Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mom Should Be Proud

My score on The Commonly Confused Words Test:

English Genius
You scored 85% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 80% Advanced, and 86% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit:

Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test
(OkCupid Free Online Dating)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Humble, (Not So) Little Addendum

I wanted to add something to this post. Well, maybe not so much add, as rephrase.

A friend commented that they lost their faith when they were told God never gives us more than we can handle. I don't know if that was from me or not. They also added there was no way God thinks they are that strong. Well, that made me stop and think.

And, while I do believe that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, I think there needs to be an addendum to that. Which would be... with His help. Let me recount how I came to Jesus by way of better explaining what I mean.

When I moved to Indiana, I was desperate for a major change in my life. I got no joy from work, my marriage had many issues, and for various other reasons, I was just completely down my life. Growing debt, ho-hum work, family problems... there was a time when I felt happier whenever I was away from the apartment. I was practically a different person.

Things needed to change... badly. A job opened up in Indiana within my company and without much thought behind it, I applied. It was the day of my phone interview that proved to be one of the most tumultuous and worst days of my life. To keep a long story as short as possible, my marriage could have well died that day.

Obviously, I ended up getting the job in Indy. Two months had passed between the phone interview and my first day on the job - March 15, 2004. The wife and I started working on our marriage and family life. Things were looking up. I moved to Indy first to get settled in and my family joined me in late June. So, I was living alone for a few months.. living lonely. A phone call with family is much different than a hug.

It was a lonely couple of months for me. New town, alone, not knowing anyone. The plan was for me to dive immediately into theatre into order to meet people and I got cast in a local production of Fiddler on the Roof. It was here I met one of the most genuine persons on this planet, Amy.

We were talking backstage one night and I told her how I felt just lost. By this time, my family had already joined me, but I was deep enough in that their presence didn't cure me of my ails. I still felt my marriage was rocky and didn't really have a plan to fix it. I think I was perhaps indifferent to it for a while. I just knew I was in a lot of pain and wanted that to end. I needed things to change and I didn't know how nor if I was strong enough to make the necessary changes.

After talking to Amy, she gave me a little pamphlet of the Gospel of John. Given my turned-off-by-Catholicism-and-Christianity attitude of the time, I was surprised at how relieved this gesture made me feel. I certainly had turned away from Christ for my adult life up to that point. Ignored him and the church since I was forced into the sacrament of Confirmation. Even looked down on and thought Christians were pretty much fools. Yet, I was amazed at how completely touched I was to receive Bible scripture. Weird, huh?

What's weirder is how I devoured the words and meaning. John's words really moved me and compelled me. I felt for the first time that I was hearing God speak directly to me. I underlined passages and reflected heavily on their meaning. I'm not sure if my words can accurately describe how moved I was.

Not long after, I did something I hadn't done in, well, God knows how long. I prayed. I talked with God for a really long time and told Him about my loneliness and how I needed a change. I told Him that I had reached a point where I didn't know what to do and I didn't have the strength to change on my own. I told Him if He would help me, then I would devout my life to Him.

And, in THAT INSTANT, THAT VERY INSTANT, I could feel the warmth of someone holding me, hugging me. I have no doubt today that was Jesus Christ telling me everything would be OK. My tears of loneliness warmed to tears of joy. That's when I first truly felt the Holy Spirit's flame inside my heart.

Now, I'd like to tell you that life's been peachy keen ever since. Of course, it has not been all the time. If you've been following my journey, I think you'll can tell how far I've come. If this is your first time here, take some time and go through the past two years worth of archives. You'll see the wonderful journey I have been on. It has its ups and downs, but the downs don't hurt nearly as much anymore. And, that's because I know God is working for me. He is my strength and my courage when I have none. Psalms 18 says this all to perfectly (Or try The Message Paraphrase).

For a lot of people, it takes reaching rock bottom before they'll turn to God for help. I don't know if I was completely at the bottom, but I was definitely the lowest I had ever been when I heard Christ's call. If you feel like maybe you can't do it on your own, try this - just ask God to help and see what happens. He will answer you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

To the ladies and gay men

Well, I just got the email about the Full Monty. I didn't get cast. And, I'm ok with that. I figure God's got other plans for me and that's just fine. Sorry to disappoint all the ladies and gay men. You'll have to make other plans to see me strip. *giggle*

Actually, I'm a little surprised at how ok I am with not getting cast in a show. That's probably a first... Being OK with not being cast. This ain't the first time I didn't get a part. Won't be the last. But, still, I'm not nearly as disappointed as I usually would be.

For a while before auditions, I prayed to God just for me to give the best audition I could. And, I feel like I did. I prayed for Him to be with me at auditions, and He was. I told Him that no matter what happened, I would be ok with the casting. If it was in His plans for me to be in the show, then that's what would have happened. But, it's not and that's just fine. He's got something else He needs me to do. And, I'll be there to do it.

Psalms 22:4-5 says
"In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
What do I have to be disappointed about? I trusted God and I'm comforted knowing there's something else I can do for Him that's more important.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Humble, Little Story

Somewhere in the Bible, it says something about living humbly. In truth, I don't know the specific passages, but if you'll indulge my generalizing, I think we'll still learn a lesson.

My pastor often says that the word of God, the Gospel, travels through us on its way to someone else. And, I'm feeling like there's some reason more than my own... humbleness... that I am writing about this subject. Like humbling myself in this post might help someone who's reading it. So here we go...

A few months ago, we moved out of an apartment into a new house. We had problems once we moved out. The apartment complex seems to think we owe them a month of rent we didn't stay there for. We gave verbal notice but not official written notice as called for in the lease. A few weeks into the 90-day trust challenge, I lied in hopes of getting out of it. And, for this I feel the need to humble myself and ask for forgiveness. In fact, I have asked God for forgiveness. This is the humble part.

Lies are funny because, if your good at it, no one will ever know. Rather, no human will ever know. God always knows. He knows what's in your heart and will deal with you accordingly. For Christians, you would think knowing God always knows would effect the way we act more. Knowing that God knows should be a great deterrent to giving in to even the slightest sin. But, it's often not.

Get ready for a long read...

We lived for two years in our old apartment complex. When it was time to renew the lease, we decided to sign a month-to-month lease. The paperwork was dated and signed on April 7, 2006. The lease specifically says that it begins on May 1, 2006, is good for 1 month, and expires on May 31, 2006. It also says that 60 day written notice must be given to move out and that notice must be turned in a specific way. When we signed the lease on April 7, 2006, we did give verbal notice and were told we still needed to give written notice.

We were gone on May 31, 2006. The apartment complex is claiming we owe them for June 2006 because we didn't give proper, official written notice. The only defense we have is how do you give 60 day notice on a 31 day lease.

Meanwhile, I started the 90-day trust challenge where I tithe for three months and see what happened. During this time, I told a lie in hopes of getting out of paying this. I distorted a fact. And for a while, it helped. I guess that's the nature of it.

I left a message in August for the apartment complex people basically asking them to explain how they can charge me for June when the lease was up anyway. To date, they haven't returned my call. So, I thought that maybe they decided with the lease ambiguities it wasn't worth pursuing.

My parents loaned me the money to pay this just to settle it. I accepted it knowing I would be (and are) paying them back. But, medical and dental bills started to make money extremely tight. I ended up using the loan to pay some of these thinking the apartment people relented. As of this writing, they don't know I did that, but I do plan on telling them. I feel like I might have betrayed their trust, even though I am paying them back, since I didn't spend the money on what they think I did.

I knew it the apartment people could come collecting at anytime. But, for three months, there was no contact from them. During that time, I started feeling... well.. further from God. I wasn't praying or fasting like I had been. When I heard that still small voice talk to me, I pushed it away. To use the "walking the path" analogy, I was on the path, but I stopped walking and was sitting on a bench. I just didn't feel as close to God has I had been. Later, I got off the bench and started walking again. Since then, I've asked for God's forgiveness for not listening to Him and lying about the situ.

A few days ago, I got a letter from a collection agency about paid the apartment people. God's really funny. You see, He might put things on you and He might test you, but He never gives you more than He knows you can take. And, while I might have failed His test earlier, I learned from it, as I learned to trust him during the 90-day trust challenge. While I struggled through the challenge to give God my 10%, and while I struggled to make ends met, God still provided. Even when I turned away from God for a bit, He still provided. And that's important.

God never gives you more than He know you can handle. There was no way I could afford to pay the apartment bill. Not at the time. Not with the medical bills and everything else. But, God provided for me through all of that time. He made it so the bill would get fumbled around and held up until I could afford to pay it myself. And, today, we're at a point financially that I can without a problem. And that's what I will be doing by the end of the month.

If there's a lesson you can take away from this, it's this: God only gives you what He knows you have the strength to handle. Take comfort in knowing that no matter what's on your plate, God knows you can deal with it. Take comfort knowing that you can get past whatever you are dealing with. It might be difficult and you might not see how right now, but you CAN. Have faith in that.

I want to apologize to those who have given me advice on this matter for a little betrayal of trust. I humbly ask for your forgiveness and I hope I can earn that trust back.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let It Go, Let It Go

Ladies and Gentlemen, after a healthy amount of thought and consideration, I decided to audition for "The Full Monty" musical, based on the movie of the same name. Let's get right to The Question shall we? Yes, the fully monty will be done in this production. You heard me right. Naked men on stage... and for some reason, I decided I wanted to try to be one of them.

If you haven't a clue as to what I look like, well, I'm 6' 0", about at least 70lbs overweight with approximately 10lbs of that being hair. Not exactly a sight that should be seen in public, much less charge people to see. To be honest, I have more than enough body issues that you'd think I wouldn't want to willingly be naked in front of the world. But, I do.

I guess I'm still trying to figure out exactly why. There is a part in the show that must be played by an overweight guy. "Dave" has to sing, do a strip tease, and be willing to drop trow. He is also very uncomfortable with his body image. Hey, look at that - I can sing and I'm uncomfortable with my body image. How many guys in this city can say the same thing AND be willing to be naked? Can't be too many I would think. So, I was thinking competeion for the part would be few.

Two days ago, I had my audition. It was comforting to know that I was number 3 to audition; get it over with early. It also helped to know alot of the folks who were auditioning. That would make it easier to disrobe should I be cast.

We did the singing audition in a small room in front of the director, music/vocal director and piano player. I wasn't too familar with the show music, so I stuck with my audition standard, "All Good Gifts," from Godspell. When they called my number, I was ready to go. Small talked a little and then began to sing.

There's a high note in the song that usually gives me trouble. The high G I can usually hit, but the high A is where my voice faulters. I sang the first verse and chorus. And, not to brag, but I felt this was the strongest and most sincere I have ever sounded with this song. When I hit the high G, I felt as though my voice would be able to hit a high C without trouble. They cut me off before the high A, so I don't know if I would have struggled with it, but I don't think I would have. For me, the key to this song is to sing the words sincerely. They tested my vocal range in the lower notes and I was done.

Then came the dance audition. We would be learning a portion of the strip routine without any actually clothing coming off. I'm not a good dancer, but I can be choreogpaphed. It might take me a long time to learn the steps, but I'm dedicated enough to come early and stay late and practice at home to learn them. Hopefully that showed. We took about 15-20 minutes to learn the routine. The co-choreos could probably tell I was having trouble, but hopefully my attitude helped sell me. It's not just a strip dance, it's acting sexy while stripping. I might not have hit all the steps, but the attitude I felt was good. Besides, fat man strip dancing is at the very least fucking funny.

We performed the dance a few times for the choreos and I did alright. Not great, but I probably showed them that I could be taught. Then, the director came in to watch us once. And, I completely forgot everything. Don't know what happened. Nerves, I suppose.

And that was it. We were told we'd know one way or the other by Sunday. So, I'm waiting by my cell phone for that call.

I've told several people I was auditioning and I was suprised at how supportive they were. Most reacted with happiness and enthusiasm for me. I half-expected them to give me some grief. Instead, I'm quite happy to say they've all been supportive. I've got good friends. Thank you.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Time for a change

Well, they say that change is good, right? Well, I gotta tell ya, I'm not happy with this one. My internet service is phasing out dialup connections. That means I need to get a new provider until we get a new computer and time warp into DSL and the 21st Centurt. That means all the lovely stuff that is hosted by my 'net provider - the gifs, etc that make... made... this place look pretty would be deleted. So, ML gets the chore of upgrading the website. It's time for that really. The code is old and I've been wanting to tweak some things. In the meantime, this blogger template (yack) will have to do... It's gonna take me some time to get used to...

Things that are gone that I hope to bring back in the future: stuff about me, any links to other places, all the previous comments (they are archieved somewhere but are unable to be used on blogger at this time) and well, pretty much anything that isn't from blogger... We'll have to see if I can play around with bloggers code when I get the time...

In the mean time, enjoy the words. That's why you come here anyway, right? Right???