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



I am grateful for people like Tim Tebow (Quarterback for Florida). As mush as I cannot stand the Florida Gators, as much as I rejoice in having beat them in the last several years as an Auburn Tiger, as much as I will never forget that game winning field goal kick ... I can certainly rejoice in and respect the fact that Tebow is using his awesome platform - being a stellar SEC quarterback, Heisman winner, etc - to share his relationship with Christ. I am grateful for a guy who is normal, and 'cool' for the sake of Christians. I say that simply because there are so many Christians who get put on TV who seem as if they are nut cases! SO ... thanks Tebow for your use of your fame for the sake of Christ's glory and renown. I enjoyed your piece of ESPN's College Gameday!


g r o a n

they fight and cry
they sit and wait
they ache and moan
they wail and die

what eye is dry
at their poor estate
hearts moved and
is mercy's loud outcry

their hands are idle
and minds are blank
their eyes are dull

and hearts are fainting

what love may kindle
hearts so dank
except Christ’s so full
a love worth boasting

they feel and hurt
stomachs groan in hunger
they need and want
mouths dry of thirst

our hands to comfort
peace and food to offer
a task not to daunt
water so simple ends the curse

oh, church to action
a world for impacting
with hands of love
born of Christ above




Whats up with poetry?

I have always thought, at any point I ever considered anythings about poetry, had that thought about poetry, Whats up with poetry?

I don't think that way as of this summer. There was a moment, very distinct in time that this happened. This change took place namely because I wrote a poem on my own free will, for the first time in my entire life!

Never would I have considered writing a poem. I just wouldn't have. I respect people who can do it, and do it good. But, it never would have crossed my mind to even attempt to. Yet, something happened in July and it all clicked. I had to get a burden off my soul and talking about it didn't work, praying about it worked in a different way than I was looking for (in a good way), and so .... Well, I was about to burst because I had to get these thoughts out and down on something concrete, and I started writing, and it came out as poem. By the end of it, over a series of days, I had perfected it (in my own opinion) and I impressed myself.

Over the next several weeks I showed this to a select few of my friends, and they approved. In fact, they approved and complimented it more than I imagined they would. I was of course glad to hear that, cause I worked hard on it. It was also humbly, cause I worked hard on it. So, something about the way it makes me feel when I read it, kept me thinking about poems and poetry.

I apologize poetry and I hope we can grow as friends, cause you release something deep in my soul, at times, that nothing else can.

I have written some since this first one, some which I am proud of, some which are more like incomplete, choppy thoughts than flowing, rhythmic poetry. Yet, I remain intrigued with my sudden new taste for this form of writing.

I was told the other night that I might have a blooming talent ... I don't know if I agree, but I do know that I have a blooming affinity toward poems and attempting to write them.

I still think its kind of weird.



am I only imagining it?
have my eyes lied, and heart deceived?
is it a dream, maybe a nightmare?!

was there no glimpse, no smirk, no look?
were your eyes not speaking, penetrating my heart?
what was that moment, an instant fleeting?

did we connect, or is it my imagination?
did we not exchange smiles, hopes, and feelings?
what was the unspoken connection; deeper, more true than words?

was it only so short, so fleeting?
did you slip through my grasp?
was it never meant to be?

the words exist,
trapped in my lips,
my heart breaks to speak,
to reconnect to you!

is there a chance,
in all of space and time?
will there ever be an us?

your eyes are pure,
smile so bright;
filling thoughts by day,
dreams by night.

If Whats Not, Were

i hope you're well.
we haven't spoken in some time.
i miss you, do you miss me?

i think of you often, very often.
you fill my mind, overwhelm my senses, and flood my dreams.
how do you do it?

i wish you were here.
with legs shaking, vision blurring,
may i take your hand?
will you be mine?

what if whats not, were?

if to only truly express things!


"... Our name is our virtue ... "

I was thinking about this line, from Jason Mraz' song, I'm Yours. I like this line. I like it 'cause made me think, "Whats he means, 'Our name is our virtue.'?"

I thought about family trees, and how some people find it so important to maintain a knowledgeable respect for their far removed ancestors. Are our ancestors our virtue? I don't think so. But maybe the case can be made for this if you consider that some grandfathers and fathers who may have had a dying request to their son or daughter, and that child, later becoming a father or mother and passes that same "virtue" on to their children. I don't know. Its not so true for me. I do however hold family to be very important, and necessary for a successful up bringing.

What else could he mean? Name = Virtue?

I have managed to listen to this song many times today. One simply because I love it. It makes me really happy, and it makes me think of the beach. Two, because I wanted to hear the line again. This has helped me to think and mull over the line.

One thing I called to mind while thinking of this was the verse, "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." (Eph 4:1) Also another similar verse is, "Only conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Phil 1:27) ... I am not sure which one I thought of, maybe I combined them. But the point is ... these verses talk a lot about virtue! The name here is that of Jesus Christ - and all that is virtuous is summed up in this high and holy name!

First is "Jesus" - "Yahweh is salvation" - that is the meaning of Joshua, the Hebrew translation of Jesus.
Second is "Christ" - "Anointed" - that is the meaning of Messiah, the Hebrew translation of Christ

So that's the name, for Christians, that designates our virtue; that is a standard or level of moral excellence, goodness, or righteousness (as defined by if by our names we are defining our own virtue, I do not want to be known as Adam Sleeper. Rather, as belonging to Christ. I am called to the gospel of Christ in the name of Jesus, and therefore, I am called by Jesus. Just to be sure, He died for me! ... and whats even better, is that He rose for me!!!

I guess I just got to thinking that if by our name, my virtues are defined; I wanted to be sure that my virtues then matched my name. And as it turns out, they don't. My virtues and moral excellence looks as though they belong to Adam Sleeper, not to Jesus Christ. I am a very moral person, but just because one has strong morals, doesn't mean he or she is moral in their actions. That's how I am. I mean, I don't want to be miss speaking, cause I am not having sex, doing drugs, getting drunk, or looking at pornography (to name 4 "big" issues that face people my age), but I am prideful, easy angered, impatient with some things, let my tongue go when I shouldn't (which I guess is never) I also complain and gripe, I worry and fret, and also I am selfish and typically motivated with the wrongs motives. To say the least these characteristics do not look like virtues to me.

I guess, this is somewhere between repentance and confession, and a charge or a exhortation! I want to change. I desire so desperately to look and be identified with Christ. I want people to look at me, and as they did with Peter, ask, "Hey weren't you with Him?" And I want to be able to say, "YES, Yes I am with Jesus! And will be forever!!!"

I repent, I am a hypocrite and quite often so. I repent, I love Adam a lot more of the time than I love others more than myself.

I am charged and exhorted by Paul, "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of CHRIST!" and "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called ... with all humility (not pride) and gentleness (not anger or wrath), with patience (not impatience), tolerance for for one another in love (not love for self) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph 4:1-4)


Craps Going Down ...

That's right, craps going down! Fish crap!

I started my graduate work this week and it is crap work ... not like busy work, but literally crap work! I am pumping gallons upon gallons of dissolved fish crap water onto daylilies! Its interesting to say the least!

We are in the midst of an epic battle with this fish crap too! It is out to stump us, to drive us to the ground, to lay us low and claim its victory!

But news flash to you fish crap! NOT GONNA HAPPEN! You may try as best you can to clog our irrigation system, but we will conquer you. Your days are numbered and each passing day bring you one step closer to you final demise. So, you may smell, you may clog the spray emitters, you may clog a huge sand filter, but to the like of my peers and myself, you stand no chance!

I am a horticulturalist. I am highly honed and trained and will have the final laugh, a laugh of victory and ultimate satisfaction in falling a foe! So try!, try and scheme and plan your attacks wisely for they are limited! Your crap won't last, my friend. Oh no, so pursue wisdom and plan wisely for when we conquer you, you shall never again threaten us as an enemy, a clogging, smelly foe, no not even a passing thought!

Crap's going down!



mistaken, misdirected, and ignored,
he saw and turned, blushed then poured.
he poured until it was built, complete,
pride flowed with none to compete.
how does it happen?
from where does it sneak?
oh how mistaken?!

he made it what its not,
deception was his lot.
he hoped an illusion,
an empty dream his conclusion.
is the pride so sly?
is the man so blind?
oh how mistaken?!

an idol born,
with innocence sworn.
a dream; no a passion, a desire,
how deep, thick the mire!
must i remain?
will You forgive?
i was so mistaken!

his way is waning,
and heart is fainting.
You must draw near,
come close, come cheer!
You do forgive!
he is so blind, so mistaken
but You do heal!


Confirmation ... It's A Slippery Thing!

So, things with grad school are coming along very nicely as my last few posts should explain. In fact, I am currently in Hotlanta for a conference. Its the SNA - Southern Nursery Association-  Conference and Exhibition. Its a moderate size gathering of people from the Horticulture world, including those of Academia and the Trade. Its also moderately fun, key word being moderately. But, I was asked to come, which I took as a clear hint that I should come, despite not entirely having started my Masters program. You see, part of the conference is a competitive research speaking contest, in which I, yes I, will be presenting at next year, after a year's worth of my own research ... which begins August 12th! So, I am really here to get a feel for what is in store for me next year, which is very beneficial. 

But all that is somewhat beside the point. You see, as I sat through the 17 Masters students presentations this morning (form 8 am to 12 pm), I realized there was a part of me that was alive and excited with the challenges laid out ahead of me, particularly in these first months. Maybe I should say the adventures that are in store for me in the next months! The project I am going to be working on has a lot of people really excited, including myself, I just sort of feel I am going in blind ... but then again, all those who have gone before me, I know, have felt the same way.

But, back to my point again, I felt alive in a new, a fresh way. As I sat there, I contemplated the reality of being able to stand before a host of other researchers and industry personnel and explain new, cutting edge, and real RESULTS from a year of research. I considered the reality of having my name on a piece of legitimate science that nobody else has there name on. Now I know, that probably sounds like a cocky thing to say, but the honest answer there is that, whether or not it is, that is appealing. And maybe, just maybe these results will prove fundamentally explosive, with huge potential impacts both for the Fisheries industry and the Horticulture industry, as my study is a huge combo of the two.

So, I am sitting there taking in this feeling of excitement as a means by which the Lord is confirming this place in my life, as the place that He wants me! I am definitely rejoicing in this, and rejoicing in that He cares and expresses His love in these ways. It is the peace and confidence of knowing that I am not suppose to be doing anything else, at this point in life, than that which I am doing ... even if that means sitting for four hours listening to smart people talk about topics relating to plants! I mean, don't get me wrong, I love plants a lot and really enjoyed listening to most of the presentations! I just know any normal, non-horticulture person would deem us all a bunch of radical "tree huggers." (I am ok with that term.) Anyways, its was a cool experience, one which I have lived and witnessed before, and am confident that I will again. Its awe inspiring to think how God has worked very visibly & obviously during the last few weeks of my life and is continuing to.

But, I say confirmation is slippery because literally within two hours (maybe less, all the hours have now kind of meshed together), my confidence was being tested and shaken. The prince of this world had come and successfully exposed me to things that would in a short amount of time make me second guess all that I just described. This mainly happened by learning that I will begin learning the ropes of a non-functional irrigation system Tuesday, when I return to Auburn. Along with this, I am going to try to begin a log of what has been done to date on the project, as it has already been started by a technician. I also have statistics to learn in the next semester!

I mean, I guess I am just figuring that my under grad years, as they were coming to an end were easy enough to just sleep walk through. I knew what had to be done, and did it and passed and graduated. Now all the sudden I am looking down the throat of a beastly academic system, in which the pressure of performance is relatively high. But, if I would ever take a moment to weigh things out, all the comments made by those who are soon to be my peers, I would be much less swayed than I was today by the enemies sly and devious little attacks. Often times many of the current and more advanced grad students tell me of its good things, the fun things,  and the aid and camaraderie of all the grad students. I mean, there is a decent chance of some pretty cool travel opportunities too.

But, I guess having learned from this, I need to learn to assign to those attacks a big grain of salt, because there is some truth of challenge, unknown, steep learning curves, etc, but all in all, I hear only good things! Plus, God is a God who declares Himself to be worthy of being confident in, such as "I shall never leave you nor forsake you!