Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dormía Mucho

Over the last few months I have come to view sleep in a much different light. I always spoke of how much I loved my sleep and it became a bottomless pit in which I would gorge myself, though never being satisfied. I knew there was something wrong when I was consistently getting 8 hours of sleep while still struggling to get out of bed (i.e. consistently arriving 5-10 minutes late to my first class in the morning) and feeling drowsy throughout the day.

Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will
have food to spare.

Sleep is something my flesh can really use against me. A slumber can provide much needed rest for the body, but it can also be a temptation to feed ones selfishness. For me it had become a simple solution to worries and a selfish escape from dealing with the weight of responsibilities, the needs of relationships.

Proverbs 19:15 Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.
My view of sleep has shifted from a selfish pleasure to being a physical requirement (Not to say it's not still enjoyable!). But, this shift was not as simple as telling myself to life by a new view on sleep. I have been able to experience a new life through prayer and seeking God's wisdom on how to deal with that which I was trying to escape.

Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the
diligent are fully satisfied.
There is more to it then simply not doing whats wrong. I have been experiencing a better way to live. It has a lot to do with being passionate about life, ready to let God use you, and excited to see how God will.

Colossians 3: 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for
the Lord, not for men...
It has been rewarding to be experiencing victory over this stumbling block. What this has looked like tangibly in my life is being able to arrive to class 30 minutes early and having considerably more energy during the day, even when I am consistently getting 6-7 hours of sleep. Though, I am still a work in progress. My goal is to get up at 6:00 to spend time mediating on God's word and in focused prayer.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Toyota Demonstration

This was just too funny not to share. The Toyota Tundra "demonstration" commercials are the epitomy of false advertising. The voiceover severly skews the facts and fineprint runs rampant (* see the end of the post if you are a truth seeker).

So if Toyota likes demonstrations, here's a litte demonstration for you:

I hope Toyota is prepared to slap yet more cash on the hood of that gas guzzling monstrosity (wait, I thought Toyota cared about the enviroment?) to move metal.

*1. The voiceover at the beginning of the spot says...."It's tough pushing 10,000 lbs up a steep grade". Myth: Toyota would like the audience to believe the trailer is 10,000 lbs. Fact: It's a 5,000 lbtruck pulling a 5,000 lb trailer. A little slight of hand? You bet.

2. Then, on the way down the grade, the camera zooms in on thebrakes as the vehicles comes to a screeching halt just prior to the end of ramp. Next time you see the ad, look for the 'mice type'. It indicates the trailer is equipped with electric brakes. Fact:the electric brakes stop the trailer -- not the truck. A little slight of hand? You bet.

3. And why does Toyota have bigger brake pads? They need them. Their truck is heavier. Stopping distance between the Silverado and Tundra is virtually identical. And why does Toyota have a 6 speed transmission? To improve their fuel economy, which is still 2 mpgless than the Silverado.

4. And don't forget, their big V8 has one axle ratio -- a4.3. Suck fuel much? The Silverado offers several axle options to optimize towing and fuel economy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend of Suffering

I spent 12 hours of my first weekend of summer break with my friend Mirranda at a "Healing the Wounds of Trauma" workshop. Karen DeGraaf, who worked in west Africa for 11 years doing linguistic analysis, literacy, translation, national training and administration, led the workshop. It is intended to be a week long workshop, so in our two days the major points we hit in the book were:

If God Loves Us, Why Do We Suffer?
How Can the Wounds of Our Heart Be Healed?
What Happens When Someone Is Grieving?
How Can We Forgive Others?

It was a pretty intense overload of information. I will be spending the next couple weeks processing all of the great information shared, and hopefully writing an overview to post here.

There were also three men attending the workshop who are heading to Uganda in September. There is some heart-wrenching stuff happening in that part of the world. You can get a glimpse of it at their website:

I am also starting two new books, Out Of The Silent Planet and Jesus of Nazareth. I have made a commitment to balance out my reading with more fiction. Over the last two months I have found this to be extremely rewarding!

My initial thoughts on Pope Benedict XVI's book are that of great respect for the man. After reading the intro and first two chapters he has blown me away with his deep insight of Scripture and willingness to look outside of the Catholic Church in his search for knowing the face of the Lord.

I will leave you with a piece of Scripture that was more or less the theme of my weekend. It is a beautiful description of the character of our God and an encouragement to all those in suffering as well for those who know people suffering.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"For the First Time"

Becca, a friend of mine who has been going downtown to do Nightstrike the last couple months, wrote an awesome blog about her experience. I have written a lot about Nightstrike as well, but nothing that conveys God's work underneath the Burnside Bridge on Friday night quite like this:
"For the first time in my life I was in your will. I was feeding your sheep
and clothing the naked. For the first time I stared into the face of Jesus and
loved Him. Not with words or tongue but with actions and truth. For the first
time I've deliberately done the right thing. I let go of my fears and burdens of
the day. I washed someones feet and prayed for him. And the look on his face was
life changing. For the first time in my life I see.

Arise and see what the Lord has done, what he wants to do for you. Wake
up and seek out Gods plan for your life. Look around and see something other
than yourself. Realize what this life is about. It's not about life, it's about
love. It's not about things, it's about people. It's not about you, it's about
Him. Wake up and see for the first time in your life."
God has worked miracles in my life through this ministry. Intentionally loving people. Loving, simply because they are people. People, created in God's image.

Dan Franklin used a powerful analogy today at a Bible Study that I can not help but apply to this. (The following has slight embellishments courtesy of yours truly.)

The powerful ocean breeze fills the recently risen sails. With the boom firmly tied in place, the wind rips at the mainsail testing the stability of the keel, though never overwhelming it, as the bow slices the waves which seem to slap the hull in disgust. The sailboat is now taken at unimaginable speeds to seemingly impossible places had it been left solely to the powerlessly pathetic natural state of the idle sailboat being tossed to and fro by the unforgiving power of the ocean.

By acting to put myself in a position of service (raising the sail), firmly grounded in the truth of God's Word (securing the boom), the Spirit (rushing wind) has fostered a seemingly unimaginable love and impossible understanding had I been left solely to my own depraved helpless state.

Thank you Lord for the doors You have opened and the lessons You have taught.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Four Harris Blog

I always jump at the opportunity to welcome a new blogger into the fold.

I encourage you to give Mark Harris a warm welcome. He definitely has a lot to contribute to the blogging realm.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Speaking in Tongues

I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined it possible to hear someone speaking in tongues at Good Shepherd Community Church.

Yet, sure enough, it happened. Saturday night I was enjoying a moment of worship when much to my surprise a man stood up on stage and started singing in Russian.