I know it's been quite some time since I've posted, and I apologize for that. I can't claim it's purely because of my busy schedule, though there has been that. It's been a combination of the moments of now distracting, and the experiences of life that made me, quite frankly, reluctant to post. But I felt like I needed to post once more. This is something that I feel I need to hear just as much as do some friends and acquaintances.

The dictionary defines genuine as, "free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere"

Now, we all know that everyone has flaws, everyone has made mistakes. I've done stupid things. You've done stupid things. That's the gospel. Through a miraculous sacrifice, we're no longer accountable for the mistakes we've made.

The Apostle Paul reminded us, young people specifically, about how we were supposed to bear ourselves, with this new, redemptive understand, when he wrote to Timothy, "set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
This verse aptly summarizes our new responsibility as children of Christ. But the question arises, "What is the example we are to set?"

I recently attended a concert where Matt Maher was playing, and in-between songs he talked about Christ's church. And the point that really struck home for me was when he said "The church isn't full of perfect people, but broken people trying to love perfectly."
The example we set is not in any accomplishment. It's the way we strive to be better and to follow Christ closer.

But here's the problem that I see. And it's one that scares me, almost more than anything else:

I see a generation that only cares about how other people see them.

And so they go about life. Sharing about Jesus, giving to the poor, being a positive influence on those around them, saying and doing (or at least claiming) all the right things in their relationships.

And the crazy thing is, they're not doing it to be fake or misleading. They do it because they'd feel bad about themselves if anyone really knew how little they cared. But they don't care, and that scares them.

But in the verse about setting an example, while part of it has to do with actions, the more important thing is the integrity, and the genuineness behind the action.

But that is being ignored. And the result of it is people artificially creating the results they desire, instead of allowing those actions being a natural outpouring from a heart that truly desires those things.

I've experienced this personally, through relationships, and even artificial pity for me concerning my mother's passing.

Now, please understand, I do not write this out of bitterness or hurt, though I do not deny there have been moments of both. But instead I write now from a perspective of extreme disappointment and concern. That concerns stems from a realization that these people can continue to ignore the gaping hole within their own heart and soul by continuing to heap onto the pile of "correct actions." The right godly counsel. The correct decision for a relationship. The humility through success. The list goes on and on.

I would rather see genuine, selfish choices made by people then in-genuine unselfish ones. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, it will make them realize where the heart truly lies, and allow God to change it.

I have met a lot of good people in the short time I've been alive. I've also met a lot of people who are trying to get it right, and say all of the right things, but their heart and their private actions contradict the appearance they put on for everyone peering in from the outside.

Quit the facade. Cut obligatory public appearances to say the appropriate things. Stop caring if you really don't.

We all have a tendency to be in-genuine. I know I do. And you'll never be able to completely get away from it. Remember, we're simply striving. Just don't make fake a life-style.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."



Hello all, I'm so sorry that it's been so very long since I've published anything on my blog. I got distracted in more than one way. But I'm back for the time being ::smiles::

Here is a short musing that I had recently:

"I'll be praying for you!"

Those five words are words that I say often. So often it's begun to be more of a sentiment than anything else. It's nothing more than saying "good luck."

Far too often we use that "christianese" term without thought. And we rarely follow through and actually pray.

But what if we did? What if we were purposeful about praying? What if we really prayed for that friend who told you that his time with God feels dry? Or your sibling when their relationship with your parents is strained? Or that brand new Christian who has to go back and face family and friends who will hate them for their faith? How many lives could we effect?

We know that prayer has such a tremendous effect in real life. How lightly we hold it though. Think about how the world could be effected if we changed how we viewed it. How many more times would you pray weekly? 50? 100? 200?

Prayer is meaningful. Let's use it to make a meaningful impact, every moment, of every hour, of every day. God just might do something incredible.


[four-year-old decision]

I apologize for the delay before this post. A couple speech and debate tournaments, some illness and other events have kept me rather busy. I'll try to not let that happen again.


When we were very little, all of the Harris boys at one point or another were asked by our mother "who do you want to marry?"

After just a short moment of consideration, the answer always came back, "You!" She would laugh, and remind us that she was married to our father, to which we would reply confidently that we were sure we could make things work.

Now, in present day, looking back, the truth in our answer almost makes me smile. At age 4, I wanted to marry my mother. At age 17, I want to marry a girl just like her.

My mother was a loving wife. Supporting my father when he was discouraged, steadying him when he was confident and serving him regardless of the outcome. She was gentle, and she was gracious.

She was a caring mother. Teaching and training the children with unwavering patience and devotion. She expected the very best from you, and did whatever it took to make sure you fulfilled those expectations. She was your toughest coach, but also your biggest cheer-leader. She had a way of gently pushing you above and beyond what you ever thought possible. She fought to make every bit of potential a reality.

She was a fierce warrior. Her desk by the kitchen was her battle-station. From that place came words of encouragement that crippled the lies of the enemy. Her letters were packed to nearly bursting with scripture. She strengthened everyone she was in contact with in the form of letters, emails, phone calls, and (though later on in life, and with much explaining from the children) text messages.

She did all that while not forgetting to share the same with her own household. The kitchen was a place of refuge, the heart of the home. There you would find encouragement, counsel, kind words, gentle rebukes, and laughter.

She was a persistent friend. Always pushing her friends to be accountable, and to be faithful. If you knew Sono Sato Harris, you simply couldn't help but be affected by her. She wouldn't have it any other way. She'd track you down, to the farthest corners of the earth and make herself a part of your life, in the most loving and gentle way. She was always there with sound counseling. I don't think I ever saw her have a phone conversation shorter than 45 minutes. Her friends looked to her for trusted advice and a godly example. She never let them down.

She was a loyal follower of Christ. She never hesitated to sacrifice herself for the advancement of the gospel. She viewed her best life to be the one where she faithfully served besides her husband to further her Savior's kingdom. She reveled in God's word, her bible always close at hand. Her proudest accomplishment with her children was not their earthly gains or their standing, but to know that they were walking with the Lord. She longed for Heaven, and the relationship she could have with God there. She had one of her favorite books on heaven sticky-noted so thoroughly that you could hardly see the book itself.

The world may look at the life of Sono Sato Harris and see a wasted life. A talented ballerina, a strong, talented leader, a gifted and personal speaker. But I see her accomplishing far more through the path she chose. Through her devotion, encouragement and drive, she has changed the world. They say that behind every great man is a great woman. My mother was behind 6 men and 1 daughter. She was the heart of our home.

The woman I wish to marry is one just like my mom. It is a very high standard. I don't deserve a wife like my mother, but I know I need one, and I know that she will make me stronger and better.

Who knew that my decision back when I was only 4 years old would be the right one?

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."


[indifferent moments]

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." -- Elie Wiesel

I found this quote (once again) just recently. It really struck home.

Over the past few months, and really over the past year, I've been dealing with quite a bit. Much of it self-afflicted, much of it my fault, yes, but that doesn't make it any easier.

There are times when life is very stressful. There are times where the emotions seem almost unbearable. And I've discovered it's very easy for me to just shut everything out. Go into auto-pilot. Stop caring.

Sure it seems easier. Maybe in the moment things don't hurt so much. But it doesn't fix anything.

And, in the meantime, I miss out on so much. I miss out on offering a broken heart up to God to fix. I miss out on friends who are willing to support me and encourage me. I miss out on reaching out to others and supporting them where I wished I had gotten support.

Caring is such a beautiful thing. Indifference, such a dangerous thing.

In the midst of the pain, in the midst of the complications, in the midst of the emotional roller-coaster life puts us through, are we willing to face it all, and simply care? You'll lead a very bleak life, otherwise.


[awards and apologetics]

Some of you may be wondering why it's been so long since my last post. The reason being, I was up in Seattle, WA competing in a speech and debate qualifying tournament.

I competed in 5 events, and God was gracious, and it resulted in ‎9th place Team Policy, 4th place Dramatic Interpretation, 3rd place Apologetics, 2nd place Humorous Interpretation, 2nd place Speaker, and 3rd place Sweepstakes.

The following is a bit of reflection on some of the lessons I learned at the tournament.

"God is sovereign." That's what I told myself, as I arrived at the tournament, 6:00am in the morning.

"God is sovereign." is what I mumbled to myself, as I silently lifted a prayer to God after seeing the round 1 match-ups.

"God is sovereign." I whispered to myself frantically as I searched for my apologetics box, which had disappeared from it's designated place 10 minutes before my round.

"God is sovereign." is what I joyfully exclaimed after successfully completing my impromptu-d apologetics card, in which I had drawn a topic that I had practically memorized.

"God is sovereign, God is sovereign, God is sovereign, God is sovereign."

I repeated these words countless times over the weekend. Through the joys of unexpected success, to the disappointment of unexpected failure.

Then, in the Finals for apologetics, I received the topic of "sanctification." In those few short minutes of prep time, God spoke to me more than I spoke to the judges in my speech.

I'm a competitive guy. Really competitive. And often times, it's hard for me to say "God is sovereign" and really mean it. But as I spoke about sanctification, I realized that letting my pride, my competitiveness, and my own agenda get in the way, I was missing out on the biggest reward of all, and that was allowing God to work in my life to sanctify me, and draw me into a closer relationship with Him.

Letting go is tough. I want to do well. But I'm trying to dedicate every moment of every tournament to God's glory. He is the ultimate prize.


[lessons from my pen]

Over the past week, I've recently embarked on a rather rigorous writing regimen. Though I can't share details on what for, I will as soon as I get it all figured out and put together. That's a promise.

Anyway, during this process I've discovered (or perhaps simply been reminded) that my style and method of writing is rather strange: I tend to begin to write something, based off of a slight emotion, or a feeling. A half-baked concept or conviction. Oddly enough, the well formed, fully constructed ideas are often times the harder ones for me to put on paper.

So most of the time, and with most of the various posts, articles, papers, essays, speeches and whatnots I write, I begin with one idea, and by the time I'm done it's completely different. Usually for the good of audience who receives it.

And then, as I thought more and more, I realized, God does the same thing throughout our lives; we have a plan, God changes it. We have an idea, God morphs it into a future. We have a feeling, God uses it to accomplish HIS purpose.

And you know what the best part is? Unlike my writing, when God changes it all up, you know it's going to be better than you ever imagined. We get to sit back, and watch our Creator work wonders in and through our lives.

Pretty awesome, right?

Sadly though, many of us don't welcome God's intervention the way we should. We protest, we complain, we insist we know the better way.

If C.S. Lewis sat down next to you and made a suggestion for your writing, would you take his advice? Of course! Gladly.

How much more should we accept with joy the hand of our perfect, loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God moving in our lives.

Just so there's no confusion, the musings category on my blog are just simple thoughts, questions, and ideas I have each day. They're usually fairly short, but who knows, maybe some of them will turn into something a little more substantial one day.


[grandma's faith]

She looked down at the tissue in her hand, smiling through the tears, "He never forgets me. I forgot Him, but he never forgets me."
We got to visit my grandmother (on my father's side) today. She's such a dear old lady, always pointing us to God. She shared with us how lately she had become tired of everything, how she had just given up, and been ignoring God. But God was always faithful to send her loving reminders.

How often do we forget God? How often do we stop reminding ourselves that He's always there for us, and that He always has a plan? How easily we grow tired of our lives, exciting lives that God planned in stunning detail.

I'm so grateful for my grandma, and the life-long example of faithfulness, not through being a "perfect Christian," but through always being a repentant one.

Please pray for my grandma, she's been very ill, and is down to just a few pounds over 70. Ask God to allow her to continue to be a shining light for Him, all the way to the end.