Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quotable Quotes

I have several post ideas - a reflection on 2007, some of my recent musings on community, Best of the Liz Film Festival. But right now I want to give 5 quotes from 5 different movies that I've watched over break. See if you can guess them without Google's help. Maybe it will stave off your end-of-the-year boredom. Or inspire you. One of the two. Cheers!

1) "We all need mirrors to remind ourselves of who we are."

2) "The bad stuff is easier to believe, you ever notice that?"

3) "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."

4) "I think they want you to help them."

5) "This country is founded, at least in part, on the belief that unpopular speech is vital to our nation."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shameless Narcissism

I haven't been completely devoid from writing lately. Check out my first movie review (ever!) on In fact, it's on the front page right now. (Infuze is set up like a blog, rolling down after new things are added.)

Like I said, first ever, so be lenient with me. ;) But, really, I'd love feedback if you're interested in reading my movie review!

More blogspot musings to come this weekend...

"i want out of this machine, it doesn't feel like freedom, this is my American Dream, i want to live and die for bigger things, i'm tired of fighting for just me, this is my American Dream" -switchfoot

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just Breathing

"Just breathing was worship."

I've read this multiple times this morning on my trip through the blogosphere of my kindred spirits in Chapel Hill (Abby who was quoting Rachel).

With the delightful autumn thick in the air that phrase has never been truer. What beauty and glory!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prostitution Ring

Yesterday I read this in my favorite part of The Daily Tar Heel - the opinion page. I love that page because to me it highlights one of the crucial functions of newspapers - community building. The opinion page is a forum for people to not just passively read about the world around them, but to engage with it. (For those who don't know, I also work on ad staff for the DTH. I love the paper, and I love ads...what could be better?)

If you haven't already followed that link, do it. Go. Now. Read this "investigative" column that busts a prostitution ring right here in Chapel Hill.

I'm not kidding, either. Yesterday this column sparked conversation amongst people who didn't even know each other as we were waiting for the bus down at the B-school. But the conversation largely consisted of, "Did you read that?" "Oh my goodness that's terrible!" "He's right, we all knew about it, but we're not going to do anything."

And while I was pleased at the interaction, I am utterly frustrated at the shallowness of that conversation and the lack of desire to enact CHANGE. Now we know something illegal is going on - let's DO something about it...

I know I, too, sit here wrapped up in my own world of class and work and selfish existence. But if people like us could just take a few minutes out of our busy days to care about someone who feels like they have to sell themselves to make money, think of what good could be done. So today after class, I'm checking up with the Chapel Hill Police Department after reading up on some local laws. My heart breaks for these women and longs to see some change...not idle talk.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Close it! How could it be closed! The door had been opened, and the winds of time were blowing against it, keeping it from closing, almost taking it off the hinges." -An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle was one of my favorite authors. She taught me about the vastness of God and His unfathomable Love. She taught me about fusing faith with creativity and realness, not in a preachy way, but simply because Story is Story. Her work Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art is a must-read for Christians interested in entertainment and the arts. Here is an excerpt from it that I adore:

Christian art? Art is art; painting is painting; music is music; a story is a story. If it’s bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject. If it’s good art – and there the questions start coming, questions which it would be simpler to evade.
In college I read some aesthetics; Plato, Aristotle; a great chronological jump to Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Pater, Rusking. Plato spoke of the necessity for divine madness in the poet. It is a frightening thing to open oneself to this strange and dark side of the divine; it means letting go our sane self-control, that control which gives us the illusion of safety. But safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the Spirit."

How ironic then, that her death late last week would be fused with the news that I myself am going to start writing reviews for Infuze! (Check it out at Along with Madeleine L'Engle, this website and the people affliated with it have taught me so much over the past few years of what it means to be a Christian who is interested in entertainment and art, and how these things are so intertwined.

Winds of time, indeed!

"why do you keep mentioning the year they died?" -david crowder

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

my posts are too long. and too spread out. look for a much more consistent blog coming next month with shorter posts at least every other week. with that, enjoy the latest unfiltered musings...

Smiles, Pit Preachers & Acceptance

It was in passing someone on the B-school steps today that I looked up to smile that "passers-by smile." You know, the one that says, "I have no idea who you are, but we're inhabiting the same bit of space-time right now, and I'm pleased to coexist with you." Because I know you all think that when you're smiling at a stranger....haha.

But in that seemingly normal moment, I also found myself looking for something in return. Some kind of smile or acknowledgment that I matter. It's not that I think I don't matter, but only that as humans, I think we innately turn to each other to find validation, acceptance or love - to know that we're okay.

The big problem with this is that since we're all human, we all inevitably let each other down. No matter how much we love someone, we will have at least one (usually multiple) instances of selfishness where we hurt them. So to put our trust or our need for acceptance into the hands of others is dangerous. There is only One who accepts us completely and loves us perfectly. It is in Him that we find our identity, that we're told we're "okay," because He has gone to such great lengths to make us so.

This one "random" encounter today with the B-school guy has made me think of other ways that I clamor for people's acceptance. I think this is why I spend inordinate amounts of time in the Joyner lounge with friends, soaking up the fact that we care for each other and support each other.

Now this is not in itself a bad thing, but must be put into context. Friends are a vital part of life, and for emotional balance, we need the acceptance and love of other people. But if that is our sole source of confidence or "validation," then we have a problem. When you come into a friendship already secure in who you are and not seeking approval, only then can you truly love someone selflessly. Otherwise, you will always be brushing over that relationship with a fine-toothed comb, looking for ways the other person builds you up - instead of striving to build them up.

Today on the quad I saw a new "Pit Preacher" who was doing the typical "condemning to hell" routine. And my heart broke for the people there listening - ordinary, amazing people, who may or may not know God. But I know that all of them are looking, just like me, for acceptance, for a place to belong, for confidence, for Truth and Love. (Kind of reminds me of that Tim McGraw song, "Drugs or Jesus," where he croons, "Everybody wants acceptance, we all just want some proof, everyone's just looking for the truth...we're all looking for love and meaning in our lives.")

Dear friends, this is the Truth and Love that we all need in our lives - Jesus absolutely adores us. He is our confidence. Our identity is in Him. We only need His approval, and we have it.

This is in direct contrast to the "condemnation" that the Pit Preacher was claiming this afternoon. What happened to verses like, "There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1) or the story where Jesus told the angry crowd that whoever was without sin could cast the first stone at the adulterous woman (John 8)? Instead, Jesus paints us a picture in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) that explains just how much we all mess up. We don't love each other well. Think you're basically a good person, or like this "preacher" thinks...that you don't sin? Well, have you ever been angry at someone? Jesus says we've committed murder in our hearts. Ever looked at someone lustfully? Jesus says we've committed adultery with them. I know I'm guilty of both.

You see, it's not this laundry list of things we do or don't do in order to "be accepted by God." It's just the fact that we exist that makes Him love us. We don't deserve His love, but He gives it anyway. This is where true acceptance, "validation," belonging, confidence and love is found. This, my friends, is "amazing grace."

I so deeply want people to know that love and turn to Him for it, and I want to grow to be an extension of that love to those around me. I want to rest in the knowledge that I am His child, and that is enough.

And I want to smile at people without thinking about "space-time." ;o)

"Let me know that You hear me, Let me know Your touch, Let me know that You love me, Let that be enough." -Switchfoot

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lessons from the Cupcakes

I baked cupcakes yesterday. For those who know me, being that culinary is a feat. And, oh, it was glorious taking time away from the hustle and bustle of life, being in the kitchen creating something.

But my dad brought up a very good point. "Who are you baking these for?"

After I provided him with a flippant response, "No one really, just to bake!" I actually started to think about the purpose for baking these delicious morsels (yes, they are that good...haha).

The first thing that came to mind was that I had originally intended to bake them for my lovely friends in Joyner as a going away present, but didn't make the time to do it. So first lesson is simply, timing is everything. Carve out the time to show the people in your life that you care.

But the real whopper is this - I have no strong community here at home. If I were at school, yes, timing of things is still important, but really I could go into the kitchen at any time and bake cupcakes and there would be someone around to appreciate my labor of love. Here, there is no one around.

As a follow up to his question, my dad started brainstorming who we could share these cupcakes with. It was so sad to hear our pathetic little list - his coworkers, my mom's coworkers, Becca's friends at school. I was saddened that we don't have a good relationship with our neighbors and could just take them some cupcakes. We don't even have friends that come over to the house often or a church group to live life with.

I have realized how precious is the community God has blessed me with at Chapel Hill. God has made all of us to live in relationship and community with other people - to walk through this life together, sharing our burdens and our joys. It is my hope that my family can find that.

If my time at Chapel Hill has been anything, it has been about God teaching me that we are not islands meant to walk through life alone. Rather, we are connected to each other in our communities, our cities, our countries, our world. We are brothers and sisters.

Let us love each other deeply.
Let us spur one another on to good deeds.
Let us be one Body, one Beloved.

Anybody want a cupcake?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

all men die...

what would it be like to risk it all on a dream that really mattered?

to eschew comfort and security for something that inspires and impassions?

to give it all up and do something crazy?

don't do something just because it looks good on a resume
don't do something just for "job security"
don't do something because you're "supposed to"

live in FREEDOM!
live because you are Redeemed
live for a big Dream that tells of adventure, of sacrifice, of real Love
loving others and your Redeemer

so what if i just moved across the country?
or if i sacrificed a summer internship to go serve in Africa?

...just follow Him...

"all men die. not all men truly live." -Braveheart

I want to actually blog now.

MySpace just does not cut it. I need to be accountable to actually create and have a voice, and not be content to simply be a sponge soaking in ideas and not reciprocating.

So I will post my most recent MySpace entry, and work toward blogging at least once a month.

Here's to the promotion of thinking deeply, sharing those thoughts to a community, and sharpening each other "as iron sharpens iron."

Cheers, mates!