“For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness, like those who have long been dead.  Therefore, my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed.


I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.  I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land.”


I love how my boy Kind David can take my heart and put it into words like that.  It’s from Psalm 143.  I decided to bust open the psalms last nite b/c – as predicted – my feeling of joy quickly crashed into that lonely, empty heartache


Sometimes I wonder how I even survive. Being at Bible study last nite was nothing short of painful.  I’m watching this room full of people that I love and want to enjoy, but I find no joy in being in there, there’s only emptiness and longing.


As prayer time rolled around, I struggled to find the courage to ask them to pray for me . . . I never found it.  I did however manage to let my dawgs Chris and Joe know that I was in need of some serious prayer – feeling like a fall was imminent.


I barely made it through my door before the tears came down and the prayers went up . . . just a long evening of questioning and wailing “GOD, WHAT IS GOING ON? WHY AM I SO UNHAPPY? WHAT IS MY LIFE MISSING??”


Consistently, I just keep hearing “wait” in response.  And then I cracked open to Psalm 143, and it was just refreshing to hear Dave’s words.  I was so able to resonate with them – to find another man who was able to say to God “look, my spirit is weak, and I don’t know how much more of this I can take before I crumble. . . “


How is it that he was able to do that?  David was probably the most emtional man of Biblical times . . . his psalms are just FILLED with desperation, and anguish, but w/o fail, he always ended on some note of remembering God’s faithfulness.  That’s so amazing to me.  I’m trying to develop that kind of maturity.


Today at work was just hard.  I couldn’t concentrate, I was tired, I wanted to cut out of there and go home.  But I stayed the whole day (not out of choice, mind you).  By the time I got home, I just needed to talk to Jesus again.


And then I did what Dave suggested . . . I remembered.  I can’t deny how much God has brought such major healing to my life.  Finding Trinity 4 months ago was SO God!  It was the first ounce of hope I got in a long time.  Finding EPIC was a miracle.  And establishing really close relationships w/ the guys of EPIC has been so amazing.  Each one was a slight miracle of its own, each one brought major healing to my heart.


I guess what I’m expecting is to have this underlying anguish of the soul just be removed . . . and with each ounce of healing I ask “so why didn’t that work, God?”  Maybe that’s why He keeps telling me “wait”.  Maybe I gots mo’ issues than I realize. 


So there’s something very healing in itself about remembering . . . because you realize that God was faithful enough to bring deliverance in the past, and since He promised to finish the work He started, it brings some hope and encouragement when you’re feeling like poo (again, for CHRISTINA )


At this juncture, I must also give a shout-out to my girl ADRIENNE.  She’s gorgeous, she’s Godly, she’s growing, and I’m so lucky to be able to go deeper with her.  (There’s your shout-out . . . happy now? )


So anyway . . . right after my time of remembrance, Chris called, just to check up on me.  Said he wasn’t quite sure what to pray for (all I told him last nite was that I felt like I was dying inside, and if he could pray for me, that would be great).  So yeah, TOTALLY felt the love w/ that follow-up call, and we had just an awesome, encouraging talk about our growth and walk with God.  Again, he’s a saint.  I swear


And dang, I’m so blessed with so many good friends.  Had a talk w/ my best buddy last nite, and it’s always encouraging to hear from him, even when he’s struggling himself.  There’s something mystical about walking the road together, no? 


Even got to holla at my mentor/friend/brother Ricky.  Haven’t heard from him in awhile.  He just got back from Switzerland . . . and it’s good to hear that things are going well in his life.


And tomorrow the fellaz are meetin’ up at Joe’s place for prayer.  I expect good things from this . . . b/c every time I’ve met up with some friends for the sole purpose of praying, somehow it turned into a sweet, sweet time.  It’s gonna be cool.


So yeah, got some more work to do before I turn in this evening.  Would appreciate your continued prayers, folks.  Still feel very much like I’m dying inside . . . and I’m so fragile, that I’m only steps away from hopelessness and despair.  Yet I find that He somehow restores my soul, each and every time.  He’s never given me more than I could handle.  Hope that doesn’t change.


God bless

NOTHING ON EARTH WILL SATISFY . . .


I’m becoming more and more convinced of this as the days go by.  And it has brought me such freedom and joy.  Yes, yes, I know that I sound like a loon.  I’ve been trying to tell you people that my life is an emotional roller coaster!  Now maybe you’ll believe me!! LOL.


No, seriously . . . I realize that this joy I feel now could all be gone tomorrow morning.  And so what?  That doesn’t make this feeling any less real, just maybe more transient.


It’s seriously time for me to stop letting my emotions run my life though.  At some point, you have to get off the fence.  I like the fence.  I really do.  There’s something about the tension of it – it gives me reason to live.  But it’s not a good enough reason . . . I’m tired of being such a bad friend to Jesus.  When life is going well, He’s great, but when life sucks, He’s untrustworthy


How retarded is that?  My God is the same no matter what.  I want to be as faithful to Him as He’s been to me.


Church today was so awesome.  I thought I was in for a bad trip (again) when some dude goes up front to talk about some sorta march against gay marriage or something, and he actually said out of his mouth “Did you know that 20% of born again believers didn’t vote last election, and 20% votated for a liberal?” . . . as if Jesus was a registered republican or something


 Thank God Joe was there to hear me vent . . . I wanted to get up and throw the tomato I had been saving in my bag, but it wasn’t quite rotten enough yet, so I’m saving it for the political speech that will no doubt be given next week


Once again though, Pastor George gave a great message, and one that’s reminded me of just how faithful God has been.  I dunno, I guess it’s just hard for me to let go of this idea that to be in relationship with God is to be happy all the time – as if I shouldn’t have any trials to go through.  But that’s such bullshit!  I gotta grow up . . . gotta mature. 


There are sad days around the corner, I’m sure.  There’s many more tears to be shed as I continue to get healed from the wounds of the past . . . but it’s time to stop making Christ my enemy in the process.  Nothing on earth could ever fill me enough, could ever satisfy my heart’s true desire . . . my only hope is that the answer lies in Christ.


So pray for me, folks . . . I’m trying to figure out how to get off of this here fence.  It’s starting to hurt my ass.


DAVE, thanx for your encouragement, bro.  I’m starting to believe that God actually does want to heal me, and I will lose myself of these fetters I’ve become so comfortable with.


SEAN, yes, I like to jump back and forth b/w postmodernism, existentialism, and fundamentalism.  It’s a fun ride to be on . . . I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!  LOL. 


The tears . . . they are largely inexplicable.  But I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a longing for Him – a longing for redemption from this body and the constant friction b/w my spirit and my worldly desires.  If that’s true, then the tears will always be there in some way or another as long as I walk this earth.  The question is . . . what do I do with it?  I know what I definitely DON’T want to do . . . but that’s a far cry from knowing how to cope w/ a yearning I can’t put my finger on.


ANITA, mucha gracias, geme.  Your words are like wellsprings of life – straight from the Father.  We will overcome.


Love you all. 


Peace.

EVER-EVASIVE FREEDOM . . .


Have you ever felt like freedom was right at your fingertips?  So close that you could actually touch it, taste it, smell it?


Of all the struggles and problems that I’ve had, I sometimes feel like *I* am the one that’s holding onto them . . . *I* am the only thing keeping me from walking in joy and peace. 


That’s probably not 100% true.  Some things I just struggle with because that’s the way my brain is wired.  I don’t choose to do these things, the thoughts just pop up.  I am inherently “evil” in that sense – corrupt. 


But it is at least partly true.


I’ve been so miserable lately.  I just can’t shake it.  I’ve spent the better part of the last 3 days crying.  When I’m out and about, I’m all good, but when I’m all alone, the tears just come streaming down.


Why?  For what?  Geez, if I knew, I wouldn’t be writing right now, I’d be celebrating my freedom!  But there’s something wrong . . . something off . . . maybe something missing?


It’s what I’ve thought for years . . . there’s something missing.  I’ve tried so many things to fill that void.  From finding a significant other, losing myself in work and overachievement, and even some porn.  I could go on and on.  But the thing that I’m realizing is that there truly is nothing on earth that could satisfy me.  Not a mate, not self-promotion, not even the fake intimacy that can be found on a computer screen.  It’s all meaningless.  None of it fills.


The good Christian answer would be to say: “Aha!  It is GOD that is missing!”  But that’s bullshit.  I’ve got God.  Granted, I know I could go deeper, I know the relationship isn’t where it’s supposed to be . . . but somehow, deep inside, I don’t feel like I can really DO anything to shake this ache wedged in my soul.


I talked with Lance today.  Had quite a good session.  He seems to have a way of filling me with hope, and helping me realize that my “issues” aren’t really all that abnormal.  They’re so human – so common.


Problem is, I don’t know how to seperate my issues from my hurt.  I could honestly let go of the issues, and live in freedom.  But for so long, I’ve felt that holding onto them would somehow help me find an answer to this ache.  I don’t know how to live without them.  I don’t know if I really have it in me to walk into a brave new world where those things no longer define me.  But then again, I’m not really seeing that I have a choice.  God help me.  If you can. 

JOEY . . .


It seems to be my custom to sort of pay tribute to guys I really have deep convos with . . . so I figure I might as well continue to carry out that tradition.  Only difference is that it’s usually silent homage, since those guys aren’t really into blogging, but Joey is.  So I guess he may get the honor of knowing that he’s being honored


Joe’s a cool guy.  Someone I’ve thought was cool beans the moment I met him at Trinity.  Not, however, someone I thought I could be deep with.  But for some reason, I really felt like the Lord was pushing me to go there with him.  And I took that risk recently. 


No, it was NOT easy.  Actually, it’s probably been one of the hardest things I’ve done lately.  Being open and vulnerable with someone on top of all the other shit I’ve been going through lately just didn’t seem like a good idea.  But I did it anyway . . . and I don’t have a regret in the world about it.


Joe, if you happen to be reading along, I gotta say that it ain’t easy for me to need people.  I’m the preacher’s kid . . . I’ve been the go-to guy all my life . . . always counseling people, always encouraging, always offering support, hope, and love.  Yet, I’ve found nothing but love and acceptance from you, and having the opportunity to share some of my deepest hurts with you was amazing.  I guess it’s not so bad needing people afterall.  Thanx for being who you are, bro.  Much appreciated, much needed . . . even though I hate it.  And I still hate you for the words you shared.  As much as I want to believe them, something in me is having a hard time swallowing it. Who knows?  Maybe that’s a good thing.  My people are discussing it as we speak, so I’ll get back to you


Either way, you’re a cool dude, and your friendship means a ton to me, so thanx.


AMO, DAVE, and KEL . . . thanx for the love and understanding, guys.  Amo, lemme know when you’ll be racing . . . don’t know if I can afford any more trips this year, but we’ll see   Dave, I think my obligation problems are successfully solved.  Thanx, bro.  And Kel, I just got TONS of love for ya.  Keep rockin’ that red hair, it’s tight


JAMES, yeah, bro.  Hold me to it.  I think that any of my Trinity friends will tell you that I don’t really shy away from too many subjects . . . that doesn’t change when I’m in teaching mode   Oh, and I love you too, bro. 


An SGA closure update included below.  Thanx for the support guys.  It’s been SO needed!

UPDATING . . .


So I guess it’s time for an update.  It’s been awhile.  To all my adoring fans, please forgive me  


Actually, the emotional hell that seems to define my life these last few months is still lingering, and growing stronger daily.  So much so that all I could think about all day was getting myself a drink.  NOT a good sign!  I really don’t need any NEW ways of medicating my pain away


Other than that, I’ve just been trying my best to put on a good show for the world and continue living my life.  ‘Twas my parents’ anniversary this weekend, so I went home one last time before my new rotation starts to celebrate with them. 


Came back to Bmore this AM to get to church.  The message was on sexual immorality.  He touched on all the good stuff: porn, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc.  Though he didn’t say the word “masturbation” ONCE!  What kinda sermon is THAT???


Heehee.  I kid of course.  But I tell you, that if you ever find me preaching, you’ll never see me be shy about “the tough issues” . . . b/c they aren’t so “tough” in my mind – at least not in the way that most Christians consider them to be.


So yeah, the message was aight.  I actually sat there the whole time and wasn’t tempted to get up and scream in frustration ONCE!  Way to go, Pastor George


So anywho . . . onto some responses.


CHRISTINA says that she gets disinterested unless her name is mentioned.  So here is my obligatory nod


SHAMMY, yes, i’m TONS emotional.  You don’t even know the half! 


TIMMY, thanx, bro. You rock.  Sometimes the truest stuff is most trite, but in this case, it’s all I have to cling to.  I gotta believe that somewhere in here is a patented, divine plan.


KEL, dang, I miss you, darlin. Thanx for the love!!


JAMES, I guess I’m not really “running”, per se.  I guess I’ve just always felt that if ministry was my calling, that I should jump into a seminary or something, but I never felt that particular calling.  I do wonder why the heck God would bring me into ministry through a biochem degree and a pharmacy background.  Kinda baffling.  So in that sense, it almost feels like I’m running, b/c I’m not all gung-ho about seminary or something . . . but at the same time, God has opened all these science doors for me, so I guess it’s more like i’m biding my time.


DERRICK, see above.  Thanx for the vote of confidence, my dear friend.  Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be teaching together, eh?   (Don’t pretend like you don’t have a ministry calling yourself, my friend!)


TO MY SGA CREW . . . there’s some fine details you can review in my protected post below.  Enjoy.

THE HOTTIE ON THE LEFT . . .


So I put up a new pic (not in any ways a dis on my lil’ sister julie . . . who was formerly known as “the hottie on my back”) . . . but everyone knows that change is good.


So the hottie on the left is none other than Scott Davis.  A mad cool dude.  He’s a good buddy of mine.  I actually wish I had a picture of me, Scott, and his hot wife Caryn, but you’ll have to settle for just 2 hotties in one pic.  A “3 hotties” pic is oh-so-rare, but i’ll get one up as soon as I can


So anyway, Scott is the director for Exodus Youth.  It’s the youth branch of Exodus International – a ministry devoted to helping people with unwanted same sex attractions.  Check out the EY website if you ever get a chance . . . Christians gotta be educated about this kinda stuff.  It’s time that the church stopped being lazy, sitting on their asses thinking that they have all the answers . . . and be of some practical help to a world with real people and real problems.  If I hear one more Christian say that homosexuality is a “choice” (meanwhile, having no intimate relationship w/ anyone who is gay or struggles with homosexuality), I’m absolutely gonna barf on them.  No joke.


So check it out:


www.exodus.to


www.exodusyouth.net


By the way . . . I really want to be the FIRST to say that I really don’t believe that Exodus has “the answer” for gayness or any of that kinda shiznit . . . I just think it’s a good place for Christians to start as they learn to broaden their horizons on this issue.  There are plenty of other sites, books, etc. that I’d recommend (some of which starkly disagree w/ the Exodus way of doing things) if you’d like to get more than just your feet wet on this journey we call life.  Just gimme a holla and I’ll letcha know!


MY LIFE AND TIMES . . .


For those who are looking for some sort of update on my own life, all I can say is that things seem to be moving from bad to worse


I have just been hit with some heavy emotional burdens, and I simply don’t know what to do with them.  Sometimes I wonder why I’m even in this game.  There’s GOT to be some answer for this! Life HAS to be better than this!


It’s not all dreary though.  I spent the weekend visiting my best buddy.  On the bus, I met this pretty cool dude from the UK.  His name is Michael.  And he just happened to be Christian.  It’s very rare that I find a Christian that sees the world the way that I do.  The postmodern matrix I find myself in isn’t one that many Christians are willing to engage . . . but Michael certainly was!  It was awesome just talking about the Lord, about politics, about religion, and about where we see Jesus in this messy world. 


Unfortunately, he decided that I was wasting my time in pharmacy and told me I should move straight to ministry.  Eesh.  This is a common message I hear.  Shoooot, some random lady in ARUBA of all places told me the same thing!  One of these days, I’m gonna stop running from that call


Spending the weekend w/ my buddy was absolutely amazing.  It was so encouraging.  He’s probably the only reason I’m not completely depressed right now.  But alas, all good things must come to an end. I’m back in friggin’ Bmore now   And I’m not that happy about the surge of emotions that have inundated and incapacitated me upon my return.  It doesn’t help that he tends to shower me w/ all kinds of love and affirmation . . . so whenever I leave, I feel such a void.  I totally don’t get that from friends around me.


Whatever.  I’ll survive.


I’m gonna walk to the harbor now.  I don’t feel like being with people today.  Just me and Jesus now.  Yeah, that should be good for the soul.


Ciao for now

MOVING ON . . .


It’s a hard thing to do.  Especially when life kinda sucks.  It’s not easy saying goodbye to the people you love and the support you’ve counted on for years.


The whole reason I started this xanga account was b/c I figured it was about time to move on from this online Christian support group that I was part of.  I needed someplace to vent since I’d be missing out on that support. 


For the last 2 1/2 years, those people were my life.  They were my family.  I didn’t even know how to love until I met them.  But God calls us to move on sometimes, and I felt He was calling me to do just that with this group.


So yeah, I said goodbye to them just a few minutes ago.  I’ve shed a few tears, and I’m sure there will be a deluge of waterworks in the days to come as I begin to realize the actual impact this will have on my life.


Have you ever had people you could be COMPLETELY honest with?  I mean, COMPLETELY?  Yeah, that’s what they were for me.  It wasn’t just a bunch of crazy kids online . . . we’ve actually met, spent countless hours together talking, relating, sharing our heartaches and our joys.  And that’s gone now.


And it comes at a time where I’m feeling quite alone . . . almost desperate.  Granted, I’m in a much healthier place than I’ve ever been in.  Yet, there is still an ache in my soul that I don’t know how to address. 


There are some guys at church who have been nothing but great to me, and part of me wants to just seriously pour out my heart to them .  . . my struggles, my fears, my failures, my successes . . . but something is holding me back.  Fear?  Fear of intimacy?  Fear of rejection?  I suppose it’s all of that.  I’m just afraid of letting them inside.  I think I better get over that fear soon though . . . b/c I sense myself about to crack under the emotional pressure of keeping everything all bottled up. 


So somebody out there . . . pray for me.  I need support.  I need guidance.  I need a little love and acceptance.  And a friggin’ hug wouldn’t be bad either


Peace