A lot to think about

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 by jbasedow4

I’m sorry I haven’t written very much recently.  It’s not that I’ve had nothing on my mind, it’s that I’ve had no resolution for it.  Honestly, going through this transition from college to not-college has been weirder than I thought it would be.  I’ve done a lot of things in the last 5 years, but through it all I was a student.  Now, that’s done.  What now?  Well, I know what I really feel called to do, but as of yet, I am not making money doing it.

So I need a job that will be flexible and let me pour into the things that will set me up to be the leader and worship pastor that I want to be.  It’ll take some work, but I do believe that it will happen.  But I am now a proud owner of a college degree, so what’s the problem?  Why do I feel like there’s a bit of a cloud here?

Well, I’m not entirely sure.  I wonder if maybe I’ve tried to grab a little too much control over my life.  Some people know exactly what they’re going to do with their lives, the steps are laid out before they even begin and they find joy in taking that path.  In fact, I really think that God works it that way for some people.  Why is my life different?  I’ve never been able to see the next step before me until it hits me in the shins.

I can only hope that it’s because God is trying to grow my ability to live by faith.  But that alternative scares me: that I’m really just kind of blind to a lot of the things that I think that I see.  I think I’m going to need a period of really humbling myself and prayer to get a handle on this.

So that I’m not a total downer today, I’m going to leave you with the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns that I’m singing at a wedding this weekend (Congratulations Ryan and Kelsie!):

        Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
	tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
	streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
	call for songs of loudest praise. 
	Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
	sung by flaming tongues above. 
	Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
	mount of thy redeeming love. 

	Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
	hither by thy help I'm come; 
	and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
	safely to arrive at home. 
	Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
	wandering from the fold of God; 
	he, to rescue me from danger, 
	interposed his precious blood. 

        O to grace how great a debtor 
	daily I'm constrained to be! 
	Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
	bind my wandering heart to thee. 
	Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
	prone to leave the God I love; 
	here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
	seal it for thy courts above.

The Sun Is Out

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2009 by jbasedow4

I’ll take a break from my philosophical ponderings to point out that, for the first time in a while (which is weird for Colorado), the sun is out and shining bright.  Clouds are indeed rolling in, like they have for the last week or two, but nevertheless, it’s good to see the sun.  Summer, with all its life, fun, and adventures, may actually get here; instead of this rainy season that seems to come straight from Seattle.  It feels fresh and clean.  It feels good.

“And now I’m walking in the park,

And all of the birds they dance below me.

Maybe when things turn green again,

It will be good to say you know me.”

NYC – Marty Sampson

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2009 by jbasedow4

I didn’t write this, I wish I did though. You should check out this album on iTunes. http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=220012754&id=220012732&s=143441

I’ve seen all the adverts
Stared at all the billboards
Waited for the taxis
Ate your popcorn in movies

But only when i lost myself

I’ve walked through New York City
I’ve seen the ugly the pretty
The less fortunate and wealthy
But none can compare to you

I’ve jumped out to the ending
Been bleeding from wounds of nothing
I’ve listened and been ignored
Been hungry I’ve been bored
Been left out in the storm

But only when i lost myself
Is when I found you

I’ve been so many places
Seen too many faces
Heard too many cases
Of dreams without chasers… so

I’ve lost myself
And all my wealth
I broke my pride
I stepped aside
And threw away
The best of life
What I held dear
Achingly tight

To lose my lot
Ruin my life
To lose all else
To find myself
With you.

Something to think about

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2009 by jbasedow4

http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001123.cfm

Sunday morning thought

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2009 by jbasedow4

This thought was sitting at the forefront of my mind for some reason today: there are people who like me and people who don’t, but what I notice bothers me the most is when people are indifferent or ambivalent about me. I don’t know if this is good or bad, or if this is general to all people or just me. But I’ve noticed that getting no response at all out of people bothers me far more than even a negative response. Is it some desire to know that I can be a mover? Ego? I’m really not sure, I’m only making this post so I don’t forget this topic, I need to be able to come back to it. But as always, share your thoughts:

Ready… Set… Nope, not yet.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2009 by jbasedow4

You want to know what I was most excited for with end of college in sight?  Doing stuff.  College is about preparing for the rest of your life, so naturally, I was pretty excited for The Rest of My Life to arrive on May 18th.  It was going to be great.   The Rest of My Life would come, we’d become fast friends and be off to change the world, and our exploits would be heard of all over the world.  Well, apparently God saw fit to delay the arrival of The Rest of My Life, and instead is asking me to patiently accept only The Next Chapter of My Life.  Blast. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for The Next Chapter of My Life.  It’s just… I’m going to have to wait for a lot of things.  And I’m not very good at waiting.  At least, I don’t want to wait.  A good friend of mine reminded me of a story about waiting.  This guy leaves his home, finds the girl of his dreams and a potential job.  But he essentially enters indentured servitude for 7 years, just to win the girl.  Only he gets tricked, he ends up having to work another 7 years to finally get the girl.  Then, it’s another 6 years of work till he has enough to set out on his own.  20 years. 

I know people lived a little longer back then, but seriously, 20 years?  I’ve barely been alive 20 years, but I imagine it might have been the same with Jacob too.  Here’s how I noticed he approached his time of waiting: he got to work.  He worked HARD.  And he was smart too.  He not only just put in his time, but he spent years separating strong livestock from weak so that when his time came, the livestock that he was allowed to take would be the strongest (=most valuable) possible. 

If ever there was a guy who balanced the American Dream of controlling your own destiny and yet knew his utter dependence on God, it was Jacob (see the conversation he had after wrestling with the angel). 

And so, the fact is, I’m waiting, but in the meantime- it’s back to work.

Hosea

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2009 by jbasedow4

(I found this one in my drafts folder this morning- it’s amazing what a Sunday off can do for you. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it.)

For a long time now, one of my favorite books of the Bible has been the book of Hosea. In it, God chooses a prophet who is to be a living example of how God loves His people. He instructs Hosea to go marry a prostitute, and not only is she a woman with a checkered past, but she is repeatedly unfaithful to him. Good story, good illustration. It’s nice to know that God loves prostitutes, they need that more than anyone. Well, that’s true, but that’s not the point of the story. The idea is not so much that God loves everyone, even prostitutes, as much as this: the way a prostitute is unfaithful to her husband with her “many lovers,” so we are to God.

Shoot.

We have not just sinned against God, we have plainly tossed His love and faithfulness out the window for fleeting and empty pleasures. We run to the first person who calls our name and give up the one who is the most enduring and love-worthy.

Why?!

Why do we do this over and over? It kills me to think about it. I don’t think this book would mean anything to me unless I had seen this in my own life. Even at times in this story, Israel is doing all the “right” things, but they still miss out on experiencing God. The verse that really sticks out to me is in Chapter 6, verse 6, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings…”. Their hearts were not right, they sold out to the things that could replace God instead of drawing them more intimately to Him.

And so we see this tension building in the story, because our God is a jealous lover. I would think most of us have some concept of what it feels like to be betrayed, on some level, by someone you love dearly. It burns. It burns to your very core. Our God burns when we take the love and devotion that we said we would give to Him and we give it to another. It’s not because He’s weak, or His character is lacking (someone told me that once), it’s because He knows that His love can offer us so much. It is not just life in terms of heaven, but it’s a completeness. It’s in this love that we finally become who we were meant to be, and so much more than the world would let us be.

If you want to read one of the most beautiful passages ever, read Hosea 11 and Hosea 14. They say it far better than I ever could, but for now I’ll rest knowing my God is calling my name and waiting for me to acknowledge Him. Peace.

Mondays

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2009 by jbasedow4

1 Final down. 2 to go. I am tired. It’s Monday. I have a 7 hour music practice tonight and lots of studying to do for tomorrow morning. Instead of me trying to come up with something today, how about you guys come up with something. Tell me what to write about for tomorrow. For now, read this: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090511/billups.

Talk to you guys later!

My soul in a photograph

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2009 by jbasedow4

There are some Native American cultures that believe that to get your picture taken is to lose part of your soul.  The essence of your soul is captured in that photo and held there never to be recovered.  Silly right?  Before I go ignorantly blasting other cultures that I’ve only read about on Wikipedia, though, I have some thoughts about this that need to be blogged. 

I recently saw a picture from my past – wait that’s redundant, unless any of you have ever seen a picture from the future.  Ok, you know what?  I just saw Star Trek last night at midnight, so I’m a little tired and my concept of the space-time continuum is still healing.  Back on track- I saw a picture from when I was younger, several years younger.  And instantly, upon viewing the picture, old emotions were drug up.  I didn’t have to stir them, they just came.  It’s  like part of my soul, part of who I am, is still in that picture, still living that moment in time.  Kind of a weird way to think about it, but it’s an interesting idea.  

Let’s take it one step further: in an interesting way, it’s like that time still exists.  We tend to view time as this instantaneous thing that only happens in the instant we call “NOW!” and is gone forever.  But when you look at a picture you feel THAT time, however long ago it happened.  And this can happen with other things as well (songs, smells, sensations), so in a broad sense, I’d say that memories are picture-snapshots of our lives that stay.  They just stay.  The reason pictures are so valued is that our memories can fail, our minds can be altered, but that picture is external, that time is captured outside of us. 

I, personally, like this idea.  I like the idea that the experiences the compose us are not dead the moment they pass.  In this life, we’re bound to walk a timeline, whether we want to or not, but it’s been proven that there are dimensions to our universe that are not bound by time.  There are sometimes when you can look at a picture and relive a great time in your life.  Other times, it’s great pain, or great confusion, or whatever, but we’re drawn to the pictures because we can use them to go back and process that part of our life. 

So let’s say you’ve somehow followed me this far.  Part of us is left imprinted on the photos we have, forever tied to that moment in time, and to the people we shared that space with in that time.  Let’s say you even are allowing the idea that we can really relive those moments, it’s like they’re RIGHT THERE in front of us.  Our heartrate will elevate again, or our stomachs will sink, you name it.  Let’s take the next step.

You’ve heard that you can’t change the past right?  What if we can?

Not like, I can go back and decide that I want to play High School baseball instead of football.  But what if those moments in the photos can change after the fact?  Let’s think of a sports game.  My senior year of high school, I started as wide receiver against our cross town rivals.  I was just coming off an injury the week before (I almost lost every ligament in my knee) and was prepared to play only a part of the game.  But, second play of the game, our other starting receiver goes down with a sprained ankle.  My coach informed me that I wouldn’t be coming out of the game.  The stadium was packed, almost 6,000 people there! 

There’s a picture I have from the cover of the Coloradoan of me catching a football in the middle of the field in the middle of three defenders.  For me, that was a triumphant moment.  Up till that point in time, I had never had a more significant catch.  Our team was against the ropes and that catch got my team the first down and lit a spark that began our comeback in that game.  I was as pumped as you’ll EVER see me.  Freeze that moment right there and we have one of the most positive memories in my life.  Seriously. 

00:51 left in the game, 3rd down and 4 yards to go for a first down.  We’re down by 5 points, 31 to 26, I believe.  We’re on our own 40 yard line.  I run a quick hitch, catch the ball, my defender slips off me, I turn down the sideline.  My mind begins going a thousand miles per hour:

“beat the linebacker.”  check.

“beat the first safety.”  check.

“look at the clock.” 00:45 left. 

“where’s the second safety?” I knew the second safety had a Division I football scholarship lined up, which means he’s FAST.  I also knew I hadn’t run in 8 days because my knee had swelled up the size of a basketball. 

“THERE.  His shadow’s right behind you, he’s going to try and strip the ball.”

“Look at the clock, how are we doing?” 00:43 left. 

All of this happened between the 45 yard line and the other 30 yard line. 

As I neared the endzone, I knew exactly how much time was left, knew I would probably be caught, and that our team had fumbled the ball 8 times that day.  So I covered the ball, got hit from behind and when I rolled up, I immediately looked to see where we were: 2 yard line.  1st down, 00:41 left in the game.  We ended up running 7 plays on that 2 yard line (I was open for a pass and got tackled by the safety before the ball got there, automatic first down).  We still didn’t score. 

And so the next day when I looked at the picture on the front page of the sports section.  A big picture of me making the once triumphant catch, but that moment had changed for me.  Instead of personal accomplishment, team morale, and victory, it made me think of futility, frustration, and that sick feeling you get when your best falls just 2 yards short of certain victory.  Every time I see that picture, the entire game replays in my head, and that special moment has lost its meaning. 

That example is a rather immediate example, the moment in the past changed by an action 60 minutes later.  But if that can happen in that circumstance, certainly it can happen over a longer period of time.  I recently heard a story about a couple who got married and went back to look at a picture of their first significant date where they realized that they were special to each other.  That date was special yes, but now, looking back, the moment has changed a little, for the better.  It wasn’t just a good day, it was the start of something, something that will last.   If, in the end, they had broken up, they might have looked back at it and seen hurt, or betrayal. 

I could go into parallel universes here and the idea that time really does all happen at once, but I don’t want to.  This is more of a metaphysical thought on my mind.  I saw a picture yesterday.  I relived it.  And you know what?  I wanted to change it.  I wanted to go back and do it differently.  Maybe I’ll get the chance now to change then.  I don’t know if that’s really going to be possible.  But I’m going to try because, like it or not, part of me is stuck in that picture forever, and while it’s only by the grace of God that we sometimes have the chance to change our photographs, I don’t want to waste the opportunity.

Honesty IS the best policy

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2009 by jbasedow4

I’m going to be totally honest here.  I used to think blogging was stupid.  Then I accepted it as a fad.  Then, when I realized it wasn’t going away, I felt like it was one of those things that was ok for some people who didn’t really have much to say.  After that, I came to view it as an ok pasttime like occasionally watching bad movies or reading that one magazine that you just don’t really agree with but find interesting anyways.  Now, I’m kind of hooked on it.  And so I necessarily must justify the time I plan on spending here.  And this is how I’ll do it:  I’ve found this to be an exceptional method for communicating the deepest thoughts in my life with those close to me who I may not be able to talk to regularly or when I simply am having a hard time articulating my thoughts through spoken word. 

So, this is my medium of communication to those who want to know what’s going on.   Take it for what it is. 

There are so many ideas popping around my head that whatever I end up talking about today will probably be kind of like trying to figure out which ball is coming out of those lottery cages where they have all the balls[/ideas] bouncing around until one randomly pops out.  And the winner is…  communication. 

I just wrote about 300 words on my thoughts about communication and decided that I didn’t like it.  So I erased it back up to this point.  It was too broad, left me feeling like I was saying nothing when I really hoped to say something.  So instead, I’m going to write a little more personally and then we can discuss it together.

I personally find myself struggling with communication at many times, especially when my heart is involved.  I’m scared to get an answer I don’t want to get.  I’m scared to hurt someone I don’t want to hurt.  Or I’m simply incapable of organizing the feelings that I have inside into words.  This frustrates me more than anything.  Some of the people I respect the most are the ones who just say what they think and don’t look back.  SOMETIMES. 

There has to be something said for people who feel the weight of taming their tongues and edifying those around them with their language.  But still, isn’t the truth helpful to all people?  Especially if communicated in love?  Why do I feel this intense pressure to bottle up everything I’m feeling inside into this enormous burden that I must carry around at all times? 

This translates across my entire life.  It translates into work relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships, you name it.  So what’s holding me back? 

Being totally honest, I would like to believe that when I have something important to say, it is for the good of those who hear it.  Not that they’re so blessed to hear what Dan has to say, but at least that my motives for saying it are either to help them grow, to help our relationship grow, or to share something that’s close to me because I want them, as someone close to me, to share it with me.  But it’s still something that is hard for me. 

Maybe the problem here is assuming that these all have one common underlying motivation.  Maybe instead of one common problem, it’s several problems that can be fixed with one solution. 

Let’s say that the reason I don’t say certain things to my employers is for reasons related to: appearing like an idiot (I believe Twain had some quote about this, am I right?), angering them, or overstepping my bounds.  And let’s say that when it comes to romantic relationships, I am totally fine with giving my affection to another person, but the part that is HARDEST for me is letting them return that affection.  So I wall off.  I keep some things to myself because, hey, I already know how I feel.  But communicating that with them might mean that I have to be prepared to be vulnerable and let them give their affections back to me.  And even worse, once I open myself up to that possibility, I have then entertain the possibility that even though I want them to return those affections, they may choose not to.  That is, without any doubt, terrifying. 

And with friendships, I’m going to be totally honest here, it might just be that sometimes I don’t have the energy to bring certain things up.  One of the things I’ve become most embarrassed about in the last year is my overcommitment to so many different things.  It leaves me so exhausted that I can’t bring myself to put the work into some of these relationships that they really need.  Family is included in this.  For that, I am sorry.

So, is there any solution to this?  I’m not sure the fear or level of effort involved with this will ever go away for me.  But the only solution I see is to continue trying to become as intentional as I can possibly be in my communications.  Both in timing and in content.  Then I can pray that my actions portray my desire to do “good by them.”  I love that phrase, not sure exactly where I picked it up, probably somewhere between “Little House on the Prairie” and “Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman”.   Let’s all make a commitment to use that phrase 3 times this week.  It can come in many forms: “I just wanna do good by you,” or “He ain’t done good by me.”   These are just two shining examples.  Back to the point> I’m trying to learn to speak the truth in love, often and on time.  Please just know that.  Peace!