Wednesday, October 29, 2008

what started as a joke has become so much more

Our story tonight begins almost 7 years ago. The date was December 1st, 2001. I was up late as usual flipping through the channels when I stumbled upon Saturday Night Live. The host was New York Yankee Derek Jeter. A sketch came on, that I must admit was incredibly random and quite silly. It was titled "The Perm".

Basically Derek Jeter's character comes to a party and much to his friends surprise, he's had his hair permed. As he revels in a dream come true, his friends can't believe he actually went through with it. I remember watching this sketch and thinking, "I've got to perm my hair!" But the dream was forgotten, then remembered, then forgotten again...but thankfully I was growing my hair out to try out a new emo look, when someone else reminded me of my forgotten dream to get a perm.

And then I realized, Hallowe'en is coming up and lately a number of people have commented that I look like Jack Black. I could be Nacho from Nacho Libre!

Well ladies and gentlemen, this day has finally arrived!!!!

Just moments before the big transformation. I was a little nervous, not knowing how it would turn out.

love those curlers

this part took half an hour of waiting with a bag over my head

but then finally we were finished

and now

without further ado

I present to you

my dearest friends and loved ones

the NEW ME............


It turned out so much better than I expected. It was incredible! And I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

So let me show you some pics I've taken in the last couple days. I've been so giddy with joy! With each picture I'll give you a quote from the Derek Jeter SNL sketch that started it all.

Maya Rudolph: We thought you were joking all those times.
Derek Jeter: When?
Horatio Sanz: All those times you talked about going out and getting a perm.
Derek Jeter: No, no. That was never a joke. Why would I joke about that? That was my dream. Then after I paid off my student loan I figured, "It's time to start living, so..."

Will Ferrell: His hair looks ridiculous.

Anna Gasteyer: Look at him admiring it.

Horatio Sanz: It's some kind of weird cry for help. Why else would you do such a thing to yourself?

Anna Gasteye: It's a tiny afro.
Maya Rudolph: I know, it's porno hair.

Will Ferrell: It's total Mike Brady hair.

Anna Gasteyer: Why a perm? I mean why that hairdo?
Will Ferrell: It's not a hairdo, it's a hair-don't.

Anna Gasteyer: We know that having a perm is your dream and all, but umm, it's just not flattering. It's making us all sad.
Derek Jeter: What! What kind of people are you? You should be excited that I have my dream hair. Look, I've chosen to arrange my hair into a series of tight curls, now accept it! And hear this, perms will come back in style, you mark my words. Soon you will all have perms. You'll thank me for starting the perm wave, you just wait!

That's right, you just wait everyone! You just wait!!!!

I can guarantee you all now, this will definitely not be the last time I perm my hair!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A little clarification...

When I wrote previously that I am good at "acting" humble and that I need to "pretend" to be humble, bolth those words, "acting" and "pretend", give the air that I "fake" humility.

Well, in a sense I do "fake" it, but my motives are not fake. I strive to be humble, but I am not naturally that way. So in my effort to be humble I have found the best way to get there is to "fake" humility. This gets the ball rolling.

So yes, I do act, pretend, and fake that I am humble, but all of those words can be replaced with "practice". Because even though I suck at being humble, I can always practice it. And ultimately because I suck at being humble, I really should be practicing (acting/pretending/faking) more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the girl of my dreams - #6

6. capable of caringing a conversation

Prophetic interpretation skills, don't fail me now!!!! In the rush of bringing forth this message from beyond, Megan may have typed a little too hastily. Please forgive her, she means well.

So I think the obvious interpretation is "capable of CARRYING a conversation". This flows well with the previous characteristic of being witty. In fact, as I previously said, unless there is that chemistry of witty banter, i doubt things would work. But obviously Megan is pushing for more than just witty banter. I think she is saying that the girl of my dreams will be someone that does not leave me to carry the conversation on my own. Sometimes I'll be with a friend and realize, "wow, I've been talking a lot." So I purposefully stop talking and see what happens. Sometimes it totally falls flat, revealing that in that relationship I tend to be the one carrying the conversation.

So the girl of my dreams will be someone who can keep the conversation going. Probably the best analogy I can think of is a good tennis partner. A good tennis partner is equal in overall skill level, but can also give the other player some good competition. Able to keep up with each other, but still having different strengths and weaknesses.

However, what if that is not the correct interpretation? Perhaps Megan was saying she will be "capable of caring IN a conversation". Many times when I talk to people they do nothing but insult, berate, and/or destroy the very essence of who I am as a person. It would be nice, for once in my life, to have someone who cares for me when we converse. And not just for me, the compassion goes out to all people with whom she converses. Although, the statement begins with "capable of" so it's not necessarily something she does all the time, but something she has the ability to do, if she so chooses. From my experience, there is no one I've met who is capable of caring in a conversation...not like I deserve it anyways, I'm so stupid! Why do I even bother? I'm such a loser, a fool and an idiot, oh man why did I even type that, all three mean the same thing?!? I never do anythign right, I hate myself, stupid dan, what the heck is wrong with you....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the girl of my dreams - #5

5. witty but not full of herself

witty - "amusingly or ingeniously clever in conception or execution"

if you are not witty, then there is probably no point in dating me. i will find you boring if you are not witty. i need to be with someone who i can have witty banter with. if we don't click on this level, we will not click on any other.

to be witty and to not be full of oneself is a tall order to fill. i think you need to be somewhat full of yourself in order to be witty. but not completely full. i think what Megan is prophesying for me is a girl who is witty and 96.7% full of herself. Let's pause here and have a short discussion about humility.

am i a humble guy? no, i'm quite full of myself. but am i good at acting humble? yes, most definitely i can always appear to be humble. yet, by acting humble i actually become humble. follow my logic with this hypothetical scenario:

1. a friend is not happy with something i have said

2. in my mind i know i was right and they were wrong

3. i pretend i am humble and offer to listen to their perspective

4. my friend now has the impression that there is a possibility i am wrong

5. in listening to my friend's perspective i realize, "oh crap, i was wrong!"

6. i apologize and our relationship is restored

don't you see, even though my original intentions were not humble, by pretending to be humble in the end i am humbled and show humility? so there you have it, i am not a humble guy by nature.

so i don't care if you are full of yourself. but i do care if you can't even pretend to be humble.

Monday, October 20, 2008

the girl of my dreams - #3&4

I have decided to skip #2 for now and come back to it later.

3. trendy in dress

4. dark jeans, cute flat shoes

once again, Megan has a given a general prophecy followed by a specific. if opposites attract then there is a very good chance this will come to pass. i don't think i really need to tell you this, but i don't know what i'm doing when it comes to clothes. seriously, i could really use some help if anyone is willing.

so i hope she is right, i hope i find someone who is trendy in dress, although i am greatly intimidated by those who are trendy in dress. what a conundrum?!?!!!?

regarding #4 - will i know the girl is the girl of my dreams when i see her in dark jeans and cute flat shoes...or is that what she'll be wearing the first time i see her?

i've never paid attention to women's footwear before, but you can be assured I'll be on the lookout now! although, i have no idea how to tell whether your shoes are cute or not. is the prophecy my opinion of cute or Megan's? maybe she saw a vision of said shoes and described them as cute. next time you have a vision, i'd rather you check out the shoe size!!! at least that's more objective.

and dark jeans? i was hoping for a pantsuit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the girl of my dreams - #1

1. she will be corky, beautiful, dark hair curly.... not loud but energetic

As with all prophetic writings, it takes careful study and perception to interpret correctly. Of all the prophecies, this is the fullest description of the girl of my dreams. Let's look at the first quality:

she will be corky

hmm, as in Corky from Life Goes On? She will have Down Syndrome?? Extremely lovable and child-like?

or perhaps "corky" meaning - having an unpleasant odor and taste
not a very promising characteristic, but it will be a distinctive. first time making out, yup definitely corky!!

now, you probably are thinking it's definitely one of those meanings, BUT, I know Megan and one thing I know about Megan is...she's not a very good speller. So being the Megan scholar that I am, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest she does not mean corky, but instead quirky.

she will be quirky - "different from the ordinary in a way that causes curiosity or suspicion"
mmmm, i like that! i hope that she will be quirky.

moving on...

beautiful, dark hair curly

once again, this one might be a bit difficult to understand. i wish there was either more commas in there, or maybe a period or brackets. is this all one aspect? she will have hair that is beautiful, dark, and curly? maybe it's four different things? she will be beautiful. she will be dark. she will have hair. or made of hair? and she will be curly (as in three stooges?!?).

i'm going to go out on another limb and say it is two different qualities, one general and the next specific.

she will be beautiful
she will have dark hair that is curly

i have to admit, i am a sucker for a beautiful girl. in fact, i probably wouldn't date someone unless i think they are beautiful. is that superficial? i've been wondering that lately.

and i also have to admit, i tremble when i see a girl with dark curly hair! i have no idea why, but that is so unbelievably gorgeous to me...

so i hope she is right, beautiful with dark, curly hair!

and finally,
not loud but energetic

i think Megan might be a bit biased with this prophecy. i have a feeling she interjected a little of her own opinion into the mix, but I'll give my thoughts anyways. I think she's right, haha, but what Megan might not know is my definition of loud is probably different than hers...and that will be my little secret.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"the girl of my dreams" - updated

I was telling Megan about how I was soon to embark on my first speed dating experience. She then remarked, "oh man though you may meet the girl of your dreams!"

The girl of my dreams. Do I even know what the girl of my dreams looks like? I dream about the perfect girl for me, but maybe that girl isn't the girl of my dreams. Perhaps the girl of my dreams is totally different than my expectations and better than anything I could dream myself.

It's like Dashboard Confessional. When they started getting some recognition my friends would say, "Oh you gotta check this out!" and I gave them a quick listen, but really I wasn't sold on it. It wasn't the music of my dreams. UNTIL...a few months later I decided to give them another go, and slowly I realized, this was way better than I thought it was going to be!!! In fact, I might even say that cd is now one of my all-time favorite cds! In the end it really was the music of my dreams!!!

So who is this mysterious "girl of my dreams"? I know I can't trust my own imagination so I asked Megan, "what do you think she'll be like???!?"

And with supernatural insight, she instantly snapped into a trance and prophesied in detail "the girl of my dreams":

1. she will be corky, beautiful, dark hair curly.... not loud but energetic

2. loves youth *given* but does not want to be the main person

3. trendy in dress

4. dark jeans, cute flat shoes

5. witty but not full of herself

6. capable of caringing a conversation

7. slender but not skinny

8. perfect vision

9. akward at first, because she is a tad shy

10. loves reading, and very intellectual

11. creative in thinking however not artistic however plays the piano

12. ooh and she is a marvelous speller!

13. pretty girly girl when it comes to flims though

Unfortunately the internet connection at my hotel cut out and I couldn't learn any more from her!!! I bet she had 7 more items to create the opposite of my can't date list. In any case, over the next few posts we will unpack the 13 qualities that make up "the girl of my dreams".

*thanks to Amanda for the suggestion! they sing what my soul feels...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Late Nite Musings

1. Today at the conference this bigger guy with a beard and longish hair ran up on stage when Hawk Nelson was playing. Two random people thought I was that guy. But the thing is, I don't think I look that big, but I must, because people also say I look like Jack Black.

2. Someone said to me today, "You're really white!" Thanks Captain Obvious.

3. Why do I always get sick when I travel? Thankfully my cold is on the way out.

4. Regarding my online dating adventures: "Online dating is no place for a vulnerable young man such as yourself."

5. I'm sick of long hair, but I will persevere!

6. I tried speed dating for the first time yesterday! That was an experience. One girl looked like a 20 yr old Jennifer Garner. Too bad I don't find Jennifer Garner that attractive.

7. Sylvester Stallone was amazing in First Blood!

8. I miss regular human touch.

9. Seriously, I'm really tired...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I am currently in Applegate, Oregon. This place is creeping me out a little.

I ate some red vines today!

And drank lemonade!

The theme for today is farts...lots of farts.

Tomorrow I will be in Sacramento with 4 other guys for the National Youth Workers Convention.

I am not really excited to be going, but I think that will probably change.

The last few days I've been feeling incredibly..."different". It's interesting.

I am reeeeaaaaallly tired right now.

When Conor reads blogs he always reads it out loud in a mocking tone.

"I think Pope John Paul II is the best!," Conor declared to himself, followed by a ridiculous fake laugh (you know, the one when you don't have a witty comeback).

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Drowning in My Thoughts

1. I think I am on the verge of a transition...or maybe I am just realizing a transition that has been happening for awhile now.

2. God speaks to me, and it's so clear, it scares me. And I find myself growing more and more aware. Ideas, thoughts, Scripture, music, writing and art interconnect and align right before my mind's eye.

3. A friend recently said to me, "I don't mean this in a 'mean' way or harsh way...with our friendship, I can take it or leave it." Out of context this statement seems brutal, but I understand why they said it. In life we can only have so many close friendships, and sometimes consciously or subconsciously we have to make decisions about who gets priority. I know I've acted like a jerk to many of my friends, and it's not because I intended to piss them off. It's just, I don't have time for everyone, and sometimes I just don't have the energy. I don't want to say yes to hang out and then be miserable. That only causes the other person to be miserable. Am I making sense?

So in the case of my friend saying "with our friendship, I can take it or leave it." I completely understand. I've said the same thing many times to others with words and sometimes without words. It's life, that is part of being human. But it sucks, boy it sucks. I miss that friendship, and maybe they are reading this blog. Trust me I'm not asking you to make more effort or anything. I'm just processing the reality of our situation.

4. In the last week I wrote two posts titled "People I Do Not Like" and "People I Do Like". What an interesting experience that has been! The first was a topic on my mind for some time. Its always been to me an idea that we all hold, but no one is willing to say it out loud. So I said it, but what I didn't realize was how contradictory it was to the sermon I had heard that morning. It wasn't until later that I was struck.

Dave was preaching on favoritism, and how we shouldn't do it, haha. The final analogy he gave will forever stick in my mind. We all play this "game" where depending on factors largely beyond our control, you are labeled as either lucky, blessed, popular, etc. or unlucky, cursed, loser, etc. And some, of course, fall in the middle as average or less than or slightly above. It is a "game" we can hardly ignore. It is ingrained in us at an early age and is a significant part of our culture. If you are the privileged few, the game is sweet, but if you are not the game can be cruel. Yet we still play it. So in steps Jesus. This guy ruined the game for everybody. Have you ever played a board game with a group of people and one person turns out to be a "game ruiner"? Just when you think you're winning, the "game ruiner" decides he no longer wants to play and gives all his money and houses/cards/points to the person in last place. Now you don't have any chance of winning. Don't you hate playing games with people like that? Well that's Jesus. The ultimate "game ruiner". And he's calling us to ruin the game with him. To make the first, last and the last, first.

So that gotz me thinking, "Am I ruining the game, or do I continue to play it like everyone else?" Now I wasn't too happy with my first post, so I wrote the second post as an attempt to ruin the game. Seriously how could I write a whole list of all the people I like?!? The reactions were interesting. If you haven't read them yet, go back and read them in light of Dave's message.

5. Committing to write two posts a week has been an excellent experience thus far. It has gotten me in the rhythm of writing on a consistent basis, which makes it easier to collect my thoughts. One of my dreams is to do some professional writing in the future, and I know it will take lots of practice to get there.

6. I had the most fascinating dreams last night. In one I visited a church in the area here. I immediately recognized the youth pastor who I meet with every couple weeks. But then as I looked around I was surprised at others that were there. Friends of mine from Abbotsford that have slipped off my radar. People I went to CBC with. I didn't expect these people to be there, and I was moved by it. I knew I missed them, but I didn't realize how badly I missed them. One person in particular stood out to me. I treasured our friendship so much, and I didn't even see it fade away like that. Tragic.

7. Christopher West (armed by Pope John Paul II) is flipping my world upside down. Please read these articles - I desperately think the church needs to be in charge of a Sexual Counter-Revolution and it's happening...but I don't think the Protestant church has got it figured out yet.

8. I'm hungry.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

People I Do Like

This is the comprehensive list of all people that I like (in no particular order):

Robyn Roste
Miriam Peters
Shane Tarnow
Josh Saffold
Jennifer Ternier
Conor Sweeney
Megan Hazelton
Kortney Storey
Jon Waind
Greg Redekop
Marcus Todd
Phil Knudtson
Danielle Monica Sweeney
Ken, Janet & Ariel Priebe

umm, yup, that's all of them.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Continuing the Jesus Theme

When I was 12 I made an intentional choice to surrender my life to following Jesus. It's not that I wasn't a Christian before, more that I realized this was something I needed to take seriously, and not just go through life thinking I was doing it right.

One thing that was really big in my Pentecostal life at this time was Christian tracts. These are little cartoon booklets that are meant to be given to non-Christians as a method of evangelism. I REALLY loved tracts and I gave them to all my friends. One time I even slipped one in someone's binder at school (I was too afraid to give it to him in person). I remember him finding it and yelling, "What the *#$% is this???" Don't know if he ever read it, but whatever, I was trying ok???

Well, I came across a website that still produces tracts, and even a couple of them I recognize from when I was a teen. But here's the thing, I am not very happy with what I've just read. In fact, I am completely pissed off! The tracts that I've found are for the most part, completely un-Christian in their spirit and message. I understand the passion and desire behind these tracts, but the ignorance of the gospel and God's character is so appalling. I'd even say many of these tracts are damaging to Christ's reputation and even anti-evangelistic.

So I would like to present some of these tracts and point out where they have missed the point. This one I read as a teen and it even helped influence my theology.

Starts off good. God walking with Adam and Eve in the garden.

Oh, but they're not allowed to eat from the one tree! Yet they stay looking at it longingly.

Eve is the first one to go for it annnnnd, SIN SHOWER!!!!!! Turns out the fruit was poisoned!

Oh wait, if I recall correctly the fruit is actually not poisonous. But anyways, they have sinned and are now sinners.

Sin is represented here by smelly stains all over their body and clothes. God rejects them!!!

I don't like that they're wearing animal skins. You might think I'm being nit-picky, but after they ate the fruit they made clothing from fig leaves. It actually is important...

Oh no!!! God cannot be around sin, so unfortunately he has to build a big wall to keep them away. Adam and Eve try to scrub off their sin, but to no avail!

Back to the fig see, God was the one who made them animal clothes. And why did he make them? Cause he LOVED them. Yes, there was a consequence for their action, but God didn't stop loving them. In fact, God is immediately making plans to save them. He doesn't build a wall! He begins paving the way for their restoration. The very first prophecy of a Messiah comes at this point. And then God makes them new clothes, better clothes! And he protects them from living eternally in their sin by preventing them from eating from the tree of life. Sounds like he's kicking them out, when really he is protecting them.

Here we have the effects of original sin passed down through generations.

I personally don't believe in original sin, but I could be wrong.

Now the whole world is affected, yuck!!! (Notice the wall)

Oh boy, everyone is trudging through life, where is this path taking them?!?

I realize this is just an analogy but in this whole mass there are no "clean" Christians affecting their lives.

Now we see the hint of flames suggesting imminent damnation! But wait...what is that little door with the welcome mat?!?

This is the gospel right here. There's a little tiny door with a dinky sign telling you about a love gift inside? Reminds me of a XXX shop. I would think God's method for saving the world would be slightly more brilliant. And, oh yeah, it's like 5 steps before you die and go to hell. Good luck getting through the whole rest of your horrible life without God, cause after all he is on the other side of that huge wall, and not the least bit active on any personal level.

I sure hope they can read.

Some kids are checking it out.

The story of Jesus is told to them.

More pictures.

And they get to the end and there's Jesus, dying on the cross for them!!!

Here's the free love gift, a half-naked man hanging from a horrible device of torture! I have a feeling many Christians don't really realize why Jesus died on the cross. "He died for my sins!" But what does that mean? And is that the only reason? Why did he even have to die? I don't think he was obligated to. I think it was much more profound.

The one boy isn't too into it, but the other two have fallen in love.

The guy who wrote this tract, Jack Chick, has written a ton of tracts bashing Catholics. One thing he trashes them for is having Jesus always on the cross, and not resurrected. Yet....that clearly is Jesus still hanging on the cross 2000 years after the fact.

Jesus' blood showers down and washes away their sin!!!

So what does that mean for them? Are they now perfect? Will they continue to sin? If they sin again, will they get dirty again? Good thing Jesus is still hanging from that cross (thanks to the Catholics). Is that the main truth of Christianity - "Jesus wants to cleanse you from original sin"? Cause I think that's missing something major.

Now that they've been cleansed they want others to be clean too, but little Johnny won't accept it...

Little Johnny walks away from God's free love gift.

I can't wait to hear the stories of Jimmy and Lisa telling others about Christ...

oh, they've left everyone behind and gone to heaven.

The main message of this tract is - "If you accept Jesus, when you die you go to heaven. If you reject him, you will die and go to hell." Well, here's the thing, I kinda need Jesus to change my life RIGHT NOW!!! Doesn't a tract like this promote the message that the goal of Christianity is to party in the afterlife? What about TODAY??? I need a God that will show me love today. We need a God that is walking alongside us in our struggles here on earth.

For God so loved the world that he made a little door and a shower of blood so you could finally hang out with him in heaven.

At the end here Jack acknowledges what to do now that you've become a Christian...but I'm just not a fan of pushing God on people out of fear. I think God tends to emphasize the love more.

I can't wait to go through more of these wonderful stories!!! oh, here's the website by the way -