.:making sense of what i got:.

Location: Tallahassee - Miami, Florida, United States

Just a guy who loves coffee and shares coffee.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Isn't She Beautiful Conference

It is Wednesday, and as I sit in a Panera Bread in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I think over the past few days. I think about how getting out of town, away from people, from work, can help give your spirit and your soul a refreshed vitality that has been lacking. But the answer is not in Grand Rapids, or anywhere else I can get away from.

I took 16 pages of notes at the conference, and I have poted them all on this blog; no edits, no summaries. Just fast typed notes.

What I walk away from this conference with is a gratefulness that I have been redirected back to Jesus and the passion he has laid on my heart. I have returned to my First Love and I am encouraged to bring it back to my brothers and sisters in Tallahassee.

The following notes should be discussed and not just read. Acted upon would be the step after talked about...so lets talk.

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 1 - Session 1

This lovely, frustrating, intoxicating, painful, hard, compelling, mystery called church and why she’s worth dying for

Colossians 2:6
“thankful” – eu – well, good
charizomai – to grant, give
charis – grace, gift
Eucharist –the good gift that is Christ, and then we go and give ourselves to the world. We imitate Jesus.
Eucharist – body broken and blood poured
We are a Eucharist. We let our body be broken and our blood be spilled for others. That is why it is so exhausting. The church only works when the leaders allow themselves to break for others. It saves and redeems.
What does it mean for the Church to be a Eucharist?
2 Corinthians 4:7-12, we carry around the body of Jesus “ive been given over to death” You cant have the life without the death. 12) death is at work in us so that life may be at work in you.
1 Cor 11:23; always thought of as how to do the ritual. Maybe this is Jesus saying “do what Ive just done. Given my body. Shed my blood. Allow yourself to be a living Eucharist” Is it about what to do or how to live? Losing my religion.
Genesis 12; it’s a story of blessing.
“The Church is the only organization that exists for the benefit of its non-members.”
Jesus was a gift to the world. The Church is a gift to the world. If our church was taken away from our city/town/area, who would protest?
Ask Mayor what Tallahassee needs.
Love. Not love,(period. Not comma)
Who is most skeptical, hostile? And what would a Eucharist look like for them? What would it mean for us to break ourselves for them?
1 Cor 9:19; contrast between Jews and Gentiles. 22) to the weak, I became weak...etc. Parallelism. He left out strong. Paul doesn’t become strong to win the strong. He didn’t pretend to be better. He didn’t use power to win people.
The power of the Eucharist is not about manipulation. Its not about who’s power, or ego. The power of the Eucharist is in its weakness… Marilyn Manson song, “Its all relative to the size of your steeple”.
What makes AA so powerful is that its people who are at the end, and cannot balance on a phony all-togetherness.
- Humanity over perfection. Perfection is contrary to the power of Eucharist.
Ephesians 2:11; The Eucharist is about the new humanity. (TNIV)
In one community there are parents of soldiers in Iraq and there are war protesters. Can they take communion together?
Reject the cult of cool: cool is when old and young are together. Cool is when the Mohawk is next to the polyester suit. When something transcends differences, and brings people together. Suffering brings people together.
2 Corinthians 11:28-29; the new humanity, when you know someone in a different neighborhood, you recognize who your neighbors are.
Acts 8:9-21; The Eucharist cannot be commodified. It is not a product. It can’t be copied. Whats a Eucharist look like for these people, in this place, at this time? Unless people are being broken and poured out, the Eucharist is not being served.
Hebrews 12:18; this verse references throughout the OT into the NT which is referencing Jeremiah, and then back to Genesis. Its our history and we have a lot to pull from.
The magnetic draw of the tribe.
The Eucharist is ultimately a mystery. There is management and there is mystery. These two coexist.
The problem is when the church tries to play by the rules of everyone else. We believe that God is still reclaiming this world, that God is still at work in our world today. We don’t need to be as cool as Tallahassee is. All we need is to be the Eucharist.

At this winter festival, the students write their hopes and dreams for the world on a piece of paper and tie them to a balloon, and together they let them go.

Who is Christ to you?
The Church is a Eucharist because you are a Eucharist.
There’s Christ in us, and there is Christ through us. What’s Christ doing in you? If you’re not dealing with the things that are real then you are compromising the Eucharist. There is strength in weakness.
The best sermon is “me too”.

2 Absolutes about the Eucharist:
1. Your own journey, whatever it looks like…
a. Whats great about the Psalmists is that they are real. They don’t fake it.
2. Letting the body be put back together and the blood be poured back in.
a. The question isn’t what you can get done now. It’s what is sustainable.
b. Luke 5:16; Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.
c. There is a loneliness to leadership that people who are not in spiritual leadership cannot understand.
There is a transfer of spiritual energy when you pour into a person.

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 1 - Q&A

Production vs Discipleship
We can do lots of things for a long time. But the Bible talks about marathons, not sprints. Whenever the crowds got larger and the work got more, the more Jesus withdrew.
It becomes an ego problem. Embrace our limits. We cannot do it all.

Sabbath is a gift from God. Not an obligation. “Sabbath” by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Do what brings you joy.

You’ll never find God in the big things if you don’t find God in the small things. Too often we go to the mountain to find God but we don’t live on the mountain.

When a big public moral problem happens its because there were cracks back in the past, and there was no place to openly be real about what the cracks are. When the cracks are kept quiet, they will grow. The big stuff started small. The new humanity says that a leader doesn’t have to be perfect…

A kingdom of priests. Any believer is a pastor. Is a minister. Has their own church out there in their lives. The building is just a gathering place.

1) Who is Jesus among you?
2) Why did he come to town?
3) How are we going to organize ourselves around that?

If you don’t know people who are in need, then you need to get to know those people who can help you get through the eye of a needle. Don’t just send them checks.

You cant drag a person where they don’t want to go. You cannot push a community to become passionate about something they have no passion for. On a large scale and on a small scale, it is the same.

If you don’t have elders then you should groan with your congregation (Romans 8) about what you are missing.

Cause – Congregation – Corporation
Need all 3.
Cause-Corporation = Missions org.
Corp – Congregation = Mega church

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 1 - Session 2

Narrative Theology and How We Read the Bible

The Bible as more than a self help book. It’s a living beautiful story. A story that continues in our midst. What is our role in this story. We need to know God’s story well if we are to be a part of it.

Dead Poet’s Society.

N.T. Wright – “The Last Word”, or a shorter “How Can the Bible be Authoritative?”
What if a new Shakespearean play was found but it was incomplete? Would we archive it or find the best scholars get together and finish it?

Scripture as a 5 Act play
I. Creation
II. The Fall
III. Israel
IV. Jesus
V. Church mission
a. At the end of the 5th Act is a New Creation (or a 6th Act)

What we need to do is immerse ourselves in the first 4 Acts and know it so well that we can continue and finish the 5th Act.

We unfortunately begin the story with the Fall. However there is a Creation before the Fall. When we root ourselves in Creation then we look forward to the new Creation started in Jesus.

Tacum Alam – the healing of God

Relationships –
At the core, to be in the image of God is to be in relationship. God has always been in relationship with himself, (Trinity)
We’re to be in relationship with:
1) God
2) Others
3) Ourselves
4) Creation

Genesis 1:26, 2:15;
Reflecting God, being in His image.
God gives us an identity (image) and a mission (cultivation; all those relationships).
God gave orders:
1) be fruitful and multiply
2) fill the earth (read the Tower of Babel; was the problem that they were building the tower? Or that they were gathering in one place and not filling the earth?) then in New Testament (go to all the world), but the disciples gather in Jerusalem but in Acts 8 there is persecution and the disciples are scattered.
3) Stewards of the earth (Hebrew for Adam/man is adama)
4) Sabbath
5) The Tree

The Fall – the serpent enters and Adam and Eve believe a lie. They didn’t believe that their role was good enough. They believed that there was something better. “That we may contribute a verse.” What is our verse?

Genesis 3:8 – 13, 15 (reference to Jesus, image of hope), 21 (their fig leaf coverings were not enough; so God made them garments of skin. The first death in history. A covering made by a sacrifice.)

Movement of sins destruction –
Individual – society – animal kingdom – earth
Abraham and his people are blessed to be a blessing in the same movement as sin.

God wants to dwell among his people.

Identity and mission –
At Sinai God calls his people a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. Blessed to be a blessing.
Luke 4 – Jesus reads Isaiah. He knows his identity and out of that declared his mission. The cross was a symbol of terror and death and murder and Jesus changed it to a symbol of hope and redemption.

New Creation –
Colossians 1:19 – the fullness of him who is all things in all ways.

Find where God is at work in the word where we live and join in with Him, no matter who is leading that force. (my own thoughts)

be fruitful and multiply does not only refer to Christian marriage, but also for a single individual to go out into all the world and make disciples.

Resources –
“The Drama of Scripture”. Bartholomew and Goheen
“Engaging God’s World”. Cornelius Plantinga
“Simply Christian”. N.T. Wright
“Heaven is a Place on Earth”. Michael E. Wittmer
“For the Beauty of the Earth”. Steven Bouma-Prediger
“Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals”. William J. Webb
“Truth is Stranger Than It Used To Be”. Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat
“How Can the Bible be Authoritative?”. N.T. Wright, www.ntwrightpage.com

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 1 - Session 3

There’s a Box? A Theology of Creativity

There are two types of creativity: 1) one that is outside the box. 2) one that doesn’t realize there was a box in the first place

1) Sacramental Imagination
2) The art of tension, elimination, perspective, expulsion, turning the edit button off, risk, and space
3) Buckets, chunks, and the all important marinade

1) Genesis 28:10; “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it”
Jacob wakes up. It is a physical awakening but also a spiritual awakening.

Psalm 24; “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it.”
John 5:17; “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I to am working.”

Peggy Noonan on sacramental imagination:
“It has to do with seeing God in all things, and with being perhaps particularly open to the physical reality of the constant…

David Letterman to Warren Zevon: “What have you learned that you can share?”, “I know how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.”

Your mind has to work at 24/7 translating the constant work of God into words.

Luke 15:23
Fattened calf was more like reconciling him to the entire village. V 28, brother doesn’t want anything to do with it. Not even a goat. (bad image in Jewish history)
The art of tension. Jesus leaves the Prodigal Son story unresolved.

You do not have to resolve everything on the spot. Some things cannot be resolved in a 30 minute sermon.

Why does Jesus do this?
1) the Parable invites you to find yourself in it.
2) Begins the discussion. You can’t NOT talk about it.

If you can resolve it then you haven’t done your job. It needs to inspire and cause reason to act.

2) The art of elimination. Get rid of the extra stuff. “If I would have had more time, I would have said less.” – Mark Twain

“Lust for Life”, story about Van Gogh. (pg 90)

What’s the controlling idea here?
If I only had a few words to capture this…
What needs to go?
What’s good but not absolutely necessary?
What is this in its most raw, pure, unadulterated form?

The art of turning the edit button off. Listen to your gut instincts. If you ever have thoughts that are way out there, or crazy, don’t stifle them. Write down all thoughts.

Abandonment is central to creativity.
That’s crazy
We could never pull that off
This makes no sense
I don’t see how any of this is related
If someone were to read this…

“The Gods aren’t angry” – another speaking tour for fall like “Everything is Spiritual”


The art of expulsion – getting stuff out of you.
Anne Lamott: “I write because I have to.”
What is it that’s inside of me that will kill me if I don’t get it out.
Why do you care?
What is the thing inside of you about this that people have to hear?
What do you have to get out or you are going to spontaneously combust?

The art of space
Fast thinking: getting stuff done; slow thinking: meditating on something

Jesus told his disciples to get in the boat. There’s not much to do on a boat. He’s creating space.

The art of risk
You have to be willing to stub your toe and fall down.
Nothing is wasted in God’s economy. As a pastor we’re supposed to be leading everyone. Who cares if we mess up. Try things. We’re supposed to lead the way because we have nothing to fear.
Not everyone will appreciate it. Some people will say things about you.

Sometime we work so hard to make a few people happy and there are millions out there who need to hear what you have to say.

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 2 - Session 1

A few thoughts on God, Jesus, salvation, judgment, heaven, hell, who’s in, who’s out, and the end of the world as we know it

Or theology seems to be all about going to heaven. Isn’t the Gospel about today? Or is it just fire insurance? Our theology seems to be just for some other time.

Going to heaven… Is that the best God can do? I need help today.

“Said the prayer” but don’t follow Jesus? Never “said the prayer” but live a lot like a Jesus follower. Is the kind of person youre becoming irrelevant?

If it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, then what did Jesus teach?

Which Jesus? The 1-800-big hair Jesus?
“Stumbling Toward Faith”. Renee Olsten(?) starts this book with an account of her father raping her while reciting the Lord’s Prayer and molesting her while singing Christian hymns. Some Jesus’ should be rejected.

What Jesus have people been exposed to?

Of all the billions of people in the world?
Only us?
A select few who happen to believe/confess/do a few things that even they can’t agree on?

What if the missionary gets a flat tire?

Age of accountability? If a baby dies it’ll go to heaven because of what King David said. But what if a 13 year old “atheist” dies in a car accident. When its your own flesh and blood, the rules seem to change, don’t they?

So there’s no hope. No hope? How is any of this grace?

How is a person saved? If you ONLY had the Bible how would you answer this question?
Luke 7; speech about authority
Luke 18:9; have mercy on me a sinner
Luke 23:42; remember me when you get to your Kingdom
Is it something you say?

John 3; no one can see it without being born again
Luke 20:27; those who are considered worthy…
Is it something you have to be?

Matthew 6:14; if you forgive others, God will forgive you
Matthew 7:21; only those who do the will of God will be in heaven, not those who say “Lord, Lord”
Matthew 10:22; stand firm and everyone will hate…then you will be saved
Luke 7:36; she hasn’t said a word yet by v 38. Its her posture, her attitude, her heart. her love (v47)
Luke 15:18; I have sinned against heaven and you. I am no longer worthy to be your son
John 11:25; whoever lives by believing in me will never die
Acts 2:38; repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins
Is it something you say? Be? Do?
Luke 19; Zacchaeus’ speech is that he will give half of his possessions to the poor. Jesus doesn’t say that he doesn’t care about justice, he only cares about personal salvation.

Matthew 9; the paralyzed man was saved because of his friends faith
Mark 2; his friends unroofed the roof. Jesus forgave the paralyzed man again because of his friends faith.
1 Corinthians 7:15;
Is it something someone else does?

Acts 9; Saul is persecuting the Christians. Jesus, “Why are you persecuting me?” Saul, “Who are you?” THAT’S the conversion!
Romans 10:14; Paul links salvation…someone hears, because someone said, because someone sent….
Is it something that someone says to you? Something somebody tells you to say/do/trust/believe?

Sometimes its not anything you say or do…God spoke and you were saved.

Is it about believing?
Luke 4:33, 41; the only ones who are CLEAR about who Jesus is are the demons.
James 2:19; even the demons believe…and they shutter.

If you were asked “How does a person get saved, converted, in, redeemed, etc.? and you only had the Bible to answer the question…you would have lots of answers.

Salvation is holistic in nature. Jesus wants to save all of us. Jesus wants to save us from sin, hatred, revenge, debt, our past, hatred, racism, poverty, anything that hinders the full shalom that God created for the entire world.

1) Destination Theology – out or in, somewhere out there or already arrived. You’re saved now help save others.
2) Journey Theology – there are people who are believers and extremely selfish, Jesus wants to save us from selfishness. Jesus wants to save us from abuse, from indifference. There are moments of arrival all along the way
If our salvation can tracked on an arrow what would those moments on the journey be? For me in 8th grade I became aware of my mortality. Jesus saved me of my eternal arrogance. In college I became aware of the church’s problems which made me aware of my desire to grow. Jesus saved me from apathy.

Matthew 12:32; a Jew doesn’t talk about forever. Jews talk about this age and the age to come.
Matthew 13:39; Jesus talks about the end of the age
Matthew 13:49; end of the age
Matthew 24:3; end of the age

There is this age and the age to come.
Olam haba – life in the age to come, translated to eternal life in english
Luke 18:30; life in this age and in the life to come, olam haba
Matthew 19:16; “what do I do to have olam haba?”

Olam haba also means harmony with God.

Eternal life is a quality of life. A life filled with holistic shalom with our Maker.

Matthew 19:28; at the renewal of all things…(Matthew)
Acts 3:21; …God to restore everything… (Peter)
Colossians 1:19; All things are held together in Jesus…reconcile to Himself all things by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Paul)

Yes, the cross is about personal salvation, but its not the WHOLE picture. When you shrink salvation down to personal individual salvation, you are not preaching the whole Gospel.

In – Out
Jesus says, be careful some of those you assume are in are not, and some you assume are out are actually in. Be very careful when you start making judgments about others state of their soul.

Newsweek August 14, 2006. Billy Graham, “I believe the love f God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world…

We invite people to trust Jesus wherever they go on their journey. We are not called to destroy other religions. We are only to show Jesus to people.

Richard Rohr: “My simple definition of salvation would be when one begins to live in conscious union with God. This, of course, grows and develops and Jesus makes it plain that this has to begin in our bodies, in our human lives, in our experience in this world, now, and for that Jesus is surely necessary for salvation….its not a formula or a mere affirmation but a change of identity.”

The Bible begins in chapter 1 NOT chapter 3.
Genesis 1; God blesses them. Shalom is the blessing and goodness God created for all things. Adam and Eve are in right and harmonious union with God. 2:5, there was no shame. There was shalom with God, shalom with each other, humanity, shalom with the earth. Subdue the earth, lovingly care for it.

There are a few verses on people and the rest on the rest of Creation. A 4th dimension could be shalom with the self.

…with God
…with others
…with self
…with creation

3:7; their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. v 9, where are you? Does God not know? “God in Search of Man” Abraham Joshua Heschel

The story begins in chapters 1 and 2. not 3. Chapter 1 and 2 is Shalom. Chapter 3 is sin. Sin is anywhere shalom has been disturbed.

God wants to reside among his people.

To be a Christian is to believe that life is going somewhere. Its not to think how can I escape this world now, its how can I live with God now! God is looking for partners.

Whats scary is when people talk about hell some day and refuse to care about the hell that is going on today. Sudan. AIDS. Loneliness. Depression. Hell on earth is real.

1 Thessalonians 4;13 the Rapture passage. :-D
historians record that in earthquakes Thesolonici was destroyed. People had to move outside the city. Cesar sent money to rebuild their city. He wanted to come and see it. The city went out to welcome Cesar when they heard the blowing of the horns to welcome the King. They welcomed him and then went back to the city to show him how they rebuilt it after he gave them the resources. Paul uses the same language. Paul is saying that God will return and we will show him what weve done with the resources hes given us.

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 2 - On Preaching

On Preaching…
How can Monday come with Sunday staring you in the face?

Buckets, Chunks, and Marinade:
Buckets is a folder with all sorts of thoughts, ideas, questions, scripture that I don’t understand
Chunks is what happens to those buckets when they start to grow and become something that preaches.
Marinade. Don’t preach something that hasn’t been marinating for months.

Are there any key words?
Logos – program that looks up origins, etc.
Do these words have pictures or images that could help bring light to the text?
Is there any physical object in the text that would bring to light aspects of the text?
Are there any people? When we first meet Jacob he is dressed up like his brother and when hes asked who he is he says, Im Esau. Years later, hes broken , been on the run, and he just wrestled with some angelic being, and hes asked his name again…Im Jacob.
Where is the first mention of this in the Bible?
Are there concepts or truths that are in other areas?

We need to move from having to say something to having something to say.

Word fl------------------------------------------------‡ Flesh
Jesus didn’t come to abolish the words, he came to show us what those words look like with flesh and bone put to those words. Around us are living examples of the text.
Action fl------------------------------------------------‡ Awareness
Are we balancing action and awareness?

Reading of text. Stories. Pointed Questions. Reflective Questions. Rant. There are so many different dimensions to a teaching.

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 2 - Session 2

Becoming the Church
Neighborhoods of hope in a culture of despair

What does it look like to mobilize the church? How can I join in to what God is already doing in our world?

Case Study –
With the first couple who are living together, the group had great intentions, but missed the story, and blew it by driving them away.

We are people of a great story. We’re on journey. Scripture says to be prepared to give an answer for the hope within us, but it seems no one is asking. It appears that our story isn’t a great story.

Consumer Church – If it is just a check we send then we are missing the compassion and the relationship with those we are supposed to be loving. Its not a matter of just fixing but joining.

Egypt – Babylon – Rome – global consumerism
all are empires

subversive organization – al qaeda, black panthers, hells angels, green peace, plow shares, amnesty international

Al Qaeda – young boys in poverty with broken families are taken in, given food, shelter, education, training, and a story. Then they are trained and mobilized to act out there purpose.
What if the Church was like this?

Extreme Home Makeover – this is church better than most of us. They tell peoples stories.

We need to show people that they are part of a story.

Moses – enters the covenant relationship with God then ends up drunk and naked.
Abraham – enters the relationship and then pimps out his wife…twice
David – adultery, murder
Paul chooses Timothy, who’s father was Greek and would not have even been allowed to study.

If we’re to be a gift to the world then we need to find our own story. We need to experience the transformational power of Jesus in my own heart if I want to share that with someone else.
We are people who are more about fixing than joining.

Posture –
Job – his friends sit with him for 7 days. Then his friends start talking and trying to FIX Job, when they were doing better when they sat there silently.

“Adopt a Family”
does that imply equality? No. it implies a top-down relationship.

Reclaim “neighbor” as noun
And “neighboring” as verb

Neighbor is location and vocation.

All the law and prophets…lean toward this…love your neighbor as yourself

Ephesians 3:20; Paul is calling us to interdependent imagination. It flows out of interdependent love.

By 2025, whites will make up less than 50%.
We live in a new sub-urban world.

Justice is most always married to relationships and injustice is most always divorced from relationships.

Reclaim a theology of Place
Proximity is central to mission. We need neighbors who will reclaim where they live as followers of Jesus. All the law and prophets leans on loving its neighbors.

Neighborhood network – church in, to, or with
Connecting people who live near each other to share the needs in their neighborhood.

Are we a church in a community? A church to the community? Or are we a church with our community? Reclaiming the dignity of their community.

From betterment to EMPOWERMENT

Mitzvoth – simple small actions. Significant teaming up with God.

Mission Continuum
Progression toward (away from self)
Not Linear
Awareness ‡ experimentation ‡ investment ‡ stewardship
Others ‡ posture ‡ capacity ‡ sustainability
Experimentation doesn’t mean hours upon hours. Just a few hours will help.

From a Pastoral model to a Missional model

Lets watch the news closely. Reclaim the Parish!
Focusing for impact
Use the agencies that exist to mobilize people
Measure impact not numbers

3 issues in Grand Rapids that Mars Hill is backing

What would they be in Tallahassee?

Isn't She Beautiful - Day 2 - Session 3

The Absolute Necessity of Endlessly Reclaiming Your Innocence

Barundi – poorest nation.
Turami – Microfinance project

Numbers 15; God commands the people to attatch tassels to the corners of their robes.

Tzit tzit – tassels. To remind you of the covenant we have made to God. 5 knots for the books of Moses, 4 spaces fr the letters of Gods name.

Malachai – he will rise with healing in his “knaf”(wings, robe)

Stop talking and do it. If you are afraid, hold onto the tassels.

Maybe we need to return to our call. Lets be born again. Maybe we need healing. Grab onto the knaf.

Hoopah – canopy, a bride and groom would stretch the prayer shawl over the couple as a reminder that God hovers over his people.

James – if anyone is sick or weary, let the elders anoint you with oil.

Worship Band played during Communion and prayer

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

a recent update on thoughts and life

The past few months have brought many new experiences. Some are etched into my mind (or my skin) and others will fade with each passing day. This new years brings about two major changes for me. A month after opening the Coffee Pub I have a new schedule; a new opportunity for me to learn what I discovered in Miami in December, that I do not know how to rest. It is a learning process, for sure, but a new year and new schedule allow for me to discover a renewed sense of life in God and in my own skin; a chance to feel alive again.

Alongside those new things that seem to infiltrate the mentality of everyone's "new" year, I have the loss of someone who has, for for the past four months, been a constant presence of hope and patience and love and caring in my sea of chaos that has been my life. Jackie and I began dating and things seemed great. But it ended on Sunday night.

Apparently, my realization that I needed to learn how to escape an addiction to work was not solely felt by me. The next stage in my life is focused on seeking out a union of my mind with the heart of God, to find peace and happiness alone.