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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Which Way Am I Going?

I had plans, I had hopes and I had dreams. It wasn't long ago that I realized that all of it was grounded on a foundation that was doomed to fail from the beginning. My longing for these stemmed from a deeper, more powerful and evil desire, one for Power and Fame. All my life this has been something that I not only struggle with, however, from it...I feel I am inseparable. It dawned on me and the desires for all my plans, hopes and dreams seemed to disappear. I was left with nothing except for that of which I had searched for for so long...contentedness. Finally, for the first time in six years, I felt content as well as loved for who and what I am. It was a divine unveiling of grace and love. As a result of this transfiguration, I reflected and emerged upon this one thought in particular... 'The one thing I did not have in all my plans, hopes and dreams, was LOVE!'  It is was never that these were bad things but rather that my heart was not quite cultivated to engage in such noble pursuits. 

I wonder now... I am I ready? I am I prepared? Have I retained what has needed to be learned? To be honest... I don't quite know yet. 

It is this song that encourages me to plan for the now, aspire to the hopes not yet passed and to pursue the dreams of the future. As Coldplay so brilliantly puts it, "I don't know which way I am going?", but I do know this...that if I go anywhere, anywhere at all, it must, absolutely, be in LOVE that I proceed.


Lord I don't know which way I am going
Which way the river gonna flow
It just seems that upstream, I keep rowing
Still got such a long way to go

Still got such a long way to go
Still got such a long way to go

In that light, it's your eyes
I know, I swear, we'll find somewhere the streets are made of gold

Bullet's fly, split the sky,
But that's all right sometimes sunlight comes streaming through the holes

song by Coldplay - U.F.O. from their most recent album, "Mylo Xyloto"


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Choose Love Not Power: Part I

All of us, in some way or another, desire power.

Max Weber, german sociologist and arguably the foremost social theorist of the twentieth century, defines power as the ability to coerce or to impose your will on others. We see this happening all around us within the relationships that we are engaged in and/or witness. We love to be in positions of control, for in it we feel a sense safety and security. Dr. Tony Campolo, a professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern Universityhas perhaps noted it best, that this is a society that thinks the way to change the world is through power. This has recently been seen through the likes of the Iraqi and Afghani wars and the lust for wealth and power that has brought about the economic downfall. It is even within our churches that congregations, leaders and pastors are forced, purposefully or unknowingly, into positions control.

In future posts I will be sharing points on this topic given from great thinkers, myself included (just joking, but not really, but sort of), stories that transform and inspire as well as persons of exceptional example. I ask that you think about times within your life that you have ever been the victim and/or the victimizer of power, if you so desire, share your story within the comments of the posts to follow.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do You Know What Hurts Me?

The bruised reed, he will not crush and the smouldering wick, he will not quench.
I once heard a story of a rabbi who claimed that he learned the meaning of love from a drunken peasant. One morning he went to visit a friend of his who owned a local tavern. When the rabbi arrived at the tavern  he saw two men sitting at a table together, both drunk out of their minds and reassuring each other of their love for one another. He heard one of the drunkards, Ivan, say to the other, "Peter, do you know what hurts me?".  Rosy cheeks and bleared eyes Peter responded, "How do I know what hurts ya?" With quick retort Ivan answered, "If you don't know what hurts me how can you say you love me?"
If you don't know what hurts me how can you say you love me?
 It is a difficult thing to do, journeying through life, when no one understands your hurts. What then, when not even you yourself understands? The last five-six years had been a time of many trials, sorrows and darkness for myself. Depression, the dark and menacing depths of my soul, is what has hurt me. When one is really depressed (not merely sad) please! please! do not tell them to "just snap out of it" or "suck it up". These words do nothing, they only contribute. No, the truly depressed are not sad, they just are and that is what depresses the depressed. To know all blessings, riches and present joy, but not be able to embrace it, is what draws one deep into Hell. (I have been there and if you ask me, I will tell you what wins.)
If you don't know what hurts me how can you say you love me?
Life is no easy journey. We will fail, we will fall, and we will be losers. Never! Never! think that God can not handle anything that we throw at the great Splagchnizomai. I have been in raged filled moments of doubt, fear and loneliness and have wailed,
"Christ I hate you! Damn you God! Get out of my life! Enough of this Christian bullshit! It's over!". 
 It was within one of these moments of honesty, that I have discovered words that have never been so life impacting as these,
"It's ok, Philip. I understand. I am here. I am with you and I am for you." 
 and along with it the sound of weeping, not for me, but with me. A deep gut wrenching cry from deep within the bowels.
"I understand. I am here. I am with you and I am for you."
This is the transforming compassion and life renewing words,
"My little Children I will not leave you orphans. I know what hurts you. Here I am. I will not leave you."
 The Great Splagchnizomai loves us and knows what hurts us more then we ourselves can ever comprehend.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Live Theatre-It's Just Like My Life

My family and I, along with my father and mother in-law, went to watch some community theatre. The local theatre group was putting on the production of "The Sound of Music".

I love going to community theatre, it is refreshing to see live un-tampered acting. I don't know if one can really compare live theatre to the acting and productions we watch on movies and/or television and I wouldn't even say it is better or worse.  If there ever was to be a comparison, I would view it as such.... Community theatre is like eating a carrot just freshly pulled from the ground, rinsed in the sink and then CRUNCH! and still, even though being washed, a little flavouring of soil remains. It is FRESH! It is REAL! And without a doubt, it is AUTHENTIC.  This is live and community theatre.

The other, I have found, is more like the packages of carrots you buy at the local grocery store. They were removed from the soil long before you ever pick them up. They have been packaged, shipped and handled. They are good, but they are not fresh. The value of the carrot, for the most part, still remains. One can still receive from it some notable good. Lessons will be learned, examples bestowed, tears shed, joy declared and hearts will be moved. However, while what we see come to us from the likes of Hollywood, and other media types, is no less impacting, they do lack the real presence of the person. In their attempts for flawlessness they have disregarded, and thus lost, the nutrients of whatever soil does remain on that freshly pulled carrot. The flaws of live theatre are a constant reminder to us that life is NOT perfect. We are flawed people living flawed lives and that is what makes it beautiful.

I have to admit that when I watch live theatre I find myself being a critic, it's not always bad, but I always have to check myself with what I am comparing it to. To Hollywood? My own life? How I think life should be? I don't entirely know, but this I do know I am thankful for those flaws, those forgotten lines, off key notes, missed dance steps and those intermittent, but always comical, voice cracks.