Going to tell it on the mountain

Well, I'm off to Colorado for 2 weeks. I know that I need time away from all the stress, from life taking it's tole on my mind and my body. I know, also, that the enemy would love to take this time to dishearten me and make me all the worse, but I trust my father with that and with what will happen this trip. For those of you who are reading this, I just ask that you would pray over this time away, that I would find God up there on the mountains and that he would swallow me up in his arms. Also if you would pray that I would get lost, yes lost. I have found that God likes to operate off the beaten path and away from the chaos, so I need to loose myself.
There is so much that I have planned on this trip to do, so many things that I would like to finish and others that I would like to begin, yet sometimes I feel like I am creating more pressure on myself to replace the pressure that I am leaving behind. I don't know, I think that I will just get there and see how it goes; I don't want to box myself in and not let God work in me. I see it as leaving pages in my journal for God to write on, words that I would not say or words that could not come from me. It's time for me to get to bed now, so once again, I ask you to pray on my behalf; pray the words that could not come from me. I thank God for these brothers and sisters that he has given to walk with me on this road; God bless you all.
Christopher Coan

Why Me?

Why me? Why did you choose me God? Why did you pull me out and call me to something greater?

These are all questions that have raced through my mind recently, questions that have really made me dig deep and find answers. I was getting no where. I have found that it is very hard to understand God in our own time and on our own sets of rules and boundaries. It is like searching for stars in the full light of day; It is impossible to accomplish. But in this search, God has showed me so many things about who I am and what I am and about, most importantly, love, what it means and what it is. Yet there were still so many unanswered questions and gaps left in my understanding that I could not tell you why I am the way I am.

We went to see Avatar today. Unbelievable. Yes, this has a point, one that totally woke me up and changed my life. I didn't really know what to expect from this movie thanks to the mysterious nature of the previews that were shown months prior. I sat and watched the movie, expecting to see some totally heart racing action and some romance or whatever, but what I found in this movie was so much more than that. There is one scene, when Jake just gets lost in the jungle and the nocturnal hunters of the night begin to close in one him. Just at the moment when all hope seems lost for any survival, Neytiri, a native Na'vi comes to his rescue. She tells Jake to leave and to return back to his home, yet he follows her deeper into the jungle.
"Why did you save me?" Jake asks her.
After a pause, she says, "Because you have a strong heart."
Right there in the movie theater I start crying, because I knew that it was not merely Neytiri talking to Jake, it was God talking to me. 'I have saved you because you have a strong heart' I heard over and over and over in my head. He pulled me out of the old world, out of the darkness to bring me into a new world, a place where it will be dangerous and where I will be hated, but I have a strong heart, and he has rescued me from this world. And this is only the beginning.

Alone in the Woods

There is a brief time between when you accept Christ into your life and when you truly trust God with your heart. It is a scary time, a time where you feel like a child lost at night in the woods. You jump at the sound of wolves closing in around you, as they try to scare you back home. You hear that everything will be alright, yet the noises grow louder and louder, until it becomes a defining howl that sets your spine shivering. Everything in you wants to run back to the safety in the world, but it is the emptiness, that feeling of a hole within you that drives you onward. At a time where most flee, you press on to the point of no return. Just at the moment where all the light is gone and all hope has failed of ever being saved, you feel the warmth of a hand in yours that touches every fiber of your being. Although you are still in the dark of night, and the sounds and screams around you grow louder still, you as the child of your heavenly father squeeze all the more and dream of the daylight just beyond the other side of these woods.

Ageless Spirit of Beauty

A gentle quiet quite unheard
she pulls me into the silent place
Apart from time for but a glimpse
in the gentle breath lies her grace
An icy breath against warm flesh
upon the mountain top
Underneath it's furrowed brow
lie the age old crop
Upon her breast are trees of green
that do not turn to gray
Their story lives beyond our time
they've seen many pass away
In her hair is fire
which burns  across the plains
With speed akin to strikes of light
she cuts our feeble reins
In all the words of man and beast
she cannot be described
And through a thousand ages past
every man has tried
Yet in our tongue cannot be found
the breath of life to make such a sound
and though we praise and hail with all our heart
all we can say is a mere part
Who knew such beauty could be found
All other is pretend
In her heart she knows no time
her days are without end
With eyes of stars and moons above
fingers reach across the sky
Ears that catch a lowly curse
that hear a lovers cry
Dressed in suns and galaxies
her light fills every eye
To look upon the face of time
it cannot be compared
To tell of her to mortal man
is a joy that cannot be shared
Yet every man has tried
All of mankind has tried

Psalm 119:71

'It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.'
~Psalm 119:71~

This verse meant so much to me when I read it last week when I was so hopeless. It just reminded me that God does what he does for a reason, and I am not suffering in vain.

Hear My Cry (Pslam 43)

A well without stop
A never ending road
As space in all its greatness

I never understood
I could not comprehend
Now I stand here breathless

Never content
Ever thirsty
I need you more each day

If not for you
Had you not cared
I should have lost my way

The night so long
would have my life
and all would be in vain

Yet you daddy,
maker of life
have saved me by your name

A righteous man
may have fears
But you save Him from them all

You carry the sword
and brandish the spear
you hear my weary call

Your are here
in my broken heart,
within my wounded soul

Said before
and said again
Come fill my God shaped hole

I boast in you
in your great name
the humble shall rejoice

On my lips
shall be your praise
I give you this broken voice

Give a shout
unto the Lord
man and angels all

Weary and torn
completely undone
on my face I fall

You hear my cry,
you raise me up;
your righteous ears don't fail

You hear the shouts
of your humble son
and you always will prevail

Rescue me from sickness,
sickness and dying;
I take refuge in your chest

Within your heart
I fall apart,
I lay here in your rest

Hope when I am cast away
Life on less than sunless days

In your hands are all I love
Safe in the feathers of the dove

Not My Own (Psalm 16)

Oh God, Oh lovely father
In you is all my worth
Apart from yours I have no strength
No place among this earth
And here you take it all away
your remind me what is mine
It takes you draining all my life
for me to finally find
As I lay face down in the dust
and gasp with every tear
In this place you rescue me
through pain you choked my fear
You will sustain me even now
sick beneath my bed
From this illness you have saved me;
your words are as my bread
For all my strength is in your words
and all that leaves your mouth
I've tried to live apart from you
but I cannot do without
Oh Lord, almighty savior
I give my life to you
Although it is not mine to give
it is all I know to do
Oh Lord, maker of our world,
that you would turn your eyes
That you would look at my mere life
among all other cries
You hear my whispers in the dark;
I have no good apart
Oh Lord, it is not me
for you dwell in my heart

These Mere Words

Oh Lord, father of the hills and trees;
Oh maker of the birds and bees.

Your glory cannot be held in idle words,
or in mans voices among the birds.

But yet I try to relay,
through all the words I say.

Your loving arms have no measure;
Your worth cannot be told be treasure.

How can one use your breath of air,
to paint a picture to compare?

How can one formed from the dust,
one in sin and fear and lust?

Model something after your might,
something that can reach your height?

Is there no way we can express,
all the peace within your rest?

Or all the love within your heart,
that caused the veil to tear apart?

What can I do to show my love?
What can be heard from up above?

Since I have not the tongue to shout,
all I can do is sell all out.

And that is all you ask of me;
I cannot even pay for what you give free.

So take these words though they are few,
for I only strive to honor You.

In all that I do;
It is all for You.

And So I Fall

Well, I know I haven't written here in a while, but I have been doing soooo much writing in my journal and song writing. Here's some of the stuff that I have been doing over the last few weeks:

Even when I'm down below
as far as I can go,
You are here

If my faults are shown
and all becomes known,
You are here

When I fight the fears
and drown alone in my tears,
You hold me still, and you always will

I don't want to see
who I would be without you;
I need you

Every time I do
my heart breaks in two;
and so I fall

More than all you care
and that I have to share;
your love knows no bounds

Will you go in time
and leave me behind?
You will Never

Though sky and stars fall around
and the darkness has us drowned,
You are the eyes of the blind.

When I am tossed away
and I dream of better days,
Your love is always mine.

You gave me your heart
It's every single part,
And it's more than I could hope to ask

You keep my boat afloat
and through the lies you wrote:
I am your mast

Dejected and ignored
your love I can't afford
But you give it to a beggar and a thief

There must be more inside
for you look on me with pride
you find me underneath

Under the shame and guilt
behind the tears I've spilt,
Your eyes go where man cannot

Caught in your flowing mane
my fearful doubts wane
You give a peace that all have sought

But they find it not
for they cast their lot
to peril fraught
and end up caught
and in their trap they rot
because of where they sought

Where they seek
they will never find
Because you give yourself only to the blind


What is life for? What is it that gets us out of bed in the morning? what makes us fight so dearly to stay alive? The simple and overlooked answer is this: hope. Hope that one day we will be free from the fears and anguish of this world. Hope is what begins wars, what begins mirages, what causes the offspring of birds to leave the nest. What is there beyond hope? What besides the thought of a new day and of better life is there to drive us. Without hope, life is no more than leaving a good corpse behind, no more that idle victories over meaningless feuds, no more than feeling good now.
In a world void of the faint glimmer of hope, there is no morality, there is no life, there is nothing to believe in. So what can be done when hope is gone? What thing could give that back to us, even though all else fails? Can we believe that there is more than mere suffering and death?

hope |hōp|
1 a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen : he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information | I had high hopes of making the Olympic team.
a person or thing that may help or save someone : their only hope is surgery.
• grounds for believing that something good may happen : he does see some hope for the future.
2 archaic a feeling of trust.

What person can save you? Can your best friend, out of their own fears and doubts, save you? Can your neighbor save you? Can your dog save you? No, they cannot. The only one who can save you, the only one who can give you hope is the one who's very thought was the hope that sparked our universe. Anything else that you put your hope in or think will save you will fail you in the end, over and over again. If that is we live for, if that is the only thing that is keeping us alive, then God give me hope.

Queen of Exile

Well, I was going to try and write up a post about something I've been feeling over the past few months, but I cannot convey sufficiently what I am feeling through a post. So, as I am enjoying this breath of fall as the sun peeps her head through these turning leaves, I have thought of a way to put words to my mind. Don't feel bad if you don't understand it though, it is just a jumble of words that have spit themselves out onto this page.

Queen of Exile
I wish that I could write
But all that I have left is this light
Because the learned scholars all say
That beauty never came that way
They will never understand
What they cannot hold in their hand
To them it is nothing but a waste
What they cannot see or taste
A substitute to life is what is being sought
But what I have found here cannot be taught
To analyze and scrutinize is to look at life apart
Just gaze into her beauty; it is a work of art
To peer so close at slides
Through microscopic eyes
And seek to find her there
In a single lock of her hair
Is a great search in vain
When she hides within rain
But they will never see
Their blind eyes are not free
Far too few have seen
The beauty of the exiled queen
She can be hard to find
So most don't waste their time
I wish there were a way
That I could make her stay
But that is where her beauty lies
She is held down by no ties
All her life I sum in this
To take a gentle kiss
to find her in my eyes
To breathe her gentle sigh
to meet her in the sun
To find her one by one
To smell her in the air
This beauty is so fair

Is There More Than Just An Accident?

Well, this blog post is doubly true to the name; accident. I'll explain as I go along, so just hang with me for the next couple of minutes I have you.

As all (or at least most) of you know, I've been having a lot of GI issues over the last year or so. It's been a real up-hill battle even to get as far as I am now. Just a few weeks ago I got the news that my liver enzyme count was back to normal which was a huge blessing, but it turns out that it will take longer to heal my GI than we thought. I probably have another 6 months left before I can be fully healed, but that all depends on how it goes. Well anyway, my stomach has been hurting me more consistently these past few weeks than it has to any point thus far, so it can be really discouraging at times. But this afternoon at the law office (for my internship) was one of the worst times my stomach has been. I was almost at the point of going in my car and just laying down in the backseat, but it wasn't quite that bad. Needless to say I felt under a lot of attack today, and I think a big part of that is the new song that we wrote and played at open mic night at BG last night (watch here). I know that satan is trying to get me down, but somehow God always turns it around, or is in the process of doing so that I can't see and might never see. I feel that is especially true of what happened tonight.
For some reason I felt that something would happen on my was home from work tonight, so I asked God to get me home. Then I realized that I was turning into the wrong road from the parking lot. So what do I do? I back up. But as I am backing up, I feel a thud and realize that I'm up on the curb and, thinking 'it's just a little curb', continue to back up. Suddenly, there is an even bigger thud, but instead of the car going back down, it goes up. I try to pull forward, but realize that my wheels are just spinning in the air. "What the..(well, you figure it out)" I yelled to myself. I got out of my car and slammed the door shut, only to come around the back and see to my utter horror that I am on top of a two-foot-tall rock. Then, that one rock turns out to be two two-foot-tall rocks. I ran around and jumped back into the car and tried to give it some more gas to get me off, but as I found out later, one of the rocks was locked onto the gas tank (which now has a huge dent in it). I was furious and (being a guy) began to ram into the car, trying to push it off. I somehow managed to get the first rock off, but the other one was underneath the transmission. I sat there and prayed that God would provide for me and surely enough about a minute later two men in business suits came up and started helping me figure out how to get the car loose.
"Do you have a tire jack?" one of the men asked.
"I don't think I do actually" I replied, but went to look and make sure. I didn't. The only way we would be able to do anything was to get a jack. So what do you think happens next. You guessed it, the repair man from the Noteboom office just happened to see us as he was leaving and also just happened to have a jack in his car. We started jacking it up and were making good progress when the jack broke. Joy.
By this time I should have mentioned that my mom was driving to 'pick me up' (no way I told here what happened over the phone) and arrived just as the jack broke. So we got the jack out of the mini-van and continued to jack up the car. Several minutes later (and skipping much of the story) we ended up getting the rock out from under the car. The two business men has left a few minutes before and the repair man was just leaving. We tried to give him money for his help, but he wouldn't take any. I drove home no problem and we're still waiting to take the car into the shop so we can see the extent of the damage.

So that was the first accident, the second one is much less thought of when we say accident, but it happens to us everyday, or so we say. This 'accident' is when you forget to take your little brother with you to your school and have to turn around and get him. Or when you burn your lunch and have to make it again and end up being late to the movie. We call them accidents, but could they really be God's provision? Maybe your being late to class saved you from an accident you would've had. Maybe you would have been mugged in the parking lot if you arrived at the movie early (just go with me on this one). Maybe, after all is said and done, it was God's provision for you. Maybe he needed you to see something. Maybe he was saving your life.

As I drove home this evening, I felt a huge relief on my heart, like God saved me from some major accident the I would have been in; and I truly believe he did. So what most people would call an 'accident', I know was God's provision for my life.

Paycheck (getting paid for your work)

Getting paid, earning your keep, having compensation, all of these ideas have been running through my head over this summer. Why as humans do we always look to be paid for everything we do? I slap myself when I start thinking about how I can get something in return for doing something as small as teaching someone how to play a song on the piano. It is in our blood to want to be repaid for our so called 'charity'. If you think about it, we're really sleazy in that way. If, by that same logic, Jesus had died for us, we would be slaves to his will every waking moment. Why is it against our nature to give out of the sincerity of our hearts? Maybe it is from the transition of that thought from our heart to our head where it becomes selfish and self seeking. Maybe the problem is not that we are evil to the core, but more that our heads want what feels good where our hearts want whatever is pure and just. And maybe, just maybe, when we only think about how we can benefit from a situation or get something from it, we have learned to shut out our hearts from out actions.

Deliverance (Psalm 34:4)

Well, we got the Liver Enzyme count test back this afternoon and it is perfectly normal, which basically means that my intestines are almost completely healed!!! It's just going to be a slow recovery from the last year and a half of this and then I am hoping to be completely healed. Wow, it's so weird, I feel like a new man even in that knowledge that it is going to get better from here. It's like I was in a free fall for these last 16 months but God pulled me up just as I was about to hit the ground.
All of this fit in flawlessly with something that I heard from God at Sigma this summer. I was walking down from our cabin to the mess hall one night when I heard this conversation pop into my head. It was God and Satan talking about me and I was eaves dropping. The conversation went something like this:
"Alright Satan, I have seen Christopher's worth, so I'll make you a deal: Give me a while to strengthen Christopher in this place and to draw him near to me, then he is yours to test. I will let you put him to the test so that you may also see his worth."
And that was what I heard. It occurred just a split second, but it kept my mind spinning for weeks. I knew that it was not something that I had just made up; I knew that it was real, and while I was scared at first, I knew I was ready. It was a sabotage against my joy and my life, but God stayed true to me even through all of this and I have pulled through to the end. Even as I finish this race, I see another drawing near, but I know my God is with me and he will never turn on me.
Even though clouds rage on, even though storms race in; Even though rains will pour down, even though waves will crash around, I will be safe in your arms. "I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips" ~Psalm 34:1~

"I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all of my fears."
~Psalm 34:4~

Bright Eyes

There is something amazing about babies, something beautiful that is often discarded. They are so pure and joyful and unperplexed. They have nothing in the world to fear; they wear their heart on their sleeves. When a baby looks me in the eye, it pierces me to the soul. I can't help but smile back at that whipped cream covered face. In those few seconds, there is a certain serenity that passes over me. It is almost like god is smiling at me through that cheeky little face. I think that He actually is resting inside that gentle spirit; I think He finds a willing home there. Maybe there is a reason why I find peace on those bright little eyes.
If God is inside those innocent eyes, inside that gently spirit, is He in my eyes as well? when people look me in the eyes, what do they see? What do they feel? Do they see what I see when I look into the eyes of that baby? Do they feel that same thing? It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul, so do my eyes reflect God? Are my eyes a mirror to His?
If it is piercing for me to look a baby in the eyes, how much more so would it have been to look Jesus in the eyes? I'm sure that no one was ever able to look Him in the eyes. Think about that. Would you be able to look Him in the eyes, or would you drop your head in shame as he searched you inside out? Would you close the blinds or would you open the windows and let Him bring light on your deepest and darkest parts of you?

Stomach Update (finally)

Alright,I figured it's about time to start updating the progress (or lack there of) on my GI issues that have been going on over the last year or so.
So over the last few months my doctor (Dr. Riddley) has been working with me to find the source of all of my stomach issues. The first thing that led us to a find a new doctor was our old doctor said that it was 'just the high pectin content of fruit'. So we found Dr. Riddley. The first problem we found was that because of the bad state of my gut, I had developed several food intolerances (including wheat, egg, milk, and yeast). She said that if I stayed off of all of these foods for about 90 days I would start feeling better pretty quickly. Well, a few weeks in, we discovered that that wasn't the only problem, because I've gone several months without and of the foods that I'm sensitive to. We went back and based on the things we told her, she said that I also had a yeast infection. She said that because of my 'leaky gut', the PH balance of my intestines had gone more acidic which creates a perfect environment for yeast to grow in. So she said that I needed to not have any simple sugars for a while about two weeks to try and kill off the yeast. But it has taken much longer than the two weeks originally though, I think we're in week 6 right now. She also told us to keep a food journal so she could analyze any other problems that might be there. I brought it in one day and she told me that based on my reactions to certain foods on the list and because of the state of my gut I also had a problem ingesting the high levels of histamines in most nuts and soy. So for the times when I would have nuts, she gave me a histamine interceptor that basically just kills them before they can do anything to me. But through all of this, I still seemed to be hurting. It's been really hard to get off of peanut butter for those of you who know me, so Soy Nut Butter has been kind of like a comfort food for me (it's a lot like the texture and tast of PB). So I went in yesterday and she said that I might be developing an allergy to Soy and need to have it only every 3 or 4 days so I don't develop a sensitivity to it. It's been really hard though just trying to find things I can eat when I'm out and about, and I usually just take my own food with me everywhere I go.
Well, that's what's been going on with my gut lately. If you have any questions about it, just post a comment and I'll answer it the best I can. Thanks for being here for me guys, it really means a lot.

What Does Love Have To Do With It?

I was on my way to get coffee with one of my friends a few weeks ago and this question came up. What does love have to do with it? What does love have to do with drinking coffee together, with sending a letter, with simply calling someone? Would you send a card to an enemy (other than a nasty letter that is)? Would you go see a movie with someone who hates your guts? I'm not talking about the lovey-duby kind of love, but the kind of love that you would suffer for them, that you would offer your time, your life if it would help them. That is the love that I am speaking of, and it is far too scarce. We live in a world where if they can't give you anything in return, they aren't worth your time; if they can't tell you who you are or give you pleasure or acceptance, they aren't worth having around. It is truly a beautiful thing when you can love someone for who they are and not need anything in return. Even if it doesn't look like love to others, even if it is never spoken of or named, even if it they don't see it, it is love none the less. What does love have to do with it? Love has everything to do with it.

Low Blows

Something that I have just started learning about life is just how sneaky the enemy is. As a kid I was always told that he was "as slippery as a snake" but I didn't really understand. I had no freaking clue just how sneaky and low he is. The most recent indecent, the driving force behind this post, is just the latest installment in the chain of events set out to keep me from living my life for God.

As many of you know my sister and I (and maybe my brother Ben) have been trying to record a CD with some songs like "Revelation Song" and "He Reigns" on it for quite some time now. It is kind of hard to do without a mic stand (not pointing finger at who lost that particular piece of equipment) or somewhere to record (it can be quite challenging in a house of 7). Grace and I had been talking about songs we wanted to record and were singing them together in the car when I suddenly had an overwhelming inspiration to record some music. I got home and cleaned out my closet (for the first time in a year or more) and set up some recording equipment and chairs and what not. I got in there to test the sound with our 'acoustic padding' (aka shirts and pants on hangers) and see how Garage Band would work with it. Lo and behold when I open Garage Band and start recording it can't pick up hardly and sound from the mic. Now, I had had this problem before with my other mac, but it was because of the computer's lack of a input jack , so I thought that with the new mac it would work great. But it didn't. I tried all sorts of things and ended up plugging the mic into our amp and playing into that instead, which worked fine. It just will not work with my mac. So, needless to say it was very frustrating and that on top of all the other stuff happening with us trying to record has just been one big headache.

It is almost laughable to see how Satan is working here. Every time I try to record or make any steps in that direction it is always shut down one way or another. I know for a fact that Satan would love to stop us from recording simply for the fact that we are glorifying God with our talents and are pointing to Him through our music. So on that remark it is no surprise to me that the enemy wants to shut us down, but is still hurts and I am always left infuriated. I know that we can't fight this alone, so I am asking all or you for prayer for us, that God will give us either an opportunity to record or even play somewhere. Thank you so much.

Christopher Coan

The New Year

Most people consider the new year January 1st, but for me it's August 17, aka 'the first day of school'. It is always hard to get back into the school year for me, but especially this year with saying goodbye to old friends and making new ones. It is so hard for me to let anything go, especially friends, and definitely close friends. This year I have really made so many great friends, but so many of them have moved on or are moving away. Sometimes it feels like the ground is falling out from underneath my feet, like I'm plunging down into the unknown darkness below. It is a really scary feeling, almost like I am going to another planet where I don't know but my family.

No Dishwashers For Man

I know what you're thinking "what kind of title is that?" and,"Of course there are, they're called showers." Well, just to let you know, I agree, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about an idea I had about Christianity, the idea being that all of our lives being like glasses (the drinking kind). What I mean by that is this: our lives as Christians is meant to point to God, to show His love to the world, essentially, to let Him shine through us. So if we have things that are keeping us from doing that, if we are dirty glasses, how is god supposed to shine through us? Not to say that you will ever be perfectly clean, or that He can't shine through dirty glasses, but to say that the cleaner we are the more readily He will use you. Would You want to drink out of a dirty glass when You have a clean one in the cabinet?

Shoot, look at David, he was totally sold out for God. He was like that moon, perfectly reflecting God's light on the earth, and yet he still had his dark spots, his craters, his uncleanliness. Just because we can't reach perfection doesn't mean that we should not strive after it. It's sorta like chasing a rainbow. You chase after it knowing that you will never reach the Pot O' Gold at the end, but you run anyway. But while you are running after it, chasing it, you are growing stronger from the chase itself, from 'running the race' as many a Church of Christ-er would put it.
Another thought I have on the subject of perfection is one that I see playing out in my life. I have always admired David and a strong man of God, almost like a role model of how a man should be. I've even caught myself trying to be like David, which is certainly no not a bad thing, but as I though about it, I realized this: Why would I strive to reach an earthly limit to righteousness when I could be reaching for the giver of all righteousness? It's like reaching for the sky when the stars are right before my eyes.

If I want to be closer to God, if I want to be righteous, if I want to be a light that shines His name, then I need to start the cleaning process myself. No one else can do it for me, and there is no dishwasher, I have to do it by hand, one spot at a time; but thankfully, God is holding the soap.

Dimmer Switch Christians

Here's a question that's been running through my head the last few months: Am I a Christian who shines will all my life for God or a Christian that dims under pressure. This question leads me term "Dimmer Switch Christian" as someone who turns down their light just a little to fit in that much better. Is that even a Christian at all? I have pledged my life to God and everything I do is to glorify Him, but if I give in to the darkness around me, can I call myself a Christian?

Alright, imagine this for a sec (longhorns beware): You are an Aggie in Austin and a friend takes you to the campus of UT where you go into a store so they can buy some hat or something. As you sit at the counter checking out, the cashier sees you wearing your graduation ring, what do you do? Do you tell him: A: you are holding it for a friend; B: it was your dad's parting gift to you; or C: "I am an Aggie and proud of it!!!" If you call yourself an Aggie (even if I don't go to school there...yet) then you would choose C, or are you really that much of a sellout?

Why is it so hard for us to live for God then? Why do we struggle to set ourselves apart on this earth? Is it just that we are that ungrateful to God or is it because of the fear of what people might do? It's not the safest thing to be an Aggie in Austin either, but we wouldn't take off our ring for that. So what is it about living for God that is so hard for us? What is the difference? We should be a beacon of hope to the hurt and crushed in spirit, to those who have lost their way and are dying. If we are too scared to reflect the love that God has shone on us, if we can't be like the moon and shine His love in the dark, maybe we aren't who we say we are after all.

Psalm 16:2

It never ceases to amaze me how God works. I simply put an honest question before Him and then He'll teach me something or show me where I am weak. I've recently realized that God has slipped out of my mind as I'm starting back into school and am getting closer to my friends and growing older. I had to pause and just say, "God, do not let me fall away from you. Show me where my true love is, help me to see that you are all that is good in me and you are all that I need. Help me to re-focus on You and never let me loose sight of your beauty."

It really is amazing just how quickly God works, because the next day he started moving things around in my life. He started shifting my perspective and changed the way I saw situations. He changed my outlook on life just like that. I asked earnestly for Him to intervene and he did just that. I realized that I was relying on my own strength again, that I was thinking that I could do it without any help and THAT was my falling point. I CANNOT do it on my own, it's like trying to find your way through a maze with your eyes closed when there's a light just above you. I have that light on me, but everything tells me that I can do it, that I don't need anyone. It's the way the world perceives masculinity. Independent, strong, self sufficient, but that is not what I am called to be. I am called to be weak so that God can shine through me and lift me in my weakness. It's like training for football. I have to fall down to my weakest point so that I can become strong, only this strength does not come from me, it comes from my father.

I need your guidance lord, I need your strength. You are all the good in me, you are the life within my chest. Keep me alongside you and do not let me drift away. When I start to look down at the ground, pull my head up to your face.

I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good besides You."
~Psalm 16:2~

Strength In Weakness

I hate being weak. Let me repeat that. I HATE BEING WEAK. It is built into my system, being a man, to hate any weakness that is in me, so when says, 'nope, you are weak' I naturally want to fight it. But God has other ways...

God has been taking me through a process of making me weak so that I can have strength in Him. It's not just a one-time deal, it's a whole chain of events that has showed me just how weak I am. One big thing is my running for training for football. I started in the hotel when I was in New Jersey with my dad. The first day I went out and ran for about a little over a mile and realized how weak I was. I kept trying to tell myself 'Oh, I just haven't run in a while...' and kept going. But when I got back to the hotel, lying on the bed staring up at the celling, I realized just how weak I was. I talked to God and told him that I wanted His strength in me, even if I must die away for that to come though. I wanted to be completely dependent on His strength. He heard my prayer.

The next day I went out to run and within the first 5 minutes I was painting. I prayed that God would give me strength over and over. I was at the point of holding my hands up to the sky and speaking up to God and pleading Him for His life. I'm sure I looked like a nut. But God gave me the strength to finish and I ended up going about 3 miles that day. I thanked God profusely and praised his name over and over all day. Then, the last day there I went out one last time and started by saying, 'Alright God, you have showed me that I am weak, now be my strength. Lift me up on your wings, put me on your shoulders. Carry me where I cannot go.' I took a different trail that day and got lost. I was praying the entire time that God would give me strength and I finally found myself back at the hotel after about 50 minutes straight of running. I had gone about 5 miles, farther than I had ever gone. That was God's strength in me. He lifted me up and carried me.

My GI issues are just another piece of this huge thing, just seeing how weak my body is and seeing how feeble I am. But the biggest thing if football. Since I'm not able to have sugar for probably another two months, even making it through practice even is almost impossible. One night in particular, Tuesday night, was the first night of two-a-days. I went in thinking I could do it, that I was strong, that I had enough life to do it. About half way through the practice my legs started giving out and I could hardly breathe. I cried out to God in that moment of utter despair and death, but He still needed me to see that I am weak. I limped along for about another 10 minutes, all the while pleading and begging for God to rescue me. My legs could not hold me up anymore and I was literally crying from the stress I was going through. I knew that my legs were going to give out any second and pleaded to God once again to carry me on His shoulders. I finally broke down and admitted that I was weak, that I didn't have enough life to carry me across the finish line; God met me in that brokenness. I wasn't like some instant burst of energy or some supernatural intervention, it was like this: I knew for a fact that I had no strength left in me. I knew that my legs were going to give out on me. I knew that without God's help, I could not have made it past the end of that practice. He rescued me in my moment of utter despair and death and showed me that He is all the strength in me.

"Protect me God, for I take refuge in you.
I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You'"

~Psalm 16:1-2~

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles."

~Psalm 43:17~

"God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.

~Psalm 46:1~

"I will not die, but I will live
and proclaim what the Lord has done."

~Psalm 118:17~

Praise your name father, for you are my strength and my life.

Goat-Herder's Salvation

I was reading in John the other day and came across this verse:
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, howeer, they have no excuse." John 15:22

I took out my pen and wrote it down in my journal, then sat and thought about it and wrote this:
What does this mean God? Does that mean that if they don't know about you, they don't sin? But God, you say that all have sinned, that all of us have been taken from your prescense. What if you haven't spoken to the starving children in Africa, what is you haven't made yourself know to the people living in the slums of India? What then? What do we do with that? If you are a God of love, could you damn someone who never had a chance? You say that to be saved, we must love you with all of our hearts, with all our minds, and with all of our understanding, but what if an African boy has never heard of you and dies, would'nt he have loved you with all of his understanding? How can you love someone you don't know? Would you make yourself known to them? Would you make yourself know to them? Surely you would not abandon to death someone who has never know your love. Give me peace about that God, that you love them.
That question stayed in my mind all night lone. It made me think maybe doing missions was a waste, that maybe people didn't need to know about Him. It was really a place of doubt for me, just that thought, the thought that God would kill someone who never had a chance.
"What if I had been born in Africa?" I wondered, "Would I go to hell just for that innocent ignorance?"
I didn't know what to think, but finally came to the place of just saying, "God, you are love, so whatever you do about this will be from that love."
And with that I went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning and that question STILL lingered in the back of my mind.
"What is the deal?" I asked myself.
It held it's place in my mind all though the monring and afternoon. It was like the distant dripping of water, slowly rolling off the faucet and splashing into the sink, gradually driving me mad.
When I got home from a jog later that day, I started reading in Revelation, picking up from the night before in about chapter 8. Why am I reading Revelation? Good question.
Well, as many of you know for the last month or two I've been writing a book called "Caelum" aka "the mythology of heaven" which is basically a story-poem about heaven. There are angels and demons and other things in it so I wanted to do some research in Revelation, the strangest book in the bible. I'll tell more about it in the weeks and months to come. So, as I was reading in revelation, I stumbled upon Revelation 9:20:
But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk!
God gave them a chance, even at the end of the world. How much more then would he give the chance to those who don't even think there is a god? Maybe there will be a salvation for the little goat herder at the end, maybe not, but at the and of the day, where does that leave us? If it is at a place of "Phew, thank God we don't have to worry about being missionaries", then this post has not met its intended mark. What I'm trying to convey here is that, for me, putting this question to rest, or at lease in a stalemate has freed me to love the people around me. It has freed me from the guilt of not being a missionary to starving kids in Africa or of being a 'Billy Graham' type evangelist. I can now see that there is a world full of people who are hurt, who need healing, who need love. On every street corner this is someone who carries a wound. Maybe the girl behind the Starbucks counter was raped, maybe the man on the bus got beat by his father. And these are the ones that we fail to see because of that burning question, the question of the goat-herder's salvation.

The Meaning of Sacrifice

"Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" 
~John 15:13~
Watching Gran Torino the other night really made we think about that verse. He selflessly gave away his life for the protection of his neighbors, his friends. He knew what he had to do and did not shy away from it. True he had a checkered past that he wanted to have no part of anymore, subconciously driving him to this decision, but his sacrifice is beautiful none the less. Keeping that in mind, how much more selfless would it have been if he hadn't killed any of those 17 people, if he hadn't killed that one boy, if he had more life ahead of him yet. It would've been a monumental sacrifice, one that would never be forgoten. Why then do we forget an even greater sacrifice that was done for us, to save not our bodies, but our very lives, our souls. God did that for us, not just us, but even the ones who killed Him. It wasn't just a 'die for all and pay for one', no, he died with the sin of EVERY man on the earth, he felt EVERY single one as he suffocated on the cross, as crows pecked at his rotting flesh. What is it about that sacrifice that we miss? Why do we not see the beauty that lies behind it, the pure love that drove it? Why do our eyes glaze over this 'seemingly insignificant' sacrifice? Why are our hearts unmoved by that picture, by that utterly selfless sacrifice, by that pain that he suffered for us?
Imagine your best friend doing that for you, someone who you dearly love and who loves just as much, someone who has so much good in them. 

You sit alone in a jail cell. You hear the noise of screaming and you smell the rank smell fear as a thick blanket of gas in the air. Your head is buried in your hands as  tears flow through your fingers and splash onto the cold concrete floor of your cell below. You have just killed a man. You are weeping, not solely out of regret, but out of fear. That fear has utterly taken hold of you and you are scared to death of what is to come. They have just told you that you are going to receive the death penalty, and are then going to suffer eternal damnation in hell; 'you had made your choice' they said. Suddenly, you hear the sound of footsteps, and then that of keys jingling in the lock at your door. The door swings open and you look up to see the loving eyes of your father staring back at you.
"Dad , I killed a man and now I'm going to die and spend eternity in Hell!" you scream as you blood seeps down your arms from your fingernails cutting into your forehead. You throw yourself at his feet and weep into his shirt, smearing your blood all over him.
"Son, you're not going to die, your are going to live and start a new life. I am taking your place."
"You can't! I've made my choices in life!" you yell, trying to awake from this nightmare, but it is no dream.
"It has already been decided," he says as two guards take off your shackles and lock them onto your father, "Son, your life is worth saving."
"Dad, why are you doing this!?" you as, grasping at his shirt as the guards pull him away.
"Because I love you son," he says with tears in his voice and then is pulled out of the cell. Your watch as he is walked down the hallway to face your death, your demons. You sit there in the hallway, lying on the floor weeping. You look down at your blood-stained hands and realize that your blood is on him, that he is saving your life. Your know that nothing you could never repay him for this, even if your could live a thousand lives, it would not be enough. This is the meaning of sacrifice.

This story is our story as we fail to see it. We HAVE been given life, we HAVE been offered redemption. Now get up and walk out of that cell, you are free, but never ever forget the sacrifice that has been made by your loving father, Jesus.

A Bottled Up Love

Coming back from Sigma has been really heard for me, coming back into the real world. I find myself trying to get back to Ute Trail, trying to get back to that unity with Christians and with God up there on the mountain top. I cried and cried as we left, thinking that I would never be here again, thinking that this is where I was free to live. But as I have walked with God and shared my heart with him about this doubt, he has reminded me that our mission is here, that this is what we have trained for.
Think about Jesus' disciples for a second. They shared total unity with Jesus and with fellow Christians, something I only had a taste of in Colorado. But when Jesus left them, when he sent them back into the world, they did not struggle and reach for a way back with Jesus, they went out and showed the rest of the world God's love. Think about Superman in "Superman Returns", he lays dying on the Krypton island, paralyzed and held down by this earth. He finally breaks out and is able to reach out to the sun, to restore his life and purpose. And yet though he is where he draws his strength, where he is fully alive, he remembers what his strength is for. He does not stay where he is closest to his power, instead he returns to earth where he can be overcome by weakness and be held down and caged, but he does it to free others. That is why we are here, that is why we are on this earth. Every purpose in our life is to free those around us, to show them God's perfect and passionate love for them. Satan wants me to walk away from camp and keep this love to myself, to bottle it up and never share it with anyone. It is when I remember my mission and go out into the world changed and on fire for God that I become a dangerous threat to the enemy. Remember what we are called to be as Christians, remember and never forget why we are here on this battlefield:
We are on a mission, and that mission will take us places where we will be shot at and sought out. We are behind enemy lines, taking the world by storm.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, a]">

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3


Never forget that.

Your brother in Him,
Christopher Coan

No Coward's Soul Is Mine

"No Coward's Soul Is Mine", by Emily Bronte

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.

O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life, that in me has rest,
As I, undying Life, have power in Thee!.

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Since Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

This is such a moving poem to me, the way she speaks about God as if to a lover, with passion in her words. To see the final work of poetry, the final words of a life come from a human being is a very moving thing. The words they chose to say as they lay dying, the final words to sum up a lifetime of learning and living. As Emily Bronte lay on her bed, dying quickly from tuberculosis, her last words, her one thing she chose to say before parting from this earth was that of undying faith and total peace. When the doctors informed her that she was sick, she chose not to be hospitalized, or even medicated. Why? Why would she give up what seems to us like her whole life ahead of her when she could fight back death for some time longer? Was it because she was unhappy with the life that she had been given? Was it because of her state of mind? Was she at peace enough to leave this world without regrets or remorse? Or was it that her heart longed to be in unity with God, to walk with Him once more like she had in the garden ages past. Read the poem again, slowly and sincerely. Read as though they were the dying words of your sons or daughters.
This is a brief window into her heart, her heart overflowing with genuine love and faith for God. At that place on her death bed, lying before God and man, preparing to cross over the threshold into the unknown, she entertained no doubt in her mind. Her father would catch her, he would not let her fall. I don't know about any of you, but that pure faith and belief that she held in her heart is the kind of faith I want to have. A faith that inspires people, a faith that grows people, a faith that is faith where knowledge cannot go. A faith like that will change the world.

Dentist Chair Salvation

You know that feeling when you go to the dentist, you feel like a bad person for not brushing the right way or flossing after every meal or swishing your rinse for 30 seconds, yeah, that feeling. That is the same way that church feels. You feel bad for not talking to God as much as you should have that week or donating money to the poor or helping your neighbor with his yard. Why do we feel that way? What part about us makes us feel guilty? I think it has a lot to do with the environment there, the people, the mission, the sermon, stuff like that. Sermons for the most part make us feel guilty, like we need to do more, like we are selfish. They tell us what is wrong with us, where we've had a problem, where we need to ask God for help and then tell us how much it will cost. It's so much like our world, nothing is free. Our church has become a part of the world, rather than being a light that shines out from the world. We are so caught up in what we should do and what would make us a better person that we miss the simple truth, God wants you so much that he paid with everything he had to buy us back. That doesn't fly in our world. Nothing that is worth anything is free. If you can't buy it you don't need it. This is what we have come to, this is the state of our world. We cannot see how honest, how sincere God's gift to us is because we are blinded by the our world. It has been said that the best things in life are free, but have they ever said that about God? It may cost us everything on this earth to follow him, but what does it all matter? Would we be willing to trade everything we own on this earth for eternity? The Dentist says that it will cost you a little time and some money, but it will be a good trade off, but I say that if you will just get out of that chair, walk through those doors and follow him, there will be pain, there will be suffering, but you will have your freedom.
Braveheart Speech


We have no idea how important we are or how important we will become. Those words make me feel like I have some destiny, something great ahead of me that I could only imagine. It makes me want to just push that much harder through the attacks. I am fighting for a purpose, albeit one I do not understand, put a purpose none the less. Since the beginning of time there has been a fight for human kind. One side seeks to save us, the other seeks to destroy us. We are the resistance. Our lives are so much more valuable than just the amount of cash we bring in or how big of a global footprint we make, our lives are worth starting a war for. All around the world, on the news, in books, in life, I see people who take their own lives for something as worthless as money. All the things on this earth, money, power, sex, they are all formulations used to distract us from what is really going on here, a fight for our very souls. It is not some petty squabble that rises and falls over time, it is a full blown war that has raged on for thousands of years. The enemy knows what we will become and is trying his best to stop that future from coming true. He tried to kill Jesus, our savior so that we would loose hope and submit to the darkness, but we still have hope. He will squeeze every ounce of life out of us to try and douse that hope, that faith that we are apart of something that we cannot see, some great war that we are caught up in that will end with our liberator freeing us from this world. Hope is a concern, faith is a threat. He will stop at no end to keep us from fighting, to subdue us and bring us into order, there is no extreme for him. He will hit you at your lowest point, he will strike where it hurts, he will absolutely break you down to try and keep us from hoping. We must not give in, we must not concede.

"Right now the most important thing is to stay alive, you have no idea how important you are or how important you will become" -John Connor, Terminator: Salvation-

Body in Chains

My spirit longs to be free, but my body is still in chains, still tied to the ground. Until I am able to forsake everything on this earth, until I can give it all up, I will never be free; I will still be ruled by this earth. Nothing would make the enemy happier that to keep me in check, to keep me from becoming free, for freedom is dangerous. If I can become free from this world, nothing on this earth can pull me down, nothing can keep me from my father. Nothing is more dangerous, nothing is more threatening. This is my fight on this earth, and I will win my freedom even if I have to fight through hell to get it.


I watched the movie Bella with my family tonight. Wow, what a powerful movie. Juan and Nina, two ordinary people just trying to find their way end up on the same path together. During this friendship, this journey, they end up freeing each other. What a beautiful thing, when you can free someone just to free them, no second offers, no binding agreements, you truly set them free. This image is especially beautiful to me, it awakens some deep identity within me, the liberator. He seeks not for himself, he often is spit upon and blamed for making things worse when in fact he is fighting for their very freedom, for their lives. This image is not anything new, as long as man has been in bondage to this world he has sought a liberator, a savior, someone to set him free. In Gladiator Maximus is the liberator, the savior. He dies not knowing just how many he had set free or that his sacrifice would end the gladiator games in Rome, he simply fought for freedom. In Once (I know, I always come back to this movie), guy and girl find themselves thrown together, two lost people who find their freedom and then they simply part paths. There are no contracts, no chains, they are truly free. The worldly view of freedom is simple: I set you free, you help me out. I scratch your back you scratch mine. That's it? Where is the freedom in that? It is like having your chains knocked off only to have a rope tied around your neck. God came to truly set us free, to unleash our hearts. He does not say 'I will set you free but then you have to follow me', he simply fights for our freedom. God is our liberator, he is our savior.

One Eyed Man

"A one eyed man is far less complete than a blind man. He knows what he lacks." -Victor Hugo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame-
Something is missing, this is not quite right. Our lives on this earth are not complete. We are walking around with only one eye and we feel it. We have gone from total intimacy with God to a godless world. We have tasted paradise, we have seen the gates, but we see them no more. We have lost sight of them. Nothing on this earth can fill this empty socket, no amount of power or wealth or happiness can replace that which we have lost. We have lost paradise and nothing but that will satisfy that longing, that desire. God has given us this one eye so for this very reason, so that we see our own incompleteness, our own fallen world. This is just a taste of how hell will be, total separation from God, total blindness. Someday we will see for the first time, we will see true beauty and life. The sunsets we see in this world that give us such hope, such life are God's sign that he is waiting, he is longing for us. And like the sun after a black and cold night, he will rise, shining brilliantly and give us a new life.

"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!"
-1 Corinthians 13:12, The Message-

The Death of Silence

I hear fantastic stories from some of my friends about just how busy and connected their days are. They go from one phone call to another, sending texts and and e-mails all day long. I used to envy those people, the people who didn't have any time to be bored. It was not until recently that I began to pity them. They cannot stand to be alone, they can't even function without some form of communication. They hide behind their connections, their friends so they don't have to face the silence. It is so sad to me, not being able to just go on a bike ride alone, not able to just go sit by a river and spend some time with God. For me, I need that time; I would be a wreck without it. I just need to be able to completely unplug and get away from it all, to be able to take a walk through the park, just me and God. It is such an empty feeling that most people have, where the only things they need they can touch and see.
My friend Sophie is always looking down; she rarely has more that 30 seconds without an incoming text. She has told me that she really misses the time where she has nothing going, those rare times when she can just go on a walk and turn off her phone. Our world is unable to unplug. It is the problem of our generation. It is so hard just to leave it all, to walk away and not look back because for one reason or another we always get pulled back in.

Silence is being threatened, it is being controlled. No longer do you have to wait eagerly for your friend to drive across town to hang out with you, no longer do you need to be face to face to have unity. Unity is no more than 30 clicks and an enter away. For most, to have any time alone is unnerving; they feel as though they can hear the clock ticking upon the wall. It is frightening. Texting is one of the simplest ways to deal with the silence, the simplest way to kill it is slowly but surely killing us. What does that say about us? What kind of life do we live? How can we call it life if there is no life? If we can no longer stop and smell the roses or simply take in a breath of fresh air, we have lost a deep part of us. Silence is a slowly dying forest, gradually being chopped down and paved to make way for a "better" and "more connected" life. Silence is being killed and we are holding the axes.

A Candle's Light

Think about a candle, what is it about it that captivates us, what is it that feels so free about it? It flickers, it lessens, it takes a rest. Some would argue that it would be better if it was predictable, if it would always be there, always be consistent (hence the lightbulb), but they are missing the true beauty beneath. It is because it is not always there, it is because it is alive that it is beautiful. It is so contradictory to us, where we think that beauty is forever or that what stays is what counts, what stands firm is what will last. If it won't stay we will make it.

It is a very freeing thing to know that there will not always be the same feeling, the same life, the same light. Just because there is not constant life in something, or the same amount of vitality or connection does not mean that it has died, it is living and breathing. Nothing that claims to have full life all the time will last.
One of my dearest friends is the one whom I rarely talk to and even more seldom see, and yet when we do talk, it is just as if we had never stopped. Our friendship is like a candle, it is not that it is losing it's fire, it merely flickers, bright one moment and appears nearly gone the next. It never did die, it merely flickered.

In the movie Once, guy and girl have the same relationship. They don't need to have each other to love one another, they do not need to have a constant flame. They can go their own ways without feeling remorse or regret. Their love did not die, it did not cease.

In The Legend of Bagger Vance, Bagger is a great friend to Junuh. They grow together, they work together, but when the time comes for Bagger to go, Junuh feels betrayed, he feels as though he needs him. Although Bagger left, Junuh knew that he would see him again, and that until then the candle would have to be dim, but that is the way of all things.

Right now in this world we are at a dim part in our love with God. We were burning bright in the garden, full of life and love, but it did not last for long. We think that the love is gone, that God has forgoten about us, but the truth is that the love must flicker to be love. One day soon, our love will outshine even the sun, but this time, it will never die down.

Life nor Death

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing. Not even death can separate us from the love of God, that is the extent of his love for us. How many things do you know that defeat even death itself? This does not mean that he loves us as long as we are under his wings or withing his reach, this means that he would journey through hell to save us, His children.

I had never really thought about it like that, I mean I knew that he loved us and all, and I knew that he died for us, but I never really saw it for the beauty that it is. We are being held hostage, being chained up, being tortured by the darkness and God has come to set us free. I saw his sacrifice as a chore that he was told to do, not as him laying down his life for his children. I watched Taken last night and was left in tears at the end of the movie. The father didn't even think, he didn't even hesitate to save his daughter. He fought through hell to save her. He was beaten, he was shot at and was pulled down by the government, yet he suffered it all. That was the extent of his love.

It was such a beautiful portrait of God. If the love of our earthly father would cause him to fight for our freedom, how much more would be the love of God for us, those who are born of his spirit. He knew that it would hurt like hell, he knew that he was giving himself over to become flesh, to become mortal. Not only did he have to endure more pain than could possibly be imagined, but he had to be cut off from his father who was as much apart of him as he himself was. That must have far exceeded any pain that could be delivered to his flesh. God saw that we had been captured, that we needed freedom and he dove head first into hell to save us from it. As much love as we can feel on this earth, in these bodies, it could never compare to the sheer brilliance of God's love for us.


Duty. That word makes my skin crawl. When someone says duty, they generally mean serving one's country or volunteering once a month or something like that, but duty is used as a chain around our necks. "It is your duty to God to go to church Johnny", might say one mother, but does that really sound like duty to God or duty to man? God gave us free will so that loving him is our choice, not his or your youth pastor's, or anyone else's. If we are going out of duty to God, what does that say about us? It says that we consider God a check box. We check him off once a week or maybe even twice a week if we are really ''spiritual" and then we just go about our week normally, to us He is no more than something to overcome in the week. Why do we see him like that? Why do we feel the need to go out to get close to him when he is sitting on the couch with you? We say that we believe that God is everywhere but "going to church" shows what we really believe; God is a quaintity, an energy that needs to be replenished now and then. If you wanted to talk with your friend and grow in your relationship with that friend you would go get coffee or something right? Why is it then that we only grow our relationship with God at a church? Because it is hard to have a personal relationship.

We were talking a few days ago about mother's day, how it is a set apart date to celebrate mom so that you can make up for all the times you were "too busy" to talk. We need mother's day because we choose not to have a good relationship with our mom's. Church is the same way. We check God off of our list so that we don't feel guilty for not talking to him. Just remember this, you can't fool God. You may be able to sneak past the fact that you haven't talked to your mom by writing her a card or sending her flowers, but God looks at the heart.

Since we left stopped having church, I haven't felt guilty about not going to church once. I have a realtionship with God, I've thrown the checklist away and taken out my stationary.


How do you describe something so mysterious? Our heart is so much more than an organ that pumps blood through our veins, it is what drives us, what connects us with God. Our heart is as mysterious as the one who breathed life into us. No one can tell you how to follow your heart, no one can show you how it works. Human ways have no control over the heart; They have no passage they have no safety. God gave us our hearts to give us life, without it we would be no more than empty carcasses that follow where they are shown. Many chastise their hearts, they lock it up and keep it behind bars. It certainly is much easier to be ruled by your mind, for indeed if your heart is free it will be hurt, but is living life in fear, in denial really living at all? There is an old saying that all men die, but not all men truly live. Can you truly live at all without your heart, or is life just a specific set of movements and choices that lead to the final end result? You cannot live in both worlds, in the world of the mind and the world of the heart, they are opposing in every way. What one tries to capture and reserve the other releases and lets wild, what one seeks to put out the other seeks to raise up. It is not safe at all, it is quite dangerous in fact. It is placed in check in a world of order and discipline, where whatever cannot be controlled must be destroyed. Satan will do whatever he can to destroy it, without it you are no longer any worry to him. God gave us our hearts to follow, not to shut up and push away. Our hearts are struggling to break free of our bodies and go to the father, to return to Him. Let it free.


Last night I went to a John Eldredge conference with my dad and some friends. At one point in the talk, he talked about how we make deep agreements within ourselves that the enemy writes up himself. John said that the agreement that he had made with the enemy was that everything was up to him, and that if he didn't do it, it simply would never be done. I zoned out and thought about that for a while, what agreements had I made with the enemy? As I sat there starring at the back of the chair in-front of me, I suddenly head the words "I am not desired". Where did that come from? I searched deep into my mind, trying desperately to find where this had come from. I passed like a phantom through all the years as though it could all be seen in a moment. I saw many things in a flash, but the most prominent one was after summer break last year, at the beginning of the school year.

I remember that first day of history class that Monday morning, I was nervous about going to CAIA for the first time and I walked into class and saw her sitting in the middle of the room. I instantly felt as though I'd left the ground and a million stars burst in the air. I sat through class and pretended like I was paying attention, but really I was just looking at her. I would open my folder to my left and start scribbling on the page just so I could look over at her. After the class I walked into the bookstore and picked up some geography book or something and pretended like I was reading it. I kept glancing over the pages to see her looking right at me. I went home that night feeling like I was on top of the world. The next week I mustered up the courage to talk to her and added her on Facebook the next week. She really seemed to like me alot, she talked to me all the time, sent me quizes such as "on a scale of 1 to 10 how badly do you want to be my boyfriend" and the likes. After a few months, I was certain I was in love with her. I drew pictures of us together and always dreamed of us going to see movies and her getting scared and hiding her head in my shoulder. I was lovestruck. Later that year in the fall I wrote a poem for her and had finally come to the conclusion to send it to her. That was my proposal, that was my asking her to be my girlfriend. I swear the sun froze in the sky that day as I waited for her to reply. She finally replied and told me that I was sweet and that I should always be who I was. I took that as a "yes" and was completely ecstatic. Clearly it wasn't a yes, as we see now 8 months later. Realizing this was the first time that I had really put words to the agreement that I had made; I am not desired. I was heartbroken to say the least. This reaffirmed the lie that I had accepted as truth, the binding contract that I had signed and was now tied to, that I was not desirable, that no one would care to hear from me, that my opinion wasn't worth bullshit.

Ever since a few years ago, I'd considered it to be a privilege for someone to want to talk to me, that it was out of the 'goodness of their hearts'. I couldn't see it any other way, that was just how it was, like there was something about me that people despised. Somewhere along the line, sometime within the last year or so I made an oath. Somehow I drew the conclusion that, If you are stronger of faster or better looking than someone else, you are worth more, that people would like you better, that you would be desired. I made the oath that I would be the strongest, best looking, smartest, coolest guy around. I needed to be desired and this was the only way that I could see. I dropped 50 lbs in about 4-5 months. I ran, I went on diets, I lifted weights, I did everything. The oath I'd made was affecting my thoughts, the way I saw life, the way I saw myself. Now that I look back with that contract, with that agreement in mind, I see how so many things have deepened that promise and confirmed it. It has affected me in so many things that I wish I could change, and still affects me to this day.

I think that it is a good thing for me to talk about it and to put a name on this thing that is in my life. I still, even this week, even today have had this outlook of myself, that I am not desired or wanted, that no body will like me unless I have something to offer. I find myself reaching for things and people that make me feel accepted, that make me feel like I am wanted. I feel as though anyone or anything who comes along and shows interest in me or shows that they would actually want to talk to me or be with me is something I need to grab onto. My heart knows that it is all a lie and that I am not only wanted, but actually desired by God, but my brain feeds me lies and tells me that I'm not wanted and that I have nothing to offer. I know that this is killing me, I know that I need to break free from this bondage. I need prayer and guidance, I need to know that I am not in this alone, that there is always someone there beside me to help me untie these cords, that even if I am all alone in this world I am never alone.

God, help me to clearly see your love for me, show me that I am wanted, tell me that I am desired. I don't want to live under this agreement that I am unwanted or undeserving any longer. Take this lie away from me, burn this contract that keeps me from your love. Show me the truth, don't let me believe these lies from the enemy. Why would I be desired God? Show me why, show me that I am. God, set my heart free.

Imitators of Christ

Imitators of Christ. We've heard it our whole lives growing up, that you somehow need to look up at the picture of God and copy every move he makes. How can we imitate something we cannot see? A little boy in a church pew is told that it means wearing a monkey suit, taking notes about the pastor's sermon and giving his dollar when the silver tray comes around. Is that who God is? Is that really imitating Him?

My friend and I were talking the other day about working out (not an uncommon subject for anyone who knows me) when she brought up the point about exercise trends, and how some people stay committed and others don't. "I think it mostly has to do with the type of people you hang around with," she said, "I heard about a study that surveyed several overweight people, one group that had lean friends and the other that had friends in their same weight range. The people who hung out with the lean friends lost significantly more weight and kept up those habits much more so than the other group. It really makes a lot of sense.

I remember first starting back to soccer over a year ago, first starting to get my butt off the couch and being forced to run 1 mile jogs before practice every Wednesday. I almost always finished last, or at least close to the end. It was so frustrating for me, who used to be my lean sprinter back a few years ago. Over half the members of our team were in track and crosstrek, obviously they were hard to catch up to. It was then when I first started working out, forcing myself to run to the point of exhaustion, trying to catch up to them. I was chasing them with every muscle in my body.

S0 just how do we become imitators of Christ? Is it by doing the right thing, by hanging out with the right people, or is it by chasing him with every muscle in your body, striving to get just a bit closer, to just touch the fringe or his robe. God is not some lock that opens with the right combination, or the right set of numbers, He is alive and moving, begging us to follow his lead. We must chase him as the moon chases the sun, pouring itself out just to see the the light he gives. God is not some destination nor is he the finish line of the race, he is the race.

God in a Nutshell

Nutshell, Box, Cage, Boundary, They are all the same. They all say that what is under the label is what is inside. People try to put God in a nutshell. They say that God is the bible, that God is predictable, that God is safe. They are trying to put God in a nutshell. God cannot be defined, He cannot be tamed, He cannot be bound. He has no beginning and no end. I don't know about you but I've never seen a box that big.
God is like the wind, you don't know where it's going, you cannot see where it's been. You can't trap it or label it, It just is. People don't want to think that there is some undefined thing in our world, in the world of science and technology where we can analyze even the smallest form of life. It is uncomfortable to think that there is something out there that is wild and free. Just think about how we treat raccoons or bears or lions. We put up fences, we put them in a zoo, we erase the thought of them from our mind. We capture, we confine, we define. We deny that there is something that is out there, that there is something that could spring on us at any moment.
We have no problem with keeping it out of our mind's eye. We feel we are better off not knowing it exists. But you need to know, you need to feel as though you are not safe, as though at any moment this wild and untamed spirit will take you down a completely new path, somewhere dangerous. God is untamed, unmangled, uncontrollable, but he is good. It is in this that we find peace.


Have you ever looked at a situation and only see one small part of it? Or have you even thought that this one thing matters more than anything else on the earth? That's how I've been thinking for quite some time. It's like looking at a postcard of Colorado when you are actually there, standing before it, the real thing. It is hard not to think that whatever is right in front of you is the most important thing, that nothing else matters, but that is just a road block designed to trip you up. The danger comes from dwelling on something, living and breathing that one thing that is in your way, trying to find a solution to an unsolvable equation. It is hard for us to keep our head in the clouds when we've got our eyes on the ground. No amount of worrying is going to make it any better, it just pulls you further down into the ground, trapped by tiny spiders webs. All this stuff and all these problems are woven together, one thing after another until Satan can find a way to keep you trapped on this earth. He's will do anything to keep you from being united with Christ, from living up to your true life because he knows that once he no longer has any hold on you, he has lost. God wants you to be free, he's crying out your name. But as long as our eyes are on the ground, we won't see God.

I will lift my eyes to the hills to where my help comes from, my help comes from the lord
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