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

Robin Williams

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

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

The Disciple Jesus Loved?

When you read through the book of John, you’ll see a specific individual referenced, but never by name…

“The disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Now, we know that this references the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest/best friends, but John never actually names himself… I wonder why that is? And we’ll get to that at the end, but think about it for a minute…

What a pretentious title to give yourself.

Imagine if I walked around calling myself “The citizen whom the president loved”. And not because he ever specifically said, “I love you most”, but because I believed that I was really loved by him.

You would think I was crazy, arrogant, and stuck up!

But that is not what John intended at all. Continue reading

Suffering for Others

“Sufferings gladly borne for others convert more people than sermons.”
~ Therese of Lisieux

No one likes to suffer. That is the point behind almost every marketing style out there. “My product will make your life better” ie, make you suffer less stress/work/pain/etc…

But Christ does not call us to a life of comfort, he calls us to a life of sacrificing out of love for others. And sacrifice hurts, it is painful, it should cost us something, it causes us to suffer. If it doesn’t, then it’s really not sacrifice.

When was the last time you suffered for someone? When was the list time you did something for someone else that truly cost you something big (time, money, an item, or even your own flesh and blood)?

Why are we so resistant to give up a couple of hours of our time for someone, or to give up our “dining out budget” money for the month so someone else can have heat, or gas, or food?

Why are we so resistant to do these things?

Maybe it’s because we don’t truly understand the suffering that Christ bore for us. If we are called to be like Christ, then we need to remember that Christ gave up his own life for others (including you, including me), and we are called to do the same.

 

Prayers

Yesterday was pretty sweet, I got my first tattoo. I got the idea from a song by Misty Edwards when she says “I’ll set you as a seal upon my arm, as a seal upon my heart, for there is love that is as strong as death, jealousy demanding as the grave” So I designed it to be a wax seal, with an angel in the middle, and the lyrics around the outside of the seal. I was thinking of what font/language to do it in, and the nerd in me thought of Elvish, and the graphic designer in me decided it was the best looking font. So, here is what the finished product looks like: Continue reading

The Edge of Your Comfort Zone

The Edge of Your Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

I don’t really like discomfort. I don’t think anyone does.

Some of us find comfort in different things, so things that are uncomfortable for me, are very comfortable for others.

But life is boring when you are comfortable.

Think about it. If you sit in a big, comfy, chair all day, every day, what happens to you? You get fat. You become lethargic. Apathetic. You stop living. You die early.

Getting up and running or doing something physical isn’t comfortable. But it is so necessary for life.

The same is true of us mentally and spiritually. If we never get up and do something to exercise our brains, our spirit, our souls, then we become comfortable, and eventually we get spiritually fat, lethargic, apathetic, and lifeless.

Your life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. You need to get out beyond what you want to do, what you feel comfortable with.

Take a risk.

Do something dangerous.

Be wild.

Be crazy.

It’s the crazy ones who push to the edge of their comfort zone, and beyond, that will change the world.

The Death of Death

I love this video. This is the best video describing what the story of the cross and what it means for us. Sometimes we get so caught up in the religious symbol, and it becomes so common place for us, that we forget what the symbol originally was, and what it really means…

Life Love Death

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.
Continue reading

steve-jobs

On Losing One of My Heroes

 

Last night, I wept for a man I never met. I wept for his family, his friends, and for the world. As some of you may or may not know, Steve Jobs, the former CEO & co-founder of Apple, passed away yesterday. Something that not many of you did not know, but are probably not surprised to learn, is that Steve Jobs was one of my heroes. It actually really doesn’t have anything to do with Apple. I watched his commencement at Stanford University in 2005 on YouTube shortly after he gave it, and it was then that he became my hero. So here are some of the things that I admire most about him, complete with the things he said that led me to that admiration.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever – because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.

Continue reading