Saturday, October 30, 2010

Felix Felicis. (or, moving as the Spirit calls)

My friends and I are watching Harry Potter 6. In the latter half of the movie, Harry uses a magical potion, Felix Felicis (aka "liquid luck"), in order to gain valuable information to aid Dumbledore in their fight against evil.

I love how Harry's entire demeanor changes when he's "high" (for lack of a better term). He's entirely confident - not arrogant, but 100% sure in his actions, even when they don't make any logical sense.

Professor Slughorn: Harry! I must insist you accompany me back to the castle immediately!
Harry: That would be counterproductive, sir!
Professor Slughorn: What makes you say that?
Harry: No idea!

And so it struck me: maybe that's what it's like to live and move fully "in the Spirit". Here's aspiring to that.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Down to Earth

In June one of my friends obliterated his Facebook account ( But before committing social suicide he sent me this message:

When I first met you in high school, you were the preeminent “audio/visual” guy. The teachers looked on you with respect, and many of us in the grades below you beheld you with awe. It was surreal, seeing a student who was well-liked enough among the faculty to be treated with such veneration. If anything, I was inspired. As a freshman, I assumed that this sort of prestige would have made you into kind of a diva; so it surprised me when I talked to you for the first time and discovered that you were a pretty practical and easy-going dude. I haven't seen you in a few years, but your Facebook page seems to indicate that you continue to be both a technological exemplar and a down-to-earth kinda guy. Neat.

I’m still speechless.

Pride and humility have definitely been stumbling blocks for me. It’s hard to remain humble, yet also acknowledge my own skills and abilities. Whether true or not, I feel as though I fail more often than I succeed.

My high school self apparently had it all figured out :) This encourages me. In addition to helping me re-focus, knowing that, at least at one point in life, I seemed to be doing well, gives me hope for my future in this life-long struggle.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I was in Ames over the weekend for AWAKEN, and to visit friends. Saturday night I was feeling mighty contemplative, so I stood outside for a good 15-30 minutes admiring the light show of a distant thunderstorm.

The word that kept coming to me was "trust". With so many questions about my future (specifically wondering which people will and will not be a part of my life), the sense I got was simply: trust. Trust, not in a flippant "it will all work out", but in a sincere, holy, "God's got my back" kind of way.

I'm a worrier. It's stressful. And I think I need to give that up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Children scare me.* And yet I imagine some day having my own. Presumably my perspective will have changed by that time.

While driving recently, children were on my mind. And so was adoption. It's probably the first time I honestly asked myself the question, could adoption play a role in my future life?

I think it probably could.

*though not as terribly as worms; children do not generally evoke the same girlish screams of terror, full-body tremors, and irrational dread of stepping on them. Not usually, anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Watering the seed

Over the last two weeks I’ve had opportunities to speak into people’s lives words that *I think* God wanted them to hear. I’m learning to trust my heart more than my head (NOT an easy feat), and along the way doing my best to take those baby steps toward discerning God’s words from my own.

What’s remarkable is the times that someone has replied, “that’s exactly what I needed to hear”.

Wow. Really? Like, what I said just then, it actually meant something?


What’s also notable, though, are the times with no noticeable reaction. Maybe I was speaking from my own head, maybe I wasn’t “channeling” “properly”.

Or maybe, God’s working in those times, too.

I was talking about this with my pastor and his wife tonight, and the image of a seed in a pot popped into my head. I think it’s a useful illustration:

- sometimes we are called to plant the seed.
- sometimes we are called to water it for the first time.
- sometimes we are blessed to see a plant poking through the soil.
- and sometimes we get to see the flower emerge.

Greg expanded on this, noting that rarely do we ever know what kind of seed we’re planting, what kind of plant it will one day become. Teachers must deal with this all the time. Or at least, teachers of younger grades: they teach the same age over and over, year after year, without ever getting to see the end result. The high school teachers, the college professors, they're the ones who see the finished product, YEARS after that Kindergarten teacher planted the first seeds. (I'm thinking of you, Mrs Brandon :)

So while sometimes there may seem to be no results, maybe that just means I’m not privy to see that part of that person’s journey. And that’s okay. I don’t need to know. All I’m called to do is trust. Isaiah 55:11.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pride and Passion

I was blessed with the opportunity to speak in chapel at Minnehaha earlier this month. Here's the video.

Special thanks to Jeff Crafton for the opportunity, Rich Enderton for video taping, and Brian Hallermann for lighting and recording me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Learning to channel. Or, how I'm learning to shove my brain out of the way.

It's JD's fault.

Over the last two weeks, my approach toward other people has been fundamentally (and I hope irreversibly) altered. It's a journey that began years ago with a tiny blue string from DaveO's sermon at FCA (about how people are important, and a chord of three strands is not easily broken).

The journey may have begun longer ago than that.

My Grandpa Stan died when I was not even a toddler. Mom and Dad always tell me how similar we are; I wish I'd known him. Yet I'm inspired by their memories. Mom tells me Grandpa could talk to anyone he met, anytime, and carry on meaningful conversation. He had a gift.

It's easy to talk to people I like. Or find attractive. Or share common interests. I suppose it's a starting point. Training myself not to discriminate, though, that's the challenge. And finding legitimate interest to hear what they're saying, another challenge.

But somehow it's not *quite* as challenging anymore. I've learned I love to learn, and I've learned I can learn from almost anyone. And the best way to learn is to identify, and then ignite, someone's passion - they'll talk your ear off.

There's more to the story (the part that actually explains the title of this post, I guess). If you want to know, ask me.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


God put this word on my heart tonight.

I know I have struggles ahead. I know specifically what at least three of them will be. And I know re-training myself to default to compassion is the first step.

After a cursory glance through an online concordance, it looks like “compassion” is a prelude to reconciliation and healing (Luke 15:20; Matthew 20:34; Mark 1:41; Matthew 14:14; et al.) Reconciliation is the challenge I’m least looking forward to.

Let the journey begin.