Archive for the ‘Darkness’ Category

On Sarcasm

Posted 25 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Blogs, Darkness, Light, Ministry, Spirituality

As of late the topic of sarcasm seems to rest heavy on my mind and heart. The Easter season has something to do with it – bringing me to remembrance of hope and joy and reason for celebration. For me these stand in strong contrast to a sarcastic demeanor.

When I find myself being really sarcastic I also find myself being very critical. Other people’s sarcasm and critical spirit infects me, I know this to be true, leading me to believe the same goes for the other direction. When I’m reading blogs that are overly sarcastic and critical of the Church and others, I fall into agreement and it builds divisions in my heart between myself and others trying to follow Jesus. In a community I find a critical spirit to be a slow, dry, rot, deteriorating the foundation and threatening collapse.

Today, in google reader, I unsubscribed to a blog I enjoyed at first for it’s witty satire and tongue-in-cheek-ness. Since that honeymoon phase all posts have continued in the same sarcastic vein with rare glimpses of hope and hardly any encouragement. The decision to stop reading comes in hopes to keep my spirit from being divisive and to keep it from being crushed under the weight of a bleak outlook on life and the Church.

This is something I’m still working through, I don’t know that I’d say sarcasm is always wrong and always hurtful, I think I’m just coming to a realization that it’s often a cheap laugh and at someone’s (or organization’s) expense and therefore hardly edifying.

What do you think?

Now playing: jon foreman – In My Arms
via FoxyTunes

Cure for the Pain

Posted 25 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Darkness, Friends, Jesus, Light, music, Spirituality

Tonight while hanging out with the Dawgs “Cure for the Pain” by Jon Foreman filled our small dinning room. This song pulls tears from me no matter the emotional state I’m in. The cause: maybe the sadness in Jon’s voice, maybe the ways it reminds me of how I’ve tried to cure my pain, or the ways I know trying to run would simply be a lie. Either way, tonight it causes me to stop and reflect on the healing journey God has me on and how these days I don’t feel quite as lonely as I once did. The tears change from ones of sadness to ones of thankfulness and remembrance.

And here tonight while the stars are blacking out
With every hope and dream I’ve ever had in doubt
I’ve spent ten years trying to sing these doubts away
But the water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my lord! to suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away

Tomorrow Spring the next seasonal EP is released and I’ll be picking it up for sure. You can get it the EP’s here.

The Moment of Disgust

Posted 26 Feb 2008 — by nick
Category Darkness, Jesus, Television, Videos

I hesitate to post this video. I found it painful and appalling.

Apparently The Moment of Truth is a current hit show on Fox. Arriving at work this morning some of my co-workers were talking about this episode from last night, I checked it out. After this clip Lauren goes on to answer that she has cheated on Frank, her husband of two years. The pain comes from imagining how cutting these revelations much be to Frank and how much he must be hurting, and also how trapped Lauren must have felt with the weight of her thoughts and actions. My eyes welled over as I saw this for the first time, I waited for Frank’s do the same.

Is this entertainment? Why is this on TV?

Maybe seeing other people’s pain and problems makes us feel better about the mess of our own lives, or maybe as a society we’ve gone the way of the Romans and the Colosseum and are completely desensitized to the violence and horror of our brokenness and extreme self-centeredness.

It bothers me that this is on TV. It disgusts me that this is considered entertainment. I think that’s a good thing.

Can it be more obvious that we and our world needs putting back together? This pulls my heart to follow Jesus all the more and strive to join Him in making things right.

Now playing: Derek Webb – This Too Shall Be Made Right
via FoxyTunes


Posted 18 Oct 2007 — by nick
Category Darkness, Jesus, Light, Running, Scripture, Spirituality

Typically after a marathon I tend to struggle more with feeling down and emotional – some runners have a term for this, Post Marathon Depression. While I’m not sure I’d call it depression – certainly there is a great feeling of lose and emptiness. In one respect you reached the goal through months of training, uplifting. Then there is the emptiness of not having a goal to strive for, not having a motivation to get back on the road and put in the miles. In addition you have the physical limitation; your body simply needs to recover and your legs can be mad at you for sometime. Typically my body needs about 2 weeks to recover and feel up to pounding the road again.

Reviewing previous years it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the past weeks have been pretty tough emotionally and felt so exhausting. Periodically I’ve felt overwhelmed with emotion – making it hard to be around friends or even complete my work.

Yesterday I noticed the hours of sunlight dwindling, like they do each fall, and that made me sad. Soon it’ll be dark when I go to work in the morning and dark when I get off. Over the years I’ve heard claims that sunlight helps fight depression, so I’ve made it a point to get outside today – visiting some of the buildings I’m networking. Surprising how much better I feel just from getting to see the sun a bit – how much more hopeful life seems. It excites me and reminds me of this idea of God being light and us as followers being salt and light.

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. ~ Jesus (John 12:46)

Now playing: Derek Webb – This Too Shall Be Made Right
via FoxyTunes

A World in Disorder

Posted 21 Sep 2007 — by nick
Category Blogs, Darkness, Jesus, Light, News, Podcasts, Social Justice, Videos

I arrived at work this morning like usual and browsed my podcasts. NPR story of the day, The New from Lake Wobegon, Pandora podcast, This American Life, etc. “‘Jena Six’ Case Prompts Mass Demonstrations” – the NPR headline seemed to leap out. Clicking ‘play’ I found my heart beating faster, an anger welling up and sadness deepening.

Initially I was angry that racism could still be so prevalent in this little town in the south. Then I began to admit it’s not just in the south, in this little town. I see it in my upbringing, I see it at home, I see it on this campus, I see it in my life – through my white privilege and learned behavior.

In the darkness of racism it becomes so apparent to me that Jesus is the hope of the World and that he is putting it all back together again. We simply can’t fix things apart from God.

NPR was my first exposure to this issue – the whole story feels like something out of a text book describing the 60’s. You can read more here at BBC.

One of the more interesting bits of the article to me is how the community is described as a “mixed community” about 85% White and 12% black, yet the churches are not so ‘mixed’ nor are the neighborhoods or even the barber shop.

Continuing my morning routine I noticed a blog post by JR Woodward about this topic. As usual it’s worth reading.

Here is a brief YouTube Photo Story:

Now playing: Derek Webb – A New Law
via FoxyTunes


Posted 14 Feb 2007 — by nick
Category Darkness, Jesus, Light, music, Spirituality

It’s cheesy and cliche to post song lyrics on your blog :

I wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy
And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough

It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could know
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough
~ Switchfoot “Let that Be Enough”

Such a simple, beautiful song, yet wonderfully true to what it feels like to be in the darkness of aloneness, wanting so badly to escape it. This is life more often than I would care to admit. I believe this to be a trait of a person who wants to follow Jesus – acknowledging I’m a kid who knows he’s needy and desiring so strongly to know that God loves me. Aloneness plagues us all, since the fall we’ve been desiring to be restored to God, to walk in-step with the living God.

All around me lay things falsely claiming they can make me happy. We’ve been down that road before, we’ve used that to try and kill the pain, to try and get out of the darkness. Jesus is the one true way out of the darkness.