Where Is Your Hope Found?

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

I was driving around with Troy earlier, and there is a line from Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," track that says,
And Jesus can't save you, life starts when the church ends.
Bummer.  What a sad thing to hear from someone.  We were throwing out possibilities of what he could have been trying to get at, because most of the lyrics from this verse were a lot of different situations in which people came to New York to start a new life, and quickly learned that it's not exactly what they were expecting.  Anyway, the discussion ended with us just saying that whatever he was getting at, he wasn't singing about any hope.

This word, "hope," has been in my mind for the rest of the evening.  Something heavy has been on my mind for the past few days and I just can't seem to shake it.  I'm not really enjoying it.  However, I have been encouraged quite a bit these past couple of days too.  Not to say that death is something that is easy to deal with, but I would love for you to read Aaron's thoughts about losing his grandmother on Thursday night.  You can read about it here.  Thank you, AP.  Also, I received a text from Rob today, that was very encouraging.  Here it is:

I would now like to pass on some encouragement.  This is something that I've been preaching to myself, in the midst of the feelings of defeat and fear.  It's Psalm 62:5-8:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
So, even in the moments of loneliness, please remember that our Hope is in Him.  I will attempt to do the same.  Now, I leave you with this.  If this doesn't cheer you up, then I don't know what will.  Enjoy.


Back At It

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

Haven't been here in a while.  I figured I'd start this post off with a song from This Will Destroy You, called "Mighty Rio Grande." Play it as you read on, if you'd like.

About a month or 2 ago, I began collecting some books.  I've never considered myself a reader, because I can only read about a half a chapter before I want to either sleep or turn on the television.  However, I bought the book, "Forgotten God," as seen in some previous posts and tore through this book.  I felt so much effort from the author to explain to the world his view on the Holy Spirit.  The one thing that I can pinpoint as a crucial point to the Holy Spirit is that He is a comforter, not a condemner.  Well, I suppose that just like any other time in my life, I tend to lose track of things that I've learned before.  However, I was reminded this morning about the goodness in the Holy Spirit, and I'd like to share with you what I read.

I'll start with what I call the Post-Forgotten God, heh...weird.  This is the time after the book wore off and I went back to staying busy and soon forgot some of the truths that I had learned from the experience.  I get so caught up in sin that I tend to believe that there is this voice in my head that is always condemning me and beating me down.  I've never dealt with Schizophrenia before, but I have been thinking of an idea for a while now called "Spiritual Schizophrenia."  I can't seem to think clearly, and when I think about things there are several voices in my head telling me which way to go.  It's exhausting.  I woke up this morning and came downstairs to turn the t.v. on and for some reason it's broken.  Suck.  However, I looked down and there was a copy of The Village Pub on the table from 2007.  For those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, it was a small magazine that The Village used to put out some years back.  It's pretty interesting.  Anyways, on the cover of this copy were written the words, "Spiritual Schizophrenia."  Weird.  Had I seen this before and just somehow adopted the idea for my own?  Who knows, all I know is that I was intrigued.

The writer, Charissa Brimage, started off with a conversation between two people that I am very familiar with.  One person telling the other that he/she knows she's in the wrong and that they need to get it together, all while the 2nd person is convicting him/her of being horrible.  Sounds like something I've been through before. Well, big surprise, the two people are the same person.  So many thoughts and emotions fill our minds and we believe that they are coming from some spirit.  Here's the kicker, we believe that this is the Holy Spirit beating us down verbally, and making us feel worthless.

We've believed that the destructive guilt trip was the Holy Spirit convicting us
 She goes on to say,
The truth is that the Holy Spirit is a Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby(John 16:7)
I stand here today to say that I've been here, and that I spend too much effort in believing that I am worthless and am convinced that it's coming from the Holy Spirit telling me this.  So to encourage any of you who may be feeling the same way sometimes, please read about the love of God the Father, who sent the Son, who after ascending into heaven, sent us the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit is fully God, and lives with the same love for His children that He had when he gave his only son to die for our sins that we might be free from this bondage and condemnation.

Spend some time this week exploring God's love.  Never stop learning that we have a Father in heaven that loves us unconditionally.


Dinner night in Denton

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

I had an incredible evening with some amazing friends. I went over to the home of Denise and Aaron Power to have dinner with them and Ashley Seal. Denise had made some chicken and some type of pasta.

Thank you Aaron for modeling it for us. We had some great conversation over dinner and got to hear all about Ashley's time she's been spending in Nashville.

We then left to get coffee at St. Arbucks, then over to Yogurt Story. Jeremy and Kelley met up with us there. Here are some great photos from the night.

Ashley definitely didn't want to be in that last one. Heh.

It was such a great evening, and I feel so much joy to have these people in my life.


Carpe Diem

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

I just got home from moving a new friend into her new apartment. I've been doing some thinking this morning about worry for some reason, and really trying to shake it. As I was wondering exactly how to tackle this common issue, I received a tweet from Matt that said,

“MattChandler74: RT @JeremyTreat5: 'Self help' makes no sense. If YOU are the problem, why would you go to yourself for the solution? Turn to JESUS."

It makes complete sense that if we are the ones that cause our selfish issues, how in the world could we be the ones to fix it? If I would just fully trust in the Lord I could live by the words of Stonewall Jackson from the movie, Gods and Generals, while he stood still in the midst of battle:

“My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death, and I won't concern myself with that. But to be always be ready whenever it may overtake me. That's the way all men should live. All men would be equally brave."

I would be ready when all sorts of pain, suffering, etc. showed up.

So, I thought it was only fitting to title this post what I did. Also, I just happen to be watching “Dead Poet's Society.". Great flick, go check it out if you haven't already seen it.

Location:Marble Cove Ln,Denton,United States


Fiesta Night

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

Having a good time over at Carrie and Angel's place. So far I've had 3 different homemade salsas/dips, which are all incredible. Also, Melissa made some delicious enchiladas, which have made me feel so full....and I want some more. Here's A picture of some of the company that I'm with. I'd like to point out Melissa's disappointed face on the bottom right. Enjoy.

Location:Settlement Dr,Denton,United States


Test 1

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

Clean Room = Clear Thoughts

Scribbled by Darrell Barnes

Not to say that everything that I'm thinking right now is profound, and the clearest thing that I've ever thought before, but I'm sure most of you would agree that when our room/house is clean we can begin to not feel as anxious just by walking into the place that should provide a  bit of comfort to a long day of work.  I've been able to clear my head, and sit on the freshly vacuumed floor in order to let some wisdom come into my head and hopefully try to retain it.

I would like to start off with a quote from our pastor, Matt Chandler, during his Colossians  series yesterday.  He said, "When we are inwardly focused, we become overly guilty."  Now, I have been trying to see the full meaning of this, and have been bouncing it off others to see what they think.  What I feel like it is saying here is that when we get so narrow minded on ourselves, we tend to miss the global purpose of Jesus Christ's ministry.  We think only of our own wickedness, which can sometimes, somehow lead us to not actually believe in the saving grace of Jesus.  I know from experience that I often think, man I must be the most wicked person to ever walk this earth.  Those times usually come when I'm not reading about those before me that were wicked but received His grace.  I am often tricked into believing that everything that He taught, while here on earth, wasn't true.  He came to save the sick, not the healthy.  I'd love to hear some discussion on this one.

Next, I started reading "Tally Ho The Fox," by Herb Hodges, recommended by the one and only Rob "Black Rob Marteezy" Martino.  Chyea Rob.  The tagline to the book reads, "The Foundation for Building World-Visionary, World-Impacting, Reproducing Disciples."  As I began this book today, I started to see a little bit more of why it is important to make disciples.  Hodges points out some differences in the churches in Acts, and from the churches seen today.  One very important difference was:

Their Strategy showed an apparent disregard for building institutions and majored almost exclusively on building individuals.  Their strategy was one of explosion (outward) instead of implosion (inward). 
Something else that this book is showing me is how common sense doesn't actually carry as much weight as I usually think it does.  One of my pet peeves is dealing with people who lack common sense.  However, I suppose if we relied on nothing but common sense then we wouldn't really need help from anyone else, since we rely on our own thinking anyways.  To quote Hodges again:
It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment.  but if once you truly hear the full commission of Jesus Christ, the awareness of what God wants will be your goal from that point on, and you will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.
This completely shatters my way of thinking that things have to make sense.  I'm working on getting the phrase out of my head that goes something like this, "Common sense would tell you..."  Instead, I hope to become more patient and quiet, and trying to tune my focus on what He has to say to me, even when it doesn't make sense to me.  Going off this, we discussed this morning in bible study why God would allow things to happen like the Holocaust and the earthquake in Haiti.  Why would He stand "idly by" and not do anything?  That just doesn't make sense...heh.  Here are my thoughts, I am thankful for these times I can look back at tragic events in my life and see that God doesn't always give good things to good people.  He doesn't always show immediate justice to those that are evil.  I am thankful because naturally I like to think that if I do good in life, then I will receive a good reward (karma).  However, God has proven time after time that there is suffering on this earth, and we should long for it, even though wanting suffering doesn't make sense, so that we can draw closer to Him.