Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Experience: Is It Foundational?

First off I would like to send you to where this thought process was birthed from. It is a blog from the previously praised The Rabbit Room.

I was reading an article by one of my new favorite artists Jason Gray entitled Making Peace With Halloween. First off, I want to say, please read the post and if possible a few of the comments, otherwise what is spoken next may or may not make complete sense. Once you have read up on Halloween and Peace, then come on back and we can continue the conversation.

Basically I agreed with almost everything Jason had to say. I found myself agreeing out loud, I found some of my own inner thoughts confirmed and really attached to his writing style. I was oblivious to the thought however that people could disagree with him after how succinctly he had put everything. I read every single reply to his post and found myself laughing out loud and coming up with sarcastic remarks for certain people, but I held my tongue (something I have been working on lately). I continued to think about this post for a few days. For some reason it was having a huge impact on me. I couldn't put my finger on it.

Then like a huge tidal wave the ideas and musings began to flood my thoughts. I realized something that has been very true in my life, and wondered if I was actually living life the wrong way. What I realized is that people were trying in there reply's to justify there stance on their own experience and maybe a close friends, or someone they knew. Most notably when talking about Satan worshipers and the observance of Halloween. Let it be known now that my intention is not to belittle or tear down anyone with this post. I did find it funny that so many people had come to such different conclusions based on experiences they had once had. My question is, who validated that? Why is experience so important?

Hah! Those questions were really truly coming out my heart and mind. Me, Ben, the dude who brings everything back to "this one time..." or at "this camp..." or "this song..." or "this person said". I started to feel a little silly. But what I was realizing is that my faith was actually to a certain extent built up of little moments in my life, moments that I was actually turning into relationship with Christ. Now I do believe that there are really special and influential moments in our lives that have grown our walk with God. The problem is however that we latch onto them as a true picture of who God is and what He has for our lives, and we often expect God to work the same way again. Here is where we fail. Our Christian faith cannot be rooted in a moment in time, but current moments in time, constantly moving forward. Our faith cannot be defined in one moment, truth is not completely understood in one setting, the knowledge that it exists and that I strive for it however is a daily process. A baby steps process, kindove like the movie What about Bob with Bill Murray. Where he has a fear that everything can make him sick and give him a disease. He has to learn to take baby steps to get over his phobia. The idea in my head is that our relationship with God is like baby steps, we haven't arrived when we meet Him or accept Him into our lives, and we wont fully understand Him and who He is, but we need to take daily baby steps towards Him.

So I began to think aloud with these thoughts, I tried it on a few partners at Starbucks. I don't think my point was made. One of them brought up the idea that she had been to the capital once, therefor she knew what it was and understood it because of that one moment in time. My retaliation was that the men who work in the capital know more than you, therefor do you really truly KNOW the capital? In turn our little experiences in time do not actually give us firm foundation in hope, truth, and faith, but they do point us in the right direction. I honestly think the foundation of faith and truth is being poured every single day in our left foot, right foot walks.

Then this past weekend I end up going on Village's Men's retreat at Washington Family Ranch (formerly Wildhorse). The speaker was Steve who worked at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. It seemed as if what I was going through with this whole experience thing, Steve was giving gasoline towards it. The movement was growing in my mind. He said a few things that rocked me! Here are a few quotes that fit into my current thought process (once again falling into the my experience or I had a friend who experience.)

"The journey in and of itself is not the goal. Our own experience is not the formula to Knowing God."

Holy cheese cake, I took that and ran with it. I was so excited! I have been having thoughts like this ever since India, but never fully validated it in my beliefs. I know that in the end my experience is just the stuff that happened on the way in my journey with God, but every day I wake up is the beginning of the rest of my relationship with God. I love memories and the past, but I also don't want to get stuck there. Stuck trying to recreate a moment in time that will NOT happen again. I want to be moving forward step by step or perhaps back a few or back onto the path that God has set before me. I know my relationship with God was intended to be limitless just as He is limtless, not limited to moments in time or specific rules. If I am genuinely seeking Him, from that will pour out truth and where I need to go. He will set my paths straight. I will Know Him, not experiences, facts, or laws. I will pursue Him one step at a time. I will enjoy every step until my last.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Americas Next Top Male Model

I had a dream last night that I was a male model. Me! I was in Americas next top male model contest. Weird right? The crazy thing was, I was actually doing well in the competition. I was crazy, I was real, I was me, I was not into myself, I really didn't think I would make it out of the first round, but round after round I was in the top two contestants. This might have to do with the fact that I was all about me, or into my body or looks. I was into having a good time and making sure everyone around me did too. Anyway, I make it to the final two models. I am standing before the judges with this really good looking dude (yes I just honestly said that) and we are about to find out who wins. The problem is, I don't know who won. My wife woke up and jostled the bed a little, I woke up to. Now I will never know if I was Americas next top male model! I am not sure if I should actually care about that or not.

"Don't laugh at me because I am beautiful, my dreams tell me so!"

The Rabbit Room

About eight months ago a stumbled onto a humble little blog arena called The Rabbit Room. It is here where I get a daily dose of something new and wonderful. Breathtaking music, art, writings, reviews, books, and much much more. It is here that I also find some awesome and faith inspiring conversation, that ultimately is not seen as an argument but as working things out. Or perhaps a little but of "Working out your own Salvation with Awe and Wonder". I am constantly finding that what I am thinking in my own personal faith is being worked out right there on the blog. I cannot do the blog enough justice, all I can say is...go and check it out, read a few posts and see what happens. Also if you would like to read the interesting story on why the blog exists check out the link here at About the Rabbit Room. I promise you that this place will not disappoint but only stimulate your mind, faith, and soul.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Just saw this video at men's retreat this weekend. One of the better short films I have ever seen.


Friday, November 06, 2009


Ambassadors of Hope -Robert Seiple (enjoying, mind bending, life shaping)
Good News About Injustice-Gary Huagen
Sex God-Rob Bell
Everybody Wants To Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants To Die-David Crowder (still reading this...taking awhile...letting it settle in)

I have not done a post on music in a while, actually one of my last posts was on music...but so much good stuff has been found, downloaded, and enjoyed since then...perhaps just a few tidbits of the joy in my ears.
Nevertheless-When I'm With You (sad to find out that these dudes broke up recently)
Deas Vail-Birds and Cages (These guys just signed on to Relient K's record label)
Carry Underwood-Play On
Mike Doughty-Sad Man Happy Man (for parents who read this and think oh I might let my kids listen to the music Ben puts up on here...this would not be one for them)
Jason Gray-Everything Sad is Coming Untrue
Eric Peters-Chrome
Derek Webb-Stockholm Syndrome
Sleeping At Last-Storyboards]
David Crowder-Church Music (beautiful!)
Relient K-Forget and Not Slow Down (still growing...needs more water)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are!

"Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!"

A few weeks ago my wife and I went to see this film. I have loved Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," since I was a little boy. I recently went and bought the book, then actually gave it as a gift to one of my nephews for his birthday. I love the imagination, the artwork, the simplicity, and the dreaming that makes up the book. Naturally I HAD to go see the movie. I bought the soundtrack. Read the book every single time I was over at my nephews house, and watched the previews multiple times. Needless to say I was stoked about this film. And the film would not disappoint. I enjoyed the film from beginning to end. I was taken away from this world and into a beautiful new one. Many thanks to Spike Jonze for this short masterpiece. I really don't want to spoil anything for you readers though, so no real review here, just go and see it. Do not however take your kids...that means anyone under oh, sixteen. They will hate this film, or not get it, or really just want to walk out. This is NOT a children s film, it is a film for adults to remember what it was like to be a kid again. It might also be a film used in the future to understand children s behaviors after divorce. In all honesty this film teases with your soul and messes up your insides, you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride and the adventure is new, exciting, scary, and yet it feels just like home...home where Max, the main character, ends up in the end with his hot dinner.

Also if you like all things "Wild", check out this cool site Terrible Yellow Eyes. Basically some awesome artists paying tribute to a classic children s tale!