Sunday, February 26, 2006

Never Ending Story

Just so you know, he's not gay. And, from the relatively brief conversation we had, it sounds like the same old guy - always looking for some tail. After playing phone tag for a few days, my friend from high school and I finally talked. I was a little awkward, not knowing if I was ready to deal with pain from the past. But, I realize now I should thank God for the opportunity to deal with and heal any pain. Running away and hiding only works for so long, you know. So, yeah, we exchanged emails and I'm actually looking forward to getting to reconnect.

God works in some funny ways. My friend was talking about going to Kuwait for work. Something I couldn't explain dealing with computers. But, maybe this is an opportunity to reach out to a non-believer (assuming he is a non-believer, sounds like he could be). So, while it might be difficult for me to deal with my stupid emotions, if that's a side effect of expanding God's kingdom, then, so be it.

So, I imagine I could be posting about this alot. Which could be bad. I mean, that last post was probably the most honest (read: unflattering to me) post I have ever made. But, then again, it's only the beginning of the story. And every story has to begin somewhere, it has to have some drama for there to be a story. And most importantly, the drama in the story should lead to change in the characters'... um... character.

One thing I take pride in with my blog is being completely honest about my thoughts and feelings. When I put myself in a negative light, then, I think it builds my integrity. Yes, I might sound like an asshole to some, but the whole point of this blog goes down the toliet if you, the reader, cannot take everything I post as 100% real and true. So, when I show my ugly side, it only makes the beautiful parts that much prettier. Like when I talk about how much God has done for me.

When I started this blog four years ago, I didn't really know why or what for. I guess I just wanted to put my opinions on the internet. Why? I don't know, maybe it's ego. But, as I'm learning, God has plans for everything. And, now, I think perhaps the reason I started blogging was to prepare me for his future plans. Now, this blog has become about the life of a Christian trying to walk in Jesus's footsteps. I'm not a preacher and I'm not perfect. I am tempted by sin and I do give in. Thankfully, God forgives me and I try harder the next time temptation rings my bell. Maybe someone will read this someday and realize how empty their life is and turn to Christ for help.

Anyone in the world can access this site, people who know me, people who have never met me. They all have access to my archives and I'd like to think that they can see how God is transforming my life. I have probably lost a few friends who don't understand true, real Christianity. Then again, if a lost soul or two stumble across this site (and I have no doubt God has or will bring them here), maybe my spiritual journey will spark a flame in them that has yet to be ignited or was previously extinguished. That's why I'm doing this - ugly and all. I'm writing about my experiences so the world knows that God is responsible for the wonderful changes in my life. I could not and cannot do them myself. This blog is my way of expressing the hope that God gives me, and hopefully, the love I experience works on the hearts of whoever reads about it. And, the story never ends... (until, maybe, when I die, but we're not gonna talk about that. It's just gonna happen one day and then, maybe, I'll be leaving a "legacy")

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Like, So High School

We’re digging up memories from high school (*shudder*) for this one.  Continue at your own risk…

Last night, I received a call on my cell phone.  I didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t answer.  If it’s so important, they can leave a message.  Usually, they don’t and I assume it’s a wrong number.  Not so this time.  No, this time, a message was left (Caution - High School Memories ahead).

The call was from a guy who was my best friend from 8th to 10th grade, maybe part of 11th grade.  My timeline might be off – most of my junior and high school memories have been vaulted.  But, his voice mail said that he was tracking down old friends and he got my cell number from my parents (I REALLY hate it when they do that.  Take a message and give me the choice, please).

Anyway, when I listened to the voicemail, I was… nonplussed… hear who called.  Have I ever mentioned that I’m an ass?  High School, and especially junior high, was a terrible part of my life that I think I’m finally getting over.  At least, over enough to forget about all the drama and be content with not having to associate with the jerks who plagued my teenage years.  There’s maybe two people I would like to get in touch with, mainly just to thank them for never being a jerk to me (High School Memories - Do Not Enter!).

In retrospect, my high school years were probably not nearly as bad as I think they were in the sense that, at least, I wasn’t the lowest peck on the totem pole.  If high school experiences are measured by who you mock, well, there were still people I felt was above.  That’s a jerky thing to say, but that’s how horrible I felt at the time.  I was far from popular and too smart for my own good.  At least, I was under the radar enough to not get stuffed in a locker.  Or maybe I was to fat for that.   I digress…  (Last Exit for 20 miles).

All of that to say, I really don’t want to answer the phone next time he calls.  I think I have some abandonment issues when it came to high school.  The two really close friends I did have left me all alone in my last two years.  

I’m not really sure what happened with one.  He had to move for some reason… was it a divorce, juvenile delinquency?  Maybe both.  I think it was the latter and we lost touch.  The other, the one that called, basically emancipated himself from his family and joined the army.  Both left me alone in the cruel halls of mine alma mater.  This might be the memory block talking, but I don’t remember being as close to anyone else in high school after they left.  I don’t remember feeling comfortable just hanging out with anyone else from high school.  My senior year, I was depressed enough to warrant seeing a shrink for a while.

So, yeah, high school sucked for me.  But now, this guy is calling me and according to his message will call back.  He left me his numbers to contact him at, but I accidentally (or maybe sub-consciously) deleted the message before I could write it down.  So, I have to wait for his call.  Will I be an ass and not answer?  I really don’t know what I’m going to do…

Then, I distinctly remember him ending the message, “I’ll talk to you later, girl.”  I’m paraphrasing but I definitely called me, “girl.”  Girl.  Last time I saw him was at his wedding probably 10 years ago.  Haven’t spoken to him since.  Yes, I’m an ass.  

There are a million things going on in my head now thanks to “girl.”  Did he come out? I wouldn’t have expected that from him.  Is he divorced?  Maybe he came out and his wife left him?  His brother was gay and he had problems with that.  Maybe he had some homosexual repression going on?  Oh God, is he calling to hit on me?  He knows I’m married and most definitely NOT gay (unlike Eddie – had to dude), right?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I mean, I’ve got a lot of gay friends.  If there’s anything I’m not, it’s homophobic.

Ok, settle down.  He’s probably just calling to get in touch with high school friends, like his message said.  My problem with that is that I don’t want to be in touch with him or anyone from high school.  I said it before, I’m an ass.  But, I’m not the person I was in high school and I don’t want to be.  And, me picking up when he calls back is really about who do I want to be.

I don’t want to be an ass.  I want to be the kind of person who is mature and who can deal with his own pain and bullshit.  I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t care about feeling awkward as long as he’s doing the right thing.  I want to be humble, selfless, loving and kind.

We all have our issues.  We all have our pasts we’re not proud of or happy with.  But, without those painful memories, we cannot be who we are today and who we are meant to be.  And, I guess for me right now that means I’m waiting for the phone to ring.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Sunday at church, we witnessed a baptism.  I really enjoy witnessing these events.  There’s a great joy that I think (and hope) overtakes those in attendance.  For me, witnessing someone else publicly accept Christ reminds me of why I did the same thing.

This particular baptism sparked some personal reflecting.  The person being baptized has some sort of health problem that necessitates her walking with a cane.  I’ve no idea what kind of disease or illness she has, but, it’s quite obvious from observation, it’s taken a great toll on her body, and perhaps her mental health.  Not that she’s wacko, mind you, but I’m sure there are self-esteem issues that come with your body betraying you.  Also, these are strictly observations and not necessarily fact.  I’ve never had a conversation with this person.  But, I can tell she is strong.

As I watched her video story, she spoke of form prayers and going through the motions and not understanding why or what they meant.  It reminded me of my own memories of Catholicism.  Then, I’m not sure what she said, but it made me think, “You know, if I was watching this as few as two or three years ago, I would have thought she was a fool.”  Work with me here for a minute…

My coming to Christ happened rather recently.  Next month will mark a year since I was baptized.  It was a conscious decision I made to follow Christ.  Since then, I’ve had to change a lot about myself and my thinking.  You cannot accept Christ without changing part of who you are.

But before I made that decision, I would have thought this girl was foolish to think that being baptized will help heal her.  As if the water poured over her had magical medicinal healing powers.  “Let go thy cane, walk-ah and-duh be HEAALLLEEDDD-DUH, Siiissstaaaahhh! Praise Jesus.”  “Girl, you can’t get take the JC Iced Tea Plunge and be cured.”  Two years ago, this is what I would have thought.  What a fool I was (am).

I’m not saying that God can’t heal her physical ailments.  Just as sure as you’re reading this, God can wiggle his fingers (I like to imagine that’s how He goes God-work) and heal what ails her.  What I’m saying is God has already helped her.  He’s given her the strength to get through the pain and hardships.  And, I imagine that makes quite a difference in her walk.

It’s good to be reminded about who I was and who I am.  It helps me see the progress I have made on my own walk.  It helps me to remain humble and thankful for the blessings God has granted me.  And, perhaps more importantly, it helps me to relate my own spiritual journey to those who have yet to take a step.

I’m godfather to three beautiful children and I love them very much.  I attended their baptisms and did the whole ceremony, “Do you promise… I do.”  All three baptisms happened before I came to know and really understand God’s love.  Now that I get it, I wish I could have a do-over with regards to their baptism ceremonies.  Somehow, it would mean more, at least to me.

Monday, February 13, 2006


This is pretty cool and requires you to play along or it’s not fun for ME! It’s called a Johari Window. I picked six adjectives from the list that I think best describe me. Now, you go and do the same thing, pick five or six words that you think best describe me. Then, I see what people think of me and if we’re all in agreement about ME… Or not. It’s all about how I see myself and compared with how others see me. It’s all about ME… or ML… same thing. Once you’re done, you can create one for you, too.

Click here to play along.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Idols, Not American

I'm trying really hard to understand why these cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, are causing such a hateful fervor. It is my understanding that the Islamic faith forbids such pictures of Muhammad because it boils down to idolatry. Can pictures of a god begat idolatry - the worship of a physical object as god? That's what I don't understand. Can someone so devoted to their god (in general, not just Muslims) not differentiate between their god and the ink or paint or whatever medium that depicts said god? I'm asking here...

Maybe it's a culture thing? I mean, Christians sure do have numerous depictions of JC. But, unless the artwork shows JC strapping a bomb belt or something, I don't see Christians getting riled up like this. Wait a tic, one of the cartoons is a picture of of a Muslim, presumably Muhammad, with a bomb-shaped turban. Yet, I haven't read or heard anything about anyone being offended by the point of the political cartoons. All I hear is that it's offensive to Muslims to draw Muhammad. Who cares what the picture says?

What's really disturbing is that people are being killed over this. Embassies are being burned. I read that a Christian neighborhod was razed. A bomb was thrown into a FRENCH cultural center in the Gaza strip. It's sad that all this violence is happeneing, but it's sickening that people who have NOTHING to do with it are targeted.

Here's some nice quotes for you:
Women wearing woodcarver chanted and held banners proclaiming: "Kill the one who insults the Prophet."
"Bin Laden our beloved, Denmark must be blown up," protesters in Ramallah chanted."
"Whoever defames our prophet should be executed," said Ismail Hassan, 37, a tailor who marched through the pouring rain along with hundreds of others in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
I can understand the offense, but is such violent anger necessary?

And how come we never hear of rioting when some terrorist kidnaps an innocent and chops their head off on videotape? Isn't that offensive to the religion? Where's the uproar over that? Isn't that offensive to the peaceful teachings of Muhammad and the religion? Again, I'm asking...

The real problem is we don't like jokes when they are true. And, there's a little bit of truth in those cartoons, not in the religion, perhaps, but in how the world perceives it due to the actions of its members. No one likes looking in the mirror. The truth does indeed sting.

I wanna thank Eddie for pointing me to some good, clean, blasphemous humor. Again, it's about having a sense of humor...

Monday, February 06, 2006

"Good Christians" don't watch Fox

So, I suppose "good Christians" don’t watch Fox, or else they would have gotten all riled up about this (NBC's 'Cruci-fixin's' were 'Leftovers' from Fox.) If this ain't God telling his people to lighten up...

Seems an episode of Will and Grace in the pre-production phase isn’t the first time “Cruci-fixin’s” come up. No, Fox’s Arrested Development has used the phrase:
It was first used on the oddball comedy "Arrested Development," when one of the characters quipped: "I think I'm going to go get one of those 'Corndog Crosses' -- with all the 'Crucifixins’”
And it comes as no surprise the phrase has been heard on the Simpsons, too.
"The Simpsons" cartoon also used the term in an episode that described a church ice cream social led by a character called Rev. Lovejoy. Lovejoy offered "Crucifixins," with flavors like "Blessed Virgin Berry," "Commandmint," and "Biblegum."
Yet, there was no backlash from Christian Right. No, screaming from the American Family Association. Stuff like this just makes me *giggle*

This just goes to prove that the Christian Right needs a good laugh. I mean, if they’re watching Will & Grace (hmmm… watching homosexuals… interesting…) and not watching Arrested Development and the Simpsons for God’s sake…

I can't wait to see what happens when they find out about this...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

We're too sensitive

NBC is planning to air an episode of Will & Grace that has the Christian Right up in arms again.  According to this article, the episode that airs the day before Good Friday will have Britney Spears as a guest star.  While getting uppity with NBC over something involving Britney Spears should be seen as a good thing, the reason a Christian advocacy group is mad is because of a small plotline joke.  Keep in mind, the episode is still in the production phase, meaning nothing is settled.

Jack’s fictional TV network, OutTV, is bought by a Christian broadcasting group and Mrs. Spears’ character hosts a cooking segment called “Cruci-fixin’s.”  People, THAT’S COMEDY!  A cooking show on a Christian network called “Cruci-fixin’s”  HA!

Ok, I can see why Christians could get offended at that.  But, really, guys and gals, we’ve got other things we need to worry about than this.  Lighten up.  How about we spend the time we use complaining about something as meaningless as a television show on something more productive like… I don’t know… how about spreading the word of Jesus Christ to the world?  Tolerance would be a good start, no?

People are too sensitive when it comes to their religion.  And you know, I gotta think that any intelligent being that has enough sense of humor to create a platypus would find “Cruci-fixin’s” funny in the same way “Dude, Where’s My Car” is a hilarious.  After all, if we were created in His image, then the reverse has to work, too, right?

Now think about this… In the past month, Christianity has been thought to be Hollywood’s punch line twice vis a vis “The Book of Daniel” and now this.  What you need to take away from this is that if Christianity is being mocked, it’s because of the way the world sees the overly vocal minority act.  If you think about it, that’s classic comedy writing.  The best way for Christians not to be ridiculed is for us not to do things that make us the butt of a joke… as in actually following the principles Christ taught us…  Faith, Hope, and most importantly Love.

Of course, aren’t I being a wee bit hypocritical taking this much time and effort to post about this all?  Well, probably.  So let me drop a little JC schoolin’ on ya…

Matthew 6:16 says “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”  In other words, hypocrites want you to see they are good Christians even though they are not.  The world sees these people and assumes that’s what the religion and faith are about.  Small wonder Christianity is mocked.  As for me, I like to think I keep it real enough here that you know how to take me.  I think you’re smart enough to tell if my face is disfigured.