Thursday, July 31, 2008

best friends and music, maybe, it just might, it could work, but it's not a band, that sounds dumb.

He was born at St Charles medical center in the same room as I was only two weeks before I came into the world, we shared the same due date (which each of us missed by a exactly a week) and both of us where brought home to the same triplex in Bend , OR, 1991. His name is Stephen and me, you know me. We have been best friends now for our entire lives and now we are headed into a senior year together at Mountain View High School. We have not always been together though, he moved to Seatle, then Boise, then back. there might be one more city in there but anyhow, he was not living in Bend until they moved back about four years ago. When they moved back they where drawn by the worship paster position at Westside Church. Westside had been my families home church since I was born but for a four year period my family needed to get away. We were not at Westside when the Smiths came back but soon after I tagged along with Jay and Stephen to a oneighty tuesday night service. It was like, "AHH why did we leave? I love this place!" The presence of God was there and so were a bunch of kids with cool hair and crazy clothes! I came back and have been there since. My family soon followed suit about two months after I started coming. So now Steve and I are in the same place. One problem, it's kinda complicated but basically we realated with each other but never got together. Steve and I tried to get our families together but there was tension and division that crept in and just kept building for the past three years. I still said that he was my best friend and I believe I was still his, but we never talked, never hung, never did anything. It was so awekward. After three years of astrangement finally something broke and it was not a fun break. It broke the hearts of many and still hurts. But with the breaking of our hearts also came the reunion of brothers. The reunion of families. Appologies were given and we have begun growing and rebuiling our relationship. We still rarely see each other and are usually involved in completely different areas but some how are lives mirror each other almost strangely. We bagan writting and performing music a little bit this past year. We have begun to really become best friends again. Today I called him and told him, "I have a car with gas in it, lets go." We went downtown and got coffees, ran into a billion people that we have gotten to know, we went into On Track Ministries to say hi and ended up leading worship. Then we went to my dads shop where there is an upper room with our drum kits and guiters and bass and mics and we sang. We played for about two hours rehearsing the few songs we have writting and hashing out peices of new ones. We got back to my house around 9:30 and ate freshly baked Jessica brownies made some decalf and went out back where we spent the next hour swinging, drinking, and pouring out our hearts to each other. He ended singing, as we finished our last chorus the sprinklers shot on as if to shew us off to bed. He went home after a warm embrace and a long slow good bye. I have my best friend back, and we are writting music and dreaming and loving on God together. Both of us seventeen, both of us with strangly simular desires and struggles. We are going for it this last year in high school. We want to make noise that has some lingering echoes that will change the atmosphere of our school, our town, our generation. I think it's going to work. Be praying, I recorded two songs yesterday and we are entering the sisters folk festival song writting competition. If we get top five we will have a couple cool little gigs out there and some money to begin to invest in our sound. We have not decided for sure but We are thinking about nameing the "band" Eighteen Months. At eighteen months in development a child can solidly stand and begin to run. We are beggining to Run!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Journal, kinda.

I have now been home from steens mountain for 2 and a half days and I am feeling a little caught in routine, so I decided to journal on the blog. I read this morning in Psalms 103 and was having trouble making good contact points with life. I love the psalms for its poetry, its depth of emotion and passion, but this morning I was not seeming to get any revelation. I think it might have to do with some of the wording. You know, it is 6 in the morning I have a bit of a cold and I am trying to dig in to this psalm and it starts busting out words like iniquity, transgressions, redeeming, steadfastness, and on and on. O my soul, Praise the lord! I cant help but wonder what my friends who do not have a relationship with Jesus are thinking when they read this. It probably feels a little like English class reading a mid summer nights dream or Othello. So enough with that rant, there are a few rockin verses in this passage that are awesome. like verse 8-12, "The Lord is gracious and Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love. HE will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." So powerful, yet I can read it and fall into the whole feeling of reading a classic work of literature. Some call a classic a work that has stood the test of time. My English teacher defined it as a book everyone holds in high regard and no one reads. How do we break free from this attitude especially when life is going crazy, maybe your sick, or maybe just bored. Well lets not treat our bibles like the mandatory reading that we are getting tested on next Tuesday. I find that I can get a really applicable revelation every time I go to the word with a heart that is hungry to hear and willing to be changed by what it reads. So often I just read the word and its like, "read my bible today! I can check that box off." That's not usually when it comes alive to me. We need to come expecting. It is a book held in high regard for a reason, lets read it with a high level of expectancy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So I Have This Headband...

I am getting ready to take off on my sixth trip this summer, on the most hard core one thus far, Steens High Altitude Running Camp. We run around with 165 crazies from all over the world in short shorts at ten thousand feet for altitude training. It is a blast! You are required to do a couple of key things, eat a lot, drink a lot, run, and wear hats so that you don't get sunburned. I am not a hat guy, I can wear visors and look like tour guide man but normal ball caps make me look and feel like a either a gangsta or a trucker. I can't pull off either, and even though I can't pull it off I usually start acting the part and talk with a drawl or attempt to rhyme and walk the walk. To make it worse you should see my hair right now! I have a Mr T cut. Shaved tight down the sides and about a two inch wide, half inch long mo hawk, down the center. All I need is some bling bling, black paint, and another hundred pounds of muscle and I could pull it off. Anyways I went to REI to find what I call the turban head band. Only intense rock climbers, hard core distance running hippies or Jordan Daniel Wolfe would ever dare to wear one. It is this stretchy tube you can pull over your head like a dew rag or wear as a scarf or scrunch into a headband. The possibilities are endless with this thing! So now I have grown out a bit of a beard and started sporting my hippie head wear to add to my already ridiculous really really short shorts. It is wonderful! And That is my short story for tonight but there will be so much more to tell after the turban headband is put to the test next week. Please be praying for me as I am off and onceagain away from home, instead of being lonely or selfishly focussed on me and my experience to be focused on loving God and people. I love you my running friends your awesome. See you on the trails.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I am still here!

I know its been forever since I have updated this and I still have no pictures which if your like me is pretty much the reason I like blogs. A story is hardly complete without a picture but I have no camera so I might have incomplete stories for a while. So I have been gone all but four days of this summer so far traveling around this beautiful state of Oregon. I was chosen out my school to go to a political science/law program at U of O for week, the day after school got out. After that I went to camp crestview with the elementary schoolers of twelve different churches and got to lead some worship and be a co cabin leader. Then I can home washed clothes and headed back to Eugene to live with my grandpa and his girlfriend because they were awesome enough to host us for the Olympic trials. It has been crazy busy and crazy blessed. I left bend asking God for a clear word on a relationship I was desiring and he not only gave me the answer for that but also the vision for a new life. Life that's more alive, if that makes any sense. I am a visionary and I get so stoked about casting vision and running after it as fast as I can. There is one issue that has always killed me though, pacing. I usually go out to fast with out a clear directive, and then I see something cool and I add that to my cart and graft it onto my vision. I usually make it to the home stretch and then the piano falls on my back and I in the past have fallen short of the finish line. I get so tired and stressed with being pulled in so many directions that I get to the place were I want to quit everything and run away from practical life. It hurts and after you cop out once it is so easy to say "well I have already failed and have a blemished record. Why not cop out again." But God has given me the grace to grow. The truth is that when we come to the thrown grace and ask the lord for forgiveness we are washed clean, white as snow. My record is perfect because I am wearing Jesus! I can be righteous because he is righteous! Now I have learned that I not only can receive grace but I have begun to live in it, walk in it, talk in it, and give it to others. The word says if we do not forgive then our father in heaven will not be able to forgive us. forgive! give and receive grace. It has to flow through you, with no chance to stagnate in waters undisturbed. God has stirred my heart for this next year. Not for the the next five or for the ministry I will serve in "when I grow up." No, I am excited for today. I do not have a record label to sing with or a Nike contract to run for. I have life and life to the fullest, right here, right now. I noticed Jesus lead not from service to service, or concert to concert. He led by simply living with people. Talking and praying with people, teaching people, playing with peoples kids, walking with people. I dont know about you but I would love to be invited even just for one day to live some life with my leaders. Not per say to be taught by them but how about just watch and learn from how they live. to see what it means to run after God and prepare messages in the midst of real life. There has become such a gap in between practical life and ministry. The tension of finding time to serve at church and be involved at school. What if we just lived practle life out doing what needs to be done but going around and intently searching for places to love on those who are hurting. How about family? leadership starts in the home! If you cannot manage your house how can you manage Gods? Love extravagantly on those who are always around, always telling you what to do, always being annoying, always there! What a brilliant opportunity to live ministry! I dont get to walk around all day hangin with some disciples but my little bro is almost always available, my mom, she could always use a hand or a spontaneous I love you. Lets close the gap between practical life and the church. lets close the gap between vision and dreams and living today with passion. I am so tired of dreaming with passion and then just waiting around aimlessly for something "big." I dont have to live from test to test, event to event, service to service. I get to live today, right now, full of the holy spirit loving on people, and being loved by God! Yes I have dreams and would love to date and all that good stuff, but what about living the dream of acts living. Now! lets not wait to really run after God. Go to him get a clean record and lets run. To end the lyrics so on my heart, "I dare you to move, I dare you to move, I dare you to lift yourself up of the floor." I love you guys.