Josh Brage

We’re back!
December 29, 2005, 5:35 am
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Nebraska 32 Michigan 28

Well, the Huskers won their bowl game. That is exciting. I am not about to say watch for us to win the National Championship next year. But, we looked good. We have discipline, play-making ability and a great defense again. With tonight’s win paired with the scolding of the Buffaloes we have gotten people’s attention once again. We will play hard and well next year. We will finish ranked. And we will be in solid contention for the Big Twelve Championship next season.

Welcome to Lincoln, Mr. Callahan. We think you are doing a very good job.

Go Huskers!


Merry Christmas!!
December 25, 2005, 3:07 am
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I love Christmas!
I guess I am kind of a ‘romantic’ kind of guy. (I really hope that doesn’t make me gay.) I love the lights, the anticipation, the old movies, just the joy of the whole thing. To all of those people who don’t like Christmas or just are indifferent – let me tell you – just get over it. It is a great time of year. It is fun! Have fun, eat a lot. Watch cool old movies – I will tell you of the best ones in a minute. Go see lights. Go out at least once with some people that you love and enjoy (or just that ‘one’) Get dressed up, go see a show, enjoy just being out in the cold.

One other thing that I will recommend to everyone is a tradition that my family: this is just for the four of us, mom, dad, sean and myself. But each year we draw names for stockings. So each of us has one of the others’ stocking. So on Christmas morning the highlight are the stockings. We always try to do some creative thinking and themes or something like that. For example one year I had Sean and I did a whole writing theme for him, because he was into writing songs and such. So I put all kinds of pens, journals, pencils, anything like that that I could find. It is fun. Anyway, it is a cool way to mix it up a little bit and make it a little more personal and fun, rather than your mom just throwing a bunch of candy and an apple into your stocking.

Ok. Here is a line-up of great Christmas movies: (in no particular order.)

White Christmas (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye); The Muppet’s Christmas Carol (Kermit, Ms. Piggy and Michael Kane); The Little Shop Around the Corner (Jimmy Stewart – THIS MOVIE ROCKS, let me talk about it. We all know of ‘You’ve Got Mail’; that was a remake of this movie. Jimmy Stewart is awesome.) Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire); of course Elf and The Grinch (with Will Farrell and Jim Carrey respectively.) These are my Christmas standards. I understand that this is not a comprehensive list and most will disagree with my neglect of: A Christmas Story (I hate this movie) and It’s A Wonderful Life. But you know what, it is my list – so there.

Well, Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!!!

Relationship or Intellect?
December 22, 2005, 1:40 pm
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I am struggling right now. I am wrestling with something that has seem to become the predominate factor in my life. Apparently through all of my ‘training’ I have picked up this bad habit of thinking that God is a God of reason. I constantly try to understand God. I try to relate to Him through the avenue of my intellect. A relationship with God is NOT an intellectual journey. It does involve your intellect, but only as a secondary mechanism to enhance your experience and better value God and His choices for your life. Not as a way to follow Him or get to know Him.
O. Chambers ‘The hindrance is that I will not trust God, but only my mental understanding.’ Well, what happens when you don’t have any mental understanding? You end up so confused and your faith is so shaky, because you don’t ‘get it.’ Our faith and trust in God must be found in a relational way that remains solid with and without intellectual understanding or emotional persuasion. God does not come to us and attempt to convince us of the way to go in such a way that the reason overwhelms us and we KNOW that that is the way to go. No, He comes to us and whispers to us what we need to do. Our choice is then to follow that or remain safe, secure, bored and frustrated with our lives, because we don’t UNDERSTAND.

God free me from this trap I call my mind. I want to live a life driven and directed by You and Your Word alone. Free me from having to understand anything. Forgive me for the arrogant belief that I could understand anything that you are trying to do. And most of all God. Speak to me and I will follow. I will follow hard and fully with or without my mind ‘getting it’ or my heart ‘feeling like it.’ God, help me. AMEN.

The Gift
December 17, 2005, 5:31 pm
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This is one of the most confusing and fantastic stories I have ever heard.

At work there is this young lady who is a good friend of mine. We have our little ‘cubicle community’ and there are about 5-6 of us who are pretty good friends and we do a lot of laughing. So this friend, the aforementioned young lady is a beautiful Jamican girl. Now, there is a new class of people who are in training right now, they are the ‘newbies.’ One of these ‘newbies’ likes this friend of ours. (By the way, he is not a beautiful Jamican.) So he has kind of been trying to hang out with her and, basically, ‘spit some game.’ We have been laughing at him, because he is not good at it, at all. (When we say laughing at him, don’t worry, it is only behind his back – not to his face. Lol.) So here is the kicker:

Yesterday morning, he decides to take it up a notch and gives her a gift. So he places a little something on her desk. No explanation just the ‘gift.’ The ‘gift’ is a gift card to Safeway. . . . .

Let me repeat that, if you didn’t catch that. A gift card to Safeway. (A grocery store, if you are unfamilar.) Now, I may not know too much about ‘spitting game,’ however . . . I do not know if I can think of a worse possible gift to give someone who you are trying to pick up.

Not only is it impersonal. (As gift cards tend to be.) Not only does it show a complete lack of actual thought. (Again, as gift cards tend to show.) Not only is it to a grocery store. (At least, Bath and Body or something like that.) Not only did it not even have a redeeming note to be cute. (“Hey, you should use this next Friday night when you come over and make dinner for the two of us.”) But it is almost insulting. It is a nice gift if it is for the family down the street who’s dad has been hurt for the past 6 weeks and you know that they don’t have much for Christmas, then it is thoughtful, if you do it in a tactful way.

But seriously folks, a gift card to a local grocery store. If you can think of a worse idea, please let me know. I am, honestly, desperately trying to identify what he was thinking to do that. Somewhere along his line of logic this made enough sense to him to act upon it. I just can’t figure out where in someone’s brain this would make sense. Maybe I will figure it out, but until then just know that he is not getting any ‘play’ from the previously mentioned Jamican friend of mine. He is going to have a to try to do a much better job.

Perspective on Drama
December 13, 2005, 3:09 am
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Let’s chase Jesus. We get so incredibly involved in the saga that has become our lives. Drama is fine, we are young it is supposed to be there. But don’t allow that drama to become the foundation for your life. That is, don’t let it make your decisions for you. Live your life. Don’t let the drama sidetrack you from your calling. Don’t allow yourself to stop dreaming, just because there is drama in your life. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked down into a place where all you see or think about is whatever that ‘episode is’ – and I don’t care how big that piece of drama is.

I don’t say all of this without understanding. Believe me, I have had my share of drama. And I have allowed myself to lose sight of what I am about. Not anymore. I am going to chase God, chase my calling, my dreams and my responsibilities. We get sucked into a place where we begin to think and see in such a tiny way.

If you are in this situation. Just stop for a minute. Grab an old journal or something, get your Bible and go find somewhere to spend some alone time. If it is the Upper Room – good. (Personally, I find that place is not always the best to avoid drama, but if you can then go for it.) Find some alone time. And just think about your life as a whole. Read over some journal entries about the calling and purpose that you have discovered. Look at where you have come from. Look towards where you are going. Read a little bit. Read about David and his drama, before he became King. Read about Joseph – do you think after he sat on his throne that that pit thing was a big deal anymore? Pray and ask God to restore to you some perspective. Ask Him for His opinion about your life and where it is right now. (Don’t pray about the drama, we are escaping that for now.) Just stop, take a step back from your life and look at where you have been, where you are at and where you are going. And then praise God, because everything will make a little more sense and at the very least you will not feel quite as overwhelmed about the overwhelming drama in your life.

Trust me it works. Other than that, just keep living life! Have some fun!

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
December 7, 2005, 2:32 am
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If you don’t get inspired by A Charlie Brown Christmas then you are dead on the inside and probably backslidden. That is all I have to say tonight.

December 6, 2005, 3:14 am
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What do you do when you are frustrated? I am not talking about the frustration that happens when you have hit 3 red lights in a row. I am talking about the frustration that sets in when you have been confused for a while and are still at a loss for an answer. Who do you become? Do you start getting mad? Do you begin to just grasp at anything, even the obviously futile, in a desperate attempt to find something that means something? Do you pray more? Or does prayer just seem to exasperate you even more? Maybe you are the type that can just block it out and becomes numb to it. Maybe you are able to drown in out in media, music, friends, reading – maybe you have a release. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you just stop sleeping, even though sleep is the only reprive. Maybe you sleep all day. Are you the type that begins to become depressed. Maybe you are the type that just gets motivated towards action. Even though that action seems unguided and aimless and that just lends itself towards the increasing amount of frustration.

I am a whole lot of all of this. I have been through every one of these emotions and situations in the past eight weeks. Everything comes into question when you go through a time like this. Your faith. Your purpose. Your calling. Your friends. Your guidance. Everything all of a sudden is suspect. Nothing and no one holds the answer to your endless questions. Worship leads to a place where you want so desperately to just fall face down and bawl your eyes out before God while at the same time you want to just walk away.

Walking with God is not always easy. Why? Jesus did tell us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So obviously, I have possession of someone else’s yoke and burden. Which one? My own? The devil’s? The world? Guilt? Shame? Condemnation? Is there really an answer? I don’t think that there is. It must be tied up somewhere in this whole thing that we call a relationship with our Creator. But where and more importantly – when? Ahh, that is the question is it not.

The Dark Night of the Soul. We all have to go there. We all have to face this place at some point. It is an inventory of your identity. Everything you are comes into question. Sometimes by God and sometimes by yourself. The devil he is somewhere in there too, but God is gracious enough to only allow him in at times when He knows we can handle it (and if you have ever been there/here, you realize that that is not all that often.)

God I continue to place myself, trustingly into Your hands. I am scared, frustrated and very confused. But I know that you will come through. Nothing I can do can take me out of this place. It is all in Your hands. Have continued mercy on me. Speak to me. Talk to me. Most of all change me, God. God, change my heart. Turn it more and more towards you. Turn it towards Your word. Turn it towards my true identity. Turn it yowards You and Your Kingdom. Take me to the door of the wardrobe and lead me through it. Take me to that place . . . Most of all God, don’t take forever. Everyday in this place feels like hell. It feels so distant. It feels cold at night. God come through! Come to me, Fall on me, Rescue me with Your love. Come on God! I wait for You! Hear my cry! Listen to me. Don’t turn Your ear away from me! Help me. – AMEN