Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Only the lonely

For whatever reason, I'm feeling a little lonely tonight. But I'm thinking it's a good thing. No, check that; it's a great thing. I've forgotten the important thing in my life...indeed, the important One...and I'm not sure I like what I've seen in myself recently. I've gotten good grades, I've worked hard at work, and I've been acting (somewhat...hehe) like a responsible adult should. But you know what? That'll get me nowhere. *Sigh*...

Sometimes God gives us loneliness to remind us of something - we're not alone. I've gotten so caught up in myself, so caught up in learning about God, that I've forgotten one thing - God. A while back I wrote about the word "lingering," a word that Jonathan had gifted me with one day. I feel like I've failed to savor that savor God. Oh, how easily I've become caught up in everything all over again!

There's a freedom we are given when God shows us how fragile we are. We are but foolish sheep, constantly wandering astray, constantly in need of our Shepherd's loving care. Oh to be held in the arms of our dear Shepherd once more! God, would you carry me? Would you hold me once again, and not let me run away in my foolishness? Hold me and care for me as only You can...

posted by Bolo | 6:32 PM
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Reason #27 why Boyce College Rocks: The Big Show. 'Twas Boyce's version of "The Late Show" last Friday night, and it did indeed rock, even though there were a few glitches that threatened to drive us over the edge into insanity. Scott planned and hosted the event, and yours truly did the backstage stuff...telling people when to go on, taking care of the lights (yeah, I'm still the original FCF Light Boy!), pulling people from the crowd to participate when needed, and all that good stuff. The best part was being able to dress up and look smooth...heck yeah :)

The weather around here today is great. The term "Indian Summer" finally has true meaning for me, and am I ever so glad for it! I'm offically whiter than I ever have been in my life, and although I've resigned myself to the fact that I won't get tanned before next Spring, I can still dream that the sun will tan me a little for the next few days :) Yeah yeah yeah...I know I'm pathetic. What's your point?

posted by Bolo | 12:42 PM
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Sit there for a moment, don't sneak away just yet. I'd like to ask you a few questions, if I may. I'm wondering what your day was like, if it made you happy or sad. I'm wondering what you're doing right now, other than reading my silly blog. Are you getting ready to eat dinner, or have you just finished eating? Are you at work, or perhaps at school, whittling the time away? Have you just begun your day, or are you nearly finished, ready to give your worn out soul some rest? Still, although though I'd like to know those things, I'm curious about one more thing. I wonder, if like me, you've forgotten what's most important. I wonder, if like me, you feel like you're fighting a fight like the little Dutch Boy, plugging holes in the walls of your heart to keep people from knowing how hurt you are. I wonder, if like me, you feel like you're climbing to get to the top of a mountain that just seems to constantly get bigger.

Do you feel that way? Do you wonder what's the use? I do, too.

I have a friend, a very close friend, who as of late, has been wondering if we're going to remain friends. I know, I know, that sounds somewhat complicated and vague. It's just that he's been hurt a lot, and he's not sure of whom he can trust. He doesn't realize it, but I think of him fact, he's one of the reasons I'm here. He doesn't write me often, but when he does, his pain calls out to's like I can hear him weeping through his words. Sometimes, when I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself, I think of him and I realize that I'm not as alone as I think. I think of him, and I realize that there are lonelier people in this world. I think of him, and I hope he realizes that he's not as lonely as he long as I'm alive, he'll always have a shoulder to cry on.

Anyway, I mentioned earlier that I often feel like I'm climbing a mountain that's constantly getting bigger. You know, it's true; I am. We all have to deal with that mountain in one way or another. Some of us choose to sit, and never begin the climb. Others begin it, but don't finish it. Yet for those of us who do climb, we're often faced with a problem. Sometimes, the mountain seems to be our enemy, and won't let us climb along the path we'd choose for ourselves. We get mad, we throw a fit, but eventually, we must submit to the will of the mountain. And yes, the summit does indeed seem to be ever further off the higher we climb, if there's a summit at all. Yet, that's the beauty of the mountain, for it is ever more grand, ever more stunning than the day before. It is up to us to seek to see the grandeur, and in seeking, to be stunned by it.

posted by Bolo | 10:38 PM
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A little Hebrew lesson is in order here. The root for the Hebrew word for holy is "qad", which means "to cut, separate." What's the significance of this? Just this: I've often mistaken the idea of holiness as being clean, being pure. But this just isn't the case, especially when it comes to looking at God's holiness. In a sense, it's like we're dealing with apples and oranges here. If humans were all oranges, then you could think of us as all being sinful oranges. But no matter how unsinful we become, we're still oranges. God, on the other hand, is not only pure and free from sin, but He's an apple...*not* an orange in the least. I know, I know, some of you are shaking your heads and going, "bible college finally cracked you, John!" You probably wouldn't be very far off in your assessment ;)

In all seriousness, though, the whole idea of God being entirely *different* from us struck me pretty hard today in our Theology I class with Dean Johnson. Think about it...striving for holiness isn't something where we have a goal to become "more" or "less" than what we are; we must truly become *changed* in our very nature on our journey toward holiness! That thought is both encouraging and humbling.

The theme of the past couple of weeks has been simple: to God be the glory. The living out of that is what can be complicated and difficult. The pressures of exams, quizzes, book reviews, ministry, work, financial needs, deadlines, and missed deadlines all pull at you to take your focus away from what's most important. In all honesty, I've often wondered if enjoying and seeking God has even been on "the list" for me. *Sigh* eyes are burning from a lack of sleep, my smiles are becoming farther and fewer between as I wonder more and more if this paycheck will be enough or if that scholarship will finally come through, and the demands of school and ministry bring me near to tears.

Yet in the midst of this, God has been ever so gracious...breathtakingly so. I remember telling Monica at the beginning of the semester that if God really wants me here, He'll find a way to keep me here. At times, I've doubted that. It can get pretty dark and desperate, but it's in those times that finding Him once more becomes all the sweeter. *Sigh*...this semester won't get any easier, I can almost guarantee that. But you know what? I've slowly become reconciled to the notion that God wants me to realize more of His grace; if I must know the pains of desperation in order to know the surpassing beauty of His grace, so be it!

posted by Bolo | 10:43 PM
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It's that rough time of the semester where the weather makes me want to stay indoors and under the covers, and there is a distinct lack of excitement to drive myself onward in my academic endeavors. I must do my reading, take diligent notes in class, and make sure that I do so with promptness, if not vigorous promptness. But am I? Will I? *Sigh*...that's debatable :)

posted by Bolo | 9:50 AM
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So a bunch of us are sitting in the cafeteria yesterday. Jessica says she's "Floridian" since she's from Florida, and someone else says they're "Texan" since they're from Texas. I said that the term "Hawaiian" is an ethnic term, not a geographic one, whereas they're using those terms ("Floridian" and "Texan") as though they're ethnical, not geographical. Jessica says smugly, "they are!" My even smugger response? "No, 'Floridian' and 'Texan' don't refer to ethnic background, they relate to levels of depravity!" Hehe...just thought I'd share that one :)

On a far more serious note, Bethlehem Baptist Church hosted the Jonathan Edwards Conference this past weekend. When I asked Scott about it on Monday, he whispered to me in dorm meeting, "it changed my life." Wow. That's not the kind of statement someone makes about just anything. That's not the kind of statement Scott makes about just anything. So it's understandable that I was floored when he said that.

From my understanding, Scott's perspective helped to make it that much better for him. His home church is Bethlehem Baptist, so he gets teaching from John Piper all the time. He said to me that it hit him just this weekend that he could, at any time, email "Pastor John" about help with a paper...that he's had people of that magnitude surrounding him, ministering to and with him...blessed? Yes.

But that didn't make the conference amazing, nor was that what made Scott's experience at the conference. It was, in a nutshell, simply this: that God is worth it. It gave him a perspective that causes all things to seem either utterly necessary or utterly void of value. Listening to Scott talk about what God showed him renewed my own passion, my conviction, my desire. I'm forced to ask myself, "am I *truly* living?" Is what I'm doing now simply drudgery, or is it fueled by the white-hot passion of God for His glory that He's set out to accomplish in my life? That's a heavy question, but we're living a life that requires a heavy answer. Am I truly living?

I told Scott that what I hate most about being at a bible college, especially one as excellent as Boyce, is that it's so easy to substitute learning for living. Learning about God is great, but unless it flows, unless it's burning and consuming me, what use is such fuel? It simply sits there, cold, dark, unlit, unconsumed by the Holy Spirit, lacking any conviction and power.

When we were walking around after dorm meeting on Monday night, Scott and I got a little lost on the way back to campus. The roads were windy and dark, the night was cold, and he was late for dorm check-in. Yet, we relized something. We were, in a sense, far less lost than we had been in a long while.

posted by Bolo | 1:20 PM
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I must confess. I am falling in love. Yes, I. Improbable as it may seem, I have found a new love, one that has me laughing and smiling and singing and seeing the world in beautiful, vibrant colors. How, you ask, has this come to pass? More specifically, who in the world could possibly cause such a change in my heretofore unwavering tune? Does this beauty have a name? Indeed, she does! Her name is Fall, and she is glorious.

Her trees are clothed in color schemes that inspire and delight; her temperament cool and crisp, instantly refreshing. I find myself soothed in her presence, sunny and bright but not overly so, cool and wistful with a whispering of days gone by. Where has she been all of my life? *Sigh*...

Hah! And you thought it was a girl. Silly human :P

Anyway, yesterday was cool. One of the girls at Boyce rounded up about 30 of us to go out to somebody's house out in the middle of somewhere about 45 minutes from school for a day of R & R. The drive itself was awesome, if only because the highway was lined with trees in various shades of autumnal decor, and the weather was juuuuust perfect...sunny, but with the tiniest bit of a nip in the air. Jack Johnson's latest album is excellent driving music, by the way. We played a little croquet, ping-pong, and "volleyball" (not really volleyball, but that's the closest sport to what we were doing). The house is surrounded by some other farms, with cattle providing quite the aromatic backdrop to our evening meal. There's also a donkey that likes to come close to the fence and laugh at the croquet players' dialogue between themselves and their uncooperative balls. I managed to come in a close 2nd to the owner of the house; since it was the first game, I don't feel guilty in attributing the slim margin of victory to his familiarity with the playing field ;) After dinner we started a little campfire, during which Moody brought out his guitar and we sang some songs while under the open sky. Later, we made some smores. All in all, a good day :)

posted by Bolo | 2:23 PM
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Derek Webb

Last night a bunch of us Boyce Junkies went to see Derek Webb live in concert. His first song? Faith My Eyes. If he sang no other song from that point on, he already had me. But dang...the man is amazing! We hung around afterward and got to converse with him for a bit. He's super cool...kinda short and smallish, and he does this thing where he crosses his legs and talks at the same time, almost as if he's gotta pee but not really, and his head looks somewhat big for the rest of his body; but hey, the dude can sing! Oh, and he loves Jesus...he gets points for that, too :)

One of the things he was telling everyone during the concert itself was that we as Christians tend to measure our spiritual maturity in terms of how much less we sin, not how deeply we're repenting...and that's not a good thing to be doing. That one struck a nerve with me. I had to ask myself, "am I really repenting, every day, every moment, running away from sin and striving toward God's righteousness and grace?" Sin is one of those taboo words we tend to smile at like the ugly duckling child everyone feels sorry for; the problem is, it's not. It's the evil Chucky doll that simply won't die, and is not to be pitied. Off with its head!

posted by Bolo | 12:43 PM
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Psalm 91:15 reads:

"He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him."

Today Jonathan and I worked through Psalm 91. When we got to verse 15, we got stuck. What seemed so odd was the very last part, where God says that He will *honor* us. Why so odd? Think about it. What reason can you give to God to *honor* you? Jesus? Sure, His blood covers us, and through Him we are allowed into His presence. But *honored*? That's one of the most absurd things I can think of! I told Jonathan that I'd always felt uncomfortable with the thought of God "glorifying" or "honoring" me when we're all finally in heaven. I mean, I'm uncomfortable with public praise to begin with; can you imagine how foolish I'd feel to be the recipient of glory and honor when I absolutely, positively, do not deserve it?

But that's my flesh talking, the side that cannot comprehend the kindness of God. Jonathan asked me a great question: "if you could have one thing at this moment, just one thing, what would it be?" Easy. A pair of tickets, one to home, one back here. "Why?" he asked. Simple. I want to see everyone, even if it weren't for Christmas, even if just for a few days. Like I told someone a couple days ago: better is a thousand days in Hawai'i than a thousand elsewhere :) Ok, maybe that's not the best interpretation of scripture...sue me! Anyway, his next question went like this: "What would it be like for all your friends and family to see you? Would they not rejoice? Would not their joy be *honoring* to you?" CLICK. I swear, I almost heard the click in my head. I got it.

We then talked about the story of the prodigal son, and how the father ran to his son. The father *ran*. Hebrew fathers in that day didn't run; such a thing was undignified and far below them. Yet this one ran, and such a running is not to be overlooked. Wasn't that running honoring to his son, even though this son of his didn't deserve honor? Absolutely! And so it is with us, when we call upon our Father. He runs to us...He honors us!

A little bit later, we spoke of how easily we take for granted the good things of God because our sin numbs us. I told Jonathan that I was reminded of drinking a fresh cup of coffee. Oh my...soon Starbucks will be getting their gingerbread and eggnog flavors...*sigh*...anyway, where was I? Oh yeah...cup of coffee. Sometimes, in my haste to taste, I won't let it cool, and I'll burn my tongue on the scalding hot liquid. A split second of impatience brings on an entire week of not being able to eat or drink things in such a way that I can enjoy them properly. So it is with sin; we burn our souls and so cannot feast upon the goodness of God, let alone differentiate between what is good and what is not. When my tongue is burnt like that, my taste buds don't work. When my soul is burnt by sin, my ability to be satisfied in God is dried up.

posted by Bolo | 6:14 PM
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Whoa. The unthinkable happened. Well...not quite. Andrew actually called me from B.C., and I actually answered and had time to talk. It's the first time in five semesters that that's happened, if memory serves me correctly. *Sigh* was good to talk with the dude...a huge, huge blessing that I was desperate for. Thanks, God...

posted by Bolo | 6:19 PM
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Jonathan gave me a great word to ponder today: linger. I was telling him about the things I've been missing lately, and how I realized that I've not taken the time to sit with "linger". I can't say that I haven't had the time to sit with Him, because that's not true. Rather, I've not taken the time to push everything else linger with Him. Being on a campus where the God is the emphasis can deceive us into thinking that we're automatically being fed. If anything, it's akin to going to a feast, given a huge plate with incredible food, being told to eat, and not eating. We can see and smell the food all we want, but if we don't take fork to food and eat, we won't be nourished. Sadly, I know I'm guilty of this, especially when I get busy and think that my service to God is so important that He can't possibly work through me if I don't accomplish everything. But that's not the case, is it? Nope...God wants me to linger...

posted by Bolo | 6:14 PM
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You know what I miss? I miss sunsets at Kaka'ako Park, where I'd sit on the rocks watching the sun paint the sky in colors that I'd only previously seen melted together on old Filipino ladies, all while the waves swooshed around below. I miss sitting with Matt and Mike and Dean at Blow Hole, watching the night lit up with the Geminid meteor was one of those nights you hope never ends. I miss lying in the grass at Pu'unui Park late at night with the full moon coming up from behind the Ko'olau mountain range. I miss sitting outside of Andrew's house, the two of us talking until late became early, and a normal night became special. I miss sitting with Brian at Starbucks, asking him if I could be blunt, and with his blessing, telling him exactly what I felt my gut was telling me to tell him. I miss flipping the kayak over with Jon...and laughing afterwards. I miss dinner with my family, with me picking up Dad late 'cause Andrew and Brian and I surfed too affairs were always times where we'd make more silly memories to tease each other about for years to come.

But do you know why I miss those things? I miss them because I could sit with You, God, and realize how blessed I am. Watching the sunset always carried with it an expectancy, an anticipation that You were there. You're still here, but do I look for You? The Geminids made me smile for two reasons: because they were something beautiful to watch, and because I had friends to watch them with. Pu'unui Park reminds me of my need to be real with You, to be a little child, to be weak and frail and joyful and awful and aware all at once. Andrew and Brian? What would I do without them? Yet, when you took us apart, You made us stronger. Going to Jon's house was like stepping into refreshment...there's no way I couldn't be encouraged. Being with my family...well...Christmas won't be the same without them...but You're with me...maybe I need to learn that again.

posted by Bolo | 7:29 PM
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