Dec 12, 2008

Life for the Depressed

Wow, a little over a year ago I lost every poem I’ve ever written. I was no flaming professional or anything, but I did have a few things in some minor publications (I can’t remember where now :); I used to write a LOT of poetry and even wrote a short story once. Anyway, I’m packing right now and ran across a copy of one of my old poems. Actually, it was the very first poem I ever wrote. I was in the seventh grade at the time and will provide a little background below.

Some of you are not aware of my past/ rough childhood. Christ has been very faithful to bring healing to my life, but my younger years were not easy to say the least (as I’ve referenced before, I can only share “so much” here in public because it involves other people, so we’ll leave it at that for now). During those years, I was quite depressed and alone, humanly speaking. I contemplated suicide fairly often during that period, but I could never do it. Not because I was scared, I’m too bold / brazen for that. No, it was not fear that kept me from ending my life, instead it’s an amazing testimony to the love and grace of Christ Jesus that kept me from killing myself then and continues to sustain me today.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time right now to do this story justice (I’m supposed to be packing my apt so I can move tomorrow and I’m WAY behind schedule). For now, I will simply say that even in the depths of my depression, I always had the feeling that I would let someone down if I did it. At the time, I confidently “knew” that there was not a single human being in the entire world that cared about me at all. I am not exaggerating, I didn’t believe that my own mom cared at the time (the devil is deathly crafty and tells some convincing lies) and the goal of every single day was to simply try to avoid as much berating and abuse as possible, so that I could get up and do it again the next day (no wonder I love the book of Ecclesiastes). All was vanity and loss, yet as a saved person (yes, I was saved at the time… so let your theology cringe in fear), I knew that Christ loved me. I didn’t understand it at a conscious level (in other words I would have denied it at the time), but “deep down” I knew… I couldn’t run from it and it was literally THE only reason I didn’t follow through. It was just the sense that I would be letting someone down despite hours, days, weeks, and even months of pondering “who” and not coming up with a single answer. Anyway, I need to get back to packing, but WOW, what a reflection on the grace, love, and awe-inspiring power of Christ! Thank you Lord!!!


Life for the Depressed©
By: Aaron Hawk

Is my life meaningless?
Is my life lifeless?
Why was I born,
to soak up the morn?
Why is it that in everything I do,
a problem just rises anew?
Should I open up and cry,
or should I allow myself to die?
Should I kill myself,
or continue to live in stealth?
Whether I choose to live in stealth,
kill myself,
or die,
it shall be done while I cry…

For anyone who may read this and wonder if anyone cares… someone does. Christ cares, and wants to enter into a relationship with you. If you are reading this and are at all intrigued, that alone is proof that Christ is “speaking to your heart.” If you do not have a relationship with Christ, there is guaranteed hope, if you ask Him, Christ will bring you into his family and you will inherit all of the blessings that come with being part of His family (watch the video below and or check out the other links if you want to know how). If you are already part of Christ’s family and struggling, run to your Father in heaven and speak to a faithful minister of the Gospel of Christ! If you do not know one, email me (info below) and I will speak with you and try to find someone in your area. My friend, there is hope, and despite all of the lies that the evil one wants to sell you, you are loved (very deeply) and of great value in Christ! The only warning to give you is that Christ is the only way; He is the only hope… there is no other. The blessing is that if you are feeling prompted by this, He is ready and waiting right now!!!

Email me at Godsservant3” att hotmail dott comm and put “Question about Jesus” in the subject line.

My Church, Ninth and O (woot)

A Church website that seems sound

A fantastic and sincere presentation of the Gospel:

Oct 7, 2008

A Quick Rant on Gardasil

Well, once again, what was intended to be about a sentence or so that didn’t fit in my Facebook status ended up being an intended short paragraph, which in turn, led to the note below. Also, understand that this was written quickly because I am supposed to be studying Greek at the moment, so there is probably some repetition and there are probably other assorted errors, these are just my usual scattered thoughts. Finally before I begin, I know it’s been forever and I do still want desperately to write on so many things (including the REALLY long-awaited series). Sorry folks, just still more snowed under than I know how to dig out of right now.


I am simply amazed with Gardasil. Merck has employed one of the greatest (and most underhanded) marketing strategies in recent history. If you watch one of the advertisements or read some of the literature, they have young, beautiful girls telling you how they don’t want their lives destroyed by cervical cancer and how this is the answer to that problem b/c they are now protected and won’t die. This is a good thing, I mean, cervical cancer is NASTY (to say the least) and who wants this beautiful, young, energetic, sincere, innocent young girl to die. Of course, I mean, hey, they found a vaccine that prevents her from getting it. I wouldn’t want my daughter to have to face that… seems pretty simple, right?!

Well folks, I am always amazed at marketing and advertising and how insanely deceptive they are. The whole idea of drug companies marketing to the consumer is preposterous and the subject of a much longer rant at some point, but for now let me simply say… the drugs should be marketed to the doctors, not the patient!!!! Folks, medicine is VERY, VERY complicated. Let me say it again, medicine is VERY, VERY complicated!!! People devote their lives to understanding the science behind the human body and the science of helping prolong death (which is the purpose of medicine btw). They are the specialist. However, the drug companies have figured out that if they tell the consumer to tell the doctor what they need, they sell more drugs. It’s really that simple. How is it possible for you the consumer, to know more than the specialist you are going to see?! Does a student set the course material for the teacher? No, the teacher sets the material according to the student (if indeed he is a good teacher). I have been teaching martial arts for 12 years now and students do not tell me what they need. I am the specialist and I will use the best methods I am aware of to teach the student according to his or her abilities. This is the educational method, it works, it is common sense. The students that do come to me, telling me how to do “A,” “B,” or “C” are the ones that don’t make it, at least until they figure out I do indeed know my specialty better than they do. Medicine is the same, but even more so. It’s bad enough that drug companies pay doctors to prescribe their medicines, that sways good medicine far enough, but now, a smiling, pretty face on the tv screen is telling consumers they understand their own needs and medicine better than their doctors. Wow, what a system!!! Ok, well, I ranted a little longer on that rabbit trail than I intended to (I know, I know, what else is new).

Back to the point… what is my problem with Gardasil? Well, it’s not a problem with the medicine itself. All the research* indicates that the medicine will in fact prevent certain types of cervical cancer, but the issue is what they are not telling you. What does this “miracle drug” do? Well, what it actually vaccinates against is most HPV (Human PapillomaVirus) infections. So, from there, they go on and on telling you how bad HPV is and how many people it affects and they really make it out to be something analogous to getting pneumonia or something. Yes, they are both bad and yes, they need to be treated. However, there is a HUGE deception in this type of marketing and even in the very definitions given by “neutral” sources such as Wikipedia. They go on forever describing how “bad” cervical cancer is and how bad HPV is, but they are deceiving the public en masse. What they are trying desperately to avoid saying is that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). We live in such an “under the rug” society, that our very dictionaries are refusing to be blunt and honest, but instead use alternate wording so that people will not be confronted with the hard truth, their sin. We are a deceived nation.

You have virtually no chance of getting this disease outside of living a morally loose lifestyle. Yes, you can technically get this through some other means, but guys, the statistical probability (scientific probability) is nearly zero, which, any good statistics student will tell you, is mathematically the same as none (ie: it’s possible, but get real). Thus, the function of Gardacil is to prevent the consequences of a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. It does not prevent cancer, it prevents HPV, which in turn can cause cervical cancer. So, they are presupposing a morally corrupt lifestyle in which the person is messing around enough to contract HPV (which for some is once and for others is closer to a lifetime) and that HPV will cause cervical cancer. You take any of those things out of the equation and you have a useless drug. The premise is a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. This is the very same thing as the old “hand out condoms in school” issue, except more underhanded.

The drug companies knew that they would not be able to sell nearly as much of their product if they included all of the information, so they are counting on consumer ignorance and a lack of consumer investigation and selling us a line. Unfortunately, many of us are on the hook once again! They know that they would not be able to sell much of their product if they were to simply say that it prevents an STD (which is the most accurate statement). Why? Because for most people, that is not going to be an issue. This is the same issue as that of giving teenagers birth control, people are trying to prevent the consequences of lifestyle choices. Again, the premise, or starting point, is wrong, so the end conclusion is wrong. I don’t have time right now to get into worldview issues and explain all of the statements given above (such as why I believe it is silly to give a teenager birth control), so let me say once again, that I admit I am operating from a Judeo-Christian worldview and since I know the Bible to be true and Christ’s standard to be authoritative, I must align myself with it.

The bottom line, they are skipping steps here folks! Though to different ends, the logic is analogous to the following example. Let’s suppose for a moment that I ran an advertisement that I have discovered that the government is murdering at least 1200 people a year in laboratory-like rooms by injecting them with toxins. I’ve done my research and the numbers are on the rise every year, but I’ve discovered a way to prevent this. I then run an emotionally charged ad talking about how so many families lost their dear loved ones to the evil government program. I even give a few testimonials from ladies like Sue, who is in tears because her oldest son little Tim will not be celebrating Christmas with them this year because the government murdered him in one of their labs. My answer is that I have found out that the government is keeping these poor people in holding tanks and many of them are executed every year and if they stay there long enough, their death is inevitable. Thus, I will pass legislation to ban these holding tanks, effectively preventing the murders committed in these concentration-camp-like places. This sounds great! I mean, I can prevent over 1200 murders a year with one simple act of legislation. Shoot, we will even be saving money because the buildings and labs will no longer be needed. This is GREAT!!! Ok, this is a cheesy example, but let me break it down. If you shoot someone and are convicted of murder, the government will send you to prison, and you will likely get the death penalty and be executed for your crimes. The execution is the consequence of your action. In this example, A (your crime) causes B (jail), which in turn causes C (the possible outcome of your actions). Thus where “-“ equals causation, A-(B-C). In my example, I used particular language to misrepresent C and herald B as the problem (also using particular language to conceal the true nature of B). I neglected to mention A at all. The marketers of Gardasil have used the very same logic. Sexual promiscuity may cause an STD, which may in turn cause certain types of cervical cancer. Gardasil does in fact prevent some HPV, thus preventing some cancers, but it is false logic and deception. They focus on talking about how it prevents certain types of cervical cancer so that all the average consumer hears is “prevents… (Cervical) cancer,” and they know it (folks, marketing is nothing but psychology).

So, if you are a woman and are going to be sexually promiscuous, then you may indeed want to get this medicine, but don’t deceive yourself as to why you are getting it. If you are a parent, understand that you are putting yet another foreign substance into your daughter’s body** and you are not preventing cancer, but a sexually transmitted disease, effectively telling your children that personal responsibility is not a reality, that you don’t trust them, and/or that they can now be promiscuous without having to worry about this consequence. This is the true bottom line and it is despicable to play upon parent’s emotions to sell drugs that prevent consequences, and under false pretenses at that!

I’m truly amazed folks; once again, truly amazed!

*not that I’ve read it all, but I’ve talked with several very knowledgeable medical folks, one of whom is an experienced “female” doctor, and done a little independent reading

**hey, I’m for medicine, but all medicines have consequences and though we do take lots of medicines and I think there are many, many good ones, a medical reality is that every substance affects your body and we only understand enough to know that we don’t understand all of the consequences, especially where new medicines are concerned (anyone remember the iud nightmares). The thing is, medicine is a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, as the saying goes, in very dim light. Chemo is another example… it is better to be weak and a mess and alive, than to die anyway, but chemo does have some very negative consequences… ok, officially ranting again ;).


Aug 24, 2008

Still Here

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. Lots of things have changed and I have lots to report (and haven't forgotten about that series), but oh to have the time to write!!! I hope to resume in the next couple of weeks, but we will see. Prayer is appreciated ;)

May 11, 2008

And You Shall Teach Them Diligently

As usual, I will need a few moments to set this up, so please bear with me :).


Deuteronomy 5:16 16 ¶ 'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Ephesians 6:2-4 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. 4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

So often we use this verse or speak about it, but we never really delve into what it means, how it plays out practically in life. As already stated, the purpose of this note is not to give an exposition of this verse, but rather to be one part of a lifetime of fulfilling it, to thank my mom on this mother’s day. Children are called to honor and obey their parents and parents are called to raise their children in the love and admonition of the Lord, not unto wrath. As with all of the scriptures, the purpose is a matter of the inward heart, not merely outward appearance. I have been blessed with a mother that understands this and has raised me to. Though there are many ways to express appreciation and love, public praise is a very important one and is the purpose and intent of this note.

For those of you that don’t know, I am a student at Southern Seminary. I have been blessed to be able to take a parenting class this semester covering the Biblical theory, methodology, and implementation of parenting. It was a very encouraging, fun, and devotional class for me. You may wonder how so, when I am still single and not dating, thus quite far from parenting? My mom is the answer to that question. Ultimately all glory and honor belong to the Lord, but his faithful servants are also to be praised. I say it was devotional first because of the subject, the very subject of parenting is a weighty one that encompasses the gamut of the Gospel. There is much to be learned and applied between the two. Yet, I also say it was devotional because I cannot remember a single time during the course that we covered something my mom not only lived out in how she raised me, but also taught me to do the same. I was constantly presented with material and over and over I could hear or see my mom in the past either doing the same thing or giving the same advice.

As I said in a previous note dedicated to my mom, she would not have me go on and on bragging about her (though I most certainly could), so I will respect her wishes. Yet, I will say a few things very briefly. Of all the things that I could list and all the things mom has done (and believe me, they are MANY), perhaps the thing that has had the greatest impact is the level of communication we have always shared. I cannot take credit for this. Sure, I talk a lot (once you get to know me anyway), but the communication came from my mom, constantly teaching and correcting me. With the communication we were able to, well, communicate about a lot of things. We have had endless conversations lasting who knows how long about countless things (I guess you get the point). Yet, in these conversations, mom was not just talking to me. No, she was also teaching me. We would talk about theory, methodology, and implementation of parenting as well as life in general. When she would discipline me, she would explain why and what her goal was. When she would observe me interacting with others, she would explain how that fit in one category or another and why this may work and that may not. My mom LIVED the Shema(h)*, teaching me at every moment in constant selflessness. I cannot imagine how much it must have taken out of her, especially considering the things we’ve been through; and yet, she was always faithful, and is always faithful. Even to this day, mom continues to teach me and to watch over my soul as it were. Even to this day, she is the most discerning person I’ve ever met. She led me in love and in devotion to Christ and I am who I am in Him ultimately because of Him, but I was led that way through my mom, His faithful servant.

I remember one conversation in particular a while back where I was complimenting her and, being humble as she is, she said that most kids think so, but that as they age, they begin to see mistakes their parents made and wonder to themselves “why did mom do this to me” or that a particular thing the parents chose to do caused trouble later on. I told her then that by nature of her statement I couldn’t give an adequate answer, but that I did not believe that would be true (and even if it were, we are all human). As with so many of the things mom has told me, I “kept it (them) in my heart.” Since then I have paid close attention to myself and to the idea of parenting, I do not want to be blind. After over a year of this contemplation, several marriage and this parenting class, I still stand by what I said. Strong as I am, I cannot fathom how she raised me in the way she did with the circumstances as they were. She gave me a sure foundation in Christ and even helped me build the walls. Was she perfect? Am I blind to her imperfections? Most certainly not, but we are all human and as parents go, I cannot, with all of my vivid imagination, imagine someone to have done a better job or done it with more love.

With all that she has poured into me and all that the Lord has led me to, I do not fear marriage or parenting. I take it seriously don’t get me wrong, but I do not fear it. I have seen the things she taught me work time and time again and even here at Seminary, they were prescribed as the way we ought to raise our children. With such testimony, how can I fear. Instead, I prayerfully hope that I can be an equally loving and wise parent.

As I said in the beginning of this note, one of the ways that you can demonstrate love is to publicly praise the one you love and yet I can’t even do that without realizing that my mom is the one who taught me how. So, I’m afraid that I can’t give her anything she has not already given me… but then again, that is the truest definition of love and a wonderful picture of the Gospel. Thank you so much mom, for your endless love, care, and support. You have taught me more about the Lord, the Scriptures, and ministry, than all my theology classes combined. What else can I say, but I love you and I am unspeakably thankful that the Lord allowed me to have you for my mother!

So mom, thank you so much! Please continue praying for me as I know you have, do, and will. I pray for you all the time and I am continually amazed by your wisdom, insight, and love! Words will surely fail if I continue trying, so, happy mother’s day!

*Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ¶ "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 "And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

May 5, 2008

De Temps En Temps, Je Suis Un Cynique

Ok, most of the time when I write, I try VERY hard to speak very softly (and have even been told that in my writing I “apologize” too much). I do that on purpose because I never know who will be reading and what they might be going through at the time. Anyone that has heard me preach or hold someone in accountability knows that the way I write is much more “seasoned with salt” than my natural “prophet mode.” The difference is that in person, I have some background to know who the person (or audience) is, what they are going through, and what might be the best way to help them change, which should be our goal. When writing, I write to a “blank” audience and am thus not afforded the luxury of contextualizing. Thus, I have chosen the softest “speech” I can allow myself, without shrinking from the truths that I desire to share (and quite frankly don’t want to sound or be arrogant in the way I present things).

In the context of most of the things I write about, to preach the truth blindly, with no thought to contextualization, is to be personally offensive and do a disservice to the Gospel. That is to risk breaking the bruised reed or putting out the smoldering flax. When dealing with preaching the truth of the Gospel (for example), if someone vehemently denies the Deity of Christ, then sure oppose them outright; yet even there, -often- there is place to season your speech (speaking to someone one on one verses defending your flock for example). At the same time, anyone who understands the scriptures also knows there is indeed a time to oppose with vigor, standing with power on the truth of the Gospel… to set your face as a flint. A brief overview of the prophets will demonstrate this. Yet, a close inspection of their methods will show that this type of confrontation was a last resort. The simple truth is that if change is the goal, as it should be, people will usually respond better when you season your speech with salt and take a “come let us reason together” approach. You can become more and more strong and more and more bold as you see the need and opportunity. Anyway, the point is that my writing is primarily about people, relationships, and reflection. This context demands a softer approach. Some writers, such as Dr. Mohler, are writing to a “hostile” secular audience, primarily to defend the truths of the Scriptures, and thus they must write according to that context. Anyway, once again, what was supposed to be pretty much a one-liner has turned into much more ;). Thus, the following was the actual original intention.

Sometimes I am quite the cynic and my cynical nature is usually checked, yet, the more tired I am the less of a “check” I have. The "sanctificationometer" sorta goes haywire in proportion to the lack of sleep, which is certainly among the reasons that sleep is often the first method of Spiritual attack in my life. Anyway, I am admitting to you ahead of time that I am being cynical (and then off to get a nap and finish another paper).

I had to laugh today, in a sad sort of way. I find it so funny sometimes to listen to people talk to each other, especially when a young man and young woman have obviously just started meeting with each other and are in the process of trying to suck up to or sell themselves to the other person. Words are coming out of their mouths and at a superficial level, they honestly believe they are having a discussion about some arbitrary thing. Today’s example was that they both were trying to impress each other by admitting that “they” understand that men and women are so different and by proving that they, in fact, do understand how it’s so sad and that “other” people fall into catering to the ideals of romantic love and how they believe in Biblical love. The conversation ensued with lots of emphatic and drawn-out “yeah’s” and silly laughter in thankfulness that the most obvious “Christian soapbox” they could think to address wasn’t rejected as false by the other person, though they specifically chose that soapbox because they know it is so solid that any “good” Christian would have to agree. At the same time, the other person tries diligently to figure out a way to agree with whatever is said, no matter what qualifiers or “round-about” thinking is required, so that they are not perceived negatively by the other person. This is exceedingly comic, to quote Kierkegaard. They are both so insecure with themselves, so distrusting of the other person, and ultimately so unwilling to take a stand that their conversation amounts to nothing. Further, if they can’t accept you for who you are (in Christ, of course), then why are you interested? If you are not sure, how else do you intend to find out? I am of course presuming that an honest, Godly relationship is the goal.

Again, it is exceedingly comic because at a superficial level they honestly believe themselves to be discussing those things. Yet, the real conversation is below the surface and amounts to a tentative “hey I like you do you like me?... but I’m not yet willing to be vulnerable and show you who I am so I’ll stick to sucking up for the time being.” The example today was especially funny because in the process of doing this, and of superficially discussing their refusal to cater to romantic love, they were, in fact, catering to it by their actions. It is sad for many reasons. For one, because each and every time a person speaks in this way they are lying to themselves, to the other person, and to the Lord. Further, with each and every statement spoken or thought in this manner, they are slowly breaking down their integrity and conscience. Also, they are setting up a false picture for the other person and setting themselves up for failure. Now, lest you think me guilty of claiming to have never done this, I can remember doing this a time or two, but for the most part, I just don’t understand it. Yet, as always, I must question my own motives in even writing this. Am I just writing to try to impress someone unknown to me, to prove that “I’m not like them?” Am I having a superficial conversation with my readers speaking superficial words while below the surface trying to communicate some weak insecure plea? What possible motives could I have? Why do I write at all? I know I can’t trust myself or my own motives sometimes, yet, by my actions I must be trusting them to some degree. If you ask me why I write I can think of at least three reasons. I realize I’m leaving a paper trail, I desire to honor and glorify Christ with my life, and I want to live life before people so that I may be held in check and so that we may all be aided through discussion as iron sharpens iron; yet inherent in that is ample room for false motives and self-aggrandizement if my heart is not where it ought to be. I don’t honestly think this is the case, but neither did “they.”

Folks, regardless of my motives, we ought to live in transparency before God, with ourselves, and with others. There are times or situations where transparency cannot exist because Biblical principles or wisdom dictate that it is so, but aside from that, there is simply no excuse. As you well know, I could go on and on with this both in discussion and in quoting all sorts of scriptures, but I won’t. I’ll leave it right there and close with one of my favorite quotes.

“In our addresses, let our conduct be sincere, and tempers undisguised; let us use no artifices to cover or conceal our natural frailties and imperfections; but be outwardly, what we really are within, and appear such as we design steadfastly to continue”—Benjamin Franklin

Apr 18, 2008

Wandering Medley

Hey guys, another quick one. As many of you know, I often use different elements in prayer and worship and vary the way I make song selections. Sometimes I will sing a song that has been on my heart and mind or randomly looking through a hymnal and pick something according to the “finger method” or actually following a theme (even numerical order sometimes, very varied). Yet, often times the best worship is simply found in singing what is on my heart, in simply making it up as I go. When I do this, sometimes the “lyrics” are completely made up or sometimes pieces of familiar songs, but to a different tune (or I “tweak” the tune).

The other day I was singing away and just stopped and began praying through some of the verses that had formed the theme of my worship, which is not entirely unusual. As I did this, by nature of it being a prayer, I changed a few of the words added a scriptural allusion or two and a very small amount of my own “stuff.” Anyway, as I do from time to time, though it is more unusual, I decided to write some of it down. After doing so, I also decided to share a little of it. Most of it is not original, so it will be easily recognized. The key is to read it though, not to sing it (which is always my tendency). Oh, and I also placed this one a pic that has a great deal of meaning to me… it actually is an Ebenezer for me :).

Wandering Medley

I’m prone to wander, Lord I feel it.
Hither, by they help alone I’m come;
For streams of mercy never ceasing, draw me near unto your side.
Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, unto your precious bleeding side…
And bind my heart to yours, so that only in you I’m found.
Hide me away O Lord, safe in your dwelling place, beneath the shadow of your wings.
Here’s my heart Lord, please take and seal it; seal it, for thy courts above.
I stand amazed in your presence, crying,

“My father I love you and I thank you too,
For using one entirely unworthy and deserving to die.”

So here I’ll raise my Ebenezer, that in you and you alone I may be found,
For where else should I be!

Apr 16, 2008

I'm Still Here

Hey guys, just letting you know I’m still here. I’ve been absolutely buried in my studies and look forward to more blogging very soon. Til then, perhaps you might enjoy this pic / medley ;)
PS - Click the pic to enlarge :)

Apr 6, 2008

I Bit Myself… Again!!!

“even here with all the future ministers, I spend most of my time counseling them, not lost people!!! And that is not because I’m not around lost people; it is just because the future ministers are being torn apart by demonic forces who don’t want them to survive in ministry!”

“If you attack the foundation, the structure will fall! It is quite true that the demonic powers and forces of darkness desire to destroy us. Yet, at the same time, God is allowing these things into our lives to try and test us… to remove the dross and bring out the purified silver and gold. If we cannot survive seminary and we cannot maintain our relationship with the Lord here, we will most certainly fail in the ministry and it is better for those who would be under us that we drop out now. May we be ever vigilant and watchful!”

I share this because I was quite convicted by my own words (as usual). These two paragraphs are short excerpts from email responses to two friends and even as I was typing, I was convicted by my own attitude toward sin sometimes and the ways in which I have been the proverbial guy in the Hawaiian t-shirt and Bermuda shorts, walking clueless into the middle of a battlefield (1 Cor 10:12). May God help me to be at WAR through and in His strength!!!

Apr 5, 2008

I Threw These Pictures into the Album and Out Came This Note

Ok, how to introduce this one… well, it started with a subtitle to a single photograph, went to a short comment on a series, and ended up with what you see below. I now have a photo album and a note. Thus, I simply chose to present the note and link the album which inspired it. And yes, I obviously “talk” too much ;).

To quickly introduce the album itself, I have grouped the pictures in series. Thus, to see what I am trying to demonstrate, the pictures should be viewed from the first to the last in, with each series taken on its own merit. If you do this (and your internet connection is fast enough, you will be able to see the subtle shifts of focus and how each picture is quite unique and presents the subject differently.

I Threw These Pictures into the Album and Out Came This Note

I have a number of different photo albums wherein I have placed “artsy” shots, but this set doesn’t really fit any of them. Among the many things that fascinate me is the idea of focus and perspective, which is the “focus” of this album. This fascination runs through all of life and has applications in things as simple as photography all the way to the highest things pertaining to our perspective and focus concerning Christ.

When studying something or someone, the slightest shift in perspective or focus gives you an entirely different picture of the subject being studied. Each and every shift in focus reveals a different point of beauty, bringing clarity to one part and obscurity to another. The subject hasn’t changed, it remains constant, yet the perception is quite different. Even if a subject is not static, as in the case of people, through studying many different foci and perspectives you are able to discern where the subject is not consistent. Thus, it is doubly important to study people, situations, and anything and everything in life in this manner. Wisdom comes through the application of true study (knowledge) from as many possible angles as possible. Now, to quickly clarify… of course wisdom comes only from Christ, herein this is assumed. These are simply the ways in which we sharpen wisdom as wisdom comes solely through and from Him (Prov 2). A good definition I’ve heard is that “wisdom is a gift from God, a finely tuned gift of discernment.” This is a decent definition, but not fully orbed. Anyway, I am most certainly on a tangent at this point and speak enough of wisdom elsewhere.

In the end, this is why the honest, true, and full study of theology is so important. We cannot completely comprehend God, yet, with the pictures He’s given us, we can begin to study Him, to learn who He is, what He has done, what He desires, and to worship Him for and in His infinite wisdom and beauty!!! Thus in our theological studies, we must be careful not to simply ascribe to a system, but to study the scriptures themselves, and from every possible angle. All too often we care more about what person “X” or person “Y” says about the Bible, than what the scriptures themselves say… are we truly people of the Word?! Ok, ending tangent here.

Anyway, I may be crazy, but these are some of the things I think about so I wanted to share it with you. This is at least part of the reason I enjoy photography and studying beauty in general… beauty is everywhere, we just need eyes to see!

Apr 1, 2008

My April Fools 2008 ;-)

Hey guys, just wanted to give you a little insight into how I spent my April fools. Now, before I begin, I realize that some of you will have different convictions and I say now, that each should operate as his conscience dictates, never violate your conscience! If you feel convicted that pranks are wrong, then don’t do them. If you feel that they are ok, then make sure that you don’t harm anyone spiritually or otherwise in them. I think that we must be careful, but am not convicted that pranks are wrong in and of themselves… if done in view of the brotherly love we are all to have for one another. Thus, I share ahead of time that if you are bothered by pranks and see them as evil, don’t read on.

As some of you know, I have a Facebook account and enjoy it very much. Also, as many of you know, I am single (and looking). First thing this morning, I called my mom to warn her so that she wouldn’t have a heart-attack (and to get her in on the joke). Then, I created a fictitious woman named Rachel, changed my Facebook status from “single” to “married” and linked the two accounts. I then changed my profile picture to one this one:

Then I posted the following note:
(note: I have obscured the picture on purpose)

Well folks, I have long teased about looking for “Rachel,” which was an analogy for my future beloved (Gen 29). I have had conversations with many of you about “her.” I guess God truly has a sense of humor because I’ve been talking to a girl for a few months… her name is (was) Rachel Cambell. We knew each other back at North Greenville University (then College) and I even taught her karate. We talked and hung out a lot when we were there and then lost contact for the last few years. It turns out that in those couple of years of talking and hanging out we were both quite interested in each other but I was not willing to step forward, so things died off. A few months ago (early this past January actually) we found each other again and have been talking to each other A LOT, catching up and getting to know each other again. We decided that since we were both ready, knew each other well enough, and had felt the Lord leading us together before, we should go ahead and wed. I never thought I would do something this crazy, but you know what they say.

As to why this particular weekend… well, as you all know, I have been very under the gun lately. Between academics and Rachel, now you can understand why. This weekend just worked best for both of our schedules. So, I flew down, we had a small, private ceremony and here we are. We’ll have a “friends and family” service this coming summer, so for any that wanted to “be there,” have no fear you have not missed it!


The rest of the day was spent in endless laughter reading, hearing, and talking with friends who’s reactions ranged from disbelief, disappointment, to applause. It even earned a very unconvinced and sarcastic phone call from my mentor at the church. The first words out of his mouth were, “so, when’s the baby due?” To which I replied, “well, I figure we can’t really hide it… in about six months.” Again, this is only funny because it is SO antithetical to everything I stand for and the way that I reason through things.

Then, of course, with only a few minutes left to the day, I changed my status to “Aaron just has to say it… APRIL FOOLS!!!...,” changed myself back to single, and made the fictitious Rachel disappear. I then posted the following as comments on the note.

"Thanks for playing the April fools conspiracy and thanks to those who helped make it SO much fun!!! (and thanks to Randal for the title)."

"Those who know me well probably didn’t believe it for a second and if you did think I would do something that insane, you’re as certifiable as I was suggesting I had been :-). Sheesh, nothing could be more antithetical to who I am or to my true desires and heart. Yep, if you believed it, you were duped by a big fat April fools!!! Don’t get me wrong, I desire to meet the right person, but in the Lord’s time and way. Oh, and to all the (fictitious) broken-hearted ladies arising out of this joke, have no fear, I’m still available and looking (ha ha, ;)"

"ps - in no way was I trying to make fun of anyone, I was ranting in my odd little way, but didn't mean to word it so strongly (in reference to the above post). Sorry B-)"

So yeah, that was pretty much my day... endless fun with the gift of laughter!!!

I was quite blessed by much of the disbelief as those who know me best didn’t believe it for one second. I was also blessed by many of the related compliments from friends who told me why they didn’t believe it. Today, I have received compliments and encouragement like none before from some very discerning and loving people. I truly have some GREAT friends who love me dearly and whom I love dearly. I thank my God continually for you all!!!

Mar 30, 2008

A Sleepless Night in the Presence of My Savior

I am having a sleepless night in the presence of my Savior. This happens with me sometimes in the throes of spiritual warfare with some particular issue or problem. Sometimes it is even in an abundance of joy, excitement, or blessing that I find myself unable to stop thinking and find sleep. Tonight is an odd mix of all the above. I am continually amazed at how easily deceived I am and how quickly I can turn from the straight path. Yet, I am also continually amazed at the love, grace, and patience of my gracious Savior who continually draws me back unto Himself, which is cause for joy, excitement, and worship. I am a pretty tenacious person in general, especially where devotion to Christ is concerned… yet sometimes not nearly enough. It is one thing to keep from running the opposite way from the Lord in some grand fashion and in one of the “big” things that we tend to classify as such. Yet, the small degrees of turning are so very troublesome. We walk the straight path and follow closely and think we do well because we are not turning the other way. Yet, one degree of turning is just as much rebellion as to actually turn around. It is in the small degrees over time that mighty ships end up miles and miles off course. Further, at that point, there is no perceptible difference between a ship that went off course slowly and one that simply turned the other way. Thus, it doesn’t matter how the ship got off course, whether deliberate or not, the simple fact is that the ship is in waters in which it does not belong. The slightest deception, the slightest turning, and we will be quite far from the Lord before we even know what has happened. We are desperately wicked and entirely in need of Christ’s continual work of sanctification. This is why the disciplines are so vitally important to our lives. Through the disciplines, such as prayer and reading, we are constantly compared to Christ, our standard. May we use the true measuring rod and measure often!!!

Among the passages I have been meditating on tonight is Psalm 127, specifically the first two verses and also Eccl 5:12. Sleep is an interesting thing to study in the scriptures. Sleep is a gift from the Lord and can be the blessing given to those who are faithful and have labored diligently. Yet, sometimes sleep is withheld from the faithful in order to draw them into a greater sense of watchfulness and devotion. Other times it is withheld due to deliberate sin and a restlessness of the mind akin to paranoia (Prov 28:1). Other times, God gives people over to sloth and slumber and they sleep well in ignorance, not knowing that judgment is coming.

Thus, though I am thankful for nights that I am able to sleep in the blessings given after diligent work, I am also thankful for sleepless nights. These are the times where I can clearly see the way the Lord is working in my life and I can be excited that He is in fact working. It is a much more fearsome thing for God to leave us alone than to come under discipline (or construction). It is in emptying ourselves and taking in Christ that we find true rest and fulfillment. We must pour ourselves out and drink in Christ. May we continually be empty vessels, cleansed from the inside out and ready to be filled with new wine!

I don’t share very often about the music I listen to or particular artists for that matter (I am very eclectic). If I do, it has usually been a hymn. However, one song in particular has been on my mind and in my heart tonight. It has been a custom fit for tonight, if I can use the expression. The song is on Ron Kenoly’s CD “Dwell in the House.” It is entitled “My Quiet Place” and I have copied the lyrics below to share with you. Though I do not agree with his every theological point (and am ignorant of much of it), I dearly enjoy some of his music.

My Quiet Place
By: Ron Kenoly

Lord I love

To worship You

O Lord I love

To worship You

You have given me so much

To be thankful for

And I love You is not enough

To express my love

Everything I have inside of me

Lord I give to You

There is nothing I can do

There is nothing I can do

There is nothing I can do

But worship You

O Lord I love

To worship You

Yes Lord I love

To worship You

You have given me so much

To be thankful for

And my words are not enough

To express my love

So everything I have inside of me

Lord I give to You

And there is nothing more to do

Lord there is nothing more to do

There is nothing more to do

But worship You

Worship You

Mar 27, 2008

Prayer Requests by Request

Anyone who knows me well, knows how vitally important prayer is to me. It is one of the most natural and dearest of the spiritual disciplines for me… it is sweet communion with my Father, it is the umbilical cord that sustains and strengthens me, it is one of the deepest acts of worship, fellowship, praise, service, and love (among other things). My life simply cannot exist without it and I wouldn’t want it to. Further, it is my abundant joy to regularly lift up people and situations to our Father. He alone is worthy of our praise and devotion and He alone is able to affect change. From time to time people will ask me how they can pray for me and I am always overjoyed to share. Yet, I do not wish to be a burden, so I rarely share more than a slice of the spectrum (and let’s face it, most people don’t actually want more than a slice). However, sharing requests should not be burdensome and this format is a little different than a casual conversation wherein we are thinking of appointments we must make, chores and work that must be done, and the many other things that keep us constantly on the move. In light of this, I have decided to share a few things, a sampling of the spectrum so to speak. As in all of our lives, there is a lot going on in mine right now, yet, in truth, these are all minor things in the grand scheme. I say at the outset that I am abundantly blessed in that I do not have anything to share that is so pressing or so “huge” that I am in any way upset by it. Further, I very clearly recognize that there are countless millions that need prayer much more than I do and need prayer about infinitely more important things. Thus, please understand I am simply providing a “window” into what is going on in my life and ways people can pray for me if they should feel so led. Finally, although it should be obvious, please understand that this list has been put together “by request” so to speak; thus it not representative of my prayer life (what a selfish one it would be if that was the case). Thank you!

For the sake of simplicity, I have organized the list according to broad topics. Yet, in truth, these divisions are fairly arbitrary as they all overlap. I have also provided a little explanation in each to help you better understand the request. At the bottom, I will provide a skeleton version of this list so that it can be easily printed and used, yet without all the explanation.

Spiritual Needs

  • Above all and in all, pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and discernment / understanding in all things. That He would help me to see situations and people from His perspective.
  • Please also pray that the Lord would so consume me, that I disappear… as it should be!
  • Pray that I would continue to live in His Spirit and not for myself. That He would truly be my all and that I would give Him pure, passionate devotion and not lip service.
  • Please pray that I would be broken, laid open (naked and bare as a sacrifice is split open) before Him. That I would have a brokenness over and a hatred of sin.

Financial Needs

  • I am quite blessed to have someone who is sponsoring my time here, so I would ask that you join me in praying for him and his family. Pray especially for their health. I am personally praying that the Lord would restore to them 7 fold all that they have done for me. Pray also that they would continue to do this out of joy and love. I am so very thankful for them.
  • Please pray that the Lord would provide a way to pay off my student loans. I owe about $4400 from my undergrad. This is the entirety of my debt, but I hate debt and desire to see this lifted before the next phase of life begins. In my current situation, that is not possible. Though it is a lot to ask, I am praying that the Lord might raise up someone to help me with this. This is as nothing to God and even from my perspective there are certainly people who could do it if the Lord prompted them to. Thus, please pray that the Lord’s will would be done.
  • Please also pray that the Lord would provide a way for me to have Lasik surgery. I wear glasses and am quite tired of them. I see this request from two basic perspectives. The first is stewardship: glasses are expensive and you have to keep replacing them over time… this adds up (and btw… it is past time for mine). The surgery is also expensive, but it seems to me it will clearly win out in the long run. The second is luxury: they are a constant hindrance at work and during activities such as working out. Quite often they fly off or are so covered in dust and sweat that I just can’t see anyway. To be perfectly blunt, they are just annoying. At the same time, I am very thankful to live in a place and time where they are even available… believe me, I do recognize this!
  • Please pray that my car would continue to run well. The bottom line is that if anything major happens with it, I will not be able to afford to replace it and I will be prevented from working to help replace it. I have been in that position many times before and the Lord always makes a way, so I am not worried, though I don’t want to be there again.

Down the Pike (near and distant future)

Please pray for discernment and provision for the summer.

  • I am trying to figure out whether or not to try to go home and work, to stay here and take several classes that are being offered, or some combination thereof. Here’s the deal: though I haven’t talked with him thus far, I imagine my boss back home would allow me to return. I really and truly work for an amazing man and an amazing company. It is a job, boss, and company that I love and enjoy very, very much. I absolutely LOVE the work and truly enjoy going to work every day (there is something about hard work that is very refreshing). Further, I always have a great time of ministry there. On top of that, I can make a lot of money with that company. This option is especially tempting given the above financial issues. Yet, there are three classes that are being offered this summer that I would be able to take if I stayed. This would lighten the load of my final academic year here, allowing me time for other things such as dating, GRE / PhD prep, talking to churches, etc - as the Lord leads. I would also like to try to study and then exempt a Greek class this summer so that I can take a more advanced Greek class during the regular semester. If I do not exempt, I will not be able to take the advanced class at all. Further, I love my life here and don’t want to leave my friends and church family. Yet staying means being in a VERY weak financial position.
  • Please pray for discernment and provision for the future immediately after graduation (next May Lord willing). I do not know as of yet if the Lord would have me continue educationally or go right into ministry. If PhD work, please pray especially for provision and also that I would be directed to the proper program and school (and of course that I would be accepted). If ministry, please pray that the Lord would direct my steps to the place He has ordained for me to serve and that I would be able to do so faithfully.
Of a Personal Nature

A Relationship

  • As I have shared in the recent past, I am finally ready for a relationship with the right young woman. Please pray for me to have wisdom and discernment in seeking her. Please pray that the Lord would bring her into my life soon. I understand that His timing is perfect, so I am not upset. Even still, I do hope it is soon.
  • Pray especially that my eyes would be open. I have been so long in the posture of not looking, that not seeing has to some degree become a matter of habit.
  • Pray above all that she and I would be directed by the Lord and not ourselves. Pray that we wouldn’t play games, but that we would seek the Lord’s will and do it, no matter what and that there would be knowledge, not confusion, that walls would not be put up and that transparency would be present.
  • Pray that I would not settle out of weakness, but that I would not be expecting perfection either (I really feel pretty strong in this respect, but I am human).
  • Pray for opportunities to meet young women as that seems to be my greatest challenge. Also, pray that these opportunities would allow me to see who the young woman is. Because knowing something of her character is necessary for me to have genuine interest, the process can be excruciatingly slow (despite the fact that God has blessed me with a measure of discernment).
  • Pray that I honor the Lord in the way that I deal with any young woman that comes into my life and that I would bring help and healing to her (not harm). Pray that I would be able to point her to Christ, even if that particular young woman and I are not to be.
  • Pray that when the right one does appear, that we would see and be delighted by each other. Please also pray that the Lord would lead, guide, comfort, and heal her even now and be preparing us for each other.

Again, I only provide this for those that are truly interested in lifting me up to the Father (specifically those that have asked). Please do not feel obligated to say or do anything, especially not to promise to pray for me. I would rather a thousand people pray for me and zero let me know than for a lot of people to promise to pray and never actually do it. Thank you so much!

Oh, and as always, please let me know if I can pray for you in any way. You can talk, email, post, or call, whatever you are comfortable with. Blessings in Christ!

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
John 3:30; Prov 16.9

Skeleton Version of the Prayer Requests


  • That I would be completely, totally, and only for Christ.
  • That the Lord would give me wisdom, understanding, and His perspective in all that I encounter in life.


  • For my sponsor’s health and family
  • Student Loans
  • Lasik surgery
  • Transportation to hold up


  • Wisdom and discernment concerning school and work for this summer
  • Wisdom and discernment concerning post-graduation plans


  • That my eyes would be open according to the Lord’s will
  • That the Lord would move and work in brining my future beloved into my life, preferably soon
  • That the Lord would be preparing my future beloved and me for each other.

Mar 18, 2008

The Familiar Path and the Frightened Child

A man was walking along a familiar path in the cool of the day, as was his custom. He stopped at his usual place to lean against an old oak tree and noticed a child had built a structure of some sort on a ledge just below this sturdy tree. After a few minutes, he saw the child coming toward him. Trying to be kind, and not wanting to alarm the child, he said hi. The child cordially responded “hi.” The man then rose and resumed his walk. Upon his return later that day, the man noticed that not only was the child gone, but so was the structure. There remained only a few broken pieces of what had been. As the man observed this, he couldn’t help but think that despite his efforts, he had frightened the child…

Mar 14, 2008

The Mystery and Beauty of Women: A Very Brief Meditation

Women (especially sisters in Christ) are truly God’s gift to men in so many ways (ways in which I can’t even begin to explain or comprehend). There is a glory and beauty in women that distinctively reflects so much of who God is and the depths of His character and love, which cannot be adequately expressed or explained. Women are a mystery as well as a blessing. I wish so much that more men recognized this… we have so much to learn from each other. By nature of being created as men and women, we reflect God’s glory differently. What I mean is that we are each made in the image of God, but through the filter of male and female, it is expressed quite differently (oh the vastness of that image that makes it such!).

To provide an analogy: If you think in terms of angled mirrors… one mirror may be at angle “A” and another may be at angle “B.” They are both mirrors, there is no qualitative difference whatsoever. Yet, the angle will determine what is reflected and how it is reflected. Or better yet think of prisms. Pure white light enters and is then refracted and reflected by the prism. The very angle that the light is bent determines the color (or colors) that are displayed. Thus, by design, we each bear the Imago Dei, yet reflect quite different aspects of that glorious and mysterious image.

Also by design, we naturally seek those in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells / is evident. The Spirit bears witness and deep calls unto deep. Add to this the fact that women reflect the image so very differently than men and it should be obvious why a Godly woman so inspires and motivates a man who is already pursuing the Lord, to pursue Him even more. Though he truly seeks her, he is also striving after that part of the image she reflects so very differently than he does. The closer she is to the Lord, the more he will be drawn to her and the more he is drawn to her, the more he will pursue the Lord. With this understanding, is it any wonder that we men are so drawn to our sisters, and ultimately our wife?! It is very good!

This also speaks to the incredible influence a woman has on a man. It is an influence that must be subjected to Christ as it can be a source of blessing or cursing… I wish more women realized this. Women, married or not, it would be very wise of you to meditate on and seek the wisdom of an elder lady in Christ on this one. Also, begin praying for the Lord to help you never to sway your husband away from the Lord or His will… it will be easier than you think.

Mar 13, 2008

Spring Time Fun

Though I know some of you are tired of waiting and tired of hearing it… trust me, the series is still coming… I hope to be able to start serious work on it in the next couple of weeks. Thanks so much for your patience :)

Wow, as much as I love Winter… Spring is, in truth, probably my favorite time of year. It is still cool enough to keep me from overheating, yet it is so beautiful as life begins anew and so many outdoor activities are once again possible. Without explaining the age-old analogy… what a beautiful picture of the Gospel!!!

The first truly BEAUTIFUL day of the year… it was truly perfect. Being as warm natured as I am, I am not one to just sit outside when warmer weather is present (work is one thing, but not leisure), yet today was so incredibly perfect I just couldn’t help it. I decided to go out in the main court area of the Seminary, read, and soak in the blessings of the day. I really don’t know how many hours I was out there, but it was so much fun. Of course I was blessed to see so many of my friends out there at different points as well. On top of enjoying my studies, today was truly a gift from the Lord in many ways. First, I am finally not only caught up with school work, but am in a position to have a little breathing room (very little as I have a big test and a paper first thing next week, but still). I hate being behind and love being ahead, so my spirits were already much higher. Second, the day itself was a blessing of being surrounded by unspeakable beauty and meditative comfort. I could not have designed a more perfect “relaxing / meditative” day if I had taken weeks to try to plan it. Thus, all I can do is relish in the goodness of my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is so VERY good to us, may we be reminded of this at all times!!!

Days like today are most certainly an answer to prayers such as this one

Mar 5, 2008

Beauty Revisited

Hey guys, still quite under the burden of my studies and still dying to be able to finish the series. Today especially I have had a very strong desire to write out at least the next section or two (frankly, at this point I’d like to take about a month’s sabbatical so to speak and just finish the entire thing). Yet, discipline, obligation, and the privilege of my circumstances call me to my reading and to study. I did however, in a weaker moment of discipline, run across something I posted a while back. For various reasons (some of which I am not sure of and some of which would take an entire post to explain), it really resonated with me yet again today. Thus, I wish to share with you… who knows, perhaps someone else may be reflecting on some of the same things (after all, we frail beings do indeed like confirmation and affirmation ;). May you know Christ and then rest firmly in the warmth of His arms, listening to the beat of His heart!

Here’s the link:

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
Prov 16.9

Feb 26, 2008

Scattered Words and Empty Thoughts

Sorry guys, this one is a hodge-podge… there are at least 4 different posts in this one, yet I just don’t have the time to write anything substantive right now as I am truly overloaded with school work right now.

Exodus 20:20 is really where the Lord has been speaking to me, especially in terms of relationship. He is testing me in many ways in order to see if I will indeed honor Him, or grumble and trade the perishable for the imperishable; may none of us settle for the perishable… trading trinkets for treasures and filth for fulfillment!!! I am in the wilderness, being tested... may I trust only in Him and may I never grumble, for in His perfect time and way I shall indeed receive the reward, if I remain in Him!!!

Rachel has died and I mourned for her, yet Christ is able to raise to life again those who have fallen asleep. Perhaps I was drunk and it was really Leah the whole time, though even when drunk it is hard to mistake gold for dirt… then again, perhaps I am not Jacob. Perhaps also there is drunkenness on the other side and vision only in the forms of trees. There is no way to know at this point, but no matter what I shall set my face as a flint and march ever forward, directed by my loving Father!

True joy in Christ comes in knowing that Christ is working and moving in our lives, not in getting what we want (no matter how wonderful it may be or may seem), or in understanding how or why He moves in the ways He does. My joy and trust is in the Lord and my heart is His, so I can only rejoice that He is working, however incomprehensibly. It is not for the thing created to question or doubt, but to submit in all joy and with all thankfulness to an infinitely benevolent, sovereign, and good Savior who is both near and far!!! Thus, there is only joy, love, and confidence, not pain. Times like these test the measure of our faith and trust in God’s sovereign plan. He has directed my every step and He will continue to do so, thus how can I be anything but joyful and filled with all love and comfort?! Further, I am speaking my heart, not trying to give some theological treatise – to me theology is not a subject of study, it is life… we do not believe something if we do not live it. We cannot truly study something apart from life and we cannot truly live apart from study! We cannot compromise on the balance of Transcendence and Immanence!!! I have truly learned much and I am so thankful for the way the Lord has worked and allowed me to see His hand the entire time (though of course never knowing where it was going). Thus, I am overflowing in true joy in Christ and drinking in undeserved blessings!

*and yes, the title was taken from a Jeremy Camp song, though I don't know why it came to mind in particular :)

Feb 20, 2008

Aaron’s Cold Lessons Learned - Top Ten

Yes folks, you can write it down in history… Aaron Hawk was cold tonight (probably from a combination of being extremely tired and standing outside for what seemed like forever). On top of enjoying taking pictures as I so often do, I also learned several things tonight.

Top Ten Things I Learned Tonight:

1 - I learned that my “thermostat” is not completely broken (contrary to popular opinion); I do actually feel temperature differences.

2 - I finally learned / understand the invention of the scarf (or in my case, extra bed sheet ;) and that it can be a very welcome thing, especially when held in place by a hat.

3 - I learned that condensation from breathing through a bed sheet not only makes your glasses foggy, but will actually result in water droplets forming and further blur your vision (which just makes me all the more sure I want to get rid of glasses!).

4 - I learned that gloves are quite helpful sometimes and that repeatedly taking them off to change camera settings will, in fact, make your hands extremely cold and eventually very slow moving (not to mention defeats the purpose of wearing them in the first place).

5 - I learned that people in puffy jackets (and other winter attire) won’t stay out there the whole time either and that pacing in circles only does so much where warmth is concerned.

6 - I learned / finally understand why people refuse to call my black wind-breaker thingy a “jacket” and can no longer argue that it should be considered “winter clothing.”

7 - I learned that working out too much yesterday, sitting for over 10 hours doing homework today, and then standing still in the cold for so long will indeed give you a leg cramp.

8 - I learned that entering a hot building is not always a bad thing and can actually be quite pleasurable

9 - I learned how to make instant hot chocolate. No, I am actually not joking (though it was not hard to figure out). The last time I can remember having hot chocolate was either a few months ago at Starbucks or when I was little and wasn’t the one that made it… I sincerely do not remember making any as an adult (normally I am just not much of a “hot drink” person).

10 - Best of all, I learned that gas ranges make great instant campfires!!! (since of course I don’t think the seminary would like an actual one in the middle of the courtyard ;)

Feb 19, 2008

Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Supplement to Part Two B – Analyzing Overanalyzing

Of course the rest of the series is coming, but I am once again drowning in my studies and other things, so please continue in patience. Thanks!

Previously in the Series:

*Preliminary: A Confession From the Heart
*Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Part One: Intro and Background
*Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Part Two: Tickle Me Elmo Goes Berserk!
*Brothers and Sisters are We (?/!) – Part Two B: Tickle Me Elmo Goes Berserk!


Hey guys, I finished writing this post on November 19, 2007 and just haven’t felt the need / felt it was time to post it. Yet, it provides a good supplement to the second part of the “Brothers and Sisters” series. Thus, here you go!

Analyzing Overanalyzing

As usual, I ask that you give me some time to set things up. In this post, I will be discussing abuse and healing through Christ, directly from my own life, manifested in my tendency to overanalyze. To do this, I must first give some background info before addressing the real issue… thus, this post is a little bit upside-down. Thanks ;)

Once in a while, I will be speaking to someone and they will look down at my right leg for one reason or another, shifting visual focus as we all tend to do, and they will notice a scar. They are usually very polite and wait until an appropriate moment to inquire about it. It is then that they want to hear the story of how I became scarred. It does not bother me, we all have scars and it can be an interesting “sharing of stories” to explain to each other how we did this or that, that resulted in one injury or the other. For some it is their own stupidity or craziness, while for others it is the result on another’s carelessness, or even abuse. For the scar on my leg, it was the stupidity of not listening to my mom. After Hurricane Hugo in ’89, despite warnings not to run in the rain, I was excited and hyper (those who know me are saying “go figure”), so I ran through a muddy area (in the rain), avoiding all of two or three seconds of additional time. As I ran, I tripped over a tree root and went crashing to the ground where a broken brick was waiting for my leg. After a lot of doctor visits with lots of painful scraping and shots and a lot of time, my leg began to heal. Today, there is still a noticeable scar that reminds me of the disobedience, the events, the pain, and the healing.

It is interesting the different types and levels of injury that we face, and the responses that are necessary for proper healing. For minor damage or abuse, scarring is often nonexistent or very minor and requires very little attention, such as when a friend hurts our feelings by being a little crass one time. These usually amount to nothing in the end and are so insignificant they are like paper cuts. They hurt for a moment, but then go away. For slightly more elevated damage or abuse, such as a minor betrayal, scarring occurs, but can be easily overcome through the proper means of care and healing. Thus, over time, the scar is virtually invisible. Even at this level though, if the proper means of care and healing are not pursued, the wound can remain open causing more pain and infection and, though it will eventually heal, the injury will not heal properly. For severe cases of damage or abuse, such as sustained harm or treachery, the wound is so severe and so deep, that without some type of emergency care, the person will die. This can often leave the person either temporarily or permanently debilitated in some way. Sometimes it is a certain type of pain with a specific movement, other times it is a missing limb. These types of wounds take time to heal and will only heal properly with the proper guidance and a willingness to follow directions from someone who knows what is needed. This process can be excruciatingly time-consuming, painful, and debasing, but it is necessary.

I am not trying to be cliché, but we all have scars… not physically, though that is probably true too, but emotionally and spiritually. We have all been wounded and we have all been scarred in one manner or another. Often times we try to gloss over them as if they have no impact upon us. Other times, we deal with them partially, but only enough to get by. Other times, we assume the emergency care provided is sufficient for all time and we never go back to receive and perform the physical therapy that is needed to regain full health and full function. If this is not the case, we will sometimes go to the physical therapy until we “feel” better. Upon subjectively feeling better, we discontinue the treatments that the doctor has warned us to finish, thinking that we are all of a sudden more intelligent, even though the doctor is the one that has guided us safely thus far and just happens to be the expert.

In this post, I am addressing the lattermost scenario, in my own life. The continuing symptoms are my tendency to overanalyze, especially when new relationships are being formed. Now, before I explain the history, let me make very clear that I do not agree with strains of modern psychology that say every “bad” thing in our lives is directly because of our parents. This type of thinking is designed to blame-shift so as to make a person feel better, though never really bringing healing. The fact is that things in our lives can influence us, some more strongly than others, but we still bear ultimate responsibility for how we handle and respond to those situations. So, I am not blame-shifting in this section, but simply explaining the root (influencing factor) of the problem. Also, let me be abundantly clear that though we as humans can put band aids on things with our own effort, they do nothing where true healing is concerned. True healing comes only through submission to Christ and allowing Him to bring healing where and how it is needed. Thus, Christ may use people (and often does), but He is the reason, means, and effecter of any genuine change and healing.

Some of you who know me personally may know the story with my dad, some may not. Even for those that know the story, it is unlikely that you know all of it. As I have referenced in the past, I cannot and will not go into too many details of this story because it involves people other than myself, whom I am obligated to protect. Even still, I can and will share a few things in order to be able to make sense out of my conclusion. I will say it plainly, based on scripture, my dad was / is an evil man (I pray for his salvation, but thus far, he does not know Christ). Though I cannot go into other details, I can describe in some small way how difficult and abusive my dad was when I lived with him. To put it simply, my dad was an abusive drunk. Every moment of every day was volatile. You could wake up in the morning, go to the restroom, be on your way back to your room, and the next thing you know, he is yelling, screaming, and sometimes becoming physical. Why? Good question! There was literally no telling. It could be that he just remembered something he wanted to be mad about from a month ago, it could be that the sound of the toilette woke him up and that angered him, it could be that he simply hadn’t slept well the night before and was ready to vent his anger, it could be that he had a hangover, or that he was still drunk. I could literally go on and on describing to you the “possible” scenarios. The problem is that when your dad is barreling toward you, threatening, yelling, sometimes hitting or whatever, you don’t have time to think about or sort through these things. Even more troubling, is that what may upset him one day, may be demanded the next day. As an example, you walk into the room (because you didn’t know he was there or you would have simply waited), and greet him. One minute, that may be considered disrespect, and literally the next minute, it may be considered disrespect not to. Thus, no matter what you do, you do not know from one MOMENT to the next what action will set him off and what will not. Notice the use and emphasis of the word “moment.” This is not an exaggeration. It was not week by week or day by day, but moment by moment. Moment by moment, the exact same action could produce two entirely different reactions, with any variance in between.

Beyond these, the things he would say would be the most despicable and soul-tearing that he could possibly come up with. He was a master manipulator, even priding himself on this ability to control others. Thus, not only did you not know what action would set him off, but you didn’t know how it would be twisted so as to be entirely your fault. Whatever defense you might try to put up, would only entice him to go further and hurt you deeper. Even when he was not there, there was always the fear of when he would return and what would upset him. You are constantly the one at fault and very unworthy of his love for being so bad. Even still, he loves you even though you hurt him and if you truly love and care for him you wouldn’t be acting that way. Ok, stop! Wait just a second… If you didn’t catch what I just said, reread this paragraph. Manipulation is SO subtle, yet SO powerful. Those last two sentences may seem like total nonsense to you if you have never been through something like this, but for those who have, it rings very true. The manipulation and mental reprogramming is just that quick and even more subtle. It works its way into your life and even your OWN thinking. As Hitler said, tell a lie long enough and loud enough and people will believe it. How much more when it is your own father or someone for whom you care?!

Thus, you live in sinking sand, a state of constant fear of punishment, shame, guilt, danger, and a surety of rejection no matter what you do; and this at the hands of the one that is supposed to love, care for, and nurture you unconditionally. Survival and avoiding danger become the goal of all of life. Thus, every single action, or non-action, must be carefully weighed in terms of what is least likely to cause a blow-up and what will bring about the minimum danger, given the person’s current posture (which is unknown until afterward and can’t be trusted to remain consistent anyway). Your presupposition, through experience, becomes that no matter your actions, trouble will come, thus you must try to minimize it. Learning to survive involves quick thinking, sometimes deception, and the ability to analyze all possible outcomes from a given scenario, both ahead of time and in the moment, and to choose the one that brings the least pain and destruction. Thus, over time, you become quite skilled at all three of these things, though through twisted glass.

For a while after these things I did not let anyone “inside” emotionally. I was very cold and untrusting. Eventually, I allowed a select few in, and so on and so on. It was only because of the Spirit of Christ that I was not completely hardened and shut-off during these times. Through much time, reading, prayer, and help from my mother, I eventually became a fairly open and trusting person. This did not come quickly or easily though. It took years of prayer and hard work, learning to trust and to forgive. Eventually, through the emotional healing and the mental transformation wrought by Christ, I was no longer noticeably scarred and even came to be able to help others through similar circumstances.

Both during and after these things, Christ was with me, helping me, and healing me. I thank God every time I think back on these things that I was saved by His grace beforehand. Even still, they were very difficult, especially from the perspective of someone who was so young and trying to honor and love his earthly father. Thanks be to Christ that my Heavenly Father is truly in charge! Yes, you heard (read) me correctly, God brought these things into my life and I am thankful for them. Don’t get me wrong, I would not wish them on anyone, but I thank God for them because I would not be who I am today without them. What men meant for evil, God meant for good. He has so much more glory through this story than he would have had I simply had an easy life. I am thankful because He brought me through these things and has not left me alone, but has been with me the whole way. Further, He didn’t just leave me, but has used these things to help forge me into His image even more. He has helped me to learn from these things. For example, my drive for total honesty, authenticity, and sincerity are not merely factors of my personality, though they are in part, but they come from a deep-rooted desire to avoid deception and manipulation, having seen their end result and the destruction that follows. Further, Christ has used these events to enable me to help others that have gone through, or are going through, similar circumstances. I could write countless more reasons and meditations, but hopefully you get the point. Thus, through His eyes, I can say that I am thankful that Christ has worked so wonderfully in my life!

Well, this sounds like a typical testimony where the person has been through some bad stuff and though Christ, this sounds like a complete story, right? Wrong! Though this has been my understanding for many years now, this is only part of the story. You see, though I have been healed of the trauma, there is still a scar there. Though most of the time is seems as if I am completely healed and have worked through all of the issues related to these circumstances, the truth is that there is still scar tissue. For anyone with any sort of medical knowledge, you know that scars form anywhere trauma has occurred. However, scar tissue, the result of the body’s self-preservation, can sometimes bring its own complications. Thus, even after a complete healing, there may be remnant reminders of the trauma.

Ok, with this understanding, where does that leave me? Hang on and let me explain :). Another thing that anyone who knows me knows, is that I am generally, and try to be, fairly introspective. I believe it is the duty of all Christians to continually seek Christ’s healing in every aspect of their lives. Through Christ, this brings renewing of the mind and redemption of past memories and events. It is only when we see these things through the lens of Christ, that genuine healing can take place, as described in the section above, leading to a healthy self in Christ. However, this means continually observing the self (yourself, who you truly are now), through the lens of Christ (who you have been declared to be), watching actions, attitudes, motives, and reasoning. This means that we are not simply healed one time and can then assume that all is well. No, we must continue in vigilance, watching for trouble-causing scar tissue! Thus, when we read, pray, or meditate, we are not doing so only on the words of scripture within themselves, but allowing these things to penetrate us at the deepest level, being laid naked, open, and bare before Him, ultimately allowing Christ to reveal to us the areas where He still has work to do, to make us more like Him. This is what it means to let the scriptures become a mirror. Again, anyone who knows me knows that this is my heart’s desire, though they also clearly know that I have not achieved this.

Unfortunately, we are often blind to our own shortcomings. Even things that others can clearly see, we often cannot. Sometimes I believe this is the grace of God, for we would truly be overwhelmed were we to even see a portion of the work that needs to be done. Sometimes is a coping mechanism, if you will, where we choose to ignore certain things so that we can accept the whole. However, other times, I believe it is laziness, not wanting to do the work associated with growing in and through Christ. Still other times, blindness comes through assumptions. We assume an area is “ok” or “all clear / good enough.” Finally, and even more often, it is a combination of some of these. My friends, let it not be so! Every aspect of who we are has been touched by sin, thus only Christ can reveal truth and declare anything “all clear.” This declaration will not be completed until we are with Him at the end of days, thus, we must remain watchful and vigilant.

With these things as background, one aspect of my personality that has driven me nuts, as well as those around me sometimes, is my tendency to overanalyze. Now, to some degree this tendency is part and parcel with the type of intellect the Lord has given me. It is, and has always been, part of my nature to analyze and think about things. This is not inherently bad. However, there is an extension of this that is very bad. I have been aware of it for years and have spent much time meditating and praying over it, seeking an answer as to the cause and thus the deepest redemption of this aspect in Christ. At times I have felt so close to an answer and deliverance, while at others feeling like giving up on it. Even without understanding things completely, Christ has been working in my life. Believe it or not, this tendency within me has decreased dramatically over the years, but, even still, has not been truly corrected. In recent history, I am only aware of my overanalyzing “showing up” in two different, but related, circumstances. Below I will try to reason through both circumstances.

The first and the worst, is in developing new relationships. In general I consider myself to be a fairly trusting and open person. I give everyone a certain level of trust and really have no problem talking with anyone about almost anything (except where wisdom dictates that I not); writing deeply personal thoughts like this and posting them on a blog is evidence enough. Thus, by all appearances, it would seem that I am completely well in terms of the things mentioned above. Yet, in these situations, it is a non-personal openness and trust. I am not honestly concerned with what a person thinks of me in these general terms. There is no necessary intimacy, thus if there is a misunderstanding or if the person thinks negatively, it really doesn’t bother me at all. Their opinion is that of one with whom I have no relationship and, therefore, doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. However, when there is a new relationship being formed, I have tended to overanalyze things at first in order to try to ensure that they have not changed and that I am being upfront with them. You see, now that there is some level of necessary intimacy, their opinion matters very much (of course, bearing in mind that Christ’s is the only one that matters in the ultimate sense). But, therein is the “in” and “out” label that I didn’t think existed anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I knew some people were closer to me than others, but I didn’t realize that such a large distinction existed within my internal labeling of others. There is a sense in which making sure people are “on the same page” is good, but we must make sure that our motives are truly for understanding and clarification, not an unhealthy result of trust issues. This subtle difference can truly make all the difference and due to the fact that we tend to do these things at an unconscious or automated level, it can be exceedingly difficult to discern and seem a nonsensical distinction (Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall – 1 Cor 10:12).

For me, the overanalyzing often turns into extended periods of questioning every angle of a given issue in order to ensure that both the other person and I have the same picture in mind. This becomes maddening for me as there are so many possible meanings to so many different things and I end up in this sort of mental lock, feeling trapped within reason and logic, despite my effort to avoid that. Further, I know it is exceedingly frustrating for the other person, which simply adds to my own frustration because now in seeking to avoid conflict and confusion, I have created it and frustrated the one with whom I was seeking to avoid frustration. Yet it seems clarification is needed to correct the confusion, and even still, any effort to correct may be considered even more frustrating and may in fact lead to more confusion. Thus, the problem creates the problem and feeds upon itself. At this point, North no longer exists; all sense of an ability to communicate effectively dissipates.

For the past few years, I have considered this an annoying, but necessary part of getting to know someone. It has usually only lasted a very short time, upon first really getting to know the person. Once I feel confident that there is a level of trust in intention (note the word intention, not speech), the overanalyzing goes away completely until the second circumstance listed below. The second circumstance is much shorter in duration and much less intense. It occurs either after an extended period of discord with, or absence from someone that I care about. It is a sort of “realigning” or a “maintenance check” to see that we are still on the same page.

Ok, now to really get to the heart of this post. I have realized for a while my tendency to overanalyze, yet have been unable to find its cause. The problem is that I assumed everything in the “dad” category was taken care of, because so much of it has been. I realized that it was potentially possible that there were remnants of scarring, but, in truth, I wasn’t meditating on the present circumstances (overanalyzing) in light of the scarring to see if there was a “match.” This has proven to be a grave mistake.

Last night (November 18) was a major breakthrough. Once again, I find myself thankful for an insightful mother, who will be honest with me. I was discussing the overanalyzing thing with her and, though I cannot now remember her exact words, she said very plainly that it was probably due to having to be that way with dad. Upon receiving this and meditating on it, I realized that she was, once again, correct. As I discussed above, with dad nothing was trustworthy. Thus, in order to survive, I always had to read between the lines analyzing every potentiality, trying desperately to avoid “bad.” With someone who is acting with evil intentions and not being honest, this is a very good thing to do and will keep you out of a lot of trouble. The problem is that with someone who is being honest and sincere, it serves only to divide and drive everyone crazy. Just like in the medical field, sometimes a “cure” given to someone who is not “sick” actually causes sickness, and even death. So too in interpersonal relationships, especially in the beginning, this causes much trouble and even separation.

Thus, for me, overanalyzing is nothing short of selfishness and a skewed view of the other person, caused by neglecting the existence of scar tissue. It is not personal against the other person, as in they have done anything in particular, but rather an initial / default skepticism for anyone with whom I am growing close. As such, it is sinful. We are not to expect others to come close to us before drawing close to them. This goes so contrary to the idea of transparency and love, that I am baffled at finding it within myself, as these are two things I strive for continually. I know that I shouldn’t be surprised as I recognize that I am evil and wicked apart from Christ, yet somehow we are all surprised when we find sin in our lives. In this, I am reminded once again that we are so INSANELY self-deceived and that we will never stop finding major sin areas in our lives until we are in heaven with Christ. I mean, forget individual sins, we’re talking entire areas, entire regions of blind spots. If you don’t believe in total depravity, please explain this one to me! How can you strive for something with all that you are and find yourself attaining to a very small degree, yet going in the opposite direction at the same time? As soon as we feel we have conquered something, we have just proven ourselves false. With greater maturity comes greater insight. With greater insight, the greater our sin becomes. The greater our sin becomes, the more in need of Christ we are. This is both beautiful and frustrating. It forces us away from ourselves and leaves us with no option aside from Christ!

In terms of my tendency to overanalyze… over the years, some people have handled this quite graciously and lovingly. I am so thankful for those that have as this was not something I truly had the ability to sort through until now. Other people have not and I honestly can’t say that I blame them. To both I must say that I am sincerely sorry and hereby ask your forgiveness. The mark of genuine repentance is change and it is my sincere desire to prove myself genuinely repentant before Christ for this sin. Historically, the Lord has worked quickly in my life upon revealing sin, so I pray that I will respond just as quickly. Thus, I ask for grace where I am bound to mess up and prayer so that I may succeed.

Two final thoughts. The first, is that we are all wounded and scarred. If we say that we are not, we are deceived. If we see a brother or sister fall, we ought to help them, but we are also supposed to look inward, to make sure that we do not fall in the same manner. We are all wounded warriors and wounded healers. Thus, I urge you to introspection before Christ, for it is people such as us (the foolish among fools) that He calls to His work!

The second closing thought, is that we ought to be joyful when sin is revealed. I am so immensely thankful to Christ for revealing this to me. First, because it will help me avoid hurting others (wounded beget wounded, wounds cause wounds). Second, because it is direct evidence of the working of Christ in my life. I am His child and He is actively working in my life to bring me closer to Him. Though correction may hurt for a moment, it is a sweet kind of pain that ensures sanctification before and an ever-deepening relationship with Christ. I am overflowing in His Spirit, with tears of joy streaming down my face even as I type this for being counted worthy to be corrected though I deserve to be left in my sin… it is an amazing thing!!! May the Lord continue to break, purge, and purify my heart, drawing me ever-closer to Him!

... to Christ alone, for where else would I go… all too often I am Oholibah!


Ok, to provide an update. As you can see above, I actually wrote this a while back (today is February 18, 2008 and the date above was November 18, 2007 – ha, I promise that was not intentional… kinda funny actually). Though I have noticed one or two times where I have overanalyzed since I wrote the above things, I do have to stand in agreement with what I said about the Lord working quickly in my life. Aside from the minor things I just referenced, I have noticed a completely different outlook, entirely different. There have been two major ways that Christ has helped me in defeating this. First, in turning it over to Him, admitting my sin and standing in my brokenness, He has changed my perspective (renewing of the mind and heart). Thus, for the most part only specific triggers remained. These will take longer to work out and though I believe the Lord has worked mightily in my life in this area, I would not be naive enough to say that they are gone. Thus, I recognized that the triggers still exist. Yet, the second way that Christ has helped me to defeat this (again renewing of the mind), is that the Spirit has prompted me when one of the triggers occurs and in recognizing it as such, I was able to immediately step back and turn it over to Him. Thus, as time moves on, I am confident that in Christ, this will disappear and it will be time to work on the next major area (if I’m not already in the midst of it by then).


Ok, I promised to give a more detailed description of the juggling itself. I am not sure how to seamlessly integrate this in the above post without much restructuring, so I am simply adding it to the end.

Now to tie this directly to the previous post. In many ways it may be obvious by now why I have tended to overanalyze in the past, yet I have not explained the three realms. Though I won’t go into any real detail, I will at least introduce them in order to help you better understand my meaning. Also, I will speak to these specifically in terms of working toward a dating relationship as that fits the context moving from the mole mentioned in the first section to the subject of overanalyzing in the second. Thus, the minimal background is that I have never dated in my life until very recently. Though many reasons could be cited, the bottom line is that I was not where I needed to be with the Lord and I knew it. Thus, how can I possibly date and lead someone if I am not following in the way that I ought?! There were different seasons with different reasons for each, but they were all about not being where I needed to be with the Lord and again, I knew it. Yet, even knowing this, I knew that I was to marry, that I was created to marry. Thus, even though I knew I was not yet to date, I spent time trying to prepare myself and meditating on things related to dating and ultimately marriage. Before moving on, I must confess that there were two points in the past that I grew tired of waiting and despite knowing I was not ready, asked someone out. In both of those cases, the Lord proved himself to be in control and didn’t allow even the first date. I am so thankful to God for protecting those sisters from my weakness, as even then, I knew it wasn’t right… it was a lack of faith and the classic human sin of thinking I knew more than God. To bring things into perspective and up-to-date; I am finally ready, and I know it. This past October (’07) the Lord brought revival to my life after a period of disobedience. It was such a great time and I am still basking in the renewing action of the Spirit and so much of the past study is now bearing fruit in the renewed soil of my life. God is SO good and His Spirit testifies continually! Ok, testimony over, let us once again review the “ancient past.”

Now, to quickly recap, here’s an excerpt from the previous post:

As I admitted to you in the previous post, I used to be a “mole.” In everyday life, I am quite bold, especially where the Gospel is concerned (and to my shame… sometimes it spills over into arrogance). My primary gifting is the gift of prophecy (and no, I am not going to chase that rabbit right now), thus, I have zero trouble taking a stand or being bold. Yet, until about a year ago, when it came to relationship with girls, I was the polar opposite. I have always had female friends, and that was “safe” so I really didn’t have any trouble there. Yet, when it came to the thought of dating, I was a mole. I have driven myself nuts (or at least more so :) over the years trying to figure out why this was such a big deal to me. There were three primary things that I would look at, in isolation, and try to see if “that” could be the cause. Thus, in the “back of my mind” (or whatever term you prefer for that), these three things would be swirling around. Unable to pin one of them down, I would “pick up” one of the “balls” I was juggling, look at it, and say, “yeah, I can see where this might have something to do with it, but it doesn’t completely explain it. I would then place that one back in “the mix” and pick up the next one. I would repeat this over and over, but never arrive at a conclusion since none of them individually explained the issue. The problem with this method is that my problem was the combination or amalgamation of three different, but related things (this will be explained much more in-depth in a future post entitled “Analyzing Overanalyzing”). Bottom line, juggling is where we take one thing from a complex structure and try to see if that “one” explains the whole. This is logically impossible as one isolated thing can never explain a complex structure. The truth can sometimes be (and often is) revealed when “all three” are seen together. It is when we see all of the issues and the “shape” they collectively make, that we can clearly match it up to the problem. This is sort of like taking a shard from a key and trying to open a door instead of taking the collective whole and then being able to unlock the door. Unfortunately, there is only confusion until we can see how they interact. Thus, I fear for some of my sisters and pray for their healing (as well as my own).

The first realm that I recognized as a contributing factor was simply the untrusting and skeptical mentality that develops in abusive situations. It is natural (humanly speaking) to become this way and even resort to anger and total distrust. Thus, when I would look at this in isolation, I would say something like “yes, I see where this might have something to do with it, yet, I am trusting and open in general, so that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t explain it. Why would this be any different? Well, the simple answer is that it is different because it is a different kind of trust and relationship.

The second realm was that of self-evaluation. In most ways I had to fight arrogance and though I hope I am still winning the battle, I am ever-mindful that it is a struggle if I don’t watch it. Yet, when it came to relationship, I had zero real confidence and I couldn’t figure out why. I felt of basically zero value and / or worth and entirely unattractive. I could honestly and with a straight face tell you I didn’t know why any girl would be interested in me. But, I couldn’t figure out why that was the case when in every other area I was completely confident (and again, sometimes overconfident). Then I would look back at the situation with my dad as well as other things in my past and realize that dad was constantly putting me down. I lost count of how often he would say very hurtful things such as you are fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, selfish, and I could truly go on and on and on. Also, due to other issues, many of them would come from others. Frankly, living in those circumstances, you don’t really care about certain things such as homework or watching your health. Thus, in those circumstances, it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy wherein I was actually fat and I had bad grades and so on and certainly very few people wanted to be around me. Thus, when the evidence seems to support consistent claims from someone who is supposed to protect and be honest with you, you believe it at the deepest level. It took me a long time to overcome these consistently repeated evaluative judgments from my own father, but over time, thought Christ, I did. Yet, because relationship is something infinitely more personal than regular friendships, the healing also had to be at the deepest level. It turns out that those things were still in the back of my mind, though unknown to me. Again, I would recognize that these things could have played a part, yet, I had previously “checked them off” as being “done” or “dealt with.” Thus ignoring them in the present and not truly being healed of both the wound and the scar.

The third realm was simply inexperience. As I have said several times, I simply had never dated and thought that perhaps I was just nervous or something. Well, once again, there is something to this, yet given how bold I am in general, that just didn’t seem to explain more than a potentially “fluttering stomach.” It certainly didn’t explain why there would be such a huge block where relationship was concerned. Yet, once again, this was a contributing factor.

Well, hopefully it is easy to see how none of these could single-handedly explain my problem and why there seemed to be evidence that they could not be. Again, the problem with my evaluation of things was that I was taking each one in isolation. None of the three seemed to be able to explain it, especially when the counterpoint was given. Yet, when (thanks to my mom) I finally looked at them as a collective whole, the picture came into focus. I wasn’t able to pin any of them because I was juggling them and not seeing how the three fit together to form the amalgam. Once the hardened shape was seen, I was able to prayerfully allow Christ to bring healing in my life and redeem these aspects of my life. What a wondrous thing and what a marvelous Savoir. It is truly amazing (beyond words or comprehension) why Christ would save me, but even more than that, why He would care so much as to help me in this life too!!!

Well, hopefully this section will at least help you better understand what I meant by juggling and how it is played out in a real life. Perhaps even more than this, Christ can use yet another testimony to help someone who is struggling. If anyone wishes to talk or just needs an ear or shoulder, I am here and willing to help as Christ will allow me, just email me (you can find my email on the main profile page, or leave a comment). Finally, believe me no credit is deserved on my part. These things have not been a matter of my strength or insightfulness, but instead, it is all of, by, and for Christ… SOLI DEO GLORIA!!!