Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 random things about me

So this has been going around facebook for some time, so I decided to incorporate it into my blog. Here ya go!

25 random things about me:

I remember most everything…so long as whatever it is I’m remembering is of little consequence. (old convos, things I did, sports trivia, music trivia, etc.)

In middle school, I was a scholar’s bowl champ

I’ve never broken a bone

I’m rarely nervous…unless I’m doing anything involved with music…where I have 0 confidence

Speaking of music…last week a man came into our office to ask if someone could sing at a funeral…right then. So, with some help, I did.

I really like bowling

I really like lime Jell-O…it’s totally underrated

I think American cars are poorly made…and with a friend correctly predicted GM’s bankruptcy (including the reason) 5 years ago

Every day I filter what I say less and less

I love spontaneity…and feel like planning is overrated

I want to be a published writer one day…though I feel like I rarely get unbiased feedback

I’ve been called girlish regarding my shoes…I have a good few pairs, but none that are particularly nice

I dislike The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the like…and often catch flak for it.

I often think about coaching football again

I love to play basketball…and love it when I’m the last pick…cause I’m a lot better at it than I look

I once brought a rusty brake rotor, a panel from a washing machine, and a porcelain sink to a $5 “rasslin” match.

I laugh at Strong Bad emails way more than I probably should.

My days with Los Locos were among my best days ever

My taste in music is really eclectic...though I don't like country, but I do like bluegrass

My favorite job I’ve ever had was when I was a mower repairman for JBC

I plan on running a full marathon this year

I often am stereotyped…and they never seem to fit

I am totally ok with living without much of a bank account, knowing what my life will look like next year, and not owning much of anything.

I didn’t start drinking coffee til a little over a year ago…now I love it

I’m a jack of all trades, master of none…sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s really frustrating.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cheap Flights, Bright Lights, and the Least of These

Sorry, this blog is a few days late…the past week at NMSI has been rather chaotic. The second week in January is our “blackout week." All Florida based staff are required to be in the country at this time for crucial meetings, discussions, and vision casting for the year. We were able to get a lot accomplished in our division meetings and I’m looking forward to what this year holds!

The weekend prior to blackout week was one that I won’t soon forget. Ryan and Kyle (two of my housemates and closest friends) nearly share a birthday (Kyle’s is Jan. 10 an Ryan’s is Jan. 11) so we were looking for something great to do for a celebration. The week before, I wandered to and found flights to Atlantic City NJ for $57 round trip! Since neither of these guys had ever been to New York City we decided that it would be a great place for a celebration. We combed the internet for a couple more deals needed to complete our journey ($50 bucks for 2 nights at a hotel, and just over $100 for a rental car) and set our sights on the frigid northeast.

So now, I could write, telling you of the sights we saw, the food we ate, the sketchy place we stayed, the convoluted NJ highway system, or the adventure of driving a PT Cruiser full of 5 guys…but I’ll pass. I’d rather tell you about where I saw Jesus while we were in New York/New Jersey.

I saw him at 3am in the kind smile and cheery disposition of the server at Denny’s
I saw him in the eyes of the 4 strangers who sat across from us and kindly gave us directions on the subway. (yet never spoke to one other)
I saw him in sincerity and sharp mind of the older man wearing the preverbial “NY” hat who spent several minutes telling us the best way to get to Washington Square.
I saw him in the moment when we got immediate seating at the ESPN Zone in Times Square during a Saturday night NFL playoff game after being told the wait was 90 minutes. (it was like God's birthday present for Ryan and Kyle)

Where I saw him most, however, was on the subway at 11PM, while headed back to Jersey. The five of us jumped aboard the train, our bodies tired and our bones chilled from 17 hours of devouring NYC. I took my seat and several seats down, a man caught my attention. His white, unkempt hair fell to his bony, slumping shoulders that didn’t so much support his thickly bearded, blank face, as it did keep it loosely attached to the rest of him. The man’s clothing was tattered and disheveled, partially falling off his frail body. I confess, my immediate reaction was not good…I assumed he had drunk himself into a stupor and was now suffering the hell that comes with that sort of abuse. How arrogant of me. After a couple of minutes of seeing this man sway and shake with every movement of this subway, his body giving no resistance, my heart softened. Kyle, Ryan, and I shifted eye contact between us, each feeling that we had to do something. After a few minutes, Ryan made his way over to the man and asked him a few questions. Turns out he was sick and weak…so weak that he said he could hardly move and probably needed to go to the hospital that night. Though his body suggested otherwise, his mind was sharp and his speech articulate…he was in bad shape and needed help. Our stop approached and we had to get off the train, but not without giving him a couple of jackets and covering him up. As he thanked us, we made eye contac and his vibrant blue, coherent eyes struck me as strong, competent, and well. As soon as we got off the train we found a subway employee who directed help to this man. And that was it...

I’ll not soon forget this moment…we had compassion…but could we have done more? I feel like I was directly confronted by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

So did we deny Jesus? Did we deny man? Neither have defense. This question remains.

Grace for me abounds...should my grace for others not also abound?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

On Tuesday my Mom had a birthday….so in honor of that great day I made her a cake! But since I couldn’t be there for the festivities, here’s a post for my mom! (and an old school picture haha)

10 of the top things I’ve learned from Mom:

10. If you’re gonna be a Hickman, it’ll go a lot smoother if you’re a football fan.
9. That App-ah-latch-ian is correct
8. That dusting is important (even though that one didn’t really take haha)
7. That God speaks loudly at the beach
6. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, The Temptations…that’s all I need to say
5. That an absolutely perfect meal can be adequately complemented with burned bread :o)
4. To appreciate the stars
3. Starting out on a road trip in the middle of the night is completely appropriate
2. That serving others is far more important than serving yourself
1. To love others with abandon…no matter the risk

From Mom I've learned more than I could ever type…thanks…
I hope these 10 made you smile!

Your youngest/craziest kid.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Farewell 2008

Every December, the one line from a particular song played at Christmas haunts me. “So this is Christmas, and what have you done…another year over, and a new one just begun.” When I hear John Lennon’s melody I tend to look back and see what all has gone on in the previous year. Some years I’ve felt fairly accomplished…others, not so much. So here goes a recap of all that’s gone on in 2008.

In 2008 I:

*Left a ministry I loved
*Went to the 24 hrs of Daytona race with my dad, nephew, and brother
*Moved to Florida
*Loved watching the Patriots go down in epic Super Bowl XLII
*Spent 9 weeks in a missionary training program with NMSI
*Learned that a guy from Brazil and a guy from Tennessee aren’t all that different
*Understood what it means to be “open, honest, and vulnerable”
*Affiliated with New Mission Systems International
*Fell in love
*Moved back to Tennessee
*Had the privilege of being the best man in my friend Jeremiah’s wedding
*Had the privilege of helping out (in a minor way) with my friend JoHila’s wedding.
*Had the privilege of being the best man in my friend Logan’s wedding
*Re-examined my theology
*Got a job at Applebee’s…and met a lot of good people there
*Saw the birth of Gracie, Chris and Emily’s baby girl
*Went to a CD release party for my friend McClure, and his band Northfork Switchgrass (seriously, check em out…they’re great!)
*Lost 30+ lbs
*Was devastated by the news that Chris had brain cancer
*Was overwhelmed by God’s answer to prayer when Chris came through the surgery
*Co-lead a mission project to Costa Rica and saw God at work in that nation
*Had a fight with Delta airlines…which I lost
*Somehow got Mono
*Was overwhelmed by the love and support of my friends and family as I raised finances to come to NMSI
*Moved back to Florida…into a house with 4 other guys
*Learned that there are 4 seasons in FL: Crowded, Hot, Fire, and Hurricane
*Spent a week in Bulgaria at the NMSI Triennial conference
*Turned 25…and had a blast doing it
*Spent a week in Greece for the 2nd half of Triennial
*Went to the Tennessee-Alabama game with Chris
*Saw Coldplay for $5…again…Coldplay!
*Was devastated by the news that Chris had another tumor…and it didn’t look good
*Went to the National Missionary Convention
*Ran a half marathon
*Was absolutely floored by God when the doc went to remove Chris’s tumor…and couldn’t find it
*Watched a sunrise in Palm Beach
*Had a great Christmas with people I love…and did so without giving gifts!

So there it was…my 2008. It went in a blur. So, here’s to 2009…there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last…