Monday, March 8, 2010

progressive Want

(this picture is just for fun)

grace flows from Your throne
no heart can know
the fullness of Your love

our souls overflow
more than we know

yet we cry out for More...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the long and winding road...

Right now it's raining.
Not much, just a few rogue drops escaping from the heavens above to the earth below. They dampen the asphalt in patterns, creating a negative of ancient celestial constellations. Puddles from recent pourings are awakened to lively dancing. The non-native palms lean and bend with the breeze.

And yet, the sun is out. The sky overhead is blue. Shadows are cast long and contrasting.
Sometimes is it so hard to read the times. You dress for sunny and get rained on.

The past 10 months since my last entry have been filled with sun-shining, rainy days. I have witnessed ministries begin and end, and begin anew; relationships in which I placed identity and trust come crashing down; dreams and goals that were so eagerly anticipated, be placed on the "wasn't meant to be" shelf. One day passes into the next, and we journey on leaving each one behind, hoping for fairer weather up the road.

How can the soul go on? What use is there in striving?
His mercies are new every morning.

And so for the past 10 months I have been given a new mercy each day. To encourage, to sustain, to give away. To see the sunshine through the rain. The road is long and winding, narrow and difficult to travel on. But it will lead me home.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We are doing well these days.

No real revelations or epiphanies or even noteworthy news that I feel compelled beyond control to post. We are just...well. So I have been a little lax on the blogging lately.

And you know, I don't even feel guilty.

Right now we are having a great time visiting with my parents for my dad's birthday. 
About a month ago, Joey became the janitor of our church and quit the YMCA. He loves it.
Our best friends are currently in Alaska on the trip of their dreams.
The Lakers just advanced to round 3 of the NBA playoffs.
Rosy is still cute as ever.
We just signed another year long lease at our apartment so we will be staying put for awhile making this home the one I've lived at the longest in 7 years.
Joey and I love each other and our life together. We also love our church and family.

So yeah, pretty standard stuff. 
Life is good.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Isn't it great when things are just...good? 
I sat down to dinner after a long day at work today and it was just so good. 

Joey is at our friend Kip's house tonight gleefully getting his fill of basketball from March Madness. Rosy is pooped out laying underneath her bed, exhausted from a day of play with her dog-friend Winnie. There's a fluid, loose rhythm flowing into the room from the ipod and it's making me move around the kitchen as I cook. I sing the singer's pensive words as if they are my own. Steamy, savory aromas rise from the pots and pans and I breathe deep. I can taste those smells in my mouth. 

There is peace in the house. Peace after a long day.

A mist lingers outside my second-story window persuading me to get cozy and comfy. To be thankful for home and the shelter it brings. Things are getting cold, foggy and difficult to see out there. But in here there are sweet smells, a warm oven, and gentle contemplations. 

I am so thankful for what I have. I have been given such good gifts. By a good Giver. A Giver who knows just what I need and is happy to grant graciously. I have a perfect-sized apartment that I whole-heartedly call home; a wonderful, caring and surprising man to share it with who constantly makes me laugh, think, rejoice, get frustrated, practice patience, and learn happy humility - as all good relationships should; I am blessed to be paid money to serve the local church; I have a wonderful, slightly insane family who truly loves each other and us; friends I hope to know to the grave; the hope of a future that will keep getting better as we plan on adding little Vargas-i (multiple Vargas') in a couple years; and a compassionate, honorable, and worthy Lord as my King. 

This is only the beginning.

And as I sit storing up all these things in my heart, my plate now emptied of its satisfying contents, I start to realize how untouchable we are. 

Joey has been having nightmares on a regular basis for about a week or two now. Every other night or so he is terrorized with these strange, sinister scenarios that leave him to wake unnerved and anxious. It is rare that Joey will have any dreams at all during the night, so to have frequent ones so suddenly whether fanciful or foreboding is out of the norm for him. Combine that with his recent bronchial illness and severe ankle injury after men's retreat, we can't help but think that there may be unseen forces at work here. Forces that would wish us harm, worry or distraction. 

But what they so arrogantly fail to realize is.....

We are untouchable.

There is nothing that will divert me from this peace I have found. 
At times I fail. Failure is inevitable. Recovery is certain.

What plans there are for us on either side of those realms that war against each other before my unseeing eyes I can't say that I know. 
I know which side I am fighting for; I know which side will win.

And so there is peace in the house tonight. And things are good.
But still that fog lingers on...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

cologne de phone


Recently someone used the phone at my desk at work. No big deal. There are 4 churches total that use our facility so there are always people coming and going and needing to use the front office for whatever clerical need is beckoning them at the time.

So someone used my phone. Okay. 
However, whoever this mystery phone user was that placed this mystery call sometime about 10 days ago now, was wearing what I can only assume was an exorbitant amount of the most repulsive cologne which somehow has managed to fill the entire office with it's pungent aroma as well as saturate the receiver of the phone so that even now, 10 days later and counting, it's putrid odor snakes into my nostrils with each call answered or placed, and causes me to gag something terrible. 

Ugh! Gross.

And so far all attempts to dispel this evil have been thwarted. Even Lysol disinfectant has been proven useless against its power. It is an unstoppable force, taking every other pleasant fragrance prisoner. 

Please! If anyone has ANY suggestions on how to triumph over this disgusting adversary, I would be forever grateful.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

plan to love

I have stopped flossing.

Not permanently I hope, but it has definitely been deficient from my life long enough to warrant saying I have stopped.

I haven’t always been a flosser. Somewhat recently I made it a goal to floss everyday, and I was doing good at it too. And then one day it just stopped. I can’t exactly remember the reason why. I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll just pick it up again tomorrow. I can’t get gum disease in one day anyway. I’ve gone 26 years without flossing regularly, what’s one more day? Nothing. Tomorrow it is.” That was about a month ago.

How does that happen? To be doing so well in staying consistent with something, and then it just dies. Fizzles out. And all that remains is a smokey, smoldering wick.

I can’t seem to tame life. Just when I think I’ve got it wrangled, it jerks around again and kicks me in the stomach. The air gets knocked out of me like a punctured balloon. The result ends in unreturned phone calls, canceled appointments with friends, flabby unexercised muscles, a growing ring of scum around my bathtub, a dusty Bible, and un-flossed teeth.

Last week my baby caught bronchitis. And when I say baby, I mean my 24 year-old, tattooed, mustached, more-man-than-I-know-what-to-do-with, mexican baby. He contracted it from some unsuspecting or non-disclosing carrier that is as of yet unknown to us. I have no idea where he got it from, but it hit him in the face like a dueling glove full of horseshoes. He came down with a high fever Monday night that lasted all through Thursday with no other tell-tale symptoms of what could be wrong with him. Just this strange mystery fever with no explanation. After days of waiting, missed work, temperature taking and trying every homeopathic or home remedy in the book, we broke down and decided to take him to the doctor.

I don’t do doctors. Growing up, we were always herb and vitamin people. We never had insurance, we never went to doctors, and we were just fine treating ourselves naturally through sickness and health. The way the good Lord intended. With the exception of the occasional emergency room visit. So when I say we broke down and went to the doctor, I mean broke down. And they did what doctors always do. Prescribed a bunch of unnecessary medications we couldn’t afford, gave us that ‘disappointed’ look when we refused all but two, and told us to come back in a few days for a check-up. Joey and I exchanged “Ha, yeah right” expressions after this suggestion. But we did get our money’s worth when they told us what was ailing him. Bronchitis. Go figure. Not to mention the fact that over the weekend he severely sprained his ankle while playing basketball at a men’s retreat with our church and couldn’t walk on it for days. Bad week for Joey.

But that is just life. You think you got it under control and it squirms away from your fingers. With so much uncertainty, what is there to do? What can be done? What hope is there of sanity against such unforeseeable events?

Recently the Lord spoke to me very clearly in a song. A song I was not even listening to at the time. Or thinking about. It just popped in there. Was placed there.

There is a band I enjoy that has a song in which the singer pleads, “Make a plan to love me. Will you make a plan to love me sometime soon?” This line from that song was how God chose to communicate with me that morning while brushing my teeth. Brushing only, not flossing. I didn’t have time to floss. In the midst of life and routine and distracted thoughts about nothing in particular, He asked a very clear, pointed, searing question. Will you make a plan to love me?

Life is unpredictable. I trust that God is in control of all the things I don’t see or understand. But in the meantime I have a responsibility. To Him and my fellow man. A responsibility to make a plan. A plan to love. A sort of plan that will hold true and be carried out to the end no matter what. Through thick and thin, the surprises and the mundane. 

I don't know what tomorrow or today or this minute holds for me. But I do know that in the midst of chaos and torrent, someone has made plans to love me today. And I trust that nothing will stand in HIs way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today it gripped my thoughts. It consumed my mind and reason. On a long walk with Rosy through the neighborhood I contemplated and prayed. What does it mean? Why is it so freely and amply given? Why are we implored, commanded even, to desire it? To be content with it?


Enough is infinite. 
It is everywhere, at all times, at the perfect time.

There is nothing it can't do.
Nothing is beyond its realm of power. 
There is nothing I could ever need or be in want of that it would not provide.

Enough is perfection. 
It isn't too much; it lacks nothing. It is what it is.
It will always be that.
It takes on a thousand faces, a million shapes and countless combinations.

What a treasure! What a priceless jewel to possess. 
To underestimate its worth is foolish. To ask for more, a sin.



I want to live in Enough. I want to be overjoyed with Enough. I want to be grateful with Enough. To be creative with Enough. To be wise with Enough. To be generous with Enough. 
To make sure others have enough with Enough. 

I want Enough to take root. To grow. To blossom. 
I want Enough to bear fruit. I want Enough to multiply 10, 20, 100 fold.
To feed the multitudes.

I want Enough to overflow out of me. Uncontrolled. Unmeasurable. 

A well whose waters run deep. That will never dry out. 
My soul thirsts for satisfaction. May I quench it with Enough.