Dé Luain, Nollaig 11, 2006

The trouble with IM...

I've come to the conclusion that I really don't like IM. It's been my main mode of keeping in touch with people since I left school, but honestly I've really just had enough. I feel dehumanized when I'm on it. I feel like I've become at best a disembodied voice that pops every now and then, and annoyingly asks what you're up too. "Talking" over IM just takes so much out of a conversation. You miss the inflection of the voice that makes somthing a joke instead of a serious comment, or in my case the biting edge the lets you know I'm just being sarcastic, (I dare you to guess which is more important to me). It's just that I love conversations, and while IM is acceptable, and for all intesive purposes necessary, it just doesn't match up to the human interaction that you get through a good conversation. Moreover, there are just certain things that I want to say, but don't feel right saying them online, over IM. The same thing applies here, because you can't see the other persons reaction, can't hear the inflection in their voice, and because the can't perceive the way in which you say somthing it just won't sound the same to them as you may have intended it.

There are just certain things that you want to hear instead of read, not because of the words, but because of the way they are said. If you were to tell someone that you love them or even just like them, and actually let them hear the words, they would understand the truth behind them, or the lie if your being false. But simply to type out the words, I love you. The response changes, or you don't know how to respond, for that matter, why should you respond. You can just get up and walk away, close the window, say you had computer problems. It's easy to ignore a conversation online, you don't have to commite yourself to it. You can get up and walk around, go find a cup of coffee, get somthing to eat, or continue watching whatever you were watching on t.v. Maybe you're different, but I never feel the compuction to fully engage in a conversation online that I would feel when I'm looking directly into the face of the person talking. Honestly the disconnect that I do feel is rather disturbing.

The content of the conversations seem different as well, possibly because if neither participant is obliged to engage in the conversation, there's no need to talk about anything above the trivial. Opening questions of how a day has gone cease to be openings and instead become the conversation. There's no awkward silence to fill, because there is no awkward silence. You just move on to the next conversation, or switch back to watching t.v., or playing your game, or what ever else you were doing before you just happened to start a conversation with someone else.

I just feel at a loss with it it all. People I want to get to know better, I can't becuase I'm stuck with small talk conversations that even I can't force myself out of. I want to know more about the people I talk to, but find myself stalled by a lack of questions, and a perseived lack of interest on the otherside. I'm not being accusatory here, I know that almost all of this in on me. My mind runs wild like it always does, and I begin to believe things that I only percieve to be true whether they are or not. It's the eccentric musician in me I guess, we can't all me normal now can we. In all honesty I'm stuck. As much as I dislike it, I won't stop using IM. I don't really have a choice. I'm just tired of it. I'm tired to conversations that don't lead to much of anything but disapointment. I'm tired of asking all of the questions. I'm tired of starting the majority of the conversations. Maybe I've gone too far with that last statement, but it does feel like it.

When you've think, like I do, that you'll spend much of your life on the road, moving from place to place, country to country, never really having a home you tend to feel that at the very least that you should hold on to the friendships that I have, to strengthen them, pursue them. Relationship do one of two things, they grow or they die. It's a harsh reality and you may not agree with me right now, but I've not come by this conclusion lightly. It's been a hard lesson that I've hated to learn, and it is the driving reason behind my seriousness now. I don't like that my friends are spread across the country and the world, I don't like that the person I have an interest in lives in another country, but I live, work, worship, and strive through things that I don't like. When you tell yourself somthing enough times, eventually you believe it no matter what it is. It's a simple equation of mind over matter, but even with that I've never convinced myself that I can go it alone. I don't want too. In fact I never want to believe that I can go it alone, and so I hang on desperatly to the what I have.

I want to leave on a happy note. This whole thing has been rather melancholic. Things are well for the most part. I'm busy, work most days, and practices most nights. It's a good life. It's my life, and while I'm always trying to find ways to better it, I really wouldn't trade it for anything.

Dé Domhnaigh, Samhain 26, 2006

In to the woods...

Every time I step into the trees my life changes. I breath differently, I see differently, I move differently. There are no leaves on the trees any more. There are no forged trails where I'm going. It's more than the trees. It's the more than the animals. When you enter somthing a empty as the wilderness, it will do two things to you. It will empty you of everything you ever thought was true, and then if you let it it will fill you with a truth you never thought existed. It's one of my favorite musicals. It's were I go to think. It's were I go to be alone. Tomorrow...it's where I go to live.


Dé Máirt, Samhain 21, 2006

this is how I feel...

I always run the risk of saying something I shouldn't when I open my mouth. The risk is double here, because I'm not always sure who reads this. There are two things about jumping off a cliff, you don't always know if you'll make it to the other side, and you're never certain you can fly untill you jump. And right now...this is how I feel:

Dé Céadaoin, Samhain 15, 2006

I've always said this...

Apparently there's a worry out their that the coming generation of children will grow up to be a bunch of pansies. I've know this all along. I'm just wonder why it took everyone else so long to figured it out. The mountain man has spoken.

Dé Sathairn, Samhain 11, 2006

what it takes...

It's interesting how little it takes.
All day things are fine.
Then you blink.
And your world
falls apart.

Dé Luain, Samhain 06, 2006

The past eleven days...

One week ago I was recovering from a weekend with the youth group. We had gone to Assateague Island for the weekend to camp on the beach. It was great except for two very unescapeable facts. I was driving the "girls" van, and the wind was blowing so hard that we couldn't even set up the tents. Other than that it was a great weekend. I love the ocean, the endless motion of the waves, the smell of the salt. Just to sit and take it all in is so relaxing. It's almost worth enduring 10 total hours in a van full of over talkitive 15 and 16 year old girls whose taste of music is confined to rap and country. It's a miracle that no one died.

The ensuing week has been varitable roller coaster. I've spent a lot of time wondering about my relationship, and all of the joy that comes from that. I talked about them or rather my lack there of, with several people. John-philipe of course wanted to know if after no hearing from me for years, which I completly understand. It's the people that talk to me on a daily basis, that I don't get. No nothing has changed since yesterday, and you probably wouldn't be the first one I'd talk to about it anyway. I know people as because they care, at least that's what I'm choosing to believe, but sometimes enough is enough. Just in case there are people who were contimplating asking me about it...Yes there are people I like, No I've not really talked to them about it, Yes I do want to be in a relationship, and No I won't tell you anymore. Honestly the whole thing is rather depressing.

On Wednesday I was asked to help deliver a clavinova. Not a problem...but it was. Only two of us went, problem one. What we were told we were picking up was not what it actually was, problem two. Instead of a regular rectangular clav we found that the order was actually for a digital grand piano. It's a clav, but more in the shape of a miniture baby grand piano and weighing about 300 pounds on the light side. Luckily we had a piano dolly...right. Needless to say, things did not end well. We ended up droping it on the way out of the door. We cracked the polished ebony finish on it, it wasn't bad but it wasn't deliverably at that point. I forgot to mention that we had to drive to one of our other stores an hour away to pick it up. The day was not going well, but then we started to drive back. On the way back, I got probably the best complement that I could ever receive. Ian for some reason, started talking to me about...well me. I wasn't sure were he was going with this until he meantioned a conversation we had the week before. Afterwards he talked to Bill, the warehouse manager, and asked him if I was a christian, to which Bill replied that yes I was. I take this as a great complement, because I've never said that I am a Christian. I'm not quiet about my faith, but those exact words have never left my mouth. I personally believe that I should never have to tell anyone that I'm a Christian. If they can't see who I'm associated with through the way I act, then I'm not doing my job right. The rest of the van ride was theological discussion, I was able to present my faith and answer a lot of questions. I also got a glimps into what druidism is, which was fasinating to me since I have a great concection to all things celtic. I can understand why early Christian missionaries chose to cross the druidic religion with the Catholism. There are many places where Christianity simply takes one more step than the druid beliefs. The rest of the day was a lot better after that conversation. Ian quit two days later. I don't know if I'll see him again, but somthing tells me I won't.

I've been sick for the past four days. Not laid out, but not feeling well. To be honest, I've not felt well for one reason or another since the sunday back from the beach, mentaly, phisically, or emotionally. The concert I went to on Sunday didn't help. My brother is a great musician and plays in several ensambles, and for the most part things were ok. They were amature groups so I wasn't expecting much, but even my good graces have limits. The ladies choir left everything to be desired. I wept for my art. The instrumental ensambles did well, until the very end when a would be arranger/composer destroyed my favorite Beethoven piano sonata. It is just not meant to be arranged for brass. But so ended my weekend, and began a new week.

My week. I don't know what to think about it. So I present the evidence to you. God has been good, present in trouble. Questions without answers. I feel like I'm standing of the razors edge and I don't know what to say, or even if I should say anything at all. I think for now, the questions are best left unasked.


PS. These are my horses on the beach

Dé Máirt, Deireadh Fómhair 31, 2006

Not much of anthing...

It's very interesting that I could feel disapointment over not getting somthing, even after I purposefully talked myself out of it. It's just so strange. I can't seem to wrap my mind around it. I talked myself out of it. It doesn't even matter that I talked myself out of it. I'm free, which is what I wanted...and that disapoints me. It really makes me want to hit somthing. It's just frustraiting. Am I that far gone? Please tell me this is normal.

The hardest thing I have to do in my life is talk to my friends about their relationships, especially when they're not going so well. I want to reach out, to hold them. It kills me on the inside. It's not becuase I'm not in a relationship, that's not the point. I don't like the fact that I don't have anyone in my life like that, but it doesn't bother me that much. I just feel for my friends, I want to do everything that I can for them, and it very feel like I've done enough. There's always somthing more that I could do, somthing else that I could say. It's just that tend to be active, I'm never satified with words. It's part of the reason I want to go into the missionfield. I can't just take a passive approch, I need to go.

I go to talk to Pam today. First time I think since Amy's wedding. It was great to talk to her, just to find out what she's up to and how she's doing. We talked about grad school, and what I should expect. We might meet up in NYC in December, catch the Opera, just have some fun. Actually this week has been a catch up we for me. Yesterday I had an hour long conversation with probably my best friend from High School. I've not talk to him in 6 years or more and then just out of the blue he calls. It was great to just catch up and hear what he's been doing since college. John-Phillipe is a great guy and I always hated that I lost track with him.

this post has been about a lot and really nothing at all. I've got a good story from the weekend, but right now this is what's on my mind.

Dé Máirt, Deireadh Fómhair 24, 2006

a few thoughts...

There are things that I've never told anyone. I have my reasons for some of them, and for others...I just can't make the timing work.
I get jealous easily and it's somthing I hate about myself.
I never feel content with where I'm at or what I have, and I fear the times that I am content.
I rush to change, but what things to stay the same.
I have conversations with myself, and every once and a while I answer back.
I tell a good story, but even I don't believe them.
I'm full of advice but can't seem to follow any of it.
I've stopped making plans because they never work.
There are certain things in life that I want, but I don't know how to go about getting them.
I suck at conversations, I never know what to say.
I hate that the people I like live worlds away, and I never get to see them.
If I was a man, I'd tell you...

Déardaoin, Meán Fómhair 28, 2006


I don't make a big deal out of it because...I just don't.
Right now I just want some sleep, but in the morning I'll go to work, then I'll have practices and then I'll probably sleep. It's not a big day, but it is one more year. One more year of experience. One more year of knowledge. On more year of things left undone. One more year of things never forgotten. One more year of travel. One more year of hope. One more year of seeing where God has placed me. One more year of moving forward. One more year alone. One more year full of friends new and old. One more year of encouragement. One more year. I'm not guaranteed another one, but if I had to leave I think I'd be content. But for now I'm not content, there is much to be done and I am looking forward to every new day. I tend not to celebrate the day becuase to me it's just like every other day, one more chance to get it right, and that is the best gift I could ask for. This is the end of year 25 and the begining of year 26...bring it on. I'm ready for you.

Happy freakin' birthday to me.


Dé Domhnaigh, Meán Fómhair 24, 2006

If I told you I love you
would you believe me.
I've lied, I've cheated
and trust is a virtue
I seem not to posses.

Of all the things
I could promise
none seem to posses
the finite ability
of absolute truth.

If I showed you
the black of my heart
would you stand at my side
when the morning brings to life
the world I've tried to hide

If I told you I love you
would the world stop turning
would the sun shine brighter
would the stars seem closer
If I told you I love you...

Dé Máirt, Meán Fómhair 12, 2006

I don't know how to say this. All I can do is ask for prayer. Not for myself, but for my family. I can't say much, but my cousin is in serious trouble. He and his family need serious prayer, so I appeal to you. Please, I beg you. Please pray.

Dé Sathairn, Lúnasa 26, 2006

You win some, you lose some...

It's been awhile since I posted anything other than a short update...
It's not for lack of subjects to write about, but then again, in a way, it is.
Working my job I hear a lot of things that spark my interest. Things that when you first hear them they just jarr your sences, and even afterwards they stick with you untill you either get it out, or you hear something else just as jarring. I've got a list of things like that. Other than that there's a lot of day to day things, but I'm not exactly interested in sharing them on the net. I've just been very busy lately, working 40 hours a week, two practices a week, preparing songs for Sunday, playing, not including all of the middle of the week stuff that always happens. But a lot of that...I just don't want to tell you about. Trust me you'll thank me someday.

There has been somthing that's really sticking with me. When my cousin graduated from the tech program that he's been working through my mom came up with the great idea of giveing him a guided day trip to New York City. The guide of course was the only person she knew who was at the time living outside the City...me. I love the City, and am absolutely entralled at the idea...actually I'm happier about the fact that eventually I'm going back to the City, even if for the day. My cousin doesn't get out of the state much, doesn't travel at all. He hasn't seen much of the world and my mom has taken it upon herself to help out. Well, I've been helping the situation. I've bought him a travel book, circled the things that I think that he would enjoy, plus the average tourist things (the good ones) that everyone who goes to the City should check out. He's getting really excited about all this, which just makes me more excited. A couple of weeks ago Mom made a passing comment about me taking my other cousin up to the City. I had been home all of five minutes and not had the best of days, the only thought that popped into my mind was the money I'd have to shell out to do that. Bad I know, but like I said it wasn't a good day and I'd not quite been myself. I instead made mention that I thought the trip was supposed to be just Kyle (his younger brother) and myself, to which my mom responded that we could go up some other time. Again the money thing came up, and being who I am I opened my mouth. Mom ignored the comment, she's really good at that, and said that Shearod is a lonely young man and it would be nice to do this. Withou thinking (like all of my good comments) I blerted out that, "Mom, we're all lonely."

This weekend is going to be a little disapointing. One of my good friends, Liz is going to be coming through the area, but due to some extenuating circumstances I won't get to see her. Very disapointing. I've not seen her in probably four years if not longer. We talk a good bit online and I love that, but it's nice to actually see your friends from time to time. I miss her, and only talking online just isn't the same. I feel that way with all of my friends from school. Talking online is great and I love that I keep in touch with the people, but it's just not the same. It's not the same, and it never will be.

Mom didn't have much to say to my little statment. Honestly I wasn't sure that I'd even said anything. It's not that I don't want to help lonely people out, but there's only so much I can do. I think the thing that bothered my mom though was the fact that I said that we're all lonely. It's true, in one way or another we're all a little lonely. Unless we're married I guess, not that that is the answer to loneliness. But yeah, I'm a little lonely. I don't mind it. I've got a lot of things that keep me busy, contact with a lot of people that I know and like, and frankly when I'm done with my day I don't nessiarily want to hang out with people...but I do anyway. There are a lot of things here, lots of conclusions that I could draw from a small side comment that I made off the top of my head, but I choose not too. I don't want to be lonely. I don't want to miss my friends. I do want to get married someday and have kids. Just not today. I can live with being a little lonely.

Dé Luain, Lúnasa 14, 2006

Happiness in red....

It was a good weekend. Hershey Park with the family, we made mom ride the roller coasters. My Cousin and his girlfriend were baptised on Sunday, very amazing, awesome time for the family. I played again on Sunday morning, helped to lead worship, very good time. But Sunday afternoon...oh this fatefull sunday afternoon...I bought this
Posted by Picasa

Happiness definatly came in red.

Dé Máirt, Lúnasa 01, 2006

I'd tell you, but...

There are certain things that you just can't write about on a blog. Things like talking bad about your friends...not that I have anything bad to say about you guys. I really don't, and you know that if I did...I'd just tell you.

Morty dropped by yesterday, which was really sweet. He meet my family, my grandfather...so now he understands. I love showing off my family, they're completly hillarious. Other than that everything is fairly normal. I work everyday, I water my bonzai, I read, hang out with people from church, plan worship services, the normal stuff. It's a little boring, but I can't complain. I'm going to be getting an electric guitar soon, I think. We'll see, I'm not sure yet.

So there's a little update for you all. Hope you enjoyed it.


Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 12, 2006

Where oh where have I been...

So...enough with the Russian. To answer your question, I've been on vacation. With creation canceled I went up to my church camp with the youth group and had a blast. I played councelor to the youngest group of guys that when a long, juinor highers mostly, and they were hillarious. I lead a group up to Flat Rock, which means nothing to anyone who might read this. It's the worst four mile round trip you'll ever take. Morty just to give you an idea, it took us just about two hours to hike up, and I made it back down in fourty five minutes. That was with the ten minute stop to play with the rattle snake. Sorry, no picture. You'll just have to take my word for it. We threw together this amazing race type of thing for the kids, and yeah...my guys won. Irlanders freakin' rule.
So then it was on to the beach. yes, North Carolina where all your dreams come true. Well...not really, but it was close. It was a good week all in all. We didn't have any waves all week, but that was ok too...not really. Talked to a pro bodyboarder about board selection, talked to the bonzai lady about the tree I bought. That's right, you should be jealous. Had some amazing sea food as usually. Convinsed my Aunt that when I said I was eating dolphin that I wasn't actually eating Flipper. It's a fish for crying out loud, a really good fish. Played some mini golf which was kind of boring to be honest. Saw the fireworks over the harbor at Manteo on Roanoke Island. It was over all a great week.
And now I'm back in Hanover...working...interestingly enough my Pastor drove his Harley in the the Church last Sunday. I thought it was great. He'll do anything for a sermon illistration. Well, almost anything.

Dé hAoine, Meitheamh 23, 2006

Предположение, что это говорит.

Я - небольшое правление прямо сейчас. Так, я думал, что я буду пробовать somthing забаву. Я действительно хочу изучить русский язык когда-нибудь, но пока я соглашусь на перевод этого в Интернете. Я тоскую без Вас парни. Я действительно желаю, чтобы Вы звонили бы, но тогда мне жаль, что я не имею шары, чтобы назвать несколько человек самостоятельно. Вещи подходят. Работа хороша. Я взволнован для создания. Даже более взволнованный для берега. Я хотел бы получить собаку. Я действительно хочу собаку, сибирский huskie. Хорошо, это было забавой. Я думаю, что это - время для кровати. Я должен встать и пойти, чтобы работать снова завтра. Проклятая ответственность. Я надеюсь, что каждый преуспевает.

Dé Máirt, Meitheamh 13, 2006

A Quick update...

For the simple reason that I haven't blogged in two weeks, I thought I should write about what's been going on. I hope that in the next few days I will no longer be unemployed...I hope. I had an interview last week and I'll find out this week what the verdict is. That has consumed the majority of the last week or so.

I love soccer and I need to find some pickup games this summer. I've been watching the World Cup games this week, current game is Crotia vs. Brazil. I saw the U.S. get beat 3 - nil by the Cezch Republic, horrible game. There is somthing to be said when a team doesn't move to the ball, I've not played in 5 years or better and I know that.

I played bass for the worship team on Sunday and will do that again this Sunday, I've got practice tonight. My parents didn't know that I played the bass. I prefer the guitar, but the bass is good too. It's intereting to see how things have changed over the years, in a greater musically sence I mean. I used to be that you could be good at one instrument and that was good enough. People were in awe at what you could do. But now, especially in the church, one instrument just doen't cut it. You have to be able to play the piano, guitar (electric and accustic), and sing like an american idol. And that's just if you want to keep up with the Jones's. Sorry for the sidebar. I'm playing again on sunday, and except that some of the songs were doing...well...I just don't like how were doing them. Personal opinion, and I've got a lot of them.

I had one crazy-a dream this morning. I say this morning because I distinctly remember waking up before I actually had the dream. I woke up after all of the excitement was over, a trip across town on foot by myself, cutting through a house and being caught by the people that lived there, meeting an old friend I haven't seen in years and just saying hi before hurrying on, suddenly being in a group of people that I knew and was comfortable with but I didn't know any of them, an illegal imagrent bust by the INS, running from the INS and hinding out in the
basment of a building, then end with the discovery that I couldn't call Morty, which I had been trying to do the entire time, because I suddenly found that my phone lost his number. Then I woke up.

I'm employed. A music store, that I have spent many hours at already, has hired me to be...dun dun DA!!!...a music librarian. Yeah I know. It's a good job, it's fairly temporary which is nice, but they will be more than happy to make it more permenant if I don't go to grad. school. They actually created the job for me, which is hugh for self esteem. Not that I need it...really at all.

Creation is coming up in the next two weeks, and the straight down to the Outer Banks for a week. The mountains are great, but they don't have sand dunes or ocean waves that you can ride. I'm still working on summer hikes, but now that I'm employed I'll at least be able to fund them. I'm thinking about whitewater rafting in late summer early fall. If anyone is interested...Morty, Jones, Ankney...give me a call and tell me. I'm serious about this, rafting in West Virginia.

I should be taking the gre in the next couple of months. Applying for grad. school. I'm a little nervous, just a little.


Déardaoin, Meitheamh 01, 2006

My greatest mystery...

Caral Sagan had the cosmos and the search for intellegent life.

Da Vinci had the pursut of science, machines, and art.

Isaac Newton had the laws of physics.

Edison had the light bulb.

Socrates had the pursue of knowledge.

The Church has the Trinity.

Paul had his thorn and the revelation of "Christ in you."

My brother has the inability of the human brain to function within 200 yards of a Walmart.

I have...you. You and the way I act. I can't explain it, and it confuses the crap out of me. You intrigue me, you make me think, you make me happy, and you piss me off. I would think about something else if I could, but know my life would be less with out it. You effect me without knowing, without trying. You are my greatest mystery.

What is your mystery? What drives you in the middle of the night?


Dé Luain, Bealtaine 22, 2006

Alone on the train...

I went into the city yesterday for the last time, well...at least for a while. I sang in church with a male quartet, got rousing applause for my high A at the end of the song, cleaned up, changed, and hopped the train into the city. I've just started reading Miller's "Searching for God knows what." I'm going to love it as much as I loved "Blue Like Jazz," but I think this one will make me think more. It already has in some ways. We talk about putting God in a box, and how that's bad, but do we ever really think about how we've put God in that box to begin with? I'm still beginning to think about this for myself so I won't attempt to answer that now, but there have been other snippets that have caught me off guard. Here was the first:

"My friend who owns the coffee shops told us, in a tone of kindness and truth, that nobody he knows who is successful gambles; rather, they work hard, they accept the facts of reality, they enjoy life as it is. 'But the facts of reality stink,' I told him. 'Reality is like a fine wine,' he said to me. 'It will not appeal to children.'

The author and I share something in common...actually I think we have lot in common, but that's beside the point. We both hate self-help books. I can't stand them and it really makes me angry to see them in Christian bookstores. First the idea that what will help us as humans is already inside us, when the Bible states that nothing we do with prosper outside of God is just a little confusing to me. Second, they mostly seem to be about making yourself happy, wealthy, or good looking or some other such nonsense. Third, this is where Miller and I really agree, there all very formulaic. Follow steps one, two, and three to achieve true enlightenment and a fuller wallet. I can name two people who've achieved the same goal through the same process. If you can please tell me, I'd love to be enlightened.

Being a lover of a good glass of wine, I'm not a connoisseur by any stretch of the word, I can completely relate to the previous statement. My family goes to the Outer Banks, North Carolina every summer for vacation. If you've not gone, get up and go, it really is the best vacation spot ever. Last summer we took some time and sampled some of the local wines, everyone has a local wine now. Dad picked up one and we opened it for dinner. Now my brother who is trying things for the first time, because he's better than I was, was completely disgusted that we would choose to drink something so foul. Nothing about it appealed to him, a complete waste of taste. Now to be honest it wasn't the best tasting wine in the world and it was defiantly a bit too sweet for my tastes. But that was the difference between us, My parents and I commented on it, said things about it both good and bad, we enjoyed the taste for what it was, we appreciated it. By brother on the other hand couldn't tell you anything about the taste except that he didn't like it. Only someone immature complains about something they don't understand.

The second excerpt was this:
"But I suppose I can't blame him because, in my life, god is always changing the way I think of Him. I am not saying God Himself is changing, or that my theology is open and I blur the lines on truth; I am only saying I think I know who He is, then I figure out I don't know very much at all. For instance, and as I have said, a lot of people believe God responds to formulas, but He doesn't. So that is one example of how our idea of God is always becoming a bit more accurate. And that's one of the things you notice about Jesus in the Gospels, that He is always going around saying, You have heard it said such and such, but I tell you some other thing. If you happened to be a person who thought they knew everything about God, Jesus would have been completely annoying."

Longer I know, and I'm not going to comment on it, except for this. What makes people think they speak for God? What amount of knowledge do you have to gain to come to the conclusion that you know exactly what God would do? How small of a god would you have to serve? Santa Clause is not God, Santa doesn't even exist.

I stopped into a Church yesterday evening, The Journey. They’re a very fascinating church and if I lived in the City it's were I would be spending my time. Their service is very much like chapel at IWU, except with flow and continuity. Four services every Sunday, all filled with people 23-30, probably why I like them so much. The two teaching pastors are amazing and connect with the people in profound ways. Their goal at the end of the service is to move you to action, whatever action that might be. They even put in on the back of the attendance card they give you. "This week I commit to..." There's normally a list of four or five, the first one always being the memory verse for the week. They finished up a series called, T.G.I. Monday with a talk about what it means to be successful. They contrasted the world's ideas of success with God's idea of success, with a big emphasis on serving others. About half way through I was caught by something that I heard in my head. Yes, I'm hearing voices again. No, I don't need medicated. But the quite voice in the back of my mind went, "that's why you liked Wednesdays so much." There were parts of Wednesdays that I could have done without, or would rather have done without. But all in all I love Wednesdays around here, because that was the day we had kids choir. I can't begin to explain, how much I loved working with the kids, teaching them, answering questions (no matter how annoying), kneeling down to help and crack a joke just so they'd smile. I've come to a conclusion. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you serve God.

Sitting alone on the train I couldn't do anything but thank God for the time I've spent here. I've a few more days, and a lot of things to do in those days, but my time here is quickly coming to a close. I couldn't do anything but thank him, for giving me a perspective that allowed me to learn even as I served. Sitting alone on the train I made my promises one more time. Lots of things can happen when you're alone on the train.

I'll drive these roads in thunder and in rain
and I will sing your song at the top of my lungs
and I will praise you Lord in glory and in pain
and I will follow you till this race is run
and I will drive these roads till the motor won't run
and I will sing your song from sea to shining sea
and I will praise you Lord till your kingdom comes
and I will follow where you lead
Till there's no more faith
no more hope
I see your face and Lord I'll know
there's no more faith
there's no more hope
we'll sing your praise and let them grow
where there's only Love.


Dé Céadaoin, Bealtaine 17, 2006

That thing you swore you'd never tell anyone about...

Well, I'm still not going to tell you. On the other hand locking yourself out of the house is pretty funny, but not as funny as realizing that you didn't but the spare key back in it case. And neither is as funny as trying to hoist yourself through the window feet first with nothing to grab onto about you so you have to do it one foot at a time while you balancing on the deck railing. All this because you wanted your steak cooked on the grill like it should be. Some people will travel the world to find what they like. I just had to climb through my pantry window.

Dé Luain, Bealtaine 15, 2006


couchsurfing.com, In the world of procrastinating freeloaders like myself it's surpising to find that one of us had enough in him to start up somthing where everyone gets something for free, even if it is just a conversation with someone who just picked you up from the airport. Staying in a strangers house for free...sounds like ministry team days to me. This could come in handy if I ever get to go on that trip to Europe that I want to take...

Dé Máirt, Bealtaine 09, 2006

Weeping Willow...

World weeps this funeral day
Steel sky for a shroud
A cold May wind tugs
Gently at my coat
Like a child vying
For my attention yet
Not wanting to bother me
Shrugged shoulders
Depressed in motion
Fallen petals pink and brown
Swirl by a lonely bench
Seeking refuge beneath
The shrugged shouldered branches
Silent birds quickly skitter
Round the quiet lamppost
Weeping world
Weeping willow
Bends it’s branches
To brush my hair like a lover

You were twenty-four...

You were twenty-seven when it happened
Was it sudden? Was it quick?
Or was it slow
Was it long and painful?
Were you scared so far from home?
You were twenty-seven.

You were twenty-seven when it happened
You were the Rector of Rugby, N.D.
A man that people trusted
But maybe a man that people hated.
You were twenty-seven when it happened
You were twenty-seven

I see myself, lying in your place
Both young, both following
Chosen to lead
Did you choose or were you chosen
Did you know what would happen
Were you happy,
Were you content
Did it make sense
Did it have too
Did you wonder why now
Had you thought yourself safe

I was twenty-four when it happened
When you caught my eye
When you asked if I found peace here
“I don’t come here for peace,” I said
“That is well,” you said
“For we aren’t here to give it”

You were twenty-seven
And I am twenty-four.


Dé Luain, Bealtaine 08, 2006

Random thoughts...

I've been really unplugged as of late and don't know much of what's actually going on...and I kind of like it.

I don't know what to get Allison and Yank for their...

A Bar is a really interesting place to meet people.

Karaoke is a hillarious way to spend time with anyone new. Especially when they're cute, and you can sing.

I was looking for somthing on the internet but I stopped cause I couldn't remember what I was looking for.

My Parents stopped by on their way to Cape Cod...that was fun.

Never show up early for Cinco De Mayo party...that's it, just don't do it.

Should have put money on Barbaro, I wanted too...but I didn't know where to go.

I've been having the same dream lately and I don't like it. I don't want to argue with her, but I'm afraid that I might. I don't want to. no

Crab fishing in the Barring Sea is nutz, and I want to do it.

People look at you funny when you say sweet as.

I think I want a tatoo. Like a Celtic cross on my shoulder, or somthing like that.

When someone buys you a drink, you drink it. Simple chorale training that...

Personally I like the fact that I can here at least 3 different languages in 15 minuets at the park. Makes me feel special.

I found a place to learn to scuba dive, but I'm broke...I don't think this is a problem.

I still want to go sky diving.


Déardaoin, Aibreán 27, 2006

What the crap...

I really want to say somthing about how high gas prices are right now. The whole situation really just makes me angry. I'm paying 3.15 per gallon, which makes me angry. The people we've put in charge are currently using this to try and get re elected, which makes me angry. More importantly the people who are in charge are completly impotent to do anything but argue about ways that might fix this problem. They bicker, and moan, and sit on there own hands instead of helping each other reach a common ground on the subject. Now I know that they don't have to pay for their gas, I pay for their gas, so why should they care? Well I care, dang it, I care! FIX THE PROBLEM! I'M PAYING YOU TO FIX THE PROBLEM! WHY HAVN'T YOU FIXED THE PROBLEM! So, now that I've said that...
This may be the most selfish thing that I've every said...but I'm going to say it anyway. I really don't like it that I don't sing as much as I think I should at Church. I hate that I sing melody when ever Tim calls me down to sing the praise choruses, I never sing the first tenor line. I wouldn't care except for the fact that I am a first tenor. What I'm singing is literally destroying my voice. Everytime I have had a solo is been, a nice, rather boring song, that doesn't fit my voice because it's to low. I've been passed over again for a solo in choir, again. I mean...your paying me to do somthing of these things right? That's why I'm here? And I really don't want to conduct the piece that we did in october, but for some reason are going to do again in two weeks. What's the point in that? I can't do anything with it, they already know the piece, they've done it a dozen time's I'm sure, they won't watch or react even if they do. I'll do it anyway, and I'll do everything that I can do with it. A word out there to all music students, assistants or otherwise: Never let the director teach the choir your piece, because then it will sound like he wants it, and not like you want it.
So yeah...maybe I am selfish, but I needed to get this out. Maybe next time I'll talk about somthing better...more important...somthing less self-aborbed. I'm just angry and annoyed is all. So...I was a good day, I'm just stuck here for right now. Talk to me tomorrow.

Dé Máirt, Aibreán 11, 2006

The Coin...

"'Show me a denarious. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?'
'Caesar's,' they replied.
He said to them, 'Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.'
Luke 20: 24, 25

I remember explicitly the first time I heard this piece of scripture. I was being taught a lesson on finances, taxes, and tithing by my mom. She was making me give up some of my allowance for tithe for the first time, and I really didn't appreciate the effort. I stood there after my mom asked me to do this and explain why we do it, telling me that the Bible says we should give 10 percent back to God. Since I was maybe nine or ten at the time, if the Bible said it it was ok with me, even if I didn't quite understand why God wanted or needed my money. Maybe He needed some new underwear, I wasn't really sure. What I did know is that the government had no real need for my money. I told my mom this, and she smiled and calmly opened her Bible to this passage and explained it to me saying that we pay taxes because that's what Jesus said to do. The money obviously came from the government in the first place, so if they wanted it so badly they could have it back.

Maybe you have the same kind of experience with this passage, maybe not, but I think we all somewhere along the line ended up with the same conclusion. "Pay your taxes, cause Jesus said so." We can even support it with what Paul tells us to do in Romans 13:1 and the writer of Hebrews 13:17. It's fairly conclusive that Jesus told us to pay our taxes...Or I thought so until this Sunday.

This past Sunday the President of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies in Dayton, Ohio gave the message. He spoke of the Triuphal Entry, of people praising Christ as he humbly rides in of a donkey, He quickly pointed that the crowd that would shout for his death in just a few days was not the same crowd that welcomed him to Jerusalem. "Those, he said, would still be in bed in those early morning hours after they had enjoyed the Passover meal. The crowd condemning Christ was most likely temple guards and people loyal to the ruling powers." WE then moved to our main passage. He said many of the same things that I've just said but then turned and said that this wasn't Christ's point at all.

The pharisees have been backed into a wall here by Jesus and they are searching for any reason to get rid of him. He's just told the parable of the Tenants (Lk 20:9-19). The People are appalled that the obvious subject of the parable, the Pharisees, would be reviled by God and their authority taken away. Yet Jesus reminds then that the Psalmist prophesied "the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone." (118:22) The teachers of the law and the chief priests are furious but know that to arrest Jesus out right would insight a riot so they attempt to trap him with a political question. They ask him whether or not it is lawful to pay taxes to the Roman government. Jesus realizing what is going on asks them for a denarius. The question you should be asking at this point is why didn't he just take one his own out of his pockets? The answer is simple...He didn't have one. Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself and idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." It was unlawful for Jesus to have in his possession something with someone else's image on it. The fact that he asks for one, and receives one from some one associated with the temple let alone a teacher of the law or a high priest is down right scandalous.

The Denarius has on one side of it a picture of the Roman emperor, Tiberious in this case, which would be bad enough, but Mr. Pryor revealed to us that on the opposite side would have been an inscription, "Tiberious Caesar son of the DEVINE Augustus." Not only is this coin a symbol of roman oppression to the Jewish people it is an artifact of Roman religion. In essence an idol, forbidden by Jewish law, and it was in the possession of the temple.

When Christ asks whose picture is on the coin he very subtly references the creation account where God says, "let Us make man in Our own image." This is why the passage is so important. Christ quickly places ownership on two things in this picture, the coin and man. He tell them that if the coin is created in Caerar's, who thinks himself divine, image then give it back to Caesar, but you are created in MY image. We are to give back to God what is God's by right of creation, ourselves. The taxes are not important, give them what they gave to you in the first place. What is important is what you've done with your heart, your mind, your soul. By having the coin in their possession they are breaking the same laws they are supposed to teach and uphold in others, where is their mind, where is their heart, their soul?

We so often attempt to live our lives like the Pharisees where trying to live theirs, pious to the people who matter. On Sunday we raise our palm branches and cry "Hosanna in the highest! Blessed be your Name!," but as the week moves on we turn and say "Hail Caesar!" by what we have in our pockets. Christ told us that we cannot serve to masters, that eventually we would learn to love the one and despise the other. The coin seems like such a simple thing, but it held so much significance in the long run. This wasn't a social commentary on the good or ill of taxes, it was a revelation of moral truth to those who thought they had it all together. These men where so sure that they were doing the right thing, that Jesus was just trying to insight the people against them, that they missed the truth of his message. Love came to earth to save them, but all they could see was the power slipping out of there hands.

Déardaoin, Aibreán 06, 2006

my simple prayer...

"My daddy's in Russia, so you're my daddy every Wednesday."

You know, even my hard, sarcastic, and way to often cynical heart can be melted. Especially when Katya, hugs me as whispers that in my ear. I've never been so honored in my life, never so scared. I never wanted so badly to be a father until I heard that whisper. I want so badly to live up to the standard that my dad has set for me, to be a man equally passionate about his family, his wife, and his God. I know no greater challenge. I just pray I'm man enough to live up too it... and that I get the chance to try.

God if you never bless me with a wife I will be fine as long as you always bless me with children.


Dé Céadaoin, Aibreán 05, 2006

lists of seven...

Liz I'm doing this all at once. For anyone else who might be wondering. My great, Canadian, short friend Elizabeth Stewart (all of which are quite lovely characteristics btw) tagged me to do some list of seven. So lists of seven it shall be. I love a challenge. Let the trial of brevity commence.

7 things I would like to do before I die:
1. Sky dive
2. Scuba dive
3. Learn Russian, French, and Gaelic
4. Learn to Fly
5. Hike the Appalachian Trail (all of it, though maybe not at one time)
6. Get really good at skiing
7. Read the compelet works of C.S. Lewis

7 things I cannot do:
1. Have a serious conversation with Dan Ankney
2. Go easy on myself
3. Go through a day with out listening to or making music
4. Talk coherently before 10am without coffee
5. Be nice
6. Not be sarcastic
7. not laugh in a days time

7 things I say most often
1. wow (normally said after someone else says somthing completly idiotic)
2. sweet as (there no second s get your minds out of the gutter and ask me)
3. wicked sick
4. You got that? you ok? Don't hurt yourself... (normally after someone fail to put together a simple english sentence, see number 6 in the previous list)
5. I win!!
6. Yeah, you suck.
7. I don't care. (my personal favorite. It can be applied to anything, though my favorite is when someone, like Kelly or Jeremy huff, tells me that that they hate me.)

7 place you might like to visit before you die
1. Ireland
2. Denali in Alaska
3. Russia
4. Salzburg, Austria
5. Paris, France
6. Thailand
7. Rome, Italy

7 things I hate:
1. People who talk even though they have no idea what they are talking about.
2. People how carry out War in the name of God.
3. Slow drivers
4. People who automatically assume they are right
5. Any guy who can't keep his word, has no sence of honor or what it means to be a gentleman, and treats women like trash
6. The idea that getting drunk is a way of having a good time.
7. People who can't laugh at the absrudity in their own life, including their faith.

7 activities I enjoy doing
1. Hiking/camping
2. Skiing
3. Reading
4. Singing, or really anything to do with music
5. Writing in my blog
6. Talking to friends over coffee
7. Video games

7 friends you want to do this list of sevens
1. Amy, because I'm pretty sure you're the only person who still reads this, besides liz.
2. Morty, but he won't.
3. Allison, but I know she's busy
4. Erica, but I doubt she'll read this...and she doesn't have a blog that I know of.
5. Kinky, but she probably won't read this either.
6. Jones...not that he'd be able to stop at seven.
7. Andrea, though again, I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this.
8. Any random reader who may like to enlighten me to his or her presence.

So there you go. 49 things you probably never would have guessed about me...well, maybe not. At the very least they are 49 things that you never really ever wanted to know in the first place. Here's hoping I hear back from at least some of you. If it works maybe I'll start writing about you guys more often, then I'll hear from you more...

Dé Luain, Aibreán 03, 2006

Alone in the dark...

This is becoming a disturbing trend. Last thursday I sent another 4 and a half hours in a car just so I could get to a wedding. Now I know this soulds rather benine, and it is except for the fact that I didn't leave until 11pm (and that after being up since 8am). It's rough driving through the night, especially when I don't have Amy to talk to and make fun of the signs for Schenectady. Now I'm not complaining. I could have easily left early on friday and made it to the rehearsal just fine, but there were other things that I needed/wanted to do while I was home. Like I said, this is becoming a rather disturbing trend with me and weddings. Let me just give a run down:
John and Jennie Gregory - Traved some 2,400+ miles over four days, alone in my car.
Nate and Maria Lail - After traveling from hanover, PA to marion. I traveled about 1000 miles in 24 hours (to Eau Claire and back to marion).
Steve and Amy Kannel - Hanover to Bryan, OH (I think that's were I was). Three days, stopped in Marion on the way back...not exactly the same direction. aproximatly three weeks after Nate and Maria's wedding.
Keith and Hidie Bortner - this was last thursday.
Lets face it, I love you guys and would drive to Antarctica if that's where you were getting married, nobody get any funny ideas.
Alone as I was, my mind, like normal, started to run away with me. Fortunatly it can't go far becuase I'm in my car...right. Anyway, I started thinking about all of my late nights, which started me thinking about the summer I traveled with BK, and it was all down hill from there. No, it was great for a chance to remember thinks I havn't thought of in a while. People I haven't thought of. It was great remembering everything from that summer on the road. The odd thing was that I found my pictures from that summer completly by accident on saturday. I put some faces to names and memories that I had gone through and remember things that I had completly forgotten until I saw the picture. Even so there were a few pictures that just drew blanks. I'm sure they were important at the moment, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what they were suppposed to be. So, contrary to the rather foreboding title of this blog it's a rather happy one. One of my great friends from my home church got married, I got to be there, a little worst for wear but I was there, and as I sat in the dark speeding toward somthing that has been known to throw me into introspective melancholy I remembered what I truly consider one of the best spent three months of my life. I would live them over in a heart beat. Jon, Amy, Steph, Tim, and Jon (Peter) I don't know if I ever thanked you for laughing at me (like when I got pulled over and played "who sir? Me sir?" with the cop), being angry at me, letting me laugh with you (Get Down, Jaun Carlos!!), keeping me a wake, keeping me going, letting me drive all the time (even if you didn't like sitting shotgun with me, Pete), generally having a little fun (like convicing the whole of East Michigan Family camp that I was from Ireland), and letting me laugh at you (why else would you spill stuff all over yourself every time you ate?). It was great reminiscing even if I was alone in my car. Where else would I be? Everyone knows that "I should be the one behind the wheel."

Dé Máirt, Márta 21, 2006

Searching to understand...

I'm not done, not by a long shot, but sometimes you just have to clear the air. I've been reading a good bit latly, and I've got a lot of reading to go. I picked up several authors, philosophers mostly, who I thought would give me a good look at the questions an atheist would raise, their perspective on religion in general, and some of the answers they would provide. I chose philosophy and not science on the simple grounds that science is in essence another religion. Through Science we've created another set of beliefs, as well as another world view, based on the scientific method and what we've "discovered" based on our own rational thought. You could of course say the same about philosophy, except for the fact that no one has ever (to the best of my knowledge) created a religion based on a man's philosophy. It has of course helped the case of many prophets, and in course many philosophers consider themselves prophets trumpeting the truths of the world to the milling masses. Some would say that Christ or Mohamad are nothing more that prophets/philosophers of their day whose followers took things to far. Personally these people have missed the point of the messages brought, especially in the case of Christ. I'll stay away from Mohamad, on the simple grounds that my thoughts and feelings on Islam are vague at best and my knowledge minimal, the best that I could offer would be personal opinion at best and that seems to just get me into trouble I don't need that right now. We can easily seperate the philosophy from the man when it comes to christ, which is I believe were we come up with the majority of our problems. We create new theologies, based off of the philosophy of Christ. This is were we get our so called social gosple. Please don't mistake me, those things are there, but it is only when we seperate them from the man that we can produce a gosple solely on the basis of the social ethics found in the Bible. Our Greatest problem is taking the Christ as a whole, blood, guts and all. I'll write more on this later, since it really isn't what I'm focusing on right now.

Of the authors I've decided to converse with I thought that I should start with Nietchze. Who better to start with than the man who claimed God was dead. Now before the atheist tells me one more time that a true athiest doesn't believe there was a god to begin with, let me remind you that when Nietchze says that God is dead, he's saying that the need for a belief in God no longer exists, so in essence this is different from the Diecide philosophy that came out of Emery University. That stated that God did in fact exist, but found that we didn't need Him anymore and in fact died on the cross, but never came back to life. Nietchze more simply takes humanism to its ultimate extremities and states that we no longer need God so there is no reason for religion. It's important to read Nietchze as an athiest or a thiest simply so you understand the true consequences of the Statement "God is Dead." The modern atheists that I've come in contact with seem to hold to moral standerd that are not much different that my own. They reject the anarchist formula that most christians would put on them, the long hair, death metal, all in black all the time, etc. etc. so on and so forth. They want to be seen as regular people, except for the fact that they don't believe in a deity. They go to great lengths to say that there is no god, but what it sounds like to me is a simple scurtting of the issue. They don't have to deal with many of the great problems of the world simply on the grounds that the problem revolves around there being a god in the first place. No god, no problem. Very simple you see.

The problem then becomes that they argue so long and so hard that they have no god and there for no religion that they create their own with out even knowing it. This is where science comes back into the picture, and gives me one more reason to exculd it, at least for the moment, from my research. Unfortuately science cannot regulate morality, so the atheist is left with a problem. If you reject the existance of God, you there for must reject religion, in my case christianity, wholly. This means that everything associated with that religion must die. This is the logical, and there for the only road left for the atheist. Nietzsche saw this, understood it and accepted it. Nietzsche took the precepts of humanism to there full extent, first in saying that God was dead and then in stringing out the next steps for human kind. He regected the notions of modern morality because he had too. You can't adhear to Judaeo-christian morality and ethical thought, basically the Ten Commandments, if the basis for those morals didn't exist in the first place. Nietzsche spoke of an Uber-Mensche, or superman, that would be able to replace this old form of morality which he considered a slaver morality with that of his own. this new morality would be based on the strenght and virtue of the person, much like those of Homer's hero's in the Illiad. In essence a might make right mentality. I don't nessisarily see this as the ultimate out come, but it is possible. In anycase, the fact remains that for some reason this is not acceptable to most atheists today, who are simply not willing to let go of the moral code that makes them, in there eyes a good person. But why.

Some I'm sure surmise that this moral code was the ultimate conclustion of time and human interaction, a kind of noble savage mentality. If we are all truly good to begin with then of course we would come up with moral laws that our government is based on today. I've struggled, and continue to struggle, with the idea of humanities inherent goodness. I want desperatly to believe in that goodness, that we all have the best for each other at heart. I see people go and join the Peace Corp, people give blood, people donated millions of dollars to the people of the gulf coast after Katriena, I watch shows like the miracle worker and Extreme Makeover: home edition. I see them and think that there is hope for humanity, that maybe we are good at heart, but then I see the news, or I watch the history channel. I hear about the things like the Holocaust and how nations simple turned there backs on the slaughter of innocents and refused to acknowlegde it was even happening. We shake our heads in wonder and discussed at ancient Romans who sat in the colosium, yet we delight in watching horor movies where people are ripped to shredds for pure enjoyment. I see this and I wonder if Calvin wasn't write with his total depravity.

Before this get any longer, I'm going to stop. I don't answers. I'm not even close, but I needed to get this out. I'm going to start writing again on other things. I've taken enough time off, and my head its starting to hurt. If I don't empty it soon it may pop, and everyone knows how much I hate to clean. So I'm back...for better or for worse, I'm back.

Dé Máirt, Feabhra 28, 2006

The Meaning of Goodbye

Today, I left campus for the last time. No longer can I consider myself a student. No longer can I consider myself a member of that society. Eight months ago I graduated, a few hours ago I said goodbye. I walked campus for the last time, seeing faces of friends, seeing the things that came to make it my home over the course of five years. I saw them, but for the first time I saw them as a stranger, an intruder, no longer welcome in their presence. I’ve moved on, they’ve moved on, and while we are friends and intend to remain so the course the course of time with which we had to impact each other’s lives is ended. We will each go our separate ways now, some to marriage, some to singleness, some to academia, some to notoriety, some to obscurity (though only to the world not immediately around them), some to the country, some to the city, some to were ever their foot falls take them, all of us to excellence, and none to mediocrity. We have been blessed to know each other, and while for a time we must part I believe that our own separate journeys will never take us far from one another. We all travel the same road, we all seek the same goal, but for now we’ve come to a fork in the path and are forced to part. There may come a day when our paths will cross again, but more likely our paths will run ever in parallel. We’ll watch with interest from a distance as each of us runs the course set a head of us, shouting encouragements, over the miles that separate us.
I hate goodbye. I won’t say it if I can get around it, attempting to use cleaver little euphemisms to curb the heartache. I hate goodbye. It’s an eternal truth set in my heart by the one who formed me with his hands. In my mind it’s always had the solemn finality of death attached to it, and while I don’t fear my own death I do fear the separation that it represents, a leave taking never to be reversed. My greatest fear is to be alone, truly and utterly alone. To feel, even for a moment, the separation that my Savior felt as he hung on the cross would be little less than hell. Others are my drive, my reason, my purpose for pursuing ministry. The joy on the face of the worshiper is what lead me to college, it’s what I long to see, it’s God personal gift to me, and it is what will take me across the oceans, into the churches, to graduate school and beyond. But because of this, I will always face goodbye. I will always face times were I must leave those I’ve grown to love, and dance around saying goodbye. So goodbye will remain my enemy and my ever-constant companion.
But maybe, just maybe we can chance fate, and turn goodbye into something less permanent. Maybe we can change the meaning of goodbye, not the death of something but more simply the change of it. The formation of relationship to accommodate time and space; it won’t be the same, nothing ever stays the same we must grow or we must die there is no other choice, but it will be something new and exciting. Just maybe, the end won’t be what we thought it would be, but turning and finding that it is but the beginning of something greater than we ever imagined it would be.
For now I raise my glass and propose a toast to all my friends and readers. Fill the glass with what you will be it smooth or sharp, strong or weak, caffeinated or not, but raise them all the same. I give you the toast of the town, you my friends. You have seen me through both the dark and the light, and if I have to swim the oceans and turn the moon on its head to keep you it’s well worth the price. I have been given no greater, and while our relationship will enviably change, lets make sure that they change for the good. I wish you health, good fortune, blessings, answered prayers, and the deepest desires of you hearts. I will pray for you as you go out among the nations, each to his own allotment. Be what you are created to be, go where you are called to go, love like there is no tomorrow, and give like you have the world in your pocket. Go and bless others as you have blessed me, and if we ever meet again this side of the gates of splendor think not of what was, but what is and what will be, but until then keep in touch, I’ll be here if you need me. I love you all.

Dé Domhnaigh, Feabhra 19, 2006

After a brief intermission...

I'm taking a hiatus from blogging for a couple of weeks. Several reasons really, some personal and some selfish. My journey into a study of atheism has raised questions I don't necessarily want to ask here. I'm not about to become an atheist, but what I've read has made me seriously question why I believe what I believe. I need to spend some serious time in the Bible and with God. Faith is truly a burden, but it is one I carry gladly. I need time to assimilate what I'm feeling as well, both with my feelings and thoughts on atheism, and agnosticism for that matter, as well as emotions that have bubbled to the surface again. I'll be back in a few weeks, hopefully with something enlightening to say. Anyway, my touring schedule is taking me to the IWU campus this upcoming weekend. I’ll be performing live starting Friday at 2pm. I’ll be there thru Monday night and will be returning to my regular venues in NYC Tuesday afternoon. There are two shows nightly; there’ll be a $10 cover and a two-drink minimum for each performance. So come check it out.

Déardaoin, Feabhra 16, 2006

It just hurts, ok...

I need a back rub.

I have nothing witty, nothing sarcastic, not even anything cynical, which after kids choir today is amazing, no philosophy, no theology, no nothing.

My back hurts, and I want someone to rub it.

Dé Máirt, Feabhra 14, 2006

VD...I'd rather have a rash

I'm trying to ignore the day all together, and since I'm not on the IWU campus it's pretty freakin' easy, but my brother, coming from the same sarcastic stock as the rest of my family, either found or created an away message that I thought fit to share with everyone else:
Contrary to popular belief, St. Valintine was created by none other then the great great great great grandfather of the founder of Hallmark. This man also invented the easter bunny and santa clause.
Also, contrary to belief is cupid's arrows. When you get hit by one of them, you actually have about 5 minutes to live. why? its a fricking arrow!!!!!! There's nothing magical about it. Besides, any guy that looks like cupid has to be gay.
I love my family. Anyway, wear black to day to support Singles Awareness Day, and to help stop the spread of VD.

Déardaoin, Feabhra 09, 2006


There's a link of to the right, under the title "oh the places you'll go." Despair.com, while not my all time favorite web site it does cater to my darkside. I enjoy my darkside, and that is where my more sarcastic, even cynical humor comes from, not that any of that ever gets displayed on this site. Anyway, the month being what it is I thought I'd share my favorite product from despair.com I think you agree with me that these are perfect for the up coming holiday. They come with two sets of messages, "Dejected" and "Dysfunctional." Here's what they have to say about them:

"Truly, "BitterSweets(tm)" are the perfect gift for you OR for someone you love, especially if that special someone is one who doesn't want to hurt your feelings but just doesn't feel that way about you but still wants to be friends so they can torment you with stories about their crushes on someone who doesn't appreciate them like you do, can't love them like you can, and actually takes pleasure in corralling a herd of fawning "just friends" behind themselves as they indulge in one self-destructive relationship after another, with no hope of ever finding true love, despite an army of souls eager to lavish it upon them.

(You know what we're talking about.)

Supplies are limited. But the pain that accompanies them may not be.

Available in six different flavors, including: Banana Chalk, Grape Dust, Nappy-Citric, You-Call-This-Lime?, Pink Sand and Fossilized Antacid."

This sounds ackwardly familer...If you'd like to check them out:http://www.despair.com/demotivators/bittersweets.html That should get you there. They have a plethora of other products to suit you darker side. Now if only I had someone to send them too.
A.T.H. Posted by Picasa

Dé Máirt, Feabhra 07, 2006

No more Faith...

If you've ever wondered what you truly want in your life, you'll understand my thoughts. I don't know what everyone else wants but this is want I want, love. Not romantic love, per say, but true love for God and those around me. I've been thinking a lot lately about what I believe to be true and what reasons I have for believing them. It occurred to me that I believe in things that no scientist or philosopher could ever prove to be true. I believe in a almighty, omniscient, omnipresent Being who transcends both time and space. A being so righteous that by entering his presence I would die. I can't even look in his direction without being changed or destroyed. I believe that He created not only this world, but also the universe that it is suspended in. He did this using nothing, ex nihilo, completely against the rules of science. Yet I believe all of this. I believe against all scientific precepts. I can’t observe God; I can’t scientifically, rationally, or logically prove that God exists. Yet I believe. We call it faith. I hate it but that’s what it is. Faith. I really don’t like faith. Faith is hard and it forces you to look like an idiot. Now everyone knows that I am an idiot, that’s no secret, but I at least like to make a good front. Faith makes me feel hung out to dry. Hope really isn’t any better. Hope is expecting something to happen in the future. I found this in one dictionary, “The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.” So in essence hope is the irrational expectation of future. I know that’s a bit cynical, but seriously, what better definition is there? Which leaves me with love. The best definition that I know of for love is simply this, “to thrive on; need.” Paul wrote to the Corinthian church,
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I don’t often share my favorite song with people because it requires so much explanation, and I normally just don’t want to bother with it, but here it is. “No More Faith” by Andrew Peterson, followed quickly by his song “Let Me Sing.” Both songs show what I feel at my heart, complacency, with the want of action, darkness being burned away in the light, victory in failure, utter awe at what was done for me, doubt with a driving desire to believe. I want to share the lyrics with you, so maybe you’ll understand.

“No more Faith” Andrew Peterson
This is not another song about the Mountains
Except about how hard they are to move.
Have you ever stood before them,
Like a mustard seed that’s waiting for some proof?

I say faith is a berden
It’s a weight to bare
It’s brave and bitter sweet
And hope is hard to hold to
Lord I believe
Only help my unbelief

Till there’s no more faith
No more hope
I’ll see you face and Lord I’ll know
That lonely love remains

Have you ever heard that Jesus is the answer?
And thought about the mean doubts you hide
Have you wondered how he loves you
If he really knows how dark you are inside

I say faith is a burden
It’s a weight to bare
It’s brave and bitter sweet
And hope is hard to hold to
Lord I believe
Only help my unbelief

Till there’s no more faith
No more hope
I’ll see you face and Lord I’ll know
That lonely love remains

So I will drive these road
In thunder and in rain
And I will sing your songs
At the top of my lungs
And I will praise you Lord
In glory and in pain
And I will follow you till this race is run
And I will drive these roads
Till this motor won’t run
And I will sing your song
From sea to shining sea
And I will Praise you Lord
Till you Kingdom come
And I will follow where you lead

I say faith is a burdon
It’s a weight to bare
It’s brave and bitter sweet
And hope is hard to hold to
Lord I believe
Only help my unbelief

Till there’s no more faith
No more hope
I’ll see you face and Lord I’ll know
There’s no more faith
There’s no more hope
I’ll sing your praise and let them go
There’s only love,
only love
That’s what I want, I don’t want faith, and I don’t want hope. Only love.

Let me Sing...

"Let me Sing" Andrew Peterson

I wanna open up my eyes
and see a more beautiful world
Let the hand of God almighty
sweep his colors through my life
I wanna hold tight to the laughter
and ride it like a child
on the winds that billow joyful through the sky
I wanna open up my heart
but you know sometimes it hard to find
cause I've buried it beneath the selfishness
That I've hidden behind
I wanna stand my ground unshaken
I wanna tremble when I kneel
and let my song remain un broken through the tears

So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
let me lose all I have
for what I found on the cross
let me trust you with my life
let me live to give you praise
let me praise you by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing

I wanna open up you word
and let the thirsty enter in
so they can drink deep of the water
that you’ve given to them
I wanna run the race with vigor
I wanna fight the fight with strength
And let my song rise from a whisper to a scream

I wanna open up my arms
And embrace that old rugged cross
I wanna take pride in the reason
And be humbled by the cost
And when this lisping stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave
In a nobler sweeter song I’ll sing your praise
I’ll sing your praise

So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
let me lose all I have
for what I found on the cross
let me trust you with my life
let me live to give you praise
Lord, let me praise you by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing
Lord, let me sing

Déardaoin, Feabhra 02, 2006

February sucks...

I'm not kidding. I don't like february. I have a plethora of reasons as to why I don't like this particular month, and if you will permite me (as if you could stop me) I'll gladly share them with you know.
First, the month just sounds stupid. No one pronounces it correctly, including myself. We all go around saying its "febuary," when it's actually "febRUary." No one has enough respect for this particular month to even pronounce is correctly. Personally I'm glad we don't. I've tried to pronouce it correctly and it just makes you sound like you have a studdering version of terets. Which in it's own way would be alittle fun if it wern't so horrible.
Second, it’s cold, dreary, gray, windy, and completely unpleasant…All – The – Time. Even January has a few days when the sun’s out, and it feels half warm. At least in January it snows. In February it seems like the abominable snowman, from here forward to be know as the Yeti, knocked you down and took a big gray dump on your face. Interestingly enough the Yeti enjoys this; it’s almost a sport to him. A big beast covered with fur, sounds like Surfer Curt. In any case, February is just an unpleasant that lacks, decent weather. If it snowed through February things would be different, you could ski or snowboard, you could work on doing donuts in the church parking lot, you could spend more time pegging people with snowballs. Anything, other than stare at the cold, gray, useless dead ground around you.
Third, as if to add insult to injury some idiot placed Valentine’s Day, from here forward known as V.D., right smack dab in the middle of this crap bucket of a month. V.D., as every civilized person knows, is no more than an excuse to remind people not unlike myself that we’ve got something we really don’t want. Now let me make it perfectly clear, I enjoy being single, I just don’t want to be reminded of it every year in the middle of the dead of winter when everything looks dead. The symbolism is truly perfect. For those of you planning to share your V.D. this year with someone else, please, for everyone sake, give him or her the chance to refuse. The only thing worse than having to endure V.D. alone is having it forced on you by a well-meaning friend. I am thankful that I will not be at IWU this year. It always seemed to me that V.D. was a mandatory thing, and that it started to spread through campus a month before, infecting us with an itch to find that special someone to share V.D. with. Let’s face it; there really isn’t anything good about V.D.
Finally, of all the reasons I dislike the month of February my greatest reason steams from my heritage. I’m not quiet about being from Pennsylvania; it’s part of my introduction. It truly is the one of the greatest places on Earth. We’ve got farm land, we’ve got rolling hill, we’ve got endless stretches of undisturbed forest, we’ve got majestic mountains shrouded in mist, we’ve got great football, we’ve got cities and culture. In fact we have two cultures in PA. We’ve got a modified East Coast culture on my side of the mountains, and we’ve got a mountain culture a people of the wilderness who are pleasant if a bit redneckish. But of all of this I am ashamed to admit that every February 2nd in a town called Punxsutawney in Western Pa, we completely embarrass ourselves. Since 1887, the small town of Punxsutawney, yes it really exists, has been pulling a sleepy fat rat thing we call a groundhog out of it’s hole just so it can “see” it’s shadow and be forced back into it’s hole. Why? So we can say that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Apparently this started in Europe as a holiday called Candlemas; except the animal was a hedgehog, a smaller spiny rat-like creature. When the Pilgrims came over they couldn’t find any hedgehogs so they drug the fat thing that kept eating their vegetables out of its hole instead. There’s even a movie based around day, call “Groundhog Day” of course, staring Bill Murray. This kind of puts a hole in my theory that a bunch of drunk guys decided to pull one of the rats from their holes on cold February morning and everyone was entertained enough that they didn’t again the next year…only sober. To my everlasting shame I was asked if Groundhog Day was real, when I was in New Zealand. I never thought that I would be asked about it, but there I was sitting at the table explaining the legend to the kind old lady.
So there they are, four of my most prominent reasons for disliking February. I hope I was able to supply a bit of a laugh for you.
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Dé Máirt, Eanáir 31, 2006


What does it mean for my faith if a planet is found with life on it. Is my God big enough for two worlds? What if it's true and they've never heard of Christ? Am I suddenly worried over nothing?

A french man commenting on america said that said that the state of the church has changed since the days of Tocqueville. I would imagine that it has, but what does that mean? He said he visited the great churches of america, names like willow creek and saddleback. He called my God, buddy buddy after a fashion. A great friend to the people. This man seemed un effected by this friendly god. Is that who I worship? Do I pray to my friend, and nothing more? Is that who I truly represent? Is this a bad thing, or has something been lost in translation?

Rick Warren, is obviously a Calvinist. Not that I care, but the facts are facts. Is there truly a reason for everything, or is that just more wishful thinking. Doors open and doors close, are they just euphemisms for having to do something we didn’t want to do in the first place. Does it really matter in the long run whether I chose or I was chosen? Will I ever really know? Are there some things in that are just meant to be? Was I really the one who was supposed to sing that song on Sunday, praying through the service that I wouldn’t be me that they would see? Or was it just a fluke, did Tim just get sick at the last minuet?

What is the point of doing something to please someone else it you feel you are just wasting your time? What is the point of talent? Why practice when it’s all just going to come out anyway? What does the effort prove? Why does not practicing the worship music bother me? Is it truly better to just not do something you don’t have your heart in, or should you plug through it just because that’s what everyone else wants? What’s the point if your hearts not in it, especially as the leader.

I don’t want to lose my voice students. I like teaching them, and the income is nice too.

Why is there nothing so infuriating as when a child lies to you, straight faced? What makes them do it? Is it learned, is it taught? Are we truly born so deprived that we lie and think of nothing other than ourselves from day one? Is the wrong inbreed and right a learned response? Must the leash be kept so short, that we can’t be trusted to stay within the boundaries? Why did I get so angry at that?

I’m so tired of wanting to be in love. I don’t want to try. I don’t want to care. I don’t want to be jealous of my friends. I don’t want to listen to another person complain because they’ve not found the one they’re looking for. I don’t want my mom to talk about me being married and having kids. I tired of the world treating love like a game. I’m tired of wanting to be content. I’m tired of what the world has made it out to be. I hate the lizards on our shoulders. I’m tired of worrying about my friends, and I’m tired of not hearing from them.

Why, if everything were pre-ordained, would God allow a child to have leukemia? Why were pain, sickness, and death needed to create a more perfect world? Sometimes I think that if we allowed God one mistake, things could be explain a lot easier.

Faith, Hope, Love…Sometimes I think God asks too much…and every time I do, I’m ashamed to admit it.

Terence said, “Quot Homines Tot Sententiae.” Voltaire said to “judge a man by his question rather than by his answers.” Einstein says, “The important this is not to stop questioning.” Christ said, “Seek and you will find, Ask and it will be given to you, knock and the door will open.”

So I ask.


Dé Luain, Eanáir 23, 2006

Kind of...

I'm not feeling so hot right now...Kind of lonely...Kind of sad...Kind of depressed...Kind of anxious...
It's hard to explain, when you don't understand yourself. I...am without words...

Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 18, 2006


This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s where righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in Him, and he in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the spirit He gave us…
Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the World that we might live through him. This is love: NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

No, these words are not mine. John penned them almost two millennia ago. We sometimes get caught in between the words here. We believe that there is so much we have to do to keep God’s love. Even if we don’t think of it that way, I think subconsciously we’ve convinced ourselves that we have some great part in all of this. It says that we can have “confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask.” All he asks in return is for us to obey His commands. We’re even told what that command is, “believe in the name of His Son, and to love one another.” That’s it. It’s that simple. But why then is it so hard for us to love? We talk about loving God and loving others, but we so often fail. I so often fail, maybe your better at this than I am, I don’t know, but I know that I fail. I read that next part. I read how God loved us before we could ever truly love Him back. I read the price of my life, not my sins. The price for my sins was my death, but the price for my life was greater. The price for my life cost someone else his life. It cost someone else his son. And all that person wants from me is for me to love him? Humanity reels at the idea that what cost someone else so much, would cost us any less, but to be honest I don’t understand that either. We’re such a consumer driving people, we want something but we don’t want it to cost and arm and a leg. I get angry because I have to pay 2.50 for a gallon of gas and am sure I’m being cheated. So why isn’t that we haven’t caught on to the bargain of the ages? Is it possible that we realize with realizing it that love, true love, not the adulterated idea of love known as romance, but the word, the action, the feeling that breathed life into the world, that shaped and molded it, isn’t – really – free. That for us to love Him back would mean that we were sorry for things that hurt him, for killing his son, that we’d have to give up our plans and follow His, that we’d have to say we were wrong, that we should have pulled over and asked for directions years ago, but were too stubborn to do it, that we actually like worrying about our live because then when it all goes to pot, we know who to blame it on, or at least can think of a way to blame it on someone else. That’s why we don’t want to love those around us…because if we love them, we love Him. And that is harder than it seems to be. I can still hear him say it, “come to me, my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” All you have to do is love. All you have to do is be who you never knew you could be. The funny thing is, all He wants to do is make us what we were. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be like Him, to walk with him, to look into his eyes, to simply be with him. We’re the ones who are broken. I don’t have much of a point to this; I do, but I don’t. I’ve read over this passage at least twice a day since Sunday, and this is what I have. Nothing. Questions without answers, answers without questions, and underneath it all a desire to do nothing but live this out. I want so much to be worthy of the price, to know in my heart that it’s not in vain. Maybe God’s love is something I can’t understand. Maybe love is something I can’t understand. Maybe that’s why we make such a mess of it; distort it until its something it was never meant to be, a lizard on your shoulder that really should be a white stallion. I’m just wrestling with things here so if your confused…just go on about your life like you would. Ignore the ramblings of a young, professionally confused, bohemian, who’s got a knack for music.

Déardaoin, Eanáir 12, 2006


I feel like a circus clown. Not the Ringling Brothers one that gets his head stuck in a horses butt. The cirque du soleil one that comes out with the sad music and the blue and gray color scheme and everyone feels bad for, but then the magic fairy women comes out and spins on a string around him making him dizzy and then there is happy music and everything looks fruity again and the clown is dragged off stage because his brain hemorrhaged from the sudden shift in music and color scheme. I feel like that clown.

Dé Luain, Eanáir 09, 2006

Frustrated is an easy word

Frustrated would be the closest thing to explaining what I feel like right now. That point where anger and confusion collide, when there are no easy answers and dwelling on what is happening is simply not helping any more. Unfortunately, I'm all too accustomed to this feeling. I've spent most of the last 5 days wondering why I'm here. Not the grand philosophical question, you know ultimate question that has an answer of 42, but a smaller, minute version of the question that grates on all of us from time to time. Here being Connecticut, why am I here? I'm not sure how much I want to say on this matter, but I'm not sure that this internship is all it was cracked up to be. There are times when I feel that I'm doing a lot, and I really have enjoyed the...majority of my time here. Meeting a new part of the body is always exciting for me and always worth my time, yet I can't help but feel that I'm not the correct person for this internship. As a vocalist, it’s not been worth it. As a chorister is been fun, at times enlightening, and at the very least interesting. As a conductor, again sadly it’s not been worth it. As a worship leader, it's been interesting simply because I'm no longer immersed in the not quite, yet so close, post-modern worship at IWU. Here Hymns are still very much the order of the day on every Sunday, with a small homage given to "modern" praise songs right before the sermon. I'm sometimes left with a dry feeling in my mouth, wishing that we'd simply not do the "praise chorus." They don't quite feel thrown in at the last minute, I believe that they're appreciated, but they just don't seem to fit. There's to much of a contrast going from a classical prelude that was played either by the pipe organ, the occasional brass quintet (Broadway caliber), or possibly the bell choir, the organ/brass accompanied hymns, the full choral anthem and the two or three small praise chorus that we rush through on a Sunday morning. I'm all for blending a service. I love the brass, I like the organ, I love the hymns, but this time I could do with out the attempt at the modern choruses.
I'm half way through this internship and while I would go as far to say that I wish I hadn't taken it, I do wish I were more involved. I majored church music not interior design. That's not a knock on anyone who has; it’s just that I seem to be doing more of that than actual church music. There is still the kid’s choir, which starts up again on Wednesday, and the Middle School Choir that is slowly getting off the ground. Those have both been good experiences so far and hopefully will stay that way. They've of course not been without they're frustrating moments, but that's to be expected. I guess in a way it's all to be expected. There's only one constant when your working with people and that is change. So I’ll be happy with all the changes, surprises, accidental mishaps, blatant pass-overs, annoyances, frustrations, and even the fact that I’m moving…again, because whether or not I think I’m learning something, I still am, and that in the end will make it all worth it.