Saturday, February 7, 2009

Boyhood Imagination

  This is my first time back in the blogger-seat for quite a while, and i'm pretty excited to get back at it.  So, without further blog.
  I saw the Rocky movies so many times that my brother and I were able to quote it before the lines even came.  One of my most glorious moments on staff was when I gave the end-of-the year talk last year at Chico...kind of a 'farewell address', and I got to use a clip from Rocky III, when Micky says "Get up you Son of a B@**h, cause Micky loves ya".  The clip jumped into my mind as a perfect illustration before I even knew what I wanted to talk about... because i've never quite grown out of the child-like imagination of inserting myself into iconic sports/victorious moments that I clung to as a youngster.
    I thought about titling this "boyhood fantasies", but I thought that might get a few more reads that I wanted on my first trip back into the ring.  It's true though.  I bet most guys would admit that they still insert themselves into all kinds of scenarios where they have an opportunity to prove their grit.  I do it ALL the time.  After "Saving Private Ryan", I couldn't sleep at night because I pictured myself storming the beach, diving over land-mines and rescuing my stranded countrymen.  
    Most recently though, my imagination has taken me into the Octagon.  After watching a few Ultimate Fighting bouts, I can't get the image of me ground-impounding somebody out of my head...then i'd give a really humble, God-glorifying interview afterward. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I actually came home after the Penn-GSP fight and drew up the custom fight-shorts I would wear if I were to break onto the scene.  I'm serious, they'd be pretty legit too (Navy blue shorts with all of the teams i've wrestled for written in white).  I'd basically beat folks down inside the ring, then be a stylish fight-fashion designer outside of it.  
    When I go for a run, i'm a navy seal who has to be keenly aware of the enemies trying to leap out of the trees to get me, and when I swim i'm ready to take on any creature that tries to get me from beneath. Whether i'm doing push-ups in the living room or working out on the elliptical machine at the gym (next to old professors and sorority girls) i'm looking for an opportunity to come through in the clutch.  Though it seems a little weird to let you all in on this "reality" of mine, I hope it's true of most guys.  It's good for us, men, and I encourage you to indulge your imagination like the days of your youth.  You ARE Maverick, fighting the Russians, and Daniel Carusso, taking on Johny and the other Cobra Kai.  Take down the over-sized Drago, and shoot the game-winning jumper like Jordan.  As I sign off, take a look at the picture of me wrapped in the flag.  Other than my skin tone of my face being 9 shades lighter than the rest of my body, it's pretty dang believable.     

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A lovely Freedom Creperia

I'm loving the French right now! I set out for a little date-night with Jesus and I didn't have much direction as I left my apartment. My lovely wife thought she saw a place with free internet and she directed me toward it, but I walked past this little gem a few times before discovering what lay hidden between some rather unsightly buildings. I maneuvered my way through some dangling gypsy beads, then opened the door into French-Fantasia. Everything about this place has a French feel to it, and I am really glad I stumbled in here.
From the delicious Coffee (done the French way) to the warm welcome(s) I got from kind-faced, accented employees, the atmosphere is perfectly set to spend some quality time with Jesus (if I knew how to say it Him name in French I would). Even the music is perfect. Have you ever heard French music? This stuff that's playing is seriously really good. Is this for real? The owner just went out the gypsy door and hopped on her basket-sporting bike to get some ingredients. Maybe there's a mafia everything else in New Jersey. As I go, I can't help but to question our silly notion of prefixing things Freedom, rather than French. Maybe they get ripped on so much so it can stay a hidden the Vikings mis-representing Iceland and Greenland. Let's go find out for ourselves. I can book some tickets right now while making use of this lovely, free (French) Wi-Fi.
(The Waitress just told me how to spell it and told me that it means "Good Day to You")

Monday, April 7, 2008

Postmodern Myth-ality?

"Do you really believe Post-moderness is a reality?" I've had quite a few conversations recently that started with this question. In fact, one guy I respect a great deal asked if I think there is such a thing as 'post modernity', or if it is just modernity with a twist. Another guy I look up to a great deal said that he thinks the whole thing is a myth, and that it is just another example of people thinking they are unique. Instead, according to my friend, the way things are today is just the fallenness of man all over again. People believe what they want to believe, and they (we) don't want to hear otherwise.

As much as I respect these guys, I cannot help but to think that we are in a time that is quite different from previous years. The problem of sin is certainly the same, but the context surrounding that problem, the platform upon which it sits, is very different. Even further, how one goes about addressing it has to be different. The state things are in today seems to be like a scene in the Matrix (remember the movie that took the world by storm for a few years with the actor from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"). We are trying to fight Agent Smith in ways that he does not allow himself to be hit. If we throw a seemingly deadly blow in the form of propositional truths, somebody can simply say appreciate that as one person's take, but he/she will decide something else to be true for him/herself. This flexibility of truth seems to be a phenomenon that the modern church has not had to deal with (by modern, of course I mean the era before the one we are in right now). I am convinced that the truth, is the truth, is the truth...but in order to even enter into a conversation where truth can be revealed, it seems that we must at least try to recognize that there may need to be a conversation before the conversation.

I would love to hear what others have to say about this, so i'll pass the question along; "Do you really believe post-moderness is a reality?" Is the time we are in today any different from times before, or are people simply couching sinful obsession with self in a way that appears to be original? Is Post-Modernity a reality, a myth, or something in between?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Tyranny of the First Square

With my feet stuck in the mud I look ahead to land vying for my attention. I have never explored the hills surrounding my own property, but how can I when there is so much to be done here. The garden needs to be plowed and the house needs to be cleaned. There is always something I could do here to improve the current situation, so how can I begin to consider that which lies in wait, beyond the first square?
Our staff team discusses this tension quite a bit: there are so many things today that vie for our attention, but we must be able and willing to look ahead if we ever want to see positive change tomorrow. As a new father...of triplets none the less, I am leaning just how easy it is to become consumed by the present. Change a diaper, wipe up a mess, pack a lunch, put to bed today, then wonder how in the world the years came and went so quickly. I see how easily one can get consumed with the present needs of raising a child, but never stop to consider the importance of developing him/her for the future. We are so consumed with the here-and-now, that we have little consideration for the future. Whether we are talking about credit card-driven consumerism or maintaining campus ministries, there is a theme: We are stuck in the tyranny of the first square. I want what I want right now, and I will work to maintain what is before me, failing to consider what lies ahead.
By setting up this blog I am trying to climb out of the mud and start walking toward new lands. I have a personality that is so easily consumed by achieving things today, that I deprive myself of the freedom to look beyond apparent losses in order to pursue lasting growth. But hopefully things will change. Even now, I need to go tend to some urgent/present babies, but I will hopefully grow to a place where I can overlook the urgent need to do their laundry in order to nurture them for the future. As I sign off, the parallels are flooding my head: Abraham left Ur, Moses left Egypt, Farmers burn fields today so they will grow more fruit tomorrow, God allows trials today to establish our faith for the future.
If another three months go by before I write in here again, you will know that I have been swallowed up by the first square... but I hope to stick it to the man by spending a little more time thinking about tomorrow.