i'm finding these things out

that i won't figure things out
that nothing i think i know i truly can know
that God is far bigger and superior and infinite that i can't even comprehend it
that i've only begun to scratch the surface of His plans for me
that what i think is actually going on may not be what really is

that God wants me to just be

be still
be patient
be in the present

not worry about the past
not worry about what i've done
not preoccupy myself with things that i have no control over
not preoccupy myself with what next week holds when today is slipping by

to live
to love
to learn
to lead
to follow
to teach
to breathe

to be


Soul Cravings

To give up on love is to choose a life that is less than human.
To give up on love is to give up on life.
-Erwin Ralph McManus


I'm a Junior?

i am.
this is kinda weird.
and i got a car now.
that's even weirder.
headed home tomorrow.
back to work at 9fruits on saturday.
summer is here.
and i'm not done with it until august 23.


looking back

I'm putting together the final set list for The House of my sophomore year
Who would have thought that age 19 I would have been in charge of something this important
Really it's beyond me how I made it here
Couldn't tell you how or why or any of this and how it came to be but I'm here
And I'm eternally grateful
Like for real
I don't deserve any of it
But I've been given this opportunity to play music and lead others in worship
I screw up daily just like everyone else
But when it comes down to it I have Tuesday nights
These nights I just forget all the crap that Satan tries to wear me down with
I got a guitar
My voice
A top notch band that could play with any body
And I just worship
It took me awhile to get to that point
But I think I'm there
Joe pointed it out to me last Tuesday that my countenance on stage had changed
And honestly I just realized how nothing else matters
Joel Houston says, "I kinda feel like I don't know anything except the one thing. If we can just understand the one thing then maybe that's all that we need to do..."
I think I fully understand this finally

I can't wait till Tuesday...


stressful days ahead?

paper today
paper tomorrow
paper monday
workbook fridays
exams two weeks out

nope. still not stressed yet.

today was really cool. myself, daniel, justin, rapp, and mark all did homework on the second floor (only one with fully functioning AC and new bed [couch] until it is fixed) and listened to hours of Sigur Ros. pretty much a balling evening.

life is gettin pretty good. and it is all in the little things


it would be an understatement

to say that i am excited for tonight. It's amazing how much i love Tuesdays. I've been away from leading at The House for three weeks now and I'm so ready to get back up there and lead. And I have a pretty sick set list if i say so myself.


its amazing

it's amazing how one trip can change your life

-I was able to travel to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola to the country of the Dominican Republic. We worked in villages in the Barahona district which is on the western coast of the country of the country, right near the border the country shares with Haiti. Because of the proximity to its neighboring country, many refugees have crossed the border into the DR. It is no surprise that a majority of the kids we worked with in the villages were Haitians.

it's amazing how much nothing matters any more

-when i say that i mean that in the sense of all our excess stuff. The kids taught me so much, so much that i thought that i already knew. I understood that the things we have we are a luxury and we could totally be fine with out it. But even stuff that I would consider to almost be a necessity (shoes, clothing, adequate food and water) these kids barely have them, and yet they are by far more happy then we will ever be as a country. I'm so used to having everything in an instant. For example, right now the Ohio State game is not on tv, so I have it streaming live on my computer. At any moment I can communicate with anyone I want with the touch of a button. These kids don't have any of this, but at the same time are so much more loving, giving, and happier than i have ever been.

it's amazing how God works in places we aren't familiar with

-I heard and saw God so much more clearer than i have living here. His beauty was so imminent and so much greater than i have ever seen. From the first sunrise i saw to the last shoreline, everything just rang out with God's beauty. I remember DBurke had us do a quiet time on the bus driving to the COTN offices. He advised us not to listen to our iPods on the way over because what good was it to have some one else singing out our song. He asked us what song we would singing instead. From this came my first song I've ever written (that's a big deal considering that I've tried for years to write music but seem to never finish or ever get close to finishing one and in the matter of minutes God spoke one to me).

it's amazing how God grows old friendships and gives you new ones

-I had so many friends that i knew on this trip and each one i feel like i know so much better now. Also i created new friendships with people who i don't know i would have gotten to know without the trip, and some of those i feel like i've known them for years.

it's amazing how God is going to work through my life because of these events

-i've seen a broken nation. i've seen third-world poverty. i've seen violence that wouldn't happen in the states. i've seen how God still shows up in these situations.

my song:

so i'll sing the song of your salvation
and praise the name of the one true love
my one true love
with every breathe in my i'm singing
for the glory of my King and Lord
the glory of You, Lord

as the waves crash over me
when darkness is all i see
i know You are with me Lord
in the face of death my fears will cease
in the pains of life, I am free
cuz i know You are with me Lord


i can't sit idly by anymore and be the same...


And to follow up with the previous post...

Practice for my job got let done at 834. Our game started at 8. I made it to the field and changed in 5 minutes and got to play the final two offensive drives.

2009 Stats-
1 tackle
1 pass deflection
1 catch for 10 yards
1 touchdown

much better...

oh and WonderBread won 32-0
boom. roasted.


I didn't know that I could have a statistically worse season in football than when i played in high school

but my job has forced me to end my flag football season. Now when i say "forced" i mean that schedules conflict and i don't really have a choice but to take the job route.

So breaking down statistics (roughly) of my previous two football season, it seemed logical that i would be able to do better than my senior season.

2007- 3 tackles, 1 pancake over three games (note: i missed every varsity game in the fall due to a foot and thumb injury)
2008- 10 catches for 170+ yards, 1 rush for 65 yards, 1 TD, 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 pass deflections over four games

Now logically i felt pretty good going into this year. Had a good team together and what not.

2009- 1 tackle, 1 pass deflection over two games

I really don't know why, but right now i feel like this season is far more of a failure than my senior year. I know it's just football and it's just a game, but honestly for me it goes deeper than that. It's a proving thing for me. I didn't get the chance to play my senior year and that stuck with me. It just seemed like i left something unfinished and never satisfied a desire. Last year, while statistically i did fairly well, we went 1-3. I still felt that burning desire to win and play.

So two games into the season, we find ourselves at 0-2 and i basically have to quit. And if you know me, i hate quitting. Especially football. This feels almost like my senior year. Only difference is that i am more than physically fit to play this go around.

I turn in my title of captain, i walk away from the game. I know. It's just intramurals. But still. Disappointed is an understatement. It'd be one thing if i knew i had helped contributed to the team in some way. But literally, I have nothing to show for my work. I was the target of one pass in the two games and that was under thrown by about five yards. In the second game, i played a total of less than ten snaps. This is the definition of sports failure in my book. It'd be one thing if i had a catch, a touchdown, a sack , an interception, anything. But i don't. I walk away empty handed.

Here's to already longing for next season...


i dont really post unless i got something important to say

and this is probably the most important


I have one of my really good friends in Australia recovering from Melanoma cancer surgery. Her name is Megan Lykens and she is one of my favorite people of all times. She just turned 19 back in July so it seems so unfair that a perfectly healthy 19-year-old has to deal with this. But i know that God has a plan for everything. And i know that she knows that. So just pray that she will recover smoothly with no more hiccups.



Dream Catcher

So there i was in bed, on my way to a happy nights sleep when all the sudden i thought, "Hmm let's play some guitar." So i started play some guitar, some Hillsong (because that's what i play most of the times). Then i switched over to playing some bass licks on my guitar and that of "Came to the Rescue" (because that's my second favorite Hillsong bass riff. listen to the bass in the bridge. i think you'll agree.) After playing the riff a couple of times, i put my guitar back and lay down once again to try to go to sleep.

Then i heard God. At first i discredited it because i usually think it's just me thinking. But it was the most peculiar command I've ever heard from him.


One word and you can see why i tend to think it's just me thinking.
But here i am.
Whether it was God or my own thoughts, i'm here blogging.
So away we go.

My dad has this theory. The first time i ever heard it i laughed at him.

Theory in my words:

Part 1-When kids are young, they always claim to see things; imaginary friends, monsters in the closet, etc. We always go along with their claims because it's good for a child's imagination and let's be honest, who really wants to crush a kid's spirits by telling him his "friend" isn't real? We let them believe what they want to believe. To a kid, what they see is real.

Part 2-When people get really old and knocking on heaven's door, they too start seeing things. People who aren't there and events that aren't really happening. We go along with it because we just want to keep them alert and around. To us they are senile. To them, what they see is real.

Part 3-What if the children and the senile have it right and we are the ones who are in a deniable state of living.

My dad takes a more humorous go at it from a whole x-files approach but still an interesting thought to dwell upon.

i've been thinking about this a lot recently and haven't really come to an understanding why until just about two minutes ago. Even as i wrote that theory out, i didn't really know where i was going but i think i got it now.

For the longest of times i looked at miracles as something unobtainable in my life.
i had dreams of course, but most of them i didn't think possible and or that i just didn't have enough faith to even begin to fathom it actually happening.

That is until i got one of my own last week.

~Rewind to a little over two months ago~
Finals week of my freshman year at UTC. i finished two of my finals already and thought i was well on my way to making my calculated 3.321 GPA for the year, above my required 3.25 GPA to keep my provost schoalrship. Everything went as i thought. i felt good on my final two exams and went on my way to a backpacking trip with The House. Came back to Chatt, got on my computer to check my grades

I opened my UTC account to a 3.214 and this email:

"Dear Student:

The scholarship award that you received during the 2008-2009 Academic Year will not be renewed in the 2009-2010 Academic Year"

~commence bombing here~

Turns out in one of my classes i received a 78.6. Had i gotten a 79.5, i would have hit the 3.25 mark plus some.
So i did what any normal student would do: i begged and pleaded with the proffesor to up the grade to the B.

All to no avail.

So there i was with only the Hope to speak of, no additional money to aid my living in another city.


i began to write an appeal letter to Financial Aid to try and get them to do something. It sat on my desktop for almost an entire month.

i didn't think that it would make any difference.
i verbalized it too.
i told my mom that it wouldn't do any good.
i believe it wouldn't work.

Side note: i went into UTC with every intention to transfer but quickly fell in love with the college ministry down there and was given absolutely every opportunity to play music and create amazing friendships.

It took me until spring break time to get myself fully around to the idea that UTC was where i was supposed to be.

Two months later i find no possible financial way of getting back to the place that i know is right for me in this time.

Things didn't get much better finding out that i had a ton of friends coming to UTC/LeeU. i lied to most of them when talking about it. i didn't want them to know that there was a good chance in my mind that i wasn't gonna be back.

i sent out my letter in mid june. At this point i am thinking that there is no way they are gonna overturn their decision. Even if they were to change their minds, it's too late now.

~enter God~

i mean i know He was there the entire time, but i didn't see Him.
i was too angry that all this went down.
i couldn't fathom the idea of me having to be away from all i've grown to love.
Too many people, places, events i'd miss too much.

Why would God do this? It didn't even make sense in one bit.

I went to my church's youth camp. I was a leader for 9th and 10th grade boys with one of my old leaders from when i was in the youth group Bill Middleton. Day three rolls around and his wife's dad dies so they leave camp, no one tells me, i show up to small groups and i'm all by myself. i had to laugh about it. it ended up going great though so i can't complain.

Over the week there i just kept getting the sense to just give it up.

There's this skit that many groups do to Lifehouse's "Everything" (if you haven't seen it jump on youtube and find it. but take whatever you find there and times the intensity of it by about forty. i mean the guys who did it put so much passion into it that it wasn't even them performing but God working through them to drive it home. Connor Brennan played Jesus and told me before they did that skit that he became a Christian after watching that skit and when he heard that he got a part in the skit he prayed every night until that night that just one person could be affected like he was. i'd say half the room was crying, the other half in that stage between completely stunned and right before crying. i wish there was video footage of it because it litterally was incredible)
So they do this skit and i was just like alright God you got it. i no longer have control over this, You do because i can't. If i'm supposed to be home and go to college at MTSU, i know you're at work in that. If i'm supposed to go back to Chatt i trust that you will do it.

~commence lifting of weights~

i was different. Not in the over the top way but in the i just knew God was on my side no matter what.
And it was obvious. Most of you who have talked or been with me can agree that i am a different person in one way or another from the begining of june to right after.

It was like God was just there all along saying, don't put your faith in man.
Man will always fail you.
I won't.
Just have a little faith.
Like a child who believes that his imaginary friend is real.
Like a senile old man who believes that a long lost friend is sitting right next to him.
Just a little bit and I'll show up.

So i gave it some faith.

~Insert Miracle here~

On June 25th, my mom brought in the mail.
There was a letter from Financial Aid.
My mom says the motherly, "Now understand it just could be them saying they couldn't do anything so let's not get our hopes up."
I open it.
I read a little bit.
I smile.
God smiled.

So now i believe in miracles, even for my doing.
And i'm gonna start dreaming again.
i will hope again.
i have faith that my God will do what He wants regardless of what any academic institution decides to tell me.
He will do what He wants regardless of what my financial limitations tell me i can't do.
He will do what He wants regardless of what any one might say or do to prevent it.

(painting by taylor rae madge)

So here's my new thing

Dream List:

~i want to lead a big time worship night. One thing that i've discovered is that music is apart of me. God wired me that way. i saw Hillsong United @ Belmont in May and Let me tell you that you didn't even see them. Does that make sense? Like they were so into worship that it was like they weren't even on the stage playing. It was all worship to the point that it was tangible. i want to bring that passion and pure abandonment to all those around me. even for just one night.

~i want to go to Africa. i have opportunities to do it, i just have to act on them all. Ever since seeing Invisible Children, it was been a dream of mine. So there is no surprise that it makes the dream list.

i'll keep adding to this as dreams arise
that's all for now

Oh and i don't think it was coincidence that i was playing Came to the Rescue right before i started writing this:

"My whole life i place in Your hands
God of mercy humbled i bow down
In Your presence at Your throne
And i called, You answered
And You came to my rescue
And i want to be where You are"


I'm now a night owl

and i blame it whole heartedly on coffee
its been four weeks to the day that i started drinking coffee and i just haven't stopped
and it probably doesn't help that i tend to make coffee at about midnight

welcome to my new life

these have been probably the craziest two months i've had in a long time
lots of bass playing, lots of dodgeball, lots of thinking
i've never done so much thinking in all my life
one day i think one thing and the next it is completely different
but i wouldn't have it any other way
and tonight is another thinking night
but this isn't the life altering thinking times
this is more reflective

i've been so many different places this past few months
high points, low points, indifferent points, all of them
and honestly i would have been the most bi-polar man alive had it not been for my friends
those keeping me sane
those giving my advice
those showing me a direction
those sliding with me on a field full of mud just for the heck of it
those being the church

those showing me what it is to live and love and be a friend
not caring for your own selfish desires and at any moment drop what you are doing and find a way to serve them
its been a humbling experience and i'm thankful for every moment i have here and every conversation that comes out of this time here

so now it's 1:30 in the morning

and i'm debating whether or not to start another pot of coffee...


New Years Resolutions

1. Remember- where I've been, what has happened, the causes, the effects, the good, the bad, the ugly, just remembering what that has done to shape me into who I am

2. Reconnect- I realize that there have been a lot of people that I used to be good friends with who I need to rebuild relationships with. That started today and it was really nice.

3. Refocus- Too often I become distracted and only see the things of this world and forget that I'm meant for another. I want to keep my head up, stead fast, unshaken, moving forward to further His Kingdom

4. Strengthen- If iron sharpens iron, the same should be said about Christians. If I want to grow, it will be done in a body of believers, not by myself.

5. Fight- for my friends, for my brothers and sisters in Christ, for my youth group, for THE Church. I've been standing idly by for too long.

Now the boring ones:
-Read more books
-See old friends
-Write a movie script
-Climb Lookout Mt and Signal Mt
-Go to the Aquarium
-Go to the Dinner Mystery Theater
-Take more risks (not dumb ones like jumping off buildings)