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


Cut It Out

Often, my heart does not do the things it knows it ought to; the convictions that God places within me when I read through Scripture are oft ignored, rationalized away, or conveniently forgotten. In talking about the ways I try to "execute" the convictions clearly presented in Scripture, I told Darren that I feel like a closet Thomas Jefferson, taking my imaginary scissors to whatever passages I feel are not applicable to me or are not relevant enough to warrant my attention. God doesn't apologize to us for what He convicts us about, nor should He. That would be one of the most absurd things I can imagine! Who am I to question what God says? What foolishness! Rather, I must learn to own up to the sins I hide and cherish in my heart, in order that I might take them and destroy them as they ought to be destroyed. That's the other good thing about Scripture: it not only convicts, it also heals, gives wisdom, and strengthens. I think that in a way, I have to learn not to try to cut into Scripture before it cuts into me.

posted by Bolo | 2:53 PM
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I find it to be of deeply edifying benefit and blessing to speak regularly to those individuals in whom I find not only deep conviction about the Truth, but who are also able to communicate those convictions with passion, compassion, and candor. All that to say that chatting with Darren at Java has got me thinking about various angles of thought on several different levels.

Yes, you ought to be worried ;)

Here's a tiny bit of what came up in conversation.

"What is the gospel?" That question was one that he posed to me last night over Instant Messenger, and the thoughts and conversation spawned by such a concise (if not entirely precise) inquiry has me rethinking much that I'd taken for granted. For instance: what's our purpose in sharing the gospel? Is it God's glory, or is it getting people saved? Think about that, because there is a difference. Are we putting forth God's holiness above even the salvation of souls? Are we putting His glory forth as the basis for salvation? If we're not doing these things, what's our real motivation behind the salvation of souls? In other words, what takes precedence? What is our unyielding, unshakeable, fixed purpose and foundation in the sharing of the gospel? Is it the rock-solid foundation of God's holiness, or is it the desire to see someone saved?

I shared with him the huge, ongoing lesson for this school year: the aspect of the gospel that teaches us that Christ is our Bridegroom, and we as His church are His bride. That's an amazing love story, the greatest ever told, and yet we often speak of it (I'm thinking Ephesians 5:22 - 33 here) and teach it as if it's at worst some miniscule and inapplicable portion of Scripture that gives us a little picture about marriage, or at best as though it were a truth that is useful in reminding us a little of what marriage ought to look like. In truth, 'tis far, far more, for Christ's redemption of His bride is a passionate tale filled with the compassionate overtures of a loving Savior toward His wayward, unfaithful bride. It speaks of self-sacrfice, hope beyond death, purest desire and delight, redemption, and joy unspeakable. The redemption of Christ's bride is an aspect of the gospel that is beautiful and heart-rending. The amazing thing? In marriage, we have a glorious, living reminder of that redemption, do we not? More on this later.

We also engaged in a tiny portion of ridiculous thought. Find that hard to believe? Yeah, me, too ;) Anyhow, I'm done letting my thoughts flow like ice cream on a summer sidewalk...time to do some work.

posted by Bolo | 2:51 AM
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Whose team do I play on? I'm a setter, not a hitter. I can't pass myself the ball, nor can I set myself to hit it. Boyce College's interhall volleyball is less than two days away, and the only other Boyce student I've really played with will be on the road. Doh! What a bummer, I'm telling you! *Sigh*...on the bright side, I guess it's a good thing when the biggest problem on my mind as I go to bed is which team to play for. That observation gains vivid clarity in light of the fact that we're starting that bible study on Galatians in about 15 hours, and I'm the one teaching it :) Hmmm...which team...which team...which team?

posted by Bolo | 2:10 AM
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Frisbee and Friends

It's almost April. Nearly three full months into 2005, and only now have I played my first games of frisbee (much as I loved tossing the frisbee around with Kayla and Kyle in January, that doesn't count). I nearly made myself late for class because our last game went to 10, when it was supposed to have ended at 7. Neither team could end it in the win-by-two matchup, so we kept going. 'Twas ok with me, though, 'cause we ended up winning...hehehe. *Sigh*...I love frisbee :)

You know...I love good friends. They're hard to find, but once found, they're the ones that really last, you know? I was talking with Rich last night, and he reminded me that I should never take them for granted, because he knows how hard it is to function without them. I, on the other hand, can make no such claim. I'd hate to be able to, considering how difficult it is to function in life with them there ;)

Quick tangent: Ray Charles and Diana about soothing the sagging soul :)

Back to good friends. So yeah...I'd hate to think what life would be like without Uch or Boss there to tell me about the surf, or what my days and weeks would mock me with were The President or Smythie not there to remind me of what's really important. I can't see myself being the person I am had James Thomas not been there to listen and encourage when I needed it, or especially if Mr. Field had not employed every ounce of patience he possibly had in grooming my moronic self. The friends I've been blessed with would wake up in the middle of the night and drive to wherever I was just to keep me out of sin; that, gentle readers, is friendship :)

The other day I was giving Mr. Field some flak for not calling me back sooner. That bum took two weeks to do so, and that was after he hadn't called me in...oh...over a quarter of a year. Well, I hadn't called him in quite a while, either, but still...the ball was definitely in his court. He'd called while they were on their way back from Yosemite, vacationing there with Jay and Becky (whoa, there's a couple of people I haven't seen in FOREVER...I wonder if the Little Linebacker's head is still huge...hmmm...Gary, what was his name?). Anyway, he told me that he and Amy are expecting again, which is always great news. I remember how happy they were the first time Amy was hapai, and how much happier they were when they found out they were having twins. We were in a PACKED movie theater (opening night for The Fellowship of the Ring...yeah...PACKED), and Jon stood up before the movie started and yelled out, "we're having twins!" He was grinning his trademark ear-to-ear Mr. Field grin, naturally. Oh, the theater announcement was after he'd already told an elevator full of complete strangers - crazy haole.

posted by Bolo | 12:24 AM
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The Real Judge?

Taken from Wired's Furthermore Archive:

Ruling that juries cannot turn to the Bible for advice during deliberations, a divided Colorado Supreme Court threw out the death penalty for a convicted murderer because jurors discussed Bible verses. In a 3-2 vote on Monday, justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life without parole for kidnapping Rhonda Maloney and raping her at gunpoint for two hours before fatally shooting her. Harlan was sentenced to death in 1995, but defense lawyers learned that five jurors had looked up such Bible verses as 'eye for eye, tooth for tooth,' copied them and discussed them while deliberating behind closed doors. Defense attorney Kathleen Lord, arguing before the state Supreme Court last month, said the jurors had gone outside the law. "They went to the Bible to find out God's position on capital punishment."

-- Associated Press


posted by Bolo | 3:04 PM
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Life's Glory is Dead

Last night was Hymn Night at Dorm Meeting. Whether or not that had any effect on my desire to listen to this one on repeat for a good while, I don't know. I remember first hearing this about...oh...nearly four years ago now. I hadn't really paid much attention to the lyrics, since the music for it that had been rewritten and recorded by Indelible Grace didn't naturally allow for contemplative listening. Several months after first hearing it, someone (I think it was Miss Papaya) told me the story of George Matheson, the blind preacher who one day, in the midst of “the most severe mental suffering,” wrote these lyrics in the span of a mere five minutes. Me being me, I didn't realize that those lyrics that George Matheson wrote were the same lyrics I'd been listening to for months. What a dork :)

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that lightest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day,
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

posted by Bolo | 2:16 PM
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To Quote

"I remember your smile from the day we moved encouraged me." One of the guys told me that tonight, just before Dorm Meeting. It hit in the warm and fuzzies when he said that, particularly because he was someone with whom I'd had very little contact this semester. Add to that the recent ponderings of how I am to go about humbly and lovingly interacting with those around me, as well as the need to decide what I'll be doing as far as student leadership goes next school year, and that little quote went a long way to reminding me of what's really important.

posted by Bolo | 12:45 AM
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I am compelled by the gospel. The gospel is not light, for it has a weightiness unlike any other. It pushes me to my knees and breaks me with an unbridled passion and the tenderest of all compassions. The gospel is grave and serious because my sin is grave and serious, hideous beyond reckoning. Sin is infinitely hideous and offensive because the Lord is glorious beyond comprehension and worthy of all His glory demands; if He were not so, sin would not be so. Yet the Lord is holy and just, and the cross is where the Lord's glorious wrath and His glorious mercy mingle in the sweetest and highest of all mysteries. Therefore, I am compelled by the gospel.

posted by Bolo | 11:35 AM
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Resurrection Sunday

It's Easter Sunday...still...barely. Well, by the time this is posted, after all is typed and push-button-published, after all the reading and eating and (supposed) studying and possible talking on the phone that will distract me from this rather reflective Resurrection Sunday post, it'll no longer be Sunday; it'll be Monday. What genius I wield ;)

This morning I sat in the pews, wondering at the tragic mystery of the crucifixion, exulting in the proclamatory victory of the resurrection. As I sat and pondered, gazing upon the vastness of the truth and power of the gospel, I glimpsed just a tiny portion of how dimly I flicker for God's glory in comparison to the blazing, white-hot passion of Christ's all-surpassing passion for the fame of His name. I saw that His death is mine, and how my my sinful flesh takes part in that death. It is, my death is also His. I saw that His life is mine, and how my once-dead spirit is brought share in His life. My life, therefore, is no longer mine. I saw how He pursues us as His bride, His beloved, the to whom He calls out and sings to; He allures us! I saw how His suffering was purposeful, how His death was deliberate, how His resurrection was and is victorious, and how I partake in all of these now. Wow.

On an entirely unrelated note, I just left a voicemail for Ed Ganigan. Yes, Ed Ganigan the University of Kentucky fan. Yes, the Ed Ganigan to whom I've not spoken since...oh...heck, over a year ago.

Check that, Ed Ganigan the UK fan just called me back. He's far better adjusted to UK's loss than most UK fans around here will fact, he's pulling for Louisville to win it all in St. Louis. What a guy :)

Ok...I gotta get exam beckons Monday afternoon, and I've not really studied yet. Uch & Boss: call me. Wake me if you must. Gary: When I write my first book, I'll dedicate it to the one who first called me a "legend." Jim: it's all your fault...remember that...particularly one year later...exactly one year later. Also remember not to plant too many seeds. Kev: sorry I forgot to call back...we'll do the ritualistic greeting soon, no doubt. Darren: you and me, Java, Wednesday evening. It's the hot date you've been waiting for all your life. Or at least, it's the one you've been waiting for since that hot date you had last Wednesday. And the Wednesday before that. And, for that matter, the one before that...and...well, you get the picture. Parris: you'll be getting a whole lot more of that...uhhh..."item" that you requested...we'll see. Mike: Olive Garden, soon. Scott: I'm gonna steal your quote and make it mine, but I won't publish it. I figure if it worked for get the picture...hehehe.

Everyone: rejoice with me, for Christ our Lord has risen indeed! We have no greater hope than the gospel, and no lesser hope than the gospel. Ponder that as you face all that the Lord brings you...such ponderance brings proper perspective and strength in light of the difficulties and sufferings of this world :)

posted by Bolo | 11:57 PM
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Final Four!

Do you hear that? It's the sound of the 'Ville going CRAZY.

posted by Bolo | 8:57 PM
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Two birthdays were on the 22nd of March, and they went unrecognized. First, and of somewhat greater importance, was my brother's. He's 32 now...whoa...yeah...what an old geezer! Second was my blog's (this thing you're reading now). It turned 2 years old :) Imagine that...two years of my senile ranting and raving, published for all the world to see :)

posted by Bolo | 4:49 AM
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Unrequited Love? Not Quite.

Here's a thought that's been on my mind all day: Valentine's Day, the day of the year we traditionally dub the most romantic, is far from it. Rather, I would think that the day which served as the fulcrum for the greatest romance ever, the day Christ died on the cross to redeem His beloved bride, is the day that Christians should celebrate as the most romantic. We don't often see it as such, yet that is one facet of the gospel story that we forget. That is a shame, for the gospel story is a beautiful tale of passionate love and infinite sacrifice, and is one that should not go unrequited!

posted by Bolo | 4:39 PM
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Elite Eight!

Louisville 93, Washington 79. One more win, and this town will go crazy. Heck yeah :)

posted by Bolo | 11:49 PM
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Last night. 11:30 pm. Rob Smythe's dorm room. Smythe's sleeping. I'm sleeping. The only person in their right mind who could possibly knock on Smythe's door and wake us up? Scott. Who knocked on Smythe's door and woke us up? Scott. I'm glad he did, though; he's really happy, so I went back to sleep happier.

On a totally, completely, utterly slightly related tangent, I'm going to be a very unhappy person if I'm not there to see Smythe fall. I can only imagine the verbosity with which he'd sit us down and describe the situation. "Uhhh...yeah. Hmmm...yeah. Well...uhhh...yeah." Yeah :)

posted by Bolo | 2:30 PM
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"And I mistake my happiness for blessing."

Sitting in Founder's today with Raleigh and Gina, Raleigh quoted that line from Caedmon's Faith My Eyes. I thought to myself, "what the heck is Raleigh Sadler doing reading my mind?" He wasn't, but that's what it felt like, 'cause that's the line that's been running through my head as of late. My perspective on life and its manifold lumps and bumps has been challenged greatly in recent weeks and in particular.

I remembered something about myself today that I'd forgotten. What it is, I won't say, but I will say this: discovering it has brought about...well...a certain degree of sadness. Along with such sadness comes an influx of questions designed to address that sadness, with the hope that I'll better understand why I am the way I am. How do I deal with myself? How do I handle myself in the world, knowing that I am a certain way? How do I balance all of that? How do do do I? It's when pondering the answers to those ever constant questions that I find something: even though I'm not really getting closer to any real answers, I am getting closer to seeing how I'm blessed, despite the perceived lack of happiness those questions bring. Does that make sense? I hope so. (You know, Gary once said my writing reminded him of Paul's, because he had to read what we wrote several times in order for him to make sense out of it. I have a feeling he'd say the same about this post...hehehe.)

So yes, today I feel...sadness. But even though that sadness puts a bit of a damper on my countenance, I'm forced to consider something: it's a sadness is a blessing. Wow. That's a heavy thought, you know? It's one that gives me pause, raises my head, and humbles me. I don't deserve this blessing. I don't deserve to be able to explore the deepest reaches of my heart and perceive it in the light of Truth, nor do I deserve to be able to rejoice in my sadness, for this is a part of all that the Lord is working for my good. Yeah...this is all for my good.

posted by Bolo | 6:59 PM
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Ok. So today was supposedly the first day of Spring. What officially denotes it as being so? 'Tis the vernal equinox, or the day when the sun and the moon share an equal amount of time in the sky.

Or something like that.

I'm still waiting for Spring to fully hit me. Afternoons of for class to get out so I can play frisbee, nights spent lying on the grass watching the moon and the stars while slapping mosquitoes, quiet mornings with just a hint of a brisk breeze...yeah...I'm ready for Spring.

posted by Bolo | 11:41 PM
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Beggar. That's the word that's been running through my head for the past week. More than running, truth be told; the very aura the word commands has had me stopped cold, on my knees, wondering and pondering the state of my soul in a way that I've not done in quite some time. The image I have in my head is that of a pauper, a beggar, the one who is truly despised...the one that I must realize that I, if I'm honest with myself, also despise.

Psalm 70:5
Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

Psalm 109:22
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

Isaiah 55:1
"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

It's hard to picture that in my head and embrace it. I spend so much of my time trying to escape that, trying to "move past" the frailty and helpless state of my sinful flesh that I forget the severe reality of my sin. What it really comes down to, I suppose, is that in order to properly gaze upon the glory of the gospel, I must properly gaze upon the helpless hideousness of my soul. That's really why the word "beggar" is sticking in my head; not only is my soul helpless, but I am hideous to look upon as well. Is that not the nature of a beggar? Hands outward, pleading, yearning for but a morsel or a penny, yet destitute and utterly without hope, not knowing why life is worth the living. That is what I am without Christ. That is what so many are without Christ.

There are beggars everywhere. They sit outside of Wal-Mart, or walk inside of Wal-Mart. They drive their SUV's, they play golf at their country clubs. They eat leftover food out of the trash can, or they have servants serve it to them on the finest porcelain. They're the ones who are skinny because they have no food to eat; they're the ones who are skinny because they throw up all the food they eat. Yes, there are beggars everywhere. I forget that I'm not the only one, I forget that the world has pains and worries that go far beyond that of my own. Some are hopelessly trying to find an answer to their sinful status, while others are are utterly unaware of their pauper's predicament.

posted by Bolo | 8:07 PM
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Sucks to be...a cow.

No fairy tale, I promise.

What's in a name?

This one's for you, Pablo ;)

posted by Bolo | 6:37 PM
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Pictures Again

What you don't see is that I was actually trying to take the cookie out of Kason's other hand ;)

posted by Bolo | 1:46 AM
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They stayed still for that picture for all of .6826423 seconds.

posted by Bolo | 1:41 AM
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I don't care if you're tired of pictures of my nephew. I'm not tired of them, and that's all that counts :)

posted by Bolo | 1:38 AM
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Judges 10:16
So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.

Israel had sinned (again) by serving other gods. The Lord gave them over to that, and when they cried out to Him, He responded by saying that He would no longer deliver them. Still, they knew they had no other help; their help would come from the Lord, or it would not come at all.

Sometimes I forget the tragic and desperate nature of my sin; at others, I forget the depth of God's compassion. It is a sobering lesson that the Lord sometimes grants us when He allows us not only to glimpse or gaze into the murky depths of our sin, but also to bathe in the muck and mire of our hideousness.

2 Chronicles 26:15b, 16
Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

Yesterday, Alistair Begg preached on the story of King Uzziah. Those verses anchored the tragic tale of this once prosperous king, they tell of the fulcrum upon which his life balanced: his pride. Had he realized that his help truly lay in the Lord, rather than allowing his pride to swell his head, he would have humbly walked in obedience all the days of his life. Instead, there came the tragic episode in the temple where he dared to burn incense where he was not supposed to. That led to the repurcussions that would tragically mar the tale of his rule forevermore.

Whether or not Uzziah was strong, he still had a responsibility to walk in humble obedience to the Lord. I often catch myself forgetting this; unfortunately, I don't catch myself often enough.

Hosea 1:14 - 16
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. It will come about in that day," declares the Lord, "that you will call Me Ishi and will no longer call Me Baali."

Those are not the words of a passive heart, of a passive God. When I think about the gospel, one of the most breathtaking aspects of this glorious truth is how passionately the Lord yearns to draw us near to Him once more. He does so with compassion, a compassion that ties my heart into knots when I think upon it. In Psalm 51 David asks, "according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgression." Nothing I do on my own can make me clean and remove God's righteous wrath from me; yet, it is in the greatness of God's compassion, not His wrath, that I find myself kneeling before Him with fear and trembling.

Despite such great compassion, I often come to the Lord with a sterile, almost clinical type of intimacy; the Lord clearly desires more than that. He calls to His bride, He allures her. I don't know about you, but when I think of how the Lord loves me, it's easy to forget that this great God, this Holy and righteous God of wrath and judgment, is a God who calls to His beloved and allures her. There is no greater love story in all of creation, for no other love story could capture the poignant tragedy and sweetness of the Lord's love for His beloved...for us.

posted by Bolo | 1:04 PM
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A few years back, life seemed so simple. An excellent job in an excellent career field, a church that I had grown up in and had come to love, a family that I loved and could depend upon, friends that have proven to be one of the biggest blessings of my life time and time again, and a lifestyle that was idyllically perfect; all of these were part of what made me tick.

Fast forward several years. Leaving was hard, and so was arriving, but it turned out that the sometimes daily bouts of crying and hurting helped me to trulysee, to truly listen. The first summer wasn't so bad, and learning to trust people all over again has yielded blessings beyond measure. The first Thanksgiving away from home came and went (I'm already on number two), and Boss let me listen to the Pacific Ocean on Thanksgiving Day. What a reason to give thanks! Christmas away from home was tough, but I made it through that, too. Then came January, and the roots of my theory on Andrew's sickness (seeing me in January = a very sick Andrew) took hold. Still, it was a glorious time, wasn't it? The Spring Semester was great, as was the Summer. Then the new school year hit, and with it added responsibility. It started out in grand fashion; everything was new, and joy was the fuel that powered my engines. August was great, September was crazy, October was somewhat confusing, and then...November.

*Sigh*. Life has been a whirlwind. At times, I've wanted the wind to just stop; at others, I've been afraid that the wind would be taken out of my sails entirely. Going home this past January was better than I could have hoped for; of course, that just meant that coming back was more painful than I had dreaded. It was the first time I'd ever really questioned whether or not I needed to be here; yeah, I was confused.

Thinking back over these past several years, I never would have said that God would have brought me here, nor that He would have taken me on this rather roundabout and less than smooth pathway to get here. This wasn't the life I wanted, this wasn't the path I would have chosen. Here's the kicker, though: it's far better than I could have ever imagined. When I look at my phone bill, I think of all the hours that show I was talking to Brian and Kevin and Andrew, as well as all the times I called Goose's phone just to leave some random voicemail...ten times in a row :) I think of the very first time I met Rob Smythe; at least he said he liked me when we met ;) When anyone mentions Indianapolis...yeah...oh boy.

God doesn't give us what we always want; learning that has been a costly lesson. I sometimes wish the learning would be easier, or faster, less painful, or less confusing. I have the feeling, though, that the lessons wouldn't stick nearly so well if they weren't so dearly bought. And you know what? I'm glad for such pricey lessons; they remind me that God loves me too much to let me stay the same :)

posted by Bolo | 11:17 PM
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I miss my family. Like...a lot. Therefore, I figured I'd post the pictures that Lisa got from the wedding reception. Enjoy :) (, Monica, Mary, Dad, Lisa, Mom, Steph, Malia, Leonard. I'm leaving the ages up to you to figure out!)

posted by Bolo | 2:19 AM
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It's my blog, and I'll post as many pictures of Kason as I want to...starting with this one :) Hey, we had to do SOMETHING to entertain ourselves while we waited...

posted by Bolo | 2:14 AM
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Yeah. Me and Pops. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree, huh?

posted by Bolo | 2:10 AM
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One Jeff = LOTS of Kasons.

posted by Bolo | 2:09 AM
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*Sigh*...the little guy...I miss him...

posted by Bolo | 2:06 AM
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Kayla will be twelve soon. TWELVE. I remember when she was born. Whoa...

posted by Bolo | 2:05 AM
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Kyle's a STUD.

posted by Bolo | 2:02 AM
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I'll give you a hint, Sandi: he doesn't like Purple. I'm ok with it, but Andrew...uhhhh...nope.

posted by Bolo | 2:01 AM
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Mr. Kyle Ing. The background's pretty neato, too :)

posted by Bolo | 1:56 AM
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I've seen monkeys do similar things to one another...

posted by Bolo | 1:52 AM
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I told Aunty Hattie that Uncle Al somehow managed to find the only other full-blooded Pocho in the entire Grand Ballroom, and that that conversation would be a dangerous one to butt into. I then told that to Uncle Al, and he said that The Other Pocho found him and started talking to him first. You know, there really is a first for everything!

posted by Bolo | 1:38 AM
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I blocked that right hook and countered with a...uhhh...a...nevermind...she probably knocked me out.

posted by Bolo | 1:22 AM
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Is there aaaannnnyyyy doubt that I am my father's son?

posted by Bolo | 1:20 AM
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He takes after my father, too :)

posted by Bolo | 1:19 AM
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My brother in-law whipped this little creation up. Seriously.

posted by Bolo | 1:18 AM
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Up close.

posted by Bolo | 1:17 AM
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They must've told Kason that he had to hold his mommy's hand so she wouldn't be scared when they were being introduced.

posted by Bolo | 1:16 AM
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If Steph doesn't look like me, who does? Certainly not Leonard...he's still claiming I was adopted...if so, why do I look the most like Dad? (I can't avoid it, so I might as well admit it.)

posted by Bolo | 1:14 AM
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My Mommy.

posted by Bolo | 1:13 AM
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My Daddy.

posted by Bolo | 1:13 AM
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It's not fair. Why does Leonard get to have all the height?

posted by Bolo | 1:10 AM
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Mary, Im, and Malia. Malia cheated and wore heels. Actually...Mary probably did, too, but it's kinda hard to tell...*cough*.

posted by Bolo | 1:06 AM
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Katia, the twins, and Mia. Don't ask me which one of the twins is which; their names are Eh and You, and they're interchangeable.

posted by Bolo | 1:05 AM
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Hey, he's just four years old...he's allowed to be silly! (Be quiet, Cracker!)

posted by Bolo | 1:04 AM
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You'd think his lips would get stuck like that or something.

posted by Bolo | 12:57 AM
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No worries, 'Drew, the purple isn't too obvious :)

posted by Bolo | 12:56 AM
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No, my sister's not smiling because she's smelling the flowers...

posted by Bolo | 12:55 AM
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Jeff & Kason with the ladies.

posted by Bolo | 12:51 AM
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Mr. Kason Ing. What a little cutie :)

posted by Bolo | 12:34 AM
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Wow. That's all I've got to say right now. Wow.

posted by Bolo | 10:32 AM
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The drive up to Indy was great. I sat in my car for roughly two-plus hours, the majority of which were spent pondering the greatness and beauty of God. The "big thought" of the drive? Simply this: that which is infinitely beautiful, namely Christ, found delight in restoring me, that which is most unlovely, to a glorious and beautiful dwelling for Himself. He makes me His friend, His beloved, His treasure, His bride, His temple, His brother. He gives to me His life, His death, His righteousness, His love. He found pleasure in taking that which was unlovely, and restoring it to glory. Not too bad for a drive that could've been quite humdrum :)

By da way, Mistah Mikami...tanks foh da help wit da pidgin. Waz good, ah? :)

posted by Bolo | 5:42 PM
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Season High!

Tonight's basketball stat sheet: 3 for 5 from the field, with a three point shot to boot, for a total of 7 points...a season high, baby :)

posted by Bolo | 9:56 PM
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It's been a while since I've cranked out study hours like this. The beginning of the semester...*sigh*...I tell you, it was hard to really get motivated to do any reading for class. When I was talking to Scott one day, he reminded me that the most important thing was not that I simply start doing stuff, but to make myself right with the Lord. I knew it, too, and he knew I needed to hear it. Wow...what a difference I find in my heart when I'm laboring for His sake, by the strength of His glorious might. Dr. Wellum's Theology III exam is on Monday; 35 terms, 15 essay questions to study for. My study sheet is getting packed with the goods, slowly but surely, and my brain is churning at a rather steady pace. But you know what? Studying like this feels great. I know the purpose behind my studies, and I rejoice in them. God is good like that; He's reminded me that this really isn't my life, because mine was nailed to the cross with Christ.


posted by Bolo | 4:55 PM
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What Matt Knew

Today, in between Church History II and Math (yes, MATH), I swung over to the Sprint store on Hurstbourne. For what purpose, you ask? To return my phone charger. The $40 phone charger. When I bought it two weeks ago, the lady had told me that I had 14 days to return it. I had made up my mind right then and there that there was no way I'd be keeping that thing for good; I just had to come up with a way to replace it at a lesser cost. Unfortunately, the best plan I came up with at the point of return was to return it one day, only to buy yet another one the next day. That, and ask everyone I came across if they just so happened to have another phone charger, and if they did, if it just so happened to fit mine.

Yeah, right.

Not a soul had a spare, much less a phone that would have happened to be similar enough to mine to warrant begging and pleading had a spare charger been in existence. That is, until I spoke with Matt. Matt knew that Jordan had found a Sprint phone charger in the parking lot two weeks ago. Matt knew that Jordan had asked around, but not a soul knew of a pathetic wretch who had to fork up $40 for a new charger. Matt also knew that Jordan had not yet done anything with the charger. What Matt doesn't know is that he and Jordan each almost got a big Holy Kiss from yours truly :)

posted by Bolo | 1:41 AM
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There's nothing quite like waking up the morning of an exam, grinning 'cause you know you've studied for it, still have time to study a little more before you take it at TWO-THIRTY in the afternoon, and have nothing else to do before then. Of course, that means that I can take the time to make some coffee and eat breakfast/lunch/dessert :) While all of this happened, snow is flurrying in the backyard. It's days like these that make me smile. That, and Dorm Meeting last night. More on that later, though ;)

posted by Bolo | 1:01 PM
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Not Forsaken

Psalm 63:1
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 73: 26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Our souls were created to behold our glorious Creator, to reflect His glory in our lives, and to magnify the worth of His name by enjoying Him. We have within us a deep, eternal longing to be satisfied in Him, one that He Himself has placed there. To fall short of being satisfied in Him is no true satisfaction; indeed, 'tis a mockery, 'tis sin. And yet, He graciously desires and wills for us to know no lesser pleasure than that of knowing Him truly and intimately, despite the great cost. And what was that cost? That His own Son would know the infinite horror of being separated from the true intimacy that He has enjoyed with the Father from all eternity. Thus it was that Christ cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

posted by Bolo | 12:38 AM
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Read about it, then download it.

Bwahahahahahahaha! It's very wrong...but boy, did I LAUGH.

Poor postal workers...hehehehehe :)

You'll find yourself yelling, "Go go go go go go go! Don't stop, keep going!" And all because of this.

posted by Bolo | 1:19 AM
4 speakage


That's Life

An online Church History quiz, an in-class Theology III quiz, a Church History midterm, Missions papers, some Math homework, a Math project, a presentation on that project, and a bunch of reading. That'll be what my life is about for the next 45 hours or so.

Or will it?

It's been all too easy to lose focus as of late. I remember when I first came here, it sometimes seemed like I'd cry every morning I woke up. I had no idea why God had brought me to such a strange place, with all its idiosyncrasies, cultural depravities, and meteorological dysfunctionalities. I lived with a strange tension in my heart: I hated being here, yet rejoiced in knowing that I was exactly where the Lord wanted me. It was a tough season of life, but it was one that grew me in ways I still do not fully realize.

Perhaps one day, I'll say the same of this season. In some ways, however, this one seems harder to deal with. The distractions I face in the daily struggle to remain focused are far more subtle than they used to be. I've come to feel comfortable here, and comfort can be both good bad. Good, because it means that I've adjusted, and I don't doubt that I can survive in a place that I affectionately dubbed, "Nowhere." Bad, because to feel comfortable means that my heart can become numbed and insensitive to the ways that I must remain desperate for the Lord and broken before Him. *Sigh* of late, I've felt the bad side of things. I think I've survived worst of it for this semester, but I hate to think of how insensitive I can become to the ways that God has blessed me in my time here. Yeah, it's a horrible thought.

I've just begun to read through Judges, and what reaches out and grabs me is how unfaithful Israel was toward the Lord. Their history is scandalous, shameful, and quite frankly, disgusting. Yet, is my story any better? Every time I become comfortable, every time I decide to cease vigilant prayer to give my aching knees a rest, every time I forget what I'm not supposed to forget, I find that my life has once again mirrored the unfaithfulness shown to the Lord by His chosen nation. *Sigh*'d think I'd learn.

You know...I've got a decent load of academia to tackle over the next couple of days. It'll be easy to lose focus on why I'm doing it, too. I can see how I'd not want to study for my Church History II exam, or shrug off doing my Math homework (believe me...that one would be VERY easily shrugged off). But you know what? I'd be forgetting why I'm doing it. I'd be forgetting that I'm exactly where God wants me to be, and that studying diligently is exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing, no matter how mundane it may seem. I'd be forgetting what my life is really all about.

posted by Bolo | 11:46 PM
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Decisions, Decisions

It's last night, somewhere past 8:30. I'm standing in my room, trying to decide what I'm going to wear. I make a phone call to Darren Thomas, because it is he who will help me decide.

Wait a second. I know what you're thinking. Many of you SBTS/Boyce folks had a thought flitter through your cerebral cortexes that went something like, "Toto calls someone else to help him decide what to wear?!?!?!?!" Fear not, gentle Jesus Lovers; your world is not falling apart at the tectonic plates, nor are pigs flying, for John Letoto is not relying on someone else for fashion advice :) The reason I made that call was this: Darren and I had been meaning to get together for over a month now, yet had not been able to do so. I'd just gotten home from our youth service at church, and needed to know if I was going to change into something that I could chill comfortably in at Java with Darren, or if I was going to change into something I could fall asleep in. The verdict? Jeans with a black turtleneck and pinstripe blazer.

And no, despite what Todd Thomas says, that doesn't mean that I was dressing to go to sleep!

Talking to Darren is always nice. The Old Single Guy's Club at Boyce is a small and exclusive one, yet Darren and I both find ourselves rather steadfastly hanging on to our membership cards. Well, kind of...but that's another blog post altogether ;) I think it's safe to say that we find each conversation more and more comfortable, in spite of their sporadic nature, and that is due to mutual discovery that we are very much alike. Yeah, scary, ain't it?

The nature of being considered a leader was discussed. The influence we have upon the lives of others is, quite frankly, often unrealized. I can't really help being who I am and having my personality; therefore, I can't really help it if people will look to me to lead at times. But you know what? I don't want to be a leader. It's not in my nature. I'm not the ambitious or success-driven least, not in the way that the World will perceive ambition and success. But what I know I am is this: I am one who is constantly haunted by my failures, yet am all the more overwhelmed by the way Christ takes those failures and nails them to the cross. I am one who would rather someone else not look at my life for an example of what to do, yet if someone else does so, would hope in the grace of God to find the strength and wisdom to proclaim Christ to that someone. I am, as I told Darren, the one who enjoys being the Right Hand Man, the Hired Gun, the Oddjob; after all, that dude gets to carry all the cool weapons and do all the cool stuff (think Legolas in the movies...yeah...he got to have all the fun). The one who's really in charge, however, has to shoulder all the burdens and make all the decisions. He never gets to have any fun.

Despite that, my life is not my own. The last time I read my bible (half an hour ago, I think), God didn't change that truth. I still belong to Him, and He still has prepared for me all the good works I will engage in. What do those works look like? I've no idea. Does that matter? Not in the least. My job is to obey Him right here, right now. If that means I step to the front and lead the crowd, so be it. If that means I'm the guy behind the scenes who helps The President get things done, so be it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I shall go and get dressed. No phone calls required ;)

posted by Bolo | 2:27 PM
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Double Digits

It's Kyle's birthday today. He's 10. You know, I can remember very clearly my 10th birthday...I can remember feeling special, since I'd finally hit double-digit years. It really doesn't seem like all that long least, not until I think about it and realize that 10 years old was over 15 years ago.


In any event, 'tis my nephew's birthday, and I need to call him.

posted by Bolo | 1:07 PM
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It was a tough weekend. A good one in retrospect, but a tough one nonetheless. *Sigh*...sometimes I wish I weren't so dense, you know? But I am. I'm a dork, a wretched dork, and yet God loves me. Yeah...God loves me. That's such a simple truth, but oh deep a truth that is!

Yesterday, in Dr. Wellum's Theology III class, I was hit with the truth of my standing before the Lord in Christ. We're covering Salvation (or what's also known as "Soteriology" in the world of academia, if you want tangible proof of what my $180 a credit hour is getting me) right now, and Justification was the flavor of the day. The Good Doctor went into the ideas of how we stand as righteous before the Lord, with all of Christ's righteousness imputed to us. In other words, we "legally" stand before the Righteous Judge with all the righteousness of Christ credited to us. If that was not enough, Doc also differentiated between being "justified" and being "vindicated," even though they're really the same. In essence, even though we now stand fully justified and righteous before the Lord, there will come a Day of Judgment, wherein all will stand before the Lord to give account. On that day, we, as those whom He has chosen, will be vindicated and declared before all as justified. Does that make sense? It did when Dr. Wellum explained it. I suppose that's why he gets to put "Dr." in front of his name ;)

In any event, the thought of being able to look forward to the day of judgment (vindication) had never before really hit me the way it did yesterday. Perhaps, for whatever reason, I'd doubted God's promise. Maybe it was a misunderstanding of what that day would hold, maybe it was a sense of guilt; either way, it's a blessing to look forward to that day and savor it. It's also a great reminder that right now, right now, I am righteous in God's sight, because I am in Christ. Wow.

posted by Bolo | 11:48 PM
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It's March, and there's snow on the ground. Snow Country, indeed...

posted by Bolo | 11:34 AM
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