care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


New Step in the Sidewalk!

Yeah so ... there is really no way to end up looking (or for that matter feeling) cool after this little incident. I mean of course, speaking in generalities, bike wrecks are cool, right? 

If by 'cool' its assumed they make people laugh, after the victim is determined to be fine, then yes, they're awesome! The only reaction from people is, "Are you OK?!" - "Yeah, I'm fine." - (Then laughing ... ) "That was awesome! Haha! I mean, do I need to call for help?" ... If that is cool, then I am the epitome of cool at this very moment!

Basically what happened is this:

I was riding to go settle some loose ends for grad school, zippin' around campus on my mountain bike, and enjoying the wind in my face. Then, there's this large hill I was cruisin' down toward my final destination, and I let the break go as always, simply swaying my weight to and fro to weave around innocent pedestrians. They all get a little frightened, even though they only notice me right as I pass them. Anyway, I continued and came around a small corner to see where I would come to a stop ... I just didn't assume I would stop this time by  being laid out flat on the cement! See, the end of this little stretch of sidewalk use to be just a steep slope down to one of the main walkways through campus, affectionately referred to as The Concourse

I admit, its been about a year since I have been to this particular part of campus, which by the way, I don't mind avoiding! And apparently, Auburn just assumes it can make changes to their sidewalks and no one will be hurt. Well, lets just say I only got acquainted with the new step in the sidewalk after I figured out why I was laid flat out on my back with alarms of shooting pain randomly spread over my body, while my bike was still in between my legs ... that is in a very awkward, tangled manner, still between my legs! That's right, BIKE WRECK! You really gotta love them. They are beneficial for many things: building humility, building tougher skin (literally), aiding in the confrontation of one's own pride, providing a laugh for on-lookers, amongst other good things.

Well, what happen is that I went for more of a ride than I bargained for, as I went over the handle bars. You see, as I said I was standing up as I cruised quickly down hill ... I would argue I was pullin' 18-20 mph!. My weight was already towards the front of my bike, so as my bike and I went over the edge of that new step in the sidewalk, I weight shifted even more forward! I remembering seeing two things: my front tire, and the cement I was flying over, literally flying! The step was a good 15 feet from where I came to rest. And amidst seeing my bike tire, I apparently managed to rest my chin upon it for a very brief minute, because the underside of my chin is raw, very raw and oozy! And that slight injury I just find to be very bizarre, like how my chin and not my face?

The bulk of the fall I took to my right shoulder. My shirt didn't rip, but is also no longer white up there on my shoulder, and beneath that is just some ripe strawberry patches. But the thing I am most grateful for is that my head - as of now - is fine! It bounced after my shoulder hit, cause I vividly remember the sharp shooting pain of it bouncing on the brick walkway (by this time the concrete beneath me had changed to brick pavers). 

All in all, I would say the score right now between Auburn University pavement/walkways vs. Adam is 2-0. I am loosing. But is four years to have only had two decent wipeouts, I would say that's pretty dang good. I am still loosing, but my records stands as good in my own opinion.

I would also be guilty of not giving the Lord the glory he deserves if I do not mention how he protected me ... I mean, I hit my head and was wearing no helmet, and I walked away. It could have been so much more severe. There was also a brick wall on either side of the walkway, and I managed to some how fly/slide right on through ... ooh, if I had hit my head on one of those!

I also need a new handle bar. And all I have to show for such a great wreck is the above, a badly sprained wrist.


God might be Laughing at me too!

As soon as I turned from the previous post, I opened C.H. Spurgeon's Mornings & Evenings, beginning my time with the Lord, a time of confession. Would you believe that the following is what ol' Spurgeon would have written for this day:

Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph’s confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like spirit to say "nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!" By this is meant continually upon his mind, he is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before his eye;-the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in his hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on his heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart for ever. Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of thy love continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm; thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, thou beholdest me as wearing Christ’s garments, and washed in his blood, and thus I stand accepted in thy presence. I am thus continually in thy favour-"continually with thee."

I guess all I can say is nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!

To Teach Myself ...

So, this past Sunday I was given the chance to teach the high school youth's Sunday School Class. It was a lot of fun. I actually really enjoy any chance to speak, which makes me question, "Do I just like listening to myself teach?" ... And despite this being a legitimate question, I know that's not true. I enjoy speaking because, 1) I really just like it, 2) it usually is about what God has done and is doing in my life, and therefore I am able to use it to testify to His continual and manifest goodness, and 3) I desire so desperately that my life be used for the glory of God, and the salvation of men ... and if by having a chance to speak to kids or adults, or whoever, I typically will be glad to.

But, I do not do this for the enjoyment of hearing my own voice and teaching ... but maybe I should after how I have acted today.

You see, I spoke about faith. I have come to learn that faith is more than "something in our hearts or our souls … more than some vague concept of a feeling or mysterious power that we claim to have." I told the Sunday school class that I feel, truly believing that faith is better defined as a verb, rather than a noun.

I define faith as a sure footed and and steadfast belief, followed by an action based on that belief. Would you agree? I would argue that faith is doing something, literally. A few examples of what I mean:

- Faith is trusting God, that he loves you ... Then instead of just stopping there and enjoying the fact that God loves you ... it is moving from a belief to an action ...for me, in light of trusting that God loves me, the action typically comes in the form of getting beyond myself (beyond my own disbelief that I could sin in a certain manner) and actually worshipping God for loving me. Worshipping because I really really trust he does! Does that make sense? It makes sense to me, and I have lived this out and had to learn it many times, and in fact I still need to learn it.

- Faith is looking a temptation in the eye and saying, "NO! Christ, I know, is better and more fulfilling and lasting!", and then turning your back and fleeing to Christ, away from the temptation.

- Faith is trusting that God promises a way out of temptation and following his lead to the escape route, which may literally be leaving a room, a conversation, a joke, a movie, a TV show, turning the radio station … whatever it takes!

Those are three very basic examples of what I mean. Faith always involves a trust aspect and a doing aspect. And please hear me on this ... The doing gains us nothing but a lack of sin in our lives. It is not a doing that can aid us in salvation, as salvation is solely and strictly an act of God, by the grace he has poured over us in Christ Jesus.

So, faith in my book is a trusting and a doing of something that aids us in following God, as he guides us. It is not passive and it is not easy. Faith is a battle, and a choice. It is not as if Abraham acted faithfully by saying “OK God, I know you will provide a lamb for me to sacrifice instead of Isaac, so I am just not going to go at all, it might scare my boy here!” He acted and followed God to the place of sacrifice before he ever saw the lamb!

And I say "To Teach Myself" because today I have not chosen to live or act obediently toward God in faith. I mean, I know I am going to sin, as that is my nature ... but today has just been stupid. Literally, if people had been around to see how frustrated and annoyed I was with my bike, I probably would have been laughed at. And I deserve to be laughed at. In reality, all the trouble was not because of my bike, but because of the pump. See, I was changing a long time flat tire on my mountain bike, and the pump nozzle just refused to grad the valve on the tube like it needed to, so ... I took off the old tube, replaced it with the new one. Then I started pumping and it would not inflate. I worked for another twenty minutes trying to make it, before I actually took the tube and tire back off. I took it all back off to see if I had messed something up and to check to see if the tube had a hole in it. It didn't! I put it all back on, and it did the same thing, which is to say it did nothing. Then I decided to hold the nozzle lightly, and the air pumped straight on in. Oh boy! All this while, I am not being very kind to my bike or my pump ... namely in words. I acted not like a 22 year old. I am ashamed.

So, all in all, what should have taken like ... maybe 10 minutes, took nearly an hour! Oh, I was mad. And mad is to say the least. Anyway, since then, I have been attempting to get beyond it. I am now. But, as for faith, I have not yet come to the point at which I truly trusting that if I go to God, he will accept me. And I know He will, its just that I am stubborn and prideful. I am prideful in that I find it hard to believe that I would act like I did this morning. So, I wish, and I am now beginning to listen to my owns words from Sunday morning. I know God loves me. I know he is longing to forgive me of this stupid sin.

Yet am I ready to forgive myself? Am I ready, rather capable to forget about it as God will, as soon as I ask for forgiveness? And if I don't, is it an insult to God's own ability to forgive and forget?

Oh if by trusting that God loves me, I would be motivated to go to him, getting over myself to worship and walk with him!

God, would your love be greater than my own pride and lack of faith!


Yeah ... Whatever!

I want to know whatever happen to "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!"? I raise this question because I have very recently been contacted by a long lost friend from nearly 12 years ago and some things have happened in that persons life, that led to a child out of wedlock, and in the email ... there was this little line, easy to miss ... that just said, "I know ... you are shocked, that too is complicated." It would have been an easy line to simply read over, but I feel there is more emotion and feeling behind a sentence like that, than a reader can pick up ... If I wrote a sentence like that, I assume I would be holding onto some level of, "I wonder what he/she will think of me when I tell them this". You know what I mean?

I guess my point is that I really long for the time, when we don't have to assume that we are going to be judged - especially by other children of God - for slip ups, mistakes, wrongs, or whatever. I mean, how awesome would it be if this reality were now ... if we didn't walk around in robes made of the fine linens of "I have it all together-ness"?

What if we walked around being to confess all our sins to each other, only to have the other embrace us and tell us, that in Christ we are forgiven ad He has forgotten it and so can we?

Or what if we walked around only to see bill-boards up with all our sins ever committed scrolling on them? How crazy would that be? We would then soon be accepting each other for who they are, no matter what they had done, because we would be there in the ditches with them. We would all be openly covered in our own crap! And that would do us all a lot of good ... and then, maybe then, we could get over ourselves and say, "Oh yeah? ... Whatever, there's no condemnation! Rejoice, your forgiven!"

What if?


Eventually the Water has to be Turned Off ... Right?

Right. Well, I don't know if, in reality a fire hydrant can ever run out of water or not, but lets just assume it can and therefore it must be turned off sooner or later just assume this to be the case for the purposes of what I am about to say. Assume it because the fire hydrants in my life have run out of water for now!

Two Fridays ago (July 17), I had a meeting with a man I will grow to know well over the next two years, a professor from Auburn, in the Fisheries Department, Dr. Chappell. I met him at the Holiday Inn ... no not like that ... like in the parking lot before he continued his travels for the day. Basically all he said was, "Adam, we have the necessary funding for you to start grad school in August." Then we parted ways.

So, my life before this little meeting was totally up in the air. I didn't know my name, who my family was, and couldn't even recall ... well basically I didn't know when I would start grad school, or if I ever would. And even in the scenario of knowing I would begin at all, I didn't know if I would begin in August or wait until January. So in light of that, I moved half of all my belongings home from Auburn, preparing to live in my parent's basement and to get a job for the fall. Then Dr. Chappell tells me the good news, and I am starting my masters program in August, in Auburn.

Since then, you have heard about the fire hydrants being switched from off, to full blast ... which by the way is powerful enough to knock you out, to take your feet out from under you, to fill your ears up with water so nothing makes sense, and still strong enough to confuse you about this recent discovery they call "gravity"! You get my point?

Now, to continue with new information ... As of yesterday (Friday, July 24) my entire life for the next year and a half has been determined. I am now on payroll at Auburn University, I have about a thousand new keys (one of which means I can go and fish at the fisheries units in Auburn for free), and I have a class schedule ... this being the least exciting of them all. Furthermore, I have found a place to live ... and having been in a house for the last two years, I am grateful to have found a new house and to be rooming with a great friend of mine. And it only cost $560/month total ... so lets do some math, that means I am paying $280 a month plus utilities. And it is much more up to date than my current residence is ... I mean this place I have lived in the last two years, "The Yellowish House," is quite literally falling in. The new house, which is also yellow (by chance) is taken better care of.

So, literally in a matter of a week, I have gone from totally unknown plans for my life to a really pretty focused and narrow outlook of what I will be doing over the next two years or so. God has a funny way of working, seeing that I began this process seven months ago and now in a week it all falls perfectly in line! That's cool.

The mind of man plans his way,But the LORD directs his steps. - Pro. 16:9


Fire Hydrants

That's how I feel right now. Not that its a bad way to feel, but that definitely captures my life the last 20 hours or so.

You see, this past Friday I found out, after six months of intense effort and work, that I will continue to live in the loveliest village on the plains as I attend Auburn University for my graduate studies. I will be working toward a MS in Horticulture (or maybe Fisheries) over the next year and a half or two.

And then yesterday, I had my first formal meeting with two of the professors who will be on my graduate committee and that's when the whole fire hydrant thing kicked into full swing, with unstoppable force. BUT, don't get me wrong! I am pumped about grad school. I have not a single doubt in my heart that this is where the Lord has sovereignly led me to, for a purpose I will only know in time to come. It is just a little intimidating, that's all. I mean, we met for around an hour and covered more odds and ends in that meeting than any other hour of my short life. It was exciting, and intense. I guess those two words, exciting and intense, continue to come up ... I guess that's the best description.

But for my research, it will be interesting ... and according to Dr. Sibley, it has the potential to revolutionize a hurting industry (ie - Fisheries in America). I will be responsible for determining how to take the nutrients produced by the fish (nutrients in the waste water) and use it to grow plants, really any plants in theory, but for now the ones that we know can be sold and make money. First I have to determine which nutrients are available in the waste water and to what degree or concentration they are present. After that, it must be determined what amount of nutrients each species of plant requires, and in what order. That is, do they need to be grown in the first half of their growing period on fish water and then on clear water, or vice versa. Or rather maybe species 'X' doesn't grow well at all on the fish water, and maybe species 'Y' grows ten times better when grown solely off of the fish water. Either way, these are the type of things I am going to be responsible for determining. I feel as though there will be a significantly steep learning curve.

All the while, I am in need a of home. I am kind of like a stray dog right now. I don't really belong anywhere, but soon enough I will. If a buddy can tell me tonight that he will continue to live in Auburn, then I will be living in one of two houses I found today. They are both pretty old, but with a lot to offer. And having lived in a house for the last two years, I definitely want to live in one again. But who knows what will happen?! And I am ok with that, for I belong to One who knows all and to One that nothing comes as a surprise!

And yet, amongst all this ... seemingly chaos ... I received an email from a guy I met a week ago who asked me to get lunch. Why? Because he assumed I felt overwhelmed and needed a heads up on the life of a grad student. So, I am having lunch with him next week, prepared to get the inside scoop on grad student life. I am very grateful for this. I fill I am in need of anything that might help me gain some confidence, and the Lord being aware of the needs of his children, has graciously provided me this opportunity, even before I asked.

But, as I say that I don't feel confident, or that things are intimidating, I realize the foolishmness coming out of my mouth, because I have every reason to be supremely confident ... not because I am able ... namely it is because of the opposite ... that is because most things are impossible with me. And my track records shows this lack of success. But as I just read this morning, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:27)! This has got to be one of the greatest promises of all Scripture. Consider, that salvation is certainly not possible through my obedience and natural goodness (or yours or anyones), for my own natural goodness is actually as filthy rags and is not goodness at all. My natural bent is toward anger and wrath, selfishness and pride, and these certainly do not exhort me toward humble submission to the Great I Am! But, salvation is not only possible but complete in the great power and work of my Heavenly Father. He has sent a great and remarkable answer to this staggering problem we face ... His name is Jesus Christ. For the Bible even says, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Th 5:9)!

So that's why I am confident, even as Adam and my feeble and weak flesh may shutter and shake every now and then, but in my heart and in my soul, I rest confident not in myself, but the in the One who has loved me and gave himself for me!

Fire hydrants!?


3 Seconds ...

Saturday served as an incredible "American Day" for me. I say "American Day" because all that I did seemed to fit into my mind's eye picture of what Americans do on Saturdays. For me this means a number of things, but in this instance that thing was working in the yard. Of course I wasn't in my yard as I was finishing up an install job for some friends, but still ... I was outside, sweating, getting dirty, and working. I was also getting paid. I worked for nearly 6 hours. Came home, took a dip in the pool (very American), showered and then watched TV (another point for being American), and then continued to go out to eat with my family.

We went to a place called CANTINA, its this little a-la-cart Mexican place in Birmingham proper. If you haven't been you need to go! Its amazing, and their margaritas are supremely delicious.

Once we finished, we sat and chatted some before my mother and I left in my car. I was headed to get on to Hwy 31, to go back to our house. Apparently I was very set on getting to Hwy 31, so set that all I saw was the road sign for 31, not the red light a block up! As for my mom, she too was not looking at the red light, as we were in the midst of a nice conversation. Then it happened ....

Ungluing my eyes from the Hwy 31 road sign, I noticed the red lights in front of my car, screaming at me to stop ... simultaneously my mom hastily warned of the red lights. As my vehicle sped along about 40 mph, I noticed not a singular car even getting near the intersection from the direction that had the green light ... "I figured no big deal, I have done this before and will make it once more"... Only, this time, there was a power line pole blocking my sight of the Landrover careening through the intersection ... in a split second, my life went from light-hearted conversation with my mom, to survival mode!

Every instinct I can think of kicked in gear ... my heart rate jumped, my vision focused, and my ears blocked out all noise ... and at 40 mph I jerked the wheel of my Jeep Cherokee as hard as I could to the right, attempting to avoid the front passenger side of the Landrover. I can recall not a single skidding noise, not a single scream or word from my mother, not a single thing other than seeing the front corners of our two cars aimed maliciously at each other, and seeing my corner all the sudden begin to unalign itself! As for the driver of the Landrover, he slammed on his brakes, skidding. As I steered right, my car slid straight only to catch a single foot from the front of the Landrover and swing back out in front of him, completely missing his car, into the edge of the intersection. We stopped. "Damn it!" I cried. Down goes my window and his too ... "Man, if you'da hit me I woulda knocked the shit out of ya!" was the first thing I heard! I was a little taken aback, but not offended as I would have done the same thing to myself if I would have hit him. We exchanged two more sentences, made sure that the other was alright. Before we left he dropped the 'F'-bomb and all was cool.

To say the least, my mother was rattled and she described herself "weak in the knees!" I felt like I could fly or something I was so hyped up on adrenaline and epinephrine. Wow, I could feel my heart beat in my temples and in my elbows. Never have I come so close to a wreck and never again do I want to.

All I have to say to this is praise to my great God who was obviously protecting me and my mom that evening. I can imagine the angels holding and directing the front of my car away from the front of that guys Landrover. His car skidded to a straight stop, while the one that would have flipped if either did, pulled an almost literal 90 degree turn around the Landrover without ever coming off four wheels!

That is my weekend survival tale.


Who is Adam Sleeper ... ?

I wanted this to be my first blog for two reasons ... one is very obvious, (1) to provide the single soul who may decide to read this with a decent explanation of who I am and hope to be, and also (2) to challenge myself in answering the question I used as the title.

So, who am I?

I am first and foremost, a child of the Most High God, the Alpha & Omega, the Almighty, and the Everlasting. I am a coheir with Jesus Christ, based on his promises provided in the Holy Script of God. The only way either of the previous two points are true is simply because Christ humbled himself from his divine and heavenly prerogatives, and came to live as a man on earth, in the lowly form of human flesh. ie - skin and bones! He humbled himself to the point of being a servant and a ransom for the souls of men, by submitting to God the Father's plan of salvation via his death on a cross of wood. As he suffered and died, by the power and mystery of God, every hint and indication of my sin & disobedience toward God was poured upon Christ on the cross. As this happened, for those who believe and entrust all they are and have and hope to be in the person of Christ, his righteousness replaces our own wickedness and dark sinful hearts, that the holy God of heaven would be pleased to call us children and heirs with Christ! This is what does and must define me! And if I fail, it is by the grace and mercy of God that I may be raised up to walk and strive to look like Christ Jesus once more.

Secondly, I am the second of three sons in my family. There is my mom, Lynn, and my dad, Ron; along with my two brothers, Ben (Bub) who is married to an awesome (now sister of mine) Brooke, and there is Mark, the baby of the family. But Mark is 18 so its not really as if he is a baby. God has blessed me in different ways with all of them and I would not change a single thing about any of us, cause we make such a great family. My parents seem to serve more as friends now than as parents, which is great! I have been blessed with the parents that my friends say they wish their parents would be like, that's a pretty cool thing.

We moved frequently during my childhood and youth, which is a blessing too. It was hard, every time we left a city and friends we loved, but we were always provided with on going relationships from the old city and new and wonderful friendships in the new city. So, now at 22 years old, I have a network of friends all over the southeast US (especially), but that area is expanding as friends are now moving out of the southeast to begin there own new families. I have many amazing friends that I will never quit loving or staying in contact with, even if it be vague contact (cause those who know me, know I am not good at staying in touch).

Another aspect of who I am is summed up in two words: LUNG TRANSPLANT. I have a genetically inherited chronic disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Basically over time it kills the lungs via abnormally thick mucus secretions in the lungs, and it affects the digestive system due to not producing the enzymes needed for food breakdown and nutrient absorption. And as the CF patient ages, CF progresses, becoming more and more difficult to fight, eventually leading to that person's death. That is why it is called chronic!

But with me, I was in dire need of a lung transplant when I was 18, because the CF in my lungs had ravaged them, making breathing impossible to the point that I literally had one, or maybe both feet in the grave! But God, being gracious and good, provided me with lungs on the very day I was told I would have died without the transplant. It was Christmas Day 2003, nearly five years ago! The only effect this has on my life now is that I take medicine in the morning and 12 hours later in the evening everyday! Now I am able to do the things I love - road and mountain biking, rock climbing, and to go on hiking trips!

People ask me frequently if I live wondering how long my (new) lungs will last, and I tell them I don't ever think that way. Its not that I choose to not think that way, but rather that I just dint think that way. The way I see it, my time by medical standards was spent up 4 & 1/2 years ago, so that everyday now is simply a gift from my great God above. And if my lungs are to give out after this sentence than great, I live 4 & 1/2 years longer than we all thought I would, and on the other hand, if I live on these lungs to be 108 then that is just as great (although I dint actually want to live to be 108). Being asked if I think about how long these lungs will survive is like me asking you if you thought about how long it will be until you are in a car wreck, or struck by lightening, or you trip over a toy of your dogs and land hurting your foot only to stand up, feel the pain, fall over in agony and in thus doing so break your neck ... Hopefully you see my point, NO ONE thinks that way and neither do I! I simply seek to live life to the fullest and to pursue God as best I know how, trusting Him in faith that my life will turn out to be all that He has already planned it to be.

Along similar lines, I don't avoid risky situations and I try with all that is in me to never back down from a challenge. I looked CF square in the eyes and never quit fighting by the strength of God's power in me through Jesus Christ, and albeit physical, it was conquered. I hold to the same mindset on any challenge, face head on and by God's grace I shall prevail being conformed more and more to the man God wants me to be. As for risks, I just think risks are fun. I am not going to go on about this topic cause I could talk for a while, but I enjoy the adrenaline rush and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from taking a risk and coming out on top. Having said that, I am not stupid in my risk taking and I calculate the risk before I actually take it. I have jumped out of a plane!

Then there remains the dreams and hopes for my life ... it occurs to me that when I start talking this way, what I dream of is often times different and contrary to the norm of someone my age. My dreams may even be considered a bit unrealistic too ... but I serve a God who says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" ... so I consider my dreams a complete reality, assuming that my dreams line up with the plans the Lord has for my life.

First, I want a wife and a family. I want to sweep some girl off her feet, and love her like there is no tomorrow, to love her as Christ has loved me and the church. God has put in me a very romantic mindset ... not necessarily like rose petals and candle lights, although I like that kind of romantic stuff too ... but more so that when I find this girl who will be my wife, that no question stands in her mind that she is beautiful and make my world complete. Romantic in the way of being a gentleman and maybe for lack of a better word chivalric. OK so maybe this one is not out of the norm at all, but some are coming that are. Also, along these same lines, I want to adopt a child. This has been a burning passion in my heart for some time now.

Secondly, I want to live opposite of the American society that exists today. The idea of pursuing "The American Dream" actually makes me sick, literally I hate this concept of purpose in life. If all life is, is to be married, have 2.69 kids, a mortgage, a boat and 3 cars, and retire to play golf ... then NO THANK YOU! I don't think God calls us to comfort and certainly not to a life of excess and ease ... look at Christ's life on earth, He didn't even have a place to rest his head! I do think God blesses some people with a lot, and those people are then responsible to use their means for the glory of God. But I don't think God blesses people with excess so that it may be spent for the sake of their own comfort and pleasure. And retiring to play golf and walk a beach and collect shells is certainly not my dreams for my old age in life ... that picture of retirement is courtesy of John Piper making fun of a lot of people's perfect retirement plan! I would rather, if I do live here in the States for most of my life, learn to live way under my means and have an excess to give away and use for the purposes of loving the forgotten, the down trodden, and the unlovable of the world! I don't want to come across as self righteous about this, its just that I feel strongly about it. So know that I am not condemning anyone, I am just against the idea of comfort and ease in life as a purpose and goal!

Thirdly, and one of the greatest desires of my soul is to spend a significant portion of my remaining years living abroad, outside the US helping the poor and "least of these" around the world, that by some small means I may improve their living conditions and share the love of Christ with them. I used to think I know where I wanted to spend my life doing this, but that has changed in the last year or so. Thus, my dream concerning this remains vague, but I know that the Lord has provided me with several traits that confirm this in my heart ... a severe case of wanderlust (which is both good and bad), a grand sense of adventure (thus the willingness to take risks), a bold interest and love for different cultures along with an open mind toward trying things offered by other cultures, and finally an affinity toward international peoples with which Auburn is very blessed.

Finally, and what I pray drives my every decision and thought is my desire to glorify God above all else, to be a sold of lunatic for the God who loves me unconditionally, to be passionate about salvation in Christ alone because Christ has been passionate for the salvation of my own soul. I want to be a mirror for Christ, so that others see his love, grace, peace, and forgiveness in me ... in fact, it would be best if they saw not me but rather the very person of Jesus in me. This is my ultimate end. Not peace with men, not comfort, not adventure or travel, not a wife, and not a family, but a life dedicated to God, who loves me more than I may ever know!

That, I deem to be a fair explanation of who I am. Welcome to my world.