Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shortcuts to happiness.

I once read a quote that said "there are few shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them." That little beauty was on a magazine collage my friend Jessi is so wonderful at making.

Well, I was thinking about that quote lately. Maybe it's because I've been reading the Book of Awesome, maybe it's because i had a wonderful time on the dance floor at my cousin's wedding the other night, whatever it is, I've been thinking of it.

Of course, to clarify, we are talking about happiness, not joy. Joy, in my own words, is a constant thing. A thing, that even in moments of sadness, can prevail, knowing that there is hope. A living hope that is found in Jesus. Happiness on the other hand, is more temporary. It's a mood, a moment, a burst of smiling, a laugh or warmness. I liked when i heard someone say joy is like the climate and happiness is the weather for the day.

Anywho, moving on, back to what the point of this is....shortcuts to happiness. But not just any form of happiness, not just a smile on your face, but a smile in your heart. The Book of Awesome (if you clicked the link) has a lot of great things in it that make you simile or laugh, but I'm talking about those moments when things just feel right in the world in the moment. Or as one of my favorite books,Perks of Being a Wallflower says, "In that moment..we were infinite." You know, those moments.

In thinking of these moments, i've decided it would be fun to compile a list of them. The list is very short so far, but that's alright because in this case, quality is more important than quantity :)

I would love your help with these! Some of mine are very specific moments in my past that can never be replicated, but some are just generic. I like both kinds, personally. But whether you share with me or not, think about these things, I think it's good for the soul :)

Here's my mini-list so far!

--Seeing a shooting star.
--Dancing, but specifically dancing in large groups to songs everyone knows.
--Even more specifically, dancing to "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey at my sister's wedding. One of the most fun moments of my life :)
--Feeling the wind as you ride in the back of a night!
--Singing, or screaming, a song in a car with others when everyone knows every single lyric.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jesus for Prez

so after 10 months, i have completed the book Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw.

and I could probably turn around and read it again. It took me so long for several reasons. first, it's a pretty deep read for the first 2/3 of the way. sure the pictures make it nice, but it was a lot to take in! secondly, i just had a lot of nursing crap to read. and thirdly, if i read more than say....10 pages at a time, i usually got so fired up i couldn't sleep or had to turn to the person next to me and give them a summary.

the book was incredibly thorough and i appreciated it so much. I held many of the beliefs discussed prior to reading, but it gave me such great detail, history, and just relevance. It blows my mind how misinterpreted the Bible really is..simply because we (most times blindly) completely ignore the culture surrounding the text. even just getting a small dose of culture can turn a verse you've heard hundreds of times (and thought you just looooved already), into an extremely bold and powerful statement that goes against every grain of "norm."

not only did i enjoy the depth, but also the compilation of such wonderful stories, quotes, and insights gathered. i couldn't turn a page without numerous references and jarring quotes--even quotes from the time of Jesus, not just modern (many of those were my favorite).

in the end, this piece added fuel to my fire and encouragement to my soul. i desire so much to live apart from the empire, pledge my allegiance to my King...the slaughtered my enemies (not bomb them), and embrace my duty of being a blessing to the world by sharing love, peace and hope and remember my job is NOT to rid the world of evil by violence (or encourage it)...that's His job, and I'll let him take care of it when the time comes.. (check out the parable of weeds/wheat in Matthew 13).

Until then, may we live out Acts 2:42-47 :)

...oh, and i'll probably post a few of my favorite excerpts from the book later.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010



One of my goals for the next 40 some days before I leave for Swaziland is to live intentionally in the present. To participate and not anticipate.... Of course I'll still set aside an ample amount of time to daydream--just not excessive ;)

[photo thanks to postsecret ]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

my favorite paradox

Every once in a while I like to listen to a speech or sermon from Martin Luther King, Jr. Why? Because I am never the same afterward.

Some things are expected: I always get chills, I always cry, and I also get incredibly inspired.

Reading about MLK is good, but listening to great. Hearing his passion, sensing the what the atmosphere would be like...these things are intangible. You will understand them only if you hear.

Which leads me to my next challenge, this link. The whole thing is 9 minutes [it
s half of the original] , but even if you only have 4 1/2 minutes, that's it--click it. Scroll over to the 5:27 mark...and prepare to be moved.

I love the whole last 4 1/2 minutes, but here is a part that really, really strums a cord:

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.

I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.

I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.

I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.

And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.

I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.

I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say.

If I can help somebody as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,

If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,

Then my living will not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,

If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,

If I can spread the message as the master taught,

Then my living will not be in vain.

...and so MLK's message remains, anyone can be great, because anyone can serve. Each day is just a chance to change the world--for the better or for the worse. Every decision, every action, we make an impact...what is our impact?

Are we indifferent?

Do we spread this beautiful message of grace? this message of hope? this message of love?

because in my opinion...when we fully grasp that what we are given [Salvation--life to the full now..but also in Heaven]] is all because of one thing--our faith in Jesus...when we this gift, this incredible act of service, this great thing that requires nothing but faith. it doesn't require us to be good, to be holy, but just to can we not be moved to action? How can we not want to run out of our homes and just love and serve and love and serve when we've been shown the perfect example?

so the paradox of course, is that although we are not required to serve to earn this gift, when we get the gift, service just flows out naturally ;)

and THIS is is my favorite paradox in the world.....

Let's be great.
Let's serve.
Let's change the world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My newest favorite thing

So i had heard of "Stumble Upon" before but had never tried it.

Well, yesterday I did. And i'm hooked!

Now generally speaking, i do not advocate spending hours upon hours in front of a computer screen, nor will i ever, but truly "stumbling" isn't just mindless. I have learned a lot! It expands the mind and sometimes just straight up amazes me.

here are two that i just found and enjoyed...

--photography page
--live stats

Seriously...check it out ;)