Get a Grip

Hey Friends,

I haven’t written anything in several weeks, and it is so nice to be able to write here again.

To be honest, these last few months have been incredibly hard. But we will get to that in a bit.

As for now, to make this post make sense, there is something that you need to know about me: I am incredibly competitive. Honestly, if you want something done, tell me that it can’t be done and I will find a way. One of the best examples of this was when I was in 8th grade, and I went to a waterpark, and there was one of these there:

waterpark log crawl

And while that small girl makes it look real easy, it was not. After trying it a couple times, someone told me to give up, I was never going to make it across.

For the next hour, I repeatedly tried to finish it. Finally I had to give up as my hands were ripped completely raw, devastated that I couldn’t complete a stupid attraction at a water park. I threw a minor tantrum, embarrassing myself and my family.

Long story short, in both senses of the phrase, I needed to get a grip.

We went back to that same water park the next year, and I completed it. I realized that my strength didn’t come from my arms grasping at the net, but rather the foundation I could create with my feet.

My competitive drive was satisfied. For now. ūüôā

Fast forward to present day, I am still competitive as ever. I had so many dreams about how my senior year was going to go, and virtually all of them have changed. My boss resigned, nearly tripling the hours I needed to work. I quickly found out that I needed to play much bigger roles on the speech team and in YoungLife. I was spending nearly 100 hours a week in work and extra-curriculars. I was flailing in life, with classes, with work, with speech, with YoungLife.

And the worst thing was, that competitive voice in my head just kept telling me to keep going. So I did.

I was grasping, grasping for anything, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was ripping my hands raw, grasping for anything and everything to keep me afloat.

I needed to get a grip.

And thank goodness I had a foundation to fall upon. When I was broken, when I was tired, when I wanted to just run, my feet found the foundation that let me get my balance.

I am so blessed to have a foundation to fall upon.

2 Timothy 2:19a says, “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His.'”

To be honest, I could have kept going, ripping my hands in a desperate attempt to get a grip, to pull me up for air, somehow, someway using my strength to get across. I would have failed, and I would have failed again.

Guys, I can’t do life without Jesus. I can’t. I have tried, and I have failed. I need a foundation, because it is the only way that I could get a grip.

I hope and pray that you have a foundation to fall upon. I hope that you know that you can’t do it alone. I hope that you realize that there are people around who can help you be your foundation. But moreover, I want to invite you to a foundation that will never crack: Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

This week, I finally got it. I am still as competitive as always, but I can’t just will myself across. I have to approach each and every day with the realization that I can’t do it alone. I can’t just keep ripping myself raw in failure, I have to turn to my foundation to make it across that pool. I can do it with a smile because even though my grip my fail, my foundation wont.

adam

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The Wonder Of It All

Today, the Logeman family will travel to the University of Minnesota to drop off my little brother at college. He will be starting the most incredible time of his life thus far, and I am so excited to see how he can use his talents and gifts to change the world.

Unfortunately, because Northwestern starts so late, I am really jealous of my brother. I am left to anticipate starting school for a whole month. I am coming up to my senior year of college, and I am eagerly planning everything that I want to accomplish this year.

And yet, two questions continue to rise to my head:
1) How on earth did I get this far?
2) Where on earth am I going?

Variants of these questions continue to circulate in my head, taunting me, intimidating me, but most importantly, encouraging me.

To be honest, I don’t know exactly how I got here. If you would have told me before my senior year of high school that I would be graduating with a Biology degree from one of the top schools in the country, I probably would have laughed in your face. I was a decently smart kid who had no idea what to do with my life, and I had no clue what my potential could be. Thanks be to God that I had mentors, opportunities, and, frankly, a lot of luck.

I shouldn’t be graduating from Northwestern in ten months. There have been so many times where I have said I couldn’t do it. There have been so many times that I have declared myself not smart enough, not talented enough, not balanced enough.

Not enough, not enough, not enough.

And the wonder of it all is I’m still standing.

See it wasn’t just me. Yeah, I work hard, but without the people around me to inspire me, uplift me, and love me, I would have fallen a long time ago. Without a God to love me, I wouldn’t have been able to stand in the first place.

And the wonder of it all is I’m still standing.

And yet, the moment I graduate from Northwestern, I have no clue what is going to happen. I have decided to take a gap year while I am applying to medical schools. First, I have no clue if I will get into a medical school. I hope for it, I pray for it, but only one person knows, and He doesn’t like to give direct answers.

I wonder where I will be next year.

As soon as I graduate, I will plunge into a world of uncertainty. I know that at school, there will always be class, friends, and opportunities available. And all of that goes out the window as soon I was graduate.

And you know what, as terrifying as that is, I am ok with that.

Because the truth is, I have a chance to pursue all of my dreams. I have an opportunity to apply to and hopefully be accepted to medical school. I have had an opportunity to meet incredible people who are literally going to change the world.
I am scared to leave, and someone is going to have to drag me away from Northwestern kicking and screaming. But I am so excited to see where my path takes me, for better or worse.

And I wonder where I’ll be next year.

I have had this song called, “The Wonder of it All” by a band called Monday Morning on repeat these past few weeks. I am sure I will listen to it hundreds more times before the end of the year.

Some tidbits that have been really encouraging to me recently:
“all the future seems unclear
never moving never near
but You hold me as I scream
something out there waits for me”

“should I question all these things
what makes me so deserving
of something that I’ve thrown away
coming back for me today
when I’m still nothing next to You”

and of course,

“and the wonder of it all is I’m still standing
and the wonder of it all is we’re still standing
never planned it
and I wonder where I’ll be next year”

So I will wonder where I will be next year. It is a wonder that I am still standing.

But I am standing.

adam

P.s. Here is a link to the song. Maybe you can find as much encouragement through it as I have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRQ9EHKFSWs

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One Body

This morning, my family and I attended church at Yoido Full Gospel Church in the heart of Seoul, South Korea. 

I don’t think that I can possibly sum up my experience in mere words. ¬†

There have been few times in my life where I have entered a situation and nearly been moved to tears, but upon entering the main sanctuary, I was blown away. 
See, standing in the sanctuary were nearly 20,000 people, almost entirely South Korean, all singing and praising God at the top of their lungs. 
Apparently, Yoido Full Gospel Church is the largest church in the world, and this Wednesday, only 3% of the church’s 800,000 members attended the service that the Logeman family also attended.¬†
I attached a picture at the bottom of the post, and let me tell you, you can only grasp a fraction of the size and grandeur of this Church. 

But as amazing and spectacular as the church and its people were, I was blown away by the message. 
At the beginning of the service, for nearly 5 minutes, the entire congregation prayed for North Korea. For wisdom, for guidance, for gentleness, and for peace. The church was echoing with the prayers of the people so loudly that it seemed like a sports stadium. 
I was struck down amazed. If anyone has the right to hate another group of people, I think the North and South Koreans have earned that right. Yet, here is this church, 20,000 people were praying for peace. 
Then, later in the service, the entire congregation, all 20,000 people, stood, and each person was individually prayed for. A ¬†Korean man who I had never seen before placed his hands on my head and prayed individually for me. He didn’t know who I was. He knew that I probably didn’t understand a word of the prayer he was praying. However, he knew that I was in that service for a reason, and so like every other person in that church, he prayed for me.¬†

I could go on and on about the service we experienced, but the rest of the day, I was left with one thought. 

I have no clue what the body of Christ is actually like. 

I grew up in the church, I still go to church, I am a Christian. But I have vastly underestimated what the body of Christ can do. 

This morning, for the first time in my life, I saw Christ through non-American eyes. 
See this Christ is a beacon of hope in the face of constant oppression. 
This Christ is immediately transforming and captivating lives. 
This Christ was present for 20,000 people simultaneously, with the Holy Spirit whipping through, stirring up hearts on fire. 

I think that all of those things are possible and do happen in the churches in America, but I don’t think we expect them.¬†

I admit it, I have an incredibly Americanized view of the Church. I think it is so easy to take our traditional view of a church and apply it to the rest of the world: an hour long, cookies and coffee before and afterward, and going to see people that you want to see, friends, colleagues, and elders.  

But today, I have seen that the Church can be and IS so much more. Who am I to limit what the Church can do? Who am I to close off the potential of the Church? 

Listen, I am not saying that this super mega church is the correct way to worship, nor I am saying that this church and their message is infallible. 

But today, I realized that the Church of Christ is far more than I had ever imagined it to be, and thus, holds the potential to change the world in ways I could never conceptualize. 

Perhaps nothing could sum up my feelings than a classic Newsboys song, “He Reigns.”¬†
“The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir

It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns”¬†

Today, I saw a small glimpse what of what God’s choir actually looks like, and I am so glad that I am a part of it.

We are truly One Body. 

adam 
photo

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But I want it now.

Life has a funny way of working sometimes.

I was incredibly blessed to have my family and my girlfriend visit me this weekend. I had missed them so much, and seeing them walk in the door with smiles on their faces was like a gasp of air after swimming to the surface. But I can tell you, the week before that, I was bouncing out of my skin, so excited, and anticipating their arrival.

Just over three and a half days later, they returned home, and I find myself playing the waiting game.

While this wonderful visit was occurring, the Foundry was undergoing some changes in our community. We are realizing that our time together is ending at the moment. In the past few weeks, we have had laughter, tears, job offers, shopping trips, ice cream runs, and even an engagement. And yet, despite these wonderful moments that we have shared together, I think all of us have an eye towards our summers, and subsequently our future.

At the same time, I have three weeks of school yet, and my phone is seemingly blowing up with friends getting together and enjoying their summers. But I still have midterms to take.

We live in an uncertain world. I have no clue what my future will hold. I hope that I get to see my family in a few weeks. I hope that the brotherhood the Foundry has built will remain burning in all of us. I hope that I can make it these last three weeks without going nuts. I hope that our lives are continually changing those around us.

But time moves on.

But right now, I want it to stop.

I want the sunlight to freeze as it flutters though the branches.
I want the squirrels to sit and just breathe for once.
I want to take a breath myself.

But time moves on.

And I fall into the anticipation trap. I can’t wait to see my family again. I can’t wait to see how my brothers in this house continue to band together. I can’t wait for tests and homework to be done. I can’t wait to know my future.

I want these things, and I want them now.

But I don’t have them.

And only one word echoes through my head:
Patience.

These things will come. I believe that there is a plan for me that I could never imagine. And I want it now.
Patience.
I want the best lives for my family, and I want to continue to show love to my siblings and my girlfriend.
Patience.
I want to know if I am going to make it into Med School.
Patience.
I want to know where my Foundry brothers will be employed, and I want to know that we will all be in each other’s hearts.
Patience.
I want the school year to end.
Patience.
I want it now.
Patience.

I hate having to be patient. I hate having the questions about anticipation. I hate having the fears of not understanding.
Patience.

And then I am hit with the incredible truth: I will never know these things. Even if I find out the answers to a couple of these questions, I will always have more questions. I want to know now, and I will never know.

Then today, I read James 5:7-8. “The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.¬†You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” I realized that this is not me.
This is about us: as humans, as believers, as individuals seeking the best of our lives. If a farmer just sat and waited for their crops the entire summer, they would miss out on so many opportunities to live and love.
The crops will grow, will you? Will I?

And so, I need to stop wanting to know. I need to live in THIS moment, not in the next one. I need to remember THIS time, not prepare for the next. I need to count THIS day, not the next days until I can see my family and girlfriend again.

Because I was given THIS day.
And I want THIS day.
And thankfully, I can have THIS day right now.

adam

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Why do you look for the living among the dead?

You know what is crazy? Easter was 4 days ago. Just four short days ago, we were singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” and all was beautiful. The smiles around church always remind me of how exciting it is to ¬†realize that Jesus did indeed rise after three days, and gives us the opportunity to be reborn as well.¬†

And yet, just four days later, Easter seems like a distant memory. We have all returned to our lives, and while we still worship an amazing God, the focus on how Jesus has been resurrected has faded. 

It is easy to focus on a living Jesus on Easter. 

It is much harder to focus on that just four days later. 

Just four days later, I am back to my routine. As soon as Easter ends, I seemingly find myself in the same cycle of wake, work, and sleep. I find myself focusing on minute details like homework when just a few days ago I was focusing on the incredible news that Jesus is alive. 

And thus, I feel that one particular verse needs to stand out from the story of Easter. 
Luke 24:5b says, “The men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?'”¬†

It is appropriate right now as it was back then. 

Why do we look for the living among the dead? Don’t get me wrong, the Bible, Church, and the Liturgy all breath life into our faith. But far too often we forget about the things actually breathing: the people around us.¬†

For too many people, Easter is about an appearance at Church to be reminded that Christ is alive. And then we far too often forget that Christ IS STILL ALIVE when we walk out the doors. If Christ is truly living within all of us, then why don’t we acknowledge his presence there?¬†

Look, I get it; it is easy to go to Church or open your Bible and be reminded of what Christ did. It is much, much harder to go outside or open your eyes to what Christ is doing. 

But whether we acknowledge it or not, Christ is moving in this world. I want to be a part of that movement. However, that starts with me taking the first step.

We need to start looking for the living among the living. 

adam

 

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one ninety.

Today, I reluctantly handed a cashier an exorbitant amount of money for this heavy bundle of paper that they like to call a college textbook. The funny thing is, though, as much as I was complaining inside and out about having to cough up even more money to the textbook publishers who have already robbed me of hundreds, I became irrationally upset because the cashier gave me back $1.90 in change. As for me, I HATE HAVING COINS IN MY WALLET.

It was upon this feeling that God proceeded to remind me that he has a fantastic sense of humor. As soon as I walked out of the bookstore, I was approached by a man on the sidewalk who asked me, “Hello sir, could you please help me out? I need some money for the bus. It’s $1.90.”

Woah.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Recently, I’ve felt like my relationship with God has been alive-on-the-outside-so-that-everyone-else-can-see-how-awesome-i-am-but-completely-dead-on-the-inside. It has been stagnant and has felt lukewarm and has been way more exhausting than I have felt in a really long time. Honestly, I haven’t known¬†what to do to have a passion for Jesus once again.

But then this very small interaction with this man was God’s way of telling me: “I know that you are having a difficult time obeying me and listening to me right now, but right now I’m going to make it so easy for you to follow my commands that there’s absolutely no way you can say no to me.” And then I gave. It wasn’t even hard. In fact, it was for my “convenience” that I did so.

God is teaching me that the words ‘no’ and ‘Lord’ cannot be in the same sentence. I cannot call him ‘Lord’ and ‘Master’ and say ‘no’ to him. So, it is my prayer and plea that I grow a deep foundation and deep roots in saying ‘YES LORD.’

So it’s time to take it back to one of those old 90’s classic worship songs:

“Yes Lord // Yes Lord// Yes, Yes Lord…

AMEN.”

~ Kyle Mark Sebastian

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There is a gap between my head and my heart

There is a gap between my head and my heart. Sure, physically it is about a foot wide, but in life, it is much farther than that. 
So often my thoughts are so distant from my heart. 

I like to think that my heart has some fairly constant things going on, feelings of happiness, joy, encouragement, empathy, passion, excitement, friendship, love. 

My brain on the otherhand, couldn’t be farther from that.¬†
For example, here is a small splattering of thoughts from my head today: 
Wow, it’s windy.¬†
Physics can be really boring sometimes. 
The 5 dollar footlong for this month at Subway is black forrest ham, which is a normal five dollar footlong. 
Why did the woman who cut my hair ask if she could keep a strand of it? 
Gosh, I need to change my alarm song, “Play that Funky Music White Boy” is getting really old.¬†

 

And then there was another level: 

Wow, she’s attractive.¬†
I can’t believe that some people are so bad at their jobs.¬†
This is a waste of my time. 
Are you kidding me? my roommate is blasting music early in the morning again. 
I will just surf facebook for a little bit, and then go right back to studying. 

And then there is another level. 

What if I am not good enough? 
Why can’t I take advantage of the gifts I am given?¬†
I am never going to be able to pull this off.
When are you going to stop failing? 
and the most dangerous of all, 
Are you sure? 

There is a gap between my head and my heart. I know this, I have always known this. 

I hate this. Why is there such a disconnect between what I feel and what I think? I want my heart, those feelings of love, passion, encouragement, joy, to always explode out of me in everything that I do. But then my thoughts dilute these wonderful things to a degree that I don’t even recognize them anymore.¬†

There is a gap between my head and my heart. I am fighting this every day. I don’t want my thoughts to dominate. I don’t want the stirrings of my heart to be decreased. I don’t want there to be a contest between those thoughts and those feelings. More importantly, I don’t want my thoughts to win.¬†

There is a gap between my head and my heart. I am fighting it. I am guessing that some of you are fighting it as well. 

I am not fighting alone. You are not fighting alone. 

There is a gap between my head and my heart. But I am constantly looking for the moment when it no longer exists. 

adam

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