Celebrity Virgin No More

That’s right, I have seen my first celebrity, up-close and personal.  It also just happened to be the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Counting Crows.  Having spent the entire day at Santa Monica Beach, a group of us decided to get a late lunch at Subway.  In a mall-like area, it was necessary to take an escalator up to Subway.  Then, as I was standing on the escalator minding my own business, I look behind me and think, “Gosh, that guys look s a lot like….no, it can’t be…..wait…oh my gosh, that is definitely Adam Duritz!”  I heart began to pound and I got nervous.  You would have thought that I was about to propose to the guy….

Adam Duritz

Trying to keep my cool, I decided that I had to say something.  When would I get this chance again? However, I didn’t want to completely make a scene on what was clearly his day off.  So, perhaps nerdishly but hopefully not to annoyingly for him, I simply said, “Hey, I really like your stuff.”  His response: “Thanks, man.”  He looked tired and was on the move, plus I was too nervous, for there to be any more than that.  No picture, no handshake.  

I must say that I have been thinking about that moment all day long, going over and over it in my head.  I go back and forth between thinking a) I should have not bothered him, b) regretting what I said and wishing I had come up with something cooler to say, and c) what I said was probably cool enough.  It is very interesting though how I begin to think that if only I had said something a little more personal or a little more unique, then suddenly he would have wanted to talk and hang out with me, thus creating Adam and I as new friends.  I reckon it is highly doubtful that I could have said much of anything that he hasn’t already heard before.  And yet, I spent the rest of the day stalking him on the internet, still continuing to dream…”What would I say to him the next time, though?   I wonder if he would remember me….”


Son of God, King of Pop

So I witnessed something tonight that I will never see again for the rest of my life: Jesus and Michael Jackson eating food-court chinese food together.  

Granted, I was in Hollywood and they were both street performers, but still…I will never see that again.

I have to admit that Hollywood did not live up to the hype that surrounds it.  While I only explored  Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, the experience was sort of “eh”.  Flashing lights, street performers, tourists.  As my friend, Lisa, said, “I thought it would be more trendy.”  

So that’s the report on Hollywood.  Oh well….

Surprised by Prayer

I come to this post with much regret.

I regret that I did not respond to the call of the Spirit into prayer, a specific prayer, this evening.  My nerves got the best of me.  I usually do not talk about the Spirit moving me to do something.  Such talk unfortunately often fits into my category of “weird.”  But not tonight.  

Tonight, I was at a prayer healing service during “Family Night” at a local church.  The service was surprising to me.  I did not think that it would be as meaningful and as powerful as it was.  About 15 of us gathered around in a circle and, simply, offered any prayers that we had.  Prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow, and everything in between were said.  Many also spoke prayers for President-Elect Obama and the incoming administration.  As I heard these prayers, I felt strongly and strangely moved to offer a prayer of my own. I say the word “strangely,” because there is no question that it was the Holy Spirit moving me toward such prayer, and I do not often speak of (or experience so strongly) the movement of the Holy Spirit within me.  

So what was I moved to pray about?  Interestingly enough, the outgoing administration.  Bush, his family, and his co-workers within the administration as they begin to think about what is in their future.  And from the looks and sounds of the United States, it seems that a lot of hate, judgment, and shame is in their future.  So as I sit in a church prayer circle, hearing prayers for our incoming administration and the disaster that they have to face, I cannot help but think of those forgotten children of God in the outgoing administration and the disaster that they have to face.  The Spirit was moving me to prayer for them.  Begging me actually.  But I didn’t.

I got to the point where I said to myself, “Okay, after the next person…then I will pray.”  I waited so long that the pastor ended up jumping in and closing the time of prayer.  After this time of prayer, we gathered at the alter to lay hands on each person as they received an anointing and  prayer from the pastor.  As I knelt before God, ashamed of my lack of courage as the 15 sets of hands lay upon me, the pastor spoke these words, “God, release Jonathan from any disease or dis-ease that is within him.”  Dis-ease indeed. And as if sucked out from the energy of those around me, the prayer-less moment moved aside revealing a new moment in which God said, “How about now?”  

So I prayed.  Not audibly, but to myself.  Those around me may not have heard it, but they, along with God, received it.  And so it continues on…


So I have created a blog.  I am not sure that I saw this coming, but as I lie (I hope that is the correct use of that verb) in bed here in Los Angeles, at the home of my Spanish-speaking host family, I could not help but feel that perhaps I ought to do this.  

When some members of this cross-cultural class and I were down at Venice Beach yesterday, we saw a shirt that said, “ I Never Finish Anythi…  I laughed because I knew that I should buy that shirt for myself.  It might be a little extreme and overdramatic to say that I never finish anything, but I do often feel that the daily resolutions to workout more, read more, pray more, etc., consistently wither away after a solid two day jaunt, at which point there is usually a period of self-scolding, followed by a personal pep talk, leading me back to the beginning of this cycle.  Thus the feeling of not finishing anything.  Now the real reason why I brought up this t-shirt is because I hope that this blog is not just another one of those things that eventually falls to the floor and is left for dead.  I guess we will just have to wait and see…

Blessings and good night.