Saturday, April 13, 2013

See You Soon

Ever lose a friend? And I mean your best friend.  Someone who is still alive, but never to be heard from again..  A friend that is fantastic beyond every quality or symbol of character.  The kind of person you would write a book about or compose a song for.  Someone to go on adventures with who will take your hand and shield you from the fracas.   These are the hardest friends to lose.

There's a vacancy in the heart of every person who says goodbye, but never truly meant goodbye.  Why do we say that?  Why?  Why do we say goodbye to the friends we love?  We push them away when they're the closest things to sanity that we have.  Every moment spent with them is gutted and used as a reminder of how you failed.  Utterly failed.  It hangs in your mind and presses on your soul.  They can't trust you anymore...and why would they?  You were awful to them.  Every single shred of light they brought to your life was blackened by distasteful arguments and uncontrollable rage.

I had this friend.  A friend who was exceptionally peculiar yet brilliantly lovely.  This was a friend who knew my world and I knew theirs.  In fact, our worlds were the same.  Just friends we were, but the best of friends.  I wonder now what would have happened if I'd taken better care of that world.  Not a world of fantastical creatures or grand appointments, but a world where magic was in a word.  A world that would have coffee shops instead of castles, music and art would be our magic, and nothing could stop us.  I suppose I should seek forgiveness for myself because of how I treated them.  I just wish for one minute that my actions had said "See you soon" instead of "Goodbye."

Monday, March 11, 2013


Flowers can't blossom in the dark.  To live a life in darkness is one of the greatest tragedies.  A rose is one of the most beautiful flowers ever created, but it's life depends on the sun and water and oxygen it breathes everyday.  It needs care and love and protection.  It is so very delicate yet its beauty is unwavering.  There is a reason why this flower is used in almost every sappy love movie to date and it goes beyond just pleasantries.  A rose gives the message that despite my weakness I'm going to be strong and I'm going to be beautiful because I was made that way.  To give one to your lover is to portray that meaning and that love to him/her.  But why do we have so many people who are dying?  Why is there a world full of withering beauty?  It cripples my heart when I see the absence of love in people.  A flower can't grow if you don't care for it.  So so simple...

A father not caring for his daughter, a husband not caring for his wife, a son not caring for his mother, a boyfriend not caring for his girl.  Why?  These flowers are dying because of their neglect and they're screaming for affection.  An affection that seems virtually unattainable to them, but it's not.  In fact, it is very attainable.  It's just ahead of them, if they'd only see it.  If they could just see that God is reaching out, that he is cradling them in his arms each and every day.  He has always loved them...He has always loved you, and no matter what you may think about yourself it isn't going to change the masterpiece that was created when He made you.  God's son came to bring you from darkness into light, so you wouldn't have to wilt anymore.  He steadies your instability and he wants to dance the most beautiful dance with you if you'd just let him.  Let Him dance with you.  Let Him pull you out of that darkness that you've lived in for so long.  Allow Him to show you the true beauty that He made you to be.  In that you will find your strength to blossom.

"Blossom for me rose
You're the picture of my love
Blossom for me rose
Stretch out underneath the stars
And when tomorrow comes
I will hold you up"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Swimming.  Athletes, children, elderly adults, they all do it.  We all do it.  Swimming is a natural thing, but it's one you have to learn.  Some never learn to swim and it's a shame.  But this isn't a blog to inform you of the history of swimming or to teach you how to accomplish a perfected backstroke, however, I would encourage you to learn.

I was thinking today,  I've been through a lot.  Of course, in the scheme of the world I'm one small person in very very vast waters, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I've lived for twenty years and I can say that I've been through some tough stuff.  Before I get too deep into what I mean, I want to share with you just a little bit of the last 6 years of my life.  My first year of high school I lost my papa (grandfather) to pancreatic cancer.  We were never crazy close while I was growing up, but his life in the last few months were some of the most profound I've ever witnessed.  I miss him dearly.

Something much more traumatic happened to me the next year when one of my best friends drowned in his own swimming pool.  Emotions can be fickle simply because you don't really know what they're going to be from moment to moment.  You know what you want them to be or maybe what you think they should be, but they know you better than anyone else sometimes.  At first all I wanted to do was sob, but I couldn't.  That would come later.  All I could do was stand and stare into the void of my mind while they put him in the only body bag I would see to this day.  It was as if I was on auto-pilot and any comforting I did for the family was an experience outside of my body.  There were no thoughts, no feelings...just an emptiness. Needless to say, that moment has stayed with me to this very day and I miss that very best friend that knew me better than most people ever could.

The next summer would be one that would break my heart.  The summer and the girl.  The girl I thought I would marry and the summer, well, I thought it would never end.  Both of my conclusions were unrequited and mislead.  I look back now and remember almost every aspect of that time, but it's blurry.  It's blurry like muddy waters or the translucent glow of a highway sign in the cover of fog.

During these times my aunt and uncle would die, leaving another gaping whole in the family, and in my cousin's heart.  I would go through stints of drowning the pain of my broken heart in self abuse and masochistic addictions, only to come out feeling the same as when I entered.  I was crippled, damaged, defective, and deprived of all of who I was.

All of this was hard for me, but as I recovered and renewed my relationship with Christ I truly discovered who I was.  I found my identity but then came another test.  This one was as crippling as any I'd been through before.  My parent's separation.  This took the foundation right from under me because my parents had been married for twenty years.  They raised me in church and loved me like parents should.  They weren't always perfect, but they did their best.  Despite all of this, suddenly, the marriage that I believed in most in this world was gone.  It hurt.  It hurt so much and it still does.  I had to make a choice though; and this was my test.  How would I react this time?  Would I spiral or would I keep going?  My reaction would eventually be strength.  I would be strong...I would swim.  I was tired of being weak and letting life beat me.  So, in the midst of one of the hardest moments of my life I decided to endure and continue swimming.

The secret is that we're always in the midst of an ocean and if you stop paddling you're going to drown.  If you give up, you're going to die.  It's something you have to teach yourself to do and it's something that you have to heavily rely on Christ for.  Don't just swim for yourself, swim for the sake of those around you and for the sake of all the people that are counting on you to keep going.  Swim for each moment and the love you can find in them.  Swim for true beauty among fleeting imitations.  Life is often cruel and cruel are those who are reaped from its harvest, but let love keep you floating.  Let God give you understanding. Let strength and honesty and compassion keep you going.  Be driven by your pain to do better, don't be another person drowning in their own pity.  Everything will still be there.  The tide will change, the waves will crash, the shore will seem unattainable, but you have to keep going.  You have to keep going.  You have to keep swimming.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Got Growin' Up To Do

Sometimes the best way to help people is to do nothing at all.  Pray for them and accept them and be there for them when they need you, but pull away.  I'm learning, onerously, the value of knowing when to push and when to let go.  Now's a time to let go.  There are times when people have to learn to help themselves and to fly on their own, no matter how much I want to interfere and help.  They'll never learn if I'm always handicapping them by intervening and not letting them grow.  Of course, it takes quite a bit of prayer on my part because I'm simply a compassionate person who doesn't like to watch people (especially my friends) hurting, but I just need to learn to wait it out and see how they grow from their experience.  A friendship can grow tremendously as two people grow individually.  We have an obligation to be the best we can be, not just for ourselves or for God, but for those around us as well.  Our shortcomings effect more than just our own life.

So, in those moments when you feel like you need to push or you need to interfere with your closest friend or the one you love, step back and check your timing.  Maybe what they need is to grow up a little on their own before your friendship can mature.  True love for another is when you can come to the point where you can give them what they need despite how it makes you feel.

                                 "So the best thing I can give to you
Is for me to go
Leave you alone
Cause you got growing up to do"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


You know how when you're young, the world can be anything you want it to be? It can be flat, it can be your gateway to fantasy lands or it can simply be a constant reminder that gravity can seriously hurt. I've just been what point do we forget those things? The simple things. The things we love. Everyone has something they wanted more than anything when they were kids and many people manage to hold on to that for a long time, some people even get what they wanted, but most leave it behind. More often than that people are decimated by life and its persistence on turning us all into servants of its continuous cycle. We all make our mistakes and pay our dues, but why can't we get past them?

Ask yourself this question. When did it become my objective to trip over ground that I've already covered? I'm talking to Christians here. You've been forgiven! And forgiveness, I might add, is not something to take lightly, because anyone who's lived knows that in life, forgiveness is hard to come by. Doesn't that make you glad God isn't stubborn or unloving like we are?

To those of you who aren't Christians. Mistakes aren't made to dwell on, they're made to learn from. Life is too short to miss the beautiful wonders God has laid out for you just because you want to beat yourself up over things you can't change. As a line from one of my favorite movies says, “We are intrepid, we carry on.” I encourage you, get to know who God is. He loves you more than you could begin to imagine.

So, now I come to this. What is it that you want more than anything? What have you wanted ever since you picked up that stick as a kid and set out to conquer the world? You see, human beings spend too much of their time trying to impress people with jobs they never wanted or plans that life made for them instead of ones that they made for life. I implore you, think about it. Who have you become? Do you like who you see when you look at yourself? Is this what God wants for you?

This is a topic I've been thinking about for a while now. All I wanted and loved when I was younger was music. All I wanted to do was to write and play and travel. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that; amazingly with guitar still in hand. I got lost, and music and I became strangers instead of friends.

I know God has something for me and my future plans for music, or should I say His future plans for His music. This time I'm not giving up. Perseverance

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Divine Romance

I'm a little late on my blog for this week, but better late than never right?  Well...I hope that's the case anyway.  This past week has been a really busy one and I've really been feeling the pressure.  Despite that, I have a peace.  I'm starting to realize that you're not always going to be happy, and that's ok.  Sometimes you just have to get through the tough moments and learn to smile through it.  I've got a lot going on in my life right now, but I'm learning that it's best to just praise God anyway.  The trust factor has really gone up for me as well, not only in my relationship with God, but also in my relationships with other people.  I finally feel like I'm becoming that man that I lost a few years ago.  The best thing about it is, I've learned and grown so much in the process that all of the things I used to do I know to avoid doing and I most importantly I know how to avoid becoming an emotional train wreck like I have been the past couple of years.  I guess I could sum it up like this...I'm excited about how much I've progressed because it really feels tremendous to me.  Ultimately though, I feel strength in my relationship with Christ and that brings me the most joy.

The past few weeks I've been posting songs to my blog that have inspired me throughout the week or that I have just really enjoyed listening to and I'm going to continue sharing those with you guys because it fits me...and my blog.  Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Running In Circles

God's been showing me the growth in my life. Through various circumstances I've seen that I've learned to guard my heart and I've begun to have better self-control in my anger (even though I've still got a lot of work to do with that.) Most of all, God's been telling me that I've been handicapping myself by caring so much about what others think. To a degree, you have to care what others think if you want to be in ministry because you're supposed to care in general, but I've learned that I can't let other people dictate how I live my life. God is the only one who will determine the steps that I take and He's the only one who will judge the life I live. I have to go to Him before I go to others and I have to go to Him if I want to be better. I'm never going to be able to write worship music again if I don't trust in God and let him move me into His presence so I can do so. There are so many things that require Him in my life and I don't have time to let other people take the place of His love.

After this past weekend at Winterfest I was inspired musically by two artists.  Phil Wickham and the band United Pursuit.  Phil lead thousands in worship all by himself and it was incredible to see the anointing on his life during worship.  Untied Pursuit had the most unique approach to worship and a beautiful sound to accompany it.  It gave me hope for worship music and it also shook me.  God was telling me that if I wanted to do this thing then I needed to stop waiting around for something to happen and just do it.  So, that's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ain't No Reason

I'm seriously tired.  For the past couple weeks I've had nothing but physical and emotional strain on my body and it's taking a toll.  I've been contemplating my future lately as well.  I'm not sure if I want to go to another college to continue school or if I should stay with Lee Online and just move somewhere.  The last thing I want to do is go back to South Hill.  I've been thinking about UNCW for something in English or Creative Writing.  If I didn't do that my other option would be VCU, but I'm leaning more towards UNCW if I'm going to go to another university.  I love Wilmington and it's a good school.  My other option is to move here and continue online schooling, which doesn't really seem like the most golden idea at the current moment.  I suppose I'm just ready to start my life and fully unleash my potential on the world.Whichever way you look at it, choices are never easy.  I just wish my indecisive brain would let me make up its mind.

Now let me just take a moment to talk to you.  If you're a human being living on this earth, and not some alien from another planet who's emotionless zealousy makes you hell bent on other people's destruction, than STOP and think for a minute.  What right do you have to make someone else's life miserable?  Good question eh?  If you can't come up with a suitable answer other than that you have no consideration for other people's lives than you don't have a good answer.  However, in life there is a morality clause that is dictated by each individual person.  In other words; people think they can do whatever they want based on their own morals no matter who it hurts!  I might get in trouble for this one, but I'm gonna say it. The worst way people hurt others is by justifying their destructive actions with religion.  It's an infallible safety net...but not to the person in pain.   Does that make this incessant thorn in everyone's side right? OF COURSE NOT. But this giant grey line over mankind leaves people crippled, broken, and misunderstood.  It gives people this sense of entitlement and that in itself is dangerous.

All I'm saying is, don't wage an unnecessary war.  It seems the one thing everyone desires is the one thing that causes this the most.  Love.  Or what people define as love anyway.  Real love should save us. Yeah, there are some bad people in this world, but for those of us that are decent...can we try to live up to that decency?  There's a lot of misery in the world.  Why don't you try thinking about them the next time you want to act on your "morality."  If not...well...I'm sure someone somewhere will give you the time of day, but not me.

There ain't no reason things are this way.  Sing it Brett

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Stupid Fool But An Honest Fool

In the grand picturesque design of the Almighty I sometimes wonder at how truly powerful He is. As eloquent as you can be, one could never describe Him to justice. I'm learning that I need to spend less time within myself and more time with God. I've spent most of my life thinking inwardly, and trust me, I confuse myself. For most of my life I've been a narcissist. Not in the sense that I don't like to give or I'm ungrateful to people when they give me things, but more focused on my emotions. I always put my feelings before other people's feelings and most of the time I put them before God. I've never been able to come to a place where I honestly care about other people more than I care about myself. I'm sure that there's some psychological explanation to that, but what I know is that it has to change. Not only does it hurt other people because of my insensitivity to them, but it also hurts me because I honestly want to change it. I see my failure in motion and then I play it back over and over again and it haunts me in every way possible. Sometimes I can see it coming before it happens, but I still don't stop myself because I don't know how to defeat my own insecurities.  I feel so foolish sometimes to think that I'm more important than anyone else on this earth.  I don't want the rest of my life to be a flash of horror. I want the rest of my life to be lived in fulfillment of my purposes, but that will never happen as long as I put myself before other people. God I need you in this regard and every other area of my life.

Sometimes I feel like Pippin when he looks into the Palantir in The Lord of the Rings.  The Dark Lord shows him all of the horrible things that could possibly happen in the war for the ring.  It plays over and over in Pippins head while he's holding onto this orb.  He can't control the visions or the pain.  As he cries out in agony it is suddenly taken from him by one of the fellowship, saving him from his distress.  

I need that in my life...a complete wipe of everything emotional that holds me down; all the pain that I inflict on myself unwillingly.  Maybe it was out of curiosity I ended up in this situation like Pippin or maybe I conditioned myself this way.  Time will unravel me and God will help me understand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Practicum #4

I spent this week mostly at the house.  I went to my mom and dad's church today and they took up a love offering for my Abaco trip.  I sang a few songs for the offering and showed the Go Abaco video as well.  I'm definitely appreciative of all that they gave and I always enjoy going there for service as well.

I learned that it's ok to want to do things for myself sometimes, especially when it comes to my passion.  I do it for God but I also need to remember that I do it because I love to play music and it brings me joy.  It's how I find my release and it's ok to know that it's for God and others but it's also for me.

I hope that my presence at the house this week was beneficial to my family but I'm not really sure.  I think that's my answer for both questions.  I didn't really have a way to leave the house this week so because of that I wasn't really involved in ministry but I did feel like I was able to minister to my mom when we went out to eat on Friday.  That was my favorite part about this week.  We talked a lot about the family and how she was doing and a good portion was spent talking about her relationship with God.  She seems to be doing alright.  I hope she is anyway, and the same for my dad.

What I learned this week is kind of what God has been telling me.  I don't balance my life out enough.  You're supposed to put God first, others second, and yourself third but a lot of times I feel like I don't give God enough of my time but I also don't feel like I spend enough time taking care of myself.  It's something He's been telling me that I seriously need to work on.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Practicum #3

I stayed at Chafik and Ella's for most of this week.  I did everything from taking Christmas decorations down at the church to going to a lady's house to help her move metal and wood.  The week seems like a giant blur.  I barely remember everything I did and I can't count the hours spent at the church.  I was there Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday (today).  Worship was really good this week and it was a lot of fun playing electric.  I haven't really picked one up in a while.

I think lack of communication is always a hindrance.  That's a big thing I learned this week.  I also learned that as leaders in the church you shouldn't let bias dictate how you act from person to person.

I found myself most beneficial when we helped out the lady at her little farm this week.  I was able to sort of understand what she was going through and therefore relate to her and talk to her about it.  Her husband left her for another woman.  I contributed a lot in music this week as well with the addition of the electric guitar.  I found myself least beneficial around Chafik and Ella period.  It seems like I can never win with them and honestly I'm done trying to please them all the time.  It makes me miserable.

My favorite aspect was getting to play electric guitar honestly.  It felt so good to play one again and have it shape the music and sound really good.  I miss that.  Dealing with Chafik and Ella was on the other end of the spectrum however.  It seems that I can never truly get it right with them.

God's kind of telling me that you can't please everyone and also that He's with me.  He's going to bless me with the desires of my heart but I don't need to push it so much.  I need to just let him work it all out in His timing and endure each season for what it brings and what it teaches.