Sep 24, 2007

~ Dancing around the Issue(s)?! ~

This is another quandary that is very near to my heart (and my mind). This subject has come up many times and in many ways and continually frustrates me. The first section is a selection from an email sent to me by a sister in Christ. The second section is my response. I have done minimal editing, mostly to protect identities (other than myself, obviously). I am posting it in the hopes of getting some constructive feedback and analysis. I am truly interested in digging deep and figuring this out. Sometimes in life it takes an outsider’s perspective to truly understand… sometimes there are just mysteries we must learn to deal with. Thus, I now leave you to read and respond.


Email to me (selection – in context of encouraging me to return to the dance studio)

hey, just wanted to apologize for making you uncomfortable ---. w/most people, a little encouragement/convincing works. You're not most people. I'd forgotten that till after the fact. It was interesting though. I felt like I was looking in a mirror of myself --- ago. I've changed a lot since I started dancing.Yet there are a couple of key differences. 1) you were willing to try it before you decided it wasn't for you. and 2) expected gender roles: it's a lot easier to say "ok" , than "would you like to dance?"that aside, it was good to see you, and I'm glad you're feeling better!God bless!


My response to the above email (selection)

Hey, no apology needed, seriously. You are right, I am not most people. Generally, if I make up my mind, it is hard to sway me. However, I have not completely given up on dance, so it was not unwarranted. Further, you did not make me feel uncomfortable at all. I would not have talked about it if I were uncomfortable with the subject. I realize that I am being complex here, but I am not at all uncomfortable talking about this with you and ---… I trust you both as sisters in Christ. Beyond this, I am a very bold person in most circumstances. For whatever reason, talking about these things falls in that category and I would have no trouble talking about it with most people (though of course a little more guarded than with you two). However, asking someone to dance falls into the not-so-bold category. I have analyzed the heck out of this and can’t make any sense of it myself. I have ranged from calling myself prideful to shameful… still can’t figure it out. I think the bottom line is that I have never dated, I was raised by a single woman, and I’ve had tons of female friends. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I simply don’t know how to “be” with women that I don’t have some sort of friendship with (except in the formal polite sense). I have always either been friends, or it was just some stranger. Further, if I am not friends with a girl, I am in this constant paradox (as a single male) of wondering if there might be something there and not wanting to needlessly lead someone on. From there, how to get to know someone that you don’t have any sort of relationship with, in order to see if there is anything at all, without being the typical “seminary creep.” Knowing (believing?) this still doesn’t help figure out the “whys.” A further paradox then becomes the fact that I enjoy dance and desire to learn more (though time is really limited) and yet, with the above, it seems much easier to wait until I meet someone and then at least I would just have one primary dance partner, thus eliminating the weirdness. This then leads me to yet another paradox in which the question becomes how do you meet someone if you are not “out” (b/c seminary seems impossible in this sense). As you can see, I end up in a logical spiral.

On top of all of the above, I don’t know enough dance to feel at all confident in just dancing. I always feel that I am boring and irritating anyone that I am with because I barely know the basics, much less anything to actually make it interesting. I know women like strong leaders and want to have fun. How can I lead if I don’t really know how to dance? Thus, to me, I am getting in the way of their enjoyment of the evening. Thus, I end up leaning against the wall bored to death and very uncomfortable (and upset with myself for being in this logical hold). Even still, I do believe that the time I have spent at the dance studio has been good for me and I have changed, at least a little, for the better (and made some great friends). Also, I am not saying that I will not come anymore. But, at least at this time, I keep running into the “brick wall” above. Also, at other dance studios (the few times I’ve been to another one), it has not been an issue at all because people are just paired up by nature of the class, thus no weird stress. Yet between time and not knowing anyone, I really don’t want to try the others. Further, I realize that I am technically addressing two separate things, but they are connected.

The most interesting / perplexing thing of all, is how polar opposite this area is to every other area of my life. If I am given authority or a job to do, I have zero problem leading and I am extremely bold. Perhaps this is also a clue… but again, I can’t figure it out.

Finally, I realize this is WAY more than you asked for (especially since you didn’t ask for anything :), but you, ---, ---, and several others have been after me to come back and I just feel that I owe you guys an honest and complete answer (at least as much as I am able to give). Also, I sincerely appreciate you acknowledging the two differences you mentioned. Though they are not mountains, they are true and it seems few acknowledge the second.

Hopefully I am making some semblance of sense here and this does not sound like aimless rambling ;-)

Sep 20, 2007

Watcha mean?

How to interpret my tags…

Most of my tags are self-explanatory. However, I have felt a need to define a few of them at one point or another. As I write new posts, I desire to remain consistent with what the tags mean, but find myself having to look back to get a sense of what some mean so that I do not deviate from the original sense (or even cross meanings). So, I am writing this post and including all of my tags in the body with a “sense” definition (also known as range of meaning). I will not attempt to give a “Webster’s” style definition, especially of those that are self-evident, but I will give my own definition where I feel it is helpful. Further, I will place a link to this post in my “Must Reads” section so there is a reference point. Finally, as new tags are added or as tags are expanded, I will update on this post to save administrative irritation.

May the Lord bless and keep you as you seek His face!

-Aaron Hawk


My Tags

  • About Me
    This tag is used anywhere that I have included general information about myself. This information may be about past events, opinions, or just random facts. Thus, if anyone is asking themselves “who is this guy,” the “About Me” tag will aid them in figuring out factual information either about my life or about what “makes me tick.”
  • Akin
    Posts about Daniel Akin (
  • Applied Theology
    These posts include applied theology. I may or may not reference specific scriptures and may or may not be directly addressing theology per se. Instead, I am commenting on or using theology in a more “daily” or “non-technical” sense. In other words, in these posts, I am not necessarily trying to set forth a doctrinal statement or argue (in the formal sense of argue) for a particular theological position, yet I am including theology or theological principles.
  • Appreciation
    These posts are written to specific people, usually with a particular point in mind. They are simply to publicly praise either a single person or a group of people.
  • Book Review
  • Church
    These can be about individual churches or “church” in general
  • Counseling
  • Evangelism
  • God on Sex
    This is a one-time tag for Dr. Akin’s book
  • Home
    These have to do with my literal home here on earth (in other words, not heaven… so no, I’m not claiming to be an alien in the ET sense)
  • Humorous
  • Informational
    These are informational in the sense of administrative issues or “housekeeping”
  • Intimacy
  • Karate
  • Lost
    These are specifically about lost people or non-Christians
  • Love
  • Marriage
  • Martial Arts
  • Meditation
    These are things upon which I have spent a decent amount of time meditating or that originated from a meditation.
  • Mixed Rant
    Most of my rants are about or centered around one main theme, but not so with these
  • My Heart
    Every post I write definitely reflects my heart in one way or another. However, some of them just stand above the others in reflecting the things that touch my heart more than anything. These posts reflect the deepest “cries of my heart,” as the saying goes. This is not to say that others don’t “pull my heart strings,” but these are especially dear! Thus, the “My Heart” tag, will aid anyone who is interested in figuring out the things that touch, mold, and shape me, at the deepest level (or bored enough).
  • Poetry
    This tag is usually for poetry that I have written, though not always .
  • Praise
    These tags are general praise, though usually centered around particular people or situations.
  • Prayer
    This is the most general “prayer oriented” tag. It covers prayers that I have chosen to post, posts about prayer, or posts related to prayer.
  • Prayer Request
  • Random
  • Rant
    These posts are admittedly a rant.
  • Reflection
    These are related to meditations, but more reflective or introspective than my meditations (though sometimes they do overlap). These are posts wherein I reflect back upon an event or situation and try to bring thoughts to bear upon them in a more specific way. These are sometimes self-evaluative, though not always.
  • Relationships
    These tags are about human relationships in general, not necessarily in the boyfriend / girlfriend or husband / wife sense.
  • Repentance
    Though this can be about repentance in general, it is usually used where I have provided examples of repentance in my own life.
  • Response
    This is used where I have written a response to a specific article or post.
  • Riddle
    This tag is used for riddles that I have written
  • Sarcasm
    I appreciate good sarcasm, though I recognize that it can be dangerous. Thus, this is used where I am admittedly being sarcastic.
  • Sex
  • Song
    These are usually songs that I have written, though not necessarily
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Teaser
    These are posts in which I am playing with the readers. They are mental in nature and I am curious to see the reactions or ideas that they get.
  • Thanksgiving
    These are posts in which I express thanksgiving, usually directed toward Christ (ie: thankful for what Christ has done / is doing in my life).
  • Theology
    These are posts in which I interact a little more directly with theology. I still may not be trying to put forward a doctrinal statement, but I am stating theology / making theological assertations in a more direct way.

Sep 14, 2007

A Random Break

Ha ha… this one is totally random!!!

So, you may be wondering, what do Martial artists do when they are really hyper and have an inquisitive mind? (and if not, I’m going to tell you anyway :) Well, they do many things… some very constructive and some not. One thing they do is play all sorts of random Martial Art scenarios in their head of how strong one weapon is vs. another and then ponder what would happen when a practice weapon is used against real objects and how much skill would (or wouldn’t) make up for the inferior quality of practice weapons. So many angles (no pun intended) to consider with just this one example.

An example that struck me a while back (ok, not literally) was between a wooden Bokken and a standard 2x4. I found myself wondering… “if I strike this just right, can I break it with this fake weapon? “ There no doubt that a real Bokken would be able to (and then some), but what about a wooden one?

Ok so bottom line, if you took a wooden Bokken and struck a standard 2x4, which would win? Well, let’s think about the factors involved.

The 2x4 is about 2 to 3 times as thick (mass), yet the Bokken is considerably more dense. Also, the main strength of the Bokken is technique, which is an entirely different aspect to consider. From there the angle of attack and the method of holding the board in place also greatly affects the outcome.

Well, I just so happened to have a 2x4 and a wooden Bokken, so NATURALLY, I just HAD to test the scenario. What sort of scientist would I be if I didn’t… right?! Now the 2x4 that I had was about three feet in length. Since I was by myself, I decided to simply rest the board at about a 45 degree angle from the cement wall to the cement floor. I decided that, naturally, my attack would be a downward 45 degree angle, which would intersect the board on a perpendicular line. Also, the board would face flat with the 4”(ish) side serving as the “defending” surface. I chose it not because it it the weakest side of the board, though it is, but because in the experiment, I was pitting weakness against weakness (in terms of the weak part of the sword striking the weak side of the board).

So now back to our original question… if you take a wooden Bokken and strike a standard 2x4, which will win?

Well, in this case it took two strikes. The first strike was tentative (I really didn’t want to break the Bokken) and didn’t break either. On the second strike I decided to go for broke (again, no pun intended). So, long story short… in this case the Bokken won, but barely and at the cost of its life! It snapped the 2x4, but broke the tip of the Bokken.

(and FYI, had I not slightly dropped the tip of the Bokken at the last second, I don’t think it would have broken – I actually finished the break so that I can shave it down :)

In the end I guess the moral of the story is that if you are a 2x4 and you see a martial artist with a wooden Bokken, you SHOULD be afraid :o)

And yes, I realize the 2x4 was not a clean break, but "success" was not defined as a clean break, just a break ;-)

Sep 10, 2007


End note (at the beginning) this is yet another really long one with several points and some setup, but you can make it!)

Well, yet another random one. Throughout the years it has been interesting to see the different reactions I get from people and to take note of the angle from which they are viewing me. One thing that I find to be a constant frustration and source of comedy is how we are so multifaceted; that people never completely know each other. We are so insanely complex and so many things affect our perception of another person. The angle from which we view a person is perhaps the greatest source for opinion, yet it is only one of who knows how many angles (and from the perception of an imperfect observer). So, we already have two problems affecting perception. We, as multifaceted beings, must be viewed from different angles (as many as possible, if we want a clearer picture of the person). We must also be viewed with discerning eyes and our perception must be checked time and time again, by the best we are able to perceive of the reality of who they are. This is why it is so foolish to marry someone after only a short period of time and why we must be careful not to write people off after a bad impression.

I can be a very “modalistic” person. By this I mean that I sometimes act very different in one context than I do in a different context. When I am at work, I don’t really goof off at all. In my mind, I am there to do a job, to do it to the best of my abilities, and to do it as efficiently as possible. Thus, when I am at work, I am a very serious and focused person (as a rule). When I am in class, I am much the same way. I am there to learn and to pay attention, so (as a rule) I sit in the front and don’t talk to people. When I am at karate or working out, the same thing applies, I am quite focused on that (though at karate a decent amount of goofing off applies when I am not the one teaching). When I preach, I am very intense: I’m there to deliver the Word of God, which may involve humor, but my primary purpose is to be faithful in delivering the message, which is a very serious matter. When I am hyper and goofing off around friends, I am just a big goofball. Now, none of this is to mean that I can’t and / or don’t switch “modes” or that I don’t sometimes switch easily (though some are easier than others). In other words, when I preach or teach, that does not mean that I never preach light-hearted messaged or that my delivery is devoid of emotion. This does not mean that when I’m hyper and goofing off, that I can’t switch into a very serious and intense conversation (in fact, I love doing so).

My point with the above, and with the note in general, is that I know the different facets of who I am (at least somewhat) and it is funny, frustrating, and disillusioning sometimes when I realize that person “x” doesn’t realize that facet “g” exists. For example, I remember when I led the college / career ministry at my old church. This was a new ministry for our church and for the first week or two it was all about adjusting and getting things in place. Now, they had heard me preach and seen my in the various roles in which I served, but none of us really knew each other. I led the lessons for a few weeks before things were really in place enough to start thinking socially. Then, after a week or two I started trying to get social activities together to draw us together as a group. At this point, they had only known “Aaron the teacher.” One of the first times that we came together socially (see *1 – to include here would be an intrusion into this thought) I was really hyper (some of you know what this is like and some don’t ;), so they got to see a little of “the other side” of Aaron. Later in conversation, Meg (who is now with the Lord) was talking to me and said something to the effect that she was not very excited about having me for a leader at first because I was so intense and serious. She couldn’t imagine having fun, much less community, with a leader like that. Later in our friendship, I am sure there were times where she wished I’d be a little less silly ;) I also remember another person and situation with my friend from Charleston, Mike. He and I “came up together” in the Martial Arts. He always saw the goofy, hyper Aaron. For at least a few years this was really the only impression he had of me. Then, I remember he came in to visit me at work one day and I was busy doing whatever and didn’t really spend much time talking or goofing off. Later, he commented on the difference and said something to the effect that he couldn’t believe how serious I was.

We go through life with some sort of picture of who we are (sometimes accurate, sometimes not) and by nature of having no other knowledge, assume (at least in general) that others have the same picture. Thus when troubles come or someone says something that contradicts our picture, it can be very hurtful and disillusioning. For example, one thing that I am VERY passionate about is being totally upfront and honest in all situations with everyone (see my Ben Franklin quote, it resonates with me). Now, I am not delusional in thinking that I have achieved this, but it is a very large part of who I am and I strive to be as such. When someone says something that contradicts this, it really bothers me. For example, a friend a while back said that I was not upfront and then later qualified that I was not as upfront as I thought I was. If she is right, then I obviously have a flawed picture. As we discussed it, the things to which she was referring were thing which would be very unwise to share for one reason or another. Thus, no, I do not share anything and everything: if wisdom demands that I keep my mouth shut, then I will. In all other areas I strive to be totally open. This is a very real example of where this person saw one facet of who I am (ie: the situations where wisdom is required form the bulk of her perception of this aspect of me), and misunderstood the whole picture.

Ok, so what is my point in all of this? Well, I really have two. The first is to encourage us all to be careful in “cementing” our perceptions of others. I have known many married couples who admit that when they first met each other, at least one of them could not stand the other one because of one thing or the other. In fact, one of them it was because he was SO intense in his teaching, she didn’t think she could ever approach him – just thought I’d throw that one in there :) I have also lost count of how many friendships may have been prevented and how many have been hurt because of this very thing. We must be careful not to judge prematurely and we must treat each other with lots of grace. It is the height of arrogance to think that we have perfect knowledge of the other person, only God has this type of knowledge (which is why we must also pray) (see *2).

This naturally leads me to my second point. If we, as finite beings, are so complex and multifaceted, how much more is God! If we cannot understand ourselves, and definitely can’t understand each other, what hope do we have of understanding God?! The bottom line is that apart from Him revealing Himself, we can’t. Thankfully, God is not an imperfect being. Instead, He is perfection. He is the very definition of what it means to be perfect, He is the measuring rod. Thus, if He says it, we can believe it, based on who He is and the simple fact that He said it. Thus, we can know God, but not perfectly because that would require that we be God. If that were possible, He would not be God. Anyway, enough of that, my point here is that God has revealed Himself in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the Holy Bible. Thus, though God is incomprehensible, we can know about Him through His word. Therein, He has given the testimony of how we can know Him personally, through His Son Jesus Christ! (I am not connecting all the dots here, but I trust that you are following me, if not, please ask). Ok, so, if a person knows God personally through Christ His Son, what then? Well, we still do not have perfect knowledge of God. Christ through the Holy Spirit reveals God’s Word to us and we can grow deeper and deeper in our knowledge of who He is. We can study the scriptures our entire lives and still not scratch the surface of what God has revealed about Himself. This should humble us and drive us to seek to know Him more. To go a step beyond this, though God has revealed certain facets of who He is through the Scriptures, He is so much more than that (comparably) minute revelation. Thus, we must be very careful that we NEVER assume we are beginning to grasp Him. He has given us what we need for now and we are to study that faithfully. He has told us that He is love, that He is just, that he is holy, and so on and so on. We can trust these things to be completely true (as discussed above) and though we cannot see the other facets of who He is we need not worry that those unknown facets will contradict any that He has already revealed. Remember, God is not a man that He should lie. He does not tell us one thing to hide another, nor does He have an incorrect perception of Himself. What He has revealed is entirely true and good, but let us never fall to thinking that what is revealed is all of who He is. Some things are just too much for us to comprehend. For example, God has revealed that He is holy. Stop and think about that. What does it mean to be perfectly holy? If the thought does not send you hours of contemplation, you are not thinking about it deep enough. Ultimately we cannot even comprehend this one attribute. This is but one of the many things that He has revealed about Himself. Were we to ponder all of them it would take us the rest of our lives and we would still fall way short. How much more the things that are incommunicable and as yet unknown?

Now, my point to the previous section is that we can know certain things. God has said that Jesus Christ is His Son, that is not up for debate. Anyone who says otherwise rejects God and is a liar (see *3). This is a clear example of things which need to “other” perspective. Though we may not be able to comprehend the complexities of how this works or the interrelationship of the Trinity, we can stand firmly on what is clearly revealed. The doctrine of Christ’s deity is very clear and is not something that we should say is ok to disagree on. Other things, however, are not as clear. For example, in His Word, God reveals that Christ will return at some point, that there will be a judgment, that no sane person should want to be apart from Christ when this happens, and that we must be faithful in trying to tell people the Good News. These statements are very clearly revealed in the Scriptures. There can be no debate as to the truth of these statements (at least not based on what God has revealed). However, the specifics of how these things will be played out is not very clear at all, as evidenced by centuries of fervent debate and study. This is an area where honest difference of opinion can exist. As such, we must show grace to each other when we disagree with brothers and sisters in Christ. This is one of those multifaceted examples where we can know something, something that is true, but we cannot comprehend the complexities of it. Now, I admit this is a weaker example. Now, to go for the kill and the super controversial subject around here (he he). The subject of God’s sovereignty. The Bible clearly says that God is sovereign. He is in total and absolute control. Nothing can trump Him, nothing surprises Him, and NOTHING is beyond His control. For someone to deny this fact, is to deny who God is and the testimony of Scripture. They have erred into heresy. However, the Bible also very clearly teaches that human beings make real choices and that they are responsible for those choices. God created us with some sense of free will. This is from God and cannot be denied. To do so, is also to err into heresy. So, what do we do with this tension (which is a term that means something we cannot comprehend)? Welcome to centuries of debate my friend! My point here is not to debate the issue, in fact, I think way too much time has been spent on it already! My point is that God is so incredibly beyond our scope of comprehension and so much more multifaceted than we are, that we cannot comprehend how these two things work together. We have tried time and time again to comprehend it, but, in my opinion, it is a mystery we do not have the capacity to understand and to claim that we do, is to go well beyond revealed scripture. Thus, this area, perhaps above all others in our Seminaries and Bible schools, is one in which we should show grace. How can we condemn one brother for staring at facet # 3,645,234,545, when we are fixated on facet # 3,645,234,546? Yet so often we do. We are only separated by a fraction of comprehension, both staring at the same characteristic of God’s relationship to humanity, though at slightly different facets, and then calling each other false based on our perception. The fact is that neither of us comprehends the total truth and to think that we do reduces God’s glory and exalts our arrogance (which btw, is and always is a negative correlation). Thus, again, we must show grace. We must realize our limited ability to understand against God’s infinity! So let us not divide over issues that simply come down to God being God and humans being flawed and only partially able to understand.

With the above, please do not hear me saying that we should not study to show ourselves approved. I believe that we should all study these things and try, the best that we can, to comprehend them. This should be both our duty and our joy, in growing in the knowledge of and in our relationship with, Christ our Savior. What I am saying is that unless something is truly crystal clear, let us have the humility to admit that we may be wrong and not judge our brother, who may be right, and the sense to realize we may both be blind.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, though the thoughts are mine (in as much as anything is ours), the specific term “facets” was taken from Kenneth Boa’s book “Conformed to His Image.” It is worth a read!

*1 – If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. When meeting new people and especially in a new group I tend to be an observer first. I will sort of disappear and watch and learn to see who people are. Thus, when I first meet people, they often think I am really quiet and reserved. Later they learn quite the opposite ;)

*2 - Note: this is not to lead to relativism, just to be sober in judgment and always with the realization that we may be wrong. Some would use similar logic to make the case that we cannot truly know anything and thus all is relative (which is a self-defeating argument btw ;). That is not AT ALL what I mean or the direction I am taking. The difference here is that my argument is based and / or formed on the authority of scripture. So, I am not making the case for Universalism or for anything other aberration.

*3 – 1 John 5:10 (in context vs 6-12); John 8:39-59; 1 John 2:22

Now, to prove yet another facet of who I am. I can be incredibly random (those who know me best are going, yep!). This entire note started because I wanted to post something short and fun (clearly I have accomplished that, right :). I sat down to post one of my favorite cartoons from one of my favorite cartoonists. I was going to write a sentence or two about how I am multifaceted and I like the serious stuff as well as the comical. So, 5 pages of text later…

This is one of my favorite cartoons by Reverend Fun. This site is my homepage. I will warn you, some of his stuff is absolutely hilarious and some just leave you scratching your head going O-K… (sorry Rev). Either way, it is worth a look :)


Sep 4, 2007

He Came From Above

Well, yet another random series of thoughts that I am sharing for who knows what reason (again folks, my mind is always going and usually random). Also, I promise I am going somewhere with this that is not simply some random stories from my life. Soooooo…..

I was playing ultimate frisbee with some friends a week or two ago (and for the record, it has been at least three years since I’ve played ultimate and two years before that). Anyway, my point is that though I love this game, I just haven’t had much of a chance to play. Now, the vast majority of the time my athletics are centered around the martial arts with a decent amount of racquetball on the side. So, the hardest thing for me to remember with this game was that when I would receive the Frisbee, I was supposed to remain still. With both the martial arts and with racquetball, the point is continual motion and redirection. With ultimate the point is continual motion and redirection on the team level. However, on the individual level, the point is stop and start. Ok, so my point here is that I have been programmed for years to move as fluidly as possible and to keep moving. So, when I would catch the Frisbee it was hard to remember not to shoot around the person in front of me, create a decent opening, and then throw to the next person (as in so many other team sports – soccer, hockey… yea!). Ok, so after a while, I got sort of used to that, but then when I would catch it and someone was “on me” (ie: I knew I couldn’t go around and they were blocking me and “in my face”), my first “instinct” then switched to the martial arts. For years now, in a sport setting, if someone is close to me and “threatening” me, it has been a sparring session. So, I found myself catching the Frisbee, turning around, immediately seeing some guy really close to me, and then… the martial art response would want to kick-in to take the guy down, put them in an arm bar, or some other means of (temporarily) incapacitating him :)

Also, even though I haven’t been in a while, when I go ballroom dancing, it is very hard to remember some of the differences in movement. In the martial arts, the steps are (generally) very wide with long, but ballroom is very short. Thus, it is very hard to remember to keep my steps short so I don’t look like a total and complete idiot and end up dragging my partner instead of dancing with her (*cough cough*).

In the martial arts there exist two basic types or philosophies, generally known as hard and soft. The harder styles involve hard blocks and attacks, with power and simplicity at their core. The soft styles involve avoidance and redirection with fluidity and grace at their core. My base art is Shaolin Kempo Karate, which is a mixed soft / hard system. Thus, even though my natural “wiring” is toward the hard styles, I have to hold a balance with the two, especially where partners are concerned. When I am working with someone, I have to learn what “type” of person they are. Some people really like the hard styles, so with them I can block hard, punch hard, and just be rough. Some people really like the soft styles (especially the ladies :), so with them, I work on grace and fluidity (which, trust me, is an on-going process). Some people like to practice so that they are building up their body for a real-world scenario and some just want to learn the next set of moves. So, I must adjust (especially as an instructor) to the type they are comfortable with.

So by now you might be saying “what’s your point,” or “hmmm… I didn’t know that,” or you’ve just stopped reading out of boredom (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this and would be unknowingly illustrating the pointlessness and vanity of my rambling, which of course I wouldn’t realize because I wouldn’t know that you had stopped reading… and on I could go – again). Ok, here’s my point. We wear different hats. Now you’re saying, “huh?” Well, what I mean is that we are called to minister in whatever way God has called us. In order to do this, we will find ourselves in different situations, dealing with different people, in ways in which we have never before dealt. If we are the minister (and I mean this in terms of being the one ministering to someone else, not in terms of a specific office), we are called to adjust ourselves to the other person, situation, etc. To someone who is afraid, we must become comfort. To someone who is lacking motivation, we must become motivating (note I didn’t say “motivation”). We must have enough discernment so as to be able to see both the situation and the proper response (only in Christ, mind you), and then have the humility and love to do what we know needs to be done. We, as ministers, must be willing and able to set ourselves aside and look out for the other person’s benefit… above our own!!! This ought to apply and seep into every aspect of who we are and what we are doing. For the pastor, this means not taking your own agenda into churches, but seeing where the church is and using discernment to get the church where Christ wants it to go (not every church needs a gym, etc, etc). For the missionary (or is at least expressed in the most obvious way), this means contextualizing the Gospel for those of a different culture. It is not to abandon one’s own culture or to idolize another culture, but to recognize the differences and adjust the way we present the message accordingly (without losing the message!). For the counselor, this means taking extra care with those wounded and hurting. Some people can handle (and need) direct confrontation; some can’t handle it and need more grace. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Now to the real purpose of this note and the original reflection… thanks be to God that He has done just that for us! He condescended in the person of Christ, used human language, and human means, to communicate what He demands and how to please Him. Through the testimony of scripture we learn that God holds us accountable for the light (revelation) that we are given; no more, no less (Rom 1 for a small example). Thanks be to God that we are not held responsible for the full testimony (achieving perfection), but in Christ (and in Him alone) we are counted righteous. Once we are His children, He continues to be patient dealing with us according to our abilities (sometimes pushing us to the limit – which He knows). In other words, God does not just send us an email saying, “Here’s a list of all the things you need in order to be righteous, have them done by morning” (ha ha… my email server would crash under the “weight” of the sheer volume of that list). No, quite the contrary: instead, He, in His providence, sees what needs to be done in each of our lives and how much we can and can’t handle as individuals in Him. He knows that, were He to give us the entire list at once, we couldn’t handle it; we would shut down, and turn away in despair. So, instead of killing us all under the weight of what needs to be done (I speak in familiar colloquial terms here) He says “Ok, here’s the list on Aaron Hawk. Here are the top ten most pressing things that I want to accomplish in him. He can’t even handle all of these yet, but he can handle “X.”” By this I do not mean that it is necessarily a linear “hit list.” No, often it is multilateral, multi-dimensional, mulit-faceted, and a few other multi’s that I could throw in there (so much so, that our brains would explode to even consider the “multiness” of the working, much less the work itself). So, He is ever watching, adding, backing off, poking, prodding, and “just plain ole working” in order to transform us into the likeness of His son. Christ is our ultimate model in this; may we strive to be ever more like Him!

Isa 42:3 and Matt 12:20

Isaiah 42:3 3 "A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.

Sep 1, 2007

Not sure what happened

Hey guys, I’m not sure what happened with the previous post. I just added video to it and am not sure if the formatting was messed up before or not. Whatever the case, I just noticed that the formatting made the song impossible to read, so I corrected it. If you were not able to before, you can now actually read the song (and “listen” via the video that I added). Blessings!