Life with Dreads. {pt 1}

And now, a more light-hearted post... about one of my new favorite topics: dreadlocks.

I've had mine for almost two months now. And they are wonderful!

How are they wonderful, you may ask? I'll tell you...
Dreads are wonderful because:
1) They are easy to maintain
2) I never have a bad hair day
3) I get to enjoy odd stares wherever I go

I love seeing the look on peoples faces when I go someplace new, or meet someone for the first time. Sometimes they stare, sometimes they try not to... and they always ask me the same questions:
Do you wash them?
How did you do them?
Who did them?
How long did it take?
Can I touch them?

And my answers are:
Because they're awesome. I'm a college student and I'll never be this independent again, so I might as well take advantage of it.
Yes, I do wash them, with special dread shampoo.
Through a process called backcombing.
My wonderful mother.
About 8 hours.
And yes, of course C:

I'll continue to post as I get interesting reactions or have stories about them...


This play has gotten old (and the acting sucks anyway. )

I've started this blog a half dozen times already, but my finger keeps finding the backspace.

I don't why it's so hard to articulate these thoughts that are bouncing aimlessly around in my head...but it's becoming increasingly difficult to sort them out.

Basically, I'm disappointed in the church.

I don't know where it went so wrong, but somehow church has gone from what it should be, (a loving, accepting environment the welcomes and includes) to a harsh, judgemental, exclusive club where the only ones accepted are those who fit perfectly into the box created by Christian culture.

We have our cheesy t-shirts, our charismatic conventions, our pipe organ loving counterparts who still think that guitars and drums are from the devil.

Anything outside of what we consider normal or correct is quite obviously wrong...sinful even.

My personal favorite is when the word sinner is directly applied to only those who do not attend church. Obviously, it could not apply to Christians. Us, sinners? No, of course not!

Oh, please! Quit pretending. Quit acting like perfect little Jesus freaks. This play has gotten old. The acting sucks anyway. Can we for once just honestly admit that we mess up just as much as the next person? This masquerade has gone on long enough, and I believe it is almost entirely to blame for the widely accepted negative view of the Christianity. We have earned this disdain...this bitterness toward anything affiliated with Christ, God, or religion.

A wise friend of mine once told me that humility is the only thing that sets Christians apart from anyone else. I don't know if I agree with him that it's the ONLY thing....but it certainly should be one of the biggest aspects of a Christians character.

The Christians that I admire the most...the ones that I aspire to be more like.....are the ones who are honest. The ones who don't pretend to have it all together. The ones who don't hide behind a false happiness every Sunday morning, know all the hymns by heart (without taking any of them to heart), the ones who sit attentively, hearing the message but not listening, then leave, dodging what handshakes and happy greetings they can to return to the life they live the rest of the week.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is if you have been hurt or disappointed or labeled by someone who associates themselves with the church...I know how you feel. I too have felt the sting of Christian "love." I've recently discovered just how bitter I am towards the church in general. I'm working on it...trying to get past it.

I can only say that there are genuine Christ followers out there. I've met them. They are the ones who have inspired me, cultivated my own fatih. The ones who really do care. My parents...various youth pastors and leaders and friends. They are out there. And I hope and pray that you will meet them...and recognize the true passion they have to live a life filled with love and to genuinely model Christ's example.

They wont be perfect.

But they will be real.


{Cafeteria Prayers}

{this post is written with disgust at my own selfish attitude lately.}

Lord, the next time I enter the cafeteria, looking for chicken patties or yummy pizza and find only overcooked lasagna and soggy potato wedges, bring this image to my mind: 


And when I go to get a drink and the machine is out of ice, and I have to walk 20 yards to the other side of the cafeteria let me think of this before opening my stupid mouth:


 And the next time I start to make a general complaint about the quality, selection or taste of my meal please stop the words from leaving my tongue and instead remind me to pray for this: 




harmonic tension

Jacob Johnson once said: "Harmony cannot exist without dissidence."

And by "once said," I mean last weekend at his concert, which was wonderful.

But anyways, in Romans 12 it says that we should live in harmony with one another. So....what exactly does that look like?

It looks like people celebrating their differences. Harmony does not exist when every note sounds the same. There must be variation...and when there is - it's a beuatiful thing.

It's time we stopped trying to make everyone fit into our idea of what they should be and stepped back to appreciate the harmony that is created when we all live the way God inteded us to live.

Cause it really is a beautiful thing.



(Completely unrelated to this blog, but worth sharing: Mark Sears brought play dough to class today...it was quite amusing.) c:

In old testament today we talked for a few minutes about Samuel. Remember the very beginning where his mom, Hannah, prays for him?
Well...I've been thinking about that situation ever since then. Something hit me.

At the opening of 1 Samuel Hannah is praying for a son. She is weeping, pouring her soul out to God. Her lips were moving, but no sound could muster the strength to pass her lips.

Enter Eli. The priest. You might think that he would realize what this woman was doing...but you would be mistaken. I mean, wasn't it at least somewhat heard of to pray that fervently? Didn't anyone else ever pour their heart out to God at the temple?

Possibly not. Either way, the text says he "took her to be a drunken woman."

Wow. Talk about judgemental.

So that got me thinking...how many times have I made judgements about people based on their appearances? How many times have I looked at a person, and assumed I knew things about them? How many times have I taken someone to be something that they're not?

When in reality I could be as off base as old Eli.


Manna was inspiring.
Breathtaking, beautiful, satisfying, nourishing.
At first it was surprising...but then, it became routine.

"Ben, can you go collect the manna for me?"

"But Moooooooom! Jotham and I are having a camel race!"

"Don't talk back to me young man. YWH provides that food for you, the least you can do is go and pick it up off the ground."

Somewhere along the way it lost its power to awe. Once the novelty of it all had worn off, it became just a part of normal life. I can imagine God, looking down on them thinking: "This will keep them entertained for a while." Then a few days later... "Really? I sent you food from heaven, what more do you humans want?"

In what areas of our lives today does He feel this way about? Where have we gone from awed to merely appreciative, to just amused? He may not be sending us manna in the form of wafers anymore, but he sends us the nourishment and encouragement that we need every day, if we only look for it. It's there...in the form of the world around us, in the people we encounter, in the books that we read, and the music we choose.

Try looking at the world with new eyes today, and take in all the manna around you.

First Blog....(now does that sound cheesy or what?)

Well... I've always thought blogging was kind of dumb.

But lately, I've felt the need to express myself through writing...and having an audience makes it much more satisfying. So, here it is.

My blog.

I really have no idea what it's going to look like, if anyone will read it, how often I'll post...

But, here goes nothing.