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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Heading out.

Tomorrow morning (in less than 8 hours) Alexis, Me, Carol and Denise will be heading out towards the Polish city of Wrotslaw. We will be meeting with a pastor couple in a city 60 Kilometers east of Wrotslaw, on Saturday while Carol and Denise meet with the pasturing couple, Alexis and I will be visiting Wrotslaw, which use to be a part of Germany before World War I. I am seriously hoping that this time together will allow us the opportunity to talk and get to know each other on another level. We will be back on Sunday evening, the 29th, just in time for our eight month "aniversary".

The past two weeks have been far from a fairy tale, thankfully not a day go by without solving whatever comes up, and that I believe is a very good thing. Both of us are frustrated because we want to feel that we have friends here, we want to feel appreciated by the people our age here. I know it has only been two weeks for Alexis, and that is a short time to "make friends" anywhere, but at least we want to be included. I have noticed the social network is not the same as in America; they just take more time and usually happen from childhood. I know all about waiting for fruit now, I know I need patience, I am not talking about "fruit", I am talking about just having friends, weather or not they find Jesus, is not what I am concerned about, that is God's job, and he will use us. I don't know, I am just ranting and raving, once again if I think too hard, I think I will start crying. The good news is that Alexis and I have all the same feelings and concerns about the situation here, which tells me God is in control, and that is pure comfort, praise God. Maybe we are just in the middle of the fairy tale?

Listening to: How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Sarah Sadler - I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, Vol. 2 Disc 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

What is going on?

All I know right now is that I am alive, I am meant to be here in Poland, I love Alexis, and I love God and He is present. Anything beyond that is a mystery. Right now, I have a huge lump in the back of my throat, I want to cry, but I do not know why. I know I love the people here, and I see so much despair in their lives, so much searching, yet I have an awful feeling they do not see that my light is God's and not mine. There is a horrible presence here, one which is seriously attacking me, I have had more thoughts of flying home (which reminds me I have to call the airline and book my return trip; otherwise I will be paying an expensive one-way ticket). I would not be here if God did not exist, period. Why would I give up (even just for a year) all that I had, a brand new car (a status symbol for my generation), a very good paying full-time job (yet another status symbol, and something which most Americans would see as an insane thing to give up), my cat, my amazing friends, my family, the beautiful city I have called home my entire life, I left it all. Because it is not fair for me to keep all of those things, simply because I want to have a "happy" life, every single one of those things are from God, even though I didn't deserve it. I am at a point I would get rid of all of those things (except the people, because people are the only thing worth "keeping" in this life), simply to show to my friends here, I do not need anything except God, and I would give my life for any single one of them in the name of God. I want to cry because it is not possible for me get rid of all those things, I am returning, God sent me here for a year, and he wants me back in Seattle where I can tell the people there about the Love needed here. I LOVE MY POLISH FRIENDS and that is why I want to cry, because I love them, and I see their need for Jesus. Life may appear so unfair to them, and I agree it is. However, no matter where you are in this world, life is unfair; this world does not belong to God. We need faith to see that our lives are meant to be more than this short life on Earth, forget everything else. I love all my friends, I know my life will always be split now, a part of me is here in this land.

Listening to: shane bernard - Oh Lord to You - Shane Barnard -

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

What is freedom?

This came to me while I was in the bathroom, sometimes it is the most inspirational place!

Freedom is the ability to face your past, all the hurt, shame, mistakes, wounds, and pain and giving it to God. You may give it to God in a number of ways, prayers, talking to friends, even counseling, the point where you receive the freedom from your past, is when you realize God wants to heal you, he wants to take away the fears caused by your past. Once the fear is gone, you have freedom to live a life that is fully alive. A fully alive life is not a life absent of fear, it is simply a life where you know those fears, wounds, sufferings of the past can be conquered by God, instead of trying to conquer it yourself, which ultimately will not work.

Listening to: shane bernard - Psalm 145 - Shane Barnard -

Monday, February 23, 2004

Encouragement needed

I am feeling sweet and sour right now. On one hand the spiritual emptiness, I had been feeling for a while has fled, after I finally gave up some more stuff. However, on the other hand, I neglected some other areas, in my mind I want to justify the neglection because I was under the influence of the spiritual emptiness and I had no way of explaining in spoken words how I was feeling. I have always been more able to explain my feelings in writing rather than spoken words, but I realize I need to be able to say something, instead of stuffing it all inside and waiting for me to be all alone with a pad of paper. My actions have hurt people, and I do not know what to do. It is getting extremely hard here, unfortunately I see know way of resolving the problem before this day ends, I am hurting inside with no one to talk to.

Thank God, my spirit was renewed before this situation came about, otherwise I know I would be calling the airline and running home.

Listening to: Here I Am to Worship - Michael W. Smith - Worship Again

That's all I have to say

I apologize that this is a little random and not very coherent, but I hope you see the point. Now for some of the problems with my proposed "solution" to the same-sex marriage fiasco. But first why I don't like the idea of "civil unions", what is the difference between that and a marriage? Marriages are sanctioned by the church, and civil unions by the state? I suppose that is okay, but it still puts the government into a place of granting us certain rights (in this case tax benefits) for a status of weather we are "connected" with another human. I do agree that the Government should promote some kind of moral system; however, it appears that the current governmental system is slipping the other way, so instead of leaving it to the government to decide what marriage is, give it to the people, and lave the state out of it.

However, there are some issues with taking the government out of the marriage spectrum, such as divorce, who gets what? Child custody, it is already a messy situation, if we were to get rid of government sanctioned marriage, who's to say what a family is? Basically I think its time for everyone to stop arguing about the marriage issue, and look at the heart issue. Do I think same-sex marriage relationships (including marriages) are wrong? Yes. However, because it appears the government (especially the judicial system) does not see it as wrong, we should just get rid of the government in that part of our lives. It's either that, or fight until the end and hurt people along the way. I would rather love people into living a life which is completely fulfilling and glorifying to God, than fighting them. I would rather see a homosexual person see the wonderful life God gives to me and my future wife and family, and in turn he/she makes the decision to love God, and let the Holy Spirit do the work, instead of me, because I can not, and neither can anyone else.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Oil & Water

Just as a drop of oil does not dissolve into water, we should not dissolve into the world; and as oil remains in water but does not mix with the water, we should not mix with the world but simply remain in it. This is the image I have concerning the recent news on same-sex marriages. I feel it is time for another viewpoint. I am not admitting defeat; rather I am proposing another strategy, one that keeps our integrity without fighting. I suggest the United States abolish government sanctioned marriage all together, leave marriage up to the people to decide. Give "household" tax benefits based on the number of people in one household, rather than marital status. Let the people become "tied" by whatever means they wish, have it be in a traditional church, a "spiritual" meeting place, or any other way conceivable.

I am suggesting this because I believe instead of fighting for "traditional" marriages, we should focus our attention on creating Godly households, especially since the statistics show that the divorce rate inside and outside "the church" (Christian denominations) is nearly the same. Yes, I can see many people take advantage of this kind of system, and many inmoral relationships and acts will occur. I would hope parents would instill some basic morals, not the government. But it is only by our actions, how our households look, and the people who see those things, will we ever make an impact in this area for Christ. Not laws, rules, regulations.

Besides, who really wants the government in their marriage anyway? As a Christian I will obey whatever laws are passed in my land, as long as it does not force me to deny my morals and faith in Jesus. However, as a Christian I will also live my life loud, I will gladly live as a fish in a fish tank, for everyone to watch, I am that confident. I do not need the Government to tell me what marriage is, and neither does anyone else. I will choose to be married in God's authority, and live a life which reflects love for others and God.

Listening to: The Edge of Water - Jars of Clay - The Eleventh Hour

Friday, February 20, 2004

Balancing time

The way I spend my time has a large influence on my attitude and overall mood. If I spend my time with a people who I do not have a personal connection with, then I find myself getting easily annoyed and quiet. However if I spend time with people who are edifying, encouraging, and really want to build a connection, I don't mind spending hours and hours with them. Sometimes it is so tempting to just put myself in a little Christian bubble, with all my friends who I know inside and out, who share the same values, and share the same drive to live for Christ. Here in Poland I do not have that, at all, as much as I am trying to develop that, I realize what I had in Seattle was nothing short of a blessing. Having Alexis here has only increased this longing for the kind of fellowship I had. I realize this is where God wants me, even though I do not have that kind of fellowship here, I now have a deeper connection with God - which I believe has been his main goal for me.

I have fellowship with God now, I do not mind my alone times. If I were to explore this subject just three months ago, I know it was different; I was so lonely and yearning so hard for that fellowship and those friends. Now, I can easily be by myself all day. Of course, I still love those people, and I know that having friendships is not only important, it is a huge blessing. However, I know when I cannot find anyone to do something with, or life is just hectic, being alone is good, being alone is my time with God, and it is wonderful. I think right now, not because of Alexis (I could easily spend more time with her), but for other reasons, God time is what I need to be recharged.

Lord I want more of You
Living water rain down on me
Lord I need more of You
Living breath of life come fill me up

We are hungry
We are hungry
We are hungry for more of You
We are thirsty, oh Jesus
We are thirsty for more of You

We lift our holy hands up
We want to touch You
We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to You

We lift our holy hands up
We want to touch You
We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to You
[Passion - We are Hungry]

Another answer for J

Austin over at "This is your free write" has posted another answer to J's questions. In my opinion, he has answered very well, and I recommend others go and check them out. I am hoping J asks more questions, because I really enjoyed answering them! Anyone else is welcomed to ask too.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Life is movin' fast

Life is certainly moving faster these days, today I got a car! We are just barrowing it, but it is a huge blessing! However, it has also kept me busy, so I haven't had time to really sit and think about much other than planning and learning line dances for this Disco on Saturday. I am very excited about it, and Alexis and I had a blast today learning the dances. We have chosen three fairly simple dances… First the Electric Slide, second Boot Scootin' Boogie, and last We Like to Party. By Sunday I should have something a little more interesting to read than day to day stuff. However I leave you with this thought.

I ask him
When will I
Be free he
Said I am Asking him
When will I Change he said
No matter now No matter now

Saturn has a ring around it
You can never see it with your eyes
Saturn has a ring around it
Many moons know this to be true

You ask him
How can you
Be real he
Said you'll be
Knowing him
How you do
Now he says
Rest in this
Rest in this

Saturn has a ring around it
You can never see it with your eyes
Saturn has a ring around it
Many moons know this to be true
Heaven has a ring around it
The angels sing a song over you
Heaven has a ring around you
If you don't see it know that it's true
[Skillet - Saturn - Skillet]

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Country line dancing?

We are putting on a disco this Saturday night, Alexis and I are going to be teaching some country line dancing, to newer kinds of dance music that is. We both are pretty excited, for most of tomorrow we will be practicing and choosing music and dances! All of my Seattle friends should check out "Dakota's" in Kent, you'll have a blast!I like this kind of stuff!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

This one's for j

First off, I am not a theologian, I am writing what I feel God has shown me in my years of knowing him, and what his Spirit is telling me to write. I can make mistakes, but I have full confidence in God to speak through me, he uses me and other humans because he loves us, he could do it himself, but how else would we get to know him in such a remarkable way?

Wouldn't it make more sense if people were allowed to make choice between two good things? Wouldn't it make a more real choice? If then people chose God wouldn't it make it more true and wouldn't that then say how much they love him and how true the love is? It isn't really a choice when you are threaten with something like hell or suffering, is it? It definitely is not a choice.

I understand the logic you are using, and at first glance, it is quite a conundrum. However, it all depends on the definition of hell and suffering. My definition of hell is - simply being separated from God forever; all the fire and nasty pictures we see are more a product of bad religion than they are of true scripture. Suffering is temporary while hell is not. We have to first believe life is never ending, and that our experience of life here on Earth is temporary, if you do not believe that, what I have to say will not satisfy you.

God has not threatened us, sin and Satan threaten us, they tempt us to fall from the life God has designed for us, one where at the end we spend the rest of our lives in his Kingdom without suffering, pain, or hurt. Sin and Satan only temporarily give us pleasure in this life, giving into those pleasures though lead to hurting others and suffering for others. For example greed (not sharing with others who have more need), selfishness (doing things only for getting something for yourself, not thinking about how it effects others), and deceitfulness (lying to another for the benefit of yourself), all of these provide temporary pleasure, but each one of them hurts another. God asks us not to do these things, and when we choose to follow his ways, we prevent suffering and pain of others. The choice I am talking about is the choice to be with God forever or to be separated from him forever, if you do not want to know God and his amazing love which we were created to know, but have the choice to know it or not, than that is your choice.

So many times I heard people say that God knows us the best and that he is the creator of everything. Then if so, he must have known Satan. He must have known that Satan would rebel which leads one to think that it was God who created evil.

Yes he did know, but he didn't know before he created Satan, God doesn't know what choice we will make, he gave us free will so we could choose to love him and to know his love in return. When Satan made the choice to rebel God was greatly grieved, but in God's mysterious wisdom he did not destroy Satan, he used the opportunity to teach all of creation the bitterness which comes from selfishness. What kind of life does Satan have? One which is constantly trying to one-up on God, yet he will never be able to and he know sit, I don't know about you, but that is a horrible existence! God does know us best, but he didn't make us robots, he gave us free will, otherwise it wouldn't be love, it would simply be what is.

Why did you say that if there were no suffering we wouldn't need God. Do you only feel that you need him when you are in distress?

If there was absolutely no suffering, why would people need to know God? If life was completely free of all stress, all suffering, all pain, I know I wouldn't need to know God. Why does someone need to know "God" if everything is great? The reason I chose to know God was because I recognized he would provide for me in the times of suffering and pain, but now I know I need him for much more than that. He guides me away from suffering and pain, even when the rest of the world may think I am "suffering" I have the eternal peace I will not suffer forever, this life is temporary, the next one permanent, and free of all pain and suffering.

Did God create suffering and pain so that we would seek his help and worship him when or if he gives it to us, so that we needed him? That is cruel and deceitful.

You are assuming God created suffering and pain he did not. Satan created suffering and pain. So since Satan created them, he is the one which is cruel and deceitful, many times in the Bible Satan is called the prince of lies. Originally there was no pain, no suffering, but Satan was deceitful, and Adam and Eve did what they were told not to do (eat of the tree of "knowledge, of good and evil"), they made the choice to disobey God's direct request. God created the world with consequences, the consequences are not cruel, they just are there, by making that to know "good and evil" the pain and suffering entered, which is the evil.

Why do peple have to suffer for the sins they have not commited? Why do they have to endure the pain that is a result of somebody else's poor choice? Is that really fair? Isn't God supposed to be fair? Doesn't the bible say "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father"?- Ezekiel 18:20

After reading the entire contents (Ezekiel 18:10-30) where this verse comes from (which, as a side note, the chapter and verse numbers were not in the Bible until about 400 years after the book of revelation was written, which leads us to realize each book must be read as a normal book, not in pieces) I realized that this one verse out of context is rather troublesome. The translation I have reads, "The one who sins is the one who dies. The child will not be punished for the parent's sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child's sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own goodness, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. [NLT]" The phrases "is the one who dies" and "will not be punished" is referring to eternal life with God or separation from God (hell). The original language of the Bible (in this case Aramaic) makes this clear, plus reading the entire book of Ezekiel will make it clear it is eternal life which is the subject and not pain and suffering. The wicked person is the person who is eternally separated from God; the righteous person is the one will live with God forever. It is not referring to the temporary suffering or pain we face in our day-to-day lives, those pains and sufferings are the result of other either our own sins or the sins of others. When Adam and Eve chose to sin (to disobey what God requested of them) they brought upon all of humanity the knowledge of "evil", which is pain and suffering. We suffer the pains of other people's sin because of this act Adam and Eve chose, it may not seem fair, but accepting Jesus (who showed us once and for all the way) we recieve a new life, with a new understanding, which is impossible without God, of suffering and pain, it is extreamly hard, if not impossible, to explain until you fully trust and walk with God.

I sincerely hope this answers some of your questions, if anything just look for Christians wherever you are, watch their lives. They will make mistakes, and they will sin too and hurt others because of it. However, over time, the lives of real Christians will only show that they have a differing kind of light, and a different kind of life. They know that life here is temporary, and that is the amazing gift God offers from following him. Jesus came as a part of this amazing, yet mysterious plan to show us all the way, that is not cruel or deceitful in my eyes. God gives us the choice to live, Satan gives us nothing but trouble. It may all seem strange that it has to happen this way, and I pray for you each day and for people like you, that even with the questions, you will make the choice to trust God. If you don't trust him, and are looking for some reason to trust Him, just watch the Christians around you who do know Him, I pray that is enough for you to give this life up, and enter into a new amazing life.

Listening to: Freedom - Jacob Taylor - Jacob Taylor

Monday, February 16, 2004

Pain and Suffering

Imagine a place without pain or suffering. How wonderful life will be in heaven! As much as we try to prevent suffering and pain here, we will never be able to. We will never be able to prevent pain and suffering because Satan will always be tempting and influencing people to sin and do evil things. I hear people always asking "if God is good, then why does he allow this, this, and that to happen?" until coming here to Poland I did not have much of an answer. Now I have an answer, because if there were no suffering (if there were no Satan, no sin, and no evil) why would we need God? God created us because he yearned to be in a loving relationship. Without love, there is no life. Without suffering, there is no choice. If God did not allow his creation to choose, such as Satan's choice of seeking to be "as God", then we would only be as a chair, a table, a microwave, just something else with out choice. However, God is good, he gave us the choice so that we could TRULY love him, love is a choice, and we choose to love.

So why do even "believers" have to endure pain and suffering? For the same reason, if God protected every one from suffering there would be no blessing. Because of the choice Adam and Eve made in the beginning of time all of the human race must endure suffering and pain, because the "tree of knowledge" gave us the knowledge of good and evil, it brought us suffering and pain, which is the knowledge of evil.

Listening to: Love Me Good - Michael W. Smith - Second Decade 1993-2003

Sunday, February 15, 2004

It's a beautiful Sound

However, I can't hear it. I have this strong belief that ministry should not ever feel like "work", especially for prolonged amounts of time. I found myself actually wanting to curse at people, and that for me is a sure sign of something wrong. I have a great gift of not being affected by other people's stress, but there is a limit, especially if the stressed out person starts to command me and others to do things when we are suppose to be having fun! What I hate the most is that I haven't had a single chance to voice these issues in an appropriate manner, every time the chance comes up, the focus is turned to something more immediately in need of attention. Every day I see more and more reasons why I am here, more and more areas I need to improve. Some days I am amazed I don't get the urge to call the airline and change my return ticket to the next day, its how I feel but I gave my word and I am committed no matter how much it hurts sometimes, I know God's wonders never cease. A lot of this is coming to the surface because Alexis has confirmed the same feelings, and she has only been here two days and has witnessed plenty of these situations.

I realize that I need to make some clear boundaries concerning the things I am willing to do, things I am confident in and things I am not and need a little more guidance than just "do it". However even with all of this, the fire in my heart burns more intense every moment of the day. I have the greatest gift of all, a life that will not end, and no matter how strong the Enemy tries, my Lord will not let the Enemy take me out of this battle.

Listening to: Beautiful Sound [Below the radar mix]- Newsboys - Newsboys Remixed

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Matt Redman wrote me a note

So Chris (my roommate) returned from England (did I ever mention he even went there) and he visited the seaside city of Brighton, a very charming, very English kind of town. He was there visiting a friend and learning some things about the Alpha Course. It turns out Matt Redman goes to the church Chris was visiting with his friend. I knew this, but I didn't really say much, I just assumed Matt would be in the States or somewhere else. If you don't know who Matt Redman is, he wrote "The Heart of Worship", "Blessed be the name of the Lord", and many other famous worship songs. Well Chris got to meet Matt and he was kind enough to have a post card where Matt wrote a little note to me, its encouraging, and really cool that he took the time. I'll have to take a picture of it sometime and post it.

In other news, today is Valentine's Day; we are going to a big mall in Krakow where we will be having a Valentine's outing with all the young adults. Some people have been a little stressed planning for it, but I think it will all turn out fine, it always does. It'll just be a day of fun, fellowship, and hopefully a little bit of alone time for Alexis and I, we had about 40 min in the car yesterday, and of course when she got here, but she was so tired it wasn't much of a conversation.

Listening to: And on a Rainy Night - Shawn Mullins - Soul's Core

Friday, February 13, 2004

It was good.

A great day, Alexis and I are shining like never before. Some major prayer for others around here, its just a stressful time, and people are not making decisions to give it up to Jesus. Thanks!

Listening to: Creed - Third Day - Offerings II: All I Have to Give

Blessings abound

I just got up, had a bit of a battle last night, in terms of what I said and what not... just silly stuff, I feel a lot better today. To answer the big question... Alexis will be here until March 18th!

(Love) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. [1 Cor 13:5]

Listening to: Meant to Live - Switchfoot - The Beautiful Let Down

Thursday, February 12, 2004

And it is done.

Alexis is here! We were both pretty tired, but things are good. Keep us in your prayers, there is a little adjusting to do on both parts... However I think as the days go by it will be much easier. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hot water anyone?

Could I please have some hot water? I have been up since about 10 this morning, and since 10 I have been waiting for the hot water to heat up! I have tried at least three times to take a shower, and all three times the water has been barely lukewarm. So now I am going to try again, wish me luck.

In other news I just got off the phone, with a certain Miss. Alexis, she is boarding her plain to Washington, DC as I type this. She will take off in about a half hour, and then give me another ring in 4-5 hours when she arrives at Dulles (she wasn't sure how long it was, and it didn't say on her tickets). Exciting times ahead! Less than 24 hours!

Update: Just got off the phone again with Alexis, she is now boarding the plane in Dulles (Washington, DC) and will arrive in Vienna in about 10 hours! I'll be hearing from her just in time for me to take a shower and get ready to pick her up.

Listening to: Breakfast - Newsboys - Shine...The Hits

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Two days

Only two more days until Alexis is here! What does one do with such an occasion? Does anyone else out there have any advice? I'm working on a surprise, and because she reads this, I won't say anything about it until I know she has left Seattle. There are so many places to go, things to see, and most of all many people to meet. Everyday I am blown away by the grace God has given me, my life right now seems completely unreal. Five years ago, I was just beginning to explore this whole "God" thing. Five years ago, I was dreaming about being in the marching band for the University of Washington! I still like that little dream, but now the Lord directs my heart, and my heart has moved on. The change in my life cannot be summed up in a short web log post; however, I know that many changes lie ahead and God will be faithful until the end of my time on Earth, and then afterwards the real party starts. I'm saying all of this because it just seems incredible to me that God has provided a way not just for me to be in Poland, but for Alexis to come too! Its amazing, and that's that. What to do, Lord, it's you I live for.

Listening to: Silence - Jars of Clay - The Eleventh Hour

Monday, February 09, 2004

Extremely Encouraged!

The past few days have been incredible, only because I have learned the important lesson of "expectancy"! Expectancy in prayer, that is. I was reading James a few nights ago, and I realized that I did not actually EXPECT God to answer my prayers, I said I did, but I didn't actually in my heart expect it. I believed he would, but I didn't expect… there is a rather slight difference in those words, but they have two different ideologies. I could believe until the cows come home that I believe God answers all my prayers, but unless I expect to see the answer, I won't. Unless I expect for him to answer my prayer, he won't, it shows no faith if I just believe in prayer, I must believe and expect the prayer to be answered.

Since learning this lesson, I have seen at least a dozen prayers either answered, or in the process of being answered, and a few I know will be, simply because I am expecting them to be… Of course, our prayers must not be prayers of manipulation and we must understand they can be answered in a number of ways. But to believe and expect also leaves out the silly worrying, and the childish looking around for the "answer".

But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do. [James 1:6-8]
In other news: Newsletter five "The Halfway Point" is now available.

Listening to: 1 of the 3 - Jonny Diaz -

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Is it vain?

This morning after taking a shower, I looked at myself in the mirror, usually it is just a quick glance, or to brush my hair or something. However, today I looked in the mirror and said out aloud "wow, I look good"; Really, I don't think I have ever had that response when looking at myself in the mirror before. Then I put on my shirt, did my hair, and really enjoyed how I looked. Is this vain? I would like to think of it as a confidence increase, and a very good one, especially since I have always had a low self-image. I feel a little strange telling the world this, but it came across as something new for me, and I like sharing new things with people. I am feeling so good about myself, not just physically, but emotionally and most of all spiritually. All though my heart is crying out for the people here, I seem to be personally growing leaps and bounds. This new confidence is so freeing, and it's allowing me to have confidence in other areas as well. However I will not allow myself to become proud of it, l know the instance I become proud of this new self-assurance I will fall, and most-likely fall hard. Jesus Christ is the only reason I am the person I am today, because I have given him my life, and in return he has opened my eyes to the best life imaginable. I am good; I am truly a new creation. I am an entirely different from the who I use to be, there are no words to express how grateful I am.

Listening to: This Is Your Life - Switchfoot - The Beautiful Let Down

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Technical difficulties

Please excuse the interruption, but due to technical difficulties your regularly scheduled posting will not be seen today.

I am having some very strange problems with w.bloggar and newsgator, and it is annoying me to death. I had a good post about what I did today, but lost it when w.bloggar decided to give me the error message "Unable to parse the XML response. Parser Reason: Required white space was missing." Could someone tell me what that means? Then there is newsgator, it's been wonderful, but now for the last week it has not shown me any new posts from any of the 60 or so blogs I am subscribed to, also very annoying and frustrating. Computer issues are the last thing I want right now, and to think I use to do this for a living, oh my.

Update:I downloaded the new version of newsgator and everything works great now, I had to resubscribe to all my blogs, but in the process I subscribed to some more blogger ones. Thanks to all the good boys and girls who turned on their feeds for blogger, some of my friends still have not. But the w.bloggar problem is still happening, and as I understand other's are having the same problem, so that makes me feel better.

Update 2: Amen to rick at rick & 1j13 for giving me a little tip in my comments. W.Bloggar now works again! YAY.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Thank God the weekend is here

I'll be picking up Carol and Denise from the airport (they went to Switzerland for a vacation) at 2:40pm tomorrow (later today). I'm just happy it's the weekend. It's a crazy 50F 10C outside right now! It hasn't been that "warm" since early October, it's darn right tropical! I have some very awesome conversations with a good friend back home, he's currently in Bible college in Portland, and I love him, he's an amazing encouragment.

In other news, I spent most of the day with some of the girls (we don't have any guys except Chris and I, and Chris went to England yesterday for a conference) from the group today. It was a lot of fun, great relationship building time, God told me to bring my Bible, not sure why, I didn't take it out, nor did we talk about spiritual things, but maybe it's to remind me to take it everywhere. Well, be blessed.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Just for fun

How much do you know about me? Take a test about me! Link provided by

Listening to: The Eleventh Hour - Jars of Clay - The Eleventh Hour

A slave to sin

How do you recover from sin? Especially in an area that you try so hard to keep from sinning in? For myself, I have been much better, I do not freak out as much, but the guilt is hard to get rid of. Letting go is much easer said than done. However, when I fall short it can be hard to forget about it, truly to give it to God and to forgive myself. I wish that at the moment when I am being tempted to sin I would remember these kinds of struggles, I always have terrible guilt trips after I sin, why can't I remember that (sometimes I do and that keeps me from falling) all the time. I know I will always fall short of the glory of God, and I know I have grace and mercy. How did Paul deal with that thorn in his side? I realize now it is my sinful nature to blame, not the new nature Christ has made me, my new heart is not to blame. However, the best thing to do right now is pray, sing worship, and not let the Enemy take what is not his, and that is my light, my heart.

The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. [Rom 7:14-25]

Listening to: Lullaby - Shawn Mullins - Soul's Core

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Brake down on the highway

As I was driving down the highway today to hopefully pick up the ones who were not sure if they wanted to come, I broke down, no not the car, my heart. I was singing along to some worship music, I forget what song, but I could not contain the emotion screaming to be let out. I just kept thinking about the some of the young adult's lives here; it is terrible how dark some of their lives are. This is the first time I can remember crying for a reason which was not related to myself for some reason, I was moved with compassion and love for my friends here, all I want is for them to have the same joy in Jesus as I do! I have come here in the name of Love, which only comes from God who is Love. Seriously, I am going to pray (even though I have never spoken in tounges before) for God's Spirit to give me the ability at some moment to speak this in Polish, why not?

The LORD is kind and merciful,
slow to get angry, full of unfailing love.

The LORD is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
[Psalm 145:8-9]

Listening to: shane bernard - Psalm 145 - Shane Barnard - You've Got Music

Extremely discouraged

In a few hours, our young adults group is suppose to be meeting, but from what I hear, not many are coming for some reason or another. Right now, everything seems very dark, and I know there are other forces at work here, be they human or spiritually dark. I really feel like yelling at some people, I want to tell them how much it hurts for me to see them under the darkness. Tonight we are suppose to write some letters of encouragement, and words of encouragement to adorn the walls of our living room (also the main meeting room). Personally I feel as strong as ever, God has really worked in me, and I have full trust in him. But the other young adults, I don't know, I am at a loss of words, I love them, but I just don't see any love in most of them (there are three who love the Lord, but really haven't stepped forward in listening to him), they let others control them, and they only see me as a "good guy". My heart cries out, but I just don't know what to do. Please simply pray from your heart for them, pray I have some kind of words. The latest excuse is "religion is personal, why do you ask so many questions" this hurt me so much, its like the door was slammed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The Presence

Beyond power, beyond politics, reigns… The Presence. I just finished reading "The Presence" by T. Davis Bunn it is a great fiction. I forgot how enjoyable a fiction could be. A basic synopsis of the story: A small town lawyer receives a vision while on vacation, he is called to Washington D.C. he has no idea why or how. It is a story about standing up for what is right, listening to God's calling, and stepping out in faith. Maybe I am just a little weird but this is the first fiction I have read in a long time (since like I was 10) that I actually became teary eyed. If you're looking for a good fiction, especially one set in modern times, and like politics, this is a book for you. Not to mention it has a shocker of an ending!

Listening to: My Way or the Highway... - Relient K - The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek

Monday, February 02, 2004

Dating creed - part four - foundations

Go to Part One, Two, Three
When I finally decided that I was through with "the hunt" and wanted to focus on my relationship with God, I also decided that when or if a young lady came my way, the relationship would have a strong foundation. I had seen enough of my friends get extremely hurt mostly because their relationships had no foundation; it was just a "hunt" for sport, instead of survival. I did not want to be hurt, or hurt anyone else; I was going to seek a relationship that would survive, because it would have a foundation and purpose.

After Alexis and I admitted to each other that we had a "special" feeling towards each other, I knew I had to pray it over. This was not just a simple "ask" kind of prayer. It was a prayer of pure servant-hood, above all other things I am a servant to God, if I forget this truth, than I fail to see his blessings in my life. I submitted our feelings to him, and sought for clear guidance. The guidance came through the complete sense of peace, and the answer to the most important question, "what about Poland". I could not help myself from smiling when I asked, because deep down I knew the answer "I don't have a single problem with it, in fact, it attracts me to you".

However, I needed to do one more thing; I had to seek the "sanction" of someone close to Alexis. In her case, it was her brother, a man of God, and as a brother should be, protective (in the best way). I called him as soon as I could, told him I wanted to talk to him, go out for some coffee at Starbucks. He knew something was up, I think God was already working things out. We went for Coffee, and I said "Alexis and I have admitted to seeking a deeper relationship", he said "Alexis, my sister, Alexis?", I said "yes, your sister". I could tell he was surprised, but at the same time he was content. I asked for his approval to court his sister, he was very honored, and appreciated the fact I would ask him, then we went down to the beach and prayed as the sun set. I called Alexis, and told her the news, Eric was honored, and very much approved, he said "Out of all the guys we know, you are the only I can say I am proud to have dating my sister". God is the cornerstone of our relationship, that night the foundation started, and the blessings were already taking shape.

Listening to: Saturn - Skillet - Matt's Mix

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Just talking...

My cheeks hurt from smiling too much.
-Alexis Koho
After nearly three hours of talking on the phone.

Listening to: You Are Too Beautiful - John Coltrane Y Johnny Hartman - John Coltrane And Johnny Hartm

All is well

Everything went well, as well as cross-cultural bilingual ministry can. I received a number of compliments, of which I know God is the only one to thank for that encouragement. I believe a number of people were touched, I was curious to see the reaction from some; they seemed to come alive with the prospect that they are truly made in God's image. Unfortunately, I am not sure if the recording came out right, it says it only recorded 30 min, and I spoke for at least 40, so possibly the end was cut off. Usually I do the sound recording, so I am not quite sure what happened, but that is okay. I think I was emphasized the important points, and I received good feedback throughout, head nods, smiles, etc. I felt comfortable and the time flew by. I had one moment where my brain froze up, and I could not form the words I wanted, but everything was okay. Thanks for your prayers - good to all.

Listening to: The Beautiful Letdown - Switchfoot - The Beautiful Let Down