Saturday, November 21, 2009



Morning comes too early
and nighttime falls too late
And sometimes all I want to do
is wait
The shadow I've been hiding in
has fled from me today

I know it's easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I will raise a shelter to the sky
and here beneath this
star tonight I'll lie
She will slowly yield the light
As I awaken from the longest

Dreams are shaking
Set sirens waking up tired eyes
With the light the memories
all rush into his head

By a candle stands a mirror
Of his heart and soul she
She was dancing thru the night
above his bed

And walking to the window
he throws the shutters out
against the wall
And from an ivory tower hears
her call
"Let light surround you"

It's been a long, long time
He's had a while to think it over
In the end he only sees the
Light to dark
Dark to light
Light to dark
Dark to light

Heaven must be more than this
When angels waken with a kiss
Sacred hearts won't take the
But mine will never be the same

He stands before the window
His shadow slowly fading from
the wall
And from an ivory tower hears
her call
"Let the light surround you"

Once lost but I was found
When I heard the stained glass
shatter all around me
I sent the spirits tumbling
down the hill
But I will hold this one on high
above me still
She whispers words to clear my mind
I once could see but now at last
I'm blind

I know it's easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I had given all that
I could take
And now I've only habits left
to break
Tonight I'll still be lying here
Surrounded in all the light

Greetings from the Holy Land my friends! We have some of the most beautiful but cryptic Dream Theater lyrics in this song. I absolutely love them and I think this is one of Dream Theater’s most emotional and airy songs. I will admit, I don’t know what this song is about. It is hard to interpret. It seems to be about some type of sweet enlightenment—about finding something that allows us to face life. It doesn’t fix all of our problems but it is beauty that gives us strength in our weakness. I of course think this song is talking about spiritual enlightenment (at least I want it to be). It works so let’s roll with it and if someone knows better please enlighten me. If you want to listen to an amazing version of this song, check out the version on the Chaos in Motion DVD (I believe it is called Surrounded ’07). It is 15 minutes long and has portions from “Mother” by Pink Floyd and “Sugar Mice” by Marillion in it. Pure magic. Your ears will be thankful you listened to it.

So my time in Israel is wrapping up. I only have three weeks to go. Time flies. It has been a blast and I am sure the last few weeks will be awesome also. It has also been a very challenging semester emotionally and spiritually (and I guess physically), but it has been awesome. All good things in life are challenging. It has been one big spiritual journey as I am continually learning what it means to follow Jesus and am being conformed to His image. It hurts at times and I feel like a spiritual failure at times but God doesn’t feel that way about me. He saved me and changed me and is saving me and changing me and He won’t give up on me. He is going to use me in mighty ways despite my failures and through my failures. He is working all things in my life for my good—Even my sin; even spiritual oppression and trials. He is teaching me that Christianity is about love! It is not all about doctrine but about living what you believe. This is a big thing I have learned from Jewish people. They emphasize live out your faith more than actually believing. Don’t get me wrong, correct belief is essential. Unless one believes they are sinners who need saving and turn to Jesus the Messiah for forgiveness of sins, they will not be saved. But I so often get caught up in the details and forget what matters most. Jesus says that His disciples will be known by their love for one another. That is a revolutionary message that is rocking my world. People should know I follow Jesus not by what I believe but by the outworking of what I believe—love.

Everyone needs to love and be loved. Everyone needs to know someone cares for them and is there for them. Everyone needs to know that there is hope in hopelessness—that there is a God who loves them. I will show the world God’s love through my actions and words. We can turn the world upside down if we, followers of Christ, put our differences aside, and love. Oh, we could.

Life is hard, at times unbearable. Yes, sin is overwhelming and oh so discouraging, but God is good. He is better. Look at Him. Let His light surround you. Then His light will surround the world.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Take The Time

Take the Time

Just let me catch my breath
I've heard the promises
I've seen the mistakes
I've had my fair share of tough breaks
I need a new voice, a new law, a new way
Take the time, reevaluate
It's time to pick up the pieces
Go back to square one
I think it's time for a change

There is something that I feel
To be something that is real
I feel the heat within my mind
And craft new changes with my eyes
Giving freely wandering promises
A place with decisions I'll fashion
I won't waste another breath

You can feel the waves coming on
(It's time to take the time)
Let them destroy you or carry you on
(It's time to take the time)
You're fighting the weight of the world
But no one can save you this time
Close your eyes
You can find all you need in your mind

The unbroken spirit
Obscured and disquiet
Finds clearness this trial demands
And at the end of this day sighs an anxious relief
For the fortune lies still in his hands

If there's a pensive fear, a wasted year
A man must learn to cope
If his obsession's real
Suppression that he feels must turn to hope

Life is no more assuring than love
(It's time to take the time)
There are no answers from voices above
(It's time to take the time)
You’re fighting the weight of the world
And no one can save you this time
Close your eyes
You can find all you need in your mind

I close my eyes
And feel the water rise around me
Drown the beat of time
Let my senses fall away
I can see much clearer now I'm blind

Find all you need in your mind
If you take the time

[instrumental part]


Find all you need in your mind
If you take the time

Hello!!! It has been a very long time. Too long I might dare say. I was just taking the advice of our next song ;)! Just kidding. I don’t know I got busy. I tried writing a blog once or twice and just wasn’t feeling it. But I enjoy writing and I really missed writing so I am going to start up again. You probably are wondering how I am still going to get through all the Dream Theater songs by mid-December. Well, I am not. I am going to get rid of the deadline and we will finish when we finish. Oh yeah.

So the song for today is “Take the Time” which is a very upbeat jam session. It is funky and psychedelic and magical at the same time. It has some amazing lyrics. It was written by Mike Portnoy, Kevin Moore, John Myung, and John Petrucci about their struggles between 89-92 with finding a singer and such. They felt hopeless at times and were not sure if they could make a living doing what they loved. But they “took the time” and everything worked out in the end. Yes it did. This song is a classic prog rock song. It is wacky, technical, and amazing!

So lots have happened over the month I have not updated. I went to Galilee for a week, I went to a Synagogue, have learned tons in class, and seen lots of Israel. It has been a good month. I still love Israel but I do miss home. Also, some sweet albums have come out lately. The Prog super group Transatlantic (with Mike Portnoy on drums) came out with a phenomenal album called The Whirlwind with the title track being longer than 70 minutes of Classic Prog magic! The style of Transatlantic is very reminiscent of the vocalist of the group, Neal Morse. So if you enjoy, Neal Morse check it out. Even if you don’t like, Neal Morse, but like good music check it out! You won’t be disappointed (And if you are, you are wrong and have bad taste in music J) Also, Between the Buried and Me released a new CD, The Great Misdirect. I am very impressed with the instrumentals of BTBAM. They do some very experimental and cool stuff. They are very prog and you can definitely hear the DT influence on their music. My main complaint of this album and all their music is the screaming. I just am not a big fan of screaming especially of their hardcore-esque screaming. I would rather them just sing. But, hey plenty of people like screaming, so it is all good.

So, this song has plenty of sweet lyrics, but I want to focus on one small section.

If there's a pensive fear, a wasted year
A man must learn to cope
If his obsession's real
Suppression that he feels must turn to hope

Many people do not do what they love. They do not follow their dreams and live a life of regret. They have a dream and passion that stirs them every now and then, but they repress it realizing it is unrealistic and thinking dreams don’t come true. They just live a mundane life and don’t pursue what they love. They hate what they do. They think God does not want them to enjoy life and that he definitely does not use their passions and dreams for His glory. This is not the life God wants us to have. Though, it is very true that some people’s dreams will never come true and God will have use some people passions and dreams more than other, I believe God will always allow us to do something we love and use it for His purposes. Also, I believe God is sovereign and we must remember that God sovereignly made everyone the way they are for a reason. God gave me compassion for the outcast for a reason. God gave me a love for knowledge and theology for a reason. God gave me love for prog rock for a reason. God gave me a desire to read the Bible in its original languages for a reason. God gave you desires and dreams for a reason. He has a plan for you that will most likely coincide with your desires. He does not give us desires and then force us to give up everything we love and pursue things we hate (though God does call for us to sacrifice at time). He uses us in ways that are most effective for His plans and people pursuing things they love and doing things they enjoy are so much more effective than people that do things they hate!

Pursue your obsession. God gave it to you. The odds may seem stacked against you. Everyone is saying you won’t succeed. Yes you will. Though, it may look dim. There is hope. Take the Time. Pursue what you love. And above all pursue the source of all good things—the only One who is truly good—Jesus Christ.

I am scared of the future and I don’t know what God has in store for me and how he is going to use my different desires for His glory. But, He will. Life is meant to be enjoyed. I will pursue what I love and take chances in life even if the odds are stacked against me. Take that!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Day

Another Day

Live another day
Climb a little higher
Find another reason to stay
Ashes in your hands
Mercy in your eyes
If you're searching for a silent

You won't find it here
Look another way
You won't find it here
So die another day

The coldness of this words
The message in his silence,
"Face the candle to the
This distance in my voice
Isn't leaving you a choice
So if you're looking for a time
to run away...

You won't find it here
Look another way
You won't find it here
So try another day

They took pictures of our
Ran to hide behind the stairs
And said maybe when it's right
for you, they'll fall
But if they don't come down
Resist the need to pull them in
And throw them away
Better to save the mystery
Than surrender to the secret

You won't find it here
Look another way
You won't find it here
So try another day

Mirror, Mirror so glad to see you again. It’s been awhile. Time flies. I was about to write this blog on Sunday, but it just wasn’t flowing so I erased what I wrote. Then I got busy and here I am. We have our first ballad today. It is a very emotional song with a very memorable main riff and sweet sax parts. I thoroughly enjoy this song. It is Dream Theater after all. These lyrics are kind of emotional. It is about John Petrucci’s father who was dying of cancer. Petrucci is encouraging his father to push through and not give up; to not lose to will because of the great pain. This is a sad song, but there is a little hope inside it. In a few albums we will reach a song written about his death. When we get there, it might be interesting to compare and contrast these songs. Oh yeah! So I got something a little different for you all, but first let me enlighten you to my life.

So this week I have been studying as usual and saw some rad stuff. Last Sunday (I guess two Sundays ago now), I went to a circumcision ceremony, which was a definite cultural experience. It was interesting to actually see the sign of the Old Covenant done. I feel bad for proselytes to Judaism that are circumcised later in life. O, the pain. On Wednesday, I went on a field trip to the land that belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. The tribe of Benjamin lies in and around what is today called the West Bank, which is Arab territory. Some places in the West Bank are not safe to go to. It is crazy to think how close enemies live next to each other. Arabs and Israelis that hate each other live within miles of each other (not that all Arabs and Jews hate each other). Crazy. On this trip, I saw the site where the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. It was awesome. But, most importantly, on this trip, I had the highlight of my life. I got to ride a camel. It was awesome. Then on Saturday, I went to Ashkelon Beach and spent the night there. It was awesome. The water was a beautiful temperature. I got stung by a jelly though. That sucked. At the beach, I had like the best meal since I have been in Israel. Amazing chicken, watermelon, hotdogs, pita, carrots and ranch, choc. chip cookies, brownies, and awesome beverages. Oh yeah. I also spent the night there. It was my first time sleeping on the beach. It was really enjoyable, except for the fact that we woke up to a rain that became rather heavy. It came and went quick though.

So in my Modern Israel class on Thursday, we talked about the Holocaust and the ideology that led to it. It was a pretty emotional class, especially since it was taught by a Jewish person. It is crazy to think that 6 million Jews were killed only less than 70 years ago. I was inspired by that lecture to write a poem about the Holocaust from the point of view of the Nazis. It is like the anti-thesis of “Another Day.” Instead of pleading with someone to hold on, one is forcing another to let go. I hope that through this poem we can understand this atrocity even more and understand and the danger of not believing that all human beings are equally created in God’s image. God is our only hope among these horrible tragedies. Here I go.

Involuntary Suicide

Today is the day of your suicide

Close your eyes

So void of life

Take the knife

Lodge it inside

Today is the day that you die

Today is the day that we purify

Open your eyes


Wretched disgusting putrid mice

All must die

Biological mistake

Sociological disgrace

Deserving objects of Hate

Doomed by the winds of fate

Evacuate Eradicate Terminate

You say you want to die another day

That you have a reason to stay

No, for today we will rid the plague

Enter in, Enter in—Bad blood will fade

Remember, we are the gods of perfection

O, the unpardonable sin of imperfection

This is no lie--Messiah won’t hear your cry

You will die-- Tears of joy we will cry

Step inside, step inside—Believe the lie

Step inside, step inside—Silence your pitiful cry

You masquerade as a victim-- Unwilling to die

You masquerade as a victim—O, God why! O God why!

Remember this is your suicide

Slashing your wrists with the razorblade called life

Drowning yourself in your inferior blood

Good bye Disease—Look me in the eye

Good bye Disease—Drown in your suicide.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pull Me Under

Pull Me Under

Lost in the sky
Clouds roll by and I roll with them
Arrows fly
Seas increase and then fall again

This world is spinning around me
This world is spinning without me
Every day sends future to past
Every breath leaves me one less to my last

Watch the sparrow falling
Gives new meaning to it all
If not today nor yet tomorrow then some other day

I'll take seven lives for one
And then my only father's son
As sure as I did ever love him
I am not afraid

This world is spinning around me
The whole world keeps spinning around me
All life is future to past
Every breath leaves me one less to my last

Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
All that I feel is honor and spite
All I can do is set it right

Dust fills my eyes
Clouds roll by and I roll with them
Centuries cry
Orders fly and I fall again

This world is spinning inside me
The whole world is spinning inside me
Every day sends future to past
Every step brings me closer to my last

Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
Living my life too much in the sun
Only until your will is done

Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
All that I feel is honor and spite
All I can do is set it right

Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
Living my life too much in the sun
Only until your will is done

Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt

Shalom my friends. Today is an exciting day. We get to explore Dream Theater’s biggest hit—Pull Me Under. This song was their only commercial success. It got much radio play and was pretty well known. This is the song that got me into Dream Theater. It is definitely not my favorite song but it is amazing and has a special place in my heart. So my bro is a guitar and bass player and is pretty dang good at it. One day he was practicing bass in his room and he was playing a song that I thoroughly enjoyed. So I enquired within. I asked him if it was Metallica (I am ashamed of that now since they sound NOTHING like Metallica and are on a completely different level of awesomeness to Metallica). He said no it is Dream Theater (proof that he is a baller. The bass to this song is pretty intense). This encounter was the seed of an obsession—of my discovery of the best band ever. Oh yeah! I hope my blog will play a similar role in some of your lives. So, I am told that this song is based on Hamlet (I would love if someone familiar with Hamlet would show me parallels. I hear the last line of the song is a direct quote). A definite theme of this song is the rapid passing of time and the imminence and abruptness of death. The lyrics are so beautiful and poetic.

So today I had church. It was awesome. The message was on adultery again. The text was Proverbs 7. The preacher focused on the seduction of the temptress. I already blogged on this so I won’t again. I then went to the Old City. First, I saw the Garden Tomb, which is a proposed site of Jesus’ death and resurrection (the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a better candidate though). Then I went shopping. I got an amazing full-length red and gold tunic. It is legit! The only bad thing is it is Muslim garb so I can’t really wear it in public lest I offend someone. Sad day. But I will sport it in the states! Oh yeah!

So if you ever visit the Old City, you will notice there are tons of people (like any big city). They are everywhere. There are people from all over the world; people with tons of different beliefs and personalities. These people all have one thing in common, though. They all will die. Every step they take is a dying step. Every breath they take is a dying breath. There are no immortals in the Old City. There are no immortals in the world. So many people live like they are immortal, though. O, how deceived we are! Rush puts it so well in their song Dreamline, “We are young, wandering the face of the earth, wondering what our dreams might be worth, learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time.” We go through life enchanted by the joy of youth. We live carefree lives that we think will last forever, then we are faced with reality. We face tragedy and we are forced to stare death in the face—and live.

I realized my mortality in October of 2007. I was driving with my friend, Nash. We were heading to our Homecoming dance. I was driving on the freeway in the slow lane, then all of a sudden I notice a big rig was coming into my lane. I swerved to try to avoid him. I lost control. My vehicle started spinning. I spun across the freeway and slammed into the center divider. I then kept spinning and somehow ended up on the right-hand shoulder of the freeway. I spun across a four-lane freeway (the 10 freeway in Yucaipa, CA) twice and survived with only a broken nose. It is a miracle. I should not be alive today. It was like 7:00 P.M. on a Saturday night on a fairly busy freeway. It is not often that the freeway is clear, but by God’s grace it was. If I had collided with another vehicle it probably would have all been over. I would not be here today. But God did not want me to die yet. God still had life in store for me

Before this, I walked through life saying that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow and could die suddenly but I did not believe it. This dance with death made me believe it. I was faced with the imminence and abruptness of death. I was faced with the fleeting character of life. I can’t live as if I am immortal; life is precious. Time is precious. I can’t waste my life. I must seize the day. I must live my life ready to die because I cannot truly live if I do not understand the finite character of life. One can’t truly live until he understands death. Even now I sometimes forget the imminence of death. I must dwell on this fateful event often so I do not waste my life.

My friends, I entreat you, live, being ready to die because living life not understanding and expecting death is dangerous. It leads to regret and great pain for yourself and others.

Look carefully then how you walk,

Not as unwise but as wise,

Making the best use of the time

Because the days are evil

Ephesians 5: 15,16

Friday, September 11, 2009

Only A Matter Of Time

Only A Matter of Time

A suited man smiled said:
"It's just a matter of time
You can have the world at your feet by tomorrow
just sign on this line."
Hold tight... limelight!
Approaching the paramount
with the sun in our eyes
fearing family ties, legalies, compromise

In a dimly lit room with a stool as his stage
a dream-stricken prince of a pauper's descent
haunts the eavesdropping silence
that presses his window
as he sweats a performance
to an audience that ticks on the walls

To the practical observer
It's just a matter of time
"You can deviate from the commonplace
only to fall back in line."
I understand mine's a risky plan
and your system can't miss
But is security after all a cause
or symptom of happiness?

Brave, yet afraid, his eyes on horizon
in a steady-set gaze
a mariner soon from an open cocoon
takes a moment to summon his courage
to stifle his grave apprehension and
trembling, approaches the surf

A father's benediction as his hopeful son departs
to brave the sea of rage and conquer at all costs
lingers in his memory
and visions still surviving in a logic-proof shell
that should have been held sacred, safe and hidden well
are compromised in usury
with every rising sun that yields no sight of land
the hesitation cultivates within the tired man
and rumors spread of mutiny
and though the time will come when dream and day unite
tonight the only consolation causing him to fight
is fearless faith in destiny

Even when plan fall to pieces
I can still find the courage
with promise I've found in my faith

Likely or not, it's a dream that we keep
and at odds with our senses we'll climb
But if faith is the answer, we've already reached it
And if spirit's a sign
then it's only a matter of time
only a matter of time

Hello friends. We have reached our first landmark in our journey. We have reached the last song of When Dream and Day Unite. We will conclude the first leg of our journey and jump into another more magical leg tomorrow. Only A Matter of Time is a beautiful ending to the first CD. It is simply excellent with great uplifting lyrics. I believe this song is about the reward of taking chances. Though there is always the chance of failure, risk taking is worth it and will pay off. Having a dream and chasing after it no matter what the odds is fulfilling. I heard that this song is about Dream Theater’s beginning and their desire to succeed but their fear of failure. I don’t know if it is true. Sounds good though. This song makes it clear that belief is an important part to success in a venture. Your heart must be with your venture for it to be truly successful.

So today I had some class plus some informal Greek study with a Master’s college alumni who lives at the same place as me. I am very excited to be studying Greek this semester. I love studying Greek plus I will be able to jump into second semester intermediate Greek next semester. Oh yeah! Then this evening we had chapel. It was good. The speaker gave a very uplifting message from Isaiah 40 concerning the power of God and how he bestows it on those who wait for Him. One of the verses he covered (verse 310 says, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

O, what a beautiful verse. Life is exhausting and sucks sometimes, but God is there for us and gives supernatural strength to those who rely on Him and wait for His help no matter how hard life gets. He gives us strength to flourish and live life to the fullest. So what is the key to having supernatural strength from God? Faith. We must believe that God is faithful and will actually give us strength. We must believe that the pain, delayed gratification, sorrow, and waiting are worth it. We must be willing to endure pain and seeming failure. We must have our eyes set on the prize. We must remember that “the time will come when dream and day unite” but until then we must keep on fighting because of our “fearless faith in destiny.”

Our dreams and reality seem so far apart at times, though. The promises of God and reality seem so disconnected. We are unhappy. We are tired. We feel abandoned. We feel unloved. We feel lonely. We feel like we serve an unfaithful God. We feel like we serve a God who lies. We feel like we just believe a cute fairy tale to get us through life. We feel like God is an unreal figment of our imagination. Our beliefs seem so foreign to reality. O, but there will be a day when our faith will become sight! Our doubts will be dissolved. Our pain will be healed. Our loneliness will be filled. Our souls will be perfectly satisfied. O, I can’t wait for that day. But remember, eternity is not the only time that Dream and Day will Unite. God is faithful in this life also. He will love us, cure our doubts, keep us, and give us strength to go on. He will bless us with the abundant life. Just wait. It is Only A Matter of Time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The One Who Helps To Set The Sun

The One Who Helps To Set The Sun

Watching my window I was led like a child
As the roadway lamplights
Misguided my mind through the night
A shadow of limits
We were racing the rain
My hands held the wheel
My eyes tried to hold their place

There must have been a time
When I thought that you were watching
It had to be when my senses lost control
I thought I'd slipped away
I thought I could still feel us moving
It must have been a cloud
No bigger than a man's hand

Every reason I risk my life
To come back to you
Is locked behind your door
You're my immunity
Outside I watched you burn
Heavy hearts were bleeding
A cry for help, a familiar voice
My melting hands streaked the glass

As I walked away
I wondered what had really happened
Had I run out of time
Did I push myself too far
As my last step fell
I felt my hands upon the wheel
Had I come back to life
Or did I ever leave at all

In higher lives
We seem to be
Always a moment too late
We're past the time
When we looked on
Now we're

This time for real
I locked the door behind me
My mind was still a wreck
From what I saw
For when my hands are still
I'll recognize the message
Never again will my senses lose control

In higher lives
We seem to be
Always a moment too late
We're past the time
When we looked on
Now we're

Hello everybody. We have another gem of a song to intoxicate ourselves with today. The One Who Helps To Set The Sun has a very emotional and beautiful intro. Plus, some thought-provoking lyrics. This song is about a person who is driving late at night and is about to fall asleep. He momentarily shifts into a dream where he sees how his loved ones would be affected by his death. He then snaps back into reality and gets his act together. (In case you were wondering I get most of my interpretations from This song shows us that our actions affect more than just ourselves. Our actions affect those who are around us.
So today has been a day of class and studying. It has not been too eventful. But let’s talk. This song forces us to think of the earthly consequences of our death. It causes us to think about what would life be like without me? Would it really matter if I die? Is my life worth anything? Would anyone care if I die? As I said in my last blog, I think much about the eternal state after death, but I don’t think much about the physical state people leave behind when we die. In answering these questions, it is very helpful to look at the effect the death of a loved one had on you.
My Grandpa died about 4 ½ years ago. He is the one loved one I have lost. I can still remember the day. It was a Sunday. We just got out of church. My mom has some voice messages. She checks them. The tears start to flow. My grandpa died. He was in his mid 60’s. He had some health problems but nothing more than your average 60 year old. He was perfectly living life as normal hours before his death. He even made plans with my Grandma to eat dinner at the Home Town Buffet. But he laid down to never wake again. He closed his eyes to never open them again.
My Grandpa was so precious to me. He was so kind and loving to me. He had a profound impact on me. Life did not go on as usual when he died. Things changed. The one I so dearly loved departed. I was disillusioned. I wanted time to stand still so I could cope. So I could process what was going on. It did not. I had to keep on living. I had to keep on living without him. I cared that he died. I profoundly miss him. I miss spending time with him. I miss his smile.
I hope you will look at such a tragedy in your own life and realize that your death matters. People will miss you when you die. You are The One Who Helps To Set The Sun. People care about you. People care about me. Don’t do something stupid and die prematurely. Life is short enough as it is. And don’t even think about suicide. People care about you. You will cause intense sorrow if you do that. It is the most selfish act one can do. Even when no one seems to care—trust me, someone does. You make someone smile. You make someone laugh. Someone loves you. Life wouldn’t be the same without you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Yo. From now on I will post a link to the song on YouTube for your listening pleasure. Here you are.


I touched with one
Who made me run
Away from my own soul...
In this world with its
Many illusions
We are moving like mice through a maze

And now I find
What's left behind
Has served to make me whole
Full of doubt, deception, and delusion
Seeking purpose to all earthly days

I search within
Beneath a skin
That bears both pleasure and pain
In a world full of constant confusion
I will not be a par to the craze

In the Afterlife
Will dark be bright?
Will cold be warm?
Will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
Will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife.

Behind closed eyes
Some comfort lies
In knowing the truth never spoken
Through this world with its
Hidden conclusion
We'll keep moving like mice through a maze

In the Afterlife.

Will dark be bright?
Will cold be warm?
Will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
Will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife.

Hey you, out there on the road, doing what you’re told, can you help me? So today we reach a song with a bone crushing opening and lyrics concerning a topic I never think about. You know, the Afterlife is just not relevant. Just joking, as a Christian I think about the Afterlife much. It consumes my thoughts. We will get to my view of the Afterlife a little later. First, what is this song about? It appears to be the words of one pondering the futility of this present life and the “hidden conclusion” of this life. The meaninglessness and pain of this life leaves one thinking there must be more than this world of pain. There must be an Afterlife.

So today, I had my first Jewish Thought and Culture class. It was awesome. The professor rocks my socks and the class seems interesting beyond imagination. I am so stoked to grow in my understanding of Judaism in order to understand them and minister to them better. Also, this class will help me understand the New Testament better since I will be reading the Mishnah, which my prof said is the most important rabbinical work for understanding the New Testament. I am very excited, but it will be a challenging and growing study also. The Orthodox Jews have zeal and faith in God that most Christians do not have. They know the Hebrew Bible much better than we do; they have more reverence than we do; and they probably have a stronger belief and surrender to who God is than we do. So earlier I said I thought about the afterlife a lot. These Jews who are more faithful than me, how do they fit in this whole Afterlife thing? Well, the Bible is crystal clear on the Afterlife. There are two places that people go to—Heaven and Hell. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The Apostle Peter said (as recorded in Acts), “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [besides the name of Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Any one who does not believe in Jesus Christ will go to hell.

It is very easy to affirm that in a vacuum, knowing you believe in Jesus Christ. But when faced with real people, it becomes harder to believe. It is hard to believe that these super devout Jews will be spending their Afterlife, not in Heaven, but in Hell. But if I am going to be faithful to the Word of God, I must. These Jews devote their life to seeking after God. They seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him and to love others. They believe much truth. But they reject the Truth. They reject the Way. They reject the life. They reject the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world. They reject Jesus Christ. Paul puts it beautifully in Romans 10, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [the Jews] is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” O, their zeal without knowledge! It is a damning zeal! The only way to Heaven is through the righteousness that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. This seems so harsh and unfair, but it only appears this way because we look at it from a humanistic existential point of view. It is all about God. It is not all about us. God is a holy God. We have sinned against him. He does not owe salvation to us. He would be completely just in damning us to hell. He doesn’t have to pardon anyone because of a certain zeal they have. It is hard to say, but those Jews that don’t believe in Jesus Christ are in rebellion against God. They are unrighteous people who are not seeking after the one true God. They are relying on a righteousness found in someone other than Jesus Christ. They are relying on unrighteous righteousness. They are in the same state I was in before Christ saved me. I find this hard to believe. I believe, help my unbelief!