Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Reality" TV

It is ridiculous that I am expected to belive that what I am seeing in front of me is not just some edited, scripted portrayal of a fantasy. I won't mention the name of the singing competition, but it is a farce. I know of someone who spent time trying out for the show, only to be told she was too good to be on...this took multiple tryouts over the course of months, and then they show these "awful" singers who supposedly get to sing for the judges on the first day, which never happens. So, I am supposed to belive these people made it through without knowing they were not singers? Hilarious

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sad Day

I don't know why, but I am having a tough time dealing with the news about James Kim. I was praying and hoping that he would be found alive, but I cannot help but think of the warm bed I had on Saturday night while this man was struggling to live. Why do I deserve the warm bed I have? I know this extends beyond what I know about, since there is all sort of suffering in the world taking place, even as I type these words. Nevertheless, I am heartbroken by this loss, and my love and prayers go out to the family.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fast Food Nation--The Movie

Well, I went to see this Movie on Sunday because I was interested to get a visual look at what I had read in the popular book. For starters, this movie will not be winning any awards for acting or coherent story lines, but it did an excellent job of portraying the different areas of life that are affected by the Fast Food industry.

To be honest I have avoided the major fast food companies after I read the book, mostly because of the way the workers are treated in the franchises and in the slaughter houses. I have had a harder time changing my buying habits of meat in general, and it is really a monetary reason. When I look at the price of organic beef or chicken, I wonder if I can really afford to change my habits in that respect. Of course, this might point to the bigger problem in America, that we consume way too much meat to begin with.

The movie did an excellent job of reminding me about the horrible treatment of illegal immigrants in the slaughter houses, taking advantage of cheap labor that is less willing to report unfair working conditions. The movie also touches on the effect the Fast Food industry has with corporate America and the teenager going to high school, but needing to work at the local fast food place.

I left the movie a little sickened by the images on the screen, and with a sense of powerlessness. I wonder how much it would really take to change this billion dollar system we have in place. Is it possible to beat corporate America? I can at least start with my own spending habits, committing myself to change for the better.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Chance to Buy Nothing


In our never ending world of consumption and consumerism, I invite everyone to participate in the annual "Buy Nothing Day". It is so simple and makes a bold statement.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

White & Nerdy

This is Hilarious


Read this amazing article, hard to ignore

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Evolution Of Beauty

How do we tell the culture and the world we live in that we do not want this? Does it mean not buying products from companies that do this? Or is there another solution? It seems that our corporations have so much control in this world, that we are almost powerless against them...I mean this was edited by another corporation with reasons for doing so.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I Never Want to Paint Again

Shannon and I finally took on the task of painting our stairway and our hall upstairs and downstairs. I say "finally" because the walls have been totally scuffed up since move in day. It was a learning lesson for us in terms of having people renting from you. We should have set up a contract for the condition of the place upon moving out. It looked awful. The frustrating thing is that they kept asking for more time so they could "clean up" the place. I remember when we first walked into the home I was in a bad mood already because we had so much initial painting to do (the entire family/dining room was green with borders on the walls), and then we would have to clean the place like mad. Fortunately, my parents were very generous to bring in a group to do an initial cleaning, and from there things have been bright. Now we no longer have scuff marks on the walls, dents in the ceilings, or scrapes along the side on the railings. And it only took from Sunday-Thursday to get it all done. That was another lesson...actually realizing how big the task is before you start.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

From Extreme Joy to Sadness to Joy Again

Last night was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my life. My friend, Adam, and I attended the Dodger game against the San Diego Padres. If you already do not know what happened in that game, then I wonder if you pay attention to the news at all. The game started out with a bumming four runs in the first inning, and we were thinking, "oh great, we have to make up a lot of ground" Well, by the time we got to the ninth inning, we were losing 6-5, and it was a great game of comebacks and letdowns. However, in the ninth inning, our closer gave up three runs, putting us in an insurmountable hole losing 9-5. After that half of the inning ended, we considered leaving, but decided we might as well stick it out. The ninth inning starts with Kent walking up to the plate, and hey, he hits a homerun. I remember thinking that Kent showed up, he did his job, so can't complain there. Then with J.D. Drew at the plate, I watched him hit a monster homerun into the right field pavilion...I mean this thing was gone. So, now we are only down by two, pretty pumped about the lead being cut to two, but now Trevor Hoffman is coming to pitch. I fear Trevor, he is pretty much lights out when it comes to closing a game. So, on the first pitch to our rookie catcher, I watch the ball fly into the left field pavilion stands. Back to Back to Back homeruns. I am jumping up and down at this point. I have never seen this. The crowd is going nuts, we are all screaming or heads off. Up walks Marlon Anderson, and I am screaming "hit the ball out, hit the ball out of here". First pitch, GONE. BACK to BACK to BACK to BACK homeruns to tie the game. I feel the most electric joy I have ever felt. I am running up and down the aisles, high-fiving complete strangers with goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes. We just tied the game and now we are certain to win. The inning ends with three quick outs, not without a little excitement as Furcal flirts with hitting the fifth homerun out for the I wanted that to happen. In the tenth inning the joy went straight down to despair. We gave up another run, so now we are losing again, and I am thinking, how can we lose this game after all that? As the teams are changing sides, I turn to my friend and I say, "Lofton needs to walk, and Nomar needs to send us the hell home with one swing, because I can't take this anymore". It happened, we went nuts, and I barely slept the whole night...oh, and I can't stop talking or thinking about it today. I don't think people can truly understand what it was like...except for the people there.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Expiration Date

I can't believe I forgot to post about this. ON August 5th I drank a glass of milk from a gallon that had a July 20th expiration date. It boggles the mind!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Family is Great to Have Around

Well, I find it harder and harder to share my thoughts on this blog. I am so tired of my short attention span generation. Anywho, my bro was in town this weekend, so we had a chance to hang out and spend some time together, especially playing some baseball on Xbox...which pretty much proved that we are equals at that game, but I still own everyone in my family when it comes to DDR. My sister came out on Sunday to do laundry and to hang out with all of us. That was a total blessing, and I hope she will continue to come out to do laundry because we loved having her over. Man that was fun. Finally, Shannon and I went to the Dodger game last night and cheered them on to victory. I find myself wanting to go to more and more games. Sadly, we miss our friends Heather and Aaron very much, and I find myself getting bummed at least once a day. Cooking meat on the Big Green Egg just isn't the same without Aaron by my side. I will post some pictures soon of our Oregon vacation and of the game on Monday.

Peace out

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fast Food Nation

I knew that I would eventually need to read this bestseller by Eric Schlosser. It was one of those books that I knew I should read, but that it would change the habits I had for eating out. Well, I must say that it was completely worth it. I need to read through the book again, but I was impressed with the overall picture that Schlosser paints historically, and by looking at all the different aspects of the industry. Schlosser looks at the overall dream and development of Carl's Jr. and McDonald's, while painting a picture of the different type of industry it is now. I will no longer eat at this larger chain fast food joints because of the treatment of employees, meat slaughtering practices, poor working conditions in the slaughter houses, and the chemical process in much of the food. I highly recommend this read, but beware of the change it might make in your eating.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tri-Tip, the Fourth, and Fireworks over the Freeway

So, we went all out for the meal this fourth, preparing three 1.5lb tri-tips, marinated for three days in Johnnie D's Angus Steak Marinade. We pulled the tri-tips out an hour before cook time, patted it down, and coated it with Pecan Rub (recipe from the Ugly Brothers). We cooked it over hickory wood, slow smoked for 1.5 hours at 250-275 degrees. It was amazing, pink throughout from the smoke, and the entire meal was a success. Later, Shannon and I went for a quick walk, and we watched the fireworks while standing over the 210 freeway.

Full load of 100% charcoal in the BGE

The tri-tips were done in a v-rack in a roasting pan so it could be cooked with indirect heat.

Aaron and I enjoying the view in the BGE

Adding hickory to the 100% lump charcoal.

This is what the tri-tips looked like after being in the BGE for 1.25 hours at 250-275 degrees.

Here we are taking the tri-tips off after searing them for 8 minutes at 550 degrees.

Here is the grilled pineapple. Sprinkled with a little salt to bring out the flavor. This smelled amazing when you opened the Big Green Egg. It smelled like a dessert all on its own.

Here is one of the tri-tips sliced and looking nice and pink from the smoking process.

Here is the final product. Great tri-tip with sauted mushrooms, grilled pineapple, baked beans and cole-slaw. Aaron, the beans were amazing.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Well, I am not normally a fan of rap and hip-hop, but I do realize it has a lot to do with the lack of time I have put into listening to the different genres of music. I was pointed to this site earlier today, and I have been loving it. It is a mix of the Weezer "Blue" album and Jay-Z's Black album. If you are a Weezer fan, you will want to give this a listen. But be careful, because you might start to like the tempo of Jay-Z's rapping.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Some Good Eats


I would post about the amazing steaks we had last night, but Aaron Friesen did that for me. So, check out his post and pictures.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Some Good Hip Hop

Thanks to my man Wess, I have been enjoying some free Danger Doom hip hop courtesy of adult swim.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Much to Rejoice

This weekend has been one of those kind where there is so much to be thankful for and to rejoice about. My family was down for graduation, and we were able to spend it in our new place. So far I have really enjoyed homeownership, however, I have come into contact with the "list". Basically, as you go about the home, you realize all these things you either need to do or would like to do, and immediately there is a list of things to improve in your head. I know that I need to pace and relax myself, so I can truly enjoy the journey and not lose sight of the fun of this adventure with Shannon. Take for example right now. I am sitting outside on our patio, enjoying the bottle of red wine my brother brought back from France, and loving the 70 degree temperature on a lazy Sunday night, and breaking in the Big Green Egg BBQ I received this weekend as a graduation gift. I seriously cannot wait to BBQ some food on this thing. I was trying to explain to Shannon just how good the chicken would be, and she just rolled her eyes as I held back tears. It will be that good, and I will post some pics of the final product...if I remember. Well, I will continue to enjoy this night outside, in the cool breeze, enjoying my glass of wine with the smell of 100% lump charcoal. Ahhh, it is so good.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Emergent Conversation

Tony Jones offers two great articles (scroll down for the first one) on the Emergent movement. I am always struck by how the Modern world has a hard time not boxing people into definitions or labels. I know that living with some ambiguity was one of the hardest things for me when I joined this conversation, but now it is incredibly liberating.

BTW thanks to JR for the link to these articles.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Where do you fall in the Theological scale?

This is how I came out in the theological/doctrine test to see where I fall.

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology.
You feel alienated from older forms of church,
you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic




Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with

Pat Robertson--He will Pump You Up

You need to check out CBN's website, saying that Pat Robertson can leg press 2000 pounds. Nope, I did not make a typo, but I hope they did.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Youth Film Festival

Shannon joined me as part of my class headed to downtown Los Angeles for a youth film festival. The festival was hosted at the Bresee Foundation. This community center offers amazing services to the Pico Union, South Central LA, and Korea Town population. It was quite remarkable to see the many different resources and services they offer to a community that could easily be overlooked. I was impressed with the range of ages they serve. When you first walk into the building, you come across the medical clinic, which offers low cost/no cost medical attention to children. Down the hall is a Computer lab, offered to adults 18 and over. The cost to use this computer lab is $5 for a year!!! Down the hall from that is a Youth Center, filled with a pool table, games, food, and just places to hang out. The schedule of the center goes like this: from 3-4pm, the teens are able to come in, unwind, and just hang out. From 4-5pm is a mandatory homework time, monitored by the tutor volunteers. After 5 they have many different programs, workshops, and services for any and all to attend. The programs can range from tutoring, digital editing, college prep, chess clubs, and any other specialty offered through the volunteers. Once a week from 6:30-7 they offer a time for the teens to explore current questions on politics, religion, culture, and world news. Needless to say I was amazed to see such a wonderful place, transforming the community around them. I love the fact that it is a non-profit group, run by a church, but it is not merely a guise for evangelism. They are all about building continued relationships with the youth and adults of the community, seeing this as an active way to live the message of Christ in a broken world. Now I just need to find a place similar to this one that is close enough to volunteer on a permanent basis.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Joy of Being Active

Yesterday was a blast. Shannon and I hurried home from work, went grocery shopping, and picked up a soccer ball on the way home. We then went down to the Rose Bowl to just kick around the soccer ball before the sun went down. I can't wait to do more things like this when school is done. It is amazing how much public space is provided down at the Rose Bowl. The parks and fields provide endless opportunities for fun and play. Maybe I will run down there later this week to throw the baseball around. Who knows?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Evolution of Dance

I give props to Nick Connell for showing this one to me. Check it out

Monday, May 08, 2006

Detached and Hypocritical

Well, I am winding down the school year with my last class. I have loved the reading and reflecting I have been doing on the inner city, homelessness, and the response of the church, but I am still feeling detached and hypocritical about the whole thing. The problem is that I do not live in the urban setting that I am reflecting on. Yes, Pasadena is a city in many different ways, but it is a far cry from Skid Row. Here I am, born and raised in the suburbs of Southern California, and I am supposed to offer some insight to how the church should engage the problem of homelessness in the city. I am leaning towards reflecting on possible ways for the suburban church to respond in a holistic way, beyond mere guilt and shame for the "great white flight". Hopefully I will get some more direction before I start writing this weekend. Oh yea, and I have senioritis...I just want to be done.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Still Healing from the Trades

So, the new baseball season is off and running, and I must say I am still excited about what the Dodgers can do this year. I am concerned about our catching and the fielding we have seen so far from Furcal, which could mean that Izzy will actually be able to come back to his old position. Even with all the positive aspects of this season so far, our starting pitching and hitting, I am still healing from the trades and break up of the team two years ago. I still remember opening up the newspaper to see that Paul Loduca had been traded in the middle of the season. I will readily admit that I cried when I read that story. Paul had become my favorite player for the Dodgers, showing that he loves the game, loves to hustle, was a great leader, and enjoyed playing in Los Angeles. The fans loved him, he had the best average on the team, and we were in first. But then we traded him for a soon to be injured Penny.

The tainted history of this and the other trades has left me feeling tentative about finding a new favorite. Right now Repko is probably my favorite player, but that makes me think I will just be more disappointed when he is traded mid-season. I know, I know, that is just bitterness talking, but like this title said, I am still healing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Where Does the Time Go

Wow, I have really stunk at reflecting on this blog lately. It seems like with the prospect of moving, finishing classes, and work, I hardly find time to think of anything interesting to say. So, I will comment of the book I am reading, The Brothers K. The book took me about 80 pages to get into, but now I don't want to put it down. Issues of family, religion, identity and baseball are all wrapped up into this wonderfully written and often hilarious novel. I laughed out loud at least three times last night in bed. I think Shannon finds me ridiculous when I laugh out loud to myself, but what can I say, I even laugh out loud when I am watching TV or a movie alone.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pat Robertson Spreads the Love Again

Once again,

Pat Robertson is at it again, spreading the love of Jesus by declaring radical Muslims as "satanic" and bent on world domination. Pat also goes on to say that Islam is not a religion of peace and that it is all about world domination. I wonder if Pat is willing to look into the different interpretations of the Qur'an out there, where there are many faithful and loving/peaceful Muslims who are trying to serve their god well. I can think of quite a few times in history where Christianity has represented itself as bent on world domination in the guise of evangelism. Oh well, just thought I would rant and rave a bit.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What is Mission?

Okay, I know it has been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. I am going to chalk it up to the full time job, the two classes I am finishing up, and my new found love of poker. That last part is a whole other topic altogether, one that I may post about some day.

My most recent class of Spirituality and Mission was quite interesting, since our Professor stepped out of her usual method of teaching. There was no lecture, just a question about how we define mission. Of course, there were all sorts of different answers, spanning from the modern idea of proclaiming a "truth" to a people who "need" to hear it, to a idea of a missional lifestyle, living out every day and each contact with people as a chance to reflect the love of Christ.

But then...things got really interesting. Our Professor reflected on a recent article she had read about the typical Modern, Western method of Missions. This usually involves a big T propositional Truth that some group has had revealed to them (the gospel) and sharing/proclaiming this Big T truth to a people in another context, finding some way to sneak the story into some format they can understand. Within this method, the Gospel is usually understood as 1) All are sinners 2) You need to repent 3) Ask Christ into your heart. Now, I know this is an extremely simplified version of the message that is preached, but this is pretty much what I get from the people on the street corners in Old Town Pasadena or at 3rd Street in Santa Monica. Basically, it is the watered down version of the Warrior attitude the Church adopted to evangelism in Modernity...We must prove them wrong!!!

Our Professor then went on to talk about how she has a major problem with this understanding of Mission, especially because it is centered on propositional evangelism. The idea that there is a Big T truth out there and that we know it is arrogant and borderline dangerous for our own faith, especially within the particular cultural context we come from. It is so easy for the Western Church to walk into another cultural Context, lets say Kenya, and to present this individualized Western concept of our faith, assuming that it is the correct way of understanding the narrative of Scripture and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. What this fails to realize is that the other context is subverted because it is primarily a context centered on community, while ours celebrates the individual.

So, our Professor argued for an approach that honors the particular historical context that God chose to reveal himself through Jesus Christ. We must bring this context and continuing biblical drama to anyone we are sharing this story with, so they are then able to read it within their own context, seeing how God has invited them into this larger narrative of love, relationship, and kingdom living. What is interesting to me is that people in the class wanted the Professor to draw it out in a diagram form. Once we try to develop a formula or diagram, we have succumbed to some of the negatives of the Modern, rationalistic mentality. There are some things we can participate in that still remain a mystery...isn't that what it is all about to live and walk humbly with our God. There are things we know of and participate in with our living Creator, but there is still so much more we don't know...and it is alright to admit this.

I was glad that we had this discussion in class. It was interesting to see that the majority of questions and comments about defining mission centered on the "decision moment" of evangelism and conversion. We didn't even begin to describe the holistic aspects of Mission, including Social Justice, care, ethics, loving our neighbors, and many more could be added to this list.

It was also interesting to hear many talk of how many people THEY had brought to a decision to follow Christ. The moment we think WE can do this, we have lost sight of the kingdom work we are doing. We have the privilege and honor of participating in the work that God is doing across the world, but we do not have a monopoly on God. We need to realize that by the time we come to any "decision" moment with a person, God has already been working and planting seeds in this persons life. Now it is our job to help them participate in the body of Christ and avoid using and living phrases like "my God" and "my Jesus". I am not discounting the relationship a person can have with this wonderful, living God, but we are called into the community of believers. It is all too exciting to see what it looks like to live out the fruits of the Spirit in a daily context, participating in the wonderful work that OUR God is doing.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Putting Others Before Myself

Our Pastor at Christian Assembly has started an amazing sermon series on the fruits of the Spirit. I loved his opening sermon on the topic as he pointed out to the congregation that it is not about "being" more loving or patient or humble, but rather, it is about remaining in the Vine (John 15) and abiding in Christ. Encountering Christ every day in individual and communal situations is an exciting and wonderful way to live life to the fullest. Seeing each contact with students, friends, family, and the person on the street as a contact with Christ, reminds me of the humanity of Christ, which is something we all too often forget about in our Churches. We can easily lift Christ up to this other-worldly God who has very little interaction with his disciples. Yet, all throughout the Gospels, we are reminded of the incarnation of Christ in human form. The implications of this are astounding, and Eugene Petersen writes well on this topic in the Third part of his book "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places." Needless to say, yesterdays sermon was on the first of the fruit of the Spirit, love. Mark chose the text of Philippians 2:1-11 to discuss the humble nature we must take on in our lives with our community and the world around us. Phil 2:3 stuck out as a glaring reminder of how little I truly love those around me... "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." I am excited to passionately engage Christ in others around me this week as I try to flush out this verse. It is so easy to "love" the person who has the same political views as I, the same personality, or the same interests as I. It will be a wonderful ride this week as I try to love each of the 50 plus students I will be advising beyond myself. Thank God for the example and teaching of Christ that I can shoot to emulate through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Disrespect at Fuller?

This may be more of a post towards the folks who are students at Fuller. Recently I have been noting the amount of people in my class that either talk, play games, im, or edit their photos during class. The numbers are staggering...I would say I could count at least 20 people every night doing some sort of other project on their computers during the lecture, and this doesn't include the two or three people that carry a conversation in front of me (man I need to keep my anger in check because I just want to slap them up side the head at that point). After breathing and calming myself down last night, I began to wonder if this is less of a form of disrespect and more of a result of our distracted generation. Has technology and our lack of attention spans formed us in such a way that we cannot focus on one thing for too long. I know I spend time on the internet at home, while an informative TV show is on in the background. So, is this the same type of "multi-tasking" that I see in class? And even if it is, should it be happening? I don't know if anyone else struggles with this in class, but man, sometimes I get really annoyed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Walking in the Morning

I am always amazed at how beautiful the city of Pasadena is in the early morning. Today I went for a 3 mile walk at about 6:30am, and I am always pleased with the fewer cars and the shorter waits at the crosswalk. However, there is something clean and crisp about the morning that energizes you in a way that is hard to describe. Something I noticed today was that the Sunrise did not catch my attention. I may of been in a daze of waking up, or I was just to out of it to notice. Yet, this reminds me of the daily presence of our God that I tend to not notice. Here is this life sustaining force, rising in the morning to give life to God's creation, and I don't remember seeing it come up. My prayer for today is to notice the everyday wonders that I pass by on a daily basis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A New Love

So, I have recently found a new game that I absolutely love. Poker!!! I know this is a big fad these days, but coming from a gaming family, I will be playing this one for quite a while. I love this game, all the different variants involved and all the odds and rules you can learn. Plus, you gotta love the time you can spend around a table with a bunch of friends.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Frustration With Technology

Well, this weekend turned out to be a great one. Shannon and I got to hang out quite a bit, I got to do some fun reading, and my parents were over for most of Sunday, looking at open houses with us. The one hitch was the constant router problem I have been having in our apartment complex. To share a wireless router with people in the complex is a mixed blessing. It is nice to pay so little for the internet, but it comes with a price. If the router has a problem it annoys everyone, and not just me, so I get to hear about. Also, if anyone has a computer issue, I am the fall back guy. Shannon has made me promise not to tell anyone that I enjoy working with computers when we move to our next place, but I have a hard time not speaking up and trying to help. Especially if people show gratitude and appreciation, then it doesn't really bother me. Anyway, so the router we have been using was rendered useless this weekend by a firmware upgrade. It had been dropping the signal pretty consistently the last few months, and I was in the process of trying to fix it. Many posts on the support website showed that this was a common problem, but I was past the ninety day warranty, so some money would have to come out of my pocket to fix the dang thing. Needless to say I didn't want to deal with the problem anymore, and I sure didn't want to purchase a similar model or the same brand for that matter. So, I went ahead and purchased a rockin' Mimo G+ by Belkin, and I am loving it. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty, so at least the company stands behind their product. If you want to know which brand to stay away from, send me an email, and I will let you know.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Weekend Away with MLK on the Mind

So, I had another wonderful weekend, spending time with the in-laws and some great books (C.S. Lewis and Desmond Tutu). It would be pretty tough to ask for anything more. I started thinking about my guitars this weekend, and how they sit in my apartment taking up space. When I first started playing the guitar, it was so wonderful to just hear the new music I could learn. But over the years I have grown accustomed to playing with other, so now I no longer enjoy the guitar on an individual level. This is good and bad. So, now I have to I sell them or keep them?

On another note, here is an excerpt from MLK talking about being "dissatisfied". This continues to make me realize that so much still needs to be done.

So, I conclude by saying again today that we have a task and let us go out with a "divine dissatisfaction." Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. [,et us be dissatisfied until those that live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family is living in a decent sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality, integrated education. Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character and not on the basis of the color of their skin. Let us be dissatisfied. Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God. Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together. and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. Let us be dissatisfied. And men will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout "White Power!" - when nobody will shout "Black Power!" - but everybody will talk about God's power and human power.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tired of theory, yearning for practice

I think this title could sum up a good part of the way I have felt in the past few years. My journey of faith has had its ups and downs, and I know I have grown a lot in the downs. But lately, it seems that I have produced so much theory and speculation about what I know about God, the culture, and the way we should respond, while being completely void of any practical application to my own life. Early on in my faith I spent probably about two hours a day reading and praying to the God I was learning to love and admire. My passion was amazing, and it was a complete gift from God. But as I continued in my studies, I became rigid in my spiritual disciplines, to the point that it was not longer love that drove me, but rigid patterns for the day. So, I have gone back and forth, longing for the personal devotion I once had in the beginning, while still wanting to maintain the importance of the community of believers that I am a part of. I do think our "personal Jesus" mentality is detrimental to the Western world, but I know I have over reacted to the individuality of the faith in America by denying our Creator a personal relationship with me on a deeper level. Just writing the words "personal relationship" makes me want to cringe at the individualized faith I have abhorred for so long, but I know I have lost out in the meantime. As I have struggled to build a faith and theology centered on the love and work of Christ, I have narrowed it down to the topic of Social justice. Somehow I have come to think that I have God figured out, when I really know nothing at all. I long to encounter God in a new way, changing my life as I know it and filling me with a deeper love and care for the world around me. I long for an incarnational lifestyle that integrates my personal faith with the public world I am a part of. I do not want to box this awesome God in, thinking I can somehow have all the answers when I really just need to shut up and listen to God. I long to love and know God more than I ever have in the midst of a community of believers who see their faith as not a private matter, but as a part of the family of God. I long to approach God in the way described here....

"Religion has not tended to create seekers or searchers, has not tended to create honest humble people who trust that God is always beyond them. We aren't focused on the Great Mystery. Religion has rather, tended to create people who think they have God in their pockets, people with quick, easy, glib answers. That's why so much of the West is understandably abandoning religion. People know the great mystery cannot be that simple and facile. If the great mystery is indeed the Great Mystery, it will lead us into paradox, into darkness, into journeys that never cease...That is what prayers is all about."---Richard Rohr

Now all I can do is jump in to this Great Mystery with fear, excitement, and amazement, knowing that our God is faithful and loving...even to a nerd like me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Year of Better Friendships

I am always amazed (unfortunately) at how much fun I have with a group of friends, playing cards, or dominoes, or some sort of board game. You wouldn't think I would be amazed at this point in my life, at least when it comes to this concept. I have always loved games and the social aspect of them, but I guess I need a reminder here and there that I can have a much better time doing those things than sitting at home in front of the idiot box. Kind of a side resolution I have for myself this year is to be more intentional about the relationships I have, providing for more opportunities of leisurely gaming and socializing, opening up our tiny apartment to as many people that can fit in at one time. Oh, and I plan to read more (but that's just because I can't get enough of books)