Friday, January 25, 2008

Yikes

I have been so busy and pressed for time these last few weeks, that I have literally been building a list of topics I want to write about, think about and explore. (And this is nothing compared to me "to do" list, both at home and at work. Seriously, I just took my Christmas decorations down last night).

Anyway, here's my list:

1.) Types of Growth - Jesus.

2.) Faith, politics and the new conservative.

3.) Growth: Being challenged in a healthy, wonderful ways by friends who believe differently than you.

4.) The movie Waitress

5.) Barack Obama on faith (I'm reading his book The Audacity of Hope right now.)

6.) This sentence I read in a book a couple of weeks ago Proximity is not equal to intimacy.

7.) The beauty of connection (which goes along with #3).

I just got home for the night right now and am too tired to start writing, but I want to so badly. They say creativity is as close to insanity as anything else. I think I'm beginning to understand what that means.

How about you? Any topics you want to write about or want me to write about?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pop Culture Quote Monday

"Sell crazy some place else, we're all stocked up here."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ice, Ice by Richard Cheese



This makes me laugh.

I used to know a guy who could recite all the words of this song (not this version) in less than 60 seconds. It was a sight to behold, watching someone's lips move that fast. I wonder whatever happened to him?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Types of Growth - The Lie


For temptation to exist, there must be an inner craving for what tempts you. Not everyone is tempted to hit the snooze button every morning, but you put a snooze button in front of me and I'll hit it until the cows come home. One day I simply told myself I wasn't going to hit that snooze button anymore, and I stopped. My heart still wants to stay in bed most mornings, but my head reminds me to get up and my nose tells me the coffee is made, so I do. Did I just get smarter about this aspect of my life, or am I really growing? I'm not betting on the latter.

Erwin McManus is the senior pastor at Mosaic Church near Los Angeles. I received his book Soul Cravings for Christmas (it rocked my world), and I've been a podcast listener of his for about a year now. This is a man who understand the human heart. And even more than that, he understands the human condition. So I feel a little "kindred spirit" connection with him. In October he started a preaching series for the church's podcast called Living An Original Life. The first sermon was called "The Lie". What is the lie, you ask?

"The lie is that God is withholding his best from you."

This is where I was going on my last post. And I've been here before. But I'm going deeper now.

When I take a path that is clearly against the character of God, what I am essentially saying to him is that I don't trust him with my life.

Whoa.

I'm sorry, but that's HUGE. I've trusted God since I was little kid. I believe in him with all my heart. And I do believe there is a path he wants me to go on, a path suited for me, a path that's so much better than I can imagine and so much better than anyone else can give me. When I sin (which is often connected with my spiritual growth) I am basically saying that I think God is holding out on me.

So, as you can imagine, I am feeling pretty hypocritical as I write this post.

The difference between actually growing in my walk with Him versus just becoming more intelligent about spiritual things? Is the state of my heart. Is it broken when I sin? Is it broken when I see those I love sin? Do I really want to change or do I just think I should change? Do I really want to hit that snooze button, or do I really want to get out of bed?

There are three big things about myself that I hate. And all of them, in some form, are big ole' honkin' sins. The stuff in my head hasn't moved into my heart. And most of the time, I'm not sure I want them to go anywhere. It almost seems like I am quite happy in my sin and the only part about it that gets to me is guilt and a sense of obligation to stop the sin.

And so... the lie can trick us into thinking the truth is actually the lie. Because, if I'm really being honest with myself, is that I'm not happy in my sin. If I were, I would be lamenting about it now, would I?

So, I need to stop believing the lie. I need someone or something to break my heart enough to motivate me to grow, not just know.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Types of Growth




I'm back to pondering spiritual growth, more specifically how we know it's growth and not just becoming more intelligent about spiritual things. And I've discovered an interesting, yet very simple thing about this issue: my heart.

Oh, my heart. I've had a contentious relationship with the thing since 1994. (And probably before then, but I remember that year in particular was when it became especially difficult.) I think because knowledge - the stuff in my head - was honored in my family. Making the honor roll and the Dean's list was a proud moment (one where when I made the dean's list in college, my dad made a point to tell my high school superintendent. Huh?) But matters of heart weren't considered practical or worthwhile - they were just a way to distract us from the real goal in life.

As an adult I get to set my own goals in life, and they are quite different from the goals my family set for me. But when I chose to go a different way, they supported me. They didn't understand me, but they said, "Just as long as you're happy." I followed my heart, even when my head kept reminding me of all the stuff I heard as a child, stuff that seemed like the practical thing, the right thing to do. But ultimately, my stubborn spirit just didn't go for it. I didn't go to a university, or even a school in state, closer to home. I didn't pick a major, like education or accounting, that would assure me a job would be waiting when I got out. I kept writing, even when my brother told me "anyone can write" and I didn't stop.

I probably made my family proud at some point, but ultimately I was able to find a balance between making myself happy, my family excited for me, and still know in my heart I was doing what God called me to do. My family still may not understand it, but there it is. And my heart has learned how to be okay with that.

What does all this have to do with growth? Well, I'm getting there. I'm going somewhere with this... I promise. I just need to let it sit and process for a while before I continue. But it all comes back to one thing: Jesus. And isn't that all that really matters anyway?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pop Culture Quote Monday

Could I be wearing anymore clothes?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Observations on the Iowa Caucuses

On the Republican side:


1.) Huckabee comes across as very, very sincere. There is something about him that makes me want to believe him, to trust him. This frightens me a little, because I don't know what that "something" is. Maybe I've underestimated mannerisms compared to words spoken, because he didn't say much of substance tonight. But that desire in me to trust him still came across.


2.) Romney reeks of wealth and I don't like it. He's just not someone with which I can relate. He is, however, a very well-spoken and charismatic man. His negative campaign strategy and the money he threw at it clearly didn't help him in Iowa. Us mid-westerners are down-to-earth people. I doubt he'll win if he stays on that path. But if you are following him at all, he hasn't been the best at staying on one path anyway. I'm tempted to start calling him Mitt Flip-Flop.

3.) Thompson's 3rd place showing was a bit of a surprise for me, because I expected McCain to do a little better. But it's obvious that the democratic party is just as divided as the republican party, if not more. Their top three were closer together percentage-wise than the republicans, and 4-5-6 were also close in percentage.

4.) I was surprised at Guiliani's poor showing, but since he didn't campaign there I shouldn't be surprised. Up until tonight, I thought he was a solid second or third because of his name recognition and 9/11 nostalgia. I was wrong, and I'm glad.



On the Democratic side:


1.) Obama's headquarters had, by far, the youngest looking crowd I've seen in years. This reeks of Bill Clinton's victory, who likely won because of the college-age vote.

2.) Hillary Clinton is a somewhat entertaining speaker, but she needs a new speech writer. And I enjoyed seeing Bill stand behind her. I don't like her, but I like him even less.

3.) John Edwards is a fantastic public speaker, and his showing tonight excited me the most, even though I haven't chosen a candidate to support yet. I'm a sucker for the underdog I guess (Or as KB might say, I'm just like him because he's cute.)

General observation: what I saw of the speeches, the democratic candidates all brought up their stance on specific issues (health care, in particular, was mentioned by all three) whereas the republicans did not mention any specific issues. Hmm.

Undecided like me? This link may help. Choose your position on the major issue and it shows you which candidates with which you score highest. HT to Tony Myles for the link.

On a personal note, I found myself rather sad tonight as I listened to the speeches of 5 of the top 6 candidates tonight. I was sad because I realized how cynical I've become. And to hear these candidates speak of hope and change made me long for a sense of hope when it comes to our government. I don't remember the last time I felt that way.

I'm counting down to New Hampshire....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year

I've never been much for New Year's resolutions, and this year I decided to have a theme song. A song to keep in my heart, a song that reminds of what the business of living is all about, a song that is my resolve for the year. So I made a video for it. Enjoy.