Monday, February 28, 2005

Come one, Come all

This is what we are doing Wednesday nite.

Yes you...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Merrilland...I mean Murland.

OH manomanoman. Big weekend for me. First off, the Lady Bear Dawgs had their final regular season game at the field house, it was pandelirium! Quite a few of the alumni showed up it was AWESOME to see Abby, (aka Schmabby, Nuby Eyeburger, Mini-leg) I didn't know for sure if she was coming or not, and it was so good to see her. Had a girly reunion moment which i'm not proud of, complete with squealing. Kate came from New York too, especially good to see her. All of the girls I played with are now completely out of school, so almost all years I was there were represented, which was really cool.

To add to the joy, the Bears won handily and played in peak form. NYU beat Brandeis, giving WU the sole share of their 8th straight UAA title and their 16th trip to the big little dance (not really a 'big' dance in Div. III, I suppose). Anyway, it was such a cheese moment for me (got a little teary) when the announcer guy relayed the message that Brandeis lost, and the whole crowd went nuts and the seniors just all started going crazy.

After the game, as I was standing over a puddle of diet coke that I had knocked over, waiting for a guy with a mop, I got to see Nicole (a senior) and her mom celebrate with a hug and I teared up. (Tell me what is wrong with me?) . I've been out of school four years now, and this experience doesn't fail to get to me.

On top of them winning all of the Alumni were in town for a game of our own, which was also just incredibly fun and nostalgic. I played pretty well, one parent said to me "You weren't that good when you were here!" It's true...

Trips down memory lane. Kirstens practice with two right shoes. Crow sliding into the shower wall on her stomach. Shiny mooning a recruit and her dad that she didn't realize were in the stands during practice. Sue and the snotty face. Coach and the "insensity" and "if you listen to me this will be alot funner" comments. Me sleeping through my alarm and having to be picked up by Coach Airport Nazi herself in her tiny car. My mom almost getting kicked out of a gym for yelling "You SUCK" at the top of her lungs. American Pie the shower version. Oh gosh. I am so blessed to have had this family, these experiences. Gosh I think I am going to write a book.

Fast forward to have some great times discussing life and love and money with my folks and looking at houses. I think that I have found one. Maybe two. One backs up to a sand volleyball court, I think I could melt with joy. Decisions, Decisions.

Decisions I am making for me. Because I have to live with them. Because it's my life. No one else has my life and no one else can make them for me. It's sounds simple. But oh, how it hasn't been for me before.

Murl and Willie back in action, rocking the greater Merrilland, nay Murland Heights metropolitan area. That has a nice ring to it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

From the Markus Williams File.

Oh so sweet excerpt from an I mail I received today from my dear friend Mark:

"I forgot to tell you this last night. . ..but Anne and I stopped at Wendy's and we were in there and this woman at the counter jus had a pissed off look on her face, namely because the guy in front of us ordered the wrong sandwich and wanted them to fix it. But I ask her if she's alright and she's like, "shoo, a sista's feet are hurtin'" and just busts up laughing. Perhaps the greatest visit to Wendy's ever."

Shoo a sista is laughin.
A said my name is Fawkeisha, and it is my Birthday.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Classifications of Disbelief.

Two grrreat messages this weekend, church was about when we disagree with our brother on non-essentials of the faith. It was about how the legalist, the one who needs rules and needs to see them imposed is really the one of weak faith, but that the other is in danger of looking down upon such a person. Been awhile since I've seen myself as a legalist, but I fear I am a bit. Why hasn't EVERYONE seen things the way that I have and come to the same conclusions and convictions on them all? Gawrsh. Question me? And I will Defend.. cause...well.. I need to...right?

But I am also the other. I am the person saying "Tsk, tsk, silly you and your rules that do not save you. I am enlightened and have freedoms and they run amuck. Mu ah ah..
mm aha ah. I ran over a lady in a motorized cart, see, and God forgave me. Ah Ahem..yes.."

Still, very good to be reminded of the freedom part.

Meaty P also broke this down rather nicely last Sunday as well, and talked about the Jewish people who were waiting and wondering why things were the way they were and what they were doing wrong and why they didn't have the messiah they were waiting for.

The escapists wanted nothing to do with the messed up situation in Rome, hermitized themselves, washed their hands and ran out in to the woods to sing kumbah yah.
The zealots were the crazy violent folks who were convinced that the messiah was coming to kick butt to set up his new kingdom, so they were training to take by force what was rightfully theirs.
The pharisees were sure that we as a people were just mucking it up by sinning, so they decided that they would follow every letter of the law to such a degree and do it so well that the messiah would have no choice but to come and grace us with his prescence.
Then there were some conformists, who just sorta blended into the world as romans, they kinda denied who they belonged to, and became tax collectors and government officials, riding the road to personal gain.

Man am I just every single one of those people? I'm the best at escaping. Just run, just start over, just boot and rally. Clean the slate. Wrong. People are messy. Life is hard, fun, sad, happy, hard, and real. Deal with it. You aren't perfect.

I'm a conformist next. Of course that's what you should do.. come on it's what ANYONE else would do in a similar 'good person' would fault your behavior. Hmm.. what would God himself say? I am to be set apart, being made holy in glorius messiness. All awkward and gnarly at first, being washed and my scales being removed in plain daylight, for everyone else to see and know that HE is God and I am just a welfare recipient with no merit of my own to claim. Just fade to black.. NO gotta be out there light shinin through the cracks in this clay pot. Gotta choose him when my security, my personal gain, my reputation are on the line. (Aw.. do I hafta? Yes.)

I'm not a religious zealot. Never been into bombing abortion clinics. Not my style. However, can relate to the desire for injustice to be righted and sometimes will go to great lengths to see that happen sometimes nixing grace and common courtesy in the process...
Yeah I got nothin..

I've been the Pharisee, but you see, this was the one that stood between me and knowing Jesus (the real one) for so long, the one pointing out wrong all the time, and making you feel like crap for not attending the thirteenth annual methodist youth conference as a delagate to encourage fine upstanding youths to greatness in church, and makes my dad feel bad for walking into church late and for playing golf on sundays (he does play a bit of golf) but I somehow think ripping his clubs out of his hands is not going to endear my dear dad to sit at His feet. So this one I guess, is the one I've tried the hardest not to be, perhaps at times at the expense of truths that are just hard to speak sometimes. However, I am that man in my heart.

Lord, teach me to speak the truth in love without thinking I earned the right to speak it by being good. Teach me to love without expecting anything in return. Teach me to pour myself out as a drink offering for others. Teach me to trust you fully. Teach me to not beat myself up for my shortcomings, you never expected me to be self-sufficient. Teach me not to think other people are nuts for wanting to be my friend.

Take me scales off Cap'n, I'm a 'right scallawag...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


You said it Shell...


The Bears put the smack down on the University of Rochester this weekend. I kinda figured it would go that way, but it is always good to see them fightin hard and scrapping out a 25 point beating. Now we wait. We actually have to cheer for NYU, the school, which in my humble opinion, is the root of all things vile. They have to beat Brandeis to send WU to the dance for the 15th year in a row.

My buddy Meat Pocket spoke at DR tonite, and was great. Way to prepare a really good message, and make people think about things a bit. More on that later.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Please Be

God, be more. Please be more than a positive perspective. 'Cause I can get that from any number of inspirational places. Be more than that. Be Yaweh. Be real even when I think I am a walking problem, and not your child, when my 'belief' in you my 'faith' in you is not enough for me. It is not enough for me to think that You are who You say You are, and can do what You say You can do, and that I am who You say I am. It's not enough for me to just say "I am rich" when I am not. "I am strong" when I am not. I want to say that and mean it. Be more than a good idea, a good ideal. A 'positive' perspective that makes ailments go away by a pseudomedication of pains and hurts. What is this abundance? How rich am I in you? What does that mean? I have seen you before, but I am like a person who forgets what his own face looks like in a mirror. Where is this peace that passes all understanding? I've had it before.

I have had more fun in the last few days than I have in awhile. I've been hanging out laughing with co-workers and bonding and just cutting up like junior high kids. I don't know why I would ever stop doing this. I have felt the promise of freedom and the face of what true sonship looks like, but I have also borne the burden of recent less than Christ-like choices, and the mourning that accompanies them. I am torn between two lives. The life of what I could be (but am not sure of) and the life that I have, the one that has ups and downs but ultimately is one of massive massive blessing and security, laughter and praise. What would make me venture out into the desert for the eternal blessings? This: Woe to he who has his comfort now. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. It's the scariest verse in the Bible, to me.

If you are a praying sort, send one up for me. I need light, I need to be spoken too. I need to give, not to need. I need to see something other than pain and suffering out there, where 80 percent live at a lesser standard than I. I've missed the beauty of the gospel, the one that attracted me at first, with it's unconventional wisdom and disdain for the safe, comfortable path. He is not safe, but He is good.

God, help my unbelief and my unwillingness to lose what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Back in it!

They are back in. NYU lost to Rochester, Brandeis lost to Rochester. Puts us in a two way tie for first, and Brandeis has to play NYU before it's all over. But.. if all goes well, the mighty mighty b-dawgs, will be sharing in the UAA conf crown for the 8th year in a row. Oh joy.

I kinda understand now, how people can get so wrapped up in Football. You have no control whatsoever, but the outcome can make or break your day.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

From the 'strangers in the breakroom' file..

Today I ran into this older lady crocheting in the breakroom. I struck up a conversation as I always do with fellow people who do funny things with yarn. Talked about her grandkids blankets, some potholders..yadda yadda. Then I went back to the machine, got my diet coke, and as I was walking out a third lady had walked in and hadn't heard the conversation. I yelled over my shoulder at the grandma "Good Luck!" The lady getting the soda said "Thanks" without looking at me at all.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Lucinda Williams sings this song about Joy. She's going to West Memphis to look for her Joy, cause you took it and she wants it back. Man, and she's mad. Just wailin.

I'm taking mine back too.

For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. Psalm 92:4

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Woe is WU, and some other stuff from my brain.

Aw stink! Da Bears lost this weekend. AT HOME. (only the 4th time that has happened in conference history) I'm bummin. I went to the game.. maybe shouldn't have. Lester B Hopps and I both wanted to suit up so badly. They couldn't buy a lay up, and only ended up losing by 4. GOO. Now they are in a three way tie for second place in the UAA.

Voice in my head says... Linz, no one cares about womens division III basketball except for you.. remember it's like watching paint dry...

Bright side of the weekend, I got pants. Tall pants. And I cooked dinner for 10, which was fun.
Uh, Linz.. seriously...that's fascinating.. did you then find five dollars? Yeah you are right.

More bright side of the weekend, talk on Sunday was excellent again. The good Samaritan story brought to life in, amazingly, a way I've never heard before. Just a breath of fresh air. Conservative vs. Liberal. Talking about how Jesus was a liberal in that his heart bleeds for the poor and oppressed, and how he is conservative in the truth. The talk was entitled, The Gospel and Loving a Struggler.

That alone is a great title because it has the word "struggler" in it. Which was a phrase we used to use in college describing, well, everyone. We had this stuffed monkey that we named "struggle monkey" and passed it around to the person on the team who was having the worst luck as of late. I had it once when the tape I used on my shin splints gave me contact dermatitis and from knee to toe I had this wicked rash. Yep, struggle monkey was mine. After we won the Championship that year, we retired the struggle monkey to a spot in coach's office. But I digress...

The talk was rather timely because it had touched on something I was just debating recently about serving people as the body of Christ versus things that don't cause lasting change in people in impoverished situations. On one hand, giving and serving stretches and changes us as people. It helps replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and helps us make a connection with our fellow man and builds community, makes you appreciate your many blessings. Garth, my man, says it well I think:

"And I hear them saying you'll never change things
And no matter what you do it's still the same thing
But it's not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me"

On the other, it often times is not enough to cause lasting change. The bits of your life you can 'afford' to lay down are not enough to sustain a people group in need. They need to be taught to be responsible where they can, and be shown where they can 'learn' to fish, versus being given a fish. Which takes much more time and energy than most people have or are willing to try to have. We make it the governments problem and leave it to politics to be ironed out. People need grace to get out of situations, but they also need to be empowered and encouraged to take action and responsibility.

Yeah.. that's it. What.. you though I had an answer? Neh... not really.

But in the debate of sacrifice versus effectiveness, if I had to choose, I think I'd lean toward sacrifice, because I think God is a better judge of our effectiveness than we are, and uses every bit of sacrifice for his kingdom gain, maybe in ways that are not as blaring to us.

But that's just me.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Shamalamamamamama HOO, HOO, HOOO, Honey..

Saw GREASE tonite at the UMSL Touille Performing arts building. Man it was a good show. Free show. Even better. Thanks Markus. I think show tunes are my love language...

Saw Les Miserables last nite. Good show as well, even though the sound systems absolutely stunk. Do you hear the people sing? No.. not very well. Could you turn it down? Thanks...
Les Mis is a great story.

I think seriously that I have a problem. I remember everything. Every conversation, every story about people, every word to every show tune and Disney movie of the late nineties. And I like to sing them. Evita is my favorite by far. No Annie is.. No, make that Aladdin. Goo.. can't decide.

Can't find my keys to save my life.. but if you need the words to Prince Ali, I'm your girl.

I wish I were black.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

We don't change... We are changed.

Sermon at church this week rocked. The message was 1 Corinthians 13 and it blew me away. One probably because I have been so dry and so weary, that this drink of water quenched like nothing else. The idea was so reminicent of my first love. When I first knew that Jesus had to be the answer and the only answer, when you looked long and hard at his life, and couldn't fault him.

You just couldn't do it.

He was wise, He was kind, He was fun, He hung out with people who nobody liked, which, was pretty much everybody. He touched them. He healed them. He SMILED at them. With big white teeth. Even when he was mad at them, there was so much love in his face that you only felt the love part.

And then it changed you.

It changed you because you loved him so much. You didn't get yelled at in a sermon. You didn't feel bad, it was a checklist of rules. It wasn't a 12 step program.

You just wanted to be loved some more. And somehow you knew, that He had love to give you and that he would never run out. So since he had so much, you wanted other people to have it too, to just jump in it and wallow around in it like it was two hundred feet of new fallen snow, together. You didn't care who saw you.

Then you forgot. You cared what they said. You cared what people at church said, you cared that you were just doing stuff wrong. You looked at all the people who claimed to love him too and they kept screwing it up, because they are humans. You vow to do it better, and you screw it up too. You are not immune. People who never knew him see you, and they see you do it wrong, and you mourn. Why aren't you immune? You really really knew him. You could do it better. You try to cover your tracks. Then you step back.. where was I? What am I doing here? This isn't my first love. Looking good was never the point.

In the beginning. He was the point.

Gotta go back to the beginning.

Sometimes you bleed just to know you're alive.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord

You give and take away,
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name