Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spare us any joy that’s not of You

Working at a radio station, you’re always consumed with music. You can’t get away from it … It’s a lot like the donuts, pastries and sweets that appear when you’re trying to diet … it’s always there.

Occasionally I’ll come across a group or an artist that just sticks with me, and for some reason I have a small musical “crush” on them for a few days (Oh come on, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m saying) This was an unlikely crush. See a while ago I saw an Episode of “L.A. INK” with the notorious Kat Von D. Well this chap walks in, built, brown and ruggedly handsome (I think I’m allowed to say that) Anyway, he says his name is Carlos Whittaker and he leads worship for this church called “Sandals” (check it out, it’s pretty legit!) His story was compelling, and identifiable. His story resonated with the conversion of Saul to Paul (I’ll leave it to you to find the whole story) but he left “L.A. INK” not only with a sweet impression of Saul’s Conversion on his right arm, put made a great impression on me. After some “googling”, I ran across his music … 4 songs “Rain It Down”, “Jesus Saves”, “We Will Worship You” and “God of Second Chances(check out that link RIGHT when you're done reading this)…. I downloaded the EP off ITunes for pennies … and it was worth it.

That night I went for a 4 mile run, listened to the EP 3 or 4 times. I wasn’t blown away by this amazing musicianship, or unsurpassed lyrics … I was blown away by how open his music felt. There was vulnerability about it, it didn’t seemed littered with “Christian” clichés … but a jubilant expression of genuine gratefulness without getting muddied by our religiosity.

Needless to say, this guy … I like.

God’s graciousness is something that either gets OVER stated … or UNDER appreciated … I think these songs, at least for this guy (me), remind me that during the seasons I feel dry God’s grace can rain down. That my soul is forever saved not because I’m righteous enough but that “I am the sum of failing and of grace” … and that even within complacency and emotionalism, a plea of “Save us from these comforts, Break us of our need for the familiar, Spare us any joy that’s not of You” His grace will restore our hearts to Him and to His justices. ... overall ... I think I'm a fan.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

40 Days .... Day 1

Waking up this morning was more of a chore than it has been in the past. See, today starts DAY 1 of the 40 Day all water challenge for Blood Water Mission (40days.bloodwatermission.com). This is also the 2nd year we (The Morning Cruise and I ) have decided to partake in this effort to make aware the needs of clean water to most of the world. It seems at times to be a trivial way to express your desire to help, but truly … you don’t know how much you abuse until you’re without the things you depend on.

Case in point, since I was 17 I’ve literally had at least a cup of coffee or more a day. Working as much as I do, I tend to get caught up in the working I’m doing and ignore the fact I haven’t had my much needed “Cup-o-Joe”. By 10:00AM (if I haven’t had my coffee) I’m riddled with migraines.

I’m not sure I would go far enough to call it a fast, but rather a sacrifice (some would argue that’s what a fast is … and I would beg to differ) But knowing that what we (those who are participating in the 40days) are wanting to do is sacrificing our comfort ability to make aware a real need for those who are in the most need. I heard it said the other day that “We’re the rich people (Americans), when you read the Bible, don’t read it and say ‘I’m not rich, I have a bus pass’ or ‘I live in an apartment’ … it beats the tarps/sheds/huts/boxes MOST live in … We are the rich, we are the fat consumers of the world and the most struggling among us still live at a very high level compared to most in the world.” The responsibility of knowing is something that’s a blessing and a curse … with ignorance, there’s no responsibility, but when you become aware of something … you are now held responsible. If I hadn’t known a friend of mine had been burdened over the statistics of sex trafficking, I’d never had been burdened myself. When I knew, I felt it.

This is the joys of living the Christian Life, compassion. Not for any specific group, religion, race but for all mankind. The idea of the good Samaritan was that no matter WHO you are, or WHO they are … if the need is there, to meet it.

Regardless of how I feel about going without coffee, it pales in comparison to making you aware of the need for clean water … now that you’re here … read. http://www.bloodwatermission.com/

Monday, February 8, 2010

My house is a House Boat!

It's an interesting thing when dealing with our own personal insecurities. Martin Luther writes "It is certain that man must utterly despair of his own ability before he is prepared to receive the grace of Christ"

The Apostle Paul had an uncanny walk with Christ. You would think someone who penned 2/3rds the New Testament would have somewhat of a healthy spiritual stance. But as I read the chronicles of Paul throughout his and Luke's writings ... he has a slow downward trajectory.

"I am the least of the Apostles, unworthy to even be considered an Apostle, for I persecuted God's church" (1Cor 15:9)

" I am the VERY least of all the saints" (Eph 3:8)

"Christ came into the world to save all sinners, who I am the foremost" (1Tim 1:15)

Paul is a person we consider to be a "Heavy Weight" of the Christian Faith ... if there were a CFHWCOTW Belt (Christian Faith Heavy Weight Champion Of The World) ...Paul would probably be a contender ... BUT! ... he considers himself SO far less than even those who don't yet KNOW Christ ... He dictates that he is "the foremost of all sinners", other translations say "Chief-Sinner" ...

I love my job. Like any job it has it's ups and downs ... but the ups rocket past the downs which make it so worth it. For the last few weeks now, my wife has been enjoying her first semester at USF, studying dance. Before her enrollment we went over finances and thought we would JUST squeak by (which we were ok with). SO, she quit her jobs, maintaining a small job as a dance instructor at a local studio. Some weeks have past and some changes have been made with our previous finances. We're not really squeaking by ... we're slowly feeling the water around our ankles.

My initial reaction was to just be calm, pray, find a better way to provide ... this was a few weeks ago ... nothing has really happened. I still stand on the ideal that God IS my provision. I was told once "God doesn't just plop things in the peoples laps who just sit there doing nothing ... asking God to do something ... but he sees those who do as much as they can ... and does the rest" ... I'm a firm believer in this. AND SO! After a few days of slight depression, a little freaking out, and just asking my wife to play with my hair as I thumb over the "what to do's" ... the search for second employment is in full affect! Now let me clarify, I'm a work horse ... whatever needs to be done ... I'll do it. No complaints. The idea of 2 jobs wasn't the issue ... it was the 50+ hrs at The Station, and the already absent feeling my wife and I have been feeling .....

Now you may be asking yourself .. how do those Pauline scriptures tie into my freak out over secondary employment? ... great question

See Paul was aware of his insecurities, and IN them Glorified Christ. We're taught that you never want to "Put yourself down" ... but Paul came to the realization that he is NOTHING .. BECAUSE of his insecurities and because of Christ.

My insecurities allow me to "freak-out" because I want nothing more than to provide for my family, be a rock to my wife and support my wife in the things she feels God has for her ... even if that means to "put myself down" and realize "I have done all that I can in my pursuit to provide as a husband ... God ... please do the rest" In my insecurities I'm allowed to see just how big God is, because I'm not. He is, in the areas I can't be. It's remarkable the realization Paul comes to when writing to the Churches ... He is the LEAST because of how he sees God.

In the frailties of my foundation ... I'm insecure, I believe we all are (and if you think you're secure .. you might just be lying to yourself) ... God is my rock .. not me ... as stable as I try to be ... its like a House boat ... waves ... but God ... God IS the very Ocean I float on. My scope of my foundation tends to go no farther than my dock ... but Gods foundational scope .... is ridiculously big.

Vulnerability is a good thing :)

Until Next Time


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Great Beard Explanation

OK SO! A few weeks ago I thought to myself …

-Self: Kris … you look bored with yourself

-Me: I am … hmm … I should maybe grow my hair out … all long and stuff

-Self: ..hmm.. yeah I guess that would look cool … OH! YOU KNOW WHAT?!

-Me: What?


-Me: Like a full beard?!

-Self: … HECK YESS!!!

… I was convinced by myself to embark on the “lumber-jackish” journey of Full-Beardness …

Week One was a breeze. Just like usual … occasional itch on the right side … but nothing bad.

Week Two on the other hand … was as if my beard was made up of FIRE ANTS!! … and their stinger-butt thing was growing out of my face … it itched, and itched, and itched … so I (being the intelligent one) scratched and scratched and scratched HA! … needless to say .. it wasn’t pleasant

Week Three was a little bit of a relief. My beard was a little darker, longer, not as itchy and a bit soft … my wife said “It doesn’t scratch as much when you kiss me …” – this was a good thing. But as the week progressed … it started to poke at the inside of my lips … always … it wasn’t going away

Week Four … this week … the beard … was softer yes … but it just felt odd. Like it didn’t belong. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror one morning. Anyway, Thursday rolled around and my this time … the beard hair was driving me crazy … in the corner of my mouth like a constant piece of Doritos chip that wouldn’t go away, and spotty … hmm … no bueno. So I decided it was time for a hair cut (not a beard but … just my hair) … as I sat in the chair, watching my hair be formed into a nice little faux hawk … my face … looked as if I was a disheveled drunkard …
That was the deciding moment … the fact I didn’t so much recognize myself, the Doritos’s chip hairs in the corner of my mouth and … AND … the mustache hairs that decided to tickle my lower lip … no good … (plus also … I know my wife LOVES LOVES LOVES my baby face) … SO … it had to go … and go it went (did that make sense)

Anyway to say the least … the beard experiment was fun … for a time … but the benefits of being clean shaved … TOTALLY OUT WEIGH A LUMBERJACK BEARD!!!
Until Next Time