Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Note to self: Read more books.
I talked to my friend Jason tonight at SCF, and I was pleasantly surprised by his in-depth knowledge of philosophy, particularly postmodern philosophy. I thought I was the only one in Evansville who studied this stuff!! I've known Jason for quite some time. He's a musician and he's somehow affiliated with the Duncans of Wounded Records, and so when they asked me to rap at some events, Jason was also there playing guitar. Anyway, I had only talked with him a few times in passing, nothing really in-depth. Well, tonight, we got to chit-chatting and he said that he had just now got the money to be a full-time student and get his master's here at USI. He said he was going to go on and get his PhD in philosophy. This definitely struck a chord in me, so I asked him who some of his favorite philosophers were. He said it was James K.A. Smith. The name sounded so familiar to me, so I asked Jason what he had written, and he said Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? Aha! That book was advertised on Christianity Today's website for a very long time. I've really been wanting to read it. So now I definitely have more incentive to go ahead and do that. At that point, Tyler, the new assistant for SCF walked up and started talking with us about postmodernity and the emerging church and whatnot. We had some great conversation, and I felt really good and a little dumb after leaving the conversation. They are some smart cats!
Church was interesting today. I went and checked out Children's Church for a little bit before I went into the regular service. When I walked into the children's area, they were having their worship service. I'm still not sure how I feel about very young children raising their hands and "worshiping." On one hand, I don't wanna sound like a pompous jerk and say that they can't comprehend worship, because I don't think worship is something to be "comprehended." Jesus even said we should become like children in some sense (I'm not really sure what that sense is. Another note to self: study what Jesus meant here.) It's definitely good that kids are seeing adults model one type of praise for them. I just am not sure that kids are developmentally ready for this type of worship. But then again, is anybody developmentally ready? I'm not sure. I guess where I'm coming from is that I remember one woman in our church years ago who had 3 and 4 year olds getting "slain in the spirit" in her Sunday school class. Singing praises to God is good; feeling like you must isn't.
So I went to regular church after a few minutes. We came in during the music worship part. I've got to be honest. At this point, I'm not really into the whole corporate worship thing. Somehow, standing up for 30 minutes listening to songs I don't really like is not a real pleasant experience for me. That's not even to mention that I'm not sure that I can relate to some of the lyrics in the songs. I'm not an extremely pour-out-your-emotions type person at this point. That's not to say that I'm not sensitive, but I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve as much as I used to. Most of the songs we sing in our church are sappy love songs to God. They sound like they took a Bryan Adams song, slowed it down, and changed a few of the lyrics. That's cool for some people, definitely. But it's not me at this point. I think I need something more/different/less/something. I really need to look into this whole alternative worship stuff. I've heard great things about it!
Good day, kinda got a little tired, but I'm persevering. Right now, Amber and I are sitting in the school library. She is looking beautiful, painting graffiti (not literally, virtually). I sure do love her!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
"The same consciousness that created a problem can not solve it."
Great quote from Einstein. I think we really need to renew our minds and look at things from different perspectives in order to solve the problems we find ourselves in.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I'm sitting here watching Back to the Future Part Two with my girlfriend and little brother A.J. We've already watched Part 1 and we are attempting to watch all three tonight. I know, I know, this is quite a venture, but I believe it can be accomplished (perhaps with a little divine intervention).
For some reason, I've been extremely tired and lethargic today. I started taking Provigil on Tuesday to try to combat my seemingly endless battle with fatigue. I had taken up drinking coffee again for about a month leading up to my decision to take Provigil. The effects of coffee were wonderful for about the first two and a half weeks, but then I hit a wall. I was drinking two cups a day, spending quite a bit of money on caffeine. I spent so much, in fact, that I overdrew my bank account several times and am now in about $300.00 of debt due to overdraw fees. I really don't know how I got into this debt, but I would have to say it was irresponsibility with my money. I received a LOT of money from people for Christmas, but somehow I blew it all. That's not to say that I spent all the money on myself. Actually, I spent most of the money on other people without really paying much attention to my checking account balance. Well, that was a stupid idea. In addition to this, I also haven't received a paycheck from my job for about a month because I didn't have to work during my Christmas break. It was nice to receive that break, but now I'm really facing the consequences.
I really need to get my finances under control. So, yesterday, I went to the library and got The Total Money Makeover written by Dave Ramsey. I've heard great things about this book from Adam and others who have gone through his Financial Peace University. I really think Amber and I need to go through this before we get married, but we have plenty of time for that. She's not bad at all with her finances, but she doesn't really budget or anything at this point. I think budgeting is probably the most essential part of feeling some sense of peace about your finances. I also listened to a podcast by Joyce Meyer today called Becoming Debt Free. I'm not totally sure how I feel about Joyce Meyer. She seems a tad too materialistic for my liking, but she had some good words to say about financial security. I'm SO glad I don't have a credit card!
So, as far as music goes, I'm helping Rhyme Rock hook up a show at USI through the Multicultural Center on Saturday, February 10th at 7:00. All I know for sure is the date. I will post more details in a short time. I'm also gearing up to promote for a show at The Wired Coffee House on March 17 at 6:30 PM. We are trying a new approach to promoting this time. We are simply going to call basically everyone we know and invite them out personally. My gut feeling is that this will be more successful than the promoting we've done in the past (flyers, email, radio). We'll definitely see.
I'm really working on becoming more organized and focused. It's hard when I'm very tired much of the time, but I pray for God to give me the strength to continue and be productive. Even if I'm not productive in my own eyes, I know God still accepts me as I am, and I will try to remember that my character is the main thing that matters. God give me strength!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Wow, it's really been too long since I last posted a blog entry here. I guess it's actually been over 4 months, which is 1/3 of a year. A lot has changed in my life since last September, and I'm not really totally sure about the direction I'm headed. I feel confident that I'm in a better position than I was 4 months ago, but things seem to move in a circular direction at times.
Sometimes, it really feels like I don't have a lot to say. That's why I don't write very much. But somehow, when I do write, I end up writing a lot. So, I have no agenda for this entry, but I have had a lot of things on my mind lately. What's new? Nothing at all, haha.
First and foremost in my mind is the idea of positivity. For those that have known me for quite some time, I have always been a fairly pessimistic person when it comes to my own abilities. I do believe that I am an intelligent person with some athletic skill and I like the way I look most of the time. However, I think my main problem is that I don't feel I really match up in most areas. First off, when it comes to my intelligence, I believe I understand principles (political science, economics, theology) and abstract ideas much more easily than do most people, but I struggle to see how this truly helps me in real life. Like, how can I help people by understanding abstract ideas? Perhaps I could be a writer? But I feel like I don't like to write. But I'm not sure. People that understand principles really well are sometimes speakers. But I'm usually nervous as heck when I have to speak in front of a group of people. Unless I know what I'm talking about very well and I've practiced a lot before I talk. This doesn't make sense because I believe in my intelligence, and I believe what I have to say is important (at least sometimes). I guess I just get really intimidated by people. Does anybody have any ideas about how not to be intimidated by people?
Okay, so back to positivity. My friend Adam told me about this new movie out called The Secret. I checked it out, and it is basically a movie made by this woman that found out what she calls the "secret" to success and getting what you want. It seems like it basically boils down to remaining positive and staying focused on your goals. According to this philosophy, when you truly decide you want something, decide on it and say "let it be so." Apparently the universe (God) will begin dropping opportunities into your way that will help you get to what your goal is. Basically, it says that we cannot afford to think negatively about our situations. We truly manifest what we've decided in our minds. I read the analogy at Steve Pavlina's blog that it is like cooking. When you think about cooking, you normally think of it in terms of cause and effect. The causes would include turning on the stove, getting your cookware out, etc. etc. But he said that these things are not the TRUE cause of cooking (the effect). The true cause is your decision to do these things, without which you would have no effect (food) at all. This, he says, can be applied to every area of life, from starting a business to finding a spouse to getting a new car.
Me, personally, the main dream I've had for several years is being able to make music. I mean, to write, record, do shows, collaborate, make beats, stuff like that. The only real thing that's kept me from pursuing this dream wholeheartedly is my own insecurity. I believe that I have the talent, self-discipline, and ability to do it, but fear really holds me back. It's mainly fear of embarking on a quest wholeheartedly and beginning to hate it. I've been there before (with youth ministry, girls, education), and it's all gotten to the point where I dread even doing any of it. I realize the amount of responsibility it takes to really take ownership of anything, and I guess I feel like I'm too half-hearted to really embark. Any ideas here?
Okay, I think that's enough for today. I want to write more, but we all know that that can be few and far between. Peace!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
The story of my life is that I let people walk on me. The weird thing is that it's nobody's fault but my own. But it's a fault that I have no idea how to correct. It's very easy for me to say I'm just going to tell people no, but my heart (or maybe lack of spine) makes me take on all types of little projects that totally drain my energy. These are projects that I ordinarily would love to do, but when one project is stacked on top of 50 others, it makes me dread even waking up in the morning.
I know this is not the way life should be. I think I got a little glimpse of what life SHOULD be like yesterday. My girlfriend Amber and I went to walk by the river in Newburgh yesterday (a place I used to go to with my Grandma every time we'd go to her house). It was a beautiful day outside and we both just needed to get away to a peaceful place for a little bit. For some reason, going to the river always seems to flood my mind with memories of my childhood. I'm not sure why, but we both started looking at the clouds and telling each other what we thought they looked like. One of them looked like a flying pig/elephant, another looked like a pig on a rotisserie, and I have no idea why we were seeing all these pigs! Amber told me how she used to do the exact same thing with her cousins while they laid on their driveway (not a safe place to lay I know). This was totally childish...and it was totally awesome!
I was taken back to my own childhood at this very same river bank. They call it the lock and dam park. (I'm still not sure what a lock is, but I think it's similar to a tollbooth, only it's for boats.) Grandma lived about 2 or 3 miles from the park, so she would always drive my cousins and me down there and let us run around and do kid stuff. I would swing on the swingset, slide on the slide, and run like a wild man. I was living life, and it was beautiful! I wanted adventure. I found beauty in everything. I was ready for whatever came next. I loved life, simple and plain.
This was a deep and rather shocking realization for me. Me? Love life? The person who's dealt with depression for over ten years? The person who can't wait for the next nap to escape reality? This doesn't make sense. But it's true. I had no idea about all the evil and pain in the world. I had no idea about things like psychology, epistemology, paradigms, etc. Very immature, yes. Something I wish I could go back to, not exactly. I just want to recapture that spirit of adventure that seemed to leave me right around the age of 10 or so. That's when I started learning about "real life." (I put that in quotes because I can't imagine this is really the way God intended life to be.)
This is when I became old enough to really internalize things (at least I think so). The problem with internalizing at that age is that no filter has developed yet. The positive and negative, the intelligent and stupid, the beautiful and ugly...they're all granted entrance into a 10-year-old brain. I internalized the fact that some people were very mean, even parents. I internalized the selfishness of people around me. I internalized the foolishness. I internalized the ugliness. And when you internalize something, it becomes a part of you. Once people get to know you, they're bound to see those parts of you that you've tried to keep hidden. So I've always tried hard not to let anybody see those parts of me. I've always tried my hardest to please people. I've always tried my hardest to never say no when someone asks me to do something. What if they think less of me? What if they see that I have a dark side? No, I can't let them see that, so I'll keep saying yes so they'll see me as a wonderful person (not like those other people). Oh wait, that's pride, but I can't have that either. Nevermind, I'll just cover that up with a false sense of humility, like I don't need praise. But I do. Confused yet?
I've got all types of ugliness inside me, but I've also got beauty. And despite the ugliness, I still feel God saying, "Beau, you don't have to be perfect. I love all of you, not just the part that you feel comfortable showing to the world. Find your self-worth in that and not the fact that people see you as a good guy." That's a beautiful thing, and I wish I could walk around with that type of attitude at all times.