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




  1. Ladies. Don't wear shorts so short that you pockets hang out ... its not classy, its not attractive.
  2. Most people in the world cannot drive, especially people (students) in Auburn.


"Watch Yourself"

I was made aware today, yet again, of how much I am like the Israeli people. That is those of the OT.

On the verge of the promised land - that well known, often out of reach beacon of hope, flowing with milk and honey - they received yet again a warning from God, through Moses. The warning? The ten commandments recited (the second giving of them to Israel). The 10 commandments were given again, because the original generation having received them had since past ... and their offspring was now about to behold to promise of God, namely the promised land! ... "when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month" (Exodus 13:5, spoken to the original generation) ... But what lay ahead was going to be no leisurely walk in luxury ... they were moving into Canaan, the land of the Canaanites.

About the Canaanites ... they worshiped the Ba'als (gods of the storms and of justice); Astarte, Asherah, and Anath (these three are goddesses of sex (in mostly pornographic and debased senses and of war, focused mainly on murder); Molech, and others. Their religion and worship of these gods and goddesses was of cultic and ritualistic abominations. Just briefly, the Ba'als were thought to be the gods/goddesses of the earth, responsible for sending the rains for the renewal of the natural world. Their beliefs incorporated many pornographic and orgasmic rituals (Lev 18:22-24, 20:3), further they sacrificed their infants to the god Molech, they would break their legs to keep them from escaping the raging furnace that they threw them into, as they sacrificed them to appease Molech, their god of fire (and possibly this god carried some form of moral standard to which the Canaanites "followed"). (The picture is an artifact, a Ba'al with his arm raised.)

So the command to Israel was "Don't become a Canaanite in Canaan!", basically. Then the question is, How is Israel to abstain from being intoxicated with all the different and appealing atrocities of the Canaanites? Well ...

Moses then declared the word of the Lord to Israel: ... "Hear O Israel! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words [of God] that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God - lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. ... You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you." (Deut 6).

There is more in this chapter, but the above is what hits home. I asked, how does Israel abstain from falling into the prolific sin of the Canaanites? The answer is [not] surprisingly similar to how Jesus instructs us to live. So, I think we can ask ourselves, how are we (as Christians) to abstain from falling into the prolific sin that surrounds us in our pot-modernistic, relativistic, and cavalier society and times? ... Could it be that men, over the span of 10,000 years or so (or however many years you wish to insert there), could it be that men have not changed so much? That we are still primarily depraved and barbarian at heart? I think so. ... Could it be that the Canaanites were an example of how sex, pornography and the overwhelming desire to please every last little wild fantasy we have, can control us and destroy us? Yes, I think so.

That is why in the NT - which of course actually carries weight in our live (although the OT, according to Deut 5:3, is for our instruction ... not the dead and gone Israelites) - that is why Christ in the NT says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 22:27-40). Note that all the law and prophets hang on these two commands!

So, we haven't changed from the depraved people the Canaanites were. You say well, we don't throw babies with broken legs into flaming fires ... but (as was pointed out quickly to me earlier tonight) ... we do vacuum their brains out before they are even born!!!  Well, we don't have temple prostitutes! How about you don't have to go to the temple now to get a prostitute (I am not necessarily assuming they had to go there (as in there were no other options), but they did), further don't we make different objects sources of adultery with our infatuation of programs, lights, and videos, etc... at church, things that may not necessarily be bad, but detract from God and his due glory?

I guess, to state it plainly, we have not changed at all - sure technology and knowledge have advanced ... but when we get right down to it ... we are an instinct driven, depraved race of creatures. We are broken and flawed to the core ... desperately in need of fixing! And as Romans 7:25 states, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Jesus is the answer. Period. Salvation and life, renewal and rescue from self are found in Him and Him alone.

Recognize this: 
First you and I are to love God ... corresponds so well to the various pleas of saints of old, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory..." (Ps 115:1) and "He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) and "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

Secondly, when we are so focused on living for God - by His grace we will be - when so focused God-ward, loving others, counting them as more important than ourselves, becoming as a servant to all men, not seeking our own interests, becoming last instead of first, serving the least of these, etc ... will be second nature!!!

When this happens, we will not become as Canaanites in Canaan ... because lets be honest, look around you, open your eyes, be honest with yourself, and acknowledge that which terrifies you, which makes you sick about our culture and society and then tell me, that truly right here in America - home sweet home - dwells the very mindset and moral standards (or lack thereof) that existed in the ol' land of Canaan! Further, is not wherever we step foot Canaan? I think so ...

PS - These thoughts are far from original, most of them spurred from the sermon at church this morning, special guest speaker, Al Mohler (President, Southern Seminary).
PSS - I actually haven't managed to cover the bit on "Watch Yourself" that I wanted to ... will have to be another time, 'cause 6 am is coming early, like always!


What a sad day ... and a sad soul.

Today, walking around with a lab I am serving as a GTA for, I noticed a car with a bumper sticker stating:

This is a really really bold statement. My first reaction was of angry indignation, then only to realize, the person upon who's car this was ... he is simply declaring 2 Timothy 2:26 for himself, it states that the lost are enslaved, and held captive to Satan ... to do his will!!! 2 Cor. 4:4 sums this up very well, "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." Mind you, the "god of this world" is none but Satan.

Then as I stood thinking about the depth of this statement, and what this person's eternity will be like ... it just made me sad. Sad. That's it, nothing more. I don't know who this person is, so it would, seemingly, be impossible for me to ever have the chance to speak with him ... so the feeling of a call to action doesn't even really exist ... but just sadness is my heart. Of course I can pray, and I will. But how sad a state of heart and of life for the person ... I tremble to think of how rude an awakening they will face as they pass from earthly life to eternity ... to be cast out of the presence of God and into the lake of fire, into hell for all eternity.

Truly, this is sad. Oh for people to know the great news of the gospel ... the offensive proclamation of Jesus crucified, dead, and risen, even reigning now and for all eternity, interceding on behalf of sinners whom he has called by name, to become the children of God.

Is it truly so offensive?!


Reorientation after previous attempts of reorienting oneself to pursue the reorientation of your soul ... what?


 I have no idea how, but somehow, I am still finding myself in need of spiritual reorientation ... that is, to be redirected to pursuing Jesus, recognizing that He is the One my life is for ... and that He doesn't promise ease or comfort (not that I am necessarily pursuing those things) ... but I need to be reminded of this, and my heart is in desperate need of be reoriented in that direction ... First Peter tells me,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Notice the words - various trails and these grieve the child of God ... now, I am not saying I am facing trails and persecutions like the audience First Peter was intended for ... but I am saying, that this MS of mine is certainly more of a trail now than nearly anything I have pursued.

In light of this, daily I am battling to have my mind, and more importantly my heart continually directed toward the Lord ... knowing that there is not only an eternal reward for the saints who persevere (James 1), but there is a joy to behold b/c of this MS shortly after I graduate ... namely moving from academia student/researchers ... to mission field/life student and liver (not like the organ, like the person doing the living, the liver, of course) ...

So all of that is why I say, I must have my heart reoriented toward God - that my life is His, every day, every moment, and what I consider every sucky moment.

Oh to be reoriented yet again!



I have learned again recently - twice even, that I really must learn how to better communicate with people around me. Its amazing to me, that I am still in need of learning again and again, that I need to better learn how to communicate ... cause I feel as though I am always having this need for better communication reinforced, repeatedly.

In all relationships - professional, friendship, and spiritual. If honest and transparent lines of communication are not kept open ... there can be no end in sight, except for that of conflict and harm!

Spiritually, between God and I - my own disinterest, coldness, and diverted affections grows a bitter seed, leading one to turning away - this can often happen unintentionally, which seems to be more dangerous than maybe first assumed, because by the time noticed, ones' heart may have grown so cold, that the coldness is not even disrupted by the great degree of that coldness ... make sense? Well, it does in my mind!

With friends, and personal relationships with family ... this can happen. Often when there is a lack of communication between friends, it is a result of selfishness, desire for no confrontation, and avoidance ... or passivity. This breeds distrust and anxious blame. Eventually this comes to a head, but oh the pain and problems avoidable if we would just learn to be mature and discuss our differences, and to confront people ... ! I am bad at this ... but learning ... still.

Professionally, its about the same ... and even if it begins strictly professional ... i cant help but think that it will ultimately be transfered over to impact ones' personal view of the other professional ...



Remembering the Fallen

Today is a day for somber remembrance, as 8 years ago, Jihadist terrorist landed the first attack on American soil of my life ... and I pray the last.

I have listened and watched several memorial ceremonies or speakings and I must say, I am still blown away at just how atrocious those attacks were and are. Still my heart goes out to the families that live daily with the reality that the most evil of all men took the lives of their loved ones. I pray for them. I cannot imagine the hurt that accompanies the loss of a loved one to a terrorist attack.

I do pray for the Lord to have His revenge ... and in the meantime, I ask for Him to give me the heart of Christ, enough to love those evil men, so that I can pray for them. Do I actually you ask, No. Not often, hardly ever.

To the men and women of our military, the NYPD and NYFD ... I offer my gratitude for living out what it truly means to count yourself less important than others ... as so many ran into those collapsing buildings.

And lastly, I praise Jesus that He has given us the home land, the USA, a nation strong enough, resilient enough, and free enough to come back from such a great crime.

To the fallen and those who will ... my deepest gratitiude.


heart affections, heart defects

I only wish I knew how to describe how badly I need those words written on my eye-lids ...
"DON'T FORGET .... "
The ending could be filled with so many things.
Most of all I find daily, more and more, whether totally aware of it or not, that I need to be reminded to not forget who I belong to ... and, yes I do mean that I need to be more mindful that I belong to God in heaven ... but with much more intensity! ... Like ...
Well, with a raging sense of conviction, I need to be mindful that I am God's - His slave - fettered eternally to the Great I Am in the one and only radiant Christ ... but oh how I forget!!! Its painful.
And the result - always for me, when I forget - is sin. Typically its in the form of pride, ambition, and ego ... growing unchecked in this selfish heart of mine. And the result of pride welling up .... is an even greater fall to greater sin ... and its this case nearly daily!
Oh for sanctification, for holiness to be mine, in Jesus Christ; for my affections, loves, desires, goals, ambitions & all I am to be filled and overflowing by the all consuming Fire that Jesus Christ is!
"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel" - 2 Tim 2:8


Things above other things

Sometimes learning things is hard. Sometimes it even sucks to learn these things ... well, most of the time.

I learned over the weekend, with it climaxing this morning as I sat with a friend from church who is discipling me. In conversation it came out that for about a week now ... and really, maybe even more like 3 weeks ... I have not been putting God above all else.

What are the things that get in the way?
- a young lady I have been somewhat interested in ... but the Lord has been good to resolve this, mostly
- the dream of moving to Costa Rica, which will happen ... just not before certain other things
- my thesis & research & subsequent graduation

None of these things are bad ... they are all just competing for the numero uno spot in my life, attentions, and energies. ... THAT IS BAD!

Obviously, putting my interest in a young lady before my pursuit of my heavenly Father - is wrong - which has become a very strong source of wisdom for how I am to continue, or not continue. Costa Rica - its not even guaranteed ... much less the most pressing issue at hand!

Lastly, although I am called to be a graduate student & need to be focused strongly upon this - my major task at hand - my thesis ... I am first and foremost called to belong to my Father ... which means making time - DAILY - to spend with Him ... there are no replacements!

You shouldn'y smoke ... and YOU KNOW IT!!!

So, today - tonight - I  just sat down (again) to work on my thesis and not but within a minute some guy came up and shook my hand, starting to talk up a storm ... and all I could do was stop him in his tracks to ask who he was. I felt bad, but not too bad since I didn't have a clue who he was, with exception to a vague memory of his face.

Dwayne. Super nice guy. Turns out Dwayne didn't remember my name either, so it all worked out fine.

Anyway, we picked up our conversation and he went on to inform me, that after a superbly brief conversation between Mr Bill (owner of Daylight), Dwayne and myself at the end of July... in which the topic of my transplant came up ... He QUIT SMOKING that week. This was a little over a month ago. He said he hasn't touched one since!!! And you must understand, our conversation was brief ... if I remember correctly, I was passing along my good-byes to Mr Bill and in between we had our short conversation, as I was walking out the door. Something hit Dwayne in that multi-minute conversation, that inspired him to quit smoking!!!

HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!! I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE MY EARS!!! I wish every time I came across a smoker, and had the chance to share my story with them that it inspired them to QUIT SMOKING!

I am so excited. He even mentioned to me, "Man, it inspired me, made me thankful for what I got." ... All I could say was right on.

Now, I ask, does He know Jesus?!

Time will tell.