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!!!