Sunday, May 29, 2011

An angry young man

I am angry. 

Not like, "man I'm pissed right now," but angry as a state of being. All of the symptoms are there: anger...

So anyway.

Just kidding. Anger comes with a host of side effects. Frustration, impatience, jealousy, envy, paranoia. Fear. It's all there. All the time. Just bubbling. Festering. I've always had a short fuse, thanks to my dad and, well, me. My mom said that my temper was so bad when I was a kid that she was afraid I was going to end up in jail. I kind of relaxed as I grew, but it was always still there. Like the time in high school when I shoved my friend Trae. Trae was 6'6", 350 lbs. And I just pushed him as hard as I could. Not that it really helped. And luckily he was really cool and didn't kill me, because he really could have. Like, grabbed my head and crushed it. And I know I have a big head, but he has really big hands. He went on to play football for Mississippi State, and now he's a dentist. Random, I know. But his dad is a dentist, too. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah.

I think it if it was JUST anger, I could deal with it easily. Maybe. But add in the paranoia, the frustration, the fear, and it just becomes overwhelming. I wrote a while back how enraged I get over injustice, but I get enraged over all kinds of things. The worst is when I'm thinking about things that happened a long time ago that don't matter anymore and that involve people who aren't even a part of my life anymore, and the memory of these events gets my blood boiling. I feel like most people would pass these memories over, but for me they are stabbed into my mind with a knife and are not going anywhere.

Case in point: I got an email today. The email made me angry, paranoid, and frustrated. In one sentence. ONE. SENTENCE. And the freaking email was about church stuff. And the sender was one of my best friends. Nothing is sacred. There is no relief, no escape from this monster. Nothing in this life.

I desire peace. Not in this world, because there will never be peace in this world. Ever. But I desire internal peace. The peace that only the Spirit of God can bring.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I always want to blog. Seriously. I think about it almost every day. But by the time I have time to sit down at my once-amazing computer and type something, the desire is gone, overcome by tiredness, stress, lonliness, or the incredible task of catching my blog up with my life.

So screw it. I'm just going to put my iTunes on shuffle. You're welcome.

Compared to What  – John Legend and the Roots (I just got this album on Amazon's awesome $5 albums email. I love Legend and everybody knows the Roots are amazing (just watch Jimmy Kimmel), and these two work together SO well.)
The Grand Ol’ Waltz – Pigeon John (My favorite rapper on the planet. I actually don't know this song. I mean I've heard it, but I can't go word-for-word like a lot of his other ones. Still awesome, though.)
If I Could – Seal (You would think this would be a low-point on the list, but it's not. I love Seal. Kiss From A Rose is one of the best songs of all times. On one of the best soundtracks ever, especially considering the movie.)
(RABBIT TRAIL - Is there a better soundtrack than Batman Forever? Consider the artists: U2, Seal, Method Man, The Offspring, PJ Harvey, Mazzy Star, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, MASSIVE ATTACK. I know, right? Probably my favorite U2 song ever, which is saying something. One of the best Massive Attack songs ever, PJ Harvey in her heyday, Method man is always get the point.)
Run – Project 86 (I saw Star Wars Episode 1 with these guys. And Blindside. Name drop!)
Exaltation – Matisyahu (I still haven't heard Matis' most recent album. Light, or something like that.)
All In the Suit You Wear – Stone Temple Pilots (This song is really good and I'd never heard it. It's on their greatest hits album from several years ago, newly written for that.)
Back on Plastic – Awex (Pretty decent song from Trance Dance '96. My graduation year. I know.)
Pretty Nights – Blindside (I saw Star Wars Epis...oh right. Sorry.)
December – Weezer (Back when they were decent, but after they were awesome.)
Don’t Ask Me Why – Eurythmics (An example of a song I've had on my computer for years and probably have never listened to. However, the Eurythmics are one of my more favoriter bands from the 80's. Yes I remember the 80's. Vividly.)
Moon River – Havalina Rail Co (Despite how much I like Havalina, I'm surpised by how many songs of theirs I hear that I don't care for. This one is in the middle.)
(Another rabbit trail: I met Pigeon John while watching Havalina Rail Co (he was friends with the bass player, Orlando), and we ended up leaving together to go watch Switchfoot when they were playing the intermission for Five Iron at Cornerstone '99. I introduced myself by telling him I knew Jo. :) Haha.)
The Second Time Around – Frank Sinatra (I mean, YEAH.)
In the Fold – The Embers/Hannah Daugherty (Great worship band from Campbellsville, KY, and friends of mine. Great songwriters, and Hannah's voice kinda makes me swoon. Not in the creepy way.)
The River Runs Low – Bruce Hornsby and the Range (Most people only know these guys from that song that Tupac rewrote and sold a billion copies of, but he was a solid songwriter and they were a great band.)
It’s Going Down – The Cross Movement (A Christian rap group with a larger vocabulary than me. Or you. Or anybody you know.)
Tangled – Maroon 5 (As much as I hate the memories attached to this album, these guys just write some sexy, sexy songs.)
Fallible – Blues Traveler (Without a doubt, my favorite song on this list. I am an unabashed fan, long before anyone ever heard Four and long after everyone quit listening. Not trying to be a music snob. I just love this band.)
For You – Michael W. Smith (You'd think I'd be embarrassed about this song being on here. You'd be right.)
It Takes Two – Soundtrack to Into the Woods (First thing I ever auditioned for that I was turned down for. Oh yeah.)
Momma Cried – Alison Krauss (Despite this album not being a Union Station album, they are all over it. Good thing. I'm still mad at her for making that stupid album with Robert Plant.)
Shine With Me – P.O.D. (I'm just truly, truly sorry. I should have deleted this crap off my computer.)
Cheerleaders – Pigeon John (Old PJ song, maybe one of my top 5 of all time.)
Restaurants – Mitch Hedberg (Mitch was just on another level. This was from a posthumous album, recorded when he was in the clubs trying to work out his new material. It was raw and unpolished and you got to see a side of stand-up comedy that most people never see. I like to think if I had grown up with motivation that I could have done something like that. I've always loved stand-up so much, and wished I could have done it.)
Faith on the Table – Martin Sexton (My friend Cookie (not a stripper) introduced me to him. I thought I had never heard him before until she took me to a concert and he performed a song of his that they used on Scrubs (the really fast-talking song they used in the "dance" section of their montage episode. Yep.) (Here it is.  A couple of things. 1) I hate flashback episodes. They are lazy. However, this is one of the best uses of the flashback ever. I laugh every time I watch it. 2) This song mentions Waynesboro, a small little town about 15 miles south of where I'm sitting right now.)
I’m Gonna Find Another You – John Mayer (I've been listening to him a lot lately. There's not a bigger idiot in the entertainment industry anywhere, except maybe Kanye. But there's also probably not anyone more talented on the guitar. Also like Kanye. You know, making the raps. They should form a supergroup. The Talented Douches. "It's douchey-good times!")

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An excerpt...

Russians - A people with such "thirsty" souls

For me, to preach the gospel to the Russians is heaven on earth. I have preached the gospel to men of many nations, but I have never seen a people drink in the gospel like the Russians. They have such thirsty souls.

An Orthodox priest, a friend of mine, telephoned me and told me that a Russian officer had come to him to confess. My friend did not know Russian. However, knowing that I speak Russian, he had given him my address. The next day this man came to see me. He longed for God, but he had never seen a Bible. He had no religious education and never attended religious services (churches in Russia then were very scarce). He loved God without the slightest knowledge of Him.

I read to him the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of Jesus. After hearing them, he danced around the room in rapturous joy proclaiming, "What a wonderful beauty! How could I live without knowing this Christ!" It was the first time that I saw someone so joyful in Christ.

Then I made a mistake. I read to him the passion and crucifixion of Christ, without having prepared him for this. He had not expected it and, when he heard how Christ was beaten, how He was crucified and that in the end He died, he fell into an armchair and began to weep bitterly. He had believed in a Savior and now his Savior was dead.

I looked at him and was ashamed. I had called myself a Christian, a pastor, and a teacher of others, but I had never shared the sufferings of Christ as this Russian officer now shared them. Looking at him, it was like seeing Mary Magdalene weeping at the foot of the cross, faithfully weeping when Jesus was a corpse in the tomb.

Then I read to him the story of the resurrection and watched his expression change. He had not known that his Savior arose from the tomb. When he heard this wonderful news, he beat his knees and swore - using very dirty, but very "holy" profanity. This was his crude manner of speech. Again he rejoiced, shouting for joy, "He is alive! He is alive!" He danced around the room once more, overwhelmed with happiness.

I said to him, "Let us pray!" He did not know how to pray. He did not know our "holy" phrases. He fell on his knees together with me and his words of prayer were: "Oh God, what a fine chap you are! If I were You and You were me, I would never have forgiven You of Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love You with all of my heart!"

I think that all the angels in heaven stopped what they were doing to listen to this sublime prayer...

- from Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand