Birthday’s and Days off…

Hey gang…

So, yesterday was my birthday, and I took the day off so I could spend some time with friends and some time relaxing. And it was wonderful. I’m not big on my birthday, I mean, it’s not like I did anything that day, I just kinda popped out, so I usually make my birthday about others (specifically, my mom, she’s the one who carried me, gave birth to me, and had to deal with my shenanigans growing up…) Continue reading

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Love vs. Judgement

I read this great post the other day and it really moved something in my spirit. Made me feel both happy and ashamed to be a Christian. This woman called out the best in us, and pointed out the worst. Showed us what Christ said, and showed us where we fall short of that calling… I would really encourage you to take some time and head over to her page and read it…

Why These Are My Issues

My Request is Simple…

Today, I’m not going to talk to you, I guess you could say it’s a guest post of sorts. Today, all I want is for you to take a few minutes and watch this video. Because SOMETHING needs to change. This man NEEDS to be stopped…

Now, I’m not saying to support Invisible Children. As a not-for-profit, only 32% went to direct services, the rest to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production, non of which is bad, but it’s less than ideal… Some people love Invisible Children and support it, and some are having major issues with them. I’m not supporting or bashing them. I do agree with their goals, though not their methods… My focus is on Joseph Kony himself, not the Kony 2012 project or Invisible Children. You do your own research on them and make your own decisions about those projects…

Celebrations (5 of 5)

I love having guest posts, so for the last post from my review of this past year, I wanted to put up the post written by my now roommate Chris Hall…. If you want to guest post, please feel free to shoot me an email via the contact page, or if you have my email, email me directly… Continue reading

Dry Bones

Above is a song. I would encourage you to either listen to it before reading, or at least let it play while you read this, most of this post is going to be based off of that song…

I guess you could say this is a guest post by Cody Hall, because as I was reading his notes for his sermon last week, I thought “This is a GREAT blog post” so I asked his permission, copied and pasted his notes, and then just added my own thoughts to it, so like 95% of this is actually Cody’s… (you can find the whole sermon here)

This song is about God’s ability to restore and redeem and to takes us back to that state that many of us have given up on.

Today, many feel stranded in a desert of hopelessness and emptiness. This song refers to a man named Ezekiel. (You can find the story in Ezekiel 37.) God showed Ezekiel through a vision this vast valley of dry bones, which symbolized the nation of Israel who was in captivity. The people had lost hope and had given up on ever being a free nation again. They were in a tragic desperation, but God planned a spiritual miracle to demonstrate His power over any circumstance.
Continue reading

Above Themselves

Hey guys, today I guest posted on Brenda Boitson‘s blog. Quick bio on Brenda, she lost her husband to cancer at a very young age. And as I have gotten to know her, and gotten to hear her story, she has become a huge inspiration to me of persevering through loss. So when she put out on twitter that she was looking for people to guest post, I JUMPED at the chance. So, without further adieu, go read my guest post on her blog. You can find it HERE

The Fight | Guest Post by Chris Hall

Today I have the privilege, no, the honor of introducing you to a good friend of mine, Chris Hall. I don’t think I’ve ever told him this, but he was one of my inspirations for writing more, and it was that inspiration that eventually got me into blogging. I first met Chris when I came out to Gap with University Master’s Commission. I worked very closely with his dad, and made quick friends with his youngest brother. Since then, we have gotten to know each other better, had good talks, and been a proverbial shoulder to cry on when life sucks, and help each other fight through things. This guy has my utmost respect, and I am honored to have him here today. So, without any further adieu, I give you, Chris Hall:

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It seems that despite my efforts to do otherwise I know quite a few people. And despite my endeavors to ignore them I have come to know the pain that so many of them weather.

What a fragile race we are. I suspect there were times I shut people out because I knew that to really, truly know them would be to know their pain.

I think some hearts are broken because they’re meant to be that way. I don’t mean broken in a romantic sense. I’m not talking heartbreak after a break-up. I mean heartbroken in the sense that your heart, the core of who you are, becomes broken because the weight of the agony in the world around you is too much to shut out.

For the most part I was able to grow up in a relatively sheltered world and I liked it that way. That’s not to say that I didn’t experience my share of grief and pain. I have a father I saw only a handful of times and haven’t had contact with since I was 15, but I was fortunate enough to have another man step into my life and adopt me as his own son and there are days I still don’t understand how he did that.

As I passed through adolescence into adulthood the terrible, shattering agonies that so many of you know slowly began to hit closer to home until I eventually endured my own. My heart broke. The core of who I was cracked, irreparably, and I knew that I could never go back. There was a day I was standing in my parents’ kitchen, the burden seeming too much to bear, and my dad said something to me that I’ve repeated to myself so many times through so many situations since then. He said, “Are you going to stay in this place or are you going to fight?”

Questions like that are one of the reasons I love my dad so much.

And I fought. I fought through the doubts that plagued me in the still of the night. I fought through the careless words of well intentioned people and I fought through the idea that I was alone through it all.

Shit happens, as the saying goes, and I believe that so often that’s where God meets us. Through my own trials I’ve come to know a God who is more faithful than I ever dreamed. I don’t believe He causes the storms that leave us battered and bruised, but I know He is present in them.

A friend told me recently that he feels like a coward. He said he knew he was allowing fear to rule his life and that made him a coward. To this friend there was nothing worse that he could be.

And it broke my heart.

His burden became my own and to leave him with it was unthinkable.  I told him getting knocked down by fear didn’t make him a coward but staying down would. I said I’d seen him take blow after blow only to try again, only to keep fighting. He’s not a coward. If anything he’s a warrior.

I see that in so many people. I see the thought of giving up pass behind their eyes as it crosses their mind and it breaks my heart. We are a fragile race, but when we fight we do not fight alone.

I never wanted to break. I never wanted endure the pain that so many do but now that I have there is no going back and I know I’m better for it.

As you read these final words I’m sure that you know what heartache feels like. I’m sure you know what those places of desperation look like and so I leave you with my dad’s challenge:

Are you going to stay in this place or are you going to fight?

Time

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve posted, but life has been busy, and I’ve been pushing off my postings… Well, maybe I’ll do better, maybe I won’t, I don’t really know, but I’ve come back because I have a friend who posted something on his blog that I felt was worth sharing, so ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu, I give you Chris Hall:

It’s strange the way our mistakes can haunt us long after they’ve happened. Certainly, there are transgressions whose effects are naturally felt through the years, but then there are others that, while they seemed so small at the time, carry on much longer than you would have thought.
I never wanted to be someone who looked back and saw only mistakes – that’s no way to live – and I don’t think that’s how I view my life when looking back. Sure, I have my regrets but I don’t let them darken the sun in my skies. This week, though, I’ve been thinking back to one regret in particular. One time where I sincerely wish I’d turned left instead of right, spoken instead of being silent.
Some time ago I had a very dear friend. She was very sweet and very caring. Her compassion seemed limitless and she was a far better friend to me than I ever deserved. She held an optimism that seemed to keep the contemptible in me at bay and I was a better person for knowing her. The last time she called me I was sitting at my desk, the same one I’m writing at now. She said she wouldn’t be calling me anymore. She had to move on with her life. She had a different road to take and it was a road that went away from me.
I didn’t blame her. I knew what she was telling me was the truth. This was simply the way things were. Events I helped set in motion had reached their inevitable conclusion. Still, I felt cold after our brief conversation. I felt naked to the wind and I knew that I had lost something good.
My regret, even still, is that I took her for granted. I took something that was deliberately bright and true in my life and threw it in the weeds of apathy. It was a loss of my own making and something I can never gain back. She did move on with her life and, from what I hear, is very happy. I’m glad to hear that. I’m glad that she’s happy . She deserves it more than most.
I hadn’t intended to write about her. I tried not to. I thought it was too personal, but it affects me now and I’m learning from it now and that is reason enough to share.
Some of the best advice my dad has ever given me is to get rid of the “what ifs” in my life. I’ve never been much of a risk taker but when I hear my dad’s voice telling me those words I know that what I can’t risk is my life on the mundane. True, risks involve pain and I’ve had plenty when those risks didn’t pay off. But that pain is nothing compared to the pain of “what if.”
So I’ve decided I want 2010 to be the year with no “what ifs.” That means a lot of risks, a lot of joy, a lot of pain. But isn’t that the way life should be lived? When 2011 rolls around and we’re one year closer to oblivion I better not be looking back at this year and asking “what if?”.
“What if I hadn’t taken a friend for granted?”
“What if I’d gone out and lived for other people?”
“What if I’d told you that I loved you?”
“What if I’d made that phone call?”
“What if, what if, what if…” The possibilities go on and on. The point is life is short. These years pass with alarming speed and the dead cannot seize a second chance. Live well because this year may be the last you can. Sometimes it takes a look back at the days we didn’t seize to give us reason to relish today.
When my end comes and my Maker asks me how I liked His gift I want to be able to say “It was a life well lived.”

You can find Chris at The Cynic’s Alley