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This week we’re talking about what’s happening at GYC.

My relaxed hair with coordinated slacks & blouse had me slightly uneasy twisting every now and then in my chair. Not to mention I rarely tread from the Law Center onto undergraduate grounds. So, I knew it would be an awkward moment going to the UC Underground, but I wouldn’t miss out on this rare shot at a creative study break. The Poetry Slam had a stage reserved for Madame Oluwakemi Ola (aka AYA blogger), and I was going to be a witness no matter how many afros & colorful scarves obscured my view.

It was just a few days back when we were talking about spiritual gifts. Do you know yours when you see ’em? Individuals touched with Divine gifts may often be found behind the stage’s curtain. So the more interesting question for me is not who is on the stage, but who’s missing?

We’d arrived and taken our seats when last year’s champ grasped the mic. The message on her lips hooked everyone in the audience, as she put to rest “Black Texan” so this night could go on. The angst – political & personal, the reemerging sexual focal point, & a passion for graphic short lettered vocabulary made me wonder more than once (for reasons other than my peculiar attire) if I should really be in this room. Continue Reading »

The Elect and the Election

I suppose most of us could agree that this election has taken far too long. After nearly two years of promises and attacks, coupled with endless speculation by media “pundits,” many of us are just plain tired. I would be mortified—but not surprised—if once Tuesday passes, Campaign 2012 begins. As one who is wearied by this election, it’s been doubly hard spending its waning days at Harvard Law School.

Why the exhaustion? I used to be invigorated by politics, and maybe to a certain extent still am. But either something fundamentally in me or in the system has changed. It’s probably both. One of the major factors is the sheer amount of anger and intolerance seen during this election. It wouldn’t be so troubling if such things were coming from the candidates, but it’s coming from the people. Whether it’s angry anti-Obama rallies, equally incendiary anti-McCain protestors, effigies of candidates being hung on a noose, or assassination plots, sheer hatred is spewing out of both ends of this country. Even beyond the “crazies” on both sides, there seems to be an utter lack of respect and unwillingness to grant legitimacy to another’s perspective, especially here at HLS. Just listening to people here and elsewhere, it would seem that either “Obama can do nothing wrong and McCain nothing right” or “Obama would run the country into the ground and McCain would keep it afloat.” In short, the one word that one cannot use to describe feelings and actions between the sides is “love.” You would think the election was between Satan and Jesus. Continue Reading »

Stomping On The Violin

It was advertised in one of our large cities that a great violinist would play on a violin worth $1,000. The theater was packed. Many were curious and wanted to hear such an expensive instrument being played. The violinist went on stage and played very beautifully.

Suddenly, he threw the violin on the floor and then began to stomp on it, crushing it to pieces, and then walked off the stage. The people were shocked. But then the manager came on stage and said that the violinist did not really use the $1,000 violin but a $20 one. He would now play on the $1,000 one. And so he did. But few people could tell the difference. He simply wanted to show that it was the violinist rather than the violin that makes the music.

In the Master’s hands, even a $20 fiddle would make good music. Continue Reading »

THAP’s Grand Finale

Sabbath morning I’m in church, just having settled into the spirit of worship and away from the busyness of church business back at home. This was the day the Cruz family was scheduled to be arriving in Houston, and I found myself leaving town to attend the Adventist Christian Fellowship event at Texas A&M. You’ll remember I blogged about this last year. It was more of the same good fellowship with young adults, but that’s not what I’m here to write about tonight.

So, back at church…my cell phone keeps vibrating and I finally give in and text a message back to find out what’s going on. I receive word via text that the Cruz family has not shown up. Immediately I have to break the 11th commandment by sending an additional text to Dorlly (Abel’s sister) to find out what’s going on. She sends a message back that says “bad news” some where in the middle of it, and that’s when I go on to break the 12th commandment by walking out of church in the middle of Pastor Cork’s sermon. Ouch (especially when I heard that he referenced me in his sermon and my seat was empty, and yes we traveled all the way to College Station just to hear our own pastor preach).

Abel’s dad wasn’t able to make it in from Mexico, and the remainder of the family was still in Corpus Christi. “WHY? God, really? Why?” I still don’t know why, but starting from Friday issues kept rolling in and I was getting sicker and sicker. Feeling a little faint on Thursday evening I went to bed, and woke up on Friday to a long day without food or water (unintentionally). Things were hectic, seriously hectic and now Abel’s dad wasn’t showing up? Houston International SDA Church (HISDA) had planned an entire service especially for the family and they missed it. The devil was acting up to very last minute. Continue Reading »

Helmet Evangelism

I had a professor last year, Dr. Bob Stein, who is particularly adamant that his students wear bike helmets when cycling. He will unashamedly demand that any student he sees riding their bike without a helmet get off and walk. I’ve seen him do it and I’ve seen the poor Poli Sci student hop off and saunter. Dr. Stein will rave about this subject for hours. He, of course, always faithfully wears his helmet as a cyclist himself, especially after he was recently hospitalized in a cycling accident which cracked his helmet, instead of his skull. Appropriately, he calls himself an “evangelist” for bike helmets.

Continue Reading »

Abel Passes

Abel Cruz passed away on the morning of August 5th, at 5:20AM. He was at peace and relatively comfortable as he drew his last breath. The family was very much appreciative of the presence of church family during his final hours and at his memorial service. The He’s Abel Project suggests that those who want to acknowledge their condolences donate to the family online here.