Monday, October 5, 2009

Stuff on My Mind

So, in a few months it will be a year since I graduated and have been living on my own. Some of it has been horrible, many times it has been quite depressing, especially trying to look for a job and trust God. Still... I do not think I would trade it for anything, for it has taught me things about myself, it has strengthened me and made me depend more on God and less on myself. I have been through so many things with jobs, not just finding a normal job but also in my ministry interviews. Right now I am kinda just going with the flow and if a church isn't interested in me... I don’t really care, sure there are some things I can do to maybe make myself presentable, make my answers more concise and meaningful but I will not compromise myself or how I view ministry. I think many churches want the guy in a suit with a family and kids - this is simply not me (maybe a suit if I get paid enough to buy one that is, lol). Many churches want to hear about your great plans to grow their youth and get non-churched youth and parents and families involved - what they do not want to hear is that it may not work (which I have seen a lot from in my limited experience and talks with other ministers). The church needs to focus more on disciple-making and less on numbers & evangelism - Trust me, if you make disciples, true disciples -they will share Christ naturally and it won’t be in bulleted outlines but with their life-stories and their hearts, they will shine before men because Christ has changed them, not because they read a prayer off of a card and got dipped in water some time in their past.

I have also been thinking a lot about relationships lately, sure I am single and like any single person that kinda makes me feel down sometimes but hey, I am a good guy and have a lot to offer - there just hasn’t been anyone who has given me enough time to see the real me. I regret only that I haven’t found someone so far to let that romantic side of me out yet, the side that I know is there. Sure I don’t have the dating experience that most have but I always thought it wiser to only date or consider dating girls I knew, ones who I was friends with, and could possibly see myself being with one day. Lame? Maybe, but it just feels wrong to do it any other way - I think a balance of emotional and intellectual, along with the physical attraction, and built on spirituality are fundamental.

I suppose one thing that has been bothering me, one thing that is seen throughout my notes this year, something I never came right out and said was that last summer I went on a date... I never wrote about it except maybe in generalizations, but we hung out for a while, went out on one date, hung out again, then later she told me though a message on facebook she didnt feel the same (FYI: Kinda ticked me off since I had the guts to ask her out in person). She said she wanted to be friends and what has happened is what normally happens, we may be friends on some kind of basis but it isn’t individual basis for whatever reason. I tried for a while and now have just given up... why do girls not know how to reciprocate in relationships, must the guys always pursue, always call, always go after - it gets annoying and frustrating. lol, and honestly I don’t know how females ever remain friends - how do they ever choose who calls who or what to do, because it seems like they are so indecisive and insecure. Sure I am speaking in generalizations, and this is not something they will talk about but it is there... at least from my limited observations…

Which gets me to my final topic - guys and girls being friends (who are single). Sure in grade-school and even in college this is acceptable in groups but individually it seems like guys and girls who hang out always date, they are taught that guys and girls just cannot be friends, one is always attracted and the other isn’t, or at least not at the same time and it messes everything up. However, once you start to leave college and enter a career or graduate school, if you are still single, this cuts your friendships down drastically. If you follow this logic you can only be friends with females in groups and so your only individual friends are male, which doesn’t leave a lot of socializing because (1) It is hard to get groups together and (2) everyone in their twenties seems to have insane schedules - this kinda goes with number 1 - so it is hard to get anyone together really.

So, this is stuff on my mind, kinda just all coming out in ramblings i suppose...
enjoy or do not enjoy - there is not try! lol

~ Daniel

Thursday, June 25, 2009

On Being Ignored and Situational Friendships

I feel like getting on my soap box. I thought as I got older my friendships would expand but it seems like friendships drop in and out of radar for no reason at all, among these the most are friendships with females, including the double-standard that comes in friendships with them specifically (do not worry, this is only part of this writing).

I don’t know what it is about friendships with the other gender but doesn’t it always seem more complicated, sometimes for no reason at all. Case 1: I got a message once from someone I barely knew though a friend who wanted to know if I was interested in being her date to a sorority thing. In all honesty, I was not attracted to her that much, call me shallow but hey, I have been turned down as well, so whatever... anyways, it wasn’t just that I was not attracted but I don’t really want to go on a date, especially a socially awkward one, and one where I feel inclined to dance and talk to a lot of people I don’t know (did I mention I cannot dance). I don’t know, going on a date because they can’t find someone and going on a date like that with someone I am not actually dating did not seem preferable. Anyways, so I thought I would wait a day or so and respond somehow. As a guy I want to be direct but not hurtful. Then I get a message from her friend whom I know asking why I haven’t messaged her back. WOH, HEY! How come when a female doesn’t get a response their friends are allowed to message me in complaint but when I do not receive a reply to a message or comment there is no one getting onto females for me. Not that I would want that, but it just seems unfair...

More generally, it is just annoying to me now because I consider people on myspace and facebook my friends, so when I message or comment and receive no reply, it honestly confuses me. Why are they still even my friend if they do not care to respond to me? Why are they even listed as my friend if they do not respond to me? So yeah, a few days ago I deleted a bunch of people, ones who I just never talk to and many of them were females who I would comment or message and they would never respond to me. It is so annoying and I have no problem deleting "friends" who do not associate with me, mainly because if we are not friends I do not care to act like we are. I am not into games or friendship politics... sure I give people chances but after so long I just tire of trying to reach out, trying to friends, after so long I just decide to say screw-it, they are not my friends.

Also, I have noticed there are those friends who are always friends on their own terms. You can try to talk to them, chat with them, call them, or plan things - but unless it is there idea or on their schedule they will not associate with you. This is annoying to me as well but I usually just respond when they choose to show up, though I sometimes wonder if I should... Sometimes friends like that make me want to say I am busy or tired. I just hate to feel like I am giving so much into friendships while some people only seem to take, then when they are done with your friendship, done with letting you fill some emotional void, done with their between times of other friendships, they just drop you and act as if you never existed, as if you friendship didn’t even matter, so annoying...

I mean, where is the quality in friendships when they just all seem to come and go... it is like you put all this time and quality into getting to know someone and then, it is as if none of it really mattered at all, it totally makes you feel rejected as a person… and as a friend. I suppose one could go for more shallow friendships, surely you would have more to do, but I have never liked quantity over quality. I guess situational friends and friendships just annoy me sometimes and then having to act like those people are still your friends when you see them again is almost humorous.

Well, lets be honest, a lot of those I am speaking about were likely deleted and so they will not read this. And another hint that the 50 people I deleted of facebook last week were not really my friends is that it has been almost a week and not one has messaged me or friend requested me, they do not even notice they are not my friend anymore - is anymore evidence needed?

So, if you are a person who gives a lot in your friendships then my heart goes out to you and if you are a person who takes, who goes from friend to friend, I would ask where the quality is in your friendships? Do you leave because you are bored? Do you leave because once people begin to know you, you get afraid or scared? Think about those friends who pour themselves into your life only to be left behind, how would you like that feeling? Maybe it even happened to you once?

May we all try to have quality friendships, may we learn to be givers more and takers less, and if we feel out of balance between the two, may we feel free to leave those friends who are not really our friends anymore and find freedom from that, a release of pressure and worry trying to reach out to someone who is already gone…

*Off the Soap Box* :.)
~ Daniel


Friday, May 29, 2009


Memories seem so dim, to far from the present... and as the future proceeds, as is seems to overtake us, the past is ever mixed with the present, leaving behind who we were and being replaced by who we are now and who we will eventually become.

However, the past does not leave us completely, it never goes away but stays ever with us, it is ever-present in our decision and in our person, in our character and in our ethics and moralities, our choices and beliefs. Because of this the past is with us in our every present and our past is therefore linked with us into our future, once something happens, once we are changed, once we leave this second and go into the next we are forever changed and forever changing.

This past year has affected me, effected me greatly, not just because I moved out on my own completely but because I came the closest I have ever come to having a relationship, and that potential for whatever reason fueled something, it triggered something within me I have kept dormant. What is that? Well, the desire to find someone, someday and wife and then a family. Yes, yes, certainly us single people, especially guys are supposed to keep silent about such things. Why? Well, because if it is God's will for us to be married it will all happen in due time and if not, then we are supposed to be content in our singleness...

That kind of thinking is just a sham, would we tell a married couple to stop desiring to have a child. No, we would pray with them that God would fulfill and provide for such a desire, that they would be made ready for that time. In effect, we would be with them in their struggle. What no one really thinks about is that there are more singles out there than ever before... and what no one thinks or discusses is that many of them are left alone. Sure they have friends and family but our society teaches us that we are supposed to be independent, move out on our own. So we move from our families to college or away for a job but even that is temporary. Where do we go after that? If we are single do we go home? Do we stay with other friends or do we stay by ourselves because things seem to be always changing in our twenties?

To be smart most of us choose to live alone, maybe some with others, but it is only time before a job happens or a friend gets married. It seems inevitable that the single person’s best choice is to live alone if not married. It is not because we do not wish to be tied down but because if we go back to live with family, except under extreme circumstances, it means we failed somehow and if we live with friends, it may be only a short while before us or them move on for some reason, having to reorganize, re-shift and move again. Without family there is no home, no settling, no constant in our lives. This has annoyed me but has been something I have come to accept as the role I fit in, the role I play, the game of chess in which I find myself when I wasn’t initially aware I was playing.

I don’t know what I am trying to say... Sometimes it seems like we have control over our lives while other times it seems like we are products of our environment in many ways. Sometimes I try not to concern myself with the rules placed on me, try to play outside the game board only to be put in my place once again. I want to dream. I want to dream big. I was to trust God can do extreme and amazing things in this plain world, that there is supernatural in this natural world. I want to believe that these current burdens will one day be lifted, that confusion will give way to clarity, despair and uncertainly replaced by love and possibilities.

Most of all I want to be changed by Christ, to be transformed and hope I can help others to do the same. I want to believe in the impossible, that Christ can change me, change you, change us; that he can and does still heal, that he does inject pure joy into our lives if we let him, that he hears our prayers and miracles still are produced in our present and not just in our past through stories in scripture. I want to believe and others to believe with me, to pray and have others pray with me, to change and have others changed.

~ Daniel


Monday, May 18, 2009

Falling Behind Expectations?

The last few months have been so crazy for me and at times I have come to see that I cannot help to feel that I have fallen behind in life, that I am a bit slow at networking, at getting myself out there and going from that transition between boy to young man to man.. And a godly man at that.

It is hard some times when I think that I am twenty-six now and have seven years of higher education and am working a labor job at a department store, opening boxes off the truck, and then helping tag and put out shoes and women’s dresses. Part of me sometimes feels like a failure to my calling and other times I feel I am doing my best. I try to be open to different possibilities a lot more than I use to - and I have to be honest that it hurts and pains me to know I will likely be passed up for a youth ministry positions because I am single...

And that then brings up another thing I feel like I am behind at. *sigh* It seems like the last set of singles are coupling up and my few attempts at this in the past seem laughable or maybe it is sad. I try to put myself out there but be reasonable about it. However, if this last year has taught me one thing it is to take things slow, try to decipher how interested any person is in you, and take things slow. The world tells me to take things fast... that a female knows within the first five minutes if she likes you that way - well, I have never known if I am interested in any female in five minutes, sure maybe I think they are attractive but I just cannot judge a person based solely on their outer shell. Compatibility for something like life should have a lot more heart, thought, and time than that.

I have also learned that it is difficult for me not to get too close too fast to those I am interested in, and that in all instances in life I usually tend to question and pull back but in a relationship with the potential of romance, I put myself out there... and I have also learned that either I have had hidden passions I never knew about or it has been growing this last year. I mean, before this year I never really blogged a lot about relationships or wrote romatic-ish poetry online (or ever) (and within the last two years my writing has boiled to the surface as another obvious passion in and of itself). I think it is something that has been under the surface but I never got a chance to let it out and so now I find myself letting it out despite the fact I have found no one and maybe in hoping and praying I will some day, sooner than later; however, life never goes how we plan and I suppose whoever she is, the wait will be well worth it.

Still, I sit here at twenty-six working a job I could have done before college and wonder how I am in this place, this place where my life - being single - is basically hindering me from my calling. By no means should I or anyone else get married just to grow their status and job opportunities but it is a reality that most churches want a minister with a family (and sometimes a wife that plays the piano as well). Honestly, I do not know what God is doing with my life and I pray for the strength and perseverance to continue even though my future seems vague.

I do not know why I am typing this, why I am sharing this. I suppose to some this may make me seem weak because I am admitting these insecurities, these things that do not exude the image of a strong man, a man who can take on the world. To that image I say “screw you”, because we all have our problems, we all have our temptations and trails, and the only strength I gain is from Christ. Any boldness or expansion of me and my talents have come from Christ and his influence in my life. I now understand what Paul means when he says he has no right to boast but in Jesus Christ. I feel the same way. I may not be the most dramatic or engaging personality, especially to those who do not know me well - but if I am a light, if I am some or any witness to this world of Christ and the gospel message than I have done right, then I have done good.

I keep thinking about life as a journey and how the best stories are the ones that are epic, they are the ones whose plot is thick and deep, who have rich characters, the ones who grow over time, faults and victories and all. This is how I see my life, how I want to see my life… as an epic journey of myself and my faith. I have no idea how it will end but am hopeful that afterward people will be affected, that my life will show Christ, and in the end God will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

~ Daniel

Saturday, March 28, 2009


First, let us start with a reason quote of a comment I got on one of my blogs:
I admit it feels like I have been complaining a lot, actually people who know me can attest that I am very vocal about things I do not like or perceive as threats, that is just how I am and am still working on being vocal about life without always focusing on the negative. The only problem is that most of the time when writing I feel like writing during these tough times, usually days when I am not substitute teaching and am left to be with my thoughts for a day, left to once again wonder where my life is going... and do I really trust God to take me there. If one looks back on my postings/blogs they can see that I do have positive blogs but usually if things are going well I am out being productive and hanging with friends and it just seems a lot easier to express myself during those times of worry and negativity than when things are going better.

Well, and actually things have been going better for me. I have a possible job here in town and also two churches who have expressed interest in me, which is great. I just pray to God that I can and will do the things I need to do to keep in contact because I have tend to doubt myself a lot more within the last year. In truth, there has never been a time in my life that has been tougher emotionally (and spiritually) for me and I really do not know sometimes how to handle all the negativity my thoughts bring down on me. Things have been going much better the last few weeks thanks to my job substitute teaching and my friends who bless me very much indeed.

I even admitted to some friends that earlier this month at a men’s prayer breakfast I totally broke down crying because I just could not handle it all. Well, actually it wasn’t the first time I broke down since being back in Abilene. God and I have had plenty of conversations where this happened but this is the first time it has happened in front of people. I find nothing wrong with crying or expressing oneself but usually if it is going to happen I want it to be around certain people. I think that was probably the worst time for me since I came back and things have been progressing since then. I still worry but am trying to push myself forward, trying to distract myself... Sometimes, to be honest, I just lie in my bed and take long naps on days when I do not have jobs or am not hanging out with people.

Finally, there is admitting the impact of an "almost" or potential relationship I had developing this past summer that fizzled. I think seeing some of that potential for a relationship, even if merely for the idea of a great relationship and then having it go up in the air, being rejected and having to then deal with that somehow always affects a person... I think from experience it can affect a person for at least six months, if not a year (and even longer depending on how interconnected you were with the potential other). Sure we try to hide its effects, we can play and pretend like it did not matter or did not even happen - but the truth is it did happen, that it is a part of us and will always be... We have to decide what to do with that part of our self and the only sensible thing is to take that time, be thankful for whatever was good, honest about what was not, and use the knowledge and experience from that time in helping us toward our future. I have to admit that in my life; almost no area is as confusing for me in my spirituality and conversations with God than dating/relationships.

Anyway, I just felt like expressing this and I was looking through some older post from summer until now and having some background helps to open up the meaning of a lot of my posts. My writing is colored by life, but only some know the depths of those, the backgrounds that certainly make a lot of what I have written explode with so much more meaning than me speaking generally.

So, in summary things are going great. Prayers are still very much appreciated as are the friends I have and those people who have and will continue to keep me in their prayers. I still am not sure where God is leading me, where I will be in five years, who I will date or marry, who I will become; however, I do pray that my life may be soaked with the love and the blood of Christ Jesus…

Romans 14:20-21 
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

1 Peter 5:10-11 
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

To the Glory of God
In Christ
~ Daniel

Friday, February 13, 2009

Courage to Continue

I think God is using this as a chance to break me, to make me yield and struggle through my insecurities about myself, as a young adult becoming more of a man and as a person with all these abilities and so many questions about where I fit in, where I will glorify him, and find my happiness.

Along with all of this, I have had more time to consider also what it means to seek out relationships, specifically trying to step out and find someone... of course that always begins with dating and the inevitable asking another person to hang out or the more direct approach of just asking them out on a date. I think the reason so many females find jerks out there is because the jerks are the ones who are always asking, they are the ones who are charismatic, and they are the ones with the great abs and flirty lines. I think most of the good guys, the nice guys, and the prime crop find themselves at a disadvantage because they are seen as less interesting, less fun, and less romantic. I think the truth is the opposite because the guy that seems less interesting likely has depths that you will never know because all you see in the beginning is the cover, is the facade.

For jerks this facade is their non-caring exterior, the way the suavely talk to you and the world melts away like butter as they say all the right things... but I think they are just hiding behind their real face that wants to find a girl but is scared to really open up. For the nice guy the facade is different, in fact, if they are like myself, they do not even want to have a facade but feel they are forced to do it to protect themselves. The nice guys are the ones who might desire friendship before a relationship; this is because they actually want to know you, to see if a relationship would work between the two. To guys it is logical and makes since that if you cannot be friends a relationship would never work. For females I think sometimes this concept gets lost in all the romantic books and movies they read & watch.

Do you or have you put on a facade, hidden parts of yourself?

Yes, when you find that person it will be special, it will be great but no one should ever expect it to be like the movies. In fact, the reason the story in real life is great is because it is real, it is your own story, unique to you and that other person. I do like some chick flicks occasionally but hearing the real stories of how people meet each other is so much more interesting.

Anyway, the nice guy is the one who is interested but wants to now if you are compatible, otherwise what would be the purpose. They never want to ruin a friendship but to make it greater and stronger than either could ever have realized perhaps. The problem with the nice guy is that the more they are rejected, unlike the jerk, the more they hold back, the more they are weary of opening up themselves, asking you out, holding your hand, or even giving you a hug or a kiss.

In the beginning of a relationship the guy is really as a complete disadvantage because the female who is asked out knows the guy is interested; however, the guy is mostly left in the dark knowing if she is interested as well. She could be going out just to have fun, to have someone who desires her to spend money on her, to figure out if she likes you that way, or she may really like you and already be interested but wants to know you more and see where this may go. Those are the options I think and guys still have the inability to mind read and know exactly why she says yes (and sometimes even exactly why she says no). This makes the first date awkward because unless she says something that reflects the actual fact she likes going out with you… a guy will have no idea what is going on and it will drive him insane. Does he ask her out again? Call her? The jerk would not worry about such things… but the good guy is left completely confused and will be until something is said either way.

All that to say, guys like honesty... you may think spending a few days trying to figure out how to let him down gently is good but a guy would just rather know now than being forced to wait. If you like a guy but do not want to seem needy, do not worry, you will not seem needy unless you call him multiple times each day. If you are confused, you could admit it to him and though this will leave him confused as well - at least he knows you are honest and trying to figure out things.

Do you think it is harder for guys or girls at the beginning of a relationship?

How do you think a relationship should begin/go?
If married, how did yours begin?

I have written entirely too much now... I think this was supposed to flow better than it did but oh well. I have just been thinking about this lately. Maybe cause me and some friends were talking and they (female friends) suggested I try online dating. This made me feel great... lol, because I had to admit that I already did. I just do not think it is the same as meeting someone in real life but maybe time and age will change my mind... Who knows? I do know this; females are not the only ones who dream of finding that special someone. Guys dream about it too, except we do not dream about romance as much, maybe the ability to be romantic, and the ability to express ourselves in an emotional way that is not appropriate for a single person except in a relationship. We dream of having someone there with us as we grow older, someone to go on trips with, to cook food for, to mow the grass for, and to sit and watch TV or movies with. Someone to be there in the late hours of the night and the early morning hours when it is dark and you feel the loneliest of all. Someone to share your hopes, dreams, to find your purpose in life with, and fulfill it.

Yes, guys think of it to but will usually not express such things to others. Why? It is because it makes us feel needy, makes us feel insufficient, and mostly because thinking about not having such things, perhaps for the rest of our lives, is something we would rather just not think about. We would rather play a game, watch a movie, play some sports, and go work out; because distraction is better than depression and because everyone wants to cling to hope, even if it may seem dimmer as time goes on. A person can and should put themselves out there but rejection hurts for all people and makes it more difficult every time to build up the courage once again to start the process with someone else, to take the risk, to put your heart on the gambling table of a relationship once again, to find out if it is rejected or accepted, whether it works or you are once again thrown into questioning yourself.

I pray for those who are singles, both male and female, guys and girls,
That we always may find our center in Christ Jesus
But that for those who are hurting, we would be healed,
For those who are doubtful God would grant us confidence,
And for those who have hidden themselves
God would grant us the courage and boldness
To open ourselves up to others and possibilities once again.

For those who are married I pray they remain thankful for one another,
Not taking their relationship for granted but loving and cherishing one another.
That they would thank God for their husband or for their wife,
That through a great miracle neither is alone.

May God grant us Courage and boldness
May God grant us peace and thankfulness
May God comfort us and help us to know who we are
May God comfort us and know he accepts us as we are

Your Brother in Christ
Along on this Journey

~ Daniel