Monday, November 30, 2009

Last day of November

Hello again, my faithful readers! Happy last day of November; I hope it has treated you well, but even more so, I hop you are ready for the beauty that is the month of December.

So today was a pretty good day overall. I woke up early so I could go to the 8:30 service, as opposed to the 11:00, that way Meagan and I would have more time to write the papers that we had due tomorrow. Well, the early service was good, we were actually in the sanctuary, as opposed to the gym, and we sang more traditional hymns, which I really like and which you don't really see that much in contemporary settings.

Anyway, after church I came back and made lunch-chicken! Then before I sat down to write my paper, I took a two-hour nap. Then at 3, right as I was about to start my paper I got a call from Tyler asking if I was going to the parade. I said no and he tried to convince me, but I think he felt bad when he thought about my having to write a paper and so just left it at that.

Well, I finished my paper, but not until after dinner-which, even by caf standards was pretty lacking. But the company was pretty good, the boys from suite g came and sat with me-a rare treat. Plus I was able to watch part of the christmas movie in which one of santa's daughters loses her memory. It had the Angel of Death, Andrew, from 'Touched by an Angel' and so part of me kept waiting for someone to die. Fortunately, no one did.

After dinner, my focus team met for the last time this semester and we had our white elephant gift exchange. I was pretty impressed with the gifts, I don't think any of them were lame or inadequate in comparison and so all in all it was a good christmas party. After that I went to the gym to help stave off the increase that is sure to happen with the holiday season.

Then I got to see Trey and that was pretty awesome, because he wasn't at dinner and I wasn't sure when I would get to see him. So yeah, Jehovah jireh. Then Derek and I went to cookout and watched an episode of '30 Rock'. Finally, I sat down to blog about my day.

So yeah this blog is kind of boring, but I guess I just wanted to fill you guys in on my day and I didn't really have anything else to say (my mind is kind of frayed from paper-writing). My challenge for today?-treat your body well this week. Get lots of sleep, drink plenty of liquids and eat smart. Exams are next week and we need to be in tip-top shape in order to make it through the week.

I am thankful that there is a gym facility that I can make use of for free.

Later, gator


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Organized Sports

Ok, so don't tell Meagan I am writing this right now, or she might croak a toad-you see my head is pounding and she told me to go to bed, but I had to really quickly blog a little bit.

So, I don't think organized sports are my thing. Don't get me wrong I love to play basketball or racquetball, whatever. But I have recently realized that I enjoy them in as much as I am just having fun and not getting too serious. Last night, I played some basketball with the Zoar youth again, but this time Tyler came and played as well. When he was guarding me, he was taking it a little too seriously and was pushing me around and 'legally' roughing me up. Well, I wasn't having so much fun and began to feel a lot better about my decision to not play basketball in high school. I like to play it, but I really couldn't care less whether I win or lose.

Then, tonight G-Dubb played Western Carolina in basketball. I was getting too caught up in the game and was getting frustrated at every blown call and missed shot. It was too much, I was allowing my emotions to run rampant because of some insignificant sports event. However, at half-time one of the Zoar youth showed up at the game and then it really woke me up to reality. Here I was a 23 year-old (24 in two weeks) getting worked up over nothing, plus I would be setting a bad example for Christian. So during the second half, I tried to tone it down and just enjoy the game. I guess in a way that was God reminding me to calm down and keep focus in my life-honestly, it didn't matter if Western beat us in basketball. I am called to be a Christian everyday and in every situation; I need to remember that every time I step out on the court or sit down in the bleachers. If people can't see Christ through me, I am doing something wrong.

So here it is, my challenge: live the rest of this week like the Christians we are called to be. Before you act/react take the time to consider your actions and to allow each moment to serve as an opportunity to be a witness for Christ.

I am thankful my ability to write papers well and to write them quickly. What about you?

Later, gator


Friday, November 27, 2009

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I think it is going to be another short one tonight because I am tired and need to get some sleep. So, I definitely planned to use today to write some papers-but it did not go according to plan. I guess it went really sour when I read the blog of a friend and got really depressed. Well, to try and get out of my funk, I ran outside. Unfortunately, it took a lot longer to break the funk and so I ended up spending 2.5 hours outside and even did some shopping in good ol' BS.

Well, once I got back I had little desire to write the papers and so I took a nap. After my nap I made dinner and by then it was 6 and so I got ready to play basketball with the boys from Zoar again tonight, and Tyler even came to play. After that I joined Meagan, Tyler, Abigaile and their mom to watch 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' with JTT. It was a good time overall and I am gonna spend tomorrow writing papers.

Tonight my challenge is simple: prayer. I would like you all (and myself, of course) to find one high school senior and pray for them throughout the rest of this academic year, especially for them as they prepare to go off to college. If you don't know a senior you could pray for, let me know and I'll find you one.

BTW, I am thankful today for opportunities that God has given me to get to know people, more specifically, the opportunity to get to know the Zoar Baptist Church youth group and to be able to hang out with them. What are you thankful for?

Later, gator


Blindsided By Basketball

Ok, so today started out pretty uneventful, yeah? I woke up at about 10:30, ran around campus for a little bit and then came back and took a shower in preparation for eating thanksgiving at the Barrs'. Which, by the way, was amazing! I am about to heat some of the leftovers that they gave me and I can't wait (even if it is 2 in the morning).

However, before I left, I invited a bunch of the guys from the Zoar Baptist Church youth group to play some basketball on campus. I wasn't sure if they accept the offer, but then I kind of forgot how much they love basketball. Long story short-they came over and we played a full court game, a half-court game, and a bunch of games of knockout. Needless to say, I definitely got my workout for the day and I had a whole lot of fun, too.

After the games, Charlie and I planned to see the movie The Blind Side and invited the guys to come as well, they all came along and can I just say how awesome that movie was?!? I had heard it was good from some of my other friends, but I didn't think it was going to be as good as it was. Now some of you will probably disagree, but I really liked the movie. Yeah, at times it was kind of feel good-sappy, but I was really impressed with the movie as a whole and loved the overall feel that it had. Plus, I spent a little bit of time wondering how I would handle each situation and what kind of counseling I could use to help the situation.

My challenge for today, for you readers as well as myself, is to find someone in your community in whom you can invest some time and energy. It doesn't matter who, or if anyone else knows that you are doing it. But you cannot imagine the impact that one person taking the time to be there can have on a person. So get out there and be there for someone who needs someone to whom they can turn. (Is it just me or do a lot of my challenges seem to follow along the same theme?)

Later, gator


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What are you thankful for?

For all of my international readers, who may not be familiar with American customs/holidays, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A wonderful holiday in which families come together to celebrate the origins of our nation, say one thing they are thankful for(usually involving the food they are about to eat), eat turkey, and pass out while watching football/Christmas movies/inexplicably lame holiday specials or whatever.

So here is a brief history lesson: 'pilgrims' from Europe travel to the 'New World' (aka USA) and experience hard times during the later months in the year. Some Native Americans decide to help these somewhat naive travelers and share their food with them. And so the first thanksgiving. It is a celebration of food; now don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of turkey, etc., but I think we get so caught up in all of that and we forget to take time and genuinely reflect on our gratitude.

This thanksgiving has been interesting in that regard; my friend Meagan decided that we should take the time every day to say something that we are thankful for. We started this about two weeks ago and so I have listed at least 10 things that I was thankful for and it's not even officially thanksgiving yet! Now granted, some of those those were really specific to things going on in my life at the time, but isn't that the point anyway? That we should be always thankful for the things in our lives and to learn to live in appreciation for what we do have.

As I said before, I love Leave it to Beaver; well, I was watching an episode today and it was about Wally's birthday. (For those who don't know, Wally is Beaver's older brother). In it, Beaver was supposed to spend his $6.95 and get Wally a present, a camera that had a flashbulb-so you could take pictures at night. However, once he got to the store, his friend convinced him to buy a bow and arrow set for himself instead and to get Wally a cheap gift. Well, to make a long story short, Beaver eventually felt guilty for buying himself a gift and not his brother. However, Wally didn't let it phase him; he explained to Beaver that he had done a similar thing when he was younger and their mom had told him to buy flour and he bought chocolate syrup instead. Wally still loved Beaver just as much and didn't care that he hadn't gotten him a cool gift-you better believe Beaver was thankful that his brother was so cool about it all. Why did I tell you that whole story? I'm not sure, at first I thought it was relevant and then the more I talked about, the more I realized that it wasn't. But, I did like the fact that Wally was so understanding with his little brother and I guess I wanted to share that with you guys.....oh well, I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Ok, so here is my challenge for this post: demonstrate your gratitude. Take time each day from now until the new year (hopefully, even beyond that) and tell God or tell a friend something you are thankful for that day. It need not always be something monumental, but just be open and honest with what you are grateful for. I hope you and your families have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Later, gator


Saint Boniface

So, I recently visited Belmont Abbey with some of my classmates and whilst I was there I was encouraged by one classmate in particular to do some study on Saint Boniface. I told her I would and that I might even blog about what I learned; so here it is:

While he is the patron saint of Germany, he was actually born in Devon, England. Also, he got involved in the church against his father's wishes(something I see recurring in a great deal of renowned religious figures' lives). One story that I found to be particularly intriguing (partly because it dealt with Thor and I am a HUGE fan of Marvel comics and Thor is a character in those comics....anyway.....)was one in which he planned to chop down a tree that had been dedicated to Thor. He called upon Thor to strike him down with lightning; however, when he started chopping the tree down and nothing happened, all the people there converted to Christianity. Finally, the last piece of info I would like to include involves the day that is dedicated to his feast: Saint Boniface's feast day is celebrated on June 5 in the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion and on December 19 in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

It was kind of interesting learning a little something about someone I probably would never have otherwise investigated. So, thank you Amy, for that challenge. But, as is increasingly becoming the case in these blogs, I would to challenge all of you guys to research a historical person for the sheer fun of it and see what you learn about them. It doesn't have to be a Christian figure, but preferably it is a person who you don't really have a background knowledge from which to build.

Later, gator


Monday, November 23, 2009

So, I love Leave it to Beaver. I really do. It is a really amazing look into American culture and the family of the 1950's. Not to mention the fact that it still speaks wisdom to our lives in the 21st century. I don't know if any of you guys watch the show, but I recommend it if you get the chance.

I would write more, but my head is pounding...

Later, gator


Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well, hey! Fancy meeting you here. Would you mind if I sat and talked with you for a little while? It'll probably be me doing most of the that ok? Really? Ok, awesome!

So, I am reading through the book of Job, a really good read, and I suggest you pick it up if you get a chance. However, I would caution you, it is probably better if you are in a secure place spiritually, at the very least not in the pits of despair. I once tried to read Job while I was really upset....not good.

Anyway, so I just read chapters 8 and 9, in which Job's friend, Bildad, tells Job that if all of this stuff is happening to him, there must have been a reason-God rewards those who do good and punishes those who do evil. He encourages Job to implore God to show His compassion, for surely Job is upright and pure. He goes on to say that when we are in the will of God those who oppose us will be brought down and shamed, and their abode will no more be there.

This sounds familiar, right? It definitely does for me. Often when my friends are going through a hard time, I offer words of comfort (like those found in Romans 8:28). And while my speech may not sound exactly like Bildad's, there are definite similarities. He tells Job that God surely has his best interest in mind and so Job can take comfort in this thought; if Job turn completely to God's will, He will crush Job's enemies and remove the problems in his life. I can't tell you how many times I have told my friends that there has to be a reason for the trials they are enduring-not necessarily that they have somehow deserved them, but rather that God is seeking to teach them something through it. And that surely, God will work out for the best in the situation.

So everything's great now, right? We have assurance that God is working in our best interests. And yet, Job is not satisfied. He tells Bildad that there is no way to show God that he is pure and upright. No matter what he does, Job will always be filthy in God's sight. Job asks rhetorically, "Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?'" in verse 12 of chapter 9. We as humans have no basis to judge God or to demand that He explain Himself to us. Job, seemingly in despair, says that if God removed His rod and the dread/terrifying aspect, then he would be able to speak to Him.

How do you respond to something like that? How do you reassure a friend, who is clearly hurting and cannot find hope? I don't know. I know-I bet some of you were expecting some profound answer, but I have none. Other than, just be there for that person. Listen to them. That is perhaps the most important thing you can do, allow them to speak and to get out their feelings and frustrations. As I said in an earlier post, there aren't enough people willing to listen. Therefore, take the time to just sit and be there for a friend! Sometimes, they don't need a profound answer; they just need to know that someone cares for them and is willing to be there with them.

If anyone has any suggestions/comments, they are welcome.

Later, gator


Friday, November 20, 2009

Almost-the song I am lstening to, while I type this.

Today was a good day. Some things that I have dreading happened-wait, what? I hear you ask. You mean to tell me, that it was a good day because things you were dreading actually happened? That sounds crazy. Doesn't it, though?

Anyway, there were necessary things that took place and they went perhaps better than I could have imagined-although, as they say, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. So we will have to wait and see how things unfurl from here. But thanks and praise to God for working in that situation and providing an opportunity and means through which to accomplish those things.

Also, thanks to you guys for reading these inane musings-sometimes, it is nice just to know that people are listening...or in this case, reading. Some of you know that listening is one of my greatest talents and so when I find it in another person my respect for them increases exponentially. There are far too few listeners in this world and they are often overlooked because they spend most of their time listening rather than talking and making themselves the center of attention. So, my challenge for today for myself and you readers, is to seek out those listeners in your life and tell them thank you. Whether that be as simple as taking the time to find them and verbally thank them, or to write them a thank you note, or just give them a big hug. Also, encourage them in their listening, so they know that it is valuable and does make a difference.

I played racquetball with a friend who I have been trying to meet with for a while today-he is better than I was expecting, he beat me 10-8 one on one. I also got to meet two of his friends, who I hope I can continue to get to know as well.

Do you ever notice how it can be the simplest thing that blesses you so much? A simple facebook message can alter your view and bring a new perspective to a situation. Today, I am thankful for parents who are involved in their children's lives.

Later, gator


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Though the sorrow may last for the night.....

So for all you avid followers of my blog, I am once again up late when I should already be in bed. But on the bright side, I am in a better place than I have been. So there's a plus.

Why am I in a better place? Because there are some truly amazing people in my life. So often, I get bogged down by all the negative stuff that is happening that I don't take time to focus on all of the awesome stuff that is also happening. So a big thank you goes out tonight to two people: one for reminding me that people genuinely care about me and want to just talk with me; the other for reminding me that there are still people in this world who are willing to give of themselves (and their paycheck) to help a friend in need.

Tomorrow is once again a new day and as a friend reminded me, Joy comes in the morning. So my challenge for myself and for you guys as well-live tomorrow with joy. Though the world may be against me, yet I have the Lord on my side and His love fills me to overflowing. I may not be happy, but I can certainly have joy.

Later, gator


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In every life, a little rain must fall

Today was not a great day. Correction: the past few days have not been great. And why is that? Because I am a glutton for punishment. No matter how much I know it will hurt, I will continue to do stupid things like this all because I so strongly desire friendship.

It is nearly two in the morning and I am still awake. I should have been asleep long ago, I have class in six hours. But instead, here I am, awake and blogging about my life. Pretty pathetic, yeah?

Anyway, I had a presentation today on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship and it went well. When I picked that book I was expecting it to be challenging, but not to the extent that it was. Plus, after studying a little about Bonhoeffer's life, I realized that he actually lived life in the way that he describes in the book and he had a genuine heart for God.

I have an issue with a few of my friends, but as of yet have been too timid to mention it to them. I am not a confrontational person, I am a people-pleaser. However, tonight I was confronted about my lack of accountability for my brothers and now I am really conflicted. I feel that I should talk to them about it, but I know that if I do, our relationship will invariably change. Well, let's be honest-I don't know that it will change our relationship; in fact, it might be beneficial and help our relationship. But there again, I kind of doubt it.

I feel really sorry for myself right now and as I write this, I am becoming more and more repulsed by that. Who am I that I should be so self-absorbed that I allow bad days and situations to completely alter my attitude. I don't know.

Tomorrow is a new day and with it, comes new challenges. I pray that I will be able to face them with joy and peace.

Later, gator


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I wish I were a Jedi Knight

So, it has been a while since the last time I wrote something, but don't worry-I haven't forgotten about you. Life has just been kind of sporadic lately.

Anyway, I went to Zoar again tonight, had a great time. Those guys are pretty cool and FAR better than I am at basketball. We talked about of Life Map and how when people look at us, what do they see about us that talks about our Christian faith? Do they even know we are Christians just from how we act and what we do on a daily basis? It was a nice reminder that we are called to live for Christ everyday and to live in such a fashion that people recognize a difference in us.

So lately, I have been re-watching the Star Wars movies. Right now I am on episode 3 (having watched 1 and 2 earlier in the week) and I had forgotten how much I truly liked Star Wars. Jedi are so cool! Plus, there have been a few nuances that I have been observing this go-through; I am even enjoying the political aspect to it! There is so much going on in these stories, i don't understand how people can just dismiss them and consider them beneath them. Not only are there spiritual matters, but there are social statements and even just philosophical ideals being thrown around by these characters. Star Wars=pure awesome.

Any thoughts about Star Wars?

Later, gator


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ok, so I know this phrase is thrown around a lot, but I have to say THAT WAS THE BEST FOCUS TRIP EVER! Ok, now that I've said that, let me explain.

The Zoar Baptist Church youth group is one of the coolest group I have had the pleasure of hanging out with. Not only that, but they are really respectful. Especially for teenagers, that was really impressive. Plus, the church is only like 10 minutes down the road, so we can visit them pretty much whenever we want.

Also, for those who were wondering, my sermon went well (totally a God-thing cause I had nothing to do with it). Like Corey said, I want to hang out with the group more. Hopefully, I'll get to go to their thing on Wednesday night and maybe play b-ball or maybe even a round of signs.

Later, gator


Friday, November 6, 2009

How soon until Christmas?

Well, hello Friday, when did you get here? This week has gone by so fast! That is probably due in part to the fact that I didn't want the weekend to get here and time often seems to flow the opposite of how you want it. How self-centered we really are.

I finished writing the outline of my sermon, and when I say outline, I mean outline. It is really short and I wonder how long it will be when I actually go through it. I don't know, I've never really been one to practice speeches, etc over and I will definitely go through it once and see how it goes from there.

5 weeks of classes left! That is crazy, but I am so ready for the break-in fact, I could probably go for some Christmas music right about now. Man I am in a weird mood.

Anyway, pray for me this weekend-it is going to be long and draining.

Later, gator


Thursday, November 5, 2009

It is cold

Ok, so I am about to go to the gym, but I wanted to put something up for today just in case I don't get the chance to put anything up later.

I had dinner in the caf for the first time in a long time tonight and it was a lot of fun. It made me miss the times when I use to eat every meal in the caf, but also in a way it made me realize that this year is different. And I don't have to eat in the caf all the time and I still fill ok about it. I don't know if my message is getting across, but simply put-my sense of self is no longer dependent on my presence in the caf.

It's Thursday and that means 30 Rock and small group.......part of me is not looking forward to small group. This is a new feeling for me.....I don't know what to do with it. Hopefully, once things get started I will want to get involved in small group and enjoy the time with some of the greatest guys I know. Here's hoping.

Later, gator


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


So I didn't get around to posting again last night (I was too tired by the time I got back to my room), but that's ok-better late than never.

Anyway, I went to the Verge last night and it was......interesting. Don't get me wrong I think that the Verge is a great means of spiritual renewing, as well as a means to reach out to people who may not feel comfortable in a typical church setting. Here's my issue with it: the worship. I know that there are people who find it worshipful and a great means of connecting with God. But for some reason (perhaps, I'm showing my age here) that scream-o music is not how I worship. I spent the majority of the worship time trying to clear my ears from the ringing. However, I do not want to sound as though I am condemning this kind of music/worship-far from it. I know that there are many various means through which to worship (some people would probably be uncomfortable in my home church), so I am not speaking out against it.

However, I would like to see some more "traditional" (and I use that term loosely) songs thrown in there as well. I think the modern generation is so put out with the idea of liturgy and hymns, that they just abandon them all together. Some of my favorite worship songs are hymns (e.g. 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing', 'It is Well With My Soul', 'How Great Thou Art', etc.) and I by no means came from a traditional background.

Also, part of me feels as though a lot of the songs that are sung in contemporary settings are focused on us as the worshippers, rather than on God. For example, last night we sang the song 'How He Loves Us' and at the end of the second verse, the lyrics are "I don't have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about the way He loves us...." A great line about how God's love transcends any evil we can do. However, I think it important to note that is necessary for us to ask forgiveness and to turn from that way of life-it is not enough to just say I don't have time to care about it anymore, we must turn to Christ.

I don't know maybe I am just venting (which is probably the case), but I find it difficult to maintain an attitude of worship while I am constantly measuring everything that is being sung and how loud the music is, etc. Perhaps, my goal should be to get over that hurdle. Or maybe to come to the Verge for just the message and not the worship aspect......hmmm, any thoughts?

Later, gator


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Tuesday!

That's right, faithful readers, it is Tuesday. Tuesday is an all around great day for me. Why? I hear you ask: simple-I am done with class for the week, Chick-fil-a, and the Verge. Plus sometimes, I hang out with friends after the Verge, so that is always pretty awesome in and of itself.

This is just a quick blurb because I wanted to say something before I took a shower and then head to chick-fil-a. Maybe I'll write more tonight after some other things happen, who knows?

Later, gator


Monday, November 2, 2009

Yet another attempt to write and journal my thoughts

Hello. I often feel when first getting acquainted it is important to get some of the less interesting formalities out of the way. So here goes: I am 23 years old, born (and raised) in Orlando, Florida on December 8th, 1985. I am a sagittarius and have no idea what that means or how it affects my life in the slightest. Any other questions? No? Good, let us begin.

So I am in graduate school, despite years of telling myself that I would never go to graduate school and that once I received my Bachelor's I was out of there. But, as is often the case, God had other plans. So I find myself in my second year in a 90-hour Divinity School program. Not only that, but I work as a Graduate Resident Director on campus for a guys' dorm, which houses about 100 guys. So life can be stressful at times, to say the least.

Well, anyway. I have heard that writing your thoughts can be therapeutic and relaxing and I could definitely use some relaxation. So once again I am chronicling my life so that I might find some rejuvenation and healing.

Ok. I am preaching for the first time ever this Sunday! I know, it sounds crazy, but I think I have at least developed a picture (fuzzy and obscure, though it may be) of what I am going to preach about. That sounds really weird-what I am going to preach about. Hmm, my mom always told me I should get involved in preaching, so did one of my undergraduate professors. Well, I guess this will be a measure for me to determine whether I should consider preaching vocationally or keep away from it. Prayers are always appreciated!

Ok, I think I am gonna stp for now, before I talk your ears off. Plus I should get some sleep or homework done-one of the two.

Later, gator