Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Barbarian Way

One of my favorite books is The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. So many good quotes in this book it's overwhelming. He explains how the life of a Christian should be barbaric or be lived at a barbaric point of view. We as Christians are described as aliens because our way of living is unheard of. The way we give. The way we talk. The way we live. It's different. McManus explains this throughout the book providing examples throughout scripture and Jesus's teachings.

"God's will for us is less about our comfort than it is about our contribution. God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance." Brilliant right? When we decide to become followers, we decide to leave our lives of comfort. We model our lives after the life of Jesus and his did not scream "comftorable". And I love the way he explains that God wouldn't choose safety for us at the cost of significance. Where would we be if people played it safe? I realize that sounds incredibly "original" but that doesn't make it any less true. Who wants to play it safe when you can have an adventure. That's the call of a disciple! "To be filled with the Spirit of God is to be filled with dreams and visions that are too compelling to ignore."

Ok here's a scenario. You're at your local Walmart and you hear of a person asking for money so they can get a ride home (feel free to input a different means of them asking for money). You decide you're going to help them out. So, you give them a $20. Nay, you're feeling generous. You give them $30. They thank you and they use it for its intended purpose.

Now, same scenario, different outcome. Instead of giving them $30, you take out your wallet/clip/treasure chest, or whatever the heck you keep your presidents in, and give them everything. Yeah, that's what I said. EVERYTHING. For sake of argument lets throw out some real numbers....$160. Not cheap but ultimately not a lot either. Whichever way you look at it, quite a bit of money given the circumstance. And all you say is, "Here, get yourself a ride home and use the rest to bless someone with." or something of the sort. That'd be ridiculous would it not? In fact, that'd be barbaric. But my how that person would think about that afterwards.

That's what I'm talking about. To live a life of a radical. A Barbarian. To live a life of adventure and excitement for our Christ is a life worth living. For "to live is Christ and to die is gain." And I know, would it be comftorable? Probably not. Would it be safe? Not always. But the fact you're living your life as a disciple...

what a rush.

Apealing? Maybe not to some. But I say bring it on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Someone Get Me Some Miracle Grow

I feel myself growing, and I love it.

I love being pushed to exceed expectations.
I love being pulled into something to make me a better person.

I feel myself growing, and I love it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Ever have those days where, for some reason, you feel overwhelmed at how many thoughts you have? Or even what they're about? It's the same amount, or same kind, of thoughts that keep you lying awake at night because for some reason...

Today's one of those days.

My mind is racing with so many questions and thoughts and worries that I just don't know where to start or even what to do with them. Worst part is that there's no reason I should be thinking about these things let alone worried about them. And as if to cause a chain reaction, these days tend to make me a little depressed and impatient. I feel it's a test God is giving me to test my patience and faith so that I may be given the chance to perservere and grow. I believe that when you ask God for things, more specifically qualities, he gives you the opportunity to work on those qualities. Which makes sense giving the fact I've been praying for a patient heart. With circumstances like these, it's always helpful to have someone to talk to. Let me rephrase that, someone you trust that you can talk to.
Someone wise.
Somone who listens.
Someone you trust will look at you the same after the conversation. People like this are hard to find. It seems that you have to go to certain people with different subjects to avoid arguments, cynicism, or bad advice because of today's society. For instance, you don't go to a prideful person when dealing with a humble subject/situation. All your doing is creating problems. And if you don't have somone to go to, you end up fighting with yourself. You wrestle with your own struggles behind closed doors and begin to become unhealthy
And spiritually.
The background on my phone definitely helps though. "...present your requests to God. And the peace of God....will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Mostly when times like these strike, I pick up my acoustic and play til my fingers bleed (not literally obviously) but currently, while I'm writing this, I am at work. Which ultimately doesn't help matters but since I need the money complaining does me no good. Kind of a "get over it" attitude, if you will. I realize this comes off as a pessimistic post but, as much as it pains me to admit this, blogging helps with struggles since it's now "out in the open".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30 Favorite Things to Do

A list of 30 favorite things to do:

1) Relax
2) Watch good movies
3) Play Call of Duty
4) Read a good book
5) Go camping
6) Campfires and roasting over campfires
7) Campfire talks
8) Deep talks/Spiritual talks
9) Teaching
10) Designing
11) Filming
12) Basketball
13) Ultimate Frisbee
14) People watching
15) Working out
16) Meditating
17) Naps
18) Window shopping
19) Hanging out with friends
20) Road trips
21) Rollercoasters
22) Amusement parks
23) LIVE football games
24) Random nice gestures
25) Pranks
26) Walks
27) Tennis
28) Mini Golf
29) Sledding
30) Cliff Jumping

10 Year Plan

At one point in anyone's life, they're bound to be asked, or think about, they're 10 year plan. What they'll be doing, if they'll be married, if so will they have kids and how many, where they're living...so on and so forth. Sometimes when I think about it, I'd like to skip all the stuff in between and jump straight into 10 years from now. Immediately be in my career, have a wife, kids, house, etc. But then again you learn a lot from going through the "in-betweens". Our experience through certain situations we go through and encounter is what grows us and makes us more mature and wise. So I actually can wait and somewhat look forward to what I will experience between then and now. Plus, time travel is impossible until Doc Brown shares the intelligence of the flux compasitor with the rest of mankind. So, ultimately, I don't really have a choice.

But that's neither here nor there. In 10 years, I'll nearly be 31 years old. Ooooo.....reality check. By that time I hope to have a wife, 2 or MAYBE 3 kids (depending on when I get married and the opinions/decisions of my wife that will surely be overriden by mine), a house for sure (don't like the idea of throwing my money away on an apartment), and a steady career in videography and design. As far as where I'm living, kind of undecided. Someone explained to me that they'd like to live in a small town that's about 30 minutes away from a big city. Immediately I loved that idea. I'm pretty simplistic, for the most part, and would like to live fairly simple without the chaos of a big city but have the leisure of multiple stores/restaurants/services at my fingertips. I also want to have plenty of "playtime" with my family. Nothing like creating memories by having barbecues, playing baseball, running through sprinklers, or anything else you can do in your backyard or at your house.

All in all, really nothing that exciting. Pretty basic answer for a basic question. However a satisfied life for a simplistic person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Buried Life

Before I go into this post, I love how they named that show "The Buried Life". I love that it has a double meaning where on one side they're describing your deepest desires of what you want to do before you die, where as the other side is describing death and how most lives are buried after they pass on. Gotta love subtleties.

Anyways, the term "bucket list" has come up in conversation a lot lately making me think about mine. I have never made a bucket list, per se, but I have always kept in mind what I would like to do before I kick the can. As I began thinking about it, there is only 1 thing I'd really like to do before I die.

Before I expose that however, let me build a foundation. I love helping people. Let me be more specific. I love helping people with they're dreams. If I ever get the chance to hear someone say, "I'd like to...." and you can fill in the blank, I get inspired. I guess you could somehow relate it to the movie Hitch but obviously replace "girls" with "dreams". I start researching, looking for anything and anybody I can find to help out. Typically I can setup a good structure for that person to go off of and they can go from there. Cause ultimately they're gonna have to follow through with it. I get a kind of rush from helping them out because I know that this could potentially be the start of something awesome for that person.

With all this in mind, the only thing on my bucket list is helping her out with hers. "Her" being my wife if that came across confusing. You could say the pressure's on because on anybody else's list you can accomplish some while not accomplishing others. So really, you still get some satisfaction in crossing something out. However, on mine, it's a pass or fail. But I'm fine with that. I want to help her live the most amazing life possible so she can look back with no regrets knowing she tried to live life to the fullest. I realize this sounds really un-satisfying for some and maybe even "chick-flick" but nothing could be more satisfying. For me anyways.

And I know what you're thinking. "What if she doesn't have a bucket list?" ....Well....I guess I'll start with skydiving.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Mentor to Remember

A few years back my Nannie, dad's mom, passed away. She died of cancer. She had cancer prior to this time but was healed. Then I guess cancer decided to sneak back into her life.

Before I go into depth of why I'm writing about her, I feel like certain things need to be known about her. My Nannie was the best influence a person could be. She was a prayer warrior. She would get up at 4 o'clock everyday to pray for her family and friends along with other specific prayer requests. She was very involved in the church and was the single most giving person I have ever met, even to this day. She would always take my cousins, brother, and myself out to eat, on vacation trips and even shopping trips to tulsa or muskogee. As a kid I loved that because I loved shopping for toys.

But since I've grown up I can't remember a single toy or item that was purchased from those trips. All I remember was her taking her time and money to spend with her grandchildren. And I know what you're thinking. Every grandparent does that or something similar to it. The thing that she did different though was how she always mentored us on the ways of the Spirit. She always instilled in us how important it is to have a relationship with our Christ and to fuel that relationship we needed to meditate on scripture. She prayed with us. She prayed for us. She cared for us to a point of where I didn't think I deserved it. Making me fully realize what Grace was and how God shows grace to us.

Fast forward to when she found out she had cancer again, she began going through treatment. She took more pills than anyone should take in a day along with carrot juice/smoothies and other nasty ingredients that were supposed to help her tobe diagnosed. She realized though, from scripture, that God was telling her she only had a few months to live and that she should make the most of it. If you've ever read Tuesday's with Morrie it was something similar to that. She planned out her funeral. She started eating things she actually wanted to eat. She spent massive amounts of time with her family. As time progressed she began to get worse. Losing massive amounts of weight and getting weaker and weaker. I'll never forget walking into her bedroom and seeing her on a hospital bed with the hospice. I almost immediately burst into tears and had to look down at the floor to keep composure. She had tubes hooked to her wrists and nose while her eyes were closed and mouth open, looking like she was in enormous pain. It still makes me hurt just thinking about it.

A couple weeks later she passed on, which gave us all a sense of peace. At her funeral she had all her grandchildren on stage singing Chris Tomlin's "How Great is Our God". The funeral service was more of a celebration for our Lord Jesus. And I love that. Because we should be celebrating. She's in a better place beyond our comprehension and she knew her passing wasn't as important as celebrating the resurection of Christ who bridged the gap. But before she died she wrote every grandchild a letter. That letter has been hanging on my bulletin board ever since and I didn't read it for a long time until 2 nights ago. Since then, I keep it in my wallet as a reminder of a greater influence and how I need to let her legacy live on. It reads:

"Dear Nick,

Time has passed so very fast, you now being a Senior, getting ready to step out into a new season of life. It seems that only yesterday that I was offering you a baby cookie and you indicated to all of us about your intolerance of food. Through the years you have made me very proud of your faith and your life in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is most wonderful to have a grandson that you don't worry about straying down the wrong road. I have been proud of the many achievements that you have received from schools and the leadership roles that you have played in the lives of other children. I have loved the way that you have let me pull you aside and give you a kiss even when it might have been emberrassing for you. You have made me very special by writing and playing a song just for me. I know that God has had His hand on your life and will continue to guide you to a bright future. That future can only be bright if you grow to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your sould and all of your mind."

Love you Nannie. Tell Jesus I said hey.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I Am Most Thankful For

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and with everyone else on the cliche train, I figured I'd hop on board and list what I'm most thankful for.

I have a pretty awesome family. Parents that have never been divorced and a brother that has, with certain exceptions, a good head on his shoulders; and all of us are strong in our faith. A blessing to say the least.

I have a dad that has always been there for me and has taught me things needed in life along with a good foundation to set my morals and goals on. I find myself using the sayings he's instructed me on more and more as I grow up and I am thanksful that those were instilled in me that I may pass them on to my children.

I have a brother who challenges me to become more creative by having unspoken "let's see who can out design who" competitions. He's funny, and since he's a teenager, it's cool hanging out with him especially when working on projects. I can usually count on a good laugh with some awesome sarcastic comments.

I am a mama's boy so naturally my mom is one of my hero's. She always considers others before herself and has a love that knows no bounds. I can tell her pretty much anything, except for things concerning tattoos and such, and always have fun with her. Especially scaring her when she's in the bathroom ; ) If I could be as half as giving as she's been it'd be an ultimate victory. Whether she's giving her time by volunteering or money for a cause or even no cause at all, she is always giving. I feel humbled and bless to have such a great mom. Everyone has told me that guys usually pick wives that remind them of their mom and that couldn't be more true in this case. She shows qualities I value and would like to have in a future wife. Considerate. Giving. Compassionate. Humble. Nice. Good sense of Humor. Merciful. All qualities of a Godly woman.

I love my family and am soooo blessed to have parents that have raised me well and a brother who I can hang with. This is what I will be praying about when we all sit down to give thanks on our thanksgiving feast.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prayer —> Peace

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Definitely one of my favorite verses. As everyone grows older, things get tougher and more stressful. Kind of a given. And people have different ways to deal with that stress, some ways being better than others. A way I use to deal with it was punching on a punching bag until I could barely lift my arms. As a guy, that way helps a lot but unfortunately, due to weather and gravity, bag was eventually ruined so I had to find a new way.

This verse is one I have on the background of my phone. That way it's always there to remind me of the peace I have in our Jesus. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God." I love the fact God wants us to present our troubles to him. Any other God you read about in other religions, you will not hear of this. They are an entire different entity and people believe that they are beyond talking to.
But not our God.
Not The God.
How peaceful is it that we can instantly ask the Creator of the Universe to help us with our troubles and concerns. What better hands to put those in than the hands that created the holy ground we stand on. This peace "transcends all understanding". Granted, not all of His ways of dealing with our questions and concerns are the what we want but it is guaranteed it is the best way. This "guards [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus."

I've also learned that presenting our requests to Christ then leaving them in His hands and leaving us with peace in our hearts, it's a way of showing faith. Paul explains over and over again about faith and how it shows if we are "Christians" or not. Anybody can call themselves Christians but not everybody can live as Christians. You can stand in a garage and say your a corvette while muttering "vroom vroom" but ultimately you're looking like a complete idiot. Faith is how we show what we believe.

Also on a side-note, Justin Bieber won artist of the year.......if anything that transcends all my understanding

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Rock Turned Over

Too many rocks have been turned over
With nothing being found.
I've searched and looked
Under any rock that lays at my feet
For the qualities of His liking
As well as mine.
And as I turn over each Rock
Each pebble
Each stone
Two things lie that makes each stone
Harder and harder to turn over
For it leaves my heart aching
And my feet dragging
With a continued search
Of a suitable helper that fits
My Puzzle Piece.
But what happens when a rock is turned
And promise is revealed?
You smile because
You may have finally found
What those other rocks have not revealed.
But you struggle because that's half the battle.
Now you have to be accepted
And be what the promise under the rock
Has been waiting for,
Leaving you vulnerable.
You pace with sweat dripping
And thoughts wondering,
Knowing if you are rejected
A longer search awaits you.
You realize it's a never ending circle
Until you are accepted
And the two pieces fit together.
But I don't want to turn over another stone.
I feel the qualities under the last turned stone
Are the ones I've sought for
Under the Rocks
And Pebbles
That have been turned.
I feel that if rejection turns its ugly head
That it will make the next stones
Just that more heavy.
And I feel that I am out of energy.
I'm ready to leave the rocks behind
And use that energy to please You
To Love You
To Grow You.
Take this burden away
And end the search
For I am searching on a beach
Of waves crashing into stones.


Passion is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling. I love how it says powerful because that's exactly what passion is and how it is used. I attended a revival with a friend about a week ago and as I sat back and watched the choir sing and the congregation join in song, I wondered if there's any difference in churches like these and one's like LifeChurch, Northpoint, Mars Hill, or even Hillsong. As I sang and thought, there's not much difference.

The Church in retrospect is the same.

The Church is a group of believers coming together to praise our Dad and to lift each other up to do His work throughout the week. Though some may have intelligent lights, orange or marshall amps and an awesome pa system that's not what defines that certain group of believers. In essence, a Church of Christ service can be the same as a Hillsong service. It just boils down to if you're worshipping or not. Granted, maybe for people around my age, a Hillsong worship service would be more exciting and easier for me to relate to given their modern worship style but I can still worship singing in acapella with the rest of the congregation in a Church of Christ setting. This is where passion comes in.

A church with legit equipment such as lights and the equipment their playing can be awesome but without passion it is void. Whenever I am asked to play in Sunday morning services, our music pastor always tells us to enjoy the worship and be passionate. For that's when the crowd can get involved. We are all worship leaders, though some of us don't lead by singing and playing the acoustic guitar, how we worship can lead others to the narrow path. I believe that is why Hillsong is so known. Their passion is incredible and their hearts are sincere and full of the love of our Father. Seeing them "in concert" is an experience in itself because the passion overflows from the cup onto the people around them. I find myself now seeing if I am as passionate in different worship settings. Because I know if I'm not, my heart isn't right. My heart isn't worshiping our Jesus but the instruments and music being played for that purpose.

It's important to be passionate especially when dealing with worship and the Church. If you are not passionate about a God who pierced his hands and feet, wore a crown of bloody thorns, and cried out for our lives, then how are you worshiping. How are we worshiping. "Passion is a wildfire not needing to be put out, but to spread to the apathetic."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life's a Teacher So Watch Her Ruler

I love experiences because they tell good stories and teach good lessons. So in the past few months, I've added a few stories to my collection. Moving into an apartment being one of them. That's where a majority of my stories and experiences originate.

Like how to manage your money well.

With as many hours as I work and my expenses, there's usually not much left over. Between gas (commuting 1600 miles a month), insurance, rent, cable, electric, groceries, and a meal out here and there it gets pretty costly. But people experience far worse.

I also learn how to manage time well.

To get you on the same page, here's a look at my weekly schedule:

  • Wake-up at 7
  • Commute 7:45-8:30
  • Class 9-3
  • Commute 3-3:45
  • Work 3:45-6
  • Homework 6-? (Also have Community Bible Study Monday Nights)
  • Wake-up at 6
  • Commute 6:45-7:30
  • Class 8-3
  • Commute 3-3:45
  • Work 3:45-6
  • Homework 6-? (Also have another Bible Study Tuesday Nights)
  • Wake-up at 8:30
  • Meet with Music Pastor for Breakfast round 9
  • Work 11-6
  • Free Time/Shooting photography for local high school football teams
  • Wake-up at 7:30
  • Work 8:15-12
  • Rest/Nap/Free Time or whatever
  • Wake-up at 9:30
  • Help with Jr. High 10:15-12
  • Lunch with friends
  • Homework (naturally I wait the last second for this)
Schedule isn't that bad but after a few weeks it can get pretty exhausting. Especially when freelancing in my free time. But I like staying busy. It always gives me something to do and, though I love to sit back and relax, keeps me from being bored.

But besides the "earthly" lessons I have learned about responsibility, growing up, and being in the "real world" I have noticed revelations along the way that hit me on a deeper level. Such as, what I want when I'm older. As easy as money can make things, I value my time more than money and that will continue. I would much rather spend time with my family and friends than working more hours for more pay. I don't want money to be the foundation of my decisions or happiness because, as the saying goes, you can't take that with you. I would much rather make memories with the ones I love and care about. And along the lines of family, and I mean future family, I've come to learn and mature in what I want and need in a future wife. With the past few months going by concerning my dating life, if that's what you'd call it, I've come to desire something a little bit more intimate than what society might call a casual relationship. Those aren't satisfying. With what I've learned regarding those, I made a vow to myself. That vow is to not kiss another girl unless it's my wife. I understand that can be confusing because you won't really know until you KNOW her. So my plan is my next "first kiss" to be when I propose. The thought behind this is, it'll give me a chance to get to know the person I'm interested in without worrying about when the physical part should set it. That just complicates things and I don't like complicated. Simplicity is underrated.

Helping with the Jr. High has also taught me a few things; endurance being one of them. Being a counselor in a youth group is great accountability. And that's what I try to use it for. I can't be helping and teaching these hormone crazed youngins knowing I'm not living the life that I'm trying to help them live. Otherwise it's void. Patience is another key thing. You can't expect too much out of 7th and 8th graders, that is when comparing them to college aged kids. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for disappointment and an advil. That's why I try to have fun, be spontaneous, present the main point for that sunday in a way they can relate and think on....then move on. A wise man once said, "Present the gospel everywhere you go. If necessary, use words." Soooo true when mentoring to kids who look up to you. They're smart enough to raise questions on their own and they'll present you with those when the time's right.

Basically the 3 key things I've learned, and I've learned more that come with some hilarious stories. But I realize an attention span is hard to keep so I'm gonna stop here.

One last thing to meditate on that you shouldn't learn the hard way:

If a kid ever asks, "Where do babies come from?" Never, and I must reiterate, NEVER tell them to google it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Beautiful Exchange

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Hillsong concert at Church on the Move in Tulsa. They just recently released a new record entitled A Beautiful Exchange so, naturally, the tour was called the Beautiful Exchange tour. The pastor that traveled with them explained why they named their current record A Beautiful Exchange and he basically explained that Jesus made a beautiful exchange when he died for us.

That's such a cool way to think about it.

We hear the word "sacrifice" all the time and though that's true it becomes numb the more times we hear it. What Jesus did was truly a beautiful exchange. He exchanged our deserved death for life by giving his. But we have beautiful exchanges as well. Anytime we meet someone new we have a beautiful exchange because we meet another "us".

We meet another "me".
We meet another "we".
We meet another "brother".
We meet another "sister".

I was pondering on why facebook is such a hit. Ask anyone why they have it. 95% if not more say it's to keep in touch. But lets face it, that's not usually the case. Anyone, including myself, can keep up with friends via phone whether it be calling them or texting them. The real reason we all have a facebook is cause its more convenient and we love stalking people and the pictures, posts, comments, and friends each other have. If someone messages us or comments us or whatever the case may be, we like the fact that we don't have to respond right then. It's on our time. The ball's in our court. We're in control, and we LOVE that. And how convenient it is that we can look at all their photos to see what they look like in current situations, what type of people they hang out with, etc. That my friends is not a beautiful exchange. When we meet face to face and talk, laugh, hang out....

That is a beautiful exchange.

It's about community. Jesus demonstrated that flawlessly and we should follow that example then lead by example. He made a beautiful exchange so we may have a beautiful exchange.

"When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
When only love could break these chain
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange"

He still wants us and still wants to exchange with us. Through prayer. Through scripture. Through people. But we fight back. We say no. We want the ball in our court not his. Cause love control. And we hate being vulnerable. "You were near though I was distant. Disillusioned, I was lost and insecure. Still mercy fought for my attention. You were waiting at the door, then I let You in."

Perfection took our place in a Beautiful Exchange.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm Tom Hanks from "Big"

I'm sure everyone at one point in their life has thought about how nice it would be to be little again. Not really a specific age, just little. Maybe sometime in between kindergarten and the end of elementary or even before. I find myself thinking about that often now.

Things were so much more simple back then. Only things we had to worry about was an occasional homework assignment, which might consist of coloring or basic math problems, getting into trouble with our parents that might lead to disciplining (which for me was either a belt or a big wooden spoon), or to narrow down your super long christmas list to the things you wanted most.

These times were great! No responsibilities. No bills. No jobs. No worries about gas prices or stimulus plans. We lived moment to moment and tried to find out how to make the world we lived in more fun and more enjoyable. And the creativity we had was amazing! If you ever notice people loose creativity when they grow older due to people using phrases such as, "Grow up." or "Stop being immature." or even "Stop that foolish thinking; this is the real world." But that's foolishness talking. I loved/love to look up at clouds to see what I can see or daydream about experiences that will never happen. That's why I love to design! We use design as a form of visual communication because, as we all know, a picture is like 1000 words. It communicates an idea or how we want it interpreted. The saying, "The kids say the darndest things" reminds me of this because we get a tiny view of how they percieve the world. That's why I love to hang around kids. Sometimes I get a chance to help out in the nursery at our church and it is always a blast. Though usually I am out of breath, it's always fun giving piggy back rides, hide and seek, or the classic airpline ride. It helps me let loose and be a kid again.

We need more times like this. It's so uplifting and relieves us from the stress and thoughts of what we have to do in our day to day lives. Studies have shown that stress is a major contributor of heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and also affects the immune system. Who wants to live with that? And some may ask do we even have a choice? Life, otherwise known or called reality, is something we all have to deal with. However, we can choose how we deal with it.

For me, I'm choosing to deal with it in the most fun, creative, and enjoyable way possible.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jesus Blew His Whistle

In my online Ethics class we've been going through a chapter that brings up the term "whistleblower". We read about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; which prohibits any public company from discriminating against any employee who lawfully provides information or otherwise assists in an investigation of conduct that the employee (or whistleblower) "reasonably believes" constitutes a violation of the federal securities laws. But, like anything else, there are loopholes to this Act that companies take advantage of. And for sake of argument, lets call the whistleblower 'Ox'.

- They can attack Ox's motives, credibility, or professional competence.
- They can reassign Ox to an isolated work location
- They can publicly humiliate Ox by setting him up for failure and putting him in impossible assignments
- Or they can prosecute Ox for unauthorized disclosures of information.

After reading the statistics and stories of multiple whistleblowers I was astonished....to say the least. I can't help but question the society we live in where people are persecuted for bringing moral justice. And I am disappointed because I know it's only going to get worse because of moral laziness and lack of backbone.

C.H. Farnsworth explains that workers who reveal waste, fraud, and abuse can expect retaliation, financial loss and high emotional and physical stress. A whistleblower who worked in a nuclear power plant, and I emphasize NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, wrote: "This has turned out to be the most frightening thing I have ever done."

Lets recap. A worker in a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT said that his act of integrity was "the most frightening thing [he has] ever done." Think of the persecution he faced that would make him say that.

In a recent survey, 1 out of every 5 whistleblowers reported they were without a job, and 25% mentioned increased financial burdens on the family as the most negative result of their action.

17% lost their homes.

57% of the whistleblowers said they were harassed by peers at work.
15% view their subsequent divorce a result of their whistleblowing activity.
10% report having attempted suicide. Others admit having considered it.
80% reported physical deterioration, with loss of sleep and added weight as symptoms
86% reported negative emotional consequences, including feelings of depression, powerlessness, isolation, anxiety, and anger.

But as I read this and meditate on it I can't help but ask myself, "Was Jesus a Whistleblower?" And I usually conclude in a "pphhhhh....duh." Jesus always stood up for what was right no matter what the cost or persecution; "even death on a cross." In an ARIS study in 2008, 76% of people in the U.S. said they considered themselves to be Christians.

Yeah. Right.

To which I ask, "Why aren't more standing up? Why aren't more being persecuted? And why are we persecuting?"

What's the cost of Integrity?

In Matthew 5: 10-11 it says that "God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

I applaud the people who have the backbone and integrity to stand up for what's right especially when it comes to sacrificing their jobs, financial security, and even family. That's what God's looking for and what He needs. The story behind this, though making me aggravated and angry, makes me smile for I know His Glory is revealed through his children's persecution. Let us learn a lesson from our Brothers and Sisters

And Blow Our Whistle

corny? Yeah well so are Justin Beiber's lyrics