Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who am I?

I am convinced I have several men fighting inside me. Some days, I am the workaholic; on these days, I have an overwhelming urge to succeed in my classes and at my job, striving for an elusive sense of accomplishment. On other days, I am the Epicurean: a carpe diem mentality consumes me, and in these moments, I only want to spend time with friends and enjoy my life. On my less ideal days, I am the pessimist. I detest completely any sort of responsible task, and I want to sit in my room by myself and mope. Lastly, on my best days, a sporadic spiritual sojourner in me yearns for righteous Christian living and for a deep relationship with God.

I could summarize my life as being continual exhibitions of my paradoxical personalities, with the one honorable man inside me, the sojourner, consistently ostracized from this internal community. It is as if I am driving a roundabout, exiting and reentering with no sense of direction, while I ignore the beautiful landscaping in the center. I rarely am the spiritual man that I truly desire to be.

I am convinced the “carnal” men inside me are in collusion against the sojourner. When I am not over-consumed with job performance or education, I am living the spontaneous collegian life, eating and hanging out and spending money without any sense of consequence. Once I realize I have not received the emotive recompense I so desired from these philosophies, I withdraw into a mild state of depression that lasts until the next thrill or shallow sense of fulfillment comes along. It is as if, as either the workaholic or the Epicurean, I am looking to the other personality as the godly, righteous way, yet I know innately that true fulfillment comes through submitting myself to God.

I am a living contradiction.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writer's block

So blank. So thoughtless. So impersonal.

I stare at the blank screen before me. I was about to read my Bible, but I perceived that subtle itch in my head, the vague compulsion that taunts me at the worst times but escapes me at the most inactive, telling me I need to write--I have to write. What about? I say. And my other self, the one who is so imaginative, so dreamy, does not respond.

Where does he go? I wonder. He is never there when he promises to be. He lures me with ambiguous tauntings, yet when I succumb to his bribes, I see just a mere wisp, a distant memory of his wild imaginings.

He promises much.

I have gone to great lengths to capture him, to place him in a cage and to corral his circumlocutory ramblings, but I transform into a maniac, a crazed scientist unraveling incomprehensible linguistic equations in an ubiquitous notebook. My other self stares and laughs derisively.

"Yes, I write," I pompously tell the friendly conversationalists at parties and get-togethers. But the moments the words fall off my tongue, I see him! There he is! prowling around the restaurants and the generous homes, sneering at my unconscious attempts to make myself appear praiseworthy.

I am determined to catch him in the wild and pin him to a wall at the public square. No more will he taunt me with escapable wordings and blank pages. No more will he lure me with longing for elegant expression, then abandon me, leaving me awkwardly babbling, one overly loquacious prattler among a multitude of communicators, everyone talking, everyone saying nothing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

France Update

Hey all you readers,

I had a second to give an update, so I thought I would. Here in France, we have three short-term teams in right now. One of them is doing a "Bilingual Camp" in the St. Paul church. The other two teams are helping out with ESL in Nice and the Discussion Table on Wednesday nights. Things are busy but in a good way.

If you feel like praying for our ministry here, you could pray that we will have wisdom in how to use the short-term teams to start relationships with people that will continue after the teams and I are gone. Because people here do not trust Christians and because the area is fairly wealthy, ministry here by necessity is relational. With that objective in mind, I am hoping that we will be able to hang out more with the nationals in order to start friendships that continue online and through the mail. We have also started up an open forum Discussion Table in which anyone from the area can come in and discuss current (and classic) issues. However, only people from the church and missionaries have come. So, pray that people would come and that through this ministry, we can establish a network of relationships. If the community has no knowledge of our existence, we cannot even develop a reputation with which to show the love of Christ.

If any of you have any ideas for "relational" ministries, post them please!

In Christ,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tour de France Video

We managed to catch the Tour de France in Cagnes-sur-Mer yesterday. Here's a video of all the riders passing by.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lance Armstrong Video

We went to the Grand D├ępart of the Tour de France yesterday in Monaco, and I shot a video of Lance Armstrong as he flew by. Here's the link:

Thoughts on France and materialism

I figured I should update, because I haven't in quite a while.

I'm a little over the halfway mark in France, and it has been such a great trip so far. It has been humbling for me to learn how to make it another country, and I think I've really begun to realize that I don't need most of the things I think I need back in the States. I've also had to come to terms with a sparse population of Christians.

The Gospel is desperately needed here in Southern France. The people do not want to live to glorify the righteous God because they have everything they need and more. But like the rich fool in Luke 12, soon their souls will be required of them, and their possessions will go to someone who did not earn them.

We can't take our belongings with us into eternity.

This is the message I want to get out to French people and Americans. God's message is real, and it is relevant now. We either treasure Christ on earth and, in so doing, worship and enjoy the glorious, all-satisfying God for eternity, or we make gods of our pleasures on earth and worship our puny, incapable selves for eternity.

I pray that you treasure Christ.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Made it to France

I made it safely to Saint-Paul de Vence, France and have been spending time with James Arnold, the pastor of the International Baptist Church, and others. We will have a number of short term teams coming, and things for me are going to get busy soon.