Faith // Life // Sports

Latest

Broken People

I heard in your word,

you redeem the life of sinners.

You made me an expert,

even though I was a beginner.

You treat me like a winner.

You gave me first prize,

even though I barely finished.

It’s a marvelous addiction.

You’re hooked on me so much,

You offer me forgiveness.

For you it’s not just business.

It’s truly in your pleasure,

that we could spend eternity,

like… until forever.

That’s why it’s you and me together.

This tie, I will not sever

To be clear…. No, Not, Never.

This is the anthem of Broken Man,

put back together!

Empire State… of mine? part 1

 Today I walked the streets of Bronx, New York with my sister. About 18 years ago I moved from the “Big Apple” to the state that’s famous for growing them. Since then, I’ve lived in two more states (Nevada and Arizona) and have traveled to several more. It’s been almost seven years, since I was last in New York, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that both the city and I have changed. That time Christmas was the reason for visiting; this time it’s the death of my dad’s only brother: Uncle Tony! In the reading and creative writing process the author writes and the reader interprets what they feel the author meant. This isn’t one of those! This is an observation about growing up, about changing, about love and life, about death and reality. This is about both the things that change and those that don’t. 
 
As kids my sister and I rarely saw eye-to-eye. To be honest our disagreements were often graphic, uncensored, violent and funny!? While walking around the city, we got into an argument. (Sidebar: I’m not sure what the word argument means, but isn’t it an argument when one person says, “Why are we arguing about this?” and the other one says, “I’m not arguing!”) Deja Vu anyone? 
 
The more things change, the more they stay the same….

They’ve really tried hard to clean up the streets. There aren’t 40 African guys on the corner with hemp blankets laid out on the ground trying to sell you hand bags, sun glasses, unofficial Yankee and Met shirts, and “official” jewelry. Yet while walking, I hear conversation about how the streets are getting worse and I’m pretty sure a gal threatened me when she thought I was trying to take a picture of her and her kids. 
 
The more things change, the more they stay the same…. 
 
My sister asked me if I’m a west coast or east coast guy. I’m probably a west coast guy with east coast tendencies. I could live back east if I wanted to or had to, but I know I probably never will. She knows she could live in NY again and hopes to one day. If she did, she would probably move to upstate NY, because she and her husband (mostly her husband) are used to suburban living. It doesn’t get much more suburban than Auburn, WA. 
 
The more things change, the more they stay the same…. 

At this point I’ve seen my grandma, all three aunts, and one cousin. I know I’ll see my cousin Troy soon. My cousin Shone lives in Washington D.C., and she just had a baby girl (Selah Jai) that is only two weeks old. If she makes it up this weekend it will be the first time in close to 15 years for all 5 cousins to NY at the same time. Walking through Kingsbridge Hts. I saw a group of 6 kids playing “cops and robbers” or “you can’t catch me” (Sidebar: there’s a joke in there somewhere). The gender breakdown of the group was 4 girls and 2 boys. The breakdown between us cousins: 3 girls and 2 boys. I can’t help but think how it used to be for us and what it will be like for them 20 years from now. 
 
The more things change, the more they stay the same…. 

My dad died on June 23, 1988. He was my grandmother’s oldest son and at that time my uncle Tony was about 20 years old (I was six). The day of the funeral, Uncle Tony was the one to carry me away from my dad’s grave site. Who would have thought that 22 years later in only my 3rd time back since leaving NY, I’d be coming back to grieve with my family over his death. 
 
The more things change, the more they stay the same…. 

I doubt I’ll ever live in NY again. I don’t remember who it was, but when I left NY the first time someone said to me, “You can take the kid out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the kid.” I’m not sure where the city is in me. It could be my attitude or aggressiveness, my passion for my family, my child-like, playful spirit or just the NY Yankee cap on my head (Sidebar: I found a way to seamlessly work the Yankees into this blog twice. I thought you might like that!). I may not ever live in NY again, but it’s pretty obvious NY lives in me. 

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same….

I wanna cry :(

This past week has been full of the pain that life often throws at you. In one week I’ve witnessed (in my life or in the lives of those close to me): car problems, bad backs, cancer scares, relationship nightmares, parenting problems, strep throat, migraines, sickness, pain, issues with pornography, issues with lust and pride, malfunctioning medication, screaming kids, intense confrontation, disrespect, doubt and one “man card” being officially revoked!  There’s a commercial that states… “When life comes at you fast, Nationwide comes at you faster.” (And no, I am not receiving royalties from Nationwide or any other company. But I’d like to!). I completely disagree with this statement. Nothing comes at you like life does. It’s been said, “life is what happens while you are busy doing other stuff”. It’s true! Life has a way of showing up when you least expect it or when you thought you were already doing it. Just when I thought I knew how to “live”, it feels like I’m almost dead.

There is one great benefit. The struggles that I’ve seen over the last 7 days have caused me to pray and call out to God like never before! I’m not saying this to show myself off like some Super-Christian. On the contrary, I don’t pray enough and sometimes not at all! I don’t think prayer is some magical formula that once you start doing it, life changes with the flick of a wrist, bend of a knee, or whisper of AMEN. What prayer does, is forces you to radically turn your eyes from the pain, sickness, and doubt, to hope, healing and faith found only in God. More than giving you answers to the questions, it changes the questions altogether. You go from asking “Why?” to asking “What can I learn?”. It takes you from being discouraged when you don’t see the healing, to being grateful that you even prayed at all. Doubts turn into trust, fears turn into faith and prayerlessness turns into tears! You could doubt if God hears your prayers. But trust me, He sees your tears.

How do I know this? In one of my prayer times this week, I clearly heard God speak to me: “Eddie, I’m going to use these trials to bring you into a new level of intimacy with Me. I’m going to do it in your life and the lives of others.” In my 13 years of being a Jesus person, I’ve learned one thing for sure; when you know that it’s God… it’s God! And this was God! This was a message for me to trust God, much more than I already do. My hope is that it would touch you as well. So the next time life comes at you fast don’t pray… just cry!