Day 7 of Surprise me God.

Sometimes you have to blow off steam. Life can get you wound up so tight, it can do that to me at any rate, that you loose perspective. I still feel frustrated today but not without hope and that amkes a difference.

I think there is too much focus on me in this “Surprise me God” thing. Continually looking for Him to do something special in my life, and being bummed when He doesn’t, is not what this is about. The miraculous is going on all around us, everyday, so i think tomorrow i am going to stop limiting the surprise to things that directly effect me and open myself up to the surprises that God is working in others and in His creation as a whole.

Day 3, 4, 5 & 6 of Surprise me God.

There just isn’t enough time in the day to do all i want to do. Maybe it’s just that i don’t have enough energy, for whatever reason. Perhaps i am simply incapable of focusing my energy effectively over the course of a day, or even an hour. Whatever the case i have let four days slide without posting.

I am being too hard on myself, but i feel trapped by my own habits and it is suffocating. Is it pride that makes me think that i could be doing so much more? I have great girlfriend, good job, wonderful church and aspirations for the future on all fronts. Life is good, but… whether it is in relationships, work or ministry, i consistently feel like i am halfassing my way through life and not giving my best to all that has been put into my care. I can’t even stay on task for three days!

I’m just blowing off steam here, don’t mind me.

My friend and mentor Rusty, called me from Florida on Wednesday evening. It was good to here from him.

He went through a rough patch starting a few years back and really had a hell of a time with it. He lost a lot and it was mostly his own doing, i think he’d say the same. The world got a hold of him and man some of the conversations that we would have just pained me inside, i hurt so much for him.

This conversation was different though, he sounded like he was in love with God again. The passion in his voice reminded me of the good old days back when we were running together in Jacksonville. It is just so encouraging to see Rusty on the rebound.

Rusty identifies with King David, or so he was telling me during our conversation and i can really see that but i will always identify him with the Apostle Paul. Paul never was able to do anything halfway, whether it was trying to destroy Christianity and becoming one of it’s greatest adherents, Paul did whatever he did with great passion just like Rusty. It makes me smile just thinking of it. Rusty is a world changer and with his face towards God, basking in the light of Jesus, God will use him to change peoples lives.

Makes me wonder why we are friends sometimes, he doesn’t halfass anything and i’m the king of it. You would think that we would get on each others nerves but that has never been the case. Go figure.

Thoughts on being expendable.

This song came into my head on the news of loosing my part-time gig at the end of march.

Have you ever seen an idealist
With grey hairs on his head
Or successful men who keep in touch
With unsuccessful friends?
You only think you do
I could have sworn I saw it too
But as it turns out,
It was just a clever ad for cigarettes

Cause if it isn’t making dollars
Then it isn’t making sense
If you aren’t moving units
Then you’re not worth the expense
If you really want to make it
You had best remember this
If it isn’t penetration
Then it isn’t worth a kiss

We’re so sorry, sir,
But you did not quite make the cut this time
We’d appriciate it if you’d get
Your stuff all out by five
Don’t take it personal
Everyone knows you did your best
If it makes it easier,
You should look at things from our perspective

Cause if it isn’t making dollars
Then it isn’t making sense
If you aren’t moving units
Then you’re not worth the expense
If you really want to make it
You had best remember this
If it isn’t penetration
Then it isn’t worth a kiss

Penetration by Pedro the Lion from the Control album

for some reason that made me think about this quote from Shakespeare’s Caesar:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world Like a Colossus; and we petty men Walk under his huge legs and peep about To find ourselves dishonorable graves. Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves,that we are underlings.

Day 2 of surprise me God.

So this day starts like any other, i pray the prayer and go about my business but around i think that i got my first surprise. it’s uncertain so i will let you judge.

i have this part-time gig pimpin’ (read vendor marketing rep.) Kodak digital cameras. You make sure the product in the stores plan-o-gram (POG) are setup correctly, priced right, that point-of purchase (POP) marketing materials are up and that the store employees are trained on your product line.

Bryan got me the hook-up over the holidays when they were doing this big push in the stores to demo the cameras, trying to increase sales. It was fun and the extra cash didn’t hurt either. It was suppose to end after the holidays but some hours opened up for a permanent part-time position so i thought “what the hey?”, extra cash doesn’t hurt.

They had to figure out how to break up the region and what stores i would be assigned so i didn’t start repping until a couple weeks ago. That’s when i found out that i know absolutely nothing about how to be a vendor marketing rep. It took forever to figure out my schedule and the hours were all messed up. I was told that it would be 12 hours a week but that the actual work would take about 8 hours. but then i received my schedule and found that those 12 hours were the weekly average of a monthly total of 50 hours and 2/3 of those hours would need to be done in the first 2 1/2 weeks of the month. That adds up to 18-20 hours a week the first two weeks and next to nothing the last week of the month. Not what i signed up for and, man, those 12 hours were taking me 12 hours!

Mix that with not being able to spend as much time with Heather as i would like, not being able to take more on at the church, not having time to visit with my mom and not having any me time and i guess you could say that i am a little frustrated. But, it’s not a good idea to throw in the towel on a new thing just because you’re thrown a few curve balls at the beginning so i decided to give it a month and see if things smoothed out.

In the back of my head i don’t think i was too hopeful because when i received the call today that they would only be able to keep me until the end of March because the account is changing agencies, i felt relieved. The decision has been made for me and a weight has been wifted. Yay!

So, is this a God surprise? Lots of people are going to loose their jobs, i mean their livelihoods, not just their extra cash jobs. That’s not too cool. But, i have been given a way out of this commitment that i am not too terribly excited about without feeling like a quitter.

Here’s the main thing that i have come to grips with, if i can’t manage a parttime job now how am i going to manage school in the fall? And i have to get back to school, for good or ill, i feel compelled to go. If i explained why this post would become a book, so i will refain from explaining why i feel this way. It does give me a an idea to post about this topic in the future though.
This gig has shown me that it ain’t easy managing all the stuff in life, stuff that would have to be managed well if i ever did go back to school, excel at the day job, have a relationship, be there for my mom, be there for my church and maybe, just maybe, have a hobby or three and some time to read and relax. Well, this gig has shown me that i’m not particularly good at the whole time-management thing. Add that to problems with the whole money-management thing and the emotional-investment thing (i won’t go into either at this time) and i have too many issues on too many ‘thing’ fronts to get anything done. Very frustrating.

Maybe the God surprise is in making me confront these things about myself or in the steadily growing realization that i am going need some help with my ‘thing’ fronts… oh joy.


Computers + Community = Computity.

This portmanteau was coined by Reverend John Musick on Friday, February 3rd, in the year of our Lord, 2006.

I actually forgot to post this until my sister, jen posted about it.

Google and say it isn’t a legitimate word… yet.

-Update- I did find the word compotator at ’cause I like potatos, but, as you can see if you click the link, the word has nothing to do with potatos… unless your drinking vodka… mmm, potatos…

And we’re off! Day 1 of surprise me God.

“Every day, for thirty days, I pray and ask God to surprise me? “Surprise Me, God.â€? Nothing more, nothing less. Three words. Not asking for something in particular. Not giving him my list. Not presenting my agenda. Just inviting him to barge into my life in any old way he pleases-to crash into the busyness of my schedule and mess with it.” – Terry Esau, “Surprise Me”

So i woke up late and ran to catch my ride share, it’s Amy’s week to drive, and totally spaced praying “Surprise me God.” Thankfully, i remembered by 9:45, took a deep breath and prayed.

Reading Terry’s book last night he mentioned a certain level of trepidation that was brought about by an email sent buy a friend of his that said, in essence, that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the arms of the living God.” (Heb 10:31, ESV). Actually, I think she said something like that was a scary thing to do, asking God to surprise you. That got him thinking about that it isn’t necessarily safe to ask God for such things.

That reminds me of a quote from CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

‘If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than me or else just silly.’

‘Then he isn’t safe?’ asked Lucy.

‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver. ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’

It reminds me of when i jumped off the forty foot cliff into a lake at the boundary waters this last summer, i couldn’t think about what i was doing or it wouldn’t get done. Fear sets in too easily, it was gonna hurt when i hit that water but their was nothing to do about that. Thinking about it only wears at my resolve. Thinking about what i’m asking God could definitely wear at my resolve.

What will God do with me? i am inviting Him to do anything. Scary.

It doesn’t matter though. The real scary question, the one that motivates me to ask God to surprise me is “What would i do without God?” And that is a real fear as i feel really far away most times in these days. i need to invite Him back, i need to start look for Him were He is. So here we go, time to jump.

“Surprise me God.”


As I prepare for bed, thought it would be good to close out the first day’s entry. Nothing earth shattering happened today. Most of the time i was so caught up in whatever i was doing at the moment that it never occured to me to look for the God surprise in things. That’s the way it is most days i think. The day just carries you along, like a riptide sucking you out to sea. If you don’t watch it life can easily become a long list of routines rapped up in the urgent needs of the day, there is no room for dreams or the miraculous in such a life.

Oh well maybe tomorrow.

Bonhoeffer on PBS

Speaking of Faith on MPR ran a program this week called “Ethics and the Will of God, The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer”.

My favorite quote that they use is from his book “Life Together”:

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and for his own follies.

TPT channel 2, in the Twin Cities, will be showing a great documentary made about him on Monday and Tuesday at 9 PM. Well worth the watch. link