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


Moderation in Toleration ...

if you asked me, whether or not I think I am a tolerate person ... I would answer yes.

I dont mean, tolerant, as in every "religion is right" ... or "if it works for you, great" .... I mean, I can tolerate most personalities, people types, etc... from the "always crude, I wish there were a filter in his head somewhere" person, to the "she is really really immature" person, and the "nothing he says is true, ever" person ...

but I have a hard ... nearly impossible time ... dealing patiently with people who act as though they care about you ...  the person who will wish you well for the day, say hi and bye, who are courteous and kind ... but underneath it all ... you can sense (and at times even witness) the cold, brutally cold truth of the heartless, sucking-up, back-stabbing manner that truly characterizes that person ... of course this only happens when they have no idea you are watching or listening ... 

this makes me sad for those kind of people ... and even more saddening than that, is that this post has been spurred by a run in, recently, with this type of person ... b/c honestly, I feel pity for them, b/c to be that type of person, I truly think you have to be that way for so long that you really, simply do not know it anymore ... and thats awful, cause a lot of even meagerly aware people can pick on this type of person ... 

and I guess, to clarify, I dont hold it against them or mean any harm in writing this ... it just takes extra patience and mindful choices to be so, when I am around this type of person .... 


things I love about the morning and waking up, even if it is early and still dark outside, because there are better things to do than sleep...

1) the lying in bed time b/w the 1st sound of the alarm and the second, third, fourth snooze alarms ... b/c i am  nearly awake, and aware that it is very cold outside of my covers, making the warmth that much more enjoyable

2) a really hot shower ... to the nearly scorching temperature

3) coffee ....i love it, a lot .... sort of like an addict

4) the best part of any morning ... prayer time and reading the Bible, and being with my God and Savior ... this is by far the greatest, most motivating, most exciting part of waking up, and of the entire day and life!

5) bright sunny skies!

6) a big filling breakfast - ideally: scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa or with avocado and hot sauce and cheese, real oatmeal with peanut butter, a lil' honey, some brown sugar, cinnamon and some pecans, some toast or yogurt ... and of course coffee (again)!

thats why, in the morning the cup is entirely full!


guns ...

Hooray for guns ... guns are amazing. and within the last year, I have quickly lost my gun virginity ... having never grown up hunting or what not (besides hunting birds with BB guns), I have had no reason to be familiar with guns at all ...that is until some of my buddies and I started shooting every so often ... like target practice.

the first thing I shot was a .22 hand gun ...  very small. its your typical street crime handgun.

the second was a 9 mm handgun ... it has a little kick, and is both intimidating and fun ... control with a handgun is a skill for sure

next I shot an old school .45 handgun, a revolver ... that was just awesome ... but not as powerful as you might think ....

then i went on to shoot a .22 rifle ... this is like a bb gun on roids .... and without the anger. ... its simply really fun, and I recently purchased one of these .... its a semiauto with a 10 round clip ...

this was followed by an ar-15 ... a civilian issue swat gun, it was a semiauto with a 30 round clip, unloadable in less than 5 seconds ... extremely intense!

then I shot a 270 rifle ... a massively powerful rifle ... my first time was off the hood of my car at some targets, the second time at a deer ... which I killed (back in Dec) ... and then again a few weeks after the semester began, for target practice ....

then today, i finally got to shoot my gun, and a buddy of mine had a 45 handgun ... not a revolver, but a really nice, 7+1 clipped, relatively new handgun .... I didnt have time to shoot it, b/c I ran off to study (what i should be doing now) .... but he shot it once before I had my ear plugs in ... and the noise was so loud and powerful, i about fell over dizzy .... it was a sight to behold ....!


why am I still amazed?

Sometimes I think God does things in my life, just to see my reaction ... and a lot of times, those reactions are ones of surprise, excitement, and sometimes, they're delayed reactions ... mostly because I often lack the time to think things through.... or I simply dont always take the time to. But, I think that reactions of surprise, excitement, and joy to the little surprises He gives so often are pleasing to Him... 

So, this is the tale of one of the Lord's gracious acts in my life, from the relatively recent past.

For a brief background, my master’s research is concerning fisheries and horticulture ... and for ease sake, making them work together, from using the same resources ... and it (not me) receives and gets a lot of attention from a number of organizations and people of influence. This is because my research is very innovative for Auburn, the Fisheries dept, and just innovative in general. It is a valuable resource for producing a consistent and dependable food source, for areas in the world where food resources are either scarce, or non-dependable.

So, a few deans from various colleges on campus came out to see my research. My professor and a guy I work closely with were out there too, simply showing them around, explaining why this research is valuable and how it can be relayed as a food production system ... but the thing is, this group of deans is the leaders of the AU/WFP partnership ... that is the Auburn University/World Food Program. The WFP is a branch or organization of the UN that basically is aimed at feeding the starving around the globe.

In the recent pass, the WFP came to AU in hopes to begin (& to begin it with AU) a coalition (if you will) of universities from around the US to support the WFP and spread awareness about world hunger ... its Universities Against World Hunger! Go check it out!

So, as those deans were out at my research, Dr. Chappell informed Dr. Giles (Director of AU/WFP) that I am interested in humanitarian aid work, and want to use my future master’s degree toward that end. ... and the rest is kind of history. 

Dr. Giles expressed interest in my interest in feeding the hungry ... and invited me to come & participate with the AU/WFP organization. Not only that, she expressed interest in hearing my opinions and concerns to be voiced at the meetings. I haven’t gone yet.

But the part that is really amazing, is that since its beginning (last year) ... the annual "Summit" they have has been held in Auburn, and is being held in town again this year weekend. And more than that, Dr. Giles invited me to attend. Then, on her own, she also sent word to the interim dean of instruction of Ag, a Horticulture professor who I know well, and asked him to reserve one of the 5 college of Ag "scholarships" available for the Summit! 

So, not only am I about to get in on what the UN is doing and hoping to do across the US in regards to hunger, but I am going to get there for free, courtesy of Dr. Giles gracious extension and aid on my behalf .... which is by no chance, straight from the hand of God ... He is blessing my masters with so many opportunities and chances that are huge! And that’s not even the beginning of it ... but I don’t know much more, I just know there is a lot going to happen with my degree in the next several months of years, a lot with my life ....I am just anxious and antsy to see how the Lord is going to use me, and where he will take me!


Sweet Moses ... and peaches too

Peaches ... I dont really like them, actually at all.

But, I do love them in things, peach cobbler, home-made peach ice-cream, and as of this morning, PEACH JELLY ... 

As a diabetic, I buy and eat Smuckers "Sugar Free" jellies ... and really, they are better in my opinion than normal jelly. They taste drastically more like the actual fruit, rather than straight sugar ...

And today, I opened my newest jelly experiment ... PEACH! But this is not just peach jelly, its peach jelly with peach chunks ... slices, even ... in it! And let me be the first to tell you, they're an amazing addition ... its like candy, on toast!

So, how am I today .... let's just say, things are peachy! (And yes, I just said that.) But now I must be on my way to meet some "congressional aides" who are visiting my research!


useless desires ... thanks you patty

Say goodbye to the old street 
That never cared much for you anyway
The different-colored doorways
You thought would let you in one day
Goodbye to the old bus stop, frozen and waiting
The weekend edition has this town way overrated

You walk across a baseball field
The grass has turned to straw
A flock of birds tries to fly away from where you are
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye old friend
I can't make you stay
I can't spend another ten years
Wishing you would anyway

How the sky turns to fire against a telephone wire
And even I'm getting tired of useless desires

Every day I take a bitter pill that gets me on my way
For the little aches and pains
The ones I have from day to day
To help me think a little less about the things I miss
To help me not to wonder how I ended up like this

I walk down to the railroad track and ride a rusty train
With a million other faces I shoot through the city veins
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye old friend
You wanted to be free
Somewhere beyond the bitter end is where I want to be

How the sky turns to fire against a telephone wire
And even I'm getting tired of useless desires

Say goodbye to the old building 
That never tried to know your name
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye old friend
You won't be seeing me again
Goodbye to all the windowpanes shining in the sun
Like diamonds on a winter day
Goodbye, goodbye to everyone

How the sky turns to fire against a telephone wire
Burns the last of the day down
And I'm the last one hangin' around
Waiting on a train track, and the train never comes back
And even I'm getting tired of useless desires

- courtesy of Patty Griffin ... if you dont know the song, you should!

I dont think this song has any true spiritual meaning ... but the line ... and even I'm getting tired of useless desires ... this line is what feels like a knife through my heart, like a dagger in my back ...

You see, there are days, times, and seasons of life, for me, that are inherently full of truly useless desires, these are not of my new creation, the person born of the Spirit of God, at salvation in Jesus; but rather these desires are of the old, left for dead creature that is still battling for the attentions and passions of my heart (therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come2 Cor 5:17) ... 

These times in life, drive me nuts, they make me crazy, because most of the time ... no, ALL THE TIMES that these useless desires are so fervently making themselves known ... I am not living a life that glorifies my Maker, the Almighty God of Heaven! If by chance, you need some convincing that the Christian life is strictly for the glory of God, recall the greatest commandment and read Psalm 67 ... God has created me for his glory ... and when I am not glorifying Him, what then is the purpose of my life?

There is no purpose, my life is thus wasteful of all the talents, breaths, and moments He gives me daily!

So when useless desires are born within my sinful, sin-filled heart, what is the child of God to do? To run, sprint and spend all energy and use every resources neccesary to retreat to the Cross, the point of victory in all of creation and history ... the place of victory over death, sin and Satan ... and when we resist on the GROUNDS OF THE CROSS ...  our desires cannot but be changed to match those of the Savior, the One and Only, Jesus Christ! And then our purpose is being fulfilled!

The useless desires must be slain!


to get away ...

oh how great it is ... to just get away ... !

... sometimes it provides a new perspective on things ...

... this is a different perspective, for sure ... 

... sometimes the peaceful trickle of a stream and melody of a ukulele is all thats needed ...

but more than all that ... I need the Lord!



Amos is a small book of the Bible, in the second half of the old testament. its a book of prophecy, spoken from the Lord to Amos, a sheppard of lowly status. Amos is from Judah, and is speaking the judgements of a just God against Judah, the surrounding nations, and ultimately against ISRAEL ... Israel, God's chosen race and nation, is the focus of God's just wrath ... for the sin at this time was great ....

I know, I know, whats new? well, the answer is Not Much! Israel had given themselves over to corruption and idolatry, seeking wealth and comfort by extortion of the weak, needy, and poor. They sold these weaker persons for as little a thing as a pair of sandals! ... Really Israel?

Yea, really! 

So, God brought Amos around to prophecy to Israel the coming judgment of God upon them for their injustice and sin! From the get go, in chapter 1, Amos is declaring the Lord's message of recompense for the injustices that were flourishing in Israel (as well as in the surrounding nations and Judah) ... but for the first 8 chapters and most of 9, the Lord is declaring, through Amos, how he will punish Israel, and in detail! He recalls all that He had done in the life and heart of His chosen nation, and how they never returned to the Lord ... And so, he withdrew his voice. He ended the physical judgements of drought, plagues, hunger, & thirst, and withdraw his spoken voice to them ... the sentence of judgement reaches climax in chapter 9 ....

But, hope is also born in the end of this same chapter ... below are the great promises of redemption, which God speaks, concerning the coming of a Savior, though unknown to Israel in what form the redemption would be ... it is God's remembrance and great covenant keeping ways that he promises redemption ... He returns to his covenant, remembering his promise and keeping the covenant for his name sake, and proclaims that Israel be established forever, check it out ...  (the phrases preceeding the green text is the climatic judgements of God on Israel, and green is the ending of the book with the great hope of promises of a coming redemption that foretells of the coming of Christ!)

Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground (climax of God's judgement), except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob," declares the LORD. "For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, 'Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.' "In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name," declares the LORD who does this. "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them," says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:8-15)


my good friend ...

So one of my peers, is a 55-ish year old man ... He is hilarious and has a great outlook on life... having said that, he started his masters nearly a year ago (last summer), a semester ahead of me ... and instinctively he and I pick on each other a lot.

For instance ... he walked by one day a while back, saw the title of my blog (adopted bastards) and he made some corny old man joke, but it was funny ... something about me being a bastard ... you know, thats the kind of pickin' we do.

And often, I along with others of my peers will refer to Albert as the "dirty ol' man" ... and many men his age are referred to as this, as it comes with the age ... and especially for Albert, since he is the age of our professors.

So today, something came up about him being a dirty ol' man ... I then proceeded to jump in and say, "Well I looked the phrase up on Wikipedia, and it had your picture next to it, saying you were the original dirty OLD man...  Then Albert being wise and old, had the quickest and best, but rather disturbing come back ever ... he went on to say ...

I don't care about being the oldest ... I just want to be the DIRTIEST .... ! 

Oh, it was funny... and gross ... and would be funnier if you knew him ... it was an insta-classic!


why i hate Charter Cable Co more than I can possibly describe ...

b/c they have an unlawful monopoly in this part of the state, so they can charge an arm & a leg for really .... and I mean the most pathetic service a fully "customer service" type company could ever offer ... they make me sick ... especially when I have to pay me bill ... like today!

b/c they have the worst packages ever like, basic cable is 22 channels, which would be just fine, except that these don't include the three channels I like a lot, ESPN, FOX News, and USA ... if i want those three .... i have to pay exceptionally more and then I get almost 140 channels plus 'on demand' crap .... 

and lastly, i hate charter cable more than I can possibly describe b/c they simply suck beyond anything or any one else i can think of ... 

so, my hat's off to charter, for sucking the most in the history of the world ... congrats charter, you suck, hows it feel?

oh that's right, you don't care, you don't have to care, seeing that you have a monopoly in this part of the state ...


things a soul longs for ...

there are several undeniable things I long for, deeply rooted down within my soul, within my heart of hearts, things that repeatedly remind me on a regular basis of just how unspeakably badly I desire these things ... and these desires are good ones, God ones ... 

1) a wife to love and cherish and to hold for my own for the rest of my life on this earth, someone to seek God with, to love God with, and to worship and glorify God with ... someone to laugh and cry with, to set out on adventures and dreams so beyond our reach that God will have to raise the path up to meet us, lest we fail ... 

2) I am being disciplined by a friend at church and he and his wife have three children, all of whom, are awesome. but they have a 5 yr old daughter, Mary Grace, and she is the daughter I think ever father, or would-be father dreams of having ... she is cute and sweet, hilarious and spunky, full of life and seems to love unconditionally ... which maybe that's how it is when you're 5 yrs old ... 

3) To adopt ... this comes up on a weekly basis ... God has given me so much, and I want to return these many blessing of my life by taking in a child from around the world who has no family, who receives no love, who is not taught in the way of Jesus ... and replace all the pain of heart ache for that child by loving he or she deeply and truly through Jesus Christ ... 

4) To feed to the hungry and water the thirsty ... I am always hungry and always thirsty and I have the means of satisfying and quenching these needs as I desire &/or need to ... but a huge percentage of the world's population does not have such means or resources ... starvation and drought kill 1000's upon 1000's a year and God has given me the means and knowledge (which has a lot of developing to undergo) to pursue aiding the world in this way ... but its not just to feed them or water them ... its to provide the Bread of Life and the Living Water in the person and God of Jesus the very image of the invisible God and Creator of all things ... 

and one of the more unfortunate realities of my life at its current state is that I am not, rather God has not seen fit to bring me to any of these points in my life ... and why this is unfortunate is because I am so impatient and in my own wisdom (which is an anti-wisdom) I think I am ready for these various roles, or want them badly enough to convince myself i am ready for them ... but, in the mean-time, I will wait, patiently and calmly for the Lord to provides these desires He has given me ... 

SMOOTH, today is spelled s - p - i - l - l - e - d

last night I had a coffee date, or whatever, with a girl from church ... and about, well not even midway through our time at the coffee shop, I decided to turn on the wooing power of the smooth factor, a sure guarantee to win her over ... and by turning the smooth factor on, I took a risk, because not everyone  can handle the degree of suave and smoothness, the smooth factor creates ... it is quite a thing to behold ... and so, as it were, the first great act of smoothness after releasing the beast that is the smooth factor... I spilt all my coffee all over the table and floor, more than 3/4 of a cup... only barely did it miss Rachel. sweet goodness ... I told you it is a sight to behold, & so that is the smooth factor for you, and one must be careful, because sometimes it can get away from you and out of control... 

spilt coffee, that's smooth!