Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Golden Boy

left: me, right: me after photoshop

I once watched a documentary on the objectivity of human beauty and how we are all universally attracted to certain facial proportions based on the golden ratio.  Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to try and see how my face fared under this particular set of standards by overlaying Marquardt's Beauty Mask over my own face.  As I predicted, I did not measure up...not even close.  Then my curiosity prompted me to manipulate my facial features in photoshop to fit the measurements of the mask... just to see if I indeed would look more attractive.  After I finished, I actually started laughing...partially because I realized that I have way too much time on my hands, but more so because I looked like a completely different person.  I guess if the average person were to compare the two photos above, they would probably find the image on the right more attractive.  The funny thing is that if I did look like Tim v2.0, I would still be the same person underneath...maybe with a few more Facebook friends and prettier packaging.

I would be lying if I said I didn't want to look more like the photo on the right.  But I also feel a slight revulsion at the idea of not looking like myself anymore.  Somehow, looking "perfect" does not equate with looking the way I'm supposed to.  

In the end, this was all a very silly endeavor just to entertain myself at 2 AM.  God made me the way he made me and anything short of plastic surgery cannot change that.  If the choice came down to looking "beautiful" or looking like me, I think I would choose to look like me...with all my less than ideal facial proportions.  And besides, the person on the right kind of looks like an alien.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Little Victories

Today I weighed myself.  I am 130 lb.  I have been in the 120's for the past 2 years.  God is fixing me!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Strange encounters with Jesus

This just happened a few hours ago...

So, I'm not really sure where to begin with this.  God is so ridiculous in the things that he does sometimes.   If I had any doubt that he loves me, I am convinced otherwise.  I was hesitant to write about this because I was afraid I wouldn't do it any justice, but here it goes anyway.

I was having a rough day (as usual).  My voice was hurting, I was having major digestive issues, my hair was falling out and I just felt physically broken.  On top of that, I was having really heavy doubts about God's love for me and if I truly belonged to him.  I was feeling so discouraged and started sinking into a dark place.  In the late afternoon, I listened to a sermon about hope.  The one verse that stuck out to me was Proverbs 13:12 "A hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."  The preacher said, "people who already have what they want, do not need hope.  God gives hope to those who need hope."  I wept through the entire sermon because I needed hope....badly.

It was about 7pm when I decided to go outside and take a walk to pray and clear my head.  It was already getting dark and by the time I reached the next intersection, it was pitch black outside with no street lights.   I was about to turn around to go back home because Charlottesville has a bear problem, but on a whim, I decided to just keep going.

I figured no one was out right now so I started praying out loud.  As I walked, I started praying that God would tell me that he loved me.  I kept praying this over and over again asking him to just confirm that I belonged to Jesus and that he was in control of my life.  In mid sentence, I hear a sound behind me and this guy dressed in all black pulls up next to me on his bike.  He stops, gets off his bike and starts walking beside me.  He was about the same height as me, skinny and probably in his late thirties. At this point, I started quietly freaking out.  I was also simultaneously embarrassed because I probably looked like a crazy person talking to myself while walking down a dark street.   Either this guy was going to mug me or he was going to kill me.  Instead he just said hello and started talking to me.

At first when I asked what his name was, he said it was "Mr. A."  I thought this was really bizzarre and thought that this guy might be a psychopath.  He then asked me my name and I said, "Tim".  A huge smile stretched across his face and he shook my hand saying "that's a good name".  We continued making small talk for a while.  I asked him where he was from and how he came to Charlottesville.  I told him about my band and how I was a touring musician.   After a while, he said, "By the way, my name is Tim as well."  I looked at him and in my skepticism I blurted out, "you're totally messing with me right now."  He started laughing and kept saying "no, seriously, my name is Tim." So on a whim I asked him, "do you know what your name means?"  He said, "I definitely do, it means 'to honor God.'"  At that moment, I knew something divine was happening.

He asked me if I would walk with him to see a house he was looking to buy.  I started getting nervous again because it was down a hill in a wooded neighborhood with very little light and no other people.  But I figured that something incredible might be happening so I walked with him.  We finally stopped at this house and we talked for a while about our families, our careers, and where we went to church.  The conversation was still pretty light and surface level.

As we walked back up the hill, he started telling me how much he loves to sing.  He asked me if he could sing a song for me.  He said I probably wouldn't know the song but I told him to go ahead anyway.  He proceeded to sing....loudly....in the middle of this quiet neighborhood.  Now believe me when I say this guy had an incredible voice.   I mean, absolutely beautiful.   He started singing a hymn about enduring through suffering and how God carries us through it.  At that moment, I felt a wave of joy and comfort.   I felt like God was singing over me.

When he finished singing, I was almost in tears and I felt at peace.  I said to him, "I think God sent you to encourage me."  He said, "I know."

We walked all the way to the grocery store where we stopped.  In the food lion parking lot, he started to prophesy over me.  He started saying something along the lines of, "Tim, God wants you to know that he loves you.   He really loves you.  God knows that you really love him and that you seek after him even though you have a natural tendency to doubt.  He also knows how lonely your walk is and the constant emptiness you feel inside.  You feel like there is no one you can really confide in and you feel a constant sense of insecurity."  Let me remind you that this guy has never met me before and there is no way he could have known this stuff.  He proceeded to tell me more about things in my childhood and things I struggled with that no person could have known unless I told them.  He even told me how God wanted to heal me of my sickness and to continue speaking the promises of God over my life.  He quoted a verse from Isaiah 53 that I had been meditating on recently, "by his wounds we are healed."

Throughout the entire conversation he kept telling me one thing over and over again, "God loves you".  It was the very thing I had been praying for right before he stopped his bike behind me.  I have to say, God's timing is incredible.

Later on as we were talking about how crazy our meeting was, Tim (Mr. A) started explaining to me that while he was riding his bike in the dark he saw me from a distance and he distinctly heard God saying, "stop and talk to him".  He told me he was a little hesitant at first and that even when we were talking he wasn't sure how it was going to pan out.  We were both simultaneously thinking, "what is this person doing out here in the darkness?" But later, when I asked him if he knew what his name meant, it confirmed for him that God had put this together.

At the end of our conversation he said, "God told me you got what you needed."  I smiled and nodded.  We hugged and said goodbye and he called me his little brother. He told me I could call him anytime if I needed anything.  

Today God reminded me in a very clear and ridiculous way that he really loves me and that he has his hand over my life.  I also made a new friend.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Dear God,

Help me not to be cynical.

Your Son,

Friday, February 18, 2011


Dear God,

Can we work on our relationship?  Sometimes I feel like I try to talk to you, but you don't have much to say.  When you're quiet, it makes me feel like you don't care.

You're the one who's always saying you want to spend more time together.  Well, when I do try, I feel like you don't want to be there.  It's hard enough doing this whole long distance thing, but when I call you and all I hear is silence on the other end, it sucks.

I know we're going to see each other one day, but in the meantime, can we please work on our communication?  People always tell me to remember all the good things you've done, but relationships can't just be built on the past.  There needs to be consistency.  And you know I'm needy.  Maybe we should get some counseling or something.

Please call me,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Otherside

So we come and go; it's still a mystery
and we'll be history long before we find
All the secrets since now and forever
We hope for better on the other side.

There are days when I feel like I'm ready to go be with God.  I know I'm only 25 and it's way too early to be having an existential crisis, but there are times when I wonder what the point of living in this world is when there is a better one waiting on the other side.  This life is full of sadness and suffering.  The older I get, the more people in my life pass away or leave.  There are so many reminders of decay and death including my own declining health and mounting troubles.  Yet somehow I find that I am more hopeful than ever.

Perhaps it is wanting the other world so much that helps us to see the good in this one.  We see signs of life, signs of goodness, and signs of love all over the place because we are headed to a home that is made of these things. I guess you could say that the hope of heaven turns everything else into hope on earth.  Good things become a taste of what's to come and disappointment becomes hope for something better.

I think we all ache for something more deep inside of our souls.  Even those of us who have intimately witnessed God's power and presence still know that there is something missing in this current life.  We miss our friend whom we have never met in person and we are homesick for a country that we have never seen.  And while the journey may be treacherous, difficult and heartbreaking, I am sure that the Abba Father we have been crying out to all these years will be there eager to welcome us.

To my friends who are suffering and see no end to the struggle, I want to remind you that we have great hope.  God loves you and he covers you with goodness and mercy.  We are almost home.