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Free To Speak

March 17, 2017 — 3 Comments

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On a Friday morning I had a chance to go to the barbershop while I was out of town in Oklahoma City.

You know the experience especially if you’ve ever ventured into a predominantly black barbershop. Their’s that familiar sound of electric clippers humming in the background, boisterous conversations over the current affairs of the day and sometimes you get a hint of background noise from the TV or radio.

I normally don’t go to the barbershop, but this time, I had a chance to experience this very familiar moment once again. The discussion between the barbers and the people in the shop turned from who was the best quarterback in football to the president and the congress and finally to race and culture.

As I sat there, I quietly listened. It reminded me of the times I was a little boy. I would sit and listen to this adults go back and forth until they were blue in the face. But then it hit me…I am free to speak now! I actually have a voice! I am an adult with the privilege to share my views and analysis.

One gentlemen said a few things I both agreed and disagreed with. I listened intently to the man’s take on race, prejudice, life, women, politics and much more. My arms and legs were crossed and my eyes slowly wandered as to avoid staring.

As I was getting my haircut, I felt this deep, bottom of my stomach urge to speak up. I really, really, didn’t want too. Seriously, I didn’t!

I mean, what could I possibly contribute to this conversation? What would happen if I did say something? Who would care? Why would it matter? Who on earth needs to even hear it? I don’t have the background, experience or anything to back up what comes out?

The conversation was finally over! I realized I just about lost my opportunity to speak up. I felt like such a loser at that moment. A really deep part of me demanded to speak out and I kept silent.

But just as I was about to give up, the conversation started back up.

I added my two cents! A consensus was made with a very understandable group of men who heard what I had to say. In fact, they even demanded more depth from me, which I might add was pretty cool! Here I am, a young guy being asked to expand on my analysis in front of men who were several years older than me.

Deep down, this very real, masculine, powerful and vocal part of me wanted to speak out and I almost missed out.

Why!? Because we short change ourselves! We doubt if we really have what it takes. We doubt if we could make a difference. We sit back and allow things to unfold and cower in the back.

The experience at the barbershop moved me from being the boy who sat back and watched to a real man with real perspective and real insight.

Say Something

December 23, 2016

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Friday morning, two days before Christmas, I woke up and got dressed with great intention on blogging and writing! I realized that I wanted to actually blog and write again, but, for what!?

The resistance began to settle in.

I sat there forever in front of my laptop, trying to figure out what to actually say and how to say it! Should I say something spiritual, biblical, economical, scientific, sociological or what!?

Then, I realized as I sat here and began to type that what I needed to do just one thing….say something!

All too often, we try to be something we’re not in that moment instead of letting ourselves be who we are in that period and that moment and time. Some of the best writing and some of the best work, for that matter, comes from those periods that we are in our most truest and serious.

Saying something biblical, spiritual, sociological or otherwise would’ve been a great move! Sure! But, you may have needed to just hear that you have someone whose writing and blogging and who understands…understands that right now you’re tired, you’re struggling or you’re just plain without a clue as to what to do next in your current stage in life.

And…it’s okay! If you don’t know it today…it’s okay!

My hope is that my writing and non of my work comes out of posturing. But, instead, comes from a mind and heart that desires to freely share and shares so much that it encourages, inspires and helps you all!

I plan to do more blogging and writing as I continue my cartooning venture as well!

My biggest concern is that it will all be a mess and all over the place and not very organized! But, thanks to some really good bloggers and writers, I realized that its all about just sharing your thoughts!

The organization and what not will come later! Some of our best starts were our messiest starts!

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Years ago, I answered the call from the Lord to do ministry, writing and cartooning. I’m beginning to see, through this blog and through my interaction with people, how all of those 3 can actually exist together.

I’m sure they can exist in other ways, but, I am merely learning how over time.

I have always had an affinity, dare I say it, passion for cartoons and have always expressed the influence it has had in my life. Reading comics, watching cartoons and doodling became as much of a staple for me as church on Sunday morning. It was more than just “something I do,” it was a part of my life in a way that actually mattered.

What I hope happens is that as I share my passions you’re inspired too. As I tell my story…the story of a the boy who became a man and defeated all odds…the man of faith who tries to daily live for Jesus in a really real way…the geek that loves to geek out over the most peculiar things…..that you enjoy the journey.

After all, we only have one life, and I think we tend to speed past it just to get to an end when in fact the journey is the most important part of the entire experience.

Hmm…that sounds like another blog post right there!

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This is why I draw cartoons! 

This is why I’m doing this Kickstarter campaign!

This is my why right here! In fact, it is one of my many why’s…but let me focus on this one for a moment.

I remember drawing when I had free time in class. I would copy what I saw in my science books and even create side-stories and little comic strips based on what I learned (special note: I was obsessed with nuclear physics and meteorology).

But when I look at this photo taken of me when I spoke to a group of kids at my old Elementary school in Dallas, I am quickly reminded of my why. I am reminded of the little boy or little girl whose going through real struggles as a kid. I’m reminded of the story that is not always told from the perspective of the child. I am reminded of the fact that they need adults to guide them, lead them, to understand them and teach them.

They need to know that being a nerd…a cartoon fan…a good person…is not over-rated and can later translate into something deeper and greater than themselves.

And, believe it or not, they want that as much as any good, concerned adult does.