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


Travelin' Man

Scott Davis, head of Admissions for Southern Seminary, usually takes a Boyce recruiting trip to Texas. Ed Stucky, who oversees Admissions for Boyce College, usually takes a recruiting trip to Florida...south Florida, that is. Miami and whatever else is on that particular trip. Well, this Fall Semester, neither of them will be going on those trips.

Yours truly will :)

Boss...Uch...Mr. Mikami...this means I'm gonna be utilizing a board sometime in November. It's not quite Cliffs, Barbers, or even Waiks, but she go.

posted by Bolo | 11:33 AM
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Chriyus called on his way back up here from Alabama. He said he needed to hear the gospel preached to him. I smiled to myself when he said that; I find it extremely ironic that he would call me to hear the gospel. Of all the people I know, I would think I'd be the least qualified to be preaching anything. Nevertheless, it's a blessing to speak savory words of our Lord to another believer. What's more, it's an even bigger blessing to realize that you were sought out specifically for that purpose.

The conversation we had brought to mind the song I Will Glory in My Redeemer, by Steve and Vikki Cook. I haven't heard it in a long while...I think Lee still has my copy of Upward...I forgot to get it from him before I left home in January...dangit. I'll get it in a year. Anyway, here are the lyrics:

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung him on that judgment tree
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
My only Savior before the Holy Judge
The Lamb who is my righteousness
The Lamb who is my righteousness

I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I'm satisfied in Him alone
I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm held by His grace
My feet are firm held by His grace

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagle's wings
He crowns my life with lovingkindness
His triumph song I'll ever sing
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who waits for me at gates of gold
And when He calls me it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold

posted by Bolo | 2:48 AM
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He's a Pre-school Graduate!

Remember that graduation ceremony that Kason memorized? Last Friday, he and his four year-old friends had their little shindig. I'm guessing it wasn't too long; no Dr. Mohler to do the speaking ;)

posted by Bolo | 6:47 PM
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posted by Bolo | 6:45 PM
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Mom told me that Kason knew he'd be getting a couple of leis, and that during the little ceremony, he was trying to signal to Mary to make sure that she remembered to bring them. Little rascal :)

posted by Bolo | 6:43 PM
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Malia got to fly home for free...for a week...the little rugrat.

posted by Bolo | 6:41 PM
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Kayla graduates, Kason graduates, Kyle...well, two out of three ain't bad!

posted by Bolo | 6:40 PM
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Lisa said he called that getup his "cop and gown."

posted by Bolo | 6:39 PM
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They got little diplomas :) I think his was a little easier to obtain than mine from Boyce. The one that I will get, that is. Eventually. Someday.

posted by Bolo | 6:38 PM
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I would've stolen that, had I been there.

posted by Bolo | 6:36 PM
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Oh...and it was Mom's birthday, too :) (Don't worry, I called her! She said it was on the 25th where I was, but I said it still counted 'cause it was the 24th where she was. Technicalities!)

posted by Bolo | 6:35 PM
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Some people sing in the shower. Some try to sing in the shower. I don't bother with that. Instead, I do in the shower what I'm always doing outside of it: thinking.

A lot.

Today, my thinking was rather clouded. I was thinking about sin ( surprise there, huh?), and how it's something that can seem to be so crippling. I don't think I've blogged this before, but I've often told people that sin can be like a hot cup of coffee. How so? If you drink it before the proper time, your tongue can get scalded in such a way that anything else you eat or drink over the next several days will be tinged by that scalding. In the same way, sin scalds our souls in such a way that no matter how satisfying something may be, we will often have a difficult time properly enjoying any good thing, particularly Christ. Our capacity to enjoy those things that are good and sweet to our souls can become severely crippled. Note, however, that this is often something that the Lord kindly uses to grant us sorrow over sin, and over the offense of His glory. (When I told Mr. Cavanaugh that analogy, he liked it so much that I then told him he could use it in a sermon. Has he done that yet, Abbicus Maximus?)

With that in mind, I realized something else that follows up on that line of thinking. In Colossians, Paul speaks about laboring according to the strength of God's glorious might in Christ. Many times, I'll think about laboring for His kingdom in that manner, but I'll equate that with the "positive" aspects of labor. Namely, those things that would seem to have a more wholesome and intrinsically positive bent to them. Such things would include evangelism, discipleship, bible studies, and so on and so forth. I do not, however, naturally include the fight against sin in that category. It seems that I think of that fight, that labor, as one that is less glorious, and therefore, for whatever moronic reason, I do not strive to labor "according to His glorious might in Christ." How foolish is that? Perhaps because I think of God as being holy, as being righteous, I do not want to "taint" Him with my fight against sin. But that's just it, isn't it? It's not just my fight against sin, for how could I ever put sin to death on my own? The death of Christ accomplished that, and the life of Christ displays His willingness to labor for me against the sins that wage war within me. Hmmm...all that in the shower :)

posted by Bolo | 7:31 PM
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You know what sin is like? Sin is like a plant with a tough root system. If we chop down only what we see, the roots will still remain intact, and the plant will grow back with an even greater fervor. Sure, it'll look like it's gone for a little while, but given enough time, the root system will sprout visible evidence of its presence once more. Sin, just like such a plant, must be uprooted and killed to the utmost. Unless such exhaustive measures are taken, the root of sin will always remain.

Ouch. Easily said, but it is a far greater endeavor!

posted by Bolo | 3:42 PM
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Q & A

Amos 5:21 - 24
"I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Chriyus called me at about midnight. When he asked me how I was doing, I had to think about it for a while. I told him that the Lord has me looking at my sin in a manner that brings about deep, penitent sorrow. I had been reading through the first half of Amos last night (which reminds me, I have to finish the second half), and it became very clear how the Lord abhors the sins of His people, and how he holds those who know His instructions more accountable than those who do not. Amos begins by calling out the sins of the Gentile nations surrounding Judah and Israel. The list is long and varied, and in no way are they surprising; these nations are, in the eyes of the Jews, undeniably guilty. Yet, God's prophet has something special in store for His chosen people. After listing the sins of the Gentiles, Amos details the sins of Judah and Israel. What's different about these sins is that they are not simply listed as actions that are offensive, but they are shown to be sins that directly ignore the laws of the Lord. God's chosen people were not sinning in ignorance! They knew better, yet they hardened their hearts and stubbornly chose to act sinfully. As Dr. Draper is ever so fond of reminding us, the 8th century BC seemed a glorious time for Israel and Judah, but like a harlot under the bedsheets, sin crawled rampantly just below the surface.

So...back to that deep, penitent sorrow. I told Chriyus that reading Amos echoed with what the Lord had been doing in my heart. Do I look at my sin and acknowledge it as sin? Do I mourn over sin for the sake of its being sin? Or do I pass over it, trying instead to claim the sweetness of Christ's resurrection without the bitterness of His death? Thomas Watson, in The Doctrine of Repentance, reminds us that the Passover meal was eaten with bitter herbs, so as to remind those who partook of the meal of the bitterness of sin. By God's grace, He is allowing me to partake of the bitter herbs of life, the better to be reminded that my sin is bitter, and it is costly, and that the price was paid by an unblemished Lamb whose blood was spilt on my behalf. Does this mean that my life is horrible? Hardly! For my soul is not numb, and it is able to discern between the cheap grace of lukewarm faith and the costly, heart-rending, soul-satisfying grace that comes with a deeper recognition and penitence over sin. The Passover meal was eaten as a reminder that their sins were indeed being passed over; we, as did the Israelites, have a worthy sacrifice, our very own Passover Lamb! Though the herbs are bitter, the bitterness is a reminder of the sting of death that is not ours. What is ours, then? Life! And such a life is sweet indeed, for it is life in Christ. It is in this life that we are able to truly let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

You know, it's kind of strange to me that Chriyus' inquiry would elicit such an answer. I don't think I answered his question. At least, not directly. Yet when I was done answering, he thanked me for preaching to him. Hehe...I didn't realize I was preaching...if anything, I felt like I was preaching to myself...I guess that sometimes, preaching unto ourselves is the most effective preaching we can do. If anyone else is listening, so much the better :)

posted by Bolo | 6:35 AM
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Joy and Crown

I forget who it was I was conversing with (feel free to claim this conversation if it's you), but the topic was on joy. Not just the fleeting, surface emotions that pervade most of our days, but the deep, abiding joy that fuels our passion to live. I don't remember what we concluded, but I do remember this: I need more joy. I don't live my life according to Nehemiah 8:10, which says that our strength is "the joy of the Lord." If joy is strength, is it any surprise that I often feel so weak, so weary?

Scott Davis reminded me of a key ingredient to joy. He pointed out that spiritual reproduction (ministry that leads directly to salvation) is an incredibly potent joy booster. In seeking to find our joy in the souls of others, we proclaim together with Paul that those to whom we minister are our "joy and our crown." Far too often, my joy finds its end in my own heart, and my crown is one that I alone can see.

Mike is quite fond of the saying, "until Christ is formed in us." (He'll probably be stoked that he got quoted and credited, if my guess is anywhere near the mark.) That little phrase points toward the sanctification that takes place in the community of believers, the body of Christ. We were created for community, for fellowship with those who will engage with us in the struggle against the powers of darkness that pervade this world. If that fellowship is broken, then we, too, stand to be broken. As difficult as life can be, it is all the more difficult when we cut ourselves off from the body of Christ. Therefore, it is with much fervor and hope that we seek to build up the body, to restore those who have broken away, to lift up the downcast, and to bring in those who are lost. To do so is our joy and our crown.

posted by Bolo | 4:11 PM
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Turd Machine

Can you believe it ate another hamster's head? I keep wanting to tell the little Turd Machine, "beware the power of the dark side!"

posted by Bolo | 12:00 AM
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Deep Breath

Remember that post about 60 hour work weeks? Make it 70 this week...and Ambassador duties...and training at BR...and mowing the lawn, since Dave leaves today...and ministry...and there time to breathe?

But of course :)

posted by Bolo | 6:01 PM
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There's a difference between being taught what something is and being made into that something. A good example would be seen if I were to intensely study the common cockroach. Because it is a creature so utterly different from me, virtually everything I learned about it would be not only new, but probably difficult to grasp. How would I be able to relate to it? It senses things differently, feels things differently, and quite frankly, is a subordinate part of God's creation. In nearly every way conceivable, the cockroach's existence would be vastly alien to my human experience. Yet, were I to be made into a cockroach, the learning curve would change dramatically. Suddenly, I would find myself thinking and feeling as the little creature would. Were I confronted with Lisa, my oldest sister, I would quite possibly experience the exhilaration of being able to elicit a high-pitched, fear-induced squeal from a creature thousands of times my own body weight. Indeed, becoming a cockroach would be quite the lesson in cockroach existence.

So it seems to be with God's teachings. In much the same way, the Lord imprints upon our souls love, humility, brokenness, contrition, joy, compassion, patience, repentance, kindness, and more. It is not enough that we know about such things; nay, in the same way that knowing about God is not akin to knowing God, so are the very attributes and characteristics that come with knowing the Almighty.

Often, I can isolate myself in my struggles and forget that others are living in the same world. I'll stare at my sin in a petrified state of horror, and forget that there are believers all around me who are caught up in the same struggles. In talking to Jim and Pablo today, I was reminded of that. I heard a lot of joy and pain in their voices, the echoes of which have sounded deeply within the depths of my soul for weeks on end now. I'm glad that they called, if only to remind me that the Lord's lessons are taught not only through experience, but also in the community of believers.

posted by Bolo | 9:46 PM
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Woohoo! I'm about to get a whole lot more potassium in my system :)

posted by Bolo | 8:54 PM
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Picture Time

He's a little cutie even when he's mad ;)

posted by Bolo | 6:23 PM
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Miss Uchida. At the sink. In her house.

posted by Bolo | 6:21 PM
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Kayla graduated from...heck, I don't know...some grade. It's a little depressing for me to think about exactly how old she is now, 'cause it seems like she was in diapers just a couple years ago. Then again, if I start feeling old, all I have to do is just think about my parents, and I feel like quite the spring chicken all over again :)

posted by Bolo | 6:18 PM
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They're a great excuse for me to go home :)

posted by Bolo | 6:15 PM
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posted by Bolo | 6:14 PM
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I hope Jeff didn't land on top of Kason, ya know?

posted by Bolo | 6:13 PM
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Little dude needed a nap, I guess.

posted by Bolo | 6:12 PM
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Mmmm...more food at the Uchida house.

posted by Bolo | 6:10 PM
0 speakage at the Uchida house...

posted by Bolo | 6:10 PM
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The little Ing boys...

posted by Bolo | 6:07 PM
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Marky Mark

Mark's ridiculous battles on the frisbee field with Brad are legendary. This is something like the view that Brad gets when they're guarding one another. You know, I think it's pretty safe to say that those two are amongst the fastest white guys I've ever known, including Dave. Yeah, that's fast.

posted by Bolo | 8:13 PM
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Peter's First

I've been sitting in and meditating on 1 Peter as of late. Figuratively sitting, of course. That little epistle has been...oh, how to put it...tearing me apart and putting me back together. This process reminds me of Hosea 6:1, where we are encouraged to return to the Lord. Why? "He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us." God convicts and tears us, ultimately so that He might heal us. We can be sure that while any rending of our hearts ultimately comes from Him, He brings us such pain that He might heal us to the praise of His infinite glory.

But back to 1 Peter. Several passages and verses have stuck out, and I figured I'd share 'em here.

1:3 - 5
Blesed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Living hope. We have a living hope. Not a dead one, not one that is temporary or tarnished, but one that is alive and well and will not perish and is undefiled. Why? Because our hope is sealed and secured by the faith that God protects us in such a salvation; Christ's death was once for all. In recent weeks, I've had to come face to face with the deadness of my sin, not only in the fact that sin leads to death, but that sin itself is powerless over me, for it has been put to death by the death of Christ. That thought goes immensely contrary to what my experience often tells me here in this world, yet that's what Scripture clearly says. Wow...death is dead, for Christ has died and has risen to new life. A living hope, indeed!

1:6 - 9
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Peter follows up verses 3 - 5 with a sobering mandate to rejoice, particularly in the face of trials and temptations. Why sobering? It's sobering because Peter does not lay down a cheap foundation for joy; rather, that foundation is the gospel, the living hope that we have in Christ. That's good, because quite frankly, I've smiled far too many cheap smiles in recent days. If I smile, I want it to be rooted in a "joy inexpressible and full of glory." That may sound over-spiritual, but I'm not going to apologize for that :)

1:22 - 23
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

I thought of how I love people. Or, more accurately, do not love people. And then I thought of how my supposed inability to love goes contrary to what Scripture says about love. Here, I find myself staring at the gospel, the word which has been preached to me, and the fact that it is a seed which is imperishable, living, and enduring. More than that, I think of who Christ is - the Incarnate Word - and I realize that I really can love. We've been born of the imperishable seed, redeemed by the precious blood of the unblemished Lamb, and because of that, we can now love...we must love.

2:9 - 10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Here, Peter makes direct reference to one of children of the prophet Hosea, whose name was given to him by God Himself. Lo-ammi meant, "not my people," for the people of Israel had turned away from God and were not to be counted as His. Yet the Lord is shown to be faithful to His chosen people, even in the midst of their flagrant transgression. *Sigh*...I've needed that reminder quite often in the course of my journey with the Lord, and recent weeks have been no exception. If anything, the Lord's loving lessons of humility have reminded me that it is He who chooses me, He who has redeemed me for His own glory, He who has lavished His love and mercy upon me. What have I done to earn this? Absolutely nothing. Such is the mercy of God!

posted by Bolo | 6:55 PM
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Random. Really Random.

Dave's birthday was yesterday. He's 36 now. When I mentioned his being closer to 40 than 30, he said, "Mon's still older!" You know, the whole thing strikes me as quite remarkable when I think about it. My three older sisters all married guys younger than them. Malia may be the first who doesn't, but who knows when that'll happen.

Approximately 4 hours ago, Michelle replied to my email. When speaking of Goose, she said, "he saw that you emailed me, and I quote: 'He emailed you? Bastard.'" *Sigh*...I miss those guys...they make me smile... :)

Yesterday, I walked into the computer lab on campus to drop off some stuff to Scott. He was in there working on a sermon. The really amusing/cute/warm&fuzzyallover thing was that he had a couple pictures of Emily propped up on the desktop in front of him. I asked him if he needed a frame for them. Hey, whatever inspires proper exposition of God's Word, right? ;)

Second interview at Banana went really well. I think, in all honesty, about as close to perfect as it could have gotten. It's not like I'm starving for work hours, but a second job would be nice, particularly during the school year. We'll see, though.

So. I get the following error message in Outlook Express:

The message could not be sent because one of the recipients was rejected by the server. The rejected e-mail address was ''. Subject: '', Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: SMTP, Server Response: '550 ... Relaying Denied', Port: 25, Secure (SSL): No, Server Error: 550, Error Number: 0x800CCC79

I get a similar error in Mozilla's Thunderbird. Relaying Denied. Bleh. So what do I do? What any good techie would do. I hit up Did that help? Well...sorta. Check it:

This problem affects all messaging clients, regardless of manufacturer.

Customers should contact their ISP for assistance since this problem is not caused by the e-mail client. From a messaging client standpoint, there are no solutions for customers who have ISP's that block all SMTP Relay traffic.

Most of the new SMTP e-mail gateway software can allow relaying for specific IP addresses. This is how cable modem and ADSL users will be able to continue to use their same ISP. The cable modem or ADSL provider must provide the customer a static IP address, in turn, the customer's e-mail ISP will allow relaying for that specific IP address. Banks of IP addresses can also be allowed which may provide a workaround for some corporate customers who access ISP's through their corporate LAN.

Translation? At the very least, I would need a static IP. And we don't got one. Doh! Perhaps sitting on the school's network would help out. In any event, I'll need to send my Ambassador emails through Outlook's web interface, 'cause I can't send 'em from home. Bleh.

posted by Bolo | 7:01 AM
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The Ward Village area, close to sunset. I used to get a lot of free food from the folks who worked there ;)

posted by Bolo | 11:47 AM
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Remember that mental image I had of Boss playing his geeter with his A Frame's on? Yep...I was right.

posted by Bolo | 11:44 AM
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Sometimes, I tell myself I'm not as sinful as those other sinners. When teaching others, I'll say something like, "we really need to root out the sins that we hide in our hearts." What I really mean is, "you guys are horrible and have no idea how bad you are, and you need to root out the obvious sins that I see in you that you're still trying to hide." The problem with that? The whole time, I'm ignoring the sins that I'm clinging to myself.

Yesterday was painful. I had to come face to face with my sins...again. I had to confess the sins I'd been hiding in my heart...again. I had to swim around in the ocean of blind pain my sins, both subtle and wanton, create...again. I told Darren that it really hurts to gaze down into the wretched depths of my heinous actions and realize that it really is only God's grace that lifts me up above that horrid void my soul so dearly yearns for. Yet, what else is left to me? If I close my eyes, my wretched actions are still a reality. If I try to hide, they're still there, haunting me. If I turn away from the Lord and do not kneel down in broken supplication, who else can save me?

Last night, I told Scott and Chriyus that I'm dumb. I keep asking the Lord to humble me, over and over and over again. Man...I tell you...that prayer request is never answered with an, "all in good time, John, just be patient!" Uh-uh. Negatory. No way José. The Lord always seems to answer that one quickly and firmly. I know it's 'cause I keep asking, but even more so, it's 'cause I need it. Badly. *Sigh*...the thing is, you'd think I'd learn humility a little more quickly. It seems like I can pick up on other things with enough skill to keep 'em around, so why not humility? Ugh...nasty lesson, this humility thing is. But you know what? I know the Lord loves me because of it. He's faithful, patient, and overwhelmingly gracious. When I read His Word, I see this to be true. Hebrews 12...Romans 8...Psalm 51...Isaiah 53...1 Peter's all over Scripture, it really is. Through the lessons on humility, the Lord lifts my head to gaze upon Him and Him alone, fixing it completely upon the cross and the hope that the cross brings.

posted by Bolo | 11:36 AM
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The Man in the Gray Suit

Whoa. Looks like 'Drew just had a little bit of an interview with the Man in the Gray Suit.

posted by Bolo | 6:49 PM
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Moving Day

Wednesday night, I got a call from Jed. He wanted to know if I was available to help some people move into an apartment on campus in the morning. I told him I didn't have anything else going on, so I'd be there.

It's 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. Cody walks in to Brad's apartment in Fuller and mentions an 18-wheeler (with trailer) parked in Grinstead South's parking lot. Me being me, I don't make the connection until we get to Grinstead South's parking lot ten minutes later.

Yeah, the 18-wheeler's trailer held all the stuff we needed to move. We're still plotting a way to get Brad back for this one ;)

posted by Bolo | 6:43 PM
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Settling Down

60 hour work weeks...possible two-hour Ambassador tours each weekday...Ambassador calls...Ambassador on Sundays and Wednesdays...and possibly more work hours with another job coming up. But am I tired? Kinda sorta. It mostly comes down to what kind of tired we're talking about. Physically tired? Yes. Emotionally? Somewhat. Spiritually? Not nearly so drained as I had been several weeks ago. Nevertheless, it seems like this journey called life keeps getting crazier; maybe one day it'll settle down. heaven :)

posted by Bolo | 4:52 PM
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Port 'O Potty

"Rolaids" doesn't spell relief anymore; "Port 'O Potty" does.

posted by Bolo | 10:24 PM
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I think this goose might be a little taller than Goose...

posted by Bolo | 9:36 PM
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Today's flavor of Linkage is one that brings me a particular and peculiar joy. It's Red Jumpy Ball, the game that a certain nostrilly-blessed buddy of mine, Ryan Szrama, has authored. If you happen to download it, write him a little comment from the site...he'd greatly appreciate it :)

posted by Bolo | 11:49 PM
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The following is from part of yesterday's journaling. Last night I read it over the phone to Pablo, and after musing over that conversation I thought it'd be good to post here, too.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

As I look at this verse, several things stand out. First, mental preparation is not separate from practical application. In pondering the struggles and failures of recent weeks, one conviction that has come forth has been the need to take practical steps of obedience to root out sin. How do I prepare for such action? Well, it's that which is laid out in the Scriptures: prayer, confession of sin, repentance, fellowship, worship, fasting, preaching unto ourselves, meditating upoon the Word, and so on and so forth. Yet, I would also think that such preparation is, in and of itself, a sort of "action." Second, the need to fix our hopes upon the grace of Christ is not a light one. If not the hope of Christ's grace, then what hope do we have? To whom or to what do we look? For whose or for the sake of what do we prepare and act? As Paul said, "to live is Christ, but to die is gain." Why gain? The grace of Christ to be revealed! "Yet to live on in the flesh will mean fruitful labor." The very notion of being in and upheld by Christ's grace right now is nevertheless a surpassing hope, one that undergirds and strengthens the hope that we have to look forward to at Christ's return! Third, that very grace was what Christ looked forward to while on the cross. How so? It was "for the hope set before Him" that He endured the cross. Isaiah 53 speaks of Christ seeing His "offspring" as a result of His being crushed and rendered a guilt offering. Wow...Lord, You look forward to pouring out Your grace, don't You? That's partly why Paul says that the Father, having already given over the Son to suffering and death, will not hold back any good thing from those who love Him, those whom He has called. It's because You look forward to pouring out Your grace not only now, but forevermore, with an exuberance and delight that I can only begin to fathom...and will forevermore only begin to fathom.

posted by Bolo | 12:12 PM
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Frocked No Longer

I'm not quite sure what to make of this...

posted by Bolo | 9:40 PM
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Blood 'N Guts

There's a reason I dig Dr. Moore :) Did anyone happen to catch the hour he filled in for Dr. Mohler on the radio the other day? I'm talking about the one where he addressed Revenge of the Sith. Hot stuff, I according to third-floor Zach.

posted by Bolo | 9:36 PM
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Red or Blue?

"John Letoto, you've got more politics than Episode I."

-Pablo Butterworth, when discussing with me the possible (and impossible) relationships on campus, and the influence (real or imagined) I have upon them

posted by Bolo | 9:28 PM
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10 and 3

Supposedly, Mr. Mikami has 10 papers and 3 final exams to take before the 10th. At least, it was still 10 and 3 as of early Thursday morning. Come to think of it, if it's still 10 and 3...uhhh...well, so much for that MDiv, huh Kev?

Just kidding ;)

Anyway. We were talking for a long while about sin and its effects, grace and its effects, and the dynamics of how God graciously works on our hearts (grace through faith) in spite of sin. It seems like I've had a lot of conversations about sin and grace as of late, come to think of it. Kev had been the midst of writing a paper when he called me to ask me if I'd ever had one of those times when studying where I was so caught up in another train of thought that studying became pointless until I dealt with the said train of thought. I think a very appropriate reply would've been, "that's what my studying is always like."

That, however, was not my reply.

Mr. Mikami went on to detail some thoughts of the how we, as fallen, sinful humans, tend to relate to God when we sin. If I remember correctly, he and the rest of his pastoral staff were dealing with this matter from a certain point of view, and what had caused Kev such an incorrigible need to think this through was the fact that they hadn't really concluded anything as a staff.

Kev, however, thought he had come to a conclusion, and wanted to run it by me. I guess he thought I might provide some sort of stimulating conversation or something....*shrug* ;)

He used this analogy to sum up his thoughts: When he was younger, his dad told him not to go and play chasemaster ("tag" for you white folks...I don't know if I've ever heard the term "chasemaster" used outside of Hawai'i...have you?) outside at night with the other kids in the neighborhood. Kev knew this was because he'd probably stand a good chance of getting hurt if he did. So what did Kev do? Go outside and play chasemaster. Well, one night he cuts his foot on a piece of rusted steel, and so they had to take him to the hospital. Now, being that Kev is just a tad bit older than me, the treatment he received while in the ER was a little more...oh...rudimentary than one would receive today. What that means is that the nurse was scouring his foot in such a way that his dad, who had been holding Kev to comfort him, had to leave the room and have Kev's uncle come in to replace him because the cleaning process was too horrific to watch/hear/feel/experience. Kev told me that as he recently thought about that story, he realized that his perception of the situation was probably vastly different than his father's perception. While he was limping to get help from his dad, he can remember feeling fear of being punished for being disobedient. His dad, however, did no such thing; he simply took his son to the hospital. Kev said that his dad's reaction was primarily one of concern for the hurt that had been inflicted upon his son, not for the fact that his son had been disobedient.

The point of the story was that in our sinful states, there is a fundamental flaw written into our souls that prevents us from trusting the Lord as we ought to. First, we do not trust that His will is good and perfect. If we did, we would realize that not only does His will bring about the best possible result, but it also gives Him glory in such a way that we are able to enjoy and share in that glory. Second, we do not trust that His will brings about healing and perfect reconciliation as He says it will. If we did, we would not continue to sin as we do and grieve the Spirit so horribly. Both of these account for the seemingly unjust wrongs and persecutions that we go through in life, particularly those that we will suffer for Christ's sake (2 Timothy 3:12).

What Kev's story does not necessarily deal with is the aspect of sin that offends God's glory. Yes, sin does hurt is tremendously, and yes, God is our loving Father who heals the hurt that sin deals out to us, but we cannot forget that our sin does require punishment, and that punishment must be in degree equal to the offense of our sin. How is this reconciled? There is only one way: the cross of Christ. The punishment of our sin upon the cross was such that, as Paul writes in Romans 8, "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." The cross is the reason why! The cross restores and justifies every trust that we have in the loving arms of the Father, for without the cross, God would be required to punish us in hell, just as He promises those who spurn His glory.

Kev and I spoke for a long while...we covered stuff that I had actually spoken to Darren about just hours earlier. It was good for my soul; in fact, I'm still being fed by what we spoke of. More later...I gotta grab some grub :)

posted by Bolo | 6:06 PM
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Today, Scott Davis handed me a stack of nearly 200 sheets of paper and said, "since we've been backed up on being able to enter our prospective student data, these are the calls you'll have to make." Hmmm...I suppose this means that I'll have to start being social again, huh? More on this later...I gotta do a few chores before church :)

posted by Bolo | 3:59 PM
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