::29-31Jan03::**

finished Roaring Lambs today. . .
been writing a lot for TRu-dAT music lately . . .
i've made it a goal of mine to get that going better . . .
originally the intention of this site . . .
was to get me writing . . .
and the intention of TRu-dAT . . .
was to get me writing in a certain style. . .
and, i do want to write more . . .
couple quick things today. . .


so, the other day i was a participant in a discussion . . .
and the question arose . . .
"How would you react, or act, if the world immediately surrounding you . . .
became hostile to Christianity" . . .
basically, would you stand firmly for your beliefs . . .
if your life was threatened . . .
the popular answer was "i don't know" . . .
and that actually does make sense, in that it's a hypothetical question . . .
and without actually being in that situation, you can't be completely certain . . .
but, in my recent readings . . .
it has occurred to me, that you can get a well calculated idea . . .
two scriptures in particular lead me to believe this . . .

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
  -Luke 16:10

most people read that and immediately assume it's about getting rewards . . .
and it does relate to that . . .
if you are faithful and wise with a small amount of money . . .
you will most likely be faithful and wise with a large amount of money . . .
it's the foundations and framework, so to speak, that is laid and can expand as needed . . .
but this also ties in with your actions . . .
simply put, if you are faithful when you face a small amount of persecution . . .
say, someone jokes about a decision you made based on your beliefs . . .
and you stand firm . . .
that, too, is groundwork for when you face bigger and "better" persecution . . .
/// i can't seem to remember the other though at this time . . .
i'll have to get back to it . . .
ahh, yes now i remember . . .

But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
  -Luke 21:14-15

again the idea is that if we are faithful in keeping our walk right day to day . . .
when the time comes . . .
the words will find us . . .
if we stand firm daily . . .
we will stand firm under persecution. . .

my head feels like one of those magnetic poetry games . . .
just a bunch of random words and phrases stuck all over the board . . .
in a big conglomerate pileup . . .
and none of it will ever makes sense unless i the words off . . .
and put them in the right order . . .
and, of course, discard the excess . . .


can you believe it took me three days . . .


** having been extremely busy and not in the best of moods over the past few days . . .
this entry is kind of a cumulative effort to combine the thoughts of the last few days . . .


::15Jan03::

so i'm getting into a bit of a schedule that affords me time for reading . . .
and, i have begun reading Roaring Lambs . . .
and so far it's all i had hoped . . .
strange though, and i think i may have mentioned it before . . .
with a different book . . .
have you ever read a conceptual/philosophical book . . .
and as your reading you get the feeling . . .
that it's more reaffirming things you've already discovered . . .
than hitting you with new concepts or ideas . . .
i think it's a sign of God's work within us . . .
Anyway, here's an example . . .
in chapter 2 Briner talks about scorekeepers . . .
and just the other day i was talking about stats fiends . . .
Briner basically says that it's not part of God's plan for us to "keep score" . . .
regarding the work we do for the Kingdom . . .
that the keeping of scores, will not only be inneffective . . .
but it will also, hinder us from doing more work . . .
because we'll be busy trying to find a justifiable reason to pat ourselves on our backs . . .
(and actually, as Briner puts it, we will have no cause to rejoice . . .
because by the world's standards, we will lose) . . .
Anyway, my recent rant kinda touched on the same ideas . . .
and i would further draw the comparison to David and his army census debacle. . .
and infer that it is Satan and not God that motivates us to such activities . . .
and there was something else that really hit me from the second chapter . . .
oh, yeah . . .
Briner states . . .
we do not have to be the best in our field . . .
but we must be at our best if we are to be effective . . .


yeah, i'm also reading My Utmost for His Highest . . .
perhaps the best part of this book is that . . .
it is supposed to take me a whole year to read . . .
but, wow, there are some tough concepts in that one . . .
the other day Oswald Chambers told me (through the pages) . . .
that if God gives you a gift or a talent . . .
and you don't use it effectively . . .
to bring glory to him . . .
it will become "spiritual dry-rot" . . .
Yikes! . . .
anyway . . .
that is how i end my days now . . .
(reading My Utmost . . .) . . .


::14Jan03::

so . . .
if you could've eavesdropped during my morning drive . . .
and heard my conversation with God this morning . . .
you might have heard some of the bantering below . . .
in medias res, of course . . .

me: . . . but i have considered it . . .
it just doesn't seem to make sense . . .
He: It doesn't have to . . .
me: but at this stage of my life . . .
i mean, think about it . . .
does it really make sense at this point of my life . . .
for me to [ fill in the blank ] . . .
He: It doesn't need to make sense to you.
me: but i have obligations . . .
He: Have I ever failed you?
me: but . . .
He: Have I ever neglected, even a sparrow?
Are not sparrows sold five for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten . . .
you are worth more than many sparrows.*
me: but i have plans, goals, aspirations . .
He: I know the plans I have for you . . .
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future . . .**
me: (deep sigh) but how is it gonna work? where will i find the time . . .
He: do you know WHO I AM?
me: but why can't it make sense?
He: (deep sigh)

* (Luke 12:6,8b)
** (Jeremiah 29:11)

well, obviously i've integrated a bit of tongue in cheek there . . .
but you get the idea . . .
yeah, so here am i . . .
arm-wrestling with the maker of arms . . .
what a fool i can be . . .


So, in one of the Bible readings i do daily . . .
i was reading in John 20, when Mary Magdalene tells Peter and John that the tomb is empty . . .
and i come to verse four and i can't help but laugh . . .
"Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first."
are you kidding me? .. .
do these disciples not take every opportunity to compete with each other . . .
from "who will be the greatest in Your Kingdom?" to this . . .
"well, we were both running, but Peter couldn't keep up with me . . ."
man, did i get a good belly laugh out of that passage today . . .
of course, i could be reading into it a bit . . .


::10Jan03::

so . . .
sometimes life provides it's own humor . . .
like the other day in the midst of a heavy workload . . .
i managed to have this error message . . .
(i know, it's technically an "alert") . . .
pop up and inform me that hope was not to be found . . .
anyway . . .
such is life . . .
speaking of work . . .
man have i been busy . . .
and normally i don't mind being busy . . .
but it's the reason behind the sense of urgency . . .
that just irks me to no end . . .
see, i have been yelled at . . .
pushed, and under pressure . . .
to update pages upon pages of statistics . . .
so that the higher-ups can pat themselves on their backs . . .
for their "accomplishments" . . .
this past week i have basically existed at work . . .
to fuel the egos of people with already raging egos . . .
and i fail to find that in our mission statement . . .
statistics . . .
ahh, statistics . . .
see, now, this is something queer on the web . . .
(to borrow a phrase from an old book series that for some reason popped into my head) . . .
(SOMETHING QUEER MYSTERY SERIES by Elizabeth Levy, in case you missed it) . . .
i mean, certainly, analyzing statistics can help you focus on your practices . . .
and even improve your overall appeal or service . . .
but, statistics, especially on the web are flawed . . .
and it is sinful to take pride in how many hits your site got last month . . .
but, how do you measure success, you ask . . .
i am at peace with God . . .
and i know that i am serving him by putting forth my best effort . . .
anything else is loss . . .

::02Jan03::

well, it's a new year . . .
and as years come and go . . .
i suppose reflection is the thing to do . . .
reflection and planning . . .
but first, my current state of mind . . .
i've realized that i am a fairly driven person . . .
i tend to be goal-oriented and drive myself to accomplish a lot . . .
sometimes more than i really can . . .
and i sometimes feel inadequate because i can't accomplish all i set my mind to . . .
i have taken this week and the previous week off . . .
and, as driven as i can sometimes be . . .
i have discovered again (this week) . . .
the comfort and enjoyment of just sitting around and doing pretty much nothing . . .
so this is me . . .
relaxing . . .
not accomplishing any of my goals . . .
i had planned to finish reading The Hobbit during this time off . . .
(and i did get through about 10 of the 200 remaining pages) . . .
it's not that i don't enjoy it. . .
it's a great book . . .
it's just hard to sit down and read . . .
life offers too many distractions sometimes . . .
and now i finally picked up a copy of Roaring Lambs. . .
i'm sure that will trump The Hobbit . . .
Anyway . . .
i did read 75 pages today . . .
it was from a Dilbert book though . . .