Sunday, April 15, 2012

I asked the Lord

Sitting in church this morning I heard one of the realest songs that I had ever heard in my life. I coudln't even sing it, I just wanted to read it. It wasn't the music or the lights or the guy singing it or anything else like that. It was the words, they were so true. I don't normally like really old school hyms, they don't really speak to me very much, but this one grabbed me, so I figured I would share it.

I Asked the Lord:
I asked the Lord that I might grow, In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know, and seek more earnestly His face.

Twas He who taught me thus to pray, and He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way, as almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour, at once He'd answer my request,
And by His love's constraining power, subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this He made me feel, the hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of Hell, assault my soul in every part.

Yea more with His own hand He seemed, intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, cast out my feelings laid me low.

'Lord why is this?' I trembling cried, wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
'Tis in this way,' the Lord replied, 'I answer prayer for grace and faith.'

These inward trials I employ, from self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, that thou may'st find thy all in me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What a hole

I've dug myself into a bit of a hole. This is what going through almost a semester of graduate level courses without doing any real coursework. Now its time to get out of it. In three weeks I will attempt to do over 3 months of school work. In the words of James Todd Smith, a.k.a. LL Cool J, "don't call it a comeback." Call it a road to redemption. A shot of destiny.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Judge Judy

I use to watch this show when I was a kid. My mom would watch the oldie goodie shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, or Bonanza, and sometimes an occasional soap opera from The Young and the Restless. I can remember the weekends and the summers as a kid when I would be roaming around the house around 10 or 11 in the morning and mom would be on the phone in the kitchen cooking, and she would come on in the background. She would always be sitting up there behind that desk, with her glasses pulled down real low on her nose so that she could see the criminals better. She would sit there and listen to them plead their case, then she would talk some sense into them, and then it came. She would bring down the wrath of justice on them. With one swift crack of her mallet on the wood it would be over. She had the power in that room, and she would make it rain justice. Mom didn't like for me to watch the show because she was trying to shelter me a little from all the crazy people in the world (Preciate you Mom), but I caught the gist of it. In the end justice is served. 

I'm reminded of Judge Judy when I read the book of Isaiah. Some of you may think thats dumb and stupid, and my response to that is you don't understand how my mind works so go and read someone else's blog. In all seriousness though the book of Isaiah is hard for me. Is a grinder. You see I know myself all to well. I know my own sin. I look at myself in the mirror everyday. I am my own worst critic, and I am all too human. I sin everyday. I come up short every day. In more ways than I like to admit. So when I think about God, I like to think about him as the loving, forgiving, Father that He is to his children. I don't like to think about the Righteous Judge that He is too. I don't like to think about him bringing down his judgment on nations and people that have turned their back on Him. I don't like to see him bringing destruction, exiling, crushing, sparing none,  and never forgiving. That makes me a little queasy, because deep down, I know that I deserve all of those things. And I know that all of those things are true about him. I know that I don't deserve the merciful, loving, forgiving God that He also is when His people turn to Him and put their trust in Him. I deserve to know him as the Righteous Judge who seeks justice. "I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their sin," Isaiah 13:11. That's who I deserve to know.

Sometimes with our own personal sin, we cannot see the ramifications of that sin in the moment that we do it. When I look at a female in a way that I shouldn't, it doesn't immediately hurt me. I don't have a shock collar that sends a zap through me every time I go astray. Every time I relish in my own pride and arrogance I don't get immediately struck down dead and cast out to where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. But what I have to know is this, God loves justice. He is a righteous Judge, and He will be just when we stand before Him in that day of our own personal reckoning.

(I don't really think ahead and plan much into the timing of these things so when it plays out like this tell the scorekeeper to give the assist to God's Sovereignty and will).

It's Saturday morning of easter weekend. However many years ago it was, this weekend commemorates the time that we as Christians set aside to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. He came to earth, leaving his throne in heaven, to come suffer on the cross, with the world's sin holding him suspended in the air until he died. He came into the courtroom with us and Judge Judy, and He came to take the punishment for our sins for us. He took our place. That moment of reckoning with my Righteous Judge that I deserve, He took that for me. He took that for you. He is the reason that we are able to know God as the merciful, loving, forgiving God that He is, even as He remains a God who loves and seeks justice. What a story. Thank you Jesus, and I love you too. I don't really know what else you can say for that.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I've always thought it would be cool to climb a mountain like this. It would really be hard for me because I hate cold weather. But the though of it really entices me. A physical challenge that would take days and weeks to accomplish. It's like one of nature's greatest obstacle courses. And when you finish it, man what a feeling that must be. To reach the top and look out and see all that you have come from and endured and where you're at now. What a breathtaking view that must be. To be so high in elevation that the sky is beginning to look black even though the sun is out because you're so close to outer space. I like to think that being on the top of Mt. Everest would be the physically closest that one could ever be to God and still be alive on this earth (or at least until He comes back). I always thought that it would be a cool thing to do though.

I realized the other day, that I climb a mountain like this everyday. Or at least sometimes I feel like I do. That mountain is called "walking with Jesus in a world that likes to act like He doesn't exist."

When you're standing at the bottom of the mountain, It looks tall. I don't think you can really imagine what lies ahead of you on your journey. As you go, it gets harder, it gets steeper. With every step, the rocks beneath your feet are slippery and sharp. When you stumble and fall, you get cut on the rocks, leaving you a nasty scar to remember what happened forever. The higher you get the harder it gets. The less people there are climbing around you. Those who aren't serious about the climb get weeded out and fall away. When you're about halfway up you look back and see where you've come from and you're encouraged, but then you turn back and look up to where you have still yet to go and you get so frustrated you want to quit. Hunger, thirst, desire to be warm, the desire to have company, all of these wants eat at you constantly. They call out to you and try to distract you from the goal at hand. Sometimes you climb and climb an climb, then look and see that you've hardly moved any from where you last were. It can feel like you're going nowhere no matter how hard you try. 

That is so comparable to my life its almost laughable. Walking with Jesus in today's world is hard. There's no other way to say it right now. I feel like I'm somewhere halfway up the mountain stuck in my tent because theres a blizzard outside. When I look back and see where I've come from, I see the changes that God has made in my life, I'm encouraged. When I look up to see where I want to go, I'm so frustrated because it feels so far away. With every step I feel like the rocks beneath my feet are shifting and I'm about to fall flat on my face sometimes. The higher up the mountain, the closer with Jesus you walk, the harder it becomes, and sometimes the fewer fellow climbers you have with you. Every step you take closer to the top of the mountain of walking closer with Jesus, the devil ramps up his onslaught against you. In times of loneliness or wondering you get consumed with the wants and desires of this world that keep you from focusing on your ultimate goal. I have scars from past falls that I've had. Things that constantly remind me of the person I use to be. They haunt me sometimes. They call out to me to go back to them and do them again. When you're climbing alone and they are the only voices you hear sometimes, they can seem pretty convincing. 

What a view it must be from the top though. I'm going to make it to the top of that mountain. I don't care how many times I fall along the way. I don't care how cold it gets, or if I'm the only one left on the mountain. I've got to keep climbing. You've got to keep climbing. Take someone with you, find someone who's climbing near you and tag team it. It's going to get harder as you near the top. You're going to get cold. You're going to get frustrated. Know these things, and overcome them. After all they have already been overcome by Someone greater than you and I. 

Keep climbing...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Steel Rod Back

Squatting 10's. Pulling 10's. Pressing 10's. Then squat some more. And then pull some more. Squat, Press, Pull, Pull, then Squat some more. I am a Machine of 10's right now. I just pump them out. It doesn't matter what is on the bar. Imma pick it up and do 10 of them. Squat, Press, Pull, and then Pull again. Do it again two days later. In 12 weeks I'm gonna have steel rods running down my back. I'm gonna pick up heavy things that I've never picked up before and then put them over my head.

Coach D: "Dave have you ever been to San Fransico?"
Me: "Nah why?"
D: "You ever seen the San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge?"
Me: "Yeah sure."
D: "You know those steel rods they have that hold that thing up?"
Me: "Yeah."
D: "That's what I'm building on my back."