Tuesday, September 22, 2009


"The way to transcend a corrupt system is through generosity - giving, not holding back." - McLaren

the sixth grade was a very interesting year for me. actually, it wasn't that great of a year for me at all. i was still fat and my voice had not really changed much and i was just a funny looking kid. i really wanted to be popular - but really i just wanted people to like me. which is interesting because other than my sixth and some of my seventh grade years, that has never been a problem for me.

but that first year of middle school was. and for some reason, this one kid named ryan - who certainly was not superior in terms of looks, abilities, or social class - thought i would be his target of abuse. really, i was not hurt. mainly because i realized the equal status between us. i knew that i was not inferior - in any way. to be honest, i thought he was a weasel.

but it got annoying. and it dug in. and slowly it began affecting me. not in a way that caused me to become depressed - but in a way that i began to subconsciously question my confidence. this went on for an entire year. until the last week of school. ryan would push me and make some stupid comment like, "you're slow fatso..." or something ridiculous. and something inside me went off. after he pushed me, i grabbed his arm, put him in a head lock, and kneed him in the face.

now for years, i have felt good about that. i have always had the ability to maintain my calm (except in football games) but was proud that i showed ryan i was not inferior. but recently i just got "checked" on my attitude about this. read what jesus says:
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow." (Matthew 5:38-42 NLT)

this is one of those verses i have always overlooked and explained away. i would read this verse, agree with it, and then say, "well, its good not to have revenge, but you can't just let someone walk all over you." this was precisely the attitude i had with ryan, and specifically the reason why i finally decided to oppose him. and it was in that decision to act i realize that i simply moved to the weakness of being a pushover to the weakness of being an oppressor like my enemy.

in that instant, i became - regardless of whether or not he deserved it - just like him.

if someone ridicules you or slaps you across the cheek, they are belittling you. they are in a position where they feel you are inferior to them. and you have some options. you could retaliate. but by doing this you become an oppressor just like them. or you could walk away in cowardice; afraid and embarrassed with little dignity left.

or you could go with option three and turn so they can strike you with their fist on your other cheek. but why would you ever do that? that is so ridiculous.

i've always thought that. but it actually takes strength to do such a thing and it also does something even more important: it exposes the true violent nature of your oppressor. you will not be frail or inferior in that position, but rather will display strength and stability and your resistance to violent retaliation will allow you to rise above the weakness of your enemy.

i am reading an excellent book by Brian McLaren called, "The Secret Message Of Jesus." here is an excerpt:

"Similarly, if someone takes you to court - as rich landowners would often do to poor peasants who had gotten in debt - and they want your outer garment, Jesus says to strip down naked and give them your underwear as well! Your 'generosity' leaves you defenseless and exposed - but in a sense, your exposure exposes the naked greed and cruelty of your oppressors. . . Or if someone forces you to carry his pack a mile - which a Roman soldier could do to any Jew - by willingly taking the pack a second mile, you show yourself a generous human being, strong, self-controlled, dignified, not dominated. The first mile may be forced, but the second mile, you walk free - transcending your oppression. The way to transcend a corrupt system is through generosity - giving, not hold back." (page 126)
for so long i have felt justifiably vindicated from that situation with ryan, but after much reflection and consideration i have come realize how weak and vulnerable i actually was.

how could i have reacted better? what would i have done?

i am not exactly sure what i would have done differently. perhaps i would have done the exact same thing. i am not sure i would have gathered up enough courage to do what jesus says. but if i could have done that, i would. and i know ryan would be exposed for what he really was.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


it has been forever long since i have been on here. too much has gone on since then! lets see...where to begin?

i shared a few stories from africa. i still am in amazement about that trip. God is too good. forever my life will be changed by what i saw, experienced, and felt while i was there.

we found out we were having a little girl. that is exciting. we're going to name her Norah Grace. i am hoping she is like her mom and not like me! well - i hope she has a little bit of me :)

i was in Ukraine for a little over 2 weeks. end of july and beginning of august. that was an awesome trip as well. i took a team of 10 people over to help out at a camp. it rocked. it really did. such a good time.

things are settling down for a while - so i am hoping to get back into the groove of writing. it is too therapeutic to neglect. so lets stay connected.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Funny Story

pretty cool picture, huh? that "little" baboon thought it was so smart and so clever. that bench is overlooking a gorgeous view of the ocean. it is at a place called "Simon's Town" on the Peninsula of Cape Town. apparently, baboons reside there.

this is what is so interesting about Cape Town. it is a pretty major city. great downtown. lots of buildings. lots of businesses. very metropolitan. very developed and industrialized. and then there are baboons. funny isn't it?

so my brother in law (actually, my sister in law's husband) and i were stay with my wife's aunt in Cape Town. she lives in an area called Clovelly. she is a tour guide by profession and loves to show people around. so one saturday she took us to see the South African Penguins and the Cape of Good Hope. after we left the penguins, we drove through Simon's Town where we saw all these baboons running around. so we pulled in front of a parked car, and my wife's aunt pulled in front of us. we are sitting there for a moment, when we see a HUGE alpha male baboon run to the car behind us, open the door, and jump in. luckily, there was no one in the car. so big guy baboon grabs what must be a back of food for a picnic and drops it outside the car where girlfriend and baby baboon come over and start eating. big guy baboon wasn't going anywhere. he was enjoying the back seat of the car. so my aunt goes up to the owner of the car and tells him to take off his belt and wave it around because it'll look like a snake and baboons are terrified of snakes. so he went to the back window and took off his belt and shook it around. sure enough - in a second, the baboon flipped out, and took off out of the car.

this is where it gets very interesting. because the only thing we can figure out, is that the baboon "knew" my aunt had told the guy how to scare him out. as soon as the baboon got out of the car it took off straight for my aunt. and it was at that moment, my aunt describes, that the baboon made eye contact with her for a split second. and so the baboon charged at her to attack her. my aunt turned around to run away, and as she did so, the baboon jumped at her. luckily, her moment was moving away from the baboon, so he did not knock her over. but he scratched her across the back. she is lucky she turned around, because if she had been face forward, it would have indicated an aggressive, attack position, and it could have been deadly. baboons have massive fangs for teeth. they are huge.

lucky she got away with only a few scratches. but this all happened in about .5 seconds. from the time the baboon saw the belt to the time he attached my aunt and ran away. it was insane! it happened so fast i wasn't sure it really took place.

Africa provides such wonderful stories!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Perspective Is Everything

one of my favorite things to say is, "perspective is everything." i believe it completely. i truly believe that perspective IS everything. perspective explains what your world view is. your world view is an indication of your heart - what matters and what doesn't matter.

and that is the reason why we have issues. isn't it? you see things up. i see things down. we see things differently. "A" is really important to you. therefore, you see things this way. well, "B" is really important to me. that is why i think you are wrong and i am right. because "B" is so important, it only makes sense, that my point of view is correct. because i am going to make decisions based upon my values. what i deem to be worth while, i put my energy towards. this is very simple. it can also be subconscious. i think sometimes we don't realize that when we make decisions - an attitude for example - we are really expressing our beliefs, our world view - our perspective. and that is why i believe what i do. perspective is everything.

cape town is such an interesting city. i wrote yesterday how it is "Heavenly." i believe it is. it is sensational. perhaps one of the best places on earth. but what makes it so interesting, is NOT just the fact that it is an amazing place. cape town is a world wide tourist destination. hollywood stars are flocking there. while i was visiting, matt damon was living there, and apparently oprah winfrey was throwing a party there too (not sure if the latter is true :-). but while it is a place of riches and beauty, it is also a place of poverty, abuse, sin, and need. and when i say poverty and poor - i mean it. i am talking about people in desperate, desperate, need.

and what is MOST interesting, is the gap between the two. cape town is a place of extremes. i saw very very little middle class. it was extreme riches and extreme poverty. this is very different than the make up of the states - which has the majority in the "middle class" range. it really felt like you were either rich or poor there. and the poor are very very poor.

but it was perspective that impacted me. we stayed in Hout Bay (a nice, wealthy, affluent community) and drove to Khayelitsha (a poor, massive township) several times during the trip. it was in Khayelitsha when it dawned on me how important perspective was. that is where i caught this image. this is a picture of happy little kids running around and playing with each other. they were enjoying one another and rolling their tires all over the place having a ball. i asked the kids to quickly gather together so i could get their photo. because i wanted everyone to see it. these kids live in a community of extreme poverty. but the smiles on their faces and their cheerful presence shows what they value: one another.

americans could learn a lot from these kids. where is our perspective in the middle of this terrible "recession?" how many of us are really about to be homeless? do we not have enough stuff to sell to make ends meet? do we not have enough family and friends to care for us in need? does this all even matter? i mean, really? what is your perspective? are you really in need? what matters to you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back In The States

i am back. i spent about two weeks in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. it is simply wonderful there. beautiful beaches. bright and fun downtown. a gorgeous waterfront. huge mountains. animals. the ocean.

it is very close to what i think Heaven will be like.

over the next few weeks, you'll be going on a little adventure with me. i want to relive my South African experience with you - with pictures and stories and lessons learned while i was there. minute by minute, and day after day, i had moments like this little girl. times when i was caught up in the moment and overjoyed by what God was doing in that city, country, and people. i am so excited to tell you all about it - and for you to get to see all that i saw while i was away.

it is good to be back. hope all is well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Am Going To Be A Dad

i am going to be a dad. weird huh? actually its exciting. talk about change. big change. initially, my wife and i were shocked. we were completely not expecting the news. before we knew for sure that we were pregnant, i was sensing it. i could sort of just tell. you know what i mean? when you live with a person every day you begin to pick up on anything different. i think that is really cool.

but we are so excited and are gearing up for this wonderful addition to our lives. we have no idea what it is going to be like. i suppose that is why everyone says you are never really ready. but now i have all these questions. is our baby a boy or a girl? do i WANT a boy or a girl? (boys are fun. girls are sweet). what will he or she be like? will he look like me? will she look like my wife? my blue eyes or Leigh's green eyes?

i would LOVE to have a daughter that looks like my friend Isa. except that neither Leigh nor I have any latino in us. but Isa is the bomb. she is sweet and fun. so she makes me want to have a girl. if we have a girl, we really like the name Norah Grace. but if we have a boy, we really like the name Brady. i think a boy would be fun because then we can watch the patriots together.

to be honest, i'd been hoping for twin boys. i think that would be the bomb. but it looks like we'll just be having one to start. i suppose that should be the easiest transition for our family. but then again, to go from zero to two, we wouldn't know if its any harder than just one. i guess God has his plan and he'll give us whatever kid he wants.

here is the question. what do you think? are we having a boy or a girl?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Simple and Specific

i'm not going to apologize about the length of my previous post and then write just as long in this one. so i am sorry for how long the last piece was and promise to just get to the point.

something so interesting happened. my wife and i experienced a wonderful blessing the other day.

we're taking this financial course to help get our lives in line. save money, reduce debt, and prepare for the future. so we have been implementing these principles into our lives and our spending habits. and one principle this course has shared was going back to the old fashion cash envelope system for certain budgetary items to help prevent overspending. but in order to make this work, you have to be stubbornly disciplined - otherwise your budget won't balance out.

so we budgeted $150.00 for groceries for this first pay period. we planned to spend $80.00 the first week and $70.00 the second because there were a few personal care items (conditioner and toothpaste) that we needed to purchase. so we head into wal-mart with $80.00 cash. that is it. we calculate every single item as we go down the aisle. we finish and the grand total was $75.55 - with milk and granola still to be purchased. we were going to buy milk at rite-aid because its cheaper, and granola at another grocery store because they have good stuff there :).

we go to rite aid and buy milk. and now we only have like $2.50 left. so leigh and i decide to can the granola idea because we know that it is more like $3.75. it is really good granola. but we must stay accountable and NOT go overbudget. just for once. we can't do it. so we just decide to be ok with frosted shredded wheat each morning for breakfast.

last night we go to our marriage class with three other couples. when we leave, our leaders hand each of us a bag of home made granola for us to enjoy. inside i was floored. God came through when he didn't need to.

so simple and so specific. the hand of God is in all things. he blesses accountablity and responsibility.

granola. so simple and so specific. and that is why i love God.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is "It" Everything?

i apologize for the length of my last post. i sincerely don't mean to bore you. i hope that i don't. actually, i am confident that i don't. i am sure that i am very entertaining. i would accept amusing. but i'll take what i can get. i understand i have an ego. you don't need to tell me.

there is this process i go through. i mean the process of writing. i do not consider myself even a novice at writing. if my writing and communication were a snowboarding hill, i wouldn't even be on the bunny hill. you know what i mean? like, i'd be on bump with the skiers who are learning to plow. haha. i get it. even with my ego, i am a realist. and realize where i stand in the grand scheme of things.

but you know how things go? one things leads to another. or you sit and bask in the thought of something divine or larger or more profound than yourself. you have this insight that leads you to more insight that leads to understanding that leads to questions which lead to answers - and suddenly you realize you just took this journey.

like LOST. and i insist on the spelling. it isn't lost. or Lost. it has earned the all caps title of, "LOST." in fact, if you watch the show, its called LOST. i recently hammered someone on facebook for this mistake. and i'm grudgingly feeling convicted about it too. tangent. sorry.

but this journey is like LOST. you start on the island. and the truth - slowly but surely - begins to reveal itself. and then suddenly, after 5 seasons of dedication, research, and mind-blowing theories, you realize you are so far away from where you began, but know that it was completely, and utterly necessary. though you may not comprehend it all, there is a deeper and more profound understanding that has developed within you as you relate with the characters in the story.

it is so interesting in the story and life of LOST - which has such a cult underground following - how one thing leads to another. or perhaps a better way of explaining it, how one thing was led by the other. as time goes on - or goes back - we begin to discover more and more information to lead us back to the beginning. but the point of LOST is the journey.

my wife and i have a pretty specific schedule in the morning. her alarm goes off. she gets up. does whatever it is she does in the hour before my alarm goes off. then i get up. do my thing. shower, eat, brush, etc. . .watch saved by the bell, etc. . . warm up the car, and then go. . . .

yesterday, she let the alarm go. and she slept in an extra hour until my alarm went off. and it is so interesting how the rest of the day was different because of that one decision. we tried getting ready simultaneously which doesn't work because of the small size of our bathroom. we got out of the door late - which is pretty consistent for her - and she dropped me off at work. as i walked into my office, my phone rings, and it is my wife telling me she left her keys at home. so i take car and house key off my lanyard and give it to her in the parking lot. then she went home with my keys. so when she got home she had both set of car/house keys.

then she picked me up and we went to panera for dinner. we used her keys because she had found them and left mine at home. we get out of the car at panera, i put my key chain in my left pocket because that is where they stay, and put her keys in my right pocket because i didn't want to carry them. then we eat. then we leave panera. i walk out, and pull my keys out of my left pocket. and then it dawns on me that my car/house keys aren't there. so i say, "where are yours?" (obviously forgetting that i had put hers in my right pocket to avoid carrying them). and then she begins looking in her purse and has a split second of panic as she realizes she can't find them. and then i finally realize i had them in my right pocket. problem solved.

then this morning, when i go to warm up the car 5 minutes before leaving - because this is what i do every morning before work - i grab her keys, because they are on the counter next to the microwave where i put MY car/house keys every day after work. the car warms up and we drive to work. i realize half way to work that i do not have MY keys because they are at home hanging up (because that is where my wife HAS to have them). but i do not have MY keys because i didn't realized i picked up HER keys to start the car. since i didn't have my keys, i couldn't get into my office, etc. . .

isn't interesting how one thing led to another? yesterday my wife ignored her alarm, and today i am driving to work without my keys. such an interesting journey isn't it? from point A to point B.

i have been on a journey folks. as i reflect on my last point - discussing being a poor follower of christ and realizing that my relationship with christ is similar to the love relationship between me and my wife - i realize how up and down and side to side i am. there is this path of understanding and relational development that i am on, and i am nowhere near where i was last week.

one thing has led to another.

i am still contemplating the meaning of being a true disciple. but as the days turn into weeks and time progresses, i realize how deeply involved it is to truly be a disciple. my understanding and comprehension of this topic has grown and shifted immensely recently. it began with that yearning question of, "is it the real thing?" which i realized is wrong to begin with. it then led to the question, "am i being the real thing?"

and how i realize - at least for today - that the question is, "is it everything?" and by, "it" i mean, being a disciple. is, "being a disciple, everything to me?" its the burning question inside me. i feel in so many ways that i am going to explode. i believe sincerely that there is a violent creature inside me that is waiting to be unleashed - in a good way though. wesley says that if you set yourself on fire, people will come to watch you burn. and i feel in so many ways, there is this small candle lit inside me desperately waiting for a semi truck full of fuel to spew its contents all over me.

and i realize that discipleship has to be everything to me. it has to completely consume me. it cannot just spill out of me. it has to overtake me from the inside out. it cannot be the overflow of my heart. it has to be my heart. my life cannot simply resemble the life of christ - it must be the life of Christ. it has to be everything.

it must.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is It The Real Thing?

i am sitting here on our comfy couch. i do that a lot. but this is great. i'm surfing the Internet - doing some research on macs. i love macs. i am one of them. i've got NFL network on which has the 2002 superbowl between the pats/rams. this is the life. i am basking in the goodness of the patriots. it feels so sweet. i am happy.

i know i know. the patriots are done for the year. we've been done for quite a while. did i tell you about my trip to visit family in new england? it was a great trip. but it was a long trip - which means something bad was sure to happen with the patriots. it just happens that way. remember everything i've told you? superbowl? pats loss to miami? uhhh. so dreadful.

my brother and sister in law were in town the week of the last game of the year. we all sat around the TV watching the patriots shutout the bills. it felt so good. it felt so pure. we had a 13 hour trip ahead of us - but we were not going to leave before we knew the conclusion of the game. with 2 minutes left, a 13 point lead, and possession of the ball, i felt comfortable to leave. so we did. but there was so much left in store for the pats that day. we needed miami OR baltimore to lose. neither did. they both won. brett the jet let me down. i was stuck on interstate 90 when i heard the news. it was miserable. it just sucked. needless to say, i was just in a terrible terrible mood. we didn't get to the family's house until 4 am. my wife and i were exhausted.

we need we would be. we had it coming. we could have left right after church at 12:30. instead, we watched the game and left at like 3:30. its just the way it is.

but they are my team. i am going to follow them. thick or thin. i have to. i love them. i read about them - everyday. i check espn.com constantly for updates. i check patriots.com and boston.com and the herald daily. i shift my weekly schedule to watch their games. i am dedicated to following them. i love it.

i suppose this is just the way i am. i've been like this for quite a while. and i like to think this is what separates me from the normal fan. i am loyal. i am sincere. and i am hardcore. my love for the patriots is what fuels this behavior which could be defined by some as a sort of strict religiosity. but i am also a purist. you can only be a fan of one team. what i mean is, i can't be a patriots fan and also a chiefs fan. i can't love new england and also follow the bucs. it just doesn't work that way. you can only be a fan of one team.

but my point is that i will do anything to follow this team. i will sacrifice to be a part of the game. i love it.

i know that i go on and on and on. about the patriots and really about everything. my blogs get to be long. i am sorry. but i shock myself. really, i do. i am crazy in love with my team and am a passionate follower of the pats.

you know how sometimes God is working and seems to be hitting you with a theme over and over? sometimes you see it in relationships. sometimes you see it in the world or in the news. sometimes he tells you - yes verbally. sometimes you read it. sometimes you read it multiple times and in various places. i tend to not realize it right away and so he has to used a number of various resources to get my attention.

but here is what I have come up with: i am such a weak follower of christ. now to be honest, i've been struggling as to finish this post, let alone publish it. i've become such a downer. i can't really remember the last positive thing i've said in any of my blogs. but the point is, i'm finding growth in areas that i am recognizing as weaknesses.

this whole concept of dedication is interesting. i've really been searching and digging and praying about this whole idea of following. how do i measure up?

honestly, i am such a weak follower of christ.

sometimes it is almost disgusting. my lack of commitment. my dedication is pathetic. the comparison between the patriots and christ isn't even close.

i am afraid i am a bit of a coward.

what does it mean to be a true follower? what is the "real thing?" i am reminded of that feeling and emotion and question you get when you first think that you may be in love. "how do i know this is real?" or, "is he or she the one?" or "how can I be sure?" soo interesting. soo soo interesting.

but that is the point. isn't it? truly, it is a love relationship. i recently said this in a worship service - and i feel the need to repeat it - take what I say about love and marriage lightly. i've only been hitched for like a year and a half. but perhaps there are still insights here that should be considered.

but the christ/believer relationship IS very similar to that of a man a his lover. i mean that is the example we are given, right? but what i HAVE learned in my one and a half years of wedded bliss, is that those questions never seem to stop. in fact, it is a constant loop - a recurring theme. like i always ask myself, "is this the real thing?" referring, of course, to the LOVE between me and my wife.

my point, though, is not that i am doubting. my point is that this is fully necessary, and that there is a journey we must take, answers that must be had, and realizations to be discovered that lead us to the understanding that the "real thing" must constantly be worked out. it bends. it flows. yes, i did say it bends. but it does not brake. but the point is that it is constant work.

perhaps, "is this the real thing" is the wrong question. maybe the right question is, "am i being the real thing." that is why there is ebb and flow in my relationship with my wife. honestly, sometimes i am not good to her. i try to be. and to be real - often it is still "wedded bliss," and i love it.

the same is true with christ and myself. oh how i long for the feeling of wedded bliss i once had with my savior. but the lack of feeling, emotion, and blessings cannot and should not change the answer to the question, "am i being the real thing?" that is, am i being a real follower? like the love relationship with my wife, christ must be a constant pursuit. the desire and affection of my heart.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Don't Know What To Say

i am not exactly sure what to say right now. which is totally strange. it is a very uncomfortable feeling. you know what i mean? nobody likes this feeling. i think its because we are out of descriptions. we cannot communicate exactly what is churning within us. you want to express something. but how? you want someone to hear you. but how can you when you have nothing to say?

i struggle just to communicate this basic truth. i hate having nothing to say.

many who know me would find this difficult to believe - well, the fact that i don't know what to say. i can be a blabbermouth. its true. i can't help it. i'm quick. it just comes out. i never have issues telling it like it is. for the most part, i am ok with offending people. to be clear, i don't try to offend people - but if it is necessary, i'm ok with it.

my point is that i never feel like this. ever. honestly, i don't. i sincerely cannot remember the last time i had nothing to say. worse, i can't remember the last time i was unable to describe the whirlwind of emotions scattered throughout my being. it isn't good. it feels uncomfortable. it feels insecure. i feel helpless. i guess, i just feel sad.

its different with good things, right? you know what i mean? when you look at something so beautiful and you can't describe it. like at your wedding. when my wife was walking down the aisle, i had nothing to say. but i knew. and at least i could smile. i could react. maybe nobody heard me talking, but i was saying something.

or when your favorite wide receiver catches a bomb and suddenly your team takes the lead with 5 seconds left. you're shocked. you're in disbelief. its amazing. you don't know what to say, but at least you can shout. you can jump up and down and shake your fists. you can smile and scream at your buddy. you may not be talking intelligibly, but you're being heard.

but that isn't how i feel. i can't just hang my head. because that doesn't feel right. i can't sulk. that isn't enough. it doesn't accurately express the emotions.

i lost a friend. someone who i grew up with. someone who me and my buddies spent a lot of time with in school. tragically he died. it had been a really long time since i had been in contact with him before his passing. perhaps that is part of my issue.

i am not in reality right now. i think that helps me describe to you where i am at. i am trying to avoid this surreal atmosphere, but i cannot. i just don't know. i don't know what to say. i have a loss. i have a deep emptiness. i have this strange combination of emotions stirring inside of me that is creating this uncomfortable and mysterious ingredient i can't seem to put my finger on - like a flavor you can't quite figure out in a new dish. does that make sense? do you get where i am at?

so i pray. and nothing really comes out. but i pray. i don't know what to pray - but luckily God takes care of that form me. i think and i process and i attempt to move forward and i heal. and that's how this works. i guess its ok that i have nothing. perhaps that is exactly what God intends for me in this time. i've tried and tried, but sincerely, honestly, i don't know what to say.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Whatever It Takes

it was very very interesting this morning when i logged into my blog and took a look at my dashboard. on my dashboard i'm able to take a quick look at all the blogs i like to read. the first line or two of all my blogs read something like this, "Soooo, it has been a while since i've written anything." or "I am sorry to all my readers." something of that sort. i find this very funny. its funny because these statements are assuming that people are really wanting to read their blogs. like, "Please please add something! i miss reading! i want to hear from you! I need to hear from you! I am your fan!" its just funny. i am the same way though. i like to think i have fans. but even if no one read my blog, i'd still be convinced that i have the best blog. but i recognize that i have a big ego.

but i find it interesting when people get busy and take time off their blogs (like me). i mean, people set up blogs to communicate (like myself). they may have a very specific purpose or content they want to communicate. for example, someone may start a blog because they want their voice to be heard on a specific topic - like politics or poverty or animal/women's rights or whatever the case may be. i just find it funny that, given the fact that having your voice heard is so important, it is easy to just take time off or submit to the busyness of life. this is how i am.

with all of that said....it has been a while since I have posted. i have been very very busy. december is extremely busy for me with work. we have had family visiting. i am writing on vacation visiting family. there have been multiple christmas parties and get togethers. there have been meetings. blah blah blah. there have been a number of various things to divert my attention from writing on this puny little blog (that I am convinced millions read even though StatTracker tells me otherwise).

and want to know what is even more funny? i have visited this blog almost daily. i cannot tell you the number of times i have sat down before my computer, logged into my account, and stared at my dashboard contemplating hitting "New Post." it has definitely been a while and i have definitely knowingly put this off. everyday i've told myself, "i need to write a new post. i need to get on my blog." but stuff came up and i submitted to the work around me.

the other day i went into the gym to work out. i've been running stairs which is just miserable. i worked out so hard that i literally could not see straight. believe me, i understand this is a bit extreme. but I must do this. i've mentioned several times about my passion for working out. i'm a desperately competitive person. but the point is that i recognized a need (to take care of my fat belly) and decided in my heart and in my mind that i was going to do something about it. and that is where i am today. nothing and i mean nothing will get in my way of achieving my desired results. i take this very very seriously. when i go to the gym, i want to sweat. i want to be pouring with sweat. i work out until i feel as though i will vomit. if i don't have that sick feeling i haven't worked hard enough. i will do whatever it takes and i must do whatever it takes.

blogging isn't the most important thing in my life. but i like doing it. i enjoy doing it. i think it is very valuable to my growth. but more importantly, i resolved in my heart to blog. i decided it would help me move forward and decided to blog consistently. taking time off because of busyness shows me my lack of dedication.

i've always thought the same things are indicators of the big things. you know. its like they say God won't trust you with the big until you've proven yourself with the small. its all along the same lines. blogging isn't a big deal. but my situation is concerning. i can't even take a small thing like writing in my blog weekly seriously enough to make it happen.

it makes us ask this question: how badly do we want something? how important is something to us? if something is desperately important to us we will do whatever it takes to see it through. and we must.

there is this very small story in the acts of the apostles that has really changed my life. paul has this dream of a man from macedonia. in this dream the man begs and pleads with paul to come to macedonia and help them. so paul, luke, and everyone with them, got up the next morning and left for macedonia because they had resolved in their heart that is what God was calling them to do.

here is my question. where is your macedonia? who is your macedonia? what is your macedonia? what is the resolve in your heart? is it africa? is it children? is it abused women? is it the hungry men who live on the streets? is it the uneducated? is it downtown? is it the rural familes? what is your macedonia? what is the resolve in your heart?

what are you going to do about it? and how seriously are you going to take this resolve in your heart? are you going to take it on in your free time? or are you going to do whatever it takes to see it through? you won't get free time. you must create it. you must make it. you must give things up and make it happen. you must sweat and work so hard it makes you sick.

when God gives you a task, and you have resolved in your heart about something, we must be moved to action. we must be changed and spurred to move forward. we must get up the next morning and go. we must do whatever it takes to see it through.