Natural Disasters, Needles, and Nearness

My Travels Led Me Here
For whatever reason (weddings) I’ve been away a lot of late. I’ve traveled everywhere from Louisville, Kentucky to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the past month and I’ve finally landed back here in beautiful southern California. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my journey, it’s that I’ll take an earthquake over a tornado any day. Admittedly, I didn’t actually encounter any tornadoes, but just the idea of them freaks me out. And when you’re surrounded by people telling you that if something happens you need to jump in the bathtub and cover yourself with a mattress, that’s not too comforting. I really just think of natural disasters like a shot in the arm — don’t tell me when you’re gonna poke me and I’ll be fine. That’s how earthquakes are and I think it’s the better way to go.

Another bit I’ve learned during my short journeys is that there is sweet fellowship to be missed when you’re gone. Summer usually marks the beginning of vacations and traveling, but may I make a suggestion — stay close to home. Not only will it keep you from spending a fortune on gasoline, but it will keep you near God’s people — that is, your church. I walked into church on Sunday for what felt like the first time in a month (which it basically was) and realized how much I missed being around my church family. I even went as far as to welcome back a friend from a missions trip he hadn’t even gone on yet — geeze, I’m an idiot. It may have only been a month, but it felt like a year. I missed a chunk of our current preaching series in Mark. I missed many opportunities to serve in the Sunday night band of which I play drums for. Generally, I missed the fellowship of being with God’s people. It was a joy for me on Sunday night when multiple people came and encouraged me and just wanted to talk. It was a blessing for one gentleman to introduce himself and ask me what I was doing with my life right now. Furthermore, it was the greatest blessing to be under the preaching of God’s Word and be reminded of my sin. Sometimes we take time off and think we can just take time off of our Christianity too — at least that’s how it is for me. My hope for the summer is that I’ll be around and be ready to learn and be used by God. It’s not to say the Lord can’t use your vacation to provide much needed rest, that’s not my point. My only aim is to see how God will grow and strengthen my heart through the summer months and that I won’t take a vacation from being near Him.

To the Skater Kid Who Asked To Borrow My Cell Phone

Pull Me Back To Shore

Hey bro,

I hope you’re doing good and were able to find a ride. I’m sorry you hurt your leg on those stairs — that sucks.

The real reason I’m writing you is to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I let my pride get in the way of telling you about the best thing about me. I’m sorry I was too scared to tell you about a guy named Jesus who saved me from my sin. I know you may not know what sin is, but I should have told you about it. Sin is lame and will ultimately lead to your death which is why I can’t believe I didn’t explain it to you. I’m sure you’re not as lame as me. I’m sure if you could save one of your friends from death you would. But, I had a few minutes with you and I let fear dominate my heart. I feared you wouldn’t care what I thought about sin or about Jesus Christ. I honestly didn’t think you would care about spending eternity in heaven with God as opposed to hell. My selfishness got in the way of letting you know about the greatest gift that was ever given — that is, Jesus Christ. Of course it’s a lot easier for me to write it now because I feel no fear here. I don’t have to look you in the eyes and see you reject me, and as always, hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy for me to look back at our few minutes together and just think of it as an opportunity for you to use my phone and find a ride home, but it couldn’t of just been that. Why would God direct you to me — one of His children — just to borrow my phone? Why did I just happen to drive up at the exact moment with a phone in my pocket, which is what you needed and also with His Word on my heart, which you needed more. It just doesn’t make sense. I mean, I could’ve told you about His amazing love and how He can save you from eternal separation from him if you just accept his free gift in faith, again — the gift of Jesus Christ. I could’ve told you how He has transformed my life, heart, and mind and made me a new man — free from the penalty of sin and death because of my disobedience to Him. Oh I could’ve invited you to church, where we learn more about who this God is and how to follow him better and where we learn all about His work in our lives. Yeah, I probably could’ve explained it all to you in a few minutes, but instead I just let you borrow my phone and go right back to skating — and for that I’m sorry.

I really do hope you can forgive me. You may not believe me now, but Christ really is great. It’s a shame I didn’t tell you about him, but I got scared. I want you to know that I’m praying for boldness the next time I run in to you or someone else. I’m praying that I won’t keep this good news to myself. I’m praying that God would change your heart like He has changed mine.


Music With A Message…

Dizmas’ new album came out today, and the best part — it’s on this thing called the internet!

Get your copy… $7.99 on iTunes. Beautiful.

And for the record… Zach used to wear those visors — trust me, I was there.

Troughs and Peaks

It Was For Freedom, originally uploaded by shaycam.

I wanted to write a really nice blog on “sanctification” right now, but I realized 2 paragraphs in that I am in no place to be discussing it. My heart and mind are a bit distracted and that’s the honest truth. I can however say that if somehow I believed that the Christian life was going to be a cakewalk, then I have sorely deceived myself.

Last week on NBC I watched a two day special on a two families who were basically a part of this huge case of mistaken identity. The gist is that each family had a daughter in this huge car accident that were near in age. Apparently the coroner made a mistake and one daughter was pronounced dead and the other was in a coma. The problem was, each family had the wrong daughter. Essentially this meant that one family got news of their daughters death and the other stayed at the bedside of their daughter was in a coma. Five weeks in to the ordeal the girl in a coma came out of it and they asked what her name was and it wasn’t what the family expected. To make a long story short, the families realized that a mistake had been made and the girl who was now alive was reunited with her real family and the other family found out their daughter had died five weeks earlier.

That story could easily be the saddest thing to hear, but what amazed me more than anything about the whole ordeal was the attitudes of both families. In the middle of the interview Matt Lauer asked both familes this question, he said, “Where’s the anger?”. He was implying that he didn’t understand why both families weren’t more upset at the situation they were put in. But it was the response of one of the father’s the blew me away. One of the dad’s said something along the lines of, “Well Matt, we believe in a sovereign God. We knew that we would see our daughter once again, if not right now, and though our faith is meager, we trust God with our lives.”

That dad’s heart is in the right place. He has a truly biblical understanding about who God is, and it’s possible that the Lord was able to reveal this to him only because of the situation that God had allowed to happen in their lives. You see, as I think about why “bad things happen to good people” (AKA: the problem of evil), I can’t get passed that one of the main reasons is for God to reveal more of Himself to you. For these families, God was revealing something about His character that they may never have learned or seen before unless this happened to them.

Dizmas – Redemption, Passion, Glory

One of the bummer things about knowing people in bands is that they tour a lot. Dizmas, for instance, spends months out on the road touring and playing shows. I get to see the guys for a few days and then it’s back on the road for them. This morning was another bum deal because they were on Air1 radio doing an interview and I couldn’t listen to it because I was at work.

Despite all that, I do try to keep up with the band via this crazy thing called the world wide web — you might have heard of it. Every now and then a good YouTube video pops up and today was one of those days. Below is some footage of the guys playing “Redemption, Passion, Glory” from their first album.

Where I find Dizmas:
Dizmas on Twitter. (see also, Yeshua, JonDizmas, Nikolaka, and JoeyDizmas)
Dizmas on MySpace.
Dizmas on Last.FM.
Dizmas on YouTube.

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