Thoughts on Baltimore (and other issues)

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the riots in Baltimore. You’ve heard about how people have taken to the streets to destroy, loot, and hurt. You’ve probably read the stories about the 15 officers (last I saw) who were hurt by the rioters. But what do we do about it? We can sit here, behind the comfort of our homes, our keyboards, our tv screens, and criticize, call them criminals, and tell them they should have done it another way.

And we wouldn’t be wrong.

But it’s not their fault.

If you are looking for someone to blame, look in the mirror. Continue reading

The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

From the first moment I found out about the passing of Robin Williams, this line has been stuck in my head. Over and over and over it plays.

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” Continue reading

No one talks about the son who stayed at home

I sat and talked with a friend the other day. We were talking about life, faith, and stories. As I shared about another friend of mine who has majorly turned his life around, he said “Joel, I’ve grown up my whole life in church, I’ve never partied, I never even touched alcohol until I was 21, I never did drugs, I’m not married, so I’ve never had sex, I’ve never majorly screwed up. I’ve always done exactly what the church has taught me to do. And I feel like that’s not good enough. Like I don’t have a story to tell.”

He paused for a moment and drew a breath as his eyes moistened. Then, with his voice quivering, continued,

“I hear people talk about all these people who are turning their life around, who used to be really bad, and everyone celebrates them. But here I am, and no one even mentions how well I’ve done at keeping all the things that Jesus commands and the church tells us. I feel like I’m not good enough, that I don’t have a story to tell, that I have nothing to say that is worth listening to.” Continue reading

Dangerous Business

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Well, by the time most of you read this, I’ll be on the road. I’m taking a much-needed vacation, and my best friend and I are going to visit Ryan & Janae Dagen!!! I am really excited to see them.

For those of you who don’t know, quick back story on the relationship between Ryan and I. Ryan used to be the youth pastor at Gap Community Church. During that time, I pretty much functioned as his assistant youth pastor, in addition to the other duty’s of my job, since I was employed by GCC at the time. Continue reading

Commitment

Who know what a kamikaze pilot is?

A kamikaze pilot was a member of the Japanese air force, and his job was to take a bunch of bombs, fly to military bases, drop all his bombs, then crash himself into the base, doing more damage, but losing his life in the process.

Kamikaze pilots are only useful if they are committed to their mission. Leaders are the same way. You cannot have involvement without commitment and be effective. It goes with the territory. Continue reading

My Request is Simple…

Today, I’m not going to talk to you, I guess you could say it’s a guest post of sorts. Today, all I want is for you to take a few minutes and watch this video. Because SOMETHING needs to change. This man NEEDS to be stopped…

Now, I’m not saying to support Invisible Children. As a not-for-profit, only 32% went to direct services, the rest to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production, non of which is bad, but it’s less than ideal… Some people love Invisible Children and support it, and some are having major issues with them. I’m not supporting or bashing them. I do agree with their goals, though not their methods… My focus is on Joseph Kony himself, not the Kony 2012 project or Invisible Children. You do your own research on them and make your own decisions about those projects…

About The Author – Introduction

Questions.

If you spend more than 5 minutes around me, you probably have a ton of them about me, because I’m a very unusual person & I do/say some very odd things… First of all, I take this as a compliment, I mean, normal people are boring, and who wants to be around a boring person?

But that leads to a lot of questions about a lot of things… Continue reading

Heroes

 

As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Just a short time ago, I blogged about the death of one of my heroes. I have quite a few heroes, and today I wanted to talk about what it takes to be one of my heroes. I have a lot of heroes, so many that I don’t think I could list them in one sitting. But, honestly, they all deserve that title.
Continue reading

Life and Love and Death

There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief…
and unspeakable love.
~ Washington Irving

This weekend was a whirlwind of a weekend. A weekend of polar opposites, yet of things so closely linked together.

Saturday I was at a wedding. A celebration of love. It was the wedding of two very unique individuals, and their personalities were reflected in the ceremony. There was this new life beginning in love. A life together, of two becoming one. And then I had plans on Sunday to go meet with two friends who are getting married. I am doing sound for their wedding, so I was meeting with them to talk about music and all that. I began Sunday morning coming out of one celebration of life and love, and preparing for another.

Then, in a split second, it all changed.
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These are my Souvenirs

 

Here’s to the twilight
here’s to the memories
these are my souvenirs
~”Souvenirs” by Switchfoot

When you look around my room, you will find an assortment of so many random things. (seriously, ask my roommates, they’ll tell you). There’s a teddy bear, there’s poster with burnt paper, a jar of oil, an old style bullet, a can that had the side ripped open, a key, a pin to a grenade, a ship, some rocks, and I could go on and on.

Why do I have them? What is their purpose? to many people, these items are probably just a random collection of junk. But to me, every item is a memory, and more important than just a memory, it’s a memory of a person, and a life changed. Some are memories from my own life, a memory of a version of me in the past (some good, some bad). And some are memories of someone else’s life that I had the awesome chance to get to watch (and if I was really lucky, God let me play this little tiny part in).
Continue reading