July is over…

July has been a crazy month for me.  I celebrated our country’s freedom.  I started writing a lot more.  I went to the pool a lot more.  I had some new trials at work.  I had some friends suffer a car wreck.  I saw some good movies and read a few good books.  I celebrated my 4th anniversary with my wife.  The country saw a case that sparked a ton of controversy come to an end – George Zimmerman and the murder of Trayvon Martin.     

All in all, July was great.  But I am looking forward to August.  My son’s birthday is soon and with that comes the great joy of seeing him opening up gifts of appreciation from his mother and me.  I get to have a few days of vacation also. 

Here’s some of the books I read in July: 

Hawkeye: Volume 1: My life as a weapon (5 out of 5)
Inferno – Dan Brown (4.5 out of 5)
Jim Carrey: The Joker is Wild – Martin Knelman (4 out of 5)
C.S. Lewis: A Life – Alister McGrath (4 out of 5)

Here’s some things I watched in July:

Man of Steel (3 out of 5)
World War Z (4 out of 5)
The Conjuring (4 out of 5)

What was the best thing that happened to you in July?  What are you most looking forward to in August?

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Controversy time: Zimmerman

I have not written about this case for a while now because I wanted to get my thoughts straight before putting something out there that could tarnish what I’m trying to say and could come across as unsympathetic and something downright hateful.  So here goes:

I hate what has happened to our country because of the whole George Zimmerman case.  There’s not one single thing that has been great because of this trial.  Yes, Zimmerman shot Trayvon.  Yes, he should have backed down but most of the evidence points to Trayvon coming back to the scene.  Yes, the jury made a tough decision in light of whatever evidence they were shown.  Yes, he shot an unarmed teenager.  But he felt within him that he was being attacked. 

But none of that should lead to death threats for all of the defense lawyers, families, and such.  By giving in to this hatred, we as a country are damned. 

And sadly, the person I am most upset with is President Obama.  By arguing for the family the way he did, he acts as if our legislative process failed.  When in fact, it succeeded with what it set out to do.  Obama kept referencing that he could have been Trayvon.  Yes, that is true but he could have also been Zimmerman if he felt threatened to the brink of death. 

Just so you know, I am not saying that Zimmerman is completely innocent in God’s eyes of killing Trayvon.  I’m just arguing the evidence presented.  That’s all we have to go on. 

I’m sure I’ll get hated on (yes, I used that term) for writing this but ultimately, I don’t care.  I have to let my feelings get out there because I don’t see many speaking to this side of things. 

And stop being so empty minded to think that if people think Zimmerman is innocent by the law that we are racist.  Just because I’m white and I don’t think Zimmerman should have been found guilty means I’m racist.  I just means I looked at the evidence and found them doubtful.  Do a better job, prosecution, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. 

I pray for the Martin family and for the Zimmerman family almost every time I hear something about this case which over the past month has been non-stop.  I pray that they find God in this time because the only person who can really judge the situation is God.  Only Trayvon and Zimmerman know what really happened.  All else is speculation.  I don’t think that either party could have proved what happened that night.  But as our legislative process works, the prosecution has to prove he did it.  The defense doesn’t have to prove what happened but has to disprove what the prosecution says.  And they did a good job. 

He may have gotten away with murder but the evidence was not clear that he did.  Blame the Stand Your Ground law all you want.  But there’s not good enough evidence that can be explained away to the contrary. 

And I’m tired of others bringing up cases where a black male shot a 17-year old white kid in the same type of situation.  They use the excuse that if race didnt’ play a part in this, then it wouldn’t be on the news.  For some reason, this case took off virally and that one didn’t.  Don’t bring that into things.  Let’s deal with what is in front of us and discuss it. 

I’m sorry if this starts something but I had to say it.  I welcome your thoughts.  However, if you get discriminatory, I will have to delete your comments.

Booker T.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

– Booker T. Washington

I don’t know Booker but I love that quote.  I mean I’ve heard of Booker but I’ve not read his biography.  I’m sure it is great.  But if all he is known for is that quote then I say he had a great life.  Because the above quote is gold.  Precious 24 carat gold. 

And the greatest thing about this quote is its simplicity.  Most would agree with it.  But few actually live it out. 

If you asked me 10 years if I thought the position I had was more important than the obstacles I walked through, I would have said obstacles every time.  I am sure that most would too.  At least, I would hope so. 

And I want to come up with a great quote that defines a legacy I want to leave.  Something like the “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” type.  Something that my friends would be like, “where did that come from?  My life is now completely transformed.”  Something that flows off the lips and grabs ahold of the heart.  All mine are left yearning for more.  At least for the time being. 

I aspire to a better quote.  But here’s something I’m understanding, your quotes won’t be great until your life is. 

That last sentence is the beginning of something great. You’ll see.

What’s your favorite quote right now?

Time doesn’t stand still

I am in this phase of discovering what I want.  And I honestly have a great picture of what I want my next 5 years to look like but I’m impatient.  I yearn for this great end result but I don’t like waiting to achieve it.  I don’t like suffering in the meantime while anxiously yearning for what is to come.

So I’ve been trying to do the things I want to see come about more and more in my spare time.  And it has been awesome.  Awesome because I’ve been able to see a little bit more of what I am made for.  Awesome because I’ve been able to start a journey toward a place I never thought possible.

But it is also frustrating because I can’t do more of it and for the first time, I wish my time opened up to do more of what I want to do because I’m actually doing it.  I am actually using my time more toward what I wish to see come about and not earnestly wishing for more time so I can “start to work on my dreams”. 

When I was in college, I complained about not having time to do all the things I loved but looking back, I had a ton of free time and yearn to get that again.  I wasted a ton of time in college and I feel like I am making up for lost time now. 

So my ramblin’ challenge for you today:  Don’t take time for granted.  Use it wisely because it will slip by and you will wonder where it has all gone.  Don’t do what I did and yearn for something in emotions but not be responsive in use of time through actions.

Here’s to you, Victoria

This journey of life usually centers around certain events that cannot be explained but only experienced.  I can describe to you what it feels like to work where I work, but until you experience it, you can’t comprehend what I’m telling you.  And this is true of most experiences in this life.  I am not faulting it for that.  It’s just how it is. 

I’ve had this great journey over the past 4 years that can’t be explained.  It has involved many ups and many downs.  Many trials.  Many pains.  But at the same time, it has been a wonderful ride and I wouldn’t swap it for anything else. 

That experience has reached another milestone today and I am glad to have been on the ride.  I feel like many times I’m on the verge of falling off only to be picked up again but I’m still here.  Still moving forward.  Still loving where I’m being taken.  Still holding on tightly with all that I have. 

So here’s to you, Victoria, for another great year together.  I love all that we’ve done this year and been a part of.  I look forward to what comes next as we take even bigger steps than we have before.

I love you dearly and hope that I continue to live up to who you dreamed about as a little girl.

Suck the life out of it

I love puzzles.  I love riddles.  But I’ve realized that my favorite thing about them is not the act of solving them.  But of being finished solving them.

And it is the same way with books and TV shows.  I love reading/watching my way through them but sometimes I just want to be done and check those off my list.  I take a lot of pride out of finishing something time consuming.  I love being able to say that I’ve read the whole Harry Potter series or the Lord of the Rings series.  Or that I’ve watched the Wire all the way through or that I own every season of Lost and have watched 3 times through.  You might call me a nerd but I’m jealous of you being able to watch those through without knowing what is coming next.  I feel that you are missing out if you don’t read/watch those things. 

You see, certain events that take place in my life are amazing and I love those experiences but I have been realizing that I do not enjoy the journey as much as I wish to. 

So I’m trying to take everything as it comes my way and suck the life out of it.  Not to deplete it but to absorb all I can from it.  Because everything that comes our way in this life can make us better.  They can make us realize the depths that we have to strive toward to be that great person we were meant to be.

Legacy for our kids

What kind of legacy are we leaving our kids?  I’ve been trying to ask myself this question over the past several months and I have a few things I wish to impart to Harrison and I actually wanted to start writing a list but ultimately, I want to impart just one thing to him.

This thing that I want to impart to him is probably the easiest thing to say, as a Christian, but the hardest to do.

I want Harrison (and baby #2 whenever we start trying again) to be the best man of God of his generation (I know, what a small undertaking).  I want others to look at him and know that he is a man after God’s own heart.  And that is the issue I am facing because I see him and know that he is a sinner.  He is so selfish and so focused on getting what he wants that I can’t begin to reconcile the two together.  I can’t fathom that he is going to be the most generous person as he continues to fuss if he doesn’t get that special toy in Target (sorry, Walmart I hate you).

I’m learning as I go but I am showing him slowly what it means to pray and what it means to read your Bible and I am hoping to show him what a Christian looks like every single day until I turn 18, but it is hard.  And what makes it harder is that I can’t have this long extensive talk on what a disciple looks like because he is not even 3.

I need your help as I am sure that you need mine.  What things do you do to instill these Christian values into your kids?  And what advice would you have for someone who is just learning to become the father God is calling him to be?  And how do you teach when words aren’t able to be comprehended?

I wrote this not because we are at a major crisis but because I don’t want to ever reach the point where it is too late.  Harrison is great and my wife and I are doing a sufficient job but I yearn to do more and more each day to help him look more and more like Christ.   And I don’t want to reinvent the wheel because some of your kids are awesome so I want to learn from you.  And some of you did a horrible job and I want to know what you did wrong (just kidding, I wanted to throw that in there to see if you are reading).

So what’s a parent to do?