Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Cure for Pain

Listen to song here

I'm not sure why it always goes downhill
Why broken cisterns never could stay filled
I've spent ten years singing gravity away
But the water keeps on falling from the sky

And here tonight while the stars are blacking out
With every hope and dream I've ever had in doubt
I've spent ten years trying to sing these doubts away
But the water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord, to suffer like You do
It would be a lie to run away

So blood is fire pulsing through our veins
We're either riders or fools behind the reigns
I've spent ten years trying to sing it all away
But the water keeps on falling from my tries

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord, to suffer like You do
It would be a lie to run away
A lie to run, it would be a lie
It would be a lie to run away

It keeps on falling
Water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord, to suffer like You do
It would be a lie to run away
It would be a lie to run away
It would be a lie to run away

- Jon Foreman


What else is there -
when love is not enough?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missed the train

Somehow I don't really mind missing the train.

I mean I was a little put off at first, but now, twenty minutes later, I'm really glad it happened.

My whole evening had been planned out, almost down to the minute. The waiting times for the bus, time spent at home before heading to the climbing gym, time pilates class starts, when I was going to head home, go to bed etc... had all been planned out. When the train left, my plans followed suite.

Right now, I'm drinking an eggnog latte at my favorite cafe (Zeitgeist anyone?) in Seattle, just relaxing and watching people. Man sometimes I just need to slow down. Take it easy. Not miss out on life because I'm so busy planning the next step.

Ps- eggnog lattes aren't that bad, but I probably wouldn't recommend it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

food for thought

I saw a bumper sticker on the way to the train last night that read, "Don't delay joy."

"Why would anyone do that?" I thought,

"that's stupid..."

Repugnant Rationale

I believe in evolution. It is undeniable. Things evolve, or adapt. I do not believe that evolution can explain the origin of life, nor can it explain many other phenomena.

What really pisses me off is when an atheist writes off a creationist as unsophisticated and illogical because they have faith in God. What an incredibly ignorant, hypocritical thing to say.

Terminology. This is at the crux of the matter.

Many Christians I know claim they do not believe in evolution, mostly, I believe, because of the many cultural implication that go along with it. So in making this statement, they ‘throw out the baby with the bathwater'. The word evolution conjures up all kinds of separate references that shouldn’t define the word, but do.

The word, faith, is the same.

Richard Dawkins, a marketing genius, spares no words in denouncing anyone with faith. He has positioned himself as the protagonist for Darwin’s theory of natural selection and agnostic origins of life. You probably know who he is, that’s why I’m using him as an example.

Mr. Dawkins casts the aforementioned criticisms toward anyone with a faith in a creator, yet he is certain that, in time, science and the triumph of quantitative processes will prove the reality of things not yet known and statistically impossible. Is it a stretch to say that he has faith; that in time what is now unknown will be known? Does he believe that science will explain the unexplainable in much the same way as I believe God will clarify the same things?

Mr. Dawkins would say that all things are explainable and quantifiable, but if asked to explain them now, I would bet his rhetoric would include something smacking of faith in a later revelation.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Dawkins is more than welcome to hold whatever view he would like, as is anyone else, but do so with some dignity! I can respect you believing in whomever or whatever you want, but don’t attack my intellect for exercising the same right. Your theory is foiled by the same criticisms you cast at mine.

I do take this personally. Fact.

My beliefs cannot always be explained and quantified. Fact.

Neither can yours.

“Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 20, 2009

pics of the day

All pictures taken from:


For the past year, I have a pair of boat shoes that I've worn about 5 days a week. They're awesome and comfortable. They can be dressed up or down, to church or the beach. I've gone climbing and running in them. They're great with or without socks, and they just slip on. Unfortunately, with all this wear, they are starting to get holes in the bottoms.
For those who don't know, I live in Seattle now. It rains a lot in Seattle, so the tradeoff to wearing my awesome boat shoes is wet feet.
I have this things about my belt and my shoes matching. I put on a brown belt yesterday, so that meant... brown shoes. It was raining outside as usual and I didn't feel like changing my belt, so it was either wet feet, or dress shoes.
My dress shoes are really nice. They're kindof heavy, nice leather... blah blah blah. They're dry. That's why I chose them.
It's been a while since I've worn 'nice' shoes. I never realized how different they make you feel and act. They're hard to run in. They make me walk funny, and they seem so serious. They were even getting in the way of my end of day ping pong match with Nate.
This story should have been summed up in one statement:
I feel like a retard in dress shoes.

Monday, November 16, 2009


God has saved -
and I,
are saved!
By faith,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Actively Empathize

Empathy doesn't come naturally to everyone. I am one of those people.

When someone is in pain, or has suffered a loss, or has something great happen to them, I can't say that I really feel it. I understand that something 'good' or 'bad' has happened, but I'm not giddy with excitement nor wrought with pain.

These feelings (or lack thereof) are from my interactions with friends and family. I am even more desensitized to intangible disasters or fortunes. Out of sight, out of mind...

Conflict. Not necessarily out of mind, completely. I know that I should feel bad, or be happy for these real events that happen to real people, but it just doesn't come naturally. I want to hurt for them, and to celebrate with them. I do sometimes, but it takes an effort.

I don't believe that my lack of natural empathy is reason not to feel other people's feelings. It is reason to work harder toward understand, to care, to love. Empathy is about sharing. It's about getting out of our own little world, looking past our own interests and concerns, and making an effort to know someone else.

Love is empathetic. Love doesn't invest, love gives.

Actively caring for someone else, and sharing someone else's life is perhaps the most important things we can do. Jesus called it 'being a neighbor'.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sunny in Seattle

This morning, I woke up to a day enshrouded in a thick fog. It was really hard to get myself out of bed. It seems so impossible sometimes, to get up and start the day when it is so gloomy outside.

Well I did finally get up, a little over an hour after my alarm went off. Every time I get up this late, it’s really a rush to make it to the bus on time, and breakfast is not an option. (Which sucks… I really like breakfast) I end up making it outside a few minutes earlier than I thought.

It’s about a ten-minute walk to the bus, down this big hill I live on. Everything was really wet when I left the apartment, but after a few minutes, I was under the cloud layer in this sort of eerie grey world where all the colors are super saturated. The air was very heavy and very cool, a very typical Seattle morning, as I’m finding out.

The bus came right on time, and dropped me off at the train station about ten minutes ahead of its arrival. Brrr. Probably should have worn a jacket…

Train ride = Bible time. It’s quite convenient. I am forced to sit with no other distractions. Lately I’ve been reading Luke with a renewed sense of purpose.

James (my roommate) preached a couple weeks ago about knowing God. Recognizing Him like you would recognize a friend. For example, I know how Bjorn walks, how he talks, how he laughs, and what kind of things he might say. I could pick him out of a crowd without ever seeing him. I should know God this way too.

So anyway, I’ve been reading Luke, and feel like I’m actually meeting Jesus and discovering His personality. I’m not reading it to discover some amazing truth, but just to know how Jesus acts. It has become a lot more tangible for me this way…

About five minutes out of town, the clouds break all the way to the Olympics to the West and the Cascades to the East. It’s a beautiful morning. It is sunny and beautiful in Seattle, and I didn’t even expect it. 

I don’t know when my relationship with God will explode, or when I will become illuminated, but I’m enjoying getting to know a new friend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What to do...

So I started a new internship last week at a really great company, and they don't have anything for me to do. This seems like a really unusual problem, for a company this successful, so I am convinced that I need to make myself known.
To do this, I will make my rounds every morning, telling every department head that I'm here and am willing to do whatever they might ask me to do. They usually smile, thank me, and then go back to work after some small chat about how they'll let me know as soon as something comes up. Do people in office's just act like they have things to do all day, when they really don't?
Another problem that I've run into is that when they do give me something to do, I finish it quickly, and then am back to square one. This dilemna could be solved by dragging out what work I get as long as possible, but that completely defeats the purpose of efficiency!
Alas, I brought my new book The Wild Things by Dave Eggers and am thuroughally enjoying it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The List

Lately, I feel like nothing important gets accomplished during the day, so, today I made a list.
That's right, a list.
The list has been my daddy today, and I am kicking butt and taking names. Before my parents get here tomorrow, I'm going to have accomplished more that the past two months combined. It's really amazing and inspiring.
Blogging, however, was not on my list, so I must go. But before I do, check out this AWESOME piece on architecture HERE.

Free Scones!!

So the Puyallup Fair scones have been touted for months. At the fair, there is always a line of 25 people of more waiting to pick up one of the $1.25 pieces of heaven.
I tried one. It was good, but... really? Was this what all the hype was about? It tastes like a biscuit with butter and jelly. Maybe I'm a pastry snob, but as far as I'm concerned, people have been getting hyping up something a little too average.
Tonight at the World Vision exhibit, traffic was a little slow. I always enjoy getting to know new people, so I kicked off the evening by visiting our neighbor's booth, which happened to be an Islamic center. Upon getting back to WV, I realized that I wouldn't mind getting some food, but didn't really want to pay.
The night before, I had met a couple people from the Young Life chicken teriyaki wagon, and had managed to get some free food with a frisbee swap. I decided to pay them a visit again tonight, with my partner in crime Garrett. We walked up, but after seeing that most of the employees had a y-chromosome, figured we would be out of luck. They were good sports though, and swapped some more WV schwag for two plates of rice, teriyaki, and salad. We felt good about this.
Our pie neighbors came into Africa a few minutes later, and we realized that this would also be a good connection to have. We talked to them a few times in the exhibit, trying to make them feel as welcome as possible. When they where leaving, I offered some WV pens, glowing bracelets, and WV visors. Two of the girls eagerly accepted, but one turned to me and told me she'd rather save the money and use it to the kids benefit... ouch.
Battered but not defeated, we decided to take our friendmaking to the scone wagon, the holy grail of the Puyallup Fair. Feeling rather ambitions at this point, Garrett and I took two frisbees and a half dozen glowing bracelets. We walked up with big grins, asked what they where doing with their beautiful hot scones, and offered a swap for some awesome WV schwag. They all looked around for a minute, as if looking for approval, than one girl handed us a huge bag full of at least 13 or 14 scones. Hot, tasty, FAMOUS scones. These where worth their weight in gold. You don't even understand.
Since we are Christians, we shared them with our newfound Young Life friends and coworkers. It was a sort of investment.
My take away: What an awesome evening. A few cheap plastic toys helps us kill some very slow time, build some new friendships, and also fill some hungry tummies. It's all about who you know, and how you approach them...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Traveling Minister

There's a little bakery a few block from my apartment in Tacoma called Corina Bakery. It has a modest exterior, with a big window and church benches and long tables for dining. The WiFi and cranberry orange scone is what attracted me here today.
I've been sitting here for quite a while. The to do list included applying for jobs, catching up on email and other social devices, and reading the news. Nothing too crazy. Someone sent me a link for a "flash mob" in downtown Seattle that was pretty entertaining. All together a really relaxed afternoon.
A few minutes ago, an older gentleman in a bright green fleece, hunter green pants, and a red Tacoma Rainiers cap came and sat next to me. Not being the introverted type, it didn't take him long to tell me hi, with a big smile, and begin to tell me about his soup. Apparently its much hotter in the plastic cup than in a ceramic bowl. It needed to be eaten before the Mariner's game at 3:30.
Our conversation was intermittent. A couple of dogs (and their owners) came in, which immediately grabbed his attention. There was a little boy with a big white bear behind us, and he would turn around and comment on it every few minutes.
When we were talking, I found out that he was a traveling minister. He worked at the local Education Opportunity Center to fund his ministry. "Could you help me with the wrapper?" That part of conversation was over. The scone was wrapped too well for his trembling hands to manage. It was almost wrapped too well for me to get though. I managed though, he offered me half, I declined.
Almost immediately he turned back toward the boy and started singing to him "Praise Jesus, He loved the little indian boy...". He questions more about the boy, and his parents said they didn't know if he would be an evangelist, and yes, he does have beautiful eyes.
"Well, I've gotta get home to watch the Mariners game. Yippi Yai!" Was his farewell bid. He wished me well. He gave the dogs another scratch and then he was gone.
 Life seems to go a bit slower in little cafe's. Maybe that's the appeal. Cities are cool, and the hustle of activity has it's appeal, but life is all about the details. The traveling minister, the future evangelists, the community here at the Corina Bakery.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to lose friends and alienate people

This essay is part of my thought process, not the end answer. 
I've always believed honesty to be the best answer. This has generally been a fairly easy mandate to follow. I know what is true, and what isn't. If I just tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, everyone would understand and it would all be OK.
Is it necessary to honestly convey what you feel? It now seems a bit elementary to me that I should be completely transparent. Its possible to be completely transparent and honest with feelings, and still paint a false or incomplete story. This honesty can result in unnecessary pain.
A couple nights ago, I told a good friend exactly how I felt about a part of our relationship. I didn't say one lie, nor did I exaggerate any of the details. Everything was said with the best of intentions, but I hurt my friend deeply. I wanted to help and improve the situation, but my brazen honesty somehow became selfish when I didn't consider how it would affect the other person and was only considering how I felt about the situation. We haven't spoken since.
No doubt time heals a lot of mistakes, but time also prevents mistakes from happening. Tact is a fundamental of any healthy and honest relationship. What if, instead of honestly conveying feeling at the time of their conception, I had waited a week to distill them into something tactful, beneficial, or maybe realize that the problem isn't worth worrying about at all. Is it dishonest to act differently than you feel until you sort your feelings out?
The solution might be in respect and trying to meet the needs of the other person over your own needs. Hmmm... more thoughts to come.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


John Smith awoke a little earlier than usual last Sunday morning. The house was quiet, with his wife and kids still asleep, which left him with some time to kill. He drank a cup of coffee and skimmed the headlines of the paper before he realized how particularly beautiful the fall morning was. Quietly he donned an old pair of gym shorts and managed to find his college running shoes on top of a stack of returned comp. papers in the spare bedroom’s closet.
The crisp air and colorful leaves reminded John of why he had loved running back in the day. Most mornings he would see his neighbor Mary running, and though twelve years his senior, she kept a very respectable pace that sent a twinge of guilt though John’s mind for neglecting his fitness.
“Sure, I could still run if I had the time”, John would think, “but its just nicer to get up and read the paper before work, without the stress of cramming more into an already stressful day”.
This usually placated his conscience enough to finish reading the paper before work and finish the day without regretting his prior deci
sion. However, John was proud of himself this morning for actually lacing up his shoes and getting his rear in gear. He turned right out of his driveway toward the entrance of the subdivision a few minutes away, all the while enjoying the sound of his well-worn shoes on the pavement. He smiled and greeted Mary between breaths as he passed her returning from her run. “She sure looked surprised to see me out here”, John mused, “but I still got it.”
His breathing got a little heavier as he started the hill leading onto the main road. John leaned forward and strived to maintain his pace. A few more strides rewarded him with a searing pain in his side and a burning sensation descending down his neck. Perhaps this had been expected, but definitely not this early. Though he hadn’t left with a particular stopping point in mind, it was rapidly getting sooner and sooner until he suddenly stopped to ‘catch his breath’ and walk for a moment by the subdivisions entrance.

“What’s happened to me?”, was all he could think as he turned around to make sure Mary didn’t notice his stopping. “I used be the president of the Southern Striders!”. John made a few more starting attempts before calling it a day and walking home to stretch.
Since our first history lesson, the sacrifice our forefathers made to give us the country we enjoy living in today has been made quite clear. Thank you forefathers. You sacrificed, struggled, yearned, and endured to create a land embodying the most idealistic of principles; liberty.
It is also quite clear that our country is facing many great challenges today, not so different in scope and effect as what our
forefathers dealt with in their day. Do you know what those issues we as American’s are dealing with today? Do you know what the headlines mean?
Eric: “Well . . . some of our country’s issues are the economy, and the war in Iraq, and healthcare, and the social security system, to name a few.”
Ok Eric, all true. Now why are these issues? What events and decisions led us the position we are in today regarding our social security system? Why can’t we just print the money to bail the banks out and call it good? Where is Barack Obama going to get the money for his health care plan. How is John McCain going to continue financing the war in Iraq? Do you know who Bob Barr is? What is your civic duty?
What is your civic duty? What does it mean to be an American? Is it a standard of living envied by most of the world? Is it being able to buy a gun or tell someone what you really think? Is it enjoying the American dream and feeling safe on an airplane? “Ms. Couric, I’d like to use a lifeline.”

“Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” –Martin Luther Kind Jr.
The Roman Republic, cited as a classic example progressive thinking and political freedom, lost both by settling for tranquility. Benjamin Franklin boldly said that “People willing to trade their liberty for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both”. This applies to more than just terrorism.
It is not enough to know we have problems. It is not
enough to know merely what those problems are. It is our duty as Americans to defend liberty. The duty is not limited to those serving in the armed forces. You have the responsibility to ask questions, to use the information available to become informed and educated. Voltaire had it right in part when he advised “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” You have the responsibility to know what you believe, know why you believe it, and to defend that belief. I can be free only as you are free*.
As John Smith found out early one Sunday morning, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Exercise your rights as an American. Only in this can liberty’s continuation be assured.
*modified quote from Charles Caleb Colton


It’s April, and that’s no joke. March has past, and February before that. Yes, even January is gone, and no, they aren’t coming back. Part of April is gone too. It just up and left. The time you spent reading that last sentence, though you will cherish the memory, is gone . . . for good. Do you see what I’m saying? This time you just spent thinking about the aforementioned lost time, that’s gone too. Where has it all run off to? Is there anyway stop the hemorrhaging?
I vividly remember, about two and a half years ago, walking home down the sidewalk in Prague with my friend Isreal Cilio. The cobblestone was uneven under our feet, the little corner market was on our left, and our year as a student missionaries directly in front of us. Isreal and I were talking about how fast time went sometimes. Like summer camp. You get there, meet everyone in staff training, than pack up and go home. It’s that fast. Before you know it, its all a memory, often revisited, but never re-lived.
We blinked and picked up the same conversation. Our students had just graduated. We had our farewell dinner last night and were heating up leftovers on the stove. Today was when our apartment was to have its final cleaning. Where had the time gone?
Last Christmas I went to Maine to see my dad. We booked the tickets in October to try and get the best fare possible. Before the tickets were bought, I checked my exam schedule to see exactly when my last exam was, added the time to get to the airport, and purchased the coinciding tickets. October left, November followed suite, and December was getting away from me too. Exams and graduation were upon us when it finally hit me. One of my best friends was graduating. Graduating! And more than me not being here for it, was the fact that “a chapter in our lives was through”. Gone, like Al Pacino’s cash.
Sadly, there are no time surgeons that I know of, at least none around here. So what is to be done with all this time that just doesn’t seem to be on my side anymore? I don’t think stomping my feet will make it come back. Maybe I should raise my voice and let it know who’s boss, but that might prove to be a waste of time as well.
One things for sure, time is something not to be squandered or trifled with. Time suffers no fools. Mr. T was definitely on point. So, since time cannot be harnessed and we don’t want to be fools, we should enjoy it for what it is . . . a gift. Enjoy the moment. Live it up, it’s only here once. Go crazy. Climb something illegal. Skip class and sit in the sun. I don’t know! Whatever makes you come alive, do that. Don’t postpone living any longer. Don’t spend today dreaming about tomorrow or regretting the past, because before you know it, today will soon be gone.