072: Too long, it’s been far too long

It has truly been too long since I’ve last written a blog entry.  So much has happd, and I have so much to write about.  But where to start?

I last wrote on 12/2/2008.  Over two months ago.  So since then, I have gotten married to the most lovely and incredibly bautiful Heather Walter, now taking the name Heather Margio.  Thus, my life has changed quite a bit.  I am not longer living with a group of sloppy, messy guys, but my wife gets the chance to live with one soppy, messy guy–in fact, she gets the chance every day for the rest of her life. But, all kidding aside, I love being with her.  And I really am not that messy.  It’s true I do have to work on it, but I can be a pretty clean guy.

It has been such an awesome season of my life, getting married.  I love being able to talk to my best friend every day.  I love waking up and seeing her.  I love to share my intermost thoughts with her before we go to bed.  And I love giving her a back tickle before she falls fast asleep.  She has changed my life in so many ways, and because I love who I am, I love her ever more.  I think that is an important thing about love in the first place.  If you can love who you are, then you can love other people.  I feel that applies to a lot of situations.

In fact, there was a time in my life, years ago, when I didn’t love who I was, for I lived in guilt and shame.  It was hard to breathe.  Every thought led to a pain that stroke deep in my heart.  I hated who I had become.  But just as God always does, He loves us before we ever love ourselves.  And thus, I am here today, loving the woman of my dreams.

For a little humor.  Here is what’s been going on at Wesley, when we get a little free time:



067: This song has been running through my head…

Recently, I have been listening to the live IHOP prayer room during my quiet times.  I like how I can always hear something different, or I can hear an old song done differently, with the worship leaders creative spirit added to it.  It just something I look for in worship.  I like things to be new, to be changing, to be evolving, to be growing with my spiritual growth.

I have spoken before about how necessary it is to be intentional, and, frankly, I have failed.  I have not been intentionally repenting, and I have not been intentionally diving into God’s love, by the reading of his word.  I know how necessary the two are.  In fact, I know how much the two improve my life.  I guess the best way to describe me is lazy.  It is nothing I am proud of; it is just something I am working on.  We all have something we are working on.

The fact that there is always something I am working on has been a frustration all my Christian life.  I would love it if the redeeming love of God, I so frequently sing about in worship services, would materialize a solution to all my problems and fears.  I know this sounds far-fetched. But the word of God is clear about God’s intent for redemption.  It is woven throughout the whole Book.  In Psalm 103, for example (which, as a matter of fact, I am currently memorizing,) it says to “forget not all His benefits…(then speaking of God it continues)…who heals all your diseases…who redeems your life from destruction…who satisfies your mouth with good things…”  Trust me this is just one example.  I am certainly not saying the Lord is withholding his “benefits.”  I just want the tangible, material resolve.  In my selfish heart, I want the redemption without offering my life as a living sacrifice.  I want to be healed of all my diseases while I neglect my physical health by gorging myself with fatty, fried foods and not exercising regularly.  I want my mouth to be satisfied with good things without being vulnerable in my conversation with others.  As you can see, I just want free stuff.  I don’t want to pay a price.  In fact, all God’s benefits cost nothing, but they cost everything.  They cost a life of quiet, humble service to a master who gives “…forgiveness…healing…redemption…loving kindness and tender-mercies…satisfaction…renewal” (Ps. 103:3-5, NKJV).

In my life, I know I have recieved each and every one of these.  And I wish I would just hold on to those, put them in the forefront of my mind, because God has done so much for me.  He has truly saved me time and time again.  I’m so thankful for that.  And this thankfulness I speak of is the song that has been running through my head all day.  I am not sure where it came from just that Grace Kim was singing it in the IHOP prayer room, but the words are simple: “I just wanna thank you, thank you, Jesus.  I just wanna thank you, thank you, for you are so good.”  It is so simple and so constructive for my walk.  I do “wanna” thank Jesus for everything, for in thanking, my heart honestly yearns for the Lord.  I am thankful for so much.  So much of my life has been given me without me deserving any of it, but by the grace of God, I am rich with life.  But to whom much is given, much is expected.  And because freely I have recieved, freely I shall give.  I am praying that these, along with thanksgiving, will begin to take charge in my life and in my relationship with Christ.

Really, I can see how this affects my relationship with Heather as well.  I have recieved such unselfish love from the most sweet and beautiful young lady, and so shall I give it back, not out of obligation, but for the Christ, who loved us all first.  In fact, many will know that we are His disciples by our love.  And that is surely a hope and prayer for my future marriage: that she and I will love one another with Christ’s love, so that others will know we are His disciples.

I just feel like my thoughts are rambling on.  There is just so much to say.

062: Back from Africa

I have actually been back from Ghana, in West Africa, for about two weeks now.  I haven’t written anything, because I have been processing, thinking, “what am I to say?”  Frankly, I feel like there is so much that has happened in my heart and in my mind, but how do I spill it all out?  One helpful thing has been journaling.  I find that journaling clears things up.  But here, in this blog, I am finding it difficult to express something worth a person’s read.

The thing that keeps throbbing in my brain is the 5th or 6th day I was in Ghana.  The team was at an orphanage in Obuasi, an old gold mining town.  The orphanage, called Adullum, in fact, was my favorite part of the trip; it showed me the best of God’s love, maybe even the simplest form of God’s love.  But that is not only what stood out, or what is coursing through my mind at this very moment.  On this, let’s say, 6th day in Ghana, the team arrived at Adullum and had the opportunity to meet with the owner, creator, and operator.  She had been out of the country with illness, so we were very lucky to get the chance to meet with her.

Her name was Louis.  She was fifty-ish, Australian, and radical.  She looked like something was after her; I later called that something, the Devil.  But she didn’t seem scared in the least.  In fact, I thought she looked quite confident.  She told us with boldness and confidence about how the orphanage had been created.  My hope for the children was made alive.  I felt like they had been placed in this very place by God himself.  He was creating warriors and worship leaders and shepherds for the country of Ghana.  What an amazing sight, to see a sea of future bond-servants, dedicated to each other and to the will of God.

Now, to get to the finale, after speaking with us for an hour and a half, she concluded with this simple prayer: (I paraphrase a bit because it is hard to remember exactly what she said) she prefaced it with this. “Now, only pray this if you really mean it, because if you ask for it, He will do it,” then the prayer began, “Lord, take your cross and drive deep in my flesh, so that I die, but You remain.”  The last words spoken with tears.  This had been her prayer for so long.  And I thought to myself, dying every day is not easy, but I want it.  I want Him to be the life.

I have actually been singing this prayer in almost all of quiet times since I have been back.  I sing it like this:

Take your cross and drive it in my heart: I die; You live.