04/10/2016: The Past Week

So, this past week has been different in every sense of the word.  Sunday night going into Monday, I had a dream I was talking with a friend I’ve lost touch with over the years and finally coming clean about my feelings.  I took that as a sign that I needed to come clean, and so I did.  That friend and I spoke one last time and agreed that we had kind of moved on with our lives and that, as of seven years ago, our lives kind of branched off in their own ways.  We wished each other all the best and went on our ways, which didn’t really change anything besides naming the elephant in the room, and it felt good, both because it was named and because it ended on a high note (ie wasn’t overly dramatic and emotional).  From there, the next big thing was Wednesday morning when I started doing ICU rounds in preparation for later this year when I’ll be doing it by myself.  That may not sound like much, but it was for me.  Finally, I got the tattoo I’ve been looking to get for a while now this afternoon.  I was told it would take 2-2.5 hours, but it actually took 4.  It was well-worth it though, and I’m stoked to see what it will look like when it’s healed.  I’ve put a picture below.  Outside of that, nothing really new besides plugging away at the essays I need to have done for my meeting with the Committee on Preparation for Ministry in June.  Hopefully I can keep up the determination.  Anyway, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

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04/01/2016: April Fools Day

Good evening, everyone.  I realized I haven’t posted in about a week.  So, I’m just kind of updating everyone on what’s going on.  Probably the biggest update is a course I’ve started taking this week.  It’s a three-part seminar that meets every other week, and it’s on ministry to the sick.  Granted, since my boss is one of the presenters, I didn’t have much of a choice, but I wasn’t really going to object.  Honestly, it sounds interested, but then again, I’m a little biased (just a little).  Outside of that, only thing to report on is that I’ve started plugging away at all the essays/papers I need to write for my next meeting with Committee on Preparation for Ministry in June.  So, I’m getting there slowly but surely.  Outside of that though, nothing really new here.  So, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

03/28/2016: The Crescent City Refinery

Good evening, all.  I tried thinking about what to post last night but couldn’t really think of anything.  24 hours later though, I thought of the perfect question: what does Easter mean to me?  Admittedly, when I think about Easter, I think of fluffy bunnies, chocolates, and colored eggs, not a massacred messiah nailed to a tree.  Keeping in mind what Easter is really about  (the dying and rising of Christ), I could talk at length about the theological implications of the holiday, but I won’t go into details uou can either hear in a sermon or read in a book.  What I will say though is that I can’t help but think about how this has spiritually been what I’ve gone through these past few months.  The rigorous “beating” my soul has taken, the dying of the old me, and the rising of the new me, the more real me, it’s almost as if I’ve had my own personal Easter.  As the year has progressed, I have felt so much more spiritually alive, so much closer to God, so much more ready to accept God’s gracious love, and so much more.  Easter is all about renewal and refinement, and if that isn’t what I have been experiencing, I don’t know what it is.  Anyway, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

03/21/2016: Post-Weekend Reflections

I’m sitting here waiting for the shuttle to come pick me up from the parking lot to take me to the hospital, and I thought I might as well let y’all know what kinds of shenanigans I’ve been up to the past few days.  To start, Saturday was our designated community day, and we went to the Children’s Science Center to help with science fair projects.  When I heard this, I thought we would be helping kids do their science projects.  What we actually ended up doing was putting on projects kids could then go around and look at.  The station I was at was dealing with light, and we had a couple different experiments.  The first dealt with 3D images and how, if you cancel out the red or blue, the image ceases to be 3D.  The other was similar, but this time playing with lasers and shining them through different Jell-Os to show the difference between transparent, translucent, and opaque.  Of course, because there were lasers involved my inner child came out a little and I was shining it into mirrors and on the paper sumo wrestlers at the next station.  Overall, it was a fun day, even if a bit slow at times.  Yesterday was much more relaxed, mostly composed of laundry and vegging out on the futon upstairs, although I did also go grocery shopping yesterday evening.  So, it wasn’t all a lazy day.  LOL.  Anyway, not much really new besides that.  So, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

03/14/2016: My Birthday

Hey all.  So, as you can see from the title, today is my birthday.  As odd as it might sound, this year felt more like a birthday than any previous year (at least to my recollection).  I say it’s odd because it was so much different than previous ones.  For starters, this is the first one I haven’t celebrated with family or been home for.  While I did get to hang out with my housemates, and while they are like a family to me, it’s not the same.  Also, this is the first one that I can remember not being in school for.  Thirdly, this is the only time I can recall it being in the 80s on my birthday.  Otherwise, I cannot think of how else it varies, but it still feels different, and in a great way.  Maybe it has something to do with how much I recognize that I have grown or how much others tell me I’ve grown.  Then again, outside of growth, maybe it has something to do with the love I have found for myself, something that has been lacking in years past.  So, with this self-growth, improved self-esteem, this time away from family and friends, maybe I’ve finally begun to blossom.  I don’t know.  There’s still plenty of time left in the year to grow more and to impress even myself I’m sure.  Regardless, I want to thank everyone who has given me a “happy birthday,” and even if it did seem like the best in a while, it wasn’t the same without my loved ones around.  I’ve included some pictures below of some of the decorations and the cards.  Anyway, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

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02/28/2016: A Year Later

A good part of today was spent in silent reflection, thinking about my grandfather who passed away a year ago today.  As you might guess, I miss him, and I can still remember that day vividly.  In thinking about it though, I can’t help thinking about how involved God truly is in our lives.  I had just gotten home the day before from my last second term of my seminary career, and I knew my grandfather was in the hospital.  Before I went to the hospital though, I swung by the cemetery where my other grandfather is buried.  Just like I did with my buried grandfather, I said a quick prayer that, if God was going to call him up to His kingdom, that I just get to see him one last time, but that His will be done.  Sure enough, just like with my other grandfather, when I swung around the hospital, the doctors came in not long after, and it was decided to withdraw care and let him go peacefully.  As sad as I was to see him go, to not get to see me graduate, to not get to meet my girlfriend, I realize how much better it was for him to just be at peace.  Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for God letting me get to see him one last time before he died.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that our God is not an idle God.  God is not a watchmaker, who wound up the Universe and is just watching it wind down.  God answered my prayer in the span of 30 minutes.  No waiting, no terms and conditions, no taking a number, just a prayer for something from my heart of hearts, and it was.  Truly, our God is an awesome God, and as much as I miss my grandfather a year later, I still thank God for God’s love and mercy in that situation.  Anyway, I could go on, but I’m sure you get what I’m saying.  So, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.

02/26/2016: Weathering the Storm

Good evening everyone.  I apologize for my lack of posting as of late.  Things just got really busy, especially in the last few days.  To give a little bit of background, there is a married couple who volunteer their time as chaplains at the hospital, and they alternate days of when they come in.  Well, as you may have heard or seen on the news, there was a cluster of major storms that moved through the Gulf region on Tuesday.  So, as a result of the imminent storm, the wife, who was supposed to come in Tuesday, said she didn’t want to be out in the storm and called off.  So, for good reason, she didn’t come in, which left my boss and I to split all the new patients in the hospital between the two of us.  About noon that day, both of my bosses told me to head home because they didn’t want me driving in the storm either, and I can’t say I really blame them.  So, Wednesday and Thursday was a lot of catching up with the patients that weren’t seen Tuesday.  On top of that, the town the married couple live in got hit much harder than my part of the area.  Most of what we got in my area (north and east of downtown) were heavy downpours mixed with some strong winds, but nothing really drastic.  We kept power, and there wasn’t any damage caused that I saw or heard.  Supposedly though, a tornado touched down and came within a block or two of the couple’s condo (north and west of the city).  They were without power or running water for a few days.  They were finally able to get in today.  Regardless, the last few days have been incredible, both in terms of the number of people I’ve met and in how I’ve been able to keep going with how drained I have felt.  Life goes on though, and tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities.  Fortunately, I can sleep in tomorrow, which is probably what I’ll end up doing.  Anyway, there really isn’t anything else really new to report.  So, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.