Archive for the ‘Light’ Category

September 2021 Update

Posted 07 Sep 2021 — by nick
Category Family, Friends, Fun, Illini Life, Jesus, Light, Ministry, Scripture, Spirituality

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August Update 2013

Posted 17 Aug 2013 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Light, Ministry, Photos, Spirituality

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for August 2013.

Download (PDF, 279KB)

New Nooma – 022 Tomato

Posted 11 Nov 2008 — by nick
Category Jesus, Light, Scripture, Spirituality, Videos

In an attempt to stir the remaining embers of this blog, I thought I’d share the newest Nooma with you. Tomato is free on facebook until Wednesday November 13th at noon, your opportunity is slipping away, check it out now while you have a chance.

(click on the video to watch it on Facebook)

“Jesus invites us to die so that we can have life, Jesus invites us to lose our life so we can find it.” (paraphrased from Mathew 16:24-26 among other Jesus teachings)

These truths stopped me mid-sip of my morning coffee – truth I know, a reminder I needed. My idle state of life, living for myself and propping up the image I’ve constructed, dropped for a moment and the words of Jesus sank in. Today I choose to live as a Christ follower and die to myself, allowing me to forgive freely and love abundantly, to have life.

I hope God stirs your heart as well.

Now playing: Enter the Worship Circle – Put in Me
via FoxyTunes

On Sarcasm

Posted 25 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Blogs, Darkness, Light, Ministry, Spirituality

As of late the topic of sarcasm seems to rest heavy on my mind and heart. The Easter season has something to do with it – bringing me to remembrance of hope and joy and reason for celebration. For me these stand in strong contrast to a sarcastic demeanor.

When I find myself being really sarcastic I also find myself being very critical. Other people’s sarcasm and critical spirit infects me, I know this to be true, leading me to believe the same goes for the other direction. When I’m reading blogs that are overly sarcastic and critical of the Church and others, I fall into agreement and it builds divisions in my heart between myself and others trying to follow Jesus. In a community I find a critical spirit to be a slow, dry, rot, deteriorating the foundation and threatening collapse.

Today, in google reader, I unsubscribed to a blog I enjoyed at first for it’s witty satire and tongue-in-cheek-ness. Since that honeymoon phase all posts have continued in the same sarcastic vein with rare glimpses of hope and hardly any encouragement. The decision to stop reading comes in hopes to keep my spirit from being divisive and to keep it from being crushed under the weight of a bleak outlook on life and the Church.

This is something I’m still working through, I don’t know that I’d say sarcasm is always wrong and always hurtful, I think I’m just coming to a realization that it’s often a cheap laugh and at someone’s (or organization’s) expense and therefore hardly edifying.

What do you think?

Now playing: jon foreman – In My Arms
via FoxyTunes

Cure for the Pain

Posted 25 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Darkness, Friends, Jesus, Light, music, Spirituality

Tonight while hanging out with the Dawgs “Cure for the Pain” by Jon Foreman filled our small dinning room. This song pulls tears from me no matter the emotional state I’m in. The cause: maybe the sadness in Jon’s voice, maybe the ways it reminds me of how I’ve tried to cure my pain, or the ways I know trying to run would simply be a lie. Either way, tonight it causes me to stop and reflect on the healing journey God has me on and how these days I don’t feel quite as lonely as I once did. The tears change from ones of sadness to ones of thankfulness and remembrance.

And here tonight while the stars are blacking out
With every hope and dream I’ve ever had in doubt
I’ve spent ten years trying to sing these doubts away
But the water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my lord! to suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away

Tomorrow Spring the next seasonal EP is released and I’ll be picking it up for sure. You can get it the EP’s here.

Palm Sunday: Jesus Triumphant Entry

Posted 17 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category coffee, Jesus, Light, Scripture, Spirituality

“Happy Palm Sunday!”

That’s how Josh Wondra greeted me this morning as I stirred from sleep and trudged to the couch with my coffee.

Palm Sunday, it’s been on my mind all day – thinking about the beginning of Holy Week. About Jesus riding in to Jerusalem on a donkey, his followers laying cloaks and branches before him and singing praises.

They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
Matthew 19:7-9

I’ve decided, as in years past, to reflect on the Easter Story throughout the week. This time I plan to save the Resurrection accounts until Sunday and focus on the events that transpired the days before the Crucifixion. Today I studied the Jesus Triumphant Entry, tomorrow I’ll look at Matthew’s account of the events.

My hope and prayer for you all: That you’d find time to stop and reflect, meditate on the Easter Story and let God draw your heart more to Him and respond in praise. After all He replied “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.

Now playing: Jon Foreman – Learning How to Die
via FoxyTunes

PS: The picture for this post is one claiming to be of the gate at Jerusalem Jesus is said to have entered on the first Palm Sunday.

Thinking about Anger

Posted 18 Jan 2008 — by nick
Category Friends, Jesus, Light, Scripture, Spirituality

Lately the subject of anger and forgiveness have had a healthy amount of my brain and heart (in a philosophical sense not as in a “I’ve been angry a lot” sense). Anger examined in my life has quite often proven tied to an idea of entitlement. This concept, entitlement, is a little more foreign to me though. I have long been aware of frustration and anger in situations where something doesn’t go my way or the way I thought it should have – but this I was less aware of.

The thought process sounds like this: “You deserve to be heard or listened too in this group.””You deserve to be respected or understood.””You deserve to be left alone.””You are entitled to this or that.”

Last night anger had it’s death grip around my heart for a bit. I had walked out of a situation where I felt entitled to my voice and thoughts being heard, neither felt true. Enter the strongman Anger to take my heart hostage leaving isolated and lonely.

This morning I read this passage and as it sank in I began to reflect on last night.

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
Matthew 5:21-22

Something happens to us when we get angry with another person. It feeds self-centeredness, it dehumanizes me as I elevate my feelings/needs/desires above another persons. The anger doesn’t do anything to the other person, only to me.

Freedom from the prison of anger requires I walk back through the tangles of self-centeredness untying the bonding straps of my prison along the way. The agreements I’ve made saying I am entitled to this or that.

Last night I chose to take this journey and return to a state of less self-centered living. The result: reunion and reconcillation and a heart living free again.

Being Made Right

Posted 17 Dec 2007 — by nick
Category Jesus, Light, music, Social Justice, Spirituality

I keep coming back to this song lately – starting my mornings with it, rooting myself in it’s truth in the hard hour or so after work when life seems especially heavy and overwhelming. I find beauty in how simple it is, just a guitar and a voice.

“people love you most for the things you hate
and hate you for loving the things you can’t keep straight
people judge you on a curve
and tell you you’re getting what you deserve
and this, too, shall be made right”
Derek Webb – ‘This Too Shall Be Made Right’

Derek has long been a hero of mine, mostly due to his passion for seeing The Church fully realized and fearlessness in speaking up about how we don’t have things quite right.

Now playing: Derek Webb – This Too Shall Be Made Right
via FoxyTunes

Playing in the Snow

Posted 16 Dec 2007 — by nick
Category Fun, Light, Photos, Volkswagen, Winter

It snowed pretty good here the past day or so. The weatherman called for 10 inches – seems about right. Playing in the snow so far included shoveling out my car, making a snow angel and taking pictures. Sledding and building a snowman were on my list but I figured I’d wait on those until friends wanted to play too.

Now playing: Switchfoot – Awakening
via FoxyTunes

"We’re Awakening"

Posted 08 Dec 2007 — by nick
Category Jesus, Light, Movies, Spirituality

Last night I watched Awakenings, an older film from 1990 long been residing on my list of “I’d like to watch that someday, but its not to pressing right now.”

The movie tells an emotive story of a shut-in doctor, scared to engage with those around him. Taking a job caring for patients whom have been comatose for decades after surviving an encephalitis epidemic, proves first to challenge these tendencies. His gentleness and care with the patients tells of a deeply sensitive and caring man isolated by social insecurity. Upon trying an experimental drug his patients begin to awake from their coma-like-state hardly aware they had been gone. The gift of life, the simple things – taking a walk, dancing, singing are celebrated as they stir to life. The greatest awakening though happens in the doctor, who begins to live. To risk and engage with those around him.

Watching the movie provided an almost out-of-body experience, almost like watching the past years of my life. The doctor and I share some of the same story, a heart isolated but rescued to begin beating once again.

I was attempting to clean my room this morning when I came across a letter I wrote myself about 3 years ago at Ignite:

“God, you rescued my heart this conference. The process you began months ago by showing me the hardness of my heart and how closed off it has become has peaked here and now. Thank you for drawing me out and revealing wounds in my life and reasons for the state of my heart. You’ve brought me to the point where I am so completely frustrated with being emotionally cold to those around me and alone that I have no choice but to change. Hurting is at least feeling so at this point I’m ready to start the painful journey of healing. I want to live from a heart fully alive.”
Ignite closing reflections 2004

Three years have passed since my pen bled those words, life has taken me many places since then, but God’s leading has never been so apparent. This road is one of heart rescue.

Now playing: Eisley – Brightly Wound
via FoxyTunes