Monday, January 16, 2012


From the day that I met you
I knew this was it;
we were meant to be
you and me
you knew who I was
you followed me 
you stalked me
you scared me
we went out all the time
even held hands in public
merrily we strolled
you and me
you watched me as I walked
you always gave me strange looks
you judged me the harshest
you scared me
one day we were hanging out
when I became sick
you weren't there to help me
you scare me
From the day that I met you
I knew this was it;
we were meant to be
you and me
you know who I am
you follow me 
you stalk me
you scare me

we go out all the time
even hold hands in public
merrily we stroll
you and me
you watch me as I walk
you always give me strange looks
you judge me the harshest
you scare me
everyday we hang out 
I never grow sick
you are always there to help me
you and me
you never give up
you nip at my heels
I will not give in
you scare me
you saved me from what I was
broken down and forgotten
you made me a better person
showing me the light in the darkness
eternal life is what you promised
but you could never come through
my soul is what you wanted
but I will never sell it to you
you promise me good things
and satisfy my soul
I have been granted eternal life
my past has been wiped clean
you can't hold me down

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Letter From Birmingham Jail

This was printed on the cover of the church's bulletin this morning:

There was a time when the church was very powerful -- in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators." But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey Gad rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

This is an excerpt from a letter that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, while he was serving time in a Birmingham, Alabama jail.  It is dated April 16, 1963.  

The entirety of the letter is here:

I firmly believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't targeted because he was a black man, with the intent to free his people from racist oppression.  I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. was sought out to be stopped because he was an individual attempting to start a movement.  His words are Christ centered. He simply was crying out for support and help.  God doesn't say we can do it alone.  We need God's strength to band together, as one unit, to help free ourselves.  God made us all free.  It is our own self, that causes us to be enslaved, with the sin of this world.  I challenge you to read this letter, and just like Martin Luther King, Jr. did, fight for your freedom...under God.  

Be free

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Does It Mean? Pt. 2

I sit in The Blue Note Jazz Club.  Music fills my ears, as thoughts flood my mind.  I take a long blink, as though I have just woken up.  Much to my surprise, when I open my eyes, I am still there.  It feels like a dream to me.  To be in New York City, all the way from Florida.  Thoughts run wild.  It's incredible how advanced technology is.  It's great how I can just hop in a plane and be a thousand miles away, in a couple of hours.

I had decided to talk to her parents about it.  I was nervous at the time.  I doubted they would ever say yes, although there was a slight possibility that they would.  I relied heavily on the fact that I was asking about four months in advance.  So, I sent an email.

Four months later, we were boarding a plane (my girlfriend and I).  We were headed to New York City for the new year.  It was her first time seeing the city, and my first time during the winter season.  

Chris Botti spoke into the microphone, "Does everybody have champagne?"  After a resounding response of, YES, he continued,  "raise your glasses in the air, as we count down to the new year..."

You know, I never could quite understand the idea behind celebrating a new year.  Was it used as an excuse to party and celebrate.  What about the new year do we celebrate?  Is it the cliche saying, 'new year, new me'?  And what does champagne have to do with it?  Who invented that bubbly stuff anyway!?  

"HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"  Another year gone by, another year here, I thought to myself.  All I wanted was to hear the music anyway.  You know, I don't mean to be so cynical.  I suppose I have some things that I could look back on and be happy about.  But I don't get why people write down a list of this that they need to improve.  What are these things, resolutions?  Intentions to better yourself somehow?  Maybe in a way that was lacking from the past year?  I have never made one of these lists, you know.  I would always fake it when I was younger, in an attempt to merely please my parent's request.  Lost in thought, I hear the finale, and the show is over.  I have to muster up some good speech to deliver, about the new year, and the resolutions that entail, once we reach the hotel. 

To my surprise, the subject was only grazed over.  Working out to my benefit, I thought.  

I lie in bed, with my head facing the ceiling.  My girlfriend is fast asleep, nestled into my body.  I hear her heavy breathing, as I attempt to rid my mind of these twisted thoughts.  I can't understand why I am trying to write my wrongs for the year in my head, laying in a hotel bed.  For crying out loud!!  Maybe the weight of them has just become too heavy.  Maybe I need to tell someone what I am feeling.  But wait, if I do that, then I am immediately vulnerable.  I will look weak, and in dire need of help.  Eh, maybe I'll just blog about it.

You know, there were a few things going through my mind that night, none of which has been previously discussed  with anyone, until now.  I suppose the thoughts, and my attempt to correct them, have become my 'resolutions'.  I should probably start with my most embarrassing, risque thought, then work backwards.

I have had a problem.  I couldn't help myself really.  I feel like it was almost uncontrollable.  I felt helpless.  Even though I was able to recognize the problem, and the issue, I wasn't able to fully conquer it.  I would go days, weeks (which is much improvement) without it.  I had an addiction.  To what, you might ask?  Masterbating.  This is touchy enough of a subject for all of us.  Whether open about it, or joking about it, there is always an odd vibe after a conversation where this is the topic.  It became a problem for me from the get go.  It then turned into a habit.  Following that, it became more.  I became addicted to other things.  Pornography and seeking other ways to further please myself.  Just this past year, I made a goal.  Rather, I made a point to stop my habit.  I decided the best way would be to eliminate the things that led to the actual act itself.  I took away the porn and I took away being creative.  Now it was up to me to just control myself, with myself, and stop.  I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is (no pun intended..ugh) to hold something back, when it had such a huge impact on your life.  But when I thought about it, it was simple.  It HAD to stop!!  I sit here writing this blog, confidently telling you that I have conquered this.  Do I still have thoughts, and urges?  Yes, I am a human being.  But what I know, is that I am done.  Although, I know that I did not do this alone.  Which is a perfect segue into my next thought [or resolution].

I made it a goal to love on God more.  To reach a point where I come to the fork in the road, and always choose God.  But wait, Matt, I thought you were already a Christian?  Indeed, I am a Christian.  But I challenge those to define what a Christian is.  I have done this here in my blogs before.  Here, I just want to be more than the church goer.  I want to be more than the typical tither.  I want to be the guy that is following Jesus so closely, that I am riding bumper to bumper.  [I'm tired of chasing His shadow].  I want to change the world (don't get that twisted...I do NOT want to rule the world).  I want people to look at me, and see something different.  I was at my church's study on Wednesday night.  They call it, 'huddle time'.  It is a time where the high school students are invited to gather at church.  There is usually a message, and some fellowship.  The basic message that gets repeated over and over again is simple: show that you are different.  To add to that, the students are told to be more like Jesus (which, if you break it down, is exactly being different than everybody else).  The questions then arise; What does it mean to be like Jesus?  What does being a Christian look like?  It was this past Wednesday, when one of the high schoolers put it into simple terms, and into a great perspective: Jesus shines.  At first glance to any Christian, this is a no brainer.  But to a believer; one who truly believes in God, and what He did/does for us; this is HUGE!!  I have heard Bible verses on it before.  The like Him; but it never sunk in like it did the other night.  In my struggle to show how I am trying daily to be like Jesus, two words that a 15 year old girl said hit home.  

Jesus shines.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What Does It Mean? Pt. 1

Firstly, I would like to apologize for my lack of entries, as of late.  It has been a rigorous and busy past six weeks [or so] for me!  I had to turn in my leased car and get a new one.  Then a week later, wrap up the school semester.  Followed by winter break, which included Christmas (and all of its associated events), Breakthru, and a vacation for New Years.  Although everything is true, those are roughly the WORST excuses.  I know that I had time to write an entry in there.  Instead, I decided to take notes in my phone, of things on my mind that I would like to share.  I apologize ahead of time for the choppiness of this entry so far.  I am a bit rusty, I suppose.  Bare with me.

Buy a Christmas tree, put it in the stand, decorate it, and stare at it.  Feel the frenzy as Christmas Day approaches; anticipation, causing frantic anxiety.  Purchase gifts, wrap them, place them under the tree, and wait.  Christmas Day arrives.  Open the much anticipated presents, eat, lounge around all day, and then it's all over.  What is Christmas about?  Is it the items we receive?  Is it the food we eat?  Is it the people we spend time with?  Is it the shopping?  Is it the Christmas Eve church service?  Or is it actually about Christ?  Yes, Jesus Christ.  You know, the baby in a manger?  Yeah, well, when we get all caught up in the gift giving, the eating, and our loved ones that we cherish during that time of year, we forget the most important thing.  It's interesting...people have gone so far as to look it up, and disprove that Jesus was even born on Christmas Day.  Then, now back to the crux of the issue, what is the purpose of celebrating the day?  Well, Christmas is divided into "Christ's Mass".  Therefore, meaning the celebration (mass) of Christ.

So, there I was, in traffic.  It was December 22nd, for goodness sake!!  I knew that was going to happen.  I should have done my shopping earlier.  I do the usual, traditional 'beat myself up about it' rendition, as I found myself stuck at yet another red light.  That's when it hit me.  Why are we buying gifts for each other!?  Has tradition grasped such a hold on us, that we can't help but continue to follow in it?  Am I suggesting that we stop the giving of gifts?  NO!  I am merely suggesting that we stop the absolute craze!  What bothers me, is the great intent to please so many people around ourselves.  The desire to give to those who have got.  Am I making any sense?  Maybe if we look at the numbers:

Now how ridiculous does it sound?  The pastor at my church showed that during his sermon, two weeks before Christmas.  It made me want to do something.  It made me want to give my time.  It made me want to take action for those in need.  Sacrifice what I have, to give to others.  Isn't that the ENTIRE meaning of the Gospel!?!?  Isn't that EXACTLY what God did!?  Does the name Jesus Christ ring a bell??  Isn't that why we celebrate anyway!?  Where is the Christ in Christmas these days!?!?  Maybe I am a few weeks late on this, or maybe I'm right on time.  I was told, not too long ago, that it is never too late to act.  I firmly believe this.  I firmly believe that we are capable of many things.  It is just that we don't have the thought...rather, the desire to take the steps to do what is right!!

And guess what?  Santa Claus...yeah, He's real!  Think about it.  "You better watch out, you better not cry.  Better not pout, I'm telling you why.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  He's making a list, and checking it twice.  Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake.  He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!  O!  You better watch out!  You better not cry!  Better not pout, I'm telling you why.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  Santa Claus is coming to town."  Do you know who Mr. Claus is made out to be?  Do you know what He represents?  It's God.  I had this revelation while singing this song a few weeks back.  Think about it.  He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake.  He knows if you've been bad or good.  Why, that sounds like Santa knows all!!  The very symbol of what Christmas is; the face of the holiday is a portly man, dressed in an outrageous, and vibrantly red, suit...played as a figurehead for God.  Do you see the commonality!?

The holiday has long passed, but there is still time to act!!  Don't get caught watching the hustle and bustle.  Be the person who changes CHRISTmas!!