Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 17: 30 days of thanks

I am thankful for chips & salsa today. I could eat basket after basket. No better way to fill up and eat a little cheaper. It is also a wonderful way to catch up with a friend! Thank you Mexican restaurants for providing this luxury.

Day 16: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for providence. I spent most of the day calling people about houses to rent and most laughed at me. I am thankful for the two that I saw and one that seems perfect and it is our price point and is furnished and has enough beds for all four of us . I am thankful for the Spirit going ahead of me.

Day 15: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for trust. I cling to Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding." I am thankful to be able to trust in something that will never fail me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for new beginnings. Today I drove up to Sun Valley, Idaho to start a new job working at a ski rental shop for the winter season. I am super excited for the change of scenery and the opportunity to be with great friends and grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. It is always exciting to start somewhere new, especially in a place you've never been. I love getting to know a town and learning where the great hole in the wall restaurants are and local places. Here's to new beginnings!

Day 13: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for lounging time. I love to just take it easy and lounge. Curl up and read a book, sit and listen to music, good time staring off, it creates great contemplative time, just a time to soak in life. it was great to just take it easy right before taking off to sun valley. you can chill out with friends or alone. thankful for lounge time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 12: 30 Days of thanks

Today I am thankful for generosity. A friend and I were at a used bookstore and I went to throw some trash away and I found a huge bag of day old donuts so I grabbed them! Granted it was the dumpster to DK Donuts. So I texted a few friends asking them if they wanted any and of course they did. We headed to visit another friend at a coffee shop in Boise and I just felt I needed to share this providence so everyone in the coffee shop got a donut or two and then we took to the streets of downtown looking for others to share this sugary goodness with. It was a giving back moment. I am thankful for the generosity so so so so so so so many people have given me through a room to crash in, food to eat, a place to store my belongings, a place to park my car, paying for a bike tune up for me, making me dinner, allowing me to use their internet, giving me a place to duck in out of the cold. So much generosity to accepted and so much to be given. I am thankful to be able to be on the receiving end, but am so glad to be on the giving end.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 11: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for bad movies. There are few things that bring a group of friends together to laugh and create life long inside jokes from watching terribly made films. So many wonderful memories have been made by them. Late nights. Hurting tummies. Junk food binging. Wonderful times indeed.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for the unexpected randomness in life. I love shotgun trips, surprising friends, running into someone where you don't expect them, impromptu jam sessions, finding gold at thrift stores, catching a game winning goal when you turn on the tv, finding out a friend lives a street away, walking around a bend and get totally blown away by the beauty ahead of you, narrowly averting death, feeling the spirit move in you, accidentally sneezing on someone, finding money in your pocket, getting free popcorn or soda at the movies, when your iPod is shuffling all the bomb songs in a row, and so so so so much more!

Day 9: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for laughter. I am blessed with so many funny friends!!! Some crack me up with their crazy stories or with actual jokes or with phone messages or with animated gifs or by sleepwalking or by singing ridiculous songs or by quoting movie/tv show quotes. I am also glad that I can participate in creating laughter too.

Day 8: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for memories. The handful that I can remember. I am so blessed to have made some great memories with family, friends, and strangers. It has been great to rehash them lately and get reminded of ones I have forgotten about. Thankfully I am adding to my memory bank everyday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: 30 days of thanks

Today I cannot express how thankful I am for my friends. I am blessed with so many awesome friends it is overwhelming! I have friends scattered all over the world and clusters here an there. I am thankful for the laughs, the conversations, the ridiculousness, the generosity, the douchiness, the flakes, the humble, the beautiful, the life of the party, the klutz, the friend I haven't seen in years but we pick up like we'd never been apart. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for my friends. I wish I could thank them all individually but just know that I cherish my time with you because who knows the next time ill see you or talk with ou or remember your birthday or be there to hear you complain or to go shopping with you. So thankful for friends.

Day 6: 30 days of thanks

Yesterday (but its actually not) I was and continue to be thankful for music. Music is such an amazing medium that not only is the creative process so enjoyable and complex but so simple but the end product is life changing. I feel like I could spew off pages and pages into this digital abyss about my love for music but I shan't. The emotional rollercoaster music brings me on is something I cherish so so much whether I'm listening to depressingly sad songs to feed my down and out feelings or getting giddy with friends when a new album gets released. I love road trip music; I love shower music, I love background music, I love playlists, I love shuffle (when it's spitting out gold); I love hearing a friends music; I love new music; I love love love old music; I love to sing to music; I love to play air instruments to music; I love to share music. It's such an important part of who I am and who I am continuing to become.

Day 5: 30 Days of thanks

I am thankful for creation. The clouds have been really impressing me as of lately and seeing Nampa sunsets makes me miss them all the more! The way how intricate plants and trees and pomegranates and the tiny seeds on strawberries or how edamames are a little hairy! I'm thankful for animals in all their different varieties, classes, species, families. How graceful some are and how intimidating others are. I love the ability to partake in creation whether in music or sand castles or snow mans or home made cookies or dumb photographs or nicknames or stories that aren't even true but make your friends laugh! I am thankful that some choose to create life and how beautiful that must be and how amazing when that creation turns into an actual functioning being. It boggles my little creative mind. Today errr maybe like 3 days ago I was but still am thankful for creation.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4: 30 Days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for naps. As of now I am curled up next to two dogs on a couch only big enough for myself. Naps are great snuggle times with man's best friend or a partner. Sometimes it means that you were up late the night before or up early or it could possibly Sunday afternoon. Naps give you that little bit of energy that you need to keep up with the day. Today I am thankful for naps.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3: 30 Days of Thanks

I am thankful for breakfast, my favorite meal. I love it in the morning, I love it late at night. I literally have gone days eating nothing but cereal. Breakfast in bed is a treat too. Whether its a hot meal or cold, breakfast is my preference. I am thankful for breakfast. (Today I had scrambled eggs, tea, and apple spiced muffins).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2: 30 Days of Thanks

Today, I am thankful for technology. We live in an awesome time to be able to stay in contact with people around the world; get turn by turn directions for pretty much anywhere; and the ability to laugh for days at sheer ridiculous videos or memes online. With these I am thankful that it allows me to keep in contact with friends who are countries away or just a handful of miles. Having the ability to watch my niece roll over for the first time or see a birthday party I just am not able to get to. I am thankful for how much technology allows me to be a part of others' lives and continue to grow in those relationships.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 1: 30 Days of Thanks

Thankful for freedom, in all it's forms. Freedom of living with less or with more. Freedom to read whatever, whenever. Freedom to create (art, music, poetry, films, photography, nonsense). Freedom to speak openly about my frustration with the government or big oil or about religion or about how much I love my friends and family. Freedom to travel. Freedom to experience. Freedom to free my thinking from oppressive propaganda. Freedom to protest. Freedom to hope. Freedom of love; to share it, to hide it, to shyly slide it across the table on a note, to be filled with it, to beg for it, to yearn for it, and to live within it. Freedom of expression to wear wonky costumes even if it's not Halloween or spend literally a full day at the movie theater camping out for your favorite film or pasting the back of your car or water bottle with stickers of places you've been or people you support or products you love. Freedom of free will. Freedom to pursue happiness in whatever form you find that to be in. Freedom of diet; eating ice cream for dinner, living off of cereal, eating organic, being dairy free, gluten free, soy free, being vegetarian, or filling your pie hole with pie. Freedom of choice: buy this brand, don't buy that, go here, go there, up, down, right, backwards. Freedom to change. Freedom from sin. Freedom from oppression. Freedom to forgive. Freedom to be forgiven. Thankful for freedom, in all it's forms.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"The Trumpets of Conscience" creed and final testament of MLK Jr.

I providentially came across Martin Luther King Jr.'s "The Trumpet of Conscience" while visiting The White Pine in Idaho a few weekends ago; I had read quotes from MLK Jr. in several other books and was really wanting to pick up some of his own writings. I have also been listening to several of his sermons and speeches for free at this great website called Martin Luther King Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle. I would recommend 'Paul's Letter to American Christians' as well as 'Loving Your Enemies'; both could be and should be heard today in churches around the country.

I write not as a selfish, holier than thou, but as a man of conviction and belief that there is a better way of life both in the here and now, but as well as in the afterlife. I understand man is flawed and the nature of sin is easy, is more convenient, and is more attractive, but I firmly believe and pray the words Jesus taught his disciples in the Lord's Prayer "...your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-13).  I do not believe that as spiritual believers that we are to sit back and let the world fall to pieces; in Genesis 1 God created men and women to be in charge of the other creatures and out of love and respect to God we are to be responsible with all the animals, plants, and resources we have been given. I believe we are to creatively oppose hate, violence, poverty, war, and selfishness with love for God, as well as, for one another which are the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40).  Dr. King speaks about the role of nonviolence and love to help protest on behalf of the afflicted as well as for yourself. I wanted to just share several excerpts that really struck my heart, conscience, and convictions.

As I have said and will continue to say until the breath seeps from my lungs, there is One who is and I am trying to reflect some sort of portion of Him to others. I encourage conversation, questions, and disagreement.

Excerpts from 'Conscience and the Vietnam War':
"We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers." 
"Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when they help us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weakness of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition." 
"Every man of humane  convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest." 
"The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just." 
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."

Excerpts from 'Youth and Social Action':
"Nothing in our glittering technology can raise man to new heights, because material growth  has been made an end in itself, and, in the absence of moral purpose, man himself becomes smaller as the work of man become bigger." 
"The conscience of an awakened activist cannot be satisfied with a focus on local problems, if only because he sees that local problems are all interconnected with world problems."

Excerpts from 'Nonviolence and Social Change':
"Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man." 
"We in the west must bear in mind that the poor countries are poor primarily because we have exploited them through political or economic colonialism." 
"Americans in particular must help their nation repent of her modern economic imperialism."

Excerpts from 'A Christmas Sermon on Peace':
"If we don't have goodwill toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power." 
"Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective." 
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." 
"We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means."
"But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."

Dr. Kings' words rang true in 1967 and continue to ring true to today. I encourage you to pickup a copy of "The Trumpets of Conscience"; it is a quick read not even a hundred pages. My only aim is to better myself into a more loving and aware being; this isn't a guilt trip or a means to finger point, subsequently the only finger pointing has been at my own life.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Presidential Candidate Social Responsiveness

After seeing in the news that both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama's campaigns have collectively raised well over $300 million dollars, I was wondering what all this money is going to, so I did some checking on various news agencies and websites about previous elections and where all the money went. Basically it breaks down into travel costs, media advertisement, administrative costs, pollings & surveys, postage & shipping costs, as well as charitable donations (granted all of these findings are based off of Obama's 2008 election numbers but still applicable today). Out of all of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised ($750 million) only $130,000 went to charitable donations. How sad is this, and it isn't just the Obama campaign, but ALL of the campaigns!

The Obama campaign raised well over $750 million dollars in 2008 and is raising more for this coming November; why are Romney and Obama not using this money towards helping the American people like they adamantly claim they want to do when they enter office? All of this money could go towards helping others through distributing the funds to nonprofits, charities, shelters, food banks, alcoholics anonymous, suicide hotlines, free health clinics, summer school programs, habitat for humanity, and the list could go on and on. Not only would this be helping the very people who will be voting to put them into office, but would help serve the American public well before they enter office (if they win).

Wouldn't this help the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, education? Wouldn't this create jobs? Create a creative and helpful alternative to the bickering through ad campaigns and news programs? Would this not show somewhat of the character  each candidate has through which organizations they choose to give? Wouldn't this create great press for each candidate and allow them to put a real human connection to their campaign? Couldn't they still be able to state their agenda/beliefs while helping others instead of shameless self-promotion?

All of this is possible, but it means using the very voice you have as a voter; each candidate has a contact page on their campaign websites that allow you to e-mail each candidate suggestions/comments. I have e-mailed both, stating all of the above and challenging them to take this bold new move to change how to run an election. Below are the links to their contact pages. 

*We need to be creative, proactive, and peaceful to get things accomplished because the current system is a mess and only through actively voicing our concerns and suggestions will we be able to create any difference. 

Barack Obama Contact Page -
Mitt Romney Contact Page -
Barack Obama's 2008 Campaign Expenditures -
2012 Campaign Money Race -

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. 
- Martin Luther King Jr."

Monday, March 12, 2012

i am i & You Are You

been recording some music recently and my first collection of songs are part of "uncompleted atoms of our solar system". these songs are layers of several guitar tracks that i've been messing around with. this isn't for everyone, but i love music that toys with the balance of noise and music like the velvet underground, sufjan stevens, and wilco. i am going to be starting to record my songs that i have written in the previous years and try and focus on finishing the album i've been writing about several biblical stories. this project was mainly a reason to iron out the kinks in the recording process and try out new sounds. enjoy, don't enjoy, it's no difference to me.

i am i & You Are You

Uncompleted Atoms Of Our Solar System

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the last year

time is constant and so goes another year. much has happened and much continues to happen. i lived in peru, i volunteered, i watched movies, i notched another wonder of the world off my list, i wrote music, i contracted giardiasis, i visited alaska, i read books, i hung out with family, i visited national parks, i listened to music, i drove through canada, i visited idaho, i packed my belongings, i moved, i started working. i made big decisions, i failed some, accomplished others, and learned from all. everyone always asks, "what's your next big adventure?" and i say to them " i don't know, something always seems to come about" but i always have ideas and longings. an adventure comes in many forms, some more glamourous than others but all the while you are adventuring through life whether you know it or not. you can adventure through the mundane, the busyness, the new, the old, or right where you've been all along. i am weary, i am nervous, i am excited for what comes next.

books i read: c.s. lewis' the great divorce & a grief observed, thoreau's walden, bunyan's the pilgrim's progress, twain's tramp abroad traveling the equator, shane claiborne's jesus for president, and robert hurst's the cyclist manifesto. probably my favorite book that i read would have to jesus for president which i wrote a little review of my thoughts early last year. good luck finding it.

movies i watched: too many, way too many. look back at my list that i watched in peru then add lots more but i want to highlight a few of my favorites: werner herzog's encounters at the end of the world & cave of forgotten dreams, all the harry potters, garbage warrior, carlos pt's 1-3, catfish, alone in the wilderness, the beatles documentary, 2001 a space odyssey, melancholia, and the tree of life. i could list  so many more but these where the ones whether they came out last year or not were the ones that i really enjoyed and felt moved while watching them. my favorite would be hands down the tree of life which deserves a blog post by itself but i do not need to add to the overflowing amounts of blogs and articles that have been written about it. it is one of the most beautiful movies i've ever seen and such a moving film with not much narrative. the more i read and learn about the film i am continued to be amazed at how amazing terrence malick is as a director.  

music i listened to: as i mentioned above, i listened to a lot of music in peru and still listening to all of it but the bands that stick out the most would be george harrison, akron/family, sufjan stevens, holy weak, mickey the jump, avett brothers, and of course fleet foxes. fleet foxes was my favorite album of this past year. it is my most played album and most played songs. they captured what really worked for them in their previous albums and somehow made it all more amazing. i can't praise that album enough.

i have made many new friends and enjoyed wonderful memories with family. i am continually reminded how blessed i am and how everything will be alright. excited to see what ebbs and flows come from this new year.