Justinfication Sabbatical

•June 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When you look at something you wrote in the past, you shouldn’t cringe when you read it. Similar to when you look at old pictures of yourself.

The whole idea of the title, “Justinfication” was to explain my thoughts and ideas. Initially, I thought I had a new outlook that only a few could relate to, and that it was worth sharing. The vision of “Justinfication” was to blog/write on my perspective… a perspective that I felt had no voice.

Ugh…. how emo of me.

Personally, reading these posts all over again….months later…years later….It annoys the hell of me.

When I started blogging/writing, I realized that I had ‘a ways to go’ in my philosophies and beliefs.  It seems like I knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be. It seemed that I wasn’t even on the path to get there either.

I did expect myself to grow up [although I wasn’t ready for it], but to have my naivete documented [particularly online]  makes me feel quite vulnerable now. I suppose it’s a testimony…in a way…so therefore, I won’t delete this blog all together.

I do recognize that not everything I wrote was wrong or dishonorable….but even the ideas I tried to justified were based on the wrong thing in the first place. I appreciate the ‘co-signs’…and even moreso, the rebuttals.  Due to recent personal developments, i.e. Bible study, I’ve come to an awakening of what really matters.

For those who have read along, thanks for your support, but I ask that you move along as well.

In a way, the issue in the first place was ingrained in the title.

Until then…

John 3:16

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Scared to Life

•May 13, 2009 • 5 Comments

Recently in my neck of the woods, there was commotion over a high school student at Heritage Baptist that was suspended because he decided to go to prom, where “Rock & Roll” music and dancing would be present. Story here.

Also, in Findlay, Ohio, I’ll have admit that something else has been sturring. That something is——-my soul.  [lol, that sounded kinda cheesy huh? Moving on…] Unlike at home, or while I was in college, when I come home…I’m alone.  No longer am I distracted in whether my roommates washed the dishes or whether my lil’ brother cleaned up his side of the room we share.   Nor am I any longer involved in situations in my family or college dorm room that would allow me to focus more on others…versus my own self.  Ya see…now when I come home, I can only preside over Justin.  And that’s new to me, believe it or not.  Now, I only have myself to judge and critique. And that’s new to me, too…believe it or not.

Being in this new environment that I once dreaded going to has allowed me to realize alot of things about myself. The most potent of these ‘things’ being habits and values that I’m not proud of. They have really brought to the full front. Life Lesson: It’s one thing to know you’re not perfect, stay content with that fact, and simply accept the “Oh, I’m just human” excuse/trap. But it’s a complete 180 to look up to God’s standard, humble yourself and realize how much farther you have to go to be ‘what you claim to be’ [which is a Christian].

I’ve encountered a lot of good Christian people and spiritual tests up here. People and test that have made me want to better, and know more. And without getting into all the stories of grace that have allowed me to grow, let me just sum it up and say that I’ve really seen a difference in only 5 months of pursuit of God’s Word.

And I’ll have to admit that for the first time, I’ve become fully conscious of sins. Every one of them.

And although I still sin daily….each sin stings more and more. And unlike I use to do, I can’t just brush them off like I did once before. I’m truly embarrassed and ashamed. And I’m finally realizing the magnitude of my sins and how that strays me away from God. It seems that although my body is still in its old habits, my spirit is seceded and calling it out!

But the bigger point I’d like to point out is that since these realizations from reading the Word,  I have to admit that I’ve become scared. Scared of missing salvation.

I’ve become more fearful of God’s power and God’s absence[damnation]. I know I have disappointed him, and that I will be judged.

It’s sort of like that feeling you got when you were a child in the backseat of the car, and you were on your way home.  And you knew as soon as you got home, you were going to get ‘whooped’/punished. The radio isn’t even turned on. You see nothing but your mother’s glaring eyes in the rear view mirror. I recall that being one of the worst feelings ever….anticipation of punishment.

Continue reading ‘Scared to Life’

“Reciprocity” Retraction

•February 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Introduction

reciprocity– a state or relationship in which there is mutual action, influence, giving and taking, correspondence, etc., between two parties.

Reciprocity was a relationship concept that evolved from a convo with some good friends.

This concept is based on the ideal that when you give something, you receive something. It alludes to the mantra, “Give, and you shall receive”. Most of my earliest debates on reciprocity were revolved around the courtship of relationships. Like most circles of friends, relationships come up in conversations….very often. And through my studies [ lol], usually the biggest issue revolved around reciprocity. It especially came up when you were in that phase of “feeling somebody out” and “dating”, and you’re trying to gauge how much they liked you. You know what I mean.

Some of the numerous ‘Reciprocity’ discussion points included,

  • “If I call a girl, and leave a voice message, then she better do more than just text me back.”
  • “It”ll be nice for the girl to pick up the check every once in a while.”
  • “Just because you wine and dine me, it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to kiss you”
  • …and so on.

My early definition of reciprocity wasn’t necessarily synonymous with ‘tit for tat’. It wasn’t so much about getting every phone call returned, or having a 1-to-1 “wall-to-wall ratio”. The essence of my reciprocity concept was feeling that the other person in the relationship/courtship was into you, as much you were into them. [A fear we all have at that early stage]

Being the young, hopeless romantic that I was, such a concept was an answer to my superficial prayers. It gave me something to gauge girls with, a talent that I felt I lacked. [<rolls eyes>, psh @ ‘Hitch‘]

My idea of reciprocity was fun. It started alot of great conversations, table talk, and more so, it made me look like I knew what I was talking about.

Boy, was I off.

Confliction.

<disclaimer> I intend to loose half my readers in this section.

“Give and you shall recieve.”

Important phrase. Unfortunately, I think that it can place a misguided sense of anxiety and entitlement (i.e.)…

  • “Gimme, Gimme”
  • “When am I going to get mine?”
  • “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”
  • “I deserve…”

I’ve been reading The Purpose Driven Life, and it’s taught me to put God first. And I mean, really put Him first. And gradually…daily…I’m getting there. But during one the daily studies in the book, it made me question what I expected from others….versus what I expected from God.

Consequently, it helped me realize that I put too much pressure on people. As called out to me by a group of friends, I set up ‘tests ‘for people. And worst, I judge them. And I have no right do any of those things. But setting my own expectations of what others should be doing….as if I knew [ha..] is far outside my jurisdiction.

In the context of God, my expectations are negligible. And for so long…too long…I imposed them on others. In the context of everything we receive from Him daily, what I’ve been expecting from others was silly . With all that I’ve received from God, I’m in no place to enforce. I’m eternally indebted to serve His will.

<sigh>

[Thanks to those of you still reading]

The better you can reciprocate to God, the better you can reciprocate to others. The better you can love God, the better you can love others. When I really understood that, it humbled me. Receiving from others wasn’t nearly as important as receiving from God. Seeking others approval wasn’t nearly as important as seeking God’s approval. If at all.

<pause> I know you’ve probably heard that sermon a hundred times, and it was once over my head too. If anything, take it as my own affirmation.

<continue>

So you ask:

“So Justin, what in the world do I look for when trying to court someone?”

“Justin, Are you advising me to just give, and leave myself vulnerable to being stomped over.”

“How can you not calculate what you receive, isn’t it human nature?”

“You’re not making sense.”

<pause> Honestly, those were my own questions at some point during this reflection.

<continue>

Short Answer: I don’t know.

Long Answer: All I can say is that I believe that God guides me through every situation I’m in. That includes people. All I can do is stay in touch with God, and allow His will to be done. [Refer to God . It’s outside my jurisdiction]

Although I know some of you have mixed feeling about Madea, but these statements make alot of sense to me now.

Continue reading ‘“Reciprocity” Retraction’

Creepy Child Movies

•January 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I thought I was the only one that was disturbed by such things.

Finally, I can embrace my pass fears.

Click here for blog link:

Might I add:

1. The Fox and the Hound (Disney had no right to make such a sad movie…)

2. Child’s Play (Screw you, Chuckie!)

3. Snufalafagous!

Culture for Sale

•November 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I know jingles have always been popular…

There’s something awkward to me about commercials that try too hard to appeal to a certain crowd. Just does.

Have you heard those new jingles released by the Texas Department of Transportation has this “Put Texas in You Corner” in order to encourage people to register their cars. They have several versions.

I think the Spanish version is my favorite. But they went “really far”, just to encourage drivers to get a sticker. I’m surprised a Gospel version hasn’t been released.

Continue reading ‘Culture for Sale’

Address to the Friar Society

•November 19, 2008 • 1 Comment

(Speech!)

Good Morning, Friars

I am very honored and glad to be here. And since I have heard of my acceptance a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had some time to reflect on this society that I have become apart of. According to our website [The Friar Society], friars are “distinguished by their vows of absolute poverty and renunciation of all worldly pleasures.”

From reading that, I have to admit to you all that I have a LONG way to go.

And I realize that the idea of “renunicating all worldly pleasures” may seem a little extreme for us, and I’m not going to try force everyone in hear to take that vow today, but I would like to talk about how worldly pleasures have affected me.

As far as SERVICE, I know that all of us in here have done good deeds for other people. Someone, somewhere, has been positively influenced, whether they know it or not, by our actions, our money, or our time. But despite my record of service, I know that I have a lot of more work to do towards being the best citizen that I can be, the best friar I can be. Even looking back at my work on campus, I can’t help but think of how much more effective I could have been.
So I ask myself:

What stopped me from expanding my tutoring programs to ensure that more high-school students passed the TAKs test?

What stopped me from mentoring more African-American male freshmen who I’ve seen first-hand get discouraged and eventually drop out of college?

What stopped me from taking the National Society of Black Engineers to next level in achieving our organizational mission?

Referring to what Friar Ratliff stated yesterday, the University of Texas has truly opened my eyes. Being at this University has allowed me to become more conscious of many of the worlds issues that have yet to be resolved. And it seems that the more I learn about the state of our community and its history….the more I learn about myself and what I care about.

I’ll have to say that one of the effects of learning such things is that it really matures you and shapes you further into the person you’re ultimately going to be.

Looking at the world, we all know there is a lot of work to be don Poverty, Hunger, Discrimination, etc. We all know this. I know this. But now what?

Continue reading ‘Address to the Friar Society’

The “Whole Foods” Experience

•November 12, 2008 • 1 Comment

Went to Wholes Foods [….saw alotta of peaches(Random, I know, but I had to… LOL)] and I have some reflections to share…

Remember the first time you went in Whole Foods. If you were raised anything like me, you would have been in awe. Yeah, I was in awe.

[Flashback music]

Growing up, grocery shopping was never a big deal, and not done all that much. I would go with my mom to Randall’s or Kroger’s or [if we really wanted a bargain, Foodarama. Like any other kid I would indulge with the complimentary cookie from the bakery section, fight with my sister over who would push the cart, try to sneak in my “private request” into the basket, or skim through comics in the magazine section. Eventually I grew into that teenager that simply just waited to hear the garage go up to help bring in grocery. [By the way, I always aimed to bring them all in with one trip…always]

College comes along and now I’m shopping for myself. And grocery shopping isn’t the most pleasant thing. HEB or Wal-Mart is always crowded. It’s hard to find help in the store. Parking sucks. If I wanted to, I’d complain about the fluorescent lighting and white tiles floors.

But I’m use to all that….that’s just how is it grocery shopping in the city.

Then upon advice and my ongoing quest to becoming a “homemade chef”, I went to Whole Foods. Allow me to share my first day:

  1. I parked in the Whole Foods parking garage aside luxury vehicles galore.
  2. I ride an escalator up to the ground floor.
  3. I enter the cozy, wood-floor, interior decorated store and I’m greeted by several employees.
  4. I ask for help from an employee about their vast selection of granola, and I was told everything I possibly needed to know about granola.
  5. On every aisle I walk through I ran into many ‘Whole Foods patrons’ who are friendly and more than willing to talk about their passion for the food in that aisle. For example, i ran into a charming older couple that told me a story about how they met in ‘Whole Foods’ when they were both looking for the same kind of specialty pecans.
  6. The policeman in the store looked like he came start out ‘Pleasantville’, whistling and smiling at everyone.
  7. The cashiers were older, professional, friendly, and seemed like they enjoyed their job. I bet they have degrees. Continue reading ‘The “Whole Foods” Experience’