Southwestern Days & Southwestern Nights #2: "This One Thing"

     It feels so good to be exactly where the Lord wants me to be. Just yesterday, I was telling a new friend of mine how glad I was that I had chosen to come to SAGU. Yes, there are idiosyncrasies (as with any place) but there is also such a presence of the Lord and sense of destiny here. The people are great, and I can already tell that the friends I'm making now will be pillars that I'll lean on in the future. As I look out of the window of the fourth floor of Bridges Hall, I can't help but to dream of what the Lord has for Leah and I. It's incredible, really, when I think about it. I mean, it's so ridiculous for God to use me. But He does. But He does.

     A few days ago, I was in the altar worshiping when the Lord gave me a vision. For the most part, it was in first person. I was worshiping when the Lord picked up a jar of oil and poured it over my head. The jar was large, so the oil completely drenched me. The Lord said this one thing, "I've poured holiness over you." It was so significant, so personal, so timely for what I was going through. How awesome is it that we serve a God that actually cares, actually.

     So what's new and good in my life? Well, I'm glad you asked (or are at least pretending to be interested).

     First thing! I made Chorale! Wait, Joseph. What's Chorale? Chorale is an auditioned small, vocal ensemble group. I believe we are between 18-20 people. We will be performing at SAGU, traveling, and possibly taking an awesome trip this summer! I am very excited about being a part. This is one of the biggest highlights of the semester so far. I'll be singing bass-- which is great. It means I won't be leaving rehearsals or performances with a sore throat. Hallelujah.

     Second thing! I made Chapel Worship Team! I'll be playing keyboard and singing tenor. I love where I am on the team. I feel like I am perfectly positioned to not only be involved, but observe, learn, and DEFINITELY grow. I can not wait to see what the Lord is going to do this semester, honestly. This coming Thursday I have a meeting where I'll learn more about which team(s) I'll serve. Being a part of the SAGU worship department is a dream come true and a goal realized. It may not seem like a huge deal, but this is yet another confirmation from God that he is able to fulfill His purposes in my life (Psalm 138:8). He can do the same for you!

     Third thing! Someone gave me a guitar! I had been leading some worship in the prayer room here at SAGU using the guitar of whoever was there. I had been wanting to learn more, but I didn't have an instrument to practice with.  I wasn't even praying for a guitar. Isn't great how the Lord knows our needs (and wants) before we even pray for them (Matthew 6:8)? The giver commissioned me with these words: Play skillfully. Needless to say, I'm hitting the practice room!

     "Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God" (Romans 15:17). I just wanted to tell you how great God is. Trust me, I am so undeserving of everything and every opportunity that the Lord has given me. I want to encourage you to trust God. Trust Him with your tithe. Trust Him with you time and energy. We don't serve to get, but I promise that you'll reap so much more serving Him. It's still challenging for me. I have several LARGE trips coming up this summer totaling around $6,000.00, but I can't help but take peace in His will being done.

     I'll leave you with a song, "This One Thing", by William Matthews. He's a artist that I've recently discovered. I can't think of a better song to describe what's welling up in me right now. The heart of the song is our pursuit of Jesus. Because of Jesus, we have full access into the throne room of God-- USE IT. Enter today. Enjoy worshiping!



Perseverance Must Finish Its Work

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

This new found stress of college life drove me to God's Word today. It's not the moving into the dorm, the driving, the registration process, or the financial obligations that are stressing me out. It's my family, fiancee, and best friends being three hours away that hurts, at times. Oh yeah, and I have that "oh-god-it's-like-the-first-day-of-highschool-and-I-don't-know-anyone-that-I-can-sit-with-at-lunch" feeling. That sucks.

I must let perseverance finish its work. That's the word that the Lord gave me today. Yes, I'm homesick. Yes, I'm unsure about a lot of things. Yes, this is all new and a little unnerving. Take heart, these are things that the Lord will touch with His Grace. If I choose to persevere, they'll turn from trials to tools that He'll use for my good and His Glory.

I'm unsure as to where this blog finds you today. You may be in a similar situation. You may be worse off. I spur you on with the words of James; let perseverance finish its work. Don't bow out early. I promise you that God is using everything we face in our lives as a transformating agent. Lord, give us faith to trust you in times of trial. Forgive our unbelief, and give us grace to do you will. Today, I leave you with the words of my favorite person in the whole world.

John 16:33

New International Version (NIV)

   33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - JESUS

Judging from the pictures below, I'm obviously not the first one that has felt a tad bit awkward at school. What do you think? Leave a comment below! Do you have any advice or testimonials from your scholastic experiences?

Awkward School Photo #1

Awkward School Photo #2

Awkward School Photo #3


Southwestern Days & Southwestern Nights #1

Oh yeah. I downsized.
     As I sit here on the threshold of the rest of your life, I can't help but to reminisce-- to remember the little boy who grew into the man you have become. Even as a little boy, you were mature. You seemed to have always seen five years into your future and made sense of it.
     At four years old, you knew to have your brother lie down on the floor so that you could place your hands on his tummy and pray for his tummy ache. A while later that year, you came into our kitchen and pointedly told me that you no longer needed the allergy shots that you had been taking for almost two years. I wanted to play along, so I asked you how come. You looked up at me, squared your shoulders, and said, "God told me I was healed." You never again had an allergy shot.
     Son, you were my sounding board, and your endurance, without complaint, healed my spirit. You never gave your opinion without permission. Your early days were composed of songs, dance, and laughter. I always thought of you  as funny. Looking back, you colored your world with laughter.
     I am anxious to see your family, but they can wait. Enjoy this new chapter in your life. I'll always be here with your father, side by side. We'll be here for you. I love you, Joseph. Get set, ready, GO!

Said "dinky" microwave.

This is the letter of blessing that my parents gave to me. It's the first two pages of a journal that I plan to fill. I could fill this first "SAGU" post with the in's and out's of university life, but why? That can wait for the next post. My parents are a source of godly strength and wise counsel. My heart aches when I think about being away from them.

However, I take comfort in the Lord. There is nothing as reassuring as being confident that I'm right where the Lord wants me to be. Sitting here, on this twin bed, I look around my dorm room. There's a dinky microwave with the diet cokes I bought sitting on top, my desk with my keyboards, and my clothes stuffed in a closet that will most likely proof to be to small. But there's something else here too-- the Spirit of the Lord. It's like His hand is over my heart.

'Ole Faithful in her new home.

I feel like crying right now, but I feel like that would break the divinity of this moment. I'm drawn to Genesis. (How poignant?) "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" (Genesis 1:1). I don't know what my future holds. It seems obscure and confusing. I'm very tempted to panic. . . and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This song, "Hymn", by Brooke Fraser has been pretty spot on as to how I'm feeling. Give it a listen. Be silent. Worship. Trust me, it'll be fun.


Come What May

There are seasons in our lives of great change. I'm in one such season. The great thing is that it's all accompanied by peace. There is such a sense of "this-is-the-Lord-at-work" that it's easy to just buckle up and go for the ride!

This last Sunday was my last time to lead worship at Gateway Church in Shreveport, LA. I feel like it was the best Sunday that we've ever had, as a band, and that we got to end on a very high note. (No pun intended.) Spiritually speaking, everything was incredible. It didn't just feel like I was worshiping with an assorted group of like-minded people. I wasn't leading random people. I got to worship with family. This past year and a half has been something that I'll never forget, and something that I hope I never took for granted.

I've turned in my work keys, sent my final e-mails, and have helped Gateway Church's new worship pastor get settled. It's the end of a very special chapter. Although I am leaving Gateway Church, she'll always have a place in my heart, and, with most certainty, I can say the feeling in mutual.

Now, I have a brand new chapter! Next Friday, I will be moving into R416, Bridges Hall at Southwestern Assemblies of God University! There, I will be finishing my bachelor's degree in Music Ministries and an associates degree in Media Production. I can't wait to get involved in the SAGU music department. Campus life, music theory course, chapel, and unemployment are going to be unique changes, but I think I'm up for a good challenge!

I'm hugely excited about "I Serve A King"-- the worship album! It's been on my heart to do for a while, and I finally feel like I'm at a place to give it the effort it deserves. I'll be recording with Harbour Lights Creative, a studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 12-19. Please learn more about the project here. I encourage you to pray about how you can get involved! I am raising money to help make this album happen. Oh course, I'm not going to take up your time on this site. Click here to learn more!

ONE OF THE BIGGEST WAY YOU CAN HELP is simply spreading the word. Seriously, getting the word out is the hardest part! Like my Facebook music page, tell you friends about it, follow me on Twitter!

Yes, there are a lot of new, exciting things going on in my life. Come what may, I'll keep my eyes on Jesus. Always. It's about His fame, His glory, His purposes on this earth!

How has the Lord ministered to you in seasons of change?
Do you have any must-know college tips for me?
Leave me your comments below! I need all the help I can get!


Haints & Meisner: New and Goods

Mary Thoma of TASA Studio
This has been such an awesome season in my life. I've had the opportunity to study acting more and grow! Some of you may not know that I have been studying the Meisner technique these past 13 weeks with Mary Thoma at TASA. Well, I have! It's been amazing. There hasn't been a time before this when I've had more fun, learned more, and grown more as an actor. The cherry on top is that I've met some beautiful people. All in all-- a great season.

My last acting class is this Thursday. It's bittersweet. On one hand, it's marks an accomplishment as an actor. I've studied. I've tried. I've failed. I've succeeded. On the other, it's the last class. It feels like the last day of 5th grade. The time with your favorite teacher and all your new friends is coming to a close, and you can't help but feel bummed. Such is life.

On a slightly different note, I have something brand spankin' new to be excited about! I'll be joining the cast of "Haints" in Season 1, Episode 4. Part of me feels like the new kid on the block, and I'm a little nervous. But, it's definitely overshadowed by excitement! My role is pretty inconsequential, but I still get to hang out with the cool kids-- so I'm good. When I hear any word on a release date, I'll let you know!

If you want to know more about "Haints", click here to read a blog I wrote recently when I discovered the project.


New Posts Coming Soon!

Hey Everyone! Thanks so much for reading and being a part of josephdrinkard.com! Life has been really busy with getting ready to move off to school. I can't wait to tell all of you about what's been going on!

On a random side note, I watched "The Diary of Anne Frank: The Whole Story" with my dad today. It was a three hour emotional roller coaster. I really need to watch a comedy, soon.

Leah told me last night that her and my soon-to-be mother-in-law have narrowed her wedding dress down to four designers. And there's more...

See! I have a lot to tell you about, just no time right now. I'll do my best to publish something soon. Until then, just pretend you're interested. ok?


How Perfectly Simple

"And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
1 Kings 19:12

Wow. It's amazing how Scripture written over two thousand years ago can still ring true in my heart. It's eternal relevance is a testament of its Inspiration. The above scripture from 1 Kings describes, almost to a tee, the season in which I've found myself. The Lord had to come in a break up ground that had become dry. (Yes, even in ministry there are seasons of dryness-- I know, I was shocked at first, too.) Much like an earthquake, I could feel things in my life begin to shake. It was a slight shift but quickly grew. Soon after, there was a fire. The Spirit of God began to burn away worldviews, loyalties, and ventures that would have severely hindered God's direction for my life. The beauty of it all is the still small voice that came after. That's what makes it worth it. It's like the calm after the storm. You look around and see the debris and mess being swept out to sea. You hear the voice of Your Savior and know that He prepared and protected your heart for every step on the way. That, my friend and dear reader, is the beauty of the still small voice.

Tonight, I was worshiping along with the International House of Prayer (IHOP), online, and began to immerse myself in the Presence of the Lord. Soon, my prayers turned to Leah and our future life together. Above all else, my prayer was that I could love her extravagantly. It's like the Holy Spirit was waiting for the perfect opportunity. Immediately, I heard the Holy Spirit speak. Love Me extravagantly. As your love for Me grows, your love for Leah will increase. In my heart of hearts, I knew what He was saying. I knew that if I kept Jesus as the King of my life, our marriage, and our home He would take care of everything else that burdened my heart-- that included being the priest of our home, the godly husband, and loving father that I am called to be. How perfect is that? How perfectly simple. Love Me. I'll take care of everything else.

One cool thing that the Holy Spirit put on my heart was to begin journaling-- for my sons. Starting today, I'll begin writing down struggles, answered prayers, crappy songs that never get performed, and testimonies of how God worked in their parents lives. I'll encourage them, council them, and fill them in on my mistakes. The contents will be kept away until they are old enough to handle the honesty of their dad, but I don't mind sharing the first entry as a close to this blog:

Dear son,

It's your dad. I'm 22 years old right now. Your mom and I haven't even married yet. Just wanted to let you know that I'm really excited about being your dad. One of my biggest fears is not being a good dad. I'm sure you can share in my concern. Here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to love your mom, love Jesus, and do my best. I know I'll make mistakes but I'm asking you to forgive me already. Son, love the Lord. It's always worth it. It will always be worth it. Oh!-- and remember, I will always love you. 


"Bread & Sweet Tea" (Camp #1 2010 Reflections)

I was looking through my old Facebook notes and found something that I typed up around this time last year, Saturday, June 12, 2010. I had just led worship at Louisiana Youth Ministries Camp #1. It was a strange and humbling experience leading worship where I had been led in worship for so many years. And now, back in time we go...

Last night, I sat in my room at 12:41AM completely in awe at Who our God is.

In that room by myself, I knew that God didn't see me as the camp worship leader, "that guy" who leads worship in youth or Chi Alpha, or anything else. I had "More Than Life" by Hillsong playing. The Holy Spirit highlighted the first verse for me: "Stand by the promises we made, Let go of everything I've done, I'll run into Your open arms, And all I know, is I love You more than life." In my room with the curtains closed and the lights off, He saw me as the son He loved. We talked about camp and how awesome the people were, and how humbling it is to think that God would use me to lead His worship.

All I could say was that I loved Him more than life. For me, that meant that I loved Jesus more than leading worship, more than music, more than anything. It was then that the Holy Spirit prompted me to do something that I hadn't done by myself... I had Communion with the Lord.

We didn't have unleavened bread and grape juice, so whole wheat bread and sweet tea had to do. I figured that Jesus was more interested in the heart of it anyway.

I sat on the edge of my bed in the dark with tea and a slice of bread, and I just began to cry before the Lord. I'd never felt the presence of God like that before. So intimate. So real. Just for me. I love You more than life. He loved me more than life. He knew me so thoroughly, but he still used me. All I could think was "If not for Grace..."

If Jesus can use me, he can use you. Today, make quality time to spend with Jesus. He loves you so much. I know you make find that to be cliche, but everything about Who God is hinges on His love and holiness.

To end, LYM Camp #1 was amazing. Worshiping with everyone was phenomenal! We all had the best time. A special THANK YOU goes out to Pastor Allen Chapin and all of the staff that pulled off another great camp! Most of all, thank you Jesus for those saved, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and called for your purposes! Praise the Lord!

Wow, to think how much can change in a year and how much I've changed. Crazy. I've been leading worship at Gateway Church for the past year, am now engaged, and am moving to Southwestern Assemblies of God University to finish my Music Ministries degree. I am humbled at God's grace, love, and His commitment to the call on my life. All I can think is "If not for Grace..."

Want to read an even earlier blast from the past? Click Here!
Find Louisiana Youth Ministries on Facebook by clicking this link.
Like Clicking Links, and think you're addicted? Click Here!


Let's Be Honest

James 1. You should re-read it. No doubt.
My beautiful fiancee, Leah, and I are reading through the book of James together. I'm not even half a chapter in, and I am already feeling refreshed and checked by the Holy Spirit. I thought I'd share with you what I feel so strongly in my heart right now.

"Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do."
James 1:8, NLT

One of the hardest things for me to do is to be honest with God. Yes, I understand that He knows everything already, but there is something completely different about talking to Him about what I'm thinking and going through. It's revealing and intimidating, but if we can push ourselves to that kind of honesty with Jesus it's so rewarding.

I try to look at my relationship with Jesus like I would with Leah, my fiancee, or Jacob, my best friend. If I went months without hanging out with either one of them, talking to them, or listening to them, I could tell them I love them all I want-- my actions would testify against me. I feel like it's the same with Jesus. When we boil it down, we do what we really want to do. At the end of the day, whatever we care about gets done.

Epic. Random. Smile. They're monkeys.
One of the things that I've had to be honest with God about is that I don't always want to serve Him. I don't always think that being a Christian is the best thing in the world. I know, I know. This may offend some of you, or take you off guard. This is a step I've been practicing in my process of being honest with God. Check it: God already knows what's in my heart. It's liberating to talk to Him about it. It allows an opportunity for Him to come in and minister and remind me how fun and awesome He really is-- and that's what strengthens our relationship.

I've chosen to be honest with Jesus. I want to sin. It's tempting. And I think it's dumb that I can't do what I want. But, here's the amazing thing: "We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin" (Hebrews 4:15 NIV). Jesus understands. He's been there-- and made it. So, I have no problem praying, "Lord, help me to want to want you, to want to do Your will." He gets it. Even better, he gives me grace to do His will. That's the beautiful thing. I learn that I can trust Him. I mean, what's the point of having a "friend" (John 15:15) in Jesus if we don't act like it.

So, what's with the scripture from James 1 all about. Well, the new thing I'm being honest with the Lord about is that there are some things about the world that I really like. There are areas in my life where I have "divided loyalties"-- we all have those areas. Honestly.

Here's my prayer tonight: Jesus, I need to you to take my heart's desires and touch them. Lord, I want you to take charge of my emotions and my wants-- because I can't trust them. I can't trust them when my flesh and Your Spirit are at war. Although my heart isn't cooperating in every area, I'm going to trust You anyway. Lord, I trust that Your plan for my life is better than mine. I trust that You love me no matter what. I trust that You're for me. Help me to want to want your will in every facet of me life. I love You, I promise. I love You. I love You. I love You.


Worship Perspectives: The Shekinah Glory

Wow. All I can say is that my heart is so full right now. My mom had surgery today and my dad is due for an MRI on his back; things are uncertain. But when I'm in the presence of the Lord, it doesn't matter. It fades. I recently discovered this new worship song by Cory Asbury, "Shekinah Glory". My world has been changed because of how God has used this song. I can't get it out of my head. I don't want to. In a sense, it's spurred me on to "seek and find" (Matthew 7) more of God.

I am so excited to lead this song one day. Though, the lyrics got me thinking. As a worship leader, it's my responsibility to either pick songs that have spiritual concepts that my fellow worshipers can understand OR I should take the time to explain the concept. Too many times this is neglected, and it leaves people confused and disengaged or sincerely singing words that mean nothing to them. So, before I invite you to worship with me at the end of this blog, let's find out, briefly, what Shekinah glory really is.

I always dissect a song before I teach/lead it.
The word shekinah does not appear in the Bible, but the concept clearly does. The Jewish rabbis coined this extra-biblical expression, a form of a Hebrew word that literally means "he caused to dwell," signifying that it was a divine visitation of the presence or dwelling of JEHOVAH God on this earth. The Shekinah was first evident when the Israelites set out from Succoth in their escape from Egypt. There it appeared as a cloudy pillar in the day and a fiery pillar by night: “After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Exodus 13:20-22).

God spoke to Moses out of the pillar of cloud in Exodus 33, assuring him that His Presence would be with the Israelites (v. 9). Verse 11 says God spoke to Moses “face to face” out of the cloud, but when Moses asked to see God’s glory, God told Him, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (v. 20). So, apparently, the visible manifestation of God’s glory was somewhat muted. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered him with His hand, and passed by. Then He removed His hand, and Moses saw only His back. This would seem to indicate that God’s glory is too awesome and powerful to be seen completely by man.

When we sing, "release the fulness of Your Spirit, Shekinah glory come, Shekinah Glory come", we're simply asking God to make his presence manifest. Yes, He is always with us. If we have asked Jesus Christ to forgive us and be with us, His spirit dwells within us. In this case, we are asking God to move in a special way-- to move upon our hearts, to speak to us, and to manifest Himself in ways that are more uncommon. Personally, my goal as a worshiper is to live in the "uncommon" manifestations of His presence.

So, I invite you to shut off to world for a moment, and worship with me. I know this song will bless you. Not only will it move you deeply, it will have you dancing for joy by the end. Be blessed. I love you. More importantly, God loves you, and He cares for you so, so much.


Haints: Not Your Average Paranormal Webseries

     Haints is a new, independent webseries that promises to deliver on the paranormal! Haints is the story of a group of paranormal investigators who happen to be paranormal themselves. Director, Audra Caitlyn Moss, tells us Haints is "X-Men meets every vampire movie you've ever seen-- with a twist!" Oh! Sweet Audra, you had me at X-Men. The thing that interested me the most about this project was the cast (who will be listed below). I was so impressed by the talent that was assembled to make this happen. You're not going to see amateurs. These are a group of professionals who have worked in the film industry, been successful, and are committed to bringing excellence to this project. Before you do anything else, click this link and "like" Haints' facebook page.

     One of the greatest things about Haints is that it's  being filmed and produced here in Louisiana, namely Shreveport. These are our friends, our fellow artists who are pulling this together-- and we have an opportunity to support them in a real way. Haints has partnered with IndieGoGo to create a funding campaign to raise money quickly and securely. IndieGoGo's trusted platform has helped to raise millions of dollars for over 30,000 campaigns, across 197 countries. Haints need our help. Let's give it to them.

     If we pull our quarters, dollars, and credit cards, we can help Haints meet their $3,000 dollar budget. Your support will help purchase camera equipment, SFX contacts and dental wear, costume pieces, editing tools and support salaries for hair/makeup artists, a production assistant, camera/sound equipment operators, a fight choreographer, and the cast. This is an excellent opportunity to support local artist, local ventures, and local dreams. Please help. There is a video on Haint's IndieGoGo page that explains a lot more. I encourage you to take a look and seriously consider giving any little bit that you can. It will make a difference.

 So, in my excitement about this project I decided to "haints" myself. 
Don't forget to use the social media buttons below to share this article on Facebook Twitter, and more!

Mary Alfred Thoma, Bradley Silman, Audra Caitlyn Moss, Harvard Taylor, Jenna Glorioso, Wanetah Walmsley, Rachael Lee Magill, Luke Sexton, Rodney Hill Jr., Courtney Shay Young, Ariane Perideaux, Kent Jude Bernard, Meade Patton


3,000+ Views & A Big Thanks!

Wow! I legitimately can't believe that you guys have been reading and sharing my blog. What started as a small blogger site with one post about Barnes & Noble is now josephdrinkard.com! Last month we (and yes, I do mean we-- it's a group effort) hit a record number of views. I've been so stoked to share my thoughts and embarrassing moments with you, and I can't wait to bring you all on the ride this next season of my life. As always, keep checking back, oh.. and just pretend you're interested. ok?

my love/hate relationship with starbucks...

I love Starbucks.It's where I go to hang out with good friends on a Saturday morning.I get to chill, nap, talk, and people watch (which I refuse to admit is creepy).

EDIT: Wow! So in editing my site, I accidentally, prematurely posted this Starbucks post that I had been working on... might as well finish this so it's not quiet as embarrassing... at least there is header artwork for it... uh.... BACK TO THE BLOGGING.

However, I always fall into the trap of thinking that I'll get anything worthwhile done while I'm there. I go there with my laptop, books, and even a pair of snazzy glasses; I walk away unstudied and full of caffeine and conversation. I can't say that I'm losing, but I'm definitely not winning.... Charlie Sheen joke!.... anyone get that?... no?.... alright. Moving on.

Will I ever learn? Never. Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade and Splenda Iced Coffee are too good to ignore. So, I will continue to go to Starbucks, bring my books, not study, hang out with friends, and be the happier (and worse) for it.


This Could Be Jesus

I was driving home from my friend Chelsea's house yesterday, and I passed this homeless man on my way. Looking at him, I didn't think about why he was there. I didn't think about what he'd do with the money he'd received that day. I didn't think about how he needed to get a job. I just felt deep down inside that I needed to do something... I also was mega-frustrated that I am notorious for not carrying cash. So, I scrounged together all of the change I could find in my car and rolled down my window.

When he walked over, I could see his eyes. He had beautiful blue eyes. When I put the change in his hand, I could feel his calluses. He had worn hands. When he walked away, I could only think one thing, this could be Jesus.

I know that he was the one less fortunate, but I felt so humbled. In that brief, passing moment he'd taught me something special. I learned that more often than not, I miss opportunities to serve. I, we, miss opportunities to bless and be blessed. I challenge you: take the time, seize the opportunity.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40


#Hashtags Are for Twitter

      One thing that I have noticed more and more on Facebook is the use of #hashtags in people's statuses.... stati? Whatever. This is becoming a pet peeve. I would put one of the many examples I've seen, but the guilty parties would most likely see it and.... awkward. One person that I don't mind throwing under the Twitter bus is my friend Weston (because he's a good sport about it). LaBreeska (@la_brees_ka) and I confronted him on his #hashtag Facebook posts, and here's what he had to say (I don't know why I did the strange voice):

     So, there you have it. They just can't. I'll be going to Southwestern Assemblies of God University in the fall to finish my degree. I hope that I don't fall victim to this social media faux pas.

Want to follow me on Twitter so that you can use all the #hashtags that you want? Follow me at: @jdrinkard.
Feel free to share this blog on your Facebook so that we can begin twivangelizing. 



New Music Tuesday #3 (on a Wednesday?)

     New music Tuesday comes a day late, but it's quite providential. I feel kind of cheated, because I just recently found out about AEVORY. They are a local band in Shreveport, Louisiana and are quickly gaining a following in the music scene 'round these parts. I think they're great-- and you will, too. All you have to do it listen to "Our Last Night" or "Father, Mother", and you'll be hooked... like a fish... on a hook.... baited with awesome music.

     AEVORY definitely delivers the rock/pop vibe in their live shows and is now looking to take the next step into a live recording in-studio. Not only that, but they are taking a camera crew into the studio to capture it all.


     They need our help to do it. KickStarter.com will back AEVORY's project if and only if $500 is raised by Friday, July 22 at 10:37PM. (I know, real specific.) $500 shouldn't stop anyone from reaching their goal. You can help make this happen. You can donate $1. It's just a dollar, and you can afford it. I gave a dollar. Just saying.

This will take you to the secure kickstart.com site to donate.


They see me rollin'...

Yup! My first car was a 1987 Dodge Daytona. It wasn't as nice as the link shows. I opened the door with a lawn mower cord. I had the throw it in neutral when I turned so it wouldn't stall out.

Now, it's the new 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS in midnight black. It's my new toy, and I love it. It's my favorite. I've never owned a car with "new car smell." Now, I do.

Joseph & Leah: from first impressions to "she said yes" (Part 3)

The story of mine and Leah's engagement actually begins three days prior to the proposal...

It was Wednesday, June 22. 
     I was packing my bag to go to Lake Charles for the weekend to spend time with Leah and her family. I had the ring for approximately two months, and it was burning a hole in my pocket-- well, actually, the safe in which it was kept. I decided to take the ring with me to Lake Charles just to see if things would play out. Anytime I would go south or do something special with Leah, my mom would ask if I was going to propose. Up until now, I would smile, say no, and continue getting ready. This time was different. This time it felt right. This time, I wanted to know I'd spend the rest of my life with the girl of my dreams. With my duffel bag over my shoulder and keys in hand I turned the knob on our front door. My mom was right on cue.
          "So, are you going to propose?" 
          "Maybe." I said. 
     With a quick, but genuine I love you, I was out the door leaving my mom happy, shocked, and on pins-and-needles.

It was Thursday, June 23. 
     I had arrived late Wednesday night and woken up in the Hathaway's beautiful, two-story home. The house was quiet, cool, and comfortable. My mind, however, was racing. The entire one-hundred and eighty-one mile drive had given me just enough time to thoroughly freak out about asking her parents. I knew that they loved me. I knew that they were supportive of Leah and I. But, there's just something nerve-racking about putting yourself and your relationship out there to hinge on a yes or no.
     Bill, Leah's dad, is an emergency room doctor and was scheduled to work the graveyard shift, so he was asleep. This was almost the excuse that I was looking for to talk myself out of asking. However, Mrs. Kay was up. So, I went to get the ring, put it in my pocket, and headed downstairs. Before I could get nervous again, I simply took the ring out and held it in front of her, smiling.
          "I really need to talk to you about this."
     She freaked. In a good way. She hugged. and cried. and hugged. and stared at the ring. and hugged. and stared some more. I told her that I really wanted to talk to Bill, and she said that she'd keep an eye out for when he was up. I decided that after that small challenge, I'd take a nap on the couch and rest before the big one.
    I woke up a few hours late with Bill nudging my shoulder.
          "Kay said that you had something you wanted to talk to me about."
    I was half asleep, so panic didn't really have time to set in. I was trying to gather my thoughts, act mature, and get my act together. None of the above were happening. In my semi-cognizance,  I blurted out the only thing that came to mind.
          "Sir, I really want to marry your daughter."
     It wasn't the speech about loving her, and providing, and serving the Lord that I had planned, but it got the job done well enough. He smiled, nodded his head, gave a quick blessing, hugged me, and told me he had to get to work. Soon, he was out the door, my heart was pounding, and I knew there was only one thing left to do...

It was Friday, June 24.
     My life was about to change. I knew it. My parents knew it. Bill and Mrs. Kay knew it. Leah was oblivious.
     So there we were at Mazen's, a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant-- one of the nicest restaurants in Lake Charles. The meal was perfect. The food was great. There was a sweet baby sitting beside us that Leah could make faces at. Perfect evening. By the way, I was totally acting like the biggest weirdo throughout the night. Leah kept asking me what was wrong. I kept pulling excuses out of my... head.
   The entree was taken away. Dessert was coming. I was freaking. There was no way that I was leaving that restaurant without a fiance, but things we not as cool, calm, and collected as I was hoping for. So, I went to the bathroom, psyched myself out and went back out there as a champ.
     The table was cleared. The desserts had been ordered. And the ring was in my pocket. My. heart. was. racing. I had never been more sure that I wanted to be with her. I had also never realized that I was putting into motion a series of events that would make me the head of our home, the priest of our household, the father of our children, and the man of God called to love her as Christ loved the church. I know. Big step.
    I don't remember much after that. Blame it on the adrenaline. I remember beginning my speech, getting down of one knee, and taking the ring out of my pocket. She immediately began saying yes, yes, yes. I reminded her that I hadn't actually asked her anything yet.
          "Well ASK me!" She said/shouted, smiling.
     I asked Catherine Leah Hathaway to marry me that night. She said yes. I put the diamond ring on her finger and kissed her for the first time as my fiance. To my surprise, the restaurant applauded, ladies came over to congratulate us, and the hostess asked to take our picture. The night was perfect.

     Now the exciting part begins. I get to spend the rest of my life loving her-- and I wouldn't have it any other way.


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A Long Brutal War

Prank wars. I hate them. Eventually, they all devolve into a parade of destruction, remorse, malcontent, and rage.
Ok. I'm being a little melodramatic. But you get the point, right? Good.

It appears as though my group of friends-- once united under the banner of music, love, happiness, and tomfoolery-- have split down the middle and chosen brutal sides in a war of deception. So far, people's homes have been "home-alone'ed"-- their doors tied shut from the outside with no way of exit bar the window. The security of vehicles has been compromised. Threats of kidnapping, issued. In summation, people's once quiet lives have been plunged into chaos and fear.

I have been found in the middle, lacking. It appears as though my Switzerland-like position has cost me the trust of my friends-- and that's what hurts the worst. Neither the Haus of Jordan, nor the Haus of the Initiate look like they are waving the white flag of peace any time soon.

I'll keep you posted.

Joseph & Leah: from first impressions to "she said yes" (Part 2)

So yeah, Leah thought I was annoying at first, but I was like a funny, charming, devilishly handsome fungus. I grew on her...

So there we were: March 30, 2010, 7:00PM. It's Leah birthday, and I have pulled out all of the stops. We had been hanging out a lot, and become pretty good friends. She was,and still is, gorgeous, awesome, sarcastic, talented, witty, beautiful, and I was crushing pretty hard. We weren't dating yet, but I had a good feeling that was about to change. We had already gone out the eat at Shane's on Youree Drive that night, and were heading back to my house.

Little did she know I had made her a birthday table. Yes, a table. Well... not really a table. Just a regular old table with tons of her favorite stuff on it. I had decorated it like a birthday cake. It had candles, and diet coke, and chocolates, and little pretty-girly-things. Normally, I'm not a bragger, but I don't think that spread will ever be topped.

We just sat, talked, watch a movie, and visited with a few of my family that walked through to say hello.  I was so smooth. (I got game.) Then I asked her out. I was so nervous. (I'm a big rejection-phobe) She said yes. And we went Facebook official the next day.

If I only knew what was next...