be very laborous and refining.   Yet I am confident in the Lord of their direction.  Its great to be a part of it – in fact, it really is humbling and a blessing to be able to reference and affirm their character, ability and potential – and even more humbling (and a blessing) to think that they both trust me (still) that much to do so.  

All that got me to think about what someone would write on my reference form for schooling, another job or whatever.  I wondered what someone would say about my faithfulness, or my character or my professionalism or my acadamia (ooh, lets not talk about that one), or my relationships/frienships, or my teaching, or my submission, or how I followed, or how I am with people, or my social skills, or my administrative skills, or my communication skills (oh no), or my personality, or multitasking, or longevity/endurance/stamina etc… and the list goes on. 

Then it made me think about who I would ask to write reference forms for me.  But I think its easier to think about who I wouldn’t ask – is that bad?  Anyway, I’ll let you know if I have need for references for anything sooner or later. 

“Far from academia, we need peopel who have the life of Christ reproduced within them and within their groups”

That, from Howard Hendricks, is my prayer for Happy and Kyle, as you labor for the sake of Christ and His people! 

Press on guys!  Praying dangerously for you!

SUMMER TIME

January 7, 2008

Hey y’all welcome Summer Martin to the world of bloggerings!…LOVE IT!

EARLY START

January 7, 2008

Its 2:47am – yes, in the morning.   Why am I up?  Well, let me tell you.  I just had a great conversation with Matt Errington and Tanner Sultze (two seniors in my dorm that are here early for winterim).  Sitting and listening to these young men who really desire to love God more was just an apex in such a full day: church with Chris Travis, lunch with Chris, Becs, Holly, Esther, Dave Wolter and the Margraves, then a walk in the rain with Becs, Holly and Esther (so fun), then Pink Berry and talked with those ladies about guys/girls/relationships etc, then got jeans on sale for $14 at the mall (still keeping my life goal to never purchase jeans [ever] for more than a tag price of $20 – honestly, it doesn’t mean anything other than I’m just cheap], got a text from Zamroz and Durso asking to hang out – I love those guys, then I finished another assignment (yey!) – finally the conversation with Tanner and Matt.

I learned a lot from that conversation – too much to write about at this hour but I did realize that my life is crazy and full with really late nights and really early mornings (at times with no sleep at all)!  Its comical sometimes, other times its tiring and most times they are just plain good.  Hard but good! =)

My point is, the madness but goodness has begun – just wasn’t expecting it to start until tomorrow – y’just never know!  Y’know?