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


Hogwarts and Southern Seminary

I have a confession to make. This is one I probably would have been a little appalled and somewhat ashamed to make several years ago. Today, however, this confession comes with nary a bit of seared conscience, nor even the tiniest portion of hesitance. The baring of my soul reveals this: I like the Harry Potter movies. The little boy in me is quite taken with the idea of going away to school, to learn at an educational institute in some strange and faraway land where the stars are strange and the customs of the accent-bearing natives are even stranger.

Wait a second...

I suppose that comparing Hogwarts to Boyce College and Southern Seminary would border on heresy in the minds of more than a few staunch SBC fundmamentalists, yet that is precisely what I'm doing. After all, it seems to me that those at Hogwarts, much like those at Boyce and Southern, are well aware that they are among those who have received a special calling, an invitation to a life dedicated to a specific purpose. As such, that calling entails a training of no less a dedication and purpose. Furthermore, if one is given the opportunity to tour the little campus in Louisville, there is no doubt that those involved with Boyce and Southern are, as our esteemed President often reminds us, standing on the shoulders of giants. That is what it is to study at an institution such as this; I do not doubt that Harry Potter would nod his head in understanding.

But what of it? What of our education and preparation for life and ministry?

Several years ago, when Leeman was still here, Scott and I were discussing the ministry potential of one of our fellow Boyce students. Scott told me that this student had come up in discussion with Leeman, and that the two of them were concerned. Why so? As I recall, the young man in question had displayed a distinct lack of good Christian maturity on more than one occasion. In fact, what seemed to be the consitent factor in his life was the inconsistency with which he displayed godly character.

The reason that Scott brought this up to me in particular was because he felt a responsibility for this young man and wanted to ask me to share in his burden. As those who are training for ministry, those who are Christ's body and members one of the other, we have a sober and humble responsibility to watch over our brothers, particularly those who are training for and are in ministry with us. Scott and I were of a like mind, thinking that if we saw this young man's character as being in need of molding and shaping and did nothing to address this need, we were in sin. If we saw this need and did nothing, and this young man went on to full-time vocational ministry somewhere, what type of fruit would his ministry bear? Would he remain faithful, would he be fruitful? Worse, would he do damage to human hearts, all in the name of Jesus? If we thought about all of this and did nothing, what type of damage might we be doing?

These days, I still think about that young man. I think about him for different reasons those that brought Scott to me. I ponder how close I come to being like him, in the sense that I also have a great potential to affect people in life, in minstry. Will that affect be such that people see and savor Christ all the more, or that they turn away from Him in bitterness and confusion? I don't know the answer to that yet, but I do know this: as much as that young man showed such an agonizing lack of potential for the good of the Kingdom, I sincerely pray that God uses that young man in many powerful, God-glorifying, Kingdom-building ways. Wouldn't that be amazing? Isn't it wonderful to think that the LORD would take a life that didn't belong, one of those lives that was not like the others, and make it beautiful and unquestioningly His? Absolutely.

In my time here in Louisville, I've learned many things. Many of those things I would probably never have learned had I not come. Yet, there's an inherent danger in training at a place like Boyce. I forget that I don't belong; none of us do. At least, we don't belong on our own merit. To serve King Jesus is to respond to a call to serve in the strength of His glorious, gracious might. As John Newton wrote, "'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." Grace! There is no room for pride, no room for assuming that I will succeed where another will fail. The biblical list of heroism does not include individuals who were born winners; if anything, they were people whose pedigree was questionable, whose accomplishments were negligible. And in those instances where pedigree and accomplishments were of worldly worth, God made it abundantly clear in the crucible of humiliating discipline that it is His hand that truly does save. So it is here at Boyce. Those of us who are brought here have, by and large, no pedigree or accomplishments to back our calling. Those of us who do will be marked as His by the gracious, shaping suffering that the followers of Christ are given to share in.

Is it exciting to be called to ministry, to be granted to share in a sacred, high calling? Absolutely. Is it humbling? It ought to be...for it is a calling wherein Jesus calls us to come and die. Such it is train, to prepare here at Boyce and Southern. It's far more special than Hogwarts, but it's just as easy to get caught up in the fantasy.

posted by Bolo | 12:24 PM
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A Three Hour...

The temperature was somewhere around 75 degrees today. That, my friends, is shorts and t-shirt weather. Woohoo! I was so excited about the forecast that while I was leaving work at 7 AM, I decided I'd take advantage of the glorious, unclouded canopy above me and go take some pictures in Cherokee Park and the surrounding area. With that decision firmly set in my resolutely adventurous and inspired mind, I drove back to campus, parked my car, walked into my dorm room to change, took off my jacket, lay down to take a load off of my weary feet for a moment or two...

And woke up three hours later.

So much for ambition, eh?

posted by Bolo | 9:32 PM
3 speakage


Sooner Rather Than Later

Mon told me today that she and Dave will probably be leaving in about two and a half weeks. That's much sooner than previously anticipated. *Sigh*.

posted by Bolo | 10:03 PM
3 speakage

Random Ridiculousness

Yesterday was one of those days that was...oh...very random-seeming. Lots and lots of random happenstance to whittle away at an otherwise busy schedule, and not a lot in my brain can explain why. In light of that, I've decided to let you, my sometimes adoring public, in on these little tidbits of my largely inconsequential life.

R. called me around three-ish in the afternoon. She was quite excited, claiming that she'd made a 98 on her Worldviews II exam. R. being R., she said that her mommy told her to go celebrate with people. I am people. Therefore, she called me to celebrate. We went to get some ice cream and pie at the Homemade Pie & Ice Cream Kitchen. Lovely little place, that. Anyway, she said that she'd tried calling Emily about fifteen different times to let her know of her academic success, but Emily hadn't picked up. I asked with a smirkish sort of humor, "Wouldn't it be funny if I called her and she picked up when I called?"

After several rings, the esteemed Mrs. O'Neal picked up :)

A certain young lady attending Boyce College is currently engaged to a certain young man who used to attend Boyce College. This young man has a last name that is, without a doubt, difficult to spell and pronounce if one is not used to such tongue-twisting. Well, last night I was informed that when this young lady had first met this young man waaaaaay back in the Fall 2004 semester, she was so smitten with him that she almost immediately taught herself to spell his highly discombobulating surname both forwards and backwards, with the hope of it eventually becoming her name as well! Impressive as this may be, it is without a doubt just as hilarious that this young lady still could not pronounce his last name properly, even after knowing him for two months.

And no, his last name is not spelled H - O - T - T.

posted by Bolo | 3:19 PM
5 speakage



2 Corinthians 1:12
For our proud confidence is this: the testimmony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

Romans 12:9
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

John 17:22, 23
"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me."

There's nothing overtly obvious, at least not to me, that ties these verses together. Nothing, that is, save the fact that when I think of the unity we have as believers in Christ, the stark truth of God's word makes me squirm.

Do I love without hypocrisy? Do I, as Paul exhorts the Romans in the same passage, give preference to others? How do I conduct myself toward my brothers and sisters: in holiness and godly sincerity, and that by the strength granted by grace, or by my own foolish fleshly wisdom? Do I truly see other believers as those with whom I am one body, with Christ as our head? If so, do I conduct myself in the light of that truth? Or do I seek to deceive and break down my own body, rather that build it up? Is my desire to be perfected in unity, to be one, just as Christ is one with the Father? *Sigh*...that's such a high that looks insurmountable more often than not.

If anything, I write this because I'm a horrible failure at loving. The adjectives are many, yet they are true: selfish, arrogant, prideful, disdainful, conceited, uncaring...the list goes on. Yet that is only one list. Just as true are others far more hopeful: holy, blameless, justified, righteous, loving, sanctified, kind...and more. It's easy for me to become overly introspective and forget that I am indeed changed, that I am truly united with Christ. The life He calls us to is costly, as Bonhoeffer said it is. Such a cost calls me to die to my own pleasures, to mortify those pleasures which are rooted in the self and not in Christ. They call me to a greater pleasure, that of being in union with Christ, and one with His body.

posted by Bolo | 3:47 PM
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Missing Kewalo's

I was sitting in the Student Life office on Friday, waiting to leave for the Spring Retreat. After doing the standard Facebook poking, blogging, and e-mail checking, I went to check on the local newspapers at home. The Star Bulletin had a link that I clicked on, something about local photography. What came up was an image that made me instantaneously homesick, and horribly so. The photograph showed a little boy at Kewalo's, walking on the short pillars just in front of the wall. I clicked on the high-res link and proceeded to stare at it in a deeply distracted, melancholy longing.

Pablo came in, Sweet Tea came in, and neither of them came anywhere close to understanding why I was staring at a picture of the ocean. Little did they know that I was naming the breaks in my mind, thinking about the hundreds of times I've paddled out through those channels or just sat on the wall in quiet contemplation. It was almost like some complete stranger coming up to me on the street and showing me a picture of the neighborhood I grew up in; I didn't expect it, but as soon as I saw it, all the dormant memories of Kewalo's came flooding back to the forefront of my thoughts and emotions.

Sunset after sunset played through my mind, much like sunlight plays through the shallow ocean water and dances upon the sand and reef below. Even more beautiful than seeing the sun from the water at Kewalo's was seeing the sun from under the water at Kewalo's. The sound of the waves crashing, both onto the rocks in front of the wall and all around me in the ever-closing hollow of a tube: they echoed in my mind. I could almost feel the tingly warmth of the sun as I would dry off after a long session in the water, or even the prickly cold of a first duck-dive under the water during the long paddle out. Then there's the smell of the flowers gently and soothingly intermingled with the smell of salty ocean air: it's one of those things that stays the same, even if I don't. Of course, how could I ever forget the taste? It was inevitable that some ocean water would go down my esophagus, ingested through either my nostrils or my mouth. Some days it seemed I swallowed so much salt water that the back of my throat was scratched raw; I'd give a lot to have that scratched-up and raw feeling right now.

But most of all is the knowledge that Kewalo's was, as much as it could possibly be, mine...ours. I knew what the channels, currents, and tides were like. We all did; still do. More than that, though, was the overwhelming feeling that it knew us, because we belonged.

There's a lot I could tell you about that small strip of land and ocean on the South Shore. To do so almost always makes me happy. But for a brief moment of time last Friday, I didn't want to say a thing about it; that's how much it hurt.

posted by Bolo | 2:04 AM
3 speakage


Search Parameters

As a handful of you know, I use a third-party company to log the statistics on this blog. One of those stats lets me know if someone followed a link to my blog from another website. If so, I can see which website someone came in from. That being the case, it occasionally happens that some individual, for whatever reason, finds my blog via search engine. Usually the search parameters will include my name, or less frequently, someone else's name.

One such occurance was yesterday. The person used Google to do a web search, and these were the search parameters:

Mullins residents who spell Micah Revell's name like this: H - O - T - T ...

That's what the searchee entered into that little search box. I'm not making this up. The stat log doesn't lie (unlike one Mullins resident I know of). Sorry, Rev...your legend grows!

posted by Bolo | 2:37 PM
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Not So Manic Monday

It's a little past 8 on a Monday morning. I'm awake, and have been so for nearly an hour and a half at this point. I don't wake up early for just anything, but getting together with Chriyus at Java was more than ample reason to forego a greater degree of uninterrupted rest.

When he picked me up, I told him I needed him to tell me of the gospel, because my soul desperately needed it. Still does, as a matter of fact. We spent nearly an hour talking about our lives and the neverending need to be saved from our sin and the wretchedness it colors our lives with. When I look back over times like those, I sometimes realize with awe and wonder that the Lord has not only ordained such moments, not only rejoices over our souls as we speak sweet and savory things of Him, but has granted sinners like us a righteousness in Christ that did not change one bit from before I got into the car with Chriyus to after I got out.

posted by Bolo | 8:16 AM
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Despite my weariness, I was still more than happy to be able to be outside, walking along a muddy bank, hearing leaves crunch under my shoes, and having my senses perceive things that are alive.

Or in some cases, decomposing ;)

posted by Bolo | 8:01 PM
1 speakage

Grouchy Old Man

I was a grouch. A melancholy, cantankerous, stubborn, contrary, incorrigibly grouchy old man.

And I knew exactly why.

To be fair, I was exhausted. I'd not slept much all week, and usually, when the weekend hits, I have more than just a little time to get away from the proverbial maddening crowd duing my solitudinous 12 hour security shift on Saturdays. This weekend, however, granted no such quarter. I pondered this irony with just a tinge of frustration, as this was supposed to be a retreat: a time to relax, rejuvenate, and refocus on Jesus. By the end of our time there yesterday, I was more than ready to get back just to get away from getting away from it all.

And I knew exactly why.

This was the third such Spring Retreat that Boyce College has had at Country Lake Christian Retreat Center, and my fourth overall. The retreats prior to this one were all very memorable, if for varying reasons. The one we had my first semester at Boyce is where I recall meeting Scott O'Neal; he, however, vividly and vehemently claims to remember seeing me before then at my Orientation, where he thought I was going to be, as he fondly terms it, "the new trouble kid." The Spring Retreats that followed spawned such memories as the infamous game of Steal the Bacon, Capture the Flag, Eric Yeldell's wooing of Kristin, Leeman's moronic morning run, and more. In looking back over Spring Retreats past and reminiscing on all the goodness that's gone by, I can't help but feel as though I wasn't entirely there this time around.

And I know exactly why.

I had dinner with Scott and Emily last night at Cracker Barrel. It was good to be with close friends after such an agoraphobic weekend; even better that it was Scott and Emily. When they asked me how the weekend went, I took a little time to reminisce with Scott about some of our exploits on prior retreats...getting lost together, Leeman's stupid morning run, trying to overcome Moon Pie's Cheek of Immovability in Steal the Bacon, and more. After several laughs, I told them that I was a melancholy wreck the whole weekend, wanting desperately to escape and be off by myself, yet knowing that I couldn't ditch out on the program just because I was tired, pouty, and having Scott Withdrawals. He understood; so much of our lives here have been predicated upon the unspoken understanding that we would be, if given the choice, Scott and Toto.

And we knew exactly why.

Whenever we had Focus, we'd go off on our own to pray, just like we always did on Mondays after Dorm Meeting; the Hurstbourne McDonald's was where we'd drive to juuuuuust before curfew so we could acquire ice cream cones; our respective rooms on campus was where the other was always welcome, no questions asked, no explanation needed. While we never broke any of the rules outright, we did rewrite a few of them, and when that wouldn't quite suit our purposes, we somehow got permission to dispense with the need to obey a specific rule for a brief moment of time ;)

But our understanding of one another has gone much deeper than mere moments and memories. It was an understanding of who Christ was and is and forever will be, and knowing that the LORD has graciously granted us something rare and precious in being able to behold His Son in much the same fashion, over and over and over again. At that little retreat center in Indiana, I kept pondering that in my mind. In the midst of telling Scott and Emily all about my grouchiness, we continually laughed at my plight. It was far from a somber evening; quite the contrary, I had more laughs last night than I'd had all week. The beauty of having dinner with them was that all the wretchedness of being on the retreat without Scott was suddenly removed.

And they knew exactly why.

posted by Bolo | 5:23 PM
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One More Thing...

Remnants from Boyce College's Spring Retreat, Spring 2006...

posted by Bolo | 12:03 AM
2 speakage
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