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Monday, December 15, 2008

Re-expression 12/15/08

I know a a lot of small bits of information. At the rate life is happening I do not find to try and put the pieces together. I am not sure if this is a problem or a challenge. Maybe there is not much of a difference between the two and it is irrelevant.

For a long time I have believed that one of these bits of information is the most important to me and has directed me in life in the face of many decisions, ways of thinking, and modes of living. This information is that I, a creation of a higher mysterious being known as God, am able to form relationship with God much like a relationship with any other human being. Another important bit of information is that this is possible because this is the God who chose to become human and live for some years to connect with humanity, as Jesus Christ. His life, death, and then miraculous resurrection makes this relationship with God probable.  

I have found myself studying, reading, hearing, and believing a lot of information that I can not re-express.  The pressures of society and what I believe as a large part of the human experience instills an anxiety in me.
What good am I? Does studying, reading, hearing and listening serve me as an individual? How does this all affect my belief in the fact that my relationship with God is the most important part of my life?

If I am not able to connect all past, present and possible future bits of information, am I able to share it?  How can God use me if I can not share what I have learned in my own words through my own thought processes using examples of real experiences in my life and learning and listening from others' experiences?

For awhile I have thought I would be prepared for encounters with people who do not believe in God, old friends who have abandoned their belief, or people with different spiritual views; but a couple recent conversations have been examined to show otherwise.

I can quote things (roughly), lyrics, movie lines, or passages from books but it will not fully share who God is in me and the people and things around me.  Yes they are aids and help, but being able to interpret it and apply it to myself is what I have to do in order that others can see who I really am. So maybe I don't really want this. Although C.S. Lewis (insert favorite author, person, pastor, leader, historical figure) is insanely good with his words and expressing his ideas, they will just be another quote for somebody. It is not personal.

Most of the time I am fed up with myself, frustrated, consumed by my ego. My lack of ability to allow myself to live in my uniqueness, even amongst life with people I love and trust.  I underestimate this relationship between God and me. I doubt my own existence. I force things to happen or appear in certain ways. Fleeting attempts to bulk up experiences so they just might fit into what society and my culture say I should experience and communicate to others.

What do I take from this attempt to corral my rambling of thoughts?
I want to be able to take a verse from the Bible, a speech I hear, a book I read, a song I listen to, or a conversation I have and express it to myself over and over until I really learn from it.  I want to put it in my own words.  I want to be prepared. I want to really believe in God. I want to believe in opportunity. I want to share.  Once again there is a lot of I in my verbiage. i guess I just want control of something I am beginning to know as fundamentally mysterious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The return 12/10/08

I am back in the United States of America.  I have left a life that will continue in Buenos Aires. The desire I have is that it will be put on hold, but it doesn't work like that.  This I am sure of. I met encouragers, people that serve others with their hearts full, and people who persevere to be better, and good, and to love God.

My first sensation is to double back for my second coming, but I am sure this is not the next step, I trust God and his control, the Mystery.  There is a lot of open ends I have in the USA. It is not that they need to be tied, sealed, or closed They are, however, in need of being attended to.

This "attending to" will not function if I do not trust in God, the Mystery, or keep Him first in everything I do. This is a Christian Evangelical phrase that says, "the spiritual life is at our core and we must be continuously trying to recognize it through discipline, contemplation, and prayer." Prayer is important, it is powerful, and it works. If you ask me for concrete examples I will not be able to provide them. Prayer does not call for concrete examples, nor does it promise to provide them.

In regards to prayer I feel clueless. Besides the basic customs I have observed in my youth and adolescence, the examples that I have experienced while growing up have taught me what I know.
From the Lord's Prayer to prayer circles, written prayers, and then the more tangible prayer; physically transmitting the energy of prayer amongst believers through word and touch (as seen in the picture).

In recognition of the Mystery of prayer, and my ignorance of what the discipline entails, I thank God for putting people in my life that truly pray for me. I believe that some of these encouragers, servants, and friends, I have encountered and learned from this past year continuously step up to a ledge that overwhelms me with anxiety, a ledge that possibly leads to freedom, faith, or something alike. They face it and pray. This I am grateful for even in the sadness and darkness of leaving Argentina. Even when contemplating and accepting that time will continue on in the Southern Cone without me. Amen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ramble City: 11/18/08

I am on a roll. I am on a roll. I finished the semester. And I still suffer from the tendency, or disease, of starting and stopping things. I'm not a professional. The probability of malpractice or a misdiagnosis is high.

In 19 days I return to the United States of America.  I have been trying to avoid dwelling on this, but it is unavoidable. (Why can't I learn to dwell in the sadness or nervousness?) During these thoughts I would describe my feelings as leading me into an anxiety/panic attack.  I really cannot be too sure because I have never had either one, I believe.

Some reason I always find myself leaving places when I seem to be getting into some kind of flow.  Flow for me is enjoying life, the people in it, the places involved, and the current activities I participate in.  My life here in Buenos Aires is normal, differently normal.  I love it.  It is full of amazing and interesting people and full of learning, moreso spiritually and personally than academically.

I speak Spanish every day.  I use public transportation every day.  It is almost in the season of summer here.  I do not watch a lot of TV.  I know nothing of pop culture.  I'm one of the luckies that missed the majority of the campaign/election season (not looking forward to all the hate, slander, and false hope in man that will be found in politics and media when I return).  I walk a lot.  I have a lot of alone time (this has been very impactful on my life).  These are just a few things I have enjoyed very much and will miss.

"live in the day" and "be intentional" have beenmy most frequent thoughts while being down here.  These both are still a struggle for me to do.  Being away from normality I have found myself discussing a lot of the past and a lot of what is back in my birth country, not wrong, but it gets old and tends to lead me into a stagnant state in life.  Being intentional has to do with my relationship with Christ.  I make efforts to see Him, hear Him, experience Him, or just talk with Him throughout the day as often as possible.

I will not be able to put ALL that I have learned into well written sentences or good explanation, but it is inside me and I will take from it and attempt to apply it, if possible, to my life. 

My future has many doors.  I love ideas.  I make too many plans.  Too many scenarios play through my head.  I tend to be too sporadic.  

One thing I pray for myself is that I will be able to kick the pride out of my life and let God take control of the ideas, scenarios, and plans of my life.  Some areas are easier than others to let go of.

Realization is a big tends to come easy for me.  The bigger step for me, that which I struggle with, is letting go.  That part is the hardest for me.

I just changed the name of this blog to "Ramble City"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long time, now I am a year older: 11/11/08

I abandoned the blog for a good while...not intentionally.

Philip Goldberg abandoned Bolivia, not willingly, with a Stamp
in his passport that reads:
Persona Non Grata!
Bien ahí Evo Morales, you've been warned!

Changed my plans and I stayed in Brasil longer.

Now my days slowly wind down in Buenos Aires as I hope to take advantage of the last days and ignore the sadness that is breaching the surface.

relaxing birthday, blue skies, nice breezes, hot, played frisbee, bought new pair of alpargatas, torta. God blesses me with good health and 23 years of age and everyone else here in this city.

ABOVE: is from canoeing outside San Rafael in Presa El Tigre.  Unique rock contours.  The province of Mendoza sufficed a getaway and relax.

I am thinking whether to dread my head
or not. No way I would ever let them grow out as long as the dude in this picture.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Friends in South America: 7/15/08

My life became busy. The end of the semester, obtaining the visas to travel, and having visitors!  Above here you are going to see 2 people that have invested much time and spirit into me. Their travel plans landed them in Buenos Aires for one day together. Kate (My Sister) and Dan Urban (Teacher and Friend). We took the proverbial picture at Cafe Tortoni. A bone old Cafe in Buenos Aires. Tango history and what you have its. I had no expectations of anybody and their visits, except for immediate family. The unexpecting Urb, the world traveler.

Today I am in Brazil.  I plan on learning Portuguese next, maybe teaching English and/or Spanish in Brazil while learning Portuguese?  I will have to talk that over with my brain to see if he can handle it.  I worked and met some wonderful friends  at a YMCA camp in Trinity, TX 2 years ago.  Now I am guest and they are host. Tica, Felipe, Christina and I are chewing on sugar cane, not currently but in the picture. I need to start planting that stuff in my back yard when I get back to the states.  It would be a great substitute for chewing tobacco, Kate.
 I notice how friendships and relationships evolve, change, morph, whether physically or spiritually. I am sure distance evolves a friendship in a particular way, but I have yet to have a consistent friend travel and be with me constantly. The closest friend that has been there all the time is Kate and my family. I think I may focus and be overly aware, leaving me unaware of the present. However, I showed these special friends hospitality 2 years ago. Now their families have been equally hospitable. I have a blessing.  It is nice to have this after 5 months of weird, awkward, and unplanned routine in Buenos Aires.  I remember God and am thankful fort these people in my life.  I believe goodness and sweetness has been in our relationships from 2 years ago and still today, which is very comforting and sobering.

The food is exceptional. They refuse to stop feeding me.  I had the privilege to devour the ultimate game day food, Feijão Tropeiro. Maybe one day I could knock out 3 at a Razorback game.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Get Lost in Patagonia: 6/24/08

This past week is over.  I had the opportunity of travel. My choices took me through the parts of southern Argentina with my sister, Kate.  Our plans failed, royally.

We have met people, seen landscapes, spoken conversations, and laughed together.  I have a blessing to receive.  I don't deserve it, but I am very grateful for it.

(Take notice of the reeds in the picture)

Kate and I rambled around Buenos Aires. My life for the past 5 months. Rambling.  Kate came over to eat a dinner with the Durand family, my hosts for the school year. The protests broke out in the streets the same night. The conflict between "el campo y el gobierno".  A "cacerolazo" or two is like biting into cardamon in a curry! Pot banging protest has been used a lot since i have been here and Georgina along with her son Joaquín took us to go check it out before dinner.  The protest culminated with the singing of the National Hymn in the middle of the intersection of Santa Fe and Callao. The Hymn is inherently passionate.

Buenos Aires was last week and currently in Puerto Madryn. We will ramble on the Shepe infested human deserted Valdes Peninsula.  We will see the Southern Right whales. The penguins have gone north to Brasil. Frankly, it is whale breeding season.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Small talk = blah: 6/6/08

"If we are so impoverished that we have have nothing to reveal but `small talk`whenever we meet, then we need to struggle for more richness of the soul."
-Frank C. Laubach-

I have met people from many different areas of the world with different lifestyles and different ways of percieving the world. I have spent anywhere from 5 minutes with these people to a handfull of months.

Upon reflection, I recognize that I have superficially understood the majority of these individuals. Conversations always seem to be full of this thing we call "small talk." Whether it be due to time restraints, I am not sure.

I find myself constantly repeating conversations, or really just elaborating on initial-conversational-subjects during the following moments I spend with the people I repetitively cross paths with; whether by choice or by chance. 

Why is it that I am afraid to talk about things that resonate deep within me? Granted, I have met people that are open about talking about their beliefs, religion, world views, and inner thoughts, but it is hard to come by. Sometimes it is hard to do this also with my difficulties with the language, or theirs.

Should I not share this just because I do not want to "bore" the other party? 

Just something that I have been thinking on recently.

"It is not the fashion to tell your inner-most thoughts, but there are many wrong fashions, and concealment of the best in us is wrong. I disaprove of the usual practice of `small talk` whenever we meet, and holding a veil over our souls."
-Frank C. Laubach-

Thursday, May 29, 2008

CineClub (El Desierto Negro) 5/29/08

Not too much dialogue. Black and white, so the movie poster serves its purpose. A nice accompaniment while I work on my 2 final papers that I have due next week, one on La pasión en la cultura Argentina and El populismo de Getulio Vargas y Juan Domingo Perón.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Días difíciles 9/24/08

add 2 new things to my way of life, 
juggling and running, not a wife.
Juggling is self developmental for me 
hand coordination and brain developing.

I enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot.
Legit plazas, close to my lot
here in BsAs.
I run around them. Adding the
tourist touch to the Recoleta barrio.

Last time I went I realized that the particular plaza
it is marked with distances. By distance not height,
like when I was a toddler on the posts of our bedroom 
door of Sister and I.

God exists. Life is proof of that.
I feel like sometimes Western Christians believe that most of life
 will be easier once a relationship between the corporeal person and spirit flourishes.
How is that measured once found?

I have been learning that I am privileged in many ways, one of these ways is in regards to spirituality.
I am aware and conscience of a Spiritual life that is in some way connected to God. This I have yet to decide firmly. However, I believe it can be found in the person Jesus Christ. Please keep in mind that
any relationship with God at this point of my life is found in practices that were taught to me or learned within a context that was/is heavily influenced and dominated by Western Religion and North American Cultures.

An example of the diction and vocabulary I would use to express the above paragraph in the context of my Religion & Culture follows.
Religion: Evangelical Christianity
Sect/Denomination: Southern Baptist
Culture: Southern Arkansas and Southern Texas
Key words: Him (God, and/or Jesus), glory,

"I strive to love Him and follow Him in my life so that He is glorified. The Glory of God is the only thing that matters to Him. This is so much easier to type. Living to help spread the Glory of God is crazy hard sometimes. These difficult days cannot defeat me though. His Glory is my only objective and I only desire to see his Glory be known in all things."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

La semana de parciales. 5/14/08

The week of midterms.

One on Monday
One today.
One on Thursday.
Finish then, vacay.

Hopefully Friday
my visas will be Okayed.
NO doubt that
Bolivia and Brasil will be payed.


Saturday, April 19, 2008


The agricultural process of choice.
Argentina chooses the slash and burn method.

My journey home ends with me smelling like a camp fire.

The smell.
If only I had spent my night hanging with friends around a campfire.
But the fire was distant.
Buenos Aires was being infiltrated by smoke from the North.
Roads are closed.
Buses and desvíos.

Tonight I went to an English Club.
I taught. It was fun.

It relaxed my mind and
complemented my Spanish.

Had an opportunity to be a volunteer
the group is Fundacion TEMAS. 
Conflicts exist and they are with school.

Conflict management too the rescue! We should manage.
I have attempted a couple times before. Organizations.
An English Institute interviewed me for a job the other day.
There are no openings for me. They need some more advanced students
and more qualified teachers.
 I will remain on their list.

Met a Peruvian, Columbian, and two Misioneras tonight
at an Evangelical Christian gathering. This was after the English Club.
I wonder if they are connected?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Learner... 4/10/08

I have been learning a lot.
But I have been learning in areas unseen.
Many different areas of my life
I really thought they would be seen.
 My lifestyle and Spirituality have been
a few of theses areas.

I am a learner

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

¡Feriado! 4/2/08

Yes, today is a holiday.
My password found salvation
It was lost and has now been found! Hallelujah.
May the blog live on in freedom.

today is Día del Veterano de Guerra y los caídos en Malvinas
There is not too much celebration.
England, Argentina, Falkland Islands, Malvinas.

Went to the memorial to see the ceremony.

2 weeks of school have passed.
 Not bad
a lot of reading

Newest class Traditions and Cultures
Discussions of the Mapuche people.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Started classes
I have to be in class
by 8am on monday and wednesday.
I guess i do not
remember looking
at the times while signing up.

I have a lot of reading to do,

Glad to be starting though.
More exciting news to come.

i missed Mos Def in concert last night,
not to happy about that.

An argentine from last night
named Guillermo
has favorite bands.
They are Kings of Leon and The Strokes.
Thats deep.
Thats cool.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Rundown typical Day
past month of March.

 wake up at 7:30
read some  Hebrew Bible, maybe some Greek.
I eat and catch the 59 bus to La Universidad De Belgrano.

I attend classes of Spanish from 9:30am-2:30pm
After class I walk the city
explore and inspect...there is quite a lot.

I went to Iguazu, la provincia de Misiones,
 this past weekend,
 not part of my typical day

the first people to come upon the falls, what were their thoughts?
Holy Columbus surrender your gold!

We also went to Jesuit Ruins in San Ignacio.
They were pretty ruined.

I toured a people.
The Guaraní.
Many live in this region,
Especially in La Provincia Misiones en Argentina.
Specifically, there were only about 850 area.

These days they rely totally on tourism.
 They give tours to people like me.
They sell things to the visitors like me.
 There is a spanish language school
 near the village we went to
It teaches Spanish to them,
 like University of Belgrano teaches Spanish to me

It teaches the Guarani people spanish so they can leave
that area and get work outside of the village.

I now have a video of the Guaraní people singing me a song.