I mean let’s face it, it would be far easier to live for myself, be completely selfish and self-serving (not that I’m not those things) and give up this whole faith in God thing. It’s hard. I read something recently that struck a chord with me. Dying for something is easy. When you die for something or someone you get a highway named after you, or a football field at a high school named after you. But living for something, living for something is the harder thing to do. Living for something means living out daily what it is you are living for. So using this whole “faith” thing, living for my faith means actually having to LIVE out my faith. It means that when the shit hits the fan, knowing that God STILL has a plan. (That’s Genesis 50:20 by the way. Look it up.) It means that when God is being silent, that I have to listen harder, perhaps on a different frequency. It means that when everyone else is telling me one thing, but I know that God is clearly telling me something different, that I have to listen to God and suffer the stares and whispers of people who think I’m off my rocker and irresponsible. It means that when I tell someone that they should do this or that, that I better have damn well done it myself, or be willing to do so. It means that when EVERYTHING inside of me tells me that I should turn and run from my problems, or solve them in the way that the world would be ok with, I STILL have to be obedient and respond in the way I know is right. It means that in the face of adversity I have to KNOW that my God is bigger than any problem that may come. It’s getting to the point that where if I were to lose everything I hold dear, from all of my possessions to my family, that I would still be ok because I know God is truly the only thing I need.
See, I took a job back in January. It’s my dream job. God provided it for me. God is using me there. Lives are being changed. I am being changed. I am in my element. God is revealing things to me in ways he never has before. I made friends there who are now more like close family than they are friends. I am a blessing to others there. Others are a blessing to me. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that this job isn’t the job that God divinely lined up for me. There have been far too many miracles, revelations, affirmations, etc, that have spoken to that fact.
It’s a weird thing the movie making business though. A fella could find himself working 6 days a week, 11 hours a day, harder than he’s ever worked in his life, having more fun at a “job” than he ever has or thought possible, and still not earn a paycheck. Yet. You see, in the movie-making industry (at least up here in not-Hollywood) they don’t just throw you (and really, who is “they” anyway) a ton of money up front and lay down the red carpet. If you need to find a good definition of the word “earn”, talk to me and I’ll give it to you. Nothing comes easy in this industry in terms of financing and security. It’d be worse if we all didn’t feel like God was calling us to do this. It’d be worse if we were just making this movie on a wing. (Without the prayer) See? Following God sucks. Following God, sucks. You have to LIVE out and CARRY ON through the tough times. There are moments where you want to give up, where everyone telling you “you’re crazy and irresponsible” and you “better get something in writing” and “how could you put your family through that?” make sense. How could they not? They’re RIGHT! I AM crazy and irresponsible!I SHOULD get something in writing! How COULD I put my family through this?! Then God says “THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN MY WILL! I never called my followers to play it safe! My son didn’t play it safe when he was there for 33 years. He was an anarchist. People called HIM crazy. People said HE was irresponsible. He confounded the ways of the wise and drove the people who “knew best” nuts because he was unwilling to conform or play it safe. And then he went to the cross. For you. So have some faith, nut up, and do what I’ve called, asked and provided for you to do.” And then I say “Ok God. But can you lay everything out before me so I can know that I know that I know, and also so everyone else can see so they’ll stop worrying about me?” And God says “No. Get back to work. I’ll do it when it’s the right time. Not when you think you need it. And did I mention you need get back to work? Sweet. Get back to work then. P.S. I love you.”
I heard something last week that I’ll take to the grave. “Sometimes those that love you have your best interests in mind. But they don’t have your destiny in mind.” I appreciate that people love me. I appreciate that they offer advice and sincerely believe that what they are suggesting is the right thing for me to do. I am thankful for these people and for their wisdom. My best interests would be to take their advice and “provide” for my family in the way the world defines provision. But God has more than my best interests in mind. He has my destiny. He wants to provide for much more than just my immediate needs. He wants to provide for my childrens, children, children through what he will bless me with. The wealth that God has in store for me is far different than any wealth I could imagine or define.
But getting to that point sucks. Because getting to that point means following God. And following God sucks. He isn’t a miracle pill that allows you to drop 50 pounds overnight. God is the lifestyle change in diet and exercise that exceeds far beyond any “get skinny fast” or “get rich quick” formula out there. God is all about intention. He’s all about follow through, checks and balances, making sure things are done right. Give a dog a bone he’ll eat for the day. But teach him how to kill then he’ll never go hungry. God is teaching me how to kill.
When I look back on this time of hardship in my life, this time of not knowing where or how we’re going to live, not knowing when my next paycheck is going to come, or in what amount, and I want to look back and say “I did that well. I may have had my moments of frustration, doubt, anger, despair and hurt. But they were just that. Moments. They weren’t hours, or days, or weeks. They didn’t define me. My faith defined me. My trust in God, that he would do the things he promised me, defined me.” I want to look back on this time in my life and say that like labor before birth, it was the most difficult thing I’ve been through, but now I have the joy of this new birth, this new creation, a new me, a different set of circumstances and had I not gone through those labor pains, it wouldn’t mean as much now. I want to use this as part of my testimony. I want my family and friends to come to me and say “I’m going through the storm. How did you get through it?”, and I want to be able to answer them with conviction and experience, not with a bible verse or a wise thought from someone smarter than me. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. I’m getting to know God in ways I never thought I would. As my provider, as my rock, as my all. At any point in the last 33 years I could have said those things, things like “god is my provider”, but I wouldn’t have known what the hell I was talking about. You can’t know God as a healer until something is truly wrong with you. You can’t know God as a provider until you have nothing else left to offer. You can’t know God as a lover and comforter until you feel like everyone and everything around you is pressing down on you, and God is one that comes by and shoulders the load. You can’t know God until you know you need him.
Following God sucks. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
To end, I want to quote C.S. Lewis, who in 3 sentences said what I took 1500 words to do so, and said it better. “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel real comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity”.
The 2010 Annual BorbAwards (That headline is supposed be unintelligent sounding, btw)
Every year around this time (for the last 3 years actually, not every year) I blog about the year that was. So without further ado, here it is:
Favorite Movies of 2010: Tron Legacy The Book of Eli Inception Cyrus MacGruber (Yup, I said it) The A-Team Knight and Day Get Him to the Greek Predators The Other Guys Devil The Town The Social Network Due Date Faster The Fighter Tron: Legacy
Least Favorite Movies of 2010: True Grit Alice in Wonderland Gentleman Broncos Greenberg Nightmare on Elm Street Shrek Forever After Dinner for Schmucks The American Iron Man 2
Movies I didn't care about either way: The Expendables Casino Jack Cop Out The Wolfman Legion Edge of Darkness Shutter Island Brooklyn's Finest Clash of the Titans Salt Red Unstoppable
Movies you'd expect me to have watched, but I skipped because I knew they'd suck: Little Fockers Prince of Persia: Sand of Time Repo Men Robin Hood Wall Street 2 Hereafter Skyline Gulliver's Travels
Movies from 2010 that I am still looking forward to seeing: Buried It's Kind of a Funny Story
Movies from 2010 that I downloaded but never watched: Grown Ups The Lovely Bones The Messenger Green Zone The Losers
Movies everyone else seemed to like but I didn't. Toy Story 3 Kick-Ass
Best albums of 2010: Underworld: Barking The Chemical Brothers: Further Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More The Temper Trap: Conditions (Released in 2009 but no one knew about it) Jimmy Eat World: Invented Deftones: Diamond Eyes Deadmau5: 4x4=12 Faithless: The Dance Tiesto: Kaleidoscope Bonobo: Black Sands John Mayer: Battle Studies Tron Legacy Soundtrack Kings of Leon: Come Around Sundown
Worst Album of 2010: Linkin Park: A Thousand Suns
Album that was supposed to come out in 2010 that will never see the light of day: Limp Bizkit: The Gold Cobra
Best Songs of 2010: Linkin Park - The Catalyst (This song gave me such HIGH hopes for the album) Underworld - Always Loved a Film, Scribble, Diamond Jigsaw Daft Punk: The Game Has Changed Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man, White Blank Page Deadmau5 - Sofi Needs a Ladder John Mayer - Heartbreak Warfare Temper Trap - Fader Phoenix - 1901 Kings of Leon - The End Dr. Dre - Kush Kanye West - Lost in the World Michael Jackson - Hold My Hand Newsboys - Born Again John Legend- Hard Times Jamie Foxx - Winner MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice Remix)
Best Video Games of 2010: Fallout: New Vegas DJ Hero: 2 Red Dead Redemption Bioshock 2 Mass Effect 2 Words With Friends
Video Game I desperately wanted to be better and longer, but didn't necessarily suck: The Force Unleashed
Video Game people loved that I could not stand: Alan Wake
Game I bought because everyone else did but I'm not a huge fan of and didn't care for either way: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Game I bought that no one else did but didn't end up caring either way for it: The Saboteur
The past few days have been extremely emotional. Maybe the most of my life, but I can't be sure. It's 11:48pm on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010. When I began writing this at 11:44, my grandmother was still alive. As of 11:47, she was not. Obviously I could not have known she was going to meet the Lord during the middle of writing this, but I feel like it is serendipitous. How can it be serendipitous? Because my grandmother is no longer in any pain, nor is she in the run-down, worn-out body that had been keeping her soul prisoner for the last year. She is now home with Jesus Christ, and is able to see her daughter Sharon, along with many other family and friends. I even changed the title of this note to reflect the fact that she is now gone, instead of the original title it had.
When I started to write this, with the underlying thought being that she was still here, in that hospital bed, I wanted to explain how interesting/difficult it's been for me to have seen her in that hospital bed, in that 80 year-old body and then coming home to see my two daughters, just beginning their lives. It was hard for me to imagine that my grandmother was just as bright eyed and full of the wonder that a toddler is, seeing her in the state she was in. It's really been the foremost thought on my mind, the dichotomy between her life and the life of my daughters.
On the 4th of July I spent a couple hours at her house. She was brittle and ravaged with cancer, but she was still able to hold a conversation with me and give me some sound advice. When I found out Monday that she had a debilitating stroke and was now in a coma in the hospital, I struggled mightily with the thought of going to see her like that or not. For 8 hours, I was set against it. I didn't want my 4th of July memory to be tainted by seeing her in such bad shape. But around midnight, I had the tiniest of inklings to see her, so I hopped in the car and drove to Fremont. I arrived around 2am, and spent the next two hours holding her hand. When I left, I thanked her for the woman she was, how she enriched my life, how I hoped that my two daughters would grow up some day to be like her, and then I told her to "go home".
I am glad I went. Despite how difficult it was seeing her like that, and knowing that those images will never leave me, I honestly believe she knew that I was there, and that we made a connection, if ever so brief.
I don't feel pain or sorrow for the fact that she is gone, despite the fact that I will miss her, and always remember the way she said "yes", and her laugh. I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is with God and no longer in pain. I know the minute she took her last breath on Earth, she opened her eyes for the first time in heaven. In some ways, I'm kind of jealous of that. But I will happily wait my turn.
Joy Borba was a giving, loving and wonderful woman of God. Her life was marked by serving Him, and she tried her best every day to emulate Him. There aren't a lot of people in this world who can give such sound advice, despite it being the kind of advice you might not want to hear, but do it in such a manner that you know it's coming from the most true parts of her heart, and therefore ultimately sound advice, because in the truest parts of her heart, she was like Christ.
I consider myself fortunate for having had her as my Grandmother for 32 years. She was always available when I needed her, and she was, true to her name, full of Joy.
I am so grateful for the memories I have of her. None more wonderful than her holding my two daughters in her arms when they were born. My prayer now is that grow up to be like her.
I'm nearing the end of my time at school. I have one more semester to go, and I am READY to get back out into the real world. School has been great, and taught me a lot, but as a 32 year old, there comes a point where you've basically learned all you're going to learn regarding what you're studying for (I'll learn PLENTY more when I start working in the field), and you just want to be done with it all.
Anyway, one thing I've noticed, is that every teacher and speaker seem to have one thing in common. They've all come up with some sort of cool a.c.r.o.s.t.i.c. I think if I was given a dollar for every acrostic I've been taught over the last 3 years, I'd have well over 100 dollars. Since when was the popular way to teach someone something, by narrowing it down to a word for which every letter stands for something? I totally get the purpose, and I realize it helps to have an acrostic for studying, but how am I supposed to keep track of all of these?
I remember trying to create a fun acrostic for RICKY. I think it was Radical, Inquisitive, Caring, Kind, Yeller. But that was back in the day. Back before our attention spans were less than that of a gnat.
Here are some things I'd like to know. (Without having to look them up on le' google)
I'd like to know why we get the urge to urinate when warm or water touches our hands. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Actually, to be honest, I'm not sure if this is true for females. But, it certainly is for us guys. Is there a nerve that goes from our hands to our bladder?
Flies. I don't understand their purpose. Most insects, plants, animals, laundromats and the like have a purpose. But really, on your own accord, can you think of one single positive thing the fly does? No, you cannot.
That's it for now. This post was actually intended to test the new blogger.com system and to see if my website was configured correctly. Thanks for playing.
Here's my favorites of 2009. I like to do my list a few days after the new year, because I'm an egomaniac and think more people will read it than if I did it on January 1st like everyone else. So, without further ado, here is MY list of everything 2009:
Favorite Movies of 2009: Up In The Air
I Love You, Man
Least Favorite Movies of 2009: Halloween II
Drag Me to Hell
Bruno (Couldn't even finish watching this actually)
Observe and Report
Favorite Movie of 2009: Tie between District 9 and Up In the Air (but if you put a gun to my head, I'd probably pick District 9)
Least Favorite Movie of 2009: Halloween II
Movie I'd Like to Kick in the Nuts if it had Genitals: Transformers II
Movie I Saw That's Going to Win a Ton of Awards But I Didn't Care For Very Much: The Hurt Locker
Movie I Liked that Completely Ruins my Credibility: G.I. Joe
Movies I Didn't Care For That Much Despite Seemingly Everyone Else Liking Them: Up
The Ugly Truth
Movies I Liked That Other People Seemingly Didn't Like: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Movie I Liked the First Half of but Hated the Last Half: The Invention of Lying
Movie I Don't Want People to Know I Loved: Crank 2: High Voltage
Movie That Made Me Very Uncomfortable Watching: Last House on the Left
Movies from 2009 I am Really Eager to See Still: The Informant!
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Movie I Don't Need to See to Know it Totally Sucks: Twilight: New Moon
Favorite Albums of the 2009: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
Editors - In This Light and on This Evening
John Mayer - Battle Studies
Air - Love 2
Tiesto - Kaleidoscope
Muse - The Resistance
Favorite Songs of 2009: The Prodigy - Take Me to the Hospital
Editors - Papillon (yes, spelled like that) and Bricks and Mortar
Snoop Dogg - I Wanna Rock
VAST - I Know How to Love
Chevelle - Sleep Apnea
Pink - Sober
Dead Confederate - The Rat
Death Cab for Cutie - Cath
Tiesto featuring Nelly Furtado - Who Wants to Be Alone
Imogen Heap - Canvas [Mark Eteson Re-Paint]
U2 - Magnificent
Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch
The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight
Soliquid - Music is for Rich People
Pendragon - Indigo
Favorite Song I Listened to in 2009 That I Think Came out in 2008: Jamie Foxx - Blame It
Favorite 2 Songs From 2008 That I Listened to in Africa in 2009: Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes
Hillsong - You'll Come
Person I'm Glad Did Not Make Music in 2009: Amy Winehouse
Album from 2009 that did not Live up to the Hype of 12 Years in Production: Guns n’ Roses - Chinese Democracy
Favorite Blu-Ray: Star Trek (SO MUCH bonus stuff)
Best Website for Making a Music Station that Plays Only What I Like: last.fm
Favorite Video Games of 2009: Shadow Complex
Fight Night Round 4
Rock Band 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Resident Evil 5
Street Fighter IV
Favorite Video Game of 2009: Tie between Shadow Complex and Fifa ‘10
Favorite New Gadget of 2009: iPhone 3GS
Favorite Apps for iPhone: Runkeeper
I Am T-Pain
Chase Banking App
Worst Preaching Experience of 2009: Roseville First Presbyterian because I forgot my notes
Favorite Preaching Experience of 2009: Preaching at the Destitute Camp in Africa, which is home to all of the lepers, blind, lame, mute, deaf, handicapped and otherwise underprivileged. (And to be underprivileged in Africa is COMPLETELY different than being underprivileged here.) A man named Justin accepted Christ after I preached a sermon on Matthew 5, and that might just be my most treasured experience of my life, next to the birth of my children.
Favorite Pair of New Shoes in 2009: Sketchers Citywalk Midnite (Color Black)
Approximate # of Miles Ran from May to December: 280
Pounds Lost in 2009: 18
Favorite Purchase of 2009: Samsung 42' Plasma TV for the Bedroom
TV Show That Should Have Sucked Based on Recent History, But Totally Doesn't: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Best Thing that Happened to me in 2009: Going to Africa for a Month
Thing (non-person) I Missed the Most While There: Music (I didn't bring an mp3 player or radio. On purpose)
People I Missed the Most: Duh.
Favorite Person I Met in Africa Over the Age of 3: Rashidi Nyasinde
Favorite Person I Met in Africa: Ephram (Doto)
Scariest Moment In Africa: On the safari when we went off-course and tried climbing a hill in the Land Rover. I should have fallen off the roof, and the Land Rover should have tipped backwards, landing on me. There is no reason other than God as to why this didn’t happen.
Favorite Place to Eat While in Africa: Hilltop
Thing I Can Still Imagine if I Close my Eyes and Think About: Feeling the tops of all of the little kids heads as we walked. I would put my hand on their heads and pray for them, and I can still remember exactly how they're hair and heads feel. Coming in a close second is the smell of the village we stayed in. It’s not a bad smell at all, just very unique.
Thing I Learned Most While In Africa: That God is not just my God, or the God of Lincoln, CA. He truly is the God of the universe. That, and I had no idea how good I have it living here in California, with a roof over my head, food on my plate 3 times a day, adequate medical coverage, education, family and friends.
Favorite Single Experience in Africa: Helping Doto get the help he needed when he had malaria. A close second would be every time we did a kids club in Kamala.
Biggest Thing I Learned in 2009:
Despite being in college and studying to be a pastor, I have no idea what I want to do with that when I graduate in December.
I do most of my blogging on Facbeook now. I don't know what I'll be doing with BorbaFett.net in the future, but since I use it for so many things besides blogging, the actual website isn't going anywhere. So if you have a Facebook account, look me up and add me. You can add by name (of which I'm still the only "Ricky Borba") on Facebook, or you can look up by email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway, the reason for this post is because I'll be leaving for Africa on Sunday. I'll be gone 25 days. I do plan on writing about my experience on this blog once I return, along with some videos and pictures. So please keep myself and my family in your prayers! That we'll all be safe and stuff like that.
1. VAST is definitely my second favorite band. I'm not sure who was number 2 before I listened to their latest album, but they took over.
2. I'm in a really good mood today. Today is my favorite.
3. I love it when Kayla comes into bed with us at 3am. Even though it interrupts my sleep, it's my favorite.
4. I bought two mini-composition notebooks yesterday. One for my pocket and one for my nightstand, so when I come up with incredible ideas I can write them down on the spot. Three days ago I came up with the cure for gout, but forgot to write it down and couldn't remember later. But my mini composition notebooks are my favorite.
5. It's really windy up here. The past 2 days have reminded me of Chicago, even though I've never been to Chicago. Chicago is my favorite though.
6. I have not studied for this quiz I'm about to take in Western Civ II right now. Studying is my favorite thing to do.
7. For having only slept 6 hours I have surprisingly high energy levels. Having energy is MY FAVORITE.
8. Is there anything better than listening to 80's and 90's rap mixes while you drive to school in the morning? 80's and 90's rap in the morning is my favorite.
I probably shouldn't be writing this right now because I'm upset. But writing is therapeutic for me, so here goes. I just need to write this stuff down to make myself feel better about myself, as lame and stupid as that may sound.
I know I'm lazy. But I make up for it by working hard at the really important things in life.
I know I haven't been the best husband, father, son, brother, cousin, friend in my life. But I make up for it by loving the best way I know how, with everything that I have inside of me.
I know I don't always walk my talk. But I make up for it by at least trying, every day.
I know I don't own a lot of things. But I'd still be willing to give you the shirt off my back if you needed it.
I know I have a big mouth sometimes. But I make up for it by admitting I was wrong, asking for forgiveness and trying to learn from it.
I know I'm 31 and didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do with my life until last year. But I made up for it by never compromising what was important to me or forgetting what my true passions and desires are.
I know I come off as "black and white" sometimes. But I make up for it by doing my homework and sincerely believing in what I believe in with all of my heart.
I know I don't have a lot of time these days to give my true friends the time I'd like to. But I make up for it by letting them know all the time how much I love and appreciate their friendship.
I know I might come off as too care-free. But I make up for it by caring about a great many things.
I know I'm someone that isn't worth a damn to some people. But I make up for it by being valuable to everyone else I have a relationship with.
I know I come off as having strong opinions about my faith and how I let that guide my paths. But I make up for it by being sincere about it, and unwilling to change for anyone just to make them happy.
I know I'm not in the best shape. But I make up for it by spending quality time with my family, friends and children, enjoying everything life has to offer.
I know that I don't always know what I'm doing or where I'm going. But I make up for it by knowing how to get back on the path when I veer off of it.
I know I might not be someone that everyone wants to be around or converse with. But I make up for it by never allowing that to be the reason I stop caring about them.
I know I say things that might come off as hurtful sometimes. But I make up for it by knowing that it comes from a good place that was only intended to help you grow.
I know I'm selfish sometimes. But I make up for it by putting others first 99.9% of the time.
I know I might not get out of my comfort bubble that often. But I make up for it by participating in something that is greater than myself.
I know I struggle with letting my anger get the best of me sometimes. But I make up for it by not letting that happen very often.
I know I am a walking contradiction sometimes. But I make up for it by not allowing that to be a regular occurrence.
I know I'm human. But I make up for it by never forgetting that.
I just don't want to be one of those bloggers that blogs for the sake of blogging. (If only I could have used the word "blogged" in that sentence, I would have used every form of the word "blog".)
For some reason, I feel like I'm suffering from creative writers block. I used to come up with 2 or 3 weird/creative/insightful things a day to blog about, and now I feel like I haven't had one of those inkling's in months. I really do contribute it to the fact that I am writing papers all the time for school. I have been concentrating on studying, working at school after school and then being "daddy" when I get home. So, the point is, is that I don't feel very creative or weirdly minded the past couple months. I'm also trying to raise money for my trip to Africa, make sure I remain balanced in my husbandly/fatherly/studently roles, and get in better shape too.
So I'm sorry for the lack of updates on borbafett.net. I enjoy blogging, and I enjoy knowing there's a few of you out there who enjoy reading my meanderings.
I guess one thing I have been thinking about since Friday morning when one of my professors asked it in class, is "If I could sit down with anyone in this world, living, who would I want to and why?" In class off the top of my head I answered "Steven Spielberg to talk about film", but that's a lame answer and I'm not even sure I believe myself. The thing is, I don't have a clue who I'd like to sit down and rap with. The easy answer is to say someone like Barack Obama or Kim Jong Il, but I don't care about politics and I'm not impressed with world leaders. I've also got to meet my fair share of celebrities and athletes in my life, so I can't think of any one of them either. There's probably someone that once I think of them I'll think to myself "DUH, I can't believe I didn't think of them immediately." But remember, the question is "living" person.
I hate to sound like my father, but if I hear my girls say "daddy" one more time today, I'm going to change my name.
Excuse me, do you know which way the weight room is?
I'm 31. I see pictures of me at 21 and I cry. I see pictures of me from 6 months ago, and I think, Man, I was doing good for a while with the eating of the healthy and the exercising of the body. So now, on February 19th, 2009, I weigh a thick 168.5 pounds. I know, to some, that doesn't seem like much, but to me, it's out of hand. I weighed 174.5 when I moved to Lincoln last January, and got down to 159 last year just by eating healthier and running/biking. Now I'm back up to 168.5, and I'm not happy about it.
I can't complain though. (Even though I am kinda, huh.) My diet for the last couple months has consisted of about 4 gallons of soda per week, a lot of chocolate, doritios, pasta and pizza. Add the fact that I quit exercising, cold turkey, and you've got yourself a recipe for a nice little weight gain. I had deceived myself that I was looking pretty good, until Nicki got that damned 10.2 megapixel Nikon camera and took a few pictures of me. I looked at them and said "I think your camera is broken." And she said "You can't compare yourself to 10 years ago". Then I said, "Oh yes I damn well can." And she said, "You're still hot". And then I said "Honey I look like I ate a hobbit". And then she said "Oh, that reminds me, your mother called".
My point is, after seeing myself in those 10.2 megapixel pictures, I realized that while I am definitely not "fat", I am positively out of shape and soft around the edges. Lets face it people, I'm lazy when it comes to my body. So....
Yesterday I ran 3 miles, then did some crunches, then rode another 8 miles on the bike. I felt good. So I decided to keep that up. Not only that, but on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays, I'm going to go to my friend Justin's house and pump iron with him. My goal is to lose 15 pounds by the time I leave for Africa on May 17th. Almost exactly 3 months from yesterday. The reason I'm posting about it, is many:
1. When people see me, I want people to ask me how my workouts are going. 2. I want to look better in pictures. 3. I have sweet hair.
Reasons I feel like this time I'll be able to follow through this time: 1. I posted about it and now you're all aware of the fact that I'm trying to get in shape. 2. I do feel a sense of "my body is getting older and I need to start taking better care of it". 3. I have two precious baby girls that I'd like to be with for as long as possible. 4. Jackson Perdue did it, and he can't one-up me.
Reasons I feel like I won't follow through with it: 1. My schedule. With school, work, homework and daddy duty, I could see myself getting burned out. 2. I've never followed through before. 3. Pepsi is going to use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup in Mountain Dew from March to June, and they said it will taste even better. 4. I have sweet hair.
So that's it. The gauntlet has been thrown down. I've got a workout calendar, a workout buddy and some super sweet workout gloves. As of right now, I'm pretty pumped. (Pun intended). If things work out (again, pun intended), I'll post my before and after pictures in May. I'd post them now, but if I end up not making it through, I would have posted a hideously ugly and unflattering picture in vain.
Dear Waitress at Tahoe Joes, I'm not sure I liked your tone...
Tonight Nicki and I went out to dinner with some friends of ours from the bay area, that are contemplating moving to Lincoln/Roseville. Nicki and I had spent the entire day cleaning, so by the time they arrived at 5pm, it was a welcome break. After chatting for a bit in our house, we all piled in the car and headed to "Tahoe Joes" (because the Cheesecake there is better than making love to my wife while simultaneously winning the lottery as Tony Bennett seranades us). After having some more chit chat, TJ informed us that Sandy's work was paying for the dinner, as part of their effor to woo her and TJ out to Roseville. (Her work gave her the company credit card for the weekend and told her to eat, drink and be merry). After hearing the wonderful news that dinner at an expensive restaurant was going to be free, I proceeded to order the most expensive item on the menu. Seriously. It's called the Tahoe T-Bone, and it's half New York Strip and half Filet Mignon. (I didn't know such deliciousness was even possible, but apparently some scientists figured out how to have two completely different steaks on the same cut, separated by a bone).
Fast forward to about 3/4 of the way through the meal, and I'm cutting one of the last bites of New York Strip from the bone. I dip it in ranch dressing (because really, who doesn't dip their steak in ranch?) and proceed to bite down on what I assumed was going to be a tender, juicy morsel of steak. What I got instead was a shard of bone stuck to the roof of my mouth, in-between upper anterior numbers 10 and 11. Instant blood, and it hurt. So I think I yelped in some sort of sissy manner, then grabbed the cloth napkin on my lap and began to treat the wound. Just then, the waiter came by, so I took the white, blood-stained napkin out of my mouth and asked him for some warm salt water, so I could take it to the bathroom and gargle with it. He looked perplexed, so I explained that thanks to the Tahoe T-Bone, I had an open wound in my mouth and it needed treatment immediately before I would die from dysentery. Moments later, he brought out a piping-hot, calistoga hot springsesque glass of salt water.
I got up, holding my volcanic temperatured glass of salt water, burning my hands deeper with each passing second, and headed toward the bathroom. As I turned the corner, a waitress whom I could only imagine had been watching me carry the glass from my table, literally jumped in front of me and said: "Where are you going with that?" (Raise your inflection on "going", as to make it seem like I was mentally retarded in the way you ask). I had to stop, swallow the blood saliva that I was planning on spitting out once I got to the bathroom, and reply with "I took a bite of steak and a shard of bone got stuck on the roof of my mouth. I'm going to go rinse with this now". To which she replied, "Ohhhhhhhhh, I'm sooooo sorry!".
As I rinsed and spit in the bathroom, I started thinking about what exactly she may have thought I was going to do with that scalding hot glass of salt water. I guess it was a fair question, but I didn't understand why she asked me in the manner she did. It's not like I was shirtless, carrying a dead squirrel to the bathroom.
2008 was an incredible year for me. It started off with Nicki and I moving to Lincoln in order for Nicki to begin her Chiropractic career. In the midst of that, I found a job doing video production at a Rocklin based company. We thought we were about to soar. Unfortunately, just a few months in for both of us, it became readily apparent that neither Nicki's nor my job were what they were billed to be. Long story short, I ended up getting laid off in May, and Nicki quit that practice to move onto another in December.
Along the way, I had applied for over 52 jobs from May 3rd to July 11th. I applied for things I was qualified for, over qualified for, not that qualified for and everything else in-between. Not one of them replied to me. Nicki and I were pretty discouraged to say the least. Our bank account was negative, and our rent was due. Things were pretty bleak. But something happened on July 11th. I drove back to Fremont to get some financial help from my church that we attended while living in the bay area. I went to breakfast with the pastor, and had one of those life altering moments. Over the course of pancakes and a few beers (just kidding about the beers), I heard God speak to me. I called my wife and my mother to see if they were on the same page with what I heard God speak to me, and in fact they were. My wife and mother, both without prompting or baiting, said the same thing God said. I needed to realize my calling in life, and become a pastor.
I started attending William Jessup University in August, just 4 short miles from my house. Turns out there may have been other reasons Nicki and I chose to move here, even if it was unknown to us at the time. WJU is a 4 year Bible-based College. I am enrolled in the Pastoral program and in 3 years (because I already had a year of Junior College under my belt! Wooohooo!) I will have a bachelor's degree in Pastoral Ministry AND Bible/Theology. For the first time in my life I feel like I'm at the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Another incredible thing that happened to me this year was the unexpected and unbelievable desire to go on a mission trip. I know, Ricky Borba, going on a mission trip. Who would have thought? I was sitting in our school's bi-weekly church service while running the sound and light board. A student came to the podium to speak about mission trips (a speech I've heard 1000 times before) and I felt moved. I was totally caught off guard, and before the 2009 mission trip locations were discussed, I again heard God speak to me. "Africa". Normally I would have had a little dialogue with God, like "Are you sure you have the right guy here? ME?" but I didn't. I felt like I was being called. And sure enough a few minutes later, Tanzania, Africa was put on the screen as one of the places our school was going.
So now I'm on this incredible journey before the journey, of getting everything in order so I can go to Africa and help out those in need. I want to be a light to those people, and to serve them the best way I can, for three weeks. I have no idea what and how God is going to use me for, but I know that I can't wait to get there and show Christ's love through my actions. I've never been the type of guy to get my hands dirty (I've never been a fan of the outdoors and I'm not the type of guy to work on cars and stuff) but for some reason, none of that matters when I think about doing a mission in Africa. I want to get filthy for the Tanzanians!
If you've read this far, I want you to know the reason I sent this letter to you is because I believe you can help support me in one of three ways, or possibly more.
The first way you can help is simply by praying. I need prayer for myself as I prepare for this incredible opportunity, I need prayer for my family as I will be leaving them for three weeks, I need prayer for finances so that I may go on this trip, I need prayer for me as I try to balance being a father, husband, student, employee and now mission trip attendee. Above any other need, I believe this is the most important way you can help me.
The second way you can help is by visiting my wife and kids if you live near my family. I'll be leaving for 3 weeks, so my hope is that some of you who live nearby can go to my house and visit, to keep all 3 of my girls company. It's hard enough raising two kids with two parents, and Nicki is going to be all on her own for 3 weeks. So if you live close to us, please give Nicki a call and check in on her. While in Africa, I will only have access to internet twice during the entire trip, and no access to a phone at any time. I would like to know that before I leave, some of you have committed to making sure my family will be alright.
In closing, most of you know that this is extremely out of the ordinary for me, to travel and get my hands dirty. I can't even really explain it myself, but I heard a song that I think perfectly exemplifies how I feel about this mission trip. The song is called "Give Me Your Eyes" and it's about wanting to have the eyes of Jesus if only for a moment, to see the world as he sees it. Here is the chorus. I hope it inspires and touches you as it has me.
Give me your eyes for just one second Give me your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missing Give me your love for humanity Give me your arms for the broken hearted Ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten Give me your eyes so I can see