Saturday, October 23, 2010

Story Time

So I thought I'd take a break from the boring background info and try telling my favorite story from my time as a taxi driver.

I'm trying to tell this from memory, some of the details might be sketchy.

So one night I get a call to pick up a passenger at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center's Emergency entrance.  I pull in front and there is an older Latino woman standing there and a girl about 5 years old sitting in a wheel chair with a blanket wrapped around her.  There was also a security guard standing behind the wheelchair.    The guard picked up the little girl and placed her into the back seat of my taxi, on the passenger side and the older woman got in on the driver side.  I think I was handed a voucher which took care of the payment and also had the address listed.  At some point I realized the woman does not understand English.

I had several thoughts going through my mind as I was driving them to their destination.  The girl looked to be either too sick and/or too tired to get up and walk to the home we were going to.  Also, that this woman might not be able to pick up and carry her into the home.

So when we got to the house, I quickly got out of the taxi and walked around to passenger side of the car, opened the door and picked the girl up in my arms.  I then nodded in the direction of the door of the home.  She must have understood what I meant.  I followed her into the home, and the door revealed a staircase going up to the second floor.  I followed her up, and she pointed me to a bedroom just off to the left of the top of the stairs.  I lay the girl down and returned to where the woman stood.  I think she said thanks, in Spanish, and I know I gave her a hug and told her "Dios te bendiga" which means "God bless you".  I said goodnight in Spanish, and headed down the steps and got back into my taxi and went back to work.

I'm not trying to pat my own back.  I just wanted to help people understand why I found taxi driving to be so much fun.  It was times like that where I got to help random people do small things, like open doors, carry groceries, carry passengers, etc...  There were occasions that I gave free rides, like when I would pick up a young couple with an infant going to the hospital at 1am.  I just felt that if they were going to the hospital at that hour, they must feel it's a life or death situation and I wanted to bless them.

I will go into details about my taxi driving experience at another time.  I will say that I tried every night to measure my success by the smiles and thanks and not by the dollars and cents I received...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Intro to my faith

I was infant baptized 7 days after my birth at Good Shepherd church in Frankfort, Ky.  I attended Holy Guardian Angels church in Hyde Park, Pa with my mother and Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Oley, Pa with my father.  I always say that my mother wouldn't change because she went to Catholic school growing up and my father's father was a Lutheran Pastor.

My brother, sister and I had to go to both churches until we reached the time of confirmation and then we could choose which church to be confirmed in and continue to attend.  I chose the Lutheran mostly because the people there were like a family to me, and they still are.  I also was involved with the youth group at the church and went to a Bear Creek Camp, a ELCA camp, every summer for 9 years.

During my first semester at college I meet a group of students who went to a bible study called Christian Student Union.  They invited me to eat with them in the school cafeteria.  I became friends with many of them.  I didn't go to their bible study till my 2nd year.  And during the spring semester I heard about a weekend retreat they were going to attend and I had fond memories of retreats as a youth, so I went with them.

At the retreat there was this speaker, I don't remember his name, but I do remember during the Saturday evening session he told us that we could have a personal relationship with God.  When he asked if anybody wanted to begin a relationship with God I came forward and I remember kneeling on the floor in front of a bunch of candles arranged in the shape of a cross.  I remember my knees hurt from kneeling on the hard floor, and someone saying something like "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak".  I also remember telling God that I didn't want to deal with all the junk in my life on my own.  I also remember everyone giving me hugs afterwards.

I continued to go to Christian Student Union and returned to the retreat every fall and winter that I could.  I made many friends at both places.  They reminded me of youth group, youth retreats and summer camp.  The music was modern, and the lessons were relevant.

At some point I realized I should start going to a church regularly.  My college town didn't have a Lutheran congregation but I was told the Episcopal church is the closest I could find there.  I started attending Calvary Episcopal Church.  It was a beautiful little church with a small older congregation.  It was like going to church with a bunch of grandparents.  The organist was a great guy who had traveled the world and could play numerous songs by heart.  I brought my trumpet with me and had a great time playing along with him.  I think I was the youngest person there by about 30 years.  They were great people and cared a lot about me.

During my last semester I went to Boomer Church of Christ in Boomer, Wv.  Another small church full of people of all ages.  I remember mostly that they sang all their songs without musical accompaniment.  I went there mostly because some of my friends attended there regularly.

After dropping out of college I tried going back to my dad's church, but just did not feel comfortable there.

While shopping one day I ran into a couple I know whose son I graduated from high school with.  They invited me to their church, New Life Bible Fellowship Church in Oley, Pa.  They mentioned that they have a young adults Sunday school class.  I knew about the church and remember some of my classmates who went there when I was a student.  But what really peaked my interest was finding that there would be other people there my age getting together like in college.

I think that is enough for now, I will continue this post at another time...

Intro to me

I guess I should start by giving my background.  This is the just basics, I will go into detail in future postings.

I was born in the great state of Kentucky.  My mother is from there and my father is from Pennsylvania.  I only lived there with my parents for a year before we moved to the house my parents still occupy.  I have an older brother George, and a younger sister Gretchen.  More about my family later.

I grew up in Pa German country and can speak a little of the language and talk with a bit of the accent.

I went to school from K-12 in the Oley Valley School District and graduated from high school in June of 1996.  That fall I went to West Virginia University Institute of Technology and studied Civil Engineering.  I dropped out without receiving a degree with my last semester being fall of 2001.

Since then I've had various other jobs, notably a Boat Loader for a couple years, a taxi driver for 13 months, a volunteer camp counselor for two weeks and I currently assemble ventilation hoods for high end residential kitchen ranges.

For a little more than 5 years I've been living in the city of Reading, Pa.

But most importantly...

I am a born again believer in the God of the Bible and his son Jesus of Nazereth.  This is central to who I am, not my job, not my hobbies, not the stuff I own, etc...


I've been wanting to write a blog for some time.

Just a place for me to put down my thoughts and ideas.

My hope is for this to be a place I can write about my thoughts and ideas for me to sketch them out on paper.  But also for others to read them and be part of the conversations I have in my head.

I do a lot of thinking when I'm at work, driving, or just doing anything that doesn't require much thought.

Anybody who has been around me in the last few years knows that I have some strong opinions and some crazy ideas.  Often when I try to express them verbally I get confused or forget details and reasoning for what I'm talking about.

I also want to try my best to explain the crazy things I do.

I will be posting ideas on places of interest and upcoming events as well as reviews of them.  I also will be reviewing and recommending books, movies, television shows, websites etc that I find interesting.

Basically a place for me to rant and rave about this or that.