I heard that word a lot, especially during my growth spurt when I was 13 years old that saw me shoot up from about 5’4 to 6-foot and beyond.  I think it’s just a tactful way of saying “you’re clumsy”, particularly because it’s most often used when someone’s body has changed to the point of being foreign to its possessor.  The statement really makes my head feel a lot better when I discover through experience that I should duck when I go down the stairs, or that there isn’t enough clearance underneath the door of the cupboard above the refridgerator for me slip through. There used to be, so why not now?  Yeah, I grew almost a foot, but it should be the same as always, right? 

Nope, I just have to face it.  At 14, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.  I had no idea where my body actually was in space, let alone in relation to other objects. I was uncoordinated or at the very least, had a lack of coordination that made me clumsy. It has been a long time since I became more comfortable, more coordinated, even deft, but high objects still invade my headspace and remind me of those tough weeks I spent relearning where my head was in relation to everything else.

To prove myself to be a nerd, I looked up the word “lanky” in the dictionary (As if I was going to find it somewhere else). It has two meanings and when people say I’m lanky now, I anticipate that they mean merely that I’m tall and slender and not that I’m a blundering fool of a clutz.

I can find other ways in which I am lanky, not just my height and body build. I am mentally and socially lanky as well, in the sense that I’m uncomfortable oftentimes, or even feel foreign, particularly this past semeter, which sneaked up on me, if that’s even possible. I limped through the entire semester uncoordinated, not used to the routine that was forced upon me. Normal life became abnormal and that abnormalty has never become familiar to me.  Lankiness usually comes right after a growth spurt, but I struggle to see where I’ve grown. It’s just change.

So I haven’t gotten used to my surroundings, my schedule, my time constraints, yet the semester is a week from being over.  My life will take a very different turn after finals, which will probably just continue the feeling I have now of unfamiliarity and a total lack of coordination.  By the same token, I’m not sure I want to become comfortable with how my life is playing out right now, to make my circumstances feel normal again.  Am I just being nostalgic or is something actually wrong here? In any case, don’t let my deft movements and efficient work fool you.  I’m still lanky.

JA Menter

“…Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.” 1 Kings 2:2b

A HOTP Excerpt

It’s amazing how many possibilities open up for me when I run.  Here is an excerpt from my book that I wrote this morning. (You should understand what “HOTP” means now:D)  Let me know if you require background; I always love talking about my story.

“The stairs came in flights of ten, each ending with a landing, and the flights climbed upward on the right.  The blue glow seemed always to come from the next flight, yet when the stairs were climbed, its source wasn’t there.  Lars and Jhadiz ascended the flights in benign silence.  They didn’t want to waste energy talking when all their strength was required to reach the Great Hall.

They knew not how many flights of stairs they trudged up.  Jhadiz lost count at twelve.  It didn’t really matter because they weren’t going to need to retrace their steps and they were coming from the very bottom of the stairs.  With each step, Lars sensed the presence in his mind grow stronger.  Twice, he’d halted at a landing to quiet his mind and catch their breath.

After about two hours, Lars and Jhadiz came to a landing that ended the stairs altogether.  A door across from the stairs opened into a wide room with a tall ceiling.  Lamps burned in each corner like torches mounted onto the wall with iron brackets.  The stone room was completely empty, but loud footsteps could be heard through the opening in the far wall.

Lars closed his eyes and bowed his head.  The sense in his mind was drawing closer and the presence was almost audible.  He tried to fight back with everything within him, but it began to speak.  The shade was very close.

In the opening of the far wall, a figure appeared.”

This figure was a part of his father’s past and, by extension, his past.  It had haunted Ashur all his life and been the only person to defeat him save the nineteen arrows that killed him. This figure’s voice was inside Lars’ head, limiting his effectiveness and draining his strength.  It was unfinished business that needed to be addressed before it stifled Lars and made him useless.  Naturally, a confrontation like this merits a back and forth battle to the death that Dez can’t help him with, but the figure summons a beast the likes of which Lars had never seen.  His past became a beast he couldn’t ignore.

Guess what, I’m not sharing this just to show off my writing or even to shine some light of the less-mentioned members of my circle.  I’m shifting into the kapu like I have a tendency of enjoying, which brings me to this set of questions.

Do you have a past that’s haunting you? A past that reminds you of when you failed. Has it become a dominant voice that shapes your decisions and leads you astray?  Has it become a monster you want to hide from but can’t?  I must admit, I oftentimes have to answer ‘yes’ to all those questions. Do you?

The good news is that the story doesn’t end there, and it shouldn’t in your case or mine.  You see, Lars has met Nehru (Jesus) and believes in Him. With God’s help, he slays the beast and lays to rest his father’s past. The past that haunted him, hunted him, and laid down the burden of a reputation Lars couldn’t live up to.  Jhadiz has a different past, one of being healed by Jesus, and is constantly reminded of it by a muscle spasming where the miracle took place.

We have been healed of our disease, our sin nature.  Are we always reminded of that miracle?  We can be rid of that beast of a past that haunts us.  Are we willing to let Christ fight for us and put it to death also?  Or am I going to continue to be haunted by the beast, my strength waning, so that it might limit how effective I can be in God’s kingdom?  Are you?

JA Menter

“I am only April’s fool.”

Hold Me Jesus

This song has resonated in my heart this past month. I’ve been burned out by school and the almost 500 pages I have to read weekly for classes. Here it is, “Hold me Jesus” by Rich Mullins.

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart


Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin


You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

JA Menter