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I can't think of anything to say...yet sometimes I can write so much.
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Apr. 6th, 2010 @ 10:33 pm "It's a new day..."
Today was a really good day.
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Feb. 25th, 2010 @ 10:31 pm Writing through frustrations.. always seems to lead me back to God.
Current Music: Relient K..
I like to write.  I just realized - maybe I like to write only to talk about myself.  Is this another outlet for self-obsession?  Well, I hope not.  I like to write about what God is doing in my life, lately.  I would also like more time to work on piano playing.  The old 9 to 5 (actually more like 8 to 7 here lately) tends to keep me from being able to do more things I "want to do."  I guess that tends to happen to most people working for a living.  The weekends disappear all too quickly.  That stuff doesn't seem like it would be very good at paying the bills, and finance is probably where I'm meant to be, as long as the hours don't get too crazy.  I think I would like to write a book at some point.   

Anyway, I've mentioned that I like to go back and see what I've written.  Part of this also seems somewhat vain, going back and quoting myself, rather than someone more qualified like, I don't know, maybe God.  But some of this is basically just restated truths I've learned from God's Word, so I think it's okay.

Near the beginning of the year, what was going through my mind?

"I just want to live every day for God's kingdom."

"I want God to constantly keep me humble and dependent on Him."

"I pray that this will always be my attitude. That I won't lose that awe, that wonder of what God has DONE, and continues to do."

"I hope that I will never stop longing, never stop clinging to God, and that I will believe His truths, that NOTHING will be able to separate me from His love."

Seems awfully ambitious and humble, but I can't say that this describes me very well.  It does seem to be a lot of "me me me" but it's all related to what God is doing and relying on Him.  But again, it isn't always my attitude, much as I pray that it were.  I have doubts, but I think about saying things like 'I want God to keep me dependent on Him.'  I've been frustrated and stubborn about this (hopefully temporary but ongoing two months nonstop now) tinnitus.  Often I don't want to rely on God, and I think it's pointless for me to go through something like this.  How great are my doubts and my pride!  Thinking I know what's best for me... I should know better by now.  I can start to see all the ways God is using this purposefully in my life for good reason, in spite of my own refusal to accept what's right in front of my face.

I even think about something I said recently.. that as hard as it was in the past several months to go through some tough times, God was exposing my sin and drawing me closer to Him and it was very rich.  I said that this "health stuff" was frustrating because it was more just related to  brokenness in the world and not really related to "my sin" leading me to God.  That's kind of ridiculous.  Of course it's still about my sin.  How could I not see that God is using this to again show me my pride, my unbelief, my impatience.  Lack of faith.. lack of trust.  When trials come, if you wilt under it and don't have faith, that shows you still have a ways to go.  I've gotten frustrated that this basically minor "health issue" which seems silly and really not serious like so many others I could be dealing with, can still weigh on me and lead to worrying.  Yet while not debilitating, it can be very frustrating and drive me crazy sometimes.  And that is exactly where I need to stop looking inward again, and look upward, to God, like He wanted me to all along. 

So I stop here, and cannot think of a better way to end than with some verses from James, a much greater writer than me, who composed some very powerful, God-inspired truths.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."
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Feb. 6th, 2010 @ 09:12 am Sunnypocalypse?
I have mixed feelings about all this "snowpocalypse" craziness.  I think it's an odd combination of jealousy and.. whatever the opposite of jealousy is.  Pride?  Not exactly.  I guess I would describe it as "wanting other people to  be jealous of me."

I have some close friends up in that mid Atlantic area (you know who you are!), and I guess part of me has this feeling of missing out.  Then again, while snow is fun, 2-3 feet of it just sounds like a pain.  But like any "weather disaster," as we know well from hurricanes here in Florida, there is also some strange childlike part of me that enjoys the idea of experiencing catastrophic or intense weather.  Maybe I'm still just a weather nerd.

We don't ever get to experience snow like that (if at all) in Florida, and sometimes I wish we did.  I saw a lot of it out in Utah though, so I think I've had my fill.  I look outside and there is something just completely awesome about Florida winter.  Not the once in a decade 2 straight weeks of freezes and insane coldness we had last month, though that was somewhat fun too, but days like we'll have in the coming week.  Tues night/Weds: lows in the mid 40's, highs around 60 and sunny.  I should walk to work again on Wednesday.  Some of these days are just awesome and really make me love living in Florida and forget about all the 90-degree days in May... and June... and July... and August... and September.

So what it comes down to is.. I really like living where I do, and I should appreciate that.  My instinct to lord it over people who are buried in the snow, because I am actually jealous that they get to experience it and I don't, is just plain wrong.  So again, as often happens, I'm back in the situation where I'm asking God for contentment where I am (which is odd, because I really already am, I'm just easily distracted by stories of monster snow storms), that I would not be jealous of others, but would appreciate what I have, and be able to be happy for other people in different places and different stages.  (And honestly, the snow must get old right?  You probably think I'm crazy and miss warm Florida - I've seen some of you say similar things so feel free to shut me up if necessary).   
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Jan. 17th, 2010 @ 02:39 pm In Christ Alone
One thing I really like about writing is that I can go back and look at what I've written in the past and how I've changed. Or even how things stay the same. Back in June, I became a member at Christ Church, a little over 7 months ago. We sang In Christ Alone that day, right before I went up to do my membership vows, and it was so powerful.

Here is some of what I wrote: "All the worship songs seemed so powerful and perfect, describing my heart's longing to praise God and thank Him for bringing me to this point... It is a bit frustrating but so wonderful when you can't quite sing the words to a song you love so much because you are overwhelmed with emotion and tearful joy... It was such a joyful and memorable moment. I don't know why I had put this off, making an effort to be involved with the worship at church... I guess I don't like change and new things make me a bit apprehensive at first, but after realizing the joy of serving the church with music these last two weeks, I wish I had pursued it a lot sooner. Still, now that I am serving in this way, I do feel a joy that seems to have been missing for a while, and it is so perfect and beautiful to experience."

So today, we sang In Christ Alone. I know the words and the music well, I know what to expect, and we had practiced it earlier. Still, singing that song at the end of worship, after the sermon and communion, I'm glad I'm not hardened to it, that it can still strike me and leave me in tearful joy unable to quite get the words out as I looked for a few chords to play on the keyboard. Whether from my seat in the congregation seven months ago before I started playing with the worship team, or today sitting at the keyboard on stage, I'm still in awe of God's grace and what Jesus did for me on the cross. "Sin's curse has lost its grip on me! Bought with the precious blood of Christ! No guilt in life, no fear in death! No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand! Here in the power of Christ I'll stand!"

I pray that this will always be my attitude. That I won't lose that awe, that wonder of what God has DONE, and continues to do. I think in the past my problem has been the attitude that "I already know it all," (which obviously I don't, I'm still learning new things reading through the Bible and listening to the great preaching and teaching at church), but I hope that I will never stop longing, never stop clinging to God, and that I will believe His truths, that NOTHING will be able to separate me from His love.
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Oct. 11th, 2009 @ 09:40 pm Confession in song
"A thousand times I've failed, still your mercy remains, and should I stumble again, still I'm caught in your grace."

"I'm the king of my desires - I've tried them all a thousand times.  I have got to choose between this world and You."

"Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise.  Thou mine inheritance, now and always."

"All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood... Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."



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Jul. 31st, 2009 @ 10:56 pm Writer's Block: Birthday Shout-out
Happy birthday, J.K. Rowling! Which of her seven Harry Potter novels do you think is the most satisfying read?


Short answer: Order of the Phoenix. I think this is the first time I've done of these "writer's block" posts. Maybe because I finished all the books so recently. Anyway, I really have a tough time with this one. (By the way, here be very minor spoilers). She set up everything very well in books 1-3, especially ramping up in Azkaban. I really liked 4-5 because that's when the pace gets insanely heightened even as the book lengths double and triple. 6 is very good too, but it almost feels like filler as she sets up the last book. It seems cliche to say the last one is the most satisfying; of course, because it's the end of the series! So I think that one shouldn't even count. I'm going to have to go with 5 (Order of the Phoenix), slightly edging out 4, Goblet of Fire. You really got to hate Umbridge, and the buildup to the final battles, as Harry's psychic links to Voldemort reach a crescendo, was superb. That book was so long, but it was worth it. I think I still like the 4th movie over the 5th movie though, just because the 5th movie felt rushed and they had to leave so much out.
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Jul. 30th, 2009 @ 10:19 pm that's me
I sent an email to my boss (among other people, it was a group email). I got back an auto-response because she is out of the office. It said "if you need immediate attention, contact Matt Kutzer." I don't know why I found that funny. I laughed to myself, and thought, "that's me." Wow.. I worked too late today, I'm going crazy.
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Jun. 14th, 2009 @ 10:06 pm The joy of serving
In Christ Alone.

...My hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

Last week at church, the moments prior to my becoming a member and playing an offertory were incredible. All the worship songs seemed so powerful and perfect, describing my heart's longing to praise God and thank Him for bringing me to this point. The final song in the set was "In Christ Alone." One of my all-time favorites. It is a bit frustrating but so wonderful when you can't quite sing the words to a song you love so much because you are overwhelmed with emotion and tearful joy. A lone tear streaked down my right cheek. I didn't care that I was about to go up in front of the church to become a member and play a song on the piano in a matter of seconds. It was such a joyful and memorable moment.

My hands were still a bit shaky and my nerves froze me up a little bit when I first started playing, but once I got warmed up I was fine. I never expected to play that song in church of all places, but the music minister said a classical offertory would be perfect since it was my background. I think we both agreed at first that it might not be quite "appropriate" for church, but after going through some other options and coming back to that Chopin piece, he said, "You need to play that; your heart is in it." So I played a song that I have played and enjoyed for years now, but this time it was different. The pressure of performance was off, and God had even worked in my heart recently and through the week of practicing it to break me of a prideful past that wanted people to be impressed with my playing abilities. This was merely an offering to God and I tried to make it be that way.

I don't know why I had put this off, making an effort to be involved with the worship at church... I guess I don't like change and new things make me a bit apprehensive at first, but after realizing the joy of serving the church with music these last two weeks, I wish I had pursued it a lot sooner. Still, now that I am serving in this way, I do feel a joy that seems to have been missing for a while, and it is so perfect and beautiful to experience. If there is something similar tugging at you and you aren't quite sure about it, I encourage you to go for it and experience the richness of God's grace and joy.
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Apr. 25th, 2009 @ 10:11 am money and sports
Occasionally you hear people complain about how much money athletes make. I've generally ignored the outrage and accepted it. I'm one of those sports-loving guys who enjoys watching these overpaid millionaires, and it is what it is, right? I support it and I am part of the problem. For some reason seeing what ex-Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford is scheduled to make with the Detroit Lions crossed the line. Maybe because I don't like the Bulldogs and I never thought the kid was really that good. He left college after his junior year before completing a degree in who-knows-what that he will never need and gets to go to the NFL and make $13 million dollars a year because he can throw an oblong shaped ball fairly accurately most of the time. And he probably has "great footwork" too. Sure, the NFL contracts aren't completely guaranteed. But Stafford will get a GUARANTEED $41.7 million, most in NFL history. It makes me want to boycott sports, but I know I won't do that because I enjoy watching them so much. Still, maybe it's because I'm in the working world now, after working hard to get my two degrees in four years, earning what I think is a good and fair salary right now, only to see this kid bolt college and make millions instantly. Sure, he worked hard too, at football. I know the practices are grueling and the pressure on him in Detroit will be immense. But what value is this adding to our society? It's nice escapism and entertainment, but especially given the recent state of the economy, doesn't it make you a little sick to see how much money these guys make? Not to mention A-Fraud and his $252 million GUARANTEED baseball contract. Where is all this money coming from and how long can they continue to inflate these contracts? I know baseball ticket sales are way down this here. Can America really support throwing this kind of money at athletes? Not to mention movie stars.. and if you want to take aim at my arena, finance, we can even throw in the top guys at the hedge funds and on Wall Street who make BILLIONS.. and to some extent some of those guys helped bring the economy crashing down to where it is now. Something to think about...
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Apr. 15th, 2009 @ 11:05 pm happiness
Current Mood: happy?
So I saw this yahoo article about "how to get happy."

Here are some of them:

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.

So before I had seen this, I walked to work this morning and the last couple days have taken care of some annoying things I needed to do. The weather was bad Mon/Tues but it was awesome today. So walking to work in the morning is beneficial on another level. Anyway, I thought that was interesting. I also feel like I should point out that all my attempts at "happiness" here outside of God are mostly futile.. but I think I've mentioned this before.
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