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Archive for November, 2008

Part of me is losing faith in humanity one person at a time. Another part wants to believe good remains in the heart of each individual.

Why there is terrorism is beyond me. Why people to stupid things is also beyond me. Unfortunately, as hard as it may be, I still have to love them and forgive them… and forgive myself.

I’ve been reading Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller recently, and it’s made me think more and more about Christian spirituality — not Christianity.

One chapter I read today was titled Confession. In this chapter, he and his fellow Christian friends set up a confession booth on Reed College campus in the midst of a celebration where a majority of students get high, wasted and run naked. The idea was for this small group of people to come out of the closet and openly admit they’re Christians. They set up this confession booth not so that students would confess to them, but they would confess to the students, apologizing for the Crusades, televangelists and any other event or person giving Christians a bad name.

I like this idea. So many people I know have an issue with Christianity, with church, with religion in general. Some have been hurt by it and refuse to ever step foot in a church again. Others feel isolated when they go, so they stop going.

There’s something wrong here. Christianity isn’t meant to push people away; it’s meant to draw people into a loving, warm, real relationship with God.

Jesus had no intentions of “Christians” killing innocent people, judging others, turning people away, in His name.

Instead of shunning prostitutes and pimps, let them come in as they are. Instead of telling the drug addicts they’re going to Hell, tell them God still loves them. Instead of fighting over what style of music to have in the worship service or the carpet color in the sanctuary, agree that the main focus should be to reach out to the lost, the hungry, the homeless. Instead of telling people how wrong they are for their past behaviors and browbeating them with the Bible, show them the truth with love, compassion and a listening ear.

My brother made the comment this weekend at a church dinner that putting that much food out in front of people and expecting them not to glutton is like taking men to a strip joint and expecting them not to lust.

Point: None of us are perfect.

I’m not perfect. I’ve screwed up a lot in my life… but what matters is that I’ve realized that and I’m learning from my mistakes. I can’t let one thing rule my life, I can’t let one person control me and my emotions; I have to rise above that. I have to take matters to God and leave them in His hands, in His control. Everything happens for a reason, and I have to let Him show me that.

I have to let Him guide me.

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So, I wouldn’t be a college kid if I didn’t procrastinate.

Tonight’s procrastination actually proved productive. This time, instead of facebooking, I made a “pot” of coffee (hazelnut from Golden Roast) in my French press, sat down in a big round chair bundled in a blanket with my favorite mug, a pad of paper and a pencil.

While jazz music played over and over in my head (and from iTunes), here’s what I came up with:

Cold, chilly weather
I am warm inside, bundled in sweaters
The lights are low, the room aglow
I sit, cuddled on the couch with you

Laughter from the room next door,
Hearts ablaze, and I pine for you
Your love, smile
Stay, for just a little while
Before lofty dreams I wander

Feels like home,
Wherever love roams.
From side to side,
Friendship abides
Letting life’s journeys take us.

Most of you that know me know that I love coffee. Well, I wrote a love poem for it… haha…

Coffee.
How your spell binds me
tortures me.
I am a creature of habit —
Aren’t we all?
Addict? I wouldn’t have it!
So relaxing are you, bittersweet to taste
Sipping you on a night such as this—
cold, dark and cozy.
Pair you with jazz and I could stay all night
I’m a fool for you, you know.
Lead me to a good coffee shop, and I may find love
Food may be the way to a man’s heart,
but love, coffee and music are the ways to mine.
Lead me to intellectuals, musicians and philosophers,
Peace-makers and artists.
I thirst for culture, diversity,
Open minds and free spirits…
…a home-y warm feeling…
Lead me home.

Yay poetry. It’s a nice change.

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The night may be over, but the future has just begun to unfurl.

Barack Obama defeated John McCain for presidency, making history in the progress. Obama succeeded in becoming the first bi-racial president. Some say he’s a socialist; others say he’s hope.

Either way, this country will face a much-needed change. Whether that be for the better or worse, well, that’s a matter of opinion.

I believe it’s safe to say, at least, America is ready for something different. Hopefully, we can all agree on that.

The next few years will undoubtedly be rough; it’s not easy to fix a crappy economy, nor will it be easy to pull out of Iraq… eventually. Both matters are very complicated, complex ideas I know very little about (besides the fact both are not where they should be).

It is my sincerest hope that the new President Obama (I seriously have to get used to that.. wow) will make decisions based on the Constitution and decisions that will be good for America. I hope his education will make up for his lack of experience, and I hope that no harm will come his way. I hope that, if he chooses to take America in a new direction, we the people will be able to put our trust in him, while maintaining our own personal virtues and standards of living.

Not only will America as a whole have some kind of change in the upcoming year(s), but on a more local scale, University of Tennessee football will, too.

On Monday, the legendary Phil Fulmer stepped down from his position as head coach of the UT football program. Fulmer, who had been the coach for 17 years (I was two when he accepted the position) led the team to several bowl games, won two Southeastern Conference championships and led the 1998 team to a national title.

Oh yes, UT football also spawned Peyton Manning, who was also under Fulmer’s wing at UT and is now quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

This season, though, UT football has only claimed a handful of wins and may not be eligible for a bowl game, which requires at least six wins in the season.

If all the above is gibberish for you or like German is to me, let me translate: The Vols haven’t had a decent season in a while, so the coach is gone and now the powers that be are looking for a new one.

The end of an era arrived, causing mixed feelings among students. Some are glad he’s gone, allowing for someone with fresh ideas to step in, and others are sad to see such a talented coach leave. For some students, like myself, he’s the only coach we’ve ever known, and the unknown is scary.

Let’s juxtapose these two situations, seeing how it’s coincidental to me that they both happened in such a close time proximity to each other.

Some students are glad Fulmer is leaving, allowing for someone new with fresh ideas and game plans to step into his shoes. Some Americans are happy Bush is no longer in power (well, not officially until January when Obama is sworn in, but work with me), allowing someone new to step in… and in Obama’s case… with fresh ideas for the country.

Some students mourn Fulmer’s resignation, sad to see him leaving us with the future of UT football unknown. Some Americans are sad to see McCain lose to Obama, with the future of America somewhat unknown and potentially frightening (some would say. I want to remain as unbiased as possible).

Either way, “The times, they are a changin’,” and we’re left here to deal with it in our own ways. We have some decisions to make. We could… cry like babies that McCain lost and whine the next four years about it, or take it like mature adults and roll with the punches, or celebrate someone new coming into office that may not be as bad as some anticipated he would be.

We should all try to have good attitudes about it, hold our heads high, and accept whatever comes our way with the patriotism our forefathers would’ve wanted (and, for UT students and fans everywhere, look forward to some better seasons in the future). Like I’ve said before, change and time are in cahoots with each other. You can’t have one without the other, no matter how bad it gets.

Let’s move forward together, hand-in-hand, and face what awaits us united.

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