Saturday, January 27, 2007


What will it look like in my life?

I was thinking about this while walking home from work the other day because soon Pastor Mike (that just sounds funny for some reason) will need to assign us books based on specifically what we intend to do with the leadership course for this next month's leadership training course reading.

What did I come to?

I remembered getting the job at Caribou coffee asking friends who worked there if I would be able to start a bible study there or something of that nature. But now I've been there for a couple months and the only nights I don't have anything going on consistently are those that I work. And also it's hard to get more then three people together who can consistently meet together weekly without significant schedule conflicts.

What have I began to think about?

Maybe formal education like small group and classes and things are a good thing. Maybe many people have learned many things because of them but maybe they are not the only way to teach people things about the bible and living according to its teachings. Maybe another alternative is one-on-one discipleship.

When I think back to the ways that I have learned the most and the seasons in life when I have grown the most spiritually it has been because of mentors, friends, and teachers but not in formal group education settings. Instead this growth and learning took place because of relationship and shared journey with another person.

Where I work I may not have found an easy way for a group of people to come together and learn about the bible but I have formed some amazing friendships that often lead to spiritual questions and questions with what I want to do with this Wheaton degree and stuff. I am in relationship with people genuinely seeking meaning in their lives and why shouldn't I persue influencing them and when the time comes (with more maturity on my part and God's leading) disciplining those I know through work.

That's where I think I want to go with this leadership group. It's not that I don't like small groups but I realize the value in authentic teachers and spiritual advisers and how much they have spoken truth into my life and I think that's how I can serve as well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 22 - After 3 Weeks - 11 Weeks to go

It's getting harder. I don't know if I can willingly complete this experiment. Why? Mostly because food is so accessible and it's such a deep rooted habit. This week I'm learning about self-control.
I rationalize my need for more food by my lifestyle, which might make since but also maybe that means instead I should take control of my life.
On average my day begins at 8:30 and ends around midnight. I wake up after 2 or 3 alarms, beginning already behind schedule and go to sleep feeling like I didn't get enough done. And usually I have to drag myself to bed after reading long past the concentration/comprehension point.
On a good day I get around 1000 calories. On a bad day I only get around 700. On average I probably walk 5 miles a day. Char helped me understand that most likely the majority of the recipients of this food work hard but they spread out the work over a period of time and take sufficient rest.
I had expected to work-out and eat nothing but soup for 4 months. Now I'm not working-out, eating bread and peanut butter in conjunction with soup and eating out with friends 1 meal a week.
So I feel like a cheater or a failure. I feel like I don't have any self-control. I need to stop and remember what the purpose is. This is not a scientific study to see conclusively what this food does to the body. It is instead intended to be a central focus in my life for this period. I am doing this to learn and also to educate others. I desire to be a voice and also to prepare myself for future and present service.

*written a few hours later*
I did go and work-out today. I ran 2 1/2 miles. It wasn't much. I had a banana and green tea for breakfast. I had a piece of bread during class. And then I tried to eat my soup after running and I just can't get much of it down right now. I've been in a rut most of this past week unable to even force feed myself the stuff. I prefer a piece of bread and a banana or nothing at all to the soup. Oh well, such is the life for many. They don't have the huge food options that we have. But if I didn't have the options available would I better be able to eat the same thing for so long? I haven't weighed in yet today and most likely wont. Let just see where I'm at at the next weekly posting. It's not about the weight anyway. But as a side observational note, my ring doesn't fit the finger I've always worn it on anymore. It kept falling off so now I'm wearing it on my fattest finger and see how long that lasts. I think it's going to fall off of that finger soon as well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

TSo there wasn't a Lubbock but the combination of these two comes close to hitting it right on. Except they forgot the parts about more churches then trees and noticing the blue squiggly line through town on maps but not being able to find the river in actuallity.

You Know You're From Amarillo When...

Rainfall is measured in hundredths of inches

An inch of rain causes streets to flood but it takes a foot of snow to close schools

People are happy if a picnic gets rained out

You've seen rain, sleet, snow and thunder all in the same storm

You consider plutonium to be good thing

You prefer to haul drinking water rather than drink tap water

You tell people you live in the tan brick house with a tan roof and attached two-car garage, and then realize that describes every house within a 2-mile radius

You can see a million stars at night from your patio

You've never seen smog

You know the soil temperature on any given day but can't recall what you had for breakfast

You've had to pull over and remove tumbleweeds from the grill of your car

You've canceled many golf games because of rain

Vacation means a weekend trip to Santa Fe

You can lose your purse and a total stranger will returns it

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Amarillo.

You Know You're From Abilene When...

You have ever taken a girl to "look" at the blue lights by the airport.

Meeting a celebrity" means standing in line at the Olive Garden next to the local weatherman.

Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a camper on the Winters Freeway.

"Vacation" means driving to Dallas.

You have seen the "Anson Lights" and they scared the hell out of you!

You think one of the major food groups is Taco Bueno.

You think that opening weekend for dove and deer seasons are national holidays.

You find 98 degrees "a little warm," and 60 degrees downright freezing.

You think the only seasons are hot, damn hot, and winter.

You know if another person is from out of town the second he or she walks in the door.

"Overachievers" go to A&M or UT. The rest must choose from Hardin-Simmons, ACU, McMurry, or Cisco Junior College.

You've had several friends move off and move back within a couple of months.

You have a friend that lives near a pumpjack.

The West Texas Fair and Rodeo is the major event for the whole year.

The town mascot is a B-1 Bomber.

Honeymoon means "San Antonio."

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Abilene.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Stomp the Lawn

I'm not a big movie watcher honestly but it was a house bonding moment to go see this one tonight. Really it was pretty good. Reminded me a lot of Drumline. The competitions in the "hood" at the beginning reminded me of hip hop meets emo. Check it out, pretty sweet. But there was a quote that stuck out to me, "You make the letters but the letters don't make you." This was referring to Greek letters in the phrat world. The setting was Truth University and some of the most notable African Americans were shown to have been members of the Greek communities. I was reminded of my own experiences with initiation, pledging, and membership, even as an officer. I was never that hard core about it. I only survived pledging because I was too stubborn to admit defeat. It wasn't because I learned to rely on my pledge class though we did grow close. I didn't have a noble perspective of desiring to make the organization more honorable. I didn't coinsider if my life honored the letters (CDs). But like the movie, we had a competition called Master Follies. Other sister universities call it different things but this is a big thing. Normally performed around Valentine's day so they have been practicing like crazy everyday for a couple weeks now. These competitions were life consuming. For weeks we became crazy almost to the point of hating anyone not in the brother or sister club. It was pretty ugly for a Christian campus. Such fond and terrible memories.
But the point is, I haven't been that competitive about anything else in my life. It became war even though it was a war we created ourselves. Why don't I get this caught up in the war for souls? So messed up. I'm ashamed. There are some Greek letters that I should feel so much more compelled to win under, it is a name that I should never feel ashamed to be known by. It is a name that I should feel obligated and obliged to honor and obey. They are chi rho (IXTHUS). Anyway, that's a much more serous battle that we are guarantied to win.


This is just adorable. My dog in Texas, Gretta loves the snow and they are getting quite a bit of it this year. I don't know how to find year to date snowfall but almost certain they have had as much if not more than Wheaton. Either way I'm loving what's coming down now!!!And as far as the Chicago Bears go, WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPER BOWL XLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Day 15

The topic of the two week of hunger blog is gluttony. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. According to approximately 25% of people living in the US were overweight in 2001. According to an MSN health report 60% of Americans weigh more than they should. Obesity is defined as overweight by 30 percent of the ideal body weight.

I don't really want to talk about Obesity and deadly sins but I do what to ask when was the last time you heard a sermon on obesity? We are comfortable hearing that tobacco and alcohol can be abused and can be bad but we get a bit squirmy talking about gluttony (especially if your pastor is overweight as well).

When talking with my roommates about this topic, one of which admitted to being an over eater and the other is a fitness buff, they said the most important thing is balance. To quote one of them, "Balance is hard as hell" and she's right. Take the diet soda addiction, she tried to quit a few months back and ended up with a killer migraine just a few hours later and had to drink another soda to get rid of the headache (I understand this well with my lack of sugar headaches I'm still suffering from). But then she couldn't just have one, she has to have many throughout the day because of the addiction. Then the other roommate said that she had supper at a normal time but she was feeling hungry again (at 11pm) and she struggled to not eat right before going to bed even through it's miserable to go to sleep hungry. What are we to do?

If you eat too much you're going to kill yourself (and wind up in hell according to the 7 deadly sins thing). If you refuse to eat too much and overexercise then you risk becoming legalistic and in the extreme of an eating disorder severely damage your body or die. There is no winning in the extremes. But balance is hard as hell. I'm not living balanced as far as food goes for this time in my life. I obsess over food because I'm not getting it, I have sugar headaches that would be ended if only I would sneak a little bite of something every now and then. I go to sleep hungry, wake up hungry, sit in class fatigued, etc.... But what will I do this summer? Maybe I would count calories for a little while as my metabolism readjusts back to the way it was before the experiment. I'll then see how much food how often equals enough energy to maintain health. I can tell you right now, getting at or below 1000 calories a day really isn't that bad. This week I only lost two pounds. I'm already beginning to level. I don't think I'm really depriving my body of anything it needs at this point. It's just difficult living in this culture that is obsessed with food. Everywhere I go food is available. People get together and they have to eat, especially in the church world. We don't need all this food. It just takes a small bowl of a little something three times a day and maybe something with a few extra calories between the meals if you live active. Otherwise, STOP EATING!!! YOU'RE KILLING YOURSELF!!!!! I don't really care if it's a "sin" what I care is that it is sucking the life out of people. And I care that so many hours of our day are spent popping stuff into our mouths when we could be spending it loving our neighbor. (that's actually all I really care about)

The Deadly Sins Website states:
What it is: Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Why you do it: Because you were weaned improperly as an infant.

Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be force-fed rats, toads, and snakes.

Associated symbols & suchlike: Gluttony is linked with the pig and the color orange.

Russia Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov said, "Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance."

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Gluttony: "Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire... leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists." (2, 148, ad 1)

Check out these interesting websites:
Overeaters Anonymous
Deadly Sins (even has a recipe to help you get fat)
No "S" advice to help end gluttonous behavior
The Paradox of Hunger and Obesity in America (a very interesting article)
A book with a great title that I've not yet read:
"Fit Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals don't think and what to do about it." By Os Guinness

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Just some simple musings as I walked home from work yesterday:
I verbally pledged to really live this year. Over the next few days I began to wonder what that means. Here is what I’ve come up with:
I’m young but already I’ve experienced more things than many people much older than I am. I’ve spent my days road-trippin’ but now I will experience life on my feet. I’ve been a glutton but now I will know what it is to be meager. I have been self-serving, seeking success and wealth for happiness but now I will find fulfillment in service. For too long I categorized people in my head but for the rest of my days I want to unite people. These things said, I will still go on occasional road trips and I’ll still handle money. To flee these things entirely would be dogmatic. Maybe within this painting is life.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

One Week Into the Experement

This is my first weekly update on the hunger experement. Refer to the last post if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The basics of this update are as of two days ago I'm down 6 pbs, was falling asleep in classes yesterday (first day of class, oops), and noticed the hill on my walk to school/work. Oh, and I have the most intense sugar cravings EVER. So I began to look at the nutrition facts of the soup and realized I was averaging about 750 calories a day. That's probably not healthy, BUT something like 65% of the world's population has no other option. But I know that I do have an option and I don't need to mess up my body now when I am in a possision to help others. If I was just a pawn in the game of life maybe it wouldn't matter so much. Who do we concider the pawns of this world? I don't know what I am but I see some problems with the world and I have a yearning to do something. This project is just a small step in becoming the person I will be. Throughout the course of life I'll have various influence, power, and wealth. For now, this is what I need to do.

Monday, yesterday, I decided I should eat some bread to get few more calories. So on my way home from class I went to the ghetto Jewel and bought a loaf of french bakery bread. I figured that 1/4 of it was 280 calories so that would put me just over the 1000 calorie line. I walked about 4 steps out of the store before I ripped a chunck of that bad boy off and started stuffing my pie hole with the stuff. It was incredible bread. Let me just tell you how good carbs are. I felt amazing after that. You know, that was the best part of waking up today. It keeps me going just knowing that with each new day I get to eat a wad of bread.

Listen to me, I'm starting to sound like a starving kid. I've got a better story from today. Get this: So I was at work, the Caribou and a bunch of our bakery foods expired today. Things like Pumpkin bread, chocolate carmel truffle muffins, low fat berry muffins, and peanut butter cookies. And I had to throw them away because Caribou fires employees who take this food home or give it away. I couldn't bare to see the food in the trash can. I had such a sugar craving. So when my supervisor was in the office and nobody was looking I had to cheat the experement and try the chocolate carmel truffel muffin. So I reached down into the trash, pulled it up from under other stuff, gave it a little look to make sure nothing too terrible had been on it, tore off a small corner and poped it into my mouth. It was a darn shame all that stuff was thrown away. I forgot to mention three bagels were also tossed. Such a waste. We have starving people. I see them in the store staying warm all the time. It was not right. What should I do in the future? (besides dig through trash to eat for myself) I don't think it's cheating if I eat from a trash can or dumpster. That food should be legal for me.

Well that may have been a bit of an amusing post for some of you. I'm still trying to figure out how to put video up. Now I'm trying to decide what I will do for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I feel like I should do something for the cause of justice on that day. I should do something that shows or requires extreme grace. Maybe I will venture out to Reba Place Fellowship (an intentional community in Chicago) and work with some people that will hopefully eventually become friends.

Grace and Peace to you!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Experimentation With World Hunger

I've been trying all day to put a video of an interview with the main man at Breedlove all day and can't get my computer to recognize my video camera. So... I'm going to go ahead with explaining this project and hopefully before too much time goes by I'll be able to figure out how to upload video.

What is this so called experiment with world hunger?

I don't know what I can do alone for justice and poverty in the global south but this crazy idea began to develop in October of this past year. I was at a feast or famine meal at World Missions Workshop and ended up in the group eating lentil soup. I was eating the soup and really enjoying it. Then the organizer of the event made an announcement that anyone desiring to could buy a box of soup and also donate one over seas. This is called buy a box, share a box. Sounds good to me. So I mulled over the idea for a couple more months until going back to Lubbock. I decided to eat almost nothing but soup three times a day 6 and a half days a week for the whole spring semester.

What is this soup?

USA-ID is the main purchaser of the soup. They purchase it to ship all over the world to schools, hospitals, and communities. The interview will go into further detail as to who gets this food. Victims of Katrina were also sent Breedlove soup. The soup is dehydrated potatoes and lentils and nutrient enriched vegetable mix. It contains everything necessary to sustain life. It's not high in fat or calories so I will loose weight (not intentional just seeing how well the stuff really sustains).

What do I really expect to accomplish?

I know that I will gain personal experience with a small part of life that few Americans ever really know. We live in a food culture. Next time you watch a TV show count how many food commercials you see. Food commercials are about half of all commercials. It is ridiculous how much food our culture consumes and how little is available for peoples of the global South. Mr. Finch in the interview says that something like half of the world's population lives on less than one US dollar a day and like 85% live on less then $2. So sure what I'm doing is simulated with exceptions but it's already really opening my eyes to our over consumption and I'm learning how little it really takes to survive and also a little bit about what it feels like to really be hungry and how that affects concentration, sleep, learning, health, etc....

I also hope this project will have a ripple effect on some of the people around me. I hope some people step forward and ask for a bag of soup and commit a week, 2, month or something to similarly participate. I also hope that some opportunities will open to have either feast or famine hunger banquets at churches, classes, organizations and stuff. I want to interview some other people maybe with organizations like Heifer or the One Campaign. Mostly I would just love for people to begin thinking about the needs around the world and get creative in finding ways to share or redistribute wealth globally and make the world a better place for everyone. That really makes me sound idealistic but I'm going to dream big.

So that's kinda what's going on. I began eating the soup last Tuesday 2 January. So far so good. Classes start back tomorrow morning and we'll see how the energy and concentration go. I'm already down 6lbs and other than that I'm still trucking on and excited about the project.

If you have any suggestions on more things I can do, video, people to talk with, etc... leave comments and help me out. Or if you want to get involved somehow, leave a comment.

Couple of My Favorite Songs for the Moment

Three Cord Wonder is a really cool band that's just now beginning to make it big out of Denver. Their newest Album is Jesus Rock Show. It's an awsome CD. I love all the songs on it.

Get Up

I can't believe what I am hearing,
Did we all forget the warning
All the servants in the house are fast asleep
The Master is returning, will he find us serving?
Or will He find us tending only to our needs?
Hear what I say...I don't see Him coming,
But I heard He's on His way...

Get up, get up, get your shoes on
I can tell tell you very plainly why hope is gone
It's crazy, how we got so lazy
Get up, get up, get a move on,
It's a revolutionary love phenomenon,
and plus, it's gonna take all of us, (get up!)

You know the house is one big mess,
And it's partly our fault,
We didn't stand for what was right when the world said right was wrong
Maybe fear's the motivation,
The fear of rejection that kills our dissent with suicidal relevance,
That's not the way...Love isn't weak,
and it doesn't have to be trendy.
A watered down message does not reach anyone
Anymore than watered down truth builds you up
Those who love you need you to get over yourself
This is not about you this is about Hell.

Another Band...Brandy got me listening to Bright Eyes. They are a puck rock band so it didn't take me long to love them. They see mostly the faults of society, but who can blame them.

Land Locked Blues

If you walk away, I'll walk away
First tell me which road you will take
I don't want to risk our paths crossing some day
So you walk that way, I'll walk this way

And the future hangs over our heads
And it moves with each current event
Until it falls all around like a cold steady rain
Just stay in when it's looking this way

And the moon's laying low in the sky
Forcing everything metal to shine
And the sidewalk holds diamonds like the jewelry store case
They argue walk this way, now walk this way

And Laura's asleep in my bed
As I'm leaving she wakes up and says
"I dreamed you were carried away on the crest of a wave
Baby don't go away, come here"

And there's kids playing guns in the street
And ones pointing his tree branch at me
So I put my hands up I say "enough is enough,
If you walk away, I'll walk away"
And he shot me dead

I found a liquid cure
From my landlocked blues
It'll pass away like a slow parade
It's leaving but I don't know how soon

And the world's got me dizzy again
You think after 22 years I'd be used to the spin
And it only feels worse when I stay in one place
So I'm always pacing around or walking away
I keep drinking the ink from my pen
And I'm balancing history books up on my head
But it all boils down to one quotable phrase
If you love something, give it away

A good woman will pick you apart
A box full of suggestions for your possible heart
But you may be offended and you may be afraid
But don't walk away, don't walk away

We made love on the living room floor
With the noise in background of a televised war
And in the deafening pleasure I thought I heard someone say
"If we walk away, they'll walk away"

But greed is a bottomless pit
And our freedom's a joke
We're just taking a piss
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display
If you're still free start running away
Cause we're coming for you!

I've grown tired of holding this post
I feel more like a stranger each time I come home
So I'm making a deal with the devils of faith
Saying "let me walk away, please"
You'll be free child once you have died
From the shackles of language and immeasurable time
And then we can trade places, play musical grace
Till then walk away, walk away

So I'm up at dawn
Putting on my shoes
I just want to make a clean escape
I'm leaving but I don't know where to
I know I'm leaving but I don't know where to

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Church Planting Team

This week I've been blessed with visitors. Well they weren't really here to see me, they came to see the city. Four Texans and a Kentucky boy planning to relocate to the Chicago area in the near future to set deep roots in one of the neighborhoods.
Whatever "it" is, they have it. They spent their days wondering around the city checking out neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Logan Square, Chinatown, and Wrigglyville (among a few others). They were looking for communities with great diversity, affordable living, and some sort of true community mentality even if only in bars and coffee shops. Logan Square at first glances has been the most promising neighborhood they visited.
Getting to run around with this team was a huge blessing to me. I don't think they realized just what an impact they had on me. I was blown away by their genuineness and their simplicity. They let me cook for them at my house (one of my favorite ways to let people know I love them). This was funny because of the soup thing I didn't even try my own cooking. Then we had some great church conversation in the basement with this sounds of Lucas on the guitar (we named one of his songs "the express").
They also got a chance to meet Mike and Julie (and Emma) and Karen and Kelsey at the Grafton. I hope they found that conversation beneficial. Mike had some advice from one church planter to another and answers to some of their questions. The Grafton was a really cool place. I'd like to go back sometime and sit on the couches in front of the fireplace. I love Fireplaces.
Yesterday they did some exploring of the U of I downtown campus, ate at Una, and hit up Navy Pier at night. Navy Pier at night has to be the coolest thing I have done in the city. We went on the roof of the banquet hall building at the very end of the pier, laid down, and imagined the stars. I don't know what Lucas, Michelle, and Jonathan were thinking during this experience but it took me back through a spiral in my life beginning in China noticing no stars, to the country motorcycle rides, to camping, to now. God is in the city. That was super cool!
Michelle and Jonathan are seriously considering moving up here in May. Heather and Andrew would follow in May 2008. And Lucas will do grad school first. They all finish undergrad this May. We should begin praying for people for them to begin friendships and ministry with when they move here and also for their spiritual development and logistics of it all before that time. Like I said earlier, that have IT. God's involved in this team. Their hearts are passionately seeking Him in all they do.
One more thing, what they are doing is not full time ministry. They want ministry to be a part of their life. They are moving up here to work and to live. When they come they will have a normal apartment and normal jobs but in they off time they will be in the neighborhoods making friends and bringing a life-giving message. They are not a charity but they want to help make life better for the people surrounding them. What they are doing is something all Christians can do and possibly should be doing. It is a missional mindset in the midst of life. They don't have to relocate to Chicago to do this. They could have done it in Dallas or Louisville. It doesn't matter. All that to say, I think they have a good idea, even a Biblical idea.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tag I'm It

Well I've been tagged a few times now to write about 5 little known facts about me.
One: Most embarrassing thing happened to me last week. I called the cops on my roommate because I thought someone was breaking-in. I'm a doofas!
Two: When I was two years old I run to my dad when he came home from work to tell him it was snowing, tripped, bit through the baby bottle nipple that I was carrying and clear through my lip. It was the first time I had stitches and now it's a pretty cute little scar.
Three: I was one of those really smart trouble makers in high school. Short story: I went on a state Latin competition as a Freshman because I scored well enough on a Greek History test at a regional competition. The funny part was when I got back to school I landed myself in ISS for being caught with a boy in our room playing cards at night. Then they threatened to kick me out of National Honor Society and my AP teachers forced me to write an apology letting to my Latin teacher for our "bad behavior."
Four: I have been kayaking in some of the coolest places in this country and around the world including: lower Manhattan (Hudson river), Ziliker Park in Austin, TX, Durango, CO, Atlantic Ocean off Coco Beach, FL, and Yahtzee River in China.
Five: I'm a workaholic who has traditionally held multiple jobs for many years but lately I'm ready to quit my job after just over a month of employment. For instance I worked at Geno's for a month, took a month off and couldn't stand the down time. Now I've worked at Caribou a month and want to quit for a little while to I can do more with the Hunger Experiment. Oh well, I go back to work tomorrow and I'm sure I will remember how much I love it.

I don't want to tag anyone else because I don't actually know anyone. But if you are reading this post and I don't know you leave a comment and consider yourself tagged.