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Get back up.

February 10, 2010 2 comments

We lose our way, we get back up again…
— tobyMac (new single “Get Back Up”)

I had a bit of a revelation last night while going through my almost-nightly “OMG praise God for bringing an end to this day” detox session.

Actually, let me backpedal a bit. Hi! Been a while since I really posted anything of substance, hasn’t it? I think after I came to the decision that Jenn and I will start a new blog together after we get married, I lost a lot of interest in keeping this one updated. Is that going to change? Prob’ly not. But this really is something weighing heavy on my heart, so we’re gonna pretend for today.

Okay, fast forward to the past couplethree weeks. Long story short, a whole lot of crap has happened to me recently. Just within the past two weeks or so:

* My laptop was stolen out of my bag at work.

* My iPhone was completely erased while trying to sync it with the “loner” netbook that my mother has been gracious enough to share with me.

* I did something to my right shoulder back on Jan. 31st that has resulted in very annoying and persistent pain going from my shoulder blade down to my elbow ever since then.

* I dropped my iPhone and broke yet another case.

* Got a pretty yucky sinus infection last week that resulted in me missing half a day of work and two nights of school.

* The back door on the driver’s side of my car would not close securely yesterday, resulting in me having to find a ride to work and being thirty minutes late.

The grand prize of this whole mess is me being within a hairsbreadth of finding the nearest cave and hiding in it until the Rapture. Until last night. Like I said before, I had a bit of a revelation. This is prob’ly something that would’ve come to other folks I know in a more timely fashion, but heck, I’m just glad it finally dawned on me.

In this day and age, what do you think when someone says, “The devil is at work here?” For me, personally, that reminds me of when I had Dr. Allan Saxe for Texas Government a couple years back. He had a habit of mouthing off some hilarious-yet-terribly demeaning jokes that were guaranteed to offend every culture/gender/species in attendance at least once every evening. After he would blurt out such a joke, he would clap his hand over his mouth, then comically say, “I am so sorry. The DEVIL made me do it!”

I think this is a pretty dang good example of how people look at the devil’s influence these days. It’s hilarious. It’s not real. People have control over their own destinies, and there’s no sulfur-sucking freakshow doing this stuff to me, right?

Not necessarily.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
— 1 Peter 5:8

So, is the devil at work in my life right now? Could be. It’s possible he’s trying to distract me from the most important things right now: God, Jenn, and school. He’s using what I like to call R&D. Not research and development, not raspberries and donuts (though that would probably work just as well as everything else he’s been doing to distract me), but Ruses and Deceptions. Stuff keeps getting thrown at me to distract me from focusing on getting stuff done for school, plus it’s distracting me from continuing to nurture my relationship with Jenn as we prepare to get married. Not to mention the fact that my laptop got stolen from me shortly after I just started doing some serious graphics work for my church.

What if it’s the other way around, though? What if God is T&B‘ing me? Okay, sorry, too many letters&letters. Testing and Blessing me.

The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
— Deuteronomy 13:3b

We know God tests us. It’s part of the whole deal. So it’s totally possible that this is just another test of faith by Him.

But at the same time, I can also see some of this stuff as a real blessing. Well, two things mainly. I mean, breaking my iPhone case was somewhat of a blessing, because it resulted in me getting an even sweeter case for about half the price of the last one. But anyway, the two things I think of as a blessing in disguise were probably the two worst things on that list up there: My laptop getting stolen and my iPhone getting wiped.

A little over three years ago, when I first started dating Jenn, I was on the tail end of a serious addiction to World of Warcraft. I realized shortly into our relationship how much of a detriment that addiction was to our quality time together, so I closed my account and I haven’t been back since. I thank God every day for that, because it was His way of intervening before I became a hardcore gamer and wasted my life away in that crappy old apartment, eating Jack in the Box tacos every night and playing WoW.

But then my laptop was stolen, and being without it has made me realized that said addiction wasn’t quite out of my life. For a short while after the incident, I was suffering from (and I apologize, because I know this sounds a tad melodramatic) my own personal equivalent to phantom limb syndrome. Over the past four or five years, I had turned that laptop into another appendage. If I needed anything, I knew that my laptop could help me. And so when my laptop was stolen, well, you can guess how I reacted. Devastated, completely and utterly. I was seriously depressed, like I had no idea how I was going to do just about anything in life without that laptop.

Then my iPhone did it’s thing, and that just made me feel crappier. What the heck was going on with my stuff!? I was getting pissed. My usual methods of communicating and general “doing stuff” were rebelling on me. How am I going to function without a working iPhone and a laptop that’s been taken from me?

Then, after the 800th time that thought crossed my mind, I finally realized just how absurd it was.

How am I going to function without Facebook? Twitter? Photoshop? Office?

See where I’m going with this?

The devil may be taking advantage of the situation by trying to distract me by worrying about all this stuff. But GOD is waking me up from this technologically-induced state of dependency. Through the theft of my laptop, He’s giving me an NCIS-caliber smack on the backside of the head and going, “HEY. Quit it.”

I don’t NEED this stuff. It’s nice to have, yes. But if it’s gone, then it’s gone. There is absolutely no reason for me to get so sad about not being able to get online. My laptop was not another arm, it was just a tool. A tool that I had a bad habit of getting too absorbed in using. And I needed to learn my lesson about getting too far into it.

So, where do I go from here? Do I shun technology? Do I sell my iPhone?

Pff, no. πŸ™‚ I need to remember that the key is to not let myself get absorbed. I’m not missing out on anything epic if I don’t login to Facebook whenever I have down time. I don’t need to tweet every other thought I think or action I… act.

Granted, losing my Photoshop sucks, because I was just getting started on doing some fun stuff for my church. But it’s okay, because I know I’ll still be able to help whenever I can.

As I look back on all this now that I’ve typed it out… man, it looks really silly. In the grand scheme of things, of all the terrible stuff going on in this world, my biggest problem right now is getting over losing a computer. But hey, the little victories in life at just as nice, right? A win is a win, and anything that helps me clear out the clutter, get closer to God, and focus on what’s REALLY important in my life (ie. marrying the girl of my dreams) is a tremendous victory, as far as I’m concerned.

All I have to remember is that it’s just stuff. This stuff, I can live without. This stuff, I can lose without breaking my heart. Being without this stuff will not keep my life from going on. Stuff, I don’t need.

What I do need is my Lord. What I do need is my beautiful fiancΓ©e. What I do need is to finish school so I can make a better future for my wife and me.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Coming January 31st…

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

If you’re anywhere in the D/FW area, come join us at First Baptist Grand Prairie on the night of Sunday, January 31st. We are starting a new monthly contemporary service, and we’d love to see you!

January 12, 2007.

January 12, 2010 2 comments

Three years ago today, I met the love of my life. The girl of my dreams, and the woman I am going to marry five months from today.

Father God, thank you for blessing me with Jennifer. Thank you for bringing her into my otherwise geeky and lame life. Thank you for pulling me out of the crap I was in and giving me the one I will be spending the rest of my life with.

Categories: God, Jenn & Me Tags: , , , ,

Ho ho ho.

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Been real busy this month! Biggest thing was probably wrapping up my next-to-last semester of college. One more semester, and then I’ll be done forever. πŸ™‚ I’ve been enjoying this past week of not having to go to school in the evenings. It’s nice to be able to relax with Jenn, eat dinner at a normal time, and just generally not having a whole lot to do. Makes me look forward to being done with school even more.

Can’t believe Christmas is just over a week away. We had our Christmas program at church last Saturday. Jenn had an awesome solo right at the beginning, when the choir sang “Joy To The World.” Erin and Kevin had an amazing duet during “Ring The Bells,” which made Jenn and me even more impossibly excited about having them sing at our wedding. Click on the picture below if you’d like to see all the pictures I took:

We had the choir Christmas party at church last night. We watched the DVD of the Christmas program, ate several different varieties of cheese log (Jenn’s is SO my favorite), and then went caroling through the neighborhood behind the church, which was cold but quite fun! The only part I was sad about was the party was basically over soon as we got back. I wish we could have all sat around just a little bit longer and had some laughs. Though we did get to have plenty of that at our Refuge Christmas party, which was a total blastie blast.

Once I’m done here at work today, I’m heading up to the FLC at church to help Matt setup his blog that he wants to start. I tried to convince him that if he wanted to connect with his Youth, he needed to call it “Kilo 4 Christ” (his last name is Killough). But he said that was a loser name. Hey, if the shoe fits. O SNAP. Anyhoo, after that, Jenn and I are going to ol’ Arlington High School to see their Christmas orchestra concert. I am SO excited we’re going, I haven’t been to my old high school in several years. And the Symphony orchestra does Sleigh Ride every Christmas, so I can’t wait to see that again. The memories, they will be a-floodin’ back into my noggin, I tell you what.

Can’t wait for Christmas Eve/Day. Jenn and I are going with my family down to West to see my grandparents on Christmas Eve. Then we gotta fly back here pretty quick after lunch so we can get ready for the Christmas Eve service at church, because Jenn and I (with the assistance of the epically talented Dr. Gordon Page) will be doing “O Holy Night.” I am very excited about that, I haven’t played a candlelight service in several years, at least not since I was going to St. Andrew’s UMC. Anyway, once all that’s done, we’ll spend Christmas day with Jenn’s family, which is always a treat. πŸ™‚

So what are your plans for Christmas? Got anything big planned, or are you just staying home for the holidays?

Agradecido.

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Can you believe it’s that time of year already? I’m off for the rest of the week after today, so this’ll be it until Monday. Jenn and I are spending Turkey Day at Aunt Martha’s house, then we’re going with my mom down to the Hill Country, and Jenn’s going to meet Mom’s side of the family for the first time ever. Very exciting!

As we take the time to celebrate this wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and the best food in the universe, don’t forget to count your blessings and be thankful for what you have in your life. In these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to remember that while there’s a lot we don’t have, there’s plenty more that we DO have.

I am thankful for the Heavenly Father above, and his son who was sent to die for our sins, both of whom I would be completely lost without.

I am thankful for my beautiful and amazing fiance, who I’ll be marrying in just a little over six months and spending the rest of my life with.

I am thankful for my awesome parents, who have been there for me more times than I can count.

I am thankful for my excellent friends, who bring so much laughter into my life.

I am thankful for my job, which allows me to earn the money I need to pay my bills.

I am thankful for my college education, which I will be completing in the Spring so I can earn MORE than the money I need to pay my bills. πŸ™‚

I am thankful for you, friend. Thank you for reading my quaint little ol’ blog whenever you get a chance. I’m not exactly bringing in massive amounts of traffic here, but I know I have a dedicated few who enjoy reading my blog as much as y’all can. And that’s all I need.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my dear friends. I hope you are able to enjoy it as much as I will. And when it’s over with, let’s all celebrate that magical time of year where we dust off the Christmas albums and listen to them until our ears bleed. Ha!

So what are you up to this week? Travel plans? Eating plans? Sleeping plans?

I’m Provocative in Writeing!

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Why hello fellow forum people! I just wanted to establish myself here as this looks like a dialect right interesting forum! I myself am provocative in things like writeing and computer revamping so if anyoune needs serve farm out me identify! I also Suffer from Sciatica so if you aslo have this condition cause to me know so we can share out some stretches!

How’s that for bizarre? I got that in my Spam folder as a comment here.

So this weekend freakin’ rocked. Saturday was the Grand Life Expo at church, which was a blastie blast. Food, classic cars, farm animals, dogs, bounce houses, music, all free. Very cool stuff. Then Sunday night, we had a party for the Youth called The Awakening, which featured laser tag, basketball, pizza, the Trae Castles Band, and an illusionist named Jared Hall. Jay Lowder also spoke to them that night, and it was intense. We had 50 kids come to Christ that night, it was amazing. We also gave away to the kids an iPod Touch, Airsoft guns, Coach purses, a Vizio TV, and a car. Yep, that’s right, a car. It was just a little ’91 Ford Probe. But hey, it was some kid’s first car, so that was awesome. Plus, it had been totally restored, so it was in practically new condition when the kid got it. Great stuff. πŸ™‚

All in all, it was definitely one of those weekends I didn’t wanna have to go back to work after experiencing. Don’t you hate that? You have this life-changing, mind-blowing, multi-hyphenated-experience… then you have to go back to being Clark Kent. It sucks, y’know? I don’t know how we all get through it without going crazy.

Nevertheless, on and on we go. At least we have some chilly weather to enjoy. I’ve been wearing my jacket most of the past couple of days at work. It’s kind of a weird feeling, I’m not used to being cold like this on a regular basis. Usually I’m the one who’s all like, “Aww man, you weenie! Take off the jacket and be a man!” But now I’m getting cold a whole lot easier for some reason. I wonder if it’s my metamobomolism or the new diet or something.

That’s all for now. Have a good one, friend.

iPSotD:

Holy holy holy holy holy holy holy. . . . .

Holy holy holy holy holy holy holy. . . . .

Dadgummit.

November 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry the blogging’s been all but nonexistent the past couple days. Between school and work, I’ve been having a hard time shifting gears enough to do this. Had a major paper due in Archaeology yesterday, plus an exam in Criminal Justice. So that was a little nuts! But, it’s all over now, so I’ve got at least a couple days of respite before it gets wacky again.

So Friday night, I surprised Jenn for an early birthday treat. I had Misty tell us that she wanted to go to Chuy’s for dinner with us after we finished registering at Home Depot. When we got there, Misty walked us back to where she had already got us a table. What Jenn didn’t realize was that there were a whole bunch of people waiting for us there. πŸ™‚ My dad, Brad, her parents, her aunt and uncle, and several of our friends were all sitting there… and she walked right by them! Only when Kevin jumped out from behind a wall and surprised her did she realize what was going on. We got her good! LOL So that was a lot of fun. She totally had no idea, which was awesome. Tomorrow night is her real birthday, so we’re going to spend some time with her family to celebrate it.

Let’s see, what else has happened?… Oh yeah, Halloween was Saturday! That was a hoot. I volunteered my car to participate in our church’s Trunk or Treat party for the kiddos. I couldn’t believe I was the only one who decorated my car like this:

And the icing on the cake, of course, was Scottie volunteering to be eaten:

After we finished up there, we went to my family’s house for a little Halloween party. Nothing fancy, just hanging out and heating hot dawgs ‘n s’mores from the fire pit. The motley crew for the night:

Jenn and Me
Jenn and Misty
Allen
Brad S.
Scottie and Sam
... and Kevin!

So, fun little turnout there. πŸ™‚

Sunday was our new music minister’s first day on the job. That was an absolute blast. Plus, even though we couldn’t have service out on the new property (dang mud), our pastor brought in a tub of dirt from the property and blessed it. It was very cool, and the service as a whole was SO much fun. We also raised nearly $200,000 in one-day offerings as part of the “first fruits” offering to go towards the development of the new church. I’m pretty sure that was the largest one-day offering in the history of the church. Very awesome.

That’s about all I got for now. Peace out, homeys.