Moderately throughout my life, I come to a point where I indulge myself into a bout of sincere honesty. As I stated in my previous post, I strive to be truthful when I think about my actions and words. I give no acclaim to self, but rightfully look to where I have been correct in words or actions or where I have been wrong in them.
You see my hopes do not rest upon my looks, character, personality, or charm, but more in my life’s work and my life’s task—the always progressive, but sometimes stagnate evolution in my relationship with God. That is where my reliance is and nowhere else. Yet, as frail as my words are, so my actions are also. Sometimes, I can be ignorant, get an ego, become totally lame, and there is obviously no reason for it. First of all, I should not do it because I am a Christian. Secondly, I’m just a stupid fat white kid and not really cool at all. Whenever I stumble upon a dim-witted situation such as this, God is faithful to remind me what truth is, however fuzzy it may look to me.
The Lord did not bless me with a great handsomeness. Nor did he bless me with any particular talent. I’m not necessarily ugly and I can even do a few things well, but there is nothing in particular that screams, instant physical attraction or TV heartthrob. Thus, the reasoning behind my post, because I can forget this, much like tonight.
It’s not that I carry a chip on my shoulder and proclaim that I am a stud or a ladies man. I just get little attacks of self-confidence for a season and I allow it to go straight to my head. There are very few clothes I feel comfortable in and that don’t make me feel like a pathetic slob. So, when I wear them, I actually have a fair amount of self-confidence in my looks. I guess I always let those few moments of buoyancy go sour.
Tonight I had my favorite pair of jeans on and my Further Seems Forever shirt, which fits reasonably well. I started walking to the bathroom at dinner and noticed a girl look at me. I proceeded to strut-my-stuff and ensue the ever so seducing “pimp walk”. Actually, I noticed the girl on the way out, but when I left the table, the whole macho man routine entered my mind, but not so much on the way out. After doing my business in the facilities, I walked up to the sink area and noticed I had some stuff on my shirt. As I looked closer, it was a lot of food I took with me from the table. Somehow, it even got all the way up to around my shoulder area. Anyway, as I cleaned myself off, I wondered how long it had been there. After, brushing off the food and my pride, I walked back to the table, noticing a waitress on the way out, and gave her a half-smile because she probably saw me on the way in.
For the rest of the night, my ego was deflated. I started thinking about how ridiculous I was being before I discovered the ration of food that I was saving up for winter. As many times as it has happened to me, I always forget the previous incidents. And you think I would at least remember my idiocy. But, I don’t. I think tonight’s episode will stay in my mind for a while. The annoying dilemma of over-confidence doesn’t just come up when I’m trying to impress girls, it comes when I’m basically trying to be something that I'm not. Confidence is fine, but egos are trite. I just need to remember that my assurance in myself should be minimal and my confidence must remain in Christ and in a Christ-like manner at all times. In hopes to not let that ego render me helpless from my own cesspool of stupidity, which is the only thing that I model well.
To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 2:26, NIV).
I strive to only say what I mean and mean what I say. Of course we all fall short of this practice daily because after all, we are only mere mortals. However, my inability to follow the standard of "Let your yes be yes and your no be no" doesn’t come as any sort of surprise for myself. I am by nature, a dishonest person.
I embellish stories that I tell, I lie about feats I’ve accomplished, and most importantly I am dishonest with God. In some sort of dreamscape reality, I communicate to the Lord God on this amazingly, superhuman, spiritual level daily. It’s like we speak the King James Version language in our conversations daily. Yes, it’s good to be in my shoes when I’m chattin’ it up with the Father in Heaven.
This is another one of those flights of the imagination that I was talking about (and Justin says I don’t like anything fantasy). I am basically lying to myself.
My meager mortality and depraved sin nature are the main reason for this faultiness in my spiritual walk. Yet, I could help myself out more by not living in this fantasyland. It’s as if I’m almost in a game of Candyland and I’m not winning.
When I talk to God, I don’t say, "Wherefore art thy Father." I talk to him in a normal voice using regular English and I even say "crap" and "sucks" sometimes (are you shocked?). While I think I could use better words, I’m just being myself—I’m being honest. And if I have sin in my heart, at least I am being an honest sinner, which is always better than a proud one.
The point to this little ramble is just to realize that being honest with yourself and being honest with God are the keys to your walk; the latter being the most pertinent. God doesn’t want you to seek him falsely, but wholly and Christ-like. When we approach the throne, we need to have our hearts right and then give them to God daily. We shouldn’t ever have notions that God is just waiting for us to talk to him. God’s desire is a relationship with his creation, but He’s not just sitting around. Humility goes a long way when asking God for something in your prayers. So be honest with God first and foremost, but also be honest with yourself.
As I have written these things, I am saying them first to myself...
Today, the crew of To Whom It May Concern (and Donna) are taking a field trip to Panama City Beach to see our good friend Jed. He's that lovable, cussable, & witty character who runs Russian Radio. Go pay his site a visit, however parental advisory is suggested. Kids, get your parents permission first…
After talking to a friend from high school, I found out tonight a guy I went to school with for a few years, Chris Geotch, died of an overdose on the fifth of July.
Now, I vaguely remember this kid and I don’t know if I ever had a conversation with him, but I know I feel bad about his sudden passing. I had to look his picture up in our eight-grade yearbook to even remember his face. I don’t care how he died, all I know is he died too young.
I don’t think he was a Christian, so if you can remember his family in your prayers; I believe they are Christians. I think it’s times like this that God kicks me in the head and says, "You’ve got something to do. Quit being lazy and do it." This makes my call to youth ministry feel more important and makes me regret the time I’ve wasted. I hope this post will help anyone else who feels like they have a call from God, to use whatever resources they can to do something and touch someone’s life. These are the only words I can think of:
Another night slips away.
In other words I should say there are no words he should say.
There are no words.
In his eyes I see the fear that only time can disappear.
If only time could reappear.
Now is the time.
Something to take it away.
To take it away.
To take it.
Don't let it stay.
Don't let it stay.
Don't let it.
The butterflies are passive/aggressive
and put their problems on the shelf but, they're beautiful.
And he'll realize the only thing that's real
are the kids that kid themselves.
And the demise of the beautiful.
What is beautiful?
In part two of this whole exploration on love, I want to consider this question: Is being in love enough?
In my last post I hinted at the absurdity of when couples sacrifice their well being because of being in love. Abusive relationships, both physical and emotional are on the rampage. I doubt the statistics are correct consider the vast amount of unreported abuse cases in the world. It seems that the number one reponse when you confront an abusee is, " well he/she loves me". So with that said, you can see how the person is making an excuse for evil behavior due to being in love.
What about excuses for being unhappy, or being doubtful? I am a firm believer in red flags, since I have seen a few myself, and ignored some of them. Sometimes you may get to know someone and fall in love with them, and then find out they are not who you thought they were. That can be a scary thing, since youve already played the love card. Now you have to wrestle with which route to take. Do you discard your better judgement and just trust in love? Or do you sit down and rethink your relationship?
I am not saying that the person has to like everything you like, or be a clone of you or anything like that. I would also admit that in a relationship, there are going to be things about the other person that you dont like, maybe even hate. Thats not an excuse to break up with them, but it is cause for examination. If your partner like action movies, and you like romance, that shouldnt be a big deal. Comprimises can be made. However, if your partner gets upset when you spend time away from them, like with your friends or family, well that is a huge red flag. For one thing, that screams insecurity, and if that person is that insecure about you when you spend time with your friends, then you should end the relationship,period. Insecurity in a relationship is a gateway to some type of abuse in the future, in my humble opinion. I have seen it happen many many times, and dont sit there and say " Well my relationship is different", because it isnt.
Being clingy is pretty scary anyways. Its not as extreme as what I mentioned above, but it is still a sign of insecurity. I myself do not want a clingy girl, I need my space. Millions of years ago, back when I had a girlfriend, there would be times where I would just want to hang out with my friends. Its not that I didnt love her,but I needed some time with my friends. She and I would talk on the phone every day, just so we could see how things were going, and because we wanted to hear each others voice, so you could say we were in love. Yet, I still had time away from her, and she would do the same. The reason I would do that is not because I loved her any less, but because I also loved my friends. What if she had of been clingy, and freaked out every time I wanted to hang out with Jeff? Or worse, what if I had listened and spent all my time with her? Then there would be no Justin and Jeff friendship, and no To Whom! Thankfully she wasnt like that.
So in any relationship, you have to decide what you can and cant live with. We date people for the purpose of someday being married and spending the rest of our lives together, Can you live with a clingy person. What about somone who is not a christian? Someone with different life plans and dreams? When is the line between love and lonliness blurred? Or love and lust? Should we sacrifice everything we hold of ourselves in the name of love? Is that really what biblical love is?
In closing let me say that I do think that sacrifices should be made when your in love, but that doesnt mean you have to put up and live with things you know to be wrong, or know isnt right for you. These thoughts are obviously flawed, since they come from the words of man, but I do think they are useful. I know I harp on the whole keeping your friendships alive thing, and the danger of clinginess and insecurity. Yet I have made one observation that has been constant with the relationships I have seen in my life: relationships that have one insecure or clingy person in it, who gets upset when the other one spends any time away from them, either ends in break up or divorce, if the person wises up, or if they allow it to continue, it will eventually turn into abuse. Again this is my opinion, but I think it is true. Hope this helps.
Today I was up at 5:45 AM (not fun). In preparation for my untimely rising, I went to bed relatively early, well early for me anyway. However, I could not fall asleep until around 3:30 AM and thus, I am really tired. I had to take To Whom’s good friend Eric Linton to the impressively small, one terminal, Dothan Regional Airport. He is flying to Atlanta, then to Miami, and then to Guatemala for a mission trip. If you could remember him in your prayers, he will be there for the next seven days.
I wanted to stay awake all day, but now that I think about it, I might go take a nap. I think I love sleep. Is that weird? I like doing it, a lot, every night even. But my question is, who else loves sleep? Alrighty, I’m out the hizzle. Can I borrow some Folgers?
You can read all of the news at Phantom Tollbooth, which, by the way, is a great site. They announced what I think could be one of my favorite tours of all time. It would be like seeing my Dad’s generation comparable acts of (not even equals, my Dad doesn’t even like them, but I do and you get the point) Pink Floyd and The Doors tour. Read it for yourself:
I'm really excited. Two bands who do not get enough credit. I mean, Stretch Arm Strong and MxPx opening for Good Charlotte and New Found Glory was a crime, but that's just my opinion. I think this will be good, no matter who closes the show. Yay, I'm giddy.
To Whom It May Concern News- You hear it secondhand
It’s officially two weeks since my interview, so now I wait past the date to hear if I got the Job at Sunland or not. I’m scared every time I go to my mailbox. However in good news, despite not having a job for sometime now, I will be able to pay my power bill this month. The Lord blesses, doesn’t he? And while that may sound like it has a sardonic overtone, I really am thankful for what I have. God is teaching me patience and I don’t like it, but I’m learning to live with coming to the knowledge that I really don’t know anything. Fellow writer Chase Livingston, Donna, and I are going to the mall and to eat somewhere later. That should cheer me up. By the way, there are two amazing shows going on tonight about 250 miles apart from each other. A favorite of mine, Dogwood is playing @ Room Ten 26 in Pensacola, FL and a new favorite, Copeland is playing @ The Beta Bar in Tallahassee, FL. If you are in close proximity of either of these shows, please make an effort to support these bands because they are doing it for the love of the game, not the money or the scene. I would go, but Pcola is two hours away and Tally is an hour and thirty minutes away, plus both are seven dollars I believe. I can't pay that electric bill if I go. Look Ma, I’m being responsible. I go now. With love and hatred…
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
Off on a Food Run. It is 5:15pm. I have just returned from the kitchen where I constructed myself a cheese sandwich.
Now what is there for me to write about? While I'm thinking let me go back to the kitchen. It seems I was so excited about the sandwich that I forgot my drink.
Alright. Here we go. I sip my lemonade. The empty wrapper of Grilled Cheese flavored crackers lays like desolation on top of a book. The binding of that book melted in the back of the car. The pages are loose like an early manuscript.
The other day I lost twenty bucks. Believe you me, I didn't forget it was gone. I didn't forget how valuable it was to me. Today I found that twenty. Andrew Jackson smiled bigger than he did last time I saw him. I smiled bigger too.
To me, having your picture on money seems insulting. It's the ultimate low. It's not a thing of honor. Everyone in the world is saying, "just wait'l I get my hands on you...I'm gonna use you!"
Hold still, I'm going back to the kitchen now. This time the treat shall be a peanut butter sandwich. We have grape jelly, but that would be too much involvement.
You ever notice how when your hungry, food is the only thing that can tidy you over. Like, we are short on food supply here and so I've been trying to eat a little and then entertain myself by writing. My stomach ain't falling for it.
As you may know, I sell books online. When checking my email I am occassionally overcome by fear. It's the fear of the angry customer emailing me with complaints. Lucky me, today I only got spam.
Ah, Spam. That sounds good. Of course, human flesh sounds good after you live on the streets long enough. Not that I know anything about that.
All this talk about food is making me hungrier. So, I am summoned to the kitchen once more. Aha, I am back. Now I've the greatest snack of all...Bread and Barbecue Sauce. Two Slices Too!!!
One time I watched this movie about this kid who had to fend for himself during the great depression. He had no food or money and I guess shoplifting didn't occur to him. So to tease himself he cut pictures of food out of magazines. Then, he psyched himself up and dug in. That's always scared me. I mean, I can't stand the idea of a papercut in my throat.
Well, I can't figure out what to say. My gut is doing enough talking. The sandwiches weren't cutting it and now the bread is gone. So, I'm going to hussle on down to the Subway in town. Just like Jared!
Its seems to me that alot of people's desperate search for happiness ends up with them throwing away their lives. Does this means that love is blind?
Just something I have been pondering lately. I think maybe our concept of what romantic love is has been misconstrued into some kind of cloud nine giddy feeling. I have seen alot of people make some really stupid choices on account of being "in love", and frankly, I am sick of it. I have seen a few of my friendships deminish over the years because of this whole blind love thing. Mainly I am speaking of those dating relationships that exclude everyone but the couple themselves.
Some people equate love with exclusivity, or the "lets ditch our friends" syndrome. I had a good friend of mine in high school who did this. The funny thing was, he dated my cousin. She will tell you to this day how stupid she was for falling into that little trap. Not that he was a bad guy or anything, its just they were both blinded to what they were doing to everyone around them. So when they broke up, it was hard not to say I told you so.
I often wonder how dating couples who are exclusive manage to keep any friendships at all? Do they think that all their friends are just going to be there when they get around to needing them? Most of us dont enjoy being fairweather friends, so we dont usually stand for that. Friendship is always two ways, so both parties have to make effort to keep things going. Thats simple logic that goes for any type of friendship or dating relationship.
The thing that traps us is the whole idea of being in love. People seem to think that love is a super power that gives them the freedom to be jerks and idiots. The jerk would say, " I am in love, so therefore I should be with my girlfriend as often as I can, and my friends will understand me not spending any time with them, since I am in love". Following suit the idiot would say, " I am in love, therefore I will let my boyfriend beat me up, since I am sure I deserve it somehow and I brought it upon myself. I am so lucky to be in love". That is some serious blinding going on with those two ideas. The sad fact is: there are thousands of people thinking like that every day. Where did we go wrong in our views on love?
1. Do you remember your first best friend? Who was it?
I do have a recollection of who it was. His name may have been Ben (that's funny). I have a picture from when I was in preschool. Ben, myself, and two other unknown boys are standing at the top of the fort on my church's playground. We are standing, looking "tough" and of course, I have my arms cross like I'm saying, "Uh jigga, what?"
2. Are you still in touch with this person?
Not at all and I can't even remember his last name. Oh, I just remembered, it's Huff.
3. Do you have a current close friend?
Yes, I've got a few. I always got annoyed at people who had twenty-seven best friends. I thought, even at a younger age, best indicated the greatest and you could only have one or two. I'm sure there are rules. But, for the sake of this site, I'll say that Justin is my closet friend. Justin is the closest because I've known him my whole adult life, plus a couple of years before my newfound responsibilities. I've just been a closer friend to him longer. Let's see, I have other close friends (not in any particular order): Nick, Bryan, Thomas, Tara, Wyatt, Annie, Ariel, Teresa, Bethany, Chase, Stephanie, Lori, Jeremy G., Jeremy C., Greg, etc.
4. How did you become friends with this person?
The story of our first encounter is funny. He was a pretty clean-cut guy, but he had a goatee, and at our school, facial hair is symbolic for rebellion (not really). He worked at a Christian music store and this place had the best selection of faith inspired punk and hardcore I had ever seen. One day, my good friend (at the time), Kevin and I had gone there. Kevin and I realized Justin went to our school, so we talked to him. It was a good conversation at first. But, then Kevin and him started sharing their undying affections for "The Force", George Lucas, and the whole Star Wars religion, which I didn't understand then and still don’t. Then, he started blatantly and outlandishly criticizing punk and hardcore music, citing it as "loud noise" (that may have been an overstatement). At first, the friendship looked as though it could have never existed. However, just both being on campus a lot and hanging out with some mutual friends, we eventually set our differences behind us and became friends. And to this day, Justin likes punk and hardcore more than he did before and as for Star Wars and me, well, he hasn't had any influence in that department.
5. Is there a friend from your past that you wish you were still in contact with?
Yeah, there are a few. You know, just good friendships that faded out for whatever reason. I'll say this, because of the downfall of a lot of friendships (with girls especially), I've written some of my best poetry and songs, to the tune of our failed relationship(s). So, if those are worth it, than I'd say the loss of friendship was too. But, I'd still give back some of those songs for some of those good old friends.
I have not done much with the days as of late. I stay up until 6 AM and then I do not get up until 2 or 3 PM. I know, but it's nice. I'm trusting that the Lord is taking care of my job situation. I had my interview last week at Sunland. They said it would take two weeks to hear something (they said that about the interview and it took two and a half weeks). Tomorrow marks one week after my interview. I'm really praying about this, but the bills just keep piling up. I try to have faith that God will provide. Because I've done something about my situation and not just sat around. I've filled out applications. I've gone to interviews. I'm sure I could have done more, but I know I did not do the least possible. I'm sure that is not the right way to look at it. That verse that talks about God taking care of the birds in the sky and if He takes care of them, how much more will he provide for us? That's reassurance right there. Anyway, I'm really stinkin' tired. I think I'm going to sleep. I need to get up, somewhat earlier tomorrow than every other day. I know I should be enjoying this no job stuff, but I cannot feel good about myself when I’m not employed. Of course, when I finally get a job it will be a relief. Then, after a week or so of working, I will surely be wining everyday about how much my job sucks. Haha, I'm a walking conundrum. G'night!
"When I wake up early in the morning. Lift my head, I'm still yawning. When I'm in the middle of a dream. Stay in bed. Float upstream. Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am. I'm only sleeping. Everybody seems to think I'm lazy. I don't mind, I think they're crazy." I'm Only Sleeping by The Beatles from the album, Revolver.
I took the night off from my usual activities (not really, this is my usual activites) and just sat at home and played on the computer. I came across an article by Dr. William Estep on Southern Baptist Heritage and the whole Calvinism debacle. Some pretty good information, mostly just historical things I did not know. Of course, I do not agree with everything he says regarding those who adhere those doctrines, but it is an interesting read nonetheless:
A year ago today, I was a bit more patriotic, just as naive about some things, and maybe a tad bit lighter. However, I wrote this last 4th and I still believe most of it. Living in America and pursuing things such as justice, happiness, liberty, and freedom is a privilege. To live in a place where, at the cost of other's lives, I can live my own life, conform to the image that I desire, and live out my dreams is breathtaking. That's either suicide or something along the lines of complete and utter graciousness. Anyway, here are my thoughts:
Independence Day is now upon us. It's July the 4th and we're celebrating America's Independence from England. In this day and age, it’s ironic the way we celebrate. I understand that with every celebration, there is going to be a party. The irony is that a lot of people just use this day off from work as a way to get drunk, do nothing but eat, and use their money on or watching pyrotechnics. Don't get me wrong, I love to do my share of eating and I even bought some fireworks, but I think there is also a level of reverence that comes or should come along with celebrating this day. I am certainly guilty of this myself, but along with my newfound adulthood, I have come to grips with the understanding that there were and still are a lot of sacrifices for me that I have never really thought about before. In this understanding, I believe that I and everyone else should exercise a certain amount of reflection when thinking about today. There is also a level of reverence that one must or should have when celebrating the 226 years of our nation’s freedom. I would challenge everyone that today would be the day that they think about all the sacrifices that were made on their behalf. Think about all the people that died for you and me that never met us, but selflessly sacrificed their own lives for our sake and the sake of this great land. Kind of like the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us all by sacrificing his life for ours so that we may live eternally with Him and the Father in paradise. Don't take today for granted and live in vain, but live and reflect in memory for all the men and women that died for our freedoms, liberties, and for our great country.
Greetings! You know, for as much as I am not doing, I should really be writing more. And, I am actually. As far as poetry and songs go anyway. I’m doing a bit of reading too. I’m going to have a list of books to post by the end of the summer as my own recommendations for folks to read, so if you can hold your breath, please don’t, because it won’t be impressive at all.
Today has been another one of those fulfilled-adventure-without-employment days. As exciting as they sound, I’m really dragging the lake so to speak. And if possible, as unpromising as that would appear, I did have an actual interview at that place Sunland. Remember, I talked about it on or around the first of June. It took them ‘til two Thursdays ago to send a letter in the mail. It was actually pretty scary considering this is the first fulltime job where I wasn’t working for the same company that my Mom was. It would be a real fulltime job, which at this point, seems like catching a shooting star or love at first sight. Yes, that is how poor I am. I think I did good, I had to answer a bunch of "What would you do" and "What does this mean to you" type of questions. The interviewers were, what will be (if I get the job) my main supervisor, my shift supervisor, and another lady, whom I cannot remember what her job is. Overall, they were very cold and rather impersonal, which wrought fear at first. However, knowing that it is a state job, I know they do tons of interviews, and they cannot be biased either way—good or bad. So, now I wait. I will definitely let everyone know what comes about.
Also, I know I said the links would be back up and I thought they would. However, they are not. Therefore, I am taking matters into my own hands. If you would like to be added to the site again, please email me (incase I cannot find the old ones) at: rebelyouth4life [at] yahoo.com and give me the link. That’s it for me. I will return with another quick quandary quip tomorrow.
"Well, you wonder why I always dress in black. Why you never see bright colors on my back. And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone. Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on. I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town. I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, but is there because he's a victim of the times. I wear the black for those who never read, or listened to the words that Jesus said." Man In Black by Johnny Cash, from the album A Man In Black.