#OneWord2011: Grow

So thanks to a genius idea from my friend @gritandglory, I’m joining in on a new way to look at New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest, they don’t usually work. My original thought was to get so unspecific that it’d be nearly impossible for me to fail. Alece takes it to a new place with One Word 2011.

The goal is to come up with a single word to help redefine your year. I toyed around with words like discipline and realized they only really tackled one or two areas of my life. Then a word came to mind.

Grow.

Just Grow.

Grow in discipline.

Grow in faith.

Grow in fitness.

Grow in love.

Grow in community.

Grow.

It pretty much covers it all. Some of those areas I’ve never been good at (ahem, fitness and discipline, ahem). Others, I’ve never had a problem with, but I haven’t been growing.

Growing should be easy for me, but sometimes I just don’t for no apparent reason. It means: Never. Stop. Moving. Be constantly changing. Always learning. Always checking yourself. Always reading Scripture. Always evaluate what you’re thinking and why. Grow.

So, I’m gonna make twenty eleven about growing. Should be fun. It’ll be a challenge., but I think it’ll be worth it.

Grow.

Californiated Me

For a final project in one of my classes this quarter, I was tasked with doing a creative interpretation of a self portrait or self revelation. I set out to use the images of my life to create this portrait. I gathered all of the photos I’ve taken in California and created the image below (click to enlarge). The majority of the photos are from touristy forays, Ducks games, Disneyland and the like. In the end, however, they do a pretty good job of showing my life since moving to California, enjoy.

Download full version here.

On Music

I really like music. I have 7,248 songs in my iTunes library. I listen to music while driving, doing chores, walking to class, etc. However, I don’t think I absolutely love “popular music.” There are some people who are just constantly moved by popular music—people who listen to lots of different artists and know a lot about music. I’m not that person. I have favorite bands and albums, but I’m not an aficionado. I don’t ever listen to the radio. I wish I played an instrument—namely piano or violin—but I don’t. So, I’m not a musician either.

Don’t get me wrong. I need music in my life. I’m still moved by a song from time to time. It’s just not my passion. Most of my music likes come from tv or movies. I really like soundracks. I listen to lots of worship music too. I feel a bit atypical as a result of all this.

Divide And Conquer

I’ve noticed this interesting phenomenon here at seminary. Very few people go to church together. Everyone seems to split up into smaller groups and attend niche churches. I think a big reason for this is the pressure we have to nail down our internship early. Usually during the second (sometimes third) year of the M.Div. people do their required 9-month part-time church internship. As a result, people have scouted out their denominational churches early and are getting involved in them. This definitely fragments an aspect of community life here. I’m just starting to build solid relationships with people here. It’s sometimes hard to do that when everyone goes to a different church. For most of my life, the majority of my community has been found in a church-type setting. Still adjusting to the new dynamic I guess. I think I wish things were a little different.

I’ve found a couple great churches that I would be happy to attend, yet I feel like my biggest criteria for choosing a church right now is supposed to be “can I get an internship here 9 months from now?” About none of those churches can I answer that question affirmatively. That’s tough. One of the churches has a Sunday evening service. Maybe I’ll have to go there on Sunday nights and attend somewhere else on Sunday mornings. We sure have made this complicated…

Tick Tock

So, I’m having an issue with this blogging thing. I find myself inspired to blog somewhere between 12–6 pm PT. By the time I get it posted, it’s more like 5 pm PT which makes it 7 pm back home in Texas, 8 on the East Coast and 1 am or later in Europe. I’m beginning to realize that this is probably not the ideal time to be posting.

Thus, I am taking a poll:

When do you read blogs?

View Results

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Soccer Moms

My mom was never a soccer mom—both literally and figuratively. She did drive a mini van for much of my childhood. Neither my sister nor I played soccer. I do remember the first time I played soccer in elementary school PE. I was talk and lanky for most of my childhood, so the PE coach thought I would make an excellent goalie. Ten minutes later, I had a bloody nose because I tried to stop the ball with my face. It worked, but it has a one-time use policy. My sister played what ever you call girls’ softball. (I know it’s not little league.) I never played any sort of sport. I’m not really sure why. I guess I never asked. My parents never encouraged me to pursue any. I did tae kwon do for about a year until my yellow belt was stolen out of my bag. Everyone thought I lost it, but we still haven’t found it two decades later, so I was right.

As a result of having never having any sport training, I pretty much suck at every one of them. Once I was older and wanted to, I was already too far behind. My dad wasn’t sporty either, so I never learned. In high school, I stunted with the cheerleaders. None of us guys had done it before, so we were on a level playing field. Despite some deficit in the art of being coordinated, I did pretty well.

As I’ve discussed previously, I’m a big hockey fan. I started playing hockey back in Texas because no one from Texas really grows up playing hockey. I wasn’t expected to know how already. It was great. Now that I’m in seminary, I’m immersed in the world of intramurals again. Wanting to have no regrets, I signed up for flag football. It’s a lot easier when you’re playing with friends. They’re gracious with patience for my lack of skill. I’m getting better. I feel like a doofus most of the time, but it’s still fun. I bought my first baseball (actually I think it’s for softball) glove yesterday. I bought my first pair of cleats back in September. It’s weird to be doing all of these sporting firsts at the age of twenty six. I may be a late bloomer, but eventually I catch up.