Sunday, October 22, 2006


One of the most influential men in my life, Chuck Flemming, once told me that there is no such thing as a platonic relationship between a man and a woman.

The topic came up tonight. The group of people I spent the evening with seemed to be much divided over the issue. Those who were married all agreed that no intimate friendships ought to take place with the opposite sex prior to marriage. The singles of the group held the opposite view that a guy and a girl can be close friends without a problem.

I didn't say much tonight about it. The truth is I don't really know the answer. On one hand, I want to believe that I can have an intimate friendship with a woman that never goes beyond just friendship. On the other, it concerns me that I may be giving away pieces of my heart that ought to be saved for the possibility of a wife. Looking backwards, I am hard pressed to recall friendships with females that did not have romantic feelings at some point along the way. Either she or I, after enough time, developed feelings that were either hidden, discussed and gotten over, or perhaps destroyed the friendship altogether.

If I were married tomorrow, what would happen to all of my female friends? Would I completely cut them off? Would my wife want me to? Would I be willing to? Would it be necessary or completely uncalled for?

It's interesting that this topic came up tonight. I'm taking a road trip to visit a female friend this week that I view as one of my best friends but nothing more. I'm curious if any of you have thoughts on this topic.

Friday, September 8, 2006

time to ramble

As I walked through the empty downtown streets of my city tonight, I realized something that is a bit startling but very true. I am a man who enjoys life most when alone. Sure, I love people. I love my friends, my coworkers, my parents. However, the ongoing game of charades ends when I'm alone. It is only then that I find myself and can be comfortable with who that is.

I saw a woman swallow fire tonight. She danced with a swirling dress to Spanish-Indian fusion type music while waving balls of flame from her hands, mouth, and head. I enjoyed it more than I possibly could with any other person. I walked through a loft filled with paintings for sale and didn't even notice them as I was taken away with the art of the old brick walls and exposed duct work. This is the very same awe that draws me to travel abroad. Surrounded by people, I find myself all alone and adore every minute of it. I burned out my daily lust for starbucks after I made friends and ceased being alone in the crowd of strangers. Within a year or two, the most exotic and intoxicating place to live grows dull and uncomfortable for the same reason. Someone once said that a man is an island. How true that is in my life. These ramparts that have the tendency to guard others from being too close to me seem to grow stronger, higher, and safer as I see the world around me while alone. They seem to take on the characteristics of one-way glass. I can see so clearly while people around me see a distorted image of themselves. I understand how dangerous it is to one's personality and growth to stay emotionally distant from others. Yet, it's only in that place that I smile from the inside out and can't care less if anyone notices or not.

Is this true freedom or an impossible prison to break away from? I don't know and don't care at the moment. Perhaps it's a mixture of the two. So be it. I find myself enjoying another Friday night alone and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I have a dream.. that little black boys and little black girls will soon join hands with...

Well, I did actually have a dream last night. I was attacked by a young tiger that was supposed to be tame. I stuck my hand down it's throat as hard as I could when it was about to bite me and it vomited all over me.


Here's a dream that I actually came up with while I was awake. I think this one sounds pretty amazing..

I'll show up in Spain along the coast somewhere and find a place to crash for a few months. I'll dive head-first into the language to learn as much as I can within the first few months. Then, I'll find a very special old man..

This old man will be in his 70's or 80's and live alone (preferably along the coast). He will be elderly enough to require assistance but not to the point of needing the services of a nursing home. Oh, and he'll be one amazing flamenco guitar player.

Here's the deal: I will move in with him, take care of him, cook, clean, be his companion, and anything else needed. Besides me living with him and eating his food, my only wages will be daily flamenco and classical guitar lessons. Yes, the main purpose of this venture will be to become a master flamenco guitar player. (I realize that this takes a lifetime of practice but it's certainly a great start.) Other likely benefits will be that I'll become a very close companion to this Spannish man in the latter years of his life. I'll become fluent in the language and a much better cook. Perhaps I'll even come out of this time a fine dancer. A dancer and guitar player that has lived under the wing of a great master for a year will generally have few that will rival him.

So, now you've seen a glimpse of my long list of dreams that I will persue before I die. Until then, I must say that this music is truly magical. Adios.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Need to whine..

Ok, I'm not in a bad mood by any means. I just need to whine. Since complainers SUCK, this is a good place for me to vent. If you get annoyed, just stop reading or whatever..

1. I hate Wal-mart. Those guys are morons.
2. Ever tried to peel 5 lbs of peaches? It sucks.

Ok and now to the good juicy whining. Since you've hung in there for the first couple gripes, you're in for a real treat.

I called Melissa tonight. Yeah, the One that turned out not to be the One. I figured..... I should have one last chat before her marriage. I did. It's over now. That's that - for real.

I called her and there was no answer but she called back a couple hours later. The girl tells me all about the stresses of preparing for a marriage. This dude she's marrying is a Christian but the two aren't going to church. That's not a good sign for her. She tells me she hasn't thought about that stuff in "a long time." She puts me on speakerphone so I could meet this Prince Charming. I say, "Hey, Knucklehead, take the girl to church!" They laugh at my joke but I think Dude caught my drift all the same..

They apparently already have an apartment. This dude still has a year of college left so they're getting married directly into a financial tight spot. I'm not a flipping marriage counselor but that's just trouble. Oh, and she actually mentioned that she is physically ready to get married like I wouldn't believe. (The knife goes in and turns..) I wanted to jump through the phone when she went on about missing me and wishing I could make the wedding in Idaho. I wanted to pop right out of her phone, deck the fianc� dude, and rescue the girl.
Did I do it? HA! Of course not. I'm a gentleman, you know. I sincerely wished her the best. It's good to have some closure. Honestly, I think the world is going to end in the next couple years. That will be the best closure, right? Keep your eyes on Iran and Russia. It's about to get hot and heavy over there.. prophecy is being fulfilled..
And you're wondering how I went from a broken heart to the current conflict in the Middle East. At the same time, I'm wondering why you've even bothered to read this far. So you and I both are somewhat retarded...

Oh yes, back to love...

Let's talk about fate. Is there only one person out there that is "meant" for you? Or, are there a multiple number of good possibilities for marriage that just depend on the time and place?

I'd like to think that there is just ONE person that is "destined" for me. However, I see a couple big problems with this possibility.
1. If she or I make a goof, then the other one is screwed. For example, if my 'the one' accidentally marries some other guy before meeting me, I'm screwed into marrying a Plan B girl.
2. It works both ways.. thus, making me 'the one' for some chick out there. What a sorry destiny when she discovers that her 'the one' is none other than ME.

Poop. That's what I say. POOOP.

So, the only plan I've ever had that makes sense is back in full force now. I'm aggressively saving money within the boundaries of a strict budget with the sole intention of moving overseas within 3 years. This is literally and actually going to happen. Maybe my 'the one' is hangin out in Europe right now, just waiting for me to get my crazy self over there. Yeehaa.. what a thought. I hope she likes Chinese food because that's my first stop after a year in Prague. (I'm presently considering a part-time job at a Chinese restaurant just to learn some of the language and culture.)

There's a [deleted ]

And I don't feel right ending this little weird ramble of a blog post on that note.

So.. um..

Heyyyy, I'm 2lbs away from having lost 75lbs on my diet. Yahoo for veggies.

I'm a moron. I know.
See ya.

Friday, July 7, 2006

rough moment

I just received the invitation to the wedding for her. What a beautiful bride she will be. The pic on the invitation with her fiancé is amazing. He looks like an ok guy I guess. Mel sure has grown up a lot since I met her in 2001. She was merely 17 at the time. Hey, true gift-love wants the other to be happy regardless of reciprocation as opposed to need-love which loves only because something is needed in return. I was ready to give her the universe. Now, am I ready to sit quietly and watch another take my place? Not really. So be it though. It never was my place to begin with. The funny thing is.. she hasn't a clue of what still lingers in my heart. It feels lonely I must admit. One can only be purely logical to a point and then the heart trumps the mind. Perhaps my heart and my head will be in one accord someday as I become captivated by the overwhelming flood of warm feelings coupled with affirming logic.

What a pic this is. You should see it. Her head gently rests on his shoulder with a subtle but perfect grin. Her eyes silently shout the words I always longed to hear. Her bridegroom will capture her fully into his adventure in just a month's time. A single event that finally closes a huge chapter for me conversely opens a whole new volume for her. No more road trips for us. No more midnight walks. No more nights on the beach. No more train rides through the Yorkshire meadows. No more praying together. No more wondering. No more hoping. That's that.

Ah well. That's life, right? Bigger and better adventures surely await. I'm thankful for the capacity to love and I have learned through this ordeal that true happiness is found in loving others, regardless of what the consequences are. So.. go today and love. Love your parents. Love your woman (if you have one). Love your God. Love your steak dinner. Love the sunshine. Love the crappy rainy days. Pour your heart out and love everyone around you. You'll get hurt. So what? Love even harder. I truly believe it's the only way to live life to the fullest.

Monday, July 3, 2006

A disruption of my slumber

Yesterday, my big dumb friend thought it would be funny to test my smoke alarm. It worked just fine. It wasn't even that funny - just loud.

So, I'm sleeping all cozy like and the thing starts chirping like it's out batteries. I think I can just sleep through it but not so. Try sleeping through a smoke alarm chirping every 20 seconds and see how far you get.

I climb up on my couch and yank the thing off my wall. Surprise, Surprise. It doesn't take a battery like every other normal smoke detector in the world but is connected to all the others in the building with wires. I disassemble the whole face and pull out the wires. Just as I lay down, it STILL chirps every 20 seconds. After 10 minutes of wondering how it is chirping on my desk without a battery or power source, I decide to just leave it in the hallway near the elevator. Wow, I can still hear it all the way in my apartment. What choice have I? I decide against destroying it because the back says something about radioactive materials.

4:30am and I get dressed, walk 2 blocks to my parking deck, up a flight of stairs, and put the smoke detector in my truck. (Now that I think about it, I hope it doesnt leak any of that radioactive material on my floorboard.) The local crackheads were pissy for me waking them up but still mustered enough energy to ask for money.

Not happy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

An evening with quite a dynamic

I have found myself this weekend searching. A few key questions that have been on the back burner long enough now demand firm answers.
-What do I stand for?
-Why do I live in Birmingham?
-How does my life impact those closest to me?
-How straight up am I and how fake am I?
-How long will allow mediocrity to fill my free time?
-Should I start dating?
-Am I properly preparing to be the man/husband/father/leader that I am called to be?
-What vows to God have I made that I am breaking?
-Do I spend my money wisely?
-Where do I fit in?
-How long until I can move overseas?
-Do I truly love those around me?

Tough questions. Tougher responses.

Friday, June 16, 2006


If I were to make a list of all the substances that would NOT make good objects to hurl inside a house, EGGS and MAYO would be somewhere near the top of the list.

As I sit and type this blog, my toes are sticky from egg yolks and my arm feels fuzzy from mayo. My new clothes are soaking in the bathroom sink. The livingroom smells odd.



Monday, June 5, 2006

Another wonderful Monday

Wow, I just saw the tallest woman ever walk by.

Ok, so today was.... fun.

I wake up all early and buy a truck. On ebay that is. Crap, it's in New York so I better go get it soon.

Work is swell. It ends a little funny though. HR calls me in for a meeting at the end of the day since they apparently heard from someone that I was talkin junk about the company. I wasn't actually. I'm extra careful when I leave a company to finish the last two weeks really strong. It's always a bad idea to burn your bridges. So, the HR lady asks me if I'm unhappy, why I'm leaving, etc. I hesitate at first but she insists. Fine. I lay it out on the table for 45 minutes. I sincerely and unashamedly pour out everything about the department, the good, the bad. I tread on some of those forbidden territories and notice the pour old lady gulp a time or two, certainly wondering if the anxiety is visible. The conversation ends with an offer for today to be my last day. I accept with a bit of dissapointment in my voice. If nothing else, I have a two week paid vacation.

Yay. I guess it's time for planning a little trip to NYC. I figured I'd fly there but perhaps I'll take a train instead. What's 24 hours chilled out on a train? Maybe it will even lead to a little train romance. Hey, I've got the world ahead of me for the next couple weeks.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Just another day at the office

Twas a fun Friday..
I met my buddy Steve at 7am and we hung out in Matthew 9. I bought a vacuum and two toasters from Wal-Mart. Random, I know. Our cute little church is moving into a new building Sunday so we're getting everything all ready to go. While I was on a ladder switching out those long tube light bulbs, I got a call with an official offer at the new company I applied for. YAY. At work, it was REALLY fun turning in my 2-week notices to my bosses. Yeah, their department is falling apart. They need 15-18 reps and in two weeks, they will have 6. LOL! My coworkers were equally excited for me as they daydreamed about quitting.
I stopped by Barnes and Noble at lunch and had a lovely time browsing around. The day in general was fun as my coworkers and I goofed off.
So, the highlight of my evening (so far)..
I skip into my apartment building and check my mail slot thingy. There is one lonely little postcard. Someone wants me to call an 800 to hear some good news. I can't resist! I mean, good news is such a wonderful way to end a long week, right?

So, I call the 800 number. A very ghetto woman answers and tells me that I've just been entered into a one million dollar sweepstakes. WOOT! Good news so far..
Then, she gives me "the deal"
I get a $1,200 shopping spree and a 3 night vacation if I'll simply buy a magazine subscription for a year. WOW!!! What wonderful news!

Errr, only there is one little problem. I have that nagging little voice in the back of my mind that tells me how retarded I am for getting excited about this scam. Fine. So I compromise. I decide to ask a few wise questions just to confirm that this is a legit offer. Surely, if the post card says that there is good news, this must be totally honest. I start asking a few key questions about the $1,200. Yep, it's totally free as soon as I buy my magazines. The lady eventually transfers me to an equally ghetto supervisor. She suddenly gets pushy and wants my credit card number. I'm like, "well, send me the $1,200 and then I'll send you the money for the magazines. Heck, I'll sign up for a lifetime subscription." She continues to be pushy. As soon as I say, "I'm not giving you my credit card number over the phone," the next sound I hear is the click of the phone being hung up in my face. Oh well, I'm sure it was a mistake.

Now, I'm watching the most beautiful sunset that's happening just outside my oversized living room windows. Again, I'm thankful I bought this laptop last year so I can be comfy on my couch and hear the cool sounds of laptop typing.

Who knows what the future holds for the rest of my evening? It surely will be a blast either way. Shooot dude. Whether something magnificent happens and I'm swept into an adventure or if I just pass out from too many yoohoo's, the day will end with a bang.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

One fat man

Eglon was the king of the Moabites many years ago. I read about him today and the story is quite intriguing..

Eglon was a fat man. I mean really fat. One historical account says King Eglon's waist was well over 400 inches. I don't know if that's possible but this guy was fat either way. That's hippo-like.

God raised up a guy called Ehud to kill the king and free Israel from the oppression of the Moabites. Well, for awhile anyways.

So Ehud gets a sword and hides it under his clothes. He goes to the fat king and tells him that he has a secret to share. The king sends everyone out to hear this secret. Ehud leans over and thrusts the sword into the king's fat belly. The sword goes in all the way past the handle itself and the fat closes back around it. The sword was about 18" long by the way. Then, the king's entrails come out. SWEEET.

Ehud takes off and locks the door behind him. The king's servants that are waiting outside the door figure that it's locked because the king is sitting on the porcelain throne. After awhile, they unlock the door and come in to find King Eglon dead on the floor. Israel then has peace for 80 years. You can check out the story in Judges 3 if you want..

What the crap does this have to do with you?? Just that: crap.

See, when the sword went in, the crap came out. Literally, the sword went in and the king's entrails came gushing out. The Bible is often referred to as "the sword of the Spirit". (Heb 4:12, Eph 6:17)

Life squeezes me and sometimes I can be a real stinker. I realize that I have a ton of crap that I need to get rid of. How can I dump this baggage out of my life and flush it away?! The Word, man. It is like a sword that pierces into my very soul. Then, all the crap gushes out and I get cleaned out, straightened up.

Think if you only took a crap once a week. That would not be very fun. Your stomach would hurt and you would probably have a really weird look on your face all the time. That's exactly why you and I must be in the Word everyday. We continually get dirtied up by the world and need to be cleansed by God's Word. The truth of his Word comes in and the junk is flushed out.

Do you ever come out of the bathroom and say to yourself, "Gee, I feel 10 pounds lighter... ahhhh." The same works with this. Take in some Bible and let the Lord dump out your crappy day, your stinky issues, your smelly problems. You'll feel better and people will have a much easier time being around you.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Beeeep Beeeeep Beeeep

Dearest MySpace Hooligans....

Since I'm so caring and wonderful (and humble, too!) I figure I should share what is making my Friday afternoon so delightful..

As I sit in my otherwise dreary cubicle, huge open windows expose the sea of assorted vehicles three stories below. Recently, I discovered that my Honda keyless entry system miraculously responds to my remote from all the way in the office. Today, I watched like a hawk and ran outside as soon as the front parking space came available.

What a thrill! I have it perfectly timed. Perhaps a boy, or a girl, or a grandma, or an accountant, or even a janitor will come strolling through the parking lot and get ready to cross down the stairs and into the main entrance. Unbeknownst to him or her, their foot steps down right next to my car as little faces peer down from above with childish grins of expectancy. BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP. They freak out, man. HAHAHA. All of us in my department that have window seats crack up laughing. I only let about three beeps go on and then quickly silence it. This one lady almost dropped this platter of something she was carrying..

Oh my, what a grand existence I have today. Wish you all were here.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Everything is Illuminated

Oh it's just a movie.. but yeah..

It's got me thinking about my family's history and what various stories of love and tragedy are lost in the forgetfulness of the years. In some ways, I think love may be richer and deeper when never seen brought to fruition. How many volumes could be filled with tragic endings? How many folks pass away in their later years with a distant sadness still seen in their eyes from a love never attained. It is these stories that captivate my imagination and wonder. Shakespeare realized it in his story tellings, as have many others. The tragedies that end in heartbreak and suicide often strum chords in our hearts that resound familiarity. I even dream sometimes of that heartbreak passing down the generations and through my own veins. I can almost feel it, though I will never know for sure. Like a diamond on a piece of black velvet, it's the tragedies that cause the joys we experience to be illuminated.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Cloves, albino apple pie, and the promise of a tornado

My new Indian friend had me over tonight and we surely had a blast. I scribbled down a recipe as he made a chicken dish. Cloves, cinnamon, garlic, onions, tumeric, red chilis, etc etc etc made an incredible dish. He forgot to brush butter on the top of the apple pie so we called it the albino apple pie because it was so white. Wow, it sure did feel good to hang with a person from another culture once again. India is actually fairly high up on my list of countries to live in.

And where are all these tornados that I was promised? School lets out at 1pm so the kiddies won't get swept to Oz and now it's 11pm and such a beautiful night! Ah well.

Now there's a thought....
How I would love to be swept to Oz tonight. A magical land full of singing midgets and flying monkeys sounds like just the thing to chill me out from a long week of mediocrity.... See ya......

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

It's either heartbreak or indigestion

I preface this with a few points.
a. This probably doesn't belong on MySpace. I assure you the unabridged version will be in my journal where it belongs.
b. Don't expect this to make sense. Its my heart being poured out.
c. I trust you not to be a drama queen and forward this to anyone involved. I doubt most of you know any of the people I'll mention and I'll simply refer to them by initials anyhow.
d. She doesn't have MySpace.

[Deep breath]

Ok, here we go.

I received an email this morning. I knew it was coming. It was inevitable. In the back of my mind, I had no way to escape what I knew was only a matter of time. Melissa is getting married.

Perhaps some of you have experienced a similar event. A love of your heart marries another. Though you think you have long ago moved on, you realize that that dull ache in your chest has revived itself with the simple news of the engagement. The heart is a funny thing indeed.

I don't know to this day why I loved her. Again, the heart is a funny thing. I walked into the cafe that September afternoon in 2001 and spotted a friend grading papers. I walked up and began chatting with him. There sat Mel across the table studying. Now, understand, I absolutely don't buy into all that crap about love at first site. It's bogus.

So, yeah. I fell for her hard in that first 10 minutes. Why did my heart choose her? That question has been turned over in my mind for countless hours over the years. Now, granted, she has the most incredible eyes I've ever seen. But other than that, she wasn't anything close to the type of look or personality I am normally attracted to.

As I was chatting with my friend, she looked up at me. I fell into her eyes (vomit if you like but there is no other explanation sufficient). She asked me if I was taking a particular course and then proceeded to ask me about the homework. We only chatted for about 10 minutes but I was truly in another world. I have no idea what I said, for I was in auto-pilot. I walked out of the cafe and said out loud, "Bill, you just met your wife." It was my own words that shocked me back into reality. I scolded myself for being so stupid. How could I say such a ridiculous thing?! I didn't know her name or anything about her. My logic told me that I was a fool for listening to my heart while having no solid reason to be interested in this girl. Besides, it was me who did most of the talking in that first 10 minutes anyhow. There was some crazy connection going on that I couldn't explain.

I could not stop thinking about her for the next week. I replayed our 10 minute relationship over and over in my head. I filled up pages in my journal. I felt like a damn pansy.

To make a long story short(er), we became very close friends throughout the next few months. I told my best friend JC but no one else. I prayed for her. I watched her. I wrote about her. My heart was completely captivated as I got to know her. I saved the receipt from our first dinner together. I dreamed what our first embrace would feel like. I looked forward to our first fight. She consumed my thought life. I was absolutely sure that she was the one.

The end of the first semester nears. I'm off to a different campus overseas the next semester while she is to remain in the States. I agonized for two weeks in prayer and counsel with my bud JC. It was truly a difficult decision whether to share my feelings with her or not. On the last day, it came out. I don't think I was expecting a response. Rather, I wanted to just bring everything out in the open. I knew that if I kept quiet and our story ended, I would wonder for the rest of my life as to what could have been.

Fifteen minutes before I left for the airport I choked out an apology followed by, "I owe it to you as my friend to tell you the truth: I have developed feelings for you over the past few months and you deserve to know. I'm sorry; I know it sucks." She gave me a smile and a big hug with a simple, "we'll keep in touch."

We did. I saved every last email. I drove JC and AD crazy every night in our apartment as I daydreamed aloud during the next several months. She never gave a concrete response as to whether she was interested or not. All I know is that she decided the next year to join us overseas for the remainder of our college time. I met her at the airport and honestly expected something to eventually work out. For awhile, things went very well. We took long walks together in the evenings and I felt my heart attaching to her in a way that I had never previously experienced. Although it seemed odd that she never once mentioned our conversation in which I "dropped the news," I figured that she must at least feel a little fond towards me. Otherwise, spending so much time alone with the man whom she knew had feelings for her would be cruel. Again, I started praying for direction to specifically talk to her about taking our relationship to the next level. In addition to my best buds JC and AD, I found CH - a very godly and mature sister to trust. CH and I prayed together about me approaching Mel. The response we both received was a very different answer to prayer than I expected. I sat Mel down over tea and poured out my heart for an hour. However, I told her that I had to let my feelings die because it wasn't God's timing for us to get together during college. I assured her that God was capable of working everything out later if it was to be His will. She looked at me with a very puzzled look the whole time. I think she honestly believed that we were just best friends and purely platonic. Our relationship from that day forward has remained awkward. I moved on, or so I thought.

Back in Atlanta, our communication nearly ceased. I went on to other romantic interests and kept only in distant and seldom contact with her. It would be nearly two years later until we saw each other again when we rendezvoused in Atlanta to drive to JC's wedding.

My pal MB joined us for the road trip. He has a gift for reading people and a stronger gift for incredibly deep and accurate insight on personalities. (It didn't help that Mel fell for him during those three days but that's another story.) After only a few days around her, he witnessed my intense feelings that still remained. I attempted to hide them but apparently in vain. After begging him at the end of the trip for some of his insight, he shared with me that he could see the mutual (!!!) attraction but that we would never work out in the long run. Wise man. Hard pill to swallow though.

For weeks after, Mel and I spoke regularly and she even encouragd me to visit her several states away. I almost bought a plane ticket but again prayed and was directed against it.

So I receive the dreaded email this morning. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel. I'm not sure what I actually do feel. I wonder how I'll react at the wedding or if I should even go. I still wonder how my heart has remained so attached to her. What is it that is so special about Mel? How could I let my heart run wild for this many years? The huge question still remains: did she ever consider feelings for me in return? I dont think I'll ever know since she has never responded to any of my past declarations of fondness. I figure there are three possibilities. A: She never figured it out in spite of being told flat out on several occasions. This would make her a dense girl. I dont think that's the case. B: She didn't want to hurt my feelings so never gave me the answer that would break my heart. If this is the case, I totally understand because I've been in the same position before with others. However, it would have made the process much easier for me to know the truth. Given this possibility, I wouldn't be writing this today if she had been straight up with me. C: She either did have feelings for me at some point or at least was confused as to what she felt in return.

I guess it doesnt much matter now. I knew deep down that it wouldn't work out but infatuation, attraction, crushes, and (dare I say) love linger on. So, what now? Do I delete the 100+ emails I have from her? Do I lock up her pictures in a box and throw them into the ocean? Do I ignore it all and press on? How the hell should I know? There isn't any instruction manual on this type of stuff. I wish I knew how to finally close the chapter and get on with it. I have since desired other women and even loved others to some degree. I'm not even sure if it is truly love that I felt towards Mel. I mean is it possible to love somebody that never really loves you back in the same way? Who knows? Will my future wife inspire me, challenge me, captivate me, and turn my knees to Jell-O with a simple smile the way that Mel did? Time will tell perhaps. For today, however, my heart is torn in so many directions that I feel a million emotions and I feel numb to any emotion simultaneously. Is this my tragic love story or is this a young foolish heart that fell in love with the mystery of what a relationship with her might have been like? Questions like these don't get answers. I'll wipe the tears from my spirit once again, slap a Bandaid on my wounds, and hope that everything will eventually feel alright.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


What's crackin, Homies.

A rainy day in Alabamer.. I love it.

Man, I sure do love the Lord. I keep getting hooked up with some crazy cool blessings. Over the past few weeks, I've suddenly found a ton of new friends that live right in my little corner of town. The cool thing is that they all seem to accept me with no strings attached. That's rad. I'm praying that God will use me to lead them to salvation. I want all of em saved - every last one of em. I wonder if they have any clue that there is this crazy dude praying for their very souls. Stay tuned, Myspace Dudebros, because I really believe that I'm soon going to write posts about these pals of mine meeting Jesus. I want my new little baby church packed with bums, druggies, and messed up people (like me) that have discovered a new life walkin with my incredible God. Wait and see. God has his eye on Five Points and I'm ready and available to be a part of what He has planned. He offers living water that fills and satisfies. Woahhhh.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Dearest Blog Reader and other MySpace Zombies,

I just got in my new guitar and you should know about it.

Martin D-15 Custom! (Just be excited if you don't know what the heck that means)

Solid East Indian rosewood back and sides. Solid Sitka Spruce top.
It purrs like a Mustang. Well, like a Martin.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Another rad Friday in Five Points

3am Friday night. I take a deep breath and reflect on one rad night.

It was any other Friday night. I ate my Chinese food outside Starbucks and watched the sun twist the sky into a parade of colors. The warm breeze passed me by and swept away the heaviness of my crappy week. I made my way home and almost crashed for the night. For some reason, however, I decided to head back out for a quick walk.

The night was just picking up all around me. The usual business of the Friday night crowd hurried back and forth. My Jamaican friend was on the corner playing his djembe. I sat next to him on the bench and slipped into his jam in my mind. After a few minutes, I had to grab my djembe to join. It wasn't 5 minutes later that a small group of Christians showed up with a guitar. Soon enough, we dominated the corner with praise music. Then, another group of Christians out witnessing stopped by and started singing with us. I jumped on the guitar and jammed "Those Who Trust In The Lord" with a reggae beat. A crowd of girls stopped by and started taking pictures. I was sure they were drunk at first until they requested a praise song. Wow. They had just finished a singing gig on their tour. These 6 (cute cute cute) girls started harmonizing to my guitar playing. I took my group of new friends to midnight sushi and talked about the Lord. It ended with an hour hanging out at the local 24 hour Mediterranean cafe. A gay flight attendant, a wannabe Rastafarian, and a Mexican fresh out of jail joined us for some interesting conversation over gyros.

I used to say that being a Christian was boring. Well, I changed my mind. The Lord continues to blow me away with crazy "ironies" each day I decide to allow him to direct my steps and open my heart to people. Seeds are planted, lives are touched, and memories made. This is real Christianity: loving God and loving people. It's natural, it's fulfilling, it's me. Going to sleep knowing that I walked with the Father today beats sleeping off a buzz or waking up wondering where I am.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Cultural Diversity

I have been whining for years. Deep inside of me is a strong desire to explore the world. I don't really care to see the sights as much as meet new people.

With that, my time here in Birmingham has been somewhat difficult. At least Atlanta has all sorts of crazy people. I now feel like I'm truly in the heart of the deep south though and my itching to take off for some distant land has been quite - itchy.

Tonight was different though.

I take a break from my studies at Starbucks and walk outside for a minute. I notice a table with hippie-ish trinkents. The dresses hanging from hangers on the tree have wild patterns that make me think of soy milk and ginseng chewing gum for some reason. I'm soon engrossed in deep conversation with a man from Kenya and another man from India. Three hours later, I walk back to my apartment with a huge smile on my face. See, I have been invited to hang out with the Indian at his place a couple blocks away for some good Indian food. The Kenyan has just shared with me all about his life and his ministry to the homeless people of Five Points. He spoke such truth and wisdom that I asked him to pray for me at the end of our long conversation.

Americans will travel to Mexico and totally love the culture, food, and people. Then, they will return home and curse the same Mexicans that are doing road construction. Others will travel to India and spend thousands of dollars to see Indian culture. Then, they return home and make jokes at the guy working at the gas station. Why do I often feel so discontented living in "boring-old America" when there are plenty of people from other cultures all around me? I want to start thinking differently. I want to start seeing minorities the same way I would see them if in their homelands. Tonight was quite a catch. A Kenyan, an Indian, and a freaky hippie dude that played my djembe outside Starbucks for an hour. Yes, it now appears to me that I can have a blast even in Alabama. Finding true contentment is the Lord's will. As I aim to love people unconditionally by the power of God's Spirit, He will hook me up with these rad opportunies to experience what I'm longing for - and without the $2,000 plane ticket.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Fighting Against God

Fighting and battling of mankind has taken place since the first human walked the earth. Though man fights against himself for the occupying of lands, freedoms, etc., the greatest and most lingering of fights that takes place is that of man fighting against God. In Acts 5:39, the great rabban and scholar Gamaliel commented on the subject: "but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God."[1] In the context of the passage, Gamaliel does not agree with the doctrine that is being spread throughout Jerusalem of Jesus proclaimed as the Messiah. However, he acknowledges that fighting against God is fruitless, vain, and ridiculous. I will explore this passage and others throughout this paper to: a) reveal the reasons that man fights against God, b) to explain that those who do fight against God are fools, and finally c) that one who fights against God is only fighting against him/herself.

Why do people fight against God? One reason is that people do not listen to what God says about Himself but only listen to what others say about Him. With the bombardments of the 21st century media today, many people listen to and believe most or all of what they hear. A man on a television set in an expensive suit can proclaim something he "discovered" in scientific research and it is taken immediately as fact. In this age, children are brought up taught that evolution is fact rather than theory. Without exercising discernment about information taken in, one can develop false concepts of God and thus enter into a fight against Him. Many people come up with big whoppers about God that make me wonder where in the world they get their "facts" from. The truth is that people only repeat what they hear. Someone who doesn't know God personally and hasn't actually read the Bible for themselves may have no clue that they are simply crackers in their thoughts and concepts of the God of the Bible.

The Bible claims to be God's revelation to mankind. As I study the Bible daily, I am continually satisfied with the tangible evidence and logical concepts presented. Unless you have read the Bible from cover to cover, how can you formulate accurate conclusions about it? Some begin at Genesis but then put the Book down at the first miracle because they just can't believe that it really happened. However, the book of Genesis alone, or even the first handful of books isn't enough of the Bible to get the whole concept of God as He intends. Many people that don't believe the Bible have never even picked it up to read it. I cannot logically accept someone's opinion of the Bible if they haven't carefully examined the evidence for themselves. I don't want you to take my word for it. If you have not already, take the challenge to read the Bible for yourself and gather your own conclusion rather than adopting the opinions and conclusions of other men. Hugh Prather once wrote, "Don't fight a fact, deal with it."[2] Gamaliel however did have a very strong knowledge of the scriptures and realized that fighting against God was foolish.

Other people fight against God because they experienced mishaps in life and allow bitterness against God to develop. Perhaps a minister wrongs them and makes a mistake. People often view pastors as perfect and when they see the pastor stumble, the shock that the pastor is human is unbearable and they run. Or, maybe God doesn't answer a specific prayer that someone prays. Perhaps a prayer to save a life from cancer is unanswered and bitterness sparks a fight against God in a person who previously loved and trusted God completely. A common question I am asked from non-believers is, "If there is a God, why does he allow all of this evil, violence, and destruction in the world?" These people fight against God because they are upset over the situations that He permits to happen. This world is indeed in a state of chaos but this isn't the way God intended it to be from the beginning. It is our fault that the world has become what it is and to hold animosity in our hearts against God for things that we cause is absurd. Why not surrender what we don't understand and allow God to lead our lives rather than combating to control them ourselves?

You must be a fool to fight against God. "Woe to him who strives with his Maker!"[3] There is no hope in a mortal human trying to wage a war against the infinite omnipotent God. Jonah tried to fight against God by running in the opposite direction of where he was called to go. God responded by having a massive fish swallow Jonah in route to Tarshish.[4] Only someone devoid of common sense would dare to fight against God, yet we all do it in someway or other all the time. While some try this physical fight with God, others war intellectually. "The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."[5] People argue with God and think they know more. When God answers though, the result is silence. Because God loves us all, His mercy allows people to say blasphemous things in the hope that they will turn to Him eventually. If God wasn't merciful, He would justly wipe out all mankind because of these blasphemes.

MacArthur puts it this way: "Such a foolhardy course of action is dangerous, if not fatal and eternally terrible, because God fights back."[6] God gives a tremendous warning of such in Jeremiah. "I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger and fury and great wrath."[7] God's power cannot be combated against and only a fool even tries. Just because immediate action may not take place, God will clearly pass judgment in due time.

Men can only fight with God because He allows them to do so. It is only by God's grace and mercy that man is even granted the life to fight with God, rather than abrupt death. As man shouts words of empty intellect to God, the realization is missing that the very breath forming the words from the lungs is from God. When Daniel was brought in to interpret the writing on the wall for the Babylonian king Belshazzar, he said, "the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified."[8] As you read this, your very next breath is in the hand of God and is granted to you not out of obligation but out of love and grace. Ironically, Belshazzar's grandfather Nebuchadnezzar tried to fight God and revealed the outcome when he said, "at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation."[9]

Gamaliel was a respected and well-educated rabban in the religious council in Jerusalem. "Gamaliel was only one of seven scholars in his nation's history to receive the title, 'Rabban' (our master)."[10] It is this man that gives the warning against fighting God. Paul the Apostle sat under Gamaliel's teaching but obviously did not heed this principle since he set out to destroy followers of "The Way": the name given to the first followers of Jesus Christ. Gamaliel is the rabban who persuades the council to a more reasonable course of action when they become outraged at Peter and the other disciples' doctrine and want to kill them. Gamaliel was well qualified since he himself was a member of the Sanhedrin and therefore held in high respect among the people in Jerusalem. He at least acknowledged that this doctrine of Jesus could be a possibility. As a result of Gamaliel's excellent declaration, the apostles were beaten, threatened, but then released. The apostles immediately started preaching again. The more Christianity is threatened and persecuted, the more it rises.

Under the teaching of Gamaliel, Paul undoubtedly learned of the folly of fighting against God. Yet, Paul's encounter with the risen Christ shows the degree that this teaching took hold of his heart and life. "Then the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'"[11] Paul had been kicking against the figurative goads by fighting against Jesus Christ.

Thus, fighting against God is fighting against yourself and your own good. God's love and plan for your life is the absolute best for you and fleeing from that is only fighting against what is supreme for your life. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."[12] God is not some spirit of wrath waiting to send trials and heartache to you when you mess up. Take a look outside today and realize that God's imagination is incredible. Then, realize that that same imagination and creativity is thinking at this very moment of how to bless you and do wonderful things in your life. "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."[13] When you surrender the fight against God and yield to His will, like a nation defeated in war that applies for aid, resources from the Lord will flow into your life and His Holy Spirit will empower and strengthen you to serve and follow the path of life.

Are you possibly fighting against God now? Maybe you realize you are caught up in some sinful mess and have no clue how you ended up in such a place. Stop fighting God and submit to doing things His way. Gamaliel is absolutely correct in that you cannot overthrow something God is doing. Stop kicking against the goads like Paul and fess up to God.

Some people do win in their fight against God by dying without ever having submitted to Him for salvation and lordship. The result of winning this fight against God is to be eternally lost. God is a perfect gentleman and will not force anyone to love or follow Him, yet He constantly persuades with that still small voice in each man's conscience. Your forfeit in this fight is what truly brings victory.

[1] Acts 5:39 NKJV

[2] Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992), 3576.

[3] Isa. 45:9 NKJV

[4] See Jon. 1:3, 17

[5] 1 Cor. 1:25 NKJV

[6] John F. MacArthur, Jr., MacArthur's New Testament Commentary: Acts 1-12, (Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1994).

[7] Jer. 21:5 NKJV

[8] Dan. 5:23 NKJV

[9] Dan. 4:34 NKJV

[10] Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1989).

[11] Acts 9:5

[12] Jer. 29:11

[13] Ps. 84:11

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

a poem - a bit dark.

when the jokes end
after the laughter pales
a bleeding wound unveiled
pressed outwards, spreading inwards
inexcusable deeds
a rotted soul
unglued from the hinges there is little left to find
i bleed uncontrollably
wondering if you feel my weakening pulse
if only you were able to come close
feel my whimpering breath as fear strikes a thundering bell
memories growing faint with the last tone
my stomach tears itself in two
the tale i wrote suddenly sours
you grow faint

and i die.