The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

From the first moment I found out about the passing of Robin Williams, this line has been stuck in my head. Over and over and over it plays.

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” Continue reading

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When you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.

closeup-tear

This was written over the course of the past few days. I would just jot down my disjointed thoughts, and then I tried to piece them together in a way that would make sense, without losing the overall feel of what I was trying to say, and I didn’t really expand or elaborate on any of my thoughts, so please keep that in mind as you read. If you would like me to elaborate, leaves comment with what you’d like me to elaborate on, and I will.

The phone rings. I take a deep breath, and pick up the phone and smile as I say “Hello, this is Joel. How can I serve you today?”

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Working is the hardest thing. I find myself at the front desk a lot these days. A place I need to be cheery, a place I need to smile, answer questions, and give hope. Hope I don’t feel. But behind the perfectly plastered smile on my face, my mind swirls with questions. Why? How? Somehow reaching out for understanding that doesn’t seem to come.

Then I read what others say. What the news says. The picture they paint. And I don’t see it. Instead I see someone broken, hurting, and in need of redemption. I don’t feel what society tells me to feel. Instead of anger, hate, rage, disgust, I feel sad, heartbroken, like someone died. And in a way, someone has.

In a way, a lot of people have.

So many people will never be the same. So many lives have had something ripped away from them. Peace, security, trust.

Trust.

And when trust is betrayed, we get angry. But when people are hurt, anger will never heal. Healing will only come when we replace anger with love. Redemption can only come from love. So many people are hurting right now. Spreading anger isn’t going to bring a single one of those people healing. We need to instead let our words be of love and support for everyone. And this love needs to come double from those of us who call ourselves the church. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:34-35

Maybe, if we can inject love into the situation, we can see healing come to each of people involved in and surrounding the situation. Maybe we can stop the cycle. Maybe, just maybe, we can actually change people.

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As my mind still swirls, as I find it hard to focus, I find myself asking questions. The worst kind of questions: questions that really have no answer. Questions that can’t be explained. And then the phone starts to ring. Someone comes in needing hope. And so I take all those swirling, twirling, questions and push them down, plaster a smile on my face that I don’t really feel, and answer the phone. And I give hope. Because when you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.

The Disciple Jesus Loved?

When you read through the book of John, you’ll see a specific individual referenced, but never by name…

“The disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Now, we know that this references the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest/best friends, but John never actually names himself… I wonder why that is? And we’ll get to that at the end, but think about it for a minute…

What a pretentious title to give yourself.

Imagine if I walked around calling myself “The citizen whom the president loved”. And not because he ever specifically said, “I love you most”, but because I believed that I was really loved by him.

You would think I was crazy, arrogant, and stuck up!

But that is not what John intended at all. Continue reading

United We Stand?

So many times, we christians are our own worst enemy. We judge, argue, call names, ostracize, alienate, and belittle others, over little things in the name of Jesus. But that is so wrong. Continue reading

Holidays are here :)

I love Christmas. For so many reasons. Presents are nice, but honestly, “gifts” is not one of my love languages.

What I love about Christmas is how everyone seems to be willing to help others during this time of year. People go out of their way to do an act of kindness. To me, that is beautiful.

But why only during this time of year? Amidst the story of Christ’s birth, we need to remember the reason He came, and the life he lived here on earth. A life of generosity, a life of love, a life of compassion.

So maybe this New Years, maybe we should set our New Years Resolution/Revolution to be more like Christ in our actions throughout the year…

 

Prayers

Yesterday was pretty sweet, I got my first tattoo. I got the idea from a song by Misty Edwards when she says “I’ll set you as a seal upon my arm, as a seal upon my heart, for there is love that is as strong as death, jealousy demanding as the grave” So I designed it to be a wax seal, with an angel in the middle, and the lyrics around the outside of the seal. I was thinking of what font/language to do it in, and the nerd in me thought of Elvish, and the graphic designer in me decided it was the best looking font. So, here is what the finished product looks like: Continue reading

Salvation from Righteousness

I read this post from Jon Acuff a while ago, and it got me thinking about sin, and righteousness, and how we view ourselves and others when we perceive ourselves as righteous. Take a gander at it and let me know what you think…

Theologian C.H. Spurgeon once said, “It is easier to save us from our sins than from our righteousness.” Continue reading

The Death of Death

I love this video. This is the best video describing what the story of the cross and what it means for us. Sometimes we get so caught up in the religious symbol, and it becomes so common place for us, that we forget what the symbol originally was, and what it really means…

Your Life in a Flash

 

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –Unknown

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. When I’m gone, what is the legacy I will leave behind? what will God say about me when I arrive in heaven? Continue reading

Reunions & Best Friends

2 of my best friends arrived home last night.

They have been traveling around the country, seeking themselves & God. (you can read about their trip here)

After they got back, we hung out at my house. It was amazing to me how we could all pick right back up where we left off in our friendships, almost like they had never left.

But they had.

And they when they came back, they weren’t the same people, but that is a good thing.

There is a beautiful thing that happens when friends pursue God individually and together. It’s that similar passion for the pursuit of God that allows miles and months to separate us, yet we never grow apart…

The more I’ve spent time with other people, hear their stories, I have realized how rare it is that I actually have a GROUP of friends like that, when many people don’t even have ONE…

I can’t wait to see where God calls us all to in the future, and while I’ll be sad if/when that calling separates us, I take peace and joy in knowing that it is because we are all passionately pursuing God, and I know that no matter the miles or the months, we will always be close friends.