Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Just spending some time today to reflect on the "goodness" of Jesus. He is soo good isn't He? He not only answers our prayers, He doesn't answer those which He knows aren't what is best for us. He is always interceding for us to the Father, praying for us in ways which we are wholey unaware. He is our savior, and role model. There is no better example of a Christian than Christ Himself. He is our encourager. Our strong foundation and His name is faithful and true; which I might add is rather comforting to me, seeing as I'm not so faithful and not always the most truthful. He always wants us. He never is fed up and done. He is the mighty pursuer. HE HAS OVERCOME AND HE IS SO SO SO GOOD.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Lord Jesus, please remind me in this moment of your love. Not that "hold hands and bake cupcakes" sorta' love. But that "humble yourself to flesh and blood for the sake of my soul" kinda' love. The love that before the foundations of the earth were laid, You had me in mind love. The long-suffering, patient, grace filled, sacrificial to death on a tree love. For it is simply your nature Jesus, and if it's not too much to ask I'd love to experience more of it. Can I father? Would you bestow, lend and fill me with Your love of liberation. The love which not only has the authority to forgive sins but has the power to enslave one to righteousness. Remind me oh God of this faithful love. You know, the one that says:"Nick I love you whether or not you did or did not do this or that!" And finally awake me from my slumber oh king, revealing that you LOVE ME BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME! For you are good and Your love endures FOREVER.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
So I suppose I haven't posted in so long, due to an abundance to say and a lack of time to say it. I will fallow this up with a longer post which will give me the opportunity to share the splendors of the way Christ is empowering me to pick up my cross each day and seek His glorious face. Yet for now, I would simply like to ask of you, your prayers. Someone wise once said that prayer moves the hand that moves the world, and I believe that. Today was a very hard day for me emotionally. A dear friend of mine, who lives on my hall, in the dorms at school attempted to commit suicide. Luckily the Lord was watching over him and our Resident Director was able to intercept him and stop him from going through with it. This came as a great surprise to me as well as the other guys on my floor seeing as this young man is like a brother to us. He is now doing much better and has been transferred from Biola into protective services for a while. I would just like to ask you all to please lift this man's heart up in prayer, since he is going through a period of great sorrow and embarrassment. Pray that Christ would truly comfort him and that he would feel the deep love of the Father, throughout this unimaginably rough season of his life. I'd also like to ask for your prayers for me as well. Though I feel a bit selfish doing so, I am very stressed. I have numerous papers to complete, presentations to give as well as 4 major finals to prepare for as well as attempt to nail down a job of some sort for the summer; all on top of attempting to love on my brother who needs his friends to surround him in love. Thank you so much. I love you all and I am so thankful to be able to have a place, such as this blog to be able to spill my guts when times are tough. Thanks for caring. Also if any of you know of any job opportunities I would be so thankful to hear from you. I just need a job for the summer and I would love that to be related to ministry, although I recognize that wherever the Lord places me I will be sharing the Gospel openly anyway. haha Thanks again. Peace and Blessings.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Recently I have been attempting to roll all my burdens upon the Lord. I have tried to see the "tests" throughout the course of my busy days. I have found that it is only possible to abide in the spirit through constant prayer; or at least a constant willingness to pray. I find that days I don't willingly ask for Jesus' grace upon my life are the days that I die. They become days filled with dishonesty, pride, slandering, lust and worst of all, a pity which holds Christ's joy ransom(partial credit to Clive Staples Lewis). As if joy was merely created to be joked out by my: "why aren't others noticing that I'm hurting inside?" For too long now I have been asking the Lord to make me a man of integrity and yet I continue to behave dissintegriously toward others. I desire to be a man of prayer and yet I do not choose to close my eyes and turn my heart toward heaven. I have begged the Lord to make me a man of my word and yet I have not even taken the time to hold fast to my commitment to each of you; which is reading your blogs. It is wrong, and for that I am deeply sorry. I now recognize that the cost of discipleship is obedience. Now instead of praying to be a man of my word and carrying on in my old ways, I will press on in honesty knowing that Christ will lead me. I am very sorry and I promise I will intensify my effort to comment and invest in each of your lives more. Thank you for your grace. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless each of your lives with His overwhelming peace and joy. Amen.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I saw your back
In a dream I had, of my life
I watched you walk away
I pondered where you next would be
You did what they had done, to see
What you could get away with.
It started back before you, or me
For they chose to choose
For what we had become to be
Was up to them, not us?
In a dream I had, of my life
I watched you walk away
I pondered where you next would be
You did what they had done, to see
What you could get away with.
It started back before you, or me
For they chose to choose
For what we had become to be
Was up to them, not us?
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
So just recently I lost my grandma to cancer. I suppose theologically speaking I lost her to the "Fall of Man." She was a believer of 84 years of age. She had excepted Christ as her savior just a few years ago. Even though she ran the race for a short time, she ran it, and she finished. She was my girl. I called her "Buster" because that's what she always called me as a kid. We would always watch dancing with the stars together and try and guess who was going to win. She loved to laugh, humor was her first love. I'll miss her dearly although I am rejoicing that she is now witnessing Christ in all of His Glory. A moment which my heart yearns for. A moment which my heart desperately needs. It's been a rough few days coping with the loss of a family member, and ultimately a dear friend. I'll never forget all the Christmases in New York, at her place way back when. I'll miss her smile and our brief, quaint conversations. But what my heart and mind has chosen to never let go of is the final question she ever asked me. A question which I'll never forget. A question which once answered brings you to one of the fullest comprehensions of the person of Christ. My grandmother was kind. She was no pastor or theologian. She had a simple understanding of Jesus and His work on the cross. She never studied theology or even graduated from college. But in our final conversation on this earth she asked me "nick, why do you think He made it this way?" I didn't know what to say. I racked my brain for everything I've learned as a Bible Major for some passage of scripture or some Barth quote that summed it all up. But, I couldn't. As I tried to formulate a response she slowly fell back to sleep. And in that moment I realized that the question was a kind hearted retort. That is my fondest memory of her. She posed a question which will transform my life as long as I am willing to ask it.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
These past few weeks I have been lathering 4 simple things in prayer. One: a fear of the Lord. Two: Honesty. Three: integrity, in all things. And fourth and lastly, trying to be less and less selfish. The Lord has truly been delivering me in ways I couldn't have previously imagined. If possible, please lift me up in prayer in these 4 areas. I truly desire the Lord to deeply refine my character specifically as it regards these sections of my heart. Much love slices.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Yesterday I had a really rad talk with my new Mentor. He is such a solid believer. Over the course of a 2 hour conversation, he helped me to centralize the vast majority of the areas in which I desire to grow spiritually; all by asking great questions. Never did he prescriptively say "do this" or "do that" but allowed me to come to such conclusions on my own. I truly value this skill and have recently been praying that the Lord would enable me to, amidst my many distractions, sit down, be present, and ask good questions. I feel so blessed that the Lord was able to so explicitly speak through my mentors questions. Practically speaking I am now aware that I tend to be rather selfish and my integrity as a whole needs a great deal of revamping. It is through the Lord's mighty grace that I am being refined in these ways. Amen.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
"Here and Now" was quite the experience. It was practical and simplistically prescriptive. It oddly enough reminded me of Oswald Chamber's devotional "My Utmost For His Highest." Reading this book deeply influenced the way in which I live and the places where I place utmost importance. It helped me to see that "the kingdom is at hand." That I must no longer rob Christ of His present glory and begin to honor him in the "Here and Now." It influenced me to better engage with the God of "the story." It enabled me to recognize which areas within my soul yearn to simply push the Lord aside and strive after future goals and accomplishments. I can ultimately say that "Here and Now" was most effective in strengthening my relational skills with a God who quite honestly couldn't be more approachable.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Lately my mind has grown deeply infatuated with why we do the things we do; in a societal, cultural, human sense. The way I see it, if God is alive and well, we ought to see significant hints of His imagination laced throughout everything(which I deeply believe we do). Just through simple observation, I have seen an innarant sense of morality amidst a hyper-secular culture. Why is it that all people seem to find certain things important? Things ranging from architecture to education. If we adjust our hearts and open our eyes ever so slightly we can, rather easily, see His hand at work. Why is it that education is important? Why is it wrong that there is world hunger? Why is it wrong to be a criminal and right to be an accountant? I believe that weather a man chooses to believe in God or not, the way he lives his life ultimately points to a wonderful Lord with a rather keen sense of humor. You see, even if a man denounces Christ as Lord he still desires the best for his daughter; therefore inadvertently proving that there is a pricelessness about her soul. Most men might agree that it is right to love their wives but not that it is wrong to hate their neighbors. A quote that has kept me mulling over this rather queer idea is by an author named G.K. Chesterton which reads "what is wrong with the world is that we do not ask what is right." I am finding that our everyday run-of-the-mill morality, as battered and bare as it may be nowadays, is only proof of an all good creator who is very much a part of who we ultimately are.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
So, you may or may not have reccognized that the very title of my blog has changed. Recently the Lord has been speking to my heart through and about "the story." I'm now reccognizing that there is no worldview apart from the story. God desires for us to know and share His story, his narrative, which is still in motion. We are all most simply alive to do 3 things. Be known by our God, know our God, and make our God known. We do so most effectively through the story. Your place in ministry is at it's core your stage to proclaim His story. Your business, your brush, your hands, your pen, your lens are to be tools to declare Christ's meta-narrative. What He has done, what He is doing, what is coming to be. So, with that being said; can I tell you a story?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Recently I've been struggling to fathom how it is the Christ can and will forgive me of my numerous short comings. I just don't want to let Him down i suupose. I've also recently, after having a rad discussion with my roommate, recognized that for me, Christ has been mere book ends to my days. I begin my day by thanking Jesus for the new day(out of some sense of obligation) and I end my day by humbly asking Him to blot out my plethora of transgressions(in order to clean my "sin slate!"). No interactions in simple moments. No seeking Him out throughout the day. I really want to know Him more you know? I'd really like to talk with Him about the little or big things throughout the course of my days. Through grace I've come to an understaning of the eternal truth that Christ is Lord at a young age; and I guess I'd just really like to take advantage of it for Christ's Glory! I'd like to begin eternity now. Ushering in the kingdom through the spirit; using the time I've been blessed with wisely. Again, I'd really like to not let Him down for lack of a better phrase. I'd love to be on my death bed simply ecstatic at the ideal that my already preexisting relationship with Christ will momentarily be made more realistic.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Last night as I was falling asleep(listening to disintegration loops on my iPod) I began to reminisce about my travels. I thought about the differences between the many nations and peoples of the world. Then, oddly enough, my mind wandered and I attempted to identify a single thing which all men agree upon. It took a while, but after some thinking I came to the conclusion that it was "currency." The universal ideal that things cost. You see whether you are Egyptian or Chinese, Jewish or Muslim, sane or mad, you are culturally forced to recognize that in order to obtain a service or product their will be a cost of sorts. I found that all men have agreed that things cost. What they have unfortunately failed to agree upon is that "they cost." That a payment for their transgressions was necessary. Man is divided due to their incapability to recognize that not only was the Cross needed, but it was primarily needed for them. The Cross was a transaction. A payment for sins. A payment for their sins. A payment for our sins. A payment for my sins. We were purchased at a cost.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Since Saturday night I have felt that the Lord has, for some time now, been attempting to remind me to remind others. Of His love. Of His grace. That He is there and willing to save. I had forgotten to build remembrances for myself along the way. I now see that without them, I am incapable of distinguishing clearly those valleys which Christ has protected me through as well as those mountains in which He has empowered me to clime. Without images, memories and relationships of remembrance I not only forget where I'm going, but I grow unaware of that which I came. I oddly felt as though for the first time, the Lord is beginning to show what it is that I am good at; through revealing to me which things I adore and how they coincide with my spiritual gifts. Through a great deal of prayer and confusion I have come to the rather unexpected conclusion that the Lord desires for me to develop some practical skills for His glory. For too long now I have romanticized pastoral ministry(not to say that it isn't the best thing ever, for it may very well be; for those who have been called by God; to which I may or may not be) and made it the only option for myself; somehow feeling as though I would be a lesser believer if I don't one day end up as a preacher. I know this to be foolish thinking although it is a rather difficult mindset to shake when your entire academic existence is wrapped around studying scripture. Lately I simply feel as though the Lord is saying: "Nick, pursue what you love and do it to the best of your ability for My glory." Oddly enough I am currently praying to further hone my skills in the field of photography. I have no clue what this might look like, but I have a passion for photo, a deep desire to learn and I am in dire need for an avenue to practically share the Gospel. Please be praying that I could come up with some cash for a good Camera. I know that is a rather trivial prayer request(in view of the condition of the majority of the world) but I'm really trusting in the Lord to provide, seeing as it is He who has placed this desire upon my heart. I've got nothing really figured out these days, and somehow I wouldn't have it any other way. I suppose I'm perfectly fine with keeping Christ on the throne.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This first week back at school has been quite an interesting one; and it's only wednesday. I suppose re-entry into the collegiate realm is always a bit challenging. I guess I'm still in a fog of sorts. My break was long, fun filled, and stacked with spontaneous adventure. I was able to do a ton of leisure reading as well as practical ministry(simplistic conversations in starbucks). I'm finding it rather challenging to simply sling myself back into the world of deponent Greek verbs, hermeneutics, jokes about Elijah and discussions regarding hyper Calvinism. To be honest, lately, I just don't care much about those things. I want to just talk to people, where they're at, what they love, what they hate. I want to have genuine, God glorifying interactions. I am more than blessed to be receiving the education which I am daily taking part in, but somehow I just wish the Bible could stay simple. Like "Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so" type simple. I'm sure I'll soon grow acclimated to the Bible Major lifestyle; although I pray that the Word would not become a mere text. For what would it all be worth if I comprehended every thematic element of scripture and my heart remained hard to its words of compassion, love and grace?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
ok, so what is with these computer automated, verification words? You know, the less than intelligent words your computer asks you to spell in order to verify that you have a friggan brain. I just posted a comment on a fellow circle slice's blog and my Mac, out of utter ignorance, asked me to spell "heptarzk." I mean, really? Why not something noraml? Like "cat" or "poop" or "cat poop?" Why "heptarzk?" I suppose computers are incapable of spelling anything normal. Yeah, that must be it. It must really take an intelligent, successful life source to properly replicate "heptarzk" in wavy lettering. What is the world coming to? A man can barely post a single word these days without having his intelligence questioned by such queer shapes as "heptarzk!" All is lost. Good night! ;)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I was doing some thinking today. It's kinda a new thing I've started doing from time to time. Somehow my mind drifted to all the different forms of people in the world. All the thousands of jobs, lifestyles and world views. I thought to myself "satan sure has done a wonderful job of really perverting things without having taken any of the credit." You see, I quickly came to the conclusion, as many of us have, that Satan is a being of subtleties. He doesn't need us blatantly worshiping him, he simply needs us doing anything but bringing glory to Christ. He doesn't need men who no longer love their wives, but rather men who love themselves more. He doesn't need us not going to church, he wants us in church, but with cold hearts. I suppose in the end, for him, it won't much matter if you were Hitler or a complacent accountant. He is simply in the business of attempting to rob God of the glory He is so worthy of. I continued thinking. How is it that it has become nearly impossible to have a conversation with someone living an anti-Biblical lifestyle; whether it be consciously or subconsciously? It is so difficult to even speak with someone pro-choice or homosexual without appearing to be "intolerant" or "close minded." After a few minutes of thought I realized that in many regards, truth in and of itself is intolerant. You see, when a man marries a woman, he is not only saying yes to one woman but also no to all others. We are all "intolerant" in some regard. For to simply choose one thing means to be intolerant of another. I suppose what I'm getting at, is that Christ is respectfully offensive. For to say" Christ is Lord" is to say "Buddha is not." I guess my prayer is that the Holy Spirit would empower me to speak the truth in love more often. Not out of a frustrated hatred for non-Biblical living, but rather out of an all consuming passion for everyone to know the truth. Suppose you saw a man wearing a watch as an earring. We ought not be disgusted with him for having such a tacky earring, but rather attempt to, in the most loving way possible, reveal to him that he has been greatly misinformed.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Just deleted my facebook! Never thought I'd see the day. I'm now a free man. A Lone Wolf of sorts. In my heart of hearts, facebook had simply become a place about promoting myself. It was my personal billboard, which I used to "sell" how chill Nick Chiurazzi was to the rest of the world. It was simply public school on a screen haha. I was recently reading and reflecting on John 3:30 which reads: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." I simply came to the conclusion that this task would be considerably more difficult to achieve when I was solely using facebook as a forum to become greater and greater. Yeah, I would post scripture like it was nobodies business, but it was so that others would see me as holy. Sure, I quoted the best on the reg! You name it, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon, G.K. Chesterton, Augustine, I've readem' all. And yet somehow, I hadn't allowed their kindred spirits and written words of wisdom transform my heart. I needed to be posting these things so that others came to know the truth, not that others came to know that I knew the truth; if that even makes any sense. I pray that now, free of facebook, I will spend more time in the Lord's love letter to me. I pray that all the time I would have been typing away trying to come up with the pithiest response, I will now be using to scour my Bible for passages of humility. I already feel the Lord at work in my heart. Drawing me back to my first love. Stripping me of my plethora of distractions one at a time. Sanctification sure ain't easy, but it is so, so needed. Especially for me. I hope this resinates with someone. It is always such a blessing when one shares their heart and another can relate. P.S. It was really rad having lunch with everyone at Rock Harbor today. It felt like a family luncheon. A family that doesn't quite know each other, yet a family nonetheless. God Speed.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
These past two days, the Lord has really put me through the wringer. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it a good hurt? Yes. For far too long, Christendom had become a tool which I had used for my own gain. Serving meant recognition for good deeds. Not sinning was being on God's "good side." Eloquence, a mere opportunity to gain approval. Reading Greek, a "one up" on theological knowledge. I had created a faith which fit the selfish desires of my heart; and in so doing, I took Christ off the cross. It ultimately brought me to my knees. My pride had led me to the end of myself(thank God). The Lord exposed and exploited my weaknesses. Christ directly confronted my lies. He brought me to a place of recognition. He brought me into the light(1John 1:7). Showing me that if anything is done for Christ for any other reason than to bring glory to Christ, then I am in the wrong. I now find myself living in truth and in the spirit. My zeal for the Lord is so refreshed and restored to a way of honest and transparent living. The truth has set me free.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
So tonight's first Circles meeting was soo rad. A bit antsy yet rad nonetheless. I truly feed off of awkward encounters within new groups of people. It is so intriguing to see how everyone reacts to one another. I love the diverse dynamics within the "circle." All different walks off life although we are all in love with Christ. Much love to all my new Circles home slices. P.S. Since we are going for the whole diverse vibe I think it would be wise for the group to incorporate a few more Pacific Islanders or possibly some Navajos. Just a suggestion though. ;)
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Hi, my name is Nick Chiurazzi and I am a 37 and a half year old gymnast by day, jeweler by night. I enjoy an activity filled lifestyle, many of which are: yoga, slack lining, cutting diamonds, sub-water acrobatics and lastly 47 exhilarating minutes on my in-home elliptical which I use biweekly. Just kidding, Juuusssttt kidddiiinnggg, my name really is Nick Chiurazzi, but I'm only 20 years old and a full time student at Biola University. I'm currently a sophomore, Biblical Studies major praying to one day go into some form of full time ministry; wherever the good Lord leads I suppose. I am also a full time follower of Jesus Christ, and experiencing new joys each minute I spend in daily prayer, fellowship and Bible reading. My real interests unfortunately do not incorporate slack lining or yoga but rather reading, hanging with pals, going to the beach, seeing films and listening to music. While I am on the topic of music, my 3 most listened to bands recently have been the cure, blink 182 and taking back Sunday. Way 90's I know, but that's my steez. I am truly thrilled to have the unique opportunity to be a part of the Circle's Discipleship Program. I know that this group will supply me with the spiritual discipleship that I am so desperately in need of, while also empowering me to properly disciple younger brothers in Christ. I cannot wait to see where the Holy Spirit leads us as a group over the next several months. I consider it pure joy to have the opportunity to be able to learn alongside of other "20 somethings" for the glory of Jesus Christ. If you are also in "Circles" I look forward to fellowshipping as well as growing and getting to know you better as we enter into this next season of our lives. Thanks for reading a bit about who I am. May God bless you and your family. Later.