"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wake Thy Slumbering Children

So I have not posted in quite a while, but I finally felt inspired by some very encouraging music by Indelible Grace. The new album Wake Thy Slumbering Children is the fifth Indelible Grace cd and has songs that deal with the theme of the Tempter's power that is Satan's power and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The title refers to our cries to our Savior to revive the slumbering church. It is encouraging to know that when our souls are bereaved and lonely, we can take comfort in what the song "O Heart, Bereaved and Lonely" says: "O, watch and wait with patience, and question all you will; His arms of love and mercy are ‘round about thee still.” Even when we feel alone or feel like the church is sleeping and drifting, that the arms of our loving Savior are still wrapped around us and will never let us go.
Wake Thy Slumbering Children has songs like "Go to Dark Gethsamene" that reminds us of that saving work of Christ on our behalf and calls us to "Learn of Jesus Christ to die" as he did. In living as we are called, we may die to ourselves and our own selfishness for others and love them as Christ so loved us. My favorite stanza from this song is the third that reads:
"Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
there, adoring at His feet
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete
"It is finished!" hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
May we all remember that mournful day and yet rejoice in our risen Lord, trusting that He hears and knows all our fears and desires. When we feel the Tempter's power, we ought to dwell on the miracle of Christ's sacrifice and praise the one who can help us overcome the temptations we face every passing hour. Pray that the church will not falter in doing this, but will be alert to fight the Tempter's power. Wake Thy Slumbering Children!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Role Model

So within the last couple of days I've been thinking about the role models I've had in my life, but particularly those who influenced me in High School. The people I remember most are those who really invested time with me to talk with me and live by example. Now I have been given the chance to influence the youth each week simply by spending time with them and getting to know them on a deeper level. Doing so has made me realize just how fun it is , but also how challenging to let youth see me at my best.
I've also learned that you have to act alittle different with certain age groups than with others. For example, with the junior high kids, I tend to act silly and joke around more with them while maintaining the image of "the adult". With the older kids, I still joke around and such, but it tends to be less so and we talk more about what the high school youth are interested in and takling about more serious topics like where they want to go to college or how school is etc. Not that I couldn't or haven't talked to the younger ones about serious things, but usually their minds seem to be on other things. It's definitely still a learning process for me about how to relate to the different age groups and interest levels, but I personally find that one on one conversations are the best way to really talk to someone and know them in a deeper way.
The question that comes into my mind is "How do I relate as an adult to kids that I essentially grew up with in the church, who know me and see me as a friend?" I just hope that in some way God can use me to influence the youth in a good way, and be a role model to these kids and that Christ will shine through me and reflect his glory, not mine to today's youth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Russian Poem

This is a poem that was dedicated and given to the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana Nicholaevna by a friend when they were imprisoned inside the Impatiev House in Siberia. I found it moving in light of the family' situation.
Give patience, Lord, to us Thy children
In these dark, stormy days to bear
The persecution of our people,
The tortures falling to our share.

Give strength, Just God, to us who need it,
The persecutors to forgive,
Our heavy, painful cross to carry
And Thy meekness to achieve.

When we are plundered and insulted
In days of mutinous unrest
We turn for help to Thee, Christ-Savior,
That we may stand the bitter test.

Lord of the world, God of Creation,
Give us Thy blessing through our prayer
Give peace of heart to us, O Master,
This hour of utmost dread to bear.

And on the threshold of the grave
Breathe power divine into our clay
That we, Thy children, may find strength
In meekness for our foes to pray.

This was found by the Whites after the family had been shot. It was found in one of Olga's books. The Whites arrived too late to save the Tsar and his family from the Red executioners...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reflections on Europe:France Day Two

On the second day we were in Paris, we really hit the pavement seeing the sites and cramming as much as we could into our day. Our day got off to a bad start in terms of meeting locals because the hotel manager at the front desk was very rude. He had a short temper and I guess he did not like the fact that there were so many of us together hanging around in the lobby waiting on some of the parents to make it down from their rooms. The man was short with us when we asked him questions and his tone of voice left something to be desired. Maybe the rude Frenchmen stereotype blinded me in the moment, but I totally believed it right then. Needless to say, I was glad to get out of the hotel and onto the streets of Paris.
We must have walked everywhere possible that day. I do not really remember the order in which we saw the sites, but I do remember that the one thing I wanted to see most we did not see until sunset. The group spent two hours in the Louvre where the four of us juniors became desperately lost. We found all the ancient artifacts such as the Babylonian lion statues, but wanted to see the crown jewels and that's when we got lost. For the greater part of an hour, we explored the Louvre to find the crown jewels, but instead found French furniture from the time of Louis XIV, the Chinese relics, and other statues from around the world. At the end of our time there, we found the rest of the group in front of the Winged Victory Statue, which was spectacular to see as one walks up the steps to it. As you make your way up to it, it it almost like you are climbing a stairway to heaven with an angel waiting to greet you. Romantic, but not realistic...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reflections on Europe Part II: France Day One

Okay here is the second part of my Europe trip. Here we will move on to France. First let me say, that I only met two rude Frenchmen while in Paris. When we arrived to the coast of France, we boarded a bus and travelled for about three hours to the capital. The drive was pleasant, we were able to see small towns and villages, which, unfortunately, we were unable to stop at, but were interesting to see. More interesting were ruins of homes and random buildings spread throughout the countryside probably left over from World War II. This was neat because there isn't anything like that here in America that tells of our recent history, so seeing pillboxes in England and ruins overgrown with weeds and vines in France really gave me an idea of the destruction of WWII. When we finally reached Paris, I was really turned off by what I saw. I was expecting to enter via the Arche de 'Tromphe, but instead, the first thing that greeted us was a New York Style neighborhood where graffitti covered walls and the general area was rather ghetto looking. Imagine our delight then , when we saw the old Paris that came after these depressing sites. Cafes and shops came into view and the picturesque postcard Paris turned frowns into smiles.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Children of Innocence

This is the first two sections of a nonfiction piece I wrote for my Creative Nonfiction class last year. Please leave some feedback. Thanks.

Children of Innocence
The rain came down softly, each drop tickling our skin, dripping off our noses and onto our lips. Trails of water left by the drops lined our faces, only to be covered by fresh droplets that fell from our hair. Bare feet splashed in the muddy driveway, soiling our clothes with mud and grime. We are three brothers, partners in crime, creating mud pies and enjoying the gummy earth between our toes and fingers, pretending the mud is our dough. As children and boys, we do not care about a little mud and filth.
“Mine’s bigger than yours!” I holler at my brother Dylan, two years younger, and more brave and witty than myself. He doesn’t respond, focusing intently on his own creation, a mountain of dark brown dirt mingled with rocks and a stick, serving as a flagpole, protruding from the top. My own creation consisted purely of mud that would not stay together for longer than five minutes. I struggled to maintain my work of art, but continued to have fun in the midst of my failure. Repeatedly, I poured more and more mud on top of the sliding mound. Somehow I believed that repetition would help solidify my excuse of a structure. There in the driveway I stood with my brothers admiring our handiwork as the rain continued to slash against our bony arms. Dylan ran to tell Mama to witness what we’ve done with our young hands. She walked out to the porch to applaud our work with a smile and a comment of how dirty we were. We just smiled and returned to our mud and rain. Garrett, two years older than I, decided to throw a handful of mud right at me, which I returned in full. Soon, a storm of a mud war raged between us, mud flying everywhere, Dylan keeping Garrett and me away from his ‘territory’ so as not to destroy his masterpiece. My feet obliterated my mud pie with one heavy thud in an attempt to make a hasty retreat…
Rain continues to fall as I sit in an old, red armchair by the window of my cheap and aging house. My mind wanders as the rain pelts against the window pane. The drops of water slide down the glass creating a blurred and distorted picture of the cars as they come and go, their lights reflecting on the raindrops, creating a prism of light. They twinkle until the car moves out of sight. The only noise that can be heard is the pat -a-pat of the rain against the house and the cars that pass by occasionally. A copy of Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front lies unfolded in my lap, its pages slightly creased from being read over and over, though I am reading it for the first time. My index finger remains poised on the passage left unfinished because of my wandering mind. Memories of my childhood rush over me and take me to the past where I escape from the world and its concerns, all worries cast aside for a brief respite. For the next few moments I do not concern myself with my financial woes or the fact that both my roommates are gone for the next week, or that groceries are getting low.
I am on my own for the first time and the excitement is mired by fear…fear of failure and poverty. The fear is ever present, ever growing; I feel lost. In those precious moments, I long for the time when these worries did not cloud and darken my mind as a storm does the sky. As Remarque’s character Paul says, “A terrible feeling of foreignness suddenly rises up in me. I cannot find my way back; I am shut out though I entreat earnestly and put forth all my strength." You cannot go back to the days of your youth; they are gone as ashes blown by the wind…

Reflections on Europe Part I

So to those who have been to Europe before, these are my own thoughts of what it was like. Although I loved England, It was by far the most dreary of the places that we visited. I remember feeling incredibly small when we entered Westminster Abbey, and was shocked when I realized that we were walking on David Livingston's grave! My fellow students were alittle incredulous to see the names of Charles Darwin and Sir Issac Newton buried in the church. As Americans, we found it strange and yet funny that at home, we try so hard not to walk on someone's grave, but here we really could not avoid doing so. It's a great example of how different we are even though we may speak trhe same language and look similar.
The British Museum was fascinating. I belive we spent three hours in there looking at everything we could. The four juniors that compriseed my class took off immediately for the Egyptian artifacts. We saw the Rossetta Stone which, by the way, is huge! Then we saw some mummies enclosed by glass and which were close to 3,000 years old. After the Egyptian section, we moved to the Assyrian and Babylonian section. I will go ahead and tell you that seeing these sort of things in reality is so much more gratifying and meaningful in person where you can literally touch it with your own hands and live history that way than looking at a picture or reading about it in a book.
Overall, England was exciting and one of the lengthier stays we had while in Europe. Have any Europe stories to tell? Leave them in your response. I'll have more tonight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


What is a revolution? One usually springs up out of some sort of social, economic, or political turmoil. In most cases, a revolution overturns everything in a society. Often revolutions cause a major pradigm shift within some or all these categories. The most common type of revolution is usually a political one that often crosses into other territories. The Russian Revolution is perhaps the most famous revolution of modern history. Fueled in part by the workers' poor living conditions and the terrible working environment, and manipulation of the factory owners, the revolution was not far off. The serfs in the country were also far from happy, yet strangely enough, the serfs contended that they loved their "Little Father" the Tsar Nicholas II. When war broke out in Europe in 1915, Russia quickly came to the aid of the Serbians whom war had been declared on by Germany after the Archduke Ferdinand was shot by a Serbian rebel. This did not bode well for the monarchy as it only further angered many in the cities and later, those on the front lines. It was only a matter of time before the Bolshevik Revolution took place...

First Thoughts

Well I've officially started a blog! So I don;t really now what to write now, but various topics will be written about. Look for a new post tomorrow! Thanks.