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The Fifth/My curse July 29, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, Randomness, The Journal.
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Today was a rough day. Nothing spectacular happened, however I felt my soul hit hard by thoughts of my brother. For those of you who don’t know, I have a 17 year old brother, he’s 16 months younger than me, so we’re pretty tight. About a month ago I had learned something about my brother’s past that has dramatically shaped how I look at my brother now. He went through an incredible traumatizing experience that certainly could have permanently haunted his life. Really praise God that Satan wasn’t given that chance, my brother has stronger convictions than most believers and I bet my life on it that he has greater convictions than some of the greatest speakers and pastors that have served God. It’s really more of a testament to God in how he has blessed my brother and how he’ll continue to bless him as he enters the ministry.

Now, when I had heard this history of my brother, it took me a while to fully process the gravity of what had happened to him. I was crushed as any brother would be, I love my brother and would lay down my life for him in a heart beat, that’s just who I am. But then I began to reflect on the life I lived with my brother. The person who had hurt my brother was in no way as a great a criminal as I was. For years I tortured my brother, calling him names, beating on him, pulling pranks, simple brother things really nothing to extravagant. But the entire time, for the better part of ten years, I had no idea the kind of hurt he suffered, I was never the bigger brother I should have been.

Not to toot my own horn, but I always felt like God did give me this personality that would willingly be there for the hurt of others, and I have actively pursued that since high school. Yet in ignorance I could not see the hurt that was right in front of me. Ten years my brother never told me this, and during that time my parents were getting a divorce and I had pretty much shut him out of my life. I was jealous and angry at him during that time. How come he was the more spiritual? How come he got the better grades? Was thinner and more athletic than I? All these questions buzzed around my mind creating a misguided and inappropriate disdain for my brother. What kind of brother am I?

I’ll tell you what I wasn’t, I wasn’t the brother who pulled my brother aside and told him I loved him. I wasn’t the bigger brother who protected him from those who picked on him during elementary school. I wasn’t the brother who gave an ear to him when he went through times of struggle. My pride had really blinded me from this pain. Thank God Johnny came out the way he did. If you were to talk to him, you would be astonished at the knowledge of his God and others. How quickly he forgives those who have trespassed against him. The hurt that had happened to him then, he now sees as a way to further advance the Kingdom with his Testimony, PRAISE GOD!

Yet I can not bring myself to forgive myself. My struggle, my lament is that I had allowed this to happen to him, I was the greater sinner. I know God sees all sin as equal, a lawbreaker is a lawbreaker (ref. James). However, I knew the Word, it was in my heart, in my mouth, I knew of the warnings and this other person did not. My brother has forgiven me and the other, God has forgiven me and I pray that this other will seek His forgiveness. But I still can’t forgive myself. It is this pain that is tearing me up. What if something as traumatic like this hits close to home again? And I continue to blindly go on without seeing it? I pray that this won’t happen. I pray that someday I can forgive myself, I’m sure I can be used by God in a much easier way.

I pray that I am not being blind to other hurts in front of me now. One thing I appreciate is honesty and a person that can be real, so if I notice a hurt I can be there. My warning and I guess word of advice is to not go seeking out for the hurt of others before solving the hurt of your family. Your family is yours forever, whether we respect and love them or not. If we don’t help our home and family, what kind of followers of Christ are we? Or simply what kind of people are we? Certainly not ones that are qualified to help others. Please don’t be like me, and have years of regret for not loving my brother the way I should have. I told him that will no longer be the case. I am going to love my brother and be content with the fact that he will do greater things than I in God’s name. Please, seek for the healing and love of your family.

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The Fourth/Rain July 28, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Randomness, The Journal.
1 comment so far

Phew, what, a, weekend. Sorry I had to keep you, my lovely fans/readers, waiting for a while, but I really couldn’t think of anything to write… At any rate, if you happened to live in Bucks County you may have noticed the crazy thunder storm that had passed this afternoon. It was a spectacular show of sound and light, and just a pleasant reminder of how powerful the Man upstairs really is.

I always enjoy the rain. I think it brings a calming and dramatic atmosphere to the earth. I think rain has a simple and subtle beauty to it, almost like an applause from above. I wish I could slow time down just to watch the rain, like you see in those kung fu movies when something really stellar is about to happen. Rain has many metaphors attached to it; God crying, the cleansing of sins on the earth, God showing his awesome might, and so on.

To me rain is a great time for reflection, thinking, and observing. The blue and gray coloring that sets over the world puts me into a position of deep thought (a scary place for me). So I did take the opportunity today, in silence, to think about the life God wants me to live and what God may or may not have in store for me. The sublime setting rain sets really enables us to sit down in peace and think about things.

I think this is one thing the body of Christ misses, not rain, but taking time in silence and or solitude to really process what is on their hearts and minds. One thing I notice when people come to me or anybody else really for advice, they haven’t really thought through their emotions and thought process. I mean, we all immediately seek help before we know what we need help with. This is even truer or more relevant in prayer. When we speak to God, no one really thinks about what they’re saying, they just say it. Now I know God knows our hearts and our needs, but I think we should take the time to know them as well if we really want to know what our true motives are.

So the next time you think you need, take the time to help yourself. Ask God, pray, for the words you need to express what you are truly feeling. Think about where your motives are going, about where your true heart lies. I’ve heard it said that sometimes we’re just to scared to process what we’re going through. WELL MAN UP AND DO IT ANYWAY! Like I had said earlier, we’re not called to be comfortable, we’re called to live a life in servitude to our Maker and Redeemer.

Too much repenting/The Third July 24, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, The Journal.
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Whoa, what a day. It’s incredibly ironic the places God chooses to use to show us what we’re doing wrong or to have a change of heart about something. Recently I have been listening to sermons suggested by some friends, it’s an awesome way to get fed when your painting (which is what I do for a job) and to find interesting ways to prepare messages. The problem is that I sometimes get so worked up in the messages I’m listening to, that I forget I’m at work! Today for example, I was listening to a man name Matt Chandler, great speaker I highly recommend him, and for six hours I’m listening to this man, really taking in what the Holy Spirit is saying or said through him. I got so worked up that I stop painting and tears start to well up in my eyes! Then I have to repent for not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, PAINTING! I thought it was humorous in a way cause I’m almost literally telling the Holy Spirit to stop working in my heart so I can get back to work. I mean honestly, what if my boss walked in on me praying and repenting to God with a paint brush in my hand? He is a Godly man himself, but even I would say to stop listening to this stuff at work, it’s ridiculous!

At any rate, my heart was confronted to some things that I have been previously processing through. One issue in my life is pride, a pride that I don’t necessarily think I’m better than people, but I can sense this air about me that shouldn’t be there. It wasn’t until Matt said it that I realized what is was. I think I get prideful in admitting to myself that there is nothing wrong with me, that I was sent here to help, encourage, and admonish others. Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with the latter, but how big a crime it is for me to actually think for even a moment that I am above sin! Above other peoples hurt! We’ve all interacted with people that have said this too, and now we know what is wrong with them, pride. It is still something I’m chewing through, however, so I still need time really confront this pride but if you’re going around thinking that your life is perfect and now it’s your turn to help, well you’re wrong! There’s obviously something wrong here! *Preaching mode turned on* If we sit on our butts thinking that the only time we can help the body of Christ or anyone else as well, then we’re wasting away! God doesn’t want to see what you can do in perfect conditions, God wants to see what you can do in crazy times! When we’re given little and have invested in those little things, God will bless with even larger things to care for (Matthew 25:26). Read James for crying out loud, you prideful biggots. Let’s do God’s work even under stress! How much more glorious it will be to see someone’s life change for the better when all you see is darkness in your own life! Let your “self” die, so we can resurrect in Christ and live the life He lived, one of servitude to others! I mean Jesus Himself was still serving even when He was nailed on the cross.

In addition, I’m recently confronted with a little of feeling of “not doing anything.” Here’s what I mean. Ever since the beginning of college, I have had this hunger for God and knowledge. I’m enjoying reading books, talking to people about theology, and actually enjoying being involved in class. No crime here. I love to learn, and I especially love to learn about Scripture, the Bible, and God. However, what the heck am I doing with all this learning? I have just come to realize that I have never actually put my knowledge to practice. All this gaining in theology, text, literature, writing, and for what? So I can know how to read the Bible better? So I can know where the books of the Bible are? I should be taking in what Scriptures are saying! I have to live the life I’m reading about! I’m not evangelizing at all if all I’m doing is sitting there learning! Let me get out there, actually listen to others, love others, and give two craps about their life! !$#!(%R*!*(!%!#_(&!

Now all this is not some crazy new revolution I’ve dawned upon myself. There is still time to process this, chew on it, think it through. I think one of the biggest failures Christians do when hearing or reading a message is take it in, agree/disagree with it, think about what was though provoking, and then do nothing to apply it. Do nothing in their life to make an application for what the speaker had to say. I pray I won’t make that failure today, so give me some time, maybe in the future I’ll blog about what I did to apply these truths in my life. Until then, CIAO!

The Second July 23, 2008

Posted by Jesse in The Journal.
3 comments

Ok all, second day of blogging and I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty happy with the setup. So here I am sitting in room at 10:30 at night, really itching to back to school. Ironic isn’t it. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys I’ve come to love and get to know the people I never really had a chance to talk to over the first year. What’s even weirder… is I am actually looking forward to school work. Gllllllllllll. To be honest, any class that is teaching me the Scriptures, is a class that will rock my socks, and my shoes. Well that’s all I got for today, don’t worry, I’ll get deeper when I start to care about things again. Not that I already don’t…. er…. whatever.

Song of Lament and Praise July 22, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Psalms/Hymns/Poems.
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oh LORD, why You persist with a servant such as i, i will never understand
my sin creeps at my doorstep, ever persistent in letting itself in
why do I not seek You? why can I not listen to You?
this apathy for Your Word can not stay.

i Love You God, hear my prayer
come to me and discipline Your servant so that I can better serve Your kingdom
for my transgressions, dozens could be lost
for my slothfulness, many will not truly understand You
a shameful thing, when a man stops seeking his God

yet You still persist, you still hold me in Your Hand
and for that i am thankful
thank you LORD! GREAT is Thy Faithfulness!
how You restore me, give me life, what other God can do this?
there is none! You are the unchangeable God!
the Alpha and the Omega, the God i have come to love and serve

because He has not given up on me
neither shall i in Him

The First July 22, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Randomness.
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All right guys, my first blog. I said to myself “Hey, why don’t I put my thoughts, ideas, psalms, laments, songs, and what have youse on the internet for all to read and critique.” So the two of you who will be reading my blog, THANKS! I’m still learning how to set this baby up, so bear with me. But as I said, this is mostly an environment made so I can be consistent with what’s going on upstairs, so if you get freaked out, be my guest to close out of the website. I hope my writings will be thought provoking, liberal, conservative, breathtaking, and may be a little crazy. So without further ado, here we go…