About Me

Phoenix, AZ, United States

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A reminder...

My favorite customer... is an older lady in her late 60's named Marilyn.

She's not hip or charismatic, vocationally successful or wealthy... like a few of the other clients that i enjoy... but she's easily my favorite.

Marilyn is a Coloradan, transplanted here this year to take care of her aging Aunt and Uncle. Truth be told I hardly took notice of her when she first started coming to my store... but one day i sat next to the bed she was laying on and we began to chat.

She's been through quite a bit in her life... her husband one day left her... and more recently a man that she thought was someone God brought into her life... did the same... She misses home a lot... but realizes there would be nobody to take care of her Aunt and Uncle so she's sacrificed her life in many ways. Marilyn is a Christian and it's quite apparent. She feels pretty alone at times...

She enjoys listening to a "young person" so excited about God... so she says. :) I talk her ear off and she attentively listens... and thanks me for sharing... i often thank her for listening...

In the middle of our conversations, I'll have this thought that it's so amazing how God can bring two people from entirely different walks...together like this... and how He can use that to mutually encourage us... Another thing I realize is just how much people generally have in common... when she talks to me about her recent heart break she expresses feelings that i know very well... i also like the idea that she still has all these emotions... and then i'm a bit embarrassed at myself for being a little surprised by this fact... she's old, not dead.

She came in today feeling pretty exhausted and worn... i couldn't help but tell her: "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed..." i think that's in Proverbs...i'll be praying for her to get an opportunity to go home to her family for Thanksgiving...though she says it's looking slim.

I guess we never really know how God will speak to us. Today it was Marilyn who through her own troubles... took the time to listen...and care and bless me. God used her to encourage me... Yesterday it was Tracey.

At the moment, I am thankful. I am thankful for the people God has brought into my life... in a time when it is difficult to remember His Presence...He reminds me that's He's still around... I am thankful that these people cared enough to do their part...

may I be this type of a person to others... a reminder of God's presence... is there really any greater purpose or calling to our lives?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


What a long week it's been.

I had a draining week...it's astonishing when i consider the amount of happenings that can occur in that relatively small space between the ears... a seemingly infinite galaxy exists...it's often a smokey battlefield... of course the heart as we often euphemistically refer to it as plays an enormous role as well. sometimes i wish both organs were merely anatomical. physiology is easier to deal with, less abstract at least. Each day of this week, i wrestled with myself, with the enemy, with a world i can't seem to understand and though I refuse to lose, by the end I was simply exhausted.

where's the soul i wanna know?

I spent friday night and most of saturday locked up in a recording studio... I really had to make myself do it...and during the session yesterday a piece of my equipment crapped out on me... I thought, "are you kidding me?" Nevertheless, I drove down to guitar center and picked up a new unit because I was determined to proceed. Did i mention I nailed my little toe right into the wall also? It bled and swelled and caused me a good amount of grief...but again I was very intent on finishing my project... and so i kept on... until my throat was raw and it literally hurt to swallow... 8 hours of singing...sweating...and working... and i loved it.

in some ways i really felt more like myself this weekend than i have in months...and i needed it i think.

The apologetics thing on Wednesday went pretty well I believe... again i didn't feel quite prepared because my partner in the venture had a rough week as well... so i did what i could... this time it was very low tech (as opposed to hi tech) and i just really...talked to the attendees... and felt more in my element... at some point i really started to lose the nervousness i get from public speaking... i felt like myself, just communicating...and that was neat.

Today, i helped Brad move out of his broken house... my soar and achy arms tell me that i'm much too out of shape... i can't believe how much furniture he has...

it was a big day of transition...

change, change...change is everywhere, and all the time. as surely as the world revolves...with precise consistency...so our lives revolve, dissolve in some cases...and then evolve.

Time it tells us what we're left with...

We attended a new church today, suffice it to say it was Good. My initial impulse is to say that "I enjoyed it," but i've been trying to shy away from using that sort of trite terminology when referring to church sermons, services and the like. Often times we talk about a worship service as we do a movie we just viewed... with an equal amount of irreverence.. "i liked it," "i didn't like it..." we forget that the word of God has been spoken...that people have gathered to seek God.

Of course the sermon today was on relationships... a real part of me thought, "oh great like i'm interested in one of those..." nevertheless, I listened attentively.

At some point I felt a little hope for the future... Truth of the matter is I might one day be married, I might not... But, should my life bring me to a partner some day I do really desire to be the best husband i can be... i want to learn from the million mistakes i've made in my life time... equally as imperative is that i learn from the mistakes and successes of others... the author who spoke today had some very insightful, relevant and practical things to say about the differences between men and women... she conducted extensive surveys for her book and shared many of the findings with us this morning...

I think we'll attend this church again next week. Though I hope to get plugged in to a home church eventually, for the moment i don't mind the search...

I feel at ease, wandering...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Carpe Diem

I'm home now...it's a little late and I should start thinking about bed, but there's caffeine in my system compliments of starbucks at 59th and T-bird, plus I haven't been sleeping well as of late. It was a quiet day... this morning I drove my car on fumes and had it actually coughing as I rolled into the gas station... after I filled up and headed off to work I can't tell you how thankfull i was at that moment for something as simple as a full tank of gas.

I've been thinking more about gratitude lately... how it goes hand in hand with seizing the day. It's virtually impossible to live in the moment without appreciation... Last night during prayer I simply thanked God for two functioning legs and arms, a sound mind, eyes that could experience the vibrant colours of life... ears that could receive music... family, friends... shelter...my salvation... all the things i take for granted so often, the smell of fall.

At this point in my life it's difficult to look to the future... i am still just scared to hope because i'm scared of disappointment... and the past is mixed at best...with as many sorrows as fond memories... plus, even the good times cannot again be retrieved... I can look to the distant future beyond the few measily years ahead to the eternal... but anything less of that makes me anxious... so i look to the finer details of each day... the small moments and things that are beautiful... the things i tend to miss quite easily... this is my best attempt at living more in the moment.

today it was gasoline in my truck, my imperfect family, the beauty of the skies in my rear view mirror as i drove into the setting sun this evening... seeing God work in my friend, an international phone call, the feeling of cold...

I know eventually I will hope and dream again....and i know i will again face disappointments, that's life. but for now... i'm ok with the details... counting my bite sized blessings...

i might not be laughing to the point of tears right now, but there is beauty in a soft, understated smile...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Broken by Lifehouse

The Broken clock is a comfort
It helps me sleep tonight.
Maybe it can stop tomorrow
From stealing all my time...

And I am here still waiting
Though I still have my doubts.
I am damaged at best
Like you've already figured out.

I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing.
With a broken heart,
That's still beating.
In the pain
There is healing.
In Your name
I find meaning.
So I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to You...

The broken locks were a warning
you got inside my head.
I tried my best to be guarded
I'm an open book instead...

And I still see your reflection
Inside of my eyes.
That are looking for purpose
They're still looking for life...

I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what, You will throw my way.
And I'm hanging on, to the words You say
You said that I will, will be okay...

The broken lights on the freeway
Left me here alone.
I may have lost my way now
But I haven't forgotten my way home.

I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing.
With a broken heart
That's still beating...
In the pain
There is healing.
In Your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on...

Barely holding on to You...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just venting

An interesting week it's been... I had some rough moments...and in the end found God again...and again... in varying ways. He doesn't always speak to us in the ways we'd like Him to...or in ways we expect...in fact i think that's most often the case...but He's around...nevertheless.

Today was a bit of a challenge... I fought off boredom at the store and felt pretty alone for most of the day. It was a long work day due to a delivery after i closed shop... but i'm getting used to the work schedule...which worries me a bit. I used to be so discontented with working at 9-5... it was the artistic, free spirit within that disliked the idea of a shirt and tie. but what are you gonna do?

I talked to my mom tonight... and it made me pretty sad. She was talking about my dad aging... he'll be 70 years old on monday... that's about as old as some of my friends grandparents. My mom was talking about what she would do financially if he should pass... i hate that topic... but it's one that we must deal with i suppose.

I know i'd take care of my mom... there are no two ways about it... I'm just not sure how my life will look then... it still shakes me at times to think that my life might turn out nothing like i once imagined it to be... i guess i'm ok with it. This life is so temporary...i have to remind myself of that daily.

In the closing chapters of "The Journey of Desire," Elderedge continues to discuss the idea that we cannot arrange for life here on earth... not arbitrarily at least. But that's so difficult a concept, really. We almost can't help ourselves..at every turn I attempt to arrange for life as I see fit... from the minute frivolous details to the major... everyday i try to make the life i desire...

I still don't know what i'm going to do with my life...

The couple i delivered a bed to tonight was watching their grand daughter...i guessed her age to be 3 and I was correct. Her name was Caitlin, and her grandparents described her as quite precocious... but she was pretty adorable and made me smile... i must be getting old...

Life is really difficult... i never grow weary of saying that...because it's so true.

I don't like the thought of my dad passing away...but i know it's inevitable.

He's going in on monday to get followup CT scan because in the last one the doctors thought they saw something on his liver... so prayers would be much appreciated...

i've been quite fortunate overall to have 2 loving parents for much of my life...
i'm just not sure that i'm anywhere near ready to losing one of them... life is short...it's a fragile child... a delicate menagerie... a feather, a spider web... a sunset.

I have had my share of struggles this year... mostly emotional battles of disappointments and heart break... broken hopes... and i've been dealing...God has been seeing me through and speaking to me...

but today... if i'm real honest...i just felt tired of fighting.

i still need God to show up each day... i need Him so desperately. i guess there's beauty in that.

i'll close this entry with a sincere thank you to my dear friends, you know who you are...who have been here for me in your own ways, the best that you could.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Feeling pretty average

Tonight was the apologetics session for Young life. It didn't go as well as I had hoped. I got caught up at work and so wasn't as prepared as i would have liked to be... I was the last person to arrive...which is obviously a bad sign. i got stuck running copies (handouts for the evening), having to run home to grab my stereo for part of the presentation...then i hit traffic which moved slower than molasses... even an ambulance that backed the street for 3 blocks... not to mention my "check engine" light coming on during my commute... seriously all that happened tonight...

I was pretty nervous because I don't love public speaking... it was noticeable... and it's difficult to communicate effectively when you're noticeable nervous... people feel uncomfortable so they really can't pay attention to what it is your saying... the nervousness went away after a few minutes... when I realized that i mostly knew what i was talking about... the technical difficulties were pretty frustrating because i had worked pretty hard on a power point presentation... it was a neat concept anyway.

Very little went as planned tonight... but at least i know what to expect for next Wednesday. I like the idea of improving on my public speaking...because i've never really been comfortable with it. i want to stretch and grow... so i welcome the challenge with open arms.

Club was ok tonight... i enjoyed the worship. I met a couple more guys for my small group... one of them seems to be quite personable and bright...more importantly he seems to "get it" spiritually...at least that was my first impression after a short conversation... so it might be a premature call... if i'm right, he should work to help balance out some of the other guys i'll have...
we'll see. I'm having second thoughts about small groups... but i'm gonna give it a shot anyway... in an attempt to make the title of this entry clearer i'll end it with this quote:

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events and small discuss minds people." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, October 15, 2007

My lament

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord at night I stretched out untiring hands, but my soul refused to be comforted...

I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

Then I thought, to this I will appeal:

The years of the right hand of the Most high. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago, I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Somewhere In between

by Lifehouse

I can't be losing sleep over this, no I can't
And now I cannot stop pacing
Give me a few hours, I'll have all this sorted out
If my mind would just stop racing...

Cause I cannot stand still
I can't be this unsturdy
This cannot be happening

This is over my head, but underneath my feet
Cause by tomorrow morning I'll have this thing beat
And everything will be back to the way that it was
I wish that it was just that easy...

Cause I'm waiting for tonight
Then waiting for tomorrow
And I'm somewhere in between
What is real, and just a dream
What is real, and just a dream
What is real, and just a dream

Would you catch me if I fall out of what I fell in
Don't be surprised if I collapse down at your feet again.
I don't want to run away from this
I know that I just don't need this...

Cause I cannot stand still
I can't be this unsturdy
This cannot be happening

I'm waiting for tonight
Then waiting for tomorrow
And I'm somewhere in between
What is real, and just a dream
What is real, and just a dream
What is real, and just a dream...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My anti drug...

I was really jonesin' for a smoke yesterday... so I ran to Walgreens and grabbed whatever sounded appetizing, this is what I came up with :) At least I got vitamin water...

I may just get fat in my attempt to quit smoking...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Midnight, Ethics

It's late and I should try to get some sleep, but my mind is racing. I have noticed lately that my mind is a bit foggy... Of course I assumed a part of is was psychosomatic, but I read somewhere today that it does happen to people giving up nicotine. Anyway, I had a moment of clarity tonight and so I thought I might take advantage of it while I can... in hopes of writing a few meaningful words.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias today, a podcast of a Q & A forum done at Georgia Tech. One of the questions was from a fella who seemed to esteem Immanuel Kant highly... Ravi and this un named person discussed Kantian ethics.
Ravi believes that objective morality is dependent on the existence of an objective moral law giver... namely God... someone absolute. Consequently, he believes if God does not exist, morality is completely subjective... which many atheists, but not all hold to.

There are atheists who believe in objective morality...social contract is a common view...and one that owns many derivatives... unfortunately they cannot qualify this idea of objective morality to have any absolute meaning... beyond what is arbitrarily defined... For instance, one common idea is that objective morals need exist for the sake of community and/or the individual...unfortunately this assumes that the preservation of life is in fact good or right... again this would be arbitrary at best. but i digress...

I've read Kant, who interestingly enough was a theist. Kant spends volumes on attempting to explain the idea that morality can be rationally attained... apart from God... He believed that God had given man something in rationality so that objective morality could be arrived at intellectually.

In the aforementioned discussion, Ravi points out how Kant actually prefaced his second volume (pertaining to the issue of ethical theory) with the admission that Purpose of existence needed first be qualified, then an ethical system (be it arrived by pure rationalism) could result... this was new to me... so I found it quite fascinating.

Of course this discussion could get a whole lot more complicated if you add to it the view that some atheists hold...who proclaim meaning/purpose in life is self defined therefore a purely subjective endeavor.

So why is this all important? Well post modernism has created a culture that doesn't know how to begin to discuss moral theory... We have no real framework to work off of... Ravi says there are three key movements that have resulted: Secularization,
Pluralization, Privatization.

Secularization, meaning religious ideas are no longer viewed as socially relevant.
Pluralization, refers to our cultures view that the plethora of worldviews are equally true and... Privatization- the pursuit of truth being a purely independent venture. It's important to note that the three coexist and overlap...

In my opinion, the general population in America today somehow still seems to feed off of the german culprit born in the 18/1900's: Existentialism. If you truly dissect deep enough I am convinced you will find most people to abide by a system of ethics arrived at and reiterated by feelings. Essentially, people do what feels right...the misfortune comes when we realize that these feelings are deviant and quite often.

This is not to say doing what feels right is necessarily wrong... but it is prone to fallacy... and generally inconsistent. Our emotions are real and have their value...
but we should never have surrendered the ability to rationalize beyond them... And so I think Ravi's points are very well taken. In a secularized, pluralized culture where worldviews have become privatized to an extreme... we have lost the concept of truth...and therefore as a collective have given up the search...for how do you look for something that doesn't exist? More on this later...

Otherwise, I got a new book titled: "The Shape of the Good," by C. Stephen Layman. It is a book on Christian Ethical Theory... I will be interested to see what he says... Strangely enough it was recommended to me by an atheist who thought he presented a fair case of ethical theory...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


The last few weeks have run together in a blur... like a water colour painting...(at least under my direction) each day filled with strokes of runny hues... and so i feel as if i've lived through a lengthy week though it's in fact only tuesday. As strange as this might sound i feel a bit of pain creeping up with every day that ends...like i'm losing something i can't ever have back...

Nevertheless, it's my favorite moment of day, right now... to sit, still. it's quiet, tuesday's done..and twilight will soon be here and as swiftly be gone.

I feel excitement for the future... for the unknown... but an equal amount of sorrow for the past... that i can never regain. There is no re writing it... i must be ok with redemption. But I lost bits and pieces of myself along the way... some are good at forgetting what is behind... i have always struggled with that. i guess i just want to know that i have truly learned from it...so as not to repeat it's mistakes. my mistakes. at the same time there is something intrinsically tragic about life passing by... and all the countless moments that have gone... that have been reduced to imperfect memories... gone...gone with the wind.

I'm kicking a habit now that i have long held on to...although most days it feels like it's kicking me...

I keep hearing the word loneliness... several times yesterday...and a few times today from different people who have very independent struggles. today a 30 something young lady expressed how at the end of the day she feels so alone...despite her friends, her successful career, her dreams... it is truly inescapable... at times we can soothe it for the moment, at times we can paint over it with laughter... at times we can even convince ourselves it doesn't exist... but then again at times it waylays us all.

I am looking over the city as it dissipates into nothing more than silhouettes...under the dipping sun... it seems all so transient like it hardly exists at all... without the light all things are merely shadows...phantoms... matter taking up space. I can't help but wonder about all that is going on in every home, vehicle, single room apartment... hospital, airplane... where ever...is not this world filled with despair?

i say a general prayer for the broken tonight... for the lost... for the hopeless.

I wonder how Christ felt as he withdrew from the crowds...i can picture Him looking over the towns from a distance... I wonder what He felt...what words might be used to describe that. He was hope incarnate, the only solution...and yet He must have known that there were so many even He could not save...

It's nearly dark now... evening lamps have turned on throughout the plaza...and drivers have turned on their headlights to navigate through the darkly streets... but still i feel unresolved... and so i'll leave this blog in a similar state... without resolution...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Worth a smile.

On a lighter note, I hung out with my buddy Chris sunday night, whom I went to California with a few weeks ago. He gave me some pictures...we forgot the camera most of the trip but the day we went to Malibu it was in his hands...

It never fails, anytime I'm at the beach an old hairy man insists on wearing a speedo...that day of course was without exception... it's not enough to say that i'm bothered by it... it offends me.

So I filled my friends camera with these photos and Chris took them to Walgreens to get them developed and a cd made. :)
I guarantee his sexuality was questioned.

I had hoped to get these pictures sooner, so that I could include them in a blog about my trip... but it was just as good to get them tonight... for a moment I was back in southern california... cheers!

In all of his glory...

Like a lion to his prey...

Hey, watch where you point that thing...

Elliot, you could have all this...

Speedo free shot of the beach...