thoughts about jesus, travelogs, and anything else i can find swimming around in my head....



holiday weekends rock...

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friday was a national holiday. better known as czechoslovakian statehood day - so i decided to celebrate with a trip. got chewy and matt together and we caught a train to cesky krumlove. officially my new favorite place in the czech republic. beautiful. this place looks like it is right out of a fairy tail. we had a blast. meeting new people, hanging out with old friends and just being in a very cool place. met some new friends from all over. finland, france, germany and some more from prague. saw castles and churches and even some bears in a pit under a moat. so we just had a great time. here are pics...

riding the train is so relaxing. i love rolling through the countryside at like 50km/h. so great to see everything and not have to drive. so i spent a lot of time thinking.

my head has been going crazy lately. i have been reading through the bible trying to get a better glimpse into the heart of my savior. trying to see what i can see. trying to just grasp whatever there is to grasp. lately there have been loads of discussions with friends. new friends whom i have been praying to meet and 'old' friends whom i am talking to about what i believe. such times can be trying, but they bring about new realities, new thoughts, new feelings and maybe new skins. new layers that i am not sure about - that i know are there and feel really wierd. but ones i know i need to have. when we allow ourselves to expose these layers - it is in these times that god can come in and fill the gaps that we didnt know we had. and the evolution continues. but it is so hard to allow this to happen. it hurts like hell and exposes stuff we might not want exposed. but isnt that how we grow? isnt that how we learn?

i have so many questions. what is in store for this amazing country? there are amazing stories about faith here in this rich history - and yet only about 19% of the people believe in any kind of god. what roads should i go down. what bridges should i cross? investing in people and a nation that isnt mine is not easy for me. but this is what i am supposed to be doing. and i have come to see that waiting on god isnt a passive thing. it is actively seeking his will. actively pursueing his people and therefore his heart.

this adventure is taking me so many places and never knowing where i will be. but if you are doing what god has in store for your life - will you ever know? if i am to be his hands and feet - will i ever know? i doubt it - but i like it.


falling all over again...

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over the years i have had so many opinions about the church. thoughts of love gradualy eroded into bitterness, discomfort, rejection and wondering what it is even for. so for the last few years i have struggled with these things and tried to grasp what they all mean. the process has been slow and tiresome and so many times i have wanted to give up - only to see glimpses of what the bride of christ can be and have hope somewhat restored. church yesterday was beautiful. maybe it is the taking of communion with new friends. maybe it is seeing the body so harmonius and loving and full of life. maybe it is getting a glimpse of christs love for us just as we are. maybe it is seeing hope for a nation that is so openly atheist. whatever it is - i am still learning. i am still having to try really hard to figure out where the church fits in. how is what i grew up in relevant to anything happening today? maybe it is me trying to see where i fit in with the church. i just know that i have learned a lot about what i believe in the past several years. i have learned to open my bible and form my own thoughts. i have learned that i learn so much more from fellow believers than anything else. i dont have to have a radical sermon, or someone telling me what i should or shouldnt do. i have started to learn how to really worship. starting to learn... i am starting to learn how to fall in love again. with gods church. with gods children. with this much over-looked nation. i hope that when christ comes back for his bride- i will be ready. learning to love hurts. but then again - if the heart of the bride of christ is beating - it will always be one that hurts.


public transportation

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so today riding the metro i made a new friend. well - we never really talked or anything - but it was the cutest little girl. we smiled at each other, she stuck her tongue out at me and i made faces at her - but basically we just smiled at each other. she was probably about 5 or so with the cutest curly hair and big blue eyes. it was so cool. i was listening to coldplay and the song was god put a smile on your face... kind of ironic - but i couldnt stop smiling leaving the station. i doubt i will ever see her again - but it was such a good feeling. we dont even speak the same language - but we spoke none the less. makes me miss being around all my friends kids back home. and also makes me remember why i like kids so much! i hope to never be one of those stupid adults! who knows - maybe one day i will have some of my own. never know - it is a scary thought i must admit - and i am sure most of you who know me will agree - but you can never tell!


happy birthday pops!

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my pops. in 1950 was born in union city, tn this very day. october 20th.

i am pretty sure that i couldnt have asked for a better father. he took me camping, hiking, to baseball games and anything else that i wanted to do. he told me stories before i went to bed at night and he still to this day worries about me - even though i was the kid who made him crap his pants by coming home with earrings, tatoos and the like. i dont think much suprises him anymore. not sure what else i can say about him except that he is amazing. he continues to inspire me to this day. he is constantly evolving as a man and a christian - and i for one and proud to call him my pops. im sure sam is too. he is a guy anyone can look up to and can call on him for most anything. im sure i have given him more than my share of heartaches - but i like to think he has learned some stuff from me too! but i am probably wrong! his heart is huge - and i like to think that i am like him in even the smallest way. i think this is probably what has kept me single to this day. not knowing if i can ever live up to the kind of father, husband and man he is. man - some freaking huge shoes to fill. but it is good.

anyway - thanks dad for being the best father ever. i miss and love you tons. if i could have any wish right now - it would be that i was there with you and we were working in the shop on something together. just hanging out. enjoy your day! happy birthday.


friendships

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i find myself in a position that i havent really been in much before in my life. well not to this extreme anyway. i am in a place that noone really knows me. well at least they dont know me like some people do. like my best friends do. heck - i guess there really isnt anyone on this continent who does. it is a kind of crazy thought. plus to make matters even more strange - it has been so very long since i have really talked to most of my best friends back home. it is just kinda hard to when you are across the world away. you start to depend on different things. i am learning how to really take jesus at his word and lean on him. trusting him. no - i mean really trusting him. it is so easy to read the verses in matthew that say that we should trust him for all our needs but it is so hard to do. i constantly have to remind myself of what jesus promises.

i have been blessed to have met some great friends here. but what is different is that i dont have much - if any christian fellowship. in fact two of my best friends here are atheists. so it is a challenge going about things daily - but i love it. i refuse to get myself stuck in the christian ghetto. not that i dont wish i had more christian family here to bounce things off of and have that support that is much needed - but i just dont buy into the crap that you cant hang out with others who are not christians for fear of getting pulled down. what? getting pulled down? oh yeah - if you could only hear how many times i have heard some 'christian' people say that kind of crap. "hey man - when i became a christian - i stopped doing that kinda stuff - so i dont hang out with people like that anymore." are you freaking kidding me? have you been reading your bible? yeah - that is just what we are supposed to do. stop being friends with people who arent christians just like yourself. oh yeah - and while you are at it - stop going places that they are. yeah - no going to clubs, bars, or anywhere where 'bad' things are going on. people come on. this is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. so yeah - i am loving this part of being somewhere new. meeting people where they are at and loving them. hopefully they see right past my face to the one that matters. they are sons and daughters of christ too. they are in fact made in christ's image. i have to remind myself of this all the time. several times a day.

so yeah - it is hard not having some of the friends here who know me. the friends who know me inside and out. the ones who have been there through everything. those who i can call and i know they will be there in a second for whatever i need. the book of love says that a friend sticks closer than a brother. but i am learning a lot. how to lean more on jesus and how to love more. and this is continuous. i have a long way to go. nowhere near there yet. not sure i ever will be - but jesus is constantly pulling back layers and although it hurts like hell - it is good. the new skin i keep finding is kinda cool.


my little brother

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october 12th. happy b-day little brother! so now you are 26! moving on up just like the jeffersons. cool - i will try and call you later. and oh yeah - congrats on passing your series 7. that is good stuff - now you are officially on your way to becoming a business man - for whatever that is worth. whomever is reading this should call sam and tell his old butt happy birthday!

i must admit that sam is the best brother that anyone could ever ask for. he is my best friend in the world and i miss him a whole freaking lot. we used to talk just about every day - but now it just really isnt possible. well - at least neither one of us can afford it. some would say that sam is the responsible one of the porter boys. guess those people are probably right in a lot of aspects. i look up to him lots - he makes me think about things. we bounce ideaas off one another and we ask for each others opinions about things. well some things.. i have loved over the years growing closer to him and just getting to know him better. not really sure if he is more mature - but maybe his dreams fit better into the boxes that "the norm" puts in front of us. yeah - he is married to a really great girl whom i love and they both have "legit" jobs - so i guess he is more responsible if that is waht you want to call it. while his older brother is running around all over central europe teaching english, traveling and meeting all kinds of new friends. in general just enjoying this huge world that god gave us as a big playground. we are just different. i have known this for a while. i think probably mom and dad have too. not a bad thing at all. if anyone knows sam they know that he is never mean to anyone, has a hard time saying no to anything, and those whom he loves-he really loves. you can't not like having him around. i thank god for having such a great brother to call my own and no one elses. for a long time it was just him and i. went through a lot together and i couldnt have asked for a better running mate. well - except for when his dumb ass would fall in the creek in natchez and get us both in trouble in the process - but for the most part it was all good. so just wanted to share all this with whomever reads this gibberish that i write on here.

i love you bro - and i cant wait to see you sometime soon... you are always in my thoughts and prayers. keep up the love.


learning to laugh

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tuesday. my week is almost halfway over with. but wow - so far it has been really great. the weekend was really good and my monday class got cancelled. the thing is that i get paid for it anyway because the student didnt let the school know in time. sweeeeeeet. yeah - that will make you smile.

but on really smiling. this weekend i hung out with my friend Hedvika on sunday. i dont think that i have smiled and laughed so much since i have been here. and trust me - i have been having a great time. she is from prague and was a great tour guide. but back to the smiling and laughing thing. she has one of those infectious laughs. when she smiles and laughs so does everyone around her. she told me her philosophy about smiling. basically when it comes down to it you have no reason to not smile. so you may as well smile because it makes other people happy to see you smiling. so i thought about this. and ill be damned if she isnt right. why not smile all the time. why not?? laugh at things even if there isnt anyone around. laugh out loud. the perfect example came to me on the metro today. there was an old man sitting across from me who was very cool looking. i could tell there was something about him from the start. first off - he had on this really cool old school suit, with this hat that just tripped me out. it looked like he had been sitting on it and it was flat with some wrinkles in it - but he put it on his head somehow anyway. but check this out - he was just laughing the whole trip to opotov where we both got off. now keep in mind he wasnt laughing about anything i could tell. (ok yes - he could be laughing at me...i can already hear the comments coming...)he was looking out the window - just laughing furiously. so freaking cool. i couldnt stop smiling. his laughing made me smile. it totally works - just smile more and laugh more. you will see. just play the smile game with me. whomever you see - smile at them. see if they smile back. odds are they will. if not - they will at least wonder what you are smiling about. how can that be bad?


missing american sports...

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ok - so it is playoff time. the cards once again won 100 games in a season (as soon as i leave stl..) and i am nowhere that i can feasibly watch games. ok - so i can watch games. i just have to go to the pub at like 1 in the morning and get michael to turn the game on for me - but i guess i can watch it. this just really sucks. the same with college football and any other american sports. there are like 3 places that i know of so far that i can catch games - but there is major competetion with the real football here for tv time. oh yeah - and cricket. for the life of me i cant understand the rules and it gets priority over college football here! give me a break! anyway - thought i would use my little bit of space to moan a bit about the small problems that i am running into here. as you can tell - it is nothing major. but you know - it would be so nice to sit down in a big nice comfy living room with my boys and watch some good ole baseball. the cards kicking tail. oh well - the price of living in europe. guess i will be ok.


just stuff

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so here we are again - almost a week from the last post. or has it been a week exactly. who knows. i can never remember. starting up another week. man they freaking fly by. i cant believe that it is october. october! before long christmas will be here. how crazy is that? speaking of which - i think this will probably be my first christmas without being with my family. but - it is just how it goes sometimes. no big deal - not that i wont miss everyone - but i will manage. there will be plenty of friends here in prague in the same boat as me. we can keep each other company. could be fun. may go to england to see some people there. friends i have made along the way - whom i would love to see. so we shall see. i just cant justify an $800 dollar flight home - when that will feed me for like 3 months. that is like 20000 kc. yeah - most likely will be here.

so i went to cesky raj this weekend. this means bohemian pasadise. it was amazing. ruined castles and huge rock formations were everywhere. stayed in a small town with 5 friends and hiked and just hung out. it is affordable to travel in the country here. it cost me like 4 bucks to go there and back by train. about 4 hours. ill be going back. there are more castles that i didnt get to take in. just seeing ruins from the 13th century amazes me. pictures will come at some point - but most of you know my computer situation. in a word - sucks.

things otherwise are good. i get freaked out occasionally by jesus and how he works. it is actually my expectations that need adjusting. see he is just so big - that i shouldnt expect anything less than miracles from him. guess these ways he works arent crazy after all. they are just the way he does things. i am trying so hard to love people. i have to keep reminding myself when i see a homeless person, a hooker, a dealer, or just someone who doesnt smell so great that they are all created in his image. Genesis 1:27 i have to tell myself this - and how i must love them. is this so hard to do? yes - it is pretty freaking hard. but i am trying. walk around any city where people are not just like you and most likely you will be challenged. so anyway - it is good. slowly i am learning to lose this crap and see how he loves. without fail. this is how he loves everyone. everyone. and he never gives up on any of us - so we shouldnt either. na shledanou.


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  • where...Kenya
  • an american living in kenya, chasing dreams and the shadow of my god...
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