This semester as I take 3 English Lit classes and the 18 novels that go with them over a period of four months, I’ve started to notice that putting your time into learning makes you a more productive human being. And if you put your time into learning things you think will help your relationship with God, he will bless that. I’m starting to see that I need to be willing to learn all the time. So I went about my Sunday with that mindset, and I learned or was reminded of a lot of things. I’ve been feeling much more open with God lately, and yesterday, for the first time since I don’t know how long, I was feeling completely comfortable in my own skin. Anyways, here’s what I learned, the ones in quotes are from my Pastor Keith’s sermon, where there were some great nuggets of knowledge to be found:
– I like, no love, that almost every week at my church (Resonate) I laugh and cry (or at least well-up): I remember in high school I used to always try and make myself cry with the beauty of what Jesus did for me. To be honest, The first time I watched Passion of the Christ, I was 15 or so, alone in my brothers basement over Spring Break. I spent the whole time trying to squirt out one lonely little tear. I hated myself for not being able to. Now I walk into the church, and my soul grows cute little pigtails and puts on a girl-scout uniform and my tear ducts see a kid in the nursery, or our worship band busts out a great hymn, or I take communion and my tear ducts are all systems go to cry like a Minnesota Vikings fan. I also like that 80% of the time I cry in church, it is out of joy. As far as the laughing goes, a man in a video today at church talked about how when the Abraham and Sarah thought they were too old to have children, it meant that Abraham couldn’t get an erection. I loved it. I busted up. It was music to my ears hearing the word “erection” in a church for the first time. Human Genitalia to me, is one of the most curious and hilarious things God made. I think the church, to be honest, does a piss poor job of discussing, teaching and addressing sex related issues. One time my oldest brother Jeremy gave a sex-talk to 25 kids at my church camp. Do you know what was one of the first things he said to a bunch of horny teenagers? “Sex, in marriage, is AWESOME!” He said it just like that too. And we believed him. I still do. We believed him because he wasn’t telling us some rule not to break, he explained the love behind the rule. Anyways, on to the next one.
– My friend Max is one of my favorite people to watch March Madness with.
– My friend JTM is a great person to be sitting next to during a worship service. He likes to crack a few jokes throughout it, but doesn’t ever take away your major concentration on the message.
– Unless you really, absolutely need to sleep, getting up at 8 a.m. on a Sunday is better than sleeping in till noon.
– God is thoroughly linked in his grace and discipline. We talked about Jonah and the Whale, and how Jonah’s vessel of discipline (the whale), was also his deliverance from disobedience and physical danger.
– It’s not the best, but I actually have come to like my own handwriting. I never really used to. It’s kind of sloppy, but for the most part very readable, and I think just reflects my personality.
– I can still love, trust, and believe in God if I never marry. Now I don’t think going unmarried is in the cards for me, I’m not exactly trying to avoid it. But last semester in church the question came up, “Where is the one place your not willing to go with God? That one thing in your heart, that if he asked you to give up you couldn’t give him?” Instantly my soul said, “My marriage.” Obviously I’m not married, or for that matter in a relationship. But in that moment I told God that if he didn’t send me that spunky, sweet, brunette that I ordered in the mail when I was 4, I wouldn’t send him anymore of my prayers. This must’ve cracked him up and brought him to tears at the same time. Then yesterday I realized that if for some reason, God’s plan for me was to go it alone, that if I stayed faithful to him through it, he would teach me how to be completely satisfied with life without a family. Again, I don’t, and to be honest, really hope not this is what’s in the cards for my life, but I think God wanted to hear that I didn’t value those things over my relationship with him.
– “Rebellion and Pain are linked.”
– “It’s the easiest place to be lazy and self-centered”
– “Don’t trade temporary happiness for eternal satisfaction.”
– Those last two points also got me amped up to start lifting four days a week with my friend Ben. He’s nuts about working out. I do it (or did it up until this semester) because I think it’s good for me, and every once in awhile I enjoy it. But for the most part it’s something I have to force myself to do. This semester I’ve made excuses that I’ve been too busy but that wasn’t true, it was laziness. So Ben and I just did our first day together. It sucked. I threw-up at the end, something I don’t do very much from physical exhaustion. But God kept whispering to me through the workout, “It’s the easiest place to be lazy and self-centered, become a man in my army, let your soul treat the body I gave you with a father’s love. Discipline it for it’s own good. Kick it’s ass!” So that’s what I did. I worked it over like a boxer on the ropes. Ben helped. He’s a good friend like that.