Saturday, July 31, 2010
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 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
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
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
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
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
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
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.