Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why do I do what I do?

So there was a huge wedding at my church today. Being the custodian, I am responsible for cleaning the building before and after the wedding. Now this wedding was giant. There were fancy lights and nice/contemporary music and of course.. Confetti Cannons! Confetti was EVERYWHERE. But I loved it! And I loved it the most because it was my friend's (Melanie and Steve's) wedding.

HOWEVER, had this been another person's wedding (or just a wedding for none whom I know), cleaning up that confetti would have bothered me. I would have complained and moaned about the inconvenience. I might have even posted a blog about it. But as I was cleaning the church and vacuuming up all that confetti, I found great joy. The work wasn't hard, and I had no desire to complain at all. I started thinking, "If only I felt this way about cleaning the church all the time." My willingness to clean the church for this wedding was at an all time high! and it was my heart's desire to prepare for it. Then started plotting to trick myself into thinking that I was always cleaning the church for Melanie's wedding.. because then cleaning the church would always be a joy, right?

Colossians 3:23 says, "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you are working for the Lord rather than for people." (NLT)

I was starting to change this to "Work willingly at whatever you do as though you are working for melanie...." haha But here's the cool thing. If I can have joy about blessing melanie by cleaning the church, How much more joy can I have by doing it for the LORD?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Urgent or Important?

I took a class called Administration and Organization. yes it was as boring as it sounds... But I did learn some useful things. One of those things was how to tell to tell the difference between something that is urgent and something that is important. Something that is important may not necessarily be urgent and visaversa. There are times however when something is important and urgent or even times when something is neither.

Here's an example of a time when someone misunderstood the difference between urgent and important: I got a trillion (obvious exaggeration for effect) phone calls at a time when I was busy. The same person kept calling me over and over and over. I was wondering if i should get up and take the call but as the person wasn't leaving any messages (and I wasn't sure about the number) i decided to ignore it. Then I started getting these text pages, "Urgent call" and "please call me". The person was finally left me a message and I was able to step out at a convenient time to listen. When I listened to the message, not only was I relieved that nothing was wrong, but I was perturbed that this person would try and contact me so urgently for what seemed like a relatively small reason.

Though the matter may have been important it wasnt urgent enough to enduce a trillion phone calls and text messages.

Actually, if people focused on the difference between urgentness and importantness they would learn better time management skills, and they would feel less stressed. well.. I learned that the hard way through procrastination. anyway.

thats my rant.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What's Grandpa Saying?

When my dad called me on March 18th to tell me that my grandfather was in the hospital and wasn't coming out, I was shocked. He'd overcome lung cancer and was well enough at Christmas to have a snowball fight. And now he's on his deathbed with brain cancer?!

He did come out of the hospital which is great. He was having black-outs and weird seizure things, So they decided to radiate the three major tumors in his brain (there isn't much they can do for the other tumors). These tumors will not go away.... and they will kill him. However, He seems to be doing much better. I am glad that I have come out to see him and be with him.

He had a priest come over and heard his confession and gave him communion. My grandfather said he didn't want to confess everything he'd done in the last 50 years since his last confession. That gave the priest the opportunity to direct him to the forgiveness and grace of Christ. Hallelujah.

The hardest thing is watching my relatives cry over this thing that will happen. Aunt's and Uncle's crying because their father is dying. My mom is beside herself. I sometimes have to beg her to go see him. When I see him he says, "bring your mom, your dad, and your sisters...". My sister Paris has been in utter denial. She refused to see him saying with certainty, "he will not die". Let's be realistic.

On Monday I took my sister Paris with me to visit him at his house (which now has a hospital bed in the living room). He didn't recognize her and said, "Who's your friend?" I said, "Grandpa, this is Paris." He hasn't been completely out of it but He does recognize his limits. He was making plans for the things he'd like to do in the summer.

Today my grandmother asked us to come stay with him for a while. She told us that he'd been very disoriented. And as we talked with him we noticed something changed. He was slurring more of his words. His face was very red and the tone of his talk changed. He wanted to tell us how he was sorry he hadn't spent more time with us and How he'd wished he had spent some of his time "making the world a better place". It sounded like he was saying good-bye. It was very surreal until He became suddenly become very dizzy and tired.

He also told us how much he appreciated my grandmother, "She takes such good care of me". He loves her soooo much. He started telling us about all the things that he appreciated. It really reminded me of this story that Leo Tolstoy called "The Death of Ivan Ilyich": This man had lived such a proper life and even though he had lived a good life he had been so selfish. In his family he saw that "their every word and movement confirmed to him the awful truth that had been revealed to him during the night. In them he saw himself — all that for which he had lived — and saw clearly that it was not real at all, but a terrible and huge deception which had hidden both life and death." He tries to share this revelation with his wife but she doesn't understand.

My grandfather, realizing his time is very short, seems to be doing the same. Showing his gratitude but also saying that he wants us to go out and change the world. Telling of the things he'd wished he'd done. His eyes have been opened and he shares it with everyone. If you knew you were going to die in a very short time what would you do? We go on expecting that we are going to have one more day. But 10/10 people die... every person's days are numbered.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." - Psalm 139:16

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Is it possible?

I have these dreams that are SO real.
I used to think that my dreams were the reason I didn't sleep well. I would wake up in the morning after a full nights rest and be exhausted. But now I feel plenty rested and still remember most of my dreams. I have recently been taking my dreams more seriously and writing them down. Sometimes I write them down and i go back and read them I go "oh...." and other times I just think "well that was an interesting dream having to do with absolutely nothing." But mostly my dreams are just a curious thing of my mind for a long time meaning nothing until the time i look back on them. Is it possible that God is trying to speak to me though my dreams? maybe that's crazy?

Some of my dreams have very obvious meanings.

If God IS trying to speak to me through my dreams how do I know? When's God speaking to me? it's not like there are websites for these things...

Anyway... just an interesting concept. any ideas?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

United we stand... Departed we fall.

"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:1-6.

If ever there was one thing I learned from being in Campus Crusade for Christ and Bellevue Community College it was that there were no more powerful times than when God's people (no matter denomination) came together to worship him. Lutherans, baptists, Pentecostals, it didn't matter, everyone was there to worship God and it was powerful. We loved each other and people who were not Christians saw our love for each other despite our differences. I remember times when we would all go and hang out at Jesse's house (a young man with 10 brothers and sisters who lived in a small 3 bedroom, one level house and a tiny little living room) and we would come together and worship God! I really believe that is the attitude the Lord desires from us. it's keeping unity. And because we were a unified body of believers (about 50 or so) we were able to see people come to the Lord and join our family.

Somehow the church has fallen away from his and separated themselves into different little bodies. It really bothers/hurts me to see lovers of the Lord pollute and dishonor the name other lovers because of their denomination: as if one denomination should be considered higher than another.

Maybe all of this falls under the issue of control or pride? Paul said "be completely humble...." if recognizing any christian denomination as equal to one's own means stepping on their pride then I guess that would make Paul's statement apply.

Jesus even prayed for this. Before he died he prayed that we'd be unified. "...I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17) - Jesus also seemed to believe that this unity would be a light to the world of the gospel.

Well, What do you think? Maybe I'm a bit too harsh?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


sometimes I wonder if I am influencing kids at all. One child has even stated that she will not attend KidzChurch because she doesn't like the way I teach. That makes me wonder what it is that I am doing that is so terrible. Or its possible that because there have been so many different children's ministers the last three years that it is hard to make another adjustment.

It's always encouraging to hear a child repeat something they learned 2 months ago. And yesterday I was babysitting about 10 regular attending kids and six of those 10 children were wearing mismatched socks! haha some influence, ey?