Thursday, February 28, 2013

The World Ain't Slowing Down

One of my favorite singers had a hit that was featured in a movie that had the above title. I love the song. I love the message of it. And I love the singer. This singer is putting on a show at an amazing venue on Saturday night and I've been given an opportunity to raffle off two free tickets to one of my loyal readers. To win, you need to:
1) Identify the singer
2) Name the movie in which his song was featured
3) Name two other songs by this artist
4) Tell me why I should pick you for the free tix

Please use the comments section to participate and I will make my decision at this time tomorrow morning.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's All As It's Supposed to Be the onset of 2013, I wrote about living in the moment. About how this means trusting in a plan. God's plan. Today, as I was walking, I got this message LOUD and CLEAR in my mind. Oh the rotating and repetive messages are the most persistent! Anyhow, today I realized although I am trying to let go and believe there is a plan, I am still thinking I can control the outcomes by doing the right things myself. I try to hold on to the living in the moment, but let's face it, if I don't like the moment, I am like a salmon swimming upstream, fighting the rapids.

So, today's message of "It's all as it's supposed to be" was a very freeing message. Imagine the power in truly believing this statement. This means the wars you fight internally. The temptations you succumb to, or those you beat down. The letting go of people, events and things...all of it. Even the attempt to control...even it is meant to be. Oars up...I know I've said that before, but even if your oars are down, maybe even that is meant to be a direction changing drag? We are not pawns, but we are not unguided, uncared for or unloved either.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Va-LENTEN-tines Message

This year, the church calendar has Easter falling as early as it can. This means Lent is also falling as early as it can. This means Lent is falling the day BEFORE Valentine's Day. Celebrating with excess and richesse is out of the question. Lent is about penitence and preparation...preparing for the day of Christ's death and the passionate betrayal of Him to the cross. It's odd to juxtapose this time of dark in the church calendar with the commercial explosion of hearts, pink and doilies. So, for Lent this year, I am giving up Valentine's Day.

This does not mean I am giving up love, nor does it mean I won't grant my kids' Valentine's Day wishes. No. It does mean that I will not be celebrating the glorification of romantic love. Instead, I am going to use the overlapping of Lent and V-day to seek unconditional love. Isn't Vaentine's Day love expression the opposite of unconditional love? It's bedecked in costume. It's a love that comes with an extended arm bearing gifts of sugar and hearts. It's love that is created and born out of the heightened expectations of a Hallmark holiday.

However, at the center of it is a craving for love. A craving to love and be loved. A giving over of oneself to loving thoughts and caring gestures for a day. Seeking to be connected, rather than disconnected. Isn't this just what Jesus did? Didn't He come to us to connect us and love us? Maybe I don't have to give up Valentine's Day for Lent, but I do want to reframe it, see it in a different light. I want to imagine a love so great it is completely without condition.
A love so all emcompassing, it can barely be imagined by a human mind.
A love that forgives and forgets our shortcomings at all times.

The love God holds for us cannot be trimmed into a heart shape or even improved by a box of chocolates. It is pure and complete and it is there for us every day. Not just on Valentine's Day and not just during Lent and Easter. Not just on Christmas. It's something to be grateful for and to bask in every single day of our lives.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Choice Overload

I am going to try to remember the cookie aisle from my childhood. I remember that Oreos were just a cookie. A singular cookie you could define as chocolate with cream filling. Period. Chips Ahoy were cchocolatechip...they were crunchy and tasted faintly of cardboard. They came in one size of cookie and one flavor, color and texture. Maybe there were two box sizes depending on your penchant for cookies or size of your family. There were not the staggering number of choices a stroll down the cookie aisle affords today.
I am amazed, and even might say appalled, by the variety. There are currently birthday cake, chocolate on chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, half vanilla/half chocolate, doublestuff, strawberry, Neapolitan ice cream berry blast...there are FORTY FIVE varieties!!! How incredibly overwhelming. The Oreo brand has merely become a vehicle for different flavors and colors: an experimental platform for heaping on the artificial ingredients. It's downright frightening. Chips Ahoy and the other brands offers no respite. And do NOT get me started on toothpastes...or shampoos...
The paradox of choice states that the more choices you have, the more stress you feel. Consider this:

The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less is a 2004 book by American psychologist Barry Schwartz. In the book, Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.
Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don't seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.
—quoted from Ch.5, The Paradox of Choice, 2004
Now, I know I have shown this video on here before, but it bears repeating. What do you think of choice? Is it a help or a hinderance to your shopping experience?

As of late, I have been (as I mentioned in a previous blog) frequenting some dating sites. The more cute guys I meet, the more nice potentials I meet, the more I just want none. I think I will just close up shop. Maybe when springtime hits I will feel more in the game.  The stress of a misstep in dating seems even more perilous than choosing the wrong Oreo or toothpaste.