:: i love you ::

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stacy and Mute Math

In response to Stacy's post here about Mute Math:

I agree that this generation is apathetic. I also agree that kids tend to make snap judgments based on little, or no research. They are the definition of sheep. The shepherd points, and they herd. The problem is, they don't always follow the shepherd, they follow whoever is by the roadside hollering at them.

I am mostly a conservative. There are many things where I would like to lean more liberally, and many of them have to do with the environment and the treatment of other humans, but I don't like liberals. I don't like conservatives either, in my opinion they can be neadrethals. They do things the same way because that is the way we've always done it.

The other day, I had a 30 year old male tell me this: "I don't like politics, there is always an argument that I don't want to listen to." Of course there is an argument's that you don't want to listen to. That is the point! That is entire reason we have a multi-party set up in our Congress. He told me he has never voted, we then... Don't complain we you don't like something, even if it is as trivial as road construction. Somewhere, sometime, someone voted to approve spending money on that. Don't complain when FEMA doesn't rescue your butt. Don't complain when the President sends us to war. You have had the ability to be the change you want to see in this world [or not to change] for twelve years, and you haven't done anything about it. You have sat on your butt at your parents house and played video games, for twelve years!

I got slightly off topic... But in regards to Mute Math: "If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels." Mark 8:38 (Message)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

20 years on... Chernobyl

Children of Chernobyl
:: the girl in this photo is 9 ::
Its been 20 years since the disaster at Chernobyl. I only learned about it a few years ago. It is the stuff of nightmares. People have been dying ever since. Children born since the disaster are born with defects. The children of these children will have defects for generations to come. According to a recent news story in The Moscow Times, there could be as many as 1.5 million people living in the contaminated areas surrounding Chernobyl. They are drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food, breathing contaminated air. There are some regions that will be uninhabitable for 900 years. CNN recaps here.

20 years later, the world has already forgot about them. The Children of Chernobyl.

*update [27apr06]: Here is a link to a more comprehensive look at Chernobyl. This site also has sort of a photo story it tells about some of the people. It is not for the faint of heart.

Chernobyl is a nuclear reactor, located in the then Soveit Union, that went through a melt down twenty years ago. It spread clouds of radiation for hundreds of square miles, and the fallout from that will affect the next 10 generations or more. It should be remembered as one of the worst things we have done in the last 500 years. Google "Chernobyl" for images and links to sites that can explain it in depth and far better then I.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hey! Its Earth Day!

:: photo taken from NASA (Clemintine) ::
What did you do for Earth Day? I carpooled to the movies. :)

So, I posed the question a few days ago, and honestly... I expected one or two responses, but; I did not expect genuine, real, good answers. I should rephrase that, I did not expect to hear some of the same things that come to my mind when I think of what community means to me. But, I do not have a perfectly clear cut picture of what community means to me. I think it is too fragile to define completely. In Gladiator, The Emperor Marcus Aurelius says to Maximus just before he dies, "There once was an idea that was Rome, but, you could only whisper it, any more then a whisper, and it would vanish." When I try to fully grasp community, it slips out of my fingers. If you try and force community, it fails. Like Jenn said... there is no four step plan.

But, I think community is also intentional. I know, it sounds like a dichotomy... but it is not. To have real community takes effort, but it also just happens. If you don't ever call your best friend back, what is his motivation to call you? True intent means picking up the phone and calling your friend. Even if you are the one who never gets the call back.

Carl asked me after he read my question, "Jeez, why didn't you just ask us to define God?" If you have a healthy relationship with Christ, you are experiencing true community with our maker. That is, the reason we were created. You fulfill your purpose in life.

This doesn't mean that you are always happy. Carl also said... "Scottish clans had a communal aspect to them." Then we talked briefly about what that meant. And, that is one metaphor I have been thinking about the last few days. In the clan, every person had a role. Every person looked out for one another. Every person belonged. But, this was not without problems, as we are fallen, we will sin against one another. Clans also were probably the most dangerous place to be. Tempers flared within community as often as externally. But, the key is, no matter what happened, you still belonged to the clan.

Now, I can not speak from experience ;), but marriage is the closest earthly thing, I believe, that we can have to Godly community. You enter into a relationship with this person that is unconditional. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health. You love and laugh in the good times, and you cry and love in the hard times. The common thread in community, marriage, or a relationship with Christ is love. Spend quality time with someone, and you will disagree. Ken has Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's off from work, so we usually hang out in the evenings when his wife Sherry is at work. We usually get something to eat, and we frequently want different places. I think I am more of a pain then Ken, because I usually begin to crave a particular kind of food well before I am hungry and need to eat, and so, when time comes, I usually know the place I want to go to get dinner... But, Ken usually does not crave the same kind of food I do... and maybe he wants Chinese food, but I really want steak and potatoes. I desire to spend time with my friend, but I still want steak. He desires to spend time with me, but he still wants orange chicken. One of us has to compromise if we are going to eat dinner together.

So what is community? I am still exploring it, but to summarize my thoughts about it:

Community is a place to feel comfortable, but also a place to be challenged. Community is a place where your purpose is fulfilled.
Community is love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Real Community?

:: goodbyes from before ::
Prompted by an article in the latest Relevant magazine... I was wondering today... What real community is? What does it look like? What does it feel like? How does it manifest itself? What do you need to do to be part of a community? What does it take? What does it give?

I am wondering, and I will talk about it more soon, but I wanted to give you a chance to tell me what you think. Leave some comments and let me know.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter... I hate that name.

Thank You Jesus for what you have done for me. Thank You for coming to the earth and living, only to bear our sin and die. Thank You for being obedient to the Father. Thank You for trusting. Thank You for not passing the cup. Thank You for suffering.

Master, Thank You for loving me.

It is April 15th...

:: finally, some rest ::
The past few weeks have been really busy... But, this week, I have finally been able to catch some rest, see some friends, and recharge a bit. I had Thursday off, and finally knocked out my taxes. I was motivated like two months ago, I swear, but Krispy Kreme never sent me a W2 for last year. I tried like crazy to get one from them and it was one of the most frustrating experiences that goes along with taxes ever. I ended up using my last paycheck and reporting them for not giving me a W2. All said and done, I pretty much washed. Which is good. Because, this is the first time in four years that I did not owe a ridiculous amount to the government.

Stacy, I am proud of you, and you know I stand by you -and am praying for you- through this crazy time.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hello Hello?

Hi. I'm Chris, it sure is nice to meet you.
:: Hi. I'm Chris. ::
I feel like my recent posts have been lacking in content. Not in 'content' per se, I am including more media then ever here on my blog. But, I feel as though... In the midst of that... I have been including myself less.

Pray for me. I am exploring some new ground in my attempt to return to Moscow. I feel like this summer is a good time to get there, and there is a possibility of that truly happening, as well as the reality that I may not be able to go for a full year on this trip. I have held off an update that I had planned to send out mid to late March because I have been contemplating this, and fighting with God about it. Please pray for God's continued guidance through this, he has been good to me this past year, and my heart aches to return to service full time. There was not a time where that was so. Once I know more details, all of you will know.

I have not been able to sit down and finish a book for 3 weeks, and that bothers me. I am currently reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge (Thanks Jenn), and Chechnya: To the Heart of a Conflict by Andrew Meier. I also recently purchased To Own a Dragon, by Donald Miller. I need some fiction infusion as well, it just hasn't happened.

Starbucks is better then ever (except today, because I was so tired, that everything was annoying me.), there is some real possibility of Starbucks turning into a career, not just a job. It would take a lot, I don't think that I would settle in as a Store Manager long term, but sticking with them through school is defiantly a good choice. It will be interesting to see the fall out once I actually have a departure date for Moscow. Sherie has hinted toward promotion to Shift Supervisor, but I don't think she wants to do it knowing that I will be leaving at some point.

I was only a year late picking up the latest full length release by Starflyer 59 and Jason Martin(also of Joy Electric fame). I was also only two weeks late getting a new song up here. :)

Some days, I just want to purchase a Volkswagen Van and hit the road, live in the woods for a while, and write poetry... I doubt that anyone would appreciate it, because it would probably stink. But, I think the exercise would be good. I could fish for my food, Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your skin! Or maybe bounce around Europe with all my belongings strapped to my back and immerse myself in different cultures, work at a hostel to pay for lodging... There are so many possibilities.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The best dental visit ever. E-V-E-R

::Prescription tooth paste? ::
So, I had my dental appointment today... This time, I was there 10 minutes early... Not late...

I was so nervous, not because its the dentist, because I have never really been afraid of the dentist, but because its been so long since I have been. I was so afraid that the dentist (who I only spoke with for like 2 minutes, and that was it), was going to yell at me, tell me I have 5,000 cavities, that I needed to floss, brush more, you know, the whole routine.

He didn't. The hygienist who did my cleaning, and most of the checking out of my mouth said I have good teeth, that they weren't as bad as she thought they would be. I have a tiny chip on one of my front teeth, and thus the prescription for PreviDent. It should help heal that up a bit, and "will keep you from getting cavities." I don't have any cavities now, so I must be doing something right. The Doc even said that I don't even need to have my wisdom teeth removed. Ha!

So, that was pretty much it. I left with a new toothbrush and a prescription toothpaste... Crazy... It was the best dental visit I have ever had. Ever.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Exciting things... Not so exciting things...

:: Flagstaff ::
So, I'm back from Flagstaff... I had a good trip, cheers to Carl and Ashley for letting me stay there all week. You guys are awesome! (BTW Carl, we still didn't get the car stuff straight!) I really didn't want to go back to work yesterday, then I got there, and was frustrated because I had Monday off... But then I got asked to cover a shift... So it was ok. Tuesday (today?) the big bosses are coming back to our store for a second round of visits (they came last Thursday while I was gone). We must be doing something right in our little corner of the bucksverse. I work 10 to 4, so come say hi.

Being back in town also means getting back into the swing of homework and class. I am way behind. I have a test to take before class tomorrow, and I am not ready yet, and I have to work so... Yeah, there goes that.

Some possibly exciting things are happening with work + me. I will keep you posted. :D

If you haven't seen all the pictures from Flagstaff yet, make sure to check them out here. I'm also taking suggestions for Thursday music, because I am out of cool ideas.

V for Vendetta Wednesday? It better be good.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

April Fool's

:: google romance::
I was searching Google today for... Well... Actually, I forgot, because I suddenly became sidetracked by a little snippet that read: New! Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.

Google has a history of April Fool's jokes, but this is the first that I have actually encountered on April Fool's.

My Lappy was sick today. It was going crazy slow and just not being its chipper self. I spent most of the day defragging my disks, cleaning out my registry, and deleting unnecessary files. Lappy is feeling much better now.

I'll be home tomorrow sometime after noon. But, I don't really want to come home. :)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No meat on Friday's, thanks Lent.

:: Inside Man ::
:: click above to play::
I added more photos to my Flickr page. I did not snap a single photo today. We didn't do much. Woke up late, like 11ish... then played Battlefield for a couple of hours, went to Sam's Club and bought a bazillion dollars worth of stuff, came back and put on a dinner for the apartment complex here where Carl and Ashley live. They are part of a CARES Team, which is basically a Christian outreach organization that works with apartment complexes. A Cares team will run a number of events a month to encourage community involvement, and in exchange, they live free at the complex. Carl and Ash usually do one breakfast and one dinner a month, and run several kids clubs (including Halo Club) once a week. They also do one to two special events a month. This past month, they did soap making, which was crazy popular. They did that event several weeks ago and last night at the dinner, people were still talking about it (and asking for another demonstration).

'You're So Vain'
:: I would date me ::
After that Carl and I hooked up with Mike and Pat for a guys night. We went to Uptown Billiards here in Flag, and shot a couple of games. We stopped off at Granny's Closet for a late dinner/snack, then made it over to the Harkin's Theater in time for Inside Man at 10:45pm. The film was pretty good. I have mixed emotions about the film as a whole, and especially what happens. In traditional Chris style, I will not reveal any plot twists, but the film itself presents several moral dilemmas to ponder. It is worth seeing.