Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Home. It is something that has eluded me for a long time. When my parents split up, any semblance of the typical idea of home--you know, the kind where the little kid comes in for soup and everything is always ok--disappeared. I learned that my parents have problems just like me. A hard lesson to learn, but a good one, because it made them human for the first time. Since then I have searched for a home in so many different ways. I've tried to find it in other families' homes, or with friends. Or in doing something that I enjoy, no matter where I am. But I've always been left empty. After drinking from each of these wells, I have continued to thirst. It is an insatiable desire, to have a place for total peace and rest. But just as soon as I think that I've found it, it's gone, like waking from a vivid dream, or trying to swat flies. And so I continue to hunger for home and peace and rest. And God has taught me a bit of why we each have this desire.

Deep down, we're all searching for heaven. We long, maybe even unconsciously, for the final redemption of all things, even the concept of home. We are pilgrims in this world (Heb 11), traveling toward the promised land where Christ reigns as King over His people and possessions. We long for the day of restoration, when home will be found both in all places and people and things, because it will all be as it was meant to be--perfect.

So, today I'm leaving Laramie for a long time. I'm leaving my family, friends, church, house, hometown, car, electric guitars; the people, places, and things I love the most. It's exciting and scary all at once, but I know that as God has given me glimpses of home and rest in each of these, He will continue to do so no matter where I live. But you can bet I will miss my family, friends, and guitars...a lot.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."--Revelation 22:20-21

Sunday, February 25, 2007


My transformation is complete. I've gone from being a bearded mountain man who lived off of tree bark and raw meat to an emergent worship leader look alike to a regular at your local bowling alley to a clean cut lotion and cologne wearing metrosexual. Okay maybe that's not all true, but I do look quite a bit different. In fact, a few people didn't recognize me at my own going away party. They just walked right on by. How about that. Anyway, here are some pictures of my amazing metamorphosis (sic?) and my going away party.

Alright, so I lied. The party pictures won't load, which means I'll try to post them again tomorrow. God has been so good to me and I've overlooked and underappreciated that fact so much in the past year and a half that it makes me sick. He surrounds me with Christlike love through my church, even when I take them all for granted, and I'll post pictures of some of that love soon.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Easy like Sunday Mornin'

Church was great today. We were pushed out of our usual meeting place by the high school drama class (boo, drama), but the high school gym was more than willing to accomodate us. Thank you Gymnasium. Anyway, we decided to scale down the 'worship team' to just acoustic guitars, djembe, bass, and vocals, which I love. Playing electric guitar with a full band is great, but there is something grassroots and simplistic about an acoustic band. And I love Hymns, which made me happy as well. We sang 'God be Merciful', 'Poor Sinner Dejected with Fear', and 'How Deep the Father's Love for Us', on top of some other good choruses. So begins my Molly Ruff list of things I love.

But that list will have to wait for a day less manly, as the last two nights have been spent in the Man Room amidst good friends and good conversation. You'll know when that day comes, because the background of this blog will be pink with flowers on it, but for now, I am overflowing with testosterone and exuding manliness. I digress. Tomorrow I will post about something that has been on my mind for awhile, but my pastor's message really brought it into focus today. Also, I spent a little more time with Nate Scott and his wife today, which was awesome. They are straight cool. Plus, he gave me about 10 of his CD's to give away and help get his name out. I'm not a big fan of the Rap music, but I like Nate's a lot. If you want to check out his music, go here. How did we ever survive without MySpace. And cell phones.

Here is a picture of the Scotts that I took in front of my pastor's house. They are awesome and were extremely encouraging.

The Man Room

Some pictures to sum up an evening of testosterone filled fellowship in the Man Room--no chicks allowed. If it were summer, none of these pictures would include shirts, because we're manly...or at least trying to be.

It's called "ambiance."

Men present:
Sam. He owns the Man Room, although some would say that every man owns a portion of it (like Stevo).

Dave. He's the worship leader from...Laramie Valley Chapel. Unfortunately, you can't really see his horns in this picture, but believe me, they're there.

Ben. He just returned from Iraq on Josh Rose's birthday (Feb. 14)

Drew. He likes a completely manly man Man Room sense of the phrase.

Superman. No comment necessary.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Nate's gettin' jiggy with it

A friend from my early days at the University of Wyoming's FCA is visiting this weekend. After being involved with FCA for about six years, it is encouraging to see that he is still walking with the Lord. It was great to see him and meet his wife of 53 weeks. Thanks Nate.

Also, I found out about a place called iJigg that hosts music for free, so I'm putting one of my songs on this post. You can put them on your blogs (though I don't recommend it, don't settle) of just listen to them. It will even keep track of how many times it gets pasted on the web. I'll figure out a way to put more of my songs on here soon...for your listening pleasure.

Here is my rendition of "Sweet By and By"--a Baptist favorite.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sick Cat Strut

So I have been mildly sick for about two weeks, but yesterday it took a turn for the worse. I'm tempted to put a picture of The Tick battling The Common Cold again, but I already posted that once before. It will have to suffice that I'm pretty miserable, and I've probably blown my nose 200 times in the last day and a half. The word frustration doesn't really do my feelings justice since I have less than two weeks left here in Laramie. Those healthy goodbyes will have to pour out in a steady stream.

Only 12 days left, then on to New York to visit mis abuelos (grandparents, pretty good, huh?), then on to Philly for a night, then on to Spain. There are so many people to see and spend time with, not to mention the fact that I need to pack and organize 25 years worth of crap at my Dad's house. I'm a bit overwhelmed, if you can't tell. But, as soon as I recover I can spend 24 hours a day doing all that, right? Right. The most disappointing thing about my condition is probably that my Fu Manchu hasn't had opportunity to strut around town and pick up chicks. I'll have to go down to the bowling alley to make up for it. The awesome, raw attraction that members of the opposite sex feel when they see my manly manchu moustache is best summed up by the song, 'Stray Cat Strut.'

"I don't bother chasing mice around
I slink down the alley looking for a fight
Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer night
Singin' the blues while the lady cats cry,
'Wild stray cat, you're a real gone guy.'"

I'm a real gone guy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

A few of the much anticipated photos I promised in the last post. I'm sorry that they are kind of lame (self-portrait), but my photographer hasn't been around lately...or ever.

David Crowder, or somebody else with a massive gotee (sic?), eat your heart out.

(Fu)Manchu February? I don't even stick out in a crowd...Wyoming is awesome!!

Not as cool as changing facial hair, but it's pretty cool, right? Right?! Please think I'm cool!

I'll post more as my hair diet progresses.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How to Shave a Mole Rat, or, The Longest Day Ever

It has been awhile since my last post, and I am just finishing a long but encouraging day, so this little diddy will have to curb your appetite until I have more time and energy to be thorough. The following is a summary of my day.

I woke up at 6:30 to meet someone at a coffee shop. The person didn't show, so I just read a bunch of Psalms until this random stoner kid asked me what I was reading. We talked about life, Christianity, and the Scriptures until about 9:00, when he had to go to work. In the meantime, an old acquaintance from college came in and I was able to catch up with her for about a half hour. {insert shower and primping here}. Next, I went to lunch with two guys I play volleyball with, one of which just got back from being gone the last month. We each enjoyed an enormous burrito, and the conversation ranged everywhere from spiritual things to France to the joys and hardships of Open Gym Volleyball. After lunch, I did some paperwork that I should have done months ago, then had to go to the bank to gather some necessary paperwork information. While out I stopped by the High School pool to talk to my old swim coach/former coworker who informed me that one of our ex-athletes, who has been struggling with Leukemia, has only two weeks to live. I think the kid is only 21--it's a hard pill to swallow. Please pray that God gives me wisdom as I try to write something to him. I came home just in time to help my Dad dig the Camaro (Ow, Ow, Ow!!--the sound of tires chirping) out of the ice that surrounded the tires. Then, I had just enough time to get ready for dinner at Jason and Kristin Reid's house. I hadn't really met them before, but they were very encouraging and had great advice and wisdom to shower on me. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in knowing cool and mature Christians. I went straight to The Grounds coffee shop to meet my friend Amy, where we talked about anything and everything until 10:30 which is pretty close to what time it is right now.

Obviously, that is just a summary, not an exhaustive minute by minute account, but if you throw in a lot of coughing (not head turning and coughing, that was at my physical on Mon.), water, tea, and bathroom breaks (I drank A LOT of fluids), you pretty much know what my day was. Oh, a glasses update. I got new ones, for a decent price, the same day as my exam. Also, went through Phase I of my hair transformation this week--I call it the David Crowder phase. Next is the handlebar mustache phase, then the molestache phase (a normal mustache), then Phase IV, which is the clean cut, clean shaven Metrosexual Mike phase. Don't worry I'll post pictures of the whole process.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mo' Problems, Mo' Money

I couldn't solder my glasses together, so I am looking for some cheap solutions. Unfortunately, it isn't looking good (pun intended). I figure that gives me two options.

Option 1. Shell out the money for an eye exam and get the cheapest grandpa frames I can find. Or,

Option 2. Continue going about my business without glasses and learn to be content living in a fuzzy world until the random mutations of Evolution fix my eyesight. But I would probably settle for having bad eyesight if Evolution would give me something cooler like telepathy or transporter powers. Even an Adamantium skeletal structure and the power to heal myself (even though Wolverine didn't get his powers through mutation, but from the wonders of science).

RIght now Option 2 is looking pretty good, and I'll probably end up going in that direction, but I might as well look into going to the Optometrist. Oh yeah, and day 3 of my workout regimen went pretty well. Maybe I'll let you know how day 4 goes tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My Glasses Hurt, or, My Legs Hurt Real Bad

Well, I'm back from MTI and trying to reenter the upper echelon of Laramie's social elite, but encountering one major problem--there is no such thing. I know, I know, I could hear your surprised gasps from here in my living room, but this means only one thing, that I'll have to invent a healthy Aristocratic social circle here in the few weeks I have left. Don't worry there will be a lot of ballroom dancing and scotch swirling, I promise.

In other news, I started working out again. This has led to two significant events. First, I'm really sore. I haven't really done any physical activity, other than play volleyball two days a week, for about five years. That means I've gone from the apex of being a chiseled, invincible, NCAA division I athlete, to an old, fat, washed up, ex-division I athlete who plays volleyball just to remind himself that he used to be able to do things. And just to say it again, I'm really sore...but also happy to be doing physical activity again. But this isn't the only result of my monumental return to the gym. Today, as I was getting into the steamroom, my glasses snapped in two. So, as of today, I'm an old, fat, washed up, ex-division I athlete who plays volleyball just to remind himself that he used to be able to do things, and is partially blind.

And the end result of all this is that I'm going to limp around the store to buy batteries for a soldering iron to reconnect the two pieces that once were my glasses.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I can't get no...satisfaction

First day back from MTI and I've already slept in, skipped doing any physical activity (pushups and situps every night for the last two weeks), gone to an all-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue with some missionaries, and listened to a reggae version of Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon." That's a pretty full day, especially after the sleeping in part.

In the last post I told you that I would write a bit about what God has been teaching me lately. Here it goes. In the past, my knowledge and experience of God has been through books, which, don't get me wrong, is a good thing. I soaked myself in Systematic Theologies and Reformers and Puritans. Calvin and Edwards fed me through commentaries, institutes, and sermons. I learned a lot and got a great foundation for my faith. Then I read this a few years ago and it threw me into unrest. It's a Jonathan Edwards sermon from Hebrews 11 on living life as a pilgrim. You should read it. Seriously. Reading that sermon brought me to a place where I knew learning about God wasn't enough to please Him. It showed me that God desires that I know Him intimately and experience His great mercy and power as I walk in this world. I need to enjoy God. I needto live a life that is drastically different from the mediocre one I am living.

Here is an excerpt from it that I love:

"God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. — To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. — Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives, to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?"

So, here I am at the Grounds coffee shop in Laramie, convicted of the same truth that my life has been lived selfishly, and that should I die tonight, in many respects I feel my life was wasted on pursuing earthly joys and comforts. But the answer isn't asceticism and denying myself anything pleasurable (like...Cold Stone!!). That's the easy way out. The answer is the long, painful, purifying process of sanctification--seeing my sinful attitudes and then repenting of them. This means I can't justify when I think my best friend is an idiot and begin hating him in my heart. It means I can't be anxious about not being married when all my closest friends are. It means I have to trust God for everything and know that he only does what is best for me, even when it is painful.

Now, I still love learning about God from books, but what I really long for is to know Him through trusting Him for my every desire and need--to hunger and thirst for him like the Psalmist in Psalm 63. "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. BECAUSE YOUR STEADFAST LOVE IS BETTER THAN LIFE, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My SOUL will BE SATISFIED as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with JOYFUL LIPS, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me."--Psalm 63:1-8


Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's the Final Countdown...

Tomorrow is the final day at MTI and we're in the middle of a struggling 'Open Mic' night that more closely resembles the Iran hostage crisis than an open mic. Most memorable was some video of Alicia dancing in Paraguay. Since you don't know who she is it doesn't mean much. In short, she is the most shy person I've ever met before in my life. She didn't even look like the same person on the video. Amazing.

I'm excited to head home and begin final preparations for moving, but I'm going to miss my time here at MTI. I've made some close friends in a short time and I look forward to staying in touch with them and seeing what God is going to accomplish through them. They are some amazing people.

We focused on having good goodbyes today. It's going to be very helpful to me as I leave, because I tend to just say, "see you later" and leave for months or years. I guess that's not the best way to do it? But it's probably the most manly. Anyway, as I reflect on my time here I have a few prominent thoughts and memories.

1) I made some really cool and godly friends who will continue to have influence on me even after we part ways.

2) It was great to spend time with David, Jamie, and Molly, who will join me in forming World Harvest's "A-Team" in Spain. Sorry to everybody who just got bumped down to B-Squad.

3) As I mentioned before (in another post), someone told me the most encouraging thing I've ever heard in my life. Thank you. It meant more than you'll ever know.

4) God uses all different strokes of people to reach the world. I just had the priviledge of spending time with people who will drastically change the world, even though you'll probably never know because you live in America.

5) I have to drive home in the snow tomorrow. Crappy.

When I get home I will post a little more in-depth about some of the things God has been teaching me in the last three weeks. Good night.