an old familiar, dusty eyed smell,
the kids are out, sparking up,
i'm sitting out, mind drifting sober.
conversations abundant earlier,
now alone to collect my thoughts.
trying to figure out what i believe
and what i'm trying to convince
myself that i do.

be the change... easy thoughts,
difficult to live daily.
please guide me.

give, give, give.

how is it that i can want to live
a certain way so much,
but fail miserably every second?
how can i be so weak,
jaded, confused, pulled and bought?
why is it that sometimes
You aren't enough for me?
why do i think the way i do?

rain come down, cleanse me,
take away the me i know.
bring me back, rebuild me.
rain drops, blasts of light,
baby crying off in the distance.

mind drifts back to a simplier
and miserable time.
on that balcony, i was the kid
lighting up, head spinning.
watching the rain fall.
thoughts jumbled, disfunctional.
why did i deserve to get through that?
why do you love me,
a sinner, so much?

i've come so far, but no where at all.
still sitting here on the balcony,
watching the rain pour down on me.
please send Your flood...


Broken Heart

pretty much all day today i've been listening to a Hillsong United Live cd (thanks ryan)... and there is one song that stands out in particular, Hosanna...and even more than that, one line in the song that has had me in or near tears pretty much all day. the line is: "Break my heart for what breaks Yours". that line is amazing to me. basically God, let me see the world the way you see it. not through tinted windows, gated communities or rose colored glasses, but show me the real things you see. show me the real love, the real pain and all the things in between. also God, i know i'm going to fail over and over again, but please give me the strength to do something about these things, and not just turn a blind eye. i pray to you for strength, to love all without judgement and to give without selfishness... to be more like Jesus and less like me. truely break my heart God, so that i may do...

Times Like These

I am a one way motorway

im the one that drives away

then follows you back home

i am a street light shining

im a wild light blinding bright

burning off alone

it's times like these you learn to live again

it's times like these you give and give again

it's times like these you learn to love again

it's times like these time and time again

i am a new day rising

im a brand new sky

to hang the stars upon tonight

i am a little divided

do i stay or run away

and leave it all behind?

it's times like these you learn to live again

it's times like these you give and give again

it's times like these you learn to love again

it's times like these time and time again


Old News

so... i know it's been a while since i last posted. let's just say life's been busy! so, what has happened over the last couple weeks? kyle and stef returned home from africa, my cousin amy adopted a beautiful little girl mia, we've been remodeling our offices at work, our dog got fleas, school been busy, katy seems to be scheduled to work practially every night i have free, i bought a new car, we celebrated easter, etc. like i said, i've been busy. sometimes it's nice to take a break, look back over past events and see how they've effected you. so, i found an old journal of mine and decided to do just that. below are a few of those entries.
it's funny how we change as we get older, whether we like it or not. whether we even realize it or not. one day you're talking about the new pearl jam album over hornsby's, the next your discussing finances over a diet soda. as much as you'd like to not think of yourself as an adult, with responsibility and stress, could you really go back to the days of charging keystone light on your credit card? i'm excited about 'becoming' and adult, because i think i'm finally ready to embrace it, instead of just drinking it into submission.

today proved to be a day of rebuilding, or rising up from the rubble to face a new day. to allow time to refill our tear ducts! it's funny how, after a hard day, the next day always seems easier, no matter the challenges faced. you get up, talk to God, go to work, come home, go to bed... to often i forget that everyday is a different day, regardless of the monotony of it all. each day should be a new and exciting challenge, but unless God is on my heart constantly, i feel like its just the same old grind. the good thing is that it's taught me to keep God much closer to my heart and mind.

today was a long day, but a good day. i found myself talking to God today more than i ever have. not even asking him for favors, just talking, picking His brain, so to speak. and i guess in a way really having Him pick mine. i have really been seeking His strength. strength and vision as i try to see the person i am becoming and the person that i know He wants me to be. i have been feeling conflicted lately on relationships in my life. people that are close to me but far from Him. how do i relate and communicate His word and desires to them? mind the gap!

i must be the worlds worst at understanding and thinking about others feelings. katy tells me that all the time, but i guess i never understood that until tonight. so tonight at dinner at paesano's, i was talking about things kyle and i had done. i start talking about a very vivid memory and kyle doesn't hardly remember any of it. he said it happened during his parents divorce, so his mind basically blocked that time of his life. i had no idea how he felt. here i was, thinking we were having the time of our lives, only to learn 12 years later that he was miserable. i'm such a jerk!

today was a day of realizations. i realized what wonderful & supportive friends i have. i realized that i will do anything to keep katy from complaining, even if it means being whiney. i realized that an adult can still get bad pimples (or i realized that i'm still a kid, so in essence i realized nothing). i realized that people are too self absorbed to care what i'm doing. and i realized that greg is better at baseball than i ever was. i can hardly wait to see what tomorrow has waiting for me!



recently i had a conversation with someone about love and the selling of things that possess us and i immediately thought of 1 Corinthians 13. Paul writes in verse 3, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing”. sort of a reverse side of that same coin is what he writes in chapter 10, verse 31; “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” from all this it seems that performing outwardly noble and charitable acts with ill intentions will not profit us in the least, while seemingly normal, everyday things can be great if carried out with sincere gratitude and humility.

this conversation eventually evolved into the question, “if love is not found in simply carrying out the acts of love, where is it to be found”? it’s an idea that can paralyze us. i could sit at my desk all day thinking “i could pray and go visit the sick and feed the hungry today, but if i don't have love, then what’s the point?” i don’t think we should use the verse that way, as a safeguard against obeying Jesus. He so clearly taught to carry out works of mercy (in many cases, without any “if i don't have love” stipulations), and i’m not sure if the amount of self-examination of our motives relieves us of our duty. to answer this in familiar fashion, just think about this famous quote, “take the bull by the horns,” quit theorizing and do what the scriptures teach.

i don’t think should complicate our understanding but simplify it: whether doing something big or small, make love the source and the end… but what is this love? i think we already know to some extent, but chapter 13, verses 4-7 explain it beautifully:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

but again, how do we find it? if it seems like i’m avoiding the question, i’m sorry. i want to rattle off spiritual disciplines (prayer, meditation, fasting, submission, service, worship) or put together a scientific and rational sort of summary: “find the perfect balance between though, emotion and action” – this is alright, but i’m trying to resist the urge to present a neat package, a list of steps to love – perhaps i don’t have any answers. i have questions myself, and my suspicion is that i will and should never find complete answers in this life. otherwise, in arrogance, i may think i’ve come to comprehend that which is beyond my comprehension. that doesn’t mean that we should stop seeking… seek always. may God grant us this mystery of love…someday…and keep us humble…



just real quick, i'm sorry it's come to this, but i've had to enable the "word verification" setting for all comments you may leave on my blog. apparently not even simple blogs are safe from the infiltration of spam, downloaders and viruses. not to worry, your computer is safe, as long as you don't click on links left on any posted comments. and there shouldn't be anymore now that the "word verification" setting is on. i've had 2 different comments posted on a recent blog which contained just these things. thanks ryan for bringing it to my attention, and thanks to your mac for fighting victoriously. i guess blogs aren't immune to mans struggles. whenever we try to make something better, there's always someone out there trying to ruin all we've worked for. moral of the story, spam is the devil...



do you ever try to accomplish something 'big' on your own...and when you reach your goal, you feel like you're on top of the world? that's a great feeling. but how often have you ever tried to accomplish something 'big' on your own, only to fall well short of your goal? probably way too many times to count. we're only human, we slip up, we fall short. too often we open our mouth, commit to something, only to become lazy or distracted, and never work towards your goal again. sometimes, we tell others about our lofty goals only to get their reaction of amazement, knowing good and well that we never seriously considered following through to completion. does that sound familiar to anyone else, or an i the only one who had stuck his neck out there way too many times?

i tell you that to tell you this. as most of you know, i am planning to run the rock 'n' roll san antonio marathon (yep, 26.2 miles) in november. and i'm sure that most of you heard that, smiled considerately, and immediately thought in your head, "here we go... jeff's mouth is flapping again." well, i want to give all of you an update on my training as well as tell you a very important lesson that i've learned (probably many years later than most of you)...that lesson is that teamwork can make any goal easier to accomplish. now, i know i'm still 8 months away, but i can honestly tell you that i really feel that goal in reach (and about 15 pounds lighter). today, kerrie and i (taylor and ryan couldn't make it because of a Bible study and church membership class, very plausable excuses) worked together to get through our 8-mile hill country run. it was a great run. we pushed each other to keep going...up the hills, through the headwind, dodging cars, etc. through it all, i knew we would finish, i knew we would push each other to the end, to today's goal.

so, teamwork can help you accomplish many things. whether it be a marathon, project at work, a healthy marriage or a life group. others always guiding each other towards a common goal.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - helen keller


Turn The Page

you know what song i haven't heard in a long time? bob seger's turn the page. that's what i was thinking this morning while trying to wake my tired self up in the shower. for some reason, that song popped into my head and would not let go. it flowed through my mind as i got dressed, fed the dog, packed a lunch, etc. it was one of those times when you have a song in your head and it won't go away. the good thing is, i really like this song, and like i said, i haven't heard it in quite some time, so i wasn't annoyed that it was stuck in my brain, i just wanted to hear it. i probably would have sung it outloud with my horrendous voice if it wasn't for 2 reasons: (1) katy was still sleeping and had i woken her up with my horrible singing, she probably would have been a bit annoyed...and (2) the last time i sang that early in the morning (a sunday while getting ready for church) duncan let out a growl and bark that sounded like we was defending someone from a pack of wild wolves (did i mention i don't sing too well?), and this would have lead back to problem (1).

so, i decided to keep the words in my head, finished getting ready, kissed katy goodbye and walked out the door. i got into the car, turned it on, let it warm up a minute and turned on the radio....and there it was....bob seger's turn the page!!! are you freaking kidding me! "how cool is that", i thought. i began to wonder, what should i do now? buy a lottery ticket? quit my job? write bob seger or call the radio station and personally thank them? no, probably a bit extreme! i just took a minute to thank God. now, i know that this wasn't a divine intervention of biblical proportions or anything, but to me, it was exactly what i needed to get my day started right. what was your "bob seger" moment?



sunday night we (myself, katy, taylor & jerika) went to see U2 3D...and it was amazing. i have never seen anyone carry themselves with such confidence and ease in front of 100,000 screaming fans as i have from U2. it's the very first live action 3D digital film, and i can think of no better band to make it a first.

the amazing thing about U2 is that they seem just like us. they don't ever seem to carry themselves with a 'better than you' attitude. this is thanks much in part to their lead singer, bono. sure, each member of the band is worth millions, and they spend millions of their own money to give back to this world through each of their causes... but if it wasn't for one man, where would they (and all of us for that matter) be? as ryan and i like to say, he 'get's it'. he understands what it's all about. it's not all about you or me, but all of us, a world as a whole. he's spoken out against the war, he's helped to (and continues to) raise millions through one.org to help make global poverty history. he's asked us all to seek global tolerance. he's been with the millions of people dying of AIDS in africa and prayed for help. Bono has met with countless leaders of world nations to discuss these issues and ask them for assistance, to give a face to the faceless.

my point is, go check out the movie, it's pretty sweet!