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.
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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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