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we in america have so many things we take for granted. food, shelter… jobs.

im learning that those things are important, but even more important are the people we surround ourselves with. be they near or far… family and friends are some of the most precious gifts you’ll ever be given.

may i never lose that sense of awe and wonder at how blessed i am to have such wonderful people (and pets) to walk this road with.

to my friends and family… and to the Creator:

thank you.

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i was watching tv a few days ago. ok, i wasnt so much as watching as enjoying it as background noise. i believe the national geographic channel was on… it was a show about dangerous jobs.

and one line caught me offguard. one line in this show caused me to pause and reflect. i was keanu reeves in every movie he’s been in… i was like woah.

60-70 fisherman die in the world every day. every DAY. thats somewhere around 24,000 every year. according to forbes.com, the most recent data they had (circa 2000) states that here in the US, fisherman have the second highest death rate while on the job. second only to timber-cutters.

i had to ask a question.

why… why when Christ walked this earth, why were the very first people He called… fishermen? why did He chose that profession? i mean – come on – His father was a carpenter! He would have know the lingo, the skills and what not for carpenters… not fisherman. Jesus wasnt a fisherman.

why? because carpenters didnt even make the 10 ten most dangerous jobs list.

Christ called fishermen…

His very first four disciples were fisherman (matt 4). He not only called fishermen, but he called them fishermen.

i cant imagine how many times greater the danger was to fisherman 2000 years ago… compared to now.

why did God chose fishermem?

because they knew danger. they were acquainted with loss. they understood sacrifice and had probably lost friends and loved ones simply doing what was – at that time – their calling.

He called them, He said come follow me and i will make you fishers of men. He called them… but in that calling was a warning. this wasnt going to be easy. you thought fishing for fish was rough? try following me!

the calling wasnt just a job description. it carried with it a depth and magnitude that james, peter, john and andrew all understood. they knew it would require their all. it would require them to give every single thing they had. it could very easily cost them there lives…

but they left… they left and followed Him.

He called, and warriors answered. they left picket fences, green lawns and good jobs… and the followed Him. they understood the calling. they understood the danger and the risks, maybe not the exact circumstances, but they knew what He was saying when He called them.

and i only hope and pray that at the times when they each faced loss, that you could find them on the chest of the one they chose to follow. i often wonder if, when one of them faced a loss, did Christ reach out to them and just hold them… be a father… and let them cry.

new topic…….

so tomorrow i make a phone call. one that ive dreaded for quite some time. tomorrow i call my aunt and uncle and tell them to do “whats best” for my dog, angel. we got her when i was 11. she’ll be 14 this year. she’s been living with my aunt and uncle since 2001 when the family left. the last time i saw her was may of last year…

it seems that age is simply getting to her… she’s old. and its time to find out what the vet thinks is best.

i knew, so many years ago when we first got her that a day like this would come. i just didnt realize we’d be more than 1000 miles away when it did.

i know its a part of growing up. i know its something thats done for her best. but that doesnt reinforce anything, that doesnt make me feel any better… it doesnt smooth anything over. it just hurts.

how do these topics tie together? im not sure… i just know i hope to find myself leaning on His shoulder… and that Christ will be there no matter what comes.

there are times in life when we know exactly what we want.. what we want to accomplish, see, expierence, live through…

and thent here are times whe life drags so much out of us that all we can focus on is living.

it seems to me, that the longer one spends time fighting to live, the harder it is to remember what there is to live for.

dont get me wrong, im not contemplating suicide or anything. but i am contemplating life. the future. what i want to be doing in 12 months. who i want to be in 2006.

decisions are coming. some of them sooner than i’d like them to. decisions about where / when / how / what / who. the things that make life “fun”.

im contemplating the fact that ive spent the past 9 months down here hardly changing. am i any different from the pip who left NY april of 2004? have i changed? am i better for my time down here? or am i more afraid? more afraid of change. of moving… again. of becoming my father. of marriage/relationships.

i came down here with ideals, with goals. with things in my life i wanted changed. things i wanted to see left behind. and things i wanted to see grow. and it’s as if i stepped back into the bubble world i used to live in. the “everything is perfectly fine in pips suburbia” world. i loved that world. i loved the white picket fences, the golf-course green lawns, in ground pools and excericse rooms on premises.

but i didnt come down here to reclaim my portion of the american dream. i didnt come to tx for white picket fences and spending saturdays mowing the lawn and washing the car. life, unfortunately… has always found a way to interupt my dreams of semi-normallacy.

my life isnt normal. and im not normal. and chances are that life will always be, um… odd.

im not complaining. just realizing.

some of us have parenthood thrust on us. some of us wake up one day having to introduce yourself at an AA meeting. some of us find ourselves in relationships going nowhere… or in cities contemplating moving elsewhere….

no matter how you wake up… you eventually do. and you begin asking yourself questions. what do i want out of life? what is my calling? where should i go? who should i go there with? and am i always going to be alone?

you realize, slowly at first… that the “things” you want and the “stuff” you’d like to do begin to fade in importance… and what truly matters to you begins to float to the surface.

i ended up having a very one sided conversation with my mom earlier this week. actually, she had the conversation. i had the “deer in the headlights” look. she just basically said “somethings wrong with you, and we need to find out what”.

she’s not wrong, persey. it was just shocking to hear this from someone else. im a big fan of not opening up the can of worms that life sometimes has been. but if i want to face my fears, not become my father, and have a hope of doing something with this life. i need to do just that. i need to face my fears.

1.) find out what happened, what has truly happened in my family over the past few years.
2.) find out why im so incredibly terrified of marriage/any sort of relationship that requires a commitment. (or more precisely, find out why im not past that yet)
3.) why am i here?

i had a longer list… i did. but most everything kinda faded away… in response to these few.

im scared. i wont admit that im not. but time is short… to short to say “its ok”. to short to say that im ok and that life is normal and that i dont need healing. because i do. heck, you live through the past 3 years and see if you’d be ok.

im not. i know that. and i want to be.

the next few weeks/months offer a variety of challenges. and i know its going to be hard. i know the difficulties and issues faced wont be fun. but im not going to wish things to change.

when the world is spinning round
and my world is upside down
i wouldnt change a thing
i got nothing else to lose
i lost it all when i found You
and i wouldnt change a thing

when we will look back on these times, we will realize with the deepest of convictions that this was the moment simple existence ended… we woke up,

and began to truly live life.

you are all
big and small
beautiful

and wonderful
to trust in Grace through faith
but im asking to taste

for dark is light to You
and depths are height to You
far is near
but Lord i need to hear from you

be near oh God
be near oh God of us
you’re nearness is to us our good…..

youre fullness is mine
revelation divine
but oh to taste

to know much more than a page
to feel your embrace

for dark is light to you
the depths are height to you
far is near
but lord i need to hear from you

Be near oh God
be near oh God of us
your nearness is to us our good

life is passing me by and i havent the slightest idea when i hopped off the boat. it just happened. its not two ships passing in the dark… im on the pier, and im waving as the ship leaves.

when and how did this happen?

everyone has their lives. their dreams. their jobs and plans and futures and things to do.

i did this on new years. and this weekend im doing such and such with so and so.

everyone has their plans. their goals. their lives to get living.

i came down here to be closer to the family. i know that. and i am. and im happy. i really am.

im just…. lost.

up in new york, i had connections. i was in the crowd that was in to what i enjoyed. i loved working at bethel. running sound. its been 9 months since i last stood behind a sound board. 9 months.

what on earth am i doing?

its like i was so busy doing something that im sure was very important on the docks… i look up to see the boat has shoved off and is steaming out into the rest of LIFE… and im just sitting here. on the docks. with the seagulls. and the weird lady in the 17 layers of clothes who talks to invisible people and feeds the birds.

what on earth am i doing with the rest of my life?

augistine just woke up with a broken heart
all this time he’s never been awake before

at thirty-one his whole world is a question mark
all this time he’s never been awake before

watching dreams that he once had
feed the flame inside his head
in quiet desperation of the emptieness he says….

there’s got to be something more than what im living for
im crying out to You

augustine. all his fears keep falling out
all this time he’s never been awake before

finding now his old dreams aren’t panning out
all this time he’s never been awake before

but he’s mad to be alive
and he’s dying to be met
in a quiet desperation of the emptieness he says

there’s got to be more that what im living for
im crying out to You

hey, i give it all away
nothing i was holding back remains
hey, i give it all away
looking for the Grace of God today….

It’s funny isnt it. how after all one has gone through, one can still be so passionate about protecting ones house of cards.

not only that, but we build them like there is no tomorrow. even while watching the reaming of the previous house of cards burn to the ground… we scurry around madly like mice stuck in the same maze they’ve traversed thousands of times… and even though we may know at the very deepest parts of our beings that the only thing left at the end of the maze is a victoryless piece of cheese… we still build our house of cards.

maybe the ability to rebuild them as quickly as we do stems from having seen so many of them fail spectacularly.

we structure our entire lives around the things we call dreams. and wait in fear that one day they’ll crumble and everyone will how truly desolate and lonely we are.

it amazes me that even after seeing this happen in MY life i STILL try and pretend. try and build a house of cards… and its amazing to me how angry and frustrated i get when my cards fall in the breeze.

whats really the worst… is that 9 times out of 10 the things i learn aren’t new… just the things i learned the last time i built a house of cards… and the time before that… and the time before that…

How do you pick up the threads of an old life?
How do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back.
There are some things that time cannot mend, some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.

-frodo baggins

some things in life will never be relived. even if we were able to “go back” they would never be the same.

im home. i know i am. but even still, some things have changed. namely, me. ive changed. and although this is home, and im absolutely in love with being here. being home. being with the family… i know its not forever.

certain threads of my old life are gone.

and thats ok.

maybe i shouldnt be wishing for this right now…

but im going to anyway.

when i walked out of work today, and throughout the ride home… all i could think about is how nice it would have been to have had a friend down here.

its an ugly word isnt it. “divorce”. im not sure what drew me to the verse in scripture… that talks about divorce. but it seems to be the few in the entire bible that address it directly.

god hates divorce.

its that simple.

we can spend our entire lives searching for something to fill the void. something to fill the gap. something to tell us who we are again. we can search for it and cling to any number of things while searching. jobes. relationships. sex. school. food. excercise.

this hole in our lives can turn an extrovert into and introvert and vice versa. it totally changes all of who you are. it rips you apart and sometimes, you’re not even aware its happening. you just wake up one morning… and your 40lbs heavier… or your girlfriend is pregnant… or heck, some chick you met last month is pregnant. or you stop eating and the wasting away in your soul quickly becomes utterly obvious as your body wastes away as well.

it happens at that moment… the house of cards you were so painstakingly creating to hide your eyes from the gaping wound in your soul crashes down. if youre lucky, that’ll happen somewhere private where your meltdown wont be seen by the uncaring and non-understanding public. sometimes your not so lucky and the meltdown makes front page news in your clique/school/church.

maybe its not like this for all children of divorced homes. maybe im the rarity here. im not sure. maybe some people handle this news better. they’re able to constructively handle their pain. they can focus, hang on, grit their teeth and bear it… they keep going. this little instance of their parents splitting was nothing more than a minor detour on the superhighway of their life.

others arent so lucky. maybe im the only one who felt like he’d been t-boned by an eighteen-wheeler doing 120mph.

all i know is that there are times that i find myself still searching. trying to figure out who i am.

you base a lot of who you are on your childhood and adolesence. your dreams. your hopes and goals for the future all stem in one way or another from how you were raised. it could be that you hope to be as good as a parent as your parents were… it could be that you vow to never be the type of person your mom/dad were. it could be a mixture of the two… no matter what your dreams are, they are based somewhat on your childhood. and when the main structural supports… your foundation doesnt just crack, but crumbles… you’re identity, your dreams… do the same.

i honestly am not sure where any of this came from tonite. im not sure what brought it all on. i just know that deep from within me… i can feel something stirring…

something ive missed.

hope
joy
dreams
fire.

open up the doors
let the music play
let the streets resound with singing
songs that bring your hope
songs that bring your joy
dancers who dance upon injustice

its 12:21am and i should be asleep
but i am not.

im am awake. thinking.
pondering.

realizing how much has changed from this point last year.
realizing how much HAS NOT changed.

one thing remains.

the simplicity of Grace.

i spent this morning, 6 hours of it at the mall. welcome to black friday. the one day a year where walmart makes more than some small nations entire GNP. anyway…

and in keeping with BF shopping traditions, 6 hours, lunch, starbucks and a cold powerade later, i still left empty handed…. ::sigh::

but it was good. im home.

im with the family.

and i WILL be home for Christmas:-)

april said it best in her most recent post.

we have much to be thankful for. much.

i am a son of the Most high God… and i am loved:-)

an awesome concert
and even better thanksgiving.

i leave you with this, my prayer from last nite…

when its all falling down on you
youre crying out but youre breaking in two
when its all crashing down on you
when theres nothing you can do
there is someone who can carry you

every little things gonna be alright
every little things gonna be alright

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