Monday, May 30, 2011


Red, another band of Christians, as opposed to a Christian band have recently jumped onto my radar. I know their style of music isn't everyone's cup of tea but they are very good at what they do. I think, as Christians, we should do what we are good at to the best of our abilities and thank God for the opportunities that arise. Too often I see the Christian subculture copying the current culture and putting a Jesus stamp on it. There are little Christian Beyonces and Brittanys and Beibers running around out there now. What I appreciate about Red is the fact that they are good enough at what they do to blaze their own trail in the music industry, receiving attention for their talent from the general public, not merely travelling through Christian circles, insulated from the real world. Here is Red performing their first single from their third disc, Faceless, live on Conan.

I'd give anything to live
With You I don't exist
I'm not strong enough to pay this ransom
A part of me is dead
Need You to live again

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rubber, Meet Road II

There was a challenging sermon at church today.  It touched on something I've been thinking about for a while.  How do I live this Christian life?  What is the purpose of this life?  It is definitely more than the job you have, your money, tv, car or vacations.  If we are not caring for the less fortunate and sharing our relationship with Jesus there is simply no point to this life.  All we are doing is creating psuedo-purposes to amuse ourselves and pass time until we die.

I have been looking for the place where I fit in this Christian life.  I'm still looking.  I'm finding bits and pieces.  I have to admit, one of my frustrations is my job.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do, but my schedule is very demanding and doesn't give a fixed time table to plan regular events.  It's hard to be involved when I can't guarantee when I will be free.  So that's where I'm at right now.  Of course, outside of organized ministry there is personal ministry.  What I do on my own when I am free is up to me.  The problem is, I need my own personal time just to stay healthy.  I don't want to make excuses for not going out and helping people, but I get peopled out during the course of the week and the last thing I want to do after interacting with the public 50 hours a week at work, and going to church, C&C, small group, and spending time with friends is to be with more people.  So, should I cut out some of those things, to make room for "ministry" or are those other things ministry themselves?  All I know is I wish I worked less and served more.  I find right now I donate to causes and charities I'd like to be involved in but can't be so that at least I know I am financing someone else to do what I wish I could.  It feels like a cheap substitute though.  I don't want to pay someone to do the work Jesus has called me to do.  Then again, maybe my ministry is to be a financier of those other ministries?

I'm still looking for a way to live out the gospel. Here we go.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Romantic Thoughts

The title is a bit of a misnomer but accurate. Here's a collection of thoughts that are somewhat related. They were triggered by my recent scheduling to accommodate a series of weddings popping up this year.

I know 2 couples that have gotten married within the last month. Two of my younger cousins are getting married this Summer and two girls (now women) from one of the youth groups I used to lead are getting married. And one of their younger sisters already got married earlier this year. It seems like most of the people I went to high school and Bible College with are married and have kids, or are on their way. Not me. Why? It feels like I missed my turn off on the road of life. What the heck?

I find it difficult to comprehend what a marriage relationship consists of. I know plenty of married couples. Some of which I'm envious and others I never want to end up like. Somehow each person found another person that decided to spend the rest of their lives with them. I suppose they fell in love. How does one go about doing that? I have no idea. I've said repeatedly that I really don't have a firm grasp on the whole idea of relationships, let alone romantic relationships. They just don't make sense to me. I do desire friendships though, I just don't quite understand how to be in one. Given the option, most of the time I like to be alone. That is not conducive to maintaining a friendship. I've been working very hard at overcoming this trait of mine the last 9 months or so and I suppose some friendships are starting to take place, slowly. So, now what? What is the difference between a romantic relationship and a regular relationship? Yes, I do know the basics, but that's not what I'm asking about. I have relationships with the people I work with, but I wouldn't call them friendships. I have relationships with my extended family members. Some I would call friends. Some I would call acquaintances, and the only reason we have that level of relationship is because we are related. Now I know I am probably going to over think this, but what is the nature of relationship? Is it a linear progression only, or does it have different subsets, each that can progress linearly, or am I completely wrong and it is more of a cloud or web nature?

A linear view would start at A and move to B, C, D and so forth.
Strangers - Acquaintances - Friends - Romantic Relationship.
I don't know if I like that view. It implies that a romantic relationship is the pinnacle of all friendships and all relationships progress in the direction.

The Subset would say there are different kinds of relationships, that don't necessarily progress from one to another but along their own linear progressions.
Relationships - Strangers (no progression)
- Acquaintances - Progressing from little known to much known between acquaintances
- Friendships - Progressing from low intimacy to higher intimacy
- Romance - Progressing from low to high emotional and physical intimacy
This type of view doesn't exclude relationships from jumping one line to another, but it doesn't take for granted that one leads to another as they develop. This would explain why it is conceivable to know someone from work for a decade and never be more than acquaintances, know someone for years and be friends, and know someone for months and get married. They are just different lines to progress along, never leading from one to another no matter how much time or progression is involved.

The cloud or web view of relationships throws all that out the window. Every type of relationship at every different level is represented and interconnected. It would be possible to jump from stranger to deep friendship to acquaintance to intimate romance and back again. I've seen some people live their lives like this. I would find it exhausting.

I think relationships are too nebulous to define.

And what about love? I love my family, but that isn't the love of a marriage relationship. I loved my pet dog. I loved the kids from up North. All different kinds of love. And none of them are the love I'm trying to figure out. What is love? I've heard of love described as three separate and distinct types. Eros, physical love. Philos, brotherly (or friendship) love. Agape, unconditional (spiritual) love. I can see that. I suppose that the "love" of a romantic relationship would be all three kinds of love. I can't really say that I've experienced that before. Which brings me back to my original question. What the heck?

Trying to understand it to experience it seems pointless. I know "in the moment" people who are not very introspective or deep who seem to have found it. They didn't bother trying to analyze it or think it through.

It's all a mystery to me for now.

I know a couple who met in grade school. They dated all through Junior and Senior High, and University before they got married.  They've now been married for almost 15 years. They have known each other and been in some sort of relationship for almost 75% of their lives, and they are only 40. I know a guy who met a girl at a wedding on the other side of the country. He flew back to see her 2 weeks later. Two weeks after that she moved across the country and moved in with him. They are now talking about getting married. All that happened in the space of 2 months. My point? I don't know. It seems as though both couples have found something they call love and they both did it very differently from each other.

And God is love. Our purpose in life is to have a relationship with God and each other. As much as I want that, I can't comprehend the enormity of all that it entails. It's mind boggling to me. The greatest commands in scripture are to love God with every fibre of our being and love our neighbour as ourselves. That blows my mind. I don't even know where to begin.

Whatever love is, it involves a choice.  There is a decision to love that must be made at some point in time.  Love doesn't simply happen to us.  We aren't the victims of our feelings or emotions or hormones.  Even when all cylinders are firing the decision to love must be made or it isn't really love at all.  And that decision involves commitment.  There is permanency to real love.  I think that's why a lot of relationships break up.  There was no decision made to love.  There was no commitment.  There was no permanency.  There was only feeling.  I'm sure that happens in all kinds of relationships, from simple friendships, to marriage and even our relationship with God.

Lord, please help me live out a life of real love.  Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back From Hawaii

I'm back.  I've been back for a while, but I've been working like mad.  It's nice to have a little extra free time to reminisce about my vacation.

Day 1 - Travel

Day 2 - Volcano Sunrise and Downhill Bike Ride

Day 3 - Luau

Day 4 - Tour the Island

Day 5 - Snorkel and Snuba Diving

Day 6 - Zip Lines and Aquarium

Day 7 - Paragliding

Day 8 - Travel Home

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gilmore Girls

Not that I need to justify myself, but my brother has actually made a video of me watching Gilmore Girls which I suppose he plans to use at a future date for nefarious purposes.  I thought I would get a jump on him and diffuse whatever embarrassment he is planning on creating.

So without further adieu, this is why I like Gilmore Girls.  I can relate.  I know most of the characters are females, but they are comically honest characatchers of real life people.  In a way, I see different aspects of myself and people I know reflected back to me through the inhabitants of Stars Hollow and area.

Lorelei  - She is the sometimes crazy me.  When I start to feel comfortable enough with people, my inner Lorelei starts to come out.

Rory - I can relate to her a lot.  She is the me growing up.  She is the smart kid who doesn't really have a lot of friends but doesn't really mind.  She is intelligent, top of her class, and would rather spend her time with a good book, than a pointless relationship.  The only thing I could never understand is why all these random guys seem to be instantly drawn to her.  I suppose it furthers the plot, but that is where Rory and I differ.  That and I'm actually rather athletic.

Luke - Luke reminded me a lot of myself as well.  A bit of a loner, but hard working, loyal, honest, and dependable.  He may be a little rough around the edges, but he's down to earth and always there for his friends and family. He is also not a fan of traditions and ceremony. Ya, that's me.

Dean - Although Dean wasn't in the series all the way to the end, the early Dean reminded me of myself quite a bit.  He was also a bit of a loner, but basically had good intentions and an honest disposition.  He held down a job while going to school and never complained.  He seemed to me like a young Luke.

Jess - Not so much me.  He was a good hearted guy hiding behind the persona of a jerk.  Although we are different, I can relate to the idea of hiding behind a mask to protect the real me from the possibility of pain or rejection.  He had one particular line that really resonated with me.  I may share that line at a later date.

Tristan and Logan - Nada.  I'm not the rich kid, party animal, or womanizer.  I really didn't like those guys growing up, and I knew a few.  To Logan's credit, he did mature as the series concluded.

Paris - Also not me.  However, I did know one person as anal and dictatorial as her.

Sookie - The continually bubbly personality, is me, sometimes.  I guess that defeats the purpose of saying, "continually".  I am fairly laid back and it takes a lot to upset me.  Like Sookie, I do have occasional times of paranoia over the smallest of circumstances.  I also have a bit of a food addiction.  For the record, I am not as clumsy as Sookie.

Jackson - He is the sometimes peevish produce producing perfectionist.  He is somewhat dumpy and odd, but likeable, loyal and caring.  I can see a little of myself in him.

Lane - I am a big music fan, like Lane.  I also grew up in a Christian home, but I really did not like the portrayal of the overly controlling and stereotypical "Christian" home Lane grew up in on the series.  Having said that, there are shades of truth from my earlier childhood found in that home.  My parents have mellowed out somewhat as I grew up, but I can relate.  I suppose if Lorelei was the freedom parent, her foil was Lane's mom, Mrs. Kim, the controlling parent.

Mrs. Patty, Kirk, Babette and Morey were always more comic relief than main characters but I could definitely see a little of Kirk in me.  He was a late bloomer and about as comfortable with the ladies as I am, but even Kirk ended up with a girlfriend so I suppose there's hope for me.

If I had to break it all down I'd say I'm
30% Luke
20% Rory
15% Dean
10% Lorelei
8% Lane
5% Kirk
5% Sookie
5% Jackson
2% Jess

But all that means I am really just 100% me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Going To Hawaii

Dear Diary,

I am going to Hawaii.  Why?  Cuz it's there I guess.  I've never heard anyone get back from Hawaii and say, "What a waste of time."  I lucked out.  Cheap flights, cheap hotel, and some lucky breaks with time off from work all came together perfectly.  So, my next entry will be in about 10 days, and it will probably have something to do with Maui.  Right now I need to pack and eat everything that will expire in the next week.  Wish me luck.

Summary of the last few weeks...
-Let's see, I've worked a lot.
-I've been brave and invited people over to my place.  They came.  We had fun.  It was good.
-I helped CI cut down some trees in his backyard.
-C&C is changing gears for the summer.  It is good.
-I know so many people looking for work.  I keep praying that opportunities will come their way.
-My small group seems to be going through a change.  I'm curious to see how it develops.
-I bought a new guitar and amp.  It was really difficult for me to spend money on myself.  I'm glad my brother forced me to do it.  My Hawaiian vacation cost less than my guitar and amp.  Thank you tax refund.

See you in 10 days or so.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution

I'm not a "New Year's Resolution" kind of guy but this year I thought I would try to commit to something.  However, I've been so busy I didn't really get around to it until now.

I resolve to quit procrastinating.

Yes, I am aware of the irony of making a New Year's resolution in May to quit procrastinating.

Before my life got busier it was easier to put things off until later because there wasn't a lot to put off.  Now I can't afford to delay things because there's more things coming at me all the time.  It's like a snowball rolling down a hill.  Less procrastinating, more organizing, planning and prioritizing should melt that snowball a little.  So, after one more episode of Gilmore Girls, I'm going to stop procrastinating, soon.