October 20, 2010

Challenges: Part One

Lately I've been contemplating all the challenges in my life, and my thoughts always lead back to one question - 'What gets in the way of the accomplishment of my goals?' My list goes something like this:
  1. Weak mind / heart
  2. Fear / cowardice
  3. Self-doubt
  4. Distractions
What gets in your way?

Part Two coming tomorrow.

October 13, 2010

October Passion

The baseball playoffs are an amazing time of the year with every team toying with your emotions until you can almost not stand watching games on the television anymore.  The Rangers, in the past week, have made me so mad that I've wanted to throw baseballs at kittens, so sad that I've wanted to cry while cuddling a kitten, but mostly they've made me like this:

Original drawing by Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half
Edited for my purposes, obviously
Sheer elation.  Pure joy.  Give me a claw baby.  This for me is by far the best time of year.  My passion for baseball is at its peak and when others are excited with you it just makes the experience all the more amazing.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Game 3 of the ALDS in Arlington this year (my first postseason game), thanks to Megan Anne, and it was a blasty blast.  "Upton, Upton, Upton.... you stink!"  "Upton, you're my neighbor!"  - Yeah I know it doesn't make sense, but you know what?  IT DOESN'T HAVE TO.  Thanks to everyone in Section 53 for making October 9 a special day for me.  To quote the great Roy Hobbs / Robert Redford, "God I love baseball."

Anyway the point of this post is actually passion.  What if we were all as passionate about our relationship with God as are about the baseball / football / insert favorite sport here playoffs?  What if we cared as much about our neighbors and coworkers as we did about Josh Hamilton and Brett Favre?  Why do we not jump up and down and yell praise to God but we'll do it for a man who has been blessed with the ability to hit a baseball or throw a football?  Our obsession with God may not always make sense to someone looking in from the outside, but you know what?  IT DOESN'T HAVE TO.  Your passion will draw them in and lead them to the Creator. 

Be passionate.  Be obsessed.  Be elated.  Life is too short.  Don't make sense, it's okay.  Really.  Also, cuddle a kitten. 


September 13, 2010

Pick A Side

One day Jesus, He's gonna come back / And say: "Enough of this, you're getting way off track / All the stealin', cheatin', lyin', all the little babies cryin' / Well, I'll tell you I can't take anymore."

"Cause I died for your sins so long ago / It seems you forget with every day that rolls / I'm gonna stop it all right now / Before it gets way out of control."

Everybody gonna stand in line / When it comes to the judgement time / Pick the side of the fence that you're on / When He comes to carry you home.

Now if you wanna kill and die for your God / That's your prerogative, but I'll tell you that you're wrong / I think God, He's an understanding man / But I don't think that's part of his plan.

'Cause he wants us all to live in harmony / Take care of one another when we need / So if you want to rant and rave, murder and corrupt / Stay away from the ones that I love.

An' everybody gonna stand in line / When it comes to the judgement time / Pick the side of the fence that you're on / When He comes to carry you home.

- Carry You Home, Cross Canadian Ragweed

It has been 3,287 days since the events of September 11, 2001, yet those tragic images are forever burned in our memory.  The billowing smoke, the burning flames, and the wreckage that we saw for weeks afterward will never be forgotten, nor will the heroes who perished trying to save our brothers and sisters caught in the tragedy.  Never before had I seen America so vulnerable, so angry, but so determined.  Patriotism was everywhere, and it was beautiful.  What happened?

Malik Zulu Shabazz was on a news program the other day mocking the 09/11 tragedy, and has also said previously he believes Israel and George W. Bush were involved in the attacks, views endorsed by Amiri Baraka in his poem "Somebody Blew Up America." My post the other day was about anger, and these men made me extremely angry.  So my post today for me personally is the way I am contructively dealing with my anger, while hopefully giving others something to think about in the process.

It is disgusting to think that people twist the calamity of 9 years ago into a racist conspiracy theory.  From where I am sitting, Islamic extremists attacked our country in the name of a religion, not a race (which is for a whole other post). 

My point here is do not waffle on your moral stance - do not be Shabazz and rant about injustices when you yourself are injust.  Pick a side of the fence and stay there.  The problem today is that there is too much gray area that people live in; the line between black and white has been skewed to fit our purposes and desires.

The grass may always look greener on the other side, but it's not.  If you give up who you are to eat that grass, then what have you lost?  Your soul?  Eventually, maybe.  Be careful with what side of the fence in which you stand.  One side is good, one side is evil.  One side is God, one side is Satan.  One side is eternal life, the other is eternal damnation.  That is the big picture.

The fence runs all throughout our lives.  Daily decisions such as helping a person in need (fixing a flat tire, buying lunch) or just moving past pretending like you don't see them there.  Laughing at a cruel joke at the expense of another.  Cheating on a test or stealing something from work.  Where do you sit on the fence everyday of your life?

America stayed on its side of the fence and chose not to allow fear to envelope the nation, and although the lines of politics are always skewed, it was clear where we stood following September 11th.  Do you stand on the side for truth and righteousness or death and deceit?  Do you stand in Heaven or Hell?  Do you stand with your Savior or with the ultimate liar?  Don't sit on the fence or be lukewarm.  Know who you are.  Pick a side

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? - Matthew 16:26


September 7, 2010

Be Wary of the Dark Side of Anger

So I have not updated in almost a month, and life has been pretty crazy since then - so for those of you who care - this is what has been happening. 

About a week after my last post about my friend Keith Homstad, my grandfather passed away in Ohio.  So arrangements were made and I flew up and spent a few days there.  UNT actually started the same week so I missed my first two days of classes, so it was a little crazy getting back into the swing of things there - plus, grandma moved in so that's been a definite lifestyle change for us all.

I have been looking extensively for a job since I returned from El Paso, but to no avail on any front.  Finally this week, I landed not just one job, but two.  The main job is serving at Cheddar's on Heritage Trace off I-35 in Fort Worth, but the other job is the one in which I am most excited.  I landed a gig writing articles for Examiner.com, which basically entails me writing about the sports related activities going on at my former college, UT-Dallas (among other venues and arenas).  It's not the most prolific journalistic job in the world obviously, but it's a beginning that I am very enthused to start.

Finally, on to my main topic of discussion for this post.
Anger is a strange, strong, and powerful emotion.  For many folks anger dictates life decisions, pulls families apart, and consumes the mind like a cancer.  Obviously, some anger is justified as even Jesus was furious in the temple in Matthew 21.  The key is not necessarily to never be angry, but to be able to deal with your resentment in a timely and constructive way.  The focus and duration of our anger is usually out of place and too long respectively, like holding a grudge and not being able to forgive.  Forgiveness is another topic entirely, but dealing with anger in a timely manner usually involves forgiveness on some level.
AngerAnger left unchecked and unbridled leads to destruction and turmoil.  I fight my temper all the time, and every day is a battle for me to keep my emotions under control.  It is a cliché statement, but true nonetheless: control your emotions, do not let your emotions control you .  As I said, unchecked emotions consume the mind and the soul – be wary of your thoughts (it is a path that leads you to the dark side… oh wait).
The final point is this – anger is not a sin if it is focused, under control, and dealt with in the proper amount of time.  Do not dwell on wrongs against you, forgive quickly, and move on with life – from personal experience this is the best way to stay happy, because brooding resentment and anger only destroy and tear down what was once beautiful.

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19,20.

I want to post a little more in-depth on this later, but the hours in my day are running short as of now. 


August 12, 2010

A Role Model You've Never Heard of: How to be a Positive Influence

God has one awesome dude to hang out with now. 

I had a friend pass away in an automobile accident last week, and the response I saw on his Facebook was amazing, and it got me thinking about how many lives we touch in the course of our existence on this earth.

I had the utmost pleasure in attending college and playing baseball with Keith for two years, and in those two years I don't know if anyone ever made me laugh any harder - that kid knew how to enjoy life.  He always had a smile on his face and a laugh bellowing from his insides. A mutual friend told me that he was the happiest person she had ever met. I may have seen him upset once or twice, but he always shook it off and continued to be a positive influence to the people with whom he shared life.  You could talk to him about anything - he wouldn't judge you or make fun of you (too much... ) - and always seemed to have the right words to say.  He will be missed greatly by all those who had the honor of knowing such a hero.  Sleep well airman and friend, your life has touched us all.

So have you been a positive influence on people's lives?  Who have you been in contact with recently who needed a smile or helping hand?  Who did you give a smile to and not even know that they desperately needed it?  My point is you never know who is watching or how you are affecting someone else's life - so be like Keith and be a positive role model and supporter - whether it's just cracking a joke or having a serious life conversation.  Shine your light and never let it fade or dim, because there are people who need you to be their beacon of hope.  Jesus is the beacon for salvation, as Keith knew very well, but we are the vessels that spread that good news and the positive message. 

In his short 23 years, Keith spread joy and laughter, the message of salvation and hope, and touched the lives of countless people.  Follow in his footsteps.  Who have you positively influenced lately?

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."  - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

See you then, Keith.  Miss ya buddy. 


July 27, 2010

Wow so much for updating...

Yeah I know it's been about three weeks since I've updated, my apologies.  Those three weeks were rather crazy. 

To updated, we whooped on the Kingfish, and I got my first professional victory against them. 

The following weekend we went to Las Cruces and got beat pretty handily.

Finally, my last series as a Desert Valley Mountain Lion was against the Big Bend Cowboys, and we took 3 of 5 from them, and easily could have swept the series.  Details on that later.

The craziness all started when the league announced it was folding.  At that point a ton of players from the Kingfish and Mountain Lions took off for better leagues, leaving us with depleted rosters.  After all that happened, a player from the Kingfish decided it would be... appropriate?... to urinate all over the mattresses in their hotel room - which happened to be the same hotel I was residing in for the summer. Ron Baron decided then it would be the best course of action to leave only two rooms at the Travelodge, and instead of kicking out the Kingfish he dissolved my room forcing me to move a couple blocks down.  That doesn't sound like such a big deal, but I was forced to live with a couple players who were not nearly as focused on cleanliness as I was, so I became pretty agitated with the living conditions. 

I know that it sounds like I'm complaining a lot - and I am - but I wouldn't exchange the experience for anything in the world.  Now that I'm home I wish it wasn't over.  In fact, I was pretty depressed all day today realizing that the season is over, at least for me. I'm not really very excited about going back to a real job and real life. 

I do have exciting news though:  I was able to make my first professional start - and my first overall start in more than two years - for our last game of the season.  I've been pretty sore since because I haven't thrown that much in a long time, but I came out after the fifth inning with a 5 - 3 lead, and overall I was pretty happy with my performance.  We ended up losing the game 6 - 5 in 10 innings, but it was a blast and a game I'll never forget. 

So now you're all caught up on my baseball dealings... I guess I'll update on normal life as I see fit from here on out until baseball rolls around again. 

July 7, 2010

Whirlwind Week

My apologies for taking a week to write again - it's been one of those whirlwind kind of weeks.

We played great baseball on Thursday, winning 5-3 in 11 innings.
We were stomped on Friday and Saturday, losing 17-6 and 14-4 respectively.
And we won again on Sunday 9-8.

I'll take a split for the weekend, not too shabby.

The big news this week is that my roommate, Barry Fowler, was picked up by the El Paso Diablos of the American Association, and pitched his first game in Fort Worth last night.  I ended up driving back home for the week to take care of some things at home and see him pitch.  He threw 2 1/3 sparkling innings in a game that consisted of some pretty bad pitching and lots of hitting.  Good for him.  I'm hoping to follow in his footsteps relatively shortly.

Back to El Paso by Friday for a series with the Coastal Kingfish, I will update then.

- JrV

June 30, 2010


Today is another example of God putting people in the right place at the right time.

On to that in a minute.  We lost game three over the weekend, but not for lack of playing better baseball.  As a team we were just flat, but the pitching and defense was there - hitting was lacking.  Game four was rained out, which was a disappointment because we came out on fire in the first inning.  One of those days where you know you would have smoked the opposition.

Had Monday off, it was glorious.

Today I participated in my first practice with the team, which really was just an intrasquad scrimmage, and I was able to throw two innings.  Learned some things today that I never had been taught, and really had a jump in velocity and confidence.  I feel like I may be on the threshold of a physical breakthrough.

This is where I go back to my initial thought of God putting people in the right place at the right time.  The guy who is working with me is a 28 year old lefty, and the first time I met him he scared the absolute crap out of me.  He's somewhere in the 6'6" range, 250 lbs, and jacked.  Definitely a guy I want on my side during a fight.  Anyway, he worked pretty extensively with me today on some mechanical flaws he had seen my first inning in Alpine on Thursday.  Literally within a few pitches I felt my velocity jump a couple miles an hour, and he said when I get comfortable and consistent I could feasibly live in the 90 - 92 mph range.  It's amazing to me the people God places in your life - and whether or not this takes me anywhere it's going to be awesome to be able to 'love on some people' as my good friend Trevor DeVage likes to say.

Today's devotion from Everyday with Jesus has to do with overthrowing the tyranny of the urgent and doing things that matter.  My goal for the week is to really enjoy the blessings I've been given, but realize that there is a reason higher than baseball for me being in El Paso, Texas.

Update on Thursday!  Love y'all.

June 25, 2010

Game 2

We turned the tables on the Big Bend Cowboys tonight, beating them 13-5.  Doesn't sound very interesting right? Well this might peak your interest: we almost brawled tonight.  My roommate from Connecticut dropped two bombs in one inning, and their catcher freaked when he crossed the plate, saying he had pimped the home run.  They then proceeded to plunk our next hitter. Not cool.  Needless to say, words were exchanged and things got pretty heated for a short period of time. There are some talents on this team, and it was nice to put it together tonight.  If we play defense, we will win, because the pitching and hitting are there.

Until tomorrow then.


I always say this after I go an extended period of time without blogging, but I'm going to try to write a little bit more, especially now that I'm on the road and away from home for the rest of the summer.

I will update my life as things have been pretty crazy since the middle of May.  As the whole world knows I've been trying to play some sort professional baseball for a long time. This year alone I've tried of for the Fort Worth Cats, the Laredo Broncos, and the Coastal Bend Thunder, in that order, with only the Thunder giving me any kind of real chance.  I was eventually signed by the Desert Valley Mountain Lions of the Continental Baseball League.  The team is based in El Paso, Texas, which is a far cry from Corpus Christi... or Dallas... or civilization.  Nowhere.

We are actually in Alpine, Texas, this weekend for a series against the Big Bend Cowboys.  Alpine is really in the middle of nowhere.  It's about 60 miles from any major highway.  Desolation.  Nowhere.

I really am enjoying myself though.  My roommates are hysterical, especially the dude from Georgia. The other guy is from Connecticut.  We've also got a guy from Australia, one from Canada, one big dude from Florida, etc. And we all have a couple things in common:

1 - we love baseball
2 - we are literally in the middle of nowhere

Another note: my first inning as a professional was tonight.  We were down by 11 runs when I came in (yes 11).  I was somewhat erratic tonight, but I attribute that mostly to my outrageous adrenaline level.  Needless to say I was pretty pumped up.  Walked a couple, but also struck out two and gave up one hit.  Not the greatest debut in the world, but I'll take it.  I'm looking forward to my next outing and getting better from here, even if I am in the middle of nowhere.

To any and all my friends who read this - I already miss you dearly but really appreciate the support you've all shown me through your Facebook comments, Tweets, phone calls, and text messages.  Love all y'all.

April 8, 2010

Life is Precious

So recently I had a friend get into a pretty serious car accident.  She was in the ICU for a couple of weeks, and is just now starting to show signs of recovery.  I miss her dearly, and am praying for a swift and safe healing process. 


That being said, life is precious.  You take for granted the time you are given, because the Earth continues to rotate on its axis, the sun rises and sets, the tides rise and fall, and the wind continues to blow.  But don’t take your life for granted.  You could be dead tomorrow.  Or tonight.  Or in thirty years.  But the point is be thankful for what you are given.  The breath in your lungs, the friends that surround you and love you.  The sun when it shines, the rain when it falls.  Birds when they sing, cats when the meow, dogs when they bark.  Your life. 


No matter how bad things seem to get, just remember, you could always be six feet under.  Give thanks for every day you are given, because they are all special.


"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good."  ~ Unknown


That’s all for now.  I’ll try to start posting a little more often.  Writing soothes the soul.



February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

So it's, oh, two minutes past midnight as I start to write this, which means it's two minutes past Valentine's Day.  Normally I would post something about how important Valentine's Day is to me, and how important it is to be loved, but this year I can see why a lot of people hate today, er, yesterday.

The term "single's awareness day" doesn't really apply to me, but I can relate with my significant other out of town this weekend.  It was a pretty lonely day watching all the lovebugs come into the restaurant and eat, and knowing I was by myself for the occasion this year.

So for those of you who hate today, or yesterday as it were, I feel your pain.  Also, my last name is Valentine so I've felt pain from this day since I was born, but that's another story.

February 8, 2010

One of Those Days...

So Super Bowl Sunday has past, and work was dead as expected.  I think I turned four or five tables and was completely bored out of my mind.  It didn't help that I was in a horrible mood before I even showed up.

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like all your hopes, dreams, and aspirations are crushed?  Today was that day for me.  Church was great, and Trevor was as funny and insightful as always.  Even had a friend drive up from North Dallas to visit us in church.  Then I went about my day and my father more or less decides to crush me for whatever reason.  I won't get into details, but frankly it put me into a pretty bad short-term depression.

I said in my last post that it's important to stay connected to old friends, but I also want to say that new friends are just as important.  Without some of the people I've met at my new job, my whole day would have been ruined.  But having someone you barely know obviously notice something is wrong and take the time to talk and make sure you're okay is a big deal.

Basically the point of this post is to make sure not to take anyone for granted in your life.  Old friends, new friends, close friends, acquaintances - it doesn't matter.  You touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with, and they in return touch your life, sometimes without even knowing it.  So again, tell the people who are important in your life just how important they are, and you will bless them as they have blessed you.

February 4, 2010

Stay Connected

I worked the lunch shift today at Chili's and turned all of three tables.  But one of my tables consisted of two women who hadn't seen each other in almost forty years.  They literally live across the railroad tracks from each other, and never knew until they connected on Facebook.  They sat and talked from about 11 to 1:30, and then left with a smile and hug.  

This whole situation just reminded me today of how important it is to stay connected with friends you care about.  I moved from Ohio to Texas, and don't talk to nearly anyone from Ohio save a select few.  However, those people are extremely important to me, and hopefully they know that.  If they don't, they better read this so they know.  

I also feel like it's important to connect or reconnect to a relationship with Jesus.  I've said this in previous posts, but the reconnection I've had lately has really turned my life around - not necessarily a visible change so much as mental.  My outlook on life is so much better. 

So my point is, tell the people who matter to you that they are important in your life.  Tell them you love them, tell God you love Him, and stay connected.  

February 3, 2010

Chapter One

So this is the start of my novel.  This is only an early rough draft of Chapter One, as I need to extend it and enter more details, but I figured I would get it out and see what the reaction was.  

            It was time.  The darkness was once again washing over the mind of Samael, and with his unholy victim with her holier than thou attitude bound and beaten, he was ready to show her the price for ignorance.  With only a slight hesitation and shudder, he plunged the knife deep into the heart of his victim. 

            “Unhallowed be your eyes because they did not see, and your ears because they did not hear,” he breathed into her ear as she gasped for her last breath. 

            The scene before Detective Phillip Hartley was by far the most gruesome he had ever seen in his tenure in law enforcement, even during the time he had spent with the Dallas Police Department.  Nothing this grotesque had ever happened in Rankin, being a small west Texas town of around 800 people.  The town itself was only a little over a square-mile and the closest thing to a big city was Odessa which was over 50 miles away.
            “Sir, you need to have a look at this.” 

            Phillip strode to where Officer Colin Gallagher was standing, and thought that if the circumstances were different, Gallagher may have seen a ghost.  Being of Irish descent, Phillip knew that Gallagher was pale anyway, but his skin color was unnatural. His fiery red hair usually stood out against his complexion, but it looked as if his whole scalp was on fire.  This all occurred to Phillip in the eight steps it took to reach the officer, then his stomach turned when he found the reason for Gallagher’s ghostly complexion. 

            A young female, probably between 18 and 25, lay on her back posed in the corpse position – a position familiar to Phillip from his years instructing yoga.  Her clothes, or lack thereof, were ripped to blood-stained pieces, and her stringy blonde hair was matted and soaked with blood.  He stopped cold when he looked at her face, and instantly understood Gallagher’s reaction to the victim.  Her eyes were missing from both sockets, and her ears had been lopped off, all of which, Phillip assumed, was done rather hastily.

            If that wasn’t disturbing enough, Phillip and Gallagher realized at the same moment that they were not dealing with any killer.  

            “Gallagher can you make out what is written across her forehead?”

            Short of breath, the officer merely replied, “Ezekiel.”

            “12:2, written across the stomach,” then turning to Officer Gallagher, “we have a religiously motivated killer on our hands, Colin.  I fear this is only the first of many.  Get the forensics team in here now, we need to collect any evidence the perp may have left behind.”

            Gallagher only nodded and ran out of the room.  Phillip flipped open his cell phone to call an old friend, one he hadn’t spoken to in years. 

February 1, 2010


So I'm working on a novel, and if I post a chapter here every now and then, would I get feedback?

Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, working at Chili's has really got me thinking about servitude and the importance it serves in society.  The difference you can make in a person's life just by serving them is a great responsibility that should not be ignored.  Now I'm not talking about getting someone a beer from the bar and serving them boneless buffalo wings at a restaurant, but rather taking the time to feed the homeless or donating to the local goodwill (or to any Haiti relief fund for that matter).  The reward received for taking time to serve is greater than any material possession could ever hope to be.  

Jesus served and sacrificed more than any person in history.  Pretty sure that dying for the sins of humanity is the ultimate service, but I digress.  His life is an example of helping those in need and being the ultimate servant for God.  Nothing was ever too great or too small for Jesus, and he took time for even the tiniest request.  My point is, be a servant for God first, and be a servant to your fellow human beings second.  Both are rewarding not only in this life, but the next. Galatians 5:13 & 14 says:  "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

I myself am striving to be a better servant everyday.  My selfishness has cost me friendships, relationships, and much more over the course of my 23 years, and I refuse to let it happen again.  Try to do the same, you won't regret it.  

January 29, 2010


I am extremely tired of the weather changing.  One week we're in the 30's, the next week it's 70, and tomorrow is supposed to be 35 and rainy.  I can't wait for the summer when I am almost guaranteed it to be 100 for three or four weeks straight.  

That's all I have for tonight.  My brain was pretty much in neutral all night at Chili's, and nothing of significance really came to my mind to share.  Although working at Chili's has got me thinking a lot more about servitude, which might be the topic for a future posting.  

Here is a parting thought that I had posted on my Facebook a couple days ago, and it's something to marinate yourself in (as Trevor so eloquently puts it) during the day.  This is from Bo Chancey's "Every Day with Jesus", which is a devotional based on Twitter: 

"We spend too much time thinking about what we believe we deserve and not enough time being thankful for what we are given." 

Night all. 

January 27, 2010


So today I had the pleasure of being asked to be a groomsman in a friend's wedding next year.  I told him I was honored and that I'd love to, and after hanging up the phone, I got to thinking about how important love is to the human soul.  

With Valentine's Day coming up in a few weeks I feel like I may be a bit premature with this post, but who cares? 

I know I have been in love for the past six years with the most beautiful woman on the planet, and although we've had our ups and downs like any couple, I realize that she really does complete me and makes me whole.  I'd be lost without her advice and laughter, her tears and her smiles, and her unending love for me no matter what stupid thing I do.  

A relationship with Jesus is based on love.  How many worship songs and songs by Christian artists are grounded in love?  How many love songs are there in general?  Countless. 

I know we need You, Father / Much more than any other / Your love brings us together / We need You, we need You / Love, we need love / You are love / We need You / Love, you are love / We need love / We need You, I need You.

Love is a powerful emotion.  Don't abuse love, or it will abuse you.  And most importantly, make sure you're loving the right things and people, because love changes lives.

You can see the power of love and compassion when it comes to the horrific situation in Haiti.  The outpouring for those people has been tremendous, similar to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.  It's amazing what we can do when we bond together.  The flip side of this coin is how others have reacted *cough Pat Robertson cough *.  But that's a post for another day.  

Return to Blogging

I feel like it's a good time to start blogging again. Writing is a great way to pour your heart out and get things off your chest; it's also a great way to inspire and create.

I've had an intense change over the course of the last month or two of my life. I grew up in church and was in love with Jesus, but the older I got, the more I started going through the religious motions. Go to church, act moral and righteous, then go out into the world and pretend God didn't exist. I would this all started around the age of 15. I'm now 23, and only within the last few months have I understood how important God is in my life.

I moved to Roanoke, TX, in August 2008, and within a few months started attending Compass Christian Church, and loved every Sunday service I attended. However, I was still going through the motions of religion, missing that connection and relationship to God that is so very important (as I now realize). I feel like the turning point for me was when someone very close to me had what I will refer to as an 'experience' in church, and I came to the realization that day that I wasn't living the way I should be living. I wasn't the stand-up role model, the strong pillar of faith, the stoic leader, or even a shoulder to lean on at that point. So I decided I would sincerely give God another chance, and man, has He really opened up my eyes and heart.

To keep this brief, I will tell you that I have had situations and opportunities arise since I gave God another solid chance, that, in all reality, I can only attribute to divine intervention. So, if you're cynical or skeptical about a relationship with the Savior like I was for so long, I can only say give God an honest shot to work in your life.

If you're in the Roanoke, TX area, I strongly encourage you to come to church with me. Trevor DeVage has really helped me change my life, whether he knows it or not, and Rob Gotcher's worship sends me places I've never been before. If you're not in the area, find a church that you fall in love with the first time you go there, open your heart and mind, and I guarantee God will work for you.