Hola blogworld. i hope everyone else had a great thanksgiving too. i managed to make it out to frisco (sim city) texas to visit mi madre and some of the NC3 college students. We had too much to eat, played cards, and laughed a bunch. Throw in a couple of afternoon naps and an evening of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and I’ll call it a great day.
This was a good Thanksgiving too, because this is by far the most thankful I have been in a long time. Last year around Thanksgiving everything in my life was up in the air. To look back over the course of the year I can not help but to recognize how blessed I am. Here’s my 2009 thankful list:
Living in San Diego
My job at NC3
Being able to reconnect with my SD friends
A great team to work with at NC3
The Sketch House roommates
My small group
The best part is how obvious it is that God has been working through all of these blessings. It should also be noted that all of these blessings God has provided me are people that He has placed in my life. It’s been a while since I was so blessed by this many people at once. As one of my NC3 colleagues would say, “It’s good to be me”.
Speaking of change, It’s been a big year of change for me. I think back to where I was at this time last year and it’s amazing how much my life has changed. Besides a new job, new friends, and returning to the town I call home, there have been quite a few other positive changes, mostly things that needed to be left behind. Once again… here’s the list:
watching so much less TV
cutting my music budget in half
cutting my dvd spending by 90%
spending less time at home
almost zero time playing video games
reading twice as many books as in recent years
spending more time with people outside of church events
The flip side to all of those positive changes is that there are always things to improve on. I’m always looking at ways to better myself, and with the new year right around the corner I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what I want to make my top priorities to focus on:
increasing the percentage of money i spend on others
doing a better job of separating work and personal time
taking better care of my body
following through on projects
taking more time to journal my thoughts (prob means more blogging)
After reading Donald Miller’s ‘A Million Miles In A Thousand Years’, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life as narrative. I am so excited to live a great story these days, and have been asking myself wether or not my life so far has been one that is compelling, or at the very least interesting. The more I think about it, the more I am realizing that my life is less like an epic movie, and more like a good tv series. It’s a story about a forest, told by focusing on the trees. My story is character driven, with interesting events focused around interesting people. There are different seasons with major themes, and there is constant character development. My life rarely has any big explosions or car crashes, and might not be the most exciting thing out there, but when you sit down and pay attention, there are some great people, and great moments in my story. One of the major points of Miller’s book is that our story is best when we let God be the author, and stop trying to take over ourselves. What has me excited is that I am increasingly drawn into the story that He is writing over the one that I would write, which means that as interesting as my story has been, it will continue to get better. Which leads me to another theme in my life lately…
We all hope in something. I hope the Chargers win the Super Bowl. I hope Norv Turner is fired regardless of the outcome of the season. I hope that my knee will feel better soon. I hope that the prank we have planed for tomorrow night will go over well with the rest of the NC3 staff.
But most importantly, I am spending more time focusing on the different types of hope I have in God.
I hope God will continue to bless me more than I deserve.
I hope more people will put their hope in a savior than money, politics or themselves.
I hope that when the time comes God will say to me, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.
I hope that God will bless my friend who doesn’t have a roof over his head tonight.
I hope that our current economic crisis will draw families to God.
I hope our youth will continue to rise up and right the wrongs in this world in His name.
I was studying the Bible with one of my freshmen this week, and we went through and talked about God’s plan for us. He asked me a great question during the study, “Why did Jesus do this for us?’
It took me a second to answer this question.
“Because He loves us.” I could see that the student was having a tough time grasping what that meant. I tried to give him a better answer, but I couldn’t think of any easier way to put it. “I think the whole point of being a Christian is trying to understand that more completely. The more we understand God’s love, the more our life is changed.”
It’s moments like that where I love my job the most. What a great question to ask every day, “Why did Jesus die for me?”
The small group I mentioned earlier is made up of all the 25-30 year old guys at church. Right now we have around a dozen or so. (OKChick if you ever make it out here to socal I’ve got a goldmine for you and your friends.) It’s been great, but I’ve had to talk to our leader about some reality checks. First, we would love to plan ‘events’ with the single ladies at church (both of them) but we recognize that the disproportionate numbers would cause some chaos. Really? I told him their attendance probably would not happen until there were more females to act as a buffer. The image that comes to mind is that of divers in cages surrounded by sharks. I told him also, that in the current setting we are all friends, compatriots united by a love of God, and a need for fellowship. These things are good, but they are kept in careful balance with the fact that we are all in an unspoken competition with each other. Adding females to the mix will most definitely disrupt that balance. While that’s a good thing, He needs to understand that there are repercussions to that decision. Heaven help the next single female that starts going to our church.
Speaking of women, me and a friend had to explain a point to one of my roommates tonight that evidently is not common knowledge. No person that is working for tips is actually flirting with you. This came up at one of our favorite restaurants while watching some football. We go to this establishment at least once a week, and we have gotten to know one of the waitresses pretty well. We have some playful banter, she pretends to flirt, we pretend that she’s the reason we decided to go there. We get good food, she get’s a good tip, and we both go home happy. That’s it. Until she writes her number down on a napkin or your receipt, there is nothing more. Unless you’re George Clooney.
On another note, we are rapidly approaching a very awkward year. Have we decided as a culture how we are going to audibly abbreviate 2010? Are we going to refer to it as simply, ‘ten’? What about the just-as-awkward, “Oh-ten’? I’ve heard some people using, ‘twenty ten’, but that doesn’t seem like much of an improvement of the full name treatment ‘two thousand ten’. We’re running out of time!
one love, one heart.
rattitude / weezer
the fall / norah jones
trevor hall / trevor hall
en concert / jack johnson
psalms / david
getting things done / david allen
what the dog saw / malcolm gladwell
g.i. joe: the rise of cobra
national lampoon’s christmas vacation