Friday, May 30, 2008


I am afraid I may come off as a bitter young man who spends entirely too much time thinking. While I must say I have been pondering a lot lately, I am definitely not bitter or overly cynical. In fact, I am not sure if you met me in person you would associate me with this blog.

Tonight was amazing. We (a group of about 8 friends) decided to go downtown. All the galleries in the arts district were open and the trolley was free. We wandered from gallery to gallery and went to a really awesome furniture design store. Being social rocks. We also went to a really awesome diner and tasty cheesecake place.

Hmmm. I guess I will surrender some anonymity here. I live in Memphis , TN. While downtown tonight we saw the Lorraine Motel (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated). It has been converted into the National Civil Rights Museum. The motel still stands and you can see the room where he was shot. There is wreath in front of it. Standing no more than 100 yards from that place really makes you put things into perspective and understand what is important in life.

One more story from today. I visited a friend at work and on the way back to my apartment had a feeling to go the long way back to my apartment (I was walking). This was highly unusual because I HATE the heat and generally take the shortest way possible to avoid the sun. Anyways, as I was walking down the street I came across a wallet. At first I thought it was a wallet that had been discarded after being stolen from someone. However, upon further investigation I realized everything seemed to be intact. There was an ID, debit card, library card, and several medical cards. The owner of the wallet was a stroke victim who had several medical information cards. I walked home to look her up in the phonebook but she was not there! Slightly panicked I thought the best thing to do was take it to the police station on campus. I hopped in the car and was driving down the street when I passed a woman who looked like the lady on the ID! Plus, she was in an electric scooter. I turned the car around, parked and crossed the street. I asked her if she was Dana Smith (not actual name) and she said she was. I gave her the wallet and it was a happy ending (besides her Snickers being melted).

All in all, it was an A+ day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Struggling to Rebuild

I was going to write this out in a Word document before posting it. However, I feel like providing more of an actual snapshot of where I am now and what I am feeling. This will be the first of a few meaty posts that will be coming up in the near future.

A little while ago I had a startling revelation. I realized that the only reason I am a Christian is because I grew up in the United States and my parents are Christian. This has pretty much thrown my world into turmoil. Okay, this might be a bit melodramatic, but it has some truth. I have been exhausting myself and drowning in my own thoughts. I am wondering if the maxim "An idle mind is the devil's playground" is actually true. I feel that an overactive mind would prove to be much more fertile ground.

Anyway, I have decided to rebuild my faith. Just because I was essentially indoctrinated, there is no reason that Christianity is not the truth. I just have to believe for myself.

The skeptic in me is running rampant and I don't think you could find anyone more skeptical at this point in time. I have been questioning the existence of God, the divinity of Christ, and pretty much every other tenet of my faith. However, as a pretend Christian for the past decade I find my faith wasn't really founded on much.

In my constant struggle to find truth I have decided to start from the beginning. What do I ABSOLUTELY believe?

1. Man is NOT essentially good. I know me and I know others. We are not good people. We are selfish, arrogant, greedy, apathetic, and more. The notion that humankind is decent does not fly with me. I don't think we are all worthless, just that we are definitely not good.

2. There is a God or some higher power. However, I have been questioning whether the God of the Israelites is this God. I am not so quick to claim "transitive property" and declare Higher Power = God of the Israelites, God of the Israelites = Jesus Christ, Higher Power = Jesus Christ.

3. The divinity of Christ I have also been skeptical of. I am not going to lie. I have been trying to work this out and really wonder if I believe in the resurrection.

Now, before you think I am going to jump on the "New Atheist" bandwagon, please understand that I have tried atheism twice and it just did not work out.

Please accept my profound apologies for the utter chaos that is this blog.

I guess I will end by stating reasons why I believe in God and Christianity.

1. Christianity makes sense. Atonement, Grace, Mercy, and the message of Jesus Christ is INCREDIBLE. I love the message and I want to be a follower of Christ. However, if I am really a Christ follower I must love Christ and not just the message.

2. Something has to take care of sin and God/Jesus Christ seems to fit that bill.

3. I have felt God moving in my life. So many things have happened in my life that I cannot just claim were chance. Even the skeptic in me won't allow me to believe this. The odds have just been too slim. Believe me, I have been trying to argue away some of things that have happened and relegate them to chance, but it is just not working. In fact, something happened today that just seemed to be setup by God. It allowed me to have a beautiful, honest conversation about all the things I am writing about now. I felt so much hope and relief and understanding that it's all going to be okay and I cannot lose the love of God.

I have decided that my future posts will be far more organized. It is not fair for me to make you jump around my random thoughts.

I cannot help but sense an echo of a Grand Design in life. Everyday I continue to passionately pursue God and live a life of Christian love. I know that God did not say "seek Me in vain". Therefore, I will continue to pursue, knowing that I am not alone in this journey.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Life Update and Mild Ranting(?)


I have to say that I am ridiculously blessed. I have more than I deserve. Contentment*, while quite elusive, is so wonderful when found. I cherish these times.

Even though I have not even started my new job, I got a transfer! My new position will be with some awesome people and will involve a lot more travel. I will be be gone up to 40% of the year with potential trips to Canada and Mexico. Hooray! This next week I am working on cleaning up my apartment and organizing the chaos that is my closet. A Goodwill trip is definitely in order. Additionally, I have a ton of people to catch up with. While I do enjoy the land of the Internet, I have a ton of real life people that I need to interact with. I will most likely be slowing down on my posting. Feel free to send an e-mail though, I am always up for conversation.

Hmmm...I was once again going to launch into a rant, but I will save it. I think I will work it out in another post and turn it into a discussion. I have softened so much, in the past I would have associated this with weakness, but not anymore.

I have decided to take a break from reading too many "deep" books. It's time for some light summer fare. Okay, Frank McCourt and Jhumpa Lahiri may not exactly be "light", but they are lighter than the business lit, philosophy, and theology books that have been my recent companions.

I recommend you read The Black Swan.

I leave you with a quote from Sara Groves (in my opinion one of the best lyricists/singers today):

"Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby, and only one makes you free..."

*The contentment is not a direct result of material things. There are many, many other factors involved.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Down From the Clouds

Good Evening

While on the plane this morning my mind was abuzz. I wrote down a quick list of 25 things that were on my mind and that I needed to hash out. The urgency was extreme and I felt like ranting about several topics.

Not anymore.

While I do intend to address the list and start blogging about more serious things, I am in no rush. I am not angry, stressed, or worried. I am at peace. Returning home today the grass seemed greener and the sunshine brighter than when I left. I know it's terrible corny, but it was actually true. Home is quite lovely and I enjoy being here.

During the past two weeks I was away. I was in the Andes mountains in a relatively large town helping out at a school and spending time with some people that are extremely dear to me. I was in the clouds, literally, and the scenery was astounding. Erupting volcanoes and massive green mountains are mighty impressive.

While in the mountains I was in extreme conflict. I was having a crisis of faith and trying to figure out why the hell I believe what I believe. Am I complete idiot? My faith was on fire for the first time ever for the past 10 weeks, but then began to die down once again. I needed the coals to be stirred. Thankfully that happened the last Sunday before I left.

I am brushing up on my apologetics* and it is exhausting. My mind needs rest and time to digest. If C.S. Lewis uses one more literary allusion that I do not know, I am going to scream! Haha, it's not really that crucial...

*I did not know what apologetics was until February of this year. I was so afraid of my own faith it is tragic. Now I am diving in and understanding and working things out for myself (with the counsel and input of people I respect).

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Greetings. I am now a college graduate. It's crazy.

The party was awesome! It was amazing to see all my old friends. Also, I got enough in gifts to last me through the month.

Well, I will be heading out of the country on Tuesday and will not be updating until I return. Try not to miss me too much.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hard To Comprehend

Tomorrow I graduate. It is so hard to believe. I'm done! I still can't fathom it. It is going to be a crazy day tomorrow, but I cannot wait. Friends and family are coming to a party at my parent's house.

Today I had jury duty selection. All potential jurors must drive down to the convention center. We had to pay 5 dollars to park! The jury commissioner apologized for the inconvenience. Downtown was also crowded because of a big event we have every May. Nevertheless, I enjoy driving downtown. While stressful, I love seeing the big buildings, trolley, and river. Anyways, there were around 2000 people there! I ended up getting out in an hour and a half. They were mighty efficient.

Tonight I had a "30 days" chat with my Mom and I left in exceedingly good spirits. I was very honest with her and she was very honest with me. We talked about the different sides of the debate and how an individual understands the bible. She had some pleasantly surprising things to say! She might adjust to this faster than I do, haha. I also mentioned the possibility of a relationship in the future, but that I am still unsure about it. Also, she just finished a book by Barbara Johnson that chronicled her son coming out. She said it really helped her understand that other mom's have been in the same boat. In other news, she may have accidentally outed me to the grandparents who think Ellen is bad for society. It's all good though!

There is a guy who has a bit of a crush on me at school. I had to let him down easy and I feel bad. He seems nice, but I am NOT ready for a relationship at this point in time. I am standing firm and will not pursue anything until I get the "ok" from God (so to speak) and until I am comfortable. I feel like a jerk even though I was very upfront that I was not looking to date from our first conversation.

Well, I am going to read for a bit and then go to bed. I am such a party animal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Heart Hurts

I am very discouraged. My Old Testament Bible Survey left me very distraught.

I will preface by saying that I do believe the leader is a man after God's own heart. However, I was very upset with some of the things he said. First off, we talked about the Earth being created 10,000 years ago (but with age theory) and dinosaurs being on the ark. He did go over other creation ideas as well. That's not really the biggest problem I had, I understand that this is a big debate with people in both camps. What was more discouraging were sexist comments made about men and women and a light mocking of Mormonism and Judaism. If we are supposed to share Christ's love, who is going to listen if we come off as arrogant and full of contempt for the beliefs of others? Who wants to become a Christian if it means demeaning others? What happened to walking humbly and loving mercy?

Merging faith, intellect, and sexuality has proven much harder than I thought. I decided to say an honest (and possibly prideful) prayer last night. The gist was, "Ok God, I know you have called me back twice and that I have felt your love like I have never felt before. I have so many questions and I know I will not get all the answers. Please guide me and help me to love others. Give me the patience necessary to carry out your will for my life. Amen" Well, that's definitely a paraphrase, but you get the picture. Sometimes you just feel a little lost, and it is so frustrating. I miss my old black and white world...