Thursday, December 16, 2004

Just funny. :)

I have been accused of liking bathroom humor, but I do not. I think there are some interesting things in this world, the bathroom just happens to be one of them.

Jodi Laws often talks about "goin to the campground." We wondered about this special place in the middle of nowhere. We experienced Crooked Creek RV Park!

Monday, December 13, 2004

So it's Christmas time and a fun time of year to work around an office environment. Everyone is friendly and in good spirit. The problem is food. There is always food laying around. This morning, this dish of all sorts of goodies was placed in my cube. Everytime I get up, I have to walk by this mound of goodness. It's so much temptation. I just want to remove it from my cube!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Again, I do more than this at work, really :)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

10 Reasons

Here is the list. Questions? Comments? Interesting.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Not that I am Counting

My sperm count has been lowered. According to this new study that has been released, laptops may cause infertility in men. The study can be found here. I really do not think about "sperm" on a daily basis but a man must take heed at news like this. As I am reading this article, my laptop of course is, well, in my lap. Well near....Ok. I don't have to say it here. You understand. A guy I work with is very hip to these kinda ideas and studies. He does not even have a cell phone for fear of it causing cancer. Well that's one of his reasons. I began really thinking about all the signals that float by our bodies on a daily basis. Tonight I was talking on my cell phone for a long period of time. I also bought a wireless bluetooth headset to go along with it. So not only his my cell phone literally sitting on my lap, the digital signals are going through my head as well as the bluetooth signals just zooming by...well u know. MEN. We must take heed to these studies! Our future generations matter! Ok, jk. I'm not that concerned but I think to some extent, we should at least look into the claims. I don't know of one guy who wants a low count. I'm such a hypocrite. I'm writing this with my laptop, well, in my lap! DELL IS CAUSING LOW SPERM COUNTS!

Monday, December 06, 2004

What's in the middle of an Oreo, really.

Everyone wants to know God's Will. I know that really isn't anything to do with Oreos, but I saw a pack of oreos and wondered what was in them and why it makes people fat. Anywho.

I think I know how to find God's Will. Haha. Yeah Right. I did hear a pastor say one time, "wake up everyday and have it on your heart to do God's Word, and you will ultimately be in His Will". I like the way that sounds. Back to my point.

People often wonder what to do with their life. I have been there too and in many ways still think about it. Most of my life I have enjoyed making funny noises with my voice and doing impressions. In the past few years, I have found great joy in pretending like I'm on the radio. If you really want to know a secret, a roomie and I used to set up a radio station in our apartment and have concerts. I would be the dj and he would sing along with me. This actually was broadcast on the internet and it was so fun. I did not care if anyone listened or not, I really just enjoyed doing it. We would open our blinds at Calhoun Courts in Clemson and open the windows also. We had fun. Man it gets me excited and all the songs come to my head just thinking about those dayz.

I was a computer major in those dayz and was lost in the "what are you going to do with your life?" questions. A close friend that's on my top 5 list of people who changed my life said...."have you prayed about it?" I said, well ya know, not really. So from that point on, for about a month, I just prayed at least 30 or so minutes a night on my heart being open to whatever God wanted me to do. I would say, "Lord I will be a trashman, I will be this, I will be that, and I even said that I will preach". Now I only said the trashman and the preachin part because I wanted God to know that I was willing to do whatever. Definitely not because I wanted to do those things. Well long story short, my grandfather passes away and I find myself sharing a small message at his funeral that I did not plan. I've never felt God's presence so strong in my life. Ever felt that? I was literally stuck in concrete, planted in front of my whole family. God stuck me there for a reason. What an amazing Lord we are able to serve. Afterwards, this preacher that I didn't really know came up to me. "Hey Justin, would you like to come preach at my church sometime?" I don't think he even finished his question and I had already said "yes." From that point on, I knew my calling, and the Lord constantly confirmed it.

My whole life I have loved just speaking and talking to people and using my voice to make people laugh and make myself laugh. I apologize to all of you who have to hear me do a radio voice everytime you call. It really just makes me happy to talk like that and I apologize if it's annoying. Oh I really do enjoy it. It's neat when the gifts and talents God gives you line up with exactly what He wants you to do. It almost sounds like God makes us for something bigger than ourselves and an 8-5. There is more to this life, really.

There are no atheists

This post is not meant to offend anyone but it will. I've been listening to a lot of talks on atheism and agnostics etc. The word "atheist" comes from two words

"A" means without...u know like "asexual"....of course I had to use that word. What a great word. Ok back to "atheism." "Theist" means God belief. To say you are an atheist means to say that you have no God belief and you say there is no God. (period) To say that you are an "atheist" could mean one of two things or both.

1.) You are either the most prideful person on the face of the earth to say that you know all things and have concluded from that, there is no God. If you ask an atheist, "How much of all the information in the world do you know?" Hopefully they would reply with, "not much." We don't even know a fractional part of 1%. There is so much to know. Let's give them 1%. So out of the 1% they do know, they have concluded that there is no God. It is possible that in the 99% that they DO NOT KNOW, there is God. They are actually an agnostic.

2.) You are ignorant to the fact that you do not know all things. Hopefully you have been converted to an agnostic by now :)

atheist : one who believes that there is no deity
agnostic : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

Buildings have builders.
Paintings have painters.
Watches have designers.
Programs have programmers.

I really like vocabulary. If it would not have been for the verbal section of the SAT, I would have done very poorly. Here is another word for you:

UNIVERSE. It comes from two words....UNI=one and VERSE=single spoken sentence.

We live in a spoken sentence. I really love God and the people he made to come up with such wonderful words. I really like Super Taco also. But you must eat there soon, they will be closing on Wednesday of this week. BACK TO MEXICO!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Todd Friel

There is a ministry out in Minnesota called Talk the Walk. Todd is the radio guy for the ministry and often goes on the street to talk to people about what they believe about God. I really enjoy listening to him because he sincerely wants to know what they believe. Please listen to this one when you have some time. This really hurts to hear. It's Todd talking to a priest of a catholic church. Here it is. If you would like to listen to more of the talks, you can go here.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Are You Going To Eat That

People have got to stop picking their nose. I will be the first to admit, it's a part of life. But I will also say that environment is KEY. I know that everyone does not walk into the bathroom, grab some Charmin, and gently use it to dislodge anything life has thrown up there. C'mon, let's be honest with ourselves. Ok, disclaimer done.
I spend about 10 or more hours a week on the road. I see so many people picking their nose like they are going to be able to sell what they find up there on ebay! THey don't even hide it! I want to look at them, beep, and hold up a sign that says, "You DO NOT have tinted windows!" It's so funny just to look at them do it and keep looking just waiting for that small bit of enjoyment you get when they look up and see you staring at them while there finger is up north. Oh the joys of the road. Many of you are probably just saying that I'm gross by even talking about this. Well it's probably because I've seen you on the road and you felt bad about it. :)
It's fun to find fun things to do on the road. Most of my life, I feel like, is spent on the road. Most of my life to be will be spent on the road. So it's good to know that there are fun things to think about and do while I am out there.
There are so many things they sell on tv. Someone needs to come up with a drug to help the heart lose weight, it would really sell and probably for more than $19.99. Maybe like 3 easy payments of $19.99.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

This must stop.

Tampon commercials have gone too far. I mean really. First of all, I would like to state to everyone that I'm not a grossed out kinda guy. I understand that the Lord made women so much different than men and please believe me when I say: I praise Him daily for that. Men would not last a day as a woman. I don't even like getting my finger pricked to give blood. We just would not last. SO I say all that to say, girls, you have it a whole lot harder than us in some areas. I'm not insensitive but must these commercials come on the tube while you are eating dinner. It would actually be ok if they were normal commercials and just stated a few facts and moved on. BUT noooooooooooo. They must have a lil red dot dancing around the screen and leave the world wondering when and where it will land. This is quite hilarious in the back of my mind. Men, we need to pay lobbyist to petition congress to stop these ads, well maybe just have them all moved to the Lifetime channel or whatever channel that is focuses towards the estrogen world. There is also another commercial out for a drug called Seasonale. Here is the website. This drug reduces a woman's period to 4 times per year instead of once a month. Now again, I'm not a woman, but is this safe? It's quite a funny commercial I must say.

I really wasn't serious when I wrote all of this but I just needed a break from work and a chance to make myself laugh. I like to laugh, even at tampon commercials.

Of course, we men face tough things too. Maybe not THAT. But, we have to face hair on our face, the DTR, the RDTR, The face is one of the most sensitive areas on the body. I feel like I'm on the discovery channel and explaining life to everyone. I don't even understand it, much less myself, or the people in it. I really like to blog though, it makes me feel good.

I really understand the blog.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Gone Country

My family lives so far out in the country. You are lucky if you get cordless phone reception, much less cell phone reception. I have found myself roaming around in my yard as if I was looking for buried treasure. If you find a good spot, you stand there for sometime and then it's on to the next "Cingular hotspot." I think my yard has approximately 3, depending on weather conditions. I'm so glad I was raised in the country. There is something about coming back here that brings my heart back in check, no matter what has gone through it.

I also discovered that I really just enjoy life. The Bible teaches that we are not supposed to really love this world. I definitely think, that in the right perspective and with a hug from Jesus on the horizon, we can really enjoy the time we have here. It's all about perspective. I'm glad I'm a Christian. Really.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What did you do?

It seems like the further along in your walk you go, the more you are humbled and realize that there is so much that we do not know. We must rely on Him for everything. Death is not something that many people enjoy discussing. Neither do I. It's not a very happy thing to think about and I don't know of many people who just want to die. Our life is precious, so precious. We wear seatbelts, we have flotations devices under our seats in a plane. In the small percentage chance that if the plane crashes in water and we live through it, we still can have a chance to live. We humans love our lives! We will protect our lives and the lives of our loved ones at all cost. 10 out of 10 people die. It's a fact. It's a very sobering thought for me to think that one day I will become old, if the Lord allows, and I will eventually die. On that day, what will my life have counted for? Who will have benefited from it? Will it just be about plaques on a wall? Will it be how many degrees I obtained? Will it be about how much my salary was raised to? Will it be about how nice my houses were? My cars?

We take out insurance on most of those things because they temporary. They can be destroyed. There is something deep inside of who I am that says my life will not be counted for all those things. The thought of living a mundane and routine life is not appealing to me. Lord do what you want. Imagine, you are 65 years old and retiring from whatever profession you have chosen for your life. Step outside of yourself and look at what you think your life might look like at that point. What do you see? Does that life count for something eternal? Are you apart of many peoples' testimonies? If God hasn't been glorified in that, you've missed an abundant life.
We have it so good as Christians. We've got the Atlas of eternity that plans everything out for all the world to see. What are you seeing?

Time is short, people need Him, we need to tell them.

Live the biggest life you can live.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

THAT guy

So I'm going to write my first book on THAT GUY. I researched a little and there hasn't been a book written on him yet. Amazing. Sure we have all see that guy, we have all been that guy.

That guy who leaves his cell phone on in church.
That guy who talks on his phone all the time, even in social situations that it is not good.
That guy who never seems to take "no" for an answer.
That guy who seems to call people the wrong name.

These are just a few friendly "that guy" moments that are proper to share on the blog. I want to write a book that will encompass all the moment "that guy" has lived. I want my book to include positive "that guy" moments also. Many people are not aware that being "that guy" has very positive connotations. We have all been somewhere and seen a drop living gorgeous girl and then seen this potato-sack of a guy and wondered....yes, you have wondered it...go ahead, u know what I'm going to write. "How did THAT GUY, get THAT GIRL?" I desire to be THAT guy in this situation. Yes it will be the ending of the first book and a perfect leeway into that 2nd book. "THAT GIRL." I will need much help on the 2nd book.

I'm really writing this blog to make myself laugh which is sad. It seems lately that God wants me to learn about how he saves people. Whether they have any say so in the matter. He wants me to deal with these things regardless of whether I want to deal with them or not. Do some babies go to hell? These are questions I have wrestled with tonight and studied about and I was a little emotionally drained. So writing a story about writing a book about "THAT GUY" is very relaxing to me. By the way, I do want to write the book and I did not just make all that up.

Regardless of what I finally come to believe in the salvation department, it's still all about Jesus and His glory. The truth remains the same. He still suffered a life that we should have suffered. He died on a cross that we should have died on. He got spit on with spit that should have been smeared in our face. The whips were meant for our back. He is what our faith is about. If our lives are counted for whether we were reformed or not in our theology, we have missed the boat and missed the love of our Father completely. No matter what side of the coin you fall on today, reformed or not, the command is the same. Go make disciples! I love Him and I want my life to be about Him! Whew!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I feel like...

I think I might be pregnant. Oh wait, that can't happen but anyway. I had the strangest feeling tonight. I came in and all I could think about was banana pudding. Literally it was consuming me. I've heard that when you are pregnant, you want random things like pickles and icecream. Well maybe I'm just weird. I eventually satisfied the urge and took a trip to my local Ingles. I purchased a medium sized bucket of banana pudding, baby wipes, and toilet tissue. I must point out again that one should never purchase cheap toilet paper. There are some things that you can go cheap on, TP IS NOT ONE OF THEM. It is an essential part to a regular person's daily life. You should treat yourself right.

On a sidenote. A buddy of mine recently got engaged and had an engagement party tonight. He is Egyptian. I had no idea what to expect at this party. Wow. Let me tell you that Arabic people know how to have fun. Not only do they kiss you on the cheeks when they meet you, they also belly dance! I mean literally. How come I have lived my whole life and never belly danced. I did not just write that. Either way, it was very funny watching total stranger belly dance to Arabic music. It was quite fun. They have no shame. My friend Tavaras (a black guy) says that Arabic people are just like black people. They love to eat, dance, and have fun anywhere they go. I have never seen someone so excited about music, food, and a drum. Yes a drum. I really love foreign people and other cultures. I feel like I have missed out on something in this life by not belly dancing at all the 7th grade parties when I was young. How sad.

I also realized something that is true about myself. I get really aggravated and annoyed when I get lost on the road. Sometimes really annoyed. I get all hot and want to run over things. It only lasts for a few minutes, I think deeply about the GPS system I want to buy for my laptop and it soothes me. :) On a happy note, I realized that I like to be nice to people. I find joy in being nice to people and trying to make them laugh. I also realize that some people do not share this. There are many unhappy people in this world. One night at Eckard, a customer in front of me was not very happy and def. not nice to the cashier. He walked out the door. It made me want to be extra nice to him and in turn, he told me about all the funny pictures he gets to see come through the photo development lab. I might have blogged about this before but he told me his favorite was...... really old men who taked naked pictures of themselves. Now some of you are probably saying, "That is sick" As did I. But I really did laugh out loud when he told me that. That is just plain hilarious. As opposed to hilarious with mustard and ketchup. Old guys and their disposable cameras. So be extra careful when you are standing in line at the 1 hour photo, you know how those pictures just roll off the line in front of everyone. SCANDALOUS!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Blink Blink

Where have you been mr log? Oh there you are! I think I will write in you. Thanks!

So it's been a while! I was a blog evangelist for a long time and actually backslid and did not write anything in this thing after I've been on so many people to keep theirs updated. Even bloggers backslide.

I saw a movie this weekend about Christianity. The movie is called "Saved" and I will say up front that if you are going to watch it, it could be highly offensive to you. I will say that if it is, it probably served its purpose.

Nonchristians made the movie to sort of pick on Christian culture and they have made some really good points. One girl in the movie, "a professing Christian", is seen at the abortion clinic by a few of her friends. They go and blab all over the school about seeing her there. The nonchristians react by saying that she must have been planting a pipe bomb.

I really hope that isn't the world's perception of Christianity. But in a lot of ways, it probably is. The movie also points out the fact that many Christians try and make Christianity look "cool." They try to use cool words and be up on certain things to make Christianity look popular and the WWJD thing to do. I got the feeling that one of the preachers in the movie was really trying to convince and sell God to people. how lame. The movie is worth seeing and there a few sketchy parts, I must warn you. I wanted to see the movie to just get an idea about what some of the world thinks about Christians. If the movie is right, we have a lot of work to do.

So on a happier note, I must confess something. I eat dinner out daily. Well let's just be honest here. I never eat at home and I never cook. It's not because I cannot cook, because I can. It's because for the most part, eating dinner out is fun and way more fun than sitting home and cooking it yourself. If you are only cooking for one person, it's not even saving you that much money unless you eat leftovers all the time. So that's my justification for eating lunch and dinner out on a daily basis. Also, it's great for hanging out with people. At the office, it's a chance to get out for an hour and chill away from work. During dinner, same thing. So I do it, forgive me, I'm man.

So about this same subject. I must confess something else. When most people are in the drive-through at your local Zaxby's, they are HUNGRY. Why else are you going there? Well unless you are getting something for you boo. Yes I said boo. Forgive me. Well here is something I like to do. As you know, Zaxby's is not a fast food establishment and you must allow adequate preparation time for your's sad that I have most of the sign memorized. Well anyway. Usually you will wait for Zaxby's at LEAST 10 minutes. It's good stuff and worth waiting for. Well here is what I do. As I'm waiting and people are behind me, I will let my foot off the brake. What is the big deal? I will tell you. Usually people in the drive thrus are rummaging around in their car or reading something when they are waiting in the drive thru. It's the funniest thing in the world. As soon as you let your foot off the brake, your brake light will turn off, of COURSE. Well this signals to the person behind you that they are about to move up and be ONE car link closer to their ZAXBY's. BUT I FOOLED THEM! It's the funniest thing and I about die laughing sitting in the drive thru by myself. You can do it around 5 times, over and over, and you can almost watch most people's heads just bob up and down. How funny. So if you are ever in a drive thru for a long time and preferably at NIGHT, this works great. Many of you might say that this is mean, well you are probably right. Forgive me, I'm man. And it gets my mind off the fact that Zaxby's is soooo good and I have to wait for it. MMMMMMM.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


They are everywhere. There are approximately 6 pillows on the king size bed I am currently sleeping on. I cannot figure out what to do with all of them. I first created a small mountain at the headboard of the bed to simulate me just laying at the peak, that didn't work. So now I just have randomly placed them around the top. What in the world. I guess if 3 people were sleeping in this bed and used a few pillows each, maybe the 6 pillows would work out and all would be great.

I'm in Texas right now for work and I can still blog. How great and amazing. It is great being around people and meeting new people. But let me tell ya, walking out the airport into thick Houston heat is a wake up call! It's muy caliente!

A group of us went on a camping trip this past Saturday night. There is so much to be thankful for. God has not only given us life with Him, He also gave us pretty things to look at in our small time we spend here. Yes I just used the word "pretty." I could have used "awesome" but that is a word that should take a break from the Christian lingo, the Lord knows I use it too much. Haha. Anyway. Shooting stars are great, we saw a few of those. Smores are good too. Hotdogs on a stick, well hanger, are great too. Mainly when they are ball park and they plump when you cook them. What a great commercial.

The Lord is so good to us. We should never forget that. He has really done great things.

Until next time, I'll try and figure out how the remote control for the Nintendo 64 is shared by everyone in the hotel. We had a hard time in an apartment of 4 in college. Oh the questions in this life!

Friday, October 15, 2004

I've never been there

Most likley, Jesus never stepped foot in Australia, but people there passionately love and follow Him over 2k years later. Simply amazing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Value Size Please

We are a spiritually fat people. The United States is one of the most fruitful places to live in the entire world. We have more things here than about anywhere else. We have been a very blessed country.

The church in the US has been feeding people for 100's of years. Every week people flock to church, listen to a sermon, and go home. Most people go to church at least two times a week, the more tradional churches meet on Wed. and Sunday. Imagine all the sermons that go into people's minds on a weekly basis. You have two messages a week times 52 weeks times people living to be around 70-75, that's a lot!

The statistics say that only about 2% of the church actually shares their faith. 2%. This is mind boggling to me. I'm not saying I am free and clear of this, and I have my own struggles in sharing my faith, but I still try. In Blue Like Jazz, the author, Donald Miller talks about a friend of his. His friend told him that the things you do reveal what you really believe. What a simple but profound point. You can say that you believe people w/o Christ are condemned, but if you don't act on what you know, do you really believe it? Belief must come first. If you do not believe, you will never "do." But "doing" must accompany belief. They are partners. You cannot separate the two. We probably know more about the Bible than many Christians around the world because of our resources here, but we fall so far behind in acting them out. What in the world. Are we that self absorbed? Do we really care? If only 2% of the church shares their faith, the answer cannot be 'yes.'

I really like Andew's witness in the beginning of John. As SOON as Andrew heard about Jesus through John, what did he do? He did the hardest thing imaginable to Christians today. He went and told his brother. As SOON as he found out, he went and told his brother. Amazing to me. We can go on mission trips in the middle of Africa, sit in the streets of Atlanta and talk to strangers about Jesus, but we never go tell the most important people in our life. That's selfish, we are selfish, and we need to lose some spiritual weight!

John 1 :40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter[10] ).

I will return the soap box to the closet. DISCLAIMER: This blog was written to me. I'm a fat Christian.

Monday, October 04, 2004


I pee all the time now. It's the strangest thing. I really believe that I have become a woman. Well, ok, so not a woman, but maybe I just pee like one, I'm not sure. I can remember on long trips, always making fun of the person who has to stop at every rest area. Now I count the miles and the average distance between rest areas is generally about 40 miles, give or take. I pee at work at least 2 times per hour, maybe more. This should not be. I am a man. Men are not supposed to pee like this. I think I am being punished for all the times I have made a joke of female bladders. God has given me one.

One time, about the 2nd or 3rd time I ever spoke anywhere I think was at Lexington High School. I've never been late for any speaking engagement and I am proud of that. Late for many other things, but not speaking. Well this day, my friend Noel and I hit traffic on the interstate, it was impossible. I was supposed to be at the school at 2:30, I pulled up at 2:35. Never had I been to the school and of course I don't know where anything is. I took off running. I ran into a room of maybe 400-500 kids I would say. It was packed. A lady approached me, asked if my name was Justin, I said yes. She says, if u need some time, go over there, you're up after the skit. I went back in the hall way, just to relax a second and get some water, I don't remember peeing. The skit ends and I go on stage.

What an awesome time it was. I planned something to speak on, but God said scrap that. I ended up talking about honesty and being real with your family and witnessing to them. I'm about to die 3 minutes into the talk. I have to pee so bad. So, being it was an honesty conversation, I confessed that I had to pee very badly. Few chuckles. I gave the talk and was about 3/4 the way done when the bell rings. Now I know what the bell meant when i was in high school. RING RING = freedom. You stop everything and leave school. I was sad that I was not finished and the kids might leave. Well what happens?

THEY TELL ME TO GO PEE! What an amazing time it was. A few of the kids left and many stayed. I had time to run to the bathroom, do my bizzzzznass, and come back and finish the talk. They patiently waited. What a fun day.

So it's been a long time since I sat down to write a blog. The effects of the dog, u know, the orange one are still haunting my life. I figured by keeping a blog up for so long, someone might want to rescue her from her despair of clay the color of Clemson and no shade, ok, maybe not.

On a serious note, I've been learning a lot lately. It seems that God is questioning why I do the things I do. My heart is on the witness stand in more ways than one. I'm learning that many people are genuinely selfish, and I am learning that I can be one of those people.

On a positive note, I met a woman on the side of the road yesterday, she was very funny. She met her husband at seminary, dated 2 months, then got married. Wow. She has been married for many years with lots of kids and a good life. Her name is Cyndi and she liked to talk. It's fun getting advice from a stranger on the side of the road. Like the old commercial for seatbelts, "You can learn a lot from a dummy, buckle up." Well you can learn a lot from strangers, so listen up. Did I just say that? I repent. It's true though. Insight and listening to people who have lived longer than you is deep. Their story has had much more time to mature. Cyndi told me that she would not go back and by my age for anything in the world. Haha. That was comforting. She told me that I was going to face many things in the future. I hope I handle them in a Godly way.

I've had the same sized head since I was born, my body has only somewhat grown into it. And i stress, somewhat.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Dog I Want to Wash

Daily on my drive home, I pass by a house. There is a huge St. Bernard in the backyard. She is a her. I think her name is Molly. I met her one day with my roommate Chris. We asked if we could stop and pet her. A very sweet dog. I had a St. Bernard as a lil boy and his name was "Beethoven", but I called him "babe." They are "leaners." Which means that as you stand near them, they want to lean up against you constantly. If you don't know, St. Bernards are one of the largest breeds. That animal leaning against you is not much like a poodle or a....well some of those other weird small dog names.

Back to Molly. Molly needs a bath. She is about the color of Clemson. Totally orange. Well looks orange to me, remember I'm color blind, coffee black, eggs white (Counting Crows.) I'm actually red-green deficient. Anyway, this dog is ORANGE! I drive by daily and just want to wash her. She leans up against the house because I don't think the owners spend much time with her. Molly likes to lay in the clay, thus the orange color. I'm not big into washing neighbors dogs, don't get me wrong. I used to not like washing our own St. Bernard because he didn't like water. One time, we tied him to the steel trampoline to hold him, well he drug it around a lil ways.

I really enjoy just writing. Especially when you have big decisions in life, it's good to just sit down and talk about a dog that you would really like to wash. So I'm open for ways I could approach this neighbor. "Hey, I'm Justin, I'd really like to wash your dog." I'm not sure that would go over well. Enough about orange dogs.

So I have this old dirtbike. It actually was a project I bought a few years ago. It's been fun to fix up. When I bought it, it looked terrible. I had fun fixing it up and working on it. I have definitely worked on it WAY more than I have ridden it. Well it sat in the garage for about a year now. I decided to get it back on the road. I haven't put all the parts back on it, some are on, some are not. I cranked it up, drove it around the country on Sunday. It runs so well. If you were to look at it, you wouldn't think so. It doesn't look "good." But it runs like a champ. I hit the gas, and it just goes so fast. I started thinking about how my life looks sometimes. Exactly opposite of the dirtbike. All things might look good on the outside, but usually, there are inner struggles and lots of rust. There is nothing easy about this life, and if it is easy, u are not living. Maybe I'm wrong. I understand that in all things, God is faithful, despite our circumstances. That's a tough pill to swallow. Drink a little water, it helps.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Playin it by ear, hear

So, you want to learn some patience. Well there are lots of ways to learn patience. I have learned a lot by learning guitar. Guitar is a unique instrument. At first glance, you look at all the strings and think, now my fingers go where!?!?!?! Eventually you just pick it up and learn as you go. Now I'm the least talented musically minded person you will ever find, but I'm trying. I really want to stress trying. I watch, Ryan, the guy that teaches me, and it is so easy. It comes natural to him. I surely can't play by ear, but I sure can practice a lot, I do know that.

It seems that in Christianity, we have lost our ability to hear from God and rest in Him for all things. The smallest pothole comes into our life and most christians freak out and make a huge deal out of nothing. Reading the Word and following the life of Christ and the disciples/apostles, one thing is clear. They usually didn't know what the next day was going to hold. I find peace in that. These men had no clue where the next meal would come from, where the next shelter would be, or who the next beating might come from. I like the part in Acts where Paul gets bit by a poisonous snake. Chillin out by the fire, the snake snaps at him. Does he pray about the bite? Nope. Does he complain about the bite, nope. He just shakes it into the fire, how symbolic. Most of our life seems to take place in a blackroom, waiting to be developed.

One time I heard someone say, "Wake up everyday and have on your heart do what the Word says, and you have no choice but to be in His will." I really like that simple statement. The Word has revealed a huge part of God to us. We have it really good. Personally, I have some big decisions in my own life with my future and ministry, work, and etc. I'm glad that it's not about me. Sometimes I fight and struggle on that one. There always seem to be a lot on our plate. I like what a preacher I luv says...."Swallow the meat, spit out the bones." Who needs bones anyway. I don't like when u are eating chicken and get the small bone in your mouth, how inconvenient. Especially when you don't know what to do with it. I've come up with some really interesting ways. I think i just told about 4 stories that made no correlation, but it's my blog and I can do what I want. Somewhere in the definition of "blog" has to be, random. I also like the gas pumps that have card readers where you can put your card in any direction and it will still read it. Yes, I have struggled with them. I also like going to the ATM and getting all the directions in spanish. It's fun and makes you really excited when money actually comes out. I didn't know it was going to be mexican money though.

Monday, September 06, 2004

More than Zaxby's

Well it's definitely 4AM in the morning and I'm wide awake. I think it must have been caused by the nap that occured between the hours of 5-10, but that's only a guess. It's been such a long time since I blogged and this crazy thing has been having a few issues, crazy thing - the blog, well and me, occasionally.

To get back to Zaxbys. What a great place and great invention. I'm their biggest fan and if I keep eating there, I will be literally. I took a break from zaxby's for about a month now, only eating there maybe once every two weeks. How I miss it!!!! After a Clemson victory, there is no greater choice than Zaxbys, well under $10 that is. So we went, a closet cusser and I, haha. I'll save that for another blog. You know there is more to Zaxby's than food. There are people there. We got to meet the manager of Zaxby's in Easley the other night, what a nice man. We probably talked for at least 15 minutes about all sorts of different things, mainly food and chick fil a :) To be honest, I really wanted to witness to this man, but wasn't sure if my motivation was pure or not. We did get to talk to him for a short time about his church and where it is located. DACUSVILLE! What a place. I came home and was reminded of a verse in Phillipians that Paul said, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. But that's another blog. So back to Zaxby's. There are so many things in this life that God has given us, good things! Like class in college. Class is more than learning. The most important thing in the class is probably the person sitting beside you and whether or not they know Christ. I don't hold the card on any of this and had my struggles, but it is. Class is important, learning is important, but forming relationships with people and making Christ known is supreme.

There is so much more to this life than 2 chapters a day out of my Bible. Why have I come to settle for that, if that. I think we sell out a lot in Christianity and settle. My definition of "settle"= to know something big and settle for something small. We know Christ, we know His life and we settle for only a part of it. We don't really believe that the same power that rose Christ from the dead is in us. Do we really believe that? We have settled for something far less than that. Our churches have no power anymore, most believers feel like they have to be a secret agent and only whisper about Christianity. We do not need secret agents in this faith. I'm tired of settling for mediocre things. I wish I could get up early in the morning and focus on God. I want that.

Sometimes we have to make decisions that are not what we want. Did God ever 2nd guess sending Christ, I think not. He was delighted to crush Him for the greater good of humanity. Now I have to be honest here, I cannot wrap my mind around that, but I will die trying.

How random is this and sorry for the seriousness, very different from the usual, so I'll end with this. I realized something. Who is Laura Lynn? I mean this woman is all over my house. I realized the other day that the toilet paper I use has her name on it. I mean, this woman, who is she and how did Ingles adopt her? I think I should research, maybe she is the sister of "walter" at Bilo. Walter was really good in the produce section, so the commercial says. I like commercials, some of them, depends on what's on and what's coming up next.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I love da People

I just got back from FCA. I really love God's people. Not the ones you neccesarily see sitting on a pew every Sunday morning, but the ones you see with a smile on their face and good words on their lips. Seriously, being at FCA around a bazillion people makes me feel like Christmas time. You wake up Christmas morning at the buttcrack of dawn, run out into the living room and just look at all the presents. You don't know which one to open first. That's how I felt tonight. You see people that you haven't seen in such a long time, and you just don't know where to start. Gosh I love people. I never want my relationship with Christ to depend on people, but they sure help a whole lot. It does something to you, to be surrounded by genuine people that really care about you and how you are doing, most of these people do.

It's good to have people around you, Godly people. It's so tough to live this life for God when you feel like you are out on your own. I know I need people to dig in my life like a gopher well nevermind. I just need people like a fat kid needs cake. A friend tonight brought up the fact that the Bible tells us to not forsake meeting with each other. I love that verse and I'm glad she brought it up. It's straight truth. It's easy to sin when you don't have anyone in your life to hold you accountable. Did I say that I love people? I hope so, they are great.

On a sidenote. I go to get my hair cut every few weeks. I can cut my own hair but I really do like meeting people at the hair place and we always swing around to talking about God, well most of the time. It's fun to talk about God at a hair place because well, if you don't know, everyone listens to others' conversations at the hair place. It's like living in a gossip column. One time, the lady that was cutting my hair and I started talking about God, next thing I know, it's a group conversation! What a great thing. But one thing I don't understand. Everytime I walk in that place...they say..."Welcome to _______, are you here for a haircut? I'm like, ummm no, I'm the guy that was signed up for the oil change and brake job. Haha. I'm so tempted to say it. I would get slapped or have my ear cut off. I love my ears, cept for the one that sticks out to the side, ok, so I don't like my ears so much....

Monday, August 16, 2004

On the Inside

There are so many people in this world that walk around with secrets bottled up in them. Their entire life is spent with something hidden, tucked away in the crevices of the heart, and in the caves of the mind. Some people hold grudges. They hold grudges against people and are held captive to those people their entire life. In turn, the people they are holding grudges against, don't even know there is a problem. Some people have things they should have told their parents years ago, some people have things they should have told their brother or sister. Some people just need to call their parents up and tell them how much they care about them and how much they love them.

Well I also have a confession. I've been keeping something inside for a long time and I think I'm now comfortable with telling people. Yes, by now, you are wondering. What is wrong with you Justin? Oh well. Let me just say it. I pee in the shower. Yes I do it. I have done it for years now and I am now just going to come out the closet. I pee in the shower. There is something liberating about sharing that. It's 7 AM, you are tired, you stayed up too late, you're in the shower, the hot water hits. Man what better thing is there to do than PEE. It's the way God programmed us. Do not fight Him! Liberate yourself.

This isn't so bad. I'm feeling good about sharing. Ok, I pee in other people's showers too. Not everyone's! But there have been times that I have peed in friends' showers!

For all of you out there who are upset about this and no longer want me to spend the night at your house...there is something you should know. I PREVENT FOOT FUNGUS. Yes you heard it right. Urine prevents foot fungus. Well Dr. Jason Grier is currently researching this to find out for sure. But I believe it does. I met a girl a few weeks ago that also pees in the shower. There is nothing greater to hear from a girl! Umm. Yeah. But it was good to hear that there are "others."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Blue Like Jazz

Yeah that's it. Blue like Jazz. I just read a really interesting book called "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. If you had to put it into a category in Barnes & Noble, I don't really know of one that would be appropriate. But don't just take my word for it...I really sound like Reading Rainbow reincarnated. I apologize. I do/did like Levar Burton. Mainly the one where he goes to the honeybee farm. Man!

Back to the book, Donald Miller writes just about as random as I can imagine but keeps you glued to the pages. It's a fairly easy read, and I don't read fast. He is very honest, real, and he shoots straight from the hip.

One part in the book, he discusses how people think he is on top of things because he is a writer and speaker. People assume that because he does those things, he does not have problems and his life is clean as well, whatever you know of as clean.

This book forced me to look at myself and who I really am and the stupid things I do. Some of the things I do, well I don't know why I do them, maybe I see other people, I'm reduced to a monkey. I feel like most of my life I'm trying to catch up to the image that some people think I already am. I just want to be myself without all the politics of this and that. I want to read books because I want to read them, not because it's some new things sweeping the nation. I don't even read much anyway. I also learned that everything boils down to sin. All problems in this messed up world go back to sin. If you look at any problem you have, trail it back, follow the lil marks in your life, you'll be led back to sin. I wish I hated sin and I wish I understood that everytime I sin, I trample Jesus under my foot. Here is the verse.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Yes She Did

There are so many interesting things that happen at Walmart. In our town, Walmart is like a High school reunion, it's the redneck hang-out, and many more things. I've come to discover that Walmart stores throughout the US serve the same purpose. The Walmart in the town I live in now is very close to my house, how convenient.

A few days ago, a friend and I made a nice little trip to that very Walmart. Strolling around the store, enjoying and coveting all the things you never thought you would need, you know, just another day at your neighborhood Walmart. Or is that Applebee's? haha. My friend Lisa and I are just browsing around and eventually make out way through the toy department and IT happens!

Let me say one thing up front, women are a beautiful creation from the hand of God. He created their bodies very uniquely different than man's body. Ok, let me just go ahead and tell you! This woman was breast feeding in the toy section of Walmart! Right in front of the power rangers basically, you have a woman allowing herself to be milked! I'm not trying to be insensitive and I know this is a huge part of life. But now there are 7 year old kids that are walking around with a scar for the rest of their life because they saw this strange sight. Walmart is not the only place it happens. I used to work at an upscale steakhouse and the same thing happened! Table #1 was drinking something that we didn't sell on our menu! At Table 1!!! The first table you see when you walk in the steakhouse! Another time, while working at a hotel, another woman was breastfeeding at the checkin lobby!

Don't get me wrong, each time these things have happened, I have laughed hysterically, but it doesn't mean I want to continue to see them!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

A New Episode of Friends

"Are we content in God when no one but God knows that we have done what we ought to have done?" -John Piper

A friend of mine sent this quote to me. I read it three times to really get a grasp on what it means. Ok, so I read it 4 times :). There is a suitcase of meaning packed in there.

Lately I think I'm learning how crappy I really am, to put it in a blunt way. I don't even do the things I know to do, the things I do, I shouldn't do, and I'm learning how much sin is really in me. You think in your spiritual walk, "As I grow, I'll have less sin." I'm not sure if that is true. It seems that the more you grow, the more you realize how far you have to go to be like Jesus. We'll never be Jesus, but we should die trying to be.

On to other news. Today was a relaxing day, I spent most of it piddling around the house, working on my motorcycle, a neverending project. The night was spent eating homemade icecream at some friends' house. It's amazing what it does to you inside to be around Godly people. I didn't say perfect people, I said Godly people. People that genuinely desire to be used by God and genuinely seek Him on a daily basis. When you aren't around a lot of encouraging Christians, and you get the chance to be, I soak it up. I really love people. I love icecream too, but I'm lactose intolerant, can you say, stomach ache? Dude, my stomach will rumble for hours after a nice blizzard from McDonald's! It makes noises that sound like someone is actually talking. It's amazing, doesn't feel amazing though.

Late breaking news: I love being single. I'm not saying that I jump up and down everyday and thank the Lord for allowing me to be single at the age of 24, but I am glad and thankful for the things He has taught me. Being content is probably one of the biggest struggle amongst mature Christians. Nobody likes being single. To be honest, I'd luv to have a girlfriend and eventually a wife, but I'm surely not going to settle for anything less than what I think is God's best for me. You can learn so much by just watching other people and how they date. You can learn a lot by observing girls in group atmospheres, I luv it. You don't have to go on 50 dates a week to see what you like. Well 1 might help, haha. It's easy to think that God has 1 person picked out for you. Lately I'm beginning to wonder. Ultimately, we know that the Lord knows who we will marry, He is sovereign, He knows everything! But I think now that He has given us some freedom. There are many people we could just settle down with and probably be happy. Is there that one person? Or do we really have choices in the matter? All in all, you want someone that brings out the best things in you, and you want to do the switch for your mate. It's a team, you build each other up right? When God made Eve, He made her to be "complimentary" to Adam. A "helper." It's so neat that marriage was God's idea. Sex was God's idea. And bringing animals to Adam right after God says, "It's not cool for you to be alone, i will bring you a helper." God then brings animals! Hilarious! They weren't cool enough, so He made Eve! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Not a spare to share

It's been quite a while again since I've written anything, hey, I'm writing something.  It feels good to sit down and just vomit your mind out through your fingers.  That sounded gross, sorry.  It's liberating to tell the truth.  Lately, I've been fighting with God and slowly growing, but growing.  Things have picked up and I'm happy.
This past weekend was jam packed.  Drove down to Columbia, SC on Friday night, went bowling with my boy Jason(he has added nothing) and some new girl_with a space_friends. We had a great time and stayed out until about 4AM. Why do I do these things to my body? Either way, it was fun and worth the pain of waking up the next day. I left Jason's apt and headed to Marion FBC to speak at a college cook-out.

It's always fun to think and pray about what you are supposed to speak on. Sometimes the Lord just hands you a happy meal and you are confident that is your message. Other times, it seems that it's more like a blender and you really don't feel clarity about anything, these are the times that can be interesting and fun. When I got to Marion, I noticed two guys that I went to school with. Erin and Jon Jones. Both of these guys are really following the Lord now and leading worship at their church. I love hearing and seeing my old buddies talk about the Lord. I ended up talking abou Balaam and the Donkey. Quite fun to talk about. Proof that the Lord can use an ass and I'm not being funny either :) If you want to read, it's in Numbers 21-22.

Sometimes I can feel the Lord all over me while I speak, other times I feel like it's a struggle. It's probably not something people can notice, but I do, and it bothers me. I think the Lord is teaching me to depend on Him completely and not just on what I know, which is not much, and I'm not being humble. It was a great time and I got to have some good conversations afterwards.

After speaking, I hugged everyone and headed up to Pawley's Island to Carrie Turner's. Her family is awesome and I feel like I'm at home when I'm around them. Her family grew up in the same place that my dad did so they share a lot of the same. Her dad tells the same type of jokes my dad tells, it's great. Josh Turner is Carrie Turner's older brother, he's a country singer. I said it like that because everyone always says, Carrie is Josh Turner's sister. I want to be special. His tour bus got in a wreck right before we went to church, but everyone was ok, and the man whose car was in the road, walked away with only a scratch. (He is blessed!). I had a great time with them and at their church. Her church had a bbq for her and she raised lots of bling bling for a mission trip to Costa Rica!

All and all it was a great weekend, not to mention that it rained the whole time, and of course, no top on my Jeep. I love pulling up beside people and watching them laugh. Sometimes older ladies say, "i'm sorry darlin." It's quite amusing. Rain feels good this time of year!

This was a random blog and somewhat out of my personality. I just hit my head on my motorcyle while I was trying to fix it, it is currently swelling up above my eye and this could have something to do with why I am writing a blog that describes most of my weekend and could help give evidence into why I just wrote a paragraph run-on sentence. The Lord is good, All the time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Sifted & Shifted

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31)

I think this shall by my theme verse for the past few months. You have Jesus, sitting at a table with his closest friends, u have arguing over who is the greatest amongst the disciples, and then you have Peter. Peter told Jesus that he would basically do anything for Him, he would go to prison with him and he would also die for Him. Jesus replies with the above verse. Anytime in the Bible when God really wanted someone to hear something, He would say their name twice, "Moses Moses" "Abraham Abraham" "Saul Saul"...and now Jesus does it with Peter by calling him "Simon Simon." It's neat that Jesus uses Peter's old name and not his new name. Some people think that Jesus was trying to talk about the "Old Man" in Peter, his flesh. Boy can I hear this.

To think that Jesus, in His quiet times with God the father, actually prayed for Peter by name. And not only prayed for Peter, but prayed for what Peter would do once he got his heart back in the right place. That's love, care, and many more adjectives if I knew more vocabulary.

I feel a lot like Peter right now in my own life. It's tough going from a place where you are surrounded by believers and constant encouragement to a place in your life where you have to go out and find it. I'm not saying that I don't have friends that encourage me, I surely do and I'm thankful. It seems that we get comfortable with our faith and our life and we set ourselves up for disaster, spiritually, and sometimes physically. I can honestly say that the best times in my life have been when I have been tight with the Lord. Those times that you will literally do anything for Him, regardless of how stupid you look. I really miss that. I've been sifted, and even more than that, I feel like I've been run over by a huge John Deere. The most messed up thing about being in a spiritual slump is that other people suffer. There are probably countless times that I could have encouraged people and helped, and I missed out because I'm not seeking the Lord daily. Jesus wanted Peter to go out and help others, to build the church, how I have failed. It's easy to remember Grace and how awesome it is, but you still can't help but to be mad at yourself for wasted time of growth.

It was pouring rain today and again, I don't have the top on my Jeep. I'm getting used to rain beating me in the face. Well it started pouring today so I pulled into a carwash bay to wait it out. I get upset sometimes when my friends make bad choices and feel like they are settling, you want to pick them up and shake them. You want the best for them, of course, they are your friends. The Lord started speaking to me in my heart and showing me how He wanted me to come back, He wanted me to make the right choices. He wanted me to stop living my mediocre life. I never want to settle. The word settle must have originated in the pit because it is the worst word. Never settle for anything, anyone and whatever else fits here. Live the biggest life you can live and serve the most people you can serve. We have all eternity to praise God but we only have this earth to tell people about Him. My fingers are about as heavy as my eyes right now, so nitey, whoever reads this. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Honesty on the side please.

There are times in your life when you just feel like you are floating through. A month can go by and you really don't know what you accomplished or learned. This past month has not been like that. I'm learning.

Honesty. What is the first word or thought that pops in your head when you hear that? A few different images and thoughts enter my head. For most of us, you probably fall into 1 of two catgories, comfronter or avoider. The latter will do everything at all costs to avoid conflict and problems. The confronter is usually very confrontational and wants to handle the problem right away and get it all out on the table, that's me. Sometimes I wonder how honest I should be. There are gray areas. When do you REALLY have the DTR? Is it 1 date? two dates? 3 dates? Haha. And we all know this one: "How does this dress look?" Well in all honesty, I don't like it at all. That would be my first thought if I didn't like the dress. But should I say it? Probably not. Do I say it, yes.

Honesty can be a very positive thing. There are so many people that go around life with grudges in their hearts about people that have no idea they even have a grudge against them. Truth and honesty can set you free from that, just confront them, say how you feel, settle things before the sun goes down. Well it all sounds simple in theory, follow-through is ROUGH. Sure, being honest and truthful will probably hurt someone's feelings, and possibly hurt your own, but it's what is right. The times in my life when I have been very honest in truthful have been some of the most rewarding experiences. I cannot honestly and truthfully say they have been the easiest, but the more rewarding and helpful. There is something about saying how you feel that liberates you and sets you "free" as the Bible says. I want to be free.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Pick me, I'm free

It's late Friday night, well I guess it's actually early Saturday morning at this point. What an interesting Friday it was. It went something like this...

So I must admit that I am a cellphone enthusiast. I'm not admitting that I talk on my cell phone all the time, only admitting that I like to have a nice phone. So Cingular informed me that I have been with them almost 5 years and have never been given a free phone. Thanks Cingular for telling me now. I order the Nokia 3300, we are talking about MP3 player, recorder, games, phone, and more. Yes! FEDEX attempted delivery and I was not home, aww man. So I tracked them down and found out that I could pick my phone up in Greenville, so off I went.

On the way to Greenville, I find a man on the side of the road, "Jump in, where ya goin?" He says..."I need to go to Spartanburg.". Cool, so off we went, his name is Danny. Danny works near the same place I work and had been hitch-hiking to get back home. So we're driving along and I realize that I still need to pick up my cell phone. Danny says he doesn't mind if I stop by FEDEX, so we go to FEDEX. Well the driver is not back with my phone, so we head out to Spartanburg to take Danny home. We had interesting conversation, talked about work, what he does, where he is from, fishing, nuclear reactors, cars, and bass fish. We finally make it to his house and it's pouring rain, has been all day. He gets out, grabs his stuff, and tells me thank- you. Here is the hard part. I want to witness to him, but fear creeps over my body and I sorta go numb. Ahhh shrug off fear, hell is real, so is heaven. :) So I explain to Danny that I cannot just give him a ride, I have to tell him something else way more important.

Me: Danny, what do you think happens when you die?
Danny: (stares intently at me, almost waiting for me to answer my own question)
Me: What would you like to happen?
Danny: I Guess I want to go to heaven.
Me: Me too, how do you think you get there?
Danny: I don't know how.
Me: Let me ask you three questions...We then went on to talk about the 10 Commandments and sin, Have you ever lied before? He says yes, What does that make you, he says liar, and so on so on. Then we get to Jesus, I get to explain to him that because of our sin, Jesus was sent by God to be our sacrifice, to pay a price for all the bad things we do and think. He understood. He smiled. I showed him a tract that says..."GODISNOWHERE" He says....God is nowhere. I say, read again, He says, GOD IS NOW HERE. He asks if he can keep it, I say of course. I could see care in his eyes and he knew I loved him because I wasn't afraid to tell him about Jesus. He then went on to tell me about his family and how he wanted them to come to church and find Jesus too. I dropped him off, we smiled, he said thanks again and I left. Wow, what a feeling, but oh wait, the day is not over.

So my flesh kicks in after this and all I can think about is this cell phone. I have 30 minutes to get to FEDEX before they close. So I try to make it when all of the sudden BOOM, my tire explodes after hitting something on the interstate, a brand new set of tires too. It knocks me to the side of the road and yes, I have a huge flat. So I run back down the road in the rain and try to find the object that flattened my tire. Nothing there. I look further, nothing! It's vanished! Well I run back to my Jeep and get out my jack. Now of course, the jack is too small for my car because it has over-sized tires. I watch cars pass, and pass, and some beep, some people say mean things. Lexus rolls, probably some preachers roll by, maybe some deacons, nobody stops. Finally a man named Ezeal stops to help me. A black man around the age of 40 I would say. He is so nice, he runs over with a hydro jack and has my car off the ground in no time. I change the tire and bam, it's done. I asked him if he was a believer (inside, I knew he was). He says, YES! He told me the that he passed me but the Lord told him to go back and help, so he listened. A really great guy, put the jack back in his car, told him I would see him in heaven and away he went.

Well as I'm finishing up with my tire, (hole the size of a football in it with a completely shattered rim). Something else happens. A truck comes screeching into the emergency lane about 25 feet behind me. I'm like, wow, what in the world. I walk back to check on this man and he jumps out his brand new truck screaming. (I am carrying a tire iron at this point) He curses me out pretty much and continues to scream profanity. He has a flat and has hit the same piece of "something" I hit. I explain to him that I hit the same thing and he then screams back at me that his truck his brand new with a 1100 miles. Now I must stop and be honest, I really felt like jacking him upside the head with my tire iron for cursing at me, but I know that is not Christ-like and well I didn't :). So I walk back to my Jeep and finish up. As I'm finishing, he comes back and apologizes to me and I accept his apology. No big deal, it's raining and we both have flat tires. So I go back and look again for this "something" in the road, I find nothing. I return to his truck and help him change his tire. I notice a funny looking sticker on the back of his brand new truck, looks like a flag with a heart in the middle of it. I discerned something funny about him. I asked about the sticker, he says, "you don't want to know what it means." Well it turns out the sticker stands for..."I'm a man who likes men who wear levis and leather." Thank the Lord I didn't have on my levis and leather, whew, thanks God. He then precedes to think I'm 32 years old. Humbled. As I'm putting his old tire back under his car, I notice blood dripping from his hands, and then realize the blood is probably all over the tool I am using. He looks at me and says..."Oh don't worry, I'm HIV negative" Well ya know, that's good news to know. He then goes to tell me that he does not have sex with men. Why this information was volunteered to me, I'm not sure. I call personal foul and TMI! Well of course I try to swing the conversation to the Lord. He then tells me that he is a christian but doesn't believer that homosexuality is wrong. He even grabs his Bible out the front of his truck and shows me his cross on his rear view mirror. This man was quite interesting. His father was a pastor and died when he was 10. His father never knew about his preferences. We talked a lil more about the Lord and I felt the Lord lead me away from him and I told him bye and to be careful on his ride to ATL.

As soon as I get on the road, there is another car in front of me smoking. I get out, see this guy that happens to be an aquaintence of mine's cousin, funny. I hit the road and head home.

So I learned that no matter what plans I have in my heart, the Lord is going to place me and any other believer where He wants you. I think about all the conversations today and all the people I met, it all started by picking up one hitch-hiker. I challenge whoever reads this to make yourself available to the Lord and don't just pray for opportunities, TAKE THEM. They are all over the place and there is not enough time in the day to get to them all, but try. I'm so glad we can be labeled and identified with Christ, we were all once a bunch of hitch-hikers that the Lord, in His grace, picked us up. To Him we owe ALL.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Road Rage..or something like it

I luv when you have a weekend that is so interesting it makes the next Monday feel like a Friday. So maybe I should explain. So I went down to Columbia to help a friend with her A/C, did that, then hung out at the pool all day long, yep, burned again. I will be moving soon so a brotha should try and find a place to live, so I went around Columbia looking for houses and townhomes, grown-up life as they call it. It was a beautiful Saturday and very hot. Many people call Columbia,SC the "armpit" of the South. I can see why. You walk outside and instantly these little beads of sweat appear on your forehead. Found some cool houses then hung out at Barnes & Noble for a bit. Let me ask you a question. I saw a book there called "hacking for dummies." Hacking is a crime and now we have books teaching us how to commit crimes. Great. I was rather amused. Left Barnes $ Noble and went to meet someone for dinner. Of course I didn't have a top on my Jeep and surely it begins to rain, we get soaked. Pull into a hospital parking garage (haha) for about an hour or so, then head out, drop her off, then head home. (2 hours away.) Here is where the story gets weird.

If anything weird is going to happen on the road, it's going to happen to me. I believe in my heart that God has ordained me for roadside ministry. It is so fun and very amusing. So I'm travelling down Interstate 20 around 12:30 AM. As I am leaving out of Richland County, I see brake lights flashing ahead. And yes there is a traffic jam. STOP THE TAPE. This is not your everyday traffic jam. Let me define...TRAFFIC JAM - two cars in both lanes of I-20 completely stopped and parked sideways with one truck trying to go between them in a frantic maneuver. So as I pull up on this scene, all I can hear is..."get her out, she's drunk, get her out!!!" This is all coming from a woman who is standing in front of this truck. A few people are yelling at me and commanding me to park my car in the road, similar to theirs, so this woman cannot leave the scene. I oblige. So now there is no real way to get through I-20. (during all this, I got the feeling that this woman in the frantic truck has probably hit someone and is now trying to flee from the scene.)

As the frantic woman in the truck realizes there is nowhere for her to go, I see terror in her eyes. On her driver's side, there is a man screaming at her, "GET OUT!" In front of her, there is a woman screaming at her, "GET OUT of the car." So I figured, well they are all screaming at her, I'll approach in nice guy fashion. "Mam, please step out the car, we are trying to help you." Ummm. Nice guy fashion does not help either and she is gearing up to run over the woman in front of her. We then scream at the woman in front of the truck, "Move, she is going to run over you!" The woman does not move. The frantic woman in the truck gears into reverse and stomps the gas to reverse into oncoming traffic, almost taking out an SUV in her path. I try and chase her on foot, not a great idea. I could hear cars screeching off the road and into the grass. I returned to my Jeep and waited on her to come back by. Sure enough, she comes zooming by.

So I become a policeman for the night and chase her. I followed her for around 10 miles or so. She takes an exit in Camden and I call the hwy. patrol to ask them if I should continue to follow her or let her go. They ask for her tag number. Eventually she pulls into a police station and about 5 police cars meet her there. I pull in shortly after.

So you're probably wondering what in the world. As was I. Troopers arrive and ask us questions for about 45 minutes. The woman comes over to my Jeep to see me. I introduce myself and we begin to talk about what happen. Her name is Linda. Linda was not drunk at all and was in a very normal state of mind at this point. Apparently she dosed off on the road and swerved. She may have swerved near someone and they then assumed she was drunk. Road rage probably kicked in and they get help from another driver on the road. So they corner her and slow her down. Linda probably didn't realize what she had done, (the swerve.) Well all she knew was there were about 4 white people trying to get into her truck. She said there was no way she was going to let them in. She told the police that I was really nice, but she didn't know whether I was "with" the other "people" or not. Haha. She told me she was going to protect herself at all costs, even it meant running over the lady standing in front of her.

So to sum up the story, I stayed in Camden for a few hours and ended up having an awesome conversation with Linda and her fiance, who came in later. We had a great talk about the Lord, sin, and about the end of the world. The Lord may not cause traffic jams, but He does know how to use them.

I finally made it home around 4AM, extremely tired. I luv interesting weekends.

What I learned this weekend: I like interesting people, challenging conversations, and interstates.

Anybody up for a road trip? :)

Monday, June 14, 2004


Today was a good day, I really don't have bad days. Well rarely. There was that time when I got towed twice in the same day, two different states, two different cars. How could I get mad? That's just funny and could only happen to a man obsessed with gnomes. Speaking of gnomes, well I didn't see one today, but I did see this nice lil turtle at the shooting range. I would like your comments to try and explain how this nice lil box turtle found his way on top of this shot up Yoo Hoo can located at our local shooting range. Don't worry, we saved his life. My heroic friend Nick loves to save box turtles from the road. Congrats Nick! 4 saved today!

Also, it has been brought to my attention that there is a "man-eater" in Columbia, SC. Watch out boyz, she will chew you up. If you see her, make way, and God forbid, do not be one of those guys that calls her. Oh my my. Her name is _ A _ _ _ N.

On a serious note, well how could there be a serious note when this blog has a picture of a turtle on a yoo hoo can? Well let's try. Why is there such a huge division between calvinists and armenianists? Don't we all have a common goal of reaching the lost? Don't we all have the same command, to go out and make disciples? It baffles me that so many Christians waste their time arguing these points...does anyone out there really know it all? I'm sure some would answer yes and I would say...goodnight, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Gracefully Falling

An interesting day in my heart. Have you ever had those points in your faith where you feel numb? The problem with the numbness was that it has been numb for many months and you have only now come to realize it. That's me.

It is so easy to get comfortable with the way you are living and it gets even easier to get comfortable with the sin in your life. One thing leads to another, gradually your faith weakens and weakens. Your influence on people for the positive gets worse and worse.

I think for many years, I have been spiritually spoiled. Spoiled in the way that little kids are spoiled by rich parents. I've never had a really really terrible time in my faith, although I have had some slow spots. Tonight was one of those nights that I saw myself for who I truly am, sinful and weak. One of those nights that you can feel people praying for you. It's a strange, but refreshing feeling. To know that God has not left me on the side of the road and no matter how nasty the sin in my life has gotten me, He still wants to pick me up. We are so blessed that God does not give up on us and we are even more blessed that He doesn't treat us how we often treat Him. Oh I would really be messed up.

God continues to chase and no matter how many times we run, He will find us. I'm so glad He found me.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Just Passing Through

What a beautiful night it has been. The sky is perfect and when your car has no top on it, you really appreciate a nice night. Tonight was not just about good weather.

I met a good friend in Greenville to catch a movie. We had fun, drove around for a while with the top down and listened to music. Not much was open after the movie, so I dropped her off and headed home. As soon as I turned onto the interstate, there is a man stopped on the side of the road. I pull up on the side with him. An older man walks around the car with a disappointed look on his face, he's got a flat. Flat, no problem, let's put on the spare, well, the spare is flat too. Let's go buy another tire, he doesn't have a key to get his tire off the rim, trouble. We came to the conclusion that we could do nothing for his Ford Escort and we decided that I would just take him home. Mr. Bill is his name. Normal looking man, mid 60's I would say.

He jumped in my Jeep was amazed that it had no top; he was surprised that he could just stick his hands up in the air. "Where does this go?", he asks of the seatbelt. Good question to ask in a vehicle with no restraints. I enjoy picking up people on the side of the road, to hear and listen to their story. This night was no different. I asked about his story and he gladly told me.

He explained to me that he lived in Florida for most of his life and he was a tile mason. He and his wife divorced when his daughter was 2 years old and he never saw her again. He eventually left the tile business and drove freight trucks, only to get in a wreck in New Mexico and have the truck taken from him, forcing him to hitch hike all the way back to Florida. He returned, had no money, and his landlord kicked him out of his apartment. He then lived on the streets for 6 months, and slept under a bridge. He had a terrible relationship with his ex-wife and had not spoken to her in years. His ex-wife eventually told his daughter that her father was not the man she was married to, but another man (Mr. Bill) that lived somewhere in the US. She would not tell her where. His daughter set out to find him. Eventually, through the internet, she tracked him from state to state, finally finding him. They were reunited in Myrtle Beach during the 4th of July. He said it was a beautiful time. She and her husband convinced him to leave Florida and move to SC. So he did. He moved in with his daughter until he could get on his feet. His ex-wife found out and kicked him out. (She owned the house.) So he was back on the streets and living in his car, but had a job. Mr. Bill found an apt after living 3 months in his car, only to find himself on the side of the road, with noone to call and no money in his pocket.

As I dropped him off, he wanted to get my number so he could pay me back. I explained to him that it was my calling to pick up people on the side of the road. He smiled. I gave him my number in case he needed anything else. (Fear enters here) How could I hear this man's life, love him enough to stop and help him, love him enough to bring him home, but then stop in that love and not share with him the most important person in my life? As he was about to step out my Jeep, I looked at him and told him that I was not being fair to him if I just let him leave. I got out a tract that says "GODISNOWHERE". I asked him what it said. He said, "God is nowhere." It's a trick, it should read, "God is now Here." We went on to talk about the end of life and what happens next. He told me that he was born again and knows the Lord. He also told me that he studied to be a pastor for two years. Wow. I asked him, "are you following the Lord?" Good conversation. He told me that he had been praying right before I drove up. He said that many people passed by him, nobody would help. I mentioned to him before that I had spent my fair share of times on the side of the road, sometimes in the rain and in the cold, while people just passed by and glanced over, only to continue on their path. I explained to him that the Lord will never leave him stranded on the side of the road, never.

I've had my heart broken a few times in this life, maybe a girl, maybe a friend that lets you down. I've never told any of those people, "hey, thanks for breaking my heart." As much as it hurts, I love when the Lord breaks my heart, and tares down as I tear down, all the nasty stuff that's in there. The Lord is the only one I will thank when He breaks my heart. (Psalm 51:17) There is nothing wrong with fear, but there is something wrong with shame. I fear people sometimes, I fear witnessing to them, I fear what they will think of me, I fear they will look down on me, but I really pray that I will never be ashamed of talking about the Lord. He's never left me on the side of the road and He never will.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Time flies

Most people might say, "Time Flies and then you die." What a morbid thought. There is a lot of truth in that statement, but life is so much more. I just finished up a long weekend with Memorial Day off and a day off from work. It's so nice when you can take a few days to relax, spend time with friends, and just chill out. You think about all the days that pass that you wasted. The days that could have been a great memory, but instead I slept in or wasted time doing something stupid. Like yesterday, on my day off. I spent most of the day doing nothing. Then my friend Lee says he will teach me to wakeboard. Sure enough, in no time at all, he taught me. Time that I would have spent doing nothing, I now spent accomplishing something really fun and cool and also spending time with a friend.

I've realized in my 24 years one main thing. Life is about forming relationships. I'm not talking about "dating" but solid friendships and friends. It takes effort to put yourself out there and share your heart with people, but that's how we grow, that's how we learn. One great thing about living in a sub-division is that random people stop by all the time. Salesmen, pest control, fund raising people, candy people, and can't forget the ice cream man who has the nice lil jingle he plays that you can hear approximately 1 mile away. Today was the day of the pest control guy. I hear a knock on the door and I get up to answer it. A very young guy is standing at the door and explains to me our options on fighting off the rodents and other crawling things that lurk around Easley, SC. We had a good conversation. I got to know where he was from, what he does for fun, and where he lives. Something inside me told me he was mormon. Weird I know, but I felt it. I asked him if he went to church anywhere and sure enough, he is mormon. So we talked about that for a short time and then went on to talk about mountain biking and kayaking. I invited him to go mountain biking with me sometime and told him that I would like the chance to talk about mormonism. He politely agreed and hopefully he will call. I realized during this time that I had a root beer in my hand that probably looked like a long neck beer. Some people look down on beer and it is a hindrance to sharing the gospel, so I made it clear to him that it was root beer :). It was good conversation because he's a big fan of the root beer, haha. As am I.

So my goal in this life is to make solid relationships with people and to genuinely care about their feelings and cares in this world. In reality, this is a hard world to live in and deal with, but the Lord did not leave us alone. He gave us the Holy Spirit and He also gave us great they great they are.

On a side note, one of my friends bought a car on Ebay! Not only have I got him to blog, he now has followed my direction and BUYS CARS ON EBAY! Congrats to
Billy Rogers!

Friday, May 28, 2004

Thoughts from a color blind man

Lately, I've been thinking about the things we miss out on in this life. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Hebrews 13:2: "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some have entertained angels and not known it." To think that I could pick a man up on the side of the road and he be an angel, interesting. To think that on the day you step foot on the streets of gold and see an angel fly by that has the same face as sweaty and smelly "John" that you picked up on the side of the road in SC. Strangers are very interesting, in a handshake, they become an aquaintence or maybe a new friend.

You can tell a lot about a person in how they treat people, mainly strangers. On a date, watch how your date treats the waitress. In the drive-thru at Zaxby's (of course Zaxby's is the only drive-thru you should be in), watch how people treat the person taking their order. You can listen to a person talk all day long, but the real character comes out when you watch how they interact with the world. One of my buddies tipped the guy at Auto-Zone the other day. I dig that. I love strangers and I love people that love strangers.

A few months ago, I was driving in my Jeep down a dark road in SC. I happen to look to my left and see a glimpse of what I thought was a man standing in the road. I slow down, pull over, and look back. I see nothing. I backed up a few more yards and as car goes by, I can see this person again. The road is pitch black. As I roll down my window, I can definitely now see that there is a person standing in the median of this major highway. I am a little nervous. The only time I can see this person is when a car goes by and the lights illuminate the side of the road. I ask, "Is everything okay?" As soon as the words roll of my lips, I see the shadow of this person as a car goes by and the reflection of a gun behind the shadow. This is where fight or flight kicks in. I'm 20 feet away and in the dark. I must confess that I do carry a 9mm in my Jeep, I tucked into my jeans and jumped out the Jeep. As soon as my feet hit the ground, the person starts walking towards me, I'm scared, I definitely see this stranger with a 12-Gauge shotgun. This situation is not one I would recommend. Everything in me thought something was about to go down, and it did. The scary figure strapping a 12-gauge pump turns out to be a 10 year old boy crying in the middle of the road. As he walked up and this all dawned on me, I asked him, "Is this gun loaded?" He said, "Yes." I took it from him and noticed that it was the same model of shotgun that I grew up with. Sure enough, it was also loaded, 2 in the chamber, 1 in the hole. I calmed him down, put the gun in my jeep and asked him what happened. Apparently his mom's boyfriend left him out in the woods or either he was lost. He didn't know what to do, so he walked to the middle of the biggest highway he could find in the pitch dark. He was hiding the gun because he knew nobody would help him if he were carrying a 12 gauge, so he hid it behind his leg. Wow. Imagine that. We called his mom and he happen to live in my town, so I took him home. Also got a chance to talk with his mom once I got there. She told me that she was going to try and start getting back to church.

This is so much like life and evangelism. Looking from the outside in, you have a man carrying a 12 gauge shotgun, loaded shotgun and standing in the middle of the road. In reality, you have a crying 10 year-old boy who just wants his mommy and a ride home. How many times in this life do we ignore sharing the gospel with someone because they look smarter than us, they raised you, they have more money than you, don't dress like you, don't speak like you, or enter your excuse here. The Bible says that the righteous are as bold as a lion. Be a lion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lessons from the dog...

You know, since I've been called to the ministry, I've come to realize a few things. A person in the ministry is called to a different standard of life, not any better of a life, not a "holier than thou" type of life, just different. A life that's not "normal." You can't just marry any girl, the Lord has to be leading her in the same way. I also know that I want to be real with people and unlike the stereotype that many preachers have brought to the world, good or bad.

I subconsciously made a pact, that if I ever had kids, I wouldn't incorporate them into all my messages. I would not talk about the family for every illustration. Well this post is a slap in the face of that. Right now, I can't use a girlfriend for an example, I could use a dog, well I don't have one but my roommate does.

This animal entered into our house a few months back, I've watched her grow from this small puppy, to this big dog. So big now that if she jumps in your lap, you will question your ability to have kids. She's huge. I've learned a lesson about life through a dog. My roomie works a lot and I spend a lot of time alone with the animal. When I walk in the door, the dog about goes nuts to see me. She literally does not want to eat, only cares about being hugged and petted. She doesn't even want to go outside to pee, she cares only for you. When I eat, she sits at my feet, waiting on crumbs to fall. She follows me from room to room, only to lay right back at my feet again. She will do something mean, (like chew my $$ dress shoes) and i scold her, only to find her 5 minutes later, back at my feet, always staring intently, even for crushed ice to fall from my mouth, so she can eat it up! Nasty! but anyway.

I started thinking about my relationship with the Lord. I was sitting at the table with a Zaxby's kickin chicken sandwich in my hand, just watching this dog stare at me. I rarely follow the Lord like this dog follows me. How often do I lay at His feet, after this life has scolded me. How often do I sit under Him at His table, waiting for something to fall from His hand. How often do I sacrifice my wants, my needs, to spend time with Him? It's rare. I'm stuck in this Romans 7 tongue twister life. I want to do what is right, I want to seek Him, but I often don't. My sin strangles the life from me. I hear you Paul!

Just like this post, the thing I never wanted to do, I have just done. Told a story though a dog. Kiki Peaky is her name. At least that's what I renamed her. Hey! Jesus renamed His friends, aren't we supposed to do the same? Just a thought. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Real Life, Real Tough

The title summarizes life as I have journeyed to know it. I'm not sure if there is one person in this world that does not go through hard times at some point. From the people with no money to the people with too much money, we experience hard times. Hard times can come in the form of many things, loss of job, loss of home, loss of wife, loss of husband, loss of car, loss of love, loss of life.

Death is not something that is easy for us to talk about and again, I do not know of one person who can handle it well. The statistics are in, 10 out of 10 people die. The Lord even cried when one of his buddies died. Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus.

About a year ago, my best friend discovered that her dad had cancer. At first, it wasn't sure exactly how bad the cancer was in his body. Eventually, they found out that the cancer was all over and he had a few months to live. Here is a man who had everything, a great job, a beautiful family, a nice home, a nice life. Here is a man who had a smile on his face at every point in the day. A man that brought joy to so many people lives. He never met a stranger, everyone was a friend. Here was a man with a few months to live. I have often asked myself, would I want to know when my time would come. I still do not know the answer to that question, right now I would say no.

During the last few months of his life, many things happened. Gradually the cancer took his strength, his ability to eat, but never to smile. The doctors told us that he had a month to live. He went from walking around in one week to bed-ridden the next week. When we are faced with death, many questions come to mind, many conversations come to mind. I was able to sit down with him and ask about life, ask him about how he felt about the Lord through all this. He said his faith never wavered, he knew God had not left him, he could see the Lord through the people that came to served him and his family. Through the friends that showed him love. He still saw the Lord. I saw these friends, they were always at the house, always serving, never expecting anything in return. I saw God's hand on all of them, through the service of his people. Saints are not dead people, you don't have to die to become a saint, saints are people who have repented of their sins, and put their faith in Christ. They love the Lord and serve Him and serve others.

To that point, I had never sat down with someone and talked about death. The Lord worked in my heart through that conversation. To see someone in so much pain, but occassionally still smiling, moved my heart. A man a few days from death, able to look up with a smile, and say, "hey bud!" Only to go back to sleep.

A few days later, we all sat around him and read him Bible verses. Verses of hope, of a future. It was the day before Good Friday. Over and over, we just read the Bible to him. A beautiful time. On Good Friday, most of everyone had stepped out the room, I stood at the doorway, somewhat looking in. He breathed his last. I walked in the room, then walked back out to tell his daughters. One 18, one 24. Everyone came in the room, standing around just looking. It was an atmosphere that I cannot describe. The oldest daughter, sat on his bed, looked at him for a second, then with a heart full of hope told everyone that this is a day that we should rejoice and be joyful and put a smile on our face. I've never seen one look at death like she did. She put hope in what the world would see as hopeless. We joined hands and just prayed, and prayed, and cried, and rejoiced. There is a verse in Psalm 116:15: "Precious in the sight of the Lord are the death of His saints." As sad as it was to see a man who loved the Lord die, as Christians, we could still have hope. The Lord had not left us, He had not left this man, while we were crying, the Lord was in the process of welcoming him home.

How many conversations should we have had yesterday? Time is short in this life, God has given us today, salvation is today, tomorrow is not promised.


this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Lindsay's First Concert

Ok, so I don't listen to OutKast much, but someone tabbed the song, so we had to play on the guitar. Yes everyone, this is General Taguba's daughter!

this is an audio post - click to play

Struggling Child

As a child, still chewing my tongue. Mom says..."Justin, people are going to think you are special if you keep doing that." I have ever since. Some Habits are hard to break!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Blog Blog Blog

Ok, so I simmered on this for a day, wondering what I might write in this special place on the internet that most people call a "BLOG." I think this is going to be like jumping into cold water, it takes you a while to get used to it. This teaches me to choose my words, I never know who might read them. What if I lived my life like that.

So yesterday I realized that life is too short to complain. I believe complaining is one of the biggest struggles today. People do it all the time, sometimes not realizing it. I sometimes complain but often try to catch myself before it's verbalized. A positive aspect of being a Christian is that God gives us hope and joy through the tough times, something most of the world does not have.

For example, yesterday was a small demonstration of what the great Flood could have been like. It rained like goats and cows. And yes, the top was off my jeep. So I jumped in my tug boat of water and headed to guitar practice. People always give you a funny look when you are in a Jeep with the top off, while it is raining. Or maybe it's because I keep an umbrella over my head at the redlights. Anyway, after practice, it's still pouring and I get to talk to this guy at the door of the music store. You always ask yourself, ok, how can I witness to this guy? Sometimes I do, sometimes I fail. I didn't get to witness to this man, but it was funny how we started our conversation. He says something about all the rain and then..."Wouldn't you hate to be the guy driving the Jeep with the top down right there." Of course I had to fess up and admit that it was mine and I was the dummy who didn't put the top on his jeep or remember to check But either way...the rain, my top down, a soaking wet ride led up to being able to meet a new friend that I will now see on a weekly basis at the music store.