I Am Poem

In our DFC classes, we are having kids write poems about themselves. We gave them a structure to follow for the poem. Monday night, I read some of these kids poem and cried. They were just really opening and great to read. Really inspired me to write my own. Here it is:

I am goofy ang helpful

I wonder what I will do in the future

I hear Christmas bells

I see a happy family

I want to be whole

I am goofy and helpful

I pretend to play the guitar and sing

I feel empty when I am alone

I touch the head of my unborn kid

I worry I am not strong

I cry at the sufferings of others

I am goofy and helpful

I understand why my family is apart

I say love conquers all

I dream I am happy, whole and content

I try to help anyone I can

I hope for a happy family

I am goofy and helpful

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I’m Not Who I Was

I’ve always heard stories of how college changes people. In high school, parents and friends will always tell stories of how they found themselves or the long lasting friends they met or living changing events that occurred throughout their college experience.

From the start of freshman year to the this moment, halfway of sophomore year, I too have experience the college change and growth in my life. Before college, I was not really sure who I was and not sure what I wanted to do in life. I did not know what my passions were, did not know what my best qualities were, or what kind of person I wanted to be. Through this past year, those questions of who I am are much clearer! I am a son of God who is loved by Him, my parents and by many others. I love God, love my friends, love people. I love to write, love the outdoors and night time, love organizing and starting to love to craft things. By spending time with people and learning about their passions, it helps me learn, grow and discover more about myself. My friend, Wes, has a deep passion for music and is an skilled musician. Listening to him play and hearing his music selection, gives me more appreciation for all types of music. Now I love other genres of music besides Rap and want to learn to play the guitar, which I am still in the process of doing (harder than you think people). Actually currently listening to a song called “Eyes Wide Open” by Gotye. Another song I listened to earlier was “She is Love” by Parachute. Each day, I am discovering things I find interesting. The other day, I was on Pinterest with my girlfriend and both us started looking at Design It Yourself crafts. Now I feel like crafting a bunch of things now. I just love the exposure to culture, people’s passion, and other ideas. This is one of the reasons God wants us to live in community with each other, to learn from each other.

My goals and ambitions are more defined! During the summer, I realized that I want to teach sometime in my career. I started feeling the urge to teach and give students the same love I was shown from teachers I admire and respect. This feeling became strong when I went to a KIPP Summit that occurred in Houston. There was a big conference to celebrate KIPP 25 Years of teaching and changing kid’s lives. Seeing thousands of teachers that was present at the conference and the change in kids’ life that happened over a period of 25 years was amazing and wonderful. I was happy and proud to be a kid that was part of that change and history. There are also many goals and ambitions in my life that was not there before college.

The friends I’ve made have been such a blessing to me. I thank God for everything He has done for me throughout this year. This is only after one complete year and have two and a half to go. Not done growing yet and I feel like this is only the beginning and God has more in store for me in my life. Ready to keep moving forward!

God, He’s In Control

God’s presences feels amazing!

1st Corinthians 13:4-7 says “Love is patient; love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things.”

We are man born with the intentions of good but we lean to sin. Without God, we are lost, confused and ultimately damned! I know I am unworthy, undeserving and unclean. Thanks to God’s Love and Grace, he chooses to forgive me and still wants the best for me. Even to the point of sending Jesus, His son, to die on the cross for me! I may not be perfect but I am thankful for the blessings He has gave me: the community of ACU that continues to support me whether I am in Abilene or Dallas, the friends that check-in on me and give me encouragement, the family that will never leave me no matter what! These blessings and so much more I am thankful for. My whole heart, mind and soul are back on Him and He will be my guiding star. 

After speaking with my Bible professor, a man I respect and look to for religious advice, I decided to take time to think about the man I want to be. May not know what the future has in store but I want to be the man that has a strong relationship with God and believe, hope and lean on Him with everything! Thankful for the clarity and determination He has given me recently! Hopeful and excited for the future and the growth that is ahead. All I have is Love for the friends and community I am a part of. 

Thanks God for being there and loving me when I don’t deserve it! 

Thank You!

This blog site grew from it’s original intended purpose.

Became I place I can watch myself grow and visit back when I feel lost.

This blog won’t be long or deep. Just need to share what I am genuinely feeling. There are plenty of emotions I am probably feeling right now. However, there a couple of emotions trumping all right now, and that is love and gratitude. I know that may sound weird, but I feel this way because I know what just happened was needed.

Ha sorry guys if this blog is jumping from one thing to the next. In this blog I am describing how I feel but also talking to God to Him now and through this blog so it may look disorganized. I heard Him talking to me before but I ignored Him. I probably will have more to say as I think things through, but honestly I just feel like saying thank you. Mainly because I know this isn’t the end. I am saying thank you because despite the other emotions I may currently feel, I know He is up to something and He wants the best!

For now, that Is all I will put on here. Goodnight! Until next time.

 

A Moment of Encouragement

I am so blessed to be a part of an amazing community! The friends I have made in this JUST group are always encouraging, thoughtful, loving, caring, and are just the best!

This post is inspired by my wonderful friend Grace. Thursday was Grace’s last night here in Dallas for the summer. As I arrived back at the apartment complex that night, I visited her apartment to say goodbye since it was going to be my only chance. When I saw her, before I got the chance to say anything, she gave me a letter that she wrote. I was surprised that she took the time to write to not only me, but to everyone in JUST. Before even reading the letter, I appreciated the time she took to write a personal letter for me.

Later that night when I was in bed, I finally opened the letter and read it.

Words makes worlds. They change lives, start movements, and so much more. The words in the letter encouraged me as I bathed in the love they held. Grace recognized qualities about me that I never considered important, but to her they were. I just really appreciated what she did for me and I’m sure everyone else in JUST feels the same. I can safely say, everyone in JUST will miss her next year, and we pray for the best while she’s at ACU this upcoming year.

 

Live Aware

At my internship for AmeriCorps, I’ve had the pleasure to meet this guy named Job. Job is by far one of the coolest guys I have been around since working at Food on the Move. Job is in his thirties and just came back from Chiapas, Mexico, where he has been doing mission work for the past 2 years helping change and improve people’s lives. Since we met, he’s been sharing his experience there with me, teaching me Spanish and being a friendly, loving, caring guy. Now that he’s been back in America for 4 months and is getting in the groove of the culture again, he invited me out to a Bible Study he leads. So of course I had to go! I’ve been looking for a place where I can study the Bible with a group of people, so this was a great opportunity. Last night, I invited a few of my friends with me, thinking they might enjoy it as well.

When we first arrived, my 3 other friends and I entered through a door into a midsize room where there was a long rectangular table surround by what seemed to be about 15 other people. As we entered, everyone was friendly and welcoming, so that was a good feeling. Throughout the night, we had a chance to talk to everyone there and really get to know them. It was great engaging in another community other than the one we are used to. Different personalities, new faces, and new ways of thinking. It was really refreshing. The people, and the discussion of the scripture above were all great. 

Matthew 7: 13

“Enter Through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

A major point we got from the verse above was that we need to be cautious and careful about how we choose to live our lives. We discussed how when traveling on a narrow road, we need to be careful, aware and alert. Narrow roads usually are the roads that are hard to navigate because there is little room for error. Any mistake you make may cause you to fall off, damage yourself or get stuck. These roads are harder because they require you to live aware. Wider, broader roads are easier to travel on because there’s less awareness involved. You can afford to get distracted, lost, and confused, because you’re living in auto-pilot anyways. I think the main point of this verse is the be cautious and aware as you live your life. It is easy to fall into a routine, become comfortable and lose concentration. As we live life for Christ, we have to pay attention to him and his example so we can make sure we are headed somewhere that we want to be headed.

Discovering A Passion

Early May near the end of my freshman year of college at ACU, I began blogging/writing. Knowing that I will be in Dallas for the next semester, possibly whole year, I wanted my friends to stay connected with the life and growth I am experiencing here in Dallas through the blogs I write. However, what started as a source for others to stay connected has now become a source for my personal reflection and a place to discover a passion I once lost.

I’ve always said community is important. Being with community adds insight and makes you remember values and qualities about yourself that you may have forgotten. In this case, I remembered a passion for writing earlier in my life but slowly lost it as I was consumed by life’s chaos and distractions. My mother, who is visiting me in Dallas today until Wednesday, helped me remember that passion early on. When she arrived it was great to see her! Have not been in her presence since April so being reunited was an awesome! After taking her to dinner and meeting my JUST family, I introduced her to my professor where they talked extensively about me and then life in general. During that conversation, my mom mentioned that I wrote frequently in elementary and beginning of middle school. She even brought up the memory of a book that I once wrote and shared with several people to get feedback and help on it. Those memories had been forgotten until tonight. Throughout the conversation though, I do remember that I liked writing when I was younger. I was really good at it and engaged when no one was watching. Now I am finding writing more than I thought I would have and love looking for topics to write about. It encourages me to live life so I can write and make a difference in my life and maybe someone else life.

Lately I have been reflecting a bunch on passion and searching for passion I may have. It’s nice knowing though that I have rediscovered this passion. Looking forward to discovering more passion I secretly have that I am unaware of.

Would love to write more but it is 3 am and I have work tomorrow. Look forward though to another blog soon. Have few things on my mind that I would love to share! Reading a book called “Rachel’s Tears” so next blog may h

ave thoughts based from that book. Live life and love God and others as he called us to do, night!

 

It’s Not About Me

I like that my professor says, “Words create Worlds.” The world and the culture we live in are created by stories of generations that lived before our time. Most popular stories we can refer to are those that make up the Bible. It would be a lie if people said that the Bible and other religions have not molded our cultures, consciences, and community. This blog represents all the stories that I create as my life flows forward. Tonight though, this story is not about me. Last night as I walked home from a friend’s birthday party so I could have time for me and my thoughts, I encountered a homeless man sitting on the corner of the highway. On the corner at 9 at night, he sits there holding out a sign for money. Cars continuously pass by one by one, ignoring him as he sits there. Even at the red light, cars stand idle as people choose not to interact. I walk across the highway and sit next to the man.

“Hey man, can I sit here with you if you don’t mind?”

“Yeah, you can sit down.”

I sit down with him, both legs crossed as his are.

“Hey, my name is Alex.”

“My name is Kevin.”

That moment I start to hear the story of Kevin. He is a white male somewhere in his fifties. I asked him how he got here (basically how he ended up homeless). There was a long pause before he answered. I automatically felt bad and stupid. Why would I ask him about how he ended up homeless straight out the gate? However, he began to answer as I started to change the question so I just quickly shut my mouth as he talked. Years back, he had a wife and two children. Because of his job at the time, he was able to afford to send the family to SeaWorld for the weekend while he finished up work he had here in Dallas. On the family’s return home from SeaWorld, there was a car collision that killed the wife, the two children and passengers of the other car. His life kind of took a turn in that time of his life. He didn’t like talking about it and I didn’t blame him so we changed topic.

The rest of the conversation we had that night was fun! He’s a really awesome guy. He was a Captain in the military. Served for 12 years before he was honorable discharged. Ha, he said he wasn’t a guy to be messed with. Thought that was pretty cool to imagine that! He lived here in North Park Dallas area for 35 years. The neighborhood knows him well he says. They take care of him, feed him sometimes, give him clothes, and other things. I like that the neighborhood does that, makes me feel better about the cars that continue to pass by.

Another cool story he told me was about the dog that befriended him while he sitting on the corner again. His name was Felix. Felix laid on his lap frequently and ran around the whole neighborhood. As he describe the relationship between them, it reminded me of the relationship between Robert and his dog in I Am Legend. One day, a lady stopped next to him and asked him how he expected to take care of dog if he can’t take care of himself. He responded saying that the dog eats before he does. That was the best response anyone could have possibly said. The next day though, the dog disappeared so you can imagine what happened. After about 30 minutes or more of talking it was time for me to head out. He invited to come back and hang out and I totally accepted that invite and will return. Sometimes his buddies have a get together and suggested I come by sometime, which is something I’m looking forward to doing. I had a great time that night talking with Kevin.

You can make friends in the most unexpected places and times. Words makes Worlds and these words matter and deserve not to be passed by continuously on the street. Money doesn’t have to be exchange, just words.

A Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning, sitting inside my car at 12:02 AM. Have not journaled in awhile. I know I need to journal frequently so I do not forget my experiences throughout my days. As my professor says “We learn not from experience, but reflection on experience.”

Separated myself because I currently do not know how I am feeling. Feeling a bit lost actually. Have several things on my mind, but first I want to start with my adventure I am starting here in Dallas. Since May 29th, I have been living in Dallas with my wonderful 14 JUST(Just and Urban Studies Team) friends, whom I will be living with for the rest of summer and my Fall semester. I started my Americorps internship where I work with a team of 6 others to help feed kids whom qualify for free-and-reduced lunch living in the Dallas area. After my second day of work, I can tell you that these kids are just wonderful. Children smiling, brothers and sisters taking care of each other, playing around and just enjoying their youth. When I see these kids, I see passion they can have, the positive impact they can make on society, and the love they can show other people as well if nurtured right. Definitely looking forward to spending more time with them and making sure they are feed.

For other areas in my life, I am not sure how I feel. There are times when I love the community I am in. Other times I feel like there’s a bit of chaos and I lose myself. This car is probably the closest I can get away right now, but even know I am surrounded by the atmosphere of my community. I can hear them all around. During my May summer semester, there were places I could go to where I can be alone and feel peace. Though I was alone a lot, I was able to slow down, reflect, and develop. Being surrounded by friends is not a bad thing, just that I lose that personal development when I do not have those moments. Then I get stuck between the decisions of separating myself and miss those bonding times or staying together and lose out on personal development times. As I write in this journal(when I first wrote this), I am seeing why I was lost in Abilene and a little here now. How I felt at the beginning of this entry is I how I felt at ACU. Lost. There needs to be a balance between community and self development. I should be fine now. Just need to find that place where I can be alone, reflect, and grow with God alongside me.

Living Life God’s Way

Luke 10:8

When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.

Since Thursday until now(Tuesday night), I felt that God exposed truths to me and strengthen my faith! I can honestly say that I did not expect my stay here in Abilene for these 3 weeks for school was going to have such an impact on my life. It is amazing the things we learn when life is not a major distraction in our lives. I think we are able to listen to God more and understand the truths of life when we slow down and reflect.

I had 3 encounters in this time span from Thursday where I experienced God’s truth of how accepting people have to offer can add value and insight into our lives. First encounter happen in my University’s computer lab in the Business Building. There was a student named David who was working on an animation project for his class. While I was completing on my own work, he asked me if I wanted to watch a 20 minute animation film by an artist who took 3 years to make this film because he painted EVERY SINGLE frame that was in video. First off, Wow, talk about patience and work ethic! I had two options before: “yes” and “no”. There is nothing wrong with saying no. In that moment however, I chose to say yes. After watching that short film and 2 smaller ones he showed me afterwards, I caught a glimpse of life as it is seen through David. After this experience, I look at art and animation with more admiration and respect. It is bypass things that you have had not much exposure to. Once your eyes are open and you are not ignorant anymore, you notice things more and you reflect more on it. I believe that is how we add value to our lives, by exposing ourselves to more.

Second encounter I had was at my friend’s Seth family’s house. His family owns a large land and he offered me to come out there and go hunting. I told him a fews days before that I never shot a gun before so this was his invite to give me that experience. Again, I had two options before me: “yeah let’s go to your family’s place” and “naw not this time. Don’t feel like it.” When he offered me at first, my mind was actually leaning towards the “no” option. However, I chose “yes” and started the journey to his family’s place Sunday afternoon. From the start, I greeted with hospitality and love from his family that was there. Every single moment I spent the family’s place, I felt so much peace, joy, love, calmness. I guess you can say I felt God’s presence. Just quickly summing up that day: Met his parents, sister, sister’s boyfriend, and cousin, Fired my first gun ever(it was a shotgun btw, so cool), did a little bit of hunting(found no live game 😦 unfortunately), hiked to the top of a nearby mountain during twilight and dawn with the family minus the parents, ate dinner with the family and played “Catch Phrase”, lastly we ended the night with worship songs and just talk. The reason I listed the events that took place is because these are the results of saying yes and accepting what people have to offer. Imagine if I had chose “no”; everything that took place would not have become my life. In that evening, I added people to my circle of family and me to theirs. Funny thing too was earlier today was I went to Wal-Mart and walked into Seth’s father there. With the “no” option, I would have walked passed that man straight and missed the connection to knowing that man was Seth’s father. Accepting what people offer, changes your life in ways you wouldn’t have thought of.

Last encounter was Monday night. After coming back from Seth family’s house that morning, that evening, a friend of mine showed up to the place I’m staying at and invited me to come to the movies with him and his friends. When he invited me out, I was in the middle of writing down notes for this blog. There was no-way I was going to chose “no”. Again, I had fun that night and got to meet new people and enjoy the community I was in.

Closing out, you can discover many truths about God when you slow down and reflect. Truths I’ve learned: accepting what people have to offer. You never know what you will learn and how you will see life differently. Jesus chose multiple disciples because he knew that each one had something different to offer to the group and saw Jesus and God in their own unique way. Another truth is God designed for us to live in community. I can personally say that the times I have lived life in abundance is when I’m surrounded with my friends. There are times for being by yourself and reflection, but there are also times when you need to be in communion with others. Daily I grow and learn more. I thank God for everything He has down for me, the things He continues to do, the grace He given me and just many things. Looking forward to life God has in-store for me!