my inner monologue...
site by Andrew Seely
Monday, February 28, 2005
Basically I didn't get to the updates to the blog that I wanted to. There just really wasn't enough time.
And I pre-apologize for the "here's what I did this weekend" post.
I did sit down Friday night to try and do some work on the template, but it proved to be quite an undertaking and I did not have the time to spend 6+ hours over the course of the weekend to make it happen.
Though keeping with my lot in the house, I spent the majority of the night Friday cleaning. (mind you I'm not a really clean person) I cleaned the bathroom (oh boy) and the kitchen, including the kitchen floor, (which by the way at this point is already starting to get dirty again).
I actually got to bed at a decent hour on Friday night and then woke up, on my own accord (amazing), Saturday morning and took my car over to the shop for an oil change before Bill and I headed out to Fuller for an intramural volleyball game. After a little BBQ there, Bill and I headed back home and decided to go on a run. Why after a morning of Volleyball and 3 or 4 hotdogs??? Don't know.
*you must note that I have not run any substantial distance in the last 5 months or so.
We planned on running about 6.5 miles (since Bill is training for a Marathon). After about 1.5 I hit a wall. Crap! I'm such a lazy slob. At that point I realized that I was slowing Bill down and told him that I'd take a shortcut and meet him. Basically long story short is that I did make it about 5 miles, at a slower pace than I'd liked, but not to bad for not running for a long time.
After getting home and taking about 15,000 pills to numb the pain. I planned on spending another quiet night at home, the roommies asked me if I wanted to play in a Magic Tournament we were hosting at our house. (For those of you who don't know what Magic is, it is a nerdy card game of the likes of D&D (that's Dungeon and Dragons) or Pokemon.) Having not much else to do, I said yes and in turn spent my evening playing cards, until 4:20 in the morning, in which I finished a really long game against Carlos. We then headed down to LA to go to the Pantry, a restaurant staffed by ex-cons, good eats. Finally got home around 6:30am and went to bed only to wake at 9:30 to head to church to sing in our Gospel choir.
After trying to sing, since my voice was hurting after being up all night, Jamie Lofgren and I had to prep to host our annual church talent show. After crafting many bad jokes and gags, the show was great and well received. I headed out for some late dinner and finally made it home and asleep by around 10:30.
All in all a great weekend. I only wish I had Mondays off since it felt like I pulled a whole other work day on Sunday.
I did finish a book this weekend so expect a book report on Chap Clark's book Hurt sometime soon. It's an amazing book if you work or deal with teenagers, go and get it, just click on the link.
Friday, February 25, 2005
I'll be spending tonight and maybe tomorrow teaching myself more CSS and HTML in hopes of sprucing up the blog a bit. It's been acting funny when I go to make changes so hopefully I'll find the root of the problem and then be able to CONQUER it.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
It came. The BRAND NEW Jack Johnson cd arrived at my house. How you ask? Two words. Pre-sale. It even came with a DVD.
I don't think that even if you pre-ordered it today that it would get to you before the actual release date of March 1st. Either way, go and get it. I'm only 2 songs into the album and I love it. What else is to be expected.
I've been talking about this for so long. See here and here.
Too bad I won't be around march 5th, cause check this out(under Feb 21) for a place near you.
I'm back...and yes I've definitely been a MUCHO hobo-blogger. I do appreciate all the concern for my well being. It's good to know that all of you continue to check the blog.
In my defense, I must say that I left you with 3 entries on Friday that should have held you over until today. (and there were no real comments on any of them, except you Jenny Smith, thank you) Granted I did not warn of coming down with hobo-bloggeritis, the last few days have been sluggish for me.
Now on to a real post.
If you recall my decision for lent (can be read here) was to fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
So far it has been going moderately. Fasting is definitely something that if you are not used to doing it, is quite hard to jump into. It has been good in the respect that I have been praying more on the days that I have been fasting and it has helped me focus my thoughts on suffering and the "other". Though I must confess that I have not exactly adhered to the best of practices when it comes to my fast.
On more than one occasion I have stayed up until midnight of the day I was fasting, on purpose (as I should have gone to bed), to eat something. While technically allowed since my fast begins and ends at midnight, in my mind it is definitely bending the rules to ease the hungerpains. I am definitely trying to hold myself accountable to actually just going to bed on the nights of the fast and then waking up and eating something, instead of staying up just to eat and then not wanting to wake up for work the next day (though I normally don't want to wake up anyways, I'm just that much more tired). And I must confess that this past Tuesday that I did not hold to my fast. I ate one meal during the day. While I know Lent is not about how much or how little you can or cannot due. It truly has become a way to gauge your commitment towards one thing. I think it speaks wonders about our level of commitment. Christ calls for our total commitment, and here we are pledging to commit to this thing or activity or lackthereof for 40 days and how often we find ourselves failing. How grateful I am for grace.
How are you doing on your Lenten commitments? Leave a comment, what was the commitment and how are you doing.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's finally happened. John Bowling has a Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actually it's just a myspace account. We'll get him to blogger sooner or later.
To: Jerk Store in the White Ford Truck
From:Dude on the corner of Roscoe and Zelzah C.O. Andrew Seely
Freakin idiot, why did you have to gutterball the redlight at a high speed then swerve into my lane to avoid the Postal Truck, but while in the midst of that, totally ran through a HUGE puddle splashing a wall of water onto an unsuspecting guy standing at the corner waiting for the light to change. I hope you read this and feel really really really sorry for that poor guy. Once again you are a, Jerkstore!!!!
PS I was going to catch up to you, but 1 you were exceeding the speedlimit way too much under normal conditions and then it was raining and therefore you were WAY exceeding the limit, and 2 I reached my turn to go home. So this serves as my public disdain for your reckless abandonment and disregard to normal everyday people, you jerkstore.
I'm sure this will get way more comments than my last post. Not that I'm a comment whore, but I've noticed recently that serious posts seem to get less comments than lighter posts. See also Adam's sediment towards lack of serious comments. Also please note the first 6 comments on the last post are from the same person.
I began this train of thought yesterday and I still haven't quite worked out all the details. But here are some of my raw and initial thoughts. Mind you, this is a thought in process and NOT fully developed. So don't rip me to shreds quite yet.
I began thinking about this after receiving an email from a mother who has quite a lot on her plate.
There's no denying we live in an overstressed world. You are possibly even reading this right now cause you are trying to avoid the stressfulness surrounding you.
The question remains, how is stressed connected to the image of God. Is it a product of who he is? or is it a product of us disobeying His commands?
I'm not sure if there is a definitive answer. Under my examination of scripture I think we can examples of stress, but as for one way or the other I do not know. All I know is that we have to live with it as a part of our world.
Though I do think we need to at least work towards better addressing it, not only personally but also addressing it on a spiritual level.
Heck even Jesus in the garden (Luke 22:44) was so stressed out that the guy sweat blood. Well it might have been more anguish than stress, but that's a whole other discussion.
The dictionary.com definition of stress is: "A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression."
More and more we are being asked to do far more than is physically capable of ourselves, not just physically but mentally as well. Work, family, errands, church committees, church functions that the committees set up, personal growth, hobbies, vacations, and anything else you can think of. These days even sleep becomes something to put on the "to do list". I myself have even "scheduled" sleep into my schedule.
The old saying "just say no", no longer seems to apply. The mother I mentioned above (I hope she doesn't mind me saying so, if she reads this) is busy with being the children's choir director, Sunday school teacher/coordinator, mother, spouse, and church committee member. Stress would be a good answer to the question of "who are you".
It's not just mothers and fathers, or even us ministry people, even our youth are being asked to do far more than is good/acceptable for any person under the age of 18. Here's an example of what my life was like at age 17. And I know it's been getting worse and even at younger and younger ages. I would wake up at between 6:00 and 6:30 to go to school, go to school, dealing with all the demands/drama of high school, after school I would spend the next 3 hours at volleyball practice, then from school I would try and grab dinner on the way to church where I would be until 8 or 9 or sometimes 10 (because I had a part time job at church) and then finally get home to start on my homework which most of the time wouldn't get done, go to bed around 12 or 1 to get up the next day and do it again.
That's at age 17!!!! Sadly enough that is a pretty typical account of most teenagers lives these days, it gets even worse for those who are trying to get straight A's while doing multiple extra curricular activities.
I don't think I'm advocating that every member of your church needs to say no whenever they are asked to do something. But what I think I'm trying to get at is the fact that we have accepted what is abnormal amount of stress as normal. Which I don't think is a Biblical idea. I'm not saying that no one in the Bible didn't have stressful lives, gosh, look at Abraham, Noah, David, Paul, the disciples, and a slew of other people. Though what I do see is that they managed their stress in a healthy way.
They knew how to say no, to things that were not directly mandated by God. They had the discernment to know when and to what God was calling them. When stress was encountered, usually the first thing they did was pray, see Paul in jail, Jesus in the garden, Stephen being stoned. They did not let the stress consume them. They brought it before the alter and allowed God to shoulder the burden.
We cannot allow the sin of stress to perpetuate in our lives and the lives of our students and congregates. In a culture that breeds stress, it definitely is an uphill battle for us as emergent leaders to begin to battle the evil of stress. I remember years ago the big thing was the disease of "affluenza", now I would argue it has become "stressfluenza".
Stop at this point, get on your knees and pray for the healing of the stress in your life and the lives of others. I think in Godly lives it is not possible to eliminate stress, but I think it is possible to narrow stress down to "acceptable" stress that occurs in situations that are directly related to doing the work of God. Pursue God to eliminate the harmful stress that brings us crashing down, and replace it with stress that brings us crashing down to our knees in prayer to a God who knows the stress of the world, as he prayed "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
I have a counter on both my blogs, from Bravenet.com and with that I can see referring sites that visit my blogs.
I happened to click on the Ghetto Blog's counter and I saw this url: http://www4.ncsu.edu:8030/~ajmarchu/blog.html, so being a curious little devil, I clicked on it and I saw the heading "Imposter!", and I read on. (it's the entry on 2/11/05)(it's ghetto enough that it doesn't have links to each post)
Basically it's a rant about how I'm stealing that idea and how I'm a b00n!!!
Well I'm at least a little famous. Go me. Pissing other people off.
I must refute some of the points that are offered on the above mentioned blog.
"This "ghetto blog" is not ghetto at all."
- Sure it is, it's a white board. Come on.
"For one thing it's a blogspot.com blog which would require like figuring out how to get one of those and setting it up and stuff. That probably requires *EFFORT*."
- It was the easiest thing, I already had a regular blog so it was only natural not to pay for server space. Ghetto = free.
"And, being a blogspot.com thang it has all kinds of colorful backgrounds (two of 'em)"
- The template is one of the crappiest available, not like AJ's blog, and if they had looked, I designed my own template for my real blog.
"Next up, is the fact that there was most likely a digital camera involved there (at minimum a real camera and a scanner). That is not ghetto at all."
- The digital camera I use is soooo ghetto, it was bought at Radio Shack, for like 10 bucks at an after t-day sale, see this entry for more details.
This final quote definitely clinches it in my favor too: "That said, the posts are done with the non-ghetto digital camera *but* a quite ghetto dry-erase board. So I suppose he's got one on me there...a dry-erase board is more ghetto than the keyboard that i use to type what i'm typing now. So perhaps he does get a slightly more ghetto feel with all that dry-erase board whatnot but i'm sorry, all that blogspot.com crap ruins it."
Ha I win!!!!
I, Andrew Seely, reign as the ghetto blog king.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I know there's been a lot of debate about the freeipods.com thing. Here's a legit article about the whole thing. There shouldn't really be any reason to not give it a try. I only need 2 more people to sign up under me.
So go HERE and sign up.
Here's a list of questions that I sent off to the church I am applying to. Comments or more questions welcome. (many of the questions come from Doug Fields' book Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry)
What's expected of me in this position?
Are there different expectations from different people? (Pastor, youth commission, session, the congregation)
Who would my direct supervisor be?
Would I meet regularly with that person? What would those meetings look like?
What does success look like for this position? / What are the church's expectations for numerical and spiritual growth? And how would that be determined?
How and when would I be evaluated? What standards would I be held to?
What are some obstacles that may come up in the course of a year within this position?
Am I expected to adhere to a set schedule of "office hours"? Or what would a typical work week look like.
What does failure look like?
Would I have an inflexible day off?
Would I be paid hourly or on salary?
Monday, February 14, 2005
I'm not one who sits around and interprets my dreams, let alone really ever remembers many of the dreams I have.
Though I did have one last night that got me thinking a bit.
In my dream I had gone back to work for Jamba Juice (if you don't know, I worked there for about a year and was on my way to becoming an assistant manager, before I had enough and finally quit), and I was in a store and all I was doing was training a lot of new, (and fairly incompetent) new employees. It was really weird and quite surreal.
Then I woke up. So glad that this was not actuality, as I really wasn't happy working between 50-60 hours a week, managing a whole store.
But then I realized it was 6:30 in the morning on a Monday and I had to go to a job that I don't like. So it was kinda like the dream hadn't stopped.
Keep praying for me about that church job. It looks like things are moving towards a formal offer, but there are still some details to be worked out. Continued prayers for a peace of heart for me, and discernment and agreement for the church.
"It sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mundays"
Friday, February 11, 2005
It's raining here today in sunny Southern California.
As a little kid (and just as much now) I loved jumping puddles.
But since I've been driving it's as much fun to drive fast through puddles. Oh Fun!!
As I approach a conclusion to my lengthy job search, with a prospect ahead, I am now caught in a new conundrum. I am finding it hard to incorporate the feeling of joy with the attitude of humbleness.
Scripture explicitly speaks about both. It often tells us to revel in the joy that we find or is given to us. To proclaim it from the mountain tops or to have it be overflowing in our lives. But we are warned about boastfulness.
Then we hear about a humble attitude that when practiced takes focus away from ourselves and puts our attention to the other. We hear that the opposite of humbleness is pride.
As I examine my life, far too often I find myself in a prideful state. Thinking of how things affect, benefit or impact MY LIFE. Instead of turning my attention how I can use my blessedness to bless others. I want the latter to become the focus of my life. I want to have joy because of what I have done.
Herein lies the issue, what is the source of our JOYS?
I can't finish this post (I have to work in some EMERGENT issues here) with out mentioning the prayer times in churches. Many of the churches I have been to have a time of "Joys and Concerns", usually under the guise of prayer time. I understand the few times when there is heartfelt concern or a pouring out of emotion, but in the joys dept usually we find the announcement of birthdays, anniversaries, jobs, babies. Where are the joys of salvation, the joy of redemption, the joys of being given unworthy grace, the joy of having a Christ filled conversation with a co-worker? Going back to the idea of church as a rejuvenation period for those out serving during the week, I think our prayers are indicative about the kind of "work" that we are doing during the week. If we have little to nothing to report then, that just goes to show that we are not doing the work that we are called to be doing.
Our joys should be celebrated, but in a Godly way that is done in a form of worship, so that we are grateful for the blessing that has been bestowed on us. I think I may have answered or at least expounded on my own beginning thesis. I must enjoy this time due to the reason that God most likely is going to bless me in some incredible ways, I should not hold anything over others heads, I am not gloating about me, I need to present this in light of who God is and what he is doing. If you read this and see or hear me speaking of this in a manner that diverts from what I have expressed here, please hold me accountable. Otherwise I'd like to hear your thoughts on Joy and Humbleness.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The day has come where I can finally announce that Doogie Howser M.D. is FINALLY coming to DVD.
March 22, 2005 is the day.
Trying to decide what to do for Lent always seems like a challenge, maybe like trying to come up with a new year's resolution.
A few years ago in college I decided to do a somewhat serious fasting. Nothing like Ramadan or anything, but if I recall right, it was fasting one day on then only 1 meal the next day and then fasting again the next day, or something like that. Basically what happened was I was so busy and stressed out, that I ended up getting sick and had to stop. I make it for a good 2 weeks before it caught up with me.
This year I want to return to the idea of fasting. I think it is a great biblical practice, that isn't practiced so much any more. I don't think I'll do anything as hardcore as that one year, since I like eating an all.
For this Lenten season I've decided to fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It might be a bit hard but I think I can do it. It will save me money and I'll have a whole 45 min lunch break to take naps in my car too.
So if you see me ask me how it's been going, and for Pete's sake don't go bringing me lunch on a Tuesday or Thursday. Any other day I will gladly accept a free, delivered lunch.
I just hope I don't end up like Hungry, Hungry Homer
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
If you remember I posted Jack Johnson's latest single here(I have the song in a gmail account, I'll give you the password to firstname.lastname@example.org if you email me asking for it, use either email on the left), but today I stumbled on the music video for the latest single Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.
You can view it here(under the Feb 5th post). It's just one of those videos that you have to go "wow".
The new album drops on March 1st.
Monday, February 07, 2005
It's quite amazing how God speaks to one. Words of comfort, words of conviction, words of wonder all at the same time. All in the same breath.
I was reading My Utmost for His Highest, and the other day's entry, the Feb 5th entry was exactly what I needed to hear.
As I am in the process of trying to understand my calling and vocation, it has very much been made clear to me that I need to be working in ministry and over the last few years I have not felt God leading me in a certain direction. Then in the last few weeks a prospect has come along for a job, they seem interested in me and I would really like to finally have a ministry job. Yet apprehension looms over my head, part excitement, part nervousness, so very unsure how to proceed under the watch of God's providence. It was quite amazing how the last line stuck out to me.
Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity. (my printed version which differs from the online version)
It seemed as if God's confirmation had fallen unto the page. Here I am being presented with the opportunity to serve my Lord and all I can do is be nervous about what God might want me to be doing, even though my circumstances are quite "menial". Why is it so hard heed God's direct word, even when it is something that we have been longing for, and it's not even the proverbial smack to the head that so often catches us off guard.
After I got done reading that, I continued on my reading of the book of Jeremiah and I came to chapter 6. And I got thinking about how Jeremiah talks about what the community of God has become. It first struck me as somewhat harsh. Then I thought about it and it seemed to fit right into the character of who God is.
Then I began thinking about how we as the emergent church can/should be talking to the rest of God's community about what we see/are interpreting.
6:22-23 says "This is what the LORD says: "Look, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth. They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion.""
Are we prophets? If we are prophets why are we timid about what we say? Is it impossible to be prophets today? Are we embattled with our own town?
We need to take a stand, we need to be bold in what we say and in what we do. I'm not suggesting thesis on doors, but I am suggesting that we no longer sit back and remain idle as nothing happens.
Can we find a way to emerge from within the church? Sometimes I feel there is a need to do something drastic and sometimes I feel that there can be subtle change. I'm lost in the grey and everything around me is only fading away as well. The line is extending and the sides need to be taken. My fear that our "christian bubble" will soon be invaded and we will have become lost and destroyed.
Friday, February 04, 2005
It all began exactly one year ago at 11:59pm on February 4th 2004, my first blog entry. Inspired by the lovely (then) Amy Leidinger (now) Souza I started down this long and treacherous path of Blogging. No sooner would I realize that I would be swept into the greater blogosphere and soon would be reading Kathryn's and Jenny's blogs daily. And the adiciton only continued to grow from there, I now find myself reading at least 20+ blogs a day, all to my delight.
As of today I have written a total of 280 posts over the course of a year. Some good, some not so good. I'm not quite sure when I finally decided to give my blog it's current motif of a theological mindset, though I'm sure I can attribute that to my friend Adam Cleaveland and his blog.
A few highlights of the year:
On May 16th 2004 the phrase "hobo-blogger" was coined, now being used by a number of bloggers out there, keep spreading the word.
I'm sure I could sit here all night trying to find thing to reminisce about, but for your sake I won't.
Please feel free to share your favorite memories of the last year in blogging in the comments.
I can't thank you enough for making this blog what it is, if it wasn't for you my readers I would have no reason to continue posting.
I look forward to many more years of serving you, my faithful blogging audience.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
I consider myself somewhat of a movie snob as I have previously mentioned in numerous posts.
Tuesday I went and bought the Shall We Dance DVD as I said I was going to, but while John and I were at Best Buy we spotted the "bargain bin" DVD's for 5.99. I'm such a sucker for bargains.
After much digging and sorting through such titles as, Glitter, Major League III, Jeepers Creepers, Spice World and other lesser known titles. I did find a gem among the chaff.
Jackie Chan's: Rumble in the Bronx
I have this love and hate relationship with Jackie Chan movies. Or basically I have come to the conclusion that he's sold out (or has gotten too old to be able to make good movies).
I think it all spurs back to his roots of doing good, clean kung-fu movies. While inherently funny due to the slapstick comedy that is worked into the fight scenes. I do not see him as a "comedian" in the sense of movies such as Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Shanghai Noon and Knights, or even Around the World in 80 days.
Can the American public recognize him for his work in movies such as Police Story 1, 2, Rumble in the Bronx, Project A, First Strike, Who Am I?, Mr. Nice Guy, and who can't love a movie that is called
HALF A LOAF OF KUNG FU.
So people be willing to allow your horizons to expand and watch some good Jackie Chan movies that you may not have heard of. Especially if you agree with the statement "I love Kung Fu"
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
In case you missed my post about the fish I bought you can reference it here.
I made the conscious decision not to name my fish. For a few reasons, but mainly because I couldn't tell them apart and they are just fish.
(go ahead and suggest all you like, but they will remain just fish)
Though one of them has a funny characteristic. At first I thought it might be something to be concerned about. But at this point I have just come to expect it.
This one fish likes to lie around on his side. Think floating dead fish, that you need to flush, but still much alive and will move it the bowl gets shaken or you reach in an touch him. It always catches me off guard and I immediately get worried. Yet he continues to do it all the time and then seemingly right himself and go about swimming around.
It's just weird!! Stupid fish.
Oh and all my roommates keep saying that my fish are going to die, like I don't take care of them. And it seems to offend me time after time, even though I've had them for over a month now and they are doing fine.
Well that's my fish story. Here's another one.
This morning as I woke up and got in the shower to perform my daily routine, something weird happened. You see, I usually start my washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner. Today for some reason, I put some shampoo in my hand and then proceeded to lather it up and then instead of rubbing my head, I rubbed my body like I usually do when I soap up. Weird!! I knew it was going to be one of those days. Being the B-day and all, I began to wonder what else was going to happen today. I'll be sure to update you if anything really significant happens.
Work has been work so far today, but with the prospect of a possible new job on the horizon, it makes it really hard to be focused and even remotely enjoy what I'm doing here.
I'm trying really hard to think theologically about what a new ministry job would mean for me. Especially since I'm kinda in a desperate spot, I don't want to compromise the fact that I really want to find a church that fits and not just take the job because it's not where I am now and it's a ministry job. I've had some good conversations with some people lately who have been a real encouragement to me, though there lingers the air of doubt over me that seems to be following me and making things hard.
It kinda seems like a recurrent theme lately. Where's the confirmation? Prayers seem unanswered, I fight back and forth in my head and can't seem to even decide what color socks to wear to work. (I only wear black socks, so you can see how the confusion is built up).
On a good note, I'm treating myself to a B-day present of a DVD.
I'm sooo glad this finally came out on DVD since I've only been able to watch it on VHS and it's extremely hard to find. If you haven't seen it yet, please go and rent Shall We Dance (note it's the Japanese version not the recent piece of crap, though I do kinda want to see it because of Stanley Tucci)