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



Before I begin, let me just say ... if any of the following sounds good, or as if I have grown some in the Lord, or as I am growing (all of which I hope are the case) ... If that be the case, its by the GRACE of GOD alone through CHRIST!

I am recognizing more and more insights into how I function as a fallen human being, and as a Child of God. I am, by God's grace alone, recognizing the cycles that flow from sin, do not have to flow. Let me explain. I am to the point where, once I sin I readily know there to be two options.

First, I can flee in cowardice from God, not owning my sin, not admitting my wrong, not acknowledging Christ's lordship which demands repentance and instead run wholeheartedly into sin. I say 'wholeheartedly' because I do not honestly think there is any other way of willfully participating in sin. If you know you have sinned, know what you ought to do afterward, and don't ... can it be anything else than wholehearted rebellion?

- OR -

Second, I can humble myself before the Lord, by His grace at work in this corrupted heart of mine and throw myself upon His mercy and plead forgiveness. Thing is, there is no real need to plead, because in Christ mercy and pardon have already been purchased. God's mercy and pardon do not change on account of my sin or your sin, they simply are. Just as God is, all of what flows from Him (in this case mercy and pardon), they are. That is not to say that I am not pleading, because I am. I feel pleading is the place a humble heart goes. Nor am I saying that I can simply choose to be humble before God. Its a battle, spiritual, requiring the slaying of self, pride, and ambition; trusting that God will honor a feeble heart's desire to find humility at the throne.

This is the place I find myself today. Its not good to be here, but its good to know that God's arm is indeed not too short to save anyone, even me! "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear" (Isa 59:1).  So, with these lips I utter His praise, that He is continually saving me, to make me reflect more of Christ!


God's Faithfulness

My words will fall utterly shy to do even the slightest hint of justice to the subject at hand. Yet, I must share some of my recent experiences in which I have been vividly reminded of God's unyielding faithfulness. His word states, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful" (2 Tim 2:13). Further, the psalmist declares, "As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me" (40:11). This is my theme.

Recently I have repeatedly stated, "The last two years have been [some of] the hardest years of my life spiritually..." And to some extent its exactly true. Difficult times always appear to be worse than they truly are while in the midst of them. On the other side, we look back and think, "Wow, that was hard, but this side is SO worth it." I am not there yet, but feel as I am moving quickly that direction.

Through a number of events, I yielded to complacency, an undisciplined lifestyle, and to a general sense of spiritual apathy. These things all combined together are a severe blow to anyone's spiritual life. Add the stress of some intense schooling and living abroad for a bit, and it was intensified ... heaped on and on. My decision making process metamorphosed into one by which all decisions were made for comfort sake, for ease sake. In a sense, to sooth the stress and help me to forget the burden of my own willful neglect of eternity, of others, and of the Lord. I am not saying that I turned my back on God - not entirely. I kept a distant and cautious relationship going. I said to God via action, "I will turn to you when I do not know what else to do, or where else to turn. I will turn to you when things get bad enough." That is a bold attitude to have. Consider, this is the God of creation, who by nature of being Creator, has all prerogatives to my soul, my life. And even in this, He remains faithful.

Side Note: I can only imagine the "big picture" of my life, of eternity (& the blip my life would be in that span) that God knows and constantly sees. I wonder if by knowing that its a season, that He is gracious and merciful to allow it to continue?

My last year and half at Auburn was hard. By the nature of the work I was doing, I found myself completely distanced from close community and for that matter, any degree of involvement at church.  If anyone is to be at fault here, its me, recalling my decision making abilities during this time. On top of that, I fed myself whatever I wanted - food and metaphorically as well. In the physical sense, my decisions showed themselves harmful after a visit to an endocrinologist (a diabetes doctor). Some of the various levels concerning diabetes were monstrously out of control, in direct correlation to my decision making inability!

Spiritually? I have been reaping the consequences of these decision for a long time. And I know the cold hard truth of the matter is, quite frankly, there are more consequences to experience, as there always is with sin. I am not talking about punishment because, GLORY BE TO GOD IN CHRIST, in Jesus my punishment has been removed, poured out on Christ is His utter beauty and perfection! I cannot thank Him enough for what He has done in my heart. But consequences, they remain, as the natural outworking of choices. You make good choices and bad ones. I make good choices and bad ones. God says, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Gal 6:7-9). Point is, we will reap the consequences of our choices. If good, then good. If bad, then bad and harmful workings will come from it. God has spoken, and this is what happens. I can attest. There is no good that comes from neglecting so high a calling as the one to be an adopted child of God is! For so long, on a continual basis, I did that very thing, to my shame and dismay, and more than all this it stole God's due glory and honor.

But recently, within the last two months, my soul seems to have come alive, to have been revived with  the Great Physician's medicines of love, grace, and mercy. O how I have tasted of the deep wells of unending love, and unwavering grace, and unmerited mercy! He has heard my pleas for mercy, for renewal, for revival, and repentance. Granted, all is not yet worked through completely, but its progressing. This cold heart of mine is beginning to come alive again, to soften and take shape as God molds it with His hands.


Just wanna say thank you..

This thanks goes to God. He is my God, and He knows how the outdoors - and climbing specifically - ministers to me, as a way to be close to him and enjoy all the good things of His wondrous creation.

After a three year hiatus from climbing, due to severe tennis elbow, I called it all but quits. ... Aww cinnamon and gravy! (Ol' Prospector. Anyone?)

But after moving back to the Birmingham area, and after spending several days hiking around the boulder field (MOss Rock Preserve), the itch to at least try the rocks overpowered me.

I have bee climbing again for three weeks or so. Today included. There was one move (see below) that made me feel like I still have it in me, to be decent. May be not good, but at least decent. The move is not technical, its just fun and somehow emphasizes all the subtitles of body control involved in bouldering, more specifically than just climbing.

Grateful for breath and strength to climb again.
And that my elbows work now!


Slightly jaded, a little...


I have a qualm to pick with you! 
You may have heard this before, even so its time to hear it once again!

there are 
no excuses 
no disguises

America, you are a people of over-indulgence, and it is ridiculous!!! I'm sick of it! Literally, I'm almost sick because of it! Where do I begin? Could it be with food? Or "things?" You tell me. O wait, here ... this is the perfect spot!

The TODAY Show (which I don't care for) got me started on this train of thought afresh recently. As the year began, 2 weeks ago, they had a segment about correcting over-corrections. What? What the hell does that mean? Good question. I asked the same thing.

It means for example, you spent a lot of money to have your teeth whitened only to find they are "too" white. What on earth is your poor soul to do to fix those bleached-whites (not quite the same ring as pearly whites, huh?)?

It means for example, you over-tanned your fake tan during the winter months and you need to know how to fix it! O my, what an awful urgent need! [*Spoiler Alert* sarcasm] Note: If you tan at all in the winter months (with exception to 1 or 2 reasons) then you are not only insecure, superficial, & generally wasteful (with your time & money in this case) but also greatly desirous of skin cancer ... in which case may I add dumb to the list. Sorry! And this is coming from one of the whitest/palest people you'll meet ... accept who you are & grow up! Have I alienated you yet? Sorry, but on I go.

BTW, the solution to these "situations" (I will NOT dare call them "problems") is to basically admit that you wasted you money and either 1) negate the whitening by drinking/eating things that will re-stain you teeth OR 2) spend more money (thus again admitting your wastefulness) buying various products to make the fake tan fade ... however you do that. I wouldn't know, nor do I care to!

Thanks TODAY Show for wasting so many peoples' time.

On another show, it was all about corrective plastic surgery, that is having more plastic surgery to fix mistakes from previous plastic surgeries. Now, I know there are some very legitimate needs for corrective plastic surgery (think: lady who had her face ripped off by gorilla) ... I gladly admit that. But what I will not give an inch on is parents who allow the high-school aged kids get a "bump" in their nose "fixed." Another is that people try to get their "original" face back after having lost it to so many unnecessary surgeries in the first place, to make them look this way or that way! This is the epitome of wastefulness and self-indulgence, needless to say over-indulgence!

Further still, there are some appliance companies who - when a refrigerator is returned because it was dented during delivery or some other superficial issue (nothing affecting its overall usefulness or effectiveness) - deliberately avoid the resale of these products and send them straight to a land fill!!! Can you believe that! It is a perfectly good refrigerator and they are throwing them out because of a dent! How dare you?! I know plenty of people who would love to use a dented refrigerator ... hell I would gladly!

Then there are issues like "grass-fed" beef. Honestly, I have no issue with grass fed beef, its my preference. What gets under my skin is that we have found it acceptable in that USA to accept this as a luxury. IT IS NOT A LUXURY! COWS ARE DESIGNED TO DIGEST GRASS ONLY. THEIR STOMACHS CANNOT PROCESS GRAINS (ie: CORN). Its not a luxury because it is the standard. God made animals a certain way, and man had to go and screw with it all. So we gripe and complain and say, "Eat less red meat, its bad for you!" FALSE. Its only unhealthy because we shove an unnatural food (corn) down their throats for quicker production and then are so shocked that red meat is unhealthy! Yet even so, we excuse it and say "O but I love the taste of that marbled, fatty meat. I guess its okay." This I will call apathy and another facet of indulgence.

Grass fed cattle are not only healthy but lean as well. God's design works! So I am just a little pissed that I have to go to Whole Foods - and even there - qualify that I want "grass fed beef." Its as if I go to the counter and say, "Pardon me sir, could I get three filets, but I want it from cows who are fed the only food they are designed to process - grass. You know, like the ones that for centuries upon centuries were they only "type" of cows used for meat produce. That's the kind of beef I want." If anything, we should have to qualify and state," Pardon me sir, could I get three filets that are full of unnatural fats, meat that is entirely marbled, and full of all sorts of unnatural preservatives and hormones that grass fed cattle don't need to stay healthy. Thats what I want for dinner. It sounds delicious."

Despite that I could go on and on, this will be me last rant.

I love yall, and have plenty of friends who are smokers. I hate your nasty and mindless habit, but that in no way means I hate you. On the contrary, I love you and want to see you healthy and happy - not smoking! I simply think you have significant issues (even with the whole addiction thing). My biggest qualm with smokers, is they are deliberately, not only killing their lungs, but themselves! We frown on suicide and say, "O its so selfish." (I apologize if that sounds insensitive, thats not my goal. I am not trying to say anything about any one who has done so.) True that may be, but is not smoking just a slow, slow means of suicide? Extreme comparison? I don't think so. So, when I meet a smoker who has received a lung transplant and still smokes, can you imagine what that does to me?! Before you think you can, you cannot! Sorry. You just cannot know unless you have been where I have been. Thats not a self-righteous pat on the back, its a simple reality.

So. That was pleasant, huh? I am not mad about all this. Does it work me up and get me excited? Hell yeah it does! Why? because we live in the most well-to-do society that has ever existed and we are killing ourselves with our over-indulgence, with our self-absorption. We are killing ourselves with ourselves. Think about it.

One of my friends stated it well saying we all have a huge sense of entitlement.



To friends, family, or anybody who stumbles upon this meager attempt of a blog ...

If you would, please be praying for an exciting opportunity I have coming up in the several weeks - at least a potential opportunity, I would be so grateful (I am so grateful).

- If God wants me there, He would make it clear and make the way.
- If God wants me there, that He would appropriately prepare my heart, mind, and body as needed.
- That I seek His face concerning this opportunity
- For a key verse for memorization that could be a theme for this opp.

Praise :
- That God Almighty finds bodies of dust capable of carrying out His great work among the nations
- That I have the honor of even considering the opportunity before me
- For the Gospel that makes even the most wretched, vile, and despised human being capable of being reconciled to God!!!


Feel free to ask questions, but I may remain vague until its more certain - one way or another.


Just Briefly

I had a great conversation tonight.

I was reminded of my own short-comings, my inadequacies, and my general lack of value ... that is if I am left to myself.

But, if Christ be in me (whisper voice: and He is) then the weak, the foolish, the ignoble, the low, & the despised parts of me (all of me) are, in the grace poured out in Christ Jesus, made to meet the mark, be fully adequate plus some, and have infinite value, the same as that of Christ ... since Christ has made me a part of Himself.

So, I will declare with Paul and Jeremiah, that my only boast will be in Jesus the Christ, the lamb-like lion and lion-like lamb of God!


Yes please.

Thanks again to SOG and SAC, I have added another "piece"" to my growing collection. 
See below.

- Skinning Blade -

- Bone Saw -

??? Combo ???
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools is the company that produces the standard issue Navy Seals' knife. Its  an awesome knife, if you have an affinity for knives. But, they also make many other knives, all - from my own experience and use with them - of great quality. I just need SOG to make a "loosing proof" knife (see Salute Black Oxide), then I'd be set. Anyway, the above knife, the Fusion Revolver Hunter, is a combo hunting knife, with skinning blade and bone saw. I found it for very cheap at SAC, a website you should probably familiarize yourself with. You should check out the Seal Pup Elite TigerStripe.



This is for you.

As you may have come to realize, all I ever seem to write about is me, myself, & ... what going on with in my soul & heart. Its all about me. Or so it seems. This one is not about me.

Its about you.
Its about how you - and you know who you are - who refresh me with your presence.

I had lunch the other day with a friend who was coming through town to travel for a few days. She mentioned that she was refreshed after hanging out with me ... thats the joy of two dreadfully wretched failures hanging out ... we know how to reveal in the grace of Christ! But as she said that, it hit me. REFRESH. That is the word I have been looking for to describe how I am and how I feel after hanging out with certain people in my life. This friend who I had lunch with, well ... she is a refreshing person with a refreshing spirit about her (Christ in her)! So thanks, if you read this. You know who you are. You are refreshing! CPK was a good choice.

Another friend came through town just a day ago and as always, he leaves me feeling challenged, in need of greater wisdom for life, and super-encouraged! Not too mention how much we laugh and goof off when we hang out. He is like a brother, or IS a brother. I am not sure how to explain it past that. He oozes enthusiasm for Christ and for fulfilling what Christ has called him to ... and he does this wisely, unlike most his age. You are refreshing! Bumper Cars.

Still others, speak truth, ask hard questions, & are honest - and I mean like transparent, take-a-risk honest.

Concerning the risk taker ... I had a conversation with a friend who shared some - I guess - not easy things to share in a matter of days of us knowing each other. We shared lengthy conversation, different life events, life trials, and life learning experiences. Not everyone knows how to share well, but those who do, their honesty will refresh and give life to you. So thanks for sharing with me, things that are not easy to share so shortly into a friendship. It forges that friendship quickly. You are refreshing!

And ultimately, it must be said, that we can refresh each other because Christ has refreshed us, making us new creatures, washing away and casting out the old, and replacing our broken parts with His wholeness! I think this refreshment is something that Christians are especially able to dish out. Why? Well, I presume its because if we have come face-to-face with Christ, in his majesty and holiness, then we have come to see our sin for what it is. A spit in the face of Almighty God. We are then aware of what Christ has done. Lived, died, raised back to life making a relationship with the Father, through faith in His final defeat of sin, possible. Knowing who we are on our own, it makes us (should make us) prone to sharing our depravity more freely ... then enabling us to brag on God and His goodness to take a complete mess as someone like me, and day-by-day break me of myself to make me look more like Himself.

I believe- deeply - that Christ is the only reason you or I or any of us have any refreshing quality to offer to others.



Today, now, this year ... this is the time to grow. Its the season to grow, to push roots deep down into the rich soils nearer & nearer the bank of Jordan. Its the time and place to see marked progress. Its - now - for growing.

That is my prayer for this beginning of the year

As I have reflected over 2010, if I had to label it as one of growth or digression, it was a year of digression. A year of watching somethings in my heart, mind and being come undone. An undoing that I totally 'fess up to, to which I completely take responsibility.

That is not too fun to admit. As children of the Most High, we are called to grow, not digress. If we digress, we are responsible. So I am the one to stand condemned. Bad. But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Savior, for His blood washes away the past, to rain down new mercies each morn.

Thats not the point. 
The point? The point is this...

Now is for Growing

Second Peter 3:18 states,"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." I don't know Greek, but if I had to guess - and I am going to - I would guess that the "grow" in that verse is an imperative, one intended with an on-going connotation (Seminarian-ites, what is that called?), meaning that we are expected to continue in this particular task ... that of growing in grace and in knowledge. 

Most authors state that "grace" refers to the whole of religion (in a Christian sense), since all religion is the outworking and result of grace from God. It begins with grace, when God predetermined His affections for the elect before the foundations of the universe were laid, and it ends with grace as God keeps us, perseveres us until the day of Christ or our deaths. Other writers specifically mention the means of grace &/or spiritual gifts. Spurgeon writes to grow in all grace, the "root-grace" he calls faith, in love, in humility, to grow upward closer to God in prayer and in increasing intimacy with Christ as your grow downward (in humility).

Whatever "grace" refers to, we are called to be growing. Not just to grow once, every now & then, or even when we feel like it... but we are called to be growing at all times. Our lives need be marked by daily progress. Thats great. But what the hell does that mean and how do I do that!?!?

The answer.

 GRACE in the person JESUS CHRIST.

But knowledge is required, growth in knowledge to be more specific. Again Spurgeon writes, "To know Him is 'eternal life.'" To be growing in an intimate, communion-like fellowship with Christ is so necessary to a life of victory. To a life of growth.

What then shall we say to this?


And what is the promise (founded in the character of God)?

It is this ... 

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious & very great promises, so that [we] may become partakers of the divine nature."

2 Peter 1:3-4

Any hope we have. All hope we have is rooted in God, and only in God, in the person Jesus Christ. If we are to grow, if this is to be a year of growth then I must set my face hard toward the gale and push on through thick and thicker in pursuit of God, in the grace and in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, knowing and fully trusting that He will be faithful to grant me all that I need that pertains to life and godliness ... and I am certain He will do this, it is for His on glory and excellence.

If I am anything, all I am is Christ.
Thats where I am