Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This day has gone beyond kicking my butt! If I ever hear anyone say anything that even remotely implies that computer geeks have "desk jobs" that person will win a trip to the data center with me. That most likely will take place the next time we have more 100lb+ servers to move.

Looking so forward to bed.... and for the turkey sammich that Amphoras is cooking up for me! :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ok, so a couple days ago I mentioned a recurring dream I had but didnt feel that I should share it. Now, mind you, I am not one to really read into dreams but I do believe, as was sometimes done in the Bible, God can speak to us through dreams. This dream had that feel to it but I had some quesitons about it.... questions that were answered in a discussion with a friend tonight.

So I only remembered a few key points from this dream. Basically, there was a marathon that me and a few others were running in and this marathon was taking place somewhere that was a good bit away from home. In the city where this marathon was taking place I had a friend that lived there and while the face and the name wasn't clear in the dream, I'm pretty certain that it was Kim. Either way, I was staying at a girl's house while I was there. I remember that in this dream Tiff had died and I'm pretty sure that I was looking for her funeral when I had become lost.... either way, I was lost and was roaming around this city. I remember being really lost and I had apparently wandered into an area that wasn't typically a public area and a tall man walked by me and looked at me funny and he had the obligatory ear piece in his ear. I asked him who he was and he said "the same as you" and I responded "FBI?" and he nodded. I also remember in this dream seeing Tiff's mom crying.... and I remember just walking over to her and giving her a big hug.

So here is the thing.... Tiff dying is not a physical death but the reality of her in my life has died. It's a sign that I have finally let go. Hugging Tiff's mom had me confused for a while but then it just really hit me.... its forgiveness. I had been extremely bitter towards Tiff's mom but thinking of how I feel now, there is no longer any bitterness. The marathon is the start of a new journey.... and thats probably not just relationship-wise. Staying at the Kim's house....Its a representation that the relationship I had with Kim was a hugely important step to get to this marathon. Remember that the marathon was quite a distance from home which means it was a journey in it's self.... Getting over Tiff was a long and hard struggle and Kim was a key factor in this... If it wasn't for being able to stay at Kim's house, I would not have been able to make it to ths marathon because I wouldnt have been able to afford the motel room, etc. It's alos really interesting that I was staying at Kim's house.... this leaves the future open... It wasnt that she was my wife so it's possible that the relationship with Kim was just enabling me to make it to the new journey that I am starting... however, it's left open because I could always go back to visit... and thats how I feel about Kim.... I can't stay outside her house because I have a journey but I left her house being the best of friends which means that it is possible that she comes back into my life -- but the important thing is that I continue on this journey and see what happens and not focus on what it was that I lost but focus on what is ahead in this new marathon. The one part of this dream that stuck in my head and I kept trying to write it off as something just random and not meaning anything was the FBI agent. It didnt hit me until I was talking to my friend tonight and she actually brought it up.... and literally I got chills when she said it. I was lost and wandering around looking for Tiff's funeral... this really explains the last couple years of my life.... I kept searching for a way to just let her go... to stop the pain and be done with it. The problem was that so many things around me were things that kept seemingly pointing me back TO Tiff and not to her "funeral" (ie, the point where I let go). The meeting with the FBI agent was really interesting because this whole exchange represents the figuring things out about Jason and Tiff, etc. Honestly, there were things that kept that well hidden from me and it actually took some thought... this week when I posted the MDI files of those two pages it wasnt to attack anyone.... it was important to me because it was the first hard proof that I had ever found of what I had always felt was going on.... the case had been cracked with actual evidence. There may be a few twists to this... for one, the FBI agent actualy could have very well been my friend who initially told me the truth about some things that I would not have otherwise found out. I didnt see myself as someone trying to figure out all of this stuff and I think thats why the agent said "the same as you" ... There was a point where this entire situation made sense and it wasn't until then that I realized that there were things I was learning and that I was becoming that person that could really understand hidden things. The "accidental" meeting of the FBI agent is an iteresting thing as well... Most of the information that came to me regarding this whole situation really just fell into my lap. I didnt go looking for this information... basically, I wasn't spying on anyone but the information I needed just made it's self to me. Really, it all caught me by surprise that I had the information that I got...

So there you go! In all honesty, the reason for me posting this on my blog isn't for anyone's edification but mine. This is a KEY point in my life and I want it to be here for when I look back. I say this to ask that no one attacks me for "reading too much into" this dream. These are key factors and are confirmation factors and not telling-the-future factors. If anyone wants to offer encouragement, I'd love to hear it... but I do ask that if you think I am off base because I'm "reading into" a dream, please be cautious.
How about a system in which cars connect to electric lines along the highways, like they use for electric busses and trollies, and use ultra-capacitors to get from the highway to your home?

Behold the future!

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ive just been thinking about my last post and there is something that jumped out at me. Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us in front of our Father in Heaven. Thinking about the woman at the well, there is evidence that this is important in earthly relationships as well. The woman ran to tell the others... the others who treated her as an outcast... people that she didnt matter to... but she had found something so special that she had to share with everyone else. If we buy a new car, what is the point if we dont take our freinds for a ride? If we have a person that is special in our lives, shouldnt we want to tell the world? If you have a friend why wouldnt you want the world to know about him or her? If you are ashamed of your friend, are you really your friend? People need to be loved and love is something that can not be hidden.... So if its a secret, is it love?

Just a thought....

Its amazing how much friendships can make the difference in someone's life. Typically if I miss a dose of my medicine im very down and depressed and I lose hope. Today was different. I hung out with Kat and Hunter pretty much all day. After church and lunch we went to her house to watch a DVD and then this evening the 3 of us went to see Barnyard... Aside from it being an incredible movie, it was great just being with someone... especially someone you consider a very close friend. I missed a dose but I had a dose of something better... friendship.

The sermon today was about the woman at the well. This woman was an outcast and had no friends. Jesus had compassion on her.... and Im going to go back to that Scripture that I can never seem to get away from.... yup, 1 Corinthians 13. Love is above the law. What law in this case? Jesus was not only a Jew but He was a Jewish rabbi and under "the law" Jews and Samaritans did not talk or associate in any way... at all! But Jesus had compassion on this woman... His love for her was unsurpassed and that love made a difference in her life - and everyone else in the town. Another thing was that Jesus stayed in that town for 2 days because He was asked to. As Mike said today, He could have very easily left the town for the woman to teach.... but He stayed. The reason why is very important. Jesus knew that we, as humans, need people around us to encourage us. This is why during the Creation He said "it is not good for man to be alone".... If Jesus had left that town, the woman would have been left with no support... Instead of leaving, He stayed and encouraged others so that when He did leave, they could grow together.

Having people around us is important. I know I feel lonely alot and I wish I had more people around me. Im sure many others feel the same way... and Im probably just as guilty in letting others feel that way.

The thing we always miss is that we are all in this together.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

And in 2006, Bob Mertz begins his conversion.

A while ago I made the "professional" recommendation to my church to convert the creative department to Macintosh computers. I made this suggestion without ever really using a Mac but I did make the decission based on facts and the history of the industry that I have seen.

About a month or two ago, I purchased a Mac Mini. The biggest reason for this was so that I could start learning OSX so that I could support the Macintosh computers that my church purchased per my recommendation... I mean, one would only expect me to have a clue, right? :) I was impressed about the thing right out of the box primarily on the graphical side of things. Its instantly obvious why Apple is the choice for graphic design and video production... the architecture just handles that type of processing very well.

Two days ago, my desktop computer died on me. I still havent even looked at it so it could just be something simple. I just started using my Mac Mini.... I do have my lifebook but while I'm home, I dont like to be on a laptop. Really, my computer crashing was a good thing because I have already forced myself to learn alot about OSX. And with it being built completely on a UNIX backend, I keep finding that I have a much stronger ability to use this thing that I had thought.

I had used this Mac Mini here and there over the last couple months mainly for the purpose of investigating a question that someone at New Life had but now I'm here at 2 days of actively using this thing and I'm wondering why I didnt start actively using it sooner. The interface is incredible and the stability is even better. I am having a small issue with iTunes while I'm listening to my mp3s. I'm not sure what is occuring there but I have some theory. All of my MP3 files are on my samba server and I know that iTunes has one big bad "feature" to it in that it likes to take all of your media files and make it part of your library and integrate it with everything. While this sounds like a good thing, the problem is that iTunes likes to add it's DRM goodness to your otherwise DRM free MP3 files. To prevent the possibility of iTunes screwing with me, my Mac has been given no access to modify anything in my MP3 share on my samba server. So there could be something going on there because iTunes is trying to modify something I dont want it to. It's also possible that I have a bad CAT5 cable coming to my Mac and the connection isn't able to keep up with the stream.

Either way -- I'm learning new things and I really am enjoying the "Mac Experience" ... I have to say, however, I am seeing alot of where this following video is true:

**Language Warning**

When Readnews went to ISPcon back in May, we were giving out shirts that said "My ISP Sucks Less" ... This is actually a saying that Avi has used in different scenarios. I think it's something that people should adapt tho. There are flaws with everything but its just about what has the least amount of flaws. I was told a story of how someone made a presentation to a company that they were trying to get their business from. The guy watching the presentation responded to the whole presentation by saying "everyone that has presented their services to me has all said the same exact thing and I dont want to hear about what you can do because everyone else tells me the same thing." ... he went on to say that he doesnt believe that anyone of them was realy any good. He then asked him why he should chose this guys company over the others and the response was "Well, we suck less" .... and by saying that, they got the business.

Why am I loving Macs so much? They suck less. I used to have alot of ability to convert the stupid things that happen in windows into humor but in the last year or so, while I still laugh at times, it really has started to give me more frustration than anything. I also have a great fear of Windows Vista. Macs may have flaws but I really like the above video that takes all of those and makes some fun out of them. Maybe as I start learning these flaws with OSX, I'll be able to do the same thing. Either way, its alot better than what I have with Windows.

Why not linux? Well, let's just say that's not ruled out yet.... right now, Mac has the application support that Linux just doesnt have.... YET :)

Windows still has it's place -- no matter how much I hate to admit that. Right now, for instance, I could not easily recommend to New Life that they convert all of the office and admin staff to Macs or even to Linux. While I think Macs can fit in an office enviornment, thats not their purpose. I can only hope that someday Linux gains the application support to take over the office.... as far as usability, Ubuntu Linux is there... but it all goes back to that "office suite" problem. Right now, the best office suite is Microsoft Office. I'm not a fan of MS Office, but I am at least smart enough to realize that it is the only viable option for most right now. Open Office just isnt stable enough... there are too many learning curves if you want to do advanced stuff. I fully support Open Office but I can't make a recommendation to anyone to dump MS for it yet.

It should be really interesting to see where operating systems and such go ove the next 3 or 4 years. We could see alot of huge changes -- and they might actually be good ones. 5 years ago, you had Windows and that was about it. You had Linux for servers and you had Macs for graphics.... but windows was the only option for 90% of the world. That has drastically changed within the last couple of years. Linux is now ready for the desktop and Macs are starting to gain alot of popularity. Like my friend told me... it kind of sucks that Apple's products are becomming popular because of their "trendiness" but the thing I like is that their functionality isnt hindered by that marketing -- which is much the way of Windows. So we'll see where things go... but its obvious that Windows, Apple, and Linux ALL have a place right now and they all have a shot at desktop domination as well.
Life is hard and there is no way around that.... but why is it that everyone just runs from their problems? Even I do it. Of all things, I just simply can not understand how we all must make God feel. God tries to help us learn... He lets things happen to make us a stronger and better person... and all He gets from us is rejection. Life's been too rough today so I just need to sleep instad of reading my Bible or praying.... I'm so guilty of that it's not even funny. All we do is whine about how God let this or that happen to us. It's one thing to question why but its another to attack Him....

People give up on people all the time... People lose people all the time... We blame God for giving up on us and at the same time, we gave up on Him a long time ago!

I love the tools that have been given to us through computers and the internet. I think there are so many blessings in this technology. Access to information that will encourage us is so much easier now. Access to find people to talk to is easier.... All of these things make our emotional lives easier. Despite all of this, there is one big thing that computers and the internet -- and even the telephone -- has made easier that I wish it wouldn't have. That is the ability to give up and to run from your problems. If you have a fight with someone, it's just so easy to hang up on someone or add that person to your block list. In some ways I wonder if this technology has made us think that we can just put God on our block list?

Yaknow... I think again of my sister when she was 3 or 4 and she wanted to hide from someone and she just covered her eyes. If she couldnt see that person, then they couldnt see her... thats the way her mind thought -- and it was understandable because she was a child.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11

.... why is this Scripture ALSO in the chapter about love?

We seem to grow up physically so fast but we are so far behind from maturity. It was understandable when Kari would cover her eyes to hide.... but if your 20 and you do that there is obviously something wrong with you -- for no other reason than you haven't matured to the point that a 20 year old has.

So why do we think it's any different emotionally? When we're 16, 20, 30, even 60 years old, why do we still think that we can just hide from our problems and run away from them? Why do we think that we can just explain them away? If we lie about a problem not being there, we somehow think that problem no longer exists. I guess it's just easier this way.

Honestly... what do we accomplish by not admitting when we do wrong? What do we accomplish by ending a fight by hanging up on someone? Actually.... the better question is what do we even THINK we are accomplishing?

God puts people in our lives because we need to learn something and the more there is to learn from that person or even just the experience of being with that person, the harder it's going to be to deal with. Why do we think we can just make it stop when it gets tough? I'm probably one of the most guilty of this.

I've joked about turning the internet off before... but maybe like the quote I last posted, we should just turn off the internet? I mean... Technology is a huge blessing and it gives alot of power to us but like the saying goes "With great power comes great responsibility" .... Maybe we're not mature enough to handle the power that has been given to us?

As we grow up, we are given more and more power. Alot of times this is based on your age and not your actual maturity. I always thought it was funny when I would go in to Wal Mart to buy a bottle of fuel injector clearner for my car and someone needed to verify that I was 18. The first time this happened to me the cashier and I joked... "What is that? When you turn 18 you just magically stop sniffing stuff" ... There actually is alot of truth in that. There may be some 16 year olds that could handle drinking and yet, there are 30 and 40 year olds that are alcoholics. I guess its just easier to have standard rules. We shouldn't have to think about each scenario, right? It's just so much easier to say that when someone is 18 they are able to handle the responsibility of the power of buying pornography and cigarettes. When a person turns 21 they are able to handle the responsibility of buying alcohol. Oh... and when a person turns 14, they are now able to handle the responsibility of having a myspace profile. Thats an obvious one because there are too many 12 year old girls with pictures of themselves wearing almost no clothes on their myspace profile. I mean... I've never seen someone that was 20 on myspace wearing almost no clothes!

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. -- Hebrews 6:1-3

So this is where, in a properly written article, the closing paragraph goes... but it's really just two words: Grow Up!

We all need to grow up.... myself included.
Let's just shut down the net. Damn thing has been nothing but trouble since the beginning. We probably should outlaw all communications that don't provide more income for the content "owners". That means no more printing, writing, singing, painting, talking...anything. If we don't want to give all our money to these damn people, we should shut the hell up, right?

And put in your earplugs
put on your eyeshades
you know where to put the cork...

Oops, there goes another violation.

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Man was my body drained... I slept 12 hours..... I'm up now tho.

Whats really getting me is a recurring nightmare that I have been having. It's really odd but I dont think now is the time to go into that.

I just realized something pretty interesting tho. Does anyone realize that this month makes 3 years that this blog has been going? I'm also something like 10 posts away from having 2,000 posts. Its really neat going back 3 years and seeing how I got to the point that I am now.

Ok, those are my random thoughts for the day :)
If your DHCP lease is older than your first-born child, you might be addicted to the internet.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Slashdot must have been slashdotted!
I just want to apologize for anyone that my last few posts may have hurt. I am also sorry that some people misinterpreted me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I analyze just about everything that comes my way. In the last day I was analyzing alot. Sometimes it just amazes me how people respond to certain situations and sometimes it also impresses me how much certain events can blind others from noticing other events. This is something that I amaze myself with at times.

Ultimately, what I have learned in the last 24 hours (at least more than I had before) is that you simply can not help someone that doesnt need to be helped. When Paul Revere warned everyone that the British were coming, they each had a choice to believe or not... and I think that if it was your first day in the town, you may not have believed quite so easily than someone who had seen the things that had been going on before the warning.

I dont believe that God creates pain for us but He often lets pain happen but only when that pain can be used to glorify Him or when that pain can be used to mold us into something else. It's not easy to learn sometimes and while we wish that someone was there to just tell us "yes" or "no", we don't realize that either way we're still going to try it ourselves and we're still going to let the pain happen.

I am in no way taking back anything that I have said in the last 24 hours but I am sorry about the way some people took it. Back in the situation when I first moved to VA and had the car issues, it got to the point that the next thing that went wrong only made me laugh. I had no other choice but to laugh at the misfortune that had been occuring and in that laughter I learned how to ride the waves. In the end, I ended up with a great car, Tiff ended up with a great car, and eventually, my friend from Brazil ended up with a great car for the time she was here. I wonder how it would have been if I didnt learn to laugh about those misfortunes? Right now, I see myself in the same situation.

I feel absolutely no emotional pain from what happened in the last 24 hours. I do feel frustrated in watching a friend hurt herself. People may attack me because they dont fully understand the words that I said. The important thing is that I know in my heart that Tiff somewhere knows that what I said and what I did was only because of the love that I have for her. I do care about her very much and I think she knows that. I wish I could help.... I really do. But that was the most important thing for me to learn -- that sometimes you just can't help someone that isnt ready to be helped. I'm glad Tiff was in my life because I have learned things that I would not have otherwise learned. I was told that I need to move on but thats not something I have to do because I already have moved on -- the problem was, I didn't "shake the dust off my feet" (Luke 9:5).

I'm really happy with where my life is and the things that have come my way. It's been a long time since I've been this content with my life. There is a really special girl in store for me and God will show me who she is when the time is right. Kim showed me what love was and whether or not Kim is the one for me doesnt matter -- I at least now know a little more about what I am looking for in a relationship.
So I think tonight is one of those nights where I really need to wrap things up here. Alot has happened today.... well, actually... only one MAJOR thing.... but aside from that I wasnt feeling well and there were some other strange conversations that took place.

Anyway.... I really need to write down here how I really feel about the things with Tiff. A few months ago I really started realizing that I needed to get over her completely.... because no matter what, there was always a part of me that was so concerned about her that it was affecting myself. That was when I joined eHarmony. My frustrations continued because absolutely none of my matches were responding to me... then one day I got a match with a girl named Kim. We quickly made it through the guided communication phase and were into open communication. It wasnt long before we were talking on the phone and we were connecting like I never believed was possible. When I pulled into Kim's driveway the day I went to see her, she was sitting outside and before I got out of my car I had to wipe tears away from my eyes. She was just so beautiful. After all the conversations that Kim and I had and now the physical meeting... I knew I loved her -- and I knew that I didnt love Tiff in the way that I thought I did.

Kim and I had this amazing connection that still to this day boggles my mind. Even just writting this thinking back on what I had with Kim kind of chokes me up because it really was special. Right around the time that Kim and I knew things were really as they should be, her parents decided they had a problem with some things and we both were fearing the worst. My last phone conversation with Kim was the most touching phone call I had ever had. One problem I always had with Tiff was that things weren't important for her to tell me. If she wanted to hang out with a guy that was her right and she wasnt even going to mention it to me because I had no right to even know. Truth is, I never did mind until I realized that she hid it all from me. Things started occuring in her life that directly affected me and she never told me because she wasn't strong enough. This phone conversation with Kim was hard for both of us. She knew she had to make a decission not to see me anymore even though she didnt want to. It was extremely touching because Kim loved me enough to give me the news straight out. She didnt try to hide the situation.... She knew it affected me and that she was not going to be able to keep everyone happy so she did what she believed was the best thing she could.... she broke up with me. I admire her for that. I think that's a big reason to be admired! Kim and I had both told each other that we loved them.... and we did. When Kim broke up with me, I felt love that I had never felt before. Kim was totally 100% honest with me and her honesty was the biggest expression of love that I had ever experienced. I miss her.... I miss her dearly. Not a single day goes by that I dont see her face in my mind and think of the amazing love that I had experienced. In all of this I realized that what Tiff had for me was not true love. If nothing else came out of my relationship with Kim, I was taught what love is all about. It's about giving up everything you have for the person that you love and sometimes it's giving up the person you love when you know that keeping them would only hurt them more and more. Kim let me go because she loved me. There was no greed in her heart... only love. There have been quite a few people that have told me that it probably wasn't Kim's parents.... they tell me that she probably just found someone new. I don't believe it.... because I experienced that love and I know that if Kim was to find someone else, she would tell me that straight. I trusted and trust her.

So right around this time, Tiff comes back into the picture. I don't understand why... well, I didnt at the time. Ironically the day before Kim and I broke up, Tiff IMs me. It seemed that she had no clue that I had a girlfriend but yet, somehow I knew that she had been reading my blog. She convinced me that she hadn't been.... but I know now that when I asked her if she read my blog she lied to me. She knew full well that I had a girlfriend and she didnt like that idea. Regardless, at this point I was still thinking that maybe Tiff was changing and becoming a better person -- the person that I fell in love with and the one that I thought she was. Tiff had mentioned about me going to visit her at wolf park this month. Amazingly, my boss told me that I should think about taking a vacation in the same time frame that would work for such a vacation. I told Tiff that I could not do that anymore because I was with someone.

Let's back up for a second here. Ironically, both the best moment of my life and the worst moment of my life were both shared by Tiff. Tiff had been upset with me and always being in contact with work. When I worked for Carpathia I always had the feeling that no matter where I was, nothing was going to get done unless I did something or notified someone. There was one night that I went up to DuBois to visit Tiff. I had decided that this night I was going to spend with her. I turned both my cell phone and pager off and Tiff and I cuddled up to watch a movie. No more than 5 mins into the movie, Tiff's mom yells for her and I dont see Tiff again for something like 30-45 mins. When she comes back I'm told that Jim was downstairs (for those not following along, Jim was her ex) and that he was really hurting so she decided that she needed to sit and talk with him. First of all, she couldnt see that Jim picked that time exactly when he knew it was worst.... not to mention, I still have a pretty strong feeling that Tiff's mom may have actually called him to cue him. Either way, the night I made the strongest effort to focus my time on someone who meant the world to me, she felt the need to focus her time on the person that, apparently, meant more to her than me.

So anyway, back to where we were.... Tiff asked about me going out to Wolf Park to visit her and I told her no. The reason was quite simple: I was dating Kim and I would not have allowed myself to put Kim through even the THOUGHT of what Tiff actually DID to me that night she left me for Jim. It's just simply not right. To me, I have no problems with my girlfriend hanging out with other guys but I think that if the girl loves me enough she would be wise enough to respect my feelings in that. Things like hiding the fact that she is hanging out with a guy can create a very bad situation. The human mind always fills in the blanks so no one should ever leave any blanks to be filled in. I also believe that if there was a strong emotional attachment to an ex that it may not be the best decission to hang out with him or her when you're in another relationship. It just leaves too many blanks to be filled in. There was no way that I was going to do that to Kim. I loved her too much and I knew that she loved me and it just wouldnt have been fair.

The following day, Kim and I break up. The timing was really strange and I was kind of thinking that God had a purpose for that happening the way it did. My pastor just recently corrected me in my alsmot automatic assumptions that God makes all the incredible appointments such as this. No doubt that God works miracles such as this but satan has also been known to create a few wonders himself. I'm thinking back to Moses when he was in Pharo's palace and Pharo's magicians were able to imitate almost every miraculous sign that moses did through God. Regardless, at the time I was not thinking this way so I had agreed that we could plan on me going out to Wolf Park for a vacation.

Last week I spoke with Tiff on the phone. It has seemed that she had been avoiding me and I was pretty upset. This was also the first time that I had directly confronted her about Jason. At the beginning of the phone conversation she was very strongly denying the fact that she had any interest in Jason as more than a friend. However, this was not settling right with me because I knew that the weekend before she left for Wolf Park she spent an entire weekend with Jason. I found this out from a friend (it is interesting to note that same said friend got ripped a new one by Tiff last week because she was going behind her back -- also interesting is that this friend got yelled at by Tiff shortly after this conversation took place). Things just were not adding up but I held on to the fact that people do change sometimes and I was taking Tiff at face value. As the conversation went on, I realized more and more that her interest in Jason was more, however, I also realized that she still had an interest in me. At this point, I can completely see the entire "Jim or Bob" situation replaying. I'm still taking her at face value tho until the moment that I asked her what dates I should plan on going out there. She told me that she didnt know if it was best. Imagine that... the girl that less than 20 mins ago was BEGGING me to not change my mind and go out and visit her now does not know if it's best. And why? Well, Jason had a problem with it -- however, she proceeds to tell me how wrong she believes Jason is at feeling that way. She thinks that it is her right and that no one else should be able to tell her who she can and can't hang out with. And.... that did it. I knew that not only was she either 1) telling Jason that he was her boyfriend and not telling anyone else or 2) she had full intention of asking him out. I told her that she needed to really figure out what her heart wanted and that she desperately needed to quit lying and/or hiding the truth. The following day (which was this past Saturday), I sent an email to her explaining that I was foolish to think that I could be in her life and co-exist with Jason. It is very important to note that it is NOT our of jealousy but it is within Tiff's own mind that I can not co-exist. It would NOT be fair to Jason if I went to Wolf Park to visit Tiff... that absolute horrible thing about the situation was that it had to be MY decission and not the person that supposedly loves him. Sunday I receive an email from Tiff like she never received the email I sent her the night before. The hilarious part about this is that Tiff even mentioned getting an email but didnt know what happened to it... Granted, she uses hotmail so a scenario like this is possible and if it had been about anyone else, I would have believed her -- however, it was not anyone else. My response to the email was that I couldnt do this at this time in my life and I forwarded the email I sent her again to be sure that she got it.

I remember when Kari (my sister) was something like 3 or 4 years old, she thought that if she couldnt see someone that they couldnt see her. Anytime she wanted to hide from someone, she would cover her eyes and make them go away. This seems to be the way Tiff thinks about her problems. She got an email on Saturday but she didnt want that email so the solution was to make it go away -- all she did was dig an even deeper hole. When my friend told me the truth (and, mind you, it was casual conversation that I found this information out), the solution for Tiff was to push the blame on someone who has never lied to me once. In the years and years that I have known Tiff, its almost always been about her but in her mind, she has never once seen it as being about her. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is not self-seeking and I dont think this makes a difference of whether we mean to be self seeking or not. What we say and do and what we feel is directly related to what is in our heart.

So that's the story... but how do I feel about the entire situation? Well, I honestly dont know what happens from here on out but I know that I have had confirmation that I need to avoid Tiff. When I saw the thing that I posted about earlier, it was the first visual contradiction that I had seen related to Tiff in a long time. Did Tiff hurt me? Sure she did.... but I'm stronger than I was last year and I functioned through this day quite well. The truth is, I do still really care about Tiff and I honestly do feel bad for her. I fully believe that Tiff has experienced alot of emotional abuse. Someone helped me realize that I have absolutely no power to help her no matter how much I want to. It's something that's going to take alot of therapy, most likely -- but ultimately I can't help her (nor anyone else) because Tiff does not believe that she needs to change. These are really hard words for me to write, to be honest. I do love Tiff... but its not the love that I used to think I had. Maybe in just the way that Kim let go of me, I need to let go of Tiff.... but whatever the reason, I know that I need to let go of Tiff and let go of the hope that I had of me helping her. I can't. I've pushed a brick wall for way too many years of my life.

I've become stronger through all of this and Tiff will go down in history as being someone who helped me grow even though it seems not much good came from her. There have been many of these scenarios in my life -- many of them jobs. Actually, even my ADHD and misdiagnosises is something that seems to have not brought any good but it was something that made me stronger over and over again. So for the first time EVER, I now see that there was a purpose for Tiff being in my life -- its just not the purpose I thought. Today I listened to a song by Kutless that had this line in it:

Freedom is only another perspective away

This is so incredibly true. I always believed that Tiff was brought into my life because she was the one that was meant for me but now I have confirmation that my perspective has been changed and because of it I have been set free.

So right now, I guess its me running out of the ocean, up the beach, and to each one of you. With my surfboard in hand I'm jumping up and down saying "Did you see that! Did you see that! I stayed on my board for 10 seconds" ... It doesnt matter that you crash but if you go longer and longer each time, you're making progress. Bad things are hitting us all the time and let's just try to stay afloat for 5 seconds, then 8 seconds, then 10 seconds.... before you know it, we're professional surfers -- oh, but that SURE doesnt mean that we'll never fall. Even professionals screw up at times.

So for now, I'll keep learning how to surf.... and as is the case many times, I'm grabbing my surfboard again and running into the ocean yelling....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

(21:16:08) bobkmertz: well I really meant what I said in my blog that I will never say something for sure about the future
(21:16:19) bobkmertz: and that also means that I wont sit here and say that ill never date Tiff again
(21:16:21) bobkmertz: however
(21:16:35) jodi: yeah, but you'll also never walk into it with the amount of trust you had in the past
(21:16:40) bobkmertz: a few people in hell might start running for jackets if I get closer to her :)
(21:16:43) jodi: she'd really have to earn that back
(21:16:46) bobkmertz: oh yea
(21:16:47) bobkmertz: OH YEA
(21:16:49) bobkmertz: OH
(21:16:50) bobkmertz: FREAKING
(21:16:51) bobkmertz: YEA
(21:16:52) bobkmertz: :)
(21:17:14) bobkmertz: she'd like have to move in with me and be in my sight every hour of the day
(21:17:15) bobkmertz: heh
(21:17:23) jodi: eventually you'll get to the point where you wouldn't take her back too
(21:17:46) bobkmertz: yea
(21:17:52) bobkmertz: when I find that amazing girl in my future
(21:17:56) jodi: you'll have too many good and honest things going on in your life to throw it all away for a world of wondering which end is up
(21:18:40) bobkmertz: right
(21:18:41) bobkmertz: well
(21:18:47) bobkmertz: im always wondering which end is up
(21:18:53) bobkmertz: but it doesnt have to be which end of a girl is up
(21:18:57) jodi: lol
(21:19:07) bobkmertz: well.... except for in certain physical circumstances
(21:19:08) bobkmertz: :)
(21:19:23) jodi: the face is on the front
(21:19:23) jodi: with the boobs
(21:19:27) bobkmertz: lol

(21:28:08) jodi: man
(21:28:13) jodi: you know what is SO ironic?
(21:28:18) jodi: the first post you made today
(21:28:25) bobkmertz: hmmm
(21:28:28) jodi: about the Feds covering up their crap
(21:28:29) jodi: haha
(21:28:32) bobkmertz: LOL
(21:28:32) jodi: ironic!

Now this is interesting dont you think? I start trying to trust someone again and next thing you know, someone else is taking my vacation.

It's all ok tho... Like my friend told me -- Its a good thing I found out about Tiff not being sane BEFORE I took a vacation from hell!

In case you missed it
(Microsoft Document Image)

Ironically, on the same day this occurs, said person above dissappears from Tiff's "top friends" list.

Just in case thats been "corrected" by time you see it

Believe it or not, I was completely expecting something like this to happen. It's always seemed that she beats around the bush about the truth.... She may be very right that she doesnt outright lie but she is an expert at hiding the truth from you. I told her that she had a decission to make and I was fully expecting her to try to hide what decission she was making.... and, Jason dissappearing from her profile was just that. However, I thank God that in this situation the truth has always come out and not once has it ever come from Tiff's mouth.

Good thing I have friends:
(20:10:11) jodi: yeah, slaughtering bambi i have issues with, but ripping humans who piss me off limb from limb, i'm okay with that
(20:27:51) jodi: i totally just can't believe tiff never fessed up to the whole jason thing!


The crazy thing was I was listening to a Kutless song today and there was a line in it that hit me very hard. It was "Freedom is just another perspective away" ... And I think I have found my freedom! Finally I can say that I have been 100% liberated from what control Tiff had of me. I started talking to her this last month to kind of proove a point to myself.... I wasnt expecting it to happen with bells and whistles -- but it sure makes for a great story, doesnt it? :) I'm not going to lie... The thought crossed my mind about Tiff and I being back together.... And I dont know that I will ever say something for certain about the future again so who knows what tomorrow brings ... but right now I can say that I am honestly liberated and free. My perspective has been changed in one day and it feels great to be free!

OH!!! And dont think that I didnt find out good news today! There certainly is some great news and the future is looking much brighter:

No need to wake up before 10am anymore

Hehehe.... what a great day! For those of you that have known me for years should find this pretty shocking: I feel better in this hour than I have all week! :)

Good luck to Jason. I really honestly pray that Tiff has learned a lesson and she won't end up destroying his life as she has many others. And if she does, I hope he is smart enough and strong enough to take it. I say this not in spite of Tiff but because I really hope that no one every goes through what I went through.

Mmmmmmmm Fuddruckers! One thing that NoVA has that Pittsburgh doesnt. Now if we could only do something about that Redskins problem!

Wired News: Wiretap Case: 'Drop It,' Say Feds

So if someone is about to uncover your dishonesty, what do you do? Well, if you're the federal government, you just make it all go away, of course!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. -- Ecclesiastes 1:18

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Sometimes it's scary how everyone gets so caught up in rules and regulations and what is right and wrong and what is expected. We so often get so caught up that we forget about something that is evidently very important: Love.

As Christians, we always seem to put God in a box. Within our logic we can't understand what God is doing so the reaction we have is to try to fit God into our world but what we need to do is jump into His. I drive to work and I drive to the New Life office almost every day and I see more acts of self-centerdness than love and this just shouldnt be.

The Scriptures above I think really paint a picture of how love can break bonds of all types. What is right and what is wrong does not matter.... 1 Corinthians 13 is pretty clear about love -- more clear than we want to realize.

It's so easy for us to have our sights set on something and conform to that which has been planned. It's funny that we are so lazy that we create more pain and more work for us. Sometimes we dont want to admit that we have to think about something. Some people think drinking any alcohol is wrong and some have nothing against it. Why is there such a diverse view - even within the church? Quite simply, there isnt any clear cut example one way or the other. Why do churches say all alcohol is wrong? Is it because it is wrong? I think it's more a matter of the heart. What are your reasons for drinking and does drinking control you? But the thing is, its so much easier to just say "drinking is wrong" rather than to have to think about it in every scenario. Creating a rule or a way of action inside a denomination or a business or family is only another piece to building a box around what we could be experiencing in this life.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. -- Isaiah 43:19

So if all rules have been the same since the beginning of time, how does that allow God to do a new thing? God is an unchanging God but that doesnt mean that the things He does doesnt change. How do we know? Quite simply: Love! If we have a love for Christ and a love for others, then our hearts are in tune with Him and that will keep us on the right track.

We so desperately need to stop putting God in a box. We need to stop accusing others of sin when we have not been given the right to judge. Maybe someone does something that you believe is sin -- I respect that. The problem is that it is possible that your heart is convicted differently than the person that sinned in your eyes. That matter is between Him and God. Sin is born out of desire so isnt it possible that our desires could all be different? And if our desires are different and in our hearts we have different motives, isnt it possible that our convictions are different thus making certain things sin and not sin depending on the person. Someone who has a history of alcoholism may be sinning by taking a drink -- someone who is strong in that aspect may not be sinning.

People say all the time that the problem with this nation is that they have lost God. I don't believe that. The problem with this nation is that they have lost Love... and in losing Love, they have lost God because God is Love. People make mistakes all the time but sometimes you just have to thank God for those mistakes because without them we would never experience love. I know someone loves me when they give me a chance -- I know someone will never let me go when they give me a second or third or fouth chance.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. -- Matthew 18:21-22

Can you imagine having someone forgive you that much? Can you imagine the love that person must have for you? Can you imagine the impact that type of love could make on this world?

We make mistakes all the time... and we always will until Jesus comes back for us. We have been given Grace that is more sufficient than anything else and those sins are covered by His grace -- and they are a matter between the person who sinned and God. Matthew 7 puts this very clear. Instead of condeming someone, how about we try giving them another chance and letting God deal with the "sin".

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." -- John 8:7
box1# ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
ping: sendto: No route to host
ping: sendto: No route to host
ping: sendto: No route to host
--- ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

So.... this kind of sums up how its going at work right now :)

Im still working... and Im ok with that :)

Tonight has been really strange but its also been really awesome. Since about 6pm I have really felt God's presence in everything. Ive had some really incredible conversations and actually met some really amazing people.

I have no clue whats going on as usual but I really feel a peace tonight.... Its like my soul has found something that it didnt have before.... its odd, yes -- but awesome :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day
Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19

Happy "Talk Like a Pirate Day"
How is it that I can fail this much and still be alive? It's no wonder that no one loves me or thinks that I'm worth fighting for. I honestly dont understand how God still loves me, even though I somehow know He does.

It'll be ok at some point, I'm sure. I just really need that vacation that I'm not able to take now. Actually, I need alot more than that.

*sigh* I'm going to try this sleep thing again..... So far it hasnt been working so well.

That pretty much sums up everything right now. First of all, the Steelers lost so thats pretty upsetting....

But the bigger issue is I'm an emotionally confused person again.... someone who feels like he has no strength left. I cant understand how God can use me.... or even if He does use me.... I'm such a messed up person. I've been here before.... just so numb that I dont care anymore... I dont care about fighting for what is best... I dont feel like fighting temptation... I just dont feel like doing anything.

Why do I let myself get to this point? More so, why do I let the stupid things that other people do push me ever faster to this point? Why can I not just accept the fact that I can't help everyone and just move on?

I somehow need to turn this around. I started to learn to surf.... I need to push forward and keep learning. The problem is that the crashing and burning that I've been doing is starting to hurt and to wear me out. How do I handle that?

I'm learning something, I'm sure.... I just don't understand what. God has some kind of crazy curriculum and I know that what is happening is in my best interest. I'll learn to surf.... but its such a hard thing to learn.

Monday, September 18, 2006

This is just me asking a favor. If I ever decide that being right is more important than truth and honesty, please correct me or just shoot me. Being able to face the truth is the greatest sign of strength and if I want to work towards being someone who is strong I need to be a man of integrity and I need people to hold me accountable to that.

So I just got done with a long talk with Mike (my pastor) and I feel alot better but I also have alot more to think about. He helped me see something that I didnt before. I seem to have this bad habit of seeing God in everything. God is in almost everything but there are times that He isnt.... sometimes someone does something that may seem like God's timing mainly because its a trick disguised as a blessing. This may explain alot of my emotional state.

What is Kim in my life? What is Tiff in my life? I really don't know the full answer to that but I do know that I need to cut the ties with Tiff for now. I'm not saying that Tiff and I will never be in touch again and, well, I can say nothing about what the future holds.... but I know this.... I absolutely can not be the one to initiate anything. My life is so full of making sacrifices -- I make entirely too many of them. I desire to help so much that I hurt myself as well as others. The worst feeling I can ever experience is helplessness. I hate it.... but sometimes, especially when someone's motivation needs changed, any help that I give may only make the situation worse. For now, Tiff is not in my life and until she would make some drastic changes and sacrifices, it has to remain that way.

So then there is Kim.... I can certainly say that Kim was in my life because of God but I can't totally answer why. Some people know this but I hadn't put it on my blog. The big reason why Kim's parents are against me is because I stayed at Kim's house and her parents happened to drive by her house and saw my car there. What can I think about that? Well... maybe I did things wrong and maybe Kim did too.... and as much as I enjoyed being with Kim and cuddling through the night.... well, it wasn't worth losing her over. One thing that Mike did say was that if Kim really did want to be with me, why isnt she? He said that kids get away with things all the time.... I told him that he may be right but in this case, Kim isnt with me because of the reasons that I respect her for. She's not about sneaking around. The Kim I know is completely honest and if she was sneaking around her parents to see me, I think it would create problems.... even if she was never "caught" she would still have that feeling and nagging and Kim is far more intelligent than anyone else I met.

I go back and I think how things might be if I didnt stay at her house that night.... Would we both still be happy? I can't go back and change it but I could change things for the future.... well... I could if I was given a second chance. As I write this, I'm learning more and more about how I feel. Do I think that staying at Kim's house was wrong? Well.... the action I dont neccesarily believe was wrong but I do believe it was wrong because I disrespected Kim's parents.... and for that, I am truly sorry. I honestly dont agree with what her parents did but its not because I dont believe they had a reason... it's because I'd so much rather people discuss issues rather than just get rid of them. I believe in second chances and I really wish that I could somehow have that second chance. I really do wish that. I sincerely am sorry for the way things happened. I'll admit, some of it is because I lost Kim over it.... but I really lost the respect of her parents in doing something that was questionable.

I am a very anti-conformist because so many things in the church frustrate me. It's really hard for me to sit and watch people limit God because of what traditions are. I have seen God do some incredible things out of things that someone would not believe God could use -- but the thing is that God can use them. Sometimes the things that God uses are the things that many Christians would think are the most evil things in the world. On the flip side, sometimes there is a time to be a conformist in certain situations. I have often used the saying "when in rome, do as the romans do" because I think there are scenarios were you need to be at the party like Jesus was.... sometimes you need to turn the water in to wine. It's not an issue of whether it's right or wrong but its an issue of connecting. The thing I didnt think about with that saying is that it also means that when I am with extremely conservative Christians, I need to respect them.

With all that said.... if I had one wish right now I would wish for a second chance. Maybe I'd screw up again or maybe I wouldnt. I hate giving up on people and it hurts really bad when people give up on me. I really wish that Kim's family didnt give up on me..... or that they didnt give up on me and Kim...... Maybe we made mistakes but that doesnt mean that God wasnt or isnt in the entire situation, does it?

I thank God that He is a God of second chances ... even when humans aren't.
All your twisted thoughts free flow
To everlasting memories
Show soul
Kiss the stars with me
And dread the wait for
Stupid calls returning to us to life
We say to those who are in love
It can't be true 'cause we're too young
I know that's true because so long I was
So in love with you
So I thought

A year goes by
And I can't talk about it

On my knees
Dim lighted room
Thoughts free flow try to consume myself in this
I'm not faithless
Just paranoid of getting lost or that I might lose
Ignorance is bliss cherish it
Pretty neighborhoods you learn to much to hold
Believe it not
And fight the tears
With pretty smiles and lies about the times

A year goes by
And I can't talk about it
The times weren't right
And I couldn't talk about it

Choris Romance says goodnight
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Remember you, remember me
Hurt the first, the last between
Choris Romance says goodnight
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Remember you, remember me
Hurt the first, the last, between

And I'm praying that we will see
Something there in between
Then and there that exceeds all we can dream
So we can talk about it

Choris Romance says goodnight
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Remember you, remember me
Hurt the first, the last between
Choris Romance says goodnight
Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Remember you, remember me
Hurt the first, the last healing

And I'm praying that we will see
Something there in between
Then and there that exceeds all we can dream

And all these twisted thoughts I see
Jesus there in between
And all these twisted thoughts I see
Jesus there in between

"So I thought" by Flyleaf
*head asplode*
I really want someone to use that flashy thing from Men in Black on me. I really am going to crack... I'm trying to be strong but there are so many things going through my head right now..... it sucks.

I'm hoping to talk to my pastor tomorrow... I just dont know what steps to take.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Every time I fall down on my face
I see the one who bore all my shame
Well To know that you are everything I need you to be
You're my ever present help in time of need

I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
I know you understand it all

Every pain I feel inside my heart
It takes a faith I know I can't depart
Well To know that you hear every cry I raise to you
Bringing thoughts of hope the words I bring I know are few

Will you hear me when I call
Were you there when I fall
Will you hear me when I call
Will you hear me when I call
Were you there when I fall
Will you hear me when I call

Will you hear me when I call
Will you hear me when I call
I am yours
Will you hear me when I call
Will you hear me when I call
I am yours

So why don't I get back on my feet again
I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
I know you understand it all

"Understand" by Jeremy Camp

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sometimes maturity is doing what we dont want to do. Thats something that some people have told me and I guess maybe I'm a little more mature tonight.... Even if it is just a tad.

I was looking forward to going out to Wolf Park this month and to seeing Tiff but I've realized some things all over again that I've known for a while -- I simply can not let myself be put in a position where I have to wait for other people to make decissions. There still has been no final decission on when I was going or even if I was going.... and it really has been bugging me. The only option I had was to make the decission that I was not going. People can change but I realized that Tiff hasnt yet.... and it hurts me to say that but I realize that there are still so many things that God is working on her with and they are things that would only be clouded with me being in the way. I was being really positive in my thoughts but I realized as I got closer to a point where Tiff and I were becomming friends all over again that the path led straight to the same place I was at before. I just simply do not want to be in a position where a friendship confuses me and pulls me away from God.

I care about her alot but I realized a couple of months ago (for the first time) that Tiff was not the one for me. Tonight, I sent an email making that clear. Sometimes friendships are important to keep but sometimes they can just complicate things. Someday God is going to show me that amazing girl (or maybe he already has and I'll learn this later) and it just simply would not be fair for me to be around Tiff because of the history. It just isn't right. I can not let anything be in the way that would make my future wife have a reason to worry. I want to have a relationship with my wife that I trust her 100% and I know that if she says "that guy is cute" I know thats where it stops and I have no reason to worry about her leaving me or giving up on me. I want it to be the same thing in the other direction.... and spending time with an ex is definate cause for alarm. When I was with Tiff it bugged me all the time when I heard that she was hanging out with Jim... I didnt believe it was right but I dealt with it. She started learning of how it bugged me so the solution was to hide it from me which only caused more reasons for me not to trust her.... These are things that I have experienced. I really hope that she learned from them but I'm scared that she didnt. But I know the pain associated with secrets being kept and I do not want to do that to my wife... I dont want to give her a reason to believe that secrets are being kept from me.... I may not know who she is but she is already a very important person to me and I have to think of her. I've realized that you dont neccesarily have to be doing something wrong for it to seem like you are.... Anything at all that would jeopardize my relationship with my wife simply just can't be allowed.

This is some hard stuff for me to write but I need to get it out there. Tiff came back into my life for a very short while again and I'm so glad she did.... for no other reason than I now have shown myself that I truly am over her.... I was over her long before she came back but sometimes when you experience it, it helps you believe it alot more. My wife is waiting for me.... somewhere.... and now I'm sure that I am ready for her!

The waves are coming in... I need to grab my surfboard and run into them.... and yell

"Then lets try the impossible, because the possible just aint working" -- Porter in "The Gridiron Gang"

One of the hardest things to do is to find your place. To find where you fit in -- or to find what purpose your life serves. When dealing with all of that we have to deal with people suggesting things to us and we hear so many different things that we allow ourselves to become confused.

This isnt a new thing. It's actually exactly what Job went through in the Bible. Job went through more than most of us could even imagine. His life was destroyed and not only that but it was destroyed because God let it happen. Ultimately, it was all for the Glory and it was all worth it but that didnt take the pain away. Job frequently questioned God and asked Him why things were the way they were and the Bible specifically says that Job did not sin in doing this. In amongst all of this mess were his friends who knew what was best for him.... but did they really?

After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer. -- Job 41:7-9

Sometimes what people say need to be taken with a grain of salt. In many cases, they say what they say because they care about you. It's sometimes a hard concept to grasp because of the emotional pain you may be in.

God never told anyone that it was going to be easy but He did tell us that it was going to be worth it. I'm 26 years old and I still dont know what I'm doing with my life. So many times I want to be frustrated but I need to try to realize that I am where God wants me for this time. I also need to realize that He may move me next month.... I don't know what God is doing but it's better that I dont because I have that horrible habit of getting in the way.

Not knowing is such a struggle for me. The end of this month I am supposed to be going on vacation and I still have no plans for it... and in fact, its not looking good.... but I just wish I knew what to plan for. I wish I knew who was in my life and who I could count on -- but I dont. The only Person I can count on is God and as much as I try to make it seem like it's not, that is enough. It's hard when people let me down and it always seems that they do. It's hard for anyone. I dont understand why I feel so alone or why it seems like every human on earth just gives up on me. While I know it's not true, I can't help but feeling like I am worthless. You can ask me why I feel worthless when I know its not true but that really doesnt deserve an answer. It's like telling a guy that has just been kicked in the nuts "You're fine and you'll be better in a bit" .... Sure, he may be fine in a bit but that sure as hell isnt going to stop the pain he feels at that point.

People interpret my struggles and my words in different ways than I actually feel them. It may be hard to deal with people not understanding me but I have to realize that God's Glory is in all of this and that somehow, someway, things will be better. Some day I will find that girl that will never give up on me but even when I find "the one" I can't expect her to never give up on me -- I can only let her not.
I remember a skit that Brian Regan did. In it he said about words just coming out and your brain going "oh no! words are coming out"..... Tonight, I could almost picture this going on inside of me. It's weird when you say something that your mind doesnt have time to think about -- and sometimes it can be a real blessing. Sometimes we convince ourselves that our heart is wrong.... ok, most of the time we do. Maybe this is why Jesus said:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding -- Proverbs 3:5

I wish that we all could just follow our hearts. I look around me and I see all kinds of people (more here than in most areas) that wouldnt even know what their heart sounded like if it started screaming at them. Its so hard sometimes to ignore logic but most of the time, if we want to follow God, it's exactly what we need to do.

Again, I am clueless. I had a phone conversation that scared me..... but in the end, I felt alot better..... I'm still scared and I'm still clueless.... and I actually think I knew more before I had the conversation.... but being a skier, I pray for the blizzards -- the same things others dread. If I can just take that concept and apply it to my life in general.... If I can only learn to use the bad for something exciting..... If all of us could.... things would just be a lot better. It's not about competing with each other, saying who's better or who is worse, and its not about what problems come our way.... Its about riding it out.... All we need is God.... we need nothing else. Sometimes we dont get what we want because we think we need it.... but when we realize that its not something we need, then God blesses us with just that.

I said it a few weeks ago and I think it's appropriate here:

Friday, September 15, 2006

So I dont know what to think right now but I'm kind of thinking that my vacation to Indiana isnt going to happen. I need to get away but I just simply have nowhere to go.... I think that I do lead the most boring and lonely life..... Maybe I am worth something and I enjoy what I do but outside of work and outside of New Life, I have nothing.... nothing to do, and no one to count on.

So anyway, if anyone has ideas for a vacation I could take, please let me know... otherwise, I'll probably just stick around Ashburn and ... well, do what I always do: work.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

So I have really been thinking about something today..... sacrifices.

I still miss Kim but there is one thing that I realized that she impacted my life with and she couldnt have done it if we were still together. Actually, it was her breaking up with me that really showed me something. Kim was faced with a choice that no one ever wants to have to make. She was basically forced to pick either me or her family and it was a very tough decission for her to make. Kim had to decide whether she wanted to pursue a relationship with me and have her family turn their backs on her or she had to break up with me to keep the peace in her family.

So what stands out so much to me regarding this? Well, quite honestly, its that she made the decission. Its no secret that when you hide the truth or deny the truth, you are going to hurt people. Even if it is with good intentions, your going to ultimately hurt someone. Sure, it hurt to have Kim break up with me but it would have hurt ALOT more if she didnt. She had to make a sacrifice and she realized that and she didnt waste time in making it and hurting everyone along the way. I am so incredibly proud of her for that.

It's pretty interesting how I feel right now. If Kim called me next week and said that she wanted to pursue a relationship with me again, I would be able to 100% trust her and we would work together for that. Of course, thats probably not going to happen but boy do I wish it would. The honest truth is that if that scenario would happen, I know that I could love Kim just as much as I always did and I know for a fact that our relationship would be even better. The reason is because I saw her take life by the horns and do what she had to do. She broke up with me and did what she knew would really hurt me because she knew that honesty is more important than anything else. At this point I know that if Kim and I ever got back in touch with each other I will have already seen her take a huge leap and do something beacuse it was the right thing.

It sucks when we are put in situations where we have to give something up that means alot to us. When your family is giving you a hard time to go one direction, it makes it even harder. I mean, alot of people could say that Kim should never have been faced with a choice like that -- but it doesnt matter. The fact was she was faced with that choice to make may be right or wrong and it may have been put there because of someone else's not understanding what was going on -- but again, that doesnt matter.

Life is not about what choices are thrown at us or what situations we are faced with... its about how we handle them. If we are forced to make a sacrifice, we have to make it.... and sometimes we have to decide what to sacrifice. It becomes even worse when you are faced with the decission of sacrificing a relationship with a human (friend, family, etc) or another human. When we deeply care about both its hard because we know that the decission we make is going to hurt us and its going to hurt the other person as well.... but just because we dont like it doesnt mean we can not take action. If we try to pretend that its not there and we put it off and put it off, then we end up hurting EVERYONE involved and we end up hurting them even more. We should always be honest with everyone, including ourselves.

This all kind of reminds me of some interviews that I have gone through with some big companies. At the very beginning there is a requirement that you sign a full disclosure agreement. This means that when you enter into a working relationship with that company, you are required to fully disclose anything that you have done related to your job. This is important on so many levels. Obviously, there are various legal reasons why this is important but it also has other meanings as well. If there is any sign of possible dishonesty, it's going to raise questions. You may not want to tell your new employer about the job you did that directly competes with your new company but sometimes its just a matter of letting them know and everything is just fine. When you make disclosures that you have reason to be affraid of disclosing, then your employer knows that you are honest -- and you also take a WHOLE lot of stress off of yourself. When you have to hold lie upon lie on your back, you get closer and closer to just collpasing. I guess this is why God told us how much honesty is important.

A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. -- Proverbs 14:25

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free -- John 8:32

I could really list hundreds and hundres more. Truth is very important. There is a Scripture that I think is really relevant to this situation.

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." -- Mark 5:32-34

Jesus knew that someone had touched Him and he was searching for that person. The woman that did it was so incredibly scared that she was hiding from Him. She was affraid that she might be punished... she was affraid of alot. But what did Jesus do in the end? Jesus healed her! It was the truth that needed to be told before she could feel relief from what she was dealing with. Sometimes you dont know how much disclosing the truth to someone, even tho you are affraid, might make the situation so much better. We all make mistakes and anyone that doesnt expect someone to make a mistake is unrealistic. But imagine being able to hear the truth about something horrible? It may not always happen, but I think when you hit the position where you tell the truth about something you did that was dishonest, you end up gaining ALOT more trust than you ever had in the first place. Maybe you've continually screwed up and continually denied the truth.... being able to take one step and tell the truth all of a sudden can really help people see something honest -- even if what your telling them was a horrible thing. The alternative is to deny it to them and to yourself and try to live your life like the problem isnt there.... If you do the later, I dont imagine you are going to be able to take it much longer.... all the lies you're holding will make you collapse. You can try to start blaming everyone else for doing wrong to you but all your doing is piling more on top of yourself. Even if we need to work towards gaining trust back from a whole lot.... we need to start unloading demons. More importantly, we really need to not let it appear that we are hiding something. Just because we arent doing something wrong, doesnt mean it doesnt look like we're doing something wrong. If its something that your not doing wrong but you think someone might think its wrong -- then make it their problem. You can live in not letting them know and having that pressure on you or you can tell them the truth and if they get mad at you and you really believe it wasnt wrong, then the problem is theirs and not yours.

Sacrifices suck, no doubt. The thing is they are a part of life and they are something that we must deal with and be honest about. People are going to get hurt and sometimes, we just can't help it. The choice we have to make, we have to make. The longer we wait, the harder it is for everyone -- and the more it destroys us. We need to live our lives so that we can be trusted and alot of times we gain trust by showing the reasons someone has to distrust us. Let's just disclose everything and take the pressure off of ourselves.

Argh! Why am I still up?

Wow.... So I havent slept in two days and I actually came home real early tonight (like 10ish).... I was relaxing some and waiting up but I just now fell asleep at my computer so I guess this would be a good time to go to bed..... *sigh*


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm really not emotionally well.... and, of course, I'm missing Kim alot. I'm starting to realize that most people that say they care about me really dont mean it... sometimes they make an effort to "show me" that they do care about me but then it goes right back to the way it was. Kim is the only person I ever dated that I believe really truly loved me in the way that I wanted to be loved. I'm sure that as time went on it would have gotten harder as it always does.... and I dont know what makes me think that her and I would be any different than anyone before... But I had hope...

I really dont understand it... I'm starting to slip away again and I don't like it at all. Please keep me in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So I have no clue what's going on with this vacation thing. I really have only one option for vacation which is what I would really like to do but I can't get any information and.... *sigh* I don't know.... I'm really down again. I really wish I had friends that stuck by me and that I was actually important to.
Kernel Panic: error reading /dev/caffeine
Yet another day seems like it's wasted
You don't feel you're any closer to the prize
A dead end [thought] where there's no future
Praying that tomorrow things won't be this way
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know that you won't feel this way forever
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know loneliness won't last forever
Yet another day, another tired morning
You're catching up to your intentions
You're thinking life has to be easier than this
Maybe tomorrow things won't be this way
Loneliness won't last forever
I promise with all that's in me to leave this emptiness behind

"Promise" by Spoken

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why is it so easy to give up hope, but so hard to just give up your problems?

"We Will Never Forget"
In memory of those who lost their lives on September, 11th, 2001

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I can't understand this. Tonight (well, last night) was really good. I was able to relax... nothing really big on my mind. I've now been laying in bed for about an hour and a half and I just simply can not sleep..... I dont think it was 30 secs after my head hit the pillow that I started thinking about Kim. I know that there are reasons why I dont understand this but it sure doesnt make it any easier. The thing that really hits me so hard is that its not that everything reminds me of Kim... its how everything reminds me of how I connected with Kim.

All I know is that I really need to get some sleep. My friend, Kat, and her little boy, Hunter, are going to church with me tomorrow and I need to be up in 3 hours.

I just wish I knew how someone I knew for such a short time has left such an incredible hole in my heart and how I can miss her so much.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

God said that He would provide.... and I really hope that this is all just a way for Him to show me that He means it.

For the last year or so I have been able to live without having financial stress. It has been hard but not deadly like I have experienced my whole life. I found out some things today that.... well, they scare me. It appears that I have not been making quite as much money I thought I was.... The worst part is, I dont even really know what I'm talking about but I just know that it's boiling down to the "cutting back on things" scenario and somehow finding thousands of dollars at the end of the year.

This is killing me.... I've lived the last year of my life happy. I was not in financial stress and things were good... they weren't easy and I did and still do have to watch what I spend... and its hard in this area.... but at least I wasnt worried about people calling me and wanting money and being past due....

I just dont want to go back.... I just dont! :(
Lately I've been busy thinkin'
And this is what's been on my mind
It seems like all I do is work for You, Lord
But I feel empty on the inside

I know that work is an important part
Oh but this is also true
My dilemma is an issue of the heart
When I try to live for You without You

I don't need to try to be
The flawless example
Lifted up for everyone to see
I don't need to stand and shout it
" Hey I've got the answer!"
If Your presence is living in me
I don't need to talk about it
In a church committee
For the world to know the truth
All I need to do is just be me
Being in love with You

I've been spending all my time
And all my efforts trying
to make you proud of what You see
But to my great surprise
I have realized
Nothing that I do can change Your love for me

"Being in Love With You" by Big Daddy Weave
Sometimes understanding what is wrong with you is all you need.

One thing I missed from working at Carpathia was the task management system. Basically, everything that was done was assigned a "ticket" and if it was a project I was working on, I updated the ticket with details of what was going on... I also had a queue that was right in front of me so I knew what I was doing and what had to be done... it also gave me the ability to wander from task to task when needed. If there is a task that seems to drift away from me I was able to log where I was and what the status was and move to another task and vice versa... as much as I needed to... this let me really take what could be a bad thing (ADHD) and actually used it to be a very benefical thing.

A few days ago, we just got PerlDesk set up at MFC and I just realized tonight how much more relaxed I have been at work. Knowing what is to be done is such an amazing help to me and, quite honestly, I didnt realize it until now. Being able to hit the end of the day and go through and update each ticket and close the tickets that are complete is an awesome thing. One thing I always struggle with is that I personally feel like I'm not living up to what I should be and when I'm able to close tickets, it's kind of like a sense of accomplishment in a way.... and it confirms that I actually got some stuff done.... not to anyone else -- it confirms it to me.

So I think in the very near future I'm going to be setting up PerlDesk for me to use personally. It's just incredible how much easier it is for me to get things accomplished. The crazy thing is I never realized how much of a help it was to me.

So yea... thats the good news of the night :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

So Netflix is suing blockbuster for patent infringement. I really have to say that there are alot of useless patents out there that are constantly being granted but I think that Netflix does have a case here and I think that only because of the way Blockbuster has behaved. Netflix started years ago with an entirely new idea and Blockbuster was too busy running all of the little video stores out of business to notice that times were changing. Blockbuster let it go for years and then all of a sudden they realized that they lost because they were screwing the customer while Netflix was taking care of the customer. All of a sudden, Blockbuster starts doing the same exact thing -- the same thing that they laughed at Netflix for doing.

There is a really good comment on the Slashdot post for this which I liked:

Note to self,

Time to patent new business model that increases customer satisfaction through the extension of services at prices the customer can afford while providing support and an extended "Customer is right" attitude.

Then I can sue all the companies that have happy customers, hmmm It may be hard to find them now.


So... my boss told me I need to schedule a vacation this month.....
Those are words you dont often hear from your boss.

So I guess it is a little bit complicated -- but also pretty ironic.
The deal is that Tiff is in Indiana at Wolf Park again.... she'll be
there this month and about a month ago, she had mentioned that I should
go visit her while she's there. Quite honestly, I really want to see
the place. It seems like a really awesome place to visit and its a
great way to feed my "looking for an excuse to get outdoors" feeling.
But, as I'm sure you're well aware, there are concerns.

I can't understand where my life is and I know for a fact that is for
good reason. I dont understand the irony of the timing of conversations
that took place and the way things happened at certain times. At the
same time, there are some things that I was looking for that I didnt
find... as a result, I was not planning on going to visit Tiff while she
was out there. The biggest thing is related to the tiff+bob
relationship aspect. First, let me say that it is NOT my intent to
start a relationship with her. For the first time since I met Tiff, I
can honestly say that I am over her.... and to be honest, at the
current point in time, I realize that I miss Kim more than I ever would
have thought. With that said, I would be lying if I told you that I
dont ever think of the possibility of Tiff and I being together again.
I'm not banking on it but I'm about honesty and I'd be lying if I said I
never thought about it. So here's the thing.... there was one thing I
always felt in my relationship with Tiff and that was one-sidedness.
Don't read too far into what I am saying. I did not say that Tiff didnt
love me or that Tiff didnt care.... what I did feel was that when there
was work to be done in the relationship, it seemed that I was the one
that held it together.... that was not always true... and remember that
my views on the relationship were just as distorted as Tiff's ... but
the big thing was that I always was looking for Tiff to take a step
towards fighting for the relationship but thats something that I never
saw. I think I can safely say that the MAJORITY of the reason this was
the case was her parents. I wasnt planning on going to visit Tiff in
Indiana because it would be me making the trip and me making the
sacrifice and it wouldnt answer the question of whether she really
wanted to work towards being with me in any capacity... whether that be
friendship or more.

It's actually pretty ironic that all of this came about today. I'm told
by my boss that I need to schedule a vacation and literally an hour
after that I get an IM from Tiff and I start rambling on and on like we
were best friends and that nothing bad ever happened. Add to the irony
the fact that work was the biggest excuse that I was using to avoid
going to Wolf Park this month. Truth is that I do want to see Tiff and
be able to spend some time with her. It's coming up on 2 years now
since friends of mine made the decission for me that Tiff shouldnt be
permitted to talk to me and that they were doing me a favor by making
her stop talking to me..... Tiff and I dated since then but I still
wonder some things.... and really... I do miss her.... just not in the
way that I used to.

On a completely unrelated subject.... going to Wolf Park is probably
the ONLY way that I will be able to fully relax. I dont have many
options of somewhere I could go on vacation. I could go to PA... r i g
h t .... all that would be is work..... I need to get away from
computers all together..... but I also can't just go somewhere random
by myself.... reason being is that if someone else isnt there with me,
I'll still sit on the net.... maybe it would be from another state or
country -- but I'd still be checking email.... While I'm sure that the
time I was in Wolf Park would have periods of email checking, it would
probably be just the "keeping up" thing rather than "while i'm online
_____" .... Its a fact that I can NOT relax when I am by myself.... I
distract myself with projects and end up working rather than relaxing.
This is probably why I go to movies alot.... paying $10 to see a movie
is worth it because its something I enjoy and I'm in an area where there
are no distractions to make me feel like I need to work on something.
So, I guess, if you take Tiff completely out of the picture, this may be
just what I need.... add Tiff to the picture and it could make it better.

So I have to say again... DO NOT read too much into this. I really just
want to log some thoughts here because I realized tonight that looking
back over previous blog posts that I made can often reassure me in times
of good and bad. Looking at some entries from the end of 2004 really
made me remember how much of a miracle it is that I am alive. Man I
went through some really dark times. I guess in tradition, I have to
say that if anyone has the "dont get mixed up with Tiff again" then I
need to say, save it! Don't tell me to grow up because I did and I'm
ready to handle whatever it is that comes my way. Me needing to avoid
Tiff is just SOOO 2004-ish :)

I have no intention of starting a relationship with Tiff. On the other
hand, I'm not going to sit here and say it can't happen and that I would
be upset if it did. Right now, if given the choice of anything, I'd be
back with Kim.... and I know first hand how bad it hurts to be with
someone who's heart is with someone else.... So even if things went
that direction with me and Tiff, I couldnt let it happen.... at least
not until my heart was over Kim. I am at a point in my life where God
has me really just taking in His creation... and truly seeing the things
that He has done and slowly realizing the things that He is about to
do. I can't sit here and say I'll never be with Tiff.... just the same
as I can't say that I will be with Tiff.

And, yaknow.... I think in the whole history of this blog, this is the
first entry that I made about Tiff that my head was completely on
straight and not wrapped up in the emotional pain that surrounded that
relationship. I guess if God would be trying to bring me and Tiff back
together, it's best to start with me not *needing* her.... It's
actually pretty funny.... I always needed Tiff too much and she never
needed me.... If things would go in that direction, lets just hope that
as I get away from needing Tiff, she gets a little closer to needing me.

Maybe I was waiting for Tiff to make the first move. I really wanted to
see her randomly come visit me or her make a sacrifice.... but I think
there is alot developing that points to me heading out to Indiana
anyway.... I'm sure there will be plenty of other times that God will
give Tiff the opportunity to make the sacrifice.... If the trip to Wolf
Park works out, its nice knowing that its not for her and that it's for
me. I need to get away for a while and this may just be a really great
opportunity for me to do so.

So... I guess there is only one thing left to say: GERONIMO!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

G O - S T E E L E R S
Miami 17, Pittsburgh 27
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
-- Matthew 14:28-31

If I had to describe my day yesterday, this would be the perfect illustration. This Scripture shows us just a glimpse of how much power we have when our eyes are focused on Christ. It also shows just how little power we have when our eyes are not on Him.

Yesterday was a really rough day for me and I created a snowball effect for myself by not giving it all to God. I dont know why I didnt but I guess sometimes once Jesus gets me walking above the waves that come my way I think I am set.... and it seems pointless to stare only at One person when I can look around and see everything else going on.... but I guess thats how we always fail. We take our eyes off Jesus once He has us above the waves by whatever it is that comes our way.... maybe that ship sailing by is interesting to us so we take our eyes off of God so that we can look at something that, quite honestly, isn't important.

The greatest part of this Scripture is that as soon as Peter started sinking, Jesus reached out and grabbed him and made sure he didnt drown. Peter had to start sinking and he had to feel the fear that he was going to die because if he didnt, the intensity of the situation would not have been real to him. The important thing is that Jesus did not let him drown.

Once we take the step of faith toward Jesus when He calls us, we need to constantly keep our eyes upon Him because it is in Him and Him alone that we can walk on the water. This is yet another thing that is above our logic but it sure does paint a huge picture of how different God's logic is from our own human logic. Physics says that you can not walk on water.... satan says you can not overcome those sins.... Jesus says that you can!