Saturday, July 31, 2010

USS Missouri: USN-780 Commissioning!


Wow! Up early today! So excited cause this morning is the commissioning of the Navy's newest Virginia Class submarine. She is the USS Missouri and my Dad, myself and some shipmates of mine will be at the ceremonies here at home in Kansas City! They are streaming the celebration live to the downtown arena and it is going to be amazing! I have been at several of these ceremonies at Groton, CT and there is something inspiring to see these boats make their way out to sea, under their own power. Sea trials are done, underway boys, make your speed five knots. Man...the freakin' memories all this brings back.

I made sure to include my Dad in all of this today, as we have been spending more time together this summer and I have tried to give him a closer look at a slice of my life and all that it entails. While he may not understand everything about me, the things that we do love and share certainly bring us tighter together and I am so grateful for the time we have to make up for so many years that kind of got lost, school, college, Navy, my travels. Stuff just kind of creeps up on ya! We both have served our country, and that certainly binds us together as men, not just Father and Son. We sure do make an odd pair! :)

We head down into the city in about an hour and I am up and ready, looking 5.0 and squared away. It's been awhile since I put on my uniform, but it still feels like a second skin in some ways. I have not written much about my time in service, but I may get around to that some day. I have mixed emotions at times when I think of those years spent in the Sub Force. It definitely was an eye-opening and horizon broadening time of my life. I never knew so many guys could know each other so well, intimately in fact, and come together as a cohesive unit, an organism, all for a common purpose and accomplish so much. I have yet to see that kind of love, loyalty, courage, commitment and passion in the civilian world among men, and probably never will. There is something to be said for the Sea, and what she does to the souls of men. She still calls out to me. It is a song I will hear till I pass on.

Just sitting here, sipping my coffee and walking over memories. Won't bore ya with the details as of yet, but those were some amazing years and adventures. The Silent Service, it sure was an amazing voyage. Tonight will be nutz I am sure, but it's going to be a great weekend! Hope you all enjoy yours! Anchors Aweigh!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The space and place we make...


I want to make a difference. I am growing tired of simply living for myself. I guess somewhere along the way, my eyes got really full of me, and my life started orbiting around myself and what I want. My little sister told me four years ago, in a matter of fact way, "Daemon, you are selfish." I still remember her saying this to me as we traveled back from our cabin where we spend family Christmas each year.

I don't remember all the facts that led up to her statement, though I remember a few: the stupid spending I did on myself, the blatant over use of the concierge, partying with the staff of the resort and a bunch of other crap things that filled my time with others instead of family. At the time she told me, I simply accepted that and said that, "Yes, I am selfish and why should I not be? I am not married, I have no kids, my time and money are mine. Who is there to take care of but me?"

I think I have lived this way most of my life, except for the times when I have been in a serious relationship or distracted by other friendships or family members that demanded my attention, time and concern. But even in those times, I still think that I looked out for myself first much of the time. I have had no problem dropping my life to care for those others who needed little or much at times, but even in that helping, much of it was to salve my conscience for not doing more, more often, sooner, better, harder or more sincerely.

I want to make a difference.

I want my absence to leave a hole that cannot be filled.

I want to learn how to give instead of take.

I want to be more than the laughter that passes.

I want to be counted on.

I want to be numbered as one who cares.

I want to be more than just myself.

Once in a great while, we encounter people that cast shadows larger than themselves. Who make more with the little that they are blessed with, than all our great efforts and large wallets can muster. And somewhere in it all, they make a difference.

They are the magic that comes into the room that fades when they leave, the smiles that drive out shadows that slowly creep back into the corners once gone, the warm touches that dispel the cold of loneliness that our skin aches for and misses when away, the voices on the phone that bring choked tears and the bright faces that we seek, when we so desperately need help.

I want to be that kind of man.

I know I can change.

I need to learn how to love something more than myself.

I think that something is all of you.

I start now.


"Greater love has no man than this, than he lay down his life for a friend."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finally out of bed!


Well, I didn't get to the lake this week. Got hit with some kind of summer cold/flu crap that knocked me into bed for the last three days. No fun! Hacking cough, body ache, fever and everything that goes with it. Pretty much only got up to shower and take my meds. Michael came over to help take care of me, which I thought was pretty sweet of him, considering. He made me some awesome chicken noodle soup and always brought me really cold 7-UP when I needed it, just like my Mom did when I was a kid. I think I am spoiled?

I feel pretty sore this morning from the coughing, but I think some of it is from moving a bunch of T-5 transmissions around in my Dad's shop trying to be a bad ass and do it myself. It felt pretty good at the time and all, but now my shoulders, neck and arms are feeling it! Next time, I better ask for some help!

Now that I have my complaining out of the way, I actually feel much better today. Still blowing my nose every thirty minutes or so, but I am so glad to be out of the bed! I tend to sleep sickness off, like a hibernating bear and don't like to be up and around until I have returned to normal. I know that the medicine I was taking sure threw me for a loop. Anything, even as slight as Benadryl, makes me higher than a kite and my dreams have been really screwy too. Don't remember much about the last three days, except hot showers, the smell of Vicks and the quiet purr of the humidifier. Kind of weird to live in my boxers that long. Clothes feel weird now to my skin. Sure makes me grateful for almost always having good health. That is one good thing that it is easy to take for granted.

I think in a bit, I might clean up and head into the city. Need to pick up supplies to smoke a brisket for my little sister. That will be tonight's task I think. Prolly stop by the coffee shop for an hour or so and maybe swing by and visit a few of my friends who are back in town. Simple life I guess, but I am enjoying it!

Tomorrow, everything picks up and looks to be busy for awhile. Have the Guys BBQ on Friday night, then the commissioning of the USS-Missouri on Saturday morning with my Dad and Navy buddies. Hmm...River Market for produce, swing by Westlake Hardware to meet Red Green and then Sunday is all full of church, friends and family. Looks to be a great weekend if I can get back on my feet.

Got my letter from college yesterday to come down for an interview. Really nervous about that, as it is a conservative liberal arts college with a policy of no homo-sex allowed. I want to be able to share my testimony completely, but also don't want to screw up my chances of my scholarship by being too forthcoming. I wonder what all they will ask me about my past and present. I am not going to lie, just hope that my sex life and orientation does not come into play in the interviews. Yeah...I am pretty stressed about that. I guess we shall see? If I am supposed to be there, it will all come together, if not, then there is another place for me. I will not compromise my integrity for a full ride. That would be hell on earth to live that way again, like I did in the Navy.

Coffee is ready and I need to get into gear. Hope to have a simple relaxing day with friends and get to feeling 100% better. I hate being sick! Guess this is God's way of slowing me down a bit? Anyway, hope you are all well and I look forward to getting back here and catching up on part two of my Dad. Peace,

Daemon

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I need a shower! Ughhhh...

Another beautiful day here in Kansas City, MO! Woke up right around 6 am and this morning has been great. Got plugged in, updated all my crap and started returning emails, texts and phone calls. Sometimes simply keeping up with people feels like a part time job, but I love it just the same. I guess we all go through times where people seem to need a larger piece of their friends than they did before. That is certainly the case this summer!

Getting ready to head down to the Lake tonight, I think. It has been a few since I was there and I miss the quiet and peaceful life that house holds. It will be good to get back in the water and spend some mornings in solitude, a bit cut off from the rest of the world. I have some friends that have been wanting to wake board, ski and fish, so it will be good to get away at the beginning of this week for some R and R. Hope to have a good time.

Hmm...I really need to run my body through the shower this morning. Didn't shave for two days and also sweated something fierce last night for some reason. Odd dreams and tangled sheets. Maybe I should not have eaten so late, or I am just weird? I am going to bank on the last one and not so much the former.

Going to run into the coffee shop this morning, see if Justin is around to talk to. He is really opening up and slowly learning to trust me as a friend and not as some guy who wants to get into his pants. I am really praying that God gets his attention and he realizes there is another way to live his life than the path he is choosing. Got to stop by the Forge today too and pick up a ring that I had them re-size. I keep forgetting to do that, but at least that makes the cute guy keep calling me to remind me...lol He prolly just doesn't get paid till the shop gets their money. Oh well, he is always nice. I love the chain he sold me the last time I stopped. I have to stay out of there, or at least duck in and ditch really fast. Something shiny always catches my attention and I have no need for anything else in my box.

Hmm...going to a Girls Roller Derby this Saturday with my friends. Looks to be a good time! Then over to the Foundry for a few with all the guys and gals from church. Friday night is our Men's BBQ at Loose Park and Wednesday night is Bible study, but I don't think I will be back in town for that. Might stay on the Lake till Thursday morning or so. Just depends on how I feel.

Still waiting to hear back from the college. I need to know when they want my body there. I will be moving down and living near the school in order to concentrate on my studies more, so that will present a challenge with friends, relationships and church. I dunno, it is going to be interesting to say the least.

Not too much else on my mind. I have to get cleaned up! I feel pretty grungy after running and working out this morning. Looks to be another sunny and beautiful day!

Pax,

Daemon

More questions...

More Questions from Believers about Homosexuality

By Joe Phelps - Posted on 13 February 2010

Letters, emails, voice mails continue to arrive in response or reaction to last Sunday’s op-ed. The overwhelming majority are affirming and grateful. Of course, some disagree. A few are so hatefully dismissive, like Tuesday’s letter to the editor, that they warrant no response. Others, however, ask pointed questions that get to the heart of the matter. Here are few more responses to some of the recurring questions.

Q: If you accept and include gays and lesbians do you do the same with pedophiles, active alcoholics, child abusers, and thieves? Do you tolerate their aberrant behavior? Do you let them corrupt the community? Do you condone their lifestyle? Or do you call it what the Bible calls it: sin?

A: These questions are based on at least three assumptions.

that gay people willfully choose to be gay. From my non-professional survey over the years of hundreds of gay men and women, the answer is 100% “no, they did not choose to be gay.”

that being homosexual and expressing one’s homosexuality is always a sin. If one reads selected Bible verses without serious and careful attention to their larger context then one can derive this conclusion. If one begins with an unexamined claim that “the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, bad, and evil,” then the conclusion is prejudged. But careful reading reveals that what is condemned is something other than people who are gay living out their sexual orientation in the same monogamous and faithful way that heterosexuals do. Certain acts are sin: rape, child abuse, promiscuity, exploitation. These are sins whether committed by homosexual or heterosexual people.

that people who are gay or lesbian are deliberately and unquestionably dangerous. In fact, like heterosexuals, gay people have a wide range of values, including some who are promiscuous, predatory, and selfish. These can be dangerous no matter whether they are expressed by gay or straight. Communities of faith must be protected from both gay and straight dangerous people --pedophiles, active alcoholics, child abusers, and thieves-- whose addictions and impulses can be harmful to others. Homosexual persons, in my experience, are not more or less dangerous than heterosexual persons. They are also not sex-focused, any more than the rest of humanity is. They are simply persons whose natural sexual attraction differs from the majority of us. If anything, those who take the risk of visiting a church as a gay person are more likely to be gentle, loving, God-honoring, servant-spirit individuals who desire to find a community of faith. Gay people, like all people, need a community to join in walking with God, learning from Jesus, and being open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. (Speaking of the Holy Spirit: if we believe the Holy Spirit has the ability to convince and convict people of sin, then why not welcome gay and lesbians to church, preach what the Bible focuses on and not simply rail against homosexuality, and let the Holy Spirit sort it out?)

Q: Didn’t Jesus prohibit homosexuality in Matthew 19 when he quotes from Genesis: “God made them male and female”?

Here is a fine example of the dangerous practice of lifting a verse from its context in order to substantiate a point one wants to make, rather than letting a verse play its role in a particular context. This quote (from a part of Genesis that is beautiful and ancient poetry about the mystery of creation; never intended a handbook for all 21st century policies) is from Jesus’ interaction with Pharisees over the question of divorce. His reference to male and female has to do with the profound sanctity of marriage and the importance of faithfulness to marriage. (Note: I write this as a person who divorced in 1986.) It has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus speaking, either directly or indirectly, to the question of homosexuality. To suggest that it does is simply to bastardize the Bible.

It is interesting to note how adamantly some condemn homosexuality, but turn a blind eye to the direct teaching of Jesus on divorce in Matthew 19 and, more pointedly, the prohibition against remarriage. I’ve never heard the church, conservative, liberal, or any position in between, condemn remarriage for divorced persons. Could this be because even staunch Bible believers have had to face the reality of divorce in their own families and churches? Even some prominent conservative preachers have divorced and remarried. The argument that says “Yes, but I don’t condone divorce, and I don’t continue to divorce; I’ve been forgiven of this sin from my past” twists the point of Jesus’ response to the Pharisee’s attempt to find loopholes in marriage: to divorce and remarry is an ongoing act of adultery-- “commits adultery.” Why ignore this direct teaching of Jesus while twisting his quotation from Genesis to find a way to bring Jesus into the discussion about homosexuality? They’ll have to employ another approach to make peace with the sin of divorce (which, thank God, there is).

Back to the “male and female” line from Genesis. No one disputes that the default orientation of creation for humanity is “male and female.” Male and female contribution is required for procreation. But for the small percentage of persons who, for whatever reason, find their natural attractions differ from the majority through no choice of their own and cannot be changed, why is there not the same growing understanding and acceptance of differences in Christian churches as there is for countless divorced persons today?


Joe Phelps Blog



This is a follow up post reprinted from Joe Phelps blog addressing some of the questions he is receiving from the Op-Ed piece that he wrote for the Courier-Journal in Louisville. I am not quite sure what I think of his explanations as of yet, but I am thankful that he is no longer staying silent on an important issue in today's America.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Including LGBT in the Churches?


The question of gays and lesbians and their place in American society is again front-page news. As local ministers we believe it is critically important, perhaps even a matter of life and death for some, to make public our personal religious convictions which welcome and fully include men and women who are gay or lesbian.

We recognize that this view differs from the traditional position of many religious communities, even from some within our own congregations. Change, however, is woven into the journey of faith itself. The Bible is replete with stories of changing understandings and course corrections. These growing understandings move God's people from one place to another, both geographically and metaphorically. Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, and especially Jesus continue to deepen and alter our relationship with religious laws and teachings by building upon the previous generations' experiences.

This is to say that our religious understandings, while not frivolous, are also not static. The mysteries of the Eternal continue to be revealed to those who trust that Sacred Love yearns for our wholeness as well as our holiness.

We acknowledge the small handful of disparate Bible references to various kinds of activities which are often erroneously grouped under the category of “homosexual.” However, when we read these passages carefully in their context, clarify what is being prohibited or condemned, place these passages within the larger witness of Scripture and discern God's Spirit speaking through science and social discoveries, we find the case for exclusion of gays and lesbians to be no more defensible than the view taken from select Scriptures that women today should be silent in church. To the contrary, we find the gospel's radical inclusion challenging us to open our hearts and our doors to all of God's children.

This is a far cry from moral relativism. It is, rather, a humble trust in a Spirit who is among us even today helping us to interpret Scripture, include science, and inspire society to be shaped by love of God and love for neighbors near and far. The result, for us, is the inclusion of families and individuals who are gay and whose faith is sacred.

We acknowledge that our view can be seen as a kind of minority report within the larger religious community. The place of gay and lesbian persons continues to be a complex question. For decades, debates have ensued using Scripture, science and social norms to discern the place of gay and lesbian persons within the church and society in general. These religious debates occasionally produce helpful insights, but mostly result in more heat than light, which too often obscures our points in common.

We wish to acknowledge these points of commonality with those with whom we disagree: that clergy on all sides of this conversation believe there is right and wrong, and that all of us, no matter where we stand on this issue, work to embrace the right and eliminate the wrong.

We all seek to understand the heart of the Holy and to connect our limited understandings to how we live as individuals and as a people in community. We all seek to honor Scripture, to be open to sciences' findings, and to live within the social context of our day. We all desire to love our neighbors and to advocate for what we perceive to be the best for all. Taken as a whole, the religious community is not mean-spirited or petty, but rather sincere and compassionate.

Our purpose in stating publicly our personal position about gays and lesbians is to allow the public to know that this issue is not closed within the church, at least not for us. We speak out to offer a word of hope and love to the gay and lesbian community of Louisville and beyond. Finally, we speak to clarify to those who hear the church's majority view as a hateful word. We believe it is not intended to be. The core of who we are, even in our disagreements, is love.

JOSEPH PHELPS

Pastor

Highland Baptist Church

FAIRFAX F. FAIR

Pastor

Highland Presbyterian Church

JACK CONLEY

Pastor

St. Agnes Catholic Church

TIM MITCHELL

Rector

Episcopal Church of the Advent

JEAN HAWXHURST

Pastor

Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church Louisville

*Reprinted from the Courier-Journal


I found this op-ed piece very interesting, as well as Joe Phelps personal blog on dealing with the continued communication after it was published. I am going to reprint those here as well. I hope this starts a dialogue on our churches and communities in the coming years.

Daemon

Kwaffee is GOOD!!!


Wow...waking up to Monday has been awesome. Kind of rolled over in the sun and the first thing I heard was lil' birds cheeping, then the timer on my coffee pot came on. That sound of it brewing is just about as comforting as hearing the AC kick on during a hot summer night. A soothing sound that urges a guy to sigh and know, that at least for that not-quite-awake moment, all is well with his world. Body feels good with that third day sore feeling and I slowly came to, in the cool, silver light that filters into my bedroom through the drapes.

Yay! It is going to be an amazing day! Hopped out of bed and started this one with a bang. Got my coffee fix, ran through the shower and got to cranking on my To-Do List. I capitalized it, cause it is important and I want to get it all done before noon and the heat of the day. So far...car is washed, yard is mowed, garden is weeded, flowers are watered, driveway is swept, laundry is being done as I type, email is all returned, papers for school are mailed, got my run in, took ANOTHER shower and now just uploading pictures of some vintage car parts I am selling on Ebay. Kind of trying to get my garage cleaned up before fall hits, since I'll need some more parking space for the new toys acquired this summer.

Sooooo...yeah! Maybe need to slow down on the coffee. :)

Later today, want to run into the city, maybe fly my kite, visit with some friends, hope to run into Justin and talk to him again and then lunch with Stephen. The guys from church have been such a help and support these last few weeks. Home group was kick ass last night! It is so weird to hang out with girls as well as guys, but I guess they are people too? Always with all the questions...I guess that must be a chick thing? Guys never ask all that crap, espec when they are just getting to know someone. Maybe girls are just always husband hunting, either for themselves or a friend? Who knows? Talk, talk, talk...seems like a damn job interview sometimes!

Anyway, life is good. I am looking forward to hearing from college this week. Money keeps coming in, so the unscheduled and unhurried summer break is at least paying for itself without my having to spend countless hours working. Thanks Dad for encouraging me to branch out and have multiple streams of income! Salary or hourly wages do nothing except sell your most precious commodity to someone else. Time is all we have, that they are not making more of. I choose to live life instead of selling it right now. Now if I just could retire and really get to living...but that is a good 20 years away, if I play my cards right.

Welp, I have to run over to the other computer and get this stuff listed. Hope today finds you well, whoever and where ever in the world you may be. No plans for the night as of yet, but I get I am going to have a good time! I always do...

Daemon

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Morning

Amazing how fast life can change. One moment you are wrapped up in the safety net of the familiar, the next day, all the carefully woven cloth of your life can be unraveled simply due to one hanging thread that catches on something.

That thread in my life has been the relationship that I started with Jesus Christ a little over than four years ago. Now, before you think this post is going to go all "God" on you, take a moment to consider the fact how difficult at times it is to share bits and pieces of my life here at times. My spiritual life is a valid part of my story and I try to share it as I can, even though it is harder to talk about with strangers than sex, love or what I ate for dinner the night before. Someones personal journey is always difficult to understand, but I hope you will walk with me a bit.

Lately, I have been personally challenged to start living out many of the beliefs that I hold, or thought that I held in my heart and mind. The thing that I finally realized, that faith, without works is dead. I could tell God how much I loved Him, how much I wanted to serve Him, how important He was to me...but then daily, I made choices that seemed to be in direct contradiction to the few simple truths that I have learned in the last few years. There are not convictions that were handed to me by some organization, or a group of people, or learned from some self help book found on a shelf, but instead, are feelings I have deep in my soul about what is right and what is wrong for me.

I am learning that the heart is a fickle and unstable thing at best, but when harnessed to a zeal and determination for the good, nothing on earth will stand in its way.

Looking hard at myself over the last few months has been a challenging and daunting process of self examination. It involves a long hard look into the mirror and calling the facts of reality for what they really are, not a self delusional cursory examination of the evidence, quickly forgotten when the urge and emotions have long since passed.

The truth of the matter is, there are and continue to be many activities, actions, choices and desires in my life that I cannot live with in peace. My house is not right and that idea sits uneasy with me. Simply put, choices had to be made.

And I am making them.

As a follower of Jesus, as Gods kid, as one who is called to be set apart, the harsh reality of my actions belie the name which I carry. I remember once, as a foolish young teen, my Dad telling me quietly and firmly to either, "Change your ways...or change your name."

I am choosing to change my ways.

Not for some idea that in doing good I will become good. Or that I can somehow appease my conscience with nice or better works, or that in the changing of my life I will somehow become a more worthy person and more deserving of His love, but rather, my love for Him compels, calls, exhorts and demands a difference. I can tell someone I love them, but when my actions fly in the face of that statement and say other wise, then who the Hell do I think I am fooling?

I am tired of grieving Him. I am sick of returning to old things that used to bring me comfort, peace and enjoyment. Like a song I love says, "I keep longing after broken cisterns that do not satisfy."

So I have been choosing life over death, peace over calamity, simple over complex, truth over lies, actions over excuses, discipline over license and grace over bitterness.

What does all this mean? I will put it bluntly. All of the selfish and self gratifying choices I am making with my dick and the money God has given me need to change.

I cannot avoid my eyes in the mirror any more and I want some peace to reign in my heart. I am tired of being a slave to this stupid body and all the desires and wants it continually clamors for. I have never learned to tell myself "No" not even for an instant. I was not even adept at saying, "Wait". I have lived as a selfish child long enough. There is much more in this life to be had than simply satisfying my desires, my wants, my needs, my aches, my cravings. Me, me, me, me...must end.

What does success look like for me in all of this? I don't expect to attain perfection. I am still Daemon, a man, a slave in many ways. But I am also His kid, His beloved Son, a Heir of all that is His to give. I am starting to live like it. I cannot compromise the integrity of my heart and faith for the simple pleasures that this world offers and gives me so freely. There is always a cost, a consequence, a thinning of the soul.

And what a price it has been.

I chose life.

Friday, July 23, 2010

BRB...Going for a walk

Across America! Thought this was neat...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Snap, crackle, pop!


That was the sound my back made this morning as I laid in bed and stretched hard. You ever sprawl out and stretch so hard, with your legs flexed, that both of your legs just vibrate and shake? It is hard to describe in words, but it feels really good, and is also amazingly weird at the same time! Got up and started loosening my body up and it feels awesome to be alive today. Spent some extra time on my arms, legs, neck and back and now I can say I am awake! The work outs are paying off, not only visually, but also in strength and that really good sore feeling the third day afterward. Now if I could just love running half as much, I would be set. It is hard to run when no one is chasing you...lol

Cooler this morning, which is a big relief. There has been a serious heat wave for the last few weeks here in Missouri with days reaching up into the heat indexes of 110 degrees and humidity as high as 90 percent before it would rain! I am thankful for the cooler weather, but also wished I had waited till today to get all my yard work done. Yesterday, I was a sweaty, dirty, nasty mess, but man! The place looks good now! I love it when everything is trimmed right, the bushes have sharp edges and the lines on the grass seems to point to happy. It had been getting just a bit shaggy with all the rain we have had. Yay...it is all done...for awhile.

My toes keep popping, but it feels good.

So today, I am headed into the city with kind of a mission, if it works out. I have been going to the same coffee shop in the heart of Westport since I started driving and there is someone there I want to talk to. Westport is kind of Kansas City's shopping and party district, but it is in Old Town. This is not the new shiny Power and Light district, or the tony and swank Country Club Plaza, but rather the real heart and soul of the city in Midtown. it can be loud, noisy and dirty sometimes and kind of compares the the Haight and Ashbury of San Fran, just on a way smaller scale and much closer to the slums and ghetto. It is a beautiful place during the day, all the shops and stores are pretty much locally owned and the diversity on the sidewalks and streets can be baffling at times.

This is my favorite coffee shop in the whole world, but lately, each time I have been there, someone has been on my mind. There is a guy, let's just call him Justin, that has been hanging out there for the last year or so. He is a homeless kid, but it took me awhile to figure that one out. Now normally I can peg the street hustlers and homeless kids in a heartbeat, but Justin has a way of polishing it up, so as it is hard to tell. He meets his sponsors and tricks at the coffee shop, or near there, and makes his living during the day, hoping to find a place to crash each night. Once I saw him hanging out with Johann, I knew the score. Johann is an older guy who has been around since I was a teenager. He is wealthy and retired and seems to enjoy the "rough trade" as we call it. He IS a nice man, always takes care of his guys and stuff, but still, his presence there also enables their behavior.

So Justin has been around a lot more than usual lately, and I am sure that business is kind of thin in the summer months. He really is an attractive guy, just saying, but he normally sits apart from us all at a table, or stands by himself near the brick alley way with this odd little smile on his face. Now most of the street guys and hustlers I have known and met are brash, loud, smiling boisterous boys. The draw attention to themselves, cut up and have a good time, all while keeping up a brave front. Not so Justin. He is this quiet, striking, reserved young man, who just sits and smiles, till it is time to leave with someone again.

I want to talk to him. I want to hear his story. In some way, eventually, I want to share the story of Gods love for him. I have a burden for his soul and I do not know why.

Now if he has spent any time with Johann, I am sure he knows pieces of my story, of my past and all that I went through growing up in this city. I am sure Johann spins it to sound if I am a rough kid who made good, kind of to inspire Justin to rise above how he is living now. But that is not true, really. Those years ago, at this very coffee shop, doing what he was doing, is where Melissa first was a signpost to me about what God could do in my life.

She pointed me up. She cared for me. She loved me enough as a hurt and broken stranger to share what little truth she did have. She said, "Come and see...come and see, Daemon!" And because of her witness, my life was changed forever.

I hope to see Justin today. I want to say hi. Maybe buy him some coffee and listen. It may cost me something for his time, but isn't that a small price to pay for his soul?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

There is only grace...

Early!


Woke up hella early this morning with a nail pounder and little bit of a headache. And by early I mean, like four am! What is up with that? Now I know I went to be early for me, but still, come on now. Oh well...just spent some time catching up on my blog reading and editing some of the pictures I have been taking lately and I guess I am up for the day, though I can't stop yawning for some reason.

Reading other guys blogs is kind of humbling at times, especially when I run into other that can write so well and seem to have it all together in one place. Ran across one of those this morning and wow! This guy can write! And NO, I am not telling you where it is, cause be makes my blog look like crap...LOL But seriously, Clint, Oh Em Gee, you are one talented wordsmith!

Hmm...today is going to be simple I hope. Not so many tears as yesterday. I totally had some weird crying jag out of the blue, guess I had been bottling some stuff up? I do fell much better now that is all on on the outside of me. That ever happen to you?

Once the sun gets up, I guess I can truly start my day. Going to be working on the yard with Michael and then tonight we are having a dinner for two friends. Cozy, huh? It is actually the back up plan, since Michael's Mom pulled the plug on coming up for the weekend with her husband. I swear, that lady is going to drive him nuts one day! Oh well, I just need to be supportive and just carry one and NOT get involved in all that. Listen, nod, move on.

Hmm...I think I am hungry? Not sure though, I just feel kind of odd. It is going to be a good weekend though. I can feel it. Don't really have much to say. Thanks for all the comments guys, that kind of cheered me up this morning. At least someone out there is reading my crap. I really need to start on the next part of the blog on my Dad, but I just don't feel like it right now. Maybe I need some more water. Yeah, that is prolly it.

Time for running and then breakfast. I am going to let him sleep in, poor guy. Why am I up so friggin' early! Akkkk... have a good day!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ban Homosexuality!




I posted this back in May, but a friend sent it to me again and I thought it was worth the repost. Kayjen really makes me think, and I love how he shows the irony of our country and its small minded ways through sarcasm. Even if you don't agree with him at all, it is worth the watch. Maybe it will spark some conversations or dialogue with the people in your life? Enjoy!

Acceptance


Grrr...just spent 17 minutes searching for a four leaf clover in my yard. How is it that Luke can just walk up and grab one and I can't find them if my life depended on it? Must be the curse of the English!

Anyway, got the car washed and waxed. Rain-Ex on the windows, vacuumed and all spiffed up. Even polished the wheels. It is so hot and humid, by the time I was done, my shorts and boxers were completely soaked. This weather is killing me, but it also feels really good to sweat and get stuff done. If I had the time, I would get out there and weed my garden and trim the shrubs again, but they are still looking okay and the mulch is keeping the weeds at bay. Man, the corn is getting TALL! Already getting green beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots and herbs this year. It is good to work in the dirt, and it is almost like free food! Whoohoo!

Been spending more time with my buddies from church and much less time with my gay friends hanging out clubs and parties. Seems to set my mind str8 and I am really starting to listen to what God is saying to me. Reading through Psalms over and over and over and it breaks me up every time. It is like reading David's journal; all his fears, pain, angst and passion for his life and those around him. Not sure what all the tears are about that come, but I am learning to just let them flow and not be ashamed. Maybe I will get an answer some day, but until then, I will just keep crying I suppose?

I titled this post Acceptance today, not sure why, except that is how I am approaching my life, my friends, my family, my relationship, everything. I am simply trying to be present and live in that very moment, which can be very hard. My friend Caleb says I have ADOS, which stands for Attention Deficit, OH SHINY! :D Bwhahahahahaha...

With all that is going on, the changes, the plans for school, running back and forth to the lake, staying in the Bible, living in community with my Christian friends, I find it hard at times to stay with it all. I kind of drift off and wonder what all this is about. I certainly like sleeping at night with no regrets for a day. Being able to say no to temptations is something new for sure. I never told myself no before, maybe wait, but never no. I did not think I could. Guess what? I can!

The intentional choosing of good things is setting well with my heart and mind. I sleep sounder, I live healthier, I look better and a smile comes to my face much easier and more often. I dunno what I am saying except, I like it! I am loving this summer.

It is one of change. Good things are happening.

Hope this is true for you as well!

Peace



PS: If you happen to pray for me ever, porn and jacking off is still kicking my ass every single day. I have no idea how to break out of this, especially now that I am not having sex for awhile. I need either some peace with what is natural, or some decrease in hormones. It never really used to bother me at all, but lately I feel like it is out of control. Life isn't just about sex and getting off. Guess I am getting more sensitive to this stuff? Summer is always like this and it kind of sucks to walk around raging all the time. Prayers and any verses you might know about lust could sure help. Just throw them up here and I will check them out. Thanax! :)

Strange day



What a strange day and it is still happening. Slept in today for a change after a late night of hanging with my buddies. Kind of puttered around the house just cleaning up and keeping myself busy. Remembered it was Third Thursday so decided to make some Spinach, Cheese and Bacon dip to take to church. We all have a big dinner each Third Thursday (hence the name) and hang out. Tim said we were going to place some game, so I looked up the rules on the internet and still did not understand what it was.

Left early and chilled at the coffee shop for an hour before dinner. Read some of my new book, found a cool art project to help someone with and generally watched people and listened to my music. Today it was Depeche Mode and old music from the 40's. Weird mix, I know, but it seemed to fit. Got my coffee fix and it was AMAZING! God, I love my coffee shop!

My skin is tingling and itchy now from the sunburn I got yesterday. Went to the art gallery to fly my kite and it was HOT. Like 90 degrees plus, so I shucked my shirt and had a lot of fun for a few hours. Totally soaked in sweat, but it felt great! Then these three freakin' hot guys showed up, shed their shirts and asked me if I wanted to play some soccer.

Of course! :)

They were really nice and so amazingly attractive. All different, but all normal and my type. I took some pictures of them and they asked if I was gay...lol I thought that was kind of funny. I told them yes, and they were cool. We just kept playing, though they didn't tell me about them? Anyway, I got out of there after a while and they followed me back to the parking lot to talk. Seemed kind of awkward and I was horny, so I knew the best thing was to hop in the car and jet.

So I did.

But tonight, I went to this church service with a friend after the dinner at my church and the worship and message was amazing! Met so many new people and really liked the place. I may have just found another church to go to, in addition to mine. The only thing that kind of bugged me was the gay guys there were obviously closeted so it seemed a lot more conservative. Who knows? I had a good time and learned some stuff. Also another place with too many attractive guys. Must be that time of the year?

Well, my eyes are getting heavy and I feel bad because I didn't even write anything post worthy, but I guess that is how it is at times. I am going to bed now. I need my rest!

Ciao

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hanging out with me...


Hi Daemon...it's me again. You know...you, me, we...us! How the hell you been? Kind of weird to sit here at night, winding down and chatting with friends all over the globe, in the comfort of your own home, legs kicked up and listening to tunes. You do realize how much you have to be thankful for, right? Cause if you don't, we can take a trip down memory lane...

What?! You would rather not? It might be good for us though? You do tend to forget things, the past, the times that have gone on before. So why don't we? I'll hold your hand...promise. Yeah, I know it sucks sometimes, but if we don't learn from it we are bound to repeat it. Wait...is that what we have been doing lately? I dunno, you have to answer that one! Man, your hands are cold and no I won't give you a piggy back ride. You are so freakin' weird sometimes!

We can do this in jumps, just snapshots of time, you see it, call it out. We will examine it all later, dude. Just see where this takes us...


Bike rides in the night, no where to sleep... alone. Phone calls to home. Tall tower of a hotel that you chose not to stay at for the cost, not in dollars, but in heart ache and hurt. Sleeping out, under the stars on the beach. Home there only a few paces away, but at what a price? Warm bed waiting, but not empty. Hanging at the university, jumping online, trying to find peace in the arms of strangers. How did I get here? Unknown people caring, keeping me alive, listening, respecting space. Gratefulness for clean clothes, a bed, a shave, hugs and some food. Running, always running...




Amazing Water! Prow to the wind, seas roaring and "Walk On the Ocean" blaring in your ears! Deck heaving, screaming into the storm and watching the sun break and cast the liquid into gold. What a tack and sail that was to Martha's Vineyard. Soaked to the bone, shivering with happy and loving every split second of the adventure! Blow winds, give it your damndest! Truly alive, completely present, sailing treking before the blast. Port in sight, hot chowder. Blankets wrapped, chest bumps and bone crushing hugs all around! We made it! We did it. Wooooot!





Tumbling, tossing, lost in a tangle of limbs. Where does he start, where do I end? Swooned, crazy, love starved lips. Murmurs in languages I don't understand. Lyrical Spanish for some time, other nights murmured Czech. Who are these people? How do we fit? Where are we going? What is all this? It is like a drug I cannot stop, a fix I won't leave and a passion that burns up within my bones. Amazing, giddy, childlike...lost and finding. Heaving, sleeping, groaning, gasping and now soft Russian or was tonight exclamatory German? I feel lost in my one language. Never felt like this before! What city am I in? What country is by body in? Nights in beer gardens, long walks on open, rocky roads. Lush hill sides, weary farmers wagons, smiling children, sore feet, cool streams, cresting beautiful vistas. Climbing mountains because they are there. Sharing life and limb for a wink and a smile. Lost journals, pictures given away. Heady passage for a youth so fair...






Surfacing from the deep. Creaking plates of steel, the muffled crepe soles, flimsy shorts and tshirts, that first gasp of fresh, natural, salt-laden sea air. Faces lifted to fading suns light. Furtive glances at the horizon. Comfortable silence and shared smiles. Alive still, seeking, hunting, pursuing, watching, waiting, thinking, fearing. Band of brothers in more ways than one. Shared purpose, bonded by war, unknown, unseen, unheard, silent, slipping beneath...into the deep.







Fog, fog everywhere. Sea lions roaring and clapping, Warm wool and soft cords, clad in brown leather, scarf snapping, staring, straining at the bay. City Lights, Vesuvius, Haight, Jack Kerouac and that damn book that pulled me from sleep to this City by the Bay. Shared Dewars, Bondage a-go-go, calling into work, walking hills, shopping roses, loving strangers, holding hands, talking the dialogue to a movie that played to only us. Whispered youth, fleeting time. Where does it go? Borrowed boat, bottle of port, swinging lantern and slap of water. Slipping in, naked skin, nothing ventured, everything shared. Innocence and laughter. Gone to soon, gone too soon. All over but for the song and memory.




Climbing, clipped in, thin air, bright skies, rough rock, scared, trembling, chanting, trusting, straining, upward. Never going to end, never will make it, pause, gather, press on. Up and over the top. The View! Oh, my God, the View. Tears come with wracking breath. Doubled over, squinting, panting, loving ever hurting, painful moment. Top of the world, top of the world, picture taken and cherished. Long way down...finally into the aspens we collapse. Slept for what seems like days. Woke in a tangle, simply laid, laughed, breathed, loved. Amazing, amazing...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Warning: May contain Satire!


Gay Teen Worried He Might Be Christian

Lucas Faber has tried focusing on Godspell to keep the thought of tithing out of his mind.


LOUISVILLE, KY—At first glance, high school senior Lucas Faber, 18, seems like any ordinary gay teen. He's a member of his school's swing choir, enjoys shopping at the mall, and has sex with other males his age. But lately, a growing worry has begun to plague this young gay man. A gnawing feeling that, deep down, he may be a fundamentalist, right-wing Christian.

"I don't know what's happening to me," Faber admitted to reporters Monday. "It's like I get these weird urges sometimes, and suddenly I'm tempted to go behind my friends' backs and attend a mega-church service, or censor books in the school library in some way. Even just the thought of organizing a CD-burning turns me on."

Added Faber, "I feel so confused."

The openly gay teen, who came out to his parents at age 14 and has had a steady boyfriend for the past seven months, said he first began to suspect he might be different last year, when he started feeling an odd stirring within himself every time he passed a church. The more conservative the church, Faber claimed, the stronger his desire was to enter it.

"It's like I don't even know who I am anymore," the frightened teenager said. "Keeping this secret obsession with radical right-wing dogma hidden away from my parents, teachers, and schoolmates is tearing me apart."


According to Faber, his first experience with evangelical Christianity was not all that different from other gays his age.

"Sure, I looked at the Book of Leviticus once or twice—everybody has," Faber said. "We all experiment a little bit with that stuff when we're growing up. But I was just a kid. I didn't think it meant anything."

Faber's instinct was to deny these early emotions. But recently, the Louisville teen admitted, the feelings have grown stronger, making him wonder more and more what life as a born-again right-wing fundamentalist would be like.

"The other week, I was this close to picketing in front of an abortion clinic," the mortified teenager said, his eyes welling up with tears. "I know it's wrong, but I wanted so badly to do it anyway. I even made one of those signs with photos of dead fetuses and hid it in my closet. I felt so ashamed, yet, at the same time, it was all strangely titillating."

Faber's parents, although concerned, said they're convinced their otherwise typical gay son is merely going through a conservative Christian phase.

"I caught him watching The 700 Club once when he thought he was alone in the house, and last week, I found some paperbacks from the Left Behind series hidden in his sock drawer," his mother, Eileen Faber, said. "I'm sure he'll grow out of it, but even if he doesn't, I will love and accept my son no matter what."

Faber's father was far less tolerant in his comments.

"No son of mine is going to try to get intelligent design into school textbooks," Geoffrey Faber said. "And I absolutely refuse to pay his tuition if he decides to go to one of those colleges like Bob Jones University where they're just going to fill his head with a lot of crazy conservative ideas."

He added, "I just want my normal gay son back."






*reprinted from the Onion: January 12, 2010 | ISSUE 46•02

Scientist isolate gene...amazing!

Amazing weekend!


Sooo tired, but sooo happy! This weekend was freakin' awesome! Had a friend from CO in town that I haven's seen for about 6 months. We went to school together and grew up playing soccer and being idiots. Such a challenge and inspiration to me now that we are grown and learned much more of what is really going on.

Got to introduce him to my life friends and they all really clicked. So much happened that I will have to update on here, but in the morning.


I have to get some rest. Will put my thoughts together and jump on here in the morning to catch up and compose myself. Had so much going on, I don't even know where to start, so I won't!


Right now it's time to hit the shower, then snuggling up and sleeping. G'nite all!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Todays List...

Wow...I slept so hard and woke up the same way! Still trying to get my eyes open and make this brain start working. Yawns split my face and I am cranking up the tunes. Time to get to dancing!

To Do:

1.Pee
2.Stretch out and run
3. Shower
4. Make bed
5. Get dressed
6. Wash car and get top off
7. Coffee shop
8. Read book
9. Buy music
10. Call Chris
11.Lake
12 Eat lunch
13. Figure tonight out!

That is about all I can think of and handle this morning. Don't have to do them in that order I guess, but that is what pops to mind. Not sure what I am hungry for either, but it is a beautiful day and I am going to love it and get some sun!

Hope to get back here tonight at some point to continue writing about my Dad. Hope you all have an awesome day, a smile on your face and something beautiful to enjoy.

Pax!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Dad: Hero, Inspiration, Best Friend.


You know, I never really bought into that whole "theory" about gay guys being estranged or somehow disconnected from their fathers. Educated "christian" (note lower case) people say I lacked a male role model, or that my father was emotionally distant, unavailable, absent, not present. And due to this and an over bearing Mom, somehow I ended up homosexual...

So much bullshit in my humble opinion. :)

While this may be the truth in their selective case study, or possible in other gay guys lives, it certainly doesn't ring true for me. But I am not here to delve into the depths of foundations and explanations for my sexual orientation, I am here to talk about my Dad.

This last weekend found Dad and I headed back up to Des Moines, IA for the annual Good Guys Car Show held at the State Fair grounds each Fourth of July weekend. What started as a fun trip one summer has now turned into a tradition for us two guys. We pretty much drop whatever we have going on in our lives, meet up in Kansas City and make the pilgrimage to this Mecca of Hot rods each and every year. I have only missed the years that the Navy took me around the world. It is something we look forward to each year. No Mom, no brothers, so sister, no boyfriend...just him and I, palling around and checking out the rolling iron, getting ideas, showing our cars, talking to new and old friends and just being men in the company of men.

This year was an amazing time, as always, but was especially poignant as my Dad begins to grow older and I come into my own as a man now. The experiences that we have both been through, socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, relationally has brought us even closer together and we share a common bond that my other siblings are missing. As each year passes, I begin to realize that I am truly my Father's son. One of the reasons for all the conflict and angst I endured while growing up, was due to the simple fact that we are SO much alike.

Of course, my Mom always told us this, but we protested to high heaven that there is NO WAY that I am like THAT guy! It is funny now to look back and see how much our lives are truly in parallel and synced up. Life is weird like that I suppose?


I am writing this as I try to upload car shows pics to my FB, eat a chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes while downloading some new music that I will need for my lake drive tomorrow. Sorry, if it seems a bit disjointed at times, I am doing my best!

There is one picture I wish I had on my computer, but it only exists in a picture album of my youth, assembled by my Mom that spans from my birth to age 18. She snapped it when I was around 5 or 6 years old and it shows my Dad reclined in his leather easy chair in his den and sprawled face down on top of him, like a little meat blanket, is me...fast asleep. My Dad had a bemused expression on his face, but his big arms were wrapped tight around my little shoulders. Nothing on but my undies, but completely at peace in my Dads space, knowing that I am safe, loved, wanted and known.

It is this picture that often comes to mind whenever I doubt his love, miss him greatly over the miles or just question what our relationship is really all about.

He loves me.

Period.

He was born in an era of rough times. WWII was still raging when he was a child and he grew up in horrible and harsh circumstances. His father left the family when he was young, and he spent many years bouncing from relative to relative, from inner city to farm, looking for a place to call his own and possibly his next meal. His mother worked her whole life, right up until she died to try to provide for her three sons, a daughter and herself...but it was the '40's and '50's and what little she did make, never went very far. He was born at home, in an upstairs bedroom in the heat of June and walked into a world that cared not if he lived or died. So many stories I have listened to, through his shaking and tears, about his childhood and the hardships of near starvation, the abuse on so many fronts and the struggle he had to simply stay alive. I do not know all of the details, but from the few pictures and many late night talks, I am able to grasp a picture of the boy my Dad used to be.

It is not an easy picture to look at.

He loved music and played guitar and trumpet. He ran track and played football in High School. His first love was cars and in order to have one to drive, him and his friends built them from whatever hulks they could afford and a ready supply of parts from dubious sources. His Dad preferred his brothers and bought them the best of all he could afford, while my father was left to his own devices. He grew up in Hell's Kitchen and ran with a rough crowd of Italians just to survive. He was the lone white kid in a predominantly black neighborhood, was friends with everyone he met, and as a consequence was despised and hated by many. He managed to graduate High School, but without much of an education and seriously considered joining the Navy for a place to sleep and eat.

Fortunately, the day before he was to report to the station, he found a job at a local grocer in the City Market and said goodbye to his friend, who went on to serve 30 years in the military. That small job he found certainly changed the course of his life. His love for music was strong and he started performing in the Kansas City jazz scene that was booming at this time. Swing and Big Band were flourishing and my Dad was looking forward to a future in the new digs and opportunities that were opening up.

Some gang fights and poor choices later and that dream was ruined. He lost all of his teeth to a lead pipe defending his friends and turf. There went the trumpet. A knife took away much of the dexterity in his skilled left hand. There went the guitar.

He was left without a dream, headed no where fast...all at the age of 19.

A picture of him from this time is etched into my mind. Tall and slim, buzzed flat top, dressed in dark denim jeans and a white tee, posing with his 1959 Black MG at the Meyer Fountain on Ward Parkway. Reminds me of someone else I know... :)

Dejected, hurt, broken hearted, depressed and with no skills and education, he was sure that he was headed for the life of a bum, besotted in the gutter...waiting and wanting to die.

And then...




He met a girl...my Mom!






To be continued...

Weird


What an odd day. Eyes open and awake at 4 am for some reason. Shook my body loose and started my day with a kind of grainy view of reality. As if the lighting director had it all wrong and the film wasn't loaded quite correctly. I could tell the blocking was a bit off, cause I kept running into doorways, but not in the I got hurt sort of way, just those brushing passes that feel your shoulders and toes up a bit.

Got my errands ran and came home for a while and found myself lying down, reading a favorite book from childhood, A Wrinkle In Time, and then suddenly, right after Mrs. Who transmogrified in from of the children, I slipped off to sleep. Just woke up and everything is still a bit off. Not sure if I am tired, or cranky, or hungry, or what...

Eh, who cares?!

Got so much pent up in my head it won't come out at the moment. Been studying out what I really believe and how to live it out. Considering big and small decisions. Helping friends when I don't feel I have any answers myself. Trying to live right and still managing to fail miserably, at least that is how it feels to me.

There has got to be more than this! I am tired of fighting, of arguing, of debating, of flexing, of hoping, of defending, of being attacked, of resisting, of educating, of conversing and of crying. And this is all prompted and engaged in with the very guys who call themselves my friends and say they love me!

Screw it, I can't write right now. I want to come back later and talk about my Dad. Peace...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am so blessed!

Up early!


Slept hard and deeply to the sweet tapping sounds of summer rain and my "taking a little nap" turned into being knocked out for about 10 straight hours! Man, I must have been tired? Now awake before the dawn and getting things in order for my assault on this day. So much to do, but I am confident it will get done.

Spent a bit of time outside, simply sitting and looking. I enjoy waking up to life by spending some moments in contemplation, looking out at the water, observing the animals scampering about and generally taking it all in as my eyes widen and mind sharpens. Kind of brings a bit of peace and clarity to me before the craziness of life starts in earnest.

This morning two drops of rain fell off a friendly tree onto the smooth back of my hand and the simple way that the dim light caught them turned them into liquid gold, sitting, trembling there on my skin. I sat quietly until they had both dried, and then went inside.

Hmm...need to get the coffee going, then get cleaned up. I feel pretty grungy since I did not shave yesterday. That is odd for me, but just didn't feel like it. I don't mind stubble on another guy, but on me...not so much. It feels and looks like dirt on my face, plus its pretty rough and scratchy, easy to chap skin and burn lips. Don't ask me how I know...LOL Not sure what I want to wear today. Could use some emotional armor is how I feel. Whenever I feel a bit insecure or unsure of myself, I like to dress up a bit more in order to at least appear composed. Is that strange? Think of it as textile compensation.


The AC is keeping the house nice and cool and the sound of it cycling on and off is soothing and comforting to me. Have not turned on many lights and the low darkness seems to call me back to bed, but my mind is fully awake now. I like padding around in bare feet in the cool and the dim. My eyes adjust to the shadows and everything seems peaceful as morning comes. The stone and wood is soothing to my skin, my eyes pick out the things I need without a care to the specific detail. It really makes me wonder why I must always have so much light? I like these pleasant places, this space I have made for myself. I call it home.

Not looking forward to my shots this morning, but they are a must for school. I used to have a huge phobia of needles, well, still kind of do, but have learned not to shriek and curl myself into a wailing, rocking ball, now that I am an adult, sort of. Then it is coffee shop time to write and listen to music and then over to get my test results. Not panicking yet, and prolly won't. Peace comes to me, either through self delusion, or the prayers of others.

Psalm 139 is amazing.



This song lately...wow! Listen to it, if you dare...if you want something more.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Odd mood...introspection?


Woke up this morning all out of sorts. Had a great day yesterday. I feel like writing about all the stuff that is on my mind, but it is not assembling itself coherently at all, so I think I will just list 'em and ramble on about it. Sounds good to me?

Summer time and the Lake

I am back and forth from the city pretty often for family, church, friends and junk I have to do, but cannot say that it is going as I planned in my head. Made some friends down there, some good, others not so much. That environment kind of lends itself to partying and drinking daily and truth be told, all that wears on me and gets really old. Those are the things I used to enjoy before I met God and now it bugs me and makes me feel bad. I don't have a problem with enjoying a good beer and friends, but some of these guys drink like a fish every night and then it all just goes crazy. I was hoping for some alone time to reflect on my life so far, make some plans and enjoy the quiet spaces, but that is getting harder to come by. Work, of course, is a lot of fun given the fact I love my co-workers and the owner is a great friend, but eh...mixed reviews in the situations it puts me in at times. I think I need to set some boundaries with my friends there and let them know I am not available 24/7. Also need to ditch the all the condoms and lube, since that makes it way to easy and convenient to screw up. Well, maybe not the lube...that comes in handy! That just kind of hangs over my head, though. So yeah, more space and less partying.


School

So I am going to culinary school, enrolled, accepted, what not...but it going to entail much time apart from my friends, family and boyfriend. Not so sure I am liking that idea, but I also have a peace that this IS the right decision in life right now. I am excited that I finally get to live out this dream, but it is also kind of scary too? The school that I chose is actually a private faith based school and man, do they have a lot of rules. Even more so than the school I attended growing up. They take a pretty dim view on the whole gay sex thing, but do not discriminate based on orientation. I don't know how I am going to fit in there, since most of the guys are prolly conservative yuppies. At least that is the worst case scenario I have in my head too. Also, I can't drink while I am a student, but that is a small sacrifice. The problem I have is the school jurisdiction, as far as the Honor Code applies, states that it extends from acceptance to graduation. Can I really commit to NOT being physically expressive with Michael or any one else for that length of time? Is that fair to me? Is that fair to him? I dunno about all that...but my only other option is to lie, and I don't feel comfortable with that either. Lose, lose situation right there. I won't commit to something I cannot fulfill. It is almost like the Navy all over again, but at least DADT wasn't strictly enforced in the unit I served with. It is all volunteer and all male, so made it much easier. Hmmm...I am going to have to give this some serious thought, because I do not take promises or honor lightly.


Church

I love my church, I really do. I met God and came to my faith through the witness and ministry of the awesome people there, but lately, I do not feel like I am growing as I should. Not being challenged and discipled like I feel that I need. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing and it is easy to slip through the cracks except with my closest friends. I need to talk to David my pastor about this and see what he thinks. I am getting more involved now and everyone is so amazing, so accepting and loving, but I also need to be spiritually fed more. This is all still really new to me, so maybe it is just going to take time. I do not want to have to leave and find a new church.

Eh...that is enough rambling for now. I need to get some coffee and go for a drive to clear my head. I hate days when I have absolutely nothing planned. I end up wasting time and getting into trouble. For some reason, porn has been dragging me down all the time. Not sure if that is because I am not having sex as much or what? My pastor challenged me to NOT have sex for 30 days, and that is feasible, but there is no way I would want to not jack off for 30 days. I went for a few days once in the hospital and thought I was going to die. Maybe my next post will be about sex and stuff. I am really confused about what God thinks about all of that. Might make a good study?

Anyway...I am off, for a bit!

Peace




Sunday, July 4, 2010

Morning of the Fourth


Gray dawn, bit of fog and mist, for some reason I am loving it. Brain not awake yet, reading up on my friends blog. Inspired by his sentiments that I am a first class taxpayer and 3rd class citizen. Davey, you are one amazing guy, ya know?

My friend Davey's Awesome Blog

Soon to clean up and head out, might buzz my hair again. Body is waking up, slept so hard. Why do I keep writing in fragments. My English teacher, prolly appalled. Very full day.

Coffee and writing, church and friends, lunch with fam, then BBQ and party. Michael gets home (can't control excitement to see him) and then who knows...

But there will be fireworks! :)

Happy Independence Day to you All!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Interesting thoughts...

"I think that we have in recent years entered a 'New Dark Age' in the Western world. It is marked by the rise of religious systems that seek to build security by encouraging prejudice against a designated victim. Both evangelical fundamentalism and the kind of ultra-conservative Roman Catholicism that is at present installed in the Vatican are publicly defined by their visceral and uninformed hostility toward homosexual persons. What the heretic was in the Middle Ages, the black in the days of slavery and segregation, and the Jew in Nazi Germany, the homosexual has become in the religious hysteria of our day. This kind of behavior is always a response to fear and to a rapidly changing world. Security-providing religion, which always requires a victim, is like a drug that carries us over the rough places of life. It is certainly not the wave of the Christian future....Beyond that I think we ought to recognize that truth and unity cannot ever be built on identifying a victim that creates the illusion of unity because there is a common enemy. When these institutions say that God hates the same things that the worshiper hates, everyone should be very suspicious.

Dark Ages do not last forever. Ten years from now this phase of our religious history will surely be over. The contemporary scientific and medical data that suggests that homosexuality is a perfectly normal but minority aspect of our humanity, that it is a given and not a chosen aspect of life, will have challenged these prejudices so deeply as to make them seem not only quaint but ignorant. Remember that less than one hundred years ago we were still persecuting left-handed people as evil, deviant and unnatural. In the meantime I share your enormous embarrassment that the Christian church is today the major voice in the Western World in the persecution of those members of our society whose only 'sin' is that they were born with a sexual orientation different from the majority. Someday we will be terribly ashamed of the Christian leaders in our generation."

John S. Spong

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Morning Quickie


And no...not that kind of quickie, ya pervs! Woke up real early this morning and this day has started so fast! Ran my body through through the shower, grabbed some coffee and taking a few moments to gather my thoughts here and fill out my to do list to accomplish before the weekend begins!

Got to pick up my medical records for college in the fall, swing by the coffee shop, shop for some trees and shrubs to plant at my little sisters house, lunch with Mom and Dad, go to the gym, clean my house, pack for vacation, get a new camera, fly my kite (optional depending on time and wind) and then tonight it is all about friends. Whew! That all makes me tired thinking about it...

I am feeling pretty good today, even with only a little sleep. I tend to sleep when I am tired, eat when I am hungry and just kind of follow what my body tells me it needs, when it needs it. Not a real fan of a schedule and social norms, but sometimes you have to conform, just to get things done easier and with less of that "I think you might be a crazy person" looks from others.

Flipping through the news channels this morning, caught a glimpse of all those so called "Christian" channels. Does anyone actually watch that crap? And even more, does anyone believe any of those snake oil salesmen, dip shit hucksters? They make me sad and sick at the same time. I cannot believe this country lets something like that thrive, much less be broadcast to the world. What a sad day...

Anyway, I am rambling! Par for the course I guess? Hope you all are doing well and making good plans for friends and family this Independence Day! I am proud to have served my country and am thankful for the freedoms that we have left. Now if we can manage to grant civil rights to those that the conservative groups hate and are threatened by, we might just make this place a better space.

None of us are free...until ALL of us are free.


Ciao!