Friday, September 30, 2005
this question was raised to me a number of years ago, but has recently been brought back into the picture. can you imagine what our world would be like if we lived free from fear? the absence of fear in sharing the Truth, the absence of fear in sharing your story, the absence of fear in letting Yeshua be fully and completely in control.
man alive. just imagine...
we live today with little faith. though we like to think we have faith beyond belief, we really don't. we've taken the Lord, put Him in a box, and we allow Him to work as much as we allow Him to. why don't we understand that He wants to do so much more then we're letting Him? just as He won't force anyone to believe in Him, He won't force us to let Him do what He desires to do. we've opened the lid of the box this much -...
but what would happen in our lives... in our country... in our world, if we took the lid off completely?
"satan, who i believe exists just as much as i believe Jesus exists, wants us to believe meangingless things for meaningless reasons. can you imagine if christians actually believed that God was trying to rescue us from the pit of our own self-addiction? can you imagine? can you imagine what americans would do if they understood half the world was living in poverty? do you think they would change the way they live, the products they purchase, and the politicians elect? if we believed the right things, the true things, there wouldn't be very many problems on earth." ~donald miller (blue like jazz)
why can't we start living like people did way back when? why can't we live like paul? barnabas? david? nehemiah?
what is happening to our faith and trust in Him?... we're dying. why are we, servants and children, attempting to control our Master and our Father?
do we seriously think we know better?
fear is that lid on the box...
what would happen if we didn't have a lid? what would happen if we stepped back and gave the Lord His control back? what would happen if we died to ourselves, and let HIM lead?
He has so many incredible things He wants to do and show us, but He's just waiting until we're done trying to be the one in charge.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
i couldn't help but laugh when i drove by kfc this afternoon, where 5 people stood outside marching back and forth, waving their signs, telling no one to eat from kfc ever again. not to mention, some dude dressed in a chicken suit sat there holding a sign with a picture of a chicken about to get it's head cut off.
i cracked up... it was ridiculous and it reminded me that i think protesting is, again, ridiculous.
i myself am not a religious kfc eater, and nor do i think their food is good. also, like these animal rights activists, i too love animals... but when it comes to chickens, cows, pigs... kill 'em all you want cause that just means i have some meat to eat.
sure, there are definitely things that are probably worth protesting, but kfc...? c'mon guys...
at least protest something that has some sort of value to life.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
they're weird, crazy, funny, ridiculous, and huge dorks... and i love it.
tonight i got a phone call from the whole crew; denny, gail, amanda, and bethy. they thought it'd be funny to call me while they sat around the dinner table eating dinner, and put me on speaker phone.us cavender's, are classy folks... my mom spent the whole day slaving behind a hot stove cooking macaroni & cheese and hot dogs for everyone. i love that my mom made macaroni & cheese and hot dogs for family dinner... that freaking rocks.
being put on speaker phone for the 30 minutes that i was brought me back to our family dinners we used to have when i was living at home. there was never a moment that someone wasn't laughing. i could hear my little sister snorting, and her food flying out of her mouth as she laughed. which then trigered a mental picture of amanda falling out of her chair, laughing silently trying to catch her breath. my moms eyes squinted shut trying not to cry from laughing so hard. i could picture them sitting there, seeing who could eat all their macaroni first without using their hands... the best is when my dad jumps in. food'll be hanging from his face, he'll know it, but he'll pretend like it's not there. classic denny.
the burping contests have to be the best... though i always lose, they make me laugh.
a couple weeks ago amanda gave me a "family update":
tonight i could actually see these changes. i guess the other day, my dad ambushed my sister with water balloons for no reason. he just found some water balloons in the house, filled them up himself, waited outside for her to come home from work, and then chased her down, throwing as he could.
i just began to see these changes, though it all started a few years back... my mom emails me daily, calls me to see if i got her emails daily, leaves me 5 minute long messages daily... my dad decided to buy a 1960 tbird off of ebay, which then led to buying a house in colorado just for kicks, which then led him to almost buying 100 acres of land... my younger sister became an "upperclassman", she hangs out with her friends all the time, and uses sarcasm like it's her job. as for amanda... she's getting married... other then that, i think she's the only sane one in the house... maybe.
jokes were flying left and right over the phone... i wish i could have recorded this classic cavender moment.
i share all this because i love how insane and spontaneous my family is. i almost forgot how much fun i have when i'm with them; even if it is just over the phone.
pound it sistas.
praise the Lord.
my face currently:
still obviously in pain, but the joy is pushing its way through.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
i was admitted at about 1:30 where right away i was handed a cup and directed to the nearest bathroom. peeing in a cup... life doesn't get much better than that. the doctor pushed, pressed, and poked the left side of my body which, did not make me a happy camper.
"look's like it's your kidney hun... we're gonna test you for a kidney infection or kidney stones. i'll have a nurse come in to take some blood."
wonderful. take blood from the girl who is terrified of needles. thankfully my roommate was there with me and graciously offered to hold my hand. yes, tears fell, but 5 vile's later it was over.
from 2:30-6:00, keely and i sat and waited for results of my tests. people go crazy while having to wait long periods of time in hospitals; i had forgotten this... yet it was entertaining. finally at 6:00 i was taken to get a CT scan and an xray of the area they were worried about...
good news: no kidney infection or kidney stones
bad news: something was found in which there is no way of fixing it (right now)
i'm currently on pain medication because that's all they can do right now. in the middle of october, i have to go in for more testing to see if things are better or to see if i need surgery.
i'm gonna be real... i'm really scared. whatever happens in october can affect my future and things that i've always wanted. i sit here almost in disbelief because it doesn't feel real. i'm trusting the Lord... i am putting my trust in HIM. i trust my Daddy, but i've never been so scared... ever.
request: pray. i'm being bold... pray for complete healing. both physical and emotional.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
a friend of mine who works for an anti-tobacco company hooked me up with doing alcohol checks for the waukee police department. going into bars and gas stations trying to buy beer sounded like fun, so my friend jenny and i headed to the police station for our assignment last night.
sergeant troy and officer rod had 5 bars and 7 gas stations we needed to check out. things got even more interesting when we found out we'd all be riding around in an undercover cop car together. sweet... i had never been in a cop car, let alone doing secret agent work for the popo.
our assignment: go into 5 bars (mikeys, bank bar, the pub, los [something], and... another...), sit down at the bar, order a beer of some kind, see if they check id.
say not old enough - leave bar causally and don't make a scene; go along with whatever they say.
if served (whether id is check or not) - sit for a few minutes with beer in hand (NO DRINKING), pay, walk out to let officers know what happened, officer's go in and fine that person $700 and the bar/station will be put on a watch list or have their license suspended.
jenny and i entered, walked right up to the counter, and sat down. quickly, a guy came out from the back room, saw us, asked us what we wanted, gave us our order, and left quickly back into where he had come from. we sat for about two minutes, left money on the counter, and made our way outside to tell troy and rod who served us, and that they didn't check our id's. troy and rod then made their way into the bar while we sat waiting in the car. about 5 minutes later, troy comes out laughing a bit... "you guys got the manager..."
id's checked, and they wouldn't serve. i was almost served at bar #3, but jenny got up after he told her she was too young...
we walked into a completely empty bar, except for 3 people working. sat down at the counter where right away the lady asked for our id's. literally, she studied mine like a hawk for 2 or 3 minutes... "honey, this doesn't look like you at all! wow..." "well, i was only 16 and i had jaw surgery, that's why i look so different." she even showed the other 2 people working because she was so shocked it didn't look like me. finally gave me mine back and took jenny's... "hun, you're not old enough, i can't serve you"... [turned to me]... "what do you want honey." "miller lite in the bottle please." we sat for a few minutes, paid, and then exited. cops then went in... 10 minutes later we look down the street watching the manager shake her finger at troy and rod. when they got back in the car, i learn that the woman who served me had some choice words expressing her anger at me... "that skanky b-tch!! this is entrapment! that b-tch better not f--king come in here again! that b-tch!" so glad i didn't have to enter that bar again... and i don't think i ever will...
gas station #1:
jenny got carded and left empty handed.
gas station #2:
i walked in, grabbed a six pack, walked to the counter where a 16 year old kid happened to be working... paid and walked out. cops went in where he replied... "man! she looked 21, i didn't think i needed to card her!" i admit... i do feel bad about this one... 16 years old!... $700 fine and fired from his job... mommy and daddy are not going to be too pleased with that one.
gas station #3-#5:
jenny walked away with nothing from two place, and i walked away beerless from one.
gas station #6:
walked in, grabbed a case, showed rhonda my id when she asked, where she replied, "illinoisssss!! whacha doin here in good ol' ioowaaa?!" walked out... #4 busted for the night.
gas station #7:
we drive by out last stop where rod and troy say, "JASON IS WORKING! we HAVE to bust him... HUGE drug dealer. he'll sell to you because you're hot." (weird... thanks...???) i go in, grab a pack, he checks my id, but discovers i'm not old enough. i walk out empty handed. once i explain this to troy and rod, they go in anyways suspecting something... found out that another store had called them to give them the heads up, which come to find out is illegal. stores are told to keep quiet when these checks take place... so i guess a woman named bonnie is in HUGE trouble for opening her big mouth. thanks bonnie, i wanted to get the drug dealer!
i admit there were times (mainly for the 16 year old) that i felt bad, but checking id's correctly is apart of their job! they need to do it right. if i can walk into these places and get served that easily, who's to say some kid who is 18 isn't going to walk into a place, get served, drink their brains out, and end up getting in a drunk driving accident that night, killing someone. in reality, i am looking at it as me helping out underage people from having access to something they are not supposed to touch until they're 21.
what i learned:
- cops have DIRTY mouths
- cops have DIRTY minds and say whatever is on them (even if it's something totally inappropriate aimed at you)
- people need to work on their math skills...
- i am now hated by at least 4 people in waukee
- if i bat my eyes and smile at guys working in bars and gas stations, i can most likely get what i want
- i'm $40 richer
if i wasn't already going to school for secondary ed, i'd so look into becoming an undercover cop.
[secret agent man... secret agent man...]
over and out.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
i fell into the trap of big sunglasses. i've always hated them, and recently i decided to try a pair on just for kicks... and to my surprise, i fell in love with them. and i broke down, going against everything i've always believed, and bought myself a pair.
whew... that felt good to admit.
yesterday and today were huge for me. some spiritual battles i've been facing since i was in romania this summer, have peeked to the surface and the source is slowly being unveiled. with lots of prayer, talking with a couple very knowledgeable people, and lots of patience... i'm finally beginning to see where this battle started. yet, i still have no idea why or for how much longer it will last, but i know that in time truth will be revealed.
i'm still waiting for a call, but i'm going to be meeting with someone this week who, from what i hear, is extremely wise in spiritual warfare such as what i've been experiencing. it will be great to look deeper into this stuff with someone who knows more about it, but i'm also making sure to continue trusting that the Lord will give me all the answers He wants to when He's ready to. i keep asking... and asking... and asking... but nothing. and until i hear truth, i won't stop asking.
i'm taking God out of the box i've placed Him in. i expect Him to answer me. i expect for Him to tell me truth. i'm sick of praying, the "if it's your will" prayers and i'm opening the door back up, allowing the Father to work the way He wants to and the way He can.
man... if we all let Him work the way He wants to, do you know the kind of stuff that would go on and happen?!
i can't believe i'm stopping crazy awesome things from happening in our nation and world just because i don't have enough faith and trust in our Creator. it's ridiculous. just goes to show how much we really do want to be in charge. yuck.
i challenge you. let Him out of the box to work. open the box up all the way and let Him go do His thing. stop holding Him captive, allowing Him to just seep through the small crack. He's not going to fight us as we continue to hold Him hostage... He's just waiting for us to realize that He can do HUGE things if we just let Him.. when you open this box up, expect Him to work in crazy ways. expect Him to do radical things. expect Him to answer you. expect nothing less than God.
"God delights in revealing Himself to those who will seek Him with all their hearts. He is an extravagant, abundant Lover, and He loves to reveal His heart to us again and again."
woah... that's huge.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
everyone's getting married.
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on a lighter note, go buy the new juliana theory album; deadbeat sweetheartbeat. one of their best album's yet.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
also, i'm certainly never able to recall what presents i bought for people in the past. sometimes i even fear buying someone something that i may have bought for them on a previous birthday.
but... i don't think i will ever forget what my family did and what i bought my dad for his 52nd birthday back in 2002.
my dad didn't want to do anything too fancy, so instead of going out, our family stayed in and ate one of my mom's famous home cooked meals. after dinner my dad made his way up to his room to rest before opening his presents. we all decided to let him relax in his favorite chair and we gathered together in my parents room to give him his gifts. one by one we went around the room... i was last... and i was nervous...
my dad has this ability to just hold a wrapped present and guess exactly what it is, so the second he took the present from my hand, he knew it was a book... but he had no idea what book...
when he ripped the wrapping paper off, his eyes caught a glimpse of the title, "let's roll." now, if you are unfamiliar with this book, let me explain...
the lady who wrote this book, lisa beamer, wrote it about her husband, todd beamer, who was one of the hero's on flight 93 from september 11th. he was one of the men that took down the terrorists, causing the plane to crash in the middle of pennsylvania, rather then into the white house. right before they attacked the terrorists on the plane, someone said, "are you ready?" todd beamer replied with, "let's roll." the book is about his life, their family, and his love for the Lord.
when my dad saw the title, he began to cry... no weep. when we lived out in california my dad worked with david beamer, todd's dad. my dad knew their family very well. i wanted to give this book to my dad because of how personal it was... though he cried and cried and cried... he couldn't stop thanking me for the wonderful gift. he talked about how he will never forget where he was when he found out about todd... just as i will never forget that i was sitting in 2nd period chemistry when i first heard, and watched, the 2nd plane hit the world trade center.
this past sunday (september 11), there was a special about flight 93 called "the flight that fought back." i watched it... i didn't know todd beamer... but i cried. i cried because i knew that my dad was most likely watching it back at home, but also because of the tears he shed when i gave him that book for his birthday 3 years ago.
have you ever seen your dad cry? let alone weep?... man... no words can describe how heart wrenching and painful it is to watch your dad sob.
got me thinking though... the thought of my Father crying, Yeshua crying... tears fall with just the quick thought of it.
crying is painful, but so powerful.
so cry. (especially if you're a boy - it's okay to cry... i'm giving you permission to cry).
so again... cry.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
i confess... i'm obsessed with the show laguna beach. maybe you've heard it. it's on mtv every monday night. it's probably not one of the best show's to truly enjoy, but for some odd reason, i love it. every monday night at 9:00 you can find me getting my laguna fix for the week.
the whole concept of the show is getting a look at the dramatic lives of 8 high school seniors (and a couple college freshman) living in laguna beach, california. these kids come from families that are insanely wealthy, so you can imagine a few ways in which they live. each episode is filled with drama concerning the people they don't like and/or an ex (or current) boy/girlfriend. and boy do they have dirty mouths! i know... sounds ridiculous and trashy... and the thing is, it is... but there's something about it that pulls me in.
in a weird sick way, this show reminds me of home. laguna beach is almost an exact replica of my home town (minus being next to the ocean). i was surrounded by kids just like these all through high school. definitely annoying at times because of the drama that was brought, but i did the best i could to stay clear of letting that drama enter into my life. i hate drama, but it's high school so every now and then it never failed to seep in through the cracks of my life that i swore i was protecting.
the kids on laguna beach welcome drama in with open arms... the drama occurs... and i am sucked in. i don't get it.
here is my conclusion... we always want to have something exciting going on in our lives, otherwise we'll get bored. i think laguna beach serves as my small dose of drama that i don't have. yes crazy things happen in my life, but nothing like laguna... at least never often. though i love the show, i am glad that i don't live that kind of life. it's okay at a distance, but the thought of living that way... makes me want to gouge my eyes out.
it makes me sad at times to watch these kids and know that they are living for nothing. they are constantly going from one thing to the next, because they need more excitement. their relationships become boring after a week, so they move onto the next person. they cheat on their boy/girlfriends. they mess with each others minds. they make up rumors for attention... they are in one of the most beautiful cities in the united states, where the Lord is beaming, yet they are blind. it really does make me sad...
when i go home, i'm realizing more and more how much i can see the characters of laguna right next door. i think my town is absolutely beautiful (i hope that doesn't sound cocky, because it's not meant to), but i wish that people would get past their money, get past their bmw's and land rovers, get past their daddy's credit cards, and SEE Jesus. this is why people in america are turning away more and more from the Lord... all these material items, and our need for drama, blind us.
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just a side note: if you don't have the postal service cd give up, go get it. make sure to listen to #3 and #4... i can't stop listening to these two songs.
Monday, September 12, 2005
this morning i sat doing homework from 9am-11am. at 11:00 i took off for the bank, another law firm, the court house, the treasury, and finally the post office.
when i got to the post office around 11:45, i pulled up behind a car with a "thank you Jesus" sticker on it. as i walked by, because of the dork i am i mumbled a big "rock on" to myself, then contined to make my way to the end of the line inside. soon after i got in line walked in a man and a woman about 80 years old. right away my eyes were drawn to this couple, yet i didn't know why. the man joined in the line behind me, but continued to wonder around the post office as if he was looking for something. i was confused. he then tapped me on the shoulder, asking me if i was in line. i turned, smiled, and said yes.
after my response, he lifted up his hand, patted me against my bank and said, "does that cross you have around your neck have any significance?"
a blessed conversation began...
i stood and listened to loren explain to me the ministry, "thank you Jesus cross ministries", him and his wife had started a number of years back. he spoke of how being a retired carpenter was hard because he spends a lot of money buying lumber for the crosses and plaques that he makes for their ministry. "we are trying to rent out an apartment we have in order to raise some more money... the Lord will bless us though." he continued on with telling me about his youngest daughter who just got back from tahiti where she was there for 4 months doing mission work; "she wants to be a missionary."
as i listened, i became unconscious of the world around me. i couldn't get past how excited and passionate this wrinkly 6'5" man was about Jesus, life, and his ministry.
it was encouraging. the exact encouragement i needed.
he waited til it was my turn in line and then proceeded to leave the line with me, abandoning his turn. he walked with me outside. "i want to give you one of the crosses i made and i want you to meet my wife." as loren opened his trunk, it was full of wooden crosses that he had made from scratch... understand this... i'm not usually a fan of "Jesus" wooden plaques and trinkets, but there was something special about this one. i then met jeanne, loren's wife. she took the cross, writing my name and the date on it. i couldn't stop smiling... what a blessed trip to the post office.
loren continued on speaking about the Lord, and all i could do was listen. his passion flowed out. he then stopped, looked at me for maybe 10 seconds without any words, then turned to his wife and said, "honey... can't you just see Jesus shining out from behind this young lady's beautiful eyes... He is alive in her. i can see Him."
what a wonderful encounter.
i don't think loren and jeanne will ever know the encouragement they poured on me this morning. i have their number... maybe i should visit them sometime. old people like that...
best trip to the post office ever.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
currently i'm working on getting a degree in secondary education (junior high specifically) focusing on both english and reading. i love kids, especially midget ones who range from ages 11-14. yes, they're cocky, stuck up, "too cool", and smart aleck... but they are unlike any other age group. it may not seem like it, but all they want is older people to love on them. they desire to be loved and desire to have someone older tell them they can do something; that they can make a difference.
reminds me of a verse... don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity (1 timothy 4:12, NLT)
kids are constantly being told that they wrong... that they don't know anything... that they could never make a difference. and then we wonder why this age group is so troubled. they are in dire need of love. they need people telling them that they are worth something and that they too have been called on a mission by Yeshua. i was honored... and blessed... to be able to work with the junior high youth group, powerlife, at my church last year. the girls in my group were incredible. i witnessed transformation in each of them. as the year went on, the more they were told 'they matter' and 'they too have a battle to fight', their passion for Jesus flourished. beauteous. people may not think it, but middle schoolers watch older people like hawks. and even when you don't think they're listening, they've heard you loud and clear. 11-14 year olds are not dumb... yes they do stupid things, but so do people who are 25, or even 55. we don't give these kids enough credit. we treat them as though they've already failed, which only sets them up for future failure. it's sad.
i keep using "kids"...
in today's world, the definition of "kid" is: someone younger then 18 who doesn't know a whole lot, doesn't know what's best for them, and gets in trouble often.
but i tell ya... i would love to be called a kid or a child. our definition of these words is skewed. the Father uses these words with a different definition in mind.
the Lord protects those of childlike faith (psalm 116:6, NLT)
- we need to start the foundation of Jesus Christ early within kids. as people get older, it gets harder and harder for the Truth to be heard... adults have lost their sense of faith and hope... they need physical proof to believe something. children don't need that physical evidence.
the real children of abraham, then, are all those who put their faith in God (galatians 3:7)so you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (galatians 3:26)
everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God (1 john 5:1)
we are called to be children; to have child-like faith. why have we turned "kid" or "child" into such a negative connotation? i pray we refocus, and we rediscover what the true meaning of child is. 13 year olds lash out because being a "child" has become negative... it whispers to them that they are not capable.
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i say all this because of my passion for reaching this age group... yet i now stand at a crossroad... is this really where i'm being called...
i think i would definitely enjoy teaching, but... i wouldn't be able to share the Good News with my students. that saddens me. i can only pray for them on my own time. my heart longs to share Jesus with them, but because of laws inside classrooms, i am unable to speak one word about God.
there is a leader at my church who in college was going to school for elementary education, but once she realized that she ached to share the Word and wouldn't be able to inside of a school, she realized she was being called to full time ministry. i'm not saying that is my case, but i wonder...
with grounded developing, my heart is changing. i still have a passion for middle school kids, but more and more my heart is breaking to reach 18-24 year olds. i strongly feel that both of these age groups are going to be a huge part of my life, yet i'm not exactly sure how.
a friend of mine once asked me, "if you could get paid to do anything in the world, what would it be?"... my answer was something along the lines of "graduate from college and work with people, but i'm not really sure." ... well... i think i finally have an answer... and because of the longing i have for this, i wonder if it's where He is calling me...
i want to work as a counselor in a church, focusing on people 25 and younger... while being heavily involved in college aged ministry.
whew. that felt good to say.
2 things... first, what is it that you want to do? - could God be calling you to a job that you're not currently in? - do you believe the position you have is where the Father wants you? maybe, maybe not... i challenge you to evaluate where you are and if it aligns with the passion Jesus has painted on your heart.
secondly, say a quick little prayer for me. as much as i want to know right now, i'm okay with the Lord telling me when it's time. i don't want to be more concerned about His will for me then He is. i believe the truth will be revealed in time. but until then, pray.