The smaller blessings . . .

It’s very strange to see myself becoming a “thankful” person.  It’s really not in my nature to be so, so I imagine this is some sort of “fruit” (if you will) of me engaging the Way of this Jesus fellow I speak so much about.

This weekend started out rather rocky for me.  Not really sure why.  I was fine Friday night.  Really fine.  But woke up Saturday feeling just a bit . . . “off”.  And it seemed to get worse as the day progressed.  I went to the gym and found myself staring at all the guys – not something that’s usually a problem for me.  It hit me like a rather large ton of bricks that I was feeling quite insecure about myself.  Again . . . no idea why.

Needless to day, I was really not looking forward to going out later that night for the 2 parties I had to go to.  But I’ve learned to just suck it up, and do the stuff I need to do.

First stop was a nice, community dinner w/ the CR young adults at Matthew’s house.  And I had a really amazing time!  I fall more and more in love w/ my church at each visit w/ that community.  I’m really starting to reconsider this whole moving thing . . . I mean, how could I leave such a great group of people – the only people who seem to keep me sane?

I got to pal around a bit w/ Matthew’s boys (George and Ollie) . . . gosh, they’re such great kids!  Love ’em to death!  And who knew that little white kids told “yo momma” jokes?   It’s news to me!  (By the way, if you haven’t heard yo momma jones w/ a British accent before, you are SERIOUSLY missing out on some good stuff! LOL.)

Then I headed to Kelly’s place for a Halloween party.  By the time I arrived, everyone was rather toasty, and it was really too late for me to try and catch up, so I only had one glass of “punch”, but there must have been some really strong shit in there, b/c I was buzzed off of that single cup!!

Anywho, got up today for church, where Brian McLaren continued our “God in the movies” series w/ March of the Penguins, and seriously – I just couldn’t get through the service w/o crying.  Not because of an amazing message or anything – but simply b/c I’m overwhelmed to have found such an amazing, accepting, inclusive, loving community of people.  And it has made all the difference in my life.

Afterwards, Jane and I had the wondrous opportunity to have a private lunch w/ Brian.  As you can imagine, any time spent with him is a time of great englightenment!  We talked about a slew of questions that have been burning on my heart lately . . . like sexuality, love, universalism, hell, eschatology, etc.  Wow.  That’s really all I can say.  He’s like the only guy I know that can drop 2 minutes of monologue on you, that leaves you mulling and wrestling for 2 years! Good times

Anyway, all that to say that life is plodding along as it usually does.  And there’s some cool stuff shaping up, and there are a lot of scary uknowns lying just around the bend . . . but I’m really starting to vigorously believe that Jesus wasn’t talking out of his ass when he was speaking about all this “abundant life” business . . . that I’m really OK, and I’m being molded into something more and more OK with each passing day.  Sometimes, it’s the really small blessings in life that unmask the really profound truths.


Lonely . . .

This is one of those days when I wake up and am acutely aware of my solitude.  Something I usually cherish, but at the same time, this 27 year old is wondering when he’s going to find the love of his life – while he still has life!

Yeah, I know that sounds dramatic and all . . . but seriously, I ain’t getting younger



You trust ME to speak to Evangelicals???

What an interesting weekend I’ve had.  One of my mentors from pharmacy school – Dr. Beardsley – who has traditionally been actively involved with the school’s Christian organization that I was president of for 2 years (CPFI), invited me to speak at a conference sponsored by the InterVarsity Graduate Fellowship.

I guess no one told ol’ Bob that I don’t really consider myself an “Evangelical Christian” anymore.  When we went out to lunch last week to discuss this conference, I told Bob my concerns about the audience I was speaking to.  I knew that most of them would probably be of the conservative, Evangelical ilk – a group that I’ve found little in common with in the last couple of years.  And I knew that some of the things I’d want to say would be a bit . . . shall we say “scandalous” . . . to such a crowd.  I mean, let’s face it folks, I’ve come a long way from where I started.  When it comes to issues like abortion, homosexuality, the war, poverty, injustice, science, etc., I just don’t seem to make a lot of friends from the conservative camp – or the liberal camp for that matter

But Bob assured me that I had plenty of good stuff to share.  So I agreed to do it. 

I had been thinking about what I’d say for quite some time.  The conference theme was “Mentoring and Witnessing in the Academy” – the focus being on how to share your faith in academic settings.  Due to being generally busy with my residency, I didn’t have much time to prepare my presentation.  I alotted all of Friday evening to prepare for Saturday’s lecture, but at the last minute, one of my fellow residents resigned!  It really was quite a shock to all of us, so we had sort of an impromptu going-away party for him Friday night, which left me with very little time to prepare my PowerPoint slides, and practice my presentation.

Yet, somehow, God saw fit to make things work out pretty well.  Not only did the presentation go smashingly well, but I actually found myself having a good afternoon of conversation and contemplation with a room full of Evangelicals!  I must say, this was a great group of folks . . . they’re starting to restore my faith in the Evangelical church. 

. . . a little bit . . .

Plus, one of the guys that runs some classes at Capital Bible seminary was impressed enough with me to invite me to speak to some of his classes at some point.  How frickin’ cool is that?!!  I guess it pays to be a bit provocative, eh?

Anywho, I have a LOT to do before this evening turns into another morning.  Due to being so stressed about the conference yesterday, I wasn’t able to get any work done last night.  I chose to hang out w/ my fellow residents again.  We went to see “Departed”.  I LOVED it!  What a freaking, ridiculously, extreme, excessive film.  I haven’t had such a good time at a movie since “Snakes on a Plane”!

So yeah . . . peace out!  Keep prayin’ for me, mmkay?  Thanx!


I love psychiatry!

As much as I absolutely detest being this busy, and having no time for fun or loved ones, I really must admit that I thoroughly enjoy psychiatry.  I’ve had a couple of great opportunites lately.

The first was that I was able to convince my preceptor to let me spend last Tuesday morning at a Christian conference – but it totally counts as a full day’s work . . . because it was mental health related.  And it was an awesome conference! 

My counselor (Lance) works with this network of therapists (Bayshore Counseling and Psychological Services, LLC), and they try to do half-day conferences every so often.  I attended the “Understanding Depression: A Pastor’s Forum”.  It was actually geared at pastors, but I really wanted to go and put in my 2 cents here and there, and see how to bridge the gap between mental health and pastoral counseling (there are far too many pastors out there who are ill-equipped to handle people with mental illnesses because they tend to overspiritualize problems which have a true, biological component).  It was awesome!

And today, I spent my second clinic day with Dr. Stanley Platman – who is seriously like THE SHIT!  I mean, like he’s been around sooooo long and has notoriety because he did some of the original clinical trials on lithium!  I’m super, freaking, honored to work with someone of his caliber.  And we see a wide variety of patients – most from his clinic at Union Memorial which caters to the developmentally disabled, but some of them are from his private practice outpatient clinic.  And today, I made several drug recommendations, and Dr. Platman – THE DR. PLATMAN – listened to ME!  *faints*  Pick me up off the floor!!!  He’s like the coolest guy ever – and he’s done EVERYTHING in the world of psychiatry – and he’s done it all around the world to boot!  How could you not love that??

Yeah, so I’m lovin psychiatry . . .

In other news, I was finally able to meet up with Tim Hartman – organizer of the Emergent Baltimore Cohort – and have a nice chat over some yummy Thai food.  Him and his wife definitely have one of the more unique, yet cooler, jobs I’ve ever heard of.  Basically, the Baltimore PCUSA churches hired him and his wife to come to the area and create ministry opportunities for young adults (b/c that population has all but abandoned the PCUSA churches in the area – despite their supposedly “cool” laissez fair approach to theology.)

So basically, they go around the community and just create relationships with people.  I mean . . . are you serious?  Why the hell wasn’t *I* lucky enough to land a job like that!!

Haha.  But I suppose it’s not as easy as it sounds.  It actually sounds quite challenging.

But he and his wife have actually created some really awesome relationships with some unchurched folks in the area, and they’re getting pretty close to maybe starting some sort of group . . .I’d like to call it a “church”, but we’re not exactly sure that that’s the form this group will take, or what we’ll do, or where we’ll go.  Either way, it’s pretty damn exciting!  I SO want in on this!  So I’ve already committed to coming to the group’s first meeting – a “visioning meeting” of sorts, I suppose.  It’s terribly exciting.  Just the sort of relational, grass-roots, spiritual kinda community I’d want to be involved with.  I mean, really, is anyone else besides me getting tired of going to churches where everyone there has grown up in church?  Is anyone else wondering when we’re actually going to do something with the unchurched? 

Yeah, this is some pretty cool shit!

Understanding . . .

To search every deep hollow and nebulous cave of my being
Seeking to understand
Darkness overtakes me
My mind wary of the somersaults
Seeking to know why

Thoughts of you elicit a smile on my face and pangs in my chest
Remembering our good times
Longing washes over me
My mind distorted by the images
Remembering the bad times

I remember long talks, late into the night
I remember falling asleep in my special chair
I remember you bleeding all over me
I remember taking your precious heart into my hands, and massaging it delicately

I want to understand why you crushed me, when all I did was love you
I want to understand how you could reject me
I want to understand why my voice doesn’t haunt you

I want to know if you ever think of me
I want to know if you miss me, as I miss you

I wish you could understand

Heart-broken tragedy and relentless lament of my soul
Knowing the truth
Grief halts me
My mind poignantly aware of reality
Knowing that you will never understand

Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve let my soul breathe like that.  I wish the words could have come out a bit prettier, but sometimes I think it’s best not to dress them up and package them all nicely. Sometimes it’s best to just let them ooze out as they may – even IF it doesn’t create the best of prose.

Anyway, the much-awaited CTP is here!!