Random Thoughts- 6/25/12


I have random thoughts all of the time.  In light of that, I decided to begin a Random Thoughts series. You can see my first installment here— Random Thoughts
Well I am back again with some random thoughts, so here we go.
It bothers me that my generation is so apathetic about voting. I mean, as a nation we can hardly ever get more than 50% of our population to vote. I feel like if you don’t vote then you shouldn’t complain about the leadership of our country.  You forfeit your right to speak, because you silenced yourself on election day.
Do we really want 50% of the country deciding the direction of our nation? How do we know if that group represents our values?
Well, we don’t.
On a more personal level, I think about the fact that voting is a privilege. Men and women shed a lot of blood for us to have freedom, and the best we can do is 50%? 
Come on people, get out and vote.
As a man, it is my duty to love sports. And I take this duty very seriously. My dedication to ESPN and Sports Illustrated is impressive. With that being said, I must say this- 
This part of the summer must be the most boring part of the year for sports. From about Mid June until August, we have very little to care about in the sports world. And I know what you are thinking, “What about Major League Baseball?”
And my answer to that is, “Major League Baseball only gets exciting when there are about 30 games left in the season and your team is chasing a berth in the playoffs. Trust me, I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan.”
The only real highlight for me is the British Open. But even then you have to wake up at odd hours to watch it live. Besides, I am in the minority of sports fans that actually enjoys watching golf on a consistent basis.
What I am reading- 
I am an avid reader. It is almost a problem because I can never just read one book. I should probably work on that, but anyway, here is what I am reading at the moment-
1.     Injustice  by J. Christian Adams
2.     Unconditional Love by John Powell
3.     Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
4.     Taggerung by Brian Jacques
My hope is to finish all of these in the next couple of weeks, but with school starting that could prove to be difficult. 
Music
Here is my updated top 10 (Click to hear the song on Youtube)
 
That’s all for now!
– B
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Youth Camp 2012

My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. 
Psalms 71:15
I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. 
Psalm 22:22
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. 
Psalm 145:6
I sit here and am in complete awe at what I saw this week.  Truly, words will not do justice.  I will fail to capture the things I saw this week, but I will do my best.
Youth Camp 2012. Monday-Friday.  On paper and on a calendar, that’s what this week was. At least on my calendar that’s what it read. 
And that was my expectation, that it would be a standard Youth Camp week. I mean of course I knew it would be a good week, but my expectations were not very high. It could be said that I held a small view of God.  I came into the week with a faith that could be described as stagnant in many ways.  And I can sit here and list all sorts of excuses for why that is, but the simple truth is that I have just lacked discipline and faithfulness in the little areas in my walk with Christ.
So I wake up Monday, roll out of bed, eat my breakfast and hop in Asa’s car on our way to the church. As I said, my expectations were for a “good week”.
I was wrong. And I am a fool. 
Looking back on it now, I feel like Job when God speaks to him in Job 38
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
 Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
  Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me. 
Job 38:1-3
You see, I had such a small view of God.  How insane is that? How can you have a small view of the Creator of the Universe?
This week was not just a good week, it was a week that changed lives for eternity.
I saw young men and women building lasting relationships.
I saw young men and women respond to message after message by Dr. Ergun Caner.
I saw young men and women respond in praise and adoration during worship lead by a band that was on fire for Christ.
I saw young men and women stand in obedience to God’s call on their lives.
But most importantly I saw young men and women kneel in brokenness before the Cross and call on Christ to redeem their souls by His blood.
And what a beautiful site it was.
For me personally, this week was also a blessing. I honestly believe I am out of my mini funk that was just a result of a lack of discipline on my part. I have established men to keep me accountable on this because I don’t want to go back to where I was.   
What does this look like on a practical level? Well I am renewing my focus on writing, so expect to see more blogs. I am refocusing my efforts in Bible study so that it is not just a “Check list mentality”.  I am redoubling my efforts in reaching the lost. And finally I am returning to the basics in my walk with Christ. Which for me is marked by simple communication to my Father and Friend. 
 
I am surrounded by truly great men of God.

 Ergun Caner. A great warrior of the Faith but an even better man, husband, and father.
 My boys in room 114. Great guys. 
That is all for now. Glory to God for the things He has done and will continue to do.
– B.

A Time for Everything

 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
     a time to kill  and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build, 
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
   a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today is June 3rd.

For 22 years of my life, June 3rd was just another day.
Now, June 3rd carries the distinction of being the anniversary of my Mother’s passing.
And for the last year, every day has been viewed through the spectrum of her absence. The pain and sadness associated with her absence.

As I reflect on this day a year ago, all I can recall is how it happened so fast.
I woke up, my mom passed away, I went to sleep.
The weeks immediately following her passing were hectic and surreal. Life went on in many ways, but stood still in a sense. I wrestled with the emotions and tried to determine how healing would occur and what that would even look like. Time was an important component, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough. I would need to actively engage the hurt and allow emotions to run their course. I never set a timeframe for when I would be “healed”, I just figured I would know when the healing process had run its course.

Interestingly enough, healing came about through the most painful moments.
The last year was not measured in hours, days, or months. It was measured by first times without mom. It was measured by significant events where her absence was notable. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduation, Christmas, New Years, Mother’s Day, etc.
Each one of these events was painful, but therapeutic.

But before I share much more, I have to make an important statement.

This is not about me. I have been so selfish this last year. It is very easy to internalize things and make them about ourselves. Humans are very good at that. I have been very good at that. And for that, I apologize.  

So here I am. A year later. A year older, but decades wiser it seems.
I can honestly say that I am well on my way to being whole again. And that’s not to say that my mom can be replaced, because we all know that she can’t. But it is to say that I am letting go of some of the things that I held onto this year. Some of the sadness and emptiness that I held onto up until this point.

If I could share any bit of wisdom that I have gathered from this experience, it would be that a right view of death profoundly influences life. 

For Christians, death is viewed as a good thing. A great thing in fact. We get to see Jesus Christ and spend eternity in His presence. The impact that this has on life is nothing short of profound. In my case, it has freed me from the sadness associated with my Mom’s absence.

I am comforted by the knowledge that there is a time for everything. Thank you Lord for that.

– B

P.S. Take a listen.. This song captures my perspective perfectly.
Heaven Song by Phil Wickham