I don’t have a title…

Greetings all visitors to the strange land. Welcome once again to my ramblings and ruminations.

I want to extend a little love to Andi over at Kung-Fu Chicken. Andi, you post letters to your children on or near their birthdays and I am brought to tears each and every time I read one. You are eloquent and sincere and your kids are so blessed to have you for a mom. Gentle readers, take a moment and go to Andi’s blog and just read her posts. I strive to be half the writer that she is. My hat is off.

Good night, friends. I will have election and speech comments tomorrow… hopefully 🙂

Philippians 1:6 – Continues Still

so… that initial “break up” happened at Christmas time in 2004 ( i think). I was becoming more and more miserable and She was acting like nothing was wrong. It must be said, when our son was born, She devoted herself to being his mom…. She just seemed to have forgotten She was also my wife. In the 2+ years that elapsed between our initial “break-up” and our split this last spring (May 2007), our son slept in our bed, in my spot, more than I did.

So… one particularly miserable night when I was wide awake on the couch (insomnia was a side-effect of the bi-polar disorder… or maybe a side-effect of the meds…) I pulled up myspace.. I was probably the last person under 35 in the world to not have a myspace, so I decided to create one. (myspace.com/matty040275, btw) After initially creating my page, I started searching for people. I searched people I had known at Westmont and at SCA and at Heritage Christian. and I FOUND SOME!!! It was truly amazing, to reconnect with people who had been gone from me for so long.

I was feeling so lost and alone and bitter so, I decided to really go all out on my page. I listed myself as an Atheist and joined several online groups dealing with Rationalism and Atheism. I loaded my page with sex jokes and pro-legalization propaganda.

Then Mario emailed me. Mario graduated from SCA a few years ahead of me, before my family moved to AZ. But he had found my page and had seen that I, too, had graduated SCA. Mario is co-founder (along with Bobby Brewer and Stephen Baldwin) of The BreakThrough Ministry (www.globalbtm.org). When he read that I was an atheist, he emailed me and started giving me no end of grief over it… he challenged my faith (or lack thereof) from the very beginning and he has never let up. Today, I count him as an amazing friend, a brother in the LORD, and part of my spiritual ancestry.

Another person who was good to find, was a girl I dated briefly at SCA (i know, Andi, that doesn’t really narrow it down) who I will call “Kim” because, to my knowledge, I never dated anyone named “Kim”… by this I mean, I can use “Kim” and not have it refer to an actual person from my past. -ed. note

Kim had been in some bad relationships and had been married. She has two kids and, when I hooked up with her again, she was in yet another bad relationship. As is so often the case, two people in bad situations see, in each other, the way out, and we soon were talking on the phone/email/IM 3 and 4 hours a night… Did we fall in love? Dunno… we thought we did. We spent some time together; I traveled to where she lived a couple of times and we continued to talk on the phone. It was Kim who really started me to realize a) I had to get out of my marriage and b) I missed my GOD and my relationship to HIM through JESUS… Kim and I “dated” until late this summer when we decided it was better to just be friends. She has since pulled away and I really don’t know what’s happening with her right now. All in all, though, it was a great experience and it taught me a lot about what Love can be and should be, and will be again!

First Wednesday

My church here in Las Vegas, The Crossing: A Christian Church, has a monthly service called “First Wednesday”. It is held, appropriately, on the first Wednesday of every month which was yesterday. I really enjoy this service because it is more laid back than a typical Sunday service. Granted, this is a “non-denominational” church in Las Vegas; it’s not like we’re “stuffy” on Sundays.

Usually on Wednesday nights, I am over at my boy Josh’s house for a bible study with a couple of other guys. We just started this up a couple weeks ago, but we decided to forgo this week, in favor of First Wednesday. I hooked up with Josh before the service and we sat together. Josh is a great guy and I am so glad we are friends. He is the “small groups” pastor at the church and has really been helping me get plugged in at The Crossing; that means a lot to me. If any of you are friends with your pastors, you know how this next sentence ends. He “volunteered” me to help collect the offering last night… I love this guy…

Last night, our worship pastor, Jason Deese gave the message. Jason is a really neat guy who leads worship almost every Sunday. He has been gifted by God with a great voice, an awesome touch on the guitar, and a real passion for worship. I am always uplifted when I see and hear Jason on Sunday morning.

Jason preached on… wait for it… worship. Imagine that! He taught from Romans 12:1:

“Therefore, I urge you, Brothers, in view of God’s Mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

And also from Revelation 4:8-11:

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’ Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’ “

It was a great service. And after, Josh and I hit the coffee shop (yes, we have a “psudo-Bucks” in our church and, yes, I’m fine with that) to chat a bit more. The last week or so, I have been immersed in a great new podcast I discovered over on iTMS (that’s iTunes Music Store, dad) called “Geeks and God” (geeksandgod.com). G&G is hosted by a couple of techie guys from So. Michigan and they offer advice and insights on how to use the Internet and technology effectively in Churches and other Christian Ministries. They are Mac and OSS geeks and I couldn’t be more in awe! I was telling Josh about this and telling him how I felt God’s call on me to help out The Crossing in this area. Josh, in true fashion, jumped up and said, “Have you met Ben Parker? Come on!” So I got to meet Ben who is the “Visual Arts” pastor. I liked him from the very beginning because he was wearing an “I Love Mac” T-shirt! I’m going to shoot him an email later today and see if I can’t get hooked up helping out with the church’s Internet presence, both the website and the blog.

God is Good, my friends. He has taken me through a lot of struggle in my life and has blessed me every step of the way. I am encouraged, as always, by the verse my High School class chose to be our class verse. Jerimiah 29:11-13:

” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ “

SDG,
Matty the Stranger

Friends

Life is amazing… Technology is amazing… Last spring, April, I think, I broke down and made a myspace page.  I’m pretty sure I was the last one under 35 in the entire nation to not have one… In a matter of weeks, I had reconnected to so many friends… and made quite a few new ones, as well…

In fact, I believe God used myspace to call me back to Himself…  my story and testimony on another post, k?

Now, I’ve discovered Facebook… omg!  In the last week I’ve exchanged emails with 3 friends from elementary school and a dear, dear friend from middle and high school… It’s quite a fantastic experience… I have been so lonely and desperate for friends lately… so isolated… and now, God has brought me so many new acquaintances who were old friends and acquaintances… It is an amazing answer to prayer…