I fight for her and I fight not.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

Some how I will have her. The when, the why, the how, and perhaps even the who; they are not yet determined. Only this is sure, I will have her.

I am a man, created by God, with a heart. My heart has been created and broken many times over. This is a reality not uncommon to most. We have all seen our share of wounds and heartbreak. But there have always been a few truths hidden deep in this heart of mine. These truths whisper deep and can be heard in the quite moments, and even when they are not paid attention, they are still known. That is how I know that somehow I will have her. I know deep that one of my purposes is to share my life. I do not believe my life was made to be hoarded away but to be shared with as many as possible and give to only one other aside from God.

Perhaps that is why I do not yet have someone to share this hearts of mine with and the life it drives. I have yet to give it all fully to God. I have been wrestling hard with this concept lately. My heart was recently wounded again. Satan attempted to steal my joy and my life. He knows my heart does not belong to him, so he will do what is second best to him, he will attempt to kill my heart and my life so that it lose its effectiveness and appeal. But I will not allow this to go on any further. Victory does not belong to the devil. It is here that I realize that God is asking for my heart not so that he can keep it and lock it up, but so he can repair it and give it back. He wants to give it back stronger, healthier, better. He wants me to fight like a true warrior. Fight I will.

I am not dead yet. I still love. I still desire. By loving, and by desiring, I live. In the end, I will have her. She is my beauty. She is my joy and my affection. She is my love for God displayed in physical form. She is my reflection of God's love for me. She is my delight. She captivates me as God captivates me. She will be mine and I will be hers.

I wish I could tell you I have met her already. I like to think I have. Yet God has not confirmed or denied that. It would be easy to fight for her. But it would be wrong to fight for her. Instead I will fight for my heart. It is the most I can give anyone, it would be a failure to fight for her and have nothing to give when the time comes. By fighting for my heart I will have something beautiful and restored to present to her. I will have her.


Conversation with a friend, a bad day, and God.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

Life kinda sucks for me right now. My stress levels are quite high. I am overwhelmed by so much that is going on. I don't really want to do anything but sit and cry. I have even done that once or twice already. This morning even.

This day has already started out as a difficult day. For those who do not yet know, I am once again single. I have been this way for less than a week. This is not a state I enjoy entering, and once I finally become accepting of my state of singleness I usually desire to leave it. Somehow this doesn't seem to be the way things are going to go though. At least not right now. I am tired. What I wouldn't give for some answers. I have been calling on God lately, asking for some answers. He has been answering. Sadly he seems to have to repeat himself alot as I tend to forget rather quickly. However, just today he answered me again through a friend. I must warn you, there is some stronger language than normal, but please note that it is real and honest and raw what I am about to recount to you.

Shaun: today is not going to be a fun day
FRIEND: you either huh?
Shaun: no
FRIEND: our processor is the devil and is down for the 3rd time in a week....why will ur day be bad?
Shaun: my heart is weak and I have very little left in me to resist the lies Satan whispers to me
FRIEND: wow, ur answer was better than mine
Shaun: im not trying to one up you
FRIEND: i know
FRIEND: urs was just worded very lyrically
Shaun: I just want to cry for a while
FRIEND: do you want to meet up for lunch or something?
Shaun: I don't know, it might be nice
FRIEND: :-( **cyber hug**
FRIEND: it would have to be wicked cheap cuz i'm broke...but we should do something
Shaun: why do things turn out this way
FRIEND: do u want my real answer or do you want me to tell you what you told me the last time i felt like this?
Shaun: what is your real answer
FRIEND: i warn u, my answer probably won't help....at all
Shaun: say it anyway, honesty is my preferred wine
FRIEND: life is sh*t...it lulls u into a false sense of security and then rips it out from under you when it gets bored so you're miserable for a while....then u get happy again....and it lasts, and its nice....then it starts all over
Shaun: that is almost true
FRIEND: eventually, the cycle stops and ur happy and content, but for a long time its the least fun rollercoaster ever invented
Shaun: the reality is I know that God is doing something here
FRIEND: some people never get to that point....some people make themselves find it....and some are lucky enough to find that perfect person who makes everything ok even when its not
Shaun: and it will be something amazing and wonderful
FRIEND: yeah, but sometimes his methods suck
FRIEND: wow, I'm wicked cynical
Shaun: here is the reality
Shaun: God plants truth deep in our hearts
Shaun: deep deep
Shaun: but then life, due to the fact that it is sh*t (as you so rightly put it)
Shaun: piles its filth on top of us
FRIEND: u have me so far
Shaun: so we have to wade through the muck if we want to find the truth
some never set foot in the filth to find the truth
some get in but are un willing to stick their face and hands in
the ones who find the truth find it because they don't back down
the never stop searching
and they get covered in life (again, we all know what that is)
but its grabbing on to that truth and holding on to it that takes us beyond where we want to go to something amazing
Shaun: we all know that truth is there, every last one stinking life covered one of us
FRIEND: and this is why ur a writer :-)
Shaun: do you agree with me
FRIEND: for the most part
FRIEND: i think there's a third group
Shaun: which is
FRIEND: the ones who get discouraged with the search that they don't want to look anymore
FRIEND: so they don't try as hard to search because they're tired and broken
Shaun: I believe you are right, but I want to take it a step further
FRIEND: ok...
Shaun: this is a dangerous thing to say
Shaun: but so long as you are alive, you never stop searching, even if you slow down in your tenacity for a season, there will be a new season where you become even more tired of being tired and broken and you will cry out again, and you will renew your efforts, because again, you know there is more, you know that truth is there, and out of desperation you will either search until you die, or you will kill yourself before you try
FRIEND: i agree with that completely
FRIEND: i think most things in life come in phases
FRIEND: sometimes a certain phase is a little too long and a person will start to lose hope....and then something comes along (even if its just a blip of something good) and makes it a little more bearable until the next one comes along
FRIEND: i'm currently waiting for my blip
Shaun: the only waiting I intend to do is on God
Shaun: I do believe he is doing something
Shaun: I want to know what
Shaun: but right now I am sitting in my filth while he picks up the pieces
Shaun: we are all broken
Shaun: none of us is alone
Shaun: God desires to heal us, but we have to ask
Shaun: (that, by the way, is part of, if not all of, the truth I was talking about)
FRIEND: it just rarely happens as quickly as we'd like
Shaun: but it happens
Shaun: psalm 40 is my hope right now
FRIEND: i like that...i haven't read that one yet

I wish I could wrap all this up in a pretty bow and say "see, God answers prayer and makes everything ok." Well God does answer prayer, he answered me through a friend in a very strange fashion. But he did not make things good pretty and ok. That might not come till later and it might not come at all in this life. But it isn't this life we are living for.

This friend that God used to speak to me is not a believer right now. She is on her journey, weighing heavily all that she is learning about God. I respect her greatly for it. When she makes her decision to follow it will not be a decision made lightly.

Jesus himself said the path to him is narrow and few will find it. Why should we assume it would be otherwise. Life sucks for me right now, but I promise you, I would rather being going through this now because it is far better walking through the crap with God than without him. Trust me, the alternative is worse.

An Insight Into Leading.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

I have been in one leadership position or another for the past ten years at least. You would think with that kind of track record I would be good at it by now, but I am really not. In many ways I don't think leadership is just a list of rules that if followed will result in some grandiose end result. I think it takes time, it requires trust and a life "lived above reproach", which basically means if you were to pick it apart it would hold up to the scruitiny, and it takes patience. I'm not sure I really fit most of those qualifications. Heck, most of our presidential canditates couldn't fit those. So what am I doing in this position of leadership. I am hear because I believe God has lead me here.

I am leading a small group right now on Prayer, or more specifically what happens when God's people pray. This is an interesting study for me to lead on a few counts. First, while I am a definite believer in the power of prayer and that God answers prayer always, I am not really good at it. I pray on my own plenty, but I am not good at listening. I often pray just for my needs and find it dificult to remember to pray for others (don't worry, I do pray for you all, its just a task for me to remember). Secondly, I am not actually leading this study in a traditional sense. This is the first DVD lead study I have ever lead, which is actually a contradition. I guess we will say this is the first DVD study I have ever facillitated... Hosted... take your pick. As a result of this I have found myself being taught and convicted in ways I haven't been for a long time because I am allowing God to take over.

The interesting thing is that is exactly what this study is about. Not only should we pray, but God will lead us and guide us when we take the time to seek him out. And to do so regularly. So I have been doing that. I sat down the other day to pray about a situation that was really weighing down my heart. Honestly my first response was to go to a friend and find an answer, but when I did that God twisted my gut a bit and reminded me I should go to Him first. So I apologized to my friend and went to God. In my praying God got to the root of the problem very quickly. He dug up painful issues in my heart that I thought I had dealt with long ago but had merely burried. God then lead me to my next course of action, and while I have yet to follow though (I confess I am a little scared) I have felt a new peace in my heart over the last few days simply because I know God is here.

This note might seem like it has less to do with leading and more to do with following Gods will and being sensitive to that. I, however, feel like that is exactly what leading is about. Leading is about following a better leader. In a sense I am not really a leader at all, just a mouthpiece for God, at least thats what I hope I am.


A once and maybe again blogger.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

I jumped on the blog band wagon several years ago. I loved the idea of sharing my heart with the world, or at least those who cared to know what was going on in my life. It was a wonderful way to put my heart on paper (digital paper that is) and I did so regularly. Until it became popular to do so. Soon everyone started blogging. Then I stopped.

I would like to tell you that I stopped as a way of bucking the system. To stand and fight conformity. In fact I often will adopt new ideas and innovations early just to be different than the mainstream and then move on to the next thing when the mainstream gets to close. I don't want to be accused of being lost in the crowd. However in this instance I just plain stopped writing. At first I was writing regularly. I made profound insights into life and sprituality. I plumbed the depths of my soul with vigor. But as time went on I stopped investigating the inner sanctums of my heart with such fervor and regularity. It became difficult to find light cheery insights when I was facing so many dark corners and dusty floors. Soon I stopped writing altogether save the occasional insight that I didn't so much find as stumble upon. It was just easier.

I rationalized my lack of writing by saying I was getting busier and didn't have time to write. Or I would convince myself that no one was really interested in my writings (which I think was partly true anyway). But the full reality was I did have the time if I wanted it, I just had to make the time. And it doesn't really matter if people wanted to read my proclaimations of truth and the human condition because the whole purpose of writing to begin with was to investigate and make sense of my own life if for no other purpose then to grow myself. I only posted publicly in the off chance that I might be able to help someone else through their journey while I went through mine.

So whats the point I am trying to make? Simply this.

No good thing, and I mean truely good, meanful thing, comes without work. Work gives value to the result and meaning to our lives. Would it be nice if work wasn't so hard? Sure it would, but I don't think nice is what we are after. I think we are all after meaning and value. God has given us all purpose in this life and we can't begin to fulfill that purpose without investing some effort. So I want to encourage you, if you are reading this, to really invest in your purpose if you know it or into discovering your purpose if you don't yet know it. I might not jump back into blogging with the same regularily as I once did (but then again I might, its hard to say) but I will keep working to evaluate my place in this life and more importantly in Gods kingdom and through that process hope to better myself. And along the way I will share my gained insights when appropriate in the off chance it will help someone. Just to reiterate this one last time, evaluate where you are right now, start there at least, and then begin to work with fervor to move ahead. Paul admonished us to evaluate ourselves regularly. Do it up.


Coffee And Zombies  

Posted by Artimus Jones in , , ,

Yesterday I woke up ready to start a new work week. I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, had my shower and all that jazz before walking downstairs to sit infront of my computer in my office. It's an easy thing for me to get to work in the mornings, since I work from home I can litterally role out of bed and hobble downstairs in my pjs and bed head if I am running a little late. But yesterday I actually made myself ready because I was determined to have a prosperous day.

As I was sitting infront of my computer I started by checking to see if I had any pressing client emails... Nothing. Then I looked to see if my business partner was online yet... Nope. I thought that was a little odd as usually there is something going on but I just chalked it up to happy clients and a slightly late business partner. I went to get myself some breakfast while I waited for something to happen. Since I didn't have cereal left I had some hot chocolate and cookies. Breakfast of Champions.

After breakfast I checked to see if there was any change in my inbox, still nothing, and my business partner was still no where to be found. This was shaping up to be a boring day. I decided at that point to take my morning off and start calling some clients after lunch to take care of some small nagging but relatively unimportant things. My brother then wanders downs stairs and decideds to go out and get some goceries and the like and, seeing as how I had no cereal for breakfast, decided to go with him. While we were out we ran into Kenny (the bassist at church) and tells us he decided to go out with is daughter to do some shopping since he didn't have to work today. *he doesn't have to work, hmmm, I wonder why.... MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY!! Duh!*

I can't believe I forgot that, no wonder there was nothing to be done, it was a day off. I proceeded to take the rest of the day off and really enjoy myself and boy did I. I watched a zombie movie (I love zombie movies) and then I went out for coffee with a friend that last nearly four and a half hours. How totally awesome. It was quite a pleasent suprise to have an extra day off, even though I was ready to work that morning. I considered it a blessing and a gift.

And here comes the turn.

Often times I think we get caught up in the drudgery of life, and whether we look forward to the next day or not we fail to see the smaller elements of the day that give us clues to what is really going on. I failed to realize that there was a holiday going on at first and if I hadn't come to that realization I might have missed a fair amount of joy because I would have felt like I had to "work" all day even if I didn't have something to do.

I believe God wants us to be productive in our day to day lives, but not without paying attention to the clues throughout our days, our lives that lead us to realizing something bigger. There is joy to be had. There is freedom to be attained. He has given us hope through his son. And he has given it is a gift. It is not something to be earned, it is something to be accepted and enjoyed and enjoyed fully, like a 4 hour conversation over coffee that was gone in the first 30 min. Like a zombie movie in the middle of the day with a friend (if you like that sort of thing). And then we should go the step further and show others the gift we have and tell them to take it too. It is a gift we have all been given. Don't let it sit there gathering dust just because you have "work" to do. I assure you at the end of your days all the "work" you did will have amounted to very little. God still wants us to do our work well, but he also wants us to enjoy the things He has given us.