Monday, December 26, 2011

Wisdom from Above

"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice"

-james 3:14-16

Lord, help me to be content. Help me not to look at others with a jealous heart. Help me to not see the ways in which you've gifted me as a means to bring glory to myself. Give me eyes to see that you are God and all in all, whereas i am just a man.

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace"

-james 3:17-18

Lord help me to seek after your wisdom. Help me to seek after your righteousness. I am weak, but you are strong. Help me to be strong in you as I seek to be peaceable, gentle, full of mercy, impartial and sincere in my dealings with other. Help me to consider how you have been all those things to me and more. :o)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It coulda been me

I've always had a problem with songs like this because they tacitly/unintentionally imply that people who are going through such trials do not have anything for which to praise God.

These songs neglect (and I must add that I do not believe it to be intentional...although in the case that it proceeds from prosperity theology, it probably is) texts like john 16:33:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Not only is the believer promised trials, but I would argue alongside pastor Eric Mason when he says that trials are the primary means that God employs to accomplish his will (sanctification 1thess4:3). in the lives of believers.

Eric Mason: Sanctification through suffering

Monday, October 24, 2011


I watched a guy I don't know sell heroin to a guy that I know this past saturday. I then watched the guy I know use the drug.

Kinda messed me up...because there had always been a veil between the knowledge of drug abuse and witnessing drug abuse.

The dealer was on a bicycle and he was selling his product in a rather ostentatious much so that I felt like justice needed to be carried out. So I called 911.

At a certain point in the conversation I told the dispatcher "oh, nevermind...there's a cop right here. I'll talk to him".

I discreetly engaged the cop and told him what the guy on the bike was doing. The cop then responded "what do you want me to do? Search him so everyone can get mad at me...for me to only find nothing?"

Justice was all I wanted.

The backstory is that police have been catching a lot of heat for their new "stop and frisk" policy. Which has a 93% failure rate.

My prayer has been that the police would not become discouraged or jaded. Lord please help this man.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

financial responsibility

I would like to purchase a new bass guitar. Specifically this one:

isn't she lovely? :o)

But she costs about $2300 +tax. Not that i couldn't pony up $2300 to pay for her, but with two playable and nice looking basses in my possession, i think the financially wise decision (at this point in my life) would be to wait.

but have you seen how beautiful she is?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Troy Davis

"People who thought they supported capital punishment yesterday will realize they cannot today. Because people who thought they could stand on the sidelines will realize they no longer can."

-Ben Jealous, NAACP president

Yesterday, I believed in capital punishment. Today, I don't know what I believe.

To kill Troy Davis would be nothing short of murder. Murder is wrong.

May God have mercy on the merciless decision-makers in the state of Georgia. Lord, open their eyes and allow them to see the error of their ways.

Lord, please be with troy and comfort him in the midst of this trial.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Campaign Finance Reform  <- take off your political affiliation hat, go here and watch this video

The problem with campaign finance reform is that we are asking corrupt people to institute mechanisms to police themselves. It is like asking lions to enact deer protection laws. "We'll get around to it next year".

Above all things, i think this is the most frustrating thing about politics in this country. I'd like to check out mentally to spare myself the drama, but ignorance would bother me all the more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Comforter

As i sit in a hotel in memphis, tenn after a long day of working and joking around with my coworkers, i feel alone in the midst of a crowd of people in the hotel lobby. Top of mind is the tragedy that my family has had to walk through this weekend. My sister lost her baby after 21 weeks of carrying him around. We all grew so emotionally attached to him even though we had yet to meet him. We all knew exactly what size he was as each week passed. These comparisons earned him the nickname "baby lemon lime". We all knew that his heart beat sounded like an upbeat down south hip hop song. We all knew that he was an active little boy. We were all eagerly anticipating his arrival in december.

The sadness that i feel must pale in comparison to that of the mother who felt his kicks and became intimate with his comings and goings. It must pale in comparison to that of the expectant father who knew that his boy would love football, christian hip hop and ribs.

In addition to 2 cor 1:3-11, this text came to mind to comfort me - it isn't easy to apply during this time of sadness, but it is the only true hope that we have:

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long,

"Where is your God?"

4These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:

how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation

6and my God.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I don't particularly care for the term "fetus". It feels like a dehumanizing term that strips what is growing inside a woman's uterus of any value. Whenever i hear someone say it, i always think "did you mean to say 'unborn baby'?".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I was thinking the other day that men need to be intentional about respecting women and encouraging  other men and boys to do the same.

My girl (futurewife) was telling me a crazy story last night that really messed me up. She had some friends visiting from philly. They dragged her out to times square late Saturday night. While out there some men started to harass them - one of them even started to caress the hair of one of the girls (completely unwelcome contact). My girl was able to step in and stop a bad situation from getting worse, but what I found most troubling was the hearts of the men. What makes dudes think that they can treat women so disrepectfully?

Part of me is like "if I punch dude in the face, he'll learn" but nothing could be further from the truth and nothing could bring me closer to getting stabbed on the street :l

Me? I'm just going to pray. I'm going to pray for the city and I'm going to pray for vision to see different things that I can do as well as for vision to see the things that I can encourage others to do. Things are so out of control. But God is sooo in control :o)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Piper Quote

"The stronger and bigger the desire we have for something, the more vulnerable we are to rationalizing its fulfillment in a sinful way"

It is good to have a game plan, fam.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gay marriage passes in NYS

An excerpt from another conversation. In light of recent news, i feel this post is appropriate:

(this post will probably be very similar to this one that i wrote)

i think i differ from most bible believing christians in this respect. I'm ambivalent about this decision. All this bill does is change how the state defines marriage. The state is not the church. The state has not rewritten what the bible says.

When my fiance and I marry (yeah, i'm engaged these days XD), our pastor will officiate the ceremony and we will be married. Our vows will be no less binding in the eyes of the Lord if we decide against seeking a marriage certificate from the state.

If we choose to seek the financial and civil benefits that the state confers upon those who it deems to be married, we will sign up. That the state defines marriage as a union between two people of the same sex does not mean that marriage is a union between two people of the same sex. God has spoken. Whatever man has to say is nothing more than conjecture.

I'm ambivalent about this decision because i believe what the bible has to say about sexual immorality. This decision will only further legitimize sexual immorality in our society. The ambivalence enters into the equation when i consider the fact that there are people who have been in committed relationships to whom the SECULAR state denies basic rights.

Marriage is not a right, but seeing a loved one in the hospital should should death/estate benefits...and the opportunity to extend health coverage.

That the state calls civil unions "marriage" is nothing more than semantics. The definition of marriage has not been changed by this legislation any more than God's existence ceases when a person professes atheism. #justsayin

grace through faith

Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Faith in God is inextricably linked with the fight for personal holiness. It is not the case that people are saved by grace and progressively sanctified by works, but rather, people are saved by grace through faith AND they are progressively sanctified by grace through faith.

The works that accompany one's saving faith are inextricably linked with their belief. If i believe that God is God, then that belief MUST have an impact on the way that i live my life. Not to say that sinless perfection follows a confession of faith, but rather to say that alongside belief in God is a growing knowledge of him and a growing knowledge of him is accompanied by a growing knowledge of what a terrible thing sin is.

This stands in direct contradiction to a belief that one can profess faith in God while still living in willful and persistent sin with no desire for repentance. I don't say this in an accusatory tone, but rather i say this as both a reminder/exhortation to myself and all others to seek, grow in knowledge of and to treasure the Lord.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Open Book

One of my favorite Christian Rappers:

Emmanuel Lambert aka DA Truth. His music really encouraged me in my walk. A few years back he found himself stepping down from ministry because of willful and persistent sin in his personal life. Some would describe it as a big fall (if i were a charismatic and expressive preacher, i would say something like "OH, but a big fall means a big restoration! *organ riff*) :o)

I was listening to a song of his from his 3rd album (Open Book) called "who am I?" while driving in my car yesterday and the chorus stood out to me:

Who am I?
Am I more like Cain full of hatred to my brother to slain?
Who am I?
Or am I more like Jezebel sexual in all my ways?
Who am I?
Or am I more like Mary pure and holy 'till I lay in the grave?
Who am I?
Or am I more like Abel, able to please God with my ways?

The thing that came to mind is that although this song is helpful to believers for the purpose of introspection/self-examination, we need to keep in mind that our identity is hidden in Christ. Though lives may have been lived that were full of willful and persistent sin, those in Christ when asked about who they are can joyfully respond "A sinner, saved by grace".

We certainly don't want a book about our lives to show that we are poor examples, but we must remember that in God's book - the life of the one who was and is perfect is credited to our account. :o)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

more proverbs

"By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for"

whose steadfast love? Christ's!
whose faithfulness? Christ's!!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

in proverbs

"One who is wise is cautious/fears the Lord and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless"

Lord help me to be wise. Help me not to be reckless and careless in my choices and actions. Lord, I need you to help me to turn from sin and temptations to sin. Help me to turn to you, Lord. May my life honor you.

"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly"

Lord, help me to display the fruit of the spirit. Help me to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and able exercise self-control. Help me to be patient with others - help me to esteem others more highly than myself.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Harold Camping

I was just thinking that there are a lot of people who sold all their possessions, emptied their savings and quit their jobs thinking that the rapture was imminent. Although this entire Judgment Day ordeal has been a source of:

1. FRUSTRATION for anyone with a bible that has matthew 24:36
2. Jokes for the CDC amongst MANY others
3. Annoyance for people who just didn't want to hear it
4. and a whole bunch of other things

we must not forget that real lives has been destroyed as a result of this.

This is a ministry opportunity.

Lord, please give the body hearts and minds to serve the misled by meeting their physical needs and by showing them their need for spiritual truth. Lord, open the eyes of the blinded. Lord, please give believers forgiving hearts and please remove any bitterness that may have grown because of disagreement over scripture.

Just saw this video - VERY encouraging:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why is Gas so expensive?

just in case you haven't given this much consideration. When we had $4 gas in 2008, barrels were $147. We have $4 gas in 2011 and barrels are in the high $90s low $100. What has changed?

Is all of this due to political unrest? I doubt it.

People speak about gas prices as though they are linearly correlated to the barrel price of crude oil, but this is either not the case, or someone in the value chain is charging a premium and extracting more than their fair share.

all signs (esp this grilling of oil company execs on capital hill) point to the exxons and BPs of the world.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How did she afford it?

A friend of mine who works in a hospital recently had to tend to a lady who checked herself in using a "medicaid/healthplus/healthfirst/neighborhood card". The kicker is that the lady had Louis Vuitton and Prada purses, a bulova watch and jimmy choo shoes. Combined, those things could run upwards of $3,000.

The question that we all ask when we see such things is HOW CAN THEY AFFORD IT? Here's my list of potential explanations:

1. Sugar Daddies
2. All-cash jobs + tax fraud
3. Illegal all-cash jobs (which automatically includes tax fraud)

4. Lots of kids - the more kids you have, the more eligible you become for government assistance (some ppl may have something really negative to say about this, but society is better off if we provide some measure of support to even the most irresponsible of baby makers)

5. Theft (people steal from retail ALL the time - there's a reason why there is so much money to be made in the security, security device & shrinkage prevention business)

6. Employed as a gopher for a major fashion magazine/photographer. All the money in the fashion industry goes to designers/creatives and people on top - everyone on the bottom gets paid peanuts and those on the very bottom don't always get insurance with their peanuts...but a lot of ppl on the bottom get occasional swag.

7. Dressing to attract sugar daddies (women are more likely to pick up sugar daddies if they dress the's kinda like working as a level 1 employee, but realizing that you wont get to level 2 without dressing like a level 2 dresses). The only reason that i know this is b/c a lot of my friends from undergrad went into ibanking and they often get invited to parties where there is no shortage of very elegant looking women who have NO discernible source of income - this is the case for ibankers, professional athletes, drug dealers and other kinds of very wealthy ppl

8. this is getting kinda long.


been reading this book for quite some time. The men at my church are reading it in men's groups and the ladies, fresh from finishing Piper's "When I don't desire God" are about to start it. This book is awesome. Tim Chester does an awesome job providing insight into the human condition through a biblical lens. Here's some puritan quoting from one of his end of the chapter "reflections" that i found particularly helpful.

1. The pleasure of sin
temptation: Look at my smiling face, and listen to my charming voice. Here is pleasure to be enjoyed. Who can stay away from such delights?
The believer: The pleasures of sin are real, but so are the pangs of conscience...The pleasures of sin are real, but pleasing God is much sweeter.

2. The secrecy of sin
temptation: This sin will never disgrace you in public because no one will ever find out.
The believer: Can you find somewhere without the presence of God for me to sin?

4. The smallness of sin
temptation: It's only a little thing, a small matter, a trifle. Who else would worry about such a trivial thing?
The believer: Is the majesty of heaven a small matter too? If i commit this sin, I would offend and wrong a great God. Is there any little hell [for] little sinners? Great wrath awaits those the world thinks are little sinners...why should i be unfaithful toward God for such a trifle?

5. The grace of God
temptation: God will pass over this as a weakness. He wont make a big deal of it.
The believer: Where do i find a promise of mercy to presumptuous sinners? How can i abuse such a good God? Shall i take God's glorious mercy and make it a reason to sin? Shall i wrong him because [he is] good?

6. The example of others
temptation: Better people than you have sinned in this way. And plenty of people have been restored after committing this sin.
The believer: God didn't record the examples of good people sinning for me to copy, but to warn me. Am i willing to felt for sin?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

still in the psalms

Because the Lord is my portion, i needn't settle for lesser things. Namely, sin. I need not sin, because I have a faithful God, sufficient grace and new mercies every morning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

sermon stuff

I was recently blessed with an opportunity to preach the first word at a Good Friday service here in brooklyn. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" was the word for which i was responsible.

My sermon was on forgiveness - 15mins.

I started with a story about a time that my mom had forgiven me for an egregious offense that I had committed against her. I then spent the remainder of the sermon talking about how an understanding of the offense committed will help us to better appreciate forgiveness received.

Prayerfully i will get more opportunities to preach.

If given an opportunity to pick a topic for the next sermon I preach, I will probably cover something around a "wider view of worship" - addressing the fact that "worship" isn't just singing a ballady sounding gospel know?

One of the applications that would come from that sermon would be to forgive others since we have been forgiven much. Another would be to love others since we have been loved much. The funny thing about those applications is that I need to take some time to apply them directly to my life - specifically to a relationship with a family member.

Please pray that the gospel would inform how I relate to others. Returning anger for anger is sin - and it does not reflect how the Lord relates to me. Crazy that i'm dealing with this after preaching a sermon on forgiveness...

Monday, April 18, 2011


as much as i loathe the fact that our local stations are making big news of it, such consistent coverage of the royal wedding has led me to question exactly how our culture defines courtship. Everyone keeps referring to the period of time prior to the prince's and kate middleton's nuptials as a "courtship".

Isn't courtship the act or period of seeking the love of another with the intent to marry? Should it still count as courtship if the people have been in a relationship for the past 8 years (with cohabitation comprising 5 of those years)?

It's kinda weird to see a word like "courtship" being used to describe the very recent (past 20-30 years or so?) cultural phenomenon of what i think is best described as probationary marriage.

I call it probationary marriage because it looks JUST LIKE marriage, but it lacks the accountability that marriage brings along with it (kinda).

Maybe it is the case that marriage is seen as less and less relevant in our culture. Maybe it is because we have all seen how terribly marriage can end. Maybe we place high value on variety and fail to see how such a thing can be achieved when we will be waking up next to the same person every day for the rest of our days. Maybe the emphasis that our culture places on education, career and achievement has relegated marriage to 4th place.

That fact (4th place marriage) plays itself out weekly in the lives of my peers. Not many of my peers (outside of church) are married and not many of them live their lives as though they would like to be married (though they may verbally express a desire to do so).

let's face it: casual romantic encounters will not lead to the kind of relationships that lead to marriage.

but now i'm off topic.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Things are not looking good for the police officers that have been accused of raping a drunk woman over here in new york city.

One officer had sex with the woman, the other officer served as a lookout. The officer accused of rape is saying that whatever happened between them (he's denying sex) was consensual. The woman was saying she was raped - and if they did have sex, the law would be on her side since excessively drunk people cannot give consent.

The officer accused of rape is saying that he's innocent.

what bothers me the most is the evidence of the officers covering things up (returning to the scene on multiple occasions, filing fake complaints with 911 to justify another trip to the building, ignoring other pressing crimes to return to the scene). The complainant also recorded a conversation with the cop outside a police station where he admits to having sex with her and also admits to wearing a condom.

Since this is the case, why is dude on the stand acting like he's innocent?

why lie?

why not just man up, tell the truth and deal with the consequences (no matter how harsh they may be)? I would have so much more respect for dude if he just said "ok, here's what happened..."

"respect" wouldn't mean that i would want for him to not go to jail, but respect, would mean that i would hope that he would receive maybe a year off what the judicial matrix recommends for a sentence for not wasting people's time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

psalm 90

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom"

Lord, please grant me godly wisdom. Help me to make decisions that will glorify you. Help me to see and believe that my life is as a vapor that appears for a little while. Help me to see and believe that living for myself and my gain is sinful and is nothing more than a chasing after the wind.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days"

Lord help me to value and worship that which is valuable and worthy of my worship. Help me to treasure you as I ought. Help me to see that I will only find satisfaction in you. Lord, help me to consider your steadfast love. Help me to see that your steadfast love endures forever! And Lord, may the intimate knowledge of your love for me produce rejoicing and gladness in my heart. What a wonderful thing it is to be loved by you; To be chosen, predestined, called and justified. Help me to know that your love is wonderful.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

this momentary marriage

"I love using my tiny digital camera. But the larger and more complex a subject, the more nearly impossible it is to represent it well and completely. No single photograph can show someone how magnificent the Grand Canyon is. It's true that my shortcomings as a photographer do nothing to change the majesty of that natural wonder. Still, some snapshots do give a better idea than others of the grandeur. I want to take that clearer kind of picture of the Grand Canyon. And that's the kind of image of Jesus I want our marriage to display"

-Noel Piper

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

prayer concerns

Yesterday I was praying for the Lord to help me to love others more than I love myself and my comfort/ease.

Difficult to see and truly care for the needs of others when my own desires for comfort and ease keep getting in the way

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trees and fruit

Imagine, if you will, a democrat who believes in small government. This democrat also believes that large corporations and the wealthy pay much more than their fair share in taxes and that measures should be taken to cut their tax burden while increasing the tax burden on the poor and middle class. They also believe that abortion should be illegal, that marriage should only recognized between a man and a woman, that healthcare is a privilege, not a right...and a bunch of things along those lines.

you still with me?

Imagine this person growing upset with anyone who tries to call them a republican. They also justify their self-identification as a democrat by pointing to the fact that not only does their voter registration card say "democrat", but their parents were democrats and they spent a significant amount of time in life attending democrat club meetings.

what would you conclude about this person?

Ok - so now i need you to understand something that frustrates me: That thing is people in this country that self-identify as christians without the existence of anything in their lives that reflects such an identification outside of occasional church attendance. They claim to be apple trees, but there are no apples on them.

It wouldn't frustrate me as much as it does if people who were christians in name only were the exception to the rule. But that isn't the case! I find, especially in new york city, that such people are the norm.

I know, and hear stories about far too many people who, if confronted, would say things like "I'm a christian but..." or "I'm a christian and I see absolutely nothing wrong with (insert some real sinful stuff here)". Here's a prime example.


Pray for me, fam. I want a heart that consistently desires to love on people like this, rather than to completely separate myself from them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

believing without seeing

Did an outreach with my church last night. A small church has a "friday night camp" of sorts for children (aged 5-15) and they invite other churches in to minister to the kids.

We were talking about doubting thomas and how we can believe in things that we cannot see.

Here's an excerpt from my small group of 5-8yr olds:

SCENE: I just finished talking about how we can't see how cell phones work, but we believe that they will.

me: another thing that you believe in but can't see?
*kid raises hand eagerly*
*i acknowledge kid*
kid: my dad has a cell phone

Saturday, February 19, 2011


ever look back over your life and think about how many things the Lord kept you from? Never ceases to amaze me. #justsayin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Prank Calls

I turned the radio on as I was in the bathroom washing up yesterday morning. My dial is currently locked into the local station that plays the Steve Harvey morning show.

They were doing a prank call when i turned the radio on.

A husband had the show prank call his wife to make it seem as though the husband was cheating on his wife. The people on the show took the joke REALLY far.

The wife, very angrily, swore to do some combination of killing/beating down of her husband. They let her get angry for about 2-3 minutes and then they said "HAAAA, YOU'RE BEING PRANKED BY THE STEVE HARVEY MORNING SHOW!!!!!"

not cool.

I can understand how messing with someone's feelings for something unimportant could be funny. For example, i once prank emailed a coworker to lead him to believe that his car was being towed from the office parking lot. He ran into my office and frantically asked me if i knew what was going on and then ran downstairs only to see that there was no tow truck in the parking lot at all.


On the other hand, i would equate what happened on the steve harvey morning show to prank calling someone to tell them that their mother died and letting them grieve for 2-3 minutes and then telling them that you were just joking.

soooo uncool.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Avoiding a fight

An 18 year old kid had something to say to me as I was walking past him on the train platform yesterday. The dude said it in a way that was asking for a fight.

I didn't bump into him or anything. I was simply walking to the exit - he was traipsing. He and his friend were high on something.

There was a clever and angry comeback on the tip of my tongue after he said:
"Man, i hate nwords that be walking past me like that...i be ready to knock them nwords out"
but i knew that there was nothing good that could have possible come of engaging this dude.


Either i would've got beaten up, HE would've got beaten up (and then i would have reason to fear retaliation), we would've talked big and he would be sure to get back at me at some point in the future or he would've done some typical young gang member type stuff and shot me because his pride felt threatened.

I'd also like to take this time to thank Dave Chappelle for making "When keeping it real goes wrong"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weird Eater

I'm a picky eater. I wish that i weren't. My finickiness does not follow a logical pattern. I've made lots of people upset throughout my life due to my eating habits (no really upset). The most common weird food habit of mine that i'm compelled to share with people is my:

"Aversion to cheese that is not on pizza"

Weird, i know.

Last night, i went out to dinner with a big group and ordered the fish, specifically the ceviche. I would've ordered one of the other items, but every other option had a deal breaker (there was a lot of seafood mixed in with the other dishes and i can't do seafood <--more pickiness).

I had no idea what ceviche was, but i knew that it wasn't shellfish.

The waiter eventually brought out my food. He came with a cold margarita glass that was filled with stuff covered in a white sauce. This was my ceviche.

#1 - I can't do white sauces.
#2 - Apparently ceviche is served raw - i don't do raw fish/poultry/meat

I called the waiter close and asked him:

"is this ceviche?" Yes
"is it cooked" No
"Can i have something else?" Yes. Would you like the chicken fondue?
"Does that have cheese?" Yes
"no" Can you do seafood?
"no...could i just have what that guy had minus the shrimp?" Yes.

And that was it! they took care of me. didn't make a big deal out of it and didn't make me feel weird for being weird. I'm so glad that things worked out - they could've gone so much worse. Oh to be normal.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Currently reading job. I had mixed feelings concerning how much time i wanted to spend reading the book in light of the fact that job and his friends receive stern rebuke from God for some of the things they say in the closing chapters.

But yo - not everything that the say is wrong. There's a lot of truth mixed into these discourses.

Something that stood out to me the other morning was this:

"He [God] is wise in heart and mighty in strength - who has hardened himself against him and succeeded?"
-Job 9:4

It is easy to apply a text like this to unbelievers and keep it moving, but such a text serves as a warning to believers as well. I can harden my heart by selectively applying the word of God to sin in my life. How can I succeed if I live a compartmentalized life where God's truth reigns in some parts and not in others?

In unrelated news, i've got an actual job. I signed an offer just before christmas. I will be starting it after graduation

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fountain Fall - 5 felonies

A lady who was caught on video falling into a fountain at a mall as a result of her distracted text messaging has hired a lawyer and plans to sue the mall.

She claims she could have been seriously hurt and that the security guards should have helped her instead of laughing at her.

Here is video of the lady falling:

Now if you're like me, you're probably saying to yourself: "Is she REALLY suing the mall because SHE FELL in a fountain as a result of her own CARELESSNESS?!?!??" She DIDN'T get hurt and it was ALL HER FAULT. How is she SUING ANYBODY?!?!?!

She's probably hoping to settle out of court for a few $10k so that she can profit from this whole situation. Yes, the mall shouldn't have released the video, but:

1. The security guard who released it was fired
2. Her lawsuit doesn't make mention of the fact that the video was released AND

Here's the twist - this lady is facing 5 felony charges for fraud and identity theft. Apparently she stole a coworker's credit card and ran up all kinds of charges.

Personally, I don't think that such a frivolous lawsuit is any different from stealing. Why?

The owners of the mall will not want to waste time in court, so they're inclined to settle for 1/4 to 1/2 of their legal defense fees.

Here's another twist - the lady is a professed christian. She said that she was texting her "church friends" when she fell into the fountain.

i'm done. so done.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

God's grace

I'm consistently amazed by God's love for me. He is faithful. He is faithful to discipline me as a son rather than to leave me to wallow in sin.

He is a great provider. I'm thankful for the people that he has put in my life, especially the believers. I'm so thankful for brothers and sisters in the faith who continually encourage me in my walk as a believer. I'm thankful because they are faithful to help me to see his truth more clearly when my thoughts are cloudy.

His grace is unmerited, but he freely gives it. His grace is sufficient, but its sufficiency overwhelms me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Governor Chris Christie

Today I was reminded about how much of a solid of a guy he is while watching the NJ state of the state address.

He's received criticism from respectable people concerning his decision to halt construction on the new NYC/NJ tunnel. Most said that such an investment would've alleviated strained infrastructure and as a result, driven (recession busting/boom strengthening) growth (long term) in the nyc/nj area. Christie justified his action by saying that his state is in one of the most dire financial situations in the union and they do not have the money to pay for a decade of construction.

All that stuff aside. i just LIKE this guy. Every time he speaks, i feel like he is speaking his convictions in an honest "i don't have anything to hide" kinda way. Not your typical politician. His honesty, convictions, avoidance of partisanship and "straight talk" are refreshing.

I don't remember his negative ads being as over the top as Corzine (his 2008 democratic gubernatorial opponent). In fact, corzine used his negative ads to poke fun at christie for being overweight (no pun intended).

I hope he runs for president.

Here's a video that is a great example of what i'm talking about:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Australian Flood

Flash floods swept through a region of Australian last week, killing at least four people, trapping others in cars and leaving some clinging to trees as torrential rains brought more misery to a region battling its worst flooding in decades.

People have been describing the flooding in australia as "biblical". Isn't that like saying that your hangnail is worse than the holocaust? A modern day flood of biblical proportions would have taken out ~5,999,999,992 people.

Inherent in such a description is man's inborn tendency to reductionism when it relates to God. We are prone to live our lives as though we are the universe's sovereign and we interpret life and its vicissitudes through that flawed lens.

Lord have mercy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

NYC - abortion capital?

Just read this article:

41% of pregnancies in nyc end in abortion. Of 87,000 abortions performed in nyc, 41,000 of them are performed on black women. 28,000 are performed on hispanics.

I generally try to avoid speaking about abortion because I find that talking about it is unhelpful. Not that i don't think that it is a picture of the utter depravity that is on display in our society, it is - but rather that the "hot-button" nature of the issue would provide for it to replace the gospel as the topic of primary importance.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Next to Normal

Went to broadway to see "Next to Normal" last night.

I went to the tkts in downtown brooklyn about 40mins before it opened only to find out that no one goes to the tkts in downtown brooklyn (so i didn't have to stand in the cold and next to chain smokers for 40mins) and they only had really expensive tickets for 30% off (and i'm not paying $90 to go see a play).

I then went to the theater's box office in the city and was told to come back for a lottery that evening. Came back for the lottery at 6pm for the 8pm show, didn't win but managed to work my way through the crowd to be #15 in line for obstructed view seats.

$40 later i'm in the theater.

The play was helpful in that it helped me to better understand the struggles that individual sufferers of mental illness and their families have to work through, but overall, i felt like the play was overrated. Whereas most critics gave the play 5 stars, I would only give it 3. I will say this: The acting was good (ESPECIALLY the lead) and the music was great as well. But the actual story was weak at several points.

The overall experience would've been better had i been on the other side of the theater with a view of the bass player and drummer ;) but c'est la vie.

I also got my car from the body shop yesterday and she is "back to normal". The entire car situation has been resolved and i'm surprised by how low the cost of everything was. I'm really thankful to the Lord for his grace extended to me in the this situation. Things could have been so much worse.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Poor Investments

I recently received my state tax assessment for my house in maryland. I was shocked to see that the value of the house has dropped by $100k since 2007.

How did this happen? Lots of fraud and foreclosures around me.

In case you were wondering, yes, i'm underwater. My prayer has been for continued trust in the Lord in this situation. Anxiety would not be God-honoring and rash decisions would result in huge financial losses.

I think that i'm officially "in it" for the long term. Exactly where I don't want to be, but that is the only option.

Have i considered walking away? Yes. But i'm convinced that to do so would be a sin. Texts like "The wicked borrows and does not pay back" have a hold of my conscience. Also - I wouldn't have considered walking away from the mortgage had the house maintained its value nor would I have done so if the house had appreciated in value.

There is the temptation to feel like a sucker in all of this. The people committing fraud and walking away from their mortgages are only making things worse for me and I sit around like a fool just losing money.

But the Lord sees all of this and he is faithful. Please keep me in prayer.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Car Accident

There was a huge blizzard in NYC last weekend. The department of sanitation was poorly prepared to handle the weather.

In the first hours of the blizzard, while driving home from church, I hit an ice patch on a street that had not been salted and ultimately skid into a parked car.

I did some damage to the body and I also knocked off the sideview mirror of the parked car.

I believe that the Lord used this experience to humble me. I consider myself a really good driver with a superior driving sense. I am definitely part of the 70% of drivers that count themselves in the top 10% of drivers. As a result of this, i'm often impatient with other drivers. I find myself growing frustrated when i'm stuck in traffic that is the result of accident rather than praying for safety and recovery.

I think this experience really helped me to be more compassionate and i think that it will ultimately help to make me a safer driver.

I *just* put my car in the shop. The cost to repair my body damage is less than my deductible. The person whose car i hit *just* called me and we agreed that i would pay for a replacement sideview mirror - which shouldn't cost more than $250.

Prayerfully, this transfer of money will go well. I'm considering writing up (i AM going to write up) an agreement in case she tries some shady stuff that has to be dealt with in court.