Friday, March 20, 2009


Every time I enter a math classroom, I get the feeling I've entered another reality, one in which nothing I know actually matters. Philosophy? Gone. Theology? Gone. Nearly encyclopedic knowledge of science fiction TV shows? Completely useless.

Every time I leave a math classroom, it feels like Thor tried to play croquet with my head, and my mouth gets all dry and cottony. I'd call it a "math hangover," but such a phrase would presuppose that something enjoyable occurred before the nasty aftereffects.

I think the reason why I dislike math so much is that it forces my thought processes to conform to a rigid set of rules, which is not normally how they operate. Said processes do their best to beat down and destroy these rules, which explains the headache.

One of these days, they're all going to revolt and destroy even the most rudimentary knowledge of mathematics I possess, like workers rising up against an evil overseer...

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, plain as dog poop in winter: math foments communism.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

God Speaks

God spoke a couple of days ago. I didn't hear his voice, but I knew it was Him. He told me the same thing he told Cain so long ago: "If you do what is right, will not your countenance be lifted up?" That smarted a little. I mean, hadn't I been trying to change? Once again, my idea of righteousness fell to the ground like so many filthy rags.

Not long after that stunning revelation, He spoke again, this time through my mother, telling me that my self-focus was pulling me down into despair, and that I needed to start putting the interests of others before my own.

Thank you, God: Destroyer and Rebuilder.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Silence of God

By Andrew Peterson

It'll drive a man crazy
It'll break a man's faith
It's enough to make him wonder
If he's ever been sane
When he's bleating for comfort
From thy staff and thy rod
And the heavens' only answer
Is the silence of God

It'll shake a man's timbers
When he loses his heart
When he has to remember
What broke him apart
This yoke may be easy
But this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen
By the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen
To the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes
Of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles
Have been nailed up to that cross
But what about the times when even
Followers get lost
Cause we all get lost sometimes

There's a statue of Jesus
On a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky
All quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden
As silent as a stone
All His friends are sleeping
And He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows
He never forgot
What sorrow is carried
By the souls that He bought
So when the questions dissolve
Into the silence of God
The aching may remain
But the breaking does not
The aching may remain
But the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo
Of the silence of God

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fill Me

By Pete Semple

Here it comes
The same old thing again and again
Pushing me
Throwing me down over the edge
I'm fighting
But there's no power left in this old shell

Fill me with You

All I am is nothing
Floating dust upon the wind
I can't resist this feeling
Desire haunts me to the end
Here I am so empty
I've got nothing left to lose
So fill me
Fill me with You

Sins return
Bringing back the shame and the guilt
Thought I'd left
Them all behind so long long ago
I'm trying
But there's no power left in this old shell

Fill me with You


All I wanted was to do the right things
At the right times
Instead I turned from truth
And followed after Satan's lies
Crucify my flesh and make me one with You
Oh Lord
Oh Lord

Fill me with You


Thursday, March 12, 2009


There are very few types of humor that I don't find funny. When someone makes a joke, I generally laugh, no matter how "lame" it was. I think that's the real reason people keep me around, really. I'm an unintentional ego-boost.

Just kidding, of course.

I laugh when people do/say stupid things.
I laugh when people make puns.
I laugh at non-sequiturs.
I laugh at absurd situations (real or imagined, but real ones are funnier).
I laugh at the strange things that animals do.
I laugh (and groan) at scatological humor. Heck, the word "poop" is funny simply by virtue of its construction. I dare you to say the word poop loudly and distinctly without at least smiling. If you can do it you're a better (and more mature) person than me.
I laugh at lolcats. Yes, it's true. And I CAN has cheezburger.
I laugh at funny words (like poop, or snorkel), especially when I haven't had an adequate amount of sleep, oxygen, or both.
Sometimes, I laugh at the knowledge of how absolutely and completely screwed I am in a given situation. In some circles, they have a term used to describe this behavior: nervous breakdown. Really, I've never understood the stigma.

There are some things I will not laugh at, no matter how hard you try to make me. They are as follows:
Dead baby jokes: There is no word in the English language powerful enough to describe how much "no" I would like to express at this juncture.
Holocaust jokes: I'm all for a little gallows humor, but joking about mass slaughter (unless the joke is aimed at telemarketers, virus programmers, or democrats) crosses the line, in my opinion.
Jokes that involve racial slurs or stereotypes: I don't think they're funny, and don't appreciate people who do. I also don't appreciate when people from the particular ethnic group represented in a given joke think the joke's funny.

I'm sure there are others, but right now I can't really think of any. Next up comes the category of things that I probably shouldn't laugh at but do:

Sexual references: I don't know why I find them funny. I really, really don't. It would make things much easier if I didn't. But I do. I laugh and blush simultaneously.

I wonder what I look like when I blush. No one ever tells me anything awkward while I'm looking in a mirror, dangit. Ever make weird faces at yourself in a mirror? I used to do that a lot as a kid. Explains my range of facial expressions today, come to think of it. Hmm.

Oh yeah, sexual references.

Yeah, that's definitely a habit I'm trying to kick. It's really difficult though, especially since most people I know think they're funny too. I just feel so...soiled.


I think I'll take a shower.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I just wish romance would leave me alone and have done with it. Enough with the taunting.

Being single at TUFW seems more and more like being single on Noah's Ark. Just let me off the boat now...please? I'd rather "drown" (figuratively speaking, of course) than spend the rest of my life minus a companion.

I know I should learn to content myself with my current condition. I know that God has a plan for me, and that everything will come in His timing. However, it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep these phrases from sounding like platitudes used to comfort those who will never find what they're looking for.

Overly pessimistic? Perhaps. It's just the mood I'm in at this ungodly hour of the morning. I'll probably snap out of it as soon as breakfast rolls around. Until then, I'll run with the catharsis.

What was I saying? Oh yeah.

It's not as if I'm not interested in anyone. There are a number of young ladies here that I admire and respect, and whose company I enjoy.

There are several questions that hold me fast. First, "Are you willing to make another mistake and ruin a friendship?" Second, "What makes you think any of them would be interested?" Third, "Are you ready?"

The first one weighs heavily. Thankfully, I'm on fairly good terms with everyone I've dated. Still, things aren't the same between us, and though I've learned from my mistakes, I still regret them. I just don't want to hurt anyone else, or be hurt in return.

The second one weighs less heavily. I've always feared rejection in some form or another. I'm a little more confident these days than I have been in the past, but it would still suck enormously to set my hopes on someone who couldn't and shouldn't reciprocate my feelings.

The third one is the heaviest of all. I don't want anything to stand in the way of what God wants to do in my life. I really don't. It's better for me and for my future spouse that He continue unobstructed.

After reflection, I've come up with the following:

On the one hand, God's answer seems clear: "Stay back, watch, wait. Learn to follow Me, and when you are ready, I will bring an Eve to your Adam."

On the other, I really don't feel like waiting.

I guess it's not really about what I feel like, is it?

Lord, send me the one who completes me, but in your timing. I submit my will to yours, no matter how anxious I am to have what's meant for me. Amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


There are moments in life when everything you truly are is laid bare. They leave you open to attack, insecure about details of your being once thought sacrosanct. I don't relish those moments. I'd much rather stay ensconced in safe illusions of my immutable good character than examine myself for who I am.

It would be easy just to ignore my faults and continue on blithely into adulthood. After all, my friends accept me for who I am, warts included. And who's to say that I'll ever improve? Maybe I'm meant to struggle this way for the rest of my life. Maybe I'll never find an answer.

Pure horse-hockey.

So often the one whose opinion I seek the least is the one whose opinion matters the most. Hopefully, you know the one I'm talking about. If you don't, you should. I can't tell you how many times He's cut through (metaphorically speaking) the fog in front of me when I most needed to see.

Recently, I went through I time of severe doubt, depression, and general self-hatred. Naturally, I sought earthly sources of comfort to bandage the wounds I'd opened in my soul. Naturally, none of them worked for any sustained period of time, but that didn't stop me from returning to those sources of comfort over and over in search of what was right in front of me.

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'" (Mark 8:34)

Carry a cross? Really? That's not what I signed up for. I thought that was your job.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13)

Wait, now you want me to work? Sorry Lord, I'm a Protestant. Saved by grace through faith, remember?

But that's not even the real kicker.

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Okay, now you're just spouting nonsense. You can't possibly expect that kind of thing.

"Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.' He replied, 'My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." (Luke 8:20-21)

Everything I needed to know had already been given to me in written form. What's more, I had read what had been given to me. All that remained was to shoulder my cross. But how? Paul had the same quandary.

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15)

Here was the crux of my problem: I had been focusing too much on how helpless I was, and too little on what kind of help I had. I was by no means alone in this battle against my flesh.

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (II Timothy 1:7)

I should note here that I'm not trying to encourage a doctrine of salvation through works. I fully believe that we are saved through the grace of God, and that works are simply a sign of saving faith. Neither am I trying to encourage legalism. I'm just trying to point out through my own experience how many of us have forgotten the power we've been given to do what is right.

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'" (Luke 14:28-30)

Jesus has made it clear that following Him is not easy, that discipleship costs something. We must never forget that we have been brought from darkness into light, and that we have been made sons and daughters of God, instead of slaves to sin.


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The Institute for Circular Reasoning by Peter Semple is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.