Here are a couple things you should know about me before reading my words:

1. I consider myself to be in a constant state of learning and growing. I am always open to any other thoughts or ideas. It doesn't matter if they are new, old, similar to my own, or totally opposing to my own. I will always try to weigh everything I hear with an unbiased point of view, and not be offended if somebody totally disagrees with me.

2. Ever since I can remember, every time I have had serious thoughts about serious issues (especially about God) the thoughts and ideas flow through my mind in the form of a sermon or speech. I cannot tell you why this is. Just please know that, although I sound extremely preachy, that's just the way my mind processes things. I am not in any way trying to tell anyone how to live his/her life. I am simply sharing my thoughts and views as best I can. It is your choice to take it or leave it.

3. I can't really think of any thing else that is totally necessary for you to know. I hope you fully understand everything that I say. Feel free to let me know what you think through a comment. God bless you all.

My Thoughts

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Irony in Lifes Poetry

I knelt to pray but not for long
I had to much to do
Must hurry off and get to work
For bills would soon be due
And as I said a hurried prayer
Jumped up from off my knee
My Christian duty now was done
My soul could be at ease
All through the day I had not time
To speak a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends
They'd laugh at me I feared
No Time-No Time too much to do
That was my constant cry
No time to give to those in need
At last it was time to die
And when before the the Lord I came
I stood with downcast eyes
Within His hand He held a book
It was the Book of Life
He looked in the book and said
Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down
But never found the time.

I'll get to that in a little bit...

Right now I am sitting in my bed exhausted. All these thoughts are running around in circles and not getting anywhere. I feel like I'm at a Track Meet. So I am writing them down in hopes to allow my brain to turn off easier so I can have a good nights sleep...which hasn't happened in a while. Therefore BEWARE, if you don't want to listen to some random 21 year old, ADD, middle class white boy rant about his life living and working in a low income, permanent supportive housing apartment building in Downtown Dallas, you should read no further.

Good no ones listening now...So I can go on...

So I started this job on November 3rd, 2010 after returning from a 5 month trip to Haiti. I absolutely fell in love with my job. I was put in charge of basically planning and implementing events, classes, and activities for the the low-income individuals who lived in the apartment building in which I worked and lived so that these individuals could become more self-sufficient in there lifestyles. I can't get any better than that...I knew God had put this opportunity in front of me for a reason. "Who knows...Maybe one day I'll run this place," I thought to myself going into the job.

Today, I woke up at 7:00 am this morning having to be at our monthly all-Staff Meeting at 8:30. It went pretty well. I was still waking up, I purposefully sat in the front row out of the 130 chairs or so so I would be forced to stay awake. Which I did successfully achieve. Unfortunately, the information presented at the meeting was not really pertinent to me at all so I blew it off and therefore I couldn't tell you right now what the meeting was about. I then proceeded back to my office at the apartment building. (about a 8 minute drive from where the meeting was held) I had to then go to a training over a software that we use to track progress in the resident's lives. I had been to 2 of these trainings so far. After the training I then worked on getting the weekly schedule created and posted, planned my week out for a little while, and started to become pretty stressed after realizing how much work I had to do and the fact that there is no way that I will be able to complete everything in 40 hours.

You see, the non-profit I work for has been having a hard time finding enough people to donate money so that we can afford more employees and thus, we are pretty short-staffed. This shouldn't come to a surprise to most employees in the non-profit world. When recession hits a country people tend to start trying to cut back on there expenses, and when that happens people feel it easiest to cut their donations first. Which leaves all the non-profits suffering. Which in turn, more people are staying on the streets, and more families are not eating, and addicts aren't capable of finding a place that offers enough love to help them out of there addiction. I feel like this is somewhat Ironic. Anyways...back to today.

Well, from that point forward I went through my day feeling a mixture of anger, stress, exhaustion, and frustration pretty much ruining my day. I would go into detail about what happened throughout the rest of my day but I feel like I'm whining too much already so I'm going skip all that.

I clocked out, and proceeded to the elevator, pressed the 11 button, got off the elevator, went to apt. 1109, unlocked the door, walked in and sat down on my couch. I think I sat there for about 15 minutes...I wasn't hungry. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted everything to stop. I then remembered that I still had some really nice Bourbon left that I got a few weeks back. As I reached for the cabinet above my fridge I saw the piece of paper hanging by itself on the front of the freezer. It was the poem that started this blog. I stood there with my hand on the cabinet handle reading that poem.

About 5 months ago I was doing really well. I loved my job. I loved my life. I thanked the Lord everyday for the blessings he had given me. I had all the time in the world to talk to my neighbors, whom I worked for. I knew everybody and everybody knew me. People came to me with there problems and I tried my best to allow God to speak through me and act through me so that I could help these people with whatever they needed help with. I planned movie nights and game nights where we all got together and watched movies and watched the whole maverick playoffs, laughing, rooting for teams, and having a ton of fun. Yeah it was hard. Yeah I got played a few times. Yeah I got burned a few times. Yeah there was drama. But at the end of each day I thanked the Lord. I genuinely loved it all. I mean, all the stuff I loved about my job far outweighed the things I didn't love so much.

One night around that time, I get a call from one of my neighbors. It was Andrew, a white man probably around 50 years old. He was a short guy with white hair that was in a pony tail that reached down to his lower back. Sort of hippie lookin. I had spent a descent amount of time hanging out and talking to Andrew prior to this phone call. Often times he was drunk, or tipsie. He always spoke in a positive enthusiastic manor. He seemed happy to be alive. He had a lot of old stories that he would tell. There was never much of me talking when we hung out. He was always just going along talking about his day, or one day in his past, or what he was going to do tomorrow. He would always thank me in the middle of our conversations for listening to him babble. I always said it was my pleasure, and I can say it honestly was. I loved listening to him. He could get to be annoyingly enthusiastic and positive about certain things. But over all I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. So I answered the phone. It didn't even sound like him. It sort of sounded like a dieing horse or something. I couldn't make out anything he was saying. I could definitely tell that he was upset, and he was crying. So I told him to come up to my apartment to talk. About 20 minutes later I opened my door to his knock and the smell of booze and body odor hit me like a ton of bricks. He shrugged his shoulders looking down as he entered my apartment and sat down at my kitchen table. We started talking. It was clear that he had just gotten done crying for a while. So he went on to explain how his dog was dieing. I was like...wait a second...your telling me that a 50 year old man is sloppy drunk and crying about his dog dieing. I don't even like dogs. Why is this man crying. Better yet, why in the world did he call me about this. I was quite perplexed. Anyways, I started to ask him questions about the dog, why was it dieing, what kind of dog was it, how long had he had this dog. So we get to talking. Turns out that his mom died about 3 months earlier, his best friend had been in and out of the hospital for the past 2 years with lung cancer from smoking his whole life, his ex-girlfriend who he was still friends with had been in the hospital the last week due to some other illness, and he had just found out about 4 hours earlier that his dog was dieing and that he was going to have to put her down the next day. I don't remember much of what I said or how I said it, but we ended up talking about top fuel drag racing and how awesome it was to go to the track in Ennis to watch all the races and eating that amazing kettle corn and meeting the racers in the pits. Of course that was the end of our 3 hour long conversation. Like I said, I don't remember much of the middle of the conversation. Andrew left my apartment slightly more sober than he arrived, and a whole lot happier. He had forgotten what it was like spending all the time in his past having fun with the loved ones that he was starting to lose. Somehow he started thinking about all the positives, all the blessings he had. He even said it, that he needed to thank God for blessing him with so much and stop getting pissed off at the world for beating him up. I never said anything of that nature to him. I just asked a bunch of questions. He came up with it. He changed his attitude.

About 3 days later Andrew came to my office all excited and happy as usual. He handed me a magazine about Ford Mustangs and the history of all the Mustangs that had been made. It was a pretty sweet magazine, I'm not even gonna lie. He then handed me a piece of paper that folded in half. He thanked me for the other night, and he said that the piece of paper had helped him out in his past a lot and that he felt like it might help me in the future. So I took the piece of paper, read what was on it, and hung it on my freezer that night when I went home. It was that poem.

So tonight, when I walked into my apartment, and reached for that bottle of bourbon, and saw that poem, I had this long playback of that night in my apartment and that day in my office. I thought to myself, could it be? How the crap did Andrew know. Why did I hang it on my freezer. Why did I happen to look at it tonight and had totally forgotten it was there for the last 5 months. I quickly chuckled to myself and said thanks God. And I went on to grab my bourbon. Don't worry, I pored a very small glass for myself to enjoy after deciding that I was going to sit down and write all this down so I could get everything out there. So I could get all this crap out of my head and put it somewhere else. So then I could focus on the good stuff again. So that I could Focus on God. I didn't quite know what I was going to write down when I started. I really didn't know where it was going to end up. Or what I was going to feel like.

I am now realizing how little I've talked to God lately. I am realizing how far apart I've grown from Him. How little I knew Him in the first place. How much more I have to learn about Him. How much simpler my life would be if I could just focus on Him all the time.

Life sucks sometimes, doesn't it. I mean, you try over and over again to get it right. And you suck at it over and over again. You can never get it right. You go to bed at night feeling like a complete failure. You play it off during the day like it's all fine and your doing alright, or your just a little tired, or a little worn out. But then God hits you over the head with a ton of bricks and you turn around pissed off cause it hurt like hell and He is staring at you saying I'm right here, I gotcha, I love you. So you feel like an idiot for trying to do everything by yourself when you clearly can recall the times when you used to focus on the positives, when you used to focus on God, and how much better it was then. And then feeling that warm embrace of God's love and that sweet smell of Christ and that tingly feeling you get when you feel the holy spirit moving again. Then at the end of all that you finally realize that God never wanted you to feel crappy about yourself or guilty for your stupid decisions. Because, at the the end of the day, God loves us. Better yet, God is love. And if God is love than God is is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and most of all, God never fails.

I guess I'm about done now. I don't have much else to say. I think it's all out there now. I know I will be praying hard tonight. Come tomorrow....well, we'll see if I can find the time.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yesturday, Today, And Tomorrow

Sorry in advance, this is going to be a bit of a rant.

So I know I haven't posted in forever. This is Sorry # 2. And I never really let whoever reads this know how the whole Haiti trip ended up going. And I will say that it ended about a month short and all in all it was hard at times, fun at times, but most of all I learned a freaking ton about a lot of different things.

I just updated my profile on here so if you want to know or you don't know where I am at now please read my profile first because the rest of this post probably won't make sense otherwise.


So I can't really nail down one reason that motivated me to write this post but I will say it was probably a series of events that have happened over the last month or so .

Recently it has been extremely hard to figure out why I feel like crap all the time.
I have this problem with feeling like I am not good enough or like I am too young and inexperienced to do the things that I am doing successfully. Every day I run into situations where I can not figure out the best possible solution to the problem. In the past more often than not I was pretty good at coming up with the best thing to say or do. That doesn't mean that I always did say or do these things but at least I sort of knew in the back of my mind what the best possible way through any particular situation was. Nowadays I run into problems all the time that I don't have a clue how to handle. I get all my emotions mixed up in things, and when that happens I decide to say or do something that later I regret. In the past, there have been very few things that I regret doing. In the past month, I think I've probably doubled the number of regrets that I've had over the time that I've been alive. For instance, buying a truck that now I've invested in more than double what it's worth. AND ITS STILL NOT WORKING PROPERLY...or some of the things that I have done for some of the residents in my apartment building where I work that has gotten me into crappy financial situations and/or awkward conversations with my boss; both of which I walk away feeling like a complete idiot. Or the fact that I haven't communicated with some people that have played a big part in my past and that I no longer live in close proximity to when I fully know that I probably should reach out to them but I don't due to some fear of feeling guilty or saddened or regret or simply because I don't allow myself any time to focus on anything but what I am doing right now. These things just scratch the surface of my regret. There are a lot more that I'd rather not put on here due to the fact that I don't have a clue who reads this.

So the more and more I feel regret the more and more I realize that humans aren't designed for regret. I really don't think that any man/women/child is designed to have to deal with the emotion called regret. Some of you might think that I'm crazy so I guess I'll have to explain myself.

So if you haven't read any of my other posts or looked at my profile let me first say that I love my God and I consider myself to be a Christian. As of right now I am not really part of any church denomination or anything like that simply because I don't think God intended for there to be any denominations in the first place.

The idea of Christianity is a simple one, but It's extremely (let me say it again) EXTREMELY hard to actually live out.

I am not talking about doing everything right or wrong, or partying or going to church, or becoming a hypocrite, or having to abide by all these rules and regulations that some might read the Bible to be.

I am actually talking about somewhat of the opposite. You see, the hard thing about being a Christian in my mind is not buying into the Ideas that the devil has out into this world. These worldly ideas that if you are a Christian that you automatically have to act better and be better than someone who is not a christian. Some people that go to church and such buy into that idea, which leads them to attempt to be perfect, which then leads them to the inner-idea that I can't do this, so whats the point? and the outer-idea that I am better than everyone else because I am a christian.

I see around me so many different interpretations of what the Bible says. I also see around me so many different actions based on what the Bible says.

But deep inside of me I get this feeling inside my gut that is screaming at me. It says "THIS IS ALL WRONG". For the longest time I wasn't sure where this feeling came from therefore I ignored it. Now, I am quite sure that this message is from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You see, Jesus said a bunch of things when he was here on earth, and when you go through and read all these things you see that Jesus came to this earth to totally reverse the ideas created through human logic. For instance, the idea that if you do a bunch of good things in your life you'll go to heaven. Or like the idea that the more money I have the more happy or successful I will be. Or like the idea that if I go to church and spend a few hours thinking about God once a week than my relationship with God is where it needs to be. Or the idea that I am not good enough to be around God or talk to God and therefore I have to fix myself before I go to God So I can then say "hey look, I fixed myself...aren't you proud." You see there was this plethora of mentalities that people had in their minds when Jesus came to this earth, and people still have these ideas in their minds today. I must admit that I have bought into these ideas produced by my own logic time and time again. I am as guilty as everyone else in this matter.

Here comes the cool part.

So Jesus came to this earth teaching things that have never been taught before. For Instance, the first thing Jesus starts out saying when he preached the "Sermon on the Mount" was that the people that are spiritually poor are the ones who are going to receive the Kingdom of God. WOW...That alone doesn't make any sense if you are thinking through human logic. You would actually end up saying the people who are spiritually rich are the ones who are going to get the Kingdom of God.

So the point I am trying to make is this:

1. God is merciful enough and loves us enough to allow us to be with him even though the list of all of our good deeds and our bad deeds will never ever ever compare to Himself.

2. When you become a Christian you will still continue to screw up. Actually, you will never stop screwing up.

3. The difference is that when you are a christian you don't have to worry about screwing up or not screwing up or doing the right thing or the wrong thing or going above and beyond or ending up on the streets, or regretting the decisions you've made or worrying about messing up again, or worrying about how you are going to fix the problem that you are in.

( I know that sounds crazy )

4. There is one verse in the Bible that explains this point of mine.

Matthew 6:33-34
"But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Ok that was 2 versus, sorry.

But what does this actually mean. Well how do we seek His kingdom and His righteousness? This is the hard part I was talking about.

So let me sum it up like this.

We, as Christians, tend to make our lives a whole more difficult than it should be because we misinterpret the verse that says seek His Kingdom and Righteousness. We often think that this means we have to make sure that we are righteous and that we are perfect and that we aren't screwing up all the time or as much as we used to.

Well I think this is wrong. This is simply my opinion. I think that God never intended for us to worry about all this crap that we always worry about.

I dont think God wants us to worry about what everybody is thinking when they talk to us or what person you are going to date next or what person you are going to marry or if your kid is going to be a boy or girl or what you are going to have to do when you have a kid or how much its gonna cost to get your vehicle working again.

I think that God loves us a ton, a whole more than we can comprehend, and I also think God is a powerful God, a whole lot more powerful than we give Him credit for.

So if you can get to a point where you can absolutely believe that God made you, that God loves you, that God wants the best for you, and that God has the power to do all these things, why on earth would you be so freaking worried about all this small worldly crap that we face on a day to day basis.

Please know that I am saying this to myself more than anyone else...this is something I am trying to figure out...I suck at this life, and God knows it...Just like a baby sucks at walking...and when that baby falls down his/her parents aren't gonna get pissed off cause the baby fell down, they were stoked in the first place when the baby took the first step...

So the question shouldn't be "Why can't I stop falling down". The question should be "How can I look up at God after I fell down and say please help me back up"

That, in my opinion, is one of the hardest mentality shifts there is. And if I were to be totally honest, I don't think I'm completely there yet...And I really don't know if Ill ever get to a place where I can seek God in all aspects of my life all the time...

Anyways, I think that I've illustrated my point of view. I hope you enjoyed this rant, and if you didn't, please know that you were warned at the beginning that this was going to be a rant.

God Bless you all and as always, I am going to try to post more in the near future but obviously I am not very good at that. So again I will TRY and we will see what happens.

- Daniel

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Traditionalism is Fossilizing

Ok so I did take the title from a book called “The Blue Parakeet”. Oh well. But it is true when you think about it. So let me explain my situation and my thoughts.

I am in Haiti. I’ve been here for almost a week now. I have been put in a leadership role that is titled “Medical Supply Coordinator”. WOOHOO. Isn’t that exciting. (and I’m not being sarcastic. I LOVE IT.) I really do feel like I’m helping people. So the last 3 days I’ve been trying to evaluate where the medical supply organization stands. I am happy to say that the medical supplies are just as organized or more organized than I left them about a month and a half ago. (That is a very good thing) Anyways. So back to that title of mine.

In the book, “The Blue Parakeet”, (and please know that this is just my take on it) it describes this way of traditional thinking as a bad thing. In short, If you think traditionally, you are thinking the same way people thought a long time ago. This thought process leads to actions that somebody would have taken a long time ago. Therefore you do not change anything, i.e. – There is no movement in day to day life. Henceforth, you are fossilizing. You become a statue, a historical marker. People look at it and say that’s the same thing we did back in the day. This concept could be applied to all sorts of things. Now I’m not saying that change is always good. But I would say that never changing could almost always be bad. You see people change, evolve, mature, become more educated, and because of all this you would think that our day to day lives need to change. Simply put, my day today is a whole lot different than a random day was when I was a child. I have changed a lot since then. I could go on and on with more illustrations but I think I’ll save that for a more necessary time. So what does this have to do with my work in Haiti?

So my job is to organize all the medical supplies where we get rid of what we don’t need, and make the things we do need easily accessible on a day to day basis. The easiest way to do this in the states is to have an inventory system that is constantly updated and at any given moment you could look on a computer and see what you need, what you don’t need, what you are getting rid of, and what is coming. Well, here at Mission of Hope, the majority of the doctors working in the Clinic are only here for a week at a time. There are a few that are permanent. But the majority are medical teams that come for a week and leave about the same time that another team arrives. There are not many accessible computers. There is not much manpower to keep up with all the supplies. So it is left to the momentary doctors and nurses to figure out what they need on a day-to-day basis. This makes my life a little more complicated. Each team of doctors does things a little differently. Needless to say, uniformity doesn’t often appear. You can see the problem I hope.

My goal is this: to make a uniform system of organization/inventorying so that a doctor /nurse could learn how to calculate necessary inputs/outputs in about 10 minutes. In other words, set up a system of organization that is simple enough to teach in a short time, efficient enough to keep everything moving in a timely fashion, and detailed enough to always know exactly what we need and what we don’t need. Just to give you an idea of the scale of my work. Last week, before I got here, MOH received 34 pallets of medical supplies in one shipment. There are about 100 more pallets that are supposed to arrive in the next month or so.
(SIDE NOTE: A lot of these supplies we will not have the capability of using. These supplies will probably be donated to another organization. So I would call another organization and say “Hey, you don’t happen to need…” and list the items I have that are up for grabs. If they say yes then they would have to come and get them. That is the simple form of the donation process. )

So, as of right now, I am strategizing how I am going to go about doing all of this. But I have to keep in mind that the traditional way of thinking is keeping this area of work stagnant. It’s worked before and it is still working. The only problem is that doctors are spending a lot of time looking for things, which turns into less time with patients, which turns into less patients being treated, which turns into more ill Haitians. The goal of Mission of Hope is posted right above where I am sitting right now at the guesthouse at MOH. It states, “As an Organization following Jesus Christ we seek to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti.” Now as impossible as that may sound, it is still a goal. And if we aren’t working to achieve that goal than what are we here for. And if my job is to help achieve that goal than the thing I need to do is to not think traditionally. Which means I have to strategize the best, most efficient way possible to run the medical supplies in this environment.

Similarly, I’ve come to realize, that the Christian walk could be the same thing. As a Christian, I am called to be like Christ. Jesus Christ, as we all know, was perfect and never made any mistakes. As impossible as it may sound for me to achieve that, it is still a goal. I am called, similar to every other Christian out there, to try to reach that goal. Which means that I have to strategize every choice that I make to be the best, most Christ like action possible. The description of Jesus in the Bible never does change, and thus, most of the “best” actions of a Christian are pretty straight forwarded and could be said to be set in stone. But there are still a plethora of Christ like actions that I could partake in that would be totally different today than 20, 40, or even 1000 years ago. I think it’s important that we remember that change can be extremely beneficial to our lives. If we strive to never change than we cannot gain much. We become historical markers. This is not a good thing.

So as I continue chasing my goal of setting up this organizational system here in Haiti, I will also be pursuing my creator and I will always strive to be better than I once was. I am not saying that I will always achieve this goal. But without a goal, I will not go anywhere. If I have nothing to pursue than I will chase after nothing. If I chase after nothing, I probably won’t be moving. And if I don’t move, I will become a fossil.

"The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works." - Oswald Chambers

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off Again

Some of you may already know but I will share again anyways. I am leaving in about 6 hours to go back to Haiti for 5 months. I haven't posted in a while so let me fill you in on what has gone down in the last month and a half or so. So I got back from Haiti and felt deep down inside of my heart that I was supposed to go back. (To make this post a little shorter I will skip some of the details) So I went about raising money and convincing my parents that it would be ok. The money was raised. I bought the tickets. And I'm leaving tomorrow. How exciting is that. I can't wait!!! Anyways. I hopefully will be able to post a little more often this time around. Please keep me in your prayers. I will need all the strength and wisdom I can get in the next 5 months. I will be returning on December 16th. My work will be the same as last time. (managing the medical supplies at Mission of Hope clinic) I got a new video camera today and will hopefully be able to post some short clips of what I am doing. I will also be sending out emails to anybody who wants to receive updates directly. So whoever wants to be put on the list please send me your email address at Well I better get some sleep. God Bless You All.

Much Love,


Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Lord,


I'm in Haiti, I need your help.
I don't know how to cope with this dilemma
I know what you tell me is true, but others think differently,
What do I do?
Do I share the truth when I am not fully prepared
Do I seal my lips to avoid the battle
Do I live life with Love written on the tablet of my heart
And forget about wearing it on my chest?
When and where do I submit
When do I turn the other cheek
When do I stand and fight

Is submitting the real battle plan that I just don't understand?

Lord this is so confusing
There is so much to consider
Dilemma after dilemma it just keeps adding up
I feel like I have one too many boxes to lift
Too many thoughts to sift through
How do I decide which boxes to keep for myself
Or which to share with others
And what is to be thrown out and burned forever

Lord help me, This is an S.O.S.
I'm on this Island and my resources are fading quickly
How do I continue living like this?
Eventually I will run dry
Then What? Do I Die?
Im in Haiti, I need your help...

Love, Your creation,

p.s. - To those of you who are reading this. please do not worry. Just pray. I am blessed with the opportunity to serve here in Haiti and I absolutely love it. Some days are just hard. and I wrote this on one of those days. I love you all. More will follow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Haiti Update - Wednesday May 12th, 2010

Alrighty, So I haven't quite finished my blog on "The Pursuit" but I do think I need to update people on what I am doing in Haiti. I had a successful trip here to Mission of Hope 4 days ago. I just received internet access this afternoon. So I am just now able post something.

Everything has been going fairly well. I am just now getting used to going to bed at 9 and waking up at 7. My college sleep schedule was a little different than this as you could imagine. I hope that I will be able to post a couple pictures and maybe a short video of where we are at now. People say a picture is worth a thousand words. Ironically, it would probably take exactly 1,000 words to describe what one of my pictures could describe for me. So I am going to wait on trying to describe in detail what the supplies look like. Instead let me try to explain what I am trying to do with the supplies. The ultimate goal is to be able to have a permanent system that can take incoming supplies, and separate them into three basic categories. (Trash, Keep, and Donate) Trash will consist of anything that is expired, or anything that cannot be used by anybody in Haiti. The Donate pile will consist of anything that we at Mission of Hope cannot use but some other clinic or hospital in Haiti could use. The keep pile will consist of anything that Mission of Hope can and will use. After that, the next step would be to organize the keeps into categories that will be easily accessible for the nurses and doctors. This whole plan seems to be simple and easy enough on paper. But that is where the pictures come in. I hope that I will be able to include a couple pictures so that you will understand how much supplies there really is. Anyways. We started by separating the big white boxes of supplies into keep and donate sides of the tent. The good part about this is that these boxes had already been looked through and the keeps and donates have already been decided and written on a list. The bad part was that when these HUGE boxes were moved from the warehouse down to the hoop tent they were put in random places and the keeps were not separated from the donates. So we spent all of day 1 (about 6 hours) moving about 10 boxes of supplies about 30 yards a piece. Saddening I know. The next day we spent building shelves out of used pallets so that when we started sorting through the random boxes we would have a place to put them. Today (day 3) we started laying out the random boxes (the smaller ones) on the ground, opening them up, and labeling them with what they contained. Tomorrow we hope to have some of the doctors come to the tent and tell us what can be used and what can not be used. We will then put what can not be used in the donate pile and what can be used we will attempt to organize (on the shelves we built) into broad, basic categories so that it is easy to find. We are starting to do all of this with the supplies that are already in the supply dome. (This is what the big, half circle tent is called) We are trying to ignore the circus tent and the rest of the warehouse of supplies. These supplies will start to be organized after organizing what is already in the supply dome. If I had to guess, I would estimate that the supplies already in the supply dome probably take up about 25% of the total amount of supplies. In summery, there is a ridiculous amount of work to be done. And the work that I will be able to do in the next 3 weeks that I'll be here is only the beginning part of the process that will probably take at least 6 months to successfully accomplish.

Anyways, I hope that I will be able to continue posting daily and I also hope that I will have time to finish "The Pursuit" soon. I will also try to get those pictures up as soon as I can. If you have any specific questions to ask you can either email me at or you can comment on here and I will try to include the answer in my next blog.

Well that is all I have time to type right now. More will follow.

In Him,
- Daniel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

At the Moment

I ended the last blog (Connecting the Dots) with starting a pursuit. I will start my next blog there. But before I do that I think it's only fair for you to understand what the last few weeks have been like for me. This might allow you to understand where I am coming from, and possibly where I am headed. (That's a BIG possibly)
Anyways...So I found out there was a possibility for me to go to Haiti this summer about 2 months ago. When the opportunity arose I immediately became ecstatic and started making plans. I was also blessed in the opportunity to take a friend with me. So I am also extremely happy to know that one if my really good friends will be able to join me as I embark on this pretty crazy adventure to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Well everything was going fine until about 2 weeks ago when I started thinking too much. I started to realize a little bit of what I am getting myself into. This occurred about the time I bought the plane tickets to get down there. I also started conversing with a few people that will be guiding me in my efforts to start some type of permanent organizational system for the incoming supplies at the hospital I will be staying at. Since the earthquake that occurred in Haiti not too long ago there has obviously been an extensive amount of supplies consistently arriving at the doorsteps of this hospital. There have been a different group of volunteer doctors that have donated one week of their lives to go and serve at this hospital. The downside is that it is hard to find somebody that can and would be willing to donate more than a week of their time to help in any sort of effort in Haiti. This has led to a different group of volunteers (mainly doctors) to go every week. As far as I know I do not believe that there has been one volunteer that has gone for more than one consecutive week. Groups arrive on Saturday and leave the next Sunday. Due to this lack of consistent personnel at the hospital, it goes without saying that there still has yet to be formed a consistent organizational system for the mass amounts of incoming supplies (random shipments of 5-40 pallets at a time) Well this is where the opportunity has risen for me to go and head up the efforts to form a more permanent solution to this problem of chaos. At first I thought it was gonna be awesome and I was more than happy to partake in this task. That is up until a couple weeks ago. I started doubting myself and my skills. After all I am only a 20 year old college student with little experience in this type of work. I started envisioning myself getting to this place and within the first week becoming overwhelmed and shutting down. (Ultimately failing) Right now, back at home, it easy for me to understand that I am going to Haiti to serve God. THAT'S IT!!! And it's easy for me to know that if I keep this mindset of serving God that the outcome of my project will not be as important. Thus, I would be able to do my work with a good attitude and do the best that I am capable of doing. BUT...I also know that understanding that concept here is a whole lot different than sticking to that concept when I am faced with thousands of boxes to sort through and organize. So I began to get scared, I was scared of failure, scared of loosing site of God, scared of failing my creator, I was just really really scared. So what did I do? I started to pray. And I grabbed my Bible for the first time in quite a while. I opened it up and started reading. For some reason or another somewhere throughout this praying and reading I became "enlightened", if you will, to the ultimate purpose of my being. Since the moment I cracked the Bible I was at peace, I was no longer scared, and the excitement rushed back into my veins. I must say that this was no ordinary comforting through the Bible experience. I literally have quadrupled my understanding of God, the Bible, and what I have to do with any of it. I started "Connecting the Dots" as I explained in my previous post. Furthermore I feel like I changed from leisurely walking towards God to sprinting in my pursuit to know my creator. In my next post I will try to explain that change, and the realizations I came to. I will say this again, and I will continue to say this. I know that I am, and always will be, in the process of learning and growing. I do understand that the "realization" I come to today has the definite possibility of changing drastically in the future. So, whoever is reading this, please know that I am not stuck in my ways. And I am always down for listening intently to a different point of view. WELL, I have to go study for my last final now. Hopefully I'll be able post the next segment, "The Pursuit", by tomorrow.
Let God's will be done,

Connecting the Dots

I wrote this today after spending the last few weeks thinking about a ton of stuff. Writing this down actually gave me the idea of creating this blog in the first place. I decided since I am leaving for Haiti in a few days I might as well make a blog so that people can keep up with my work there. And I went ahead and posted some things I have written in the past. And today (the first time in a while) I wrote my thoughts down. So here it goes...

I’ll be totally honest, I really haven’t read my Bible much at all since I have been in College. And even in high school, it really wasn’t much. But I will tell you that I feel like I started to finally understand the significance of the Bible in the past week or so. You might say well duh!!! ya idiot, of course the Bible is important. So, I guess to respond to that, I would say that I’ve always known how important the Bible is, I just started to experience it rather than just know it. Anyways...I started reading, and then thinking, and then reading some more, and then came more thinking. I think a lot; and I think fast. I feel like I sometimes find myself in a zero gravity atmosphere and my head is filled with tons of little extreme bouncy balls and I’ll read something that hits me in the head like a 2 by 4 and those bouncy balls go crazy. I really don’t know if that’s normal, or if I really am crazy, or if I’m really smart or something like that. Regardless, I am who I am, and I’m not complaining. Let’s move on shall we?
I have thought a ton about the different categories of concepts or ideas in the Bible. Although I am not a Bible scholar or anything close to it I do think that I have learned the skill of reading something in an unbiased way and to critically evaluate (weigh) the material that I receive against my past experiences and knowledge and my own logic. I feel that it is sometimes extremely hard to grasp certain concepts and ideas that are in the Bible. Let me explain what I am talking about.
There are the obvious ones like how big God is, how the Trinity works, and how the creation of the universe actually went down. I like to call these “bigger than me concepts”. We like to try to come up with analogies and such for items like these in an attempt to allow our minds to wrap around or understand the idea. But I feel that in reality we, in doing this, are simply shrinking the idea, which then shrinks God. And I really don’t see how that’s fair at all. So I try my hardest not to think about these and accept the fact that I will never ever ever understand the vastness of my creator.
There are also the concepts that are revealed throughout the whole Bible that we tend to pass up. These are the underlying concepts of the Bible, the foundation I would say. I feel like these certain foundational concepts are not what we think them to be. I’m not talking about the ten commandments or loving one another. I’m talking about the history, the context, and the background. I feel as if we sometimes mistake the ten commandments and such to be broad overarching themes of the Bible. But in reality they are very specific; do not steal; do not murder; Obey your parents; etc. I would prefer to look at them more as broad overarching themes of Christianity, not the Bible.
I came to this conclusion when I started seeing elements of the Bible connect to one another and form a big picture, similar to the connect the dots pictures that we used to draw as children. If you think back to when you were a child and you tried to draw the straightest lines possible from one dot to the next in order to form a more clear picture. The more lines you drew the more the picture revealed itself. Similarly the more I began to read the Bible the more the big picture revealed itself. Obviously I have not yet and probably will never see every detail of the big picture that comes out of the Bible. But it was amazing to me that as little as I read in the last few weeks, (Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 1 Corinthians, Ecclesiastes, parts of Genesis, parts of Matthew, and parts of Luke) how many dots I was able to connect. The big picture revealed much more of itself to me than I had anticipated. This big picture is something that, in my opinion, we tend to overlook as individuals and more importantly as the congregation of Christ’s followers. I like to call this group of ideas as the “slippery concepts”. Meaning we tend to let these concepts slip through the cracks of the Bible. In other words, we as a church tend to focus on only one or two or maybe three of the “dots” at once and never really step back to see all the “dots” connected.
So we have the “bigger than me concepts” and “slippery concepts”. Let’s put it another way so that we might understand a little better. We have “boulders” that are really hard to pick up and definitely can’t be thrown around easily. We have “legos” that are small and lightweight, but are hard to keep track of. And we have the group of concepts I like to call the “manageable concepts” or the “baseballs”. Here is where it get’s tricky. We sometimes try to chill on top the boulders, but that gets boring and frustrating. We sometimes try to play with the legos, but we end up loosing them all before we can make any type of castle or fortress out of them. So we as the church today tend to stick with playing catch out in the yard. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s entertaining. We play with the same ball until someone makes a bad throw and it get’s lost in the bushes which leads to us just picking up another ball and continuing on with our play.
In your mind right now you are probably conceptualizing what I am talking about in your own community or congregation. So you go to church on Sunday morning and your preacher does his job and preaches. He might be “throwing around” some ideas such as being filled with the holy spirit and speaking in tongues (that is if you attend a Pentecostal Church) or why we shouldn’t use instruments in our worship (Church of Christ) or how God doesn’t work in the world today the same way he did in the early church (Baptist) etc etc... The preacher is probably using small “sound bites” from different places in the Bible or maybe even a section of a chapter. You see, these are the concepts and ideas that distinguish one denomination from another. Because this is what separates us from the others, it is natural to focus on these things. In other words, these “controversial” subjects of what the Bible says are the “manageable concepts” or the “baseballs”. You might be questioning the idea that controversial subjects are the so called “easy” or “fun” subjects. So let me explain why I think this.
My entire life I have been deathly allergic to milk. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been teased and made fun of for eating things such as cheese-less pizza, lucky charms without milk, and having a rice-crispy cake for each of my birthdays instead of a regular cake. So when I order a cheeseburger with no cheese at chili’s, and they put cheese on it anyways, I take pleasure in informing the server that if I were to eat the cheeseburger my throat would swell up and I would suffocate and die. I don’t do this to be rude or unappreciative of their hard work. I do this because I am somewhat proud of the fact that I am allergic to milk. This is what makes me who I am. This differentiates me from the average 20 year old male. This makes me different, and I am proud of the fact that I am different. You see though, this is a problem in my life. I sometimes feel as if I am average, as if I was normal, as if I was the epitome of a 20 year old man. If I were to try to think of one fact about myself that set me apart from the average person, I would probably think of my milk allergy. In reality there are a plethora of characteristics that set me apart from the norm. You see, different denominations feel as if their identifying factor is whether or not they speak in tongues or whether or not they worship God without instruments. This congregational characteristic is what we tend to be proud of when we think of our own personal faith. Even when other people pick on someone or make a little fun by telling them that they have differing beliefs, one seems to stick their chest out and stand firm next to our beliefs. In reality the things that set us apart from other churches are things such as the overall quality of people, overall success in reaching people for Christ, people being truly genuine in their worship, people of the congregation actually living consistent non-hypocritical Christ-like lives etc. etc... Because of this natural tendency, the focus of today's church tends to stay on or around our “manageable concepts”. We get used to playing catch and we forget about the boulders and legos. One must admit that playing catch is much more appealing than trying to play with legos or boulders.
What then are we to do? I do not believe I have any form of authority over the area of what specifically to do, but God has given us this awesome gift of the Bible so that we may understand Him as fully as possible and thus live according to his will. Although I cannot say that I know the whole picture, or even the majority, I can say that in order to successfully understand the whole picture we have to be able to expand our focus from one category of concepts to all three categories. In doing this we as individuals will be able to “tune in” to God’s will and become one with God’s heart. This simply means that we will understand God a little more every day and thus be able to live a better, more Christ-like, life. We have to be able acknowledge the “bigger than me concepts”, figure out how to keep a hold of the “slippery concepts”, and be less distracted by the “manageable concepts”. We have to be able to acknowledge that the “boulders” are there and try not to make them smaller than they really are. We have to keep track of the small annoying “legos” so that we can successfully build our fortress of understanding. And in order to do that we must set aside our “baseballs” every once in a while so that we can have time to sit on the “boulder” and acknowledge the magnificence of our creator, and also have time to dig through all the “legos” and start putting them together so that we may understand the big picture more and more every day.
In conclusion, if you had a white piece of paper with dots randomly assorted upon it, what do you do? Well first you have to recognize the size of the piece of paper (the magnificence of God), then you would begin at the first dot, and draw a line from dot to dot till the outline is complete (understanding the framework of the Bible), and then you would take different crayons and color in between the lines (learning what the whole picture looks like so that you can try to mirror that image in your own life). We have to recognize that, because of natural human error, not every picture is going to look exactly the same as the next. But, unless you really cannot follow instructions, everybody’s initial outline of the picture should be very similar, and thus, each one of us can acknowledge our minuscule differences without drawing attention away from the whole picture. In understanding what the basic picture looks like, we then can begin to pursue God’s heart, and in doing so, understand what our creators true love, grace, and satisfaction feels like.


(I wrote this about a year ago one random afternoon when I was bored. I rarely feel the desire to write. But when a lot is on my mind it helps to take it off my mind and put it on paper.)

If you really look at each and every one of our lives as human beings you see that each person has his or her own qualities...some good, some bad...As a Christian I believe that God, the creator of all things and all people, has a love for every one of his creations just like a carpenter has for everyone one of his crafts. A skilled carpenter puts time and care into his work. Once he is done he has no choice but to care for it. A carpenter also creates each and every piece of work to serve a specific purpose. whether it be a chair to sit on...or a house to live in...or something that people can just look at and admire...I think God, being the ultimate craftsman, has created each one of us for a certain purpose. In the Bible God tells us to go out and spread the good news (of His son Jesus) to all the world. Yes that is sort of an overall purpose of being a Christian. But I do not believe that He means for each and everyone one of us to become world missionaries. Each one of us has to find what our specific purpose is. I don't know about you but for me that's not that easy to do. How do we as people do exactly what God wants us to do. In the Bible Jesus says that we must take up our cross and follow him. I'm pretty sure the people that he was talking to were pretty darn confused at that point. The cross at that day and time had the sole purpose of putting one person through the most agonizing death that one could imagine. So for someone to take up his or her cross meant that they were to follow Jesus into death and experience it like he was about to. That seems sort of crazy to ask someone to do. In today's world you can look around and see that most people go about their lives totally wasting the gifts and talents that their creator has given them. They are not using the things God gave them to do what they were supposed to do. We all do this, whether you like it or not, we are all sinners and we all screw up. We all at some point in time use God's gifts to go against God. So how exactly do we succeed in serving our own purpose that God has given us. How do we know what the purpose is. I think that everyone underestimates God's ability to work through us to do spectacular things. I think this underestimation is somewhat fair seeing as we all know deep down inside that without God we would be totally useless. Since the gifts and talents are God assigned, it seems like its possible for God to easily take them away. In other words God can totally take away what he has given us. So why does He let us screw up over and over again. Why does He give us chance after chance to use what he has given us for it's original purpose. The only answer that I can come up with is that the outcome of us using our gifts to their full extent is far more life changing than the little screw ups that we partake in. But that still leaves most of us with the question, how do we get on the same page with God. What initial step do we have to take to start allowing God to use us for our original purpose. Isn't that the hard question. One of my favorite story's in the Bible is the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand people with a just two loaves of bread and some fish. If you read this story from John's point of view you notice that Jesus doesn't just pull this food out of his pocket. It says that a small boy offered up his bread and fish to Jesus. You see, Jesus could have just done the miracle himself and fed everyone their without any help, but instead he used a small boys lunch offered up to him to feed a mass amount of people. In the same way God could just make everyone love him. He could make the world perfect. But instead he uses our gifts and talents to make life interesting. So about that initial step that we have to take to succeed in our purpose. We are all minuscule on this earth. We are all useless without God. Just like that small basket of bread and fish could never feed thousands of people. We can hardly do anything that could really matter unless we put our lives in God's hands. If we wake up every morning and try to imagine ourselves giving God our useless life, maybe then we can become useful....


I wrote the following little tidbit in my 9th grade spanish class (6 years ago) and have kept it with me. I won't lie, I do not know where these words came from. I was sitting there and simply started writing.

Jesus Christ, the most extravagant being in this universe, extends his unconditional love and unheard of grace towards every person on this spec of an earth. Without Him, you, as the person next to you, would not have acquired anything you have; you would not have accomplished and will not accomplish anything. Jesus Christ, the son of the one and only God, has an unbelievable care for you. Considering all of this, i present to you one question. WHY? in this God forgiven world, do we walk through life absolutely ignoring the extravagant love of our creator. I also present to you one goal. Instead of living a life of the norm, look at life through a different lens. Picture every nuisance an opportunity, every accident a lesson, every sunrise another reason to praise the creator, and in everything that we see or do an obligation to worship the Lord.

First Blog

This is my first Blog. As said in the heading the purpose of this blog is to update my friends and family and whoever else that cares about my trip to Haiti. I am leaving this Saturday May 8th, 2010 and will be returning June 3rd. I will be working at a compound called Mission of Hope located right outside of Port-au-Prince. Mission of Hope contains a small developing hospital, a church, and an orphanage. My job will be managing the overwhelming amount of incoming supplies while I am there. (mainly medical/surgical supplies) Another reason why I created this blog is so that I can have a place to share my thoughts and views on random things that consume my mind. I have written a few essays for fun in the past and will be posting those right after this post. Hopefully I will be able to continue writing down my thoughts after returning from Haiti and continue posting them on here. If you read any of my blogs please remember that I consider myself still young and learning. Therefore, anything I say that you absolutely disagree with, please let me know. I always try my very best to weigh each argument presented to me regardless of my previous beliefs. I do not by any means consider myself closed-minded and thus am open to hearing anybody's and everybody's thoughts and opinions. I do ask that if you do disagree and would like to share with me why, please do so in a respectful way.
In Him,
-Daniel Walton