30 September 2011

For Loved Ones.

J: I think it requires bloody, and sweaty, and earnest, and prayer.

37

Lord, please save my parents, my brother. Sometimes that's all I can think about. And other times, I fail them so miserably. Lord, love them. Forgive me, and love them.

26 September 2011

Resonance.

A source of constant sorrow.

That a person would be left unloved because she is unlovely. That love would be distributed like wages to workers, withheld like grain in a time of famine.

A source of constant renewal.

That we love because He first loved us. That God shows His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I've decided.

22 September 2011

The Lucid Dream

I had a dream this morning about my extended family. We used to get together a few times every month, but in my dream this get together was different. People were sitting at dinner tables, saying grace, singing praise, and loving each other. My uncle, who had come up to me last Thanksgiving after I gave a short testimony, devotional, prayer at my cousin's debut and asked me about Jesus, led the time of prayer. The song they were singing, and it was so loud it was all I could hear in my dream, was, "Be glorified." And it was so beautiful, that it woke me up.

21 September 2011

The Seven Deadly Axioms: Part Four.

VII. Anosognosia. Def. To have a disability, but be unaware of its existence. Ex. A man has lost his right arm in the war. He is asked to hold a tray. A person without a right arm who is aware of his disability will place his left hand beneath the center of the tray in order to balance it. A person suffering anosognosia will grab the left end of the tray, as if he had two hands with which to grab and be unable to balance it. The tray will fall. The doctor will ask, "Why did you drop the tray?" The anosognosic will come up with a rationalization, "Oh, I'm so clumsy. Please forgive me!" Or "Wow, today just must be an off day, I'm sorry!" But he will never come near to the truth that he has lost his right arm in the war, and that the tray was unbalanced because he only has one hand with which to grab.

Claim. We are all anosognosics to one degree or another. There are some things that we know we don't know. I don't know who the 23rd President of the United States is [6], for example. But then there are things that we don't even know that we don't know. We can call them the unknown unknowns. For Man to be separated from God, for example, and not know that his deepest need is to be reconciled to God is a form of anosognosia. And how would Man have any way of finding this out? Considering that we don't know what we don't know, the best we can hope for then is to know what we know very well, and to assume all else is unknown. That is, the best we can hope for is faith [7]. To put it one way, faith is the acceptance of a set of axioms—these axioms being a revelation of a few, certain, self-evident truths—and the courage to reason from there.

But what about the man who lost his right arm in the war? Say it was his faith that made him think that he had kept his right arm, but his right arm could not hold up the tray because it was not there. Is his faith wrong? I would say, yes, his faith is wrong. The test of faith is how it shows up in action. The test of faith is if it works [8],
The experience that we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is fundamentally a lie—the truth lies outside, in what we do [9]. 
The first story that we told ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we were doing happened at the Fall [10],
Then he said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The story that the woman told happened to be a lie. Most stories are. But there is one true story. It is the one told not by us or about us, but to us.

[6] A quick google search reveals that his name is Benjamin Harrison and that I know nothing about him.
[7] Cf. Hebrews 11:1, 6
[8] Cf. Matthew 12:33, James 2:14, 17
[9] Slajov Žižek
[10] Cf. Genesis 3

I am getting sick.

I have noticed a pattern. My prayers are strongest when I am weakest.

16 September 2011

Childhood Stories.

I used to dump sand in my hair because I liked how it felt scratching it out.

I had a competition with the girl I liked in 3rd grade about who was smarter. We'd ask each other questions and I'd tell her if she was right or not.

Playground rules dictated we'd count to 100 before it was our turn on the swings. The swings were my favorite, and I hated waiting. So I figured out a faster way. I'd count to 10, ten times.

A boy once threw a rock at me, so I grabbed him and dragged him to the principal. I was the one who got in trouble though. I got a detention for grabbing another kid.

I used to pick on a kid for being poor. I regret that to this day.

A kid teased me and I told my dad. My dad told me to punch the kid next time that happens so he wouldn't mess with me anymore. I followed my dad's advice. The kid cried. Next day, we were friends.

I spent most of my childhood alone. During recess I'd go to the outskirts of the playground, to where no one wanted to go. I'd spend time near the pond, and the bullfrogs. I liked to help the teachers tend the garden, and I'd pick at the clovers all day. One day I was waiting out there alone, sitting against a wall, and a girl came up and sat down next to me. She said hi, but I didn't know what to do, I was so nervous that someone actually wanted to be my friend. So we just sat there, alone, saying nothing else for the entire recess. I had the biggest crush on her for the next four years.

Octobers were my favorite. That's when the Santa Ana winds came in and all the smog would get cleared out. One year the winds were so strong they shut down school for a few days. I'd swear they'd tell this story for generations to come, a kid was literally blown away.

Family.

For a man to charge into fire once requires grit that is instinctive in few men... to go in a fourth time is to know you will die; to go in a fifth time is beyond comprehension.

— Bing West, author of The Wrong War, where he describes the actions of Marine Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor Sept. 15 for charging into an enemy ambush five times and saved 38 Marines and soldiers

14 September 2011

The Seven Deadly Axioms: Part Three.

VI. Qualia. Growing up, I always wanted to be an astronaut. The vast and endless possibilities of space had captivated my imagination. The stars weren't merely light givers, they were great big burning furnaces, celestial factories, elemental fasteners, and world builders. I wanted to live out scenes from Bradbury's Chronicles. Above me, the red purple Martian sunsets, strange and exotic gradients painted upon the alien sky. Below me, the glorious, dust-filled, iron-tinged, lifeless landscape, and its endless companion, the ever wandering wind.

I wished I was one of them. The characters from his books, the Martians, the ancient, noble people who plundered away their glory, and wasted their many gifts. I'd sit atop a peak among the ranges, perched off some cliff where my people had done battle, shed blood, secured peace. My legs would dangle kilometers over dry river beds and ancient seas and I'd watch the sun set and moons rise. We'd spend the night in desolation, shadows singing over the crackle of our campfire, howling wind at our feet, danger at our doorsteps. The moons dancing with each other, choreographed to some magnificent celestial symphony, unheard by the fainthearted, wicked, and faithless.

We'd look up at the night sky, and spot some distance away a dim shining in the dark. We'd name it earth to distinguish it from all the other lights, we'd call it a planet, a wanderer. We'd wonder who'd live in such a place? What were they like? Would they accept us as we are? We'd make up stories about them to pass the time. And one day, we'd go there, to stop by and say hello. Make friends, and reunite.

“Keep moving forward.”

After I explained to my great uncle, who I call Grandpa, how the people on our team went to Ivy Leagues and/or graduated magna cum laude.
B: So yeah, we have a lot of very smart people...
G: And you're one of them.
The first and great ENFP influence of my life, and my INTJ father's best friend. Dad taught me to tell stories, and Grandpa taught me to listen. :)

09 September 2011

Watching Lost.

After watching three episodes of Season 5,
Mom: I'm the one loss.
*Walks out*

06 September 2011

"Drive it off"

I get this false sense of accomplishment, as if I had run a mile or two, after driving for thirty minutes after I eat a big meal.

Cheesiest Movie Ever Award

Just watched the ending of a movie where a boxer was getting pummeled and lands on the ground. The referee starts counting in slow motion while the camera cuts to a girl in the audience who passionately mouths "I love you!" Then somehow the boxer mysteriously finds the energy to get back up to fight and wins the match in an unexpected victory. The whole crowd goes crazy and the girl gets into the ring, runs into his arms, and kisses him in a loving embrace. Freeze frame. Cut scene. Roll credits.

I might be remembering this wrong, but LOL, that was too good to be true.

05 September 2011

Finding My Voice

Something I wrote years ago while high on caffeine,
Words sound so much better proceeding from my mouth than they do from my fingers. As I type, I realize the objective blandness of my thoughts--the all too real way they fall flat on the page.
Here are my thoughts. Have them. Don't want them? I throw them at you. Ha!
Sometimes all the mute need is a muse.

04 September 2011

Everything was new again.

Have you ever had a dream so powerful that it woke you up?

I fell in love with you, but I knew you were going to die. Everything we had would be cut short, so abrupt, before its time. I knew how it would all end, but I could do nothing about it. So I stayed there with you, in a time loop, spending each passing moment with you until the end, and every time I was given the chance to relive it again I'd always take it, and it'd always be different, but we'd always be together.

It was the most beautiful and sad dream I've ever had. Each time you died was the most painful, but we'd always get another chance. You'd die, and we'd rewind, and I'd always choose you.

My Fandango deal expires in 5 days.

Someone watch a movie with me!

02 September 2011

The Seven Deadly Axioms: Part Two.

IV. Correspondence Principle. It's natural for us to desire simplicity, but we must soon realize that the complexity of the world won't bend itself to our wills. Having an oversimplified cognitive model hinders our predictive power and undermines our very own purpose. How we choose to see the world and the way we believe it works mustn't be determined by what we desire, by our ideals, wants, or wishes, but rather by what is desired out of us. That is, how we choose to see the world and the way we believe it works must be determined by our calling. That is, our faith [3] must align with our calling.

V. Optimization. Pride is the big-headed man on your shoulders [4]. He isn't opposed to anyone but himself and he'll stand on both and call you giant. The great tension in the heart of a man in pursuit of humility is that between his growing awareness of pride and its simultaneous enfeeblement. The clearer you perceive the man on your shoulders, the larger he appears and the less he affects your life. There comes a point in the life of a man in pursuit of humility, a beautiful equilibrium at the intersection of a global maxima and a local minima [5], where his awareness of his own pride is so acute that it, in a most profound moment, vanishes.

[3] Believing is seeing.
[4] Childhood cartoons seem to suggest that a devil and an angel stand on either shoulder, swaying you to act in one way or another. I'd locate them and their battle elsewhere.
[5] I use these terms loosely to draw out a more literal meaning. Here global maxima is the concern one has for others at its peak, and local minima the concern one has for self at its least. An amazing singularity arises, however, in that the most selfish thing to do is actually the most selfless.