Category Archives: My Journey

Stuck in or out of style.

My wife is a stylist. We enjoy having discussions about hair styles, whether that be about someone we come across out and about, or styles we have seen watching the Oscars. We sometimes joke about what kind of hair styles we have had in the past and what we may do someday if we ever have the guts to try something crazy. While observing people in their natural element or even someone on a TV documentary, I wonder how someone is still wearing a hair style that was popular from the 1980’s, back when I was a child. Maybe the person doesn’t care about style at all, or maybe is just a bit oblivious to it? ANIMEHAIRSTYLES9Now being a guy, I fully realize that I have it easier in many ways when it comes to style and fashion. I could probably get away with really changing my hair style twice in my lifetime and still stay pretty current. Women however, probably have to change 3 times in 3 years. I’m not sure about that last statement though, you should consult my wife on that one. I once heard it said that personal style usually reflects the year that people consider the best year of their life. Have you ever noticed this to agree or disagree with it? I have, and I’m starting to believe this theory. Although I’ll never be fully in vogue with modern fashion, I do like to pay attention to current with fashion. Within my comfort, I even like to experiment with fashion. I hope this fact is pointing to the fact that I don’t believe I’ve achieved the best years of my life yet.

I heard a song recently that was talking about how everything was so much better in the old days. Not really an idea that is out of the ordinary. Even last week a friend spoke about how things were so much better when he was growing up or even in his parents time.  Was everything really better in the past? I guess my first questions is always “for whom or for what people group.” Many people tend to grab ahold of this idea. Nothing like “the good ol’ days”. I don’t ever want to get to the point that the things that I’m most excited about are stories about how things used to be. I mean, I do enjoy reminiscing about the past from time to time, but I hesitate to embrace nostalgia. My goal: to live in the present and plan for the future in light of the past.  I want to live here and now and try to embrace everything about this time in my life.

I guess I just want to encourage us to live a life that acknowledges the past, remains mindful of the future but embraces the here and now. Be active and make a difference today and even learn something new from the world around you. Fear of the future, cynicism of the present and grasping for nostalgia will never make the world a better place. Make a difference today and everyday.


Listening to: Chris Stapleton / Traveller
Reading: Finding God in the Ruins / Matt Bays


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Our Story (iMovie)

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Beauty of a Parable.

I have been reading one of Peter Rollins books lately, The Fidelity of Betrayal, and was really intrigued by one of the parables he shares. I was just about to write it all out to share, and then found it on YouTube! So here you go. This guy is so refreshing to me in my faith right now.

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Life as it happens.

Hanging out at Piedmont Park.

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In a Box

It’s now official that i’ll be leaving Grace Hendersonville to head back to Fort Wayne, IN. Since this news has become public knowledge, I’ve had several people come up to me and share meaningful conversations about our time together over the past few years together. I joked with one friend that it’s a nice experience because it’s probably the closest most of us will ever get to being at our own funeral. People saying kind words from their heart can really move me.

It got me to thinking how sad that is though that in our culture, most of us don’t experience this nearly enough, kind words I mean. What are the statistics? Most people hear 14 negative comments for every 1 positive one? If only we could hear the kinds of words that are spoke about people when they leave or when they pass more often, who knows how it might effect us. It’s my hope to take more occasions to really tell people how much I appreciate them and why more often. Birthday’s are the perfect time in my opinion. Take a moment to truly celebrate the fact that the person is in your life for another year.

I came across this song by city and colour the other day that just really topped off the thoughts and feelings that I’d been having on this topic. The lyrics are below the youtube video.

Body in a Box

There’s a funeral procession on the highway
Traffic screeches to a halt
There’s people searching for a better way
To live their lives, oh
Johnny lived a good life, you’ll hear them say
As tears of sadness soak the ground
The reaper crept in, took his breath away
In the middle of the night

We celebrate the lives of the dead
It’s like a man’s best party, only happens when he dies
We gather ’round to pay our respects
While their souls are still searching for the light
Searching for the light

So please don’t come to me on my dying day
Just let me go in peace
With all the things that I forgot to say
Racing through my mind
And don’t you bury me six feet under ground
Just burn my body in a box
And let my ashes blow with the wind
Out into the night sky

We celebrate the lives of the dead
It’s like a man’s best party, only happens when he dies
We gather ’round to pay our respects
While their souls are still searching for the light
Searching for the light

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Brian McLaren’s latest

Anyone checking out Brian McLaren’s latest?

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Cynical or Critical

I came upon an article from Men’s Health called ‘The Hazards of Cynicism: Why men fail” last week and I keep finding thoughts from the article resurfacing in my mind. Two thoughts in particular won’t seem to leave me alone. What is the real difference between cynical and critical thinking and have I allowed myself to become cynical in areas of my life.

The difference between critical and cynical was laid out well i thought by  MacGetIT (I googled it).

Critical thinking is where you analyze a problem and determine a solution using cause and effect of various processes. You take “no sides” of an issue and movie forward with what’s best towrard a vision of what’s possible.

Cynical thinking is where you lack or do not take into consideration various aspects of a problem and consider all of  alternatives to come to a logical and appropriate answer to a problem. A contemptuous or mocking attitude of various ideas or solution.

I consider myself a critical thinker and so I started to worry that maybe I’m cynical as well. I feel a bit better knowing that having a contemptuous or mocking characteristic is something I am usually able to avoid. That did lead me to wonder though were does that characteristic come from? Why are some people able to be critical without being cynical when others aren’t.

The men’s health article talked about cynicism coming from a broken heart. This is probably way too often true. That when we believe in something so great and then it lets us down, it can cause such heart break that hope is a hard thing to have again. To me, a life without hope is destined for cynicism.

So now I’m looking into my own life, as I hope you will into yours, and looking for areas that I lack hope and have let a thinking, critical mind become cynical. Keep hope alive and remember our best days are always ahead of us.

This is true joy in life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a might one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard Shaw


Filed under Future Plans, My Journey

Does our (fb) status matter?

When i was growing up, they were called chain letters. Then they became forwards in emails. Now, they are facebook status updates.

If you love God, repost this in your status to prove that you do.

If you have a great daughter, repost this to your status to let them know.

I’m more of “this” than you are cause I post “this” in my status update.

I guess all i really wonder is if people repost these things because they actually think it’s achieving something. I’m sorry, but i don’t care how many times you post one of these updates, if you don’t go out and do something, it counts for nothing. You can join groups that support your cause, you can become a fan of something wonderful, but I hope that people realize that facebook and the internet are tools that allow us to make a difference, but joining these groups and posting this updates are not such tools.

If we want to make a difference, if we really care about a cause, our actions and our resources should be involved. Wether that is volunteering your time, giving of your money, or personally saying I love you, get out and do something.

It’s possible that many people post these things and then follow through and do them in real life. (aka. tell their loved ones how much they care or volunteer for a cause) Just a quick note to encourage all of us to live life for all we can and not allow a status update to cure of us of the guilt that comes when we haven’t done enough. Actions speak louder than words status updates.

Examine our lives, Celebrate our loved ones, and Drink deep with our actions.

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Blue Moon Rising

New Years Eve 2009 was the first Blue Moon in 20 years and this is the story of how I was able to make it an especially memorable night for me and Amber, the woman I love. I proposed to her and it was a pretty special adventure for us. It was a very exciting time and of course half of the adventure was in the preparations.

Amber and I had talked about getting married, even in some detail,  for the past couple of months. We both liked the idea of going to Las Vegas for a destination wedding because it seemed to make the most sense financially and because we and our friends have had such great memories traveling there together. Stage one of making this a total surprise was to make sure Amber wouldn’t think I had a ring for her. As we talked about the possibility of getting married I mentioned that I’d been thinking of asking my mother for my grandmother’s engagement ring.  I told Amber that my mother was very sentimental about the ring and might not like the idea of letting me have it for our engagement, but that we should wait to see if my mother would “approve” of her when we went to visit my family this February. Amber seemed fine with it and never gave it much more thought. Secretly I had already asked my mother, gotten her approval, and taken the ring to the jeweler to have it freshened up in a new setting so that it would be more sturdy and durable for Amber, yet keep the mythos of the ring. (She’s a stylist and is rough on her hands due to the nature of the job.)

Next on my agenda was trying to make sure that we would have a fun, light hearted, yet memorable night. I was a little nervous as to how I would plan a fun packed evening without giving away the fact that it was going to turn into the night of my proposal. A few months ahead I started talking about how I really wanted to make a real date night for Amber and I the  next time I visited. (Amber and I live 9 hours away currently) Although we had gone out many times together, we had never in my opinion, had a real “great date night”.  I intended to fix this, I told her.  She agreed to let me plan a “great date” for us and I told her our plans were for New Years Eve.

I talked with several close friends before the date and asked their advice and one piece of advice stuck with me the most. ‘Plan the night, but not the proposal, just let it happen at a moment that is really fun and reflective of your relationship’. This really made sense to me and I kept it in mind as I planned the evening and planned on looking for the most opportune time to “pop the question”.

The evening started out with us going to Headwaters Park to go ice skating. Walking in and finding that it was ‘cash only’ and that I had none seemed to be just the perfect start I was hoping for. We headed back to the car and were off to an ATM to get some green. Having paid, we headed out to get our skates and our bruises. Surprisingly neither of us ever fell as we talked about some of our favorite and most memorable times over the past year. Not wanting to press our luck and end up on our keesters, we headed out to our second stop of three for the evening.

Fort Wayne’s Botanical Gardens was our next stop. Inside there were Christmas displays, a tropical display, and a southwestern display. As we walked through we talked about dreams for the future and what kinds of stories we’d like to be able to tell in the future. Outside there were some metal artwork displays along with a courtyard full of Christmas decorations. Music was playing and the the lights danced along to the music. I noticed that it was snowing and the the courtyard was covered with snow and that  it was beautiful. I thought that maybe this would be the time. What happened next only confirmed my suspicions. Amber busted out doing some goofy dances that were references to some of our favorite TV shows. (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia & Arrested Development) This had to be the moment. It was silly and funny and yet beautiful. Those are definitely words most would use to describe our relationship.

Pulling each other close and laughing hysterically I told Amber that unlike my past, this relationship seemed to make more sense than any other.  She had no idea what I was really saying. I told her that I wanted us to share lots of amazing, beautiful and meaningful stories together. She still had no idea what I was getting at. Hands shaking I took the ring from my pocket and said “There is only one way to make sure that this night is one of those stories…”  Dropping to one knee I held the ring and her hand and continued, “and that’s if I ask you to marry me.”

At this point Amber was in a state of disbelief, excitement, shock, and confusion. She looked at me and said, “Are you serious? Is this real?” Eventually she gave me the answer I was looking for and with enthusiasm said “Yes! Please get up!” After several minutes of explaining how I had pulled all this off without her knowing we headed out to dinner at Eddie Merlot’s and then to our close friend’s house for a cozy New Year’s Eve party.

So that’s how it happened, as best as I can remember at least. Amber says she never heard me ask her to marry her and didn’t see the ring until I stood up, but this is my side of the story and I’m sticking to it. Sorry that this entry is a little sappy compared to most, but I figured it was a special occasion and that it would prove to be helpful to keep the memory alive if written down to share with others. May we all enjoy moments that only come “once in a blue moon” a little more often.


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DR 2009 Video

DR Video 09

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