Sunday, December 20, 2009

first semester almost done

can't believe that i'm one final away from the end of my first semester at business school. This whole thing has felt like a dream. Last year at this time I was really nervous about getting into business school, how I was going to pay for it and what i was going to do about the fact that the GMAT that i waited until the last minute to take was too low (it is a timed exam and i was interrupted by a proctor at the worst possible time).

and yet in spite of all my worry (read: my sin) God graciously and abundantly blessed me. He provided for all of my needs AND MORE.

And recently, I was tempted to doubt the sufficiency of God's provision (by worrying a whole lot about the future as it related to employment), but the Lord is faithful despite my faithlessness. I was powerfully encouraged at a concert that same day by a friend of mine who had NO IDEA what i was going through, but was recounting (on the mic) about a time when the Lord brought him through a period of doubt. In all things i will give thanks because his grace is sufficient.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Superstar in church

One of the most famous (and probably top-selling) christian artists of 2009 was at the 11am service at my church this past sunday. The awesome part was that he didn't receive any special treatment or recognition. He probably would've been embarrassed had any of that taken place.

Coincidentally, the sermon was out of phil 2:1-11 on humility.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things to buy after graduation

As most of you know, I'm starting school in the fall. 2 years of MBA schooling and unemployment awaits me. Since i've been saving for school, i haven't purchased anything that I want in *quite* some time.

This is my post-graduation wish list:

1. Motorcycle (chopper)

They are more comfy than the ninja racing bikes and I kinda feel like they are a sign of maturity (as opposed to ninjas being signs of carefree youth)

2. 6 string bass (possibly a custom mtd - my current bass is a 7 string, i think 6 would be perfect for me)

I've been playing and listening to a lot of different basses over the years, and the sound that i like the most at this point is the one that comes out of custom MTDs

3. Upright Bass (possibly electric)

Couldn't hurt to try it out to see if i want to go anywhere with it...maybe i'll get more jazz gigs with an upright.

4. Racing/Road bicycle (carbon fiber - getting my black lance armstrong on)

I was going to buy a racing bike prior to going to college (undergrad, 7 years ago), but my mountain bike got stolen in the weeks prior to my move. I repurchased a mountain bike so that i would be able to get around campus (and boston). I make decent moves on my mountain bike (see a picture at the bottom of this entry), but i still long for the skinny tires and higher speeds of a racing bike.

5. A nice digital SLR camera

I've become really interested in photography as art recently. I'm thinking that this is something that I may want to pursue. The counsel that I received was to learn the basics of photography prior to making an major investment in a camera such as this.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

NYC Summer streets

I woke up early on saturday morning intent upon going for a quick bike ride across the brooklyn bridge before an evangelistic outreach at grand army plaza with my new church family in brooklyn (we passed out free water and cupcakes, we also passed out invites to church and fliers for "brew and the bible", our neighborhood open forum on christianity. We also engaged people in conversations about the faith) followed by rapfest 2009 (christian hip hop concert in the bronx).

After crossing the bridge, I saw a bunch of people in matching shirts, so i pulled over to ask them what they were about. One lady with an eastern-block accent informed me that park avenue was blocked off (for summer streets) from the brooklyn bridge (it isn't called park avenue by the brooklyn bridge, but the street evetually becomes park avenue) to 72nd street. I decided to go for a ride along the route. Good times. There were a few people out there to race with at spots along the route, but the lights at major intersections and families with small children out for the day made racing unsafe and impractical at times.

OH! in other news, i've decided to press on with my helmet wearing. When riding around my neighborhood in brooklyn, i noticed that i was the ONLY person wearing a helmet. Recently, two friends of mine that spotted me on my bike actually made fun of my helmet!! However, people without helmets at nyc summer streets were the EXCEPTION. AND yesterday, a bike store owner let me know that the more fashionable looking helmets have less vents and are REALLY hot.

Here are some pictures:

Farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza (THEY WERE ACCEPTING FOOD STAMPS!!! Hooray for low income people!!! :o)

NYC Summer Streets sign @ 72nd and Park:

Water station sign:

Traffic Control Volunteer:

Father and son. My dad and i used to go out for bike rides when i was a kid. :')

Grand Central:

Friday, August 7, 2009


The first thing that i've realized about myself is that i am a people pleaser. I like for people to like me. And this can sometimes result in me compromising my integrity. At times, it is very easy for me to justify sin that isn't "REALLY" bad - because i desire the approval of man more than i desire the approval of God.

That approval could be in the form of a joke, looking the other way...whatever.

The other thing that i've recently realized is that obedience to God is going to cost me more than I want it to. Big sins in check and partial obedience does not equate to obedience.

What's good about this is that i'm not self-deceived into thinking that some of the sin that surfaces in my life is pleasing to the Lord. I'm thankful to the Lord for that, for the Holy Spirit who will continue to work in me and for accountability partners that can help me see other areas of sin in my life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tminus 30 days

I've got less than one month left in the state of maryland. I'm going to be moving up to nyc on 7/23. Definitely a bittersweet transition. Happy to go back to nyc, sad to leave a lot of the relationships that i've built over the past 3 years.

I've had the opportunity to develop great friendships at work, friendships with lots of different groups of christians:

- Church (wednesday home fellowship, worship team, singles ministry, men's fellowship),
- Various Sovereign Grace People,
- My band and all the other christians that I've made lasting contact with on the music front,
- Baltimore believers (monday bible study, saturday evangelism, fourth friday fundamentals, trinity reformed baptist church, believer's chapel) and

Friendships with my fraternal brothers that live in the dc area (one of whom recently moved away)...and i'm certainly going to miss them. But on the flip side, I get to go back to the greatest city ever to go to business school and to also co-labor with other believers. I'll also be living with family.

In other news, my church recently moved friday bible study to thursdays.

This is both good and bad. Good because I'm now free to do things with everyone else that does things on friday. I've missed countless band rehearsals, dinners, first and fourth friday fundamentals (first in philly, fourth in baltimore) shows, concerts, special events etc etc etc because of friday night bible study The worship team is on duty on fridays, so taking off every other friday would have without a doubt been an abdication of responsibility. But now (for these last 30 days) i can do stuff.

The bad is that Friday bible study was probably a huge help to a lot of people that would find themselves tempted to go out and sin on friday nights. The best way to remedy this would be for members of all ages to plan fun things to do on friday night with other believers, or at the very least, to make themselves available to hold their siblings in the faith accountable. Either way, this is an opportunity for relationship building outside of church. Who knows, maybe folk will actively go out and do friday night evangelism in the community around the church...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NEXT conference

I went to the NEXT conference this past weekend. The "theme" (if you can call it that) for the weekend was Jesus Christ. The speakers covered his preeminence, life, death, resurrection and return.

The fellowship was rich. We spent time in breakout sessions discussing the messages and in prayer (there was also 5mins of dodgeball early one morning).

The testimonies that were shared were sooooo encouraging. Each speaker shared their personal testimony and there were also 5 conference attendees that shared as well. I LOVED the fact that the testimonies didn't end after some of the people said things like "And from that day forward, I stopped using drugs", as though the message of the gospel is "God will get you sober". My favorite quote from the testimonies was:

"A boring testimony isn't boring to the one who got saved"

The conference was amazingly Christ-centered, gospel-centered and doctrinally sensitive, so it is with Sovereign Grace ministries as a whole. It is for this reason that i'm really excited about the church that i'm going to attend when I move up to new york city for my mba. I got to spend a lot of time with the church ppl (who i already know quite well) throughout the conference (pastor included).

There was an awesome breakout session on discerning the will of God. As someone who was manipulated by people who were really big on "discerning the will of God" this presentation was a breath of fresh air. I wrote a short paragraph on a biblical view of the will of God here. The speaker (Kevin Deyoung) wrote a book called; "Just Do Something: How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc".

I was also blessed with several opportunities to share the gospel over the weekend. My sister actually pulled me out of a conversation to encourage me to share with some of the hotel workers who were just standing around in a hallway. Though I strive to make my conversations with people about the faith actual CONVERSATIONS, this one felt a lot more like I was preaching a sermon on the wrath and grace of God (prob b/c there were 4 guys).

My prayer for myself after this weekend is for Christ's preeminence, life, substitutionary death, resurrection and return to radically shape every area of my life.

I'm going to another conference this weekend. This conference is an orientation for all recipients of the graduate fellowship that i received.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I recently watched a news story that clearly showed that they are going through a tough time in their marriage. As a believer, I know that my role is not to gossip, but rather to pray.

They are professing believers, but i've never seen an episode delve into their spiritual side. I don't know who their pastor is and what role he is playing in their marital counseling.

I hope that the more troubling things that news outlets are reporting are untrue. Ultimately, my prayer is for healing in their marriage and for unwavering devotion on the part of Jon to love his wife as Christ loved the church and for his wife to unwaveringly submit to her husband.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm currently sitting in my room - incubating a cold. I know exactly how i got sick. There's a coworker of mine that has been coughing all over the place and i've been spending a lot of time with her in meetings as of recent (new task, still trying to figure out what i'm doing - i'm no longer working from home. I've been in the office shirt/tie/jacket every day for the past 2 weeks!). I'm pretty sure that i got sick from her b/c my big boss is her big boss (and they too interact frequently) - and he's got the same symptoms that i've got (headache, fatigue, sore throat) - and she's the only sick person that i've been in regular contact with walking around the office (so much for hand washing).

Weekend stuff:

Everyone in my saturday evangelism group had something else to do, so i found myself alone up in baltimore (charles village farmer's market) this past saturday. I don't feel as comfortable sharing the gospel with people when i'm alone, but i figured that it would be a shame to waste the beautiful day (and to waste the 30mins that i spent driving to get to baltimore) so i stayed in the city.

I had a lot of interesting conversations. My conversation with the agnostic kid (about 17yrs old) was cool. He was a blank slate and really saw no need to believe in a God. I walked with him to buy asparagus and I actually had a chance to share on the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the sufficient grace of God as revealed through Jesus Christ with both him AND HIS MOTHER (who showed up midway through the conversation after her son broke down his worldview to me).

Both of the professing christians that I met were way off. One dude was a "holiness pentecostal" (aside: i've learned to stop coming to conclusions about what people believe based on the denominational title that they give me). He was really big into God speaking through all things: people, events, the q'ran...

The other professing christian that I met was a buff (he and his g/f were walking around in their workout clothes) and successful CEO. His g/f did not want to talk about spiritual things at all (but she stuck around a portion of the conversation). Before I could say much, the CEO dude asked me a bunch of questions about myself that led me to believe that he was a solid believer. I was wrong. He gave me his business card so that we could continue our conversation. I checked out his company's website (really cool company) and sent him an email. He seems to be more interested in my education and professional experience than hearing the truth of the word of God...but who knows?

After that I got started on writing my self assessment (annual review is taking place now) in a mexican place in federal hill (short drive from where the farmer's market was - also my former stomping grounds prior to moving out to the burbs) that had AWESOME service and food. I got congratulations from 3 other people in the restaurant when i finished the entire burrito. After i finished eating I decided to write the rest of my assessment out on the inner harbor.

Here's a picture of the view from where I sat:

I took shelter under the overpass so that I could get away from the sun and see my laptop. I finished writing after about 2 hours. The yankees were in town, so there were more people out than usual. There were yankee jerseys and steretypical non-black new yorkers as far as the eye could see (NY and the greater NY area always invade bmore when the yankees come to town)

I didn't talk to anyone while I was out. The sheer number of people was somewhat overwhelming and i didn't have anyone w/ me, so i didn't even make an attempt.

When i got home, my roommate reminded me that Lecrae was doing a show at UMD's main campus, so i made my way out there. The concert was awesome. He's a really gifted hip hop artist, but I was really looking forward to what he was going to say between the songs. His songs are really Christ-centered, so he set himself up really well to preach in between songs.

Pics from the concert:

Reilly (sovereign grace band) was there as well. I knew them b4 they got big!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Just got out of a bible study on pride. My boy Jay really challenged us with the word tonight.

Two (out of the many) texts on which I'm going to meditate:

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and our sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord'"


"For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it"


My prayer is that the Lord would search my heart and remove all that is not like him. This study was right on time, b/c i was a little bit discouraged after reading about a lot of the nonsense that people do under the title of christianity today. Stuff so ridiculous that I would have never believed it had I not experienced it myself.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Typical saturday...

After the men's shelter in DC, i went up to a farmer's market in baltimore to share the faith with some friends from my monday night bible study.

Most people that I attempted to engage in conversation didn't want to have anything to do with conversations about spiritual beliefs...especially with a christian. The typical person at this farmer's market usually falls into more than one of the following categories:

Politically Liberal
Eastern Religion
African Nationalist
Johns Hopkins Grad Student

To say the least, interesting people, interesting conversations.

I ran into a non-african nationalist black person who actually turned out to be an apostolic (oneness pentecostal, unbiblical emphasis on spiritual gifts). I initiated the conversation, but after she started talking, i regretted it. She pretty much told me to appeal to people's emotions and a whole bunch of other nonsense - and then she kept saying "In Jesus Name".

I didn't feel like talking about why oneness pentecostalism is an aberration of the trinity, the folly of emotionalism nor any of the other nonsense that she came at me with. The last thing that I needed to do was spend 30 minutes speaking with someone that is heavily indoctrinated in nonsense (not the time, not the place - especially with someone that was as aggressive as she was). All i did was affirm what I was out at the market to do and try passively try to end the conversation by not saying much in addition to that.

We went to an indian buffet after we left the market. The food was ok. The indian that I had at Yale last weekend (i went up for their preview weekend - i officially decided on NYU) was better. I had a lot of food to eat, so i decided that driving home to go to sleep (played a show last night, didn't get to bed until about 2am, got up at 6 - mad tired) would've been a bad look(too full to sleep), so I decided to drive downtown and walk around lexington market and the inner harbor by myself. I had a newspaper that had an aritcle on the drug kingpins that "The Wire" was based on, so all was good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

religious left

Am I the only person that wonders why no one complains when professing christians are active for liberal causes? Why is it that no one calls for separation of church and state in those cases?

It's because people don't really care about separation of church and state, they care about silencing people that disagree with them.

Honestly, I don't really care about politics. I don't think that the change that this country (or for that matter, the world) needs will be accomplished by any sort of political agenda.

My vote can help to curb the evil that many want to further, but my vote will not change anyone's heart. I've said it before, and i'll say it again - our biggest problems are not the global climate change, marriage equality, women's "healthcare" nor the failing economy. Our biggest problem is the wrath of a holy God directed squarely at all those who are dead in their sins.

What does it profit a man if he slows the rate of global climate change and loses his soul?

As a christian, I stand on the gospel. I am not ashamed of it, for it is the power of God unto salvation.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

should i marry an unbeliever?

I just shared this with someone - figured that others could benefit:

You should mos def be careful of the counsel that you receive from people. A lot of these people responding to your post are not believers and they don't care about what the word of God says at all.

There are two kinds of people in God's economy, believers and unbelievers. Saved and unsaved. Lovers of God and haters of God. There is no middle ground.

You are in one category and your boyfriend is in the other.

To be blunt, I don't think that it is wise for you to even be in this relationship. The end goal of relationships for the christian should be MARRIAGE. If someone doesn't meet the FIRST item on the list of "qualities of a potential spouse", which is TO BE A BELIEVER, then they are to be immediately disqualified as a potential spouse.

As a believer, your end goal in life is not to get married and have children with some guy, but rather to glorify God with your life and your obedience.

Marrying an unbeliever is disobedience. I do not think that it is wise to be disobedient and hope that good will result from your disobedience. Such an action would be sin in hope that God's grace to you would increase. Read romans 6 (shall we sin that grace may abound? by no means!). Christians are supposed to turn from sin and seek to honor God in obedience everyday and in all things.

Read your bible, seek to know the Lord as he has revealed himself in his word - and pray that God would send you an ephesians 5 man who will love you like Christ loves the church.

Patience is a fruit of the spirit. Trust God. His grace is sufficient.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

US Drug Problem - legalization?

President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, said that the Mexican Drug Cartel issue only exists because of the huge drug problem that exists in the US.

I think he is 100% correct.

If there were no demand for illegal drugs, no one would see any need to make huge and violent cartels. Barack goes to mexico to give counsel on how they can reduce violence, but before he even gets there, calderon says, there would be no violence if there were no demand.

Drug problems do not discriminate on the basis of race or socioeconomic conditions. Drug addiction is everyone's problem. I wonder what we can do to more effectively combat this issue...the "Just say no" and "I'm not a chicken, you're a turkey" campaigns had a major impact on me. Too bad that the same can't be said for others in my demographic.

I'm at a loss for ideas (i mean - outside of preaching the gospel to people).

Legalization would probably reduce the violence and increase the purity and consistency of drugs sold (decreased prices would result from cheaper shipping costs which would ultimately decrease any desire to cut the drugs with additives --> purer product). An increase in purity would result in less time and money spent on people that overdose on drugs (whenever i go to downtown baltimore, I always see an ambulance carrying away some person that has either overdosed on heroin or been injured while high).

I'm trying to figure out what society would look like with legalized drugs and i'm having a hard time. I do not think that the stigma that being an addict carries would go away. But similar to the porn industry, i think that the legalized-drug industry would thrive (just with smaller profit margins for everyone involved) in the world of secret vices.

We would probably have to expand our treatment programs - but taxes collected from drug sales could probably cover that...

What about the moral dilemma that we arrive at when we think about the fact that people/the government would be profiting from substances that ruin people's lives? (keep in mind that all drugs do not wreak havoc in people's lives in the same way)

What will be the REAL cost of new books for inner-city schools? (you would assume that drugs dollars would also go to education - just like the lottery).

There would still be such a thing as a "controlled substance" (we can't just have people walking around and prescribing abilify to themselves), but i don't think that we would be able to prosecute violations of law against possession of controlled substances as heavily as we do now...

What do you think?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

crisis of mortality

The sermon that I was listening to had ended and somehow I still found myself awake. Aside from the faint noise of leaves blowing in the wind outside my window, my house was perfectly silent.

In the midst of the quiet was the steady sound of my heartbeat. As my head lay on my arm, I could feel the blood coursing through my arteries, however, not so much through my veins. Heartbeat-arteries full. Pause-arteries not as full. Heartbeat-arteries full. Pause-arteries not as full. Who knew that blood circulation could be so fascinating?

At no other point in my life have I been more aware of my own mortality. I knew that I was not telling my heart to do what it was doing, but whether I liked it or not, it was going to keep going.

It is almost as though God designed us in this manner so that we would immediately humble ourselves and repent at the advent of any prideful thought that says "I sustain myself". Who are you, oh man, whose breath is in his nostrils, (better said: whose heart beats in his chest) to think such a thing?

This is the text that came to mind:

"For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners. Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.

So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them!

Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendor of his majesty.

The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft.

And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.

In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.

Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?"

Isaiah 2:6-22 ESV

Sunday, March 22, 2009

bass/jdubs/other stuff

Sitting in my room on a sunday night. Just played a whole bunch of bass guitar. Felt good to sit down with my new stuff. Here are some pictures!

Same speaker cabinets and preamp, just a different power amp. It is a crown xti2000. Dissimilar to most power amplifiers, it is digital, so I can do a lot of tone shaping stuff with this software that i downloaded on my laptop.

I didn't plan this, but the power amplifier and the pre amplifier have lights that MATCH PERFECTLY!!! Here's a night picture!!

what to talk about...what to talk about...ummmm

last weekend 7 guys that were driving from georgia to philadelphia for a christian hip hop concert made a pit stop at my house early on saturday morning so that they could get some rest before the last leg of the trip. As people were starting to doze off, some Jehovah's Witnesses rang the bell. We invited them inside and spent about 2 hours going through scripture. I did not really want to invite them inside, but when you have a house with 8 christians that know the word, why not? We spent most of our time talking about the trinity and salvation by grace (Jdubs deny the trinity and they are functionally works righteous - they've also got a bunch of other weird doctrine, but that stuff is secondary). The two guys promised that they would return to talk to me. I don't know what else there is to talk about...maybe I can memorize the false prophecies that the watchtower made (like the return of Christ in 1914 or something like that...)

Today after purchasing a sunday newspaper, some Jdubs that were sitting in a car in the parking lot of the supermarket that i went to asked me over to their car to show me a watchtower article on 5 steps to financial success (or something like that). They must have a Jdub Joel Osteen writing articles for the watchtower now. I wasn't particularly nice to them. The conversation went something like "I'm a all are not christians...Jesus Christ is God - the bible clearly teaches it...the watchtower society is a bad organization, *dueces*" (all in <1min). There was grace in my speech, but there really wasn't. I feel like I should have a more patient disposition when confronting people like them. I have a better track record with mormons. Pray for me.


I was given an opportunity to lead my monday night bible study last week. The guy that taught the week before me came out of james 1:1-12, so being uncertain of what I should do, I decided to continue from where he left off and in doing that, I focused on the 12th verse:

Blessed is the man that remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

...yeah...a really rich text.

ALSO - it is going to cost me something like $400 to get my spark plugs changed. Apparently, three of them are located under this humongous intake manifold (or whatever it is called) and the labor will take about 4 hours. I'm going to look into doing it myself. I'll prob go to an autozone to buy/rent the tools for the job or something. I refuse to be a victim of "4 hours of labor". It'll probably take the mechanic 1 hour to do it...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

accepted and rejected

Currently sitting at my kitchen table. I just finished writing up a bible study on james chapter 1, verse 12 (in light of everything around it, it is a very rich verse...the guy that lead last week taught on verses 1-12) for my monday night bible study. Initially, I had plans to do a study on Numbers 22-24, but I eventually came to my senses and learned that 3 chapters is very infeasible for 40 minutes of teaching.

So, first the acceptances:

I was accepted to both NYU and Yale!!

The Lord is gracious (i would be able to choose to attend either school w/o having to take out loans!!). I'm really partial to NYU, but i'm still planning to attend Yale networking events so that I can meet, greet and learn. My goal is to hit the ground running no matter where I go. A lot of the people that i've spoken to about my admissions decision don't understand how I could ever pick NYU over Yale. What most don't realize is that the ivy league does not have the corner on the top ranking slots. The top business school in the country is the university of chicago. who knew?


Now the rejection:

At the suggestion of a friend from my monday night bible study, I pursued an opportunity to preach at the Baltimore City Rescue Mission. I showed up before their evening worship service to take a guided tour with the chaplain. He and I got along really well. I could tell that he really had a heart for the men that came out to the shelter (the shelter feeds and houses about 250 [*i think*...maybe 300] men nightly). Talking to him in the hour prior to the worship service was like speaking with an old friend. At one point he asked me if i wanted to preach that night. I didn't have anything prepared (preaching the gospel is something i'm always prepared to do, but all i was thinking when he asked me was "too soon").

I did introduce myself to the men from the lectern. I also took that time to encourage the men with phillipians 1. The sermon was awesome. The singing was awesome (ever heard ~250 men sing "I love to tell the story"?). I was really excited for the opportunity to minister in such an environment.

At the end of the night, the chaplain told me that I would need to send a copy of my church's doctrinal statement. I sent a copy of my church's doctrinal statement and i also included a note in the email that clearly stated my confession of God's sovereignty in salvation (my church does not confess this - so i felt that i should give full disclosure). I didn't think much of it since my friend who suggested I pursue the opportunity teaches on women's side of the mission and also goes to a church that has a confessionally reformed statement of faith.

I got a call on friday night, while i was in bible study, from the person who runs the mission (not the chaplain) to inform me that my statement of faith disqualified me from teaching at the mission. My friend didn't understand, so she called the guy's wife to ask about me and get this...


I was really shocked by all this. After speaking with my friend, we came to the conclusion that they have a poor understanding of calvinism and that they have probably had bad experiences with calvinist.

I was really crushed.

A whole bunch of other life stuff has been going on. Another blog is forthcoming.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paralyzed by choice

Without fail this always happens to me. I say to myself "Self you're going to run into [store X] for like 5mins and then get back on the road", but this is never the case.

I always end up standing in an aisle with 3 or 4 products in hand making USELESS comparisons!

I will be straight if there is just one option, but when presented with a choice, it's like i get paralyzed.

Like today, I spent what had to have been 15 minutes in an aisle comparing 4 different brands of glucosamine supplements.

"Oh ok, this is one is buy one get one free"
"But this one is ranked #1 by 9 out of 10 physicians"
"This one has the cheapest cost per pill"
"But this one has a different formula - same glucosamine, different 'extra stuff'"
"Does the extra stuff even matter?"
"Maybe that's why 9 out of 10 doctors rank it number one - that extra stuff could be the bee's knees"
"The generic brand served me well in the past..."
"But for some reason it isn't the cheapest one"

I do this ALL the time...and it BOTHERS me to no end. I figure out the price per ounce when deciding between buying the small size peanut butter as opposed to the larger jar. Then once i figure out which one is more expensive, I then spend some extra time figuring out if the extra $0.25 in cost is worth the benefit (portability) of having 2 smaller containers.

I do this on a different level when i clothes shop, because clothes shopping is like making a multi-year committment to the item that you are purchasing. This is one of the reasons why I choose to shop alone. If any sane person were with me, i'm sure that they would consider taking my life at several points during the shopping experience.

I don't think that this would bother me as much if I were actually on a budget and each dollar really mattered for my "making it through to the end of the month". But the truth is that i'm not on a budget. I rarely spend my expendable income on "pleasure" (i mean...if you don't count the 6 days of the week that I drive 20+ miles to do something (bible study (m) - home fellowship (w) - rehearsal (r) - different bible study (f) - baltimore outreach (sa) - church (su)) as "pleasure"). Is something wrong with me? Is this a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder?

In my defense - there are some things that i can truly walk into and out of a store for. I finished my study on "best bread for price" a few years back, so there is no need for me to waste time when purchasing bread. I also know exactly which milk i want (doesn't hurt that the stores only carry one brand) .

still haven't heard anything back from nyu. tomorrow might be the day...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

slumdog *no spoiler* and stuff

Went to go see slumdog millionaire with my bro and my mom this past weekend. Awesome movie. Great action, great story, great suspense and great dancing at the end (well, the dancing was ok, but the fact there was dancing at all was awesome). The love story that is intertwined with the rest of the plot is most definitely one for the hopeless romantics (a group of which i am not a member - i found myself overanalyzing the romantic part of the story for the ENTIRE movie like "wait - there's got to be more substance than THAT...this is just infatuation!" kind of overanalysis). This movie will certainly go on my favorite movie list (maybe higher than "mean girls" but definitely lower than "enemy of the state")

I got into yale!

NYU is still my top choice, but ultimately, i'm going to go to the school that offers me a full scholarship (pray that i get one!). I mean...i can pay back the student loan debt, but it would be awesome to get out of school with $0 in debt.

Now that I have one finalized admissions decision, i'm going to start applying for outside scholarships and reaching out to people that gave me scholarship money when I was in undergrad. About 2 years ago, I actually addressed a group of students that were receiving the same scholarship that i received as a senior in HS - and the people that gave out that scholarship pulled me aside after I spoke and let me know that "If [I] ever need help funding the next level of [my] education, don't hesitate to contact [them]". Trust that i'm calling tomorrow (maybe tues since the east coast is going to be snowed in). Prayerfully the economy hasn't made their scholarship funds short.

I took greyhoung to nyc this past weekend (i was too sleepy to drive up on thursday night - i purchased a ticket for the last bus). On the ride back down to MD, I pulled out my company laptop and caught up on some work. After 4 hours of work on the bus, my laptop still had 54% battery life (which equated to about 3 hours of life). SEVEN+ HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE?!?!?!?!?

On my personal IBM T30, i'm lucky (providentially blessed?) to get 30minutes unplugged! There are some times when the battery will jump to empty if I attempt to use it unplugged for more than 10mins. I've had this laptop since

I'm definitely going to have to buy a new laptop for grad school. I *LOVE* ibms (they're called lenovos now). They have this mouse button in the middle of the keyboard that I cannot live without.

see the red button? that is the mouse. I guess ibm has a patent on it, b/c i don't see it on any other laptops (well, dell's used to have it, but for some reason, they stopped putting them on their laptops). They've made a loyal customer out of me. OH! in addition to awesome mice (mouses?) they also have excellent customer yeah. I can remember getting a <32hr turnaround for mail-in servicing (called on a sunday night, got the mailer box monday morning - sent laptop in, got my laptop tuesday morning).

I'll probably wait until i'm officially a student to purchase a new laptop tho, there will probably be some sort of student discount or something.

to bed i go. RC sproul has some covenant stuff up on the ligonier video. I'll probably throw one or two of those on tonight before i go to sleep.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

bschool apps update

This weekend went really well. I went up to nyc on thursday night so that I could work from home on friday and go to a student panel/dinner at nyu on friday night. They served some sort of pineapple was awesome (i've failed at both of my attempts to make salmon, but THAT salmon has motivated me to wait for a salmon sale *i'll hold out for $4/lb* and try my hand again).

Saturday was the official interview day. There were about 90 people total on the campus to interview. There was a general air of excitement (with a side of nervousness) from everyone present. There was one guy present with whom I went to MIT. I think I saw one or two familiar faces from harvard as well.

After 30 minutes in the general holding area (where there was a continental breakfast), my "block" was called into the interview area. About 20 people walked into the interview area alongside me. When we stepped in, about 10 names were immediately called for an interview by people in suits with folders. My name was the 7th name called. My interviewer looked like a nice guy and one interview later, I can say that my initial assessment was correct.

The interview went REALLY well.


I was prepared to answer all kinds of questions about myself. I was even prepared to answer the typical "STUPID" questions that interviewers ask as well (i.e. 'tell me about a challenge you had' 'tell me about a time you worked on a team').

I wasn't asked any "stupid" questions.

It is probably because my interviewer was intimately familiar with my entire application package. I was surprised by how well things went. After the interview, I took a guided tour of the school with the same 20 people from my group. We then went to lunch (terrible salad, but awesome chicken and baby potatoes (they were tiny potato-looking and potato-tasting things?)). A distinguished alumni delivered a speech during the lunch. The dude was a christian, so I made time to reach out to him after his presentation to ask about the spiritual climate at the school and his life as a believer/husband/father in light of his professional responsibility. Certain things that he said during the speech lead me to believe that he was much more than a believer in name only. The conversation was very helpful.

After the lunch, we went to a mock lecture on business law. We looked at a lawsuit that was filed against pepsi for this commercial

Very thought-provoking. Awesome lecturer (nyu really put their best foot forward in selecting this guy, very charismatic...not in the pentecostal/AOG/COGIC way tho ).

After the class, there was a mixer at a local restaurant/bar. I tried the brooklyn lager, which was surprisingly delicious (they had it on tap). It was probably "surprisingly delicious" because i associated the term "lager" with "stout". Don't judge my ignorance . I had a good time "networking" with the folk that were out. Prayerfully, I get in. I find out in 3 weeks.

The interview really reminded me in a powerful way that God is sovereign and gracious. I can see how he has blessed me tremendously throughout this entire application process. I do not deserve his blessings, but he has seen fit to be gracious toward me. Admission into NYU will *not* be a result of my overwhelming credentials (i don't have them), but rather, the graciousness of God. Pray that I get in!

Jeremiah 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:"Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wedding - Tye Tribbett/Soliciting/Bmore PETA KFC Protest

The director of my gospel band got married this past weekend. I was part of a pre-ceremonial concert of sorts. Among other songs (two originals and "Say a prayer for me"), I was also slated to play bass on Tye Tribbet's "Chasing after you". It was crazy because I never had a chance to arrange nor rehearse the song with the guy who sang it. Prior to the wedding day, I actually thought that he was going to be playing lead guitar while someone else sang the song. 30 seconds before the performance, the dude that was SINGING LEAD let me know that I would be playing as his SOLE accompanient. WHAT?!?!?!??!!?

There was obviously some confusion of the terms "Lead", "Soloist" and "Lead Guitar" in the emails sent out prior to the wedding.

Overall, the performance went well. Though I spent my time preparing to play the bass line, I also played around with the guitar chords (for my own personal edification tho...not for performance purposes!!). I was really wired for the 10 minutes after the performance (like.."unable to sit down" wired- LOL).

The wedding and the reception were good fun as well. When I first met the director around june of last year, he was engaged to a young lady in the group, so this has been a much anticipated day from day 1.


I went out the farmer's market in baltimore again with the folk from my monday night bible study. Our day ended with a vendor/facilitator of the market approaching us with a police officer at his side and asking us to leave because we were "soliciting"...and the law requires that we be at least 300 ft or so outside of the market. Solicitation is directly related to selling something, all we were doing was starting conversations and infrequently passing out tracts, but whatever...

At that point, we decided to pack up and to go to the charles village chipotle. As we were walking out, I stopped another non-vendor lady who was passing out material and let her know that we were just asked to leave since "solicitation" laws were being enforced today. The officer was trailing behind us (not necessarily following us), so in an attempt to avoid any further conflict, I made a point to tell him what I was doing in having a conversation with the lady. The officer then (out of sheer curiosity) asked to see what I was handing out. I showed him the "good person" gospel tract that i had and he was like "I'm a christian too, and I wouldn't want to hinder anyone in the city from preaching the gospel, the city certainly needs it...but please stay on the outskirts of the market". What are the chances of running into a believing police officer?

The lady was given a pass by the same guy who asked the cop to ask us to leave. I'm probably going to write a letter into the baltimore sun or something to expose the discrimination.

OH - highlight of the day was during a conversation with a girl who spent 15 years in catholic school. I first asked her if she would be willing to have a conversation about spiritual things - she said "SURE!". I then asked her about her spiritual beliefs and she said (with an air of accomplishment) "I was a christian for most of my life - I spent 15 years in catholic school, but now i do whatever seems right to me". The conversation progressed into us talking about man's need for a savior and the salvific inadequacy of attending catholic school. She then put her hand on her forehead in a manner that was partially discreet and kinda weird all at the same time. Within 10 seconds, a friend of hers came on the scene and said "Oh, we have to go - i need her for something".


THE GIRL TOTALLY SENT OUT A DISTRESS SIGNAL TO HER FRIENDS!!! I've seen girls plan this out at parties, i've seen it on TV and i've read about it in newspaper articles, BUT I'VE NEVER BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END OF ONE!!

It was awesome! I shared a good laugh with the other laborer-folk after the fact.


After leaving the chipotle and making my way home, i drove past a KFC on a busy avenue that had about 30 people in front of it with signs. I immediately was able to determine that these were PETA type people. They were protesting the GENOCIDE OF CHICKENS...IN FRONT OF A KFC!!!! seriously?

They had signs with pictures of chickens being "mistreated". They had catchy slogans as well. I didn't really have anywhere to be and I was still in a particularly outgoing mood so the thought crossed my mind to go and talk to them. The sign that made me park my car (aside: there was an abudance of parking spaces on the avenue, how could i not park?) was the sign that read "Thou shalt not kill".

I specifically approached the dude with that sign and was like "Thou shalt not kill? like...the bible, right?" And he was like yeah "God said don't kill and that we should treat all creatures with respect"


I challenged the guy's usage of that text by making a reference to the fact that God killed a lamb in the garden of Eden to cover the sin of Adam and Eve and that he also instituted the entire sacrificial system wherein countless animals were slaughtered and how all this served as a type/shadow of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. He jumped off that now we're talking about morality...and a fellow protester joins the conversation and is on some "We believe that people should do what seems right to them, you can believe the bible if you want"

And so I was like "Yeah, and the founders of KFC feel that it is right to treat chickens the way that they do, who are you to tell them that they're wrong? This is the problem with moral is arrogant and it makes no sen..."

(a taller guy runs over and gives me some PETA tracts)

Had i not been full from chipotle (and unable to see that I wasn't going to be able to make any further points in conversation without being interrupted and given more PETA tracts), I would've gone inside and purchased a personal bucket so that i could have continued the conversation with a drumstick (or two) in hand(s).

In the future, I would love to be more investigative in my approach so that I could see what informs their convictions. Either way, this is Romans 1 being played out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ben&Jerry'sCCCD/cop complaint/taxes/prison letter

Just getting back in the house from monday night bible study. I've been bothering the host about not having ice cream in the freezer (i actually put a sign in her freezer that reads "no ice cream = sin") and today there was a single serving cup of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream in her freezer to greet me!!

I've received a lot of different counsel on how to proceed with filing the complaint against the officer that pulled me over. I have judged the counsel that I received from a cop that attends my monday night bible study to be the best. I've already got extra hours for the month, so i'm going to take some time off tomorrow and report the officer directly to his internal affairs unit (to ensure that my complaint doesn't just get swept under the rug by more crooked cops).

I'm slowly getting my tax forms in the mail. In hindsight, I didn't do as poorly in my active stock market trading (on as I thought I did. The daily stock watching put me through a lot of heartache. I will never watch stocks on a daily basis ever again (unless it is in a bull market).

I got another letter from the new brother in the faith who is currently in prison. It was really a blessing. I sent him a package with a letter and some sermons on the role that the word of the Lord is to play in the life of the believer. My prayer is that the Lord would:

-richly bless him in his spiritual growth
-shield him from false teaching
-powerfully remind him of the trustworthiness of his promises
-through his word, work a joy in him that will cause him to rejoice and be thankful in all things
-physically protect him

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Prosperity Gospel/Ted Haggard

I'm so glad that a lot of these prosperity gospel charlatans are being exposed for what they are. Prayerfully their congregants will see the thoroughly unbiblical nature of the "name it and claim it" and "speak _____ over yourself" (insert: prosperity, healing, victory etc) doctrines and get into sound doctrine churches. May their ears itch for the expository preaching of the word of God.

Article on Fall of Prosperity churches

Kenneth Copeland, Randy and Paula White and Thomas Weeks are among them. Thomas Weeks is Juanita Bynum's ex-husband. He and Juanita had a much publicized bout of domestic violence in a hotel parking lot about 18 months ago.


Ted Haggard sounds more like someone who is trying to be politically correct in an effort to save his career rather than a person who is seeking to glorify God during one of the darkest times in his life. I feel like he is trying to justify himself in the eyes of the world so that he can get his new career up and off the ground.

There are politically correct ways to address sin and there are biblical ways to address sin. Here's what Ted said on Oprah:

"Now, I do believe the Bible is the word of God. I believe God's ideal for us is to live in heterosexual monogamous marriages. I just believe that," he says. "I think it's an ideal, just like I wish there wasn't divorce. So an ideal is that there not be divorce, but there is divorce. An ideal is that heterosexual monogamous marriages would be there, but that's an ideal."

Words have meaning. This was about as good as Rick Warren's pluralistic "In the name of the one who changed MY life" at the inauguration. Why not use this as an opportunity to quote what scripture authoritatively has to say about those who make a practice of homosexuality? Why not use this as an opportunity to talk about how God sees our sin and the condemnation that our sin merits? Why not use this as an opportunity to proclaim the forgiveness of God and the fact that forgiveness is based on the merit and work of Christ alone (and not our good works)?

I'm certain that the homosexual community and christian men/women who struggle with homosexual desires were carefully listening to every word that Ted Haggard had to say. He missed a perfect opportunity to preach Acts 17:30 to those that think that God has no problem with homosexual behavior and to also encourage struggling believers to continue on in sanctification because God will complete the work that he started!

This man was a VERY INFLUENTIAL pastor for quite some time before he was removed. It is safe to say that he knows how to say exactly what he wants to say when given the opportunity. The fact that his words came off as being intentionally vague bother me. Compromise on the use of clear language when the topic is clearly addressed in scripture indicates a desire to please men that supersedes any desire to please the Lord.

Another thing that concerns me in all of this is the fact that he still seems salty about his church firing him. The man lived in continuous sin for years (as a pastor!) and only said anything about it when exposed and HE'S SALTY? really? I pray that he would be humbled by his sin in light of the grace of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ.

The thing that bothers me even more is the hush money that his church paid to a 22 year old man that he had an inappropriate relationship with over a period of a few years. Where is the accountability? Why didn't anyone step forward and demand that he step down? Is it because he was popular and this was an ugly situation? What about honoring the Lord despite the fallout that may result?

In other news, his wife's character is silently preaching sermons. Apparently, the director of the HBO documentary purchased a bible because "seeing the Haggard family live out the biblical message of forgiveness was so powerful". The director is nancy pelosi's daughter! Pray for her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

bschool/gmat/nyc/cops/new stuff/etc

I'm trying out a new firefox add-on. We'll see how it works.

I was able to successfully submit my applications to business school. I poured my heart and soul out into those 5 essays (i used a common application...If any of you care, I can email you my app essays) and my prayer is that I would get in and get a full scholarship!!

NYU is still my top choice.

I retook the gmat on wednesday morning and did really well. God is gracious.

I spent a lot of time in brooklyn with my family. I went to my parent's church and my sister's church each sunday (parent's 7:30, sister 11:00). I helped my sister with cleaning out her new diggs (my grandmother's old house) as her and her future husband (the wedding is on 1/17) will be living in brooklyn.

I actually went out and did some shopping, only because I have a strong feeling that deals wont always be this good. I got some clothes, a winter jacket, A NEW CAMERA (nikon s610 - wide angle lens, it is old camera with the broken LCD became a completely broken camera when it dropped about 20 feet to the ground out of my pant's pocket. I had plans to fix the LCD again, but that drop killed the camera) and a 750gig hard drive (laCie usb 2.0).

I'm going to use the hard drive to backup my 160gig external hard drive which has ALL of my pictures, video and documents from the past 7 years. One day I was sitting around asking myself "what would i do if i lost all the pictures that are stored on this hard drive?".


I didn't leave nyc and come back to baltimore until late monday/early tuesday (i submitted my apps monday night, ate dinner and then hit the road). I got pulled over by police in my maryland neighborhood for going ~50+ in a 40-->45 zone. They didn't give me a ticket b/c they were radaring a car that was going 45 in the 40 and i "blew by that car". I was terrified when they asked me if i had any drugs.

I'm REALLY behind with things for my job. I've been sick and i've also been having a hard time getting focused (i really needed a break after putting in so many hours on my applications). I'm going to catch up tonight and this weekend.

I've got an all day studio session on saturday. I'll bring my camera and take pics/video!!