I can’t sleep and I know why.  Today I received a packet in my (mail) box of applications.  Applications I filled out 8-9 years ago applying to be an RA.  Scarey!  I definitely would have not hired me or would’ve even given me an interview (especially my first application) if those were the things that came across me as an RD. 

But now as an RD, I wonder what the RDs’ thought then?  ‘Horrible’ I say.  However, after each of the respective applications were the references of people that vouched for my character and were honest about my strengths and weaknesses.  It was quite affirming and encouraging.  It was cool to read them, years later.   

Anyway, attached to the end of the entire packet was Matt Pearson’s application to be an RA.  For those of you who don’t know, Matt was one of my best friends in college who died in a car accident the summer of 2001, one month after his graduation. 

It was honestly daunting and yet exciting to read through his.  It’s been 7 years since Matt has gone to be with the Lord.  What’s keeping me up?  Memories and conversations that seem very faint, trying to remember but forgetting (that’s the sad part).  Moments that once were fleeting yet still having some very powerful effects emotionally and wondering if perhaps he were alive would’ve continued?  I hope so.  My mind and thoughts have weighed my heart heavy with selfish misses – still missing him.  Man, his impact still moves me.  And I don’t know if the ache is painful though, just kind of a yearning.  I don’t know.  It’s hard to describe. 

I don’t know about you but losing one of your best friends without expecting it is one thing.  But to forget about him brings about a deeper sense.  Not painful, like I mentioned.  Probably more of a deep affection.  You know when you just miss someone?  Yeah, like that.  It has gotten better.  It’s still just as deep I suppose.  He’s in heaven, I’m sure of it.  I can’t wait to join him!     

Well, if you miss anyone and if you still are able to, then tell them!  You don’t have to be weird about it or awkward or don’t even try to be cool about it.  Just tell them.  I wish I could tell Matt that I miss him.  I’m sure he doesn’t care now, but perhaps that someone you miss may.  Encouragement & sincerity goes a long way.  Praise the Lord…

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I’ve been haunted by this passage this last week.  Haunted because the honest evaluation of my heart plus my life is sometimes a telling reality.  This doesn’t shake the reality of the faith that I have and the confidence that I have in Christ; His person, His work, His Word, His Spirit, His relationship with the Father and with me.  However, I do realize that what I know is unparalled with what my life shows, it seems. 

 46“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

 47“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:

 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

 49“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Its easy to listen – for me at least (for others, I suppose, its more difficult).  Anyway, its easy to listen and process and think through a lot of implications.  Its also easy to think about questions about context and about content.  But Its harder for me to act upon my thoughts, let alone act upon God’s thoughts. 

A song that’s been very inspiring and compelling says this in its chorus, “Now that I have seen, I am responsible.  Faith without deeds is dead.  Now that I have held you in my own arms.  I cannot let go until you are…”  

I wonder how many of us are actually doing what the Lord calls us to do.  Sometimes, people lessen the calling to truth that in some cases have become meaningless cliches.  Such as, “love God and love people” or, “walk with the Lord” or “the mission field is everwhere you go” or “.  What about “divide your bread with the hungry” or “give yourself to the hungry” or “sell all yoru possessions and give the money to the poor“?  Unfortunenately, we’ve accostumed all these truths as cliches and have used them as bait for doing (and saying) what we want to do (and saying what we want to say).

Man, I can’t wait until heaven is the reality before me.  The battle seems more with the unseen than with the seen – even with such blessings around us, here in America, it often becomes routine and bland.  Always, looking for the next new thing to do.  Maybe that’s why I like traveling and sadly enough, I’ve become the very person I dread becoming, a very comfortable American with lots of Christian cliches that mean more to me than the spiritual need of those around me.  I’ve made my cliches my comfort and my safety nets and often times my salvation. 

I pray Luke 6:46-49 for my own soul and life. 

In the next week or so I’ll post a link to view all 5,216 pics of my trip to India – yes, 5,216 pictures or you can just ask me about them.  We’ll see.

PB & MONEY

July 8, 2008

Pete Bargas is one of my best friends of 11 years now and there’s not that much that I don’t know about him.  Yeah, pretty scarey, I know (he’d say the same for me).  What I didn’t know, however, is that he had a blog.  Yeah, seriously.  What kind of friend is he…  My question exactly =). 

Anyway, he recently posted a thought provoking blog about money, stewardship etc (“Whose Money Is It?”.  Read it.  It’s quite challenging.  I don’t have a lot of money and even with this I too wrestle with what he so frankly articulates.  Enjoy!

MIX IT UP

July 3, 2008

Here’s my top 20 summer mix: 

  1. Getting Stronger – Adeaze & Aaradhna This song is so chill and a little confusing actually.  Its about working through relationships and learning from its difficulties – but a bit of self-sufficiency, teachability, vulnerability yadi-yadi-ya…I like it because I just do. 
  2. We Break the Dawn – Michelle Williams This song has a very “clubin” feeling – its about dancing all night!  Man I miss dancing!  Very celebratory – I like celebrating!  Kinda makes you feel like throwing a house party with your family and all your closest friends – I can picture it:  my samoan family, peeps I grew up with and TMC peeps – haha!  Now that’s funny!
  3. Our God Saves – Paul Baloche I listended to this song a lot while I was in Varanasi, India.  It was a charge for me.  It reminded me (and still) that God does indeed save people and while I’ve heard people say that the gospel isn’t about God saving people, I don’t know if I quite agree with them.  I believe whole heartedly that the gospel is about a God who is self sufficient and the only one deserving of all praise and He is the most important factor of the gospel.  But the gospel is about a Redeemer redeeming His people and saving them from their sin and death and saving them to Himself.  That is the gospel.  God saves and the world will see that – and the unreached still needs to see and hear of this God! 
  4. Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love – Coldplay I get so happy when this song comes on!  It makes me want to run, really hard (maybe not fast, but definitely hard).  I love the intro and the transition into “Reign of Love”.  Its like a huge roar just subsided into this beautiful melody.  Lyrically I’m still not too sure about these songs but the music is great. 
  5. Just Friends – Gavin Degraw This song’s really cool because the guy sings about redemptive relationships even though undeserved.  And time after time, this guy forgives his girl and she’s probably playing him but he forgives her anyway and holds her to what she says.  Either he’s a fool or is really trusting.  I like the piano leading this song – it gives the song depth. 
  6. Won’t Stop – OneRepublic If the Lord ever blesses me with a daughter, this is what I want to sing to her.  Yeah, I know I probably need to find a wife first before I get to do this =).  Better start looking I suppose. 
  7. I Love You Too – Aaradhna Man I love island style songs – this is more pop island but still.  Makes me want to be in Samoa, on a Saturday afternoon blastin’ this song with the ocean breeze, sitting in the back of a truck and just thanking the Lord for the island life. 
  8. Let Creation Sing –Hillsong I always imagine being in an amphitheatre with thousands of people singing this song.  Or millions.  Unreserved singing, not a care in the world about distractions – just like minded people singing to God about all of creation singing to Him and just so content to be apart of that – heaven is going to be off the hook! 
  9. The Edge – Jared Nakasone I first heard this when I was in Hawaii and Jared (my former bassist) was so humble about his songs.  This would be a song I’d sing to anyone that I have ever talked to about the vanities of life (theirs and mine).  I think of the guys that I disciple or have ever discipled – “You will push against the tide, cause you know there’s more to this life.  Pretty things in social eyes, your beating heart and your midnight cries and you know the sun will rise.  But you will not give up the fight.”  That’s an encouragement we could all use daily. 
  10. Ua Leai – Pati This is a samoan song.  Its a modern rendition of a samoan “oldie”.  I think its a song of apology (I’ll ask my sister about this one =).  Anyway, its a really beautiful song. 
  11. Only True God – Paul Baloche I started to listen to this song a lot when I visited a lot of temples in Varanasi.  My heart was very heavy during these times and the truth that God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ brought alot of comfort and compassion.  I’m excited for Chapel Band to help me introduce this to the rest of TMC – this song is moving and bold and truthful. 
  12. No Matter What – T.I. I don’t listen to much rap, but I like it a lot.  I think because it reminds me of where I come from.  That includes the culture and the people that I was around growing up.  The rap/hip-hop/R&B culture was very much a part of my musical influence growing up.  That culture is always refreshing to go back to – I actually miss it.  Obviously, I don’t believe in everything this song says but it has an overall positive message to those who enjoy this musis (and not much positive messages are communicated through rap).  So, I’m not ashamed of my ‘hip-hop’culture – I’m realizing that there’s a lot more to learn from it than I ever realized or was opened to. 
  13. I Don’t Trust Myself (with loving you) – John Mayer I think John Mayer is a phenominal muscian!  This song was written about me – I’m kind of wondering who told him about my life story.  Somone recently asked me why I am single.  I guess the simple answer is, ‘because I’m very complicated’ or fickle.  I don’t believe that if I do trust myself then things will be better, it’ll probably make it worse.  I don’t expect anyone to trust me, they shouldn’t.  Anyway, I have deeper issues to try to explain but I won’t even go there. 
  14. Strawberry Swing – Coldplay Yet another song to have in blasting anytime time of the day (well, maybe more during the day).  Let’s seriously celebrate!
  15. Foggy Morning – Jared Nakasone Jared is a really cool guy.  Japanese.  Great hair.  Meek.  Talented.  Good team player.  This song was another favorite in Hawaii.  I think I’ll listen to this song 5 years from now and be very thankful for whatever trials are going on at that time.  Then I’ll (hopefully) move to the groove of this song and dance with lots of happiness welling up. 
  16. Le Olaga O Samoa – TOA Another modern rendition of a Samoan oldie.  This song really feeds my longing to be in Samoa – to see other Samoans, be in the humidity, hear lots of singing and be part of lots of dancing, learning more about the culture and just enjoying the island life yeah…Samoa – I love that I’m from there!
  17. Where the Streets Have No Name – U2 If there was a song needed for my farewell DVD of my life, this would be it.  If there was a song needed for my life sound track, this would be the theme song.  This would be the first song I’d like to listen to my first monring when I move overseas, Lord willing.  Or the song played when I finally finish packing up when I leave Hotchkiss. 
  18. Friend of God – Travis Cottrell For some reason I always think of my family when I listen to this song.  I’d love to sing this song with my brother and my sisters.  I think because they are are the only people that I think would sing it with full voice and would give me chlls doing so.  Man, that would be so awesome!
  19. E O Mai – Keali’i Reichel I’m really bias when it comes to Samoan songs.  This is a Hawaiian song.  I have no idea what’s being sung but its so beautiful.  I’m actually really bias when it comes to islands but I really like Hawaii, a lot.  As much as I would prefer Samoa over Hawaii, I have learned to appreciate Hawaii as a culture and a people. 
  20. I Will Sing – Hillsong United I use to listen to this song so much my senior year in college.  I remember thinking that I want to sing this song to people all over the world.  I’ve been to a lot of places all over the world since then and more than singing this song to people, now I want them to be able to sing this song themselves.  Its cool to see how songs can mean something to you then and now and to see how the Lord has matured (hopefully) your (or my) perspective.  I’m thankful. 

Okay, there you go.  Maybe next time we hang out you can listen to these songs with me – have your own prepared and we’ll get our party on =)