Thursday, April 23, 2009


last night i had the opportunity of watching the greatest influence on the genre of music that i model a lot of my writing style after. they are my bloody valentine. there is a stupid movie that came out this last feb. that is titled the same, ok i say stupid i haven't seen it. austin might have a few valid points on its quality. however, this band has been out of it for a while. my good friend jesse hopkins had gotten a ticket for me and i was so glad i went. they played all my fave's to here knows when, only shallow, loomer, when you sleep, i only said, and soon. at one point in the last song they literally used the bridge as a 13 minute jet engine noise. it was so loud...glad i brought my earplugs. this jet engine noise was literally 13 minutes long. all they were playing was one note and this one note distorted/fuzzed so much that it sounded like white noise. my body shook so much because of the noise. it was awesome though and i enjoyed going to see one of my influences. thanks jesse for a memorable night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

anyway you want it

because of school i haven't really been able to sit down by myself and write thoughts and plans in my journal. i was able to that this morning and i will never stop doing this in my lifetime. i find it is very therapeutic and meaningful to have a journal and write thoughts, goals, ideas, or aspirations. i write a lot of my teaching ideas in my journal and i have nearly 3 books of information. today was simply what the summer may or may not hold in my opinion. 

i am excited because i am planning to graduate in december of this year with a masters in counseling, and i have a practicum site lined up for this summer as well. i will be actually meeting with people whom i have never met before and helping them with their issues. i am so pumped to do this. i have heard so many testimonials of those doing this being afraid about what they may or may not counsel. i don't have an opinion, i guess fear is natural, and in some forms good. it keeps reminding me i am human, however, i am doing something i have wanted to do since jr. high and this dream is coming true very, very soon.

liz is pregnant with our second child. this one will be due a week later in december than dutch's was 2 years ago. two kids with birthday's in the same month, oh and did you notice that it is also the same month of our lord's birthday...i know so awesome. when liz and i went to ukraine 2 years ago we had received a word from a guy named simon from belarus that we would have two children, one would be a teacher, and the other an evangelist. this brings joy to my heart because at least i know one will serve the lord whole heartedly! i am kidding i believe both will serve even better than i am. we have our first sonogram on may 11th, two days before my birthday. people ask me if i want a girl or another boy. i truly don't have any desires for a boy or girl, i just want it to be healthy, and not deformed, or mentally ill. i don't know if i would have the patience or courage to raise a child mentally ill. those who do are so amazing.

due to my career getting started i am planning on this summer being the last summer i am involved with 1829. i thought about it a long time and think that it's time for me to move on and pursue something the lord has placed on my heart less than a year ago. i have several individuals i desire to disciple and my schedule is only getting busier. i have been investing lots of time into my friend kumar from nepal i met last august. we have been to himalayan restaurants, starbucks (his first time), and a mav's game, which he has ever been to anything like that before. i have shared jesus with him and he has told me his mother back home wants to become a christian. i was excited when i heard this. i told him, "i must go to your house!" the only issue is nepal is millions of dollars in expenses...ok not millions, but definitely more financially than i can handle at this moment. so yeah, the summer will be my last for 1829. next fall i hope to start doing more with the gathering, which is the young adult ministry at shady grove church.

liz and i are planning on selling our house this next year and my 2002 subaru wrx is up for sale as well. we have reasons for this and not just that we rolled the dice one day and i lost. working at whole foods has been eye opening and fun. i am learning a lot about wine, cheese, and other great things to know about foods and the way they are prepared for the market place. i think every week i try a new cheese, and look at what new organic wine is out, hopefully is cheap. the organic difference is that wines are made without sulfites, which is basically a preservative. i know that all wines have some sulfites (miniscule content) but there are a few that don't contain any. but this job is challenging me to minister to those who don't really care for church or any organized religion. i have met this one woman who told me she had so many questions that didn't line up with her catholic faith, or any of the other churches. she told me that so much was preached that seemed contradictory to her. don't you love this about our maker. he so cleverly revealed himself to the foolish and baby's of intellectual knowledge, and those who aim at wisdom apart from him have eyes but cannot see. she told me she went to israel and she found the bible. the words jumped out of the pages into her heart. she celebrates shabbat and is the kindest person. oh, she does believe that jesus is the messiah.

so those are things i wrote about today. comment if you like. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the blame game

i love those moments when everything goes right and you, without a second thought or any hesitation, can blame it all on god. what is also funny are those moments everything seems to go wrong and you (or i) don't know who to blame. but one thing is for sure we wanna blame someone or something. i wonder if anyone, left alone to grow up by themselves, would at one point in their life start to blame troubles on someone else or something else. is it an innate characteristic of humanity to blame things on others, or is it cultural, or is it ethnically focused? is it apart of the fallen nature of mankind? it would be fun to do a longitudinal study over the course of time in a few individuals lives who live in different cultures, different ethnicities, and with different philosophical backgrounds to find out answers. i don't remember anyone teaching me to blame others for trouble, so is it learned? i don't remember the first time i blamed something on someone else...oh wait i remember now, and yes, it WAS steph's fault!

Friday, April 3, 2009

what's your brand?

yesterday was my day to watch dutch and i love watching him but on so may occasions when he is in your care you don't get anything else done. i was thankful that my wife came home a little early so i could go to school early and get some studying done. i was able to leave the house at 5:30 and would be able to arrive at school a good 2 hours before class actually started...or so i would hope. i haven't left this early to school before so the window of traffic from 4:45-6:30pm on loop 12 and spur 408 to i-20 is pretty packed with commuters. i didn't think anything of it of course, because, i was very early. the fast lane is reserved for those of us who on occasion like to go fast which is not possible at this moment but it does however provide the smoothest form travel as opposed to the slow lane which comes to a complete stop every 5 seconds. there was a point in my travel that i noticed a white substance coming from underneath my hood. i dismissed it because it was so light and the wind was so heavy; i reasoned it might be dust. i wasn't going but 10-15 mph at the time. the next half mile was such a horrible feeling as i realized it was my car that was smoking. the confirmation came when i was in gear but my car was acting as though it was in neutral. i could rev the engine which would shoot the rpm's up but the car would not accelerate. i pulled over immediately and proceeded to turn down the hardline on sports radio 1310 the ticket to listen for any noise while i had the engine on, but in park. nothing but miniscule amounts of smoke were streaming from underneath the hood. i turned the car off and thought about who i could call to help me. i will call my wife and ask for the insurance number to get a tow truck. our insurance cards just expired and so they were removed from the vehicle yet the new one was not put in place. i called but to no avail. i then called my mechanic, hadi, that is his name, he is persian. it is still so hard to understand him on the phone but all i could make out was, "if it is white smoke, it is a fluid burning." i got out to check if there was any fluid leaking underneath the car on the road. there was, it was red, so that means transmission fluid. i had a transmission fluid leak. so i called hadi and told him that he can expect to work on the car in the morning. meanwhile, i needed a tow truck. i was literally half a mile from kiest blvd, the exit for dbu. i just got back in the car began listening to the radio waiting for liz to call back. i proceeded to call her again, i looked down at my phone for maybe a second or 3. all of a sudden i look up and there is this guy in a white plymouth neon in front of me and he is approaching my door. i open the door and he tells me he saw me and wondered what the problem was. i got out and told him everything. he then takes off his shirt and proceeds to jack my car up and look underneath the car. i mean he was thorough about everything. "find a rock for the back tire, put the emergency brake on, get that metal sign laying on the ground cause the jack is sinking into the dirt, no that won't work, get the spare tire to prop underneath the jack so it won't sink into the dirt." he had a buddy who was with him, an older gentlemen, maybe 50, 60 years old who reeked of alcohol with a cigarette hanging on the end of his lips. the other guy jumps from underneath the car, with a cigarette hanging on the end of his lips mind you, and tells me he is a mechanic. figures, mechanics are the only ones who can properly work on cars and have that cigarette hanging on the end of their lips, you know, it looks as though it is just about to fall right down the center of the cavity of the front of the car? he then tells me his name and the name of the older gentlemen, we shake hands and i tell them my name. they then begin asking if i know about jesus and that he is the savior of all and that repairing cars in times of crisis seems significant but is trivial compared to what jesus has done for me. i was blown away! the story does not end there. the guy looking under my car tells me i have a hose that was cut by another part of the car but the transmission is not hurt. the older gentlemen then says, "oh, you mean you need this part?" he pulls the exact part i need for my car right out of his pocket and says he found it at the shop on their way out and didn't want to leave it there or throw it away. it was a hose with clamps and all for the proper repair. i didn't know what to say or think. these guys were the biggest bunch of rednecks i had ever seen. the older gentlemen told me, "lock up your sh*! and he will take you to get transmission fluid while i put the part on." i went got the fluid and couldn't believe this thing that was happening to me. they fixed the car told me about how all week they had been helping stranded motorist along 408. they live in oak cliff.

i have never encountered angels, but i have always believed they were there. my senses want to tell me this is just coincidence. i don't know thought, i didn't even see them pull up. i looked down for a second and then all of a sudden a man was approaching my car to help. and that is not even the craziest thing, but the older guy had the exact hose i needed to fix my car! i couldn't believe it. i told them i knew jesus and thanked them. i did repay them, not in cash though. i thought about it all night and still to this very moment i want to say they were just men. but were they? maybe god used these men to help me. the whole reeking of alcohol on the elderly guy, the whole dirtiness, and smoking like chimney's thing got to me. i have had my fair share of cigarette's and alcohol and, trust me, i understand the devastating effects these substances have on the body short and long term. i guess i still wonder...could angels smoke and drink?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

is this a win?

this article intrigued me. i personally recognize the dangers of smoking and that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. i concur that there should be stricter regulations on smoking despite the inevitable imposition on the freedom of u.s. citizens. i do not, however, believe that giving that regulating responsibility to the fda is wise. i whole heartedly believe that the fda does not always have the health of the american people in mind. there needs to be regulation for the benefits of health and health alone. the fda needs funding and it's different when money is involved. over half of the fda's funding is accounted for by pharmaceutical companies, which in 2005 was $200.7 billion. i strongly believe that prescription drugs are not worth the risk. annually over 750,000 people die due to medicinal mistakes. 120,000 die from properly taking prescription drugs...that's taking the pill just as the doctor ordered. so the fda flies in under the radar of federal protection but every one of the members are just as human as those who are taking those pills and just as human as those who are synthetically creating those pills.