Random thoughts that I’d like to get out in text so I can go back to studying

1. Haircut – If you didn’t know, I got a haircut recently. The new style is a side-swept comb over with a part on my left (your right). I tried this half-heartedly last December-February, but this time, I decided really train my hair. Recently, some people have noticed and mentioned to me, “Oh Derek, you got a haircut.” My first response will be, “Oh Thank you.” Obviously, that’s an awkward situation. I think the ‘thank you’ comes as a reflex. I don’t think I’m expecting a compliment as much as I am anticipating it. I’m not sure if I’m seeking a compliment or want people to notice (I’m sure part of me does), but this same dialogue has occurred a handful of times already. Haha, its just been awkward, maybe more so for me than for the other person. Maybe not.

2. Girlfriend – Random thought, but I do want a girlfriend who can dress me. I don’t think my fashion sense is terrible, but I don’t think it’s very good either. Up until maybe this past summer, I was consistently a khaki shorts/black basketball shorts sort of guy, and suddenly, I became self aware (for better or for worse). I don’t want to invest an exorbitant amount into fashion, but I believe there’s value in presentation. Back to the girlfriend thing – haha, generally speaking, a girlfriend who can help me out in this area would be great. Lately, I’ve envisioned myself living out of a Jcrew/Levis/AmericanApparel magazine, but I certainly don’t have the means to afford it. I would put all my pride aside even if she treats me like Ygrette treats John Snow.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkyy57iMaB0

3. Regifting – Tis the season of Christmas which means it’s the season of gifts. Part of that implies more secret santa and white elephant gift exchanges. The other part of that implies re-gifting past christmas gifts that have been stowed away and gone unused. And finally, these gifts can be given new life through a new white elephant gift exchange. I’m mainly writing about it because this christmas, I’m taking part in both a Secret Santa and a White Elephant gift exchange, and I’ve been frantically trying to pick the right gifts, while trying to divy up the remaining “unused” gifts for other people who I actually think they’d be appropriate for. I do love giving gifts, but re-gifting just doesn’t feel the same. It’s okay though. Whether you have much wealth or simply meager means, a gift is still a gift, and I find value in the person who dedicates their time to finding a gift for me. I just hope some of my recipients feel the same way.

Merry Christmas to A, B, and J

I spent Christmas alone this year because my parents are out of town. God hasn’t exactly allowing me to feel lonely since break ended because he’s been placing people in my life constantly. Yesterday evening, on my way to my sister’s Christmas Eve Dinner, I passed by several homeless people on the street, and I had this great idea to spend part of my Christmas day with them. So, long story short, I did it.

I woke up at 3pm on Christmas, haha no joke. For whatever reason, I just kept going back to sleep after waking up at 10, 11, 1, and 2. Finally, when I got up at 3pm, I decided to go out there. I have this principle when it comes to serving others – serve their need, not their desires. So, at 3:30, I parked my car at Starbucks  and went to the corner of Fountain View and Westheimer where there were a few people sitting on the sidewalk.

A – the least talkative of the group, but also a girl. She eventually became more open, but I could tell that she had a broken past, probably full of abuse and/or family struggles. She looked pretty young though, maybe in her later 20’s or early 30’s.

B – one of the most talkative people I’ve ever met. He was really joyful though. He has moved around a lot, from Mississippi, all the way down to Texas. He had run ins with the law and a DWI. He just recently turned 40.

J – he was a 50 or so year  old Hispanic guy who was let out on disability. He’s recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and is refusing Chemotherapy.

I’d prefer not to release their names publicly, but long story short, we sat around and talked for a while and eventually moved to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner. I could tell, based on their response of “whether they had it to go”, they hadn’t eaten in a restaurant in while, and I was thrilled to take them there. Eventually, I asked them what was the first thing they thought of when thinking about Christmas

A – Family

B – Uplifting, happiness

J – Commercial, shopping

And then, I shared with them my thoughts on christmas: LOVE. I shared with them this passage. I shared that, in the same way that Joseph loved Mary, Jesus was born on this day 2000 some years ago, so that we would be loved the same way. For that very reason, I came out to spend time with them so that they would know that Jesus loves them as well, and He wants to be in a relationship with them. So, I ended the meal (which was pretty good) by asking for their prayer requests.

A, B, and J: Health and Getting off the streets

And I ended up praying for all of them. As I bid them goodbye, I realized I’d spent 2 hours with them, but I can say with confidence that it was one of the best spent Christmases of my life. Thank you Jesus.

Jesus was born out of Love

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d]—which means, “God with us.”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

I got to share this with a couple of brothers today and someone new. As I’m reading this, I realize that Joseph did not have to take Mary as his wife. Mary was clearly to be cast out by society because she was no longer a pure virgin. But out of nowhere, God sends an angel to give his command to take her as his wife, despite the disgrace. And so, Joseph did so, and Jesus was born to the world to take away all of its sins.

Pretty awesome, right? Jesus was born through grace.

God please teach me to continue loving the way you love. I want to be like Joseph. 

What should I do on my birthday?

What should I do on my birthday?

I have ideas. Epic Blessings.

Edit: So, I think I might go do something like this right now! I mean, I was really thinking about how to spread holiday cheer.

“The best way to share christmas cheer is singing aloud for all to hear.”

Well, Elf has got it down, but maybe just serving the community on Christmas day. I felt the conviction to do it last night, and I guess I’ll go out now! If God presents an opportunity, then I’m out there!

The first real post is always the best post.

I’ve always loved the Christmas season, but this year God has given me a new reason to love. Christmas has always been associated with family, gifts, relaxation, and Jesus. I’ve always really appreciated gifts, but this year my gift came in the form of Paul.

Yesterday, my sister’s fiancé invited me to his church’s christmas eve service tonight. At first I felt uneasy because

1. I had never attended a Christmas church service up until a tonight and
2. I had never been to church with my sister let alone any member of my family.

Service was pretty cool, and the congregation was extremely exciting, but of course who wouldn’t be? We were celebrating the birth of Jesus! It was clear that the church was A charismatic church, so I was becoming weary about the presence of the prosperity gospel rather than the truth of salvation. I think this was my sister’s first time at church and perhaps her fiancés first time in a long time as well. In in case you didn’t know, my family doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, so I’m always very weary about exposing them to Christianity. This time, I knew God had a different idea for what he wanted me to learn.

While I was still processing my thoughts, we ended up going back to their home for Christmas eve dinner. In my mind I was thinking about talking to their mom about general outreach to our families. At the same time, I could feel Satan pressuring me to take their salvation into my own hands. I could tell he was trying to distract me from God’s intent for the night. Still lost in thought, their phone rang and the patron asked for me. His name was Paul, and he was going to become my brother-in-law soon. I had never met him before, and he actually asked if he could talk to me. Confused, I received the phone from their mom, and just said, “Hello, Paul?”

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