Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Traditions


Christmas means different things to different people. As a Christian the answer easily becomes the birth of Christ and etc etc. For other people it means family time and presents. I have never really been one for presents even though occasionally I do like giving them. This Christmas was the 2nd year in the row were Shaun and I and this time Abe went down to Rob’s house for Christmas to spend it with his family for dinner and great deserts. It definitely did not feel like Christmas until we hit Rob’s house. The atmosphere in there was just overflowing with kindness care and love. From the two beagles decked out in Christmas attire to the 1200 light bulbs on the Christmas tree. The best was being described the rule of thumb on how to properly light a Christmas tree. It was really a good time. Side note it was also great having breakfast with Shaun's grandparents for the 2nd year in a row. It was nice hearing the stories of when they used to date 40 some odd years ago.

I have to talk about Christmas eve because I hung out with Freke and Abe and it was just a fun time and a great way to bring in the holiday. Secondly, because I reached out to Audrey and wished her a happy holiday. That was just interesting because part of me wanted to do it and the other part didn’t but I figured what the hell there is nothing wrong with being kind on Christmas. Happy Holidays I hope everyone enjoy theirs as much as I enjoyed mine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Be a Galaxy: Hope for 2011 & reflection on 2010


We are getting close to the end of 2010. This year has been a year of significant ups and downs. I got into my first real relationship and also experienced my first real heartbreak. I started going back to school this year and it’s looking like in 2011 I will finish up my associates and start my bachelors. This is something I should have finished all those years ago. My plans to come back to Jersey seem ever looming but who knows. In June there is a possibility of a Philly Haggar store but as my past has taught me don’t count on it. I have found that I kind of started a life here despite my continued growing pains. I have turned over a great deal of staff and with that I went through some anxieties. I think one of the most important things that I could have ever experienced this year is finding a church and faith in a salvation through Christ. It has given me a great perspective on life and a new life. I know I stumble and sin but that is human nature the difference is how I respond to said sin.

At the end of this year one of my best friend’s relative was diagnose with a terrible disease. I want to reach back and hug him so much. That crazy bastard is my brother and I'd do anything for him and despite how he said he feels I know the internal turmoil that, that man is going through. I pray and I ask everyone else to pray as well. Love is the only thing that can get him and those around him through this.

I feel that I have changed so much as a person this year. I feel that so much is different. I remember how last year I felt my life circling the drain and that I had no hope. The end of this year is just about hope. I look onto the horizon and I don’t know what God has in stored for my future or what crazy turns my life will take. I don’t even think I am ready, however; I sure am optimistic. My friends have had a lot of changes they went through as well. New jobs gained old jobs lost. Marriages and engagements. New life and losses of life. Such a roller-coaster ride of a year.

There are things I am going to miss there are people that aren’t in my life now that were in the beginning of the year. There are friendships that have failed and friendships that have been reaffirmed. Life and its journey as rough as it can be somehow still manages to give me hope for next year. Hope is definitely my motto for 2011.

Side Note: This Rocky speech always gets me souped. This Cassidy song always gets me pumped especially the line "If you a star, I'm a galaxy Nigga!" Also got to put my 3 favorite bible verses this year. Hosea 6:1-3 Matthew 6:34 Proverbs 3:5-6



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some good quotes Ive heard recently

These right here are from my fortune cookies :)

Wish you a good journey.
Good news will be brought to you by mail.
Have a beautiful day.
Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
Wisdom is only found in truth.
The job is well done.

These I got off of some FB statuses.

A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find it.

Think of your relationship as book...it won't quite work out if you're both not on the same page.

To get a woman's heart, a man must first use his own.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Einstein

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."- Plato

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making Moves for 2011 (100th Post)

There are great things going on in my life right now that could set 2011 to be a great year professionally and educationally for me. The first two things that are on my plate is the possibility of coming back home to Jersey. I mean how great that would be. Connecticut has taught me a whole lot about myself but lets me real Jersey and Newark is where I need to be.

The first opportunity is working at Reebok in Jersey Gardens which would mean more money and a chance to be right back in the mix of things again. That would be interesting because I would be working with Maria and Abe again. That in itself should be reason enough to head back. I have started the application process online and I have already faxed my resume and cover letter to the district manager. I am pretty confident in getting the interview and even more confident that if I go in there I can get the job..God willing of course.

The second opportunity which I am not really counting on anymore is the possibility of another Haggar store opening in Jersey. That would be the best case scenario to move my seniority and job stability. I don’t think this scenario is going to happen though because of numerous circumstances in and out of my control.

The other thing that has me a little souped is the possibility of finishing up my associates degree. I know that it is pretty much meaningless but the thing is that it would be a small accomplishment to hold onto. I know that it will give me the much needed fire to finish up the remaining 2 years I would have on my bachelor’s degree. Now I have even discussed with my adviser that If I take either of the Jersey jobs that I could still finish my degree by the summer or fall of 2011. That would settle everyone’s arguments about me coming back and saying to hell with school. I know I want to go further and finish up and get my BA like I should have done all those many years ago. The funny thing is that I look at my life now I realize I was in a better place than when I went to Rutgers. I am in an extremely pretty good place. I have found a new life in God and despite my stumbles or struggles I am content to say at least there is a standard of morality that I abide by and it is due to my found spirituality and great fellowship I like to maintain. As the cheesy movie said.."I'm preparing for rain!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

So Ant's an Uncle...yay <---- complete sarcasm



My brother’s girlfriend just had her kid which may or may not be my brother’s kid. The first question I asked my dad who told me via fb chat (that I was an uncle) was whether or not they did a paternity test already. My father immediately said, “Don’t bring up the ugly.” to which I responded, “You mean the reality.”

I am just speechless and appalled that I grew up and was raised by two individual so clueless in life. That literally that them being involved in the raising of children is completely susceptible to child endangerment at every turn. They are literally idiots. I think I would have been better raised by wolves. In fact it seems that I was raised by wolves or some other kind of animal perhaps goldfish. I digress.

My biggest pet peeve is that my brother may potentially have a kid and no income and no means of self support. I am literally just fearful for his future the future of his family and especially the future of that child. I mean I know I want a family and I want kids but I am willing to do whatever it takes and however it takes to provide for my family and child. I know what life’s responsibilities have to offer. I am not an idiot. Being a husband and a father are two very serious things which I know my brother is not ready for. Having a kid is by no means a way to learn responsibility. A person should be responsible before entering parenthood. A person should have had some kinda of struggle in his or her life before they ever know what it is like to struggle with having your own kid. Damn the reality is that I am very fearful for that kid and its future. I want the best for my brothers and I want them to be the men I know they can be and the men that God wants them to be. I am tired and I feel the rambling coming on so Ill just end it on that note.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ant gets a Tat




Got my first Tattoo. Mad happy with it. Its an outline of Jersey and a sun rising and where the sun is... Newark is written in the middle. WOOP WOOP!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ant Speaks the Word


At tonight’s Fusion I was able to preach the sermon I’ve kept in the works for quite some time. It was amazing. It was great. It made me realized you know what hey I could do this. I could become a preacher. I have to first set God at the forefront and put the blinders on and make sure my relationship is tight and unshakable with God. It reminds me of the bible verse we went over earlier this morning at bible study. John15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV) If I remain in God I can accomplish anything. I may stumble I may slip but no one can take me from the hand of God and nothing can keep Jesus from calling my name. No matter how defeated I feel and how low my depths reach that nothing is as strong and as powerful as the greatest healer and resurrector of all, God. Tonight recaptured a love for God me tremendously.

I have given numerous speeches and talks and tonight is probably one of the best memories since the days of the science high walk outs. It was so great. One of the BBC girls afterward said, "Preaching is your calling." I always said I wanted to help the world and what better way to help people than to care for their spiritual well being.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Feelin Good


I am very souped for the next Fusion meeting I am going to get to present the sermon I wrote a while back. It is going to be interesting and great and nerve wrecking all at the same time. I mean I have spoken in front of tons of crowds and on tvs but never for God. That's weird to say as the words come out of my mouth. We had a great Fusion meeting tonight and just this renewed energy. Beka and Jomy have been a tremendous help with my walk with God up to this point and interesting that I am able to help them and guide them in their walks as well. Even though there are times of frustrations and desires and temptations I am glad that I never forsake him because he will never forsake me.John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.(NIV)

Everything else is going well and I am pretty solid in life all around but maintaining a strong focus on God is pretty hard but definitely rewarding. I feel like I am going into the new year with a great perspective and great outlook. The two things that I am looking forward into the next year is the possibility of coming back to jersey with the opening of the possible Haggar store and also having my associates degree by May.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tender Warrior Quotes Cont

Initiation is the bottom line of masculinity. It means taking the lead. The lead in providing, protecting, mentoring, and befriending. It means caring for and developing our mates, out children, and ourselves. It means taking the lead in apologizing. The lead in seeking forgiveness.

Charismatic but substantive

People, events, evil schemes, disasters, catastrophes can take things away from you. Things on the outside. But no one can ever take away what’s on the inside-heart, soul, character. A man can throw it away. But no one can ever take it.

Job demonstrated something longer and stronger than patience. Shinning out of his life through the dark horror of grief and loss is what I believe to be man’s greatest strength. His highest attribute. Call it patience if you life. I call it staying power.

Remaining. Persevering. Holding fast standing firm. That’s what a man does. That’s what a man is.

“A man with the courage of faithfulness.” Robin Hardy

Job sourced his masculinity and personhood in who he was, alone and naked before God. And that makes a man out of you.

“My concern is if they don’t feel cared about, then they cant ever care about anyone else, let alone themselves. We may be creating a large number of children who are emotional misfits.” David Elkind

The calling of every man is to offer stability to a world full of chaos.
The toxin of comparison has been utterly neutralized and washed away by the sacred anti-toxin of a promise

“Lord, who can abide in your tent” “He who walks with integrity….and speaks truth in his heart. …he who swears to his own hurt, and does not change”

“Criticism and stress and troubles aren’t something exclusive to ministry, Stu they’re life” Pastor Williams

“The only reason Jesus became a man was to be man-handled.” Orville

He knows the way with me; when has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
“Lord help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I cant handle together.”

That’s why real men don’t run. Real men stay and stay and stay.

Isnt it funny how the less mature feel constrained to act “tough”, while the truly mature act gently?

No one knows the heat of a man like the man himself

The great apostle suggests that the heat of his ministry was the ministry of his heart-tender, gentle, fond, affectionate.

A real man must not be afraid to tell you who he is deep down inside.

But I am no less a man under authority, a man under orders, And if the Lord God has allowed to the unspeakable privilege of being a husband and a father, so are you.

“I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1st Corinthians 11:3

Because of men who demand submission from their wives but in turn submit themselves to no one, including God.

We cannot blame women for being frustrated because they fear the injustice of being under headship that itself is not accountable.

Some men draw a big line in the sand and say, “I aint accountable to nobody, but I am the boss of you.” That is neither right nor biblical. Yes, God has given men a certain amount of authority. But they re first and foremost men under authority. We always want to quote the verse that says, “The man is the head of a woman” But we conveniently forget the first part of the verse that says. “Christ is the head of every man!” No exceptions. That’s me and you.

Before one can ever lead, he must learn to follow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tender Warrior Review and Quotes



Tender Warrior by Stu Weber…really really great book. I thank my friend Lidiane for suggesting it to me. It has reshaped my outlook and perspective on Christian manhood. It was a great read and really influential. It gave me this new found drive and fire for being a man and a stronger Christian in terms of relationships with the men and women I have in my life. The last chapters really hit home to me and just gave me the desire to finish strong in every aspect of my life. It almost took away my excuses that I provide on a daily basis for most of my shortcomings. The book as a whole just reinforced the notion of Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. I met this Christian woman at a party over the weekend and she was amazing and I got nervous talking to her and just finding out about her. The great hindsight perspective that I have now is that no matter what or who enters my life that I know the best way to approach any kind of a relationship is through maintaining a strong Godly relationship.

The following are just some of my favorite quotes from the book. There are so many and I enjoy typing them that my next few entries are just going to be quotes from the book.

Matters of character, heart, spirit, integrity, justice, humility- the kinds of things that last.

At the heart of a real man’s vision is the health of his family.

The measure of a man is the spiritual and emotional health of his family. A real provider has a vision for marriage that bongs deeply, for sons with character as strong as trees, and for daughters with confidence and deep inner beauty. Without that vision and leadership, a family struggles, gropes, and may lose its way.

A man can get the perspective he needs to lead a family…if he is willing to humble himself and seek it from the Lord God.

“Is there anything worse than blindness?” “Oh, yes!” She responded. “A person with sight and no vision” Helen Keller

It brought security to my heart to realize what kind of a God I had, this great heavenly Planner who could look down the long ages and bring things to pass.

When you’ve lost your vision for who you are and where you are and why you are where you are, you find yourself powerless to take necessary action.

Time enough to push your way through peripheral issues and life draining preoccupations and ride out ahead of the family God has given you.

Think of the bible as the owner’s manual for your masculinity. Think of it as the mother spring. The headwaters. And drink deeply from it.

“Being perfect is a terrible way to spend your life and guys are not equipped for it anyway. It is like a bear riding a bicycle: he can be trained to do it for short periods, but he would rather be in the woods doing what bears do there” Garrison Keillor

Men stand tallest when they are protecting and defending.

A warrior is one who possesses high moral standards, and holds to high principles. He is willing to live by them, stand for them, spend himself in them, and if necessary die for them.

Like four strands of steel, they were woven together to form a cable that is the spine of masculinity. A “good man” is the balance of the four. A good warrior is also a sensitive lover. A tender warrior. A good friend is always a helpful mentor.

The physical is a parable of the spiritual. The visible is a metaphor for the invisible.

A man without initiative is not a man.

A lot of people pass through life feeling trapped in some vague sense of dissatisfaction.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ant Loses his Cool



I received two calls about 10 o’clock in the morning from the one and only Delmy Diaz/Amos depending on who you are talking to. She leaves a voicemail, so I know it is serious. I call back and she frantically informs me that my brother has run away from rehab and there is a warrant out for his arrest. She also said that he is at my Grandfather’s house. I immediately call my Aunt who lives at my Grandfather’s house. She informs me that he is there and they are all weighing their options on what to do. So I offer some suggestions and include the question, “Would it make everyone feel better if I drove down?” She quickly replied, “Yes”…..*sigh*

On my way down I decided to call a couple of people one being my pastor. He has a really good talk with me about responsibility and assuming responsibility that is not mine and taking responsibility from those who need to own up to their own. This definitely changed my desire from helping my brother by further perpetuating the cycle of running to helping my brother face the music and be a man.

I get down there and I tear into my brother about consequences of his actions and how he needs to face responsibility and how his actions have adversely affected the family and so on. So then I decided that since he could not return to the program that he needed to turn himself into his P.O. He reluctantly agrees.

We get down to south jersey meet up with my mom and I receive a call from his P.O. His P.O. informs me that he is just missing and there is no warrant. He just wants him to stay put and be somewhere where he can reach him. I call my dad inform him and ask him if he is going to meet us at my mom’s house. He said no and doesn’t cite a reason why except that my mom was there. I asked him as his son to be there for his other son. Before my dad could respond the P.O. called me back and ended the convo with my Dad…lucky for him because here is what I would have said.

“Be a fucking man and be there for your son. This is your responsibility as his father to be there for him and be there for him time and time again and to never stop being there for him. How can you expect him to do the right thing as a man when the role of a man that he sees is you cowering from your responsibility! Like how could you possibly sit idly by when your son is suffering?”

It is outrageous that my brothers have made it out of this pit of a home which I could only describe as the last circle of Dante’s hell. The story gets better. While at the house the cops arrive inform us that there is no warrant and there is only a missing person’s call. So then after a while the cops get in touch with the P.O. and again no warrant and my brother is essentially off the hook. I inform the cops that I do not think that’s the best course of action and that he needs to be in police custody until his court date so 1. He does not run and 2. He does not mess up and get involve with drugs. Apparently since there is no warrant and no one pushing for one there is nothing they could do. They left….

My mom starts with the statement, “I love my kids and don’t want to see them in jail because I care about my kids.” So as Ryan put it as I was retelling this story put it, “Why, would she say a thing like that to let alone you!”

I pounded my fists on her glass table damn near shattering it and immediately with all the hurt and pain in my soul shouted at her. For once in your fucking life act like a mother and do the right thing and push for the warrant! Do the right thing for your son. She started shouting back about how she is and knows what is best. I said you’re not doing the right thing you’re clueless and if you love your son you do this. She starts crying. Nothing pushes me to continue on then to feed off her anguish. I said good that you’re in pain. Realize the errors of your ways. End up dead and alone like Michael (my biological father)! She shouted back that I ruined her life and so on blah blah….

My granny starts crying and her and my aunt start pulling me away from practically striking my mother. Nothing gets to me more than my grandmother being upset so I immediately calm down because of her heart condition and I told my mom I love her but she’s clueless and told my brother to do the right thing this time around. I am exhausted and fatigued by what went down.

My mom living in her alternate reality and my dad just so helpless from years of emotional struggle with my mom are just almost too much to bear. My grandmother was so happy that I came down she said that she was happy I was there because I always know what to do and the right thing to do. I feel like despite me being the oldest that some things are out of my hands and out of my control. It is sad when you can’t rely on the people that brought you in this world for anything.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Update

I have been having a rough couple of weeks. I decided to just put up some recent quotes…

Luke 9:23 And then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”

Hosea 6:1 Come let us return to the Lord He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

Busyness FOR God does not equal intimacy WITH God! Brendan

The process of brokenness is a normal and natural part of our walk with God. Brendan

I want a strong Christian woman to enter my life. I want a woman to be my helper and support. I been reading this book by Stu Weber called Tender warrior which is God’s intention for a man. It has been a tremendous help and eye opener. The role of a man in life and marriage and relationships is important to know before you get into each. Reading this book makes me appreciate strong women. Now if I can only find a decent one lol.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some thoughts

What is the most meaningful thing to you at this point in time?

I have been reading a book called Tender Warrior by Stu Weber and it is about God’s intention for being a man. This is one of the questions posed early on in the book. Not only is it asked, but it also asks for the reader to ask this question of their friends. That is exactly what I did. I asked several of my closet friends that very question. I received some interesting responses from friend’s family to themselves. The best answer I received was from Mu. Mu said his heart is the most meaningful thing to him at this point in time. I asked him physical or emotional wellbeing of his heart. He answered both. He said that so many things came to mind when I asked the question. He said so many people raced through his head and then finally he came to the conclusion that he should choose where everything he cares about resides and that place is his heart. That was pretty deep.

Vision

I feel my walk with God has been hinder by my actions as of late and it sucks. I have been thinking very seriously about numerous relationships in my life. I like the fact that I am working on myself but there is still something lacking. I feel that I am on the cusp of a greater relationship with God. There was a great message about it in church today. Brokenness is a process with your walk with God. God breaks us so that he can rebuild us into something greater. It is something I definitely believe in. It has been at my times of complete brokenness that has propelled me forward in my character and my heart. It is when I think that I am doing well with my walk that sometimes that fire does not burn as strong. Don’t get me wrong the fire is strong. I enjoy reading my bible and fellowship and etc but when you are down and out and on your knees praying to God with a full heart that fire is burning HOT!! I enjoy that feeling I really do.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Updates

Men’s Conference was phenomenal. There were a lot of great things that I was able to hear there and it definitely was a great start to my week. I was able to hear some very powerful testimonies and it just helps reaffirm my faith when you see what others have gone through. Three talks we heard were just so powerful. The first was about how we should say behind our pastor but yet examine everything. Also to keep our minds and eyes guarded. The second talk was about how we need to finish the Christian life just how we started it…on FIRE! The last talk was the most powerful and about the family. The pastor said all societies issues can relate back to the destruction of the family. He discussed how the devil will do everything in his power to destroy the family. “He doesn’t have to prove that there is no God but that you have time.” I believe he also used the phrase marshmallow Christian. I definitely enjoyed that phrase and I know even more I do not want to be one.
Fusion Meeting was this week and it was very powerful to me. The conversation was just filled with a very very good spirit. It was kind of cool being in that setting. It was dare I say good clean fun. How often have I been apart of that kind of environment? I really felt good energy there and I felt that Fusion and at least for its core leaders is becoming very meaningful. The 2nd meeting of Fusion will be this Saturday at 7pm 123 Elm St Old Saybrook. It is a good time and a great discussion about God.

I heard there is going to be a Haggar store opening in NJ. The Tinton Falls outlet to be exact. I want this store and I deserve this store. I kid…not really. This would bring me back to Jersey and I would be happy as a pig in mud to be back home. I don’t think I will get the store but honestly I don’t know what will happen. Coming back home would just make me cry like a baby and be ecstatically happy. It would be like a negative sign on a pregnancy test….bad joke but still funny.

I feel really good about life. There were a couple of bumps this week but professionally I feel ok and socially I feel ok too. Although Jimmy is going to Dallas….what a bum pick lol. Nah I still love him just not now. The scary thing is my friend who recently came up here said, “Ant your making a life for yourself up here” I told her to be quiet and never say anything like that again lol. I really dislike CT but I mean it has given me a lot and it’s given me a God filled purposed up here. I am trying to fully utilize these opportunities but if I go back home what a blessing that would be.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recent Quotes Ive said or others have said

Me: People need to find unity within themselves before they can find unity with others.

Me: Revival is not an annual thing or a once in a life time thing but a continual process.

Me: If your not working for or towards God you cannot say you love God.

Brendan:Spiritual Growth must first be desired by the individual others cannot force it.

Don't rush into any kind of relationship. Work on yourself. Feel
yourself, experience yourself and love yourself. Do this first and you
will soon attract that special loving other. - Russ Von Hoelscher

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it
has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is
the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Universal Solution


There is a universal solution for all of your life’s problems. People always are trying to find solutions to everyday problems when God has provided a whole book of remedies. The answer is quite simple. Seek God and everything will be solved.


Matthew 6:25-34 therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field , which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


These verses contain a myriad of splendor and wisdom that can be discussed for years. The simplicity of it all summarized by the following: God will provide if you ask and follow. I further simplify it by stating once again seek God and everything will be solved. I know in my studies of God’s word that sometimes I tend to feel the simple solution cannot be the solution; that the simple explanation cannot be the right explanation. How could possibly seeking God make me a better store manager? How could seeking God make me a better boyfriend or someday husband? How could seeking God make me a better brother? How could seeking God make me pay my bills on time? Again! Seeking God gives you the perspective needed to make sense of your life.
How could you possibly do it any other way? How could you go on through your day to day tasks without God? Miserable! that’s how! Each of us has a void that we fill with temporal and material things. Alcohol runs dry. Money doesn’t last forever and lust and bodily desires are fleeting and temporary in a Godless love. It was C.S. Lewis that said, “Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other….God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” God is the eternal the infinite the everlasting. When you seek God you desire nothing more than to be in his word. To feel his steadfast love in fellowship and compassion that spawns out of a very love for God and to share the word of God because you love God. Seeking God fills that void in your heart and desires for the world. Once that void is filled with God’s love and grace…correction filled with God’s everlasting love and grace you have the desire to be the best and do the best in your God given roles as husband wife store manager brother bill payer. Seeking God is the everlasting process that renews your sense of life in profound ways.

One of the things I have mentioned in casual conversations time and time again that it is so much harder to see God. Why is that? Seeing God is not just left to looking at His word or fellowship or having a higher moral standard. Seeing and seeking God is also being able to see God in everything. When you seek God you do not have to go far. It is as simple as opening your eyes and looking around you. God is there in your life at every moment since you were a thought. God was there at your lowest moments and God will be there at your highest moments. God will be there at your death and re-awaking. If God is able to show you this kind of respect and care the least we can do is to seek him with all of our hearts. Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and Earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. It is important to remember God needs nothing from you but we need everything from Him. Believing in Him with all our hearts should be a given. Faith without heart is worthless. Seeking God without a solid desire and heart is equally as worthless.

God drew us each near to Him. We don’t draw closer to God it is God that brings us closer to Him. Each of us wanted God to be apart of our lives more than anything the day we accepted Christ. In my own testimony, I was aware of the God signs as I like to call them. I knew that there was a deep longing for something more and what did I do? I plugged that call with alcohol to the point of numbness. Drinking was my God. My heart was isolated from a love I could only describe as beautiful. That love put something in my heart that I could only label as fire. We were on fire for God the day we accepted Jesus as our savior. If it was a scripture we wanted to read it. If it was the gospel we were sharing it. If someone was in need we were providing. Hold onto that fire that God placed into your heart and never let it go no matter what. Let each and every day be a new day to fall in love with God all over again.

Our lives come with different hardships and different issues but God was there and is there. Seek him and don’t stop seeking him. Chase him and don’t stop chasing him. Lust for God instead of flesh. Let God quench your thirst instead of alcohol. Be satisfied in God and allow for him to change you. Just like the day you were saved, cry out and remember God is in control of your life. God is the one to save you from all your trials and tribulations. So when you have issues and burdens seek Him and lay them at His feet and He will be your resolve He will provide you with the answers. As difficult as it sounds Charles Stanley said two great things on the matter first, “If I stayed focused on God, I would have the help, strength, and ability to keep going, even though it felt as if my world was crumbling around me.” And secondly, “…never forget the; the shortest distance between your sin and God’s forgiveness is the distance between your knees and the floor.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just a lil somethin

Sorry I have not been updating. It has been an interesting period in my life to say the least. I have been working on a sermon that with some hope, I get to present in church.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

reminders

the tribulations and inequities of today are erased with prayer repentance and the rising of the

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, Ephesians 4:26

Monday, August 9, 2010

FAITH


My pastor’s sermon this past Sunday was about faith. It was a message I so desperately needed to hear. The devil was beating the hell into me and I responded with acceptance to a point. I allowed him to control my thoughts and enter my heart but I stop when he wanted me to act. It is part of phil 2:12 that said, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Well I am definitely working it out with both fear and trembling.

I understand faith without heart is worthless but I guess what I did not realize that “faith is not apart of the Christian life, it is the Christian life.” I realize that this makes so much sense to a certain point of having the believer’s purpose to life. It is as simply as seeking God. Seeking God makes you want to transform your life and sanctify yourself. Seeking God puts in situations where your character is determined and you walk out much better than before. Seeking God makes you a better friend husband or boss. It is so simply and yet so complex at the same time. It is a great thing to reach that conclusion in your walk with God. It brings a good peace to your mind because while I do battle with sin and my emotions I know that in the end victory is assured to me. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” That all times there is a way out. There are multiple ways out when you think about the tools you have in prayer and in the bible and fellowship.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. The part of the passage that stuck out the most to me is “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. I know I most certainly fail in this regard and this is the cause of a lot of my pain and suffering. Last night a young man said that my will and God’s will is the same. I had to smile and say no my friend sometimes those can be two radically different things. If we can genuinely say that every thought we have is obedient to Christ then maybe but chances are there not. We tend to make our thoughts obedient to our emotions and desires. This is where the pain and suffering comes in. We cannot discern God’s will we like to hope we can but we really can’t fully. We just pray and think and mediate and hope that we can find God’s answer in the scripture he provided us with.

Another thing we tend to do is try to be obedient to rules and people and hope that with obedience to them we create a lasting righteousness. We know through the Israelites that laws and rules do not create a communion with God if anything it helps further push us away from him. True righteousness comes from faith and in that faith is an innate desire to seek God and his word. The process of sanctification that is a result of the process is one of unending beauty. Keeping your thoughts and hearts pure is simply as following and studying scripture. Psalm 119:9 easily states, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” I’ll end with another verse, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 611:6)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Four Brothers

Younger Pic of all of us




Today was a rough day spiritually and emotionally. I had a nice headache for most of the day and then out of nowhere my emotions came swirling in out of control. I have not felt this way in quite some time. I had serious thoughts on various topics the one I believe I will elaborate the most on is being an older brother. I have not been there for my younger brothers as much as I could have been. I think the fight I broke up between two brothers recently has this subject on my mind. My youngest brother seems to be doing ok but for the most part I honestly don’t know. I feel like I should call him more often. I feel like the kids I hang out with now I treat with more love and respect than I do my younger brothers and that realization today definitely hurt me. I witness to a lot of people but not my family as much as I could. My 2nd youngest brother is in rehab and I know I could be doing a lot more for him I really and whole heartily know I can. I texted my brother Dereck just to reach out to him and let him know how I felt this is the convo.

Me: Sup Lil bro
Dereck: Hey broseph, What’s going on jolly man.
Me: Don’t know man been thinking a lot and I feel I haven’t been there for u guys and I’m sorry I really am I’ve been a bad older brother.
Dereck: Man I’m thankful you’re my bro you got a life to live just like we all do. Would I like to see you more yeah definitely but you work and live in a different state not your fault man.
Me: Thanks man that means a lot for real
Dereck: Man all love, you doing all right man? how’s life?
Me: I’m doing all right sometimes I feel a little fucked up in the head
Dereck: You straight man, just do you and at the end of the day as long as you did what you had to do you can’t regret anything or blame yourself. Remember no one can fuck with what you earned and your self-esteem because it’s your self-esteem and what you think about yourself bro you dig
Me: I dig thanks D man love u man no matter what


God gives me tons of opportunities and I really need to start seizing them. I need to re-seize the opportunities God has given to me share not only God's love and grace with them but my own love for them. Most of all I do love my brothers. That is rooted in the very fibers of my heart.

Another side note. I wrote this as my status for my Aunt for her B day but it could be used for a lot of the people I know and friends I know in my life.
Happy Birthday to my lovely Aunt Delilah Fisher I think of the people I don't have in my life more often than the people I do have in my life. My Aunt is such an inspiration to me and I should never forget the influence she has had on me.
The line where I think of the people I don’t have in my life more often than the people I do have in my life touches me the most and means the most because I need to really see that the glass is half full and in the words of my younger brother…ya dig?

David and Devin


Dereck

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Letter to a Friend


My name is Anthony. I don’t know you but what I do know and what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, is that I love you. With all my heart, I love you. It is not because you are a relative of my friend but a human being. There is only one thing in this world that makes me feel that way and its God. Through his grace and everlasting love I can say that without condition because I know He loves me without condition. I know He loves you without condition. No matter what no one or anything can change that. No matter what you did in your past that is not you. You can be the man who God wants you to be starting right now. God does not care about your past he cares about your future. What will you do with your life tomorrow.

Not many people get second chances to restart their life. I know it is amazingly hard to see the good in any situation when you feel like you have been beaten for the most part of your life. Every day we wake up is a new day. Tomorrow is a day that is wiped clean of the inequities and tribulations of yesterday. Trust me I know what it feels like to have this burning sensation of anger and hate and depression. I know what it feels like to be at the very lowest of lows and feeling like you are just circling the drain. However, it is like a great sermon from my pastor, that in those moments where we are pushed into a dark corner, where it seems like there’s no turning back, where all hope is lost, it is in those moments that Jesus needs to come to mind because you think you’re a lone but you’re wrong! Jesus is with you saying get out of this corner. Jesus is saying let me light the way if it’s dark for you. Jesus is the one who’s saying there is hope and turn to me and I will not only guide you but I will give you all you need strength and patience.

I hope that the worlds turns, and that things get better. Another thing to remember is that prayer is one the most powerful tool a believer has next to the bible. While God might not answer every single prayer the way you want. He definitely does hears and responds to each one.


(Some of it came from a speech I heard in V for Vendetta)I hope this helps!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Randomness


I have been feeling some kind of way lately and I have no source of the cause. I know one thing is for certain I am at peace with myself. I am neither motivated or depress I am kinda of just coasting. It feels weird for all kinds of reasons. I just finished up the book of Job I am pretty excited to be in Psalms because I know how encouraging and uplifting that book can be.

Jim and I put up the banner for the VBS today and I thought it was cool. Hanging out with Jim is always some kind of enlightening experience. No matter what he is still an inspiration of God in my life. He is a good example of why fellowship is so important.

I finished a Charles Stanley book called Landmines. It was a really good read. It helped me look at my life in all kinds of ways. I am trying to be a more understanding and patient person. I am also asking for God to let me look at my life just as he looks at my life. Through that kind of viewpoint your understanding just naturally grows.

I know this entry is pretty all over the map but I am physically tired and yet cannot go to sleep so I figured I type some thoughts up.

I have been feeling the ridin solo song. It makes me feel like I am moving forward. It’s interesting to see the woman God has put in my life at this time. I am comfortable with being single though. It helps me focus on God first like every Christian should be. My past relationship was not a Godly one and I understand that. It is weird to even admit that but I guess that’s apart of moving forward.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Baptism WOOP WOOP


My baptism was yesterday and I was nervous as could be. I do have to describe the events leading up to it, which I found both comically and amusing. The night before the baptism the Jersey crew rolled up here. Cindy Shaun and Freke. We proceeded to hang out with Cam and watch him beat Shaun at NHL. Cindy had other plans in mind which were to make me work like a slave and clean my room. So after the room nazi lol had finished, we met up with the crew and headed over to one of the guys house for drinks. Mr. Shea was completely annihilated and it was rough. He said some things that because I know my audience I won’t share. So the CT crew proceeded to ask the Jersey crew stories of my past. They said the CT Anthony is all responsible and that they call me Uncle Anthony. I laughed at the funny thoughts that name invokes. So Shaun and Freke being drunk go on to say, “The old Anthony would take a shot out of a mans butt for $20 and a beer.” Great I think to myself. We all laugh and had some fun it was a great night. I did not drink that much lol to the disappointment of some.

The morning I was just nervous it was weird. We all got ready and went to church and my friends enjoyed the serviced and so did I. It just helped me remain strong and remind me that I was doing the right thing in my heart. Audrey txt me asking me if she could come after a couple of txts back and forth my final txt was “Who are you gonna make trouble with my friends do hate you but they respect me enough to tolerate u hopefully like I said idc its on you” She did not respond and she did not end up coming and I pretty much knew that, that was going to happen. It was just a distraction. So then later on we go to the church where it went down and I get a call from my granny saying that there just out of the GWB and that they were still traffic. I told them to turn around it broke my heart, but I still love my granny. That really made me sad. I saw Audrey’s Mom and APH which made me extremely happy as well as Earl and Gene Goodwin which again made me extremely happy. Both these groups of people have been very influential in my walk with God. It was interesting to see the people who showed up it literally gave me a joy in my heart only the Lord could equal. I got some news at the reception that again was distracting but did not take away from the day.

I love my friends and families that were there for me and nothing on this planet could have been made that moment as great as it was. Being able to look out and see friends from CT and Jersey all gathered in one place to recognize this big step I took in my life was beyond amazing. I literally love all my friends. I would do anything for them and them coming out for my baptism was a symbol of the love they have for me. God’s limitless grace and love can be found in people and those people were in attendance yesterday at the church.

P.S I was so happy to get baptized with Jim. He has been an amazing instrument of God and is again a human personification of God’s love and grace. He is my brother in Christ and I am extremely happy to be his brother as well. The man inspires me to follow him as he follows Christ just as Paul said.

P.P.S Gene Goodwin saying Mfreke's name was funny because he introduced himself as Monk was a great moment too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MOM'S EMPTY CHAIR


Nice story my Aunt sent me

A woman's daughter had asked the local minister
to come and pray with her mother.
When the minister arrived,
he found the woman lying in bed with her head
propped up on two pillows.

An empty chair sat beside her bed.
The minister assumed that the woman
had been informed of his visit....
'I guess you were expecting me, he said.

'No, who are you?' said the mother.
The minister told her his name and then remarked,
'I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew
I was going to show up..'

'Oh yeah, the chair,' said the bedridden woman
'Would you mind closing the door?'
Puzzled, the minister shut the door.
'I have never told anyone this,
not even my daughter,' said the woman.

'But all of my life I have never
known how to pray.
At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer,
but it went right over my head..'

I abandoned any attempt at prayer,'
the old woman continued, '
until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me,
' Prayer is just a simple matter
of having a conversation with Jesus.
Here is what I suggest..
'Sit down in a chair;
place an empty chair in front of you,
and in faith see Jesus on the chair.

It's not spooky because he promised,
'I will be with you always'..
'Then just speak to him in the same way
you're doing with me right now..'

'So, I tried it and I've liked it so much
that I do it a couple of hours every day.
I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking
to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown
or send me off to the funny farm.'

The minister was deeply moved by the story and
encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey.
Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil,
and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the minister that her mama
had died that afternoon.
Did she die in peace?' he asked..

Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock,
she called me over to her bedside,
told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek.
When I got back from the store an hour later,
I found her .

But there was something strange about her death.
Apparently, just before Mom died,
she leaned over and rested her head on the chair
beside the bed. What do you make of that?'

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said,
'I wish we could all go like that.'

Just send this to four people or more,
and do not break this, please.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.

I asked God for water, He gave me an ocean.*
I asked God for a flower, He gave me a garden.*
I asked God for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Awestruck

God put a heavy conversation on my heart tonight and it was simply amazing. The 24 years of my life are actually starting to make sense. Everything I mean absolutely everything. The good experiences to the bad experiences it all is coming to fruition. I have been praying that I can see my life as God sees my life. I pray for that so instead of always wondering about the short term I would be able to see the long term. It’s not at all a desire to be like God but a desire to understand God’s will. God wants me here in CT for a purpose. I feel that purpose growing stronger and stronger. I feel my inclination to fight it dissolving. Man working through people I have seen God do some amazing things. Some things I could not find beauty in before I am starting to see the wonder of it. I was moved tonight man seriously moved. Loyalty Strength Friendship….all amazing words when seen in action.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eddie Beck on our Friendship

I feel like we bonded during a moment of great strength in both of our lives.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Murky Swamp Part 2


My last reference is for those familiar with the Plato’s Allegory of the cave. Essentially, at its core it talks about environment and discerning what is truth? That is a very simplified version of it. If you want a good philosophical read I suggest it. There are tons of versions online. The reason I bring this up is because truth is so relative. Life before God is a life immersed in sin and just plain wrongdoing. Just read entries of this blog before this year and you’ll see how I was living like an animal. A wild lust filled animal. I have come very far but I have even further to go.

The truth of my previous reality was one made of purely a self gratifying whim living sex driven narcissist who care about nothing else but the next amusement and sometimes my friends (although I had a weird way of showing it). Now when my life has been that truth for so long that it’s almost been ingrained into my genetic code of just how to function reversing it seems almost downright impossible. The equation was actually quite simple. Drink till numb + No Morals = Great Fuckin time….for a while it worked actually for a long while it worked until I met someone worth changing for; until I met someone to question that equation. While I am no longer with that person, what I found is something amazingly beautiful…God.

Long story short I changed the equation to God’s Grace + God’s Law = Better Life….the thing about that is, it aint easy. This formula entails so much its overbearing at points and if you’re not firm in your faith or as your faith is as C.S. Lewis so eloquently puts it “like a house of cards.” I fight against God more than I fight against sin. That’s a problem that needs rectifying and I am not trying to rationalize my disobedience, but trying to understand it so I can fix the problems not just lament on them.

I think I have come to crucial understandings in my faith and it reaffirms everything I am going through. I have had several verses to help me through each stumbling. Sometimes I do forget them, but they are good to hear over and over again. I have good solid mature Christian friends who advice and wisdom is something I can take to heart. I have good regular friends lol…regular that made me laugh….that still can counsel and give me what I need. Friend’s who’s loyalty and trust can only be describe as a work of God. God uses people Ant…I believe APH told me that one time. So even when I am discourage that a friend won’t come to my baptism it’s ok because God loves me and no matter what ; even when I turn my back on him he still has his hands on me. I write this as I am about to go to a party and I know myself too well but not as much as God knows me. So we shall see. Bottom line is thank God for the work he is doing in my life.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Murky Swamp Part 1


So my friend the other night on the phone said to me, “You make me so mad!” I respond, “Why?” She quickly responds with, “You are like standing in a murky swamp when there is a clean ocean 2 yards away” She was referring to my drinking. The hot and coldness of sobriety are worst than my battles of lust. Actually I don’t know about that statement but I’ll go with it. I allowed my anger to best me once again. I did not pray. I did not read scripture. I did not call a friend. I pick up a bottle and let the dice rolled. This has been such a recurring theme in my life. It’s getting harder and harder to deal with it. Before I had no accountability I felt and I didn't have any real moral code. As a Christian my life is supposed to be a beacon to others. At least nowadays I don’t like myself after I drink. I used to go in and it’s ridiculous to look at myself all those drunken adventures. Some of the videos are still on YouTube. I laugh when I watch them now, but I am pretty sure I do not want to return to those days. Those were young and foolish times. Those experiences however has lead me to this path today.

I felt very remorseful when I woke up today. The feeling was like my FB status. My status said I felt like Tony Montana in his speech “Goodnight to the bad guy” I put a clip on at the bottom. The thing about that is that he really talks about how people are good at hiding their flaws while his might be expose. The thing is we all have them. I feel like that sometimes. I have my flaws and people know about them which gives them room to formulate opinions about me, which is fine. We all now the old saying Only God can judge me That does not mean I can’t be judge my brothers and sisters in Christ, but are their judgments helpful? I believe some are. The real question is what can they tell me that hasn't been said or felt already?

Now back to the murky swamp. I would have to say the answer is a false sense of comfort and I actually want to get deep here for a moment and go farther than movie references, although I do have another movie reference from Scent of a Woman. I’ll get that one out of the way. Col Slade in his great monologue at the end where talks about doing the right thing. Slade, “Now I have come to the cross-roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard.” Too hard he said and I can relate to that. Knowing something is hard and thinking it’s all on me to get it done. It's all beyond stressful.

I ask myself constantly why is it so hard to see God when it’s so easy to see wrong and even easier to do wrong. Why is full reliance on God so hard? Why is achieving real comfort so damn hard? I wish I could be one of those Christians that were saved and BAM! The struggles become less and the hardships are different. I can see God’s beauty in people and in actions and feel his grace. I experienced it all and yet I still face overwhelming feelings of discouragement. When I am at my lows I ask for comfort and I receive it. Sometimes I feel just like the nation of Israel in the old testament; having God there and constantly turning my back on him or hiding from him when I know I’m in the wrong. Then asking for help because I know he will give it to me. I am at a constant battle with God’s will and subside it for my own. Even the simplest thing like being in CT is a struggle against God and me. I see all the good that I am doing here and it still is not enough. It is downright frustrating. I really want to leave it all to God. Where do I start? Read Pray Devote Obedience. These are easy words to say but so hard to follow. I will post the 2nd part of this entry tomorrow.

Scarface Speech....A lot of Cursing in this

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July


Tonight was an interesting night. After two previous nights of moderate drinking I expected to go all in tonight for the July 4th. I did take a couple of shots and had a nice buzz going but of course the 15 minute walk to the beach ended that quickly LOL. One of my friends was really drunk and going through some things needed someone to help him and watch him and console him. I took it as my cross to bear. It was interesting as I was talking to this young man about his problems it made my own so apparent. I am amazed at how the culmination of my life and different experiences helped me give comfort to this guy. I have to give it up to God on this one. I knew exactly the pain he felt and everything he was going through and I was able to emphasize with him. I know I have my many flaws and never thought of myself as a decent human being. Hell, I needed someone else in my life to prove to my own self that I was not a scumbag. While I was right in needing something in my life to prove I am not a scumbag…(God) I was wrong in thinking I could rely on people. I am just glad that people can rely on me. Tonight proved that. It proved I am not a scumbag I am decent human being and a hell of a guy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Be careful who your friends are!

Something I tell my younger brother all the time. It is a very hard lesson to learn especially where you grow up. We like to think of ourselves as individuals and we do not let any one person or group of people affect our decisions and moral compass but it is just not true. The quote “No man is an island” is absolutely true. We rely on relationships intimate and un-intimate a great deal. This is a trend with the younger generations who seem to embrace the big generational gap. They hold more stock in the values of the group of friends rather than the values from home. I know the values of my home personally were shit but its not true of every home. It is a sad state of affairs especially if you get caught up in a group that does not help you progress as a person and as an individual. I am happy to say that the individuals that I consider my friends have help me grow each year most importantly when it comes to my mentality on certain things. I know I have already typed a blog on friendship but sometimes important things need to be discussed more than once. I'll just keep it short. I really do love my friends.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

God has put me in CT for a reason …..so why am I still fighting him!


This first part is from a testimonial I submitted to my pastor about the ministry year in review and Lighthouse in review.

I was thinking about seeing God’s work in people and feelings. I was looking at God’s work not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. I have to say I never felt more love then I do at this church. Especially, the people that have reached out to me and offer me simple things as a prayer or a smile or even a hug. My experiences with churches have always lead me to hate churches in general. Lighthouse has transcended all my conventional thoughts that I have ever thought about churches. The service the atmosphere the people it is all different. People talk about seeing God’s love in certain places and certain people. I have to say that I understand that now. I see God’s love and his hand all throughout Lighthouse. If it is the ideas that are thrown out to help the community or if it’s the prayers I hear, I just feel different about how I look at all churches and how I look at God. In short it gives me hope where I thought there was none. God’s rekindled a fire in me to do more for my spiritual well being. This fire would not have existed if not for the people and the community within the community that is Lighthouse Church.


Pastor Saunders used this as well as many of other testimonies today. It was interesting and great to see what Lighthouse has done this year. I am proud to consider myself apart of this church. My faith is growing and it is amazing that I found a church that is growing just like me. I should correct myself for that sentence. It is amazing that God has put a church in my life that I can grow with.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

I like to emphasize the part …..”continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. “ So as to me being in CT. I feel like I am helping those around me. I feel like I am getting used to this. I know I say that today and it could be a fleeting feeling I surely hope not. I pray that it is not. So far I have been able to bring 2 guys to Lighthouse. I talk about my faith with my friends and I have invited several to my baptism. It is weird being here. It is odd being at this point. Everyone knows the cliché the Lord works in mysterious ways. There is no better way to put it than that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why am I such a pessimist!

Being optimistic does not come naturally to me. In fact it is probably one of the most unnatural feelings I think I can feel. It is rough living life being the underdog when I know I’m not. Reading the bible has been a great help. I am amazed how people say that the bible is not relevant to life today. There are so many underdogs in the bible. There are so many people who just could not walk with God like they should have. I get so ashamed when I feel like I am not living the life I should be. It is not necessarily from my actions but my thoughts. Why can’t I think like a normal person? I mean that in the sense where I am not just constantly feeling down because of this reason or that reason. I look at my life and I have plenty of things to be happy about. The people the relationships and even memories so amazingly wonderful that I should get that deep and fuzzy feeling every time I think of any of those.

It is almost like the Ed Stetzer quote. "Stop trying to capture the glory of your past and find God’s vision for your future." I constantly am trying to recapture some glory from my past and that leads my thoughts and patterns into a backwards direction and an irrational thought patterns. Everything is so psychological and to control that is to control everything. Being a slave to your emotions is a dangerous thing. I have to fight as hard as I can. I know I can do it. I have the will and I know there is a way. Sometimes I stop and I try to tell myself, "You know Ant; life is not that bad!"

Direction

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sober or Not to be Sober that is my question


So I have been thinking about cold turkey sobriety for the last couple of days. I know a couple of years ago when I thought I had a drinking problem I went a whole year without drinking. After that year I thought I could handle it again. Recently I have been good. The major slip up I had was two Saturdays ago where I went in hard. 11 shots of Jameson 1 Snakebite and about 4 or 5 beers lead to a rough night. I have just been thinking about my life and how getting drunk has affected in numerous ways. I have reached this conclusion before but I thought moderation could handle it but I don’t think so anymore.

The lack of CT nightlife has ruined my resolve in believing that there are other alternatives out there. However upon further thought, this allows me to concentrate on my faith a lot more. The hard thing is I don’t want to be like a monk living in solitary just mediating on things. I want to be apart of the world and affecting the world through my actions. It’s like the 2nd verse in the passage I like. “In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” Psalm 3:6 So I need to come up ways of how I can occupy my time with doing a work for God or representing God in some way. Especially at night on the weekends when the urge to go to a bar is strongest.

One of the things I remember APH telling me is that the bible doesn’t say anywhere that we shouldn’t drink it just does not approve of drunkenness. While I do enjoy drinking I understand what it leads me to. It leads me to have lustful thoughts bad thoughts and even worse it definitely provokes me to act on those thoughts. One of the reasons I have loved alcohol for such a long time is that is provided me with a solution to my never ending thought process by dulling it and making my mind a blurr so I was unable to focus on any mental pain and anguish I was going through. I have even thought about taking pills for depression and anxiety and stuff but so many people say its simply a mental thing and that I do not want to rely on such things.

I replaced alcohol with so many other things time and time again and now that I have God in my life I think I have come to a final solution as it be. I can’t replace this drug with people because just like the drugs themselves people tend to fail you too. I can’t replace it with anything materialistic because again material things are only temporary. It balls down to this quote C.S. Lewis: “God cannot give us happiness apart from Himself, because there is no such thing.” This just has been working on my heart and I hope that God willing that if I do decide to do this I know it won’t be easy but again Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Friendship


There are so many definitions for the word friend. Lately I’ve felt without but I know that’s bullshit because there are so many people in this world that always have my back no matter what no matter how and no matter when.

A friend is someone who will sign on at 2am to just make sure you’re ok.
A friend is someone who is willing to loan you $500 to make sure u can get back on your feet.
A friend is someone who will stay until the end even though they know what you’re doing is wrong.
A friend is someone who no matters how hard he falls for u that no matter what he’ll be there for u always.
A friend is someone whose loyalty and respect are never questioned.
A friend is someone who loves you enough to hurt you when the truth needs to be heard.

*A friend has no problem listening to your sobs and saying the things you need at that moment.
*A friend who will go out of their way after you are hurting to just send you a text to make sure your ok.

In a way I went through one of these things with one of my friends and I love them all and they all love me and even though I lose track of that sometimes it’s good to put it in writing to remind me of how dumb I can be sometimes to think I’m alone in this world.

( I wrote that on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 12:29pm…..It was a FB note so that’s how I knew the day and time lol except the two things with asterisks)

I am re-posting this in my blog because I truly and utterly love my friends all of them. From the ones who broke me down and have been with me at the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Everyday I fight this emotional fight with myself. I go through these questions of whether or not I have value because I place so much in my friendships and relationships in general. It’s something I recognize is an issue but how can I not love my friends and cherish what I have with them. With that said it’s hard to lose one and it’s hard to be there for those who you feel for more than just a friendship. That’s the thing to remember though is that true friendship can never die. True friendship is wanting more for someone than you want for yourself without it costing you a personal harmful sacrifice.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My response to Fred's Blog

His Blog link is here: http://precociousresolve.blogspot.com/

The titled of his last entry was "I believe that children are our future...not all of them." Had some interesting points. The entry is linked above. Here is my response to that entry.

I am going to have to disagree on the society part. I think that society has a tremendous role here in child rearing. You said there are people who have step up and overcome. A great quote I heard once said we judge too often by the exception and not by the rule. Society needs to adjust and adapt to this current state of parental guidance or lack of parental guidance I should say. It a very complex issue. I would have to say it starts with the economic status of these people. Working all these jobs and not being able to be at home or attend the PTA meetings or parent teacher conferences. With that said even days off are not really days off. Take a look at our minimum wage in this country it’s a joke. Literally do these parents have time for the children there having?

Then the inspiration line toward the end kind of bothered me. F#uK Obama. There I said it. Does being black in the white house a big deal yeah but what does it really mean. Is racism over? Has poverty ended? No! The answer is simply not at all. If he was a true inspiration to Black people then he would be making different kind of strides. He falls short in a lot of ways. Inspiration comes from recognition and desire to change. All of that is internal. The one point where we probably agree on is education. I am not talking about the crap they teach in schools and college. I am talking about life experience kind of education. I am talking about realizing the world is not just Broad and Market kind of education. Like I said the shit is complex and complicated. While you and I have both good rants the main point is what is next? How do we combat this? While you complain and make a social commentary what solutions do you bring forward. I am all ears. Personally I do not feel equipped to lead an real fight now but that’s due to a lot of personal shit. I am educating myself for that day where I think it’s time and we start making moves is the best way for me to go about thing. Now I am ranting anyways good piece.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Do the Right Thing

Yesterday my Facebook status read: Is disgusted by the apathy he witness today in Westbrook. I helped an elderly couple to their car. I had to lift his legs while she pushed him. I closed my store and did the right thing as people stood and watched. She was struggling and needed help and no one came until I did the right thing. God is good and he will transform your life.

The full story is here. I was talking on the phone to another Haggar manager when I look out into the court yard. I see this elderly woman struggling to pull this elderly man along in some kind of chair. There was plenty of people all around them watching and doing or saying nothing. The lady face was clearly in anguish. I was the only one working in the store and I was thinking to myself someone will help them. No one came. Finally I was like screw this. I locked my store up and ran over there to help them. She clearly was not strong enough to do this by herself. So I decided that if she could push him all I had to do was hold his legs up so he was not dragging them. It was rough I had to hold them up from one end of the mall to the other end. He had also gone to the bathroom on himself. When we reached the end I told her to bring the car around and I will wait with the gentleman. When she pulled up in the car the man could not physically move his legs. I had to move them for him. I practically held him like a baby to sit in the seat. The lady offered me twenty dollars but I refused and I told her I was just doing the right thing. She yelled at me to take the money and demanded it. I did but I really felt bad. I was just doing the right thing. It broke my heart to see this woman struggling. It made me mad that as we passed other stores no one else offered to help.

Now here is the moral to my story. The old Anthony would have looked noticed and probably would have said someone else will help them and blah blah blah. Since I been trying to live a more Christ like life some days are better than others I looked out saw someone in need and decided to act on it.

Here are two comments from my friends from my fb status.

Sergio Bichao
For some reason, people in densely populated areas seem to be afraid or reluctant to help others. Maybe it's because we're afraid of embarrassing people if we offer them help. It might also be because we're all supposed to be minding our own business and to help a stranger requires us to completely change our mindset in an instant. I also read ... See Moresomewhere that most people think "someone else" will step in to help. The couple you helped were fortunate that in this case there actually was someone else

Lev Zilbermintz
Yes, this is disgusting. It is called bystander apathy. That is what Professor David Barnes taught us in Sociology 101 class, back in 1992

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY!!!!!!!!!!!

Just something I took from my pastors last sermon that I have to throw into the blog until I get the you tube project link up here. Which is after this transcribe version.

Mickey’s long dead now but Mickey is the one who taught him [Rocky Balboa] and train him and taught him to have heart. He remembers how Mickey tells him, you know there comes a day where your down and defeated and nobody cares and nobody wants you and nobody believes in you but you GOTTA GET UP BECAUSE I LOVE YOU ROCK and Rocky gets up and beats Tommy Gunn. I want you tell there comes a time in your walk with God when you stumble and you fall and you fell beat down by the world beat down by people beat down by sin and I want to tell you that Jesus is the one who is standing there. Jesus is the one who needs to come to your mind. He is the voice you need to hear in your head. GET UP BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!!!!! GET UP!!!!! because my power is available GET UP!!!! and keep going.

Just what I needed to hear. This is such a powerful message almost as powerful as a memory verse. It needs to just be played daily because I forget this sooo many times during my day. Although the pleasure of the peace it brings you is like no other.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Never downplay good church people.

We always tend to look at the hypocrites in the church and the pastors who don’t live out the life set out for them by God. It is naturally as people we tend to focus on the bad. How easily it is to forget the resounding good in this world.

I thank God for introducing me to some great people this year. Jim and Carol Hull have opened me into their home countless times with open arms and open hearts. Jim has had an extraordinary life that just amazes me how this man is standing here today. Through his experiences he has taught me the value of acknowledging God in all your ways.

Brendan has just taken me under his wing and it’s amazing for once in my life I am not scared of the potential someone else sees in me. He said tonight, “It is his hope that within a year I should be able to do a couple of sermons at Lighthouse” That sounds crazy to me Pastor Diaz…lol let me not get ahead of myself. These are shining examples of God’s love for me.

APH is another guy I am thankful to know. Just by his example. There is also the many times where the man return my call just to talk and chat. He has prayed with me on the phone a couple of times and those acts of kindness and righteousness don't go unnoticed; not by people and certainly not by God. Even though at times he is kinda of cheesy but that's just him. I can say the man exudes God and I like that about him.

These are shining examples of Good Christians I can look to for faith and guidance and even just an open door. I try to tell people who have been hurt by Christians and churches that there are good people out there. I know I need to put my faith in God before people but there are some good people out here. There are some people who because of their faith in God I can put my faith in them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Life goes On


I am doing better. I called her today and she asked me if I understood why she did what she did. I told her I didn’t and she said her decision was based on respect. That she could not handle the full reliance that I had laid on her. That she couldn’t respect me and she couldn’t handle being a leader in the relationship. I do understand that. It does make it easier. Being in CT has made me less of the Anthony that I was before in Jersey. In Jersey I felt like I was the leader of the group and had the ability to do as I pleased. In CT, I suffered heavy from the depression and the loneliness and that put a strain on our relationship. Enough about that though, tonight’s entry is about moving forward.

I went over Jim and Carol’s today. She said some really powerful stuff that moved me. The message balled down to stop putting faith in people and things and start putting faith in God. The tender things that I entrusted Audrey; I should and need to entrust God with. Be dependent on God not people. It resonated in me deeply. My relationship was a hard and yet a beautiful thing but as sun rises again I am sure that this too shall pass. The good thing is I really do not want be with anyone I do want companionship but focusing on my faith does not sound like a bad step. I just replaced alcohol with Audrey. She is only human. I cannot put my faith in her without putting my faith in God wholeheartedly first. She has issues just like I have issues. So we were two people with two completely different builds trying to create a union with each other but no union with God. All we can do is live our lives. People come and go in your life but God is always there. I am only 24 and as much as this hurts life will go on.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day by Day

I got sloppy drunk last night and vomited all over my room. I did this all because I let my emotions get the best of me. My girlfriend broke up with me. The desire to continue to do stupid things was worked out last night. I hope that it is behind me. I love her with all my heart and I feel sad and broken. Other people have affected our relationship a lot and it got to the both of us. In the end we are different. Who knows we could get back together but I honestly do not know it is in God’s hands now. It sucks but what can you do right. Although I am deeply wounded I realized today though are God is good. God is love and God forgives me for what I have done last night.