Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music, the fabric of our Lives

Music, the fabric of our lives. Have you ever thought about how true that statement is? Whether you consider yourself a music lover or not there is no denying the fact that music holds a special place in our hearts and memories. I let my itunes play on random tonight and with each new song came a memory or experience from the past. For me, most significant events in my life have music or a certain song tied to them. While you may not even realize it's happening at the time, when you hear the song later on it triggers a trip down memory lane. How dull would life be without music to provide a soundtrack to it? Movies wouldn't be the same, or how about a first dance? That wouldn't even exist. Just sitting her thinking about it several memories and the songs that go with them spring to mind. Every time I hear Bruce Hornsby or Bob Seeger I think of long van rides to Arkansas, Texas, and even California with my family. When I hear "Now to HIm" by Acappella I think of church banquets of so long ago. When I hear Stephen Speaks I think of the summer before I went to College and when I hear "Freshmen" by the Verve Pipe I think of the summer of '97 when my sister was an intern in St. Louis, that song played on the radio all the time that summer. When I hear "Out of my head" by Fastball I think of riding in the van on a mission trip, I requested that song so much I think Isaac Waters was ready to kill me. When I hear Cartel I think of Spring Break senior year and when I hear "This Love" I think of my roommate and sophomore year. When I hear "I have and always will" I think of one of my dearest friends. Of course the list could go on and on. So for anyone out there reading this, I am curious about your experiences, what music brings back memories for you? Do tell......

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dracula, Edward Cullen and the Like

Its been a month since my last post, an eternity in blogger world. What little readership I had has almost certainly dissipated in that amount of time, but never the less I push on. I am going to blame my long hiatus on the adjustment period of my new job and the hours it requires. But now Im all settled in and out of excuses. I'll start off with this question, have you ever wondered what its like to be a vampire? Well, if you'd like to know I can answer as far as the no sunlight coming out at night thing. You'll have to ask someone else about the bloodsucking/immortal part of it. As of yet that is beyond my experience. But seriously I really feel that I can now empathize with vampires, why they're always sneaking into people's houses, forcing themselves upon people. It can be a lonely existence, coming out only at night. If I am lucky on my days off, one or two of my friends will stay up somewhat late and hang out with me, before they succumb to weariness and head for bed, leaving me with several hours to kill alone, whether I want to be or not. It has been humbling at times, realizing how much I depend upon other people, for support, companionship, comfort and entertainment. When everyone you know is asleep the world can become a small place. While that can be the case, you'd be surprised to know there are advantages to being a creature of the night. I have learned to take advantage of the quiet hours of the night, to reflect and be quiet, to listen to what the Lord has to say. I have talked with God more these past few weeks than I had in a long time. There is not nearly as much to distract a person at night, nobody trying to get a hold of you, no place you just have to be, and sleep not a problem because hell, you just woke up. Another thing I've learned to love are sunrises. I never had an appreciation for them in the past as they usually came long before I was ready to be awake. But that's not the case these days and there is something incredible about the sunrise. The gradual lightening of the sky just before the sun breaks the horizon is the part I love most. I recommend experiencing a sunrise like this, after being awake for a while, they are much better when you're not having to wipe the sleep out of your eyes first.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Letting Go Never Felt So Good

So I recently got a new job for an organization called New Horizons (you can read about them here) which is an answer to many prayers. It got me thinking how faithful God is. For the last few months I have been praying that God would provide me with a job, wherever it may be. For the last couple weeks, even as my bank account slowly dried up, I didn't panic. Worrying about money is a new thing in my life and has caused me some stress over the last year, but somehow this time around I wasn't worried. I decided it was time to stick it out instead of running to the comfort and safety of home and I knew God would bless that decision. He never fails to provide what we need and my most pressing need was a job. I truly put myself at His mercy and trusted that He would come through, which of course He did. It is difficult to describe the peace that comes when you surrender completely as its not something I can honestly say I've done very often in life. It is so difficult to let go of your plans and say "God, my next move is up to you." Its because of that difficulty I believe the reward is so great. I truly believe Divine providence led me to this opportunity as its not a job I even knew existed before I ran into a friend in Subway who also just got a job here. I know as I go on down the road it will still be tough to submit my hopes and desires to the Lord but right now I am doing my best to give everything up to Him, and it feels incredible. The anxiety and helplessness I have so often felt about the future is not there anymore. God provides, and He will give me what I need. It feels great to let go, I would recommend it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moving Without Going Anywhere

So lately my life has been a little unsettled as I have been figuring out where I am going to spend the next few months of it. I wasn't able to secure a teaching position this summer and so I have been left to figure something else out. Of course I know I am always welcome at home but the house is a little crowded these days and I feel its time I made it for myself. Anyways as this post is not about my job or lack thereof I will move on to my reason for writing. I decided to stay in Abilene for various reasons and I am trying to cope with life after being a student. To feed my competitive and athletic side I am still playing flag football and as I stand out at the fields looking around I realize the amount of people I know has greatly decreased. There was a time when I would recognize every face out there but those times are gone. My time has come and gone and I am finding that I am ok with that. I am alright with being the old guy who no one knows who still plays sports. As far as friends go, I have started hanging out with a bunch of junior and senior guys in club. These guys accept me as one of their own and make me feel young again. Haha. But seriously I truly enjoy chillin and jokin around with these guys. What is truly crazy is that there is now 1 friend, yes 1, still around from my glory days in club. My roommates and best friends (besides the one) have all gone their own ways. You can find them in dallas, austin, houston, denver, and ada to name a few. I've had to make a whole new set of friends, or else just hang out by myself, which I still do a fair amount. It's like I've moved to a new city without ever actually going anywhere. It's funny because I will talk about old members of club sometimes as I would do with my friends, and these guys have no idea who I am talking about. It's at these times my new friends no longer make me feel young. That's ok though, because I am not, and that's not so bad.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

7am Service

When was the last time you got to see a sunrise?  Well until this morning I would not have been able to give you an answer to that.  That changed when I was inspired to stay up for it today.  It has been a little while since I attended church on a sunday morning, not because I no longer have a faith, it's just that I haven't found a place here where I truly feel at home here.  That's pretty sad considering I've lived here combined for almost six years.  All in all it's a lame excuse I realize, but it is what it is and besides the point of this post.  Which leads me to that point, and that is rarely am I able to find God more so than when I witness him in His creation.  Sermons are Ok and I love worshipping through song but sometimes nothing can beat sitting quietly and feeling the breeze on your face and watching the sky.  Tonight I was able to witness the beauty of the night sky as well as the majesty of a rising sun.  Throughout my life I have questioned God and the way of things here on earth, but I always found it difficult to deny His existence.  It amazes me people can doubt His existence, that they can be so oblivious to his awesome creation.  Debate and discuss all you want the ins and outs of scripture, but don't question the existence of God. There is amazingly enough a cool breeze blowing this morning and the sun is rising in a beautiful spectrum of red, orange, and yellow.  And it brings to mind the scripture which discusses the beasts of the field and the flowers of the meadow and them being cared for and clothed in splendor. And how the verse goes on to say how much more God will clothe and care for us, and my troubled mind is put at ease.  The fellowship with other believers found at church is invaluable but sometimes the best Sunday morning service can be found sitting on a park bench enjoying the show. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friendship and the open road

I just returned to Abilene from a week long trip with my two best friends Blake and Mike in which we traveled to Paris, TN for my friend John Wilkins bachelor party and then up to St. Louis to see my new niece Opal June (named after my grandmother).  On this trip we drove about 2000 miles and logged almost 35 hours in the car.  Now to some this may seem like an unbearable amount of time in the car but to seasoned travelers such as ourselves it was just another enjoyable jaunt.  Now you may think I'm exaggerating a little bit on our extensive driving experience but let me assure you I am not.  In fact we got into a discussion about how much we have driven since we left for college 6 years ago and by our account we have made the trip between Abilene and the Lou over 40 times... each.  Multiply that by 12 hours and..... well you get the idea.  And in case you don't, thats 480 hours in the car, or 20 days.  Of course this doesn't count the youth group trips to Maine and Colorado.  Or family vacations or little weekend jaunts to Austin (4 hours away), Dallas (3), San Antonio (4), Houston (6) and Searcy (8.5).  And yes I did Searcy 3 times so it makes the list.  When you actually sit down to think about it, the amount of mileage and hours is kind of staggering.  (Not to mention the $1200 in tickets to the great state of Texas)  I've done my share of these trips alone and I enjoy driving by myself but some of the best memories from these trips is when I drove them with my friends.  Blake and Mike are two of my best friends and if there was ever any doubt of that, well I've spent 20 days in the car with them to prove it.  The car is not a conducive environment to personal space or privacy and so to spend extended time with people in that environment can be a true test of friendship, and we have passed with flying colors.  This may sound ridiculous but I think that sometimes the drive itself is more memorable than the time actually spent at your destination.  Going to school 12 hours away has not provided many opportunities to visit home and I know our parents would have been able to spend a lot less time worrying about us while en route but it has provided us with some memories.  I have driven home in a blinding rain storm where I had to stop and buy new wipers, a snowstorm in which our car did a 360 and was blinded by snow every time we passed a truck, and a trip where I left Abilene at 6 p.m. (If you're trying to avoid traffic and running your air conditioning, that is the way to go.)  There is a stigma to road trips and their declaration of independence and coming of age qualities and I would say from experience that this is one case where the stereotype hits the nail on the head.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Ok, so some would say I am a bit of an avid reader.  I have to read at night before I go to bed so as you can imagine I go through some books.  I just bought 2 crappy books from wal mart because I ran out of books to read.  I need some suggestions... Here is a list of what I've read so far this year to give you kind of an idea of what I like to read.  And yes, when you look at what I read you could be fooled into thinking I'm a dork.  I am not, at least I don't think so.
Harry Potter and Sorcerors Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Double Cross
The Princess Bride
Friday Night Lights  (As of Feb 22)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (As of March 22)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (As of May)
The Partner by John Grisham
The Last Gunslinger by Stephen King
The Legend of Bagger Vance (As of July 20)

Ok blog fans hit me with something, I'm counting on you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Voldemort and such

Just saw the 6th Harry Potter movie.  It was enjoyable, obviously with a few changes and things left out to keep the movie under 4 hours.  While some of the changes were kind of annoying the story didn't lose much besides maybe Harry looking a little weaker than he does in the books.  Anyways I was talking with Mike the other day, he is reading the books for the first time and is on #3, and we decided on an idea for J.K.'s 8th book.  I'm sure were not the first people to come up with this idea but let me tell you, it's a good one.  If you're not into Harry Potter you may want to stop reading now.  Anyways, for the 8th book she needs to write about the first wizarding war, the rise of Voldemort.  It could include his rise to power, creating the horcruxes, chaos in the ministry, the original order of the phoenix, ending in the betrayal and death of Harry's parents.  It would be a very interesting story while also providing useful information about a time that is only briefly covered in her original novels.  I know I know, I am a huge dork.  I'm ok with that though.  So if any of the countless people who read this blog happen to know J.K. let her know we are waiting for the day this novel hits the stores.  And if she feels like throwing any of the royalties my way I'd be ok with that too.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Joining the Fight

For all you faithful readers out there I apologize for my absence.  I know it must have been a struggle waiting on my next post.  Well wait no more my friends cause here it is. 

I returned from camp a couple weeks ago after another amazing week.  Camp never fails to be possibly my favorite week of the year.  I have days that are better but not whole weeks.  The theme this year was spiritual warfare.  It’s a subject which I believe does not receive enough attention in our church classes and sermons.  This is because when you actually stop to think about what spiritual warfare entails, it’s pretty scary.  If you believe in Satan, which I do, then it stands to reason that he has demons working for him as well as angels working against him.  You know that old trick you see on TV with the angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other whispering into your ear?  Perhaps that’s not to far off from reality, although real demons are whole lot scarier.  We’ve all heard stories of demon possession in other countries and I can even say I believe I’ve witnessed it.  Witnessing a demon take control of someone’s mind is a humbling experience.  The incredible power of it makes you realize how weak we are in comparison.  When I stop to think about it the only thing that keeps me from quaking is to know that if demons are this powerful, how much more power do God’s angels wield?  It’s a battle that is fought everyday and it is comforting to know we have power on our side as well.  I had an interesting conversation the other night at a pub in Webster with some of my basketball buddies.  One guy said he didn’t believe in “Satan” but he believed in evil.  He said that no one makes him do sinful things, he does them on his own.  While I agree with part of this, we are definitely capable of sinning on our own, I believe Satan does his part to plant sinful desires and cravings in our minds, to whisper in our ears so to speak.  To quote one of my favorite movies The Usual Suspects “ the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.”  Satan wants nothing more than for people to not believe in him, to discredit his power.  It makes it that much easier to do his work.  If we don’t believe in him why would we call upon the Lord for help?  I believe in spiritual warfare and think that it must be taken seriously.  But we have not been left alone in this fight.  There is true power in prayer, in calling on the Lord to guard and protect you.  And knowing I am in the middle of a fight, why would I not ask God, who is infinitely more powerful, to back me up?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet me In St. Louie

Ok, so for the last couple of weeks I literally have been somewhat depressing.  A typical day may look like this.... Sleep 'til noon, get up, lounge around for a while, go running, take a shower, watch NCIS on USA, play FIFA on Xbox, go eat dinner and watch the NBA playoffs at Mikes house, go home and watch a movie and go to bed around 2:30 or 3.  Occasionally it varies, I ref JV basketball a couple nights a week but thats really pretty much it.  Now you may think that sounds great but I really have just felt down.  For a while Georgia was here but she was always studying for the MCAT, which she takes tomorrow, and now shes back in Arlington.  I have been applying for jobs and pretty much just waiting to hear something.  Some days I won't even see another person I know.  I have felt pretty alone.  Im not sure I have ever been more ready to go home.  Maybe first semester freshman year but thats it.  I'm genuinely homesick.  I miss my family.  But not only that I miss my city.  I love St. Louis.  Especially in the spring time it is beautiful.  The days are warm and nice and the evenings are cool.  Everything is green and you can smell the vegetation.  So much more so than here.  No matter where my life takes me St. Louis will always be my home.  Living by myself has been great but I'm ready for something different for a while.  I also get to spend a week at camp Ne-o-tez which I am incredibly pumped about, but thats a subject for a whole other post.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Walking where He trod...

I have found that the key to writing a blog is pretending that people are actually going to read it.  Otherwise you may as well be writing a journal.  I already write one of those from time to time and thus I must pretend people are actually reading this.  I have a good imagination.  

So I went on my own and saw Angels and Demons yesterday.  Yes alone, I enjoy seeing movies on my own now and then it's relaxing.  I've never understood why people use movies as social events as a movie allows for minimal conversation or social interaction... but I digress.  The movie was actually pretty good, much better than the da Vinci code.  Not surprising seeing as the book was also superior.  Once again the movie revolves around the Catholic Church and a group they once oppressed.  Far from the major point of the movie but one I found interesting is the countless forms religion has taken throughout the centuries.  One book has inspired various religions, religions people have been willing to kill and die for. To quote, "Religion is flawed because man is flawed."  As I sat and thought about the implications of this statement I realized just how much religion is a creation of man.  Christ came to this Earth to not only to allow us the grace that is so wonderfully given because of His sacrifice but also to show us how to live.  Now you may be thinking, "of course we all know that."  But do we?  He didn't come down here proclaiming a new religion so much as a radical way to conduct our lives.  Under the banner of Christ have spouted numerous religions, all built upon the same basic principles.  But we have come so far from these principles.  No Christian based religion is free from guilt in this.  Even the Church of Christ, which I accept as my brand of religion, is so greatly flawed.  We waste time bickering over minute details of religion all the while over looking the simpler, yet more important principles of faith.  When we stand before the judgment seat what question will be asked of us?  Did you allow a woman to preach?  Did you play instruments while worshiping My name?  Did you have a racially diverse church?  Or will it sound more like this... Did you treat others with love and respect?  Did you take care of those in need?  Did you seek out the tired and the weary, the lost and forgotten, and offer comfort?  Jesus didn't come proclaiming a new religion, just a new faith.  A faith that requires only that we believe in Him and thus treat others as He would.  To seek out the hungry and the sick, the weak and dying, His lost sheep.  This is what Jesus was about.  This is what he called people to.  If only we could cast aside the petty differences that divide His people and realize the all-surpassing power of Christ's disciples united in a common goal.  I believe this is the church Jesus envisioned when He came down here, and it's an incredible shame humanity decided we could improve upon it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Start of Something Good

So my brother in law Joe has faithfully written a blog for a few years now and has quite the following.  He and his family are going through some changes and the time he allots to blog will be greatly diminished. That being the case I have decided to take up where he is leaving off.  Before you get excited I will warn you that my posts will be quite different from his, but I figured I should keep it in the family.  
Game 1 of Lakers vs Nuggs was last night and as you can see from title, it was a good one.  I was working and so didn't get to tune in until mid-way through the 3rd and when I did the Nuggs held the upper hand.  As we know it didn't end that way as Kob went off late and Ariza of all people made some great defensive plays. This series has potential to be more like Celtics-Bulls than Lakers-Rockets and thats a great thing.  While Kobe was great and I will always love him, what I was most impressed with last night was Mello.  He finally proved that he belongs in the conversation with Kobe, Lebron and Dwade.  The latter two and Anthony all came in the league together in one of the best draft classes of all time.  The debate back then was who was going to be the best out of these.  Since then Mello has fallen back from the other two, from what seems mostly a lack of motivation and desire.  I think he's found what he lacked.  It was impressive to watch him overpower Kobe (who when he tries is the best defensive player in the NBA) in the post and even take on the challenge of guarding Kobe himself.  Regardless of how this series plays out, it will be remembered as Mello's coming out party.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yes, I did

So I've joined the blog world.  I realize I am a latecomer to this sensation that has swept the nation but I decided there was no use putting it off any longer.  Writing a blog has become some sort of right of passage into adult hood, and being on the verge of adulthood myself I decided to indulge.  As to the sort of things that will appear on this blog, your guess is as good as mine. 

As I sit on my porch and borrow Internet from the neighbors on this beautiful spring day my thoughts stray to the rapidly approaching L.A. Houston game 7.  After watching "Kobe Doing Work" last night on ESPN my incredible respect for Kobe only increased.  I really enjoyed getting to see the side of basketball that we aren't often shown.  The true floor general that Kobe is was obvious as he shouted instructions, bantered with the opposition and stood up for his teammates.  His leadership didn't stop there as he continued to discuss tactics with his mates during time outs.  I mean does Phil Jackson even do anything?  Needless to say, if LA does not advance today it will be a shame, and also a deprivation of something special for basketball fans.  I love intriguing match ups, and it doesn't get much better than Kobe vs Carmello, then vs Lebron.  It took Mello long enough to join the party but he is finally here and I would hate to see Denver just walk over Houston, so please Lakers, come to play today.