Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Nathan Hale, was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Widely considered America's first spy, he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was captured by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country." This morning I was driving in to work and I was listening to the new Downhere album when a song came on with the lyrics, "I'll give you back the life you've given me, All you've given me." Those lines sent my mind spinning with thoughts on just how powerful our lives can be.
God gives us one life to live. Then He gives us a choice. We can live for Him or we can live for ourselves. It's an internal war we wage every moment of everyday. Take my typical day for instance...
On the road by 4:30am you see some really, really bad drivers. Do I curse them for being so sleepy behind the wheel and nearly causing an accident or do I pray for their safety and well being so they can continue to live the life they have? Remember that person is someone's father or mother or sister or brother.
The homeless man I see by the roadside near the station. Do I live out Matthew 25 or do I say to myself, "That bum should get a job. or Why give him anything, all he'll do is buy drugs or alcohol."
During the morning show when things go wrong or I miss an action or miss fire a sound effect do I blame others or Abby or the interns and let one small thing ruin my day or do I try to get better by seeing how things went wrong and learn from the situation. Do I stare at my problems or do I rise above it to see my blessings?
All these things happen from time to time and I'm not even done with the first part of my day! Every moment is a choice, every day a decision I make to live for Him. I'm on this Downhere kick right now because I just thought about the song "All At War" and the lines:
I'm learning to stand the more that I fall down,
It's the law of inversion, and it's all turned around,
And I'm staggered by the clash inside my soul,
So purposed for good but inclined for evil
It's justice and mercy the old dichotomies,
All along the frontlines of my heart in both doubt and belief
The sinner and saint, the old arch enemies,
All at war, in me
I was born depraved, but created for the divine,
With death in my bones, in my heart eternal life,
I'd love for Eden, but I'd kill for Rome,
I'm native in a land that is not my home
We have free will to choose every moment of everyday to live for Him. The Sinner and The Saint in the same person. So proposed for good but inclined for evil. Everyday wake up and choose to die to self and live in Christ. Find his grace again and again, a love so complete you could never explain it. His wonder and beauty and mystery and meaning. Every morning His mercy is new and His love knows no end. Find Christ in the meaning of your existance and you find the meaning of life. Let our life's cry to be, "I regret that I only have one life to give my God." Live for Him today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
On Saturday, he proposed that we go to the store to purchase car wash needs and then wash our cars. I mentioned that after we stopped at the store, we could go to McDonald's for a coffee. He said, "Then we'll take your car. No coffee in my car." My jaw dropped. No closed-lid coffee? I won't open it. I'll put a napkin around it. I'll hold it. Nope. No coffee in the car. I know this sounds silly, but in my female mind that I don't even understand sometimes, I associated the care that he has for his car with the care that he has for me and I saw one as being greater than the other. I'll let you guess which was on the losing end.
In sets the mood. The whole time we were washing our cars, I was foul. The poor guy couldn't make a correct move, say a correct sentence, nothing. God love him, he kept on truckin'. He was trying hard to be sweet, and I was turning everything sour. The afternoon proceeded the same way. I figured I'd try to keep myself busy, so I moved to ironing. Mid-chore, we got a call from friends inviting us to hang out. He wanted to go. I said I wasn't interested, but that he should go without me. Up to this point, we could ignore the mood, but now it was out in the open.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I just watched the movie "Knowing" with Nicolas Cage. It was actually pretty good. Granted we are talking about Nic Cage movies here so the bar is set pretty low, but I will say it was as good if not better than "The Rock" although Sean Connery really carried that one. The movie is based around this sheet of numbers that are correctly predicting catastrophic world events from their dates and total number dead, down to their exact location. Problem number one, there are only three dates left and then the letters EE. Which are later revealed to mean (SPOILER ALERT) everyone else. It is the end of days, Man's final hour.
This movie really got me thinking. One, there were a ton of Christian parallels I took from this film. The idea that only those who hear the call are chosen and saved, the rest perish. God is knocking on the hearts of those who are not His, if they never hear His call, a fiery oven awaits. There were a few more but in all truth, I have no idea if the man behind the film was a Christian or not and I may be seeing things that aren't really there, but I was psyched that the movie got my Christian mojo moving.
My first thought was, would I want to know when the final hour would arrive? Would I live my life differently if I knew the exact date and time that our Lord was set to return? Let's say I knew that 7 years from today God was to make His glorious reappearance and take us all home to be with Him. Would I party like it was 1999 and live like a wild man only to "come home" and repent of my wicked ways 3 days before He came? Maybe that is why God says in Matthew 24, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". He wants a people who are ready to go at all times and live a life of service in love of Him.
I would love to think that even if I knew the exact time of the Lords return, I would still live a life according to what God's will was for me. But in truth, I doubt it. Think back to when you were kids. If you knew that you were not supposed to watch TV, but Mom and Dad weren't going to be home for 2 solid hours, you'd be watching "In Living Color" till you dozed off and got caught when you didn't hear the car pull up. (That was a true life experience for me) The temptation would be too great for many of us to bear.
There were a few more things that I would love to write on but this blog would get really, really long. Maybe another time. But, would I want to know the end date? Nah. Why spoil the surprise. 1 Thessalonians 5 says, "for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night". Meaning, be ready at all times. Don't sleep on the will and love of our Savior. He is ready and waiting like the Father in the story of the prodigal son to take you back in and make you His son or daughter again. He loves you and wants you home.
Live Ready. Be Blessed.
Friday, July 17, 2009
- Prayer is the beginning and the end. At the start of your reading time, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and your mind. At the end, pray that His Word will bear fruit.
- The Bible isn't a book, it's a library. It's really fascinating to me that the Bible contains history, prophecy, poetry, advice and of course real life accounts. To know the genre of the book you're reading will help you understand the content.
- Reading isn't enough. If what's in the book stays in the book, then you're wasting your time. It must be put into action.
St. Jerome said, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." I can't speak for you, but I want nothing more in life than to know Jesus better. We've got the way right in front of us. We just have to crack it open.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Call me crazy, but when it comes to the food I eat I check the date on everything. Milk, eggs, meats, can goods, it doesn't matter I check it all! And I don't really know why I do that or why I am such a freak about the dates on my food because I know the science behind it all.
Take Milk for instance...according to a CBS News report MILK CAN BE SAFELY USED UP TO A WEEK PAST THE SELL-BY DATE! I know, I know, that's crazy talk right there. But the truth is that yes, it can, if you keep in mind that your fridge has to remain at 40-degrees Fahrenheit, or below, at all times. Make the milk the last thing you pick up before you hit the store's checkout, to minimize the time it's left un-refrigerated, which can exacerbate the spoilage; then, store it at the very back of the shelf, where the air tends to be colder. If you follow that order things should be good for up to a week after the date on the jug.
Take Raw Meat...Raw poultry and pork, and beef in the form of steaks and roasts, will last up to 12 months. Ground beef will only be good for about three to four months. Cooked meat will last about three to four months, as well.
So I know all of this and I still can't get myself to eat anything that is past my standard of shelf life.
Carlos' Guide to Fresh Food
Milk = Gone on the next day after the date on the jug.
Meat = If it smells or looks funky, I two step it to the trash bin.
Left Overs = Two Days. Period.
Ice Cream = If its not frosted over in ice, its good.
Eggs = If they float, out they go.
Canned Goods = See Milk.
Rice, Pasta, Sugar = Looks good, its ok. Looks funny, garbage.
I know I may be a little extreme but that's just how I roll. I'd rather eat fresh, than eat something and wish later that I hadn't as I pray to God for healing over the toilet bowl calling for Ralph! Be blessed today and check out the complete guide to the sell by dates here if you want more info.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
So the big day finally came. My friends have bought and closed on their first home and I was on the moving team to help them get settled in. (By moving team, I mean I was one of three guys) No offense to any of the ladies present (2) but they did not even attempt to lift anything more than 15 pounds so I left them off the team. They were more like team managers or coordinators. Still important to the teams success, just not on the actual team.
You learn a lot about yourself on a moving day...
1. How much you really do or do not like the friend you are helping to move. You learn that pretty quickly when you judge whether or not you'll ever help them move again.
2. For guys you learn how much you can lift or hold up off the ground for any given time before snapping your hernia. For me, it was a lot more than I actually thought I could. My doctor would be proud.
3. And finally, how nice it is to give of yourself and just be a blessing to someone.
I know the bible talks about do unto others as you would have them do unto you and that truly applies on moving day. When I move houses, if I ever move again, I will call upon everyone I have ever helped move and guilt them into helping me. I will use that verse as a reference too. I'll be like, "HEY! Hey you! Remember when I lifted your 200 pound armoire across your living room 7 times? Time to do unto me and help me with mine!"
Honestly, I was just nice to be a blessing to my friends today, whether or not they ever have the chance to return the favor. Spending time with people in love and relationship is what God has called us to do. To love people, with nothing needed in return. To help people, without compensation needed. Was it fun to move a 200 pound armiore around a house, up a truck, then off a truck and around a house like 7 times. NO! But it was great spending time in fellowship with some friends I know needed my help.
So, in closing, I know I learned this today...I must really like these friends of mine. Because I would move them again in a heartbeat. And, just as God has called us to love people, I hope I had a chance to show that love to my friends today. Even if it cost me a pulled groin and strained back.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
So this morning Abby and I covered a news story on how being optimistic can actually improve your vision. Volunteers in the study were told to just focus on the faces they were to be shown. Those who were of the optimistic nature were able to make out more than just the faces, they saw location detail and expressions using their peripheral vision. Those who were of the pessimistic nature were only able to recall the face they were told to focus on.
When I read that, it was like God opened up my eyes in a sense to how spiritually relevant that was. How often in life, when something bad happens do we just focus down on only the problem? I do it all the time. Something bad, (we'll call it XYZ) happens in our life. We will spend countless hours in worry and stress and be so consumed by the XYZ situation, that we can't see anything else in our lives. All of the other blessings that God has done, how he provides and is a shield in the midst of trouble. We can become so consumed by the problem that we never see the solution.
I was talking to a man after the New Faces, New Music tour the other day and he told me he had lost his job 6 weeks earlier. But during all of it, he saw how God took care of his family, how God made a way and has been providing for them. He's taking an optimistic outlook on his very negative situation. Instead of being consumed by the situation of being unemployed he has turned it over to God and said, "I can't handle this alone, I need your help and provision over my life and my families life". Now he is able to see God's grace and goodness in the midst of a trial in his life and feels a whole lot better not being bogged down in stress and worry all the time.
If you're facing something large in your life, a situation XYZ, turn it over to God. No matter what it is and you'll SEE His grace and provision over your life.
1 Peter 5:7 says "Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you"
Matthew 6:25 says "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Psalm 91:1 says "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Stop staring at whatever situation XYZ you've got going on in your life and look around you to see that God is there, He loves you and will forever take care of you.