30 October 2001
so there is another state of alert called for in the country . . .
and news stations everywhere are trying to find the appropriate angle to exploit the fears of society . . .
questions of how to adjust to living in fear . . .
how to overcome the feeling of vulnerability that accompanies such attacks and threats . . .
i've seen many interviews with citizens of Israel because they've had terrorism there forever . . .
it has become a way of life . . .
Ireland, same thing . . .
but it struck me today as Youth of the Nation chorused through my car stereo . . .
we have a great source of advice, if that's what we want . . .
we can talk to the youth of our country . . .
the neglected youth who have had to live their daily lives differently for the past few years .. .
ask the youth that go to high school everyday not knowing if there will be a shootout . . .
***broken thoughts aka whirlingmind ****
21 October 2001
well, now i'm down here in Florida . . .
flew down yesterday and admittedly i was a bit jittery . . .
but i took my wife's wonderful advice and didn't worry . . .
it's so great when the solution is as simple as can be . . .
during our impromptu bible study this morning, we shared scripture and kind of developed congruent thoughts on them . . .
following is what i came up with "on the fly" . . .
Phillipians 3:12-16 . . .
the phrase that sticks out to me . . .
'But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead . . .'
Phil. 3:13b - emphasis added
forgetting what is behind, that is so key . . .
if you want to succeed, you can't focus on the past . . .
if you set out to run a marathon (which, by my best guess is a 10 mile race) . . .
and in the first mile, you take a spill, ouch! . . .
now what? well you've got options . . .
you can sit there upset about your dilemma, and lose . . .
you can pick up and take off again, mulling about the fall and why it happened, and likely lose . . .
or, you can get up, forget about it, and high-tail it to the finish line (your best chance to win) . . .
you see, if you focus on that stumble, you aren't focused on doing what it will take to win . . .
too, we must forget the past and press on to the goal when it comes to our daily lives . . .
we are called to such higher things . . .
so that's what i shared and then a little later in the day it hit me . . .
there is a flip side to the coin . . .
and here's an illustration that came to mind:
when i was a little younger, i competed in a number of various sporting events . . .
on one such occassion i was involved in a triatholon of sorts . . .
the first leg was a lake swim, maybe 200 meters or so . . .
the second leg, navigating a three-person canoe around a course solo . . .
and the final leg was a 2 and a half mile run through the woods . . .
and we were off, i spattered into the lake with the other 30 or so guys and held the pace that was set . . .
coming back out of the water, i was in the top five . . .
as i grew more excited, i hopped in an awaiting canoe and set off on the course . . .
with sure and steady strokes, i guided my canoe around the course and the other competitors . . .
heading into the run, i was far ahead of the second place guy . . .
and though i realized i still had a long distance to run, i was feeling pretty darn good that i was in the lead . . .
and i was thinking about how great i had done in the first two legs . . .
well, let's just say that long-distance running is not my forte . . .
i held on to the lead all the way up until the last quarter mile . . .
and i heard the steady rhythm of the disciplined cross-country runner currently in second place . . .
thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk . . .
(if you've ever raced, you understand) . . .
well, hey i tell you my mindstate quickly slipped from "wow i'm doing a great job" . . .
to "i have better get back on track here" . . .
but at that point it was too late . . .
i came in second place for the heat . . .
the point: it's not just your slip-ups that can erode the necessary mindstate for success . . .
you can also over-emphasize the successes you've had . . .
17 October 2001
just pulling out of Penn Station NYC . . .
i gotta say, it's chilling . . .
on heightened states of alert, the attitude of the city is pretty somber . . .
coming down broadway, sure it's still the same stubbornness that has always characterized the great city . . .
and you can tell that many have opted for the attempt to ignore what has transpired there . . .
but there really is no ignoring the scar in the skyline . . .
it is very real . . .
and i think being distant from the city, and only seeing things through the television screen . . .
has really distanced me from the true reality of the situation . . .
in a way i feel guilty, like i'm a modern version of Thomas . . .
not that i doubted the gravity of the scene . . .
but that it wasn't completely real to me, until i saw it firsthand . . .
to see sky where the steel used to be . . .
and the images poured through my mind . . .
all the rubble . . .
the smoke pouring through the streets and alleys like the running of the bulls . . .
Popmeii-like ash covering everything . . .
skeletal remains of a structure that was and citizens that were . . .
it is so unreal . . .
and sadly it is so real . . .
as i was in the cab line outside of MSG, i witnessed a crowd of thousands upon thousands . . .
waiting to gain entrance to a job fair exclusively for people who used to work in and around the trade center . . .
now without work . . .
it's very sobering to gain even as small an insight as i have today . . .
to the true effects of such horrible actions . . .
i believe my voice would fail me if i spoke . . .
16 October 2001
first rough morning in a while . . .
i woke up in the early hours trembling again . . .
the images that were flashing in my head were nothing less than terrifying . . .
fire falling all around me, intense heat, debris spilling from every direction . . .
and me, with no where to go . . .
if nothing else, this helped jolt me back to reality . . .
i, like many, had slightly fallen back in step with complacency . . .
exemplified all too well by my mindstate last night . . .
as tired as i was, i was restless at the same time . . .
not for any of the many legitimate reasons around me though . . .
i was all worked up because i turned in when the outcome of two games were uncertain . . .
the 'skins had just pulled ahead of the cowboys at the start of the 4th . . .
and the yankees were up by 2 in the 8th inning of the deciding game 5 of a series with the A's . . .
sports had me unsettled . . .
insignificant games . . .
not that it's a sin to watch sports and get into the games . . .
(that would significantly increase my sin count . . .)
but i felt pretty convicted shortly thereafter that my focus should have been better directed . . .
clearly, as displayed in my dreams, there are far greater things that should be on my mind . . .
anyway, i realize more and more how important it is for me to read the Bible . . .
keep my prayers going . . .
keep my walk tight . . .
so often it seems like the world is falling all around me . . .
it's good to know that i'm safe in the arms of God . . .
12 October 2001
[ INCOMPLETE THOUGHTS, the pattern most common to me . . .]
i've been thinking about fear and what strikes fear within me . . .
and what we're facing now . . .
it is the unseen enemy . . .
the possibility of a rival that lurks in shadows . . .
that can pass right before us without triggering our suspicion . . .
without us thinking twice . . .
a villain that knows all about us and has somehow eluded our probes to learn about them . . .
an archenemy that we cannot see, that strikes with no warning . . .
this is part of the reason we are so quick to name suspects . . .
and release photos . . .
we don't want to face someone we can't see . . .
it's frightening . . .
honestly, how do you prepare yourself . . .
if you don't know your enemy, how can you possibly defend yourself against him?
we like to see a face . . .
a face helps us define mortality almost . . .
it's almost like, they have a face, i have a face, they are only human . . .
to some extent, we can control them . . .
10 October 2001
something really cool hit me the other day in conversation . . .
TOPIC: How do you know if you are truly saved?
Obviously, your beliefs and true desires are shown by your actions . . .
that we agreed on . . .
but here's the puzzler . . .
what if our response to a certain circumstance isn't what it should be . . .
say i cut you off on the highway . . .
what's your first response?
i know mine because it happens all the time around here . . .
and my first thought is something about how nice it would be to plow that jerk off the road . . .
so, is that indicitive of my "true" desires . . .
in the age of wwjd, what would Jesus do if he were, say cut off on the highway?
well, for sure he wouldn't plow the guy off the road, but neither would i . . .
but, would he think it? would he think to himself, oh what a jerk, or something to that extent . . .
well, maybe not, but we have to keep in mind, when we throw these WWJD's out there . . .
that what he (or we) does (or do) is different than his (or my) initial reaction . . .
one of the best things to take out of A Knights Tale is the following loosely quoted concept . . .
if you want to prove your love, you must do what is against your own nature or desires . . .
now, Jesus, as a lover of all persons, may or may not have the term "jerk" in his descriptive vernacular . . .
and that may not be the best example to use . . .
but as a man, it is clear that Jesus had urges and desires that directly conflicted with those of God, the Father . . .
re-read his prayer in Gethsemane if you doubt me . . .
but in the greatest display of love ever in history . . .
he denied his own desires in leiu of God the Father's . . .
it is in that, his final action, that his true nature was shown . . .
and it is in that, our final actions, that ours also is shown . . .
we will never completely align our reactions with the will of God . . .
but we can align our actions with those taught to us in scripture . . .
let's work on that rather than burdening ourselves with guilt . . .
5 October 2001
i've had many interesting discussions of recent . . .
i've also had stirred up more thoughts regarding some issues . . .
and schools of thoughts and theories i had nearly abandoned for lack of further development . . .
anyway, i may get into that at some point, but what has really commanded my attention is an ongoing debate . . .
this debate regards revenge . . .
i'm not sure where i'm going right now, i may have waited too long to put this down . . .
so i'll do my best to construct my thoughts, despite my disheveled state of mind. .. .
over the past few weeks i've learned a lot about Islamic beliefs . . .
and also about my own beliefs . . .
and i've heard a lot of arguments for both sides of this debate . . .
i'm lost, i'll get back .. .
3 October 2001
well, today was one of those days when i woke up and realized all my weaknesses . . .
feeling very frail and worn today . . .
teetering on the border of weepiness . . .
i'm not sure why, but it does seem as if i have somewhat settled back into my original stream of existence . . .
pre the eleventh . . .
which to some extent is good, to some extent is not good . . .
i will be sorting this out over the next few days . . .
as well as discussing some of the big topics that have been prominent in my head over the last few days . . .
i do apologize for the lack of content over the past week . . .
i have not been idle in deeds or thoughts, however . . .
i launched the new Universal Royalty look today . . .
make sure to check it out and show them love. . .
also, i have been lost in thought as of late . . .
so much so that it has been difficult to compile in text . . .
and now is not the time . . .
but soon . . .