Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Cosmic Domino Effect

There has always been struggle with good and evil in this world. Amidst the evil we must find hope. There is hope among the ashes, among the scars of abuse and mistreatment. The world can be a hostile place, full of twisted minds and wounded souls. A cosmic domino effect reverting nearly to the beginning of time is slowly wiping us out. Day by day it eradicates the most vulnerable and blinds the more powerful with apathy and ignorance. What must be done to save this aching world? What can be done? Are we to watch as they suffer, knowing very well that our life could be theirs, were we born into different circumstances? Should we lift our hands and praise God that we are given so many bountiful blessings, all the while knowing that somewhere out of sight, rejected of value, lies a child dying from starvation?

We all have problems, yes, but what do our problems consist of? What if we made the world's problems our problems? Would that shift our focus a little? Would we find it easier to cope with what we are missing out on in this life when we see the need around us? The need to eat and drink? The need to survive?

Whenever you begin to feel sorry for yourself, make a difference for somebody else. No matter how miserable you feel, using your life to benefit somebody else's could change everything.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Focusing Out

"A human being is a part of the whole called by use universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beautify." --Albert Einstein

We are much too individualistic! Happiness in its purest form is found in the gratification of things outside ourselves.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life is Confusing

It's not that your life is too hard, it's that you're too soft. Life makes you stronger.

Life has a way of pulling in many different directions. It's hard to know which route to take and what to base our decisions off of. When life faces us with extreme highs and lows, a series of unpredictably good and bad events, how are we supposed to find the balance? I am convinced we can't base our decision off of our feelings. Obeying our feelings is like obeying people. People will tell you different things, not everyone can be right. Feelings are the same way. However, it's hard to know where to draw the line. When should we let go of what we think we want for something we should want...but don't? It doesn't make sense to me. Sometimes life doesn't make sense.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." - May Sarton

It's easy to put our guard up, a wall of protection to preserve us from rejection. It's easy to act like someone else so that the real self inside of us won't be hurt by how others perceive us. However, perhaps those around us are doing the same exact thing. Maybe they are wishing to let their walls down, but haven't found the courage to do it. Perhaps we must be vulnerable ourselves and accept what comes in order to get through the closed-off exterior of another. We must learn how to value the "frightening" or "strange" sides of ourselves, to view them as strengths, not weaknesses. They are what makes us human. They are what makes us value other humans.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Those who are confident, those who know themselves and know where they're headed in life are not striving to become leaders. They are leaders by default. If you understand yourself, if you have confidence in yourself, people will trust you. People merely want individuals they can trust. Knowing how to manage people makes a good leader. Having their trust makes a great leader.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Perfectionism is a fault. You are the only one who has ever expected you to be perfect.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


"If I could change anything about myself, it would be the desire to change who I am." 5-29-11

This isn't meant to sound egotistical. Purely for the sake of general well-being, we must accept ourselves. We may not particularly like the way we are, we might wish we were different; however, the reality is we are not. We are who we are and the sooner we accept that fact the sooner we can enjoy this one short life that was given us. 

One life. One life! It wasn't meant to be lived wishing for something different. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Being Understood

"There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with, but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you. "

Life is Good

So much of happiness stems from our perspective. If you can change you're perspective, you can change your life.

Today closes the end of my indoor track season. It was the first indoor track season I ever finished without injury. For that, I am thankful.

Friday, February 17, 2012


"It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again." - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars 

Dreams are a big deal in the U.S. The "American Dream" promises a nearly perfect bliss world where, if you're hard-working and efficient enough, you will rise to the top and have plenty of nice things to keep us comfortable and satisfied. While it is good to pursue dreams and be ambitious to obtain the goals in our lives, we must be careful not to seek after our dreams for ultimate satisfaction. No dream come true will ever truly satisfy us.  Houses could always be in a better location, a little bigger, or a little less messy. The things we buy we seem to never have enough of or the best of, and we have just too much of in the end. The goals we accomplish will always be outdone by someone else. Often we will want to outdo ourselves regardless of our performance. I believe it is the beauty (or the curse) of American culture.

The beauty of simple living is we're not deceived with the promises of the material world. The beauty of radical thinking is we're not satisfied with even our dreams. Greater living is greater loving; where goals and dreams don't matter as much as relationships and family.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writing Thoughts

"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

The writer's purpose is to speak the truth. Our goals is to write so well, people hardly realize they're reading. The words just flow together like a train of thought, like a conversation. The writing literally springs from the ink on the page to the thoughts in your head. It should be done so well that you have to stop and realize you're actually reading and not thinking. This is the essence of beautiful writing. This is writing that impacts people, holds power, is memorable, and might even get published (not that publishing really matters). 

Sometimes writing can be frustrating. It's difficult to transmit thought into written word and back into thought again with smooth, flowing syntax. Like a poor singer, sometimes writer's words are off key, flat or sharp, and the reader doesn't know why the work sounds bad, they just know for some reason it does. This is where the shit detector has to come in. As writer's we need to be humble enough to realize when our words don't sound good, and determined enough to rearrange them until they do. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


"Don't hate me for who I am. Love me for who I could be." -11-6-11

We look for a part of ourselves in the people we try to connect with. The people we want to spend the most time with and get to know the best intrigue us because we can relate to these individuals, or at least we want to relate to them and be like them.

However, there are also those individuals who we cannot relate to. We see no reflection of ourselves, either as we are or as we wish to be, in their personality. Therefore, we distance ourselves from these people. We tend to mock, loath, judge, or just ignore them.

More than anything, people desperately desire to be understood. Somewhere deep inside every human being is a personal sacredness of being. Psychologists would call it the "self-serving bias". People just want other people to look on them with favor. They want to be understood the way they understand themselves. Regardless of what they do, no matter how worthless they feel, they will always feel pity and  sympathy for themselves because after all, they truly understand how they're feeling.

We need to start acknowledging people's "self" whether we can relate to it or not. Not just to some, but to everyone. We must look for the affection with which individuals hold themselves. In essence, we must love others as we love ourselves (Lev. 19:18).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Day of St. Valentine

February 14. An official Hallmark holiday. Thank you capitalism for keeping St. Valentine in business (and vice-versa I'm sure). According to our trusty Wikipedia reference, there used to be some religious significance to the celebration on February 14. It was in honor of either one or many martyred St. Valentines, but time has a way of changing things, I guess.

Although it is very possible capitalism is to blame for what the holiday has become, I do not believe we should embitter our souls against it. Yes, it may be "single awareness day" for some of us, but that isn't so bad either if we're honest with ourselves. Although, I can't say I love the day either. Valentine's day has been twisted to indulge the culture of consumerism. Capitalism sends the clear message: "Show loved ones your affections! Buy candy, cards, flowers...whatever they want! Just buy, buy, buy!"

However, at the root I think we mean well. I think we are trying to celebrate something more, I just wish we didn't have to buy things to express it. Buying cards is cheating if you ask me.

Even if it is just another way to suck more money from American consumers, as the hippies would say, love makes the world go around. So hell, we might as well make a day of it. For what it's worth, happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Hmmm. So I might have just created a Tumblr. I really don't know anything about Tumblr, but it looks fascinating. I haven't gotten very far yet on my page, but maybe if I find interesting people to follow I'll get some good inspiration. This is huge motivation to get a Canon. Here's my link just in case I have something brilliant on there someday:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sparks of Love or the Whole Fire

So I admit yesterday's post was a little cynical. I watched The Vow yesterday with a group of my girlfriends. I told myself before I left that I wasn't going to be a cynic and I was going to let myself really enjoy the movie, and part of me definitely did. Nicolas Sparks knows how to sell books, and film producers really eat it up. Sparks knows what women want to read, what they long for. But something was missing. Its been bothering me. He didn't go deep enough. He didn't paint a realistic picture of what real life actually is. He created a dream world where everything is almost perfect, and eventually turns out perfect. Granted, I'm basing my judgment on the movie and not the book, but a story is a story whether it's on ink, film or whatever. I get the picture, but the picture isn't big enough. His story was a glorified Disney older-version princess classic. I'll admit, with a more creative approach, but the overrated message of "finding yourself" was ringing clearer than ever. While that type of thing makes the sales and pleases the audience, love is being underestimated! Love is more. So much more.

Dear Nicolas Sparks, 
Someday I'm going to write a book that will inspire you to speak the truth about love. Maybe because I'm a woman, I have an unfair advantage on you, but I know what women really want. Granted, they like what you went for in your novel(s), it gets them excited and emotional, for a short period of time it gives them the pleasure of a passionate romance they may never have. But I know there are deeper feelings in a woman's soul. Feelings that have not quite been stirred yet. The woman's heart seems conveniently suppressed, quietly subdued in your portrayal of her. Yet, there is something so much deeper to our nature. Someday, a secret is going to be let out. And when I put it in words, women won't have to dream about a romance they might never have, or fantasize about the man of their dreams that will satisfy every longing of her heart. They need to know that's not what men should be expected to do. 
Men can be heroic, they can be courageous and brave. They can be supportive, engaged, and in love. But what if they're not? What do you tell the woman that finds herself with a man who no longer shows any of the characteristics she fell in love with? What do you say to the woman who doesn't have a happily ever after--when the ending is a cold smack of reality hitting her in the face? You tell her she is able. She is able to pick herself up. You tell her she has the courage to make her man courageous. She has the support to make her man supportive. She has the power to make her man powerful. She has the ability rise above anything he says or does, and love him, challenge him, and accept him. Because that was her vow. Your portrayal of perfect love is finite. The ugly, tearstained, struggling, self-sacrificing love of everyday human beings...that is the love that will last a lifetime.  
Because, Mr. Sparks, women don't need to find themselves, they need to know themselves. The gift inside of them--all of them--not just the special ones. 
One day, I will write a love story too, only with all of the brutal details of reality you conveniently left out.   

Friday, February 10, 2012

If Only

If only love always had a happy ending. If only human love wasn't messy, ugly, and so utterly realistic. Maybe then I'd buy into Nicolas Spark's ideology...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thoughts about Thinking

Today something profound (if not obvious) hit me. I thought I should share. I like to use metaphors to get my ideas across. So...

Imagine you are in a dark auditorium. You have only a small, dim flashlight that allows you to see only a little portion of the concert hall. That flashlight is our human knowledge. The dark auditorium is is the world. Slowly, over time, our little flashlight has become steadily brighter. Our knowledge enlightens us to things that we previously never knew existed. It is an obvious fact that over the course of human history, people have not become smarter, they have become more knowledgable. Today we know about things that never existed to us five years ago. With more and more knowledge being discovered, researched, and proven, humanity is tapping into another world that is somewhat irrelevant to our physical lives. With our physical needs of food and shelter satisfied, we now have the luxury of applying our minds. We have developed from naming places and things to defining thoughts and concepts like "enthnocentricism" and "cultural relativism." We identify and define a complete world outside our own. We fill libraries and hard-drives with overwhelming amounts of information that essentially only pertain to the metaphysical.

The world of thought is limitless.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Embracing Fear

"Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.”

Animals have just as much capability of fear as humans do. The difference between the animal and the human is that the human, if he or she so chooses, can embrace fear and overcome the instinctive desire to resist it. Facing fear is one of the distinctive qualities that make us human.

People can sometimes live in a very animal-like state of mind. An animal's only priority is survival. They do not care about purpose or meaning, only that their basic needs of food, water and shelter are met. Do we at times find ourselves satisfied with merely surviving as well? Are we living an animal-like existence?

We are human. To be human is to hold the image of God. We should want God-like things; we should want to model a God-like way of life. God-like living includes overcoming instinctive fear of the unknown and finding the God-given courage inside of us to do things that will ignite the growth of our soul.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


"Following Jesus is not to be romanticized through impressive Facebook status updates or photos of exotic places on our blog. Discipleship is often ugly, messy and painful. Faithful service will regularly lead us into dull labors and bewildering struggles that would make unexciting press. To romanticize social justice or cross-cultural evangelism is to promote an idealism that will be inevitably vaporized on the field, inadvertently leading to burnout and cynicism."

I took this quotation from a Relevant Magazine article titled, "We Need Boring Christians" by Andrew Byers. I believe it speaks the truth to a lot of passionate youth today. In an earlier post, I talked about realism and how life is not made up of a series of dramatic events, but rather, small, somewhat mundane experiences we hardly even take notice of due to their seeming insignificance. No matter where we go or what we do, everything will eventually become repetitious and ordinary if life, as we live it now, seems that way. We cannot escape the manner we perceive our existence. 

The Relevant article went on to say that if we struggle to be found faithful in the arduous, mundane day-to-day experiences in our lives now, we should not expect any different anywhere else we go. Locations may change, but circumstances will eventually feel the same. Usually, missions is not "exciting" in the way we might expect. It can be hard, challenging, and emotionally and spiritually draining. That's not to say it isn't important. It is of the utmost importance. Yet, we cannot go into international ministry hoping for an escape from our mundane lives. Our perspective for living should be to find interest and excitement in our "boring" reality. We don't need an exotic cross-cultural experience to feel on fire and passionate for Christ's calling. We can feel vibrant and purposeful no matter where we live, no matter what we do. 

Find great and meaningful significance in the small insignificances of life.   

Monday, February 6, 2012

Messy Realities

Often, we don't want to learn more about the misfortunes of our world. We would like to continue to hold the same innocent understanding we did as children; trusting that the world is a generally good place. When we know the messy realities of problems in our world, we feel responsible to change them. If we do not try to change them in some way, we feel guilty and selfish; unwelcome feelings.

Yet, ignorance is not bliss, it is cowardice...or apathy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Present Alone is Significant

"Are great dramatic actions really the best clue to understanding human nature? Are they not, rather, a barrier that hides life as it truly is? Isn't 'insignificance' actually one of our greatest problems? Isn't that our fate? And if so, is that fate our good fortune or bad? Our humiliation or, on the contrary, our solace, our escape, our idyll, our refuge?" - Milan Kundera

The series of moments--small, insignificant happenings of daily life--that we disregard now will later be remembered as the life we lived. Are we waiting for "dramatic actions" which will commemorate our lives? it's very likely they will never happen. The essence of human nature is not found in romantic adventures of heroism and stirring theatrics. Life is simple. Realism is accepting things as they are and being prepared to deal with them accordingly. I confess, I am a realist. Life is not dramatic, no matter how hard we try to make it. It is in the little things that we must invest ourselves, for in them is life in its truest state.

For what it is worth, insignificance, I believe, is our good fortune. In an individualistic culture where so much value is put on the self, to be "insignificant" seems our downfall. Yet, it is not on ourself that we should put a standard to be valued. "Significance" is completely subjective. Significance is the meaning we find in words or events, everything that has a name is significant in some way. However, if everything has significance, does that mean nothing is truly significant by its own right? If the significance of life is found in the insignificance of every-day moments, then perhaps the significance of a person is found in the the way he or she lives in those second-to-second timeframes we call "life".

Saturday, February 4, 2012


If the world could hear you speak, what would you say? What words of wisdom would you share with the human race? Would you even care to say anything? Is there anything worth saying at all? What power do words have, anyway? What power do your words have over somebody else's? Who are you to claim you have the right to speak? Who is anybody else to claim you don't? What are rights, anyway? How does the linear flow of justice even matter in this unjust world? Is there even such a thing as true justice? If there is, shouldn't we all be dead? Are we afraid of justice? Are we afraid to speak when the words we speak are hard to say, are followed by consequences? Are we afraid to put our actions where our mouth is? Our we afraid to do more than listen? Would we rather remain comfortably silent than challenged by our own words? Are we afraid to apply what we know to be right?

You mean nothing to the world. But the world means something to you. So for God's sake, speak.
Humanity does not care what you believe. But you care what humanity believes. So for God's sake, speak. Speak, because if you don't believe your voice matters, it won't.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Window of Time

Remember. Close your eyes and picture sitting in your favorite place. Lean back and recollect listening to the most soothing music your ears have ever heard. Think of the last time you tasted your favorite food. Recall the feeling of water being poured over your skin. These are memories. Now visualize. Picture yourself in the future, experiencing all these memories of your past. In your mind the past and the future are not so different. You have the ability to both recall the past, and imagine the future. Although you are a creature constricted by time, you can go behind or ahead of the split second you are caught in by reconstructing the past as you remember and the future you envision. You have a clear sense of time in the way that it moves. You can recall things that happened moments ago as if they were still presently happening. You can usually predict things that will happen in the next few moments, as clearly as if they were happening at that moment. Yet, as the past moves further into the past, and the future further into the future, the less understanding you have of time. All things blur together outside the window of time perceived in your mind. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Right Thing

Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
- By C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

So much of Christianity today is influenced by our culture. "Listen to your heart" and "find yourself" are the common themes we find in movies and the media. It's so easy to get caught up in it! I think that's why God requires that we open our Bibles and meditate. Our minds have to be reminded of what we really believe in! If we don't study, we'll forget. It's just the way our brains work. 

Bible reading doesn't give us some epiphany or spiritual high, it reminds us why we're here. It sets us back on the right track in the right direction. If you don't know where you're headed in your spiritual do you expect to get anywhere?  

People like to form their own sense of identity, so we try to figure out who we are. At the end of the road, we will be disappointed. We'll be frustrated by the reality that we aren't really as great as we thought we were. This is not to come across as condescending, it's to reveal the truth about us: we want, in fact, we need a greater purpose for fulfillment. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I am finding that one must learn for the mere sake of learning. If you try to put an ulterior motive behind your incentive to learn, you will loose the value in it. Knowledge is never pointless. New information has intrinsic worth. Find creative ways to integrate and utilize the random things you discover in a day. Learning must be intentional, the classroom is not the only place to gain knowledge. Discover new ways to apply yourself in the contemporary world.