THIS is how you do New Media to promote Mass Media

There are people whose skills in storytelling and production are just so far-and-above the norm that it is inevitable that, given enough time and the proper resources, they will succeed. I first met Nathan Novero in 2001.  He was one of the most highly-esteemed video producers to have worked for LifeWay's Centrifuge camps.  It was my first year as a video producer and he was also on my team - as the pastor. Novero is a communicator and story teller of a wholly different calibur.  His skills are in the details, his work ethic and the way he almost abuses himself to make sure he's looked at the story and message from every angle.  And now, he's decided that he will get his dream movie made. If you're interested at all in how to use new media to promote a project, what Nathan's doing could very easily turn into a text-book example in the future. Check out his youTube diary here.
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SPACE!!!!!

100_1220Due to popular request of my own, I have posted the lyrics to Spicey Boot's hit single, SPACE!  Recorded (and written) live in Seattle, WA, this piece of musical genius is a lifechanging work of art.  Feel free to listen here or at Spicey Boot's MySpace page! SPACE!!! Space! Space! Spaaace! We gotta go to space! We gotta go to space! Gotta gotta gotta gotta gotta go to space! Yearahh... (i have no idea)... Yearahh... (i have no idea what i'm saying here) Yeeeahhhh! We're gonna fly away into the sky. (something about cars..?) Spaaaace! Gotta go to space!  We're gonna go to space! Space is where we'll live! Space is where we'll live! Space, space, gotta go to space! Gotta get my face, 100_1163into space! Space is where we'll live on day! We'll meeeet! We'll meet all the aliens in space.  We'll meet all the aliens in space.  We'll meet them all, we'll meet them all, we'll be friends with all the aliens in the... Space! We gotta go to space! Gotta got to space! Space, whoooooa! We'll take a rocketship, all the way!  We'll take a rocketship, out today! We gotta go to space! N! A! S A will get us to space! Ohhhh... they're building technology.  Ohhh... they're building technology. They're building a space rocket to take us to Saturn, we're gonna go all the way, all the way to Mars - we'll even go, down to Pluto! We'll even go down to Pluto! Space! Gotta go to space! Gotta go to space! WHOOOOAAA! WHOOAA!! (i have no idea...) beautiful is space, beautiful is space... beautiful is space. In the deep of space (i think?  who knows...).  We'll live in space, with the aliens.  There will be peace in space between the humans and the aliens.  But we will be confused because to them, we will be the aliens. We will not be the humans but we will be the aliens to the aliens. And the aliens will greet us. Space! Gotta go to space! Gotta go to space! Space, space, all the way! It's a race, it's a race to space! Gotta go to space! Space, space, all the way! Take some friends to space! Space! Space! Space! Space!
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Seattle Vacation Super-Post

So for vacation this year, Ashley and I went out to try on Seattle.  We liked. The trip was, simply put, stellar and jam-packed goodness.  The only bad part was that we had no internet access the whole time to be able to blog from.  So, in vainity, here goes my recap! Microsoft, John Porcaro, and the Gamerscore Blog Team Since we were heading out to Seattle, we managed to match up schedules and meet with John Porcaro and the GamerScoreBlog team.  I've been reading John's blog for years (since before the 360 launch, I think), so it was nice to finally meet him for real. John has been with Microsoft for nearly twenty years and one of the first people to be a part of their mentoring program.  It shows as John was able to sift through my issues and answered a nagging internal question with perhaps the simplest of answers: "so what?"  It was well time and hit the issue right on it's head. During the trip we took a pit stop and got to play with the new Microsoft Surface table computer. After visiting the new research building we parted ways, but not before I was able to convince him to give the class thumbs-up pose: Seattle Vacation 2008 007  A Weekend to Remember The bulk of the weekend was spent attending the Weekend to Remember event put on by FamilyLife.  Here we can see Ashley unlocking the secrets of marriage. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC4RlyFqaFM&hl=en&rel=0&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999&border=1] All-in-all the conference was decent, but was skewed more towards sorting out troubles and issues than growing in a healthy relationship.  One of the best parts of the weekend is that it presents you with ideas that you're then prompted to discuss with your spouse.  This allows you to have conversations you might not otherwise have, or be comfortable bringing up.  Ashley and I had some great conversation over the weekend, and the conference was worth it just for that. The Space Needle Ashely was all kinds of excited to visit the Space Needle.  Lacking proper transportation, however, we got there really early and ended up just walking around the Seattle Center.  It was there that we stumbled onto the World Rhythm Festival and got to hear Raquy and the Cavemen. We ended up eating at Sky City in the Space Needle.  The rotating restaurant is powered by 1.5HP, or the equivalent of a sewing machine.  It moves you this fast.  And, just to be sure we put things into perspective, the Space Needle is tall. Seattle Vacation 2008 048   The First Starbucks During the trip to downtown Seattle with Kris and Laura, we got to visit the first ever Starbucks. The Experience Music Project We also got to visit the Experience Music Project; basically, and interactive Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Seattle artists (it also had the Sci-Fi Hall of Fame, which was cool... and random). At first, I thought I had found my calling on the drums but, alas, the drums were a lie. But then, like a muse calling from the darkness, we found the studio. And we recorded. Oh, did we record. Leonard Sweet We also got to meet up with one of my occasional-mentors-who-don't-fully-realize-the-impact-they've-had-on-my-life, Leonard Sweet. I first me Len back in 2001 or so, but this was the first time Ashley got to hang with him. The two definately hit it off, and were ganging up on me on more than one subject Seattle Vacation 2008 079 Portland and Multnomah Falls Finally, Kris and Laura drove us to Portland/Vancouver to view their hometown, a big Best Buy, a two-story Target, an Ikea, and Multnomah Falls. And, I got to steer a building. Seattle Vacation 2008 093 There's More But it's late, I'm tired, and Leonard Sweet told me blogging was vain anyways. So for more media from our trip: Flickr Photos YouTube Videos and the musical wonder that is, The Spicey Boot.
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i will disappoint you

at some point, it will happen.  it's inevitable. diving right into the point: i don't want to be perfect. could you imagine the pressure of being perfect?  having to meet everyone's needs and expectations all the time?  it would be impossible.  I can never truly be all things to all people.  And if I was some kind of perfect, then there's a chance that people might want to be in relationship with me because of my perfection, not because of who I am. so, to be frank, I will disappoint you.  and in that moment, our relationship gets to take an interesting twist: will you give me grace or not?  will you choose to still love me in my imperfection? Ashley and I lead a small group together.  We do our best to teach the things we think are important and applicable to our lives and the lives of the members of our little community.  Somewhere down the line, I'm going to disappoint them.  I'm not going to give the right advice or I'm going to have a lame week.  In some ways, I'm excited for that day.  I'm excited for the time when the community will be able to minister in love and grace to Ashley and I even in our failure. I have friends who are so much more loyal to me than I deserve.  I should call them, I should write them, I should carve out a spot of time for them, just for them.  But I don't always get to meet their needs (or even their wants).  I disappoint them.  And, in the hubbub and business of daily life, human desire for rest, and investment into entertainment I will disappoint them again - and maybe disappoint you. My wife and I have an incredible relationship.  But, there are times - and there will be times - when I will disappoint her.  I won't smile wide enough when she looks beautiful, I won't hear the true meaning of some deep statement, I won't say "I love you" in the right way.  Or worse, I'll due something truly harmful to us and her. But, even in that disappointment, we will relish in the oppertunity for grace.  If I was perfect, if she never had the blessing of an oppertunity to unconditionally give me grace, it would be unfair to her.  I hope it's only in little ways, but there needs to be times when I disappoint her so she can love me irregardless. Disappointment is so very, very key in the life of a follower of the Way.  What happens when someone disappoints you? Do you gossip about them?  Do you tear them apart in your head?  Do you decide that this disappointing moment is the defining moment of their character, even against years of knowledge otherwise?  Can this disappointment be sustained and become the new lens you view your once treasured relationship through? Or do we forgive this sin against our expectations for someone else?  Maybe we see a new side to someone we thought we knew so well, and are justified in our righteous judgment.  Would it not be so much more valuable to give grace to them?  Don't they need that more than they need a broken friendship? Oh, how I will disappoint you.  It will happen when I don't want it to, I'm sure.  You'll need me and my friendship and my love and mentorship and grace more than ever before... but I won't be there.  Or I'll say the wrong thing.  Or, for some reason - maybe I just didn't realize how important this one thing was? - maybe I just won't even care.  And I'll forget this post, I'll forget about love and grace, and then I'll disappoint you. Will you give me grace? Or will you disappoint me, tit for tat?  Will you hold it against me, that I'm not perfect.  Will my one wrong comment wrong our relationship forever more?  Will my uncensored emotional outburst break down what we've built over coffees and dinners and prayers?  Will my passive agression lead to a weak thought that cannot be forgiven? I know I'll disappoint you.  And I know you've been disappointed.  And you know who you will disappoint. Can we move past that, and see it not as some selfish wound, but a chance to love and give grace?  A chance to let the disappointment be tossed aside for a chance to share in a moment of growth?  A chance to practice loving unconditionally, just as He loves us? And if you don't, if you can't, or if you disappoint... that's ok.  I'll do my best to love you irregardless. And may you forgive me if I still disappoint you.
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Recommending Lindsey

One of our good friends, Lindsey, is applying for a summer internship.  She asked my wife and I to write one of her letters of recommendation because we're her small group leaders... so we get to be her "clergy."  I seldom get the chance to sit down and process into words - using my style, cliches and idioms - to get to write about one of my friends.  I think this is a process that we should go through more often, as it lets you realize things about your friends and community that you may not have put into language before.
 There's nothing here that I didn't instinctively know that I felt/thought about Lindsey... but I know I've never communicated them before and I know that Lindsey probably has no idea what she means to Ashley and I.  So, if you would indulge me, I'd like you to meet a woman named Lindsey:

 

In short, Lindsey is someone we hope to always have in our lives.

 

Sure, that might sound over-dramatic for a simple letter of recommendation, but it’s the truth and needs to be said.  After you get to meet her and know her, you’ll be saying the same thing.

 

Lindsey first crossed paths with my wife and I at our church’s small group that we lead.  She came with one of her best friends and instantly became a solid, dependable, and appreciated contributor to the group.  She’s has always been transparent and always been honest.  And in the time that we’ve known her, she has grown in maturity and relationships to become a young adult who, in all honesty, will change someone’s world.

 

I don’t know that Lindsey cares to change the whole world.  I don’t know that she has the lofty dreams to bring world peace or end world hunger (though I’m sure she’d love to be involved an organization that could).  Instead, I think she want to make impacts on a personal level.  She wants to develop true trust and true relationships.  Then she’ll pull you along side her and change other people’s worlds together.

 

Yet even with all of her knowledge and charisma, Lindsey retains humility and a thirst for knowledge.  She still comes to our church’s small group, taking in whatever nuggets of wisdom are tossed about.  She is currently serving as our social services coordinator, where she plans activities for our group to serve the community.  Most importantly, her presence in the group brings a continual smile to all involved.

 

I have no doubt that whatever task Lindsey applies herself to she will succeed.  She is a determined soul and will seek out whatever experience or knowledge she needs to accomplish the task.  If she can’t acquire the necessary tools, then it won’t take her long to make a friend who will fill in those gaps.  She is great at pulling people together and working for something better than themselves.

 

Lindsey has become a part of my wife and I’s lives and we are better for it.  My only hesitation in recommending Lindsey to you is that she’d be away from our flow of life for the summer.

 

If you choose to bring Lindsey on board with the program, you will need to give her a great placement with a great task, else you will be squandering her abilities.  I have no doubt that she will astound you as she has astounded us.

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Answering the Question

originally published on threadsmedia.com

One of my best friends, James, got engaged earlier tonight.  I’m excited for him and his soon-to-be-bride and all the memories that life together will bring them.  As a friend I get to share in their joy and be happy for them; they found the one they want to spend this life with.  In that same breath, I remember being in college and James and I being jealous as our friends married off and found some woman to love on.  We wanted so desperately to love and be loved.  We wanted a “successful” relationship.

Now, just a couple years later and very happily married, I have learned a little something about relationships:

Every relationship can be a success.  Every relationship should be a success.

As a young Christian growing up in youth group, I automatically assumed that every relationship was supposed to end in marriage.  I would think that if I dated a girl and wasn’t thinking about a ring then I was wronging her and dishonoring myself.  My perspective, and the goal or a relationship was wrong.

Every relationship can be a success; every relationship should be a success.  I all depends on what you define as a success.  My definition now?

Success in a relationship is determined by one little thing: Did I answer the question?

We befriend someone to answer the question: Should I date this person?

Now, that’s not to say the only reason we befriend someone is to figure out whether or not we should date them… instead, that before we decide “I want to date this person” we should at least befriend them.  We should know some basics – do they have the same beliefs as me?  Do we get along?  Am I attracted to this person?  Can I control myself around them? Do they let me be me?

If something happens here, if you aren’t compatible – it’s ok.  We obviously shouldn’t be trying to date all of our friends – people perceive that as just being creepy and/or desperate.  But look – if you decide that this person is not for you your time wasn’t wasted; it was a success!  You answered the question and you are both wiser for it; and hopefully, you have a new, real friend.

If you do decide to date them… then you’re still successful!  You answered the question.  But after that success comes and even more important question…

We date to answer the question: Should I be in a relationship with this person?

So we’ve gotten the basics out of the way.  You know you like each other, you get excited when they call and their sneezes sound cute.  But now you’re asking something a little more serious.  Being in a relationship is tying yourself to someone else.  You begin to see them through rose-colored glasses.  Because you want them to be right for you, because you want your time investment to be worthwhile, it’s easy to amplify the positive and pardon the real issues that are there.  There are so many important things to still be discovered… do your friends like each other?  Do your parents/mentors/guardians approve?  Do your moral values line up?  Is it comfortable to pray together?

If along the way you decide that no, I shouldn’t be in a relationship with this person that’s ok.  It’s still successful because you answered the question.  You were just dating, right?  It wasn’t a commitment and hearts don’t have to be shattered.  But if you answer the question and decide that yes – this is someone I want to be in a relationship with…

We are in a relationship to answer the question: Should I marry this person?

One of the most important decisions you will make in your life; is this the person I should marry?  How do you even begin to decide this?

If you never had a clear answer on whether or not you should date this person, if you never had a clear answer on whether or not you should be in a relationship with this person… the ideas and thoughts in your heads are going to be so muddy that you won’t be able to answer this question clearly.

The relationship was a success if you answered the question “no” and ended the relationship.  The problems come when the answer should have been “no” but you never decided the answer… or tricked yourself into thinking the answer was yes.

What makes you decide, “should I marry this person”?  I think it’s different for everyone; you have to know what priorities are.  If one of the pair has been called to international service work but the other doesn’t want to ever leave the country… there might be a problem there.  If the girl has always dreamed of being a mom but the man can’t stand the idea of children… there might be a problem.  Those are just surface issues.

Perhaps even better are the opposite questions: why should I marry this person?  Can we do ministry together?  Does he make you smile in the morning?  Do your friends see the love you two share?  Does she make you want to be a better man?

And if the answer is no; if you decide somewhere that you shouldn’t be married to this person… then the relationship is still a success.  Why?  Because you answered the question.  Yes, it will hurt and your heart will be broken.  But you answered the question and – ultimately – you can look back on the relationship as a success.

The goal isn’t to be married; the goal is to discover who you should be married to.  Once you find that, the rest is easy.

Congratulations, James and Heather.  I’m glad that each step along the way you answered the question.  I’m honored that I got to pray with you and can’t wait for you two to discover all the joys, struggles, smiles and tears that marriage will bring.  I’m excited that you discovered who you should be married to; I’m glad you had the courage to ask and I’m she already knew she’d said yes.

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mentoring

I love talking to people who aren't my age.  I got to have lunch today with one of my new favorite people, Matt Tullos.  He's works where I do, and we've gotten to know each other through random circumstances and projects.  Today I asked him a question:  Why doesn't our workplace have a mentoring program?  So many businesses have these great mentoring programs where the new employees come in and get paired with some people who have been there much longer.  I know I made plenty of mistakes as a brash new employee five years ago.  I would have loved to of had someone to take me under their wing and help me out a bit.  Thankfully I've been there long enough now to have made these relationships on my own, and I can go out and call people like Matt a friend and someone I can learn from. So Matt and I had lunch and we got to share and dream and talk about how these jobs of ours should work.  I learned about a few of his stuggles, he learned a few of mine.  The excitement in his soul when he talked about this church he was working with, refreshing.  It was good, and real, and easy. This evening I got to spend some quality time with one of the guys who goes to my church, Joe.  We sat out in the cold and just talked and were real and open about a number of issues.  We talked about more real things in that hour or so than I have with some friends I've know for months/years.  There's something so much more satisfying about talking about the more real things - the spiritual, the humanity - than talking about entertainment and assignments.  Sitting around with a group I just opened up and asked one of the girls, "What's your deep, dark secret?  What is it you're struggling with right now" - and she answered.  She offered herself to the group... and we all went around and were honest and said "here's what's on my mind right now".  But Joe had the guts and boldness to say "Ok Aaron, you shared about this.  But what about this, and this, and this - how are those things?"  And so we talked and were open and choose to be real - and it was easy to be real.  I love being able to just talk with someone about things less mundane.  Give me your real opinion, your real sturggles and, perhaps most importantly, your real joys.  Tell me what makes you smile, what makes you prideful, and what dream you want to have tonight.  God made all of us, and then honored us by saying "Go, play.  Interact.  You are worthy to be a part of the life of my other creations.  Enjoy it."  It feels so good to be able to honor other people and say "You story is worthy for me to hear; and you are worthy to hear my story." Maybe that's what mentoring really is; honoring and listening and sharing.
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one guarantee

there is only one thing every creature conceived on this earth is guaranteed: a lifetime.  lives end in so many ways. cancer. falling down stairs. fighting a war. some meaningless, some suggesting a trip to Valhalla. i don't know that there's anything more selfish than taking your own life, before your body planned to give up its ghost. there's no honor there. there's no courage. all the pain and suffering you think you're going through that's so bad is now thrown onto your friends and people that you didn't even realize cared about you because you were too scared to ask if they cared.  all the pain that you think you're getting rid of by stopping the flow of blood is spread across your world to everyone else.
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There is Still Hope

I love my friends. I love Tasha and Logan and Mark and Stefan and Amy and Andrea and Andy and Shawn and Leslie and Gary and Thomas and Aaron and Dan and Adam and Matt and Darrel and James and Chris and Jordan and, of course, Ashley - and so on and so on. And one thing that I've always loved abot my friendships is openness and honesty. That if there was something I wanted to discuss, I know I'd have a multitude to do so with. That if there was something they wanted to discuss, they know that I'd be open to talking about whatever. And so, I love it (honestly, not sarcastically) when a friend says "hey... that offends me." Or when they say,"hey... that doesn't seem right. what's going on here?" Or when they just say, "Hey Aaron - I love you." So, in my small sphere of friendships... it seems that my previous post ("A Hope Realized"), one that I wrote because of joy and happiness and - well - hope, has offended some friends. And, hopefully that's okay. Hopefully we're still "dear" friends. The post was never meant to offend, the post was an outpouring of where I am in life, it was about me finally "getting it." It was about me realizing that all these lies that society and tv and locker rooms and theatre groups and websites and friends and exes and men and women have told me were just that - lies. It was about me trying to stand up and say to other men out there, "Hey! I got fooled! Being a man has absolutley NOTHING to do with the size of your * or how you use it! Being a man has NOTHING to do with how hot of a girl you can get to sit by your side! Being a man has NOTHING to do with what your fetish is or whether you've been with two girls at once! We've all been LIED to! There is something so much better! Really!" It was me being honest... saying that hey... I fell for that midrift. Hey... I sought out that leg. Hey... listen... I was told that a woman would only stay with you if you can give her an orgasm. And I was told wrong, I know this now. It was me saying that when you fall in love, when you find a woman that doesn't have to use her body to get your attention... when you find a real woman, one kiss from her will be more intoxicating than some random orgasm. It was me being real, saying to my friends, my brothers, to anyone who might stumble on this site... I admit it. I had those random orgasms. I SOUGHT out those random orgasms. And they don't compare to a kiss backed by love. And somehow, some of the people that I truly do hold dear, whose opinions count, who I only wish I saw more of, took offense at this post. And that's ok. It's ok because I haven't live their life and they haven't lived mine. They don't know what I've gone through. They weren't around for the relationships I've been in. They haven't seen me with my most raw insecurities, thinking that because I was the biggest kid in 6th grade that no girl would ever want me. They havn't seen that nearly every relationship in high school ended with the girl leaving me for another guy or because I wouldn't put out. They haven't seen that I suddenly had more girls at my attention then I knew what to do with when I did start to kiss around. They haven't seen how that messed up my perception of a what a man should be. And I? I haven't seen their lives, their relationships that formed them. I haven't seen what images and memories the words "open legs" or "midrift" or "dirty lips" might conjure up. I don't know the power of words and how meaning gets lost in translation - the translation of lives and memories and figurative language. And I don't know their perceptions of a "real woman" or a "real man" and maybe they've never had to deal with the things I have. Or maybe they've dealt with it on levels much worse (much different - in personal lives our experiences are always worse to ourselves) that I ever have. And maybe that post was all about me needing to finally just say, "Thank you Ashley - thank you for loving me for me and I want you to know that your kisses, simnple kisses, are so much sweeter than the random orgasms I was confused to believe made me a man." When people hear that I'm a virgin, I often hear one of two responses: "Is that because of your religious beliefs?" "Do you want me to change that?" To answer the second quesiton, no, I don't. To answer the first? No, it isn't. My religious beliefs coincide with the decision I've made on my sexuality (to be a virgin until marriage) and back it up - but I've chosen chastity because I do believe, regardless of the Church's command (technicality: what is the definition of adultery?) for waiting for marriage because I believe you should. Why? Because I don't want a child by someone I haven't commited my life to Because I want to be able to give my wife something I've never given anyone (regardless of whether she can say the same or not - which, up until just a few months ago, I never imagined I might be able to wed a virgin because there are so few out there and regardless of what people may think I implyed, "dirty lips" have nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the mind and heart and intentions). Because one night of sexual discovery cannot compare to 25 years of sexual discovery. Because I don't want to wear a condom. Because I worry enough about STDs from toilets and bedsheets and blood transfusions. Because my mom wouldn't have wanted me to. And so, execpt for quoting God, "Brace yourself like a man...", because the intent of the post was about being a man, I purposely tried to stay away from my religious beliefs in that post. Because while they correlate with my sexual identity and choices, they are not the sole driving force. And that's one of the places I've struggled so much in life... is that practically the only place that says to wait for intercourse is a good thing IS the church! And when you ask why? You get that answer "because you shouldn't. no, no, no. Touching is bad. Kissing is bad. Realizing that 'oh! hey! I have genitalia!' is bad. God says so." And I'm TIRED of that being the only reason. So I discover that - hey - kissing this woman that I've fallen in love with... it envokes feelings and desires and care and affection that is so different than anything before. People need to know that this is better than kissing some random pair of lips you may never see again! Because I've been there! I know the difference now! MEN! There is hope!!! If the fact that I discovered a truth in my life for myself, outside of the black & white confines of organized religion, and I want to share it somehow makes someone want no part of Christianity... then... then... then I'm just plain confused. Because suddenly someone is placing stereotypes on my life's story and not listening. Which is what so many people say is the reason that they don't like Christians. So do I think girls are to blame? Do I think "dirty girls" are evil and need to be killed and slaughtered and hung on a pole for all to see and mock? Do I think that you (anyone reading this - and anyone not reading this) are evil for having kissed someone other than your mate? Do I think that the moment a girl gives up her virginity to someone, anyone outside of marriage they become tainted and don't deserve love and care and affection? No. No. No. And no. My post was to urge men to not look at the girls out there in life who do seek momentary pleasure for the sheer thrill of it and not seeking love. It's to be a man and try to not have your eyes drawn to every thigh and midrift out there in the hopes of chasing it down and being a sexual conquest. It's an urge to realize (because I've been there, I've expereiced it) that there are girls who will try to tell you that your manhood is based on how good you are in bed and if you're still a virgin at 24 then you're still just a kid. My post was to men. My post was to tell men that you don't have to buy into the lies of sex and lust and false pride. That true love is better than messing around. That a real kiss is better than a random orgasm. My post was to say "hey - i'm the one whose lips were dirty. I found something better. I got messed up from all that - you don't need to too." That when you've been told sexual lie after lie your entire post-puberty life... that when you think the only way you'll get a girl (since you won't have sex with them) is to at least be good at everything else... that when you don't understand why girls on first dates, girls that you were dating for less than a month who was your best female friend before that, girls that you thought you were going to marry - that you don't understand why they break up with you because, in their own words, "you won't have sex with me..." that even amongst a life like that, that men - there is still hope.
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Random Acts of Memory

So as I was driving yesterday, I was hit with a random memory. I don't know why it suddenly came to me, but it did. So the year was 2001 and my friends James, Jeremiah and Chris were in Houston, TX. While waiting for a bus, we struck up a conversation with one of the other guys waiting. He asked why we were in town and, our obvious answer was... "We're a band on tour." So what does he do? He invites us to play at his church in the morning. So... after explaining that we weren't really a band, he comes back and hangs with us at our hotel for a bit. Where my guitar was. Which he saw. Which lead him to invite ME to play/sing at church the next morning. So I did. And that, my friends, is how Aaron ended up playing a song he wrote at a black church in Houston, TX.
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lack

i grow tired from the lack of a love. so many thoughts curse my mind at night. ghosts of my mother. failures of wrongly placed supplies orders for work. stress of my stupid spending of cash. and the lack of a love. and i get frustrated because the loves I do have - the loves of the friendship kind - are so stagnant because I'm not ever here it ever seems. I can't sleep because I don't know what Mark/Tasha/Logan/Zane are up to. I haven't seen Sh4wn in ages. I've not seen Andy since January. I've only seen Rena's child once. I haven't head from Stefan since my mother ventured on. I've not seen Chris since our meal with Len. there's so much about life that seems so questionable. and have i become so set in my ways that I could even consider a mate? and that oh-so-frustrating question... what am i doing with my life? what do i want to do? and how in the world can i submit to a higher calling of God if I have no idea what i'm supposed to be doing? I spent this past week teaching a bible study at the Southern Baptist Convention. And let me say... it was the most refreshing thing I've done in ages. i truly felt like i found the water i had been panting like a dusty old dog for. it was so different than the year before when i decayed under stress and expectation at Union's cfuge camp. but what do i do with that now? there are no youth at my church to help prepare for and explore life with. i don't even know any teenagers, hardly. and there are no oppertunities for me to preach. and no one's taken me under their wing to learn from. and so i feel stagnant. and so i lie in bed, thoughts cursing my mind.
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An Orange Day

And so... it's 11:20... I should be crawling into bed... but I'm in a really really good mood and writing my 25th post on here. Just watched Amelie for the first time... I should have watched it much sooner. Being only $15 at Target', you must go out and buy it... this is one movie i can practically guarantee you'll watch more than once... loan to friends... so on and so forth... I'll be away for the next two weekends... i'll be in Nashville for all of two days between now and March 10th... it's sad and hard to disengage from friends and second-family for so long. I've not gotten to see too many of my friends as of late... No Rena, no Tasha/Logan/Mark, no Daphne, no Jess, very little Michelle... and with my parting to the travels of student events there will be very little Shawn, Thomas, Gary, Amy/Andrea, Aaron and the rest of the Mosaic crew... And then I don't even want to start thinking of all the people I really haven't talked to in ages... oi. I really want to write something special and fun about Amelie, y'know? But really... I think all I can do to give it justice is tell you to watch it. Hey - you can watch it with me if you really want! Just find some free time on my schedule... I'll probably give it some time.. watch it again before I start talking about it. Such a good movie... I feel like I'm pimping the movie or something. One thing I do want to pimp is Erin McKeown's music. Go to the iTunes music store and download her songs "Fast as I can" and "Lullaby" - beautiful beautiful. Ok - taking a grammar test tomorrow at three. Think of me. Eh - Dream is calling me home. Night all! Talk to you in two weeks... lol.. unless there's some way to get net access at the events...
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