1. Kevin & Valerie Hom - Livingwater Senior Retreat c/o 2014

     

  2. Tired of being a momma’s boy.

    I don’t want to be a 60 year old man with a 28 year old wife. I don’t want to be a 50 year old dad in front of a TV. I don’t want to be a 40 year old man playing with his toys in his garage.

    I want to be a man.

    I want to learn from men.

    From whom when I see their lives, when I see how they work diligently and take care of others, how they love their wives, how they play with their children, how they laugh and make others laugh, how they tell stories of adventure and mystery, how they lead by sacrifice, how they stand firm under adversity, how they respond humbly to criticism and feedback, how they confess sin and mistakes and weakness and repent, and how they take incredible risks with courage and stare evil in the eye with boldness and ultimately how much they know they are loved by the Father above and know what is right and what is wrong and what is on His heart.

    I want to meet a man that is convinced of one mission, with one God, with one wife, with one church, and knows the value of his one life and think “Now, that’s a man.”

     

  3. Some thoughts from today accompanied from a corvette from work:

    1 - What would tempt / compel a thirty year old married man to go bar hopping to chase young tail? You’re not old enough where your wife’s external beauty will be fading yet.

    Possible answer (not excusing the actions because they are sinful): perhaps an unfulfilling marriage, with a controlling wife. If respect is not found at home, and you can get respect and hotties much easier elsewhere - why not. Instead of working on the marriage, go elsewhere where it’s easy.

    2 - Ministry involves admitting one’s sinfulness and imperfection and pointing to Jesus righteousness and perfection. Ministry while married will have to look like admitting the couple’s sinfulness and imperfection while pointing to Jesus’ righteousness and perfection. This is going to be a lot harder if our normal social psychology keeps trying to build justifications on “why we’re together” or “why we’re good for each other” or “why each other is awesome”. Gospel oriented couple duo ministry would say - “we are completely imperfect for each other”, “we’re terrible influences on each other”, and “we suck” - but Jesus is awesome and He is the reason we’re together.

    3 - Getting full on life is really debilitating. Having two fully expensed meals in one day, gorging myself with a rack of ribs, swordfish, and seared ahi tuna - I’m glad that my life is not as fulfilling as it should be because being full and bloated feels really crappy. I’m glad my church isn’t as perfect as it should be. I’m glad my job isn’t as great as I thought it would be and I’m not going to fake it and try to keep a veneer of everything is great. I’m glad that life doesn’t turn out to be as cracked out as it would be - so I would be taught to yearn and hunger and find joy in the hope of life in the next. As the flesh dies, the spirit grows stronger.

     

  4. I’m reading this book called “The God Argument” by A.C Grayling. Essentially, the book is split into two sections. The first half is title “Against Religion”, the second half is titled “For Humanism”. While reading this book, a few things stand out to me from time to time and I’m gonna write them down here… and perhaps in subsequent posts.

    1 - An interesting theme that seems to pervade humanism is to let people get what they want (within a reasonable sense) - if someone wants euthanasia, give him or her it. If someone wants abortion, give him or her it. If someone wants to be relieved of suffering, give him or her the happiness that he or she deserves in whatever form they deserve because essentially - we’re only here for a little bit so lets be happy while we can be, and the most compassionate and sympathetic thing that we can do is to give them that happiness and spare them the suffering and the pain. If someone wants a better wife, let him divorce. And I think of the implications of my own life… If I want a better job, let me leave it. If I want a better church, let me find one. If I want a better this this and this and this - give it to me.

    Quoted in his very own words, the quality of life is valued above the sanctity of life. In other words, happiness is pursued and suffering is to be avoided and skirted at all costs - even if that means ending your own life or ending the potential life of a fetus. 

    I keep reading this and honestly think, what the @#$! this is not it. This is not real love and real compassion - because it’s all supposed to be in the name of sympathy and compassion. I imagine some ghastly, bony ‘ol smart ass humanist doctor who looks over a suffering patient. His eyes drooping down, and some self-generated tears falling. Looking at the poor human being and thinking “good ol friend, you shall rest soon - I will help you because I’m so sympathetic and compassionate and I’ll help you on your way” as he pulls the plug or gives him some drug. Maybe I’m just making a straw hat caricature of a humanist - but wheres the suffering, wheres the glory, wheres the passion, wheres the angst, wheres the crying out, wheres the deeper sense of deepness? It’s so empty, its so sterile, it’s so easy, it’s so therapeutic. 

    Perhaps the corollary truth is this : true Love has to consist of suffering. If you’ve never suffered for someone you thought you loved, you’ve never truly loved. (I’m not telling girls to get into abusive or toxic relationships, or guys to get into stupid and harmful situations for the sake of suffering) - but I think you get what I mean. The doctor I caricatured above, perhaps had empathy - but he did not love. There was no suffering on his end. Not at all. 

    There’s something about chasing a life of non-suffering that really kills the spirit in a man, although this is something I do every single day honestly in my work and my relationships. It’s hard guys. Reading books like this really helps me understand what Christianity is and is not - and the closer my Christianity mirrors secular humanism, the more I know I’m compromising on Life.

    Jesus.

     

  5. thoughts from today 

    realized we are all going to die

    sorry for being so morbid, but its true

    all i really want (even knowing that my righteousness is in Christ)

    is to hear - 

    "His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

     

  6. They always told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

    But perhaps the reason I’m so scared is because they never told me the Truth

    -  that I couldn’t.

    They thought they were encouraging me,

    but they were helping me dig my grave

    as a foundation of confidence in myself paved the way to my demise

    These shakings are You, O Lord 

    I surmise

     

  7. Radical Christianity is just dumb. An extraordinary God-man Jesus became an ordinary carpenter. God made it so that churches are lead by pastors - aka shepherds aka the lowest and most boring folk in all of ancient history. Why? It requires an ordinary person to understand the struggles of an ordinary person to truly love. You can’t love someone without understanding them. The more radical one tries to become the less they are able to sympathize with the struggles of the ordinary man and therefore cannot truly pastor, love and tend to ones sheep. You’ve got to go through the same fires to help lead others out. The problem is that most pastors don’t want to go through the fire - they only want to glory for so called helping people out of them. Dumb (talking to myself and about myself)

     

  8. Is this what dying is supposed to feel like?

    Is this what love is supposed to do?

    When you gave yourself up on the cross, did it hurt like a b.a.m.f in every fiber of your being from the moment you left your throne to the point you took your last breath? 

    How did you maintain joy?

    How did you love so much? 

    How. 

    (Perhaps the answer is prayer)

     

  9. Meditations on Tasting Grace

    These days, simple Gospel truths have been wrecking me day by day. One day it was theoretically justification, and today it was the reality of grace within that. I had forgotten how grace tasted, how grace felt, how true grace is shown and received. 

    How grace is shown requires that a law be broken. There has to be a right and a wrong, a good and a bad in our world of relative truths. Our conscience must be broken by what we did wrong according to the Word of God and the fear must be felt that we deserve punishment. We deserve our financial blessings to be taken away, our friendships to be destroyed. When we violate the law of God - when we lie, envy, lust, gossip - we are not only deserving the consequences of those sins but also of death and hell.

    And so - how “good” does my day feel in all that I’m doing good until at that one point, where I slip up according to the Word of God and my conscience mortifies my soul in my thoughts. Like a kid with his head down about to confess to his parents that he had been stealing money out of his mother’s purse and gambled it away to the neighborhood kid, the guilt condemns because a law has been broken. At this point, the child fears the worst - he knows he has done wrong and deserves an extreme punishment for his heinous crime. At this point, the parents could do a number of things:

    1 - Tell the child that what he did wasn’t really wrong - stealing isn’t a sin. Then the consequence would that the child would grow feeling like stealing isn’t that bad - and negative consequences for society follow. (This is what our culture does by calling good evil and evil good - not acknowledging that some things defined by the Bible are sin and some are not.)

    2 - Tell the child what he did was wrong, but think that it wasn’t that big of a deal because the parents have a lot of money anyway, and send the child off scot-free without a correcting word but a loving “that’s okay honey, just don’t do it again”. (This is what I feel like what most of us do when someone sins against us in the church- we try to be the “bigger man or woman” and think - okay, you might’ve sinned against me and you confessed - but its okay it doesn’t affect me because I’m spiritually mature and it didn’t hurt my feelings, so go ahead and live your life and I’ll pardon you from a place of superiority. Or if someone hurts us in the church and they don’t confess to us, we will just take the sin with an air of self-righteousness as if its okay because we’re better).

    3 - Or the only way to show grace, is something that I can only think and feel about in terms of an illustration - where a parent acknowledges the weight of the sin that the child commits in terms of the damage it brings to himself and others and yet is so focused on the well-being of the child and so loves the child that he or she says “its okay, you did a really bad thing, but I love you, and I’ll help clean up the mess, and I’ll take the hit financially in my own pocket, and I’ll help you to learn how to not steal because you don’t have to - because if you just asked me, I would provide what you really really need and not what you think you need for happiness.

    And that’s how grace is felt, and how grace tastes - and it tastes so good. Because we’re human, we’ve sinned, and if we believe that Jesus Christ has died for our sins and risen again to give us new life to defeat sin - we will still fall into sin every single day and need grace every day. To know this grace we need to know the Law - to know what’s right and what’s wrong - but to also know the lawgiver - and his disposition towards us in Christ. 

    And that’s my ramble, because today God showed me another aspect of my sin, and thus another aspect of my need for Him, and another aspect of how much I don’t deserve anything, but because of His grace I’ve been given everything because He loves and that what He started in this rough marble he’ll bring to completion to something finer than what Michaelangelo could sculpt himself ~

     

  10. Thankful for my family - even though we’re not perfect, and there’s so many areas where I see lack both in myself and my family in terms of God’s Kingdom come, I know there’s so much more and grateful for all that God has done thus far. 

    Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife - Proverbs 17:1