Thursday, September 29, 2011


Here's to the twilight, here's to the memories
These are my souvenirs, momental pictures of everything
Here's to the late nights, here's to the firelight
These are my souvenirs, my souvenirs

I close my eyes go back in time
I can see you smiling, so alive
We were so young, we had no fear
We were so young, we had no idea
That life was just happening

Here's to your bright eyes, shining like fireflies
These are my souvenirs, the memory of a lifetime
We were wide-eyed with everything, everything around us
We were enlightened by everything, everything

So I close my eyes and go back in time
I can see you smiling, so alive
I close my eyes and go back in time
You were just a child, and so was I
We were so young, we had no fear
We were so young, we had no idea
That nothing lasts forever

You and me together
We're always now or never

Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?

I close my eyes and go back in time
I can see you smiling, you're so alive
I close my eyes and go back in time
You were wide-eyed, you were wide-eyed
We were so young, we had no fear
We were so young, we had just begun
A song we knew, but had never sung
It burned like fire inside our lungs

And life was just happening (nothing lasts, nothing lasts forever)
And life was just happening (nothing lasts, nothing lasts forever)

I wouldn't trade it for souvenirs

-"Souvenirs" from Switchfoot's Vice Verses

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later...

Today is September 11, 2011.  Ten years ago, we experienced one of the defining moments of my generation.  Nothing else has so dramatically changed the world that once was into what the world has become.  From the way we view the Middle East to the way we travel has shifted.

That Tuesday, so long ago, is a blur for me.  I remember being in my Bible teachers room when I heard the news.  The class sat shocked for a second.  My Bible teacher, Chad Barrett, prayed fervently, yet calmly, for the people in New York.  We continued with our scheduled day at Hamilton Christian Academy, but nobody felt much like doing any assignments.  We didn't have TVs in the classrooms so information was scarce and a long time in coming.  I remember some of the students wanted to call home.  Rumors were moving through the student body, saying that Lake Charles was a target or something because of the oil refineries.  Fortunately, nothing became of that, but already you could see signs of the changes and (in some cases) fear that some people had.

I remember getting in the truck with Mom and Jared to go home that day.  Mom had the radio on listening to the news reports.  I don't think any of us had actually seen any images from New York yet, but it was all we saw on TV that night.

Seeing the initial videos, pictures, dust, fire, blood and death was shocking.  I remember President Bush giving his speech to the nation:

"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts."

By this time, the death and destruction had pushed all the tears out of me.  I was just numb.

I don't remember much about the following weeks.  I know that HCA had an assembly, and that I got the chance to read a poem that I had written.  I remember having to read it twice for some reason and got a lot of claps afterward.

A few years later, I got the chance to go to Ground Zero while on a mission trip to New York City with the LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry.  I had never been to NYC before then, but remember standing there looking at the memorial site, thinking that it was like there was a hole there.  Like something was missing.  At that point there was still a section of cross beam in the shape of a cross that was like the centerpiece of the memorial.

Ten years later, the images and videos still push me to tears.

I think that they always will.

9/11/01  -  Never forget.

"I can hear you! I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"

-President George W. Bush

Monday, April 11, 2011


I love nature documentaries. I could watch the lions chasing after the wildebeest, or the weird bug getting taken out by the chameleon, or the great white shark making a seal disappear. And like I tell the kids I teach, I root for the predator. I don't really know why. So it should come as no surprise that when I found out that the Discovery Channel would be running a new series called Human Planet and I got really, really excited!

Katie and I watched it Sunday, and it was amazing to see the different stories of people from all over the world. The struggles that some of the people go through just to get a good meal or an education.

Watching that, I was thinking that we are incredibly blessed that we don't have to spend half of our day risking death, trying to catch fish to eat for dinner each night. How we don't have to spend our work day, inside a poison gas volcano to mine sulfur while breaking our backs. How my education was a 25 minute drive into town each day, and I could see my parents at the end of each day.

I know I get freaked out when my bank account gets a "little" low. But then, I catch myself, and remember that Joshua Ongadia, my Ugandan Compassion child, gets by on $38 a month.

I get bored and frustrated with the every day same-old same-old. But then, I think about the children in the world, who spend weeks during the harvest chasing away monkeys so the village can eat.

I can sleep in a comfortable bed each night in an air conditioned room; not worried about soldiers coming and taking me or my wife away. I have more clothes in my closet than some people will wear in a lifetime. I can go down to the store and buy whatever food I want to feed whoever I want. I can lift a lever and get cool, clean water.

When I slow down, I sometimes think why I think I'm such a big deal. 6 billion people in the world, and I think I'm the center of it. In the grand scheme of things, I am a speck. We all are.

And I am so blessed...