Friday, December 18, 2009

Why we go to the movies...

Okay, I know that's an interesting title, but when you hear the reason why I chose it, you'll understand. Once in a great while, there comes a movie so incredibly well-done, we have to hear all we can about it. Tonight I got to see such a movie, the likes of which was something I could have never imagined. I went with my family to go see AVATAR. It was made by James Cameron, the same person who made Titanic. I at first thought it was going to be a cheesy over-the-top sci fi flick, but it turned out to be so much more than that. I have never, in my life, seen a movie with such incredible visual effects. It was truly a spectacle. It is the kind of movie that you have to sit through with a bucket of popcorn and a soda to get the full effect, and luckily, this was that movie for me. Last year, the biggest movie of the year was Dark Knight (2008), this year (2009) it's a tie between Star Trek and AVATAR. Although, when the awards come out, I'm really sure that AVATAR will be the movie that beats everything to a bloody pulp. If you ever want to know what it's like to be on a drug trip without the drugs, then go see this movie. It will help you see why it is that we choose to go the movies in the first place...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Dinners

For as long as I can remember, after church on Sundays, my family has sat down to a nice dinner. My mom being Italian, usually cooks a form of Pasta, with meatballs, bread, and salad. Today was one of those days where my mom went over the top, and I think it was perfect. Now i want to get started with laundry and get a ton of stuff done. i want to read, take a nap, play a game, so I want to get started on all of that...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas countdown

Sorry that I haven't had the chance to keep writing the blog, but now that I'm home, I want to keep up with the blog. I am also going to keep reading plenty of books, as well as writing my book. I am in absolute shock that i only have one more semester of college to go. So now i'm home and I am trying to make the most of the time, going to see friends I haven't seen in a while, going out to the movies, and going on some vacations. I was with my older brother on the Norwegian Sky (cruise), DON'T EVER TAKE THAT SHIP, I was so incredibly disappointed, I don't want to knock Norwegian Cruise lines, because I'm sure that other ships will be cool, but this ship was under my expectations, and I didn't enjoy the food, but I suppose it was a good thing, because I wasn't stuffing my face, and gaining a whole lot more weight. I am committing myself to losing weight this year, and making myself happier. I saw Biggest Loser a couple of times this week, and there was an episode where they look back on past contestants and see their progress. There was this guy named Erik. He won the show like 4 years ago, lost more than 200 pounds, and now he gained back 175 pounds!!!!!!!! I don't want to be that guy, because i got back from Japan weighing like 288 pounds, and now i'm up to 312. I have had it with myself, I am going to lose weight again, and i am going to get healthy...

Christmas is around the corner, and I want to do some great things for my family, i am also going to be buying our tree, and probably going to be getting some recipes done for cookies to bake with my nephews, Christmas is a good holiday, but I want to figure out what to give back as well. I will blog again soon.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chuo Special Rapid for Takao

Reading those words makes me want to be back in Japan more and more. I have another 2 years before I could even consider going back. But it was always an adventure going on the trains in Japan. It would be a good day if you caught the special rapid, it meant that you could get across the city in 45 minutes rather than 1 1/2 hours. I just thought it would be cool to have the title of today's blog be something that reminds me of my life in Japan.

I only had today as my last day of classes and now I am preparing myself for my final exams next week, most of which are going to be really, really easy...

I am just waiting for this week (coming up) to be finished, and I will be able to have more time to do things and write more...

Until then,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Changing a mindset

Today is Monday, I have exactly 11 days until I go back home. I am just trying to take a break from all of the craziness around school as I am just at Sunergos coffee in Louisville, a local (very famous) coffeeshop that will brew it's own coffee, and even roast the beans themselves. So I'm planning to bring some coffee back to Florida with me. Hoping that the family will like it. I had one quiz in Preaching today, and then next week I give my final sermon, and I am busy with final exams, and everything. Especially in the area of packing, I will be going home, and I have 2 suitcases to pack up in order to go, it will be hectic.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Today marks 2 weeks until my semester is over with and I am just rejoicing and counting down all of the days til this happens, because it's now 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, and I will be home for it this year. I wasn't home for Thanksgiving last year, thinking I would have a job and I would be working, but I didn't get hired and then I went home right after my birthday. So this will be great to be able to be back home and to stay home for a long time. I was home for only 3 weeks the last time I was there, and that was right before I was headed out to Japan. I am very happy to be going home, It will literally be almost 6 months that I have been away from home. I am due for a visit to the sunshine. I am prioritizing the beach, the absolute best sushi restaurant in Boca Raton, and visiting with people from my home church, so this will be a great vacation time for me.

I was driving down to pie pantry today, and i realized I keep having all this awesome music playing in my head when I think about certain places, such as driving in the city, makes me think of trumpet and jazz, and just a sound that calls out people trying to make it. I know it may not make sense, but it's just the way I think.

Tonight, being November 5th, I want to watch V for Vendetta, and do what the title of the blog says.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Counting down the weeks

I only have a total of 4 weeks before the semester is over and I head back home. It will actually be 3 weeks on Friday...I am just overwhelmed. It will be 3 months that I am back stateside, and I am starting to forget everything. Last night, I put the train map of Tokyo back up on my wall, giving myself those memories. It was a constant reminder to me, and if I were to ever go back to Tokyo, I could tell you how to get some place. Right now, I am just struggling because I have to keep reading, reading, reading for my preaching class. I dislike the way that the class does quizzes, because randomly, the professor will decide to change his mind about taking them (which is great, but I wish there would be advance notice). So I am doing whatever I can to do good on this quiz I'll have tomorrow. The books will certainly get easier after this. I am definitely convinced that I learned alot from these books, however, it is so hard for me to remember things when I read, so I will be doing whatever I can to remember what I am studying...

This new book I'm reading "Christ-Centered Preaching" gives a lot of specific insights into how to write the sermons that people hear you talk about. You have to be relavent, you have to look through the texts, and things like that. So after church is over i will more than likely finish reading this book. I have fallen so far behind with this week's reading, it's not even funny, I am just lucky that the professor has given us some breaks.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Autumn Pallet

I am back in the Southend of Louisville doing this ministry for my internship. The fact that a certain amount of people come around is both a discouragement and an encouragement. There aren't always the greatest amounts of people that come here, but I still have plenty of opportunity to meet people and to talk about the gospel (should the conversation get started). So I am praying taht today is the day I get some people interested in me, and will be able to share Christ in a very productive and non-offensive way.

One of the best things that happens in October is the change of seasons. I was driving from my dorm (in the St. Matthews area) all the way down to Valley Station (the South End). The drive on the Gene Synder Freeway is just breathtaking. The leaves still sort of have a greenish color to them, but then there's the select few which have the leaves that have changes to either a golden yellow or a bright red. I understand how God just wants to have a little fun when he created the universe, because you can tell that he doesn't do this for any other reason than for his own glory. When you look at the leaves changing colors, you can honestly say TO GOD BE THE GLORY. Chris Tomlin wrote in the song "Indescribable" (from the colors of fall, to the fragerance of spring). I also have to remember that despite my circumstances of not having a lot of money to my name, God is in control! I did have money but when you have things you need to buy like new wiper blades, some vitamins, and for dry cleaners, but that all seriously adds up. So now I am just waiting on God to prove himself faithful to me. At least I don't have to worry about finding something to eat tomorrow, since I have a coupon for TGI Fridays...I should be able to get a hamburger because of it.

I was driving down, and I saw a sight I haven't seen in years, a redtail hawk. I keep forgetting how common they are, but it is always really cool to see them sitting on top of light posts or something like that. But its a reminder of God's creation is at work, and it's moving and living and breathing. God is still actively involved with his creation, and I am so blessed to say that I could see it in action today.

I will be around doing internet and meeting people, so those of you from LifeSong or from Boyce, please come out to the Pie Pantry on Dixie, I will be here...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Outrageous October

Now that I am on Fall Break, I can chill, (sort of). I am here in the South End of Louisville doing a little bit of ministry for my North American Mission Board internship which I finally began on Monday. I am so happy to finally have some work (in a way), but this experience will not only help me earn a living, but I can also build up ministry experiences for the future by what I am doing. I found a local place (which smells absolutely amazing) down here in the South End called The Pie Pantry. What I have planned for what I am doing involves things that I learned while I was in Japan. We were in groups that strategically went out at our train stations and did ministry among people in a sort of "undercover" fashion. I am here to just study, use the internet, and meet people where they are. This place has the absolute best Chai Latte I have had in a long time, and I am so used to having the one at Founders. (A lack of flex dollars has changed that dramtically), so it is nice to find a place that sells Chai Lattes for 1/2 of what I pay at Founders (nice).

My goal is to be doing this strategic ministry two days a week, so I can make contacts and get to know the people in the community a little bit better. This is some advice that my lifegroup leader, Victor Ferrara gave me and I think its brilliant. I have so much knowledge I have gained since I have gotten back from Japan, so I am happy to be able to use that knowledge and win people for Christ. Right now, I am the only person in the shop (as a customer) right now. So I will be doing homework, and making my cover seem a little bit more hidden. I feel a little bad, but at the same time, this is something that is not my own. I just felt the push of the Holy Spirit to be here and meet people.

I feel blessed that next week I get to see my parents for the first time since August. I'll be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It's weird because we used to live there when I was little, and most of the time if we were in Texas, it would be in El Paso, where my family lived. So it is going to be incredibly weird for me to be in Texas in a completely different area, when I haven't been there for so many years. I will hopefully be seeing some friends from the trip to Japan while I am there, but it will be amazing to see SW Seminary for the first time and to go on the campus and have a tour, so I will see what will happen.

Will write again soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Midterm Anxiety

This is the week of my personal hell. I have 3 midterms, plus a quiz in my preaching class! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This week could by far be the busiest I have ever faced so far at school. I hardly feel prepared for any of this, but I have to get through in order to be on Fall Break. I won't even be leaving to go home for it. More than likely, everyone on my floor will be gone, and I will be one of the few people that actually stick around. Gives me a chance to do things I want to do, like finally beat Kingdom Hearts II or watch a buttload of movies. It will be great.

I'll write after this hell goes away!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Amazing...

When we take our lives to places we didn't think possible, we are pleasantly surprised with what happens. Now I am here journaling, after completing the journal I had brought with me to Japan, and you can see how i am going to be writing on a consistent basis now. I missed doing this, alot. Most of the time in Japan, my blog was short, I wouldn't write that much because I devoted a lot of time to the journal, but now all that is about to change. I will write more later tonight...


Friday, September 18, 2009

Inspiration from unlikely sources...

Okay, today I feel a lot like Ugly Betty. It is slowly becoming one of my favorite TV shows, and for good reason. Betty has aspiration. She doesn't take no for an answer (most of the time) and she starts making people notice her. That is what I am trying to do while I am here doing ministry. I want to get noticed. I want to be able to say that I was willing to do great things to achieve goals I was hoping to get to. This internship is one of those steps that will lead me into a bigger career, and I am still in the middle of writing that book, "I want it done before I graduate from Boyce" I always told myself, and now here I sit with only 7 months to go before I actually do graduate from College, and I am praying that will the nature of my older brother being a painter, I can become a writer and get my book out in the open. I only entered a few poems and short stories into contests, but this is the big leagues. I'm talking about writing a book here, not writing some short story that only a handful of people will see. I want to be able to say, I did this. I started something and I finished it...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making Tracks

I finally have a good lead into the final pages of that massive journal I brought to Japan with me. I wanted to tell the story from a BEFORE/DURING/AFTER perspective, and now I can talk about my transition into the American society. I serioulsy didn't think it was easy by any means. I basically went from Tokyo, Japan to Louisville, KY in a 24 hour period, and now I am back in school for my final year.

I seriously only take my computer out of class once a week these days. I use regular notebooks for most of my classes, and write my notes by hand...

I am in class now, so I will write again later...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A forward motion...

There is just so much I am trying to accomplish. I don't even know if I can do it all, but I am determined to succeed, and to keep moving no matter what I attempt to do. I am talking of course about school. I have a few goals in mind, and right now, I am just praying that all the things that I do glorify God, and help me get to better places.

Of the things that I am trying to accomplish, one of them is to have a better diet, and I have done significantly better than what I was doing before. I had absolutely no restriction, or say in what I was eating, but now, I can do anything, because I have trust in the Lord and in myself. I am trusting myself to let myself succeed.

I am still trying to get homework done, and tomorrow, I am submitting my church planting internship application. It's an exciting day because this means that the internship will be finalized and I can actually get to working with LIFESONG officially. I am happy that there is so much potential for a future career in the ministry.

Right now, I am just trying to multi-task and get a bunch of things done before this weekend.

Write again soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

At a Crossroads...

I don't understand sometimes.

We often say we have all of these plans, and we don't follow through with them. God is the mastermind of our lives. He created us, he gave us passions and creative expressions and yet we cannot stick to a solid plan for life. I feel that way a lot nowadays. College is slowly coming to an end, and I am still cannot figure out what to do. I only know that there is something with Japanese people I see in my future. I am sure it could be here in the United States, but how this will all play out, I am unsure. The only definite plan I have is to go forward. I am meeting with the Church planting professor this week to go over the final details for my internship to officially begin. I am just now going to LifeSong (last night was my second week), and I am loving the uniqueness of this experience. I am feeling like a believer in the New Testament, meeting in a different setting than what would be considered "church". I feel stronger in my commitment to to the church by being a part of this. It is a new feeling for me. I am starting feel the real world starting to break through in my life. I have been living in a world of ivory towers and imagination that can only go so deep, but I am seeing my life for what it really is supposed to be. Working, doing things, not just sitting here and pretending to do something.

I have made a whole list of things I commit to do differently this month. I got the idea from my roommate, so I will see how far I can take this, but I really want to do something about my life differently, so I will have to see what this new list can do for me.

Keep me in prayer, that God will move in my life, and give me stronger passions and desires for my life.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting Started...

Sorry I haven't written in such a long time, but I am happy that things are going really well. I am working on getting things started with my new church plant home. I met with one of the pastors yesterday, and tonight I will be going over to their house for lifegroup. I am so excited about getting these things off the ground, I just have to finish some last minute paperwork for the church planting center and I will have the things off the ground really soon...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Life moving forward (sequel to previous post)

As I have already mentioned, my life is getting closer and closer to becoming "real". College will be done in May, and then I am just totally unsure of what it is that I will do next. With so many different opportunities, I have to sit and wonder what God has called me to and how I can accomplish it. Japanese ministry is truly what I feel God is calling me to, and I have really discovered that it doesn't necessarily have to be in Japan for it to be done. So with this possibility of a career among a prominent Japanese community, I see God opening up so many doors.

I am enjoying my American life again. I still miss all the aspects of the Japanese life I had for almost 3 months, but when I think about it, God didn't intend for that experience to be permanent. It was an important part of my life, because I really did need to find out that I was meant to do full-time ministry among the Japanese people, and I really believe that's what I'm called to do.

So as you read my future blogs, know that I will be talking about my experiences with The LifeSong Church, as well as my final 2 semesters at Boyce. That's a scary thought, I have been attending this Christian school for 3 full years, and am now starting a 4th one.

I have a lot to get done today, so I will write again on Sunday, after I get back from the LifeSong, that way you can hear how things went with that first experience, and what will pontentially happen once I get the Church Planting Internship started.


3 Weeks in...

Yesterday was more of the official date, but I didn't take the time to sit down at the computer to type yesterday. I am just plugging away as the days move forward. I am anxious to see what the next month ro so ha in store. This Sunday, I will be checking out this church plant, LIFESONG, down in the Valley Station area. I am hoping that my internship with the church plant will be an effective situation for me, as I no longer have the job with Cold Stone Creamery, which was by far the stupidest thing that ever happened to me. I tell ya, this has to be some kind of world record. The longest time I have ever spent at a job was Chick-Fil-A for 2 and 1/2 years, and it was reduced to a mere three days. Seriously! I don't know how that one was possible. Luckily, I was paid for what I did, and was actually able to go out and get some things that I wanted for myself.

I am possibly going to spend some time with friends tonight, but first I have to work on some Schoolwork. I said that I would make this a very long entry in my schedule, so I will actually wait until later to write the long version of this post, so I can discuss some things further. So until later on,


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Future Possibilities

Today starts my 3rd week of being back in the United States, and I am still longing to be back in Japan; rather than here in Kentucky...

I did however realize that the potential for future events got better and better, and I am soon going to be seizing big opportunities as they come to me. My boss at Cold Stone told me that I could start having Sunday nights off in a few weeks, and if that happens, I can start working with the LifeSong (Valley View's church plant). I have to see what will be available as far as Bible study work, but I am really looking forward to getting everything started with this new chapter of my life, and hopefully in a way that will lead me to a job in Seattle...

Will write again soon.


Friday, August 21, 2009

First day of work...

A couple of days ago, I was at church, and I realized that my life is normal now. I have some things put into place in my life that are bringing back all sorts of memories. I am working again, I am in school, and I am going to church, so things have been really good to me.

Today is my first day of work at Cold Stone Creamery, and I start at 4pm, so I still have to finish getting ready. I still will have plenty of things to do when I get back since I have reading to get done for school as well as plan out a course of action with my eating and exercise habits, now that I am back from Japan, things are going to be really crazy....

Write again soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stateside, for now....

Okay, so I guess I never had the chance to update on the experiences in Japan. It has been almost 2 weeks since I have been back in the US, and I am finding my adjustment to be well. Since the last time I blogged, I was able to climb Mt. Fuji, and I finally had a second Volunteer team that came into Japan.

Here's how my re-entry experience looked:

August 6th

I was up at 9:30am. I made some last minute SKYPE calls on my Mac, and then left the Shibuya apartment for the train station, carrying 2 suitcases, a duffel bag, and a backpack. It took me a good half hour to get the the station, but I was able to get onboard the Yamanote line to Nippori, and waited there for my airport train. Thank God nothing went wrong with my flights back to Louisville. So I left Japan at 5:45pm on Thursday, and landed 7:05pm on Thursday in Louisville. TOO CRAZY!!!!!

I got to see my parents again, and spent the weekend with them before school started on Monday August 10th. I had a lot of culture shock when I had a look at some American money, as well as going to the movies for less than 1500 yen on Friday night to see GI JOE (which was great by the way). Now I am in my 4th year at Boyce, with a decision to make, as the class load gets less, and the ideas for the future are laid out in front of me. I have 3 ideas of what I want to do.

1) Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas

2) The Nehemiah Project (NAMB) possibly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

3) The Journeyman (IMB), to return to Tokyo

It is all up to the Lord now, so I will just have to see how this year plays out. I am so happy to finally say that I have a job, and will begin work there this Friday afternoon. Cold Stone Creamery, the ice cream company. I am so happy that the manager there hired me. It is a great challenge for me to manage my time as a college student as well as working at a job. I still have a lot of reading to get caught up on, but I will keep you updated as the time goes on, since I am back and have a lot more time to keep up with blogs and stuff.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running out of time...

There are only 2 weeks left before I return to reality. This isn't a world I wish to forget. Japan has become my life. Everything that ever gave my life a meaning, I found it here in Japan. I cannot see myself doing anything else with my life. No matter how long it is going to take me to come back to this amazing country, I will return and I will do my God proud, and give him plenty of Glory. God has done so much in the lives of Japanese people here. Today we had worship in the park and saw 2 new Japanese Christians attend, and shared testimonies of how they got saved. I have never been more encouraged. Believe me when I say that I am more than ready to climb Mt. Fuji, but I am praying that God continues to prove himself faithful and that I will have the resources (particularly some green ones) that will help me get there.

More updates soon (before I leave Japan)


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Indian Food and the Gospel

I know that the title of the post hardly fits something that I would bring up, but when it comes to Japan, there are just so many people here, from all over the globe that choose to make this country their home. I was with 4 friends today for lunch and we were in Shibuya and went to an Indian buffet. The people that we met there were so kind to us, and we learned a great deal about them. I feel that we can best express the gospel to people by our actions. We need to make people seriously question why we are so nice to them, when no one else will be. It is something that I feel that every Christian should learn in their lives.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Japan Update (celebrating 10 years in Florida)

I am so sorry that I haven't been on the blogger page to update everyone on how things have been here. I have been so extremely busy these past 2 weeks, attending to ministry and such, I just started to use my e-mail list to update people periodically of all that has been happening. Well, today is my day off, so I took advantage of the opportunity to do some things that I was wanting to do and I realized that being on the blog was a matter of personal importance.

I cannot believe that today is July 3rd, 2009. 10 years ago, I was in New York, riding in a car headed for Washington DC in the hopes of getting onboard a train bound for Orlando. I missed that train, and had to spend a night in some small town in Virginia someplace. I am talking of course about the circumstances surrounding my family moving to Florida in 1999. Back then, my dad was just starting out with Chosen People Ministries, and he hadn't gotten to where he is now, but as I write this, dad is the vice president of CPM and he has done so much in these 10 years since moving to Florida.

I would have never expected to have been in this place 10 years ago. Truly, the only interest in Japan I ever had was in Pokemon and Pokemon cards. That was just about it. There wasn't any particular desire to ever see Japanese people come to find their savior, but that all changed when I saw the country for the first time in 2003, and then I knew that God wanted me here, serving him and bringing lost people into the light.

I praise the name of the Lord for the things that have changed in me, and for this love he has given me for Japan. I pray that it never flees from my life, and that I always will rejoice in God for what he does for me!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tokyo has been the most incredible experience I have ever had in my life. God is so good to bring me to this place to do his ministry. I feel blessed. I know that I am blessed because of what God has done for me here. Because of God's goodness, Oka became a believer on the Sunday following the Thursday that he didn't show up. I'm sorry that I haven't kept up with this blog, but I do have a journal that I write in constantly and I use that a lot more. Plus I do have the e-mails that I send out to people, but I feel that it is important for me to write in any form possible, so I will tell what happened.

Oka was supposed to show up on Thursday, but then he came Sunday night, and we met at McDonalds and with the other interns, we led him to the Lord. I don't specifically make it a habit to eat McDonalds, but I can say, it was the best McDonalds I ever had in my life. Because of what happened that night, a new life in Christ had started. Oka was supposed to meet me at Tachikawa station the other day to go to church, but he got delayed because someone had committed suicide on the tracks and the workers were cleaning up the body.

Please pray that God will do something incredible as he already is saving lots of people here in Japan. We need his help in this effort, it is only by the blood of Jesus that people in this giant city will ever know the truth about what was done for their souls.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

So you had a bad day....

I must admit that after being out all day today doing ministry, I am so exhausted from it. I was at Hachioji Station in West Tokyo doing distrubution of order forms for a Christian DVD series in Japanese, going from mailbox to mailbox placing the forms for the people so they'd take it. Well after that, we did our "Five Minute English" lessons in the main square, with very limited success. Not to mention the fact that I had invited this man Oka to come to my Bible Study tonight, hoping that he would be here, and then he doesn't show? I mean, I understand that there are cultural differences here, but a little advance warning would have been good. I am upset about it, but God is always in control and never lets anything happen without a good reason, so I will wait and see how things work out.

I'm sorry I don't have more time to write in this blog, but it is incredibly late here in Japan and I have to be up super early tomorrow to start my day. Good night.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

3 days in Tokyo

Okay, here I am. This is Shibuya. This is going to be our home for the whole summer. I am absolutely amazed by how things are going here in the city. I got here safely, and the people I am working with are absolutely wonderful. I got to meet the missionaries and hear their hearts about why they do what they do. We were out today on the campus of Asia University talking with a bunch of college-aged Japanese kids just getting to know them. We all ate dinner together, and I am currently trying to plan a "Friendship Party" with a group of people to go see the Lion King here in Tokyo. Me and a few of the interns are probably going to go to the theater to find out about Tickets. I will write more again soon. I have to go to bed soon.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Eve of Japan

Okay devout readers:

I am officially leaving for Japan in just under 12 hours, so now I am just getting packed and everything ready for lift off at 8:20 am. This is the incredible journey that i have been praying to go on for the past 6 years and now it's finally going to happen. You all have played such a big part in praying for me, and God is going to use you, just as he is using me. Thanks for all your prayers, and continue to read in the days to come, once I arrive.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

T Minus 4 days and counting...

Okay, so I'm at Panera (yet again), writing on this blog that I've barely had the chance to sit down and do since I got this computer. Well, that's only because our cleaning people are at the house taking care of things today. I don't even know if I'll go home and see that they haven't come yet. I am hopeful that they will have been there once I go home. Thankfully, I am close by to the Wellington Mall, so it's not a bad idea to stop by there and just go browsing for the time being. It makes me wonder what the term "browsing" might be like on my days off while I'm in Tokyo.

I cannot believe for a moment that this trip is really going to happen. I just found out about 3 days ago that I will be on a plane with 2 other IMB interns whom I will meet at the airport in Dallas on Monday. So that's a fun thing. We are even having company at the house and going out for this big dinner on saturday, plus me, my dad, brother, and family friend will be going to the movies to go see the new Terminator movie on Friday night. So the next few days are going to be very full.

I will write more in the days to come. Everyone who reads this blog, please check all the updates on here while I'm on the field.

God Bless You all.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This is the 3rd day in a row of having to go to a Panera to use the internet. my house has been down during that time, so here I sit. At least there's great food here. I just had a crazy thought of how much time there is left before I actually head over to Japan. I leave in 13 days! That's just insane to me. I have been preparing for this for an entire year, and now I'm leaving. My older sister and her husband got re-married this past Saturday, so now they are on their honeymoon in Key West, while me and my family babysit their 2 boys. It has been an adventure. I am actually going to pick up my nephew from school. I'm sorry to change the subject, but i am just so frustrated with myself. I haven't been sticking to any diet plan since i've been home. I actually cancelled my Weight Watchers membership, and i will just be carefully watching what i eat while i'm in Japan. The minute i get back however, I'll have to start it all over again. Oh well.

School is going to be a whole lot easier for me once i get home. 4 classes a semester, not to mention also having 2 days off during the week.

I'll write again soon.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The final piece of Tokyo

Hey everybody!

I sit in a Panera Cafe in South Florida, writing this entry from a MacBook. I am so happy that God was faithful to me. This computer is an example of what happens if you trust in God's goodness. I will update more in the days to come.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I can't believe I am back in my mom and dad's house in Florida again. This is one of those moments where I have to breathe and take it all in. I am leaving to go to Japan in another 2 1/2 weeks. That's just crazy. I can't believe where I was almost a year ago. I was getting ready to apply for this whole trip, and now I am leaving for it. I have so much I have to get ready for. I just bought my new computer online tonight, so that's going to be a big process, actually getting the computer ready for my using of it, but keep up with this blog as I am preparing to leave and when I actually get over there. You'll hear all about it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Running Just to Catch Myself

Besides the fact that it's the greatest song ever (according to me), that is how I see my life over the next 2 days. Finals are done. I'm done with school, but now there's just this small problem of getting everything I own in my dorm room packed up and ready to head home for the next 3 weeks. Japan is getting closer and closer for me. Tomorrow, I can begin the countdown by saying it's 24 days away, and so on.... I have a whole lot to do just before I can even go. Life isn't going to be all fun and games when I go home now, so this is actually work for me. Japan is technically a class I am taking for school, with the amazing fact that my classroom is the biggest city on earth. I will have to work on getting everything organized once I'm home too. I am forgetting to do a lot of journaling and blogging lately, so I will do my very best to keep doing this once I'm home, just until I get that new journal set up for the trip.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tonight, it's 2:22 am, I am trying to finish a paper for my Cults and World Religions class and finish up this whole week of class so I can be into my finals week. I am ready to go back home. I only get 3 weeks to spend with my family before Tokyo, So I hope to take in every possible experience that I can while I'm there. Well, I am calling the blog post "retro" because I have gotten into a habit of watching the old school, and I do mean old school disney cartoons on youtube, like DUCKTALES and GUMMI BEARS. People today haven't even heard of these cartoons, but back in the day, these shows were the absolute best out there. I wish Disney would make better stuff than HANNAH MONTANA and WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE. Unfortunately, I don't get Toon Disney, so I can't watch these shows on TV like I did when I was a kid.

I am being shaped and molded into someone who God is going to use. I have had experiences in my life the past couple of days that I can't speak about, but I will let you know, as a believer in Jesus, there should be times when we don't let our guard down and just help people as you see them, because sometimes, that will bring such unexpected results that you can't possibly comprehend what God will do in a positive way in the future.

Until I write again...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life Update

Okay, so let me explain. My mom and dad were here for the weekend of April 6th, first time I've seen them since January, and on this visit we went over to a Barnes and Noble and I bought a new journal for my trip to Japan. I will have to take a picture of it to show to everyone. It is a tan leather bound journal with a Lion crest on the cover. It is amazing. I started writing a little bit in it, but then I realized I have a whole 10-week summer to write about in the journal, so I needed to save it for a while. So I stopped. School is almost done too! I have another 2 weeks to go before I finish the semester, and it couldn't be any farther away. I still have another project to finish, as well as 3 papers and a whole lot of reading to finish.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Having a lack of Righteousness

Tonight was the first time in a few weeks that I actually went to a Wednesday night service at my Louisville church (Valley View church). I sat down to listen to Pastor Joel speak. He was going through a series on Spiritual Warfare, and a chance for people to defend themselves from evil attacks. It's a funny and often times mind-boggling thought about how we as mortal beings are caught up in the middle of a war that we cannot see. If we were able to see into the Spirit World, we would probably be so afraid of the thinsg that we see.But what my pastor spoke of is what got to me the most. We have to seriously be praying for God to make us righteous when we are lacking in righteousness. I need that righteousness daily. I need to be renewed daily. If you don't take the time to ask God for renewal daily, then you have a lack of wisdom. You are truly a fool if you do not take the time to say: "God, I don't have it in me to go on, but only you can carry me when I can't walk anymore. Please Father, carry me now!" that is what we need to do the most in our lives. We have to take the time to say, God Carry Me! I need you to hold me up. Because sometimes, even when things seem like they are all okay, we need God to carry us.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Jazz Time Session

It happened to me again tonight. I am blown away by manmade beauty. I was over at my friend Terry's apartment over the river in Indiana, and as I'm driving back, I'm looking over the bridge at the Louisville skyline, and I felt peace. I have that overwhelming sense of peace every time I look at a big city. I really don't get it, but it's just where I feel the happiest, and I feel like God is moving the most in my life. I personally feel like Japan is going to be a haven for that God-giving peace I feel when I am in a big city. Tokyo is pretty much the biggest city on earth, and when I get there, I know it's going to happen. I will feel the way I do when I drive and see the skyline of a big city. The one that I truly wish I could see again is New York. I miss that sight, seeing the lights, hearing the traffic, smelling the food from the street (you can't deny what I'm talking about). I had the idea of going back for a week or so in May (right before I leave for the internship, but because of time, it just didn't work out).

Speaking of which, Wednesday is April 1st, and that means, I only have another month to go before I am done with school for this semester and I can go home again. My brother and dad are coming up to Louisville and we are all going to drive back together. I can't wait for that, it will be good to be back in Florida for a while. I'm probably going to go to the beach, like a lot. So It's going to be a great time. If most of my readers are from the WEST PALM BEACH area, chances are, I'll be seeing you real soon!


Sunday, March 29, 2009


I always find that when I am trying to go to bed, I am thinking most of the time. I feel like I have left something out, like I am giving myself leverage to think in a greater sense than I already have. It concerns me to think that I can't sleep at times, but I am hoping that I won't be up late like this for much longer, after all I do have church in the morning.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Break (Some Japanese Cultural Points)

School is halfway done. I am so blessed to be at this point. Today was part 2 of my Japan season. It will be Japan season for me until April the 4th. Basically it was like this. These were the original dates of my first trip. (March 26th - April 4th, 2003) So today I went out to my absolute favorite sushi restaurant in Louisville to enjoy the celebration. I haven't taken the chance to watch any anime yet. Most recently, I have found myself liking Wolf's Rain, Cowboy Bebop, and Le Chevalier Deon. I absolutely and postively must endorse my hatred for the following anime, that must be avoided at all costs:


These series are by far the worst ones out there. The fan followers of these series scare me beyond anything I can possibly say. My older brother Brian's friend Nick has this horrible habit of making it look like I am the biggest Naruto fan to walk this earth. I can assure you that is not true. If you were trying to torture me, I would be sitting in a room tied up someplace watching the above mentioned anime series.


I was following one of my fellow missions majors here at school, and am seeing the same anxiety about the missions internships as I am feeling. I am not just preparing for this trip spriritual (trust me, that is seriously lacking right now), but physically. I am going to find it an interesting and humbling experience to be eating nothing but rice, fish and veggies for the 10-week duration of my stay in Tokyo. (To the Japanese, that is the healthiest diet imaginable), to the American, that diet might seem dull and repative. I don't think this way at all. But I must say, for all the sushi fanatics in the world, you have to understand, our concept of sushi is very biased and Americanized. All of the sushi that we see in the States (the exotic rolls) isn't available in Japan at all. Sushi in Japan is a sliver of raw fish over a small portion of rice with some wasabi sauce as a bonding agent. (It's a bigger acquired taste than the American sushi). I have to be really humble about eating the stuff when I go, because when I went to Japan the first time in 2003, I seriously only ate it once. I really didn't like it at all, so I am hoping that while I am in Japan, I could try some other Japanese foods. Not a total loss.

Last weekend, my school had the chance to show the love of Jesus in a very real way. Boyce Student Council had the idea of the different halls in the dorms doing service projects to outreach our community. It was a whole lot of fun. Me and 3 classmates drove to downtown Louisville in my car and handed out donuts and sack lunches for people and just had the chance to talk with people about faith and did some witnessing. I must admit that sometimes I have a fear of sharing my faith because I feel that people won't listen or that they are too scared to open up to a total stranger. That usually isn't me, I am the most outgoing person I know. I will nto hestitate to get to know people. I want you all to know, that I have gained a serious understanding about theology here at school this semester. Especially the concept of perseverance of the saints. (a doctrine of Calvinism) I used to have a hard time understanding the theology here at school, but now I am starting to see eye to eye with the professors and the wiser people. I spent 2 semesters shunning this concept here at the school, and I really need to be focusing on soaking up every possible opportunity I have to witness and be a light and learn everything I can for the field.

I hope you find this blog post an encouragement today. God Bless you all.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Japan Day!

Today is that memorable day that I went to Japan for the first time, (6 years ago). I was a junior at Spanish River High School and I had already turned in about 7 notes to 7 different teachers explaining why I was going to miss 8 days of school. Some of them didn't believe me, but I remember something that my horrid 11th grade English teacher told me. As much as I loathed that woman, her advice was something that I will never, ever forget. "Learn a lot". I still to this day remember what she told me, and I have learned a lot. I learned that I am really going back, and that I am really meant to be back in the country, so things are going to be incredible over there. I hope that my writing is an encouragment to all the people out there who are trying to find purpose to their lives today. God will guide you, and bless your efforts as you strive to do what you have to do to succeed in life. Now, I'm off to go eat sushi tonight, in honor of the occasion.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Importance of Theology

Well, another month is almost over, and officially, Japan is 2 months away (this coming Wednesday). I am more excited that a week from tomorrow, I will be on Spring Break, and I can actually take things at a slower pace than I already was. It will be nice to be able to take my time getting assignments done rather than rushing to get everything done like a frantic lunatic.

I was in Theology 3 class today, learning a great deal about Sanctification and Justification. My professor, Dr. Joslin is a knowledgable person on the subject. He makes it look so easy, and explains himself very well in this area. I am in the process of trying to prepare for the first test in that class. (Which will be an online exam, so I'm not really sure what to expect). I'll keep you updated. I just think it is a vital tool for us as believers to understand all we can about God, for after all "God made it all Good"

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I am listening to the soundtrack to the Lion King play, and I am finding myself in the extraordinary postiton of being on the verge of tears. The people who designed this play are geniuses. They used the music from the movie and turned it into songs. I have never heard something so beautiful in all my life. It reminds me of the price I have to pay for my journey onto the mission field. I am leaving my family behind and I am taking a bold step, not knowing where I'll be going or what I'll be doing.

The song "Shadowlands" talks about Nala, Simba's wife in the Lion King who decides to go look for help after her homeland has been destroyed by the mindless rule of Scar. She was taking a chance leaving the pride behind, and going out into the great unknown. I mean, would help had even been there for her?

I feel like that now. I need the help and I have to travel to find it. I can't just sit still and hope that help comes, I need to be leaving to help myself. If I stay here, then I will surely die. I can't stay in the Shadowlands, I have to leave and find help and help myself. It feels like a struggle for me, fighting off all of these doubts and running towards truth.

I encourage you all to be like Nala and run away. Run from the traps of sin, and the lies that Satan is feeding into your head, and look for help. You have to seek help. You need to run and look. It's the only way you can survive.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Ticking Clock

It is now March 14th. I am slowing going insane with anxiety waiting for the trip to start. Okay, for those of you who don't know, the dates of the trip were changed at the last minute. I am now leaving on Monday May 25th, and will arrive in Japan on Tuesday May 26th. The International Date Line thing is so confusing. So technically, I will be landing in Tokyo at 5:00pm on a Tuesday having left Florida at 8:20am on a Monday.

Oh well, the semester will be over soon, and then I will be on my way to Japan. I am wishing that May 1st was tomorrow, then the school year would be over and I could be in a car on my way back home to Florida. But then reality sets in, and it's March 14th. Oh well, I'll just have to wait.

There are like a million thoughts running through my head about Japan. What will it be like 6 years later from the time I went last? Will much have changed, or will nothing have changed? I can only imagine!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When God starts giving...

It has been a month since I sent out my support letters, and now, finally, I have gotten past the $1000 marker. I am not too far off from getting the plane tickets, SO EXCITING! With March right around the corner, I am anxiously looking forward to the end of the semester. There are tests and projects and an endless supply of reading assignments to get done. It's a little too nuts for me at times around here. With Tokyo being the only thing on my mind, I am looking to God for direction and guidance, since he is the giver of all knowledge. There needs to be times in our lives as believers where we cry out to God and ask him for help. If we don't we are as lost as a ship on a stormy sea. Remember that today!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Theology of the Lion King

Okay. I want you to know that I haven't entirely lost my mind here. The Lion King is arguably one of the greatest movies I have ever seen in my life. It has such a powerful story about commitment to responsibilities and what happens when you try and run away from them. Simba is the prince of Pride Rock, who is so anxious to become the King like his father Mufasa. However, a family fued with his uncle Scar, turns his anxiety into fear. Scar tricks Simba into making him think he's the reason his father died. He lured Simba into the gorge and set the herd of Wildebeasts after him. When Mufasa tried to save Simba, he gave his life for his son in the process. Simba runs away after Scar makes him think its his fault. Scar tells everyone that Simba is dead, and he takes over as King, bringing the Lion's enemy the Hyenas into the Pridelands.

Simba encounters a new life in a far away place, and befriends Timon and Pumbaa, the people who make him forget who he is. "HAKUNA MATATA" is what they teach him, and he grows up with the idea of the Kingship in the back of his mind. Back at Pride Rock, without a true ruler, everything is dying. The Herds left pride rock, and no food was to be found anywhere.

Simba doesn't let Timon and Pumbaa know about who he was. It's not until Simba's best friend from childhood, Nala shows up and finds out he's alive. She tells him what happened to Pride Rock, and wants him to go back. Simba doesn't think its such a good idea, and he runs from Nala, angry that she's right, only saying to himself, "I can't go back. It won't change anything". Simba encounters Rafiki, a wise old Sage who was close with his father, and tells him about himself. Mufasa lives in you. Mufasa reveals himself to Simba and explains that he has forgotten him and must "remember who he is". Simba figures out that as the child of the king, he has responsibilities as a leader and runs back home to face his uncle and take his place.

I say all this because a lot of the time, we as believers encounter things in our past that we would rather run away from. We think that no one will ever know if we just get away and hide. By hiding, we are only covering up the truth, and we have to turn and face it. We must remember that we are children of the true King, and we have to stand and face the enemy who tries to pass off as the true king.

You can learn a lot from the movies, so whenever you have a chance, watch something good and see what you can learn from it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

God turning bad days into good ones!

These past couple of days, I haven't really had much I could say I was happy with in my life, but that all changed. I got myself out of bed and went to church. I was given some encouragement at church and that really helped me a great deal. I was able to take in the message and hear what was being taught in a real way that spoke wonders to me. I was encouraged by a story I heard about a girl in Florida who found the Lord after living in sin, and then had her life end so abruptly and wrongly only 3 months after that. I think that it tests us to hear how God is willing to use someone no matter who they are and where they come from, because after all that happened, this girl's story traveled around, and people heard about it. It was so cool. Just something to encourage you today. Peace!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Panera in Alabama

How I love cafes. I love to sit down and just be able to write on my computer, no matter the circumstances. I unfortunately came to the position of having to leave Louisville, Kentucky and head south to Huntsville, AL with some friends for the time being. With the ice storm hitting Louisville and the possibilitiy of more snow in the days ahead, being in Kentucky isn't the wisest of ideas right now, so here I am, blogging on a computer, and trying to get a paper finished for my J-term that's due a week from today. I am almost on my 5th page, and then I'll have about 6 more pages to finish. It's not as hard as it sounds, it's just a tedious amount of work. I'll write again soon. PEACE!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Ice and Snow

It's wintertime up here in Kentucky, so what do you expect? Classes were cancelled today and now people are saying that we may not have classes tomorrow either. I am happy about that. I am trying to get myself caught up on things with myself. Japan is getting closer and closer and I am seeing how much God's love is helping me get through the day to day things. I would always think that I am not godo enough to be doing missions overseas, but this isn't something that happened by accident. Now I'm back at school, getting everything prepared for the summer. I am leaving in 3 months and 16 days for the greatest journey that I could ever think God would set before me.

Here's something I found in the book of Ecclessiastes, and I thought it fit into what God is preparing in Japan.

Generations come and Generations Go,
But the Earth Remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets and hurries back to where it rises
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north, round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.

Eccl. 1:4-9 (NIV)

That's something I hope will sincerely encourage you. Always remember that the thoughts in the back of your head telling you that you can't do something because its too big is nonsense. God is bigger than anything you could possibly conceive. When you give into Satan's lies, it is how you are doubting God's goodness in your life. Trust me when I say this, God can conquer anything in your life and by trusting him, your life will turn for the better. It always does!