The Big One

I ran across an article the other day on the “Big One”!  As in…. earthquakes. 


It scared me to think about the “big one” hitting soon. Truth is were due for one. As in California is going to split in half and LA will fall into the ocean. 

The article had tips on how to avoid and how to prepare but it made me wonder. 

Do I really live this way? 

Do I keep waiting for everything to fall apart?

Life is too good right now, something bad is going to happen….?

Do I live in anticipation for all things to crumble and die? 

I remember my first earthquake. I had to be four or five because we were still living in Temecula, but it was terrifying.  The whole house was moving… MOVING.  Truly shifting and moving and shaking.  And then it stops. 

But then, aftershocks.  It all starts again. You begin to think it will never end. Your house is gong to collapse and the world is imploding. I think aftershocks are the worst. 

But I feel like I live waiting for everything to fall apart. I live and believe in scarcity not abundance. 

It’s all I know.  My life experience has made me believe this is how the world works.  But I want to change. I want to be different.  I want to live in abundance. And this is why

There are greater things in store (definition of hope). 

Good things will happen to me. God will provide (it is one of His names). 

Someone receiving  what I want does not mean I won’t get it, I may truly get something better! 

Waiting for life to fall apart, waiting for people to leave or hurt you, waiting for the good time to end is not truly living. It is death. It is scarcity. And it is and doesn’t have to be true. 

I have started meditating on truth. I meditate now on good things. I spend time in gratitude and continue to be hopeful for greater things to come. 

Could it also be that waiting for bad things to happen keeps your eyes open to bad things to happen?  Do we only see what we want to see?  If we always hit red lights will we only ever notice the red lights and ignor the green lights we get at the right time?  

I want to focus on the good that happens in a day. I want to focus on beauty. I want to keep my hope alive and dream about far greater dreams.  Jesus never talked scarcity or safety.  He never said the kingdom of God is limited.  Only a few enter. Only some get a crown.  And in fact he calls it a banquet and invites those who could never repay him or do anything in return.  He is abundantly generous to all.  He is full of delight and hope and never had any time for anything but the present. 

Be present in what you have and who you have!  Life is not going to fall apart.  Plus, the “big one” might hit but it’s ok. Life comes from death and beauty comes from ashes. Take hope, there are greater things in store! 

Trevor 

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PE with Jordan McDougal

Why you chose the education profession and if you are currently teaching?

My name is Jordan McDougal and I graduated from Sacramento State University last May. My goal since I was young was to become a high school physical education teacher. I played competitive sports throughout my childhood and into my high school career so I always had a passion for sports. My mother has been a middle school PE teacher for over 20 years and my father has been teaching engineering at the high school level for the same amount of time. As a child I would go to work with my parents and I had to much fun watching home interact with their students and when I saw my mom teach sports I thought to myself, I’m going to do that someday. Well, here I am!

I have been subbing in the Elk Grove Unified School District since September and it has been great hands on experience. I have also done a long term subbing position, though it was not in my content area.

How did your personality affect your choice of content area?

After following the Team Technology link and completing the Metarasa personality questionnaire I found out I was the my closest personality (stereo)types are ISFJ and ISFP and my most preferred leadership style is as an ideological leader.

One of my personality types is ISFP and it says that I have some deeply-held values. Living an active lifestyle and taking care of my health has always been something I valued and has been lived out by my parents example. I also have a strong sense of the type of lifestyle I enjoy, which I want to maintain as listed by this personality type. I have grown up involved in sports teams and it has been an important part of character development.

How does or will your personality affect your relationships with your students?

As a personality type ISFJ I am labeled as a serious observer of people, listening intently and getting to know a great deal about them. You pay attention to their emotions and feelings, and are keenly aware of the state of relationships between them and you take your responsibilities to them very seriously. These qualities will help me a great deal with connecting with my students and identifying the needs of each student. My approach will be caring and sensitive and I will be able to teach each students in a way that they learn best, I will know this by how observant I am.

How will your teaching and learning style affect your teaching and your students’ abilities to be successful?

            I am a reflective, intuitive, verbal and global learner. My teaching style ranked high as a personal model and facilitator. These outcomes will have a great affect on how I will teach my students and their ability to be successful. I need to be aware that I will have students who have a different learning style than I do and I need to cater to those areas. By being aware and making changes this will help my students be successful. As a facilitator I will be giving a lot of responsibility to my students as I also thanked high in being a delegator. I will also speak from personal experience in order to convert a concept as one of my teaching styles is a personal model.

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Bitterness and Church: by Hannah McCleary

So I wrote something down.

My thoughts after my first time at church all semester…

I’ve lost control of my bitterness, Like a drug habit.  It started out small and localized, an occasional craving to judge and perceive the actions of others as potential to be hurt or offended. I used it as a defense mechanism against hurt.  If I’m high on doubt and distrust, I can pretend I never cared for that intimacy/acceptance/inclusion etc. At first I thought I had control of it…”I can stop being bitter whenever I want. I’m simply choosing to let it out to play.” But i think it has grown to control me. It has crept into areas of my life I never thought it would.

This morning I realized that what I thought was manageable bitterness has manifested itself as a generalized perception of church as a place of inauthenticity and judgement.  Which has led to an aversion from the place all together. I sleep in on Sundays in stubbornness and arrogance. “I don’t need to go to my meeting, I won’t learn anything new. I have it under control.” And its keeping me from the very place, the very person, who could cure all of my internal frustration.

I’m wallowing. I’m held captive by my own negativity, and I’ve been tricked into thinking even Jesus couldn’t solve my problems. As if a little bitterness is too big for him. (Arrogance again)

So I sat in my first service in months and hear of disciples questioning Jesus because he doesn’t act like they always hoped he would.

They’re offended, and what he’s teaching is hard.

“You do not want to leave too do you?” He asks them.

Do I? Me? Did I really turn away for so long because I was convinced something or someone else could give me the comfort of friends, fellowship, attention, purpose I want, when I want it? Seems silly when you picture Jesus really in front of you asking, “do you really want to go?”

Where else will I go? I know somewhere deep down there’s nothing for me elsewhere. Maybe it took trying to do it without him all semester to truly understand the nothingness, the death that exists outside of him.

I can’t control my habit on my own. I’ve kept it from him for too long, assumed I had it under control. I wanted to preserve it as a security blanket. But as it creeps outward into the most precious areas of my life I have no choice but to snap out of it, and ask him for help.

I’m not strong enough to control my bad habit. But Jesus, you are. I’m sorry my arrogance and anger and bitterness has led me elsewhere for so long. But where else will I go? In you there is no bitterness. There is security in vulnerability. There is freedom from anger. In you there is life.

Maybe I didn’t believe that until now.

James 1:27

John 6:67

-Hannah

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Are you mad?

I get angry

Maybe mad is a better word.

You might not recognize my anger, you may never see it, I pray you never see it, and I like to keep it that way.

It is a boiling in my stomach.   My anger swells up and takes over my mind.  It can’t be controlled and there are only a few things that get me back on track.  It comes out on the road.  It comes out on a run, and mostly it gets dumped on God.  Somehow it is His fault.  Somehow He did this.  And somehow He doesn’t make it better.

A few days ago I stopped being mad, because I realized why.  It also took me realizing I was mad, or angry.  But I am now done with anger (or I’m trying to stop, I’m addicted)

I realized why I was angry, or where it came from.  This is what I concluded.  And it has helped a lot.

I was sitting in a room with a lot of Younglife staff people and I couldn’t stop being mad.  I was mad I was sick.  I was mad the training wasn’t helpful.  I was mad I was away from my apartment.  I was angry about the meal choice for a plant based diet (two salads for two meals…).  I was angry at the amount of sleep I didn’t get.  I was mad about my fingers hurting because I was out of practice playing guitar.  I didn’t understand what the speaker was saying, so I wrote down all the things I was mad about.  And there was a theme.  A BIG THEME.

It was all about ME.

All my anger comes from not getting something that I want.  My madness comes from people overlooking ME.  It stems from feeling a certain way about me.  From feeling left out, lonely, or used… Which is all about me?  It is a branch of feeling like no one cares anymore, people think I’m old hat now, and I am no longer needed…..  All of this is narcissism to its core.  The psychological definition of narcissism is: “Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.”- says google.

I’ll leave that last sentence alone.

In realizing where my anger comes from I am able to see my selfishness.  I am able to put a word or language to feelings and emotions.  Maybe this can help me stop spending energy on areas of my life that lead me to death?  Maybe this can stop the criticism of me in my own head?  Maybe I can see the importance of valuing others over myself?   Maybe I can start taking myself way less seriously?  How about that thought?

This will take time.  A lot of time.  This is not an easy task at all.  I’ve been doing this my whole life.  All disappointments, all hurt, most pain, most loneliness all comes from ME.  Comes from thinking I deserve, or hoping others find ME important, or want to be around ME.

So,

I am sorry

I am sorry for being angry

I’m sorry for thinking about me way more than thinking about you

I am sorry I put my rights, and deservedness before yours

I apologize for placing my wants and desires above you and your feelings

I am sorry I take myself way too seriously

I am sorry I have a high view of who I am

I am sorry I care more about what you think of me than what I think of myself

Keep me accountable.  I am willing to have more conversations if you want.  It comes subversively, and subtly.  It comes without warning, and it comes from stress.  I want to be needed.  I want to be wanted, and those are my desires, and they usually come before everyone else all the time.  No exaggeration.  I want to also start caring about what God cares about above caring about  ME.  Maybe I shouldn’t be mad at Him, and know He truly does have my best in mind.

Breathe that in.  Jesus cares about you, so you no longer have to.  What would today look like if I believed that?  Jesus cares about me, so I don’t have to… Take another breath.  We would stop anger, we wouldn’t be afraid of the future, and we wouldn’t be stressed or worried if we truly believed He loves us.  So, let’s take some time and try.  Will you help me?

 

 

 

 

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Be real with me

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Do you believe what you see, or do you see what you already believe?

I had a really bad day yesterday, but I am not sure if it was actually a bad day, or did I already believe it was a bad day so all I saw were bad things?  Maybe I already had it in my head that it was going to be a bad day.  So, as things added up they seemed to be bad.  Things kept turning out to be against me.  Things kept falling apart.  And then there was a moment of wonder, of maybe this is all simply how I am choosing to see it.

I was at a Younglife camp the other day doing program.  I was with a friend running from the dining hall towards club because we were going back on stage in four minutes.  I barely had enough time to think, let alone stop and look at something.  But my friend pointed towards the ground and said check it out.  We stopped, I looked at him and asked what?  Check out what?  And he pointed to the ground where the lights from camp made color and designs you wouldn’t believe.  The lights from the building had collided with the water from the rain and made a myriad of prisms and Van Gogh like swirls.

All weekend I was focused on the tasks at hand.  The next club, the next game, the next event, and I missed so many beautiful moments.  My attention was on the “important” things.  When all around me were pieces of heaven.  All around me were conversations with angels.  All around me was the essence of Jesus.  If only I had time and the mindset to see it.  After that moment I decided to stop believing I was stressed and busy, and started to see all the abundance around me.

What happens when you focus on everyone around you getting engaged and or married?  What happens when you see everyone around you buying new clothes or getting new cars?  What happens when you focus on everyone’s exaggerated bragging posts on social media?  About the trips their on, the meals their eating, and the parties they go to?  What happens when you focus on everyone else’s green gr ass?

I’ll tell you what happens.

You murder all the good in your life right now.  You destroy the people in front of you.  You mistake those closest to you as hindrances instead of joy.  You start to only focus on what you do not have, and depreciate what you do.  You may even start to think God doesn’t care.  Maybe He isn’t listening?  Maybe He is a jerk because He is giving everyone else the very thing you want?

I’m starting to live my life and my life is full.  My life has great people in it.  My life is being lived out on my timeline that God has for me.  It might not add up to others.  It may not look like others.  It may not be as glamourous or the way I believe it should be going, but it is my life.  My life goes to the gym when I don’t want to.  My life is full of incredible conversations, incredible opportunities, and it is mine.  Where I choose to focus is where my heart and joy will be.

What if we saw the truth?  What if we tried to see what is really happening, and not what we believe to be happening?  How different would today be if you lived in appreciation and not in believing we deserve different?

Jesus states that this world is yours and everything in it.  Everything in it is yours.  Everything.  Fullness is at hand for you today.  I think it lays hidden in gratitude.  It waits dormant in us.  May my identity be defined by gratitude.  May my life be full of appreciation and dedicated to seeing what I have as enough.  Maybe things are not as they seem?  Maybe there is something good out of a bad day?  Maybe what we think should be or should happen isn’t what is best for us after all?

Bless

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Letter to myself part 2

imgresNo matter the sin

No matter what you did

No matter the mindset you have right NOW

 

You are getting better

Well… if you want to get well that is…

 

Your mind is changing, and the way you think is growing in a direction that is positive and full of life.  These are the things I want for you.

 

I want you to know that you have what it takes (No matter how many times you fail).  I want you to know that you are beautiful (even if you feel weird about that sentence).  I want you to know you are on a journey (enjoy the process).  I want you to know you have great friends (even if they don’t do what you expect of them all the time, because your expectations are audacious and they don’t know you expect that of them…).  I want you to know however many steps backwards you take, at least you are trying to move forward (though the backward steps suck).  Trevor you are a work in progress, there is more time in this life, and it doesn’t all have to change right now, right away.

 

You once lived in an identity full of guilt, shame, and fear.  But, like the universe, you are constantly growing and expanding.  The universe has never been the same, ever.  We can’t go back, and growing takes time, but time moves forward.  And so there is a new identity to believe in.  The truth is it’s impossible to continue to live in who you were, or once were.  You will always be more than you once were.  You will, and you are expanding, learning, changing, and it is good.  The guilt you lived in comes and goes.  It waxes and wanes.  Some moments of guilt are ok when they lead to a change towards good, but you can’t live life in guilt.  You are not the guilty one.  And the God of this Universe sees you as a beloved Son of the Father.  Your shame doesn’t define you.  As much as you once sat in your shame, you can’t sit there anymore.  Why?  Because it’s gone.  You can’t sit in something that doesn’t exist.  So, keep taking one step.  I believe fear will always be in your life, but it will change.  Right now your fear is different from where you will be in a few years, but fear can be good.  Fear can drive you to the feet of Jesus.  Fear can be an outcome of the faith you have, and the logic that resides in you, but faith will win.  It can’t fail.  The fear of the Lord brings wisdom.

 

So this leaves you with only one option.  Live out of your new identity.  You are different today.  You are different than a month ago.  You are far greater then you were two years ago.  Live in this new understanding and truth.  You’ve grown, you’ve fought, you’ve learned, and this is a good identity.

 

I’m not sure why we live as new wine in old wine skins?  I’m not sure why we like to maintain, go back, or return to the old way of life?  But remembering who you are NOW will greatly change your outlook.  Life is waiting for you to take a step as your new self.  Resurrect today.  Be new today.  Be who you are now, not the old self, but the new self.  And every day there is a new self yet to be!

 

Take heart for you have come a long way.
Take soul for you have what it takes.
Take mind of where you want to go, and know you are doing a good job.

 

Trevor

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Does God want what I want?

imagesWhere is your heart?
Who has your heart?
Where is your treasure?

One of the most terrifying things you can do is take time to feel where your  heart is.  You might find that it is with someone.  You might find that your heart is in the future somewhere.   I tend to believe my heart lives full and whole in a time not yet.  And so my treasures are…
Non existent
A fantasy
A time coming
Conversations in my head
Overthought emotions
There seems to be a calculated voice in my head I listen to and it instructs me on what will make me happy.  It makes me believe there is a time coming when I will feel full and fully alive.  And until I get what I want I will be un-satisfied, and left feeling empty.

 

“Where your treasure is there your heart will be”

“God will give you the desires of your heart”

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

“God gives good gifts”
These are all things people say, think, and what I try to believe, but these are not easy statements to understand.  Sometimes it makes me think of God as if He is some wise old coot waiting for me to want what He wants so He can finally give it to me.  Some days I see God as a generous Father who if his son asks for a fish will he not give him a fish?  But what if the son’s fish he is asking for is too big?  What if the fish I am asking for is too beautiful?  What if the fish I am asking for is the fish I want, but not the fish I need???

 

And then I remember who Jesus really is.  I remember how He sees me.  I remember the embrace, the hug, the dance, and my joy is restored.  My faith is affirmed, and who I am doesn’t matter because I am with Him, and He matters.  When I spend time contemplating Jesus my heart is quiet, my soul is eased, and any pain I have from wonder, wanting, and desires fade slowly in His presence.  He points out the clouds and whispers “be still, I have you right where I want you.”.  He shows me the sunset He painted and gently nudges me and says, “I know, I know, what you are wanting, the things you desire, your heart, Trevor I know your heart, and it is good.  Trust me.  Give me time, I won’t disappoint” Then I understand.  For a brief moment I understand.  For a split second all is right in the world.  I feel as if I have been heard.  And all it took was for me to open my heart to God, let Him see my desires, let Him see my wants and sit back and listen.  Because what I want and desire may truly not be what I want or desire and what I need might be the best thing for me.  What I need is Him.  What I need is more time to be quiet and still.  What I need is to see myself for who I am to Him.

Where do you find your value and self-worth?  Who or what tells you who you are? Do you believe if you ask for bread that God will give you a stone?

I read this quote this week and it’s been stuck in my brain, but ““God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.” — Augustine

-Trevor

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