I Let Go of the End of My Rope (SOS)

WARNING: PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION…

Have you ever seemed to just completely lose faith?

Well, that’s where I’m at this very moment. This may be the most prideful move I could make yet, but I’m about to type what I don’t have the guts to even tell the closest people in my life right now. Every dear friend and family member has done everything in their power to encourage, exhort, rebuke, and help me, and I’m tired of letting them all down. Why go back and tell them I’ve fallen, when clearly what they told me before did not have a truly lasting effect on my life.

Have you ever had all the answers, yet they didn’t seem to change anything?

Fact: Jesus Christ IS the Son of God, LIVED a perfect life, DIED for my sins, ROSE from the grave, and is SEATED on His throne. Yet for some reason, that doesn’t affect anything. I’ve spent lots of time in the Scriptures and in prayer, but the fervency is gone. I’ve lost the knowledge of what even to ask for. I’ve lost care. I KNOW there are people that are going to hell, but… my eyes still turn towards myself.

Have you ever felt like that one loophole in the system?

Well, it sure seems like I fell through it. For all the prayers that I’ve prayed, where am I but back in a deep, dark pit? Don’t get me wrong, God hasn’t changed. God is God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It seems like I’m the loophole. Not Him. So many people in my life have told me, “CJ, you fall down, but one thing is for certain: you always get back up.” But what if I’ve changed? Time takes a toll on a person.

Have you ever…

Fill in the blank. Why am I writing this? I don’t know. Maybe someone will see me as a blank slate and be willing to say a fervent prayer or two. I’m tired of going to my same friends and family to lift me up only to watch me fall again… I’m tired of being Mr. Extreme Pendelum. I’m tired of shedding tears next to them… I’m tired, Jesus… so tired… I know Matthew 11:28-30. I KNOW it. I KNOW Psalm 34:4. I KNOW Psalms 23. But it seems to end there.

Worst of all… I’m tired of talking myself back to Truth. That seems to have been a staple trait as seen by everyone in my life. But in hours like this, some staples just seem to fall out.

But I suppose… I’d be a fool if I didn’t include this last thought that runs through my mind as I write. This past summer there was a point when I was at my lowest, and my coworkers and I were painting a house of a lady who happened to be a Christian. Her name was Mrs. Smart. On the third day, she called me into her house and handed me a wooden cross and said, “Two of my husbands have died of cancer. One of them held one of these as he died. I’m giving this to you so that you can always remember that in your darkest hour when all else fails, you can ALWAYS hold on to the cross…”

The thought right after I wrote that was this, “Yeah, well, what about when my grip slips?”

Haha, well, I guess… praise God that since I died and rose with Him, the cross will NEVER lose its grip on me…

If anyone happens to read this… a prayer or two would be appreciated.

A Prelude to Silence

Though I am posting A Prelude to Silence in November of 2018, it was initially written in June of 2015, before college. This has sat as an unspoken (ironically speaking) third part to the Novelette, and after rediscovering it, I figure… “Eh, why not?”

As a further note, after three and a half years of life events and God working His unfathomable plan, I will say that there are certain views about future spouse stuff and guy-girl relationships that have changed in my mind, but I am thankful that the heart of what this Novellete speaks of remains unchanged. The characters as well retain their shimmer and connection to my heart and dreams.

Take from this what you will, as will I.

The theater was silent, and rows upon rows of empty seats faced a pair of closed curtains on the stage. Meanwhile, a peculiar draft swayed the curtains ever so slightly, creating somewhat of a haunting presence. It was completely dark in the theater, until, at the sound of a click, followed by a faint reeling sound, streams of light began to escape from between the two curtains as they retreated to opposite sides of the theater, revealing a black, empty stage lit up by the many lights above.

After this ghost-like commotion had come to a conclusion, two pairs of footsteps could be heard coming from the backstage. These reverberating footsteps grew louder and louder until a young man and young woman appeared from the shadows. They slowly strolled across the illuminated stage, coming to a  stop at the front, and with an aura of nervous reflection, faced the empty seats. The air was still, yet perfumed with the aroma of confusion, and both had many things to say, yet were at a loss for words.

“I-..” started young man, letting out a quavering exhale, “I wanted to say goodbye.” He lowered his head, knowing that this was the right thing to do, and the young woman, taking a discreet glance to her left, linked her fingers together in shyness. A moment or two passed while she tried to collect her thoughts, and though she already knew the answer to the following question, she asked, “This won’t happen again?” “No,” he replied, shaking his bowed head. He paused to inhale a shallow breath, knowing the Divine Providence of such an occasion. “It wasn’t for me to decide.” The young woman lowered her gaze, pursing her lips. With a solemn composure of gracefulness, he looked up and to his right, gently smiled, and softly spoke the words, “Thank you.” The young woman turned to her left and smiled back.

The look in his eyes seemed to hold a thousand words, yet he had sufficed to say an unspoken farewell. And so with a humble nod, she turned towards the backstage and began walking to the exit door. However, with every step that she took, the distances in between grew smaller and smaller. She could tell that there was so much he wanted to say, but didn’t say anything; as though he had a grand explanation, but took up the sacrifice of keeping silent.

Sluggishly approaching the outskirts of the backstage, she came to a halt, internally crumbling under such ambiguity. In a most disoriented manner, she quickly turned around to speak, but before a single word could leave her mouth, a cold wave of anguish overwhelmed her. The stage was completely bare, and all that was to be seen in the distance were the silhouettes of empty seats. Yet at the exact spot where he had never stood, there laid an envelope with her name on it. For a brief moment she paused, staring at it with uncertainty, but none the less, she walked towards the front of the stage and gently picked it up. She opened it with delicate fingers, tenderly pulling out the piece of paper, and carefully unfolding it. It read a few, simple words, but they warmed her heart with encouragement, and they said all that needed to be said.

Beneath those few words, however, whether she noticed it or not, there was a subtle undertone. And within such a hidden concept, there was a certain principle to be realized, which is this: just as music does not always consist of sound, but the absence thereof, so does a play on stage. Just because no one is speaking or revealing their identity, does not mean the actors have missed their cues. It does not mean the Director made a mistake, nor does it mean the plot-line has become stagnant.

And although she stands alone in a vacant theater, it does not mean that the play has not already begun. For even though the audience has yet to arrive, the Director has been busy at work, preparing and producing a masterpiece that will echo through time, whether in the world’s knowledge or simply a humble family’s legacy, but certainly in the faith-full archives of heaven. For now, however, He only asks that His two main characters (aside from the Lead Role) seek Him with all that they are, and focus on the scene at hand.

Even so, the paths have been crossed, but not yet intertwined. The costumes have been sown, but not yet worn. The set has been built, but not yet placed. The lines have been scripted, but not yet said. The blocking has been directed, but not yet done. And the cast has been chosen, but not yet realized.

As for her, she only need enjoy the show,
Because God’s plans will move mountains.
The following scenes are of seeking the Lord,

And as for the young man, well…
Silence can speak louder than words.

Fare Thee Well

Simply put, I will not have time to post as I finish up this college semester, and I will not have time to post this summer as I will be traveling on a summer drama team. These things being said, what will I write about considering this will be my final post for maybe four months?

I will write about Jesus.


One of the most basic facts about the Word of God is that it reveals His love. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the centerpiece of all Scripture. Why His crucifixion? Because it sets the context of His love! He loved us such much that the Father sent His only begotten Son to bear His wrath towards our sin! He loves you, and He loves me. It’s simple, but it’s true. Yet somehow, this is something that I have struggled with..

I am never good enough! I am never smart enough! I am never disciplined enough! I could have done this more excellent! I could have said that more plain! I could have been more kind! I could love Jesus more! I must sacrifice more!

I am a child of God, and Jesus Christ, as weird as it is to say, is my spiritual brother. Therefore, Christ’s Father is my Father. He has given me commands on how to live my life, beginning with, “Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!” Honestly, that’s a hefty command, and without obeying that command first, none of the other commandments will follow. Yet because I have fallen short..

God, I am a failure!

It’s sad as I type that, because even though that statement reflects my heart before God worked in my life, I am still tempted to believe it. Here’s the thing, this is why we must understand that everything in life comes back to Jesus and His Word! Why?! Because our success is not determined by our track record, but by Jesus’ track record! We will all fail time and time again! We will all fall short! Yet every day when the Father looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His Son!


This is the beauty of the Christian life: we do not obey to earn the Father’s approval; we obey because Christ has earned the Father’s approval. We may be chastened, but we will never be destroyed. We may be rebuked, but we will never be cast away! We may fall, but we will never be forced to stay down!

Yes, we will all stand before the judgement throne and everything we have ever said or done will be brought into account, but as my track record is listed off, my eyes will be fixed on the scars in my Lord’s wrists.

This is why we must strive every day to pursue God with complete abandon! Christ is worthy! He deserves it! The most incredible fact is that He doesn’t force us! He let’s us! He woos us! He longs for us! And when we trip and stumble when running after Him, we will not be remembered by our trips and falls!


I was dying in the prayer closet around a week ago, arguing that statement with God, “I am a failure!” “No, you are not.” “Hah! Yeah, right! Remember my laziness this past week?! Remember that comment I said?! Remember that person I neglected?! Tell me how I am not a failure!” Instantly a picture came to my mind of Jesus showing me the holes in His hands were nails went through. “This is why you are not a failure..”


I have one desire for these next four months: more of Jesus. In spite of how weird C. J. Murray is, Jesus is faithful. I am thankful for my Lord and Savior. I can never love Him too much, and when my love for Him falls short, His love for me never falls short.

What a wonderful thought!

Fare thee well, all.

Ramblings and Prayer Requests

I have a real problem: showing up to the mall not knowing what I am going to write about.

Honestly, I’ve never been busier in my entire life. Within the past week and a half, I have had to memorize an entire play script (a thirty-minute play; I have the lead role). I was recently informed that I will be traveling the entire summer with the PCC Proclaim Summer Drama Team, so I am currently memorizing multiple songs and drama pieces. I have an Accounting project to chip away at. I have a research paper to finalize. I have speeches to work on.

It’s mind melting, and yet.. every day has been so wonderful with Jesus. I suppose I can’t really hit any main point with this blog post, but every day with Jesus is sweeter than the last. His Word is so comforting, empowering, and convicting. I do, however, wish for more time for closet prayer.


It saddens to think that many Christians neglect the closet prayer. I miss it so badly. I have been so busy, meanwhile recovering from a cold, and waking up at 5:30 to pray is certainly not the most beneficial to overcome sickness. Closet prayer is so much more than “ditching friends to pray” or “losing sleep to pray.” It’s drawing near to the God of the universe in a very intimate and necessary way to bring His will to earth.

If it weren’t for communing with God in the prayer closet, I’d be robbed of so many things in my life at this very moment. Every day God seems to be answering small prayers. My days seem to be filled with divine appointments and needed conversations. My peace is the result of prayer. My strength is the result of prayer. My wisdom and diligence is the result of prayer. Why prayer? Prayer connects me to Jesus Christ and brings His will to earth. Without prayer, His will does not and will not come to earth.


It was around four or five days ago that I had a complete meltdown: mentally, emotionally, spiritually… I went to the prayer closet, fought it through, went out to my friends to work on homework, and then everything blew up all over again. I bring up this instance to say that spiritual warfare has become more real than ever before. As a friend worded it to me, “The enemy has a target on your back.” That night, there was about four to five hours of wrestling before God finally came through with the already won victory.

One of the things that God has taught me is that I need not be ashamed of my spiritual struggle. My spiritual struggle is the result of sprinting forward as hard as I possibly can in the power of Jesus Christ. “What weight can I set aside?” “What barrier can be broken down?” “What area of my life has yet to be surrendered to Jesus Christ?” And as a result, everywhere I turn seems to be riddled with pain. Though it’s easy to be discouraged by said pain, as a friend told me,

Don’t you know that Jacob had to wrestle all night with Jesus Christ before He could get the blessing? He said, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me!” Do not let God go! Keep on struggling! Keep on wrestling! His Word is true and He will not let you down!


It all comes back to simply this: “Love God and keep His commandments.” It’s saying, “Jesus, how can I love you more and obey your commandments?” Isn’t it lovely how simple the Christian life is?

And now that I think about it, within the past week and a half, God has taken away an enormous amount of pain. He has answered prayer in many ways within a specific area of my life, and as I have followed Him, He has led me further into His love and led me out of flames which I had been led through for so long.

The problem is that I feel like I’m walking on thin ice. I need prayer and badly. It has been remarkable just how many friends have been commenting to me how much they are praying for me. I, in turn, have been doing my very best in praying for all of my friends and family as well. I desperately need God’s guidance and am seeking Him more than ever.


None the less, let it be known that as always, I trust my God. He knows what He is doing. As for me, I really need to work on Accounting. I understand the subject, but application! I need to apply myself! That is my current plight. It is very difficult to work very hard on what I am not passionate about. I long for a passion for Accounting, but I seem to be drowning. I need prayer for that as well.

Thank you all so much.

God will work.

Amen.

Onward March

I cannot begin to describe the spiritual warfare that has taken place since last Saturday. God has moved in my life and in all of my friends’ lives, and from the moment God first moved, the enemy picked up pace and charged straight ahead.

I have felt it: the weight of the enemy surrounding me and whispering lies into my ear. Often the enemy has simply reminded me of situations that I’m in. Statements of fact. “Remember, this is going on.” “Just think back to this..” “Don’t forget this is happening!” And there have been days where I have crumbled beneath the pressure.

“Wow! That’s right! This is going on! Oh, no! I don’t see Jesus in this! God! Help me! Please!”

But listen..

Never observe how high the waves are.
Never pay attention to how hard the wind is blowing.
Never take thought as to how dark the clouds are.
Never think through the laws of physics.

Only look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and walk on water!

I can honestly say with all my heart that Jesus is winning. He has already won. He said, “It is finished!” and He meant it! Tomorrow will be just as painful as today, but that doesn’t meant my Savior doesn’t live inside of me and ever lives to intercede for me. Spiritual warfare is an adventure when Jesus is the one fighting. He is a man of war. He never loses a single battle.

As for Satan, he is a prince of lies. Nothing he can ever say is 100% truth. What God’s Word says is fact. What He promises will come to pass. He knows what He is doing. There is nothing that He does not know. There is nothing that He is not in complete control of. His Word is all I need to know, and prayer fills in the gaps.

I look forward to arriving in heaven and hearing heaven’s perspective on these transpiring events. It will be grand beyond compare.

As for today? Well..

Onward march!

Faith

In Scripture, the facts of the Gospel are obvious. What we have in Christ is very clear. “For ye are dead to sin” is Christianity 101. Yet in our (my) life, there is a contrast. “Why am I not what the Bible says I am in Christ?” What is the kink in the system, the jam in the gears, or the clog in the pipes?

The first and greatest commandment is to love God. Then, “of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love.” Yet, although the foundation of a relationship is love, how can the relationship function without faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Therefore! Without faith there is no substance and there is no evidence!

Many of us moan and grown about the lack of substance and evidence the Bible says we have in Christ, yet we neglect the lack of faith in God’s Word. We will never know the substance of what we have in Christ until we first accept it by faith.

The Bible is always talking about doing things through Christ. How does that work? It’s like an oven-mitten. We can’t grab a red-hot pan out of an oven with our bare hands, so we need to grab the red-hot pain through an oven-mitten! Here is the big question: how do we put the oven-mitten on?! Faith! You don’t have joy? Laugh it off and thank the risen Lord for the joy that you have in Him! You don’t have peace? Laugh it off and thank the risen Lord for the peace that you have in Him!

We are always told in Scripture to pray with thanksgiving! Why? Because you can only be thankful for what you already have, and to do so is nothing less than exercising faith.

Praise the Lord for the simplicity of the person of Jesus Christ.

It’s already there. Be thankful.