Thursday, May 26, 2011

What do you look forward to?

Tonight, as I was driving back to my house, I thought about my Grammy dying. She has cancer, and she has been going through chemo for almost a year now, I think. Or something around that. Anyway, she has stayed strong through it, and I feel like if she would die tomorrow, I could accept that. (Tomorrow she is getting something done with her lungs; her oxygen levels have been a little variable lately, as I understand things.) I trust that God knows what is best for her, and for my family. And I know I can trust Him with her life, with this situation. I feel peaceful about it, which is not something I have felt in the past few weeks.

Tonight, as I was driving back to my house, I thought about my Grammy dying. I thought about what it will be like to see her again in heaven. I thought about how she will not be frail as she is now. Her right arm will not be shriveled from polio, as it is now. I don't even know if she will be more than 60 years old, as she is now. I thought about how there will be incessant peace and everlasting love. Actually, thought is not the right word. Though, to me, suggests some form of wordage. This was more, considered. Felt. I... I didn't think, not with words. I felt, with...with what? With the Spirit's assistance, of course. (Tangent here, fruit of the Spirit suddenly seem to come into my life. Interesting.)

Thinking about heaven is something that has come to me more in the past year than it has in all my life before then, I think. I even recently bought a book about heaven. Actually it is about what happens after we die, but the evidence pointing towards there being a heaven is quite interesting. Feelings of intense joy, love, and peace. A feeling of finally being at home. The words people use to describe their experiences are non-existent; words cannot accurately describe how it will be after we die. And some people think that consciousness ends after death....but how many of us actually look into that idea, the idea of what happens after we die?

Oh, well I am only 20 years old (Double Digits!!!), I still have 50 or 60 years before I will die. Yeah? Try telling that to the girl who was diagnosed with lukemia when she was a teen. Tell that to the mother who lost her son, when he was 18, in a driving accident. Death doesn't wait for us to be ready. (That was my tone of, you don't know what you are talking about. I may show you sometime, if you really want to hear it. But it might scare you. Seriously.)

What do you have to look forward to? What do you look forward to?
Are those the same question, anyway?

I look forward to giving Jesus a hug. Seriously. Not a prayer-hug, as I have come to eagerly desire as of late, but a full body hug. I know I will not want to let go of my Lord, of my Best Friend.
Sometimes I am scared that God isn't pleased by the things I do. I fear that what I am doing on this earth is not good enough. I fear that I am turning my back on God, and He is getting very angry at me. But when I think about being in heaven and hugging Jesus, guess what? No more fear. Do you know why that is?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (NIV)
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. (Amplified)
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. (NLT)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESV)
That is because fear and perfect love do not coexist. When love is full, complete, and perfect, there is no fear at all. What is there to be afraid of? You are wholly, utterly, head-over-heels loved by the Greatest Man this world has ever known. He is smart. He is kind. He is wise. He knows when to tell you to stop doing what you are doing and listen. He knows what kind of pain you have been through. He knows what temps you most. He knows how to help you best. He knows where you have been going all your life. He knows that your Father in heaven loves you more than you can imagine. He is powerful; the wind and waves even obey Him. He is alive; He died, but death has no power over Him. He is watching over you now, even asking His Dad to help you in the things you do, asking His Dad to give you what you need to complete what you have been put here for. Even now, He is looking at you, and He sees your heart. He doesn't see your clothes. He doesn't see your shoes. He doesn't see how much makeup you put on. He doesn't see what brand of cologne you wear. He sees your heart. He knows your heart. And He loves your heart, with all that He is.
Do you believe this?
You know what He said? "Don't be afraid, just believe." "With God, all things are possible." "He who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened to him." "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." "I am the First and the Last." "Don't worry." "Surely I am with you always." "I will send you the Helper." "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." "I do not give as the world gives." "I have come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest."
Do you believe this?

What do you look forward to?

Do you see what I have to look forward to?

Do you look forward to it as well?

Do you want to know where all these verses are in the Bible? haha cuz I know I do! The Spirit was definitely feeding me verses there, and I want to look all of them up now :)
Let me know which ones stick out to you, and why :)
(please and thanks)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Going, Going...

But where to?
I feel almost lost. I hesitate to use certain words because I don't want to be over-dramatic.
Tipping Point isn't coming tonight. No Sir.

Friends, let me tell you a little secret. (that probably isn't the right word but oh well)
I prefer that you be honest with me. If you think I am making a bad decision, let me know, please. If you think I am being incredibly stupid or unnecessarily silly, let me know, please. If you think you may offend me, say it anyway. I prefer truth. I will come to understand at some point, and I may argue with you, but please...speak truth. Don't settle for a lie because you think it is better for me, that I won't get hurt, because sometimes the truth hurts. Don't think you know what is best for me, because you may not. God loves us perfectly, right? And do you think He keeps the truth from us?
Sometimes, yeah, He does. So hey, is it a balancing act? Bah, I don't know. But in the situations I am speaking about above, I think it is better to be told a stinging truth than a fluffy lie.

Because sometimes, I just need to hear the truth. Sometimes I need to be told that what I am doing is not right. Sometimes, you just have to tell me that once, and not keep going about it for unnecessary amounts of time. Because, lets be honest here, I am obviously not anything near perfect, and I still have pride. I despise that part of me, but it is still there. And the fleshy/sinful side of me wants to keep that pride quite intact, thankyouverymuch! So I may be hurt by the truth, I may feel like you are attacking me or something, and I may try to defend myself. But just let me know what you believe to be truth. And if I am willing to talk with you about it, then let's have a discussion :) I like talking with my friends.

Let me know if you would like me to try and do the same for you: Tell you the truth, even if I think it may hurt you in some way. Because I believe the truth will, at some point or another, bring about something that is much better than lies.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Excerpts from John chapters 8 and 14.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


It means to start up or initiate, especially an insurrection.

Alright, time for round dos! (2!) = 2
[it actually does... 2*1=2 ;) ]

Hmm.... Lets see. Love is pretty great huh? Otherwise we would not use the word 'love' to describe the things we care about most, or like most, would we? But what is love, really? Is love simply caring about someone a lot, or is it liking someone a lot? (I am sticking with love between two people because I do not want anyone talking about how they love nachos or something else like that :P) Is love being really really nice to a person? Is love smiling at someone, even when they hurt you? Is love telling a person that you agree with them, even if you may not? Is love encouraging someone to keep doing what they are doing, even if what they are doing is not what you think is best?

I suppose here is where I am leading: Is love polite, or is love honest? Can it be both, or neither? But, suppose you had to make a decision: being kind (polite) or being harsh (honest). Which one would love (real, honest to goodness love) show?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This one is for you

You. The reader. The commenter. The person who, somehow or another, has come across my blog. Consider the following statement, please:
I love you.

What does it mean to you? What do those words entail? Are those words enough? Are there things that people do that show these words instead of say them?

I will (hopefully) post another blog after this along the same lines. I'll include a specific tag.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Um...I want to kill myself...
{hands over paperwork}
--Oh great...that will help people, won't it? I know it is supposed to be funny...but is it accurate? When a person comes to us with something they need help we give them help, or a process? I know those may be the same...but paperwork?

Man, you are stressed out for 16. You need to relax.

I thought you guys could do something quick...I didn't think I'd be committed... 5 days? I can't be here till Thursday...I'll miss school, and my friends will find out where I am.
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of.

Some of the people here are.. really messed up.

They're professionals, they can help you in ways that..we..can't...
--Letting go is tough, isn't it? But is it better than holding on?

You should know, Craig, if you don't open up, you're never gonna heal.
--Is this true? And if it is not, how will you heal on your own? They say that time heals all things. Is that true?

Well I have 8 dollars..
Well you don't have to brag about it! People here have nothing. Show a little humility!

Why'd you stop taking [Zoloft]?
I guess I felt like I didn't need it..
Maybe that means it was working :)

Do you have anyone you can explain it to? Friends? Family?
I have friends..and family but, its not always easy.

--He puts school high on his list of priorities. He keeps asking if he can get out so he can go to school... That kinda makes me sad.

Yeah, I don't get wrapped up in a bunch of stuff I don't have.
--Who does? Do you? Do I? How do you know?

Why won't you accept [his offer of kindness]?
Because I don't want any handouts.
--Is that pride? Or is it a legitimate reason?

I see a therapist...yeah, it's pretty embarrassing.
--Why is it embarrassing? Because we don't have it together? And if everyone is embarrassed that they don't have it together...what does that mean?

I guess..I didn't really want to kill myself. But I kind of did. Does that make sense?

--He is so concerned about being around people who are different than him. Why does that make us uncomfortable?

There is so nothing wrong with you!
Yes there is!
--Is there something to be gained by admitting that we have a problem?

I don't have any friends.
This is very tough thing to learn.
--The truth can hurt..and the truth will set you free... What do you think about those statements?

You shouldn't stress about it. That doesn't mean it isn't important, though.
--Is that conflicting in any way? Why or how? And have you ever heard anyone say something like that before?

And was that difficult, seeing Bobby like that?
I was scared..seeing someone fall apart like that. All the stress and pressure and anxiety just bubbling up. But I'm never able to let it out like that, I always keep it inside.

Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I can't change, the courage for the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

It's like, get a clue dad! There is something bigger going on.
And what is that?
I don't know, but it feels big.
--Have you ever thought about that?

There are some cool people in here.
--When is that true? Where is that true? What determines whether or not it is true? Does it have to deal with how well you know the people there?

Cool Craig what are you afraid of? c'mon!

Why can't we give love a chance?
--What would that involve? And, instead of thinking about the risks, what are the potential gains? What are the potential gains that we don't know/think about, too?

You've really gotta get out of the room more...there is a whole world out there.
--Quite the perspective change :)

Well, I like her, but I think I'd be too nervous to ask her out.
What are you nervous about?
Man, you can't let you live by fear. Otherwise you might end up like Muqtada. Or you might end up like me.
That is the part where you say 'Your life is not that bad.'
Oh, sorry...
--Let's be honest, who is not nervous or afraid of rejection?

And I've uh..tried to kill myself 6 times.
I thought about doing that...but I couldn't.
Well what stopped you?
My family I think...knowing how bad I'd mess them up.
See, that's the part I don't get, Craig. I mean, you're cool, you're smart, you're talented. You have a family that loves you. You know, what I would do just to be you, for just a day? I would... I would do so much. I would... I don't know. I would just... I'd just live. Like it meant something.
--What do we take for granted? Do you see the things that others see in you? In your life?

This is enough for one day, I think.
--Baby steps. Baby steps :)

--The breaking point. Here it is. He is looking at the drawing... 'Under Pressure'
Things are going to change now. Let's see what happens :)

You've had it figured out all along...never get out of the bed.
--Back to this logic. Why? He was hurt. He got rejected. Twice. Shot down. Turned away.

Being not busy being born is busy dying.

[There are so many people struggling to live...]

Have you told [your dad] how you feel?
Not yet.
But you will?
....I think so.

So you're in love with her?
Well of course not. You thought she was hot, so you told her what you thought she wanted to hear.
--Boom roasted.

I like how you don't hide your problems like everyone else. And I don't feel like I have to hide mine when I'm around you.
--How freeing is that? Have you experienced it?

So, how come you never asked me why?
I guess I just assumed you would tell me when you wanted me to know.

I know I might hide it pretty well, but I get that depression stuff too, sometimes. Don't kill yourself, k? Seriously..
{bro hug}

--It is amazing what happens when you get to know a person as a person. When you get to know what they like and don't like. Who they've been and who they don't want to be. (haha I know I'm quoting The Fray, but I think it is true :P) You can really help someone to be who they were meant to be.

It'll come to ya!

Okay, I know you're thinking, "What is this? Kid spends a few days in the hospital and all his problems are cured?" But I'm not. I know I'm not. I can tell this is just the beginning. I still need to face my homework, my school, my friends. My dad. But the difference between today and last Saturday is that for the first time in a while, I can look forward to the things I want to do in my life. Bike, eat, drink, talk. Ride the subway, read, read maps. Make maps, make art. Finish the Gates application. Tell my dad not to stress about it. Hug my mom. Kiss my little sister. Kiss my dad. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Take her on a picnic. See a movie with her. See a movie with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia. Have a party. Tell people my story. Volunteer at 3 North. Help people like Bobby. Like Muqtada. Like me. Draw more. Draw a person. Draw a naked person. Draw Noelle naked. Run, travel, swim, skip. Yeah, I know it's lame, but, whatever. Skip anyway. Breathe... Live.

--Now the movie is over. And here are some of my last thoughts :)
The dad. Too focused on work to notice what his son is going through. Too focused on work to notice what his son actually cares about. To notice what the 'bigger thing' is.
What happens when we get focused on one thing? Or even a couple of things? Is it better to focus on one or a few things? Or is it better to keep a wide view?

This could be very important for your future.
But what about now??
--This is from the deleted scenes, but I feel like it is so true...we concern ourselves so much with the future, it seems. Is it such that we are so focused on the future that we forget about the present?
Gah, I know I do sometimes. I start thinking about what I want to do after college, but before that what classes I have to take, and what if I don't graduate in four years? and what if I don't graduate at all? What would happen if I just sort of went off and did something that everyone did not expect?
But I have to be reminded that I am living now. I am living here. I am not living in the future, and I am not living 'there', wherever 'there' may be. I may do something that no one expects, but I would have to do it now, wouldn't I? I know there is planning involved, but eh. An idea I have heard: We figure out the what, and leave the how up to God. What do you think about that phrase?

I know I asked a lot of questions in this one. That may be because I liked the movie, and I felt like it was pretty easy to identify with the main character. It might be because I have wanted to see this for a while. It might be because I simply opened up my 'questioning mechanism' a little more. Or perhaps it would be better stated that I lessened the filtering I do from my mind to my typing. I ask a lot of questions. And I ask because I want to get to know you. So if you feel like I am asking too much, just let me know. I'll stop asking questions for a while :)
But I will still want to get to know you more ;)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fight Club! (again)

Its only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything.

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

Homework assignment
--Hey, is that a gun?
Meet me in the back.
--What are you doing??
Meet me in the back.
[In a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.]
Raymond, you are going to die.
What did you study Raymond?
What did you want to be Raymond K. Hessel?
The question, RAYMOND, was what did you want to be?
--A vet...too much school...
Would you rather be dead, would you rather die here on your knees in the back of a convenience store?
Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.

You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your f***ing khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

Like a monkey ready to be shot into space. Like space monkey, ready to die for the greater good.

Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

Hi. You're going to call off your rigorous investigation. You're going to publicly state that there is no underground group. Or... these guys are going to take your balls. They're going to send one to the New York Times, one to the LA Times press-release style. Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not... f*** with us.

Is this about you and me?

F*** what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that's your problem. Forget about what you think you know about life, about friendship, and especially about you and me.

Guys, what would you wish you'd done before you died?
Guy: Paint a self-portrait.
Other guy: Build a house.
And you?
--I don't know. Turn the wheel now, come on!
You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?
--I don't know, I wouldn't feel anything good about my life, is that what you want to hear me say? Fine. Come on!
Not good enough.

In death, a member of Project Mayhem has a name.
--His name is Robert Paulson.
---His name is Robert Paulson.

All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f*** like you wanna f***, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.

And in the end, what is it that really matters?
This is why I like this movie a lot. Well, this is part of why I like this movie a lot. It makes you question things. What is real? What is important? What do we do in our minds that we don't even realize we are doing?
Can one person change the world?
If one person cannot change the world, what is the least amount of people you have to have before you can?
If one person can organize a group, what is not possible for them to accomplish?
When we realize that we have lost everything...can we do anything?

Its only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything.

Monday, May 2, 2011

1: Some do perceive divinity, therefore it is part of their reality.

1. Many people ‘join’ a particular religion because they report experiencing a supernatural, or divine, event. Some claim to feel something within them change; others claim having a vision or hearing a voice of some kind. Another group may seem to say that they suddenly see how they have been ‘called’ towards this particular set of beliefs for their whole life, but the pieces are only now clicking together. This experience of the divine is a central part of many religions, and it is nearly impossible to convince someone that their perceptions were faulty. Also, you cannot simply say that an experience was inaccurate, as the same could be said of your own. The argument of skepticism is a dangerous weapon to wield, so I will not go too far into that.

There is also an argument that can be made that what can be perceived by everyone, such as the stars, the earth, and the life on the earth. Some would say that the things of this world/universe illustrate qualities of the divine, and since these are perceptible by all, everyone has experienced an aspect of divinity. Some, however, do not realize what they are experiencing because, perhaps, they have not been told. It could also be that the perceiver is simply choosing to ignore the ‘divine’ elements of the perception, or the reality that is being perceived.

I would appreciate it if you found any holes in my logic. Point them out, please :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Some Things About Rapunzel's 'Mother'

These are things that really bother me:
  • 'Mother knows best' [Arrogance]
  • Mocking Rapunzel [Disrespect]
  • Telling Rapunzel that she is not good enough [Lying]
  • Only telling Rapunzel about the 'bad' things in the world [Pessimism]
  • 'All good things to those who wait' [Used in the case for revenge]
  • Uses deception to accomplish her goals (which are selfish) [combination of Lying & Selfishness]
  • Only wants Rapunzel for her hair powers [More Selfishness]

Flynn: Are you ok?
Rapunzel: I'm terrified
I've been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it's not everything I dreamed it would be?
It will be.
And what if it is? What do I do then?
Well,that's the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.

At the ending part with the lanterns, Rapunzel and Flynn are singing a duet, and they are talking about how they finally see each other, and it sounds great, and the scenery is fantastic. And all the girls that are watching the movie are "AWWWWHHHH!!!'-ing and just wriggling with delight in the cute-ness [I'm guessing, I would appreciate it if you let me know for sure ;) ]
Anyway, they are about to kiss, and then Flynn notices something in the background, so he doesn't kiss her. The girls watching the movie seemed pretty disappointed. Again, I am curious about this; mostly as to the girls' thoughts on it :)
This world is dark, and selfish, and cruel. If it finds even the slightest ray of sunshine, it destroys it.

This is from the 'mother' and it is actually accurate, in my opinion. Whatever is not of the world is not welcomed by the world...

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ -John 15:18-25

Flynn: I can't let you do this-
Rapunzel: And I can't let you die...
But if you do this, then you will die...
Its gonna be alright!

Is that love or what?!? :D John 15:13! Boo-Yah!