Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Hi everyone. Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas! Today we get to celebrate our Savior being brought into this world with his wonderful gift of redemption and grace. I am deeply grateful for this. It's amazing how God can turn lives around. Like mine, for instance.

I'm going to take a step back today. Most of you that read this diary now don't know me from before I found Jesus. You don't know me from when I was a using drug addict, not a recovering one. Today's going to be a little illustration of the power that God has to change lives around and give all of us second chances, even the most undeserving. Fortunately, Christ doesn't see any of us as undeserving.

I kept a blog when I was using. It's not pretty. Many times in the last couple of years I've thought of deleting it. Letting go of the past to move on to my future. I can't do it though. It's such a great reminder of where I came from and the kind of person that I was that I think it's an absolutely great testimony to the power of God to transform lives. A gritty, somewhat vulgar, testimony to be sure.

Without further ado, Here's my week of Christmas from 2004. It's not easy for me to read, I hope it's not too hard for you to look at. This WAS me, circa end of my active addiction.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

THIS IS RATED NC-17. BAD LANGUAGE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DRUG USE, AND GENERAL HORRIBLENESS FOLLOW THIS WARNING. IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED DON'T READ ANY FURTHER. THANK YOU.

2004-12-18

Obligations

What am I doing? I feel pretty out of touch with the real world. It's not a terrible place for me to be at this time of year. Numb. I have succeeded in numbing myself for the holidays. All relationships seem fragile. Unimportant. That's good for me because I'm trying to insulate myself from caring. I am doing the minimum required to get by. I need a connection that I don't feel obligated to fuck when I score from her. I don't mind fucking her neccesarily, I don't like feeling obligated.

2004-12-21

Have a holly, jolly christmas

Hi diary. How I wish that it was not this time of year. When I could look forward to putting some lighthearted entry that makes everyone go "Oh, that bub!" However, I'm not lighthearted at present. I hung out with My Man James last night. That's about the best that I have felt in the last 2 weeks. The closest to "normal" that my life has felt. Christmas music playing. James dancing while I was holding him and singing to him. A beautiful christmas tree. Alabama sitting in the comfie chair watching us, smiling. Some wierd, surrealistic scene. Something along the lines of "Carrie" when the girl goes to visit Carrie's grave and the hand reaches up from the grave to pull her in. Nothing that dramatic happened, of course. The problem is when? When is it going to happen? When is she going to feel the time is right to fuck it all up again? I just tried to stay in the moment, singing to James about chesnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. It was a good night. I can't get over that feeling of impending doom. I'm hanging in there. I really am. Five more days until the day after christmas. I can do it. I really can. I'm just staying in the present, no matter how much I dread the next couple of days or retreat back into the horrors of christmas past. God, I just think it's awful that I feel like this about what is supposed to be a wonderful holiday.

2004-12-22

Bub the red nosed addict.

Time for me to clean up for a couple of days. Have to go to Shelly's house on friday and they will know if I am all strung out. Should be a lot of sleep for me the next 72 hours. I need a good connection that I don't have to fuck in order to score. Actually, I don't have to fuck her. I just have to act like I want to fuck her. I would much rather just get it from her without all that fuss. I have been avoiding her the last week. I told Alabama about her. Alabama and me? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

2004-12-23

Cold Turkey

God, I hate feeling like this. It's been almost 2 days since I've did anything. I can barely keep my eyes open. I had a marvelous chat with a wonderful woman last night. Probably the highlight of the day. I'm thinking I should feel about 70% tomorrow. I'm only running at maybe 40% today. Yeah, it's that bad. It feels like my body is having like intermittent power outages. Like someone is turning the switch on and off. I could probably use a drink. Maybe I will break into the hard liquor to knock myself out. I should sleep like a rock tonight. I hope.

2004-12-24

Merry Christmas everyone

Christmas eve! getting ready to go shopping for the family. Kassie and Beckah aren't coming down. Got a note from their mom this morning. I saw groovebunny's christmas song post, so I decided to post my own. It's a song I wrote some 13 years ago. It's not a happy song so be warned. I hope everyone has a wonderful christmas! Please stay safe. I'm outta here until sunday morning I think. I'll stay safe too, ok? P.S. Sorry the playing is so horrid, first time I have picked up the guitar this month and a long time since I have played that particular song

Rachel

Rachel sits by the christmas tree
Wondering where her daddy's gone
Seems he's never around no more
Seems he's been gone too long

Chorus:

She don't know what's going on
Daddy don't live there anymore
She's too young to understand
He don't live there anymore

Rachel goes to the park to play
She climbs up on the swing
Ain't no one to push her
Least not the way daddy did

Chorus

Rachel goes to sleep at night
Her prayers go unanswered
Mom gives her a hug and a kiss
She don't know what to say

Chorus

And this was one of the good Christmases! Thank you God that I don't have to live like that anymore.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

Welcome to Tuesday Thoughts, which we shall be used in lieu of Wednesday Words for this week. Wow, what a week it was! I guess we should start with last Wednesday.




Wednesday was D-day, as in demolish my mouth day. I woke up a little late, Letty and I had a great breakfast at the Omelet Factory in La Mesa and then headed down to TJ on a rain soaked freeway. Anyone that was in San Diego that day can tell you how miserable the roads were. Now imagine throwing that same amount of water on roads where there is NO real traffic laws that are followed and also no real means of drainage of said water. TJ nightmare. The city was flooding. We had a real problem. We couldn't drive our car into Libertad (barrio where the dentist's office is located) because the water was getting too high. Our appointment was in 15 minutes. What to do?



I think Letty and I would do well at that one TV show The Great Race. At least if they edited out all of my yelling and general panicking while my wife calmly handled the situation. I had the idea to get a taxi. Then I realized we had no money. Actually, I had a $10 bill but no one had American change in the spot we were at. Besides, we weren't even sure how much a taxi cost.


We walked into a supermarket over at the Pueblo Amigo shopping Center. We find the ATM machine and are confused when it tells us it only gives out money in increments of $50. I sigh and tell Letty oh well, we need the money so I withdraw $50. Ummm, wrong. That's 50 alright. 50 pesos. Doh! When I looked at the transaction amount later that was about $3.70 with finance charges and everything. It did the trick though as we soon were standing outside waiting for our 30 peso cab to Libertad.



Our cab driver didn't have quite the same fear for his vehicle and natural flooding disasters as we did. We hopped into the cab and it was like Mr. Toad's wild ride through the flooded streets of Tijuana. Actually it was a lot of fun although I'm sure at some point it was pretty dangerous. I actually forgot for a second that I was getting all my teeth pulled out of my head in about ten minutes and just felt the freedom of being in the present as we slid from puddle to puddle. Actually more like stream to stream.



We made it to the office and walked inside. Dr. Rita was there right behind us. She was ready to go to work. I got in the chair. she dropped the chair back and it was time to get her tooth pulling on.


I'm not quite sure what was going through my mind as my teeth were being individually pulled out of my head. I will say that it wasn't a painful experience. Dr. Rita numbed up my mouth but good and the only thing I could feel was the pressure. I only had one tooth that wouldn't numb up because of how infected it was. That one was a little painful coming out.


It's crazy how much blood comes out when a tooth is pulled. Now, take that and times it by sixteen. My head was like a sieve. Lots of blood coming from lots of holes. The longest part of the whole procedure was trying to stop the bleeding enough so that she could pull the next tooth. Finally, the last tooth was pulled (a half buried wisdom tooth) and Dr. Rita leaned back to grab my NEW teeth.

It wasn't a very ceremonious occasion. Pop and they were in. Mind you, there was nothing covering the holes in my head. Except the dentures. She said to use them to apply pressure to my wounds. Alright, I can do that. Unfortunately it didn't work too well. After about 10 minutes the blood started seeping through the teeth. Of course, at this point we are in the back of a cab heading towards Pueblo Amigo.

My head was totally numb so I couldn't feel the blood and spittle coming down my chin until Letty pointed it out to me. I tried to wipe away as much as I could but it wasn't pretty. Finally we arrived at our car and headed back to the border.

The one great thing about the rain as that there was hardly any line heading back to San Diego. I finally had to take the lower denture out because there was so much blood in my mouth that it wouldn't sit right. Letty had been smart enough to purchase some gauze at the farmacia while she waited for me. It took about 8 large gauze but finally I was able to soak up all the blood and get it somewhat under control. When we got to border inspection the agent took one look at me and we were on our way. Viva las Estados Unidos!

It's 6 days since that wonderful day. The teeth look great! My head is finally starting to heal up. I'm getting used to having them in my mouth. It somewhat reminds me of having braces or maybe closer having a retainer. I'm able to eat a little more each day. I am having a problem with my bottom denture, it seems that it's a little loose. I'll have to wait until January to get it fixed. It's not that big a deal unless I try to eat something with it on. I've pretty much started taking it out when I want to eat something substantial, at least when I'm at home.

Maybe this is going to have to be a two part post as that little story took a lot out of me. If I don't get back on to finish, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank you all so much for praying for me. I don't think I could have gotten through all of this if I didn't believe that He was there with me, watching over and protecting me. Thanks again.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let's try it again!

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 822916

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday words, can you believe it!

Here's a quick update to what's happening in my world. Ya ready? Here we goooooo. Still working the two jobs. It's going alright although I had a horrible week at the day job last week. That last sentence was weak. To add on to all of that I've been having to go to TJ (tijuana for the non san diegans) for dental appointments. Saturday our border wait coming back was 3 hours. Sigh. Only two more and I'm all done. I hope.

Saturday they are going to pull all of my teeth and give me my dentures. I might be down for a couple of days. I'm just a little frightened of that whole process. I'm just giving it to God because I know that he has a plan for me. It would suck to bleed to death in a TJ dental office, you know what I mean? Hopefully, God knows what I mean. Oh bub of little faith!

I'm not sure what's going on for christmas. I've been working so much that I haven't had much time to try and figure out things for the kids. The logistics of my life with 5 kids with 4 different mommas is crazy at this time of the year. I'm sure that it will all get worked out.

One thing I'm totally stoked about is that we get to go to Journey for Christmas eve. Usually we haven't been able to attend because of work and heading to my sister's house for her party. Everything fell into place this year with the times so we are really happy. Now I have to figure out who to invite.

OK, that's it from me over here, a quick update on my fantastic life. I'm not being sarcastic either. I'm so blessed by my Lord to have all of the opportunities that I do have in my life that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Although I still do. OK, off to the shower and work, yay!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I hope I didn't screw up...

My entry into the big blogger tournament in a week and a half. Let's see if this works.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 822916

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day

It's about 3:30 in the morning as I'm typing this. I have the in laws in my room, Faith is at her daddy's and Letty and I were sleeping in Faith's room. Looking forward to having Letty's family over for the holiday. They are really great people who are fun to be around even if I don't understand half of what is said when everyone starts speaking Spanish.

I've been crazy busy with work the last couple of weeks, I really needed a twenty four break. I was so tired yesterday afternoon I could barely move. It's been nice for us to have the extra money, we could use it. I'm grateful to not be sweating the bills, especially around this time of the year.

I haven't had much time for poker at all. A sit n go here and there and that's been about it. I'm getting ready to play an MTT in about 10 minutes. The bankroll on pokerstars has been hanging around the mid $30's. I'd love to final table a larger tournament and build it up a little further so I can move up in stakes. It's been hard to stay disciplined and play within my bankroll. I've been doing it though.

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving. I'm grateful for all the wonderful friends that I have made this year. I'm grateful that my walk with God has gotten stronger and more defined. I'm grateful that God has shown me how He takes care of me, even when I feel I am at my most helpless and vulnerable. I'm grateful that all of my relationships have become stronger because I have the confidence that Someone has got my back. I'm grateful that I can just do what's in front of me and leave the results up to Him. I'm grateful to not have to be in control anymore, that I surrender everything to Him.

Thank You Jesus for making Your presence felt stronger in my life than ever before. Thank You for delivering me from my brokenness by Your grace. Thank You for seeing through all of my flaws and loving me in spite of them. Let me remain awed by Your presence so that I remain grateful for all of the beautiful things that You have given and are giving me. Through You my Lord, who all great things are given. Amen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shoe fly, shoe!

I bought some shoes for someone who needs them. It reminds me of that Steve Miller song. It only cost me $5 and it got someone two pairs of shoes. Or maybe two people one pair of shoes. You could do it to. Help people. Here's how. Click on the banner below.

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge


You'll feel better. So will someones feet. God bless.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Playing my guitar




It feels good to be playing my guitar. I probably should be sleeping. I did nap for about 4 hours earlier so I can probably get away with it. I have this new song that I'm working on that's coming together nicely. It's based on this verse of the bible.




The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. - Matthew 8:8.




It's something that we said ad infinitum in Catholic Mass back when I was a kiddo. It starts of slowly and softly....




D/f#


Lord I'm not worthy




G


To receive you




D/f#


But only say the word, Lord




G


And I shall be healed




Bm


I get down on my knees




A
I'm giving everything




E


I'm crying at your feet




G D/F#


So cleanse me




It sounds pretty cool to me. I recorded it a couple of weeks ago but I haven't found a way to change it from being a one kind of a file to another kind of file. Grrrr.




My anniversary is today but my love is away at work. I bought her some candy and got her a card after I got off of work this morning. Not just any candy, mind you. Good n Plenty and bubu lubu. Her FAVORITES. Because that's what a man does on his anniversary. He tries to remember what the heck his woman likes and provides her with it. Thank God she's a simple woman. If she loved diamonds and caviar I might be in a little trouble.




In my family I've always been the best card picker. Probably because of having the heart of an artist or whatever they call it these days. Here's the card that I got her, not my words, the card's words but definitely my sentiments.




For My Wife




There are so many things


I love about you.


I love the way your face lights up


When you laugh.


I love knowing that


I can still make you smile.




I love the way you bring out the best in me


And won't let me settle for anything less.


I love the gentle ways you have


Of smoothing out a long day's rough edges.


I love the feeling of contentment


that comes from beginning and ending


each day with you.




Everything you do...


Everything you are....


Everything we have together.


That's what I love...now and always.




Happy Anniversary






Isn't that a great card? Like I said, I can pick 'em.
I can pick wives pretty well also. I love you baby, happy anniversary, hugs and kisses!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Words #10?

Let's see, where to begin? I'm not sure. I'm a little pooped right now. I picked up another job. I don't know if picked up is the right words. More along the lines of went back. I went back to the place I used to manage as a sales person for six hours a day Monday through Friday. It was somewhat humbling but everyone was cool with me so there wasn't any major hassles. It's just getting used to working 70 hours a week (although 30 of them aren't physically hard, just mentally). Doesn't leave much time for poker playing or blogging though.

Hardly any reading either. Sorry if I haven't been by your blog in a few days. It's really hard for me to even want to look at the computer screen when I know I should be sleeping. Hopefully I'll only have to do this for a few months until we get past Christmas and all the kid's birthdays.

One thing that I have been reading is Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What. What an awesome book that is. This guy recommended it to me and it hasn't disappointed. It's confirmed a lot of the things I have been feeling and thinking about God and Jesus but wasn't really finding. Except at Journey (my church) which I think really makes an effort if not to be left of right at least doesn't treat you like a pariah. That's really appreciated.

That's about all from me today. Maybe I will go and look for a SOTW for y'all. Maybe I will just sit here and quietly play my poker tournament. Maybe I will welcome my wife home with open arms and just love on her. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Words

My week of non poker playing officially is over tonight. It hasn't been that bad actually. I've been reading a lot more. What sucks is I haven't been feeling physically that great this week. I went to the Doctor on Sunday and discovered that I had high blood pressure (hypertension).

Not really a discovery. I've known it. I've just ignored it. I'm definitely like the ostrich that sticks his head in the sand. If I don't pay attention or can't see it then I can't be hurt by it. It's why I haven't gone for a physical in 20 years. What I don't know can't hurt me.

I know that this isn't true. I know that if I continue to live my life like that there will be a day of reckoning. Maybe that's what I'm trying to avoid. I like eating what I want to eat. Being lazy as I want to be. I can live like that. If I want to deal with the consequences.

The greatest motivator in my life is that I'm a coward. When doing drugs and drinking actually began to look like it was killing me, I was able to quit. Same with cigarettes. I've quit a lot of the things that were killing me. I think now is the time to start.

It's time to start taking care of myself. It's time to start eating healthier. It's time to start exercising. It's time to start going to the doctor and taking his recommendations. What's funny is that it's been harder for me to START these things than it was to QUIT the others.

I lived my life from the time I was 15 years old to middle age like I was invincible. Now that my body is letting me know that my mortality is oh so real I don't know how to do a lot of things that I never worried about before. I don't know how to eat right. I have no clue how to start exercising. I don't know about going to a doctor unless I need to go to the emergency room.

I'm going to have to learn about discipline. Thank God that he has put some discipline in my life. Her name is Letty. I used to pride myself on the fact that I was a hedonist. It's definitely not as appealing to my 40 year old self as it was to my 20 or 30 year old self.

Once again, I'm taking baby steps. The doc put me on high blood pressure medication. I'm taking it as prescribed. It's kinda kicking my ass. I feel tired all the time. I'm hoping that I catch my second wind soon. The last few days I haven't done much but lay or sit around the house watching election stuff. Even a cup of 7/11 coffee isn't getting me moving. I probably shouldn't be drinking it anyway. Sigh.

I didn't know that this post was going to end up being a post on the state of my well being. I guess it's something that I need to talk about. Probably pray about, right?

Lord, thank You so much for taking me from the depths of my addictions and giving me a new start in life. Help me to honor Your grace and Your mercy by taking care of this precious vessel that you have given me to live inside. Help me to understand what a gift my life is and that I shouldn't waste it with my own sloth and apathy. Let me be an example of how You use the least of Your servants to be the greatest of Your testimonies. Not that I should be great Father, but that through You my life may help and touch others and lead them to You. Amen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shameless Contest Grab

As you all know, I dig Phil Wickham. He's kinda like the Ryan Adams of Christian rock. He's having a contest which includes me posting his live version of "True Love" right here on this ol' blog. No worries. Done. Great version of this song.




I also have to link to his blog. Here ya go: http://philwickham.com/blog . Wish me luck! Oh, and whatever you do, don't enter this contest yourself! LOL Just kidding.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SOTW #9

I was searching for a song that maybe can help all of us heal after tomorrow. I know that lots of words and accusations have been shot back and forth over our ramparts in the last couple of weeks. It's amazing how we as Christ Followers are so quick to take up verbal sticks and stones against each other.

The truth is we are one. I think Ed said it well yesterday in his message. I think that I feel like I am one of those on the fringe of the place I call my spiritual home and need to jump in. As hard as that is for a guy that prides himself on his individualism. Most of the time I DO think it's, "Jesus and me" and not everyone else. I think one of the questions he asked, and I'm paraphrasing, I don't have my notes so bear with me, "Can you be a Christ follower and not participate in church?" Or maybe it was a good Christ follower. I can't remember.

I don't know the answer to that question, to be honest. A lot of the Christians that I have met that don't go to church regularly strike me as kind of kookie. Like too much analysis of something without any other perspective but your own is probably not a good thing. We need to hear and appreciate other's takes on things in order to be able to refine and hone what we believe. That seems to be what has been working for me.

The next paragraph I was going to write was about how other things keep me at arm's length from my church. Politics, values, lifestyles, how they keep a wall up between me and others that profess to believe the same way as me. How can I be a part of something that a lot of times I'm at odds with.

The truth is that the only thing that keeps me at arm's length is myself. Oh, and the evil one. He will use whatever tool he can to draw a wedge between me and God. Even my own self righteousness. There's a saying in NA about looking for the similarities and not the differences when we as addicts go to our meetings. I think the same holds true when I go to church. I HAVE to look for what binds us together as Christ Followers and not what separates us as fallible, broken, imperfect human beings. That in the end we all are one. When it is all said and done it IS one love, one life.

So I raise my glass of delicious water (about all I can drink around the house now that I found out about my high blood pressure) to us coming together as One. A great start would be joining Carlos at Ragamuffin Soul as we Pray Backwards at 6:30pm PST. I'm going to try and stay awake and partake before I head off to work. I need to pray and release all of the conflicting emotions I've had over the last week up to God.

Oh yeah, the song! Cool video also. U2 has been one of the bands that throughout the years has kept me close to God when I have strayed so far away from Him. Like shepherds, they found me and carried me back to the rest of the flock. My first divorce it was The Joshua Tree, when my mom was passing away it was All That You Can't Leave Behind. As far as profoundly influencing my life and the way I think about things, U2 would have to be the band that has made the most impact on me. I'm not sure where I would have been without them.

So without further ado or to do...



One

by U2

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame

You say...
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night

One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it's... Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other
One...

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got

We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters Brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other
One...life
One

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Brenda, what a good idea! Since you took my advice I will listen to you and post a really cool Ryan Adams song just for halloween. Because I can. If you are easily offended maybe you won't want to listen. It's kinda a little bit about the way I used to live my life. Well, for right now, both Ryan and I are clean and without Halloween Heads which is nice. Wishin' I had some candy corn though.





Halloweenhead
Ryan Adams


Here comes that shit again
I've got a halloweenhead
Head full of tricks and treats
It leads me thru the nighttime streets
Black cats and falling trees
Under ladders always walking
Salt shaker spills just throw it over your shoulder, babe

I've got a bad idea again,
i've got aHalloweenhead, halloweenhead

Head full of candy bags
Costume shops and punks in drag
Head full of tricks and treats
Places where junkies meet
And it leads me thru streets at night
That's alright, i just watch i don't go inside

It's all the same old shit again
I got a halloweenhead
I got a halloweenhead
Lord, i got a halloweenhead

Guitar solo

I got a halloweenhead
Lord, i've got a halloweenhead
I got a halloweenhead
Oh lord, i've got a halloweenhead

Here comes that shit again
I've gota halloweenhead
Head of tricks and treats
It leads me thru the nighttime streets
Downtown
Downtown
Downtown
I've got a halloweenhead
Lord, i've got a halloweenhead
What the fuck's wrong with me,
God i'm a halloweenhead

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Civility




Anyone else struggling to stay civil as the election draws near? I know that I have had to hold my tongue (or my fingers) a few times in the last couple of days. Our passions are becoming more inflamed as Election Day fast approaches. Whether you are a democrat or a republican, a liberal or a conservative, things are quickly becoming hot and words noticeably shorter.


Let's face it. We all have our issues. The beliefs and thoughts that define us. Some of this comes from our family. Some from life experience. Some from religious values that we have adopted. I'm sure that my world view as a 40 something, white, recovering addict, lower middle class (I hate to say poor because I think I do the real poor an injustice), Christ following man is much different than a 30 something, black, educated, Muslim woman. Or any of the vagaries in between.


For me, it's not even really an issue of what I believe or who I believe in. The real issue is how do I handle myself with the grace that God would want from me. Do I attack people for not thinking along the same views that I do? Should I let them know that I am horrified that anyone would want us to maintain the status quo? Even that last sentence is a shot that I should probably remove but I won't. I guess that's my humanness showing through.


To those that don't see things the same way that I do here's what I'm going to do. I am going to love you. I am going to turn the other cheek if you strike me even if I want to fire right back at you. I am going to pray for you. Not that you come around to my point of view but that you get whatever it is you are looking for. I'm going to work on the log in my eye and not worry about the splinter in yours. I am going to respect the fact that even brothers and sisters in Christ can disagree.


Why? Because I think that's what Jesus would want of me. I don't think that He needs me to hold others accountable for their actions. He does just fine. I think that those are the things that He asks me to do in The Bible. I think that one of His main messages was to be accountable for MY thoughts and actions and not others. I think that He wants me to be compassionate and merciful. To drop the rock and walk away.


It's sad to me that I even have to write a post like this. I'm only doing it as a reminder to myself that I always need to handle myself in a way that brings glory and honor to my Savior. To make sure that my heart and my mind are always seeking Him first. OK, I'm laughing a little at myself. It's also a post to maybe remind some of my more bellicose Brothers and Sisters what we are really all about. Who am I trying to kid?


Anyways, if you are reading this I just want to let you know that I love you and Christ loves you and because of that I can agree to disagree with you yet still want only good things for you and yours. God bless.

Monday, October 27, 2008

SOTW #8

I love this song. It always seems to be banging around in my head. Isn't it catchy, I'm always singing the outro. You know, the "it's allll, it's alll, it's all because of you....". I must make my wife crazy. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it.



All Because of Jesus

Steve Fee

giver of every breath I breathe
author of all eternity
giver of every perfect thing
to you be the glory

maker of heaven and of earth
no one can comprehend your worth
king over all the universe
to you be the glory

I'm alive because i'm alive in You
it's all because of Jesus I'm alive
it's all because the blood of Jesus Christ
that cover's me and raised this dead man's life
it's all because of Jesus I'm alive

every sunrise sings Your praise
the universe cries out your praise
i'm singing freedom all my days
now that I'm alive

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Words

I've been so busy reading everybody else's blogs that I almost forgot today was Wednesday. Actually, I'm not that excited about today. Why, you ask? OK, you didn't but I will tell you anyway. I have to go to the dentist.

Not only am I going to the dentist. I'm heading south of the border to the dentist. Ay yi yi! Not that I'm really afraid of the dentist that I'm going to (she's absolutely cool and does great work) or even that I'm afraid of the dentist. I'm not particularly fond of heading across the border anymore. There's been so much violence in TJ lately that you get that impending feeling of doom before you head down there. At least I do.

The good side is that we are finally getting around to fixing my teeth. They are such a mess from all the drug and alcohol abuse, non care and smoking that I did in the past. I can't wait to have a new set of choppers. If you notice in my pictures I rarely smile for the camera or if I do it's only a half smile. It's not because I'm a tough guy, it's because I'm a vain guy.

I know this sounds silly but pray for me today. That we get to and from Mexico safely and that we can get together on a plan with the dentist that we can afford. We have dental insurance through Letty's job but it only covers 60% of the services. I have no idea what it's going to cost. The other upside of this is once I get my teeth fixed I'll be more comfortable playing music out again as well as maybe think about getting back into white collar work. The wear and tear on my body from lifting heavy stuff 8 hours a night is starting to take it's toll on me.

That's all I got. I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

SOTW #7

Alright here's a song that I couldn't find the video for. The reason is that Prince doesn't dig Youtube. Or any other tube that he ain't getting paid. That being said, it's still such an awesome song. I loved Prince when I was in my late teens and early 20's. I loved how he mixed spirituality with sexuality and made it all come out so psychedelic and groovy. This track was off the album Sign O' The Times. I think it might have been his best overall, although I really dug his early stuff too. Let's see if this link will work.


Get this widget Track details eSnips Social DNA



The Cross

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry, he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross

Ghettos 2 the left of us
Flowers 2 the right
There'll be bread 4 all of us
If we can just bear the cross

Sweet song of salvation
A pregnant mother sings
She lives in starvation
Her children need all that she brings

We all have our problems
Some BIG, some are small
Soon all of our problems
Will be taken by the cross

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry 4 he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross

Ghettos 2 the left of us
Flowers 2 the right
There'll be bread 4 all, y'all
If we can just, just bear the cross, yeah

We all have our problems
Some are BIG, some are small
Soon all of our problems, y'all
Will be taken by the cross

The cross
The cross

Anybody else have an artist that you wouldn't normally associate with Jesus busting out a Christian song?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday Words, late edition!

Didn't have it in me to do any typing yesterday. I'm not sure why. A little October laziness I suppose. Is there such a thing?

I think that I finally have the car figured out. It's running so let's see how long that will last. I'm happy about that, now I don't have to use Letty's car. I'm sure that she's happy as well!

One really cool thing that happened this week is that we are sponsoring a child from Compassion International. I just got convicted when I was reading Anne Jackson's blog post about it yesterday. We aren't rich by any means but I do know that we are richer than most other places in the world. It's nice to be able to throw a little love and prayer across the world to a child that could use it. How often do we get a chance to make a real difference in someones life. I love that!

I've been doing a lot of praying and reading of my Bible this week as well. I'm in the last part of Exodus which is like pulling teeth. Isn't that a horrible thing to say? Actually it's starting to pick up steam as the Israelites built a golden calf and God wasn't having any of that. He's a jealous God! I need to remember that as well. I'm constantly putting false idols in place of God. Whether it's money, poker, football, the internet, guitar, or whatever I usually find a way to put it in place of God. I'm getting better though.

It sure was fun watching the Chargers beat the snot out of the Patriots Sunday night. Although not as fun as if they had their whole team playing. Nonetheless, it was fun. Hopefully we can keep things roll against the Bills and then they are off to London for a game against New Orleans.

I was on a pretty good roll playing poker but have been in a mini slump the last couple of days. I think maybe I'm a little burnt out and need to stop for a day or two. We'll see about that. Hope everyone is doing well, especially Brenda who just went through a little surgery. Throw some prayers her way or better yet, stop in to her blog and say hi!

Monday, October 13, 2008

SOTW #6

Oh man, this is a good one. I'm sitting around the house thinking about what should I put on here. It's song of the week Monday, for crying out loud! I'm also whipping butt on poker and reading everybody's weekend updates on their blogs so it's a good day. I start thinking about what was the first really "Christian" music I ever listened to. Stryper? No! Then it came to me. Of course!



Jesus Christ Superstar. I'm not sure if other Christians dig this movie or not but I sure do. The singing and dancing are phenomenal. Ted Neeley plays Jesus, Carl Anderson is Judas, and Yvonne Elliman is Mary Magdalene. They are all so young and just full of the spirit. I think that it got a negative review from Christians when it first came out because it was such a radical departure from anything about Jesus that had come before. He wasn't a perfect Jesus. He was human. He could also sing like an, well, like an angel. Or better. He's Jesus after all.

The hardest part was picking out one song. So I didn't. I picked out 4. One from all the main characters. The first one on here is probably my favorite. Yvonne Elliman sings it. "I Don't Know How to Love Him". If I could only pick one song this would be it.




Lyrics:...Close your eyes close your eyes
and forget all about us tonight.

MARY MAGDALENE:

I don't know how to love him. What to do, how to move him. I've been changed, yes really changed. In these past few days, when I've seen myself, I seem like someone else.I don't know how to take this. I don't see why he moves me. He's a man. He's just a man. And I've had so many men before, In very many ways, He's just one more.Should I bring him down? Should I scream and shout? Should I speak of love, Let my feelings out? I never thought I'd come to this. What's it all about?Don't you think it's rather funny, I should be in this position. I'm the one who's always been So calm, so cool, no lover's fool, Running every show. He scares me so.I never thought I'd come to this. What's it all about?Yet, if he said he loved me, I'd be lost. I'd be frightened. I couldn't cope, just couldn't cope. I'd turn my head. I'd back away. I wouldn't want to know. He scares me so. I want him so. I love him so.

OK, check out the dancing and singing in this next scene. It's Simon the Zealot trying to convince Jesus to overthrow Rome. Larry Marshall is doing the singing and dancing in this one.




Lyrics:

CROWD
Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God So tell me that I'm saved.Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God So tell me that I'm saved.Jesus I am with you. Touch me, touch me, Jesus. Jesus I am on your side. Kiss me, kiss me, Jesus.

SIMON ZEALOTES

Christ, what more do you need to convince you That you've made it, and you're easily as strong As the filth from Rome who rape our country, And who've terrorized our people for so long.CROWDJesus I am with you. Touch me, touch me, Jesus. Jesus I am on your side. Kiss me, kiss me, Jesus.Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God, So tell me that I'm saved.Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God, So tell me that I'm saved.Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God, So tell me that I'm saved.Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God, So tell me that I'm saved.Jesus I am with you. Touch me, touch me, Jesus. Jesus I am on your side. Kiss me, kiss me, Jesus.

SIMON ZEALOTES

There must be over fifty thousand Screaming love and more for you. And everyone of fifty thousand Would do whatever you asked them to. Keep them yelling their devotion, But add a touch of hate at Rome. You will rise to a greater power. We will win ourselves a home. You'll get the power and the glory For ever and ever and ever You'll get the power and the glory For ever and ever and ever You'll get the power and the glory For ever and ever and ever You'll get the power and the glory For ever and ever and ever Forever Amen! Amen!

The next scene is Judas after he turns over Jesus to the Pharisees. I don't know how Carl Anderson wasn't nominated for an academy award for this performance. He was soooooo good. Did I mention how much I dig the music in all of this? It was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. They sound familiar to you?




Lyrics:

JUDAS
Now if I help you, it matters that you see These sordid kinda things are coming hard to me. It's taken me some time to work out what to do. I weighed the whole thing out before I came to you. I have no thought at all about my own reward. I really didn't come here of my own accord. Just don't say I'm ... damned for all time.I came because I had to; I'm the one who saw. Jesus can't control it like he did before. And furthermore I know that Jesus thinks so too. Jesus wouldn't mind that I was here with you. I have no thought at all about my own reward. I really didn't come here of my own accord. Just don't say I'm ... damned for all time.Annas, you're a friend, a worldly man and wise. Caiaphas, my friend, I know you sympathise. Why are we the prophets? Why are we the ones Who see the sad solution - know what must be done? I have no thought at all about my own reward. I really didn't come here of my own accord. Just don't say I'm damned for all time.
ANNAS

Cut the protesting, forget the excuses. We want information. Get up of the floor.

CAIAPHAS

We have the papers we need to arrest him. You know his movements. We know the law.

ANNAS

Your help in this matter won't go unrewarded.

CAIAPHAS

We'll pay you in silver, cash on the nail. We just need to know where the soldiers can find him.

ANNAS

With no crowd around him.

CAIAPHAS

Then we can't fail.

JUDAS

I don't want your blood money!

CAIAPHAS

Oh, that doesn't matter, our expenses are good.

JUDAS

I don't need your blood money!

ANNAS

But you might as well take it. We think that you should.

CAIAPHAS

Think of the things you could do with that money, Choose any charity - give to the poor. We've noted your motives. We've noted your feelings. This isn't blood money - it's a ...

ANNASA

fee.

CAIAPHAS

A fee nothing more.

JUDAS

On Thursday night you'll find him where you want him. Far from the crowds, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

CHOIR

Well done Judas. Good old Judas.

Oops, I goofed up. Wrong song. That was before he gave Jesus up. Here's after. BONUS video!

This looks like a two parter my computer is messing up.

So what's your favorite Jesus movie?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Live Blog: Creating a song

OK, here's something I've never tried before. Live blogging a song. I was messing with my guitar and just playing this little riff. I have the guitar capoed at the second fret. I'm playing kind of a C to D chord pattern, pulling off of my my middle finger in the C cord about halfway through the strum pattern, pretty common for me. Actually maybe the last note of the c strum I pull off. I'm muting the strings with my picking hand and I'm picking with my fingers, giving it that staccato sound. Lord knows if I'm spelling this stuff right. 10/9 12:19pm

I'm humming a little melody to the chords, now I need to dive into a chorus. I'm going with G, Am, C, D, pretty standard progression it might change. Let's see if I can throw some words on top of this puppy. 12:22pm

You held me
Through the storm
You loved me
Through the fire
You saved me
In my darkest hour
You led me
Through the valley

First verse? 12:36

I think the 3rd and 4th what are they called? stanza's? need to be reversed. To where it's You led me, and then you saved me. Now to the chorus, I think sometimes thats the hardest part to write. 12:40pm

You
My Rock and my Salvation
Through every generation
A cause for celebration Hmmm, sounds ok when I play it. 1:10pm

You
My Savior and Redeemer
To whom I seem so eager
To raise my hands to ....

You!

kind of weak but try and find something to fit with redeemer, ugh! Remember, these are just beginning ideas, ok, I've got to go to sleep! 1:33pm

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One More Time

One More Time
66ohm-bub ©2001

Gsus4
And as the tears start falling
Gmaj
And as the world keeps spinning
A7sus4
And as my heart keeps breaking
G5
I need a new beginning

Gsus4
I'll give you diamond brilliance
Gmaj
I'll give you words that sing
A7sus4
I'll make the world stop turning
G5 Em
If I could have you to hold

Chorus
G
One more time
Csus2
For old time's sake
Em D
Go ahead and leave me
Em
Bleeding
G Csus2
See how much more I can take
Em D Em D Em D

Verse two:
And as the clock keeps ticking
And as the sun keeps shining
And as my eyes are blinded
I need a new beginning

I'll give you amber sunsets
I'll give you words that sing
I'll make the clouds stop covering
If I could have you to hold

Capo on 2nd fret

This is the best I could do with the chords, it's pretty close to what I actually play. Man, that is a lot harder to do than it looks, I will tell you that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday words Vol. #5



Even though my car is refusing many attempts and dollars at getting it back into running condition, the week is still going pretty well. Having two cars is definitely a good thing. Letty seems to think it's the battery now but I'm not sure. I'm hoping it's not the starter or some other kind of electrical problem.






















I think this might be a rant which if you have been following my blog at all is not a normal posting technique. But c'mon. Is anyone else watching these debates between the candidates and thinking what kind of fools do they take us for? Maybe they have us pegged exactly right. Tell 'em what they want to hear.












The economic bailout package that they passed for the mortgage industry blows my mind. Mind you, both of the candidates voted in FAVOR of this as they are telling you how they are going to reduce taxes and change health care and still actively promote wars on two fronts. Where in the world is this money supposed to be coming from? In fact, after the house of representatives (what a bunch of crooked people) voted against the original bill I thought, wow, our representatives are actually making a stand. Come to find out, all they wanted was a little pork thrown into the bill before they would pass it. It makes me sick to think that these are the people that are running my country.












The thing is you have to vote for someone. It's really a chore this year. Thank God there's one person that makes this an easy decision this year. It's probably not who you think and not for the reasons that a lot of my more conservative Christian brethren would make their decisions on. Unless you are on my myspace. Then you would know for sure which way I was voting.












Where is Jesus in all of this? Personally, I think He's standing there scratching His head wondering how he's involved in any of this. Let's see. Love your neighbor. Pull the plank out of your own eye. Render unto Caesar's what is Caesars. What good does it do to gain the whole world but to lose one's soul? Feed the hungry. Take care of the poor. Those are the kind of things Jesus cared about. Forgive. I have to do a lot of forgiving every day. As well as ask for a lot of forgiveness as well.












I think the ironic thing is that if Jesus came into this world today He would be laughed right out of the Church. Probably kicked out once He started going on about how it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I just hope that He wouldn't kick over the mocha machine on His way into my church on Sunday. I love me my Frozen Mochas.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poker Brag

If anyone remembers my bankroll before august 27th was nothing. If you look over to the right you will now see that I have taken nothing and turned it into $20. A cool little milestone. That could buy me like 6 mochas or iced mochas at Journey. I could take Letty to a movie if we didn't eat anything. We could maybe squeeze in a lunch at Denny's. It could be the buy in at a tournament at Viejas. A delivered pizza from Round Table (if I have the coupon). A half a tank of gas. Five Red Baron frozen pizzas. Six gallons of milk. Needless to say, a ton of fun.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SOTW #5

This was the first song after I started going to Journey with Letty that really caught my attention. It's by Charlie Hall and it's called Marvelous Light. I'm a little tired so that's all that you are getting out of me today. Have a great week!



Marvelous Light

Charlie Hall

Verse 1
I once was fatherless,
a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness wakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep

Verse 2
Your love it beckons deeply,
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life.

Pre-chorus
Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen
VICTORIOUSLY!

Chorus
Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

Verse 3
My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!

Bridge
Lift my hands and spin around,
See the light that i have found.
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light
Lift my hands and spin
See the light within...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Meeting New Friends and Influencing People

So here's something new that I have been doing lately. I didn't think of it myself, I got it somewhere else. At least the initial idea. If anyone knows let me know so that I can give credit where credit is due. I read too many great blogs.


Oh yeah, the thing. Check this out. I'm always looking for opportunities to further God's Kingdom right? I think one of the best ways for me to do this is prayer. But what to pray for? I'm not real good at long, elegant, intricate prayers. I can do a little short, sweet prayer pretty well though. Here's a great way that I found to find prayees. Ya know, the ones to be prayed on or over or however we go about doing that.


I go to http://search.twitter.com/. It's a search engine for twitter. I type in the word "pray" into the search window. Guess what happens? A whole list of people to pray for! How cool is that? Of course some of them are like "pray that the Cubs win today." That of course is a prayer that I will have to reject. God does NOT love the cubs.


I say a prayer for or about anyone that needs a prayer on the list. After I do that, I look for the ones that look like they REALLY need some prayer. The ones who you can tell are hurting. Like I have been hurting before. How is it described in the Bible? They moaned? Yeah, those guys. Maybe it was groaned... hmmm I guess I could look it up. Wait, I digress.


These people, these moaners or groaners (which I mean with all due respect, I believe the original meaning of the word was something along the lines of a physical cry to God for help which a lot of times I am too prideful to utter, although I have) I click on their little blue link button. Because most people on twitter are geeks like myself, they have a link on their profile to their website or blog. I then proceed to their website (usually a blog) and leave 'em a little note saying Hey and let them know that someone indeed is praying for them. Again, as long as it's not a prayer for the Cubs, Raiders, Yankees, Broncos, BYU, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Chiefs ummm anyway, you get the point. That's the meeting new friends part.


The influencing people? I think that when you are praying for someone or something you are giving the best influence that you can. Asking God for something for another person is as real an influential thing as it gets. I wish I could take that last sentence back, but you know what I'm talking about even if I can't get the words out of my fingers correctly.


Thank you God for the opportunity to be of true service to people with my little acts of prayer. I know that you are listening to your people as you always have and through your kindness and love for us answer them whether it's what we were asking for or not. Help me Lord to be an instrument of prayer so that others may come to believe that You are. Amen.


How do you find people and events to pray about?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mr. Postman




I heard a knock on the door. Then a quick scuffling of feet down the stairs. I opened the door and what did I find?



















I quickly scooped up the envelope and hurried inside. I locked the door behind me. I didn't want anyone to find out that I had this:
















Needless to say I was in a state of shock and awe at my wonderful luck!







Shock







Awe










I was excited as a schoolgirl on Christmas morning as I tore open the package. It was all here. The complete Stacy From Louisville Bible College Survival Pack. The Pocket protector, the floaties, the pantyhose (which incidentally were never explained) even the nose candy (not what you are thinking, get your minds out of the gutter). So naturally, actually more like unnaturally, I had to try everything on.






Can you believe it? As soon as I put it on I could feel psalms and proverbs were getting ready to proverbially come flying out of my mouth! Anyways, much thanks for the wonderful gift package, If only I had received my honorary diploma I would have been set.











Monday, September 29, 2008

SOTW #4

I am absolutely digging this guy right now. His name is Phil Wickham. He's a local San Diegan that's making good. The first time that I heard this song I was struck by how much he sounded like one of my favorite secular artists, Ryan Adams. I guess it's not as big a surprise as you would think. I was checking out his myspace page and he lists Ryan as one of his influences. Along with Jesus and his parents, so that's some pretty good company. I really love how this song is put together. He talks about it a little in the beginning of the first video.

Yes, the first video. There were two really good ones that I found and I couldn't choose so I'm leaving them both here for your perusal. The first one is him live and acoustic. A really pretty version of it.





The second is actually a video that was made by my church, Journey. Actually, the guy who made is Dan Stevers. he's done some really amazing work at our church of which this video is only one small example. Check out his other stuff here. It was made for our Easter service. I'm still trying to figure how I missed that. Where was I on Easter? I couldn't tell ya.



True Love

by Phil Wickham

Come close listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers Broken Heart
Tears were filling Heaven's Eyes
The day that True Love died, the day that True Love died

When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died

Search your heart you know you can't deny it
Come on, lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The Earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt The Fathers broken heart
Tears were filling Heaven's Eyes
The day that True Love died, the day that True Love died

When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died

Now, Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Oh, He is alive
He rose again

When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died

Come close listen to the story

Does this guy rock or what?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tito, get me a tissue.

I've seen this video quite a few times now and every time it never fails to make me cry. I don't know if it's because the message is so personally powerful to me or it's just a powerful message period. It might be a good idea to have something to wipe your eyes with after this. I know I needed it.



I found it again on Dustin's blog. He's got something good going on up in Alaska. You should check him out.

Bonus SOTW!!!!

OK, I'm not sure how many of you have seen this video but it might be my most favorite Christian Rock song and video of all time! It's definitely been making the rounds.

The Band:

Sonseed

The Song:

Jesus Is a Friend of Mine





So, I love this video and song. It makes me happy. What do I find out today over at some unknown guy named David Crowder (He must have a real ego problem to name his band after himself). That's right, he ripped off Sonseed! Check it out:




As a musician I'm shocked and appalled when I see unknown bands stealing songs from giants of the music industry. Just like Kid Rock ripping off Lynrd Skynrd. Unbelievable.

Does this blatant attempt at song stealing offend you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Words Vol. #4

Thanks for all the birthday wishes from everyone. It turned out to be a wonderful day. I got off from work and headed home thinking it was just going to be a normal day. My wonderful wife had other ideas, however.

Letty surprised me by taking the day off from work. When I got home I thought she was headed out as per usual. No way man. She had plans. Off to Viejas for a little breakfast action. I had the bacon and eggs special while she had their breakfast burrito. Both were delicious.

After breakfast I got my entry into the morning no limit poker tournament. We had about a half hour wait before the tournament started so we lost some money playing Monopoly Slots. The tournament started and I just got there in time to see the first hand. I ended up taking the first pot down, that was the last one I would win.

I was treading water for the first couple of levels. We colored up and then I ran into this hand. I made a couple of mistakes I think. The guy that was under the gun two to my left raises. A guy in mid position raises himself all in. I wake up to 10-10. Mistake #1 not raising all in after him. I thought that the guy behind me would have been put all in by me just calling instead of raising. Anyway, he called which left him with about $1,000 behind. I had him out stacked by a couple of grand. The flop comes A-J-x. Rainbow. UTG guy checks and I check behind him. On the turn a brick. He checks and here comes Mistake #2. I check. I should have pressured him out of the pot, put him all in. I didn't and it would cost me. The river is a harmless-looking 8. He suddenly pushes his last $1,000 in. I call and he shows pocket 8's for the set. Ugh. The 1st all in guy mucked his hand. I'm down to about $1,500 in chips. The very next hand I'm dealt A-J. I push all in and say "steam raise," hoping that someone will give me some action. The same guy that had just rivered the set calls immediately. He tables A-4. What happens? He hits the 4 on the flop, I don't improve and take the staircase of shame from the poker room.

Fortunately for me, my beautiful wife is still in the casino so I'm not alone. I meet her over in the bingo hall and we play a session of bingo. Letty came close once or twice but no luck. We got the heck out of there after the bingo. That was enough losing for us for the day. All in all we had a good time and my wife was an awesome good sport about hanging at the casino with me. It's definitely not her thing although she does enjoy the bingo.

That was about it for the day. By the time we got home I was tired. I needed to go to sleep. I played some online poker for a while, then finally dragged my ass to bed. It turned out to be a great day and the best part of the whole thing was that I got to spend it with my love. It doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SOTW #3

OK, even though it might seem like it, I'm not in love with Brooke Fraser. Maybe her voice. Definitely her words. I promise, I will pick other artists but I mean, c'mon! This song just hits it out of the park for me. One of the girls at church yesterday just killed it. Did an absolutely marvelous job with it. Todd asked us to underline any part of the song where the words stood out, where you felt like God was speaking to you. I underlined "Still standing."

What did you underline?




Shadowfeet

By Brooke Fraser
Off the Album "Albertine"

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
Toward home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing, less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when i began
And i have sensed it all along
Fast approaching is the day

[CHORUS]
When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
But I've heard rumours of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

[CHORUS]

You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things
You make all things

[CHORUS 2]

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

When time and space are through
I'll be found in you
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday Words Vol. 3

Been a good week here in bubville. What with Gracie's birthday, me doubling up my bankroll, and winning Stacy From Louisville's guess the post contest, it's been very exciting around here. The only downer of course was watching the Chargers get robbed in Denver on Sunday.

The message at Journey was what I needed to hear. It was about bouncing back from snags in the workplace. About how to be o.k. with your job even if it isn't the most glamorous or exciting job in the world. It was about how God has a plan for you in whatever work it is that you do. God wants to reveal himself as a provider to us.

I don't have the most glamorous or highly sought after position in the job market. I'm an overnight associate at one of the largest employers in the world. I don't want to type it's name because they are pretty tough about their employees talking outside of the walls but it rhymes with "Fall-fart." I'll give you three guesses.

Compared to what I used to do, working at fall*fart is like jumping off of a cliff. Financially AND glamor wise. I used to run a company that had 40 people under me. Now I have, oh let's see, me.

Why, you ask? What would make me leave what I had been successfully doing for 15 years? There's only one answer. The Lord came and messed up my life. I couldn't do the things that I used to do to make money. I was a salesman. At one time one of the best in my little industry. Check it out. This is important. God took away my hustle. I couldn't do it anymore. It became pointless to me. Before, I was a stone cold closer. Now, I can't close a door.

I think the reason it happened is because God truly wants something better for me. The people that I worked with and associated with for the last 15 years are a tough bunch. Maybe the best description of them would be hard-livin' folk. I believe that God wanted to take me out of that life and deliver me to a new one. Even now, it's hard for me to put into words what my life was like, especially the last 5 or 6 years of it. How about it was a really tough way to make an easy living.

I didn't know what to do. I couldn't do my job anymore. I didn't even WANT to do it anymore. I don't know if it was burnout or God moving me to do something different. I'd like to think it was God. I had to find a way to make an honest living. I swallowed my pride and gulp! applied at Haul*kart. I will tell you this. The day that they hired me it was like a black cloud had been lifted from my head. I felt free. Sometimes God knows what He's doing even when I don't.

It hasn't been easy. I don't make a lot of money. It's tough, physical work. I've already broken my hand once out of my own stupidity. Here's the thing though. I love it.

Why? Because it gives me the opportunity to be an example of how I believe God wants us to live life. For the first time in my life, I go to work knowing that God is right there at my side. To truly not just say the words "The Lord will provide" but to believe and live them. To work hard and be the best employee I can be even when no one is looking. It's harder than it sounds. I think that's the deal me and God have though.

Would I like to do something different eventually? Probably. God hasn't taken me there yet so I guess there's still more work to do at doll*part. Here's another cool thing. I see me rubbing off on other people. Of course, I can't quantify it, but I think the people I work with seem to smile more, are friendlier and work harder around me. That's like seeing God in action, it's wild stuff!

God, thank you for the opportunity to be a difference wherever I'm at. Thank you for taking me out of the mental and spiritual bondage that I was in and delivering me into a completely different world. Let me continue to be a light to those around me and to keep bringing glory to Your Name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Starving Jesus

This is so rare as to be unprecedented I think! Two posts in one day. Here's the deal. I'm playing in a poker tournament on the internet, reading blogs when I stumble into Holy herectoclite's blog. I don't even know if I spelled that right but it's close. Anyway, there is this video on there about two young preachers from http://www.xxxchurch.com/ that go on a 40 day fast and a 40 day tour of the country. It's an amazing thing to watch and also for a good cause. If you have an hour (I know, almost impossible anymore) check it out. I am so glad that I did. Maybe the best video I've seen on the 'net. Here it is and I believe the website is http://www.starvingjesus.com/.





p.s. I won the tournament!!! See what a great video it was!

Alright, I can't make the google link work. If you REALLY want to check this out, type in "google starving jesus" and you will see the video link on there. I suck. Thanks.