Thursday, December 31, 2009

quiet.

Mother Theresa is quoted, speaking these profound words of truth that I believe all people can easily lose sight of. Sure she is talking about God, however these words ring true to anyone in any type of relationship. Lately I have been struggling with the discipline of silence.

Silence is a powerful skill that I have been trying to improve upon for the last year. More often then not I have something to say about everything. I am a very opinionated person, which used to be one of my favorite qualities about myself. Others tend to listen to those who have little to say. It is like a well placed curse word in a conversation.

Finishing college has, so far, been an interesting transition. I now have the time to practice silence in a way that suits me best. I have recently been taking the time to dig into books that I have been wanting to read, I have been able to think about my faith and philosophies on life, and I have been able to sit and enjoy a moment for everything that it is. I am happier.

I am more silent.

One other struggle that has been facing me lately is my constant need to escape from everything that creates noise. I cannot listen to loud music. I cannot watch loud movies. I cannot exist around loud people. I feel the need to escape from these situations and find refuge in silence or quiet conversation.

...more thoughts later. For now I am going to enjoy the company of a dear friend. In silence.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bend.


I am sitting in a little tea shop in downtown Bend, Oregon with Rachael, Nick, and Wes and I am at peace. The place is called Townshend's Tea Company. There is alternative country music playing softly in the background and the quiet whispers of my fiancé and my best friends create bliss.
This trip has been a true blessing. I have just finished my course work at APU and though I feel anticipation for those in my life returning in the spring, I have begun my post-collegiate experience.

(A Townshend's employee just dropped a dish, momentarily disrupting my thoughts)

Tom Monson, a friend who we are staying with just walked in to the tea shop. What a blessing to have him in my life.

As the trip continues I will record more of our experiences.


Friday, December 18, 2009

big fish tattoo.

I have started the process of my full sleeve. Dave Hartman is doing all of the work at his new shop Big Fish Tattoo in Solana Beach, CA. His work is amazing and I am excited to go through the process. He has worked at a number of shops, most recently 454 Tattoo in Leucadia, CA. only a few miles from Big Fish Tattoo. The shop is very comfortable resembling a house and sitting on the 101 coast highway.

I highly recommend this shop to everybody looking to get tattooed in Southern California.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

burger.


This is it ladies and gentlemen. Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger. I know what any burger connoisseur would say, "Chili's? Good Food? Yeah Right!". However I assure you this burger is worth all of the praise that I am about to give it.

Last night Rachael and I had planned a date. We were going to go to Venice Beach and do the usual thing: walk around do pretty much nothing until we got hungry, then spend way too much money on a mediocre chic hole in the wall.

We ended up going to Chili's of all places. We were tired and hungry and wanted to eat American. When we got there, there was a line of waiting young couples and families that went all the way to San Dimas. Luckily I knew the hostess and she reduced the wait time to about 30 minutes.

The waiter Jeff was awesome. He was a real pro. I'm pretty sure he only had one other table so his focus was mainly on us. He got us our drinks in no time: Rachael's Strawberry Lemonade and my Samuel Adams Winter Seasonal. Rachael ordered the Chicken Crispers and I settled for the bacon burger. I felt rushed.

When I got this thing I almost sent it back. The Bacon was SO thick you could barely see the hamburger patty. Any one that knows me knows that I am in fact a bacon connoisseur. The patty was 100% Beef Chuck which should only be cooked medium-rare. The burger came with the crispiest little fried onions on top. The barbeque sauce was the grand finale to this burger. It is called Shiner Bock Barbeque Sauce and is imported from the great American state of Texas.

I could write a book about this burger, but I won't. I suggest everyone go to Chili's and try this magnificent burger. Then maybe you'll write a book about it and I'll have the pleasure of reading it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

compassion.


Charter for Compassion is an organization that is championed by Karen Armstrong (former nun, ambassador, theologian). The organization focuses on the action of religious people from all walks of faith and unfaith. She is reaching across religious and national boundaries to attempt to bring people together in the name of compassion and loving acts.


Affirm the charter and learn about the cause.

Thank you Sam Prince for everything you are and for the compassion you've shown me and everyone that knows you.


ghandi.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

john marcotte.

RESCUE MARRIAGE.

John's official website:

NPR Article about his efforts:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120969156

My new hero. John Marcotte. Husband and father of two is proposing a ban on divorce in the state of California to poke those in favor of Proposition 8. Genius!!!



slope.


I have embarked on this slippery slope of analyzing the biblical narrative. More accurately I should say biblical narratives. It is 9:04 in the morning and my Hebrew Prophets class is having a beautifully intense discussion on the prophetic book of Jonah.

Last night we were instructed to read the book of Jonah and 4 commentaries on it that are very intensive, encompassing very different perspectives. A conservative might ask, "what perspectives are to be had" for they were raised to think, "Jonah lived... he got swallowed by a whale... the whale spit him out... his story made the biblical canon, so the story is a factual/historical narrative." A liberal might say, "Great story... good message... I don't know about the whale thing... but the moral of the story holds truth."

Asking these questions is not new to me. I have been asking these questions about almost every biblical theme and narrative for the past 3 years now, and I am finally beginning to feel comfortable in my not knowing... or my faith. For a common church goer, even entertaining this question is intolerable.

My question is: Is the factual element to a story the only criteria in administering truth?

What if Jonah did not get swallowed by the whale? What if the story was allegorical and was purposed to relay a greater message; Love your neighbors.

In our culture we are used to truth in fiction. Going to movies and reading fictional books are two of American's favorite leisure activities because they assist us in entering an alternate reality that may be more eventful or entertaining. We are voyeurs.

Do I think that Jonah got swallowed by a large fish, lived in that fishes stomach for three days, was spit on the shores, and went to Nineveh to preach? Yes, and no.

I believe that the story holds truth with out being exactly historical. In this way I believe that the story is true. I do not think that Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish and lived for three days in the fishes belly. I think that this is a story that is parabolic to try to communicate a message more effectively.

This way of biblical interpretation is a slippery slope. Once one biblical narrative, be it Jonah and the Whale, Noah's Ark, Adam and Eve and the creation story, or all of the end times narratives, becomes allegorical, legendary, or parabolic, when can you discern which are historical and which are not. Is the virgin birth historical fact? Is the resurrection? Are the miracles? I do not know and I am not comfortable deciding.

What I do believe is that "truth" is different from "historical". A truthful message can shine through in fiction.