Thursday, March 26, 2009

Matthias Probably Dreaded PE Class

Part of my Lenten sacrifice this year is to avoid watching television when I get home from work. It's tough to fill that time. I find myself standing in a quiet, still room looking at my two cats and asking, "So what do YOU guys want to do?" They have yet to make a good suggestion. For a few weeks I was caught up in a certain book series that will remain nameless, but I made a promise to myself; Before I could open my fiction book, I would read from my non-fiction book, the Bible. I started Acts this week. I read about Matthias and got to really thinking about him in real-life terms. 

In case you're not familiar with Matt (we're on a nickname basis), he was the one chosen to "replace" Judas after Judas' betrayal of Jesus. The apostles knew the number twelve was important - The twelve tribes of Israel. If they were going to complete the task to which Jesus commissioned them, they needed a twelfth man.  They had to choose between Matt and Joseph called Barsabbas. Both men had been with Jesus since the beginning of his ministry, so the eleven cast lots to get God's take on whose heart was ready for this great mission. Sorry Joe. Matt's in. 

Have you ever been the person who wasn't the first choice? Are you thinking back to choosing kickball teams in grade school PE class? I am. Or more recently, we you the second choice for a project at work? Were you the person who was given a task after someone else dropped the ball and you knew the whole time you could do it and do it well? 

Back in '03, after about six months of interning at Spirit FM, I was told that there wouldn't be a position for me anytime soon and if I wanted to, I should just move on. Less than six months later, a position was created and given to someone else. Then, after I was finally hired at Spirit FM I found out that another candidate was offered my current position before me and she turned it down. Initially, my feelings were really hurt. I thought, "They didn't really want me! I'm their Plan B!" But looking back, the outcome couldn't have been better. I wasn't ready for the job at first. Heck, I'm still learning. But God has such amazing timing! 

I wonder if that's how Matt felt. Maybe he wasn't ready when Jesus chose the original twelve. Maybe he wasn't even ready when those lots were cast, but what's pretty cool (and what I think happened in my case as well) is that God foresaw what he would become and chose him because he would become worthy. We don't hear from Matt again in scripture, but I bet he did great things. He had something to prove. He was a second-stringer. A Plan B. And I have a feeling he was OK with it.

If you ever feel like second choice or a latecomer, maybe even a latecomer to that group called "Christians," just think of Matthias and ask him to pray for you. And don't let when you were called allow you to forget why you were called.  


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hospitals Suck

Why do we complain?

Today, I got the sad news that a friend of mine was heading back to the hospital. Not for himself, for a loved one. And not a loved one, in a way we love our friends who go in, but in the way of a mother or father, son or daughter. My friend knows this place as well as I did when my mom battled lupus years ago. Hospitals are cold.

I think back to my daily visits, the hours spent bed side. I think about the months my mom laid in ICU, in a medically induced coma. She never knew I was there, never knew the hours I spent just sitting next to her talking to her or reading next to her. Hoping. Praying. Crying. For the miracle that never came. I cried out to the God of Heaven, the creator who with a single breath can create new worlds, who's mere thought can craft light from darkness, who's single word could make my mother new again. I wanted our Lord and Savior to rip the roof off the hospital room, part the skies and send a ray of light so bright it could burn away the lupus from my mothers body, so she could walk out of that hospital and never return. That miracle never came. Instead, my mother lost her battle and went home to be with God. Even in writing this I can still feel the pinch, the hurt of her loss in my heart.

God has a funny way about him though. It took me sometime, but looking back on the last few weeks of life my mother had the things that feel into place, the people who came, the way she looked. That was the miracle. Family for no reason, showed up to just to be together, my mother said to me she felt the best she'd felt in ages that week. She looked like a million bucks to me. That was the miracle. We all, every cousin, every aunt, everyone from miles away had a chance to come and see my mom. The mom I knew before the lupus. Her time here was done and God called her home to her eternal reward. I learned a lot about God's love during that week.

My friend now is in a similar situation. His loved one faces an incurable disease that at any moment can claim the life of his beloved. Prior to getting the email about his situation, I was just complaining about a nagging situation I have and thinking about how nobody has it as bad as I do. I was almost like, "Really God! Really! Come on, haven't I had enough already". Then boom. Email. My friend is back in the hospital. Dealing with a situation 1000 times worse than mine. And I'm complaining. In retrospect, it's really not that big a deal. Yes, it is annoying to deal with, yes, it is no fun. But it's nothing I can't handle. Nothing, God can't help me with.

We complain so easily now. Our cell phone drops a call, we want a new cell phone company. How dare they drop MY call! Jerks! The internet doesn't connect fast enough, we want new internet service. If you think about it, your trying to connect your computer to another computer to another computer to another computer maybe spanning hundreds of miles in distance! Give it a minute! Heaven forbid YOUR time gets taken up for an extra 10 seconds. We have become so self involved, so self centered we forget what God calls us to be. Servants. To people. To show people love. To be kind, courteous, generous, LOVING!

If we would all take an extra moment of OUR time to be CHRIST to someone, we could change the world overnight. I truly believe that. Maybe tomorrow, as you go to work, or school or wherever your life leads you. Take a moment and ask God what He would have you do today. How you can be a reflection of who HE is in YOU.

And pray for my friend. His loved one can always use our prayers.



New Show / Old Story

Last night I finally got around to watching the premier episode of NBC's new drama KINGS. NBC says this about their new show: Kings is a riveting new drama about a modern day monarchy. A contemporary re-telling of the timeless tale of David and Goliath. This series is an epic story of greed and power, war and romance, forbidden loves and secret alliances -- and a young hero who rises to power in a modern-day kingdom.

Now the story of the biblical King David is enough to sell me on this new series. The bible says he was a righteous king, although not without fault, he committed adultery and murder. He was still an acclaimed warrior, musician and poet being traditionally credited with the authorship of many of the Psalms. The story of King David shows us that with all of his greatness came a very real sense of the weakness of humanity and overwhelming love of God.

Really think about the life of King David, take a good hard look at this man of God:

David is chosen to be the next KING of Israel as the YOUNGEST of the sons of Jesse. Normally, the eldest son is chosen from the lineage of the King himself. God went outside of that blood line and chose the youngest of seven sons to be the next King to rule over Israel. Later David walks out in front of the entire Philistine army to take on their best warrior with only a sling and a few stones in the Valley of Elah. Goliath is challenging the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat. David is victorious, the Philistines flee in terror and the Israelites win a great victory. David KILLED a man with only a sling and a stone! A GIANT no less. Saul makes David a commander over his armies and David is successful in many battles, and the people cry out saying, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." Saul then turns on David out of jealousy and fear and trys to KILL him. So David flees to the wilderness. Later Saul is killed, David is made King and begins to rule over Israel. Only to then commit adultery with Bathsheba and KILL her husband! WHAT!?!? YES, he really did that.

David, was a great man but still struggled with his own humanity. Yet in all of the murder and adultery, God still said of David, "he is a man after my own heart". David did turn away from God for a time, but God never turned away from David. Personally, I know I can get like David sometimes in my own life. Granted, I've never killed anyone or committed adultery and have no plans to do either, but I still struggle with things. At times get mad at God, turn away and do my own thing. But my heart never truly leaves what God wants in my life. I will always chase after the things that God has for me. Their delivery into my life may cause me to freak out sometimes and turn away, but I try to always come back and say, "sorry God, for my own weakness". To which I know I am forgiven by the grace he has for each and every one of us.

If you have turned away and have run from the things of God, it's never to late to turn back and run toward Him. Maybe you have done some really bad things like David did. If God can forgive him, why not you. It's not to late. Let God be God in your life today.

And watch Kings. I will be. And I'll be reading along to see what's next. The best thing is that the spoilers are already written. IN THE BIBLE!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Life and Control

Being the Co-Pilot

It is not the easiest thing for me to give up control over anything. Right now as I write this blog, Abby is running the control board, the computer, traffic, sound effects, everything! Everything I am usually in control over. It is a very weird feeling, NOT being the one driving the morning show. It is actually very hard for me to relinquish that control over to Abby. Not that she is not capable, she is very good at what she does, she is a very quick learner and can easily guide this ship with the same precision that I try to do it with. But I can't shake it. This feeling of anxiety. This feeling of not knowing what is next, or what Abby may or may not do.

The funny this is that during all this God took a quick second to show me something. The same way I'm feeling right now over Abby running the morning show, is how I treat God sometimes. When He takes me this way, I freak out, He directs me that way, I gripe. Why? Because I want to choose where I go and how I get there. I want to be my life's pilot, my life's director. It truly baffles me sometimes to think that I, Carlos, this young, fragile, stupid sheep, would basically tell God, the awesome, holy, loving creator of the universe, that I know better than He does.

So today, I'll let Abby drive our morning show and I'll take this lesson to heart and try once again to truly just let God be God over my life. Besides, I think Isaiah has it right, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Meaning: GOD KNOWS BETTER! Let him steer the ship of your life or direct the movie in which you are the star or whatever analogy fits you best. Just let him take control. He won't steer you wrong.


Monday, March 16, 2009

New Look

My So-Called Shave

It is a very well documented fact that, Carlos Hates To Shave! I know, hate is a very strong word that I do not throw around lightly, it's meaning: (courtesy of intense hostility, extreme dislike or antipathy, suits my feeling towards shaving quite well.

I had not shaved the fur growing from my face in about a week or so, maybe more. It's very sad when I lose track of when the last time I shaved was. Even worse is that I never actually shave. I use an electric razor and instead of using the close shave side, I use the beard trimmer and just run my the hair down to a 5 o'clock shadow.

Yesterday, I pulled out my trusty Braun electric shaver, flipped up the trimmer and got to work. For some reason I decided to goof around and get creative with my "beard". This was the out come of my handiwork:

Kind of a blurry picture but it's the best I could do for now. Not sure if I like it. It may be gone by tomorrow, but if you want to put your two cents into my face, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for listening and all you do for Spirit FM.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Being a Blogger

Carlos is going to be mad at me for this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Shh, don't tell.

I didn't want to blog. I'm not a blogger. The fact that the word can be used as a noun and a verb bothers me a little bit. The reason I don't blog is that I've always felt like it's a bit... what's the word... self-involved. If you blog, please don't be mad at me. I just feel like having a blog would be my way of saying: "How I feel about topic X is interesting and important enough that other people should want to read it." It's bad enough that I talk on the radio and constantly hope (and pray) that people care enough to listen. It's the same thing with the MySpace and Facebook pages with the constant pictures and status updates. Do people care that "Abby is... thinking about what she's going to make for dinner?" I suppose if people don't want to know what I think, they don't have to read my blog or look at my Facebook updates (which I don't actually post). So what's the problem then?

I think the problem is that I know my weaknesses and in different periods of my life I've struggled with vanity and self-absorption. Think about it. Have you ever hung up the phone after a conversation with a friend or family member and wondered, "Did I talk just about myself that whole time?" I surely have and it scares me that too much of that behavior will push away my loved ones. Do I really need a blog to push me even further into Abby's World?

At 2008's World Youth Day in Australia, Pope Benedict XVI urged young people to create “a new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships.” I hear you, loud and clear B-16! I only have so much space in this head and heart of mine. If it's too full of myself, will I really have room for anyone else?

I thought and prayed about it and I'm going to give blogging a try. I love writing. I don't think I'm great at it, but I think I can compose a pretty good sentence and I think God gave me that talent. So I'll do my best to write from my heart. Hopefully, I'll learn something about myself in the process and you'll come to know (and like!) me a bit more too. My new status: "Abby is... a blogger."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jonny Diaz

Album: Stand For You
Debut Single: More Beautiful You

Many thanks to Jonny Diaz for stopping by this morning. Check out for more info and his new album and the latest news.

First, we learned that we've been mispronouncing his name all along. It's not Dee-ez, it's Die-az. Then Abby and Jonny had a little colegient tension building between them. Abby the UF alum and Jonny the FSU alum had a few football comments mentioned between them. I did my best to keep the peace. Though Abby did say we should do the interview by throwing a microphone out to them in the parking lot keep him from entering the building.

Jonny is a great guy with a bright future and from his own website Jonny writes about his radio promo tour:

So, this is the process we’re about to begin. For the next few weeks, when I’m not out of state playing a concert, I’ll be traveling to different radio stations (sometimes 4 or 5 cities a day). I have one day in particular where I’ll visit Nashville, fly to Tampa, drive to Orlando, drive to Jacksonville, and fly to Chicago.

As crazy as this sounds, I’m really excited about it. I believe in the song, and I believe that its message needs to be heard by as many people as possible. If this is what it takes, then so be it. I will surely let you know how you can help when we get to that point. For now I just ask for your prayers. Pray that the song will be well received by the station directors. Pray that my wife and I will stay strong as we spend so much time apart. Pray that I’ll stay healthy despite such a crazy schedule. Finally, pray that God will use the song however He sees fit! I’ll keep you posted.

Keep Jonny in your Prayers and of course Abby and I and The Big Big House Morning Show.