Saturday, November 27, 2010

To do lists...

and I have a love/hate relationship.

I love to make them when I get to fill them with fun things. Things like ingredients for a recipe I'm trying for the first time, projects/crafts I'd like to tackle, people I need to call and have a nice long chat with, read Habakkuk/Minor Prophets commentary before Friday, etc.

Here comes the hate part. I do not like to put on my list the things that cause stress. Normal. Who wants to think about or even document the things that stress them out. For instance, while my semester is done on Thursday, I have 4 papers to write, two days at my internship complete, 5 discussion comments to make on blackboard, and various other field forms to fill out. My insides are trembling. To heighten the stress, my sinuses have decided to continue to wage the war they started at the beginning of the semester.

But by Thursday at 4pm I will be on a plane to San Diego. God willing, everything that needs to get done will get done.

Looking over this list, I am heavily reminded of my finitude and even my depravity.
I am reminded that, while this list seems unconquerable, Christ conquered the world. He will get me through this or show me how to deal if I don't.

So I praise the Lord. For He is good. He is good to His unproductive, unmotivated children.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Remember, Remember the 19th of November

In 9 days Miss HMO is coming to visit me in Chi-Town and I could not be more excited. Heather and I went to Biola together, had classes together, lived in the same dorm, played pranks together, did ministry together.... I could go on and relive my past joys but I'd rather tell you about future delights!!

I have so many good things planned for us to do and see. Great eats, improv, museums, parks, coffee from local micro-roasting companies and of course we cannot forget watching the midnight showing of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I!!!

I can fairly say that we are equally soooooo excited to be seeing this together. We are both huge fans, Heather actually having visited the HP theme park at Universal Studios this past summer and myself attempting to make recipes from the books (Don't ever try to make or consume Butterbeer, it's better left in fiction). In preparation I re-read the entire series this past summer in a span of about 3 weeks. That's a book every three days. NBD. I first began the series when I was in 7th grade, 11 years ago. Harry Potter has been an important thread in my life during such formative years and while I am filled with anticipation for the movie, I will be very sad when Part II comes out. It will be the end of an era.

image taken from bookshelf porn

Heather means so much to me and I am so excited/honored to share this with her. I am excited to spend 5 days with her, showing her my life in Chicago. I am excited to catch up with her, live life for a couple of days together, pray to God with her and hope for the future in her company.

Is God a God of blessings or what? Just thinking about this brings me so much joy. Thank you Jesus for lavishing us with grace and knowing that our souls need fellowship and communion with You & dear friends.

So here's to Heather's arrival in NINE days! HUZZAH!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

As Bob would say,

The times they are a-changin'.
Since I got back to Chicago and up until yesterday, the weather was unbearable (at least to this spoiled southern Californian). High 80-90s with 80% or more humidity. You never stop sweating. GROSSSS.

But yesterday, yesterday temps were in the 60s!!
Wind was whipping at your ankles. Delicious.

And for me, the one who sweats, I was feeling like life was being poured back into my veins. I love crisp weather. I love not feeling over-heated. I love a cold reason for a good hot vanilla latte with an added shot of espresso.

The suddenness in this change of weather caught me off guard. I'm a Southern Californian, we have good weather and great weather allllll year long!!

This sudden change made me aware of how God works with our souls, with our hearts. Once we had hearts of stone and God gave us hearts of flesh (Ez 11:19). Once we were without God's word and then he wrote it on our hearts (Jer 31:33). Sometimes his process of sanctifying our souls can take a lifetime and sometimes he works at light speed (which I'm sure, for him, is still slower than a turtle) When I got back to Chicago a couple of weeks ago, after being in California for almost four months, my heart was not in a good place. I wanted to be back with my family, my friends and the comfort & convenience of the summer. I was depressed and dreading so many aspects of Chicago life as a student. I asked God to change my heart, for even the regenerate need to practice confession and ask for renewal (Ps 51). God desires for us to be conformed to his will in both word and deed. He sent his son, gave us a heart of flesh, wrote his word on our hearts, and sent us a helper (Jn 14:26) so that we might be able to acknowledge his will and love being included in it.

I asked God to change my heart. To take away the longing for what I did not have and make me grateful for where he had me and what he had/has in store for me.

He's done it, he changed my heart. No circumstances in this scenario changed. I'm still in Chicago, still thousands of miles from home. I don't want to make this sound like some cheap infomercial, like for laser hair removal. "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!!"
1. Because God does not work for 2 Easy Payments of $39.95 + S&H
2. Because God does not work under quid pro quo terms
3. Because a heart change is a much more complex, intimate & vulnerable process than some cheap transaction that isn't in fact 100% guaranteed to work.
4. Because a true heart change can not be accomplished by fallen human means but is a supernatural matter.

Writing about this desired heart change in the same post that contains the knowledge that God did in fact answer my prayer and provided what he knew I needed feels in some ways too quick & dirty.

We live in a society that devours tension, withholding natures, hype and the build up that we hope will lead to a favorable peak. We go to movies to see this process. The best movies have each of these elements in dynamic proportions.

At the same time we live in a society that also survives on instant gratification. We Americans are the Veruca Salts of the world.

I could have written about my depressed state, written about my sinful longing of what I didn't have and discontent with what was right in front of me. Could have made you longingly wait for God to act.... Will he do it?... Will he?

But that presents what I think is trust issue. We must believe that God will do what he tells us he will do. We must take heed to his word and place our lives in the reliability of his character and promises. Even when the day is dismal and only further darkness is in sight, we must know that he is faithful (Rom. 8:18-30).

Just as sure as the changing of seasons and the sometimes suddenness with which they come, so is there assurance that God will move. Pay attention, chances are he's already at work.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Logos Bible Software is giving away thousands of dollars of prizes to celebrate the launch of Logos Bible Software 4 Mac on October 1. Prizes include an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and more than 100 other prizes!

They’re also having a special limited-time sale on their Mac and PC base packages and upgrades. Check it out!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Noon Time Chicago Sublime

I'm back. In denial that I'm really here. Desperately wanting California or air conditioning. Either will do.
Here is some visual goodness to motivate your day. Whether you're just beginning it, in the middle, or nearing the end. It's always nice to look at something pretty.

What do shadows do to you? Do you even notice them? Their design?
Shadows do good things to me.

Look to the shadows today. You may find something beautiful.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summertime in the Golden State

About a week ago I re-booked my plane ticket back to Chicago.
Originally I was to fly back on July 23rd. A day after my mom-sicle's birthday.

HOWEVER, after much thought I decided I wasn't done with my time in SoCal and thus decided to stay a month longer!

This way I get to spend more time with these two:
My little brother Chris and my sister Priscilla


Jill Maag Shaffer & my sister Beth: The best hiking partners.

and of course

Heather Marie Olson, HMO, Heezy, Hezekiah, Hezekiel

I get more great talks with

Sam Price-Horn (who always giggles when I say her name that way)

and adventures with these ladies

Theresa, Kari, Angelina & Emily
We all look alike because we're related.

perhaps some theological or harry potter related conversations with this guy

Johnny Pepper Dunne
Bummer Marisa Lauren Casias is in NorCal and cannot join in.

I love that I get to continue to go on long walks while engaging in delicious conversation with this beauty

my sister, Ericka Perryman, who will one day rule the world.

All these friends and more make leaving California very difficult.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A cracked lens...

can make you pissed at your bulldog puppy.


can sometimes produce pleasing and unexpected beauty.


can make you look at the world around you in a new way.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On a dreary Easter evening

Tonight I received such a precious and unexpected gift.
Tonight I skyped with Julie Anne Zeller. For. THREE. Hours.

We talked only about the things that matter.
Family. Heartache. School. God taking hearts of stone and turning them into hearts of flesh. God's word piercing souls and transforming lives. Love. Seasons of friendship. The Cross. Singlehood. Covenant Marriage.

Let's back up a bit. There's need to know our context. You need to understand why talking with this pretty lady means so much to me.

The Chronicles of Jules and Alex:

“Kindred Spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. Its splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
- Anne Shirley

Julie and I grew up going to church together. Learning about Jesus through felt boards and baptisms in the backyard. It was not until Julie's freshman year of high school did we become friends. You see, Julie is three years younger than me and I was the sort to only hang out with either kids who were my age or those who were older. I thought myself very mature. I did not hang out with babies. Or so I thought...

Julie and I were destined to be friends. Great God fearing friends. The sort of friends that just fit.

*Jules and her beautiful momma*

Boy was I blessed to know her and know Jesus through her. The progeny of urban missionaries, this woman had a relationship with Jesus that was all her own. Her faith was one filled with soul searching questions and a pure desire to know the nature and character of our God. Discipleship was what she pursued. Needless to say, I easily fell in love with her and quickly we became friends, sisters, kindred spirits.

Before I knew it my senior year was through and I was headed to Biola University. This new chapter marked the beginning of our paths diverging. It signaled the changing of a season that was entirely too short lived. While we chatted every once in a while and saw each other over Christmas things weren't the same. They weren't bad. They were different. We were different. I was a young college student, eager and excited to experience all that college had for me. Julie was navigating high school and friendships and God in the midst of it all.

The summer after my sophomore year, Jules and I were hanging out. We were thrifting that afternoon. You know, the norm. I recall I purchased a frame adorned with gold leaf and a pink striped dress that made me look like I was five... Perfect.

As we drove from one thrift store to another in search of treasures, we discussed God and Calvinism and our wretched souls. Jules discussed her plan to spend her senior year of high school in Argentina studying at Palabra de Vida. We were so excited for how God would be shaping the next year of her life. We were excited that God was taking me to Utah again with a team from Biola to spread the Gospel to the thirsty. God was moving us, molding us, and taking our paths in such different directions.

*Jules drinking mate in Argentina*

We didn't know it then that this casual hang out would be the last time we would talk for over two years.

We would write each other notes via facebook (cheap, I know) but were never able to correspond in real time. Our lives during the two years developed. Julie, having returned from Argentina, began college at Masters. Began seeing a boy, began falling in love with said boy. I spent some time in Chicago before starting senior year and delving deeper into God, ministry, scholastics, and the relationships I hoped to take with me as Biola cut the cord and pushed me into the big unknown.

I am again in Chicago, this time living not for a sultry summer but for further scholastic endeavors.

Julie is still at Masters. Finishing junior year. Planning a
wedding with aforementioned boy.

*Jules with boy*

We are two years of silence and two thousand and twelve miles apart. Vicariously learning about each others lives via facebook (again, cheap) and mutual friends. We've missed out on very pivotal moments in each others lives. Painful moment. Joyous moments. We've missed so much.

And yet, we've gained. Gained more in one predestined conversation over a very temperamental Skype than I could have ever hoped for. Thanks to Skype and God's timing we were able to see each other and catch up and pray together.

I love how God not only redeems our souls but desires to redeem friendship broken by distance.

I hope you now understand the gravity talking with this lady tonight held for me. I bet you now have a friend crush on her. I don't blame you. It's totally natural.

Jules you are a treasure and will make an incredible wife.

p.s. I love you
p.p.s. all photos, sans the one of her and I, were hijacked from Jules facebook (major cheap)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Behold, I am doing a new thing...

Transition. Change. Secular. Adjust. Struggle. Survive. Adjust. Sacrifice. Grow. Yearn. Redefine. Accommodate. Geography. Distance. 2,000+ miles. Phone Dates. HTC. Neighborhood. New. Renew.

begin again.

Wind. Rain. Sleet. Snow

Commute. Commute. Commute.

Transfer. Platform.

Red Line. Blue Line.
Old Line. New Line.

With 2010 comes my second semester of grad studies and new hopes.
I hope this semester I will post more than once.

I will leave you will a verse God has been bringing to me the last couple of days.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not
perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise."

Let Him be your hope this semester, this season, this year. He fights for your heart and for your praise.