Thursday, December 22, 2011

the darkest night of the year

the sky was black, the terrain, rough, the journey, long - with no end in sight. on the backside of a two day journey, at least (perhaps longer since one was with child). there were no rest areas or 24 hour waffle houses. no Starbucks or truck stops. just the stars above and the ground below. it was the darkest night of the year, an eternity in waiting... and she knew, in the back of her mind, that things would never be the same. but did she realize in her moments of enduring pain that 'twas not only her life that would be change forever?

just as pain was about to bring forth a blessed hope so to would pain, in time, bring forth the ultimate second chance for all mankind - but that time was not for now. the world wasn't ready for that... yet.

nor was the world ready for the humbleness of what was coming... the gentleness... and lowliness.

upon arrival in the man's hometown - a simple town called Bethlehem - it appeared difficult to find a place to house him and his young bride, now nine months pregnant. it was late and the little town was quiet. no one even noticed their arrival. whom would they bother? where could they go? the trip had taken longer than expected and the estimated arrival at mid day came and went. it was now the middle of the night and the woman was in great pain, tired and weak from a long journey. uncomfortable. out of breath. the man, Joseph, had blisters on his sandled feet. ankles scratched and bloodied. his legs shivering from the cold, trembling with exhaustion from the walk. yet, not a word of complaint dripped from his lips.

in the quiet of the night his mind raced, trying to find a solution to their midnight loneliness. his family long gone from the region left him with limited options. Mary, his wife began to cry. to be pregnant sans shelter was not the way she had imagined it all. deep down she knew that tonight was the night.

Joseph's pride was crushed, his head sulked - wishing and hoping for a miracle - that some form of shelter would appear... that some kind soul would be awake and willing. little did he realize the true miracle that would soon take place. he did his best to conceal his worry worn across his face as they wandered through town. finally, on the outskirts on the east end - a half empty stable. a few cows lingered. some sheep penned up behind. a cold wind rushed across the barren night sky. clouds now hid the stars. this place was the best option.

Mary dismounted from the donkey and crawled to a gathering of hay. her discomfort was overwhelming. Joseph did his best to make her at peace. she tried to send the pain below - but it was too much to bear. She cried out 'My God, My God - where are you now!' 'Your will be done!' the man did his best to support her, his heart aching as he watched his new bride go through torment. But deep down, both tried to squelch the little doubt that would creep into heart and mind. they yearned to believe, to hope that all that had been foretold was about to happen... that a Messiah would be born from her womb. and then the pain overtook her, to the point that not a mere thought could be completed.

Despite the smells of that old barn; despite the cold chill that seeped through the cracks; despite the small fire that barely cut through the darkness, Mary endured for what seemed like hours, the livestock none the wiser to their role in what would become the greatest of stories. the sheep resting peacefully were undisturbed from the cries of agony.

and the moment finally came.

and the world would never be the same.

a sigh of relief. a comforting husband. a simple birth in the lowest of places... the first of many unexpected signs of grace. and the Savior of the world entered the world. the cord was cut, cloths wrapped around him, now nestled tightly against his mothers breast.

and their was peace. stillness. across the land.

passed out from exhaustion, Mary lay with child, resting in the hay. and in the distance a shining light followed by what sounded like exuberant celebration. somewhat surprising at this hour. it was not quite daybreak. Soon, some shepherds from a nearby pasture made their way to the stable. Joseph stoked the fire, a sort of symbolic stirring of the gift of life, the gift of light that was to be found in this newborn son - both his son and His son. Joseph looked to the sky and gave thanks. 'Here, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One. Thanks be to God. May my lips never cease to praise Your majestic name.'

as he was praying the shepherds arrived. 'Is it true? Is this for real?' History in the making, they thought. 'We've come to see the baby - the chosen one, the Messiah!' An angel had appeared to them and told them of the majesty.

it was at that time that the Christ child first showed himself to mankind - a mankind that would, in time, betray and rebel against him. But in the humbleness of his birth a message was implanted into the hearts of all that would receive it.

The one true God works in mysterious ways. Sending his son to Earth in the form of a baby - sweet, innocent, gentle, meek and mild was the only way for hope to arrive, so that it could not be manipulated and abused.

Hope for the world arrived on that dark night. and it was the last time that darkness would have dominion. from that point the true light would shine. in time, some would attempt to extinguish God's messenger of peace, hope and love - but that too was only temporary. This new light was life - for now and always for all eternity.

and the void within man's heart could now be filled - and his name was the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel. Wonderful. Counselor. who entered the world on that darkest night of the year. and our lives would never be the same...


and so the story goes...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Book Review: Insurrection

Insurrection: To Believe Is Human, To Doubt Is DivineInsurrection: To Believe Is Human, To Doubt Is Divine by Peter Rollins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


it may take me a few days or weeks to wrap my head around Insurrection by Peter Rollins. There's a lot to digest in it or perhaps I'm just being stretched (which i will admit is a good thing).



I've read The Orthodox Heretic by Rollins and heard him speak a time or two and have always been fascinated with his art of storytelling and his fresh perspective so i found it no surprise that Insurrection drew me in from page one.



what i appreciated about this book was Rollins' ability to paint a picture of what a faith without religion looks and feels like - particularly though the lens of CRUCIFIXION and RESURRECTION.



each chapter begins with an anecdotal story (much like The Orthodox Heretic), which is Rollins' specialty. Part I deals with the Crucifixion with chapters on our rationalization of our Christian worldview, belief and doubt, religious sayings and vicarious faith. Part II deals with Resurrection with chapters on hiding from ourselves, destiny, insurrection and finishing with neither Christian nor Non-Christian.



When discussing doubt and loss (associated with the crucifixion) Rollins says:

"On the Cross, Christ is rejected by his friends, betrayed by the religious authorities, and crucified by the political leaders. We witness here, in the starkest of terms, the loss of all those structures that ground us and give us the comfort that life makes sense. More than this, Christ experiences the loss of that which grounds each of these realms - God."




Rollins suggests that forsakenness as faith exists as a central expression of one's faith, experienced in us through the Cross. "It's something that we must step into and courageously embrace."



It is through this loss, this abandonment on the Cross that Christ becomes everything we were, are or ever will be.



God is lost and found in the sorrow, in the debt.



Rollins goes on to say that our proper expression of faith is found when we cut loose from religion in the depth of our soul and experience the loss of God. Perhaps so that we may be stripped of every and all preconception, misconception, suppositions and certainties about God - thus able to see and connect with a raw form of belief. In other words - we need to rid ourselves of the 'Church as a security blanket' mentality - and embrace a faith filled with doubt, questions and disagreements. sort of an atheistic faith of sorts. stripped away. bare. exposed. real.



His stories of Mother Theresa help paint a picture of what a stripped away doubting faith looks like.



In part II (Resurrection) Rollins discusses faith, belief and practice: "our practices do not fall short of our beliefs, but are the concrete material expression of them..."



The danger for the church arises when a life of faith is reduced to a crutch - where Christ, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection becomes something we pay lip service to. (sounds all too familiar for the church in America, unfortunately).



Chapter 6 titled We Are Destiny was by far the most profound of the book. before we can understand destiny - we must proceed through a sort of spiritual death of sorts.

Just as the resurrected Christ is said to have borne the scars of the Crucifixion, so our Resurrection life will continue to bear the marks of the death we had to undergo. This new mode of living is not one in which the anxiety of death, meaninglessness, and guilt are taken away; it is one in which they are robbed of their weight and sting."




The resurrection is the embodiment of love divine. New life. rooted in God love through rebirth - victory over death... over pain... over sin... over loss... guilt, lonesomeness, etc. But each of those experiences are not extinct in love - but a part of the order of faith. We discover divine love through loving an unlovable world. God is in turn loved through the work of love itself.



God is present in said love.



Resurrection life breeds courageous freedom. This is the insurrection - an alternative vision of the world. Maintaining the status quo has no part of insurrection - what a most difficult challenge for us all.



Rollins reminds us that a better world is possible. This movement is discovered through giving up everything for God, through acts of giving up everything (including God) to the point when we become the very site of God (Resurrection life).



There is so much more for me to chew on with Insurrection. So many notes in the margins to rehash... underlined quotes to revisit as well.



I am glad i took the time to ingest this book. My hope that i'll be compelled to act upon the inspiring words within.







View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

stories

stories are the heart of who we are as a people, as a society, as a culture. the blood that flows through our veins is saturated with mere words and memories of experiences, good and bad. some oft remembered, others suppressed and hidden deep within. our past, present and future is dependent on stories.

the more we suppress our stories and the stories of old, the more we become disengaged from each other and from the difficult truths of our collective pasts.

stories are a pathway to freedom, to confidence, and to a greater perspective that the world is greater than our realm. without regard, we must chew on our stories - no matter how refreshing to digest nor how difficult it may be to swallow. we must claw at it, dig deep, investigate and uncover. we must not take for granted the truth that is found in the stories of the world. for their words are they fuel that propels us beyond the mundane.

our collective story must be told and retold in order to bring about the future we've all dreamed of... a future that we never thought possible.

it all starts with stories.

what will your story be?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

(hope)






















('there's got to be a better way' - my mantra as of late.)
('another world is possible - inspired by jonny baker.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

it's all about perspective

this past weekend, i led a retreat with the youth group and decided to become intentional about taking a simplified approach. i designed a series of mini sessions with the flexibility of adding to or deleting from any given session at any given time. the retreat was dubbed the Q Retreat. the Q stood for Quest - whereas looking at life's big questions involves a 'quest' of sorts, a journey leading deep into one's very soul.

perhaps the deepest question was this "What does your soul look like?"

Some inspiration for the retreat derived from Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake website and book. Other ideas came from the power of music (U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For; Katie Herzig - Make a Noise; Mumford & Sons - Awake My Soul etc), images (workisnotajob.com - the artwork gallery), creativity (howies® - life is complicated), film (nameless moment from erwin mcmanus) and scripture (among others: james 4:7-10; john 21:1-14)

discussions ranged from 'How to deal with the unbalance of life' to 'Things we search for' and to 'Things that make life complicated'. At one point the students made a list of 'Life's Biggest Questions.' This, no doubt, was most meaningful and impacting.

After a lengthy discussion on the tough questions of life (why do bad things happen to good people?, how do i know God's calling on my life?, what is my purpose? etc.) i showed this video: (a video made In Association with: the Melbourne Skydive Centre)

Experience Human Flight from Betty Wants In on Vimeo. [info]

after it completed i said "The next time you get consumed with life's big questions, remember... someone in Australia is skydiving."

in other words: it's all about perspective. for the person experiencing human flight the view is simple yet magnificent... the challenge overwhelming yet exhilarating. basically, God is in control. He enables mankind to do great and mighty things. and some things can make our problems look small... from His perspective, there is a plan and that path leads to full life.

Later, after a discussion on life's big dreams and a challenge for students to 'dream big' i showed this video:

Experience Zero Gravity from Betty Wants In on Vimeo. [info]

after viewing it, i said "the next time you think and feel your dreams are too big to accomplish remember... someone is base jumping in Switzerland."

lastly, at the end of the retreat after a final discussion about how life can become overwhelming and tempt us to go back rather than go forward (see John 21) i showed this video:



I concluded by saying "the next time you let life overwhelm you remember... someone is surfing off the coast of California."

it's all about perspective. form God's POV he's got the everything under control. he's got a plan for one and all and his creation speaks of his power and might and order.

life is complicated - but when we utilize our senses to see, hear, taste, touch and smell all that God has for us our perspective suddenly simplifies our life. even if for a moment... it's a moment given to us by God himself.

it's all about perspective. sometimes a change of scenery is all we need...


God is good... All the time...

Friday, November 18, 2011

listening to (the history of...)

since may 25th, 2005, 56,725 songs have been counted as 'listened to' by Last FM, a scrobbling app that tracks songs played on iTunes and now Spotify. the number of songs listened to is assuredly much higher than 56 thousand - not every song has been tracked (such as some plays on iPod's or iPhones or if the app is turned off, etc.) regardless, my Last FM page (if nothing else) shows a fair representation of what i listen to.

i've been a music fan since childhood, where i can remember 'borrowing' my sisters 45's and cassettes. i think my first cassette was either The Police - Synchronicity or Michael Jackson - Thriller. i bought my first 45 at age 11, in 1985. it was 'Til Tuesday's one hit wonder Voices Carry. after collecting a handful of cassettes and 45's i progressed on to the 'cassingle' mostly consisting of late 80's/early 90's hip hop (Biz Markie, Young MC, Public Enemy, Digital Underground, etc.) i can remember hoping in my friends vintage hatchback after school and driving to the music store. on a weekly basis we'd spend a buck and pick up the latest hits.

after that, the compact disc invaded my soul and i was never the same. first CD purchases included George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice vol. 1, Bell Biv Devoe - Poison & U2 - Rattle and Hum. over the next decade plus I accumulated well over 500 discs... with many bought, traded or sold... some of which I wish I had kept. over time i very well may have had many many more - but I lost count and once the CD burner was invented, my CD numbers sky rocketed.

A few years back I all but gave up on the compact disc and mostly purchase music digitally or now (with Spotify) listen to it streamed on the internet.

many music forms have come and gone. some have returned (i have a nice collection of vinyl records that I play once in a while - thanks to scouring garage sales and second hand shops - my most treasured being The Beatles - Rubber Soul).

Through these many musical transitions, my ears have been exposed to a plethora of genres and styles and my horizons have been expanded.

here is a list of my 15 most listened to artists as logged by Last FM - over the past 6 and a 1/2 years:

I've always loved U2 - going back to the mid 80's when i found a U2 sticker as a prize in the bottom of a cereal box. (i kid you not, that's how i first heard of them - perhaps around 1984 or 85) From there I was exposed to The Joshua Tree (thanks to my sister who saw them in concert on that tour). But my love for them took off when the Rattle and Hum movie came out... i still own that on VHS - although I think I wore it out.

i think i first found out about The Appleseed Cast around 2001 or 2002 via message boards over at Relevant.com. I sent away for Low Level Owl vol. 1 & 2 from Deep Elm and fell in love. Many listens ever since!

I think it was my friend Steviac who introduced me to Explosions in the Sky. They may now be my most favorite band. Seeing them live was monumental - a greatest hit moment in my life. I have yet to grow weary of any one of their songs... instrumental, progressive rock from Austin, Texas.

What's not to love about Radiohead? I never got much into Pablo Honey other than watching Creep on MTV a thousand times... but The Bends changed things... and then OK Computer really changed things. I bought that album after seeing the video for Paranoid Android and my life changed after hearing that in its entirety. simply brilliant.

What's not to love about Coldplay? A Rush of Blood to the Head is one of the best albums of all time.

I first saw David Crowder*Band at the National Youth Workers Convention in 2002. They had so much fun playing and worshiping - they were great performers. I was hooked. It's sad to know that they are nearing the end of their run.

I discovered Decoder Ring via eMusic. I signed up for one of their free promotional campaigns and downloaded a bunch of rare stuff. This Australian band is very unique... it was the soundtrack to the movie Somersault that hooked me. Every one of their albums is unique and I always seem to stumble on new things from them as their new stuff slowly migrates to America. They've had instrumental albums, ones with vocals, electronic albums and soundtrack-esque one's, too.

Muse. first listened to them because i was told they sounded like Radiohead. although their are similarities, Muse is more epic... another of my many favorite bands from across the Atlantic.

South was an English band that piqued my interest via Q Magazine ( a British music mag) as far back as 2001 or 02. I remember hearing them/seeing them on MTV2 also. i had to search high and low to get my hands on their album and it did not disappoint. Paint the Silence was the song that got me interested. I am most proud of 'discovering' this band. They had a string of really great albums before disbanding a few years ago.

I honestly don't recall where I found out about The Innocence Mission... perhaps it was my wife who has always had a knack for finding really good singer/songwriter and independent musicians. The simplicity and childlike nature of their music is lovely... a beautiful expression of the love of God.

The Beatles are rock and roll. The Beatles are pop music. What artist hasn't been influenced by them? the medley at the end of Abbey Road is nothing short of genius. i dare you to listen to tracks 9-17 and not be moved.

i started getting in to Bob Dylan a few years back when, with birthday money I deemed it my civic responsibility to collect and own some of the classic albums of all time. Along with Sgt. Peppers, Pet Sounds, Dark Side of the Moon, etc. I picked up The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. From there i picked up Another Side, Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, Saved, Slow Train Coming, Bringing it all Back Home, Highway 61, The Times They are a Changing and and a series of bootlegs. a brilliant collection, i'd say.

Underworld was the featured artist in the movie Trainspotting. My late 90's electronica phase piqued with Second Toughest in the Infants and the song Pearl's Girl. but their music never went out of style, as far as i'm concerned. 2010's Barking was one of my favs from last year.

Johnny Cash is a legend. your collection isn't complete without Live at Folsom Prison or Live at San Quentin.

Electronic low-fi maestros Boards of Canada provide soothing electo beats simplified to sooth the soul. i can't remember how i became a fan - i just know that i am. the video for their song Dayvan Cowboy is magnificent and moving. BoC is the perfect instrumental electronic band, perfect for the background of life's simpler events.

These are my 15 most listened to artists. there are more that don't make the top 15 that have captivated my heart and soul, too - but these artists are special to me.

music is life. what is it about a song that it can become so powerful? music has power like nothing else... it's an art form like no other... and now you know a little more about the music that means the most to me.

time to put on the headphones...

collage

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a quiet yes.

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.
James 4:7-10 (the Message)


sometimes the Word is enough. no need to add to it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

try




















you wanna get things done? gotta try. wanna bring about change? gotta try.
the secret word that changes the world.

Friday, November 11, 2011

morning bell: saints

thoughts from
@morningbell2u (in Devon UK)
an early morning call to prayer in the spirit of the monastics
http://www.ianadams.info/Site/morning_bell.html

saints don't have to control everything; they nurture openness to the surprising Spirit...



saints recognize and resist whatever dehumanizes us; they also see goodness everywhere and celebrate it...



saints try to do the good and right thing, whatever the cost



saints live in and live out their calling - pray for a new sense of your calling today...




Saints give themselves fully to both happiness and lament. From this grows a quiet joy that changes the world...



Saints don't hurt easily because their sense of belonging is deep. You are loved. This is enough....



Saints know that they are grounded in God's life and love. Let every step you take today take you into this experience...



which one do you connect with most?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joe Montana and the Empty Wallet

Creative Writing assignment. idea taken from/inspired by:
http://soulpancake.com/activities/view/1642/money-matters.html

Write a monetized micro-story. 300 words or less. Give your story a title.


[mine comes in at over 500... oops]

Joe Montana and the Empty Wallet

It was a rainy afternoon in the fall of yesteryear. The family station wagon, yellow and rusted, was filled: mom and dad up front, older sisters one, two and three in the middle, me in the back. It was the monthly Saturday shopping trip to the discount store. All of the women of the family went in, the men stayed in the car. I was no man, though - a mere 7 or 8 - but I felt like one now sitting in my mom's front seat next to my dad, listening to news radio.

And we waited… and we waited… and waited some more. My dad said "It's what men do… wait on women!" Then he laughed. I didn't. I was impatient. My mind began to think of all the things inside that department store that i would want. I made a list in my head. My eyes grew big and my heart began to race. I knew what could make the torment of waiting be forgotten and forgiven.

Football cards. Yeah. Football… I had begun collecting trading cards a few years earlier, mostly baseball but this was a November Saturday. It was football season and I wanted football cards. I didn't want the measly single pack with 15 cards, I wanted the three pack with 51 cards, wrapped in cellophane, no doubt hanging near the check out counter, luring young boys to nag their parents to buy them.

Now all I had to do was get in the store.

My dad, enjoying the newscast wouldn't budge. I asked my dad if I could "please, please, please get a pack of football cards?"

"I don't have any money" my dad said. I didn't believe him. What kid does when a parent says that? Of course he has money. He's a dad.

I pressed him more and more… begged… pleaded… begged some more. With raised voices, we went back and forth.

Then finally, the moment of infamy arrived. Looking me square in the eye my dad firmly spoke "I don't have anything."

I asked him to show me his wallet… a no no for kids… but he did it… he opened it up… and there, inside was a crisp one dollar bill. no other bills but one. Gazing at his last dollar, I asked if I could have it and he obliged.

That rainy Saturday afternoon, at the age of 7 or 8, I took my dad's last dollar, went in to the store and walked out with a cellophane wrapped pack of 1882 Topps football cards. With a Joe Montana action shot staring at me through the clear plastic wrap, I was now in heaven.

Twenty five years later as I said my last goodbyes to my father, all I could think of was that rainy Saturday afternoon when he literally gave me all that he had, in order to bring me just a fraction of joy wrapped in cellophane. Even though my dad is no longer with me, I still have that Joe Montana card. It now serves as an everlasting reminder of how great my father really was and how a measly gift of a dollar bill can have lasting effects on one's life.

~Tim Beck
Oct 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

what's next for church.

When the form changes, so does the underlying business model, which of course changes the function as well.

Mail ---> email

Books ---> ebooks

DVD ---> YouTube/Netflix

1040 ---> Online taxes

Visa ---> Paypal

Open outcry ---> Electronic trading

Voice call centers ---> forums and online chat

Direct mail ---> permission marketing

In each case, the original players in the legacy industry decided that the new form could be bolted onto their existing business model. And in each case they were wrong. Speed and marginal cost and ubiquity and a dozen other elements of digitalness changed the interaction itself, and so the function changes too.

The question that gets asked about technology, the one that is almost always precisely the wrong question is, "How does this advance help our business?"

The correct question is, "how does this advance undermine our business model and require us/enable us to build a new one?"

There are projects that are possible with ebooks or Kickstarter or email that could never have worked in an analog universe. Most of the money made in the stock market today is via trading approaches that didn't even exist thirty years ago.

When a change in form comes to your industry, the first thing to discover is how it will change the function.

~Seth Godin

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/10/form-and-function.html


how does this message relate to the church and its future?

"When a change in form comes to your industry, the first thing to discover is how it will change the function."


i believe that mainline denominations have considered the changing of church but i don't know that mainline denominations have ever considered how it will change its function. society is changing. culture is changing. how we communicate, interact and gather information is changing. social media and technology surely have showed us just how magnificent and powerful that medium can be. just look at the civilian uprising in the mid-east. Social media played a significant role in its progress. people mobilized quickly because of Twitter and Facebook and as a result, a series of revolutions.

the world is changing rapidly. but is the church?

if we, the church, are asking the question (and many of us are not willing to consider asking) perhaps we are asking the wrong question.

The question that gets asked about technology, the one that is almost always precisely the wrong question is, "How does this advance help our business?"

The correct question is, "how does this advance undermine our business model and require us/enable us to build a new one?"


how does the advancement of society, social media, technology or whatever new thing is on the horizon undermine not our message of Gospel (for it is the same yesterday, today and forever ) but our business model (how we 'do' church) and require us to build a new one? i don't know if we are truly willing to build a new model for living and doing church. but i am hopeful that there may be some willing to try.

i think Seth's post, although about business, is hearty food for thought for any church planter or redeveloper. other leaders of congregations should take notice as well, for the good of the church and for the sake of its survival.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs passed away last night. this is my tribute.

(posted last nite)
Steve Jobs was a brilliant man. a revolutionary. a visionary. a great thinker who saw the potential of '1000 songs in your pocket' and sold us on why we needed it. he designed products with class and a sense of style, with operating systems that were simple and stunning, that made us awestruck. i bought in to his vision and my life is better because of it. he inspired me, my wife and my 8 year old son who boldly proclaimed 3 years ago 'i want to be him when i grows up.' Thank you Steve and rest in peace.




(posted this morning)
i type this today while perusing the internet on my iMac. when i head to work in a few moments, i'll take calls, listen to music and check e-mail on my iPhone. when my wife gets going, she'll edit photos for her photography business on her MacBook Pro. my two year old will then play educational games on the iPad and when my other kids get home from school, after finishing their homework and playing outside, they'll no doubt play on the iPod. Thank you Steve Jobs for being an integral part of every day. Again, rest in peace.


Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs: Cult Hero
Steve Jobs: Font Innovator
Steve Jobs: Key dates from his life and work
Steve Jobs: Design Perfectionist
Steve Jobs: Impact on the sports world





This commercial introducing the Macintosh computer premiered during the 1984 Super Bowl. It signaled the beginning of a whole new way of looking at how humans could interact with computers and technology.

1984



Think Different



think different. that is one of many things i will take from Steve Jobs. Think different. Dare to change the world.

Thanks Steve. You gave us what we didn't know we needed.

you will be missed.



[addendum]
Some key dates from the life and work of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.:

1955: Stephen Paul Jobs is born on Feb. 24.

1972: Jobs enrolls at Reed College in Portland, Ore., but drops out after a semester.

1974: Jobs works for video game maker Atari and attends meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

1975: Jobs and Woz attend Homebrew Computer Club meetings.

1976: Apple Computer is formed on April Fool's Day, shortly after Wozniak and Jobs create a new computer circuit board in a Silicon Valley garage. A third co-founder, Ron Wayne, leaves the company after less than two weeks. The Apple I computer goes on sale by the summer for $666.66.

1977: Apple is incorporated by its founders and a group of venture capitalists. It unveils Apple II, the first personal computer to generate color graphics. Revenue reaches $1 million.

1978: Jobs' daughter Lisa is born to girlfriend Chrisann Brennan.

1979: Jobs visits Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, and is inspired by a computer with a graphical user interface.

1980: Apple goes public, raising $110 million in one of the biggest initial public offerings to date.

1982: Annual revenue climbs to $1 billion.

1983: The Lisa computer goes on sale with much fanfare, only to be pulled two years later. Jobs lures John Sculley away from Pepsico Inc. to serve as Apple's CEO.

1984: Iconic "1984" Macintosh commercial directed by Ridley Scott airs during the Super Bowl. The Macintosh computer goes on sale.

1985: Jobs and Sculley clash, leading to Jobs' resignation. Wozniak also resigns from Apple this year.

1986: Jobs starts Next Inc., a new computer company making high-end machines for universities. He also buys Pixar from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas for $10 million.

1989: First NeXT computer goes on sale with a $6,500 price tag.

1991: Apple and IBM Corp. announce an alliance to develop new PC microprocessors and software. Apple unveils portable Macs called PowerBook.

1993: Apple introduces the Newton, a hand-held, pen-based computer. The company reports quarterly loss of $188 million in July. Sculley is replaced as CEO by Apple president Michael Spindler. Apple restructures, and Sculley resigns as chairman. At Next, Jobs decides to focus on software instead of whole computers.

1994: Apple introduces Power Macintosh computers based on the PowerPC chip it developed with IBM and Motorola. Apple decides to license its operating software and allow other companies to "clone" the Mac, adopting the model championed by Microsoft Corp.

1995: The first Mac clones go on sale. Microsoft releases Windows 95, which is easier to use than previous versions and is more like the Mac system. Apple struggles with competition, parts shortages and mistakes predicting customer demand. Pixar's "Toy Story," the first commercial computer-animated feature, hits theaters. Pixar goes to Wall Street with an IPO that raises $140 million.

1996: Apple announces plans to buy Next for $430 million for the operating system Jobs' team developed. Jobs is appointed an adviser to Apple. Gil Amelio replaces Spindler as CEO.

1997: Jobs becomes "interim" CEO after Amelio is pushed out. He foreshadows the marketing hook for a new product line by calling himself "iCEO." Jobs puts an end to Mac clones.

1998: Apple returns to profitability. It shakes up personal computer industry in 1998 with the candy-colored, all-in-one iMac desktop, the original models shaped like a futuristic TV. Apple discontinues the Newton.

2000: Apple removes "interim" label from Jobs' CEO title.

2001: The first iPod goes on sale, as do computers with OS X, the modern Mac operating system based on Next software. Apple also releases iTunes software.

2003: Apple launches the iTunes Music Store with 200,000 songs at 99 cents each, giving people a convenient way to buy music legally online. It sells 1 million songs in the first week.

2004: Jobs undergoes surgery for a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer. Apple discloses his illness after the fact.

2005: Apple expands the iPod line with the tiny Nano and an iPod that can play video. The company also announces that future Macs will use Intel chips.

2006: Disney buys Pixar for $7.4 billion. Jobs becomes Disney's largest individual shareholder, and much of his wealth is derived from this sale.

2007: Apple releases its first smartphone, the iPhone. Crowds camp overnight at stores to be one of the first to own the new device.

2008: Speculation mounts that Jobs is ill, given weight loss. In September he kicks off an Apple event and says, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," making a play off a famous Mark Twain quote after Bloomberg News accidentally publishes, then retracts, an obituary that it had prepared in advance.

2009: Jobs explains severe weight loss by saying he has a treatable hormone imbalance and that he will continue to run Apple. Days later he backtracks and announces he will be on medical leave. He returns to work in June. Later it is learned that he received a liver transplant.

2010: Apple sells 15 million of its newest gadget, the iPad, in nine months, giving rise to a new category of modern touch-screen tablet computers.

Jan. 17, 2011: In a memo to Apple employees, Jobs announces a second medical leave with no set duration. Cook again steps in to run day-to-day operations. Jobs retains CEO title and remains involved in major decisions.

Aug. 24, 2011: Apple announces that Jobs is resigning as CEO. Cook takes the CEO title, and Apple names Jobs chairman.

Oct. 5, 2011: Jobs dies at 56. Apple announces his death without giving a specific cause.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

calling

[rundown from a youth worship service i designed - october second]

What is your calling in life?
MOVE. EAT. LEARN.
below are three great videos from Rick Mereki - an Australian film maker. these short 1 minute films were used for an Australian travel agency. but they are brilliant and creative. i used them as part of a youth worship service on 'Understanding Your Calling' (becoming the person God called you to be).


http://vimeo.com/27246366
how can we know our calling if we stand still?


http://vimeo.com/27243869
embracing + consuming the life God gives you is part of your calling.


http://vimeo.com/27244727
willingness to learn new things will help you connect with God's purpose for your life.

i also tied in the Bethany Hamilton story from I Am Second.
you don't have to be perfect in order for God to use you - in order to fulfill your calling, etc.

scripture references: 1 Peter 2:4-10 (the message); the story of Josiah; Revelation 2:17

also used insight for designing this service from Grace - a fresh faith fellowship in London (titled The Becoming, Sept 2011) [i adapted it for youth]
and from Jonny Baker (you've arrived / you've not arrived)


~Tim

Thursday, September 22, 2011

i still haven't found...




there are some things in life that a human being needs to be reminded of over and over. these messages can be found at the heart of all life.

they are:
man was not meant to be alone.
+
life is about the journey, not the destination.

when we lose sight of those two things - we lose sight purpose, meaning, restoration and hope.




it's not coincidental that those two themes are prevalent throughout the pages of the Holy Scriptures - from Genesis to Revelation.

while reading Maggi Dawn's book The Writing on the Wall this afternoon i was reminded of these themes. there is uncertainty in life. we'd like for things to be tidied up, wrapped in a box with a bow placed on top - but that is not our reality. life is messy and we all need restoration. we all need companionship. without the possibility for reconciliation and community man can not help but lose hope... and when you take away a man's hope - you take away his life.

but our hope is found in salvation. our hope is found in the journey.

i like how Maggi Dawn puts it:
"The Bible does not really give a picture of salvation as a simplistic answer to everything, but as a moment in an unfolding quest."


we are on an unfolding quest. together. but like the U2 song says "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." we may not know everything about the journey or where it may be leading us - but we still search. we must! our road is lined with simple messages - opportunities for us to connect with others, to connect with the earth and to connect with a loving God. and the journey is essential to our life.

remember what brought down Adam & Eve in the garden? Pride.

if we think we've arrived then we've reached a dangerous place. if we think we know a better way than God then we are bound for destruction.

if we think we can go it alone along the path then we're bound to wander - like the one sheep out of the 99. (but remember how the shepherd goes after that lost one?) you can't make it on your own. nobody can.

God has a plan. God has a purpose for us all. but we must seek. we must not remain stagnant. we must cry out. we must keep hope alive. and despite the fact that we don't know everything... and despite the fact that we at times feel alone and even despite of ourselves - God shows us a light. and the light is life. remain in the light... it brightens our path... it highlights our unity.

may we journey down the winding road together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

thoughts on 9/11

On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, considering Presidents Bush and Obama have spent billions asking the military to rectify the crime of a small band of lawless individuals, destroying a couple of nations who had little to do with it, in the costliest, longest series of wars in the history of the United States.

The silence of most Christians and the giddy enthusiasm of a few, as well as the ubiquity of flags and patriotic extravaganzas in allegedly evangelical churches, says to me that American Christians may look back upon our response to 9/11 as our greatest Christological defeat. It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the nonviolent way of Jesus is stupid. All of us preachers share the shame; when our people felt very vulnerable, they reached for the flag, not the Cross.

September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on our own terms by crucifying God’s own Son.

~Will Willimon, presiding bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church

as quote in Christianity Today - from the article How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11 found here and here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

happenings


do you speak Christian? [read] in case you didn't know - we've created our own lingo. has the church ever thought how others perceive it's made up words, lingo and false sense of wittiness? [ahem... cheesy church signs anyone?]

how should the church be anyway? i think this video sums it up [this is discipleship]

p.s. are you reading the Bible literally? perhaps you shouldn't? [read]


on other fronts:

i am eager to see this documentary movie [the interrupters]. can it change an inner city culture of violence?

sadly London is burning as riots continue for the third straight day. [pictures] i feel for the sane citizens of that city. author, visionary, teacher and poet, kester brewin, a London native vented when he wrote this poem [warning - harsh language - but you can understand his p.o.v.]

this new way of utilzing the creativity of modern photography is rather stunning. [cinemagraphs] [etc.] [etc.] [etc.]

how else will new art change our ideas, ideals & ideologies?
make art. now that's a concept i can get behind.

now move along.




Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Sunday Asylum

Sunday Asylum: Being the Church in Occupied TerritorySunday Asylum: Being the Church in Occupied Territory by Stanley Hauerwas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


short and sweet and to the point. Hauerwas has insightful comments on the topics of belief, conformity, worship despair, hope & the kingdom of God. Jason Barnhart adds thought provoking commentary to Hauerwas' thoughts.



I liked all 5 chapters - but took exception to most of the chapter on worship. in that - i feel Hauerwas misses the boat - or at least doesn't fully understand where some modern worship is all about.



regardless - the book was easy to read and worth my time.



it is set up to be used as a 5 week curriculum for a small group. there also appears to be a video to coincide with this book - but i felt the book was fine on it's own.



View all my reviews

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Following Jesus is not meant to make my life safe

Following Jesus is not meant to make my life safe, secure, comfortable, or more tolerable to a majority of Americans. It definitely won't compartmentalize down to a nice, cozy pocket! in the same way, Jesus is larger than a political affiliation, so my allegiance to him should be greater than my allegiance to a political party. Following Jesus is going to make my life dysfunctional to most Americans.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Curating Worship

Curating WorshipCurating Worship by Jonny Baker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


i've followed Jonny Baker's blog for a many years now and i've always enjoyed his posts about worship - so it was no surprise that i also liked his book: Curating Worship.



Curating Worship is mostly a collection of conversations with alt worship leaders, designers, creators and visionaries all whom seem very capable with their craft in their own right. Baker's book dives deep into the world of alternative worship - and he brings an interesting perspective on what the role of a worship designer might be - comparing it to a curator of art at an art exhibit or museum.



i really clung to this analogy and felt a close connection with this form of worship creating. in my experiences of leading, designing and coordinating worship services, interactions and experiences i've never quite known how to describe exactly what it is that i am most passionate about. this book helped me process my God-given desire and passion.



i feel drawn to the role of curator. the church in America needs more curators of worship to help people connect with a living and loving God (in a fresh way).



the ideas and stories shared in Baker's book were inspiring and helpful. I underlined and highlighted a lot - particularly the interview with the leaders/creators of Ikon in Ireland.



the appendix in the back was also helpful for any one person or group eager to learn the in's and out's of how to put together an interactive worship service.



bravo Jonny Baker for bringing forth a fresh perspective of how one might lead others to experiential & connected worship of God.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the reality for the follower of Jesus is that we do not need to make the world work


the reality for the follower of Jesus is that we do not need to make the world work. this lie from Christendom has led to more despair than hope. When people die unexpectedly, we don't have to act like we understand or know why. when economies tank, we don't have to have all the answers, you see, when we assume we need to have all the answers and need to eliminate all the mystery in the world, we crucify hope, never experiencing the kingdom reality that is faith.

jason barnhart from the book Sunday Asylum. ch. 3

Friday, July 08, 2011

the Cross is the greatest source of tension the world has ever known.



thoughts while reading ch 2: conflict vs. comfort from the book Sunday Asylum.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

an exploration of Proverbs 20:27

Proverbs 20:27

New International Version (NIV)

27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the LORD
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

Footnotes:
  1. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are

The Message (MSG)
27 God is in charge of human life,
watching and examining us inside and out.


New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 The [a](A)spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the [b]innermost parts of his being.

Footnotes:
  1. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  2. Proverbs 20:27 Lit chambers of the body

Amplified Bible (AMP)

27The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.(A)


King James Version (KJV)

27The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.


Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

27The breath of man [is] a lamp of Jehovah, Searching all the inner parts of the heart.


Common English Bible (CEB)

27 The breath of a person
is the lamp of the LORD,
searching all the inmost parts.



---


what is inhaled and exhaled... what is spoken from the depth of our soul... the intake and exhaust of our spirit is the light that cannot be extinguished. that illumination is the means for which our Lord examines our inner-most self. as if we could ever think we could hide from God...the essence of who we are is light. that light - from God - exposes our true self... our true motive... our true faith... our true source of life. we may drink from the streams of the Lord or we may drink from the streams of the world. The Lord sees the fruits produced from either source... we can not fool God.


but only true life... only true forever-living breath comes from a soul yearning for the Lord, connected to His life-blood, Jesus Christ.




PRAYER:
o Lord search me and know me and expose my sin so that i may be cleansed... may I yearn to drink only from your waters - to find forever-life fulfillment.

Monday, July 04, 2011

the quiet of a july morning

i went out for a morning run today... perhaps it might be better described as a morning jog. although my running has not been as consistent this spring and early summer i still aim for it to be a major source of exercise for me.

but the beautiful thing about this morning's run was not the run itself... it was not the fact that it was a holiday or that in it was my day off...

the beauty was found in the silence.

there was little traffic. and few sounds to be heard... and it was beautiful.

i took it all in.
the sounds of the birds in the trees, singing their morning songs of joy.
an older woman in her housecoat, watering her flowers.
the click-clop-clip of my running shoes hitting the pavement in stride.
the silent sound of the breeze blowing the trees, leaves and wind chimes.
a hedge trimmer and lawn mower in the distance.
a passing car. a barking dog.
a child on a tricycle in his driveway.


the simple sounds of a quiet july morning.
and i took it all in... and it was beautiful.



i wish to crave this more than running.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

salvation [lost blog post]

[a lost blog post - never published... never finished either]



do you feel alive?
can you feel alive?

this morning is/was one of those mornings. you know, one of those morning in which you feel hung over? only i've never been hungover. but the splitting headache took away most of my joy. the pressure around my eyes was forceful enough to make me want to close them for good...

but i went about my business. taking care of business... here and there. up and down. the little things that needed done, done.

but now - in much need of caffeine (my fix for days like this) i hope for salvation. but my junkie provider is a good 20 minutes away. and so i wait. and so i yearn. an extra shot of espresso would suffice.

it's one of those days... a lazy saturday where my get up and go has already come and went.

what do we do when days like this rear their ugly heads? is it a red pill, blue pill kind of day? a choose your own adventure-type day? because as i see it right now, the day could go in either extreme direction.

the red pill of temptation tells me to go back to bed. waste the day. like a rusted wheel, stagnant and collecting dust.

but blue pill of reality says that if i lay around - the pain will only settle in...

Monday, June 20, 2011

my report from annual conference

from the East Ohio Conference UMC website: the bio from my report, given Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

Congregational Development/New Church
Tim Beck, chair of the New Church Start team spoke of years of coming to Lakeside. He reminded the audience that we reach Lakeside via many different routes, but with a common destination. He likened the church to that journey to Lakeside. “As a denomination and a conference we’ve been on just one road.” Beck stated that it is time to find “fresh expressions of church to grow and prosper; creative chances to reach and connect with the un-churched, the de-churched and those on the fringe.”

Beck spoke of the thirteen new church plants and vital mergers. There are new ministries that are laity driven, alternative worship communities, cell churches, youth churches, multi-site, video driven and many others. But much more is needed.
Where is God leading us?



here is the full transcript of the speech:

NEW CHURCH START TEAM REPORT. Annual Conference 2011

East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church

Tim Beck

Chairman, New Church Start Team

June 2011

We are one. And we all travel along the mainline together.

Bishop Hopkins, Members of the East Ohio Annual Conference:

As a kid I took many trips to and from Lakeside, for Annual Conference, vacations and the like. We all know there are many ways to get to Lakeside. You can take the turnpike or any number of Interstates. Hop on Route 2 west and you’re bound to get there. You can even cut over 224, head north on 58 (or any other northern route) and weave your way through the small towns of northwest Ohio. I promise you, your car will wind up in Lakeside. It has that kind of draw.

Members of the East Ohio Conference have journeyed together year in and year out, for 40 plus years, gathering here for our annual meeting. Even though we’ve all come different paths to Lakeside, as a denomination and a conference we’ve been on just one road. The path of our church has been steady and consistent, marked with many highlights along the way. We’ve seen magnificent movements of God, professions of faith and deep spiritual growth in and among our congregations; mile markers along this great mainline. But perhaps we’re missing the mysteries that lie along the on and off ramps of the mainline, where paths less taken lead to opportunities for new faith communities to spring up; ripe circumstances for fresh expressions of church to grow and prosper; creative chances to reach and connect with the un-churched, the de-churched and those on the fringe.

In the midst of the 21st Century we know that the church no longer holds the same status as it used to. We know that attendance among mainline denominations have been in steady decline for decades. In the past 10 years alone, the United Methodist Church has lost 7% of its membership (600,000 people.)* As a result, I firmly believe that we are in desperate need for something fresh, something new; something different. These “Fresh Expressions of Faith”, I believe, will ensure our conference and denomination will not just survive – but thrive!

It’s time for the East Ohio Conference to blaze a trail; to lead the world, not lollygag behind. The movement of the mainline church in America appears to be stalled at times, but I believe we have an opportunity in front of us. These fresh expressions of church are mile markers on a road we’ve not taken with frequency. And though they may be off-shoots of the mainline, they are still connected to the heart of Methodism and the heart of Christ. These new roads lead to new ways of doing church. This is no doubt terrifying to some but I believe the best is yet to come.

1. Let’s build on what has already been planted. Currently there are 13 new church plants and vital mergers who, under the fervent direction of Dirk Elliot have produced a crop of new Kingdom followers. They are all growing and persevering, striving to grow the church. This year we highlight the new vital merger of East Glenville & Warner – becoming Celebration United Methodist Church. We also celebrate 2 new faith communities given life by Church of the Lakes in Canton and Church Hill in Youngstown.

2. Let’s explore “out-of-the-box” methods of ‘doing’ church. Like 02, East Ohio’s first laity driven church plant. Like Impact, the new worship community out of Lakewood UMC. Laity in that group are expanding outside the church walls, aiming to take their worship to people who won’t step foot in church.

But we need more - We need new - We need fresh: Alternative worship communities. Cell churches, Mid-week congregations, Youth churches, Multi-sites, Video-venues, Starfish laity-driven models, Pioneer models, Creative groups or perhaps even connected House churches. Whatever it takes, with the resources given to us. These fresh ideas are right off the beaten path – but still connected to the main road. They are Christ-centered communities focused on serving. They are small groups of disenfranchised individuals who have been burned out on religion, who would never grace the front steps of a church, let alone enter in. They are organized gatherings aimed at making the lonely feel apart of something greater than themselves. They are people who will worship in interactive ways. Frankly, some will be churches that don’t look like churches. These fresh expressions of faith will aim to provide unique opportunities for people to connect with a loving God, while growing the United Methodist Church in the process.

3. Let’s work together to support each other on the journey. We are one. The on and off ramps of the mainline lead to new unknown paths, but we must take risks, continued leaps of faith or suffer our ultimate demise. Maybe, if we adjust our mirrors and our vision, we’ll see an old, dirty, dusty trail, off the beaten path, leading us to a new way of growing the church, a modern approach to making disciples, a fresh technique of winning souls to follow Christ.

We know where we’ve been. Where, now, might God be leading us? East Ohio, God is doing a new thing. Isaiah 43:19 reminds us of that. May we “freshen up” together! Perhaps if we can tap into that freshness, God will show us church growth that will take our breath away, not because of what we might do – but because of the path the Spirit is already blazing ahead of us.

It is my prayer that the East Ohio Conference will support and embrace with it’s full heart exploring and implementing new, fresh expressions, Wesleyan faith communities that will carry the church for decades to come.

*The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches (2011)
published by the National Council of Churches in the USA


Saturday, June 18, 2011

church: dream release risk imagine

from the book, ‘The Shaping of Things to Come’ by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch:

“We need to dream again, and to do this we must cultivate a love for imagination. Before we can do it, we need to dream it...Considered philosophically, all that a great visionary leader does is awaken and harness the dreams and visions of the members of a given community and give them deeper coherence by means of a grand vision that ties together all the ‘little visions’ of the members of the group...My task as a leader is to so articulate the vision that others are willing to embed their sense of purpose within the common vision of the community...It is this capacity to articulate a preferred future based on a common moral vision that allows people to dream again. This is true of all true apostolic leadership. And in a profound sense the leader is the key person in the release of the spiritual creativity and innovation in any setting – the catalyst for reconceptualising the mission of the church (p.188).

But imagination takes courage, as it involves risk. In fact if there were no courage, there could be no imagination. And if there were no risk, there could be no apostolic leadership, only priestly maintenance and more of the same boring stuff that is keeping people from getting in touch with that most radical and dangerous person...None other than Jesus (p.189).”




Friday, June 17, 2011

make stuff

time to turn inspiration into action!
make something.
create.
seek newness + freshness.
go.
be.
do.

innovate.
associate.
invigorate.
communicate.
celebrate.
investigate.
demonstrate.
eliminate.
accommodate.
anticipate.

i'm desperate for change. i only wish it were in our DNA.
and so we must fight to bring about change.
we must strive to bring about greatness.
success or failure, no matter what the outcome.

how much more time do we have?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Big Sur

Big SurBig Sur by Jack Kerouac

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Big Sur is at times a beautiful, at times a tragedy. Kerouac's time @ the Big Sur cabin, alone, with nature, with the sounds of the sea, with his troubling thoughts were mindlessly beautiful to me. i found myself clinging to his every descriptive word.



and then he'd heed the call back to San Francisco and with that his unkown sense of his true self would creep in and his disruptive, binge drinking life would spin out of control.



at times a train wreck, at times brutally honest, at times hard to follow, Big Sur ends like a whirlwind as the reader is taken inside the mind of an insomniac alcoholic and the tragic visions that rip away at Jack's soul.



Big Sur is a cry for the way things used to be... before fame... before money... before being known.



in the end, Jack Kerouac longed for hope. but i doubt he ever found it. there in lies the tragedy that plays out in Big Sur.



View all my reviews

Thursday, May 26, 2011

find your voice.

[with respect + thanks to troy @defy the gray for inspiring this post]

what do i believe about myself? about you? about the world? about what you + i may be capable of doing... i don't think about that enough.

am i waiting for someone else to believe it first?

Believe, that you can change the world
Your dreams, have been living in a code of silence
So let them out

Find your voice, find your voice
Make a noise


i don't believe that message enough. i don't live it enough. i don't proclaim it enough.
i have many dreams and sometimes my many dreams collide and intersect and knot together into one giant ball... and i get frustrated and i sulk and i remain silent.

perhaps what i am missing is that all of my many dreams are connected and intertwined and knotted for a reason because my many individual dreams are actually part of one giant dream... one giant plan that has been laid out before me. but my eyes are closed and i don't see that.

am i waiting for validation?


You try, to find the words you want to say
You might, be looking much too far away
To recognize, we’re all disguised

Find your voice, find your voice
Make a noise


and these dreams of mine, my many dreams, tend to silence me in the sense that they don't go public. they remain within my soul or at least within my home (where my wife gets to put up with my repetitive bantering about this dream or that).

but maybe all i'm missing is a megaphone and some courage.

am i waiting for permission?


You can’t have the peace you’re looking for without a fight


who said anything about a fight? but apparently things don't just happen, dreams don't happen, don't come true, can't be lived out... without... a... fight.
but why would i want to go and do a thing like that? why would i want to fight?

maybe because i'm 37 years old and i'm most fearful that my time to do something meaningful and productive and beyond what i am now capable of doing may be fading.

i don't want to have lived my life and have thought - how many years did i waste doing this or doing that, attending this or attending that, unfulfilled, not near the point of my full potential.

what am i waiting for?


Find your voice, find your voice
Make a noise



can i muster enough courage to make some noise? have i found my voice? have i discovered how my intersected dreams can work together, united as one? i don't believe i have. but i think i am inspired to put more time, more energy into figuring that out.

because i think i know deep down that God has something on the horizon for me that just... might... blow... me... away. i think that about you, too.

find your voice. grab a megaphone. you can be in my dream if i can be in yours.





make a noise by katie herzig.
[lyrics] [song] [youtube]