"Sort of exciting, isn't it?"

I just found this awesome new trailer of Harry Potter V! This looks incredible! I just tried on my Gryffindor robe for Kiala and Travis and it still fits. Only two more months until the best night in '07! Well, until TSO rolls into town again! :)


Ray of Light

Every once in awhile I have a moment of clarity. It's as if the haze lifts for the sun to break through, and for that brief period of time I understand the world I live in. The devil's snares no longer entrap me and for once I know what to do. Last week was a time such as this.

I just got back from a mission trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico. It was probably the strangest mission trip I had ever been on because the first part of the week we worked on construction, while the latter part of the week we worked on cleanup from a tornado that wiped out nearly two years worth of mission construction work. Possibly more on that in another post.

This mission trip couldn't have come at a better time. I had spent the last three or four months working extremely hard at my job. It wasn't uncommon for me to work anywhere from 50-65 hours a week. So when the trip finally arrived, I left my BlackBerry at home and decided I was going to focus solely on the work at hand.

It's hard at times to know what this life is really about. Sometimes we totally invest ourselves in our work and think that working hard is the way to go. Other times we involve ourselves in numerous church activities thinking that life is somehow wrapped up in being involved in everything church-related. Still some of us get caught up in the idea that the intellect is what's it is about and fight theological wars on ways to be part of God's kingdom. None of that seems relevant though when you're truely serving God. It is no longer a matter of what is theologically correct, religously righteous, or morally valuable. Instead it boils down to loving your brothers and sisters, and handling the situation in the moment.

Perhaps that's what I like so much about the mission field, and probably more accurately, mission trips. Everytime I'm on a trip I am so busy that I haven't the time to worry about being religious. All I have time for is doing God's work.

I'm back home now, and tomorrow it's back to work. I don't know what that means. Will the haze return? Will I go back to being religious and attempting to be morally superior to others? Will I care more about wondering whether we should have instruments in the church or other similar squabbles than the lost? Let's hope not. Here's to a good fight!


Frivilous Conversation

I am a guy. Every day I learn that this is an indisputable fact. When I was in college I had the mistaken misconception about myself that I was sensitive. Perhaps even warm and caring. I shed a tear in Where the Red Fern Grows and my heart skipped a few beats when watching Notting Hill. But don't let my tender facade fool you. I am a guy.

I realized this tonight when talking to my dear friend Alayna. I enjoy talking to Alayna because usually I don't have to say much. She will discuss the erratic driving patterns of the person in front of her, or the fact that she is cooking chicken for dinner. This kind of conversation amazes me.

A few months ago one of my friends told me that she felt like every conversation with me had to be about something. That she always had to think when talking to me. This really bothered me, and I didn't exactly understand why she felt that way. I thought I was a relatively enjoyable person to talk to.

But lately I've been starting to understand. Random, light-hearted, dare I say frivilous conversation has real value. Discussing the minute, seemingly trivial details of life has purpose. Why it is important for someone to know that I had a frozen dinner tonight has been beyond me till this point. That is not something that furthers someone's understanding about me, or furthers our mutual understanding of the world. But...but...it is important!

Because good friendship is a running dialogue. A shared history of months, even years, of ongoing dialogue that builds upon itself. I had always realized this in terms of humour, and had often used it to my advantage by relying on people's memories of shared events. But I think I had forgotten, especially since college when my life became more autonomous, that regular conversation is good and valuable.

So here's to more "important" trivial conversations! Now I just got to come up with a reason to call you...



When I think of rock climbing only one word comes to mind: tenacity. Two weeks ago I went rock climbing for the first time, and last night I went again. I must say this is my new favorite activity. Those of you who know me realize that I am somewhat impulsive, and that next week I will probably be into something like badminton, but for today it's rock climbing.

But, like I was saying, I like rock climbing because it requires a lot of grit and, of course, tenaciousness. In some regards its a lot like running in that you've got to push through the pain to get to your goal. But unlike running, there is a clear goal, and that is to get to the top. But the top is never easily attainable. And so you have to push your body to reach for holds that you didn't think possible.

I think what I really like about rock climbing is that it gets me out of my comfort zone. I live in Edmond. Life is full of pleasures like driving a nice car, eating at fancy restaurants, and continually amusing myself with TV shows like 24 and Lost. The challenge of survival is never something I worry about. Rock climbing, for those brief moments of imbalance, reminds me that I need to push myself. That not everything comes natural and that sometimes you have to work hard to arrive at your goal. That's why I like running. That's why I like rock climbing. It's good to remind myself of that, especially the older I get and the more set in my ways I become.

I would like to add that while I'm having deep thoughts 40 feet above the ground my roommate is thinking of different ways to disappear while belaying. I just thought you all should know this!



A heavy rainstorm. A beautiful spring day. A relaxing weekend with good friends. What more could a guy ask for? Life is good!

This weekend, two of my closest friends from college came into town. Stephen and Julie, two of the best people to come out of the '80s. On Saturday, we all got together with my roommate, also named Stephen, and Liz to do some intense rock-climbing, followed by intense pancake eating. It was great.

When I first got to OC, I didn't really want to be there. In fact, I pretty much begged my parents to take me home. I had no desire to go to a Christian school, and especially not OC. But one night during the first initiation week, I prayed that God would bless me with good friends. This was one prayer that God answered in abundance while I was in college. I was blessed with having friendships with some of the finest people OC has ever had attend. They were amazingly brilliant, incredibly passionate, and full of a love for God.

At the end of this month it will be four years since I've graduated, and most of my closest friends have moved off to start careers or further their education. Many days this makes me really sad. I've made new friends, and I am very thankful for those new relationships. But a weekend like this one reminds me of how blessed I was for those great college friendships.

In some ways I think this post is more for my friends and me, than my other readers. I realize as I've tried to write this that it's just impossible to explain. Perhaps meaningful friendship and love is impossible to sum up in a few words. Many insightful poets and authors have attempted to do so, but I just can't convey the good feeling I had this weekend. So thanks Julie, Stephen, Liz, Travis, and Joy.