Friday, May 29, 2009

the story of howies®

howies® is a small, but productive clothing company based out of Cardigan Bay, Wales, England. they playfully boast: "we're the third largest clothing company in Cardigan Bay."

playful often comes to mind when looking at the howies® website. i've been drawn to their sense of style, sense of play, and sense of simplicity for quite some time. i think i stumbled upon the howies sight after Jonny Baker made something from the howies® webite a worship trick years ago.

the company began back in 1995 making t shirts in their flat and then selling them out of the back of a BMX magazine. it took off from there, selling clothes designed to last. designed to be worn. designed to get dirty. they went on to make more than just t shirts...

now 14 years later, they have this to say:
The journey is by no means complete. And the journey so far has taught us some important things. Like where we want to go. And just as importantly, where we don't want to go.
The journey is the destination. sometimes we don't find the answers to life's big questions until we venture out on the journey of uncertainty. Sometimes we don't know where we want to go until we, well... go. (sounds a lot like faith, eh?)
[side notes about the connection between faith and journey: luke 9; john 4; acts 9]

although the clothes are higher priced, the company has a reason for such a price tag (as their set beliefs page says):

A higher quality product will invariably last longer. It will keep on performing as it was designed to for longer before it finally needs replacing. And so over its lifespan it will have consumed less valuable resources than an inferior product that will have been replaced many times.

That's why we make the best quality products that we know how. Because ultimately the best thing we can do for the environment is to make our stuff last a real long time.

this t-shirt runs £25 (about $40 U.S. dollars)
this video below shows 'the making of a t-shirt.' who knew a t shirt could be so exciting?

the making of a t-shirt from howies on Vimeo.

i like their home-grown, grass roots approach to things. they are trying to grow mostly from word of mouth. imagine... spreading a message that you want to be communicated to the masses, through conversations?
kind of like the Gospel, right? spreading good news, about t shirts or Jesus... probably best done via the 'word of mouth' technique.

but howies® appears to be more than just a clothing company. they are portraying an image. a way of life. maybe it's a bit cynical to think that they aren't also in it to make a buck. but i think they are on to something with the way they approach promoting not just clothes, but living.

get outside. play. make things. simplify. experience beauty.

they have a series of wallpapers that are pretty sweet. found HERE on their website.

i've never worn or owned any howies® product... probably never will... unless someday i make it over to England or decide to shell out some major coin to order one and have it shipped to the U.S. but i like how they do things.

there just might be a lesson for us all found in the way of howies® (even if they are trying to make a buck).

Friday, May 15, 2009

complicated vs. simplified

Skate - Life is Complicated. Sport is Simple from howies on Vimeo.

humans. at least humans in the western world...
we tend to make things so chaotic and confusing and complicated.
we are busy. and for what? so we can make more money and buy more things and waste more time and sit on the couch in front of the television?

i say i want to be free from it all, but do i really? how much am i really willing to give up?
i'm too busy to think about that right now.

but there is a simple way that i secretly yearn for. you yearn for it to, i'd bet.

a few weeks back, my almost 4 year old daughter asked if i wanted to be a part of her 'Resting Club'. i asked her what they do in the 'Resting Club'.
her reply:
"play, read stories, make things, have a snack, rest, play some more, brush our teeth, go to bed."

sign me up.


something tells me God would delight in such behavior from mankind.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

random musings from our stay in the hospital while my wife gave birth to our third child

Aultman Hospital WiFi Hotspot near the cafe on floor 1R

just some thoughts that are unrelated to the fact that our third child, Silas was born this morning @ 9:31am.

I don’t know what it is about Hospitals. I feel safe here - yet also feel as though one could get sick here.
it’s eerily quiet at this moment. i am on the mezzanine level of the Bedford Entrance to the hospital.
Florescent lights shine brighter than the sun.
that sense of falseness makes one need to go outside with quickness.
i’ve been outside for a few moments here and there today and it was so warm. the sun could not be consumed enough. looking out the window, a window that does not open was almost torture. yet i feel interested here. i could work here, just not as a doctor. seeing that i do not like blood. it’s permanent daylight. there are parts of the building that know not night.
the lights do not go out here. ever. the building is never empty. the doors have locks - but i suppose for no real reason.

right now a security guard makes his rounds. Available for help or assistance or there just to provide peace to all.

yet i thought about the service aspect of being a doctor or nurse.
what a career. a career of service. yeah, they get paid. yeah, it’s a job. yeah, yeah, yeah. but their job... the job they chose is to serve others. sick, nasty, gross, infected, diseased, dirty, sweaty, broken people. that is how it feels to be in the hospital, i presume. you don’t come here if you are healthy.
there are now two guys driving floor mopping 3 wheeled carts, indoors, waxing the floor (poetic). i’d say they cruise at speeds up to 8 mph. back and forth they go. men on a mission. in their wax cars. looking for dirt to mop up. or perhaps on an evening drive. top down and all. except indoors. in a climate controlled facility.
they make floors shiny. a raw form of service. making the hospital as pleasant looking as possible. in small ways, that means a lot to those who come here for a visit or for a procedure. peace of mind begins with a shiny floor. i suppose.
how hard it is to serve others. how hard it is to truly be in the mindset from sun up til sun down. paid or not. service is service.
yeah, you can serve with a humble heart and still get paid. every man has a right to making a living in the way he/she sees fit.
that is why plumbers and doctors make good money. cuz who you gonna call in the middle of the night when the toilet is stopped up and your drain pipe is clogged? and where you gonna go when your (internal) pipes are broken? to the only place where you can be fixed.
two amish men just walked past. they seem happy. i wonder what a conversation with them would be like. it appears that they know their needs and their need-nots. they know how to serve and to be served. no pride creeping in, i suppose.
as i waste time while jen and baby are tended to by friendly nurse nicole, i’ll write for a few more minutes and then return to the room.
maybe i’ll just enjoy the silence and think about what it means to truly serve and how that might look in my day to day life.
p.s. i just noticed that my seating arrangement here is right underneath a security camera.
somewhere in the back rooms of this hospital that never sleeps, there is a security guard watching me type about how he serves this place.

day 2: 825pm
analogy: baby in utero - you can feel him move, feel him living within; a deep connection between mother and child that can’t be expressed in words (such a deep connection, many woman go into post-partum depression after baby is birthed), you can know what new life really is all about. you are reformed, reshaped, stretched, tugged at, filled up, uncomfortable, comforted, in love and loved

faith in Jesus (true, relational faith): you can feel him move, feel him deep within. you are connected in a way that can’t be fully expressed with words. you are stretched. your state of being is tugged and pulled and challenged. your heart is reshaped, reformed, filled up, comforted, in love and fully loved.

day 3: 4pm
unwavering trust. (thoughts from jen)
our newborn child. he looks at us expecting his needs to be met. and they are. comfort and care. nourishment, hospitality. warmth.
unwavering trust. do i look to Jesus with the same kind of trust?

it was quiet in the lobby. quiet in the halls. the florescent lights still shine bright. reflecting off of the floor. but quiet. is 4pm normally that still? like a mid day break for all.
there are paintings in the lobby near the cancer center. canvas paintings and mixed art creations of survivors and fighters of cancer. every time i walk by i feel compelled to stop and look. i owe it to them to look. they deserve it. i am moved by art. moved by the stories above each image.
the health care worker deserves much respect. i do not like blood or the sight of blood or internal things or the cutting of skin or shots or getting blood drawn or anything else i may have forgotten. yet, i am drawn to the hospital care worker. giving equal to one and all. equal. that is amazing. i am realistic enough to know that for many or for few it can be, at times, just a job. but i’d have to believe that it takes a special person to work in a hospital.
our latest nurse likes to laugh. the other is freakishly tall. both are pleasant and very helpful.

watching Champions League soccer for the second day, yest. saw Chelsea draw 0-0 with Barcelona. Today, Man U is up 1-0 on Arsenal. [this is leg 1 of the semifinals]

finished A Generous Orthodoxy last nite. i feel good. things are coming together in my mind. now if only i can figure out how to process it all and how to express what is inside me to put to use in practical, everyday life and ministry.

day 4: 9:57am
from an interview with Rob Bell by Christianity Today. April 22, 2009 on their web site.
CT: All well and good, but how is this good news to people with no earthly hope? If I'm dying of aids or cancer, I probably don't give a rip about the renewal of all things. I want to know if my sins are forgiven, and when I die, if am I going to see Jesus or not.

RB: “Yes, and I would say that central to that new creation is the problem with the first creation—death. The Resurrection is about God dealing with the death problem. And central to this giant cosmic hope is a very intimate, yes, you can trust this Jesus. You can trust this new creation. You can trust being with him when you die, when you leave this life, however you want to put it. Yes, there is an intensely personal dimension to this giant story that you and I get to be a part of.”

i love that. “you can trust this Jesus. You can trust this new creation.
one more Rob Bell quote from that interview with CT:
I would say that for 10 years, I have tried to invite people to trust Jesus. You can trust this Jesus. You can trust him past, present, future; sins, mistakes, money, sexuality. I think this Jesus can be trusted.

end transmission. end hospital thoughts.