Wednesday, December 23, 2009


its two days till why do I feel so down?
This isn't my usual disposition.
Maybe its because I've disappointed myself. Especially lately.
I guess its true that when you set your sites so high it hurts all the more when you experience a fall...and ya, things pile up.

I feel like I'm on an island that doesn't belong to me...I'm there alone, but it is not mine. I can't claim it. Being home is at college is a huge change from a home of nine children and a mom and dad...and everyone just keeps growin up.

Today i told myself it was a new beginning, and a few hours later i wound up with a 200 and somethin ticket for rollin through a stop one said it was an easy beginning. But I'm not giving up. I've been far to blessed to do that.

And its funny to feelings can get me so down..when alot of times they don't even match up with what I actually believe or want. But they can constrict me...tie my hands and rope. That's honestly how i feel right now. Tied up and useless. But then I realize...that is exactly what God uses...he frees the tied and gives hope to the useless... There are things in my life that I wish i could change, choices made, words said, but the reality is i can't..I have to live with them and hopefully learn from my mistakes.. I can't hold onto my past, and I can't rely on my future..i have to use what I have now..I know that in a few days I won't even remember these emotions, beside this blog.. but as for right now I'm trudging on..and the wheel of life keeps turning..

"you can't love too much one part of it."-JM

You have to embrace the whole ride for what it is.


till next time,


Monday, December 14, 2009

guide me

Tonight i have no answer.
I don't know what to do, I don't know how to go about it.
I feel completely helpless.

I always want to be the guy with the solution, the answer to the problem...I like to fix things. I like to be the exception, and the one that gives light to the situation.

It's so hard to be looked at like the thing you hate the most..and tonight that is my reality.
I know some good will come out of this, but right now it just poison that creeps through you slowly till it takes you over.

God help me to see the light in this. Guide me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

learning to let go.

It is 2:39 am and i am wide awake. So many thoughts rushing through my mind... Friendship,
companionship, love, stability, God, purpose.. It's all a blur to me at the moment. To be honest, i don't quite know where I will be in a few months...

At first I thought everything was perfectly planned, stable, and moving. I was focused and had a goal. Well actually, a very big goal, and many small goals surrounding it. I could see the puzzle coming together like clock work but as life does all the time it threw me for a loop..

Money.. such a necessary yet mind-clouding thing. It defines what we can buy, where we can go, what we can do, but it isn't who we are. I must remember that. But it's hard when money might take you away from where you want to be, when stability seems at a loss, and relationships look like they could end pre-mature. Honestly, I don't think of myself as a selfish person, but it intrigues me at how clingy i can be to what money can bring. I want my car, and my way of life, and my classes, and my style. But one good thing that money IS doing right now is teaching me how to let go of it and grow.

I've realized that the art of obtaining and using material things is not an ending point in itself but merely vehicle's to allow one's self to focus more on the actual value in life. True life is not found in what is obtained physically. Sure physical things are enjoyable and important. Things like money and cars and basic needs are ways of sustaining us and helping us survive, BUT only so that we can do what we were meant to do. To live! To grow, encourage, forgive, hope, honor, cherish, love... I DON'T need money to love someone. I don't have to be at a great college to learn. It is all relative.

I don't want to get so wrapped up in the things that are merely vehicles for my life that i forget where I am going. Even if i can't stay at this amazing college, I'm still alive aren't I? Even if i can't pursue relationships that i wish to, my heart is still beating isn't it? I'm willing to let go if I must, but I pray and hope that i can stay here, because the love and acceptance from many here make me feel at home more than high school ever could. Brotherhood...Family...Accountability.. such amazing things.. but I'm willing to give it up, if that's where my Lord leads me.

Do you love me enough to let go?

I do.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Southbound Train..

Tonight was Halloween, till it hit midnight.. And it has been an adventure. From dressing up as a Jo-Bro, playing games and going on crazy tours, to adventuring tunnels etc... its been a crazy night..

I came home to my ipod shuffling to the song "southbound train" by Jon Foreman. It was interesting, because it wasn't quite what i was feeling tonight but yet completely surrounded what I've been feeling for the last week or so..

Fragile life, moving, shaping, and escaping us.. one day at a time.

I'm a college kid now, a freshman at APU. surrounded by a ratio of women that is 3:1 at the least, and given opportunities in the realm of study and music that most of the world will never have the chance to do. I am so thankful and so fortunate... yet I remember the days... The days when life was simple. The days when I could just love and be loved, when innocence was an expected attribute, when life in its simplicity was beautiful.

I want innocence. To see the light in all situations, to be a light. I'm tired of being forced to build walls.. im tired, of swagger, and egos, and shallow days. I want to go deeper. It's funny to me how some of my deepest moments in life have been when my life was the LEAST complicated, instead of busy doing everything. Simple days of childhood. Loving to be loved, games and toys, playing in the sun. Acceptance and satisfaction in being alive.

Why must I grow into a judging, foolish, hypocritical, "mature" being? Shouldn't I grow in my innocence and have it combat all the foolishness...yet all around me I see the opposite. No one wants to be the odd man out, the inexperienced, the exception. Is average really that interesting? Is wanting something bigger such a bad thing?

I'm NOT a stupid college kid.

I have potential, i have purpose. And so do you..who ever you are. I don't have to get drunk and out of control, I don't have to be addicted to pornography like many, many college guys today. I don't have to treat girls like pieces of meat. I don't have to be a tool for this world, another object that it can use to promote it's self-propelled selfishness. I don't need to be cool. I don't need to fit in. Cuzz how does that make ANY sense? To fit in.. blend.. and die? If I'm part of a grand tapestry I want to be a bright thread, shining as the sun's beams grace it, declaring the glory of life. Singing out the beauty of individuality and selflessness. I want to be real.

Where will I be in 4 years? God only knows, and that's the complete truth. Who I am will most likely be completely changed or at least revised and I'll look back on these years as I look on my years of childhood, and of high school. Another rhythm in my southbound train. Another step towards eternity. And wherever that is, I want to find love. I want to feel true love. Not just fun, or fleeting happiness. But love. Through pain, and suffering, i want it to grow. I want to understand people, and I want them to see that i really do care...that they matter to me. I want to get past the illusion that my reputation sets, whatever that reputation is. I just want to be recognized for the man that is John Robert Stratton. Nothing less, nothing more.

And in the end aren't we all very similar? Lonely people looking for a place to call home. Longing for acceptance and purpose... yes we've become very good at hiding that need, and filling our lives with "stuff" to escape it. But who wants stuff? I want life! I want life abundantly. It reminds me of the quote "Every man dies, but not every man lives." To exist is not equivalent to living. Life is an unaffected companion. It will pass us by, as we sit along the road and rest. It will run ahead of ahead into areas of darkness and the unknown. It will surround us and pressure us to admit it's existence, and then it will one day choose to leave us all... for some of us when we least expect it.

We all get one ride, one ride on our southbound train. How will you ride it? How will you hold your companion of life. I will hold mine close to my heart, and I pray you will do the same. I hear the whistle of the southbound train and from that call no man can runaway.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Love, Sing me your melody.

Tonight was amazing...
I got to see Phil Wickham in concert. If you don't know who he is please look him up. He is an amazing songwriter and worship leader, and has fantastic lyrics. Tonight he sang one song off his knew record called "heaven song" talking about joining with the angels and singing his specific song, special to him alone. Although this is kind of a tangent, the song made me think about how we all have a song to sing in this life...and we keep writing the melody of our lives as we make our everyday choices.. living and breathing, through triumph and failure, choices to love, hate, discriminate, accept, remember, forget.. so many choices and turns, yet the song goes on...never ceasing.

So here I am at my dorm in the wee hours of the morning, and literally just finished an awesome collaboration with my good friend Sean (amazing pianist) on a new song I've written" called "Love, Sing Me Your Melody" and I'm absolutely excited. Not just cause I think it's a rad song but because I'm excited for life period. For a while I've struggled with wondering if I'm taking the right path, focusing on the right things, or making the right decisions...especially with the musical choices I'm making. But now I'm feeling content in the melody...

in knowing that wherever life takes me as long as I'm singing along to it's true melody i will not lose my love, my worth, my soul. I know that if I'm true to who I am and to my God, I will not regret, I cannot go wrong. Whether that means four years of college, or in a few months being on the road touring.. I'm ready for life's song. Life can be so untamed. It can take you by surprise and show you parts of yourself you never knew existed. it can just jump out at you..but I know I'm ready for whatever melody it throws at me... and i'll be singing along. =]

till next time.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's be honest

So this is my first blog.. I guess you can say i decided to start doing this because I'm joining the band wagon.. Both of my dear friends (and band mates) nick and colin have i thought what could be the harm in giving it a try... nuff said.

I want to talk about the last two weeks..and two main things that i am dealing with in those two weeks so here goes the first..

Let's be honest..The last two weeks have been hectic at best, primarily because of my own doing. Besides forgetting books in classes, and locking myself out of my dorm room i also managed to lose my wallet not once but twice.. which is interesting because i've never actually lost my wallet before... It really shows me how easy it is to lose track of life, (and money) by being just a little bit to caught up.. anyway after waking up at 6 in the morning and making a round trip from the DMV to the Azusa B of A (bank of america) i was able to get all my cards back and my friend James Brooks was cool enough to give me his old wallet. thanks james =]

I'm sure that pretty much anybody can relate to this issue.. especially if your in college haha
These last two weeks ive been running low on sleep and its definitely been affecting me.. I've missed almost all the morning chapels in the last two weeks (we have to go to three chapels a week at AZUSA PACIFIC college) and I've been late for a ton of my morning classes, and have also slept through a few. :/ I also managed to bomb my Intro to music tech test because i was so out of it..

So this all brings me to my point for this whole post...

I'm flawed.


i can't do it on my own.

and i'm finally starting to realize that in order to get past my weaknesses i have to admit that they are there.

Most of my life i've spent focusing on the good things i can do, and my talents..
I've always tried to improve myself, but I usually stick to what i can do well and let my time get wrapped up in that. But now I'm finally starting to realize and own up to weaknesses such as .... "John you are not a morning person" and "John you can be careless with your belongings." I know it sounds so elementary, but just realizing that has really helped me get over myself and my shortcomings. It's kinda like.. you can't fight the enemy until you realize it is there.

I guess my encouragement to you, whoever you are is..

just because your flawed doesn't mean you can't be used for something great. The beauty is in the breaking, the tearing away of the old, and the unveiling of the new. Don't be afraid of change in the right context. Who we are is always changing always forming.. Our worlds will never balance, this life will never be without trial. It is about finding the peace within the storms of life, and in my heart.. knowing that my Savior will never makes this life so much more reassuring.

my advice:
admit where your wrong, own up to where you've messed up, and move forward. Just watch how your life will begin to mold. It's a slow process but a beautiful one at that.

Till next time.