Friday, May 26, 2006

Life and Love and Why

Is the title of one of my favourite Switchfoot songs. And since I had nothing on my mind when I started this blog entry, I borrowed it as a title.

Since I talk about Switchfoot a lot, I figured that maybe it would be good to talk about why I like them.

First of all, I like their sound. It's rocky, but melodic, with great guitar riffs. And Jon Foreman's voice just has a great raw quality to it.

But, beyond that, I like their message. Many have accused them of "selling out," but I just don't understand how anyone could read that from their lyrics. Since leaving the exclusively "Christian" industry, they've gained a greater voice and become even more vocal about social justice and the problems of materialism in society. The last time I saw them in concert, they encouraged us to do what we can and use our voices to affect change. They challenge the status quo and call their listeners to "live for so much more."

Anyway, time is up and I must be going. But take a look at their site: or their mySpace: Jon Foreman is one of the most poetic writers I know.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's Time for a New Blog

Unfortunately, I've got nothing to write about.

Then I got distracted and now it's time for bed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

invisible children

Well... After what I saw tonight, I commited to blog at the very least.

To be honest, I don't know where to start. I suppose that somehow in our world of overabundance, we are lulled into this sense that there isn't suffering out there. OR, if there is, that someone's "on it" already, taking care of the problem. I mean, isn't that what the UN Peacekeepers are for?

But it isn't true. There are problems in this world that AREN'T being addressed. And, to be fair, it's because the situations are complex. What can I do about child soldiers in Uganda? I mean really, it's overwhelming. Even more, what could I encourage someone else to do? There is no magical solution. The problems are complex, so the solutions will be as well.

So, I could easily be lulled into apathy. Most of the time I can just suppress the knowledge that there are people suffering. And I think most of us do that, appeasing our consciences with trifle donations to organizations that are doing something.

Is that okay? To quote my favourite band: "We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?"

More, I think, is required of us. Invisible Children ( is raising awareness of the poverty in northern Uganda that results from fear of being abducted and brainwashed into fighting for rebel forces. Children aged 5 - 12 are being forced to kill.

The most significant thing to me tonight was seeing that these are real children. We often dismiss those living in poverty as being somehow adjusted to their situations. But in a raw documentary, I heard them talk about how they listen to Tupac and dream of being doctors and lawyers but can't afford the school fees. Their situations may be different, but they are still people.

So, what to do. I blog because we need to raise awareness. If we keep thinking about it, learning more about it, and talking to others, we may come up with a solution.

What I suggest from here is to become aware. I highly recommend seeing the film "Invisible Children." It does lead to more questions, but it's worth seeing.

This is about more than just child soldiers in Uganda, though. How can we practically care for our fellow human beings who are suffering?

Right now, I have no answers. But let's at least keep thinking about it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Trust Theory

Tonight I have no deep thoughts. It's just that I was involved in a very long conversation today about blogging and realized that it's been almost two weeks since I posted.

So, I'd better come up with something profound.

I'd like to open up a forum in the comments section on the subject of trusting God. And I don't want to to be a cliche discussion where we throw out verses, such as "well, in Prov. 3:5,6 it says to trust God, and He will direct your paths." Real-life examples only.

The question is: can we really trust God? And I know that my even asking it almost sounds blasphemous, because the "right" answer is "of course." But what about the real life answer... As I write this, I can think of dozens of stories of times when God lead me down paths where I didn't really know what was going on, but He pulled amazing things out of it.

But, the reason for the question, is that I can also think of times when I thought I was following God's direction, and I trusted Him, and I got burned for it. Was I wrong to trust Him? Or are we not at the end of the story yet?

Yes, I know what the "right" answers are, but I need the heart answers. Share your stories here about times when it took a really long time for God to show you what He was doing. Is there a time in your life that something really terrible happened, and you hurt for a long time, but then God redeemed the situation and did something really amazing? Something that never would have happened if the sucky thing hadn't happened?

In my head, I know that it's worth it to trust God, but as I'm heading toward another crossroad in my life, I'm hesitant to wait for His leading, because I feel like I can handle things on my own.

But, would that lead to, what someone called today, a "default existence?"

Can we experience true joy without completely trusting God?

Well, feel free to comment. Or maybe I'm the only one who struggles to trust Him.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bias disguised as objectivity

One thing I can't handle is when people say they are being objective (and maybe actually think they are!) but are actually biassed.

Let's face it... we're ALL biassed, and there is no such thing as an objective view. There is a business decision making theory that handles this quite nicely, and it's called "bounded rationality." The premise is that a person can't know everything, so they go with what they know and make the best decision.

Really, that's how we have to live. Because if we were continually hung up on getting every detail, we'd never move forward. But if we blindly think they we are the wisest of the wise and know everything there is to know... well, that just leads to problems. There are things we CAN'T know.

Even more, there are things we can't know that we don't know. (I can't say it any better, if it doesn't make sense, just read it over again ;) )

All this was prompted by two events. 1) The other day, I actually heard someone say, "I know more than most people." I couldn't believe it. To quote Napoleon Dynamite - "Like anyone could even know that." Anyway, this world is a dangerous place if there are people who think themselves wiser than they are. 2) Reading the Da Vinci Code. It's a good book, great story, and the history part of it was quite interesting. BUT, it took historical facts and mixed them with bias disguised as fact, which lead to lies. Now, this may not sound like a bad thing, since it IS a fictional work and doesn't pretend to be otherwise. But, if I describe something, like a paining, and get every detail about the painting right, then say that the artist who painted it was someone different than it actually was... most people who think the artist was who I said. And I think that's a problem.

Anyway, this has gone on longer than I meant to. I'm feeling cynical these days because I'm tired... As nice as it is not to be in school and doing assignments and stuff, it's tough to adjust to this new schedule.