Monday, August 22, 2005

An Unbelievable Witness

As most of you know, I have a girlfriend. Andi and I have been very diligent to have good boundaries in our relationship. I have accountability with my roommate and she will have it regularly with a friend who just returned home. I was at work today explaining that I took Andi to meet my parents this weekend in Cincinnati (thus my haircut that brought on the discussion). A co-worker started talking about how they let their children sleep with their girlfriend/boyfriend when they bring them home to visit, strongly implying that I also partake of the practice. I could feel their eyes on me as they waited for the response they assumed would be confirmation. In that moment I could see the worth of our purity, it is a testimony to the world, a sharp contrast, light in a dark place. I responded shaking my head no, “We have good boundaries in place.” The co-worker prodded me, looking for holes in my statement; I assume finding my statement wholly unbelievable. I know it’s hard for them to believe that a person would wait and preserve marriage as a holy covenant. It is unconceivable, unimaginable, something not of this world. Then again, who could ever imagine such a good God as the true God, our Father, is? The discussion went on, moving to other people sharing their children coming home stories, but the damage was done. A brick in their walk towards Christians came down. The witness of our relationship actively spoke to God’s goodness! It was like a new form of evangelism hit them! The kind you don’t bottle up on a few pieces of paper and hand to them, rather, the kind of evangelism that is lived out in lives of Christians who are pursuing God through holiness and a relationship with him. They sure won’t let me preach to them, but our actions, when so different from the norm, so unbelievable, opens the door for further discussion. Father, you are good. Good indeed.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

the painful parts

It is amazing how God uses the most painful parts of my life to grow me in my relationships with my parents. I think it shows me how he is able to turn those things which the enemy has meant to destroy into something powerfully useful for the kingdom. A recent event I will keep nameless has sent my family out into the deep waters of emotional turmoil. Both my parents grew up in homes that were void of the deep Christian love I take for granted. It shows me the depth of sin and how our relationship with God restores us, even while we are broken, into a new level of wholeness even a hundred years of consoling couldn’t fix. I more and more realize how great a gift God has given us, how far we are restored and how much more we will be restored in the resurrection from the dead, when all in Christ will be given bodies that are perfected, that is, bodies that are not ravaged by the depravity of sin. As I grow as Christian I find myself growing in love to everyone I know. I feel emotions more powerfully, because I love more, as I am loved by God and love God more. I don’t know how non-Christians do it, they think they are living but in reality the hollowness they live is a paper mache shell of the true living and active life God desires for them. All of life is about a relationship with God. For the longest time I thought that meant I had to hear God audibly speak to me and say stuff like, “Ben, how was your day today?” I’m realizing how he speaks to me, I can see him speaking to me and to others through many things and I am able to know what he wants me to do almost instinctively (God’s guidance through his Spirit).

I must stop here, though. I would love to continue, but something must be covered. If there is not complete, and I do mean complete, surrender to God, just hang up any notion of being Christian and go live your hollow lives of desperation. I think most Christians live lives of unsurrendered living. We’re willing to give God almost everything, but we hold on to something, it could be a girlfriend/boyfriend, a child, a rock collection, money, maybe watching your favorite football team on Sunday afternoon, or an mp3 collection. Maybe you’re just not willing to speak to someone at work, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable. My point is, that we lose the joy God has for us because we refuse to give up everything to him, we don’t trust him with everything and lose for it. I can honestly say I’m living a surrendered to God life right now, it’s painful, especially when I have to slow down on the highway, repent of my mouth’s musings and do things I sure don’t want to (because I’m selfish).

But seriously, I feel so far inside of God’s will for me right now. It’s one of the greatest joys I think I could ever try to express. I find I’m listening to people more, ministering to people’s needs more, being gracious in ways I didn’t know I could be, and caring about people that only God could get me to love. What joy there is in our Father! It’s not an easy road, as in, there are bumps along the way, but God always sustains me. Great is your faithfulness, oh God, my Father, there is no shadow of turning with you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


This looks good, probably even better after camping...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Go ahead please fight me

Fell in love with the game

But i forgot your name

Go ahead please fight me

Cause i'm not scared

Though you stayed the same

I forgot from where i came


I'm glad God disciplines those he loves. I don't know where I would be without it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Gross hands

This is a post about washing hands after hittin’ the can. I must confess, the first time I started washing my hands regularly after using the can with the exception for #2, was in college. It was all thanks to the persistence of my dear friend, Adam Ewing. Without Adam, I’d probably still be a caveman, one that gets sick a lot. He convinced me that it was indeed sick to walk out of the can without washin’ the hands. Now, on with the post!

Many of us have experienced this, we’re washing our hands at the sink, when someone comes flying out of the stall and runs to the door and makes a departure. Instantly we’re jolted, “What just happened!?!?! Did some dude just walk out of here, after a #2?” What makes it worse of course is that they just grabbed the handle on the way out! Now, as you grab the handle, you can’t just grab it, you have to get a paper towel and grab the handle with it, or you might as well go take a #2 and not wash! We all know that it gets worse, not only did they just grab the handle, and probably the handle to get back into their office, but they will shake other people’s hands, handle money, use keyboards, push elevator buttons and may even be the guy who is serving you food!!!! This all said, JaBurd and myself have come up with a solution. Toilet police. They’ll watch over us like Batman over Gotham, like Superman over Lois Lane, like your boss over your shoulder when you’re reading this post. They can write tickets, pull people over as they are walking back to their office and even do raids on office cubes where guilty perps. have been walkin’ the streets for years. They’ll be funded by the government, hey, they’re the guys who sent monkeys into space, pay 500 bucks for a toilet seat and hire contractors to do work that they could do themselves! Don’t get me wrong, I think the police, fire fighters and CIA have an important job, but they’re not the only guys the government hires, they hire a lot of people! Even me! All toilet police will carry hand sanitizer on their belts, as well as Lysol and air freshener. They will sometimes sit disguised in stalls waiting for the guy next door to commit a violation. You’ll see them pulled over on the side of the hall too, ready to do random hand checks!

Ok, so this is a bit ridiculous, but there are other alternatives. One being we just all refuse to wash our hands and just “suck it up!” as my girlfriend would say. Another is public awareness like the smoking campains. “Just say no to toilet hands” “Dare to keep hands clean” They can do after school programs where they give kids candy after they wash their hands. Make movies about how cool it is to wash your hands. Get famous movie stars to pose with wet hands and put them on billboards that say “Got clean?” I’m sure you can think of a few others. The bottom line is wash your hands after the can! This post goes out to my boy named Burd, thanks for the brainstorming.