Shadow of Myself: A Confession

I forgot something the last couple of months and for that I must apologize.  You made me remember.  I have forgotten myself.

Last week when I pieced together the pictures of our homestead, I was struck by the surge of energy I had in working on it as well as the almost 200 visits (and counting) to that entry in particular.

I’ve been in a season of emergence. A season where new dreams and desires are materializing while also colliding with other’s expectations and voices.  In this process, I lost my voice.

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Times

There are some bands that I never tire of, no matter how many times they've sung albumns through my heart. Tenth of Avenue North is one of them. Thankful for these lyrics this week.

I know i need you
I need to love you
I love to see you,                                                                                                                                                 but its been so long
i long to feel you
i feel this need for you                                                                                                                                         and i need to hear you
is that so wrong?
oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh

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Giving-up on Chastity

We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other hand, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 93-94

How to Invest Your Money

How did it get so cold in here?

Kids, full time work, and a vacation from the gym – these are all things that are likely to happen after the big day.  You used to dress up and look really great for your wife but now you settle for sweat pants and faded Nirvana t-shirts.  You used to put effort into your time together, but something happened – You got busy with the kids, distracted by your job, or stuck in a routine to take care of business.  You’re tired.

It’s hard, and I get it.  I have been married for over 7 years.  I love my wife but can definitely identify with those dry seasons.  So, I want to speak to the fellas for a moment.  Yeah – You who sits on the couch with the PS3 controller and Madden on the screen.

You Want to be Mentored?

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Battling Your Relationship With Shame

Discovering who we are inevitably leads us to discovering the reality that we're not who we desire to be - at least in ways.  Shame and guilt over past sin or current struggles can paralyze us....completely.  We feel separated from God, the people of God and the things of God.

We have to understand, though, that shame creeps in because we wrongly identify ourselves in sinful actions/tendency/behavior.  At it's core this misplacement of our identity is because we view ourselves as bodies that have a soul versus a soul that has a body.  

It may seem like a matter of semantics, but it's not at all.  It's an entirely different identity.  If we view ourselves as a body that continues to sin and do what we ought not - cf. Romans 7:18 - we inevitably end with feelings of shame and guilt.  However, if we view ourselves biblically and through Christ as a soul that has been made new, our identity is beyond our fleshly limitations and actions.  This is important to understand because our identity, then, is not found in sin, but instead in who God has made us to be spiritually (cf. Ephesians 1:3-14).

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Trafficking in Haiti

Honored to go serve these dear brothers and sisters tomorrow...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/haiti/8328850/Haiti-earthquake-children-sold-by-traffickers-for-as-little-as-76-pence-each.html

 

The Cost of Fear

Fear abounds; on blogs, television, schools, nations, churches. Fear seeps in and makes us cling to the comfort of what we know which leads to a false sense of security. Fear denies, pushes away and closes off. Fear makes us forget that sacrifice is necessary for life.

Perfection, for me, was the mask hiding my fear.  I only handled matters I knew something about and pretended to know about issues I did not understand. But something shifted as I learned to take the mask off.  I didn't need to know all of the answers any more.  A change occurred in my soul as I became teachable from other people's experiences and stories. Together we could make a way through the fuzziness to be seen and so much of life is about just being visible to one another.

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Conflictions with Love and the Way of Jesus

In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

I don’t like these words this morning.

I don’t like their seeming conflictions,

or conflicted implications. 

 

Jesus says He is the Way.

And God says He is Love.

And Scripture says They are one.

So I can only conclude that “the Way” must be “Love.” 

But what about times I don’t want to choose Love?

When I’d prefer another way in, or out,

Because the Way of Love hurts too bad?

 

Micah and I are leaving for Haiti next week.

I Parent Correctly and You Don't

Amy Chua and the “Tiger Mom” buzz is starting to wane, but the issues it raises are still vital. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s my oversimplified version: 

1. Chinese mother writes hyperbolic memoir about old-school Asian parenting, complete with music torture anecdotes and educational agony. 
2. The book’s most controversial moments become blogged and Twitterfied into a thousand opinions. 
3. American parents freak, self-righteously.
4. American parents pause to reflect, feel secret guilt.
5. American parents get over it, go back to permissive parenting.

Chua’s book is certainly stirring up my students’ discussions about their own home paradigm. I teach AP students in a culturally diverse high school, where Parmvir and Li-Lin (who are forbidden to quit cello or attend school dances) sit beside Jessica and Brandon (who hang out at parties on weekends, play video games, and make due with a casual GPA of 3.2). Chua’s memoir brings to the surface what my Asian students have known for years: their parents are out of the mainstream and dang proud of it. 

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