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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

C2Q: The True Meaning of Christmas?



Called to Question invites you to attend:

Called to Question
The True Meaning of Christmas: It May Not Be What You Think?

Is Christmas really what we think it is? 
Is it really about Santa, baby saviours, virgin births, presents and/or Christmas trees?

Join in for an evening of discussion about the "true meaning of Christmas".

Speaker:
Philip Ewert,
 Clinically diagnosed with having Awesome syndrome

When:
7:00pm December 6th, 2014

Where: 
The usual
(If you are unfamiliar with this event and would like to attend please contact us and we will give the location upon your request.)

Please let us know if you plan on attending, by emailing calledtoquestion@gmail.com. Thanks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Question?

"If we live in a world where certain things are not subject to question, we live in a world where thinking has stopped."
-Lawrence Krauss


Question everything, and when you believe you have questioned all that is questionable, question even that. 

To question is not to show a lack of faith, quite the opposite, it is a sure sign of faith. 

Answers are like week old leftovers. Questions are a fresh feast.

To understand answers as temporary is the viewpoint of someone who can look past the confines of logistics to the expanse of possibilities.

Not all answers are good, whereas all questions are never bad.  

See the question mark curve and sway, always endeavouring night and day. 
See the explanation mark stiff and straight, never doubting or hesitate. 

Do not be afraid to question, nor to doubt.






Friday, October 31, 2014

The Spookiest Haunted House.....Ever!

Frightening!
Very, very Frightening!



Want to see a haunted house? Like to be afraid? Looking for a place to take your children for Halloween and give them a good spook? Well, look no further than a church nearest you. That's right. Enter a church and you too can experience a frightening, bone chilling, nail biting experience. What do they have to offer? 

1. The partaking in drinking the blood and eating the flesh of a man.
2. The presence of a ghost or spirit.
3. The continual torment of a man being crucified on a wooden cross. 
4. The decoration of tombs and torturous instruments i.e. nails, crosses, whips and spears.
5. The practice of the art of back stabbing your fellow attendees. 
6. The repeating chants of the same message over and over again.
7. The practice of cursing others to eternal torment. Fire, Fire and more Fire.
8. The promise of being raised from the grave. ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!
9. The promise of demons.
10. The continual pressure for you to die. 
11. The promise of being possessed by a spirit. 
12. The need to wear a mask. 
13. The fear of light(i.e. reason.)
14.  The reciting of incantations. 
15. Tales of sacrificing children.
16. Punishments the doubters.
17. Communicating with the dead.
18. Self mutilation

The haunted Church guarantees, "One HELL of a time!" 

Can you think of more? 


*Please note that this post is all done in good spooky fun. While you may not agree that what I have written is fun and/or good, one has to admit that some of the practices within the Christian church, especially from an outsiders perspective, do seem to be rather odd and perhaps even grotesque. 



Happy Halloween Everyone
And Beware those Churches! ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do You Ever Wonder?

I feel like rhyming this morning, don't judge me if its boring. I know it may be cheesy, and it may just make you queasy. I have never been very good at writing poems or rhymes, but in doing so I have committed no crimes. At least I hope.

Do you ever wonder?

Do you ever wonder what life is all about?
Do you ever wonder without a shadow of a doubt?

Do you ever wonder what the day will hold?
Do you ever wonder if there is truth in what your told?

Do you ever wonder if you will find joy?
Do you ever wonder about your favourite childhood toy?

Do you ever wonder if there is a God?
Do you ever wonder what it means to be flawed?

Do you ever wonder why the sky is blue?
Do you ever wonder if what you see is true?

Do you ever wonder if you could ever be famous?
Do you ever wonder if you could be nameless?

Do you ever wonder if you could be wrong?
Do you ever wonder where it is that you belong?

Do you ever wonder why we go to war?
Do you ever wonder why we always have to settle the score?

Do you ever wonder what to wonder about?

I do.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

We all wonder, some more than others. It is, in fact, impossible to go through the day without wondering. It is a question of whether we are, or are not, aware of are wondering.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Call to Charity

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. 
- Jack London

In a letter that I had once submitted to the editor of a local newspaper, I had issued a call to question. A call to question that of which is, and is not, most familiar to us. To take a critical look at what we believe as individuals, communities and a nation as a whole. A call to question our intents, desires and goals within what we each believe, how we act and what we say. While I believe that the question, and the practicing thereof, is vital, how we go about it may be the most important calling to consider. In fact, it may indeed be the most important detail required of us; so much so that it must take precedence over the very practice of questioning itself. 

What is it that supersedes the question and bears such importance?
What is the calling that we must follow?

Charity.

Charity is not simply the giving of financial assistance to some charitable organization, whether it be in your community or abroad.   It is not simply the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, nor the assisting of the burdened. Rather the call of Charity beckons to the deepest parts of who we are, the parts of ourselves that we reject, put aside or try to forget. Charity calls us to love all aspects of who we are, who we have been and who we will become. Charity looks upon our seemingly failures and draws our attention away from hatred towards ourselves to the forgiveness and acceptance of ourselves. Charity understands that our failures, our short fallings are but tools toward our becoming, and that without the call to be charitable to these blunders we fail not only be charitable to ourselves but to extend the loving, compassionate hand of charity to those of whom we encounter. The call to Charity is the understanding that in order to bestow charity to others we must first bestow it upon ourselves. How can a ship reach its destination if the broken rudder has not been attended to? Does the patient heal the physician, or does the physician heal the patient? How much more one can help to heal the addiction of another when they themselves have healed their own. 

I have discovered, more often than not, that the very things that drive me to utter rage about others are the very things that I loathe about myself. What I detest in others, I detest within myself. 
It is easy enough to give money to an organization that assists the needs of the poor in some third world country. It is easy enough to give food to the local food bank in order to assist in the feeding of the hungry. It is easy enough to voice our outrage at some injustice committed upon another individual or group of human beings. Why is it then, that we continually fail to bestow the same charitable outlook upon the very vessel with which we give our charity? 

I can think of no greater call then that of the call to charity. To see the other, whether friend or foe, as intrinsically valuable. To enter all conversation with respect and esteem for those of whom you are in dialogue with. To embrace them as precious, dear and worthy of mind. Giving to them, freely, the space to hold opinion. Expressing, not only for the sake of oneself, but rather, for the whole of community. While in our charity we must never forget, not only those present, but those at large; those of whom have not yet received such charity or come by it meagrely.

While adhering to the call to charity, one must not neglect the criticalness of giving charity to one's own-self. This is often the most difficult of all; to be charitable to oneself, but as it is with all things difficult, it is most rewarding not only to oneself, but also to that of others. Charity is not solely valuing and considering the other but also ourselves. It is not a submission to that of another, but rather a joining together in conversation, that of each owns' hearts and minds. Charity is not a dumbing down of who we are and what we believe, rather, it allows for the growth thereof within community.

Charity must always lay forefront to the question, always remaining present during and after the question is put forth.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Twelve Years Married

Twelve years married and I would not change a thing.


The story begins longer than twelve years ago, indeed, it all began in May 2001 thirteen years past. I was finishing up my last year of high school at the local public school. I had applied to a near by college in order that I may attend the upcoming fall of 2001. Well, that May I received a letter of acceptance from enrolment at the college, but this was no ordinary letter of acceptance. Oh sure, the regular congratulation of approval was all there and I was happy to receive it, however as I continued to read the letter I was amazed to discover that another congratulation had been issued to me, I had been accepted to court the director of enrolments daughter. I was astonished, excited and full of wonder as I had not the slightest idea of who the director of enrolment was nor who his daughter was.  (And she had no idea her father had added that to the letter. We did not know each other. Her father knew of me though and thought we would be a fun match.)


Immediately my curiosity took the best of me. I could not allow a moment to pass without searching out who the director of enrollment was and if his daughter was attractive enough for myself to desire any form of pursuit. So I inquired the best that I could from the people I knew (I am no Sherlock Holmes), but eventually I discovered that the daughter worked as a cashier at the local grocery store. The same day I discovered where she worked, I knew a visit to the grocery store was in order. So, dressed in my best baggy pants, my cleanest, and slightly too tight, muscle shirt (I was in much better shape back then) and branding my skateboard I rode down to the store, bought something entirely useless and made my way to the cash register where she was working. She was absolutely stunning, the most beautiful women that I had ever seen. She had become aware of what her father had done at that point, with the letter, much to her embarrassment, and knew who I was, so when I arrived at her cash register there was a bit of embarrassment on both our parts but I tried to play it as cool as possible. As I was leaving the store I turned around for one more look at her radiant beauty and as I did she smiled a smile that put the glory of all angels to shame. I will never forget that trip to the grocery store nor that majestic smile on that beautiful woman.



That letter and that grocery store meeting were the beginnings of a wonderful relationship. Just a little over a year later from that meeting we were married and beginning a new journey together. When we got married I was a month nineteen and my wife eighteen. We were a year out of high school with no real direction but we knew we loved each other and that was all that mattered. And so here we are twelve years later still married, with three wonderful children, and a home to call our own. My wife is even more beautiful today as she was when I first met her. I have discovered not only her outward beauty but her inner beauty as well. She is one of a kind. Life really could not get much better.





Now those twelve years have not always been peachy, rather there have been many struggles and hardships for the both of us. My poor wife has had to deal with my A.D.D. and intensive depression, but she has lovingly stuck with me. Many said we would not see it past five years but we proved them wrong.






Thank you my dear wife for being married to me for these last twelve years, you're the best. Happy twelfth anniversary.

(This picture taken yesterday on our pre Anniversary Date.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Letter to the Editor




Recently I have had some inquiry about the letter that I had written to the editor of our local newspaper back in January 2013, and I would like to share it once more on this blog. This letter resulted in the gathering of a variety of people looking for something outside of the religious norms of the community. It brought people together, but at the same time drew people apart. as you can imagine the letter was not well RECEIVED by some and led to...lets just say, Im going to hell. If you have not read this before, give it a read and Let me know what you think. I would love to hear your opinion, Im sure it can't get any worse than being CONDEMNED to eternal damnation. :)                                                                                                                                            


CALLED TO QUESTION

WEDNESDAY JAN 30, 2013     PHILIP A


To the Editor;

There is no doubt that we live in a community that has a large religious populace. Of this, I have no problem, however, a problem arises (At least for myself, and I am sure that there are others), when members of this populace feel the need to forcefully convert everyone to his or her own personal beliefs and/or dogmas. You may have encountered the ever-popular questions of "Where do you go to church?" or "Are you saved?" This often occurs through door-to-door visits, tracks left on windshields to face-to-face encounters on our streets, homes and work places. These well meaning peoples, at times, stop at nothing, for this is their "calling". Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that everyone is guilty of this, in one way or another, religious or not.

Most of us, if not all, have grown up in a culture of answers. The modern era was one of exactly that, answers, and with it came rules. Rules and answers are not to be questioned and if questioned, only allowed to go so far. Obedience was, and is, of the upmost importance. To question is a sign of disobedience, defiance and weak faith. 'Keep the rule and the rule will keep you', it has been said. Authority figures such as parents, police, clergy and political leaders with everything they represent, are the last word. However, societies, religious establishments, institutes and families that have all the answers and are void of questions, are, often, void of possibility.

Within the last century, modernity, with all its answers, has had to face some very difficult questions that have arisen along side of and with post-modernism. The answers we were once given have lost their merit. The unquestionable is now questioned more then ever.
The loudest voice is most often heard, and we have indeed heard our fair share. The loud voice of one will mute that of another and I am left wondering, what of the muted voices? Where might they be heard? Where are the perspectives of the others?

It is for this reason that "Called To Question" has been given its birth. Called To Question, multiple evening events, invites a variety of guest speakers to share their own perspectives, philosophies and views on differing topics from atheism-theism, evolution-creation, faith-reason, war-peace, chauvinism-feminism, love-hate and the list goes on. The evenings are an opportunity for members of the community to share in on and take part of authentic dialogue, a chance to question ones own beliefs, regardless of what they are. To understand that there are more ways to think, believe and have faith, then what may, most popularly, be presented to us.

Possibility is a freeing concept. Instead of giving answers, Called To Question provides an opportunity to ask questions and broaden the mind's horizon.

If you are interested in having a topic presented or attending an event, please contact me atcalledtoquestion@gmail.com. Look for ads of upcoming events around town at local retail stores or in your local newspaper.
Philip A.
Founder and Director of Called To Question


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nate Phelps and Called to Question

A man who's journey is a tale of pain, sorrows and struggling; but it does not end there, rather it is also a tale of overcoming, becoming, beauty and love. It is a tale that inspires, challenges and encourages. It is the tale we heard from Nate Phelps last night at Called to Question. 

Last nights Called to Question was a wonderful success. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful these gatherings are. As a host I constantly worry whether or not everyone is enjoying their time or if they feel comfortable. But as the evening progresses I begin to feel more and more secure as everyone settles in, has some food and drink, and absorb the topic at hand. It could just be the wine that makes this so, but what I really think this is due to is my beautiful wife. She is a big factor in making everyone comfortable with the decor and warmth of our home. She has truly made our home a safe place, a haven and a sanctuary for all who enter our doors. So thank you sweet maiden, thou art   the fairest of them all, thou splendour is far more radiant than that of the sun. :) Seriously, my wife is a great contributor to the success of these events. So thank you my dear. 

 Thank you to all who attended, shared their thoughts and gave community through perspectives, laughter, food and drink. You are all deeply appreciated and are important people to the larger community. I would like to specifically thank Nate Phelps and his beautiful wife for travelling out to attend and speak at Called to Question. It is a brave thing that one does when they speak of their own stances and ideals to a group that may not necessarily share the same perspectives. While Called to Question is always a safe place for questions and differing perspectives it is still not always easy for a speaker, or attendee, to open ones self to a group of strangers. It is brave, indeed. So on behalf of everyone who attended Called to Question, I would like to thank Nate for his gentleness, his honesty and his wisdom. You are always welcome back! :)

To the reader:
Did you attend? Tell us your thoughts on the event. What did you think? Did you agree with Nate's perspectives on faith? Did you enjoy the evening? What would you like to discuss in the future? Did you think your host was awesome, wonderful and devilishly handsome?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Deconstruct Your Mind(I'd Deconstruct That)

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.
- Nietzsche  


I think the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, founder of deconstructionism, would agree with Nietzsche's idea and encourage each one of us to deconstruct our mind. Unfortunately  deconstructionism has received a bad rap amongst christians, analytical philosophers and anyone else who likes absolutes, but what many of these fail to grasp is what it really means to deconstruct. To deconstruct is to take something apart, a belief, a institution, a way of living, or even a building. This process, I feel it is important to note, is not a destructive process like the demolition of a building but rather the careful and observatory process of removing a building piece by piece. It recognizes what was put into to the original building, thought, belief or religion as it is separated from it. To deconstruct is not to destroy or mutilate but rather to open something up to the possibility of possibilities. It is to allow that thought, that belief, that religion to be free of all that is set upon it and all that hinders it from becoming. 

The mind that is not open to changing opinions is the mind that refuses to take the leap of faith, to step upon the water, or simply the mind that chooses not to live, not to experience or not to taste the sweet, rejuvenating waters of life. To live is to think, to think is to live, to cease to think is imprisonment. 

So like, Nietzsche and Derrida before us, I encourage us all, every now and then, to shed the skin of our minds in order that we too may be open to the possibility of possibilities. 



The lie is the future, one may venture to say[...]. To tell the truth is, on the contrary, to say what is or what will have been and it would instead prefer the past.
-Derrida

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Friendly Racism


I am part of the ethnic majority of Canada. I live in a small community where the majority of the population is also part of this ethnic majority. There are various ethnic groups here, however, the numbers are quite small in comparison to that of the majority. Elements of racism vary in emphasis and manner, nonetheless, they continue to subsist in the community. The notion of race superiority, can at times be difficult to distinguish, as it is often held privately or subconsciously, though positions of hierarchical dominance do exist. Most whites citizens would never claim racial superiority or hierarchical dominance, at least not out loud, that is. Nevertheless, this may not be due to the fact that they do not believe they are superior, but rather, they may be afraid of the public repercussions they would face in regards to making such a claim. Prejudices are probably the most common form of racism in my community. It is easy for people to have prejudices about others, as they can do so in the safety of like minded people and in the safety of their own thoughts, without ever being labeled a racist. 

For quite some time, my town enjoyed the operation of a local gas station and convenience store that had been run by a local white family. However, when they decided to sell the business, it was purchased by the convenience store chain, 'Mac's'. Immediately conversations carried throughout the community as to what type of ethnic group would be managing the store. Racial comments were made that were degrading and dehumanizing; proving the ignorant mind set that exists within this town. Discrimination, like the notion of superiority, is not as prevalent, as are the prejudices, nonetheless, it does exist and is evident from time to time. An example of this relates back to the convenience store. I clearly recall members of my community vowing to avoid, boycott and, in a sense, punish this establishment solely because the new managers were not white, but Iranian. Ironically, after a period of time, these individuals returned, albeit reluctantly, to shopping at this convenience store, because it offered better prices than other local establishments. 


The operation of power over other races, is again, difficult to notice. This may be due to the large gap in numbers between the white majority and those of differing ethnic groups. For instance, the gap is so large, that such occurrences would more than likely go unnoticed; perhaps, due to a lack of care on the behalf of the dominant, or, perhaps, due to the fear, the minority may have, of repercussions for expressing the occurrence. 
In general, the racism that exists in my community is predominantly a friendly racism, rather than a systematic racism. Racial bigotry is not apparently common, due to the Christian standards of the dominant ethnic group, which calls for a certain level of respect and fair treatment of all people. However, while the these standards are generally practiced, friendly racism is assuredly active and even a preferred form of racism.  It is a racial stance that, in essence, assures the standee that they can hold to certain racial perspectives; all the while, not get in trouble with religious leaders, friends, law enforcement, and, perhaps, even God, for their racial views and actions. 
While the concept of being 'racist' is typically regarded as negative and looked down upon in Canadian society, elements of racism continue to be apparent in almost all societal contexts in Canada. In today's day and age it is much more common to be aware of ethnicity as Canadian culture is becoming more and more ethnically diverse. While the dominant culture of Canada remains to be that of white, english speaking Canadians, people groups of other ethnicities are rising in numbers across the country. This rise in ethnic diversity can be seen as threatening, at times, to the dominant culture and even to other ethnic groups who may hold higher numbers within in any given population. An example of racial prejudices existing outside of my own ethnicity, would be a conversation I once had with a Sri Lankan friend of mine that lives in the same community as I do. We were discussing the arrival of a new doctor, who happens to be a Muslim from Pakistan, to which he adamantly warned me of an upcoming onslaught of muslims to our community.  'Just you wait!', he stated, 'It starts with one family; the rest will follow. Before you know it, there will be a mosque in our little town.' Even after I pointed out the racial overtones in his speech and mannerisms, he assured me once more of his opinions, stating that he had seen it happen before in his home country of Sri Lanka. Bearing witness to the prejudice attitudes of my friend, brought an acute awareness, that racism is not just the practice of one or two ethnic groups, but potentially the action all ethnic groups.
As disturbing and frightening as racism is; it is my hope that I and others can find communality in the fact that we all are human. It is my hope that, while we each have our own individual story and history within a certain ethnicity, we will remember how important it is not to negate or discredit the stories and histories of others; recognizing that we are all equally part of a narrative. A master narrative that is not controlled and written by any one ethnic group.

Have you ever been a victim of racism of any form?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Christian Hater?


Fairly recently some one called me a "Christian Hater". Now I took offence to this charge and felt the need to explain to the individual that I am, indeed, not what was said of me. So, I thought that I would forward my thoughts on to this site in case there are others who may think that I am a "Christian Hater". 

I am not a"Christian Hater"

After having that conversation with that particular individual I told some others within my working community what I was called in that previous conversation and to my surprise they did not disagree. I was shocked! How could they too think that I was a "Christian Hater"? I proceeded to inquire why they felt that I was, to which they responded that I always seem to be coming down on Christianity.  Here again, I felt the need to explain to these individuals that I am not a "hater" and that just because I challenge and ask questions and/or even disagree does not mean that I hate Christianity or its followers. *I feel it is important to note that all those that have labeled me as a "hater" are Christians.* I reassured them that I do not hate Christians and that I have never insulted them, called them names or belittled them in any way, shape or form. While I critique, challenge and disagree, both silently and vocally, with much of Christian theology and its ideals this does not mean that I am a "Christian Hater". Yes I can be a thorn in a Christian side but it all depends on what type of Christian we are talking about. A liberal Christian may not exactly have the same problem with me that a conservative Christian does, though I take argument with them also. 


So before anybody gets to upset that I seem to be picking on those poor little Christians, let me explain a little something. You see I was raised Christian, of the conservative branch, and that is what it really comes down to, it is what I really know best. It is as simple as that. If I was raised any other way I would be challenging, critiquing and disagreeing with the other. I have always asked questions and always challenged the norms, that is just who I am. I am not a hater, I just like to question. I am, after all, Called to Question. 

 If Christians take offence to what I say, how I act or what I believe than maybe they need a little more sleep, a little more wine, a little more sex or just a little more fun. I love you Christians, seriously I do! You may drive me up the wall sometimes, but hey life would be pretty mundane without you. So just relax, lighten up and continue the conversation with this heathen. I won't hate you if you don't hate me. :)




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Go To Hell!?


*The above picture was created by David Hayward at http://nakedpastor.com. Click the link to view many more fabulous drawings and be inspired by the messages they convey. *

My wife and I have been told we are going to Hell on numerous occasions. Whether it be from a passer by on the street spouting some 'gospel' message, or a track left under the wiper blades of our vehicle, or a door to door salesman selling their religion, coworkers or ( and this is probably the worst of all) family. All of them holding to some ideal that they believe to be true and if others do not believe it, well, they go to Hell.

Hell is-other people
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Everyone has their own idea of truth and that that truth is the only true truth. We have gotten so focused on having the 'right' truth that the word truth/true can no longer be uttered without it being preceded by an adjective of some sort. Truth no longer stands on its own but must be supported by the crutches of other words. For example; pure truth, extreme truth, right truth, absolutely true, positively true, only truth, godly truth, and (my personal favourite) true truth... but you get the point. So, who really can be reliable to present any sort of absolute or any kind of truth?

Hell isn't other people, Hell is yourself
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

I had a conversation with some conservative Christians who were fairly close to me that ended with them stating that I was going to Hell because I did not believe as they did. In their opinion, I was wrong to question "God," wrong to encourage others to question... just flat out wrong according to their perspective. I asked them how they could be so sure that they themselves were not wrong or that perhaps they too may be going to "Hell"? "Whatever do you mean? We believe in God, Jesus (insert all the rest of the usual)." I replied that there are some out there that are more conservative then they, and that these people would look down upon the music they listen to, the movies they watch or the way they dress and state that no God honouring person would ever do those things. And so the stricter people would condemn them to Hell because they do not have the true truth. Ironic?

If you are going through Hell,  keep going
-Winston Churchill

So here is the kicker of it all. There will always be someone more conservative, more liberal or more right, more wrong, more loud, more quite, more more more. However, I would not take it to heart when someone informs you your going to Hell. Just tell them you look forward to seeing them there. Besides who says there is a hell anyways? Teehehe :) Just had to throw that in there.

The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options. 
-Bill Hicks

Have you been told your going to Hell? Or have you told others they are?


Friday, May 9, 2014

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Your Door

(I discovered this at thesuperstitiousnakedape click if you want to unearth more great readings and ideas.)

Undoubtedly there will be those that say that it is really mankind's fault for the punishment by not opening that door, but really who is it that is dealing out the punishment in the end?



Sunday, May 4, 2014

May The Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day everyone.


 May the fourth is officially the day to celebrate all things Star Wars. 

Star Wars has always been some of my all time favourite movies, minus episode one through three (I'm sure many others will agree). I was introduced to the movies at a very young age, probably too young, by my oldest brother who loved the movies. Star Wars did not quite frighten me as much as other movies I somehow managed to watch (probably when my parents were out of the house and all my older siblings wanted to watch a movie without the presence of mom and dad. I learned a lot that way).

So from the young age of six or seven Star Wars has been ever constant in my life. Who can forget those catch phrases like "use the force", "may the force be with you" and for all those poor boys named Luke whose names will never be forgotten and will always be related back to Star Wars, "Luke, I am your father". There is really no way to fully understand the impact Star Wars has had on my life and on the lives of so many others. I mean there is hardly a day that goes by when I do not reflect on the scene in episode five where Luke has been captured by the abominable snow creature and hangs from the ceiling in the creature's cave. As Luke awakens from the blow to the head he received from the creature earlier he finds his light-sabre in a snow bank far out of arms reach. Unable to free his feet from the bondages that hold him hanging from the ceiling, Luke relaxes himself, extends his arm toward his light-sabre and using the 'force' is able to retrieve his light-sabre, free himself and destroy the creature that is just about to make a meal out of him. Ever since watching that scene I continually find myself, somewhat secretly, trying to use the force when something is out of my reach, like the tv remote, tool at work, or tucking my kids in at night. My eyes close, I clear my mind of all distractions and concentrate on the issue at hand. At first nothing works but within minutes I feel something, some unexplainable type of energy begins its workings, the force has begun. However, it is not exactly the way I would have liked the force to function. Instead of doing what I wanted it to do from a distance I find the force getting me off my ass and moving my feet towards the, remote, tool or task I need completing. So you see the 'force' is real.


I can recall the excitement leading up to the release of Star Wars episode one in movie theatres. I was in grade ten and some friends and I skipped school (sorry mom and dad) to go see it. I suppose it was the large time gap in between episode six and one that led to high expectations but what I witnessed in that movie theatre was more frightening than all the scary movies I watched with my siblings when my parents were out of the house. It was not because it was scary but because it was so terrible. If only I could wash the memory from my mind. Episode one thru three is like the younger brother to episodes four, five and six who just will not leave you alone (yes, I realize that I am the younger brother, whatever! It is the only analogy I could think of.) You may not like it, but at the same time you just can not get rid of it. It is a part of the story. With the new episode seven coming in December 2015 we will see if Disney can do a better job of representing one of the greatest stories ever.


My favourite characters have changed on and off throughout the years. When I was younger my favourite was, of course, Luke Skywalker. My favourite movie out of episode four through six was episode six. I loved the cute little Ewoks in that third movie. But now that I have grown up my new favourites are Darth Vader, Han Solo and Yoda. My wife is an avid fan as well, more so than I. I do not know how this marriage would have lasted if it was not so. :)


Anyways, just some sporadic thoughts on this Star Wars day.

When did you first watch Star Wars?
Who are your favourite characters?
Did you like episode one through three?
Are you excited about episode Seven?

May the force be with you, better yet May the fourth be with you!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy Birthday



Today is a noteworthy day. Today marks the birthday of a very special friend, Nathan Bonney. Nathan  and I first got to know each other over a few drinks at a local restuarant about five or six years past. It was a 'Man'date that led to an instant friendship. Our common interests in philosophy, theology, beer, bonfires, family and our desire to wear our hearts on our sleeves has brought about a deep and wonderful relationship. 

When I think of my friend, I think of how wonderful a husband he is who cares deeply about his wife and his relationship with her. I think about how he loves his children and is always quick to brag about their latest adventures. Nathan is a brilliant scholar, philosopher, and theologian. I have never met someone who can think so intently upon intellectual matters while retaining the relationships around him.  His intelligence never interferes with his ability to relate to others. While others may not always agree with his perspectives he never makes them feel less or other than him. He always makes people feel human and real. Never content in the mediocre he is not afraid to challenge the 'establishment' and encourage the best in all people. 


Nathan, I am so thankful that you are my friend. Thank you for all the phone calls and your dedication to our friendship. You are a Wonderful, Fantastic, Divine person, Nathan. 

Happy Birthday, Good Friend, Happy Birthday! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter in Ten Words(Repost)

(*the above image was created by John Zande. You can check out more intellectual conversations at his bolgsite by clicking here thesuperstitiousnakedape)

A heavy issue to consider.




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Always Knew I was Awesome!

Who am I? Who are you? 

Discovering who you are can be one of life's most important discoveries to be made. It can be one of the most freeing of discoveries, as well. 

Taking the Keirsey personality test is an excellent connection tool for interaction and a base for discovering and understanding your own temperament and that of others. While it will not answer all of life's questions, it will allow you to become more aware of yourself, how to conduct living in a way that best suits you and how to operate with those who surround you. 

Some of you may recall, that seven years ago I took the Keirsey personality test. At that particular point of time I was called a Protector/Provider Guardian. This, however, never completely felt right with my wife or I, but because it seemed to describe some aspects of me, we went with it. Recently, I retook the test (My wife made me do it four times plus the extra test at the back of the Please Understand Me book to be completely confident) each time I had the letters ENFP (Idealist Champion). This made so much more sense. Every description was bang on. 

Consequently, I questioned why I scored as a Guardian Temperament before? After an in-depth discussion with my wife, we came to the conclusion that it was because I was trying to emulate Guardian ideals and living styles during a crisis period in my life. I felt that it was what I needed to be at the time, so I answered the questions accordingly. While my core temperament has always been an ENFP (looking back as a child this makes sense too) I tried to be an E (I) STJ because I was trying to be reliable, strong and dependable; no wonder I fell into a depression! We always thought there may be an additional reason for my depression, besides my occupation. In view of all this, I realized it was because I was allowing shame and a sense of who I should be, instead of who I am, control me. (This was no fault of the Kiersey test, rather my own, due to the fact that when I originally answered the Kiersey test, it was time that I was emulating what I thought was needed.) I was trying to be someone I was not. I went against the core to my being. In doing so, I caused myself to face many unnecessary issues by not embracing and accepting who I really am.

Want to know my personality(E.N.F.P) more? Check this out:

I always thought I marched to the beat of my own drum, so to hear that I was a Guardian in a twenty percentile of the population, just did not make sense. I felt no validation in this category. Discovering, in contrast, that I am a Champion and that I am amongst the three percentile of misunderstood Idealists, does, in fact, validate! Even the characteristic 'weaknesses' and things to watch out for as, an E.N.F.P., aptly describes me. I am disorganized, and even though I am an extrovert, I am the only extrovert temperament that needs a lot of private downtime. I always baffled my wife, and myself, because we could not get the pieces to fit; if I was a Guardian should I not have scored a higher number in organizational learning styles? Should I not be better at fitting into standard jobs? Why do I always abandon projects in order to begin another? 

In trying to be something I was not, I put our life choices and relationship at risk. Fortunately, I felt the need to redo the test; facing myself honestly. This opened the doors to embracing my own shame story, and allowed me an optimal starting point in order to move forward. Feelings of failure have subsided, and when they do arise I am able to handle them in a more constructive manner; hopefully. I feel a sense of belonging with the three percent of the world as an ENFP temperament and it's ok! My feelings of loneliness have subsided; as validation and explanation have increased. This bodes well for my wife and I as two Idealists who are not concrete thinkers. Obviously, we still face the same issues of life, but can now better approach them with this new found discovery. Reading my description we realized new ways to communicate, understand and be together. It is very encouraging, to us both.

My wife always ties for an INFP/ INFJ, so INFX. 

By the way, who are you? 

I highly recommend taking the test, but make sure you are answering the questions based on what you normally are, not what you think you should be. 

I always knew I was awesome. I just needed an accurate explanation of myself and how I relate to the world around me. Incidentally, 'Guardians' are awesome too, be that as it may, I was never meant to be awesome like that.



WARNING! Taking this test, may change your life (I know, I am corny, but hey that is just part of being an Idealist.). :)