Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughts on Pink

Alecia Beth Moore (AKA Pink) is an incredible woman. Though she may not be a Christian, she embodies some things I find incredibly attractive. She is physically appealing, but the type of gal I’m attracted too has more to do with personality then it does with how they look (albeit, I’m not totally discrediting one’s physical appeal). Pink’s personality and what she stands for is what makes her an incredible woman. These come through loud and clear nowhere else then the lyrics in some of her songs. I really appreciate the fact that she takes a stand on true beauty. Not only does she take a stand on women not hiding behind masks or trying to look magazine pretty, but through Alecia’s music she screams from the mountain top as loud as she can “you’re beautiful just the way you are!” this is probably best demonstrated in her songs Stupid Girls and F*cking Perfect.

F*ckin' Perfect

Made a wrong turn, once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that's alright
Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss 'No way, it's all good', it didn't slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated
Look, I'm still around

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me!

You're so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred...such a tired game
It's enough! I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same

Oh, pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and it's a waste of my time
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
They dont like my jeans, they don't get my hair
Exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?

Why do I do that..?

Yeah, oh, oh baby, pretty baby..!
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
Like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me
You're perfect, you're perfect!
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me...

When some people find out I’m a Christian, Its weird the reaction I get. They’ll invite me out for beer and wings at nearby pub. When I have the time I join them. We’ll shoot some pool or watch the game on the big screen and shoot the breeze. My friends will talk to me using swears and sometimes offer to buy me a drink. If they can afford a pint of Guinness I’ll order one, otherwise I’ll sip on a rum and coke. Our relationship can go on like this for months before they find out I go to church or been to bible college. As soon as they do, my friend’s demeanor changes; If they swear they’ll apologize and Instead of saying “fuck” like they did the week before, they scramble for an alternate word like “darn” or “stupid”. Sometimes my friend won’t even search for a different word, they’ll just stop part way through, have this guilty look on their face and that’s that. When people so this, it frustrates me. Its like, “dude, I didn’t care last week if you swore, so why are you on edge this time? Nothing has changed. I’m still the same person I was the last time we hung out. The only difference is now you know I’m a Christian.”

On that same note, I’ve had people tell me they like me because I’m not like most Christians. If they swear I don’t slam them and demand they use better language. I’m cool, they say, because I have the occasional drink. And as such they feel comfortable around me. They don’t have to put on a mask and pretend to be someone they aren’t. They can be themselves.

That’s what I appreciate about Pink. She’s original. She doesn’t put on a mask and conform to the masses. This is reflected in lyrics like:

I guess I just lost my boyfriend
I don't know where he went
So I'm gonna spend my money
I'm not gonna pay his rent

I got a brand new attitude
And I'm gonna wear it tonight
I'm gonna get in trouble
I wanna start a fight

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na
I wanna start a fight
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na
I wanna start a fight

So, so what, I'm still a rock star
I got my rock moves and I don't need you
And guess what, I'm havin' more fun
And now that we're done I'm gonna show you tonight

Alecia Moore seems like a cool person to hang out with. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, wreaks of originality and is not afraid to show her true colors, and stands up for what she believes in. She brings a voice to issues people seem to ignore, even if it means standing alone. In addition to the things previously mentioned, these are the things I find  myself attracted too. Someone with a REAL personality and isn’t afraid to show it. The character traits of Alecia Beth Moore (AKA Pink).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thoughts on Eygpt

When I first heard about the riots happening in Egypt I didn’t know what to think. But as time rolled on I began to learn why. As I understand it, the riots in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia are a domino effect from what originally happened in the country of Tunisia. After a having a fruit stand – his only source of income – seized by Tunisian government, a man set himself on fire because he could no longer handle the life of oppression and poverty brought on by the government. Shortly after the Tunisian people banned together and revolted against their regime. Through the tools of social media the aforementioned countries soon followed suit.

Knowing that protest has the power to overthrow government and sharing the same economic situation as those in Tunisia, the Egyptians organize and lead a protest to oust their current leader, Hosni Mubarak. Hearing that he was a dictator and held the Egyptian people under oppression, I’m glad the Egyptian people are united against their hatred of the man’s leadership and are doing something about it. I don’t know the full story, just from what I’ve heard through varying media outlets. But based on that, I would have no problem in joining the Egyptians in their protest. In fact, I’ve often toyed with the idea of showing my support by putting something in my twitter account. There’s just one thing stopping me. I’m not sure if rioting is the best way to overthrow a government.

I consider why their rioting and I think “Awesome! Its great to see the Egyptians are letting their voice be heard.” And I’m optimistic that change will come of this. But is rioting the best way to do it? Last I heard, they are now storming the cabinet ministers’ place of business (don’t know the official name for it, but it’s like the House of Commons in Canada). Is this the best way to show your discontent? Maybe it is and I’m just looking at it through my “western civilization glasses”. I mean at this point, other would leaders have stepped in and tried to settle with the famed dictator in a more civilized manner. U.S. president Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others have asked him to step down. Their efforts were more civilized yet ineffective. Hosni Mubarak is not yielding. In that case right on Egypt! Keep on trucking!

But suppose rioting is the absolute best way to get something done. When is it too much? If the grocery store has outrageous prices and refuses to lower them, does that mean we can smash all the windows and resort to looting and other violence until they lower the prices? Personally that seems a little too much and someone does need to step in and control the masses. In the case of Egypt though, that’s a tad different. The way I see it, they are upset with their government. Hosni Mubarak has had them under dictatorship for roughly 30 years. Three decades is a long time. That’s almost an entire generation. If the Egyptian people have tried other methods to oust Mubarak, and they have failed then maybe rioting is the best way to get rid of a dictator.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hanging With The Savior

Lately, I have been in awe at the power and influence of social networking. While 2011 started out like any other year for me: making plans to ring in the New Year with friends and family, in other parts of the world political unrest was afoot. I’m referring to the recent protests in Tunisia. One man’s protest roused the entire country to mutiny seemingly overnight via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Gaining international acclaim this one event inspired other countries to do the same. Citizens in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia all share discontent with their leaders; and soon after took to the streets desiring change. Try as they might, the authorities were unable to prevent protesters from using these popular sites to organize their rallies. As I watch these events unfold, I can’t help thinking of the public demand for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Matt 26:2-4 tells us the religious leaders didn’t like Jesus and wanted him dead. After surrounding Him and the other apostles that night the religious leaders had Jesus arrested. The next morning they tried to accuse Jesus of inciting riots and refusing to pay taxes to Caesar. Doing so meant that Jesus would have to face the death penalty. Three times that day He was found innocent and therefore was only sentenced to be flogged. At this point a crowd had gathered. The verdict wasn’t good enough and the public demanded his death.

Matt 27:15 tells us it was customary for the Roman Governor, Pilate, to release one prisoner every year during Passover. And because all of this happened during the Passover celebration, Pilate presented the crowd with a choice: they could either set Jesus free or a notorious murderer named Barabbas. Coerced by other priests and religious leaders the crowd demanded Barabbas be set free; and Jesus take his place. Frustrated with the crowd Pilate did what they asked and assumed no responsibility hereafter.

The beatings began. He was whipped, humiliated and mocked. Then they brought Jesus to the site for all crucifixions, known as Skull Hill. After He was hung on the cross, the soldiers further embarrassed Him by gambling away his clothes, and was left there to die. But He wasn’t alone.

The Gospel of Luke says Jesus was there with two other criminals, one on either side of Him (Luke 23:32-33). One of the criminals challenged Jesus to prove Himself by saving all three of them from death. In Luke 23:40, the other criminal protests by reminding him of Jesus’ innocence. The other two deserve to die. Out of the three of them, Jesus is the only one who didn’t do anything wrong. The criminal then humbly asks Jesus to remember him in heaven when all this is over. Verse 43 says that Jesus the criminal that his request had been granted, and that they would be in heaven together.

As I read the dialogue between Jesus and the criminals – especially the request to be remembered by Jesus, and the assurance of being with Jesus when it’s all over; I wonder: do any of us see ourselves there? How many times have we done something wrong and later find ourselves in hot water over our actions? With good intentions we try to encourage someone facing a trial, only it comes out the wrong way and accused of being co-conspirators with the other party. While babysitting, you leave a child alone the playground, the child runs back to you with a bloody nose and you have no idea what happened. The parent is irate and never trusts you again. Or a person comments on a co-worker’s smashing good looks one day, and before you know it, they’re caught in an adulterous affair. These are examples of how we can make mistakes and end up hanging on a cross paying for our crimes. Though we may think it’s too late, we do have a Savior waiting to hear us call out to Him. Just like the criminal on Skull Hill, we just might hear Jesus assure us that He is in our midst.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Little Green Monsters

When The Hulk gets mad and aggravated he turns into a green monster, smashes a bunch of stuff (usually cars, buildings or a world famous landmark like the Eiffel tower for example) and once he calms down, he’s back to being a “normal” white American scientist dude who needs a new shirt and to tailor his pants … again. I’m proud to say that I let out my little green monster today. I didn’t smash a giant hole in the roof of the Saddledome. I didn’t get to use the tip of the Calgary Tower as a toothpick. I even managed to avoid using Banff’s Gondola as my own person zip line. Instead I got out to the gym and was able to join the rest of my colleagues in lifting weights expelling testosterone.

I have had a hell of a January. I took a late night bus back to Calgary from Regina. Didn’t get any sleep that night because I foolishly drank an XL Tim Horton’s Ice Cappuccino at about 2 am. I went to work one night and slipped while walking home from the mall that night. My one hand absorbed most of the fall and I spent the night awake in the ER waiting to see if I broke the wrist. At 6AM the doctor tells me I just bruised the tendons. Thankfully it WASN’T broken. But being awake all night messed up my sleep schedule...again.

I was awake at night and sleepy during the day. My coaches were telling me not to come to practices because the exercise would make my wrist worse. So it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been to the gym; and thus cooped up in the house. Once I got my sleep schedule back to normal, I spent the night at a friend’s house watching movies. Unfortunately neither of us was paying attention to the clock, so it wasn’t until 5AM when one of us turned out the lights. At this point we both agreed it was definitely bed time and nodded off to lala land until sometime in the afternoon.

I spent the next 3 days awake when I really should be sleeping and sleeping when I should be awake working on my book. When my wrist FINALLY gets back to feeling normal, I start getting sick – but only for a short time. 2 days tops and then its gone. At first it was diarrhea. I’m only gonna expand on that by saying two words: NOT FUN! AND it threw off my sleep schedule ... again. Awake at night and sleepy during the day. Once that went away, my stomach started sounding like it was a pot of hot soup still cooking on the stove… pause so you can imagine the sound… GREAT! Yet ANOTHER THING to keep me down and out (AKA cooped up indoors) for 2-3 days.

Then the other day – as in this past Thursday – I decide to make an entire pot of coffee for myself. It turns out that drinking the whole pot yourself is too much caffeine. It doesnt matter that you started it at 9 am, you're still awake at 5 am the next day, but I digress. As a pleasent side effect, I start getting jittery and my body is shaking uncontrollably. I was awake the whole night probably high on caffeine from all the coffee I drank during the day.

Aside from all the craziness of having a messed up sleep schedule, nursing my wrist, and being sick I’ve still been working on writing my devotionals. I haven’t been able to pump out as many, but I’m still writing stuff everyday. Writing as a top priority is still something I struggle with. I have been wrestling with doing it at least 5 days a week. I’ve come to learn it’s a discipline that separates the great writers from those that work for the tabloids and porn magazines.

With that said there have been times where I try to sleep but can’t because I have a great ending to a devotional that comes at 2 or 3 in the morning and its all I can think about until I get it written out. So I’m on my computer in the wee hours of the morning working it out; Instead of lying in bed working it out. I’ll pay for it when the alarm goes off at 8 to get up for church or keep a somewhat normal “get up in the morning and go to bed at night” kind of schedule. But at least I won’t spend the first 2 hours of the day staring blankly at the screen trying to pick up where I left off the day before because I’ve forgotten what I was went through my head at 2AM and made perfect sense. Which by the way is an absolute pet peeve of mine – Staring at the screen for an hour or two and have nothing on the page feels extremely unproductive, but I’m rambling.

Today I was hell bent on getting to the gym and decided that no matter what I was going to go. If I was awake at 5AM I would get up when the alarm goes off at 8 and get ready to head out for the day. I went to bed at 3AM last night. Devotional is STILL not done at this point because I’m expending more energy trying to stay awake then finishing it. GRRRR So I went to bed so tired I was sore and frustrated that I didn’t accomplish my goal of getting the devotional done.

8AM rolled around and it took me 2 hours but I was out the door and ready to start my day. I had to do an errand before the gym in the afternoon so at 10:30 this morning I was at the library focused on getting that errand done. Errand is done and I beat the rest of my cycling team to the gym. I was dead tired and much preferred the comfort of my pillow and blanket to propping my eyes open with toothpicks and getting through the day via another Tim Horton’s double-double. But I am out and about instead of putting around my place going “woe is me” or drooling over the keys on my laptop. Ironically, I was sipping on a Tim Horton’s XL double-double.

Thinking about everything I’ve been though this last month – if you don’t know by now what that is then your nuts and need professional help – I break down. I send out a text message to a few closer friends that read: I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I unload all of this to the first person that responds and take off to the bathroom like a stereotypical girl in a teenage high school drama queen you see in movies like mean girls. I spend 15 minutes in the bathroom stall crying, then I wipe away the tears, soak my face in a paper towel and off I head to meet the cycling team.

Apprehensive about getting me on the track due to my wrist (which by the way feels 100% at this point in time – even after my workout) my coach puts me through a routine lifting weight. THE BEST THING EVER!!! It feels AMAZING AND I let out all the frustrations I had crying in the bathroom like a little school girl not 10 minutes prior. I get home have one of the nicest showers in a long LONG time change into something comfy and feel like a new man! So now that I’ve let out my little green monster and can go back to being a normal gibbled up little Tim bit, just like Bruce Banner! (I mean The Hulk) LOL!