Four Things ……..

I’m only doing this b/c I’ve been tagged . . . fear not, I’m ending this right here and now!


Four jobs I’ve had:



  • Pharmacy clerk (Giant pharmacy) 

  • Community Assistant and Resident Assistant (UMCP Dept. of ResLife)

  • Pharmacy technician (Kaiser pharmacy)

  • Psych Pharmacist

Four movies I can watch over and over: 



  • Life As A House 

  • Matrix 

  • Kingdom of Heaven

  • Tommy Boy

Four places I’ve lived:



  • Fort Washington, MD 

  • College Park, MD 

  • Baltimore, MD (downtown)

  • Baltimore, MD (Mt. Washington)

Four foods I like:



  • Thai

  • Vietnemese (Pho) 

  • Sushi (OK, OK!  Just California rolls.  Gosh!) 

  • Pizza

Four shows I like to watch:



  • Amazing Race 

  • American Idol 

  • QAF 

  • CSI (LV and Miami – NYC is butt!)

Four websites I visit daily:


Four things I want to do before I die:


  • Skydive 

  • SCUBA dive 

  • Write a book 

  • Step foot on every continent (excepting Antarctica)

Four people I’m tagging:



  • I’m ending this rule of tyranny here!  No tags!

Belonging . . .

I’ve never belonged to a group of people before – at least I’ve never felt like it.  Except family, of course.  But other than that, I’ve never felt quite connected to a group of (non-online) people or their mission enough to even desire belonging . . . until I got to Cedar Ridge, that is.


My affair with CR has been fairly long, I suppose.  I was just cleaning up my apartment last night, and came across the gift bag from my first “Cedar Ridge in 7 Minutes” (the short intro to the church they do for visitors every week) . . . it was August of ’03.  I remember not really being impressed with the church.  It didn’t quite meet my expectations considering I came based upon Brian’s “A New Kind of Christian” series, and the ideas expressed in the books were quite novel, but the church seemed so . . . typical  Yet, it drew me back into its grip a year and a half later.  After hopping to several churches, I found myself visiting CR occasionally.  When I finally settled down a bit at Trinity, I frequently felt like I needed a “vacation” from it, and I would take my leave at CR.  Then, back in May, I decided I needed a more permanent sabbatical . . . so I figured I’d go to CR until I could find a church to call home.  And it was on that Sunday that I felt quite . . . different. 


You see, the thing that kept me from joining CR before, was that I never felt the presence of God there.  I’m not saying I don’t think He was there . . . but I just never felt Him with ME.  The first Sunday I went to Trinity, I felt God saying “this is where you should be”.  So there I stayed. 


But that Sunday in early June, I found myself in CR feeling God’s presence quite strongly.  So I went back the next week.  And He was still there, much to my amazement.  I felt He was saying to me “this is your home”.  I was taken aback, because there was such a permanence to that sentiment.  It didn’t feel like a “stay here for awhile” kinda thing, like I’ve felt at all the other churches I’ve taken residence in during the last few years.  I think I decided then that I wanted to be a part of this church.


But I was afraid.  Afraid of being burned, afraid of being rejected, afraid of being marginalized.  Yet, I couldn’t shake this awareness of safety, and acceptance.  So I kept coming back, and kept falling more and more in love with the place.  And eventually, I started to open up, and get plugged into things.  I found a small group (or actually, I should say the small group landed on me).  I went to the young adult retreat.  I started interacting with our pastor, and with older members of the congregation . . . and the love cemented in my heart.


I’ve made a lot of decisions lately . . . those kind of “responsible adult” decisions . . . like finding a job, finding a place to live, buying a car, etc. . . yet none of them seems so significant as the commitment I made today to my new “family”.  Honestly, I’m quite the commitment-phobe . . . but I cannot even begin to describe how easy it was for me to make this “for better or worse” pledge to Cedar Ridge. 


I’m now a full-fledged member.  Wow.  I’ve only been a member of one other church in my life.  So this is BIG for me.  As I took communion in my new community today, I bawled my eyes out.  This isn’t abnormal, really . . . I cry pretty much every week at communion, because I’m so thankful for all He’s done for me (not the least of which was giving me a safe home) . . . but today I was all the more cognizant and indebted for such a great gift.


I’m quite honored to have joined the same day as our new pastor as well.  We had quite an open, vulnerable talk last week, and I’m sure this is the start of a really great friendship with Matthew.  I’m so excited for how God will use this community to sharpen me and change me.


————————————————————


In other news, it’s been a pretty difficult week for me emotionally.  But i’m surviving quite well, and trying to figure out where Jesus is in all of this.


I had a pretty awesome weekend.  Friday nite, Pat drove me, Audricus, and J-man up to Lancaster – where we met up w/ Joe and Angela – to see a FREE (yes, I said FREE! ) Shawn McDonald concert – which was AWESOME!  We had a great time!  We all bonded over some good music on the way up and back . . . you guys are great!  Thanks for an awesome time!


Last night, my friend Jodi invited me over to her place where she had an impromptu “benefit concert” (essentially, she came home for the weekend from Portland to surprise her best friend on her birthday, and needed to recoup losses from her plane ticket!)  She and a couple of her friends whipped up a really great dinner, and then she played her little heart out.  It was awesome!  She gets better and better every time I hear her.  She’s gotten a lot more control in her voice, and she sounds quite beautiful.  I’m hoping to see big things from her in the future!


Last thing . . . I’ve had a couple of friends ask me about the poem “Journey as an Enantiomer“, and as I told my friend Lonnie, I typically don’t like to explicate my own poetry, simply because I like to give life to my words, and let those words take on life of their own.  I personally love to hear back about how others interpret the poem, b/c I often see much more wonderful life from the complex interaction of my words with their heart, than I ever intended.  However, it’s meaning is a bit complex and is an interesting melding of scientific principles with raw emotion, so you’ll be seeing a CTP explication soon, I suppose. 


LATA!


P.S.  I haven’t bought a whole lotta Gospel in the last couple of years, b/c the Gospel world has been putting out some really suckass albums lately!  But MaryMary’s newest is AWESOME!  Such a nice mix of contemporary R&B and Gospel, with some old school gospel, and some older school 70’s influence, and some even older school Harlem Renaissance touches too!  I highly recommend it!

Journey as an Enantiomer . . .

Did it make you smile to wrangle my heart with your cold fingertips?
To caress my wounds with your lies and manipulation?
To fill my mind with all your “I love you’s” and “I need you’s”?
And then pierce my gut with the jagged edges of your rejection?


It must make you proud to have fucked another desperate soul
Adoration and praise marking your every step
Like red rose petals spread before a king


Craving just one moment with you
Sustaining my life with one sip from your well


Thirsty


Distant echoes of Eden
Abundance dripping from your very words


Crescendo of hopelessness, deafens my spirit
Deference and loyalty squandered on a piece of shit
Like pearls given to swine


Will it make you smile to offer you my wrangled, bloody heart?
To bring my decrepit remains to your door?
To request shelter for my empty promises?
And then lose myself in your gentle embrace?

Funny Feelings . . .

Have you ever felt like the world was spinning the way it ought to, and you had nothing to complain about (because after all, you’re not starving, you have running water, you wipe your ass w/ really soft tissue, and you eat more than you could ever need), but still things were just amiss inside?  Yeah, it’s been one of those weekends.  I really didn’t understand why, until a good friend got me to slow my thoughts and get a bit introspective (thanks, Sham . . . all those social work courses are paying off!


CTP . . .


In other news, I took Matthew out to dinner tonite.  We had an AWESOME time!  We really got to bond, I think, and I shared some great stuff with him.  It’s amazing how disarming you can be when you take a risk and get vulnerable with someone.  I’ve certainly had some bad experiences with that kind of stuff, but I think I’ve figured out the trustworthy folks from the fronters and liars . . . and Matthew is the real deal.  He dropped some of his own fears my way, and it was great to listen to him, and know what to pray about for him.  He also shared w/ me a little bit about where he wants to take the church, and i’m SUPER excited! 


In still further news . . . watch “Elizabethtown”!  It’s everything “Garden State” wanted to be, but couldn’t.  But if you don’t like dark humor, don’t bother . . . it won’t interest you in the slightest.

A new life update has been posted, complete with hodge-podge info about dates, healing prayer, personal theological leanings, fears, and more!


CTP!

So I had a really great weekend.


Friday night, I went to see “Capote” w/ Audricus, J-man, Melissy, and JaneYang.  Good times!  It was surprisingly really, really good.  Philip Seymour Hoffman did a SUPERB job!  Definitely Oscar-worthy . . . moreso than Heath or Jake.  And like Audrey, I too was pleasantly surprised by the addition of Harper Lee into the story – that was awesome . . . “To Kill a Mockingbird” was a phenomenal piece of literature.


Afterwards, Jane and I met up for a heart-to-heart.  Jane, you’re quite a special young woman, ya know that?  I do cherish my times w/ you.


Saturday, I was at church all day for the Journey Seminar – which is essentially our membership class.  Can you believe it? I’m joining a church!  After about my 3rd week of going to CR back in June, I had this feeling that this would be my home . . . and I haven’t second-guessed that, so next Sunday I’ll officially be a member of CRCC!  Woohoo!!   And I’ll proudly be joined by 2 very dear friends – Nicole and Ralph – along w/ our new pastor!  


I also took the opportunity to let Brian know that I considered him a mentor, and that I would be taking him and Grace out to dinner when they come back from galavanting all around the world.  And I booked my new pastor (Matthew) too   I’ll be taking him out to dinner soon so I can get to know him better.


Finished the evening out watching the rest of QaF (season 3).  I must say that the show is absolutely brilliant!  The cinemetography and the story lines are great. Not to mention, I actually learn some very real spiritual lessions about community – despite the fact that some of the content isn’t all that wholesome.


Sunday was Brian’s last day, so to speak, as pastor of CR.  I cried like a little girl.  It was cool having my parents there though, and being able to intro them to Brian and Grace.  It was a very sweet moment.


Afternoon meant lunch w/ Ralph, Nicorette and the other YAs.  Good times.


Later that afternoon, met up w/ Jonathan, and we had a great time just chillaxin and sharing a bit of life together.  You’re a pretty special guy, Jonathan.  Thanx for letting me see a glimpse of your world – I always consider a look into someone’s heart/life to be the greatest privilege on earth.  Oh, and I finished the essay . . . fantastic!  We’ll have to talk a bit about it later . . . especially your conclusions.  Good stuff, bro!


Sunday night, I had the opportunity to go to 3 different SuperBowl parties, but I neglected all of them considering I didn’t give a shit about either team, and I was oh-so-tired.  So I went home and slept instead.  LOL


Now it’s back to the grind!  A new week, a new dollar.  Hope y’all have great ones!


D.J.