Posted by: mylifeisnick | May 22, 2011

The world needs more dreamers like Ponyboy!

“Socs were just guys after all.  Things were rough all over, but it was better that way.  That way you could tell the other guy was human too.”  Ponyboy Curtis

Wisdom!  Gosh!  This 14 year old greaser, I mean kid, really knows his stuff and sees the world better than I do!  For those who don’t know the reference, I’m reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  It’s incredible and life-changing and young adult fiction.  I should probably change my career path and be a middle school English teacher.  Alas.  Anyway, back to the point.

Greasers have got it figured out, at least Ponyboy and his brothers do.  Sodapop, Ponyboy, and Darry are dirt broke when it comes to dollars, but are richer than anyone else I know when it comes to love and brotherhood.  What a lesson the church can learn from greasers.  They’ve got each others backs.  They don’t talk smack.  They love SACRIFICIALLY, even when it means risking a meal, risking hurt, or risking their own lives.  Johnny dies to save strangers.  He was BORN to be a hero and he was born on the wrong side of the tracks.  I hope Christians pay attention to this, because I see more of Jesus in the way these greasers live than in how we as Christians live.  Myself included!  They put others first!  When do we do that!?  We’re all about personal relationships with Jesus Christ… Well that’s not enough!  That relationship means your life is different and changed and that you can’t sit by and watch people kill and be killed!  What are we doing!?

Listen to Ponyboy!  Dream!  Stop and watch the sunset!  Realize that things are rough all over, whether you’ve got money or not, or family or not, or love or not.  Everyone is missing something and EVERYONE has something to share.  I preached this tonight, and desperately pleaded with my junior highers to LIVE as the body of Christ, but I think I was pleading with myself more.  I don’t do this.  I talk smack.  I shrink away from awkwardness.  I hold grudged and act bitter.  But I am choosing here and now to LISTEN to Jesus, and to let Him speak through Ponyboy (Because Jesus DOES speak through literature).  I’m going to be a Greaser.  I’m going to care more about others than I do about myself!  I’m going to be quick to forgive, quick to offer healing, quick to sacrifice my own safety, security and comfort.  Why?  Because I see the wrong in my life and the ways my life denies Chrsit because i have looked through the lens of this greaser who is also a dreamer.

Well I’m a dreamer too, and I dream of a church that actually lives like Jesus.  I dream of myself living like Jesus.  I dream, hope and now, I begin to act.  I’m going to mess up and fall but I WILL walk forward and stumble in the right direction.  Jesus IS Lord, and I am more convinced of that everyday!  I want to live for Him and I have NO RIGHT to preach Him with my words if I’m not preaching Him with my actions!

So there you have it.  No editing and very little pauses for breath.  We need more dreamers like Ponyboy, and us Christians need to LISTEN to what we ear.  Don’t be a soc, be a greaser, and be a greaser for Jesus and embody the kind of community we see in Acts and Christ ASKS us to embody.  Ready, set, go.

Don’t worry.  We’re all in this together so you don’t have to do it yourself.  The world needs more people like Ponyboy.  Are you willing?  Would you jump into the burning building to save strangers?  Do you matter more than others?  Let’s rock this and listen to dear Ponyboy.

P.S.  Don’t be afraid to let fiction speak to you like this.  We all need to listen to the voices in our lives, cause God can work and move!  Holler!

Posted by: mylifeisnick | May 14, 2011

Feelings.

I’ve had a lot of feelings lately.  Good ones, bad ones, convicting ones, angry ones, sad ones and everything in between.  Cool, huh?

I’ve got like 8 blog entries I’ve been meaning to write, so instead I’m just going to let y’all know that I’ve been thinking and praying and changing and moving lately.  God is still good.  I still have a lot of feelings.  I’m still awkward and content with life.

I am however upset over the state of our world.  I don’t like that people hate, kill, steal, lie, cheat and are mean to each other.  The answer really is more love.  We kill because we want what we don’t have.  A warlord in Africa may kill for the pleasure of it and snuff out an image bearer of God, or a rich (or not rich) American may pay for a product that requires slave labor.  We’re all guilty and we all (myself included) far too often  love stuff and things more than people.  It’s been making me sick lately.  Kids do drugs or have sex and break their parent’s hearts.  We spend more time working, reading, or pursuing our own ends and ignore our families.  We’re all guilty and we all fall short.  So what do we do with this?  I have no idea.  I just want to love people better and love stuff less.

Now, back to Gilmore Girls where I continue not living fully into God’s story.  Balls.  It’s a work in progress I guess.

Posted by: mylifeisnick | April 9, 2011

I Guess We Really Are All In This Together…

Why do I really like High School Musical 3? I finally realized it.  It’s not just the catchy songs, flashy lights, endearing characters and sweet dance moves, though they do help.  I love HSM3 and the whole franchise because it reminds me that there is something good in this world.  These movies show joy, camaraderie, love, teamwork, and they don’t have to do anything inappropriate to do it.  HSM is all about encouraging good things in us, and that’s why I like it.  I guess it’s the Hobbit in me, and the simple message of being all in this together really appeals to that nature.  I don’t find joy in strife, hate, discord or suffering, but I do find so much joy in a lovely message wrapped in catchy and lovely songs.

I just watched HSM3 tonight with my original HSM friend, Helena.  It was such a treat!  It reminded me of all the joy and memories associated with the songs and the movies.  There were fond memories of friends I still have, and some that I’ve lost.  The nostalgia was good for me, I believe.  What a great way to spend a Saturday night!

So there’s the mystery folks.  I now know why I love HSM so stinking much.  It’s because i love Jesus, and simplicity and the joy that should be so obvious in God’s people.  HSM reminds me of it, points towards love and fellowship and inspires me to do a better job at pursuing these ends in my life.  I don’t care if it’s corny, or below the standards of some people.  To me, it’s inspiring, joy giving, convicting and to be completely honest, the songs pull at my heart strings like nobodies business!

I am and forever will be a Wildcat, and I’m not ashamed at all.

Blogging is fun, especially when I have a lot of feelings.

Posted by: mylifeisnick | April 8, 2011

Thoughts on Contentment…

Okay, again… I’m bad at blogging.  I blame it on my being graduated and not needing an excuse to not do my homework.  Ha!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about contentment lately, because I’ve been feeling it, and it’s different than I’ve ever expected.  Despite my thoughts for all of my life, my being content has nothing (or very little) to do with anyone other than myself.  When once I found far too much value in who I was around and how much I was wanted, that is no longer the case.  Nor do I find contentment in having all sorts of power and authority, because let’s be honest… I don’t have much.  Ha!

Instead I find contentment in slowly and surely seeking Jesus as best I can, enjoying the moments God has for me, and enjoying the people that are in my life at present!  I’m involved in the ministry I love (Youth group!), have dear friends who I am quite thankful for, abide in a lovely little Hobbit hole, and I’m not severely sick.  I can’t complain, though, if I felt like it, I could easily complain… about something.  Why?  Because we’re human and that’s what we do.  But here’s my secret to contentment.  It’s not complaining (at least not seriously) about what I don’t have and instead just finding great joy in what God has put in my life!

I don’t have a six pack, but I’m not too sick to run.

I don’t have a fancy vehicle with rims and fancy speakers, but I do have a dependable little car with a Hobbit Bumper Sticker.

I don’t live in a country with a perfect government, but i vote, read and hope for the best!

I don’t have an abundance of money, but I’ve got enough to enjoy fun meals with friends, share with others, and put gas in my tank.

It’s all about being a Hobbit (big surprise).  It’s been a long road and process for me to figure this stuff out, but the mistakes and grumbling along the way has made the lesson all the more poignant!  God is good.  Let us rejoice in that.

 

Also, I just read a sweet fantasy series and I’m gonna write about it soon… and by soon I mean eventually!

Now I’m off to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend and listen to some Ke$ha!

Posted by: mylifeisnick | March 17, 2011

A Far Green Country…

“And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water.  And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the hosue of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

I’ve spent the last few days reading the final chapters of The Lord of the Rings and let me tell you, it’s been an emotional time.  I’ve found tears welling in my eyes on nearly every page.  They’ve been caused by so many wonderful things!  There’s the wisdom of Elves and Gandalf, the steadfastness, joy and simplicity of Hobbits, the grandeur and epicness of everything about Aragorn, the King of Gondor.  Then, there’s the beauty found between the characters that Tolkien so deftly weaved together.  Sam the servant has inspired me, and Frodo gave up everything for the Shire and then sailed into the West.  I’ve seen loss and victory and change and true friendship but most of all, I’ve seen Jesus.

We are not meant for this world.  I know it, and Middle-Earth reminds me of it.  The white shores and far green country that Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf and the elves sail to is where we are all supposed to go.  It is upon those shores that our longing will be complete and peace finally achieved.  These books teach me more about Jesus than most sermons and I am so glad for it!  If you’ve not read them, pick them up and try.  You will be changed.  Don’t forget to look for Jesus.  Look and see how the foolish and weak things of the world (Hobbits) shame and defeat and wise and powerful!  Look and see that a gardener can change the world.  Look and see that even the most pitiable and reproachful of creatures can have a purpose and deserves life.  Look and see how all that is gold does not glitter!  Elves, peace, Hobbits, joy, Kingly and just rulers are all part of this tale and we can learn from them all.

So remember, we are not meant for this world, we will sail into the West, and God has so much to tell us from fantasy!

Now go ahead and listen to this song and picture Jesus calling you home to Him, where there is no more suffering, pain or war, and instead there is singing, white shores, and a far green country.

Frodo lives.

Posted by: mylifeisnick | February 27, 2011

Dobby, A Free Elf.

Dobby knew what it meant to be a friend and to be fulfilled and happy in that.

“Dobby is happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter.”  Those were his last words.  There was no pretense or using or consumerism in that.  Dobby was filled with joy to die for those he loved.  Beautiful.

I wish I were more like Dobby.  I hold onto things.  I keep bitterness in my heart.  I hold people to their transgressions.  I forget to forgive.  I forget to be like Dobby.  Here’s the thing, I don’t want to write about this and not be changed by it.  This is a notion that’s been going on in me for a while now and it’s real and true.  I need to let go, and I have been.  Past bitterness has been slowly falling away.  Forgiveness and the desire to hug people has been increasing.  I’ve begun to take myself less seriously and realize, like Dobby, that friendship is worth it.  Dobby died Happy, and if I were to die today or tomorrow, I would like to die happy, living and dying for friends and those I love.

So thank you, Dobby.  Not only did you save Harry Potter and the entire wizarding world, but Jesus used you to save me from myself.  Three cheers for Dobby, a free elf, and three more cheers for God who always teaches us something from fantasy!

Posted by: mylifeisnick | February 25, 2011

Look at the stars!

Oh how beautiful they are!

I worked a lot this week, and then I worked 14.5 hours today.  So by 8:30 I was a little out of it.  I had taken a group of high school students to Snoqualmie Pass to go tubing and it was awesome.  I had just finished my 4th run or so where I went down the hill in my own unique way.  I would dive onto the tube and then throw my hands forward like Superman whilst kicking my legs up into the air behind me and as the wind and snow sparkled past my face I would whistle the Harry Potter theme…  It was pure bliss.  Anyway.  I was on my way back up the hill, connected to the rope tow and I had a few beautiful moments of being absolutely alone.  All I could hear was the quiet snow scratching caused by my tube being towed and all I could see were the stars above.

Jesus was there.  I saw Orion and his belt and this whole time I relaxed in the presence of the Lord.  I prayed, confessed, nearly cried, and i saw how beautiful God is.  The stars were pretty.  I was tired.  I found some of the most perfect quiet time I’ve ever had.

What a good night.

I am sorry if this didn’t make much sense.  I’m still tired, but oh so very full!  I want to give a lot of people hugs right now.

Posted by: mylifeisnick | February 24, 2011

The list!

I feel like you can tell a lot about a person by the things they have on their wishlist.  So I’m just going to write mine down and see what I can learn about me!  I’ve never compiled it all and I’m quite curious as to what my wish list says about me.  If you come to any conclusions, feel free to poist them!  I’d love to hear it!

**Ok, so this is a lot harder than I expected it would be!  I’m really bad at wanting stuff!

Stuff I want:

  • CDs by the band Gandalf.  (It’s like Enya but different)
  • XBox 360 controller (To PWN N00bs with my friends)
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Cause I’m a nerd)
  • Planet Narnia (It’s a book about Narnia and how/why C.S. Lewis wrote them!)
  • Parchment to write notes on! (With my quill and ink)
  • flannels  (So I can keep up with all my hipster friends)
  • A Bieber Hoodie (So I can keep up with Bieber)
  • More Biblical Commentaries (Cause I’m not as smart as I think I am)
  • An ESV study Bible (Cause I’m still not that smart)
  • Protein Powder! (So I can be a buff bro)
  • Anything related to Avatar The Last Airbender, like the DVDs… (The TV show.. not the movie… the movie sucked.)
  • Any article of clothing that looks remotely Hobbity (Cause I’m a Hobbit, duh.)
  • More seasons of Gilmore Girls… I only have the 1st and 2nd (Cause I like girly TV shows)
  • An iPad (So I can play Angry Birds on it)
  • Scholarships to grad school (So I can not be in debt)
  • New kinds of tea! (I like tea….)
  • Food (I’m a Hobbit, duh.
  • Good gin or good scotch (Cause I’m an old man)

 

Okay, that was really hard.  I’m sure there are more things in life that I want, but those are all I can think of.  What does that say about me?  Who a I?  I’m not sure, but now I really want to go on a shopping spree, but I’ll limit myself to buying 1 nice thing a month!

 

In other news, God is good and I’m realizing more and more that in the parables Jesus tells, I’m not the example that gets it right.  I’m the pharisee, or the heart hearted brother, or the one without faith.  Gotta get my head in the game or something!

 

Happy pretend snow day, world!

 

Posted by: mylifeisnick | February 16, 2011

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church…

Holy, wow!

I was reading a devotional today called While Shepherds Watch their Flocks. I was harshly confronted with a reality of Christ’s death for us.  He died willingly! As in he willingly went to His own death.  Like a lamp, He lay down and let the death come with no protest or attempts to save Himself.  That’s Jesus.  Jesus died for us.  I know that it’s a foundational truth of the church, but it’s something really hard to wrap one’s mind around.  Not only did He die for us, but He asks us to be willing to do the same.

Well there’s a question.  Am I willing to be a martyr?  Is Jesus #1 in my life to the point where I would die for His name?  Maybe I would die for His name, but would I lay down like a lamb and just let it happen?  I don’t think I would, and that’s a problem.  I’m too much of am American to do that.  My life is not my own.  My death is not even my own.  So then why do I have this big problem with the idea of willingly being led to the slaughter?  It’s not a very American idea, but it is very Christian.  Millions of Christians (maybe more) have been martyred for Christ.  Am I willing?  Would I reveal my neck to the blade so that I could die for Jesus?  I don’t know.  I hope so.  This is hard.
Those are my thoughts for the day.  Let’s be willing to be martyrs.  Let’s try at least.  Let’s show preference to the poor and the weak and the awkward and the smelly.  Ready go.  We’re All In This Together.

Posted by: mylifeisnick | February 15, 2011

I still have thoughts… and feelings..

So I’m bad at blogging.  That’s been established.  In lieu of an apology, I’m just going to share some of my recent thoughts.

 

Recent Conviction: showing the grace and love of Jesus in all ways “erryday.”  I am guilty of being rude and angsty towards others (with or without good reas0n), and I don’t show the preference to the awkward and broken the way I’m supposed to.  That needs to end.  Grace and love and sharing must abound from me towards others because it’s been shown to me first.  Ready, GO!  (This conviction was brought to you by the Jonas Brothers type worship band at junior high camp)

I love pets.  I miss the constant companionship of an animal who doesn’t want to talk or fight or anything of the sort and is completely content to love and be loved.  I miss my cats.

I feel like I have lots of thoughts, but when it comes down to writing them out, I struggle.
Oh I have been thinking about all the fantasy books and such I read.  I don’t want to live in a pretend world, but I do get oh so much good out of them…  I think it’s okay, but it’s something to think about.

 

G’day!

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