Tuesday, December 11, 2007
While at work yesterday one of my regulars came in and I made there usual drink, One Venti Soy Chocolate Mocha. In the process of making the drink I asked, “why the soy?” They informed me that there stomach was the master and that they were the slave. They described that when really stressed they suffer serious stomach issues and for that reason any type of drink or food makes it worse.
This customer was a slave to the stomach. Are you a slave to the stomach? Am I a slave to my stomach? It goes deeper too I think than being a slave to my actual stomach. It goes to being a slave to those deepest desires that somehow I know are wrong but I continue to feed them. My soul is hungry for food and not just chicken soup. My soul longs for the day to be loved and love. My soul yearns for the meaning of life, which really means the job I will do for the rest of my life, even though the meaning is much richer and deeper than just an external work. My soul thirsts for water that will quench the parch desperation of being wanted and needed by others. The reality is we are that customer; however the hope is greater and more profound than the stresses we are faced with everyday.
The stomach and the cravings will die as will we.
The spirit will live for eternity in Heaven or Hell.
The spirit can and will give us the strength here in the present if we feed it the very thing it needs.
What are you feeding your soul via the spirit? Are heart is a great home for cleanness or uncleanness. It’s what comes out of that heart that determines what is going to shape tomorrow. Yes, there are choices of others that have effect on our lives and I’m convinced though we have a choice how we respond to those choices. We must become a slave to a new master, a master who is humble, loving, merciful, forgiving, and above all else God. He is what we need, He is what will give us life, He is what will help us to conquer the stresses of everyday life for his burden is light, He is exactly what our soul and spirit hunger for He Himself created us with a piece of Him in us. We have been separated by sin and have the access to be reconciled to Him through His son Jesus.
Jesus claimed to have living water and be the bread of life. He has the key to a new life and a new creation beginning inward and working its way outward.
What bread will we eat today and what water will we drink today?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Without any real sense of major direction, I find myself reflecting back on where I have come from. I recently heard it said that in order for you to realize where your headed and to become who you were created to be you have to realize who you are and to realize who you are you have to see who you were.
What I was before this moment in time was, dead. Not in a physical death, but in a spiritual death. The reality is we are either alive or dead. Our souls are in need of life or in need of food for that life. The dilemma comes in the way of trying to find the true food, the true source of life, to find our self.
I find it interesting that Jesus says that in order for you to find life you must lose it. What?
I must be willing to lay down my life...
In all my desires of advancement for the sake of me.
In all my desires for the best career that will help me to live a comfortable life. In all the dreams of finding the best mate that will fulfill all my wildest dreams of stability.
Jesus challenges us by saying in order for your soul (true self) to be satisfied you must deny all that your flesh desires, take up your cross, which in essence demands we would walk the hill of Calvary and slaughter the deepest emotions and desires that are outside of God and Follow Him realizing His desires that will not advance who we are in society but who He is as God and Lord. That we would trust (put our faith) in Him for the only source of life. That we would follow Him. His mission was to serve God the Father and to do only that which God wanted Him to do. That was to be a sacrifice for all of Humanity. The cost is no less for us. We are to do what God wants which in essence would be to lose our life for His sake. To use all that we have not for our good but for His name and Kingdom.
Maybe it sounds strange and maybe it goes against the teaching of some, but it's clear in the red letters that Christ raises the bar of living and challenges us to more than simple mediocrity of our self. And the most amazing thing is He says we don't have to do it alone, He will be with us in Spirit.
We immediately read those words and want to give up, but I'm finding that as Jesus looked on the crowds He had compassion for them and healed them. I think that he does the same now. He looks at you and me, in all of our sickness that goes against the character of who God is, and He has compassion on us. We can stand firm in Him, because He is now our life and we are now hidden in Christ. For we are now a new creation, in a new Kingdom that is advancing in the integrated world of an old kingdom. May we fix our eyes on Him for He truly is the author and finisher of our faith.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
It has taken some time to get used to making lattes and smoothies, but it has been well worth it.
When i'm not working, you can find me trying my darndest to build community throughout the community and try to piece together a book that i'm working on in my mind as of right now. I'm also trying to read a lot these days. I find that we spend so much time being busy with things that really don't make a difference and mean anything in the end.
I hope life is well for all you blog readers and note readers.
Life is good, I just keep remembering that though my circumstances seem crazy and uncertain, Jesus is the certainty.
Have a wonderful Friday and weekend.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
It was a hard decision but I know that it will be good.
Thanks to all who love me and pray for me and to those who are in Anderson you really should come and visit me someday in Boiling Springs, NC.
I'll begin work on Monday and looking forward to spending my time doing a little of that since it has been a while since I was last employed.
Keep shining and rocking.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Kip was one I helped as much as I could and one who did more than He'll ever know in keeping me in the body of Christ. He listened and he shared stories that I will cherish forever. One thing that I will really miss is going to the Grey House in Starr, SC to see him perform. To just sit around the piano and listen to him sing from down in the depths of his soul was amazing.
For his life and friendship I thank God.
Today's passages come from two passages that he always quoted to me.
The first 1 Corinthians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"[a]— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
The second which was one of Kip's favorites and this past year would be huge in my life is,
1 Corinthians 13
Love 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
To the new site and the new name. I thought that Five Porches was to confusing to understand its meaning (it was a place of healing in days in the past).
Welcome to the Porch a place to relax and converse over some of the topics that relate to you and me.
Today I wanted to share a passage that has really been instrumental to me in my journey with God. This post was inspired by the series that Mosaic LA is currently in.
This particular passage was read back in 2004 during a tough time for me but it pointed me towards a goal. A goal that is unseen but eternal, a goal that did not build myself up but humbled me to reach up and cry out in desperation for a Lord that loves me no matter what and wants to use me in extraordinary ways, even if they aren't successful according to success of today.
Philippians 3:7-21 (NIV) courtesy of biblegateway.com
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing on Toward the Goal12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Share a passage that has been instrumental to you on your faith journey.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Just how big are you prepared to pray and to dream?
- By Earl Creps
Great question now am I willing to answer and are you?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
not willing to live for what we believe?
I'm tired of playing games with myself, with people, and especially with God.
I'm reading through the Old Testament and realized people haven't changed much in the past 3000 years. Yeah, we have global warming, we're all going green, we watch Fox News because it's fair and balanced, we love Oprah's favorite things even though we couldn't afford on a good day.
However, at the core of our being we really are selfish, greedy and broken people. People still
searching for a meaning and purpose in life. We want someone to love US and hopefully someone who won't make us mad, or fall short of our expectations and keep us from loving them in return.
At some point, we will all find ourselves wandering through life's deserts, either feeling completely bewildered and abandoned, or worried whether we'll ever reach find our destination and unable to focus on anything outside of ourselves. Then if the route we've taken seems to lead nowhere, we shrug and convince ourselves there's nothing worth pursuing at all.
I mean its all relative anyway, right ... because what's true for you is not necessarily true for me. Or maybe it was last time but not necessarily this time. We want truth, we want it now and we want the truth to include a LOVE of our of own creation: what we don't want is someone else preaching it down our throats.
But what if there IS a love that knows no color, no political party, no country, no denomination, no eye color, no nose size, no income earnings, a love that's infinite, perfect and fail-proof.
Does that kind of Love actually exist?
Yes, if you're willing to stop playing God-games and live the life he intended. Love! You have to find love in order to become Love. Some find love in people, gold, political parties, social systems, but I have found it in the one that speaks to me in a whisper that asks me to follow Him.
Are we willing to give up the things we know best to obey the God who loves us most?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Until, I remember that He knows me and I know Him (the father).
I was not voted in as Youth Pastor in Wendell, NC. It was a close vote and it didn't pass. I stepped out on faith, made myself available and the door closed. This shocked me but did not throw me into a doubting of God pit or even a anger pit at the church body in Wendell. Instead it was a catalyst to push me into the living scriptures to know Him and discover my new identity in Him even more. I'm now helping my grandfather in Surfside Beach do some work and it is the kind of work that my mind does not understand, houses. He has been doing house work and home appliance work for years. I'm trying to learn it in, oh I don't know a week. It's not working, it has felt like emo Monday everyday this week.
Please be praying for me as I journey right now in faith and figure out where the road leads today, tomorrow and the next.
If you know of anything that would be awesome too, firstname.lastname@example.org
Until later, Stay cool, gosh it's hot.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I'm back from 15 days, 22 stops for gas, 4 meals in some giant store parking lot and 28 states of Road Trip USA. The longest amount of time without a bath would be exactly 3 days. The worst part of the trip, Mojave Desert. The best part of the trip seeing much of the country and gaining new insight on what it means to live here and what it means to be a lover to the world.
May the journey continue in new ways and may I never forget the time that I had with my friend Nick in a green van for 15 days.
Until Later, Be still and know.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I would like to tell you everything that I have going through my mind right now, but I'm afraid it's to late and to early in the reflective stages to share, but I will tell you that our journey is not yet over and though we may pull into Raleigh on Thursday our journey of life has only begun. This trip has shaped us and will continue to shape the way we look at our country, at people, and our faith.
May we truly put on gentleness, kindness, humility, patience and the garment of Love that binds them all together.
Until later, see you at the end of the road.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Brent asked if I'd mind contributing a Guest Post or two while he's away; I'm humbled by his request ... and by his friendship as well.
ps. That's actually the Hartwell Dam pictured above; here's the real Hoover Dam:
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
- 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NIV)
Sunday, August 05, 2007
We arrived last night around 9 and showered for the first time since Thursday. The feel of water was more than I can explain.
Since I last posted we left Glasgow on Thursday evening around 9 and drove through the night til we got to Fort Smith, AR around 7am. Between that time we crossed the Mississippi River around 1:30 in the morning and went through Little Rock which I was a little disappointed with to be honest, I thought it would be more grand. When we finally got to Fort Smith we stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought some eggs in which Nick scrambled them on a propane burner right there in the parking lot. We tried to get some rest but it was so muggy we couldn't sleep because we were miserable so we decided to drive and miserable rather than stay still.
Finally left AR around 10am and made our way towards Amarillo. Went through Oklahoma City which I would like to go back and visit, it just seemed like a really neat town. Made it to Amarillo way before morning, sorry about that George Strait. Stopped a place called Cadillac ranch which was basically Cadillac's dug into the ground half way with years of paint on them.
After a trip through the 100 plus miles of Texas we arrived in NM. Stopped at the first major city or at least the first place with a lot to do, like to eat, had supper and decided we wanted to be in Albuquerque by the end of the night so Nick got us on the other side of it and we spent the night in a rest area.
The next morning I woke up about 5:30 left the rest area and got some coffee and headed on the LA. We got to Gallup, NM and made another stop at Wal-Mart in which this time we went with instant oatmeal, which was cooked in a Golden Carrol parking lot. Left Gallup around 10 and went all the way to AZ. We got through Flagstaff and the land started to become desert. When we reached the last city before the state of California which is Kingman we noticed that you could go to the Hoover Dam about 70 miles up the road. That wasn't planned in the trip but instantly became the detour we would take. It was awesome to see the Hoover Dam. I took some Dam photos, but did not take the Dam tours or even buy Dam souvenirs. Got back on target after the Dam and made our way to LA. We went through the Mojave desert which was Hot, Windy, Hot and last forever. After the desert LA was just 70 miles away.
This trip has been awesome and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do something like this. Just to realize how rich I am compared to others in the country and world to just be able to this has been really humbling. Live wild this week and maybe take a little Road Trip from your house maybe to the mountains or beach or possibly to a friends house that you haven't seen in a while, but whatever you do, do it with everything you have and realize there may seem to be a desert that never ends but just over the mountain there is a city and hope that life really isn't all that mundane.
Until later, Drive On.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
The plan is hang out with the family on the farm today and hopefully get a nap and then have what I hear to be the freshest dinner one man could eat. Everything we eat will be food that came from this farm, sounds good to me. Will say our goodbyes and drive tonight to our next stop around Arkansas.
Big Birthday Shout-out to Jeremy Berger one of the coolest, creative, father to be that I know.
Until next time, drive west young man, drive west.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
It's funny what God will do in your life when you really do come before him and deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Him. Through all of it I'm learning that out of our obedience his faithfulness outshines.
May all of our endeavors be driven and motivated by LOVE. They will know him because of our love for one another. Now call someone up that you would love to spend time with and ask them to go eat, go to target, or go get a cup of coffee. Share what's happening in your life and what God is doing in it or what you think you need to do to have the life you were created to live.
P.S. Myself and Nick will be starting Road Trip USA, as we will be traveling I-40 across and hopefully pacific coast to Seattle, and then back across to New York.
Until later, do it together sometimes.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
It was prompted by the one and only Carol Creamer, who I ran into in the Target parking lot while in Anderson this past week for Crossroads Summer Camp. She told me that she missed reading what I had to say, which was enough to send me spiraling into thought, maybe I do have something to say that needs to be read.
So today I begin back on this journey of thought writing. A lot has happened since I last talked to you fine readers of Five Porches. 1) I left KFC/Taco Bell, 2) I finished CDH, 3) I'm about to become a youth pastor in Raleigh, NC.
Tomorrow night I meet the church body of Baptist Tabernacle and look forward to having one of my year long roommates (Nick Lewis) come and visit the festivities. Then the following day I begin a two week road trip across the USA, more to come on that later.
So I'm back and I need your help what are some topics or subjects you want to read about, let me know e-mail me, email@example.com. Until later keep rocking.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Maybe, just maybe I will type some new material or the old in new ways.
Tonight January 25, 2007
Clayton King @ Clemson University
I'll be there and well as far as i'm concerned you should be too. Come on you can nap or just drink a lot of coffee (nector of the gods) tomorrow.