Updates from January, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • acleveland 8:20 pm on January 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    holla at ya. 

    I don’t really want to say much tonight, because I have a bad feeling I’ll just get in the way. This is up to you.

    Accept it, listen, live it, hold on.
    ACCEPT IT: Accept that the Bible is truth. If you can’t accept that just yet, sit down and actually think about it! Think about what you’ve seen or heard about God. Give it some time in your brain to stir around.. Let it marinate. Don’t run away from those thoughts that make your brain hurt and your heart question – determine what Christ is to you RIGHT NOW. Is He that tapping on your shoulder? Is He in the background? Is He being pushed away? Is He YOUR LIFE?!
    LISTEN: We listen to a lot of things everyday. We listen to our parents, our classmates, our bosses, our teachers, music, our own thoughts. But what if all the outside stuff was just tuned out – what does God have to say? When have you taken the time to just put everything down, shut up, and listen to God? I’m pretty sure He has a lot that He wants to say. After all these years, I’d have a lot to say, too.
    LIVE IT – If you’re going to claim it, live it. Let this BOOK, this MAN, this GOD, RULE your life. Live out what you say. Live out what you read in the good book. Live out what you’re called to do.
    HOLD ON – This is probably the one that hits me the hardest. Holding on. School is impossible. Thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. I feel like nobody REALLY knows what I mean when I say that because they’re not in my shoes. They deal with the crap of school, too, or the crap of whatever they do everyday, but they don’t know where I’M coming from, because they don’t see my life. Holding on is so incredibly hard, but so important… Probably more on that tomorrow.
    Gah. Crazy day. Just listen tonight.

    New favorite song: Listen – Josh Wilson

     
  • acleveland 11:08 pm on January 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    alg.2-$u(x)^2389 

    I have been demoted to the rank of variable. Variables are those unfortunate, unknown, anonymous letters tagged onto the end of numbers in algebraic equations. Whenever I see a variable, my mind goes from mildly functioning to boggled. Diminished clarity reduces me to legally blind. Yes, I realized I am nothing but a lonely variable, trying to fit in and be an important number. Can you tell I despise math with all of my being?

    “What’s the point of all this if you’re not going to let it change you?”
    Yeah, I know I put that quote on here yesterday, too, but today I’m actually going to talk about it. A lot of things happen over the course of an hour, a day, a year, a lifetime. These things can rank from complete crap, to blessings in disguise, to outright glorious. But no matter if you’re in the best stage of your life or the worst, what does it matter if it doesn’t affect who you become? I can’t really expand on this sentence.. it concisely stated what could take hours t oexplain. Think on it.
    During the bad times, replay that in your head. During the victories, replay that in your head. During the neutral, boring, ordinary times, during the “on top of the world”, leading, winning times, and during the struggles, the fights, and the seemingly hopeless times, remember that sentence. I know I will.

    Took an hour long walk in the snow today. Took some pictures. Listened to some music. I’ll put pictures up tomorrow. I’m going to start doing a “the month in pictures” blog on the last day of each month. Talk to my reader(s) tomorrow.

    New favorite song: Sleeping Sickness- City And Colour

     
  • acleveland 9:54 pm on January 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    resonate. 

    “What’s the point of all this if you’re not going to let it change you?”
    I saw the movie “To Save A Life” this morning with my youth group. It was a really intense, good movie. It was open and honest and real, and it clicked with me on a more personal level.  It confronted us about hypocrisy, judging, and exclusion. I could relate to some of the characters. I know what it feels like to be alone. 
    God has worked in some crazy ways on this journey despite the pain. GOD has worked. It’s been all HIM..NOT ME. I take no credit!  There was this girl sitting alone at the end of my lunch table last semester. Months flew by of me sitting there silently, on the outskirts of conversation, and looking up to see a girl that looked just as lonely as I felt. After a lot of pep talks in my head, I decided it was time to change seats. I bought my lunch and sat down next to the girl, summoned up a nervous smile, and half-whispered, “Hey.” As it turns out, she was the answer to my prayers about lunch time. From that day on, instead of sitting alone, I had a friend. She didn’t talk much, and I had to work to keep the conversation flowing, but it got easier each day. I had gone over to sit with her as an attempt to help her, but it ended up helping ME. God used her to help me. It was half an hour less of being alone.  

    I think God has put me in this position and these situations this year for several reasons.
    1. To open my eyes to other people feeling the same way
    2. To further advance my trust in Him
    3. To let His light shine in the darkness.

    There’s a Switchfoot song that says, “If it doesn’t break your heart, it isn’t love.” I didn’t understand that at first. I thought, isn’t love supposed to make your heart FULL, not broken? But I realized today that loving God and living for Him has broken my heart. The thing is, God’s not the one breaking it. God is every stitch of the thread that is sewing me back together. He is part of my heart, He is in my heart, because as my heart has been ripped in two, He’s sewn it back together with Himself as the thread. I come to Him in pieces so He can make me whole. Wednesday was the one year anniversary of when I chose to follow God and when we became best friends. A lot has happened since then. My life doesn’t look the same. Some parts I don’t understand, but that’s okay. It’s worth it.

    New favorite song: Nothing Left To Lose – Mat Kearney

     
  • acleveland 10:13 am on January 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    announcement: 

    School was cancelled.

    That is enough cause for a blog post saying just those words.

    New favorite song: How To Save A Life – The Fray

     
  • acleveland 9:02 pm on January 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    yesterday is my today and tomorrow. 

    In Greek mythology, humans are described as tarnishing with each new generation. During the first pristine years of creation, humans were the “golden race”. They were morally sound, pure, kind, genuine, good. Over time, morals and the overall goodness of people decreased. The silver race followed the pure golden race, then the bronze race, the Heroes race, and our current stage: the iron race.
    We had a class discussion in English today about if we agree with Edith Hamilton, the author of our Mythology book, when she says each generation gets a little worse. The opinions in the class were split. It’s not like I’ve ever experienced life outside of what I know now, but I know that the past is a lot different than the present. No matter how cynical it sounds, I agreed with Edith Hamilton. What used to be explicit and profane is now normal. If my grandparents or even my parents heard what I hear walking down the halls everyday, they would be mortified. The violence in video games used to be shooting spaceships with little darts, and now it’s “how many people can I kill?” Sex is glorified in movies now. I mean, come on!!- Superbad? The Hangover? She asked the class to raise our hands if we had seen that movie and over half the class threw their arms into the air. My teacher said in old movies married couples didn’t even sleep in the same room. More and more is becoming normal, and I don’t want any part of it.
    We had a sunday school lesson a few weeks ago that talked about how much in the Bible is disregarded now. Society places the 10 commandments in the “irrelevant” section of their brains. “Do not use the Lord’s name in vain”? No big deal to people now. “Do not lie”? Think of all the crimes, all the cases, EVERYTHING that has involved dishonesty. “Do not commit adultery”? Ha! Look at Hollywood. You hear stories all the time from celebrities, but it doesn’t stop there. Not as huge of a deal as it used to be.
    Murder is still thought of poorly, as is theft. But think about it. If all of these things have already been demoted to unimportant, when will murder and theft fall under that category as well?

    Dang. Maybe this generation can be the one to step it up. It starts with one, right? Love is the movement, let’s get it started.

    New favorite song: Satellite – Guster

     
    • Doug 11:35 pm on January 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I was there. I agree. It’s shocking how crude and blind people are. And to sit an listen to people claiming what they do and how it’s no big deal. It’s paralyzing.

    • Kelli 9:06 pm on January 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Agreed. The world is so full of nasty terrible stuff. Only maybe that’s there for a reason. If everything was easy would we try as hard to be good christians? think of all the crappy stuff as a blessing. without it we might not have seen that we need christ.

  • acleveland 7:51 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    please. 

    Some people don’t like running, but I do, especially in the cold and the dark. Once my muscles loosen, it’s just repeated movements. When it’s cold,I’m numb. When it’s dark, there’s nobody outside. Eventually, it’s like sleeping. I feel and think nothing, and whatever I see is just a dream.
    I’m really grateful for coffee today. My sleep time is slowly dwindling down to about six hours per night. A travel mug of extra bold italian roast that I carry to first period is like an extra couple of hours of sleep. When I’m not running, at school, writing, or doing homework, I set my life into peaceful oblivion mode. That means: Door shut, music on. Once I get home from school, my brain shuts off. I went to piano today and I couldn’t think. I was blankly staring at the pages full of notes, struggling to hit the right keys. After a few minutes of this, my teacher suggested that we switch over to guitar. Then, I came home and ran. No thought processes required.

    The world has something to say today. Just some minor suggestions. Warning: If you don’t follow these suggestions, you won’t fit in.
    Study harder. Wear this, not that. Be friends with them. Live here. Jump higher. Talk more. Listen less. Listen to this music. Run faster. Run farther. Buy this. Grow taller. Play less. Work more. Sing louder. Whisper more quietly. Earn more. Get stronger. Breathe deeper. Stop. Start. Change.

    God has something to say today.
    Warning: If you thought you wanted to fit in with the world, think again.
    I love you just the way you are.

    I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to know that truth. It’s unshakable, and nothing we do can reverse those simple words. He is my guard, my strength, my unpenetrable outer shell, my shield. He defies loneliness when it is the norm. Somehow, he loves all of us: our flaws, histories, and future mistakes. Thank goodness for a rock..stability. Thank goodness for his consistency; I’m just consistently inconsistent.

    New favorite song: Faithful – Steven Curtis Chapman

     
    • Gaby Woods 8:03 am on February 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Happy to find that there are blog owners that care about their blogs and not release all kind of useless stuff but rather try to keep it clean and precious for the interest of their readers. You’ve done a good job and i thank you for that and as well for not traumatizing me with unuseable garbage. Thank you!

  • acleveland 9:24 pm on January 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    #2 of the day.. 

    I’m sorry
    That it’s so hard to be happy
    Even when I have the world at my fingertips, thanks to you.
    I’m sorry
    That these chains have bound me
    For days and nights on end, even as I reach for the key you offer.
    I’m sorry
    That no matter how hard I try
    A piece of my smile is hidden under a shadow of sorrow.
    I’m sorry
    That I can’t muster up the joy that you desire,
    Even though you’ve given me everything to smile about.
    I wish I could glue a permanent smile to my face for You.

    Yeah break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.
    Set me free, from these chains holding me.
    Is anybody out there hearing me?

    New favorite song: Break Every Chain – United Pursuit Band
    http://www.myspace.com/unitedpursuit

     
    • Liz Shahan 2:54 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I hear, to tell hte truth I know.

  • acleveland 1:57 pm on January 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    your love is a song. 

    Music is the great connector of people. You can be thousands of miles away, and we can hear the same song, sing the same words, and hum the same tune, and you and I instantly have something in common. Music speaks truth when plain words are more easily superficial or restraining. I’ve noticed that artists can put raw pain into words, and when mixed with a melody, it’s easier to accept and feel. If I was having a bad day, and I spilled out how terrible I was feeling on a piece of paper and passed it around, people might feel weird or freaked out. But if I wrote a song and put all those feelings into verses and chords and notes, people look at it in a different way. Music just makes everyone more understanding, I think. I’m convinced that there is a song that describes every feeling. If you’re feeling lonely, listen to this. If you’re feeling on top of the world, listen to that. It helps. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in however I’m feeling. If I think I’m the only person in the world that’s ever felt a certain way, I can hear a song that spells out how I’m feeling, and then I know that I’m tied to the song. I’m tied to the artist how expressed what I can’t. And all the other people who have heard that song and thought, “Man, this is me,” I’m connected to them, too. We all share something. I’ve been going to a lot of concerts lately. Two weeks ago I went to the FUSE concert, and that was probably the best concert I’ve ever attended. Last weekend, Kristian Stanfill was at Resurrection. Two nights ago, I went to the Rob Laliberte/Seeing Skies/Seabird concert at the Square Room downtown. And seriously, every song that has been sung at these concerts, I can identify with in some way. And so can you. We all share these songs. We all have something in common, even if we’ve never met.

    New favorite song: Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful – Seabird

     
  • acleveland 6:46 pm on January 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    yes way. 

    I learned in school that repeated incidents of muscle damage eventually make the muscle stronger. After vigorous excercise, a burning feeling spreads as our bodies take on more than they are accustomed to handling. Then, of course, we are sore the next day. Recovery time is necessary and allows the pain to subside. If the same process of exercise, pain, and recovery continues, it makes the muscle stronger. Once strengthened, it can withstand more weight and is more resistant to injury.
    If you think about it, it’s the same way on our walk through life. We go through intense and tiring times that leave us  sore. More is just affected than our muscles, though – our heart gets thrown into the mix. After these trying times, the heart feels torn, and spiritual muscles feel overworked and ripped at the seams. It may feel like there is no period of recovery, but just one trial after another. I find myself asking, “When will this be over? When does the recovery begin?” If I go for a run, I plan ahead about how far I’ll run and how long it will last. I can predict when I will be home, sinking into a chair and chugging a bottle of water. However, on our journeys through life, we don’t have the advantage of ending the battle when we get tired. No, we can’t end the battle, we don’t have the power. Yet I find my own periods of recovery in my relationship with God and in the time that I spend with Him. The battle may continue raging on, but I find peace in the midst of chaos.
    After recovery, found in the love of my creator, the process may continue.  Challenges will arise, and muscles will be torn and damaged time and time again. But, after each cycle, the muscle grows back a little stronger and a little more resistant to the injuries. Eventually, with hard work and plenty of recovery time, spiritual muscles will allow you to carry more weight than ever before. The heaviest boulders will feel like tennis balls. Let’s exercise our spiritual muscles today. Remember that when you feel sore, recovery time is good, and soon, progress will be evident.

    New favorite song: Stars And Boulevards – Augustana

     
    • Megan 7:20 pm on January 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Amanda. I needed that. You are so so right. I love you.

  • acleveland 9:43 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    this i know 

    At Resurrection on Saturday night, Lookadoo help up a puzzle and tried to put it together while holding it in his hands vertically, instead of having it rest on a flat surface. All the pieces were falling out of his hands as he tried to fill the empty spaces. He would put one part of the puzzle together, and then every other piece would tumble to the ground. He explained how we all have these big voids in our lives, empty parts, places that we try to fix. He talked about how we try to solve the puzzle on our own in order to seem more worthy to God. We try to fix ourselves. Well, just like Lookadoo couldn’t do the puzzle, we can’t fix ourselves, and we can’t fill in that void. I can think of so many things that I try to fill those voids with, and none of them work. There’s a happy ending though.. There’s somebody with the right puzzle pieces, and he can put the puzzle together even if it’s upside down. Thank God.

    By the way, school is hard. Enough said.

    New favorite song: You’re Not Alone – Saosin

     
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