About Me

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I’m from New York but my driver’s license lists that my address is Ohio. My passport has a number of stamps in it. I’m the youngest of six, yet oldest son. I have a number after my initials, but not my name. I like music. I drink coffee at all times of the day. I am a follower of Jesus. I own my own business. I watch bonus features on DVD’s. For four months each year my wife and I are the same age. “I pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians.” I am an ordained pastor. I’ve eaten raw horse meat. I’m fifteen inches taller than my wife, but I look up to her. I still prefer buying CDs to downloading music. I’m a night owl, who doesn’t mind getting up early. I like to shop, and my wife doesn’t. I like to play games. I moved to another country nine days after my wedding. I sometimes quote random lyrics. I believe in miracles. I prefer desktops to laptops. I like listening to audio books. I listen to hockey games on the internet. I have five sons. I'm living life mid sentence.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Restless

Tonight I am restless. I don’t know if it comes from being lonely or what but for the first time since I started my current job I honestly let myself ponder on the thought of applying for a job back in Buffalo. Through a strange set of circumstances, yesterday, I came in contact with someone whose father works for a radio network I listened to when I lived in New York. After the conversation I looked up the network’s website and noticed that they are hiring a news bureau chief for Buffalo. Part of me wanted to jump at the opportunity to move back to where my roots are but in all honesty I don’t believe that I am yet qualified for the position and I’m also not sure that I’m ready to overlook the reasons I originally left Western New York to return. If, however, I had a few more years of experience under my belt, and I still felt the way I do now, I am almost positive that right now I would be filling out an application and preparing to make a transition back north. Maybe I am not showing the gratitude that I should be showing for having a great job, which I love, but the loneliness that plagues me here in Ohio is something that I am finding harder and harder to overlook. But even if I were to move back to a place that is familiar to me I still wouldn’t have any guarantees that the loneliness I feel now wouldn’t simply change zip codes with me. In the mean time, as I gain more experience in my field, I am left with no other option than to cry out to God for the strength I need to overcome this loneliness and the determination to move forward with my life.

Monday, November 15, 2004

"It's Easier To Leave Than To Be Left Behind..."

“It's easier to leave than to be left behind…” belted out the artist on the CD I was listening to the other day. At first I was singing along without giving much thought to the lyrics, but then it started to sink in that this simple statement is truer than I had every really taken time to admit. When I was in college I would enjoy going back home to visit my parents, but leaving to return to school was easy and painless for me as my trip and busy life occupied my thoughts. My departures, on the other hand, were extremely difficult for my mother to handle and she was often overcome with emotion as the car left the driveway. Even though I had taken part in many departures from loved ones to that point, I really hadn’t really put much thought into being left myself. But that soon changed as the day on the day after I graduated from college. My parents stayed at my apartment that weekend and soon it came time for them to head back home, and at that time I experienced the sadness that had plagued my mother on so many previous occasions. This time, I was the one standing in the door way waving goodbye as the vehicle pulled out of the driveway leaving me alone. On several occasions since that day, I have had to say goodbye to friends and relatives as they left my hometown to return to their homes, and one thing I can say is repeating the process has not made it any easier. And what about the times when we have to say the ultimate goodbye? As hard as death may be, isn’t it harder to be the one left here to grieve, often alone? To this point, I have been very fortunate in that I have not lost someone that I am close to, but having watched individuals in their grief I would have to say that the truthfulness of the lyrics are not limited to temporary goodbyes, but also include goodbyes that have more permanents. While I cannot dogmatically say that I understand why it is so hard to say goodbye and be left behind, I can say that I am glad to know that one day all tears will be wiped away and all goodbyes will be nothing more than a fading memory of the cruel reality that we had once called life. Until that day comes, I am sure more sadness will accompany goodbyes, but as I experience those low points, I am glad that I have some hope to cling to that such moments are not the end of it all, but rather they are just small steps en route to achieving the ultimate prize.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Important Women In My Life

Four women have had profound impacts on my life up to this point. While you may guess that at least one of the women would be among the ranks of my family that is not the case. While I do appreciate my mother and sisters, they have not made their way into this list.

The first female to have a great impact on my life is was my math teacher from high school. Heading into her class my freshman year I already had a love for the subject but mathematics does not hold the answer to her influence over me. Though small in stature, she was a giant in the realms of education, both the kind that is found in textbooks and the kind that no curriculum can contain. On numerous occasions an entire class period passed by without any instruction in mathematics because something weighed heavy on my teacher’s heart, or on the heart of one of her students, and so she would preempt her academic plans for that day to address the matter of greater importance. As I look back at my high school years the greatest lesson I walked away learning was the importance of not missing the important things because we are too busy doing those things that are required.


The next woman that had an impact on me was a girl I dated when I was 21. At the time I dated this New Yorker I was working a decent paying job but the job was not very fulfilling. When many individuals around me encouraged me to be thankful for the great job I had, the girl I was dating encouraged me to pursue my dreams even if meant taking risks. Through her encouragement, I began perusing my dream of returning to school and eventually I went on to obtain my education as well as find my dream job. I am thankful that even though the advice I was given was not popular, someone was willing to encourage me to peruse my dreams, and through the encouragement I finally took the first step towards fulfilling my dreams.

As time moved on the next woman of impact came into my life. This west coast girl was unlike any of the friends I had had in the past. While she was fun to be around, her impact on me came from her willingness to risk personal rejection by opening herself up to share the deep, dark secrets of her soul with me. Some have said of me in the past that my life is often an open book, but this was the first time that someone was willing to become vulnerable with me by sharing things that we are often left to carry alone. By showing trust in me, our friendship was able to move past the realms of a casual acquaintance and eventually she became one of my closest friends.

The last woman of note is a friend I met at college who helped me discover my true personality. For years I had grown accustom to giving people what they expected from me but this southern belle, through accepting me for who I was, helped me to embrace life and live it to the fullest as God had intended. Through her encouragement I finally moved outside of the safety of my own personal domain and was able to enjoy life and what it has to offer. (On a side note, even if this friend hadn’t helped me look outside of the familiar to embrace new experiences, I think she would still deserve a place of prominence in my memory for introducing me to the music of Norah Jones.) At some point in each of our lives I believe we all need that someone who will help us enjoy life by giving us the encouragement to take part in the things that would not necessarily do on our own. In my case, once I overcame the limitations I had established for myself in my own mind, I was finally able to realize that there was a whole new world around me that was there for my enjoyment. Through my friend’s encouragement, I learned that I actually enjoyed many of the things that I had always shunned, and ultimately I learned how little I actually knew about my own self.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Do Liberals Ever Lose?

Liberals in America are mopping around this week trying to determine what they did wrong as they lost the presidential election, their leader in the Senate, and seats in both chambers of congress. As liberals lick their wounds and look to the future I began to ponder the question do liberals ever really lose in America? I know it may sound like an oxymoron since I already mentioned that their candidate’s were defeated by Republicans, if not conservatives, but do they really lose or are they just delayed from achieving their ultimate goals? After putting some thought into it, I would have to say that the left does not lose when those on the right win elections, but rather they are merely slowed down from changing society’s moral standards to match their own. However I do believe that every time liberals win conservatives do lose ground in their battle to retain traditional values. With every liberal victory I believe that another blow is handed to not only conservatives, but also to the foundations upon which our country was built. Alexis de Tocqueville visited America back in the 19th century and wrote in his book “Democracy in America” that America’s true power came from her churches and her religious foundation. Tocqueville wrote “America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." With every liberal victory, more of our nation’s religious heritage is taken away and eventually we will be left with nothing but a shell of the great nation we once were. Even though conservatives were handed a victory in this current battle, I am afraid that the inevitable defeat has only been delayed barring a miracle from hand of the Almighty.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election Year Torture

While America is breathing a collective sigh of relief that a hard fought election season is over I am already looking ahead to 2008 and asking myself if I will be ready for another election that soon. Unlike the previous two presidential elections that I cast ballots in, this election all but took over my life for the nine months leading up to it. I love being a member of the media but I will be the first to say that political coverage overload can, and did; set in early and by mid-June I was wishing I could warp myself past the remainder of the “democracy in action” time of our political cycle. One of my responsibilities working in a news department is to watch and gather news and so there was no escaping the continuous barrage of information regarding the men seeking our nation’s highest office. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that it is important for each and every citizen to be informed and to exercise their right to vote, but I am starting to believe that too much information can be almost as dangerous as no information at all. Living in one of the infamous “swing states” of this election, I was not able to even turn on a baseball game or MTV without being bomb-barded with commercials for or against a candidate. Now that the election is behind us and our President has been chosen I believe that I need a break from politics, as well as the news, to try and clear my mind and prepare for what is next to come. Unfortunately, I am not sure that there is enough time for me to prepare myself before this sick cycle carousel is ready to take off in route to election 2008.