26 January 2009


I feel deeply. Not about any particular subject or object. I just feel deeply. Movies, book, and music create these feelings for me the fastest. The music at the end of Meet Joe Black causes me to tear up. Just the music. Not only will instrumental music cause a stir, but lyrics even more so. I listen and hear myself in the lyrics, or I hear God speaking to me. God speaks to me through music, Christian or otherwise, as I know God has given each of his children a gift, whether they know that God bestowed it.

I am also deeply affected by other's experiences. Books often cause me to laugh out loud, or sit in awe of surviving such tragedies. Such as The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Chronicles of Narnia, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird. I sometimes wonder if I should call it compassion or if I am overly sensitive, but I ache when read such sadness, and I soar when I read triumph. 

Movies do the same as the books, they just take less time. Often after watching a movie I will carry those emotions the rest of the day. After watching The Emperor's Club I felt as though I needed to make more of a difference in the life of every young person I knew. After watching Finding Neverland I cried. The sadness stayed with for the rest of the day. Even after watching I Am Legend my week became time for me to prepare (only in my mind) for a post apocalyptic America, and changes I would make to perfect Robert Neville's finely crafted daily routine.

I feel deeply. 

I cried on my wedding day. Gina and I had created a slide show to the song "A Page is Turned" by Bebo Norman (look it up) that showed the two of us growing up and then pictures of us together. At the end the crowd would stand, to watch Gina walk down the aisle. I stood and watched the slides, I remembered the memories, and I turned with my friends and family to behold her. Gina floated down the aisle toward me, escorted by her father, and I began to cry. I did not blubber, but more than one tear flowed. I cried because of her beauty, and because I could see my father crying, but mostly I cried from joy. I knew I would never experience a better day. This day my friend, my confidant, my love would become wife and take my name. A name that she would only make better. Only God can understand the amount of love I have for Gina and its unyielding, faithful nature.

I cry at many TV shows, movies, and songs. I even remember crying as I watched Father of the Bride. I might have been 12 at the time, but I remember feeling so upset because she left without saying goodbye to her father. I remember crying after watching The Lion King because losing my own father lingered in my mind. (One reason I believe Disney needs to stop making movies where a parent dies in the first 30 minutes. That can affect children strongly.)

I feel deeply.

I normally end my blogs with a thought about the Father, or some encouragement to change for the better, but today I have no such ending hiding under my finger tips. I write this blog shortly after finishing The Shack by W. M. Paul Young. Read this book. Read this book. READ this book. I have never felt so challenged to confront my stereotypes of God as I have through this book, and I have never read the complicated matters of faith and theology reduced so well to the profound simplicity they should produce in our lives. 

I feel deeply and if you feel deeply about something then let it change you.

24 January 2009

The Band: Episode 1

Just wanted to let you all know that I am now in a band! I played in several different bands in high school. Mostly worship and Christian rock bands, with the exception of the first - ShatterProof, worst band ever - but this band promises to be one amazing experience. It is made up of me, an awesome guy known as David Davis, and another friend named Matt Mintz (who is affectionately known as the Mr. Frodo to my Samwise McGamgee). 

We have no agenda, and that makes this project special. We simply create music. Everything acoustic and everything good. We want to utilize all of the instruments we play, but not compromise on song integrity, so you will hear guitar, mandolin (me and David), vocals (Matt has the best voice, so we make him sing the most, but we all share the responsibility), hammered dulcimer (me, eventually), and anything else we decide we can play. 

Our first official writing session was last night. It started with a trip to Guitar Center. We all love that place and love goofing around. We inevitably always end our time there in the "$1,000 Room", which is a humidified room where every acoustic over $1,000 resides. Last night I fell in love with a Gibson Hummingbird ($2,795) that caused me to rethink my obsession with Martin acoustics. (I love the D-18 and the D-28, not to mention there awesome artist series with guitars by the likes of Porter Wagner, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, and many others. The quality that makes this series special is how closely the artist works with Martin to craft the guitar.) I did, however, find a Martin (not sure of the series) that I loved but the $8,795 price tag was slightly intimidating. 

Back to what I'm supposed to be blogging about. The three of us headed back to Starbucks together. (We all work there.) Where we used our own instruments to begin writing as a group. After some goofy songs we settled into our groove, and I was blessed by the talent of my friends. We ended up writing two songs. Good songs. Even by my impossible standards. 

I'll end this blog by saying we do not have a name for this project, but here is the lyrics to one of our songs.

Wake up
Another mornings come
To light the world
To warm your heart

So wake up 
I'm by your side
Nothing to hide
With nothing to say
Except I love you

So here we are
So here we go

This feels like home
This feels like home
This feels like home
You feel like home

Say, "Good night"
Rest your pretty eyes
The moon is high
I am here tonight

Good night
Lay your tired body down
Tomorrow comes
It comes fast, for us

So here we are
So here we go

This feels like home
This feels like home
This feels like home
You feel like home

15 January 2009

Let Go

Sickness. Sickness. Sickness. 

Did I mention I am sick? Now that I have contracted the chest cold/flu from Hades, I have found time to write. About what you may ask? Nothing important. 

The funniest thing about coming down with something: the immediate desire to see your mom. Whenever I am sick I think about the scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when Jim Carrey escapes to his childhood memories to preserve the memory of his girlfriend (which he decided to erase but now has second thoughts). In the movie he is crawling around under the table in the kitchen of his childhood home, in his childhood pajamas, and Kate Winslet (his girlfriend) has taken over the memory and become his babysitter. Everything dwarfs Carrey. The table, the refrigerator, even Kate - he's a 4 year old. He immediately becomes overwhelmed and begins to cry, and says he can not believe how strong the desire to see his mom feels. That's how I feel when I fall ill.

I am married. True. But I just want my mom. She always knew what to do, but she lives four hours away now. I trust my wife, she's smarter than me, but sometimes you just want to say, "Mommy!" 

Everyone chooses to hold on to something - I hold on to my mom's healing power. This quality makes each individual unique and quirky. You can picture your quirky quality now. Like the order you get ready in the morning, or how you only brush your teeth in clockwise motions, or maybe you only eat one thing at a time, or maybe you can not stand to put on wrinkled socks. But sometimes we hold on to other items. We remember pain, wrongdoing, and insult, and sometimes we can not let those go.

I know in my family some extended relatives have feuded for years over people smoking in their own house, and I myself have not talked to my wife for hours because she made me feel stupid during an argument. Sometimes these hurts seem insignificant and petty, but some hurts go deep and feel - significantly. 

Letting go can intimidate us. It can cause us to think that holding on would be easier than letting go. Once you have lived with that pain for so long, how can you let the pain go. It's part of you. But hurt weighs. Revenge weighs. Refusing to forgive weighs. 2009 just started and maybe that has inspired me to write this, or maybe I am on too much medicine, but the time to let go is now. Whether you need to forgive yourself, a friend, a family member, or even God, do it. 

Unforgiveness causes us to miss out on an entire person. That individual may have offended us, but they must have more to offer, and we can not find out if can not look past their offense. I know that I would someone to do that for me if I offended them. And even if you forgive that person and they still keep offended us, we know that we tried and the bitterness that eats at us can move on. The uncomfortableness of seeing them can disappear cause we tried to do what was right. And my Mom (there I am going back to my Mom again) always told me, "It takes a stronger person to forgive someone when they didn't apologize, than it does to stay angry and bitter." I invite you to let the hurt go. That will hurt, but it will heal faster than holding it in.

I have been blogging this entry for a couple of days because I've been sick, but it has been good mulling this over. I just wanted to end with something I saw on TV, in a very unlikely place. I watched Earl Thursday night, and that night on Earl's list he was trying to help his father get revenge on his mom. In the end Earl and his dad have a hilarious crying montage and talk about their feelings. And as Earl's father walks back home to his wife's loving arms to offer his forgiveness Earl says this in the voiceover, "My dad knew that anger was a heavy burden to carry, but revenge only made it heavier. Forgiveness made it lighter. So that's what he did."

Make your burden lighter.

09 January 2009

I Have Not Forgotten

I remember that I have blog, but time keeps forgetting that I need to use it. I'll be back as soon as possible.