About Me

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I LOVE God, I have been married for 5 years to a wonderful woman, I am a recent college graduate of Lakeland college with a degree in Religious Studies,I have currently foregone going to Seminary, but feel called to work with teens and young adults and do so at my local church, Vineyard CC, in Grafton, WI.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

CrOssInG the NeW diviDE

               I am currently a little behind on my pod cast listening. The exact reason why, I am unable to say, but what I can say is that sometime late last year I just stopped listening to my pod casts. This being said I am back at it and catching up on the awesome stylings of some really cool people. I am even thinking about adding a pod cast, but that is neither here nor there. Catching up on my podcasts has been fun. While listening to a Homebrewed Christianity podcast from 8/24/11, something the guest, Ingolf Dalferth, said stuck out to me. On the recording Tripp and Ingolf Dalferth are discussing identity and engaging the Biblical text when Dalferth states “{the Christian perspective}  . . . is a changing of one way of looking at life and yourself to a completely different way of seeing things . . .” The wonderfulness of hearing this quote right now is that I have been itching to complete this blog, which you are currently reading, about this same idea.

                You see this idea of a great change from one you to another you is all over the place in TV, music, and movies. I probably could list many examples, but that really isn’t my style. As I often do I must brag on the music of Linkin Park for two reasons, one: they often write music that speaks to the relationship between humanity and God, and two: there is one song of theirs that just screams of this transformative power that occurs when the old you encounters the reality of the living Christ. The song of which I speak is “The New Divide.”  This song was introduced to the world with the release of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” when it was used as the movie’s theme song. The song has obvious allusions to the content of the film, which has its own “God” encounters. One particular encounter is when Optimus Prime speaks to Sam saying; “Fate, rarely calls on us at a moment of our choosing,” leading Sam on another adventure where he is transformed further into a hero that he never dreamed of becoming. This transformation drives the action of the movie, and not to be seen as disconnected from the movie transformation becomes the story that drives the music and lyrics of “The New Divide,” which can be viewed right here.

I remembered black skies, the lightning all around me
I remembered each flash as time began to blur
Like a startling sign that fate had finally found me
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide

There was nothing in sight but memories left abandoned
There was nowhere to hide, the ashes fell like snow
And the ground caved in between where we were standing
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes across this new divide

In every loss, in every lie, in every truth that you'd deny
And each regret and each goodbye was a mistake too great to hide
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide
Across this new divide, across this new divide

                Transformation from an encounter with something greater then ourselves is a powerful theme that does not exist solely as tool of fiction, but it exists within our own reality. Many of us can probably tell a story of how something that happened in our lives, forever changing us from that event. Granted not all of these events can be called positive events, but they will inevitably reveal something of our true selves and who we were created to be. Dalferth, Linkin Park, and I are not saying that you do not have to look inside and search within for further revelation on whom we truly are, but rather, in this blog, we are speaking towards those external encounters and events that are so powerful and challenging to whom we thought we were that we have no choice but to wrestle and become something completely different.

                This idea of extraordinary transformation is all over the Bible as well. I would go so far as to say that the entire purpose of the Bible is to be a tool of transformation, where you encounter the story of the living God, in the life of and continued ministry of Jesus. The story of the conversion of Saul to Paul is one such transformation. Paul’s transformation story is one where he truly did cross a new divide and found a reason to fill the hole, connecting with the space between.
                When I hear this song, I cannot help but think of the account of Saul’s conversion as it is written in Acts. From the opening verse with the bright light surrounding him, and a singular voice that only he could hear telling him of his fate, that he would get what he deserved. Most Christians would have thought that Saul deserved death for their persecution and executions, in the same way that Saul himself thought he was going to die, but he was proved wrong. Instead that which God deemed he deserved was a new life serving God for the betterment of humanity, reconciling him to what he created him to be, and righting their relationship, sending him to do likewise throughout all nations. This encounter transformed Saul so completely into a new person that his name was changed to reflect that he was no longer the same person.
                I believe that we all have “God” encounters, rather in music, TV, movies, personal relationship, or random occurrences. When these occur we have two choices of what to do about them. We can one: ignore what we encountered and choose to not let it change us, or two: we can accept what we encountered and let it change us, proving us wrong and surprising us at every turn, turning us into who we were created to be. When you listen to “The New Divide” think about Paul’s story or think about what you don’t like in your life, you can even meditate on what you think your life should be like, but then allow yourself to encounter God and see how it changes you.
                Its kind of like when I answered my call to ministry. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I was created to do such a thing. However, I have not been the same since I have encountered my new reality. It isn’t an easy thing I wrestle with the new me all the time asking for a reason to prove me wrong, but I am always answered the same way.

                Recently, I have joined a new church, The Vineyard, and have been busy as the Communion Volunteer Coordinator and helping with Youth stuff when and where I can. I just heard back from our head pastor on if I was accepted to take the position of Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator and now officially hold said title, on a brief(a couple of months) trial basis. I am constantly being offered opportunities to be who God created me to be.

                 I had a review at work and I was complemented on how my smile and attitude brighten up a room and that even if I were having a bad day, I never let it show. The complement continued that my positive attitude is infectious and makes me a pleasure to work with. Please realize that I am paraphrasing, but this kind of compliment has been happening to me quit frequently, which has gotten me to think, have I changed that much. There was a time if I was having a bad day everyone would know it. I am sure that this isn’t all encompassing, but it does mean that my conscious effort to not allow myself to dwell on negativity can be considered effective. I even received a compliment like this from a co-worker whom I used to not get along with, which honestly meant a lot.
                I could not have changed this much singularly as the result of my own efforts, but this has ultimately been an outward manifestation of the internal change that has been progressively more obvious the more I accept my calling to be a minister and my encounter with the living Christ. In other words answering God’s call on my life has transformed me and allowed me to discover the things that bring me inner joy and find ways to use those to meet the world’s deepest needs.

As always Peace and Many Blessings 


  1. great post. glad you enjoyed the Dalferth podcast and to hear about your own story and growth.