Jeff Carl.
October 29, 2008
  I Sense a Rising Melody My top four thoughts on life right now:

1. Since this past spring, I've completely transformed into this new person. I am a new me. It's kind of been scary and nerve-racking at points, because I genuinely realize that I'm changing. Now, some would say the changes I have made are for the worse. I say, screw them. No change of mine has been for the worse. I'm growing, and people grow through change. You can analyze the details of good or bad, but the stark reality is that I'm on my journey, and I'm okay with who I am along the way. This leads me to my next point:

2. I used to think that "me" was a point of arrival. Like, we have our childhood which is fun and dandy, but at some point, maybe towards the end of high school or during college, you "find" yourself. You discover who you really are. My eyes are finally open to that deception. Finding yourself is not a point in time. It's a life-long process, and instead of constantly stressing and feeling guilty about what I should/shouldn't, ought/oughtn't, and need/don't need to be, I'm content with the day-to-day process of discovering me.

3. In regards to spiritual matters, the truth is that I'm kind of dry right now. I guess overall I am just kind of disappointed with Christianity today. I'm not saying that's grounds for my personal beliefs, because it's not. My journey's my own journey, but with Christians, it's just annoying. They tell the world to convert to Christianity because it's so great and awesome, and once someone DOES, all they're told is how much our world sucks, how much our nations sucks, how much the present-day church sucks, and how much they suck!

The other day in one of my classes, one of the Evangelism professors was guest speaking. He had one hour of our time. The first 45 minutes, no exaggeration, he spent spitting out facts and statistics, one after another, completely bashing our nation and the Christian church. We were all wondering when he was going to get to what we thought was the whole POINT of his message which was how to FIX the problem. He looked at the clock, and realizing he only had 15 minutes left, he said, "Okay, now the question is, where are we [as Christians] missing it?" He had five important points to make and delve into. He got through the first point, and it was very detailed, explained well, and overall decent. He started his second point, went about half as deep then finished it up. Then... time was up, so he spout out the words that filled in the blanks for those next three points. Boom, class over. That's it. I wanted to punch something. 45 MINUTES on the problem that we all already knew existed. He was pretty much preaching to the choir about that, but then when it actually came to instructing us on methods of resolution, he just kind of brushed through his points. That's just one example of my view of Christianity today. It irks me to the bone.

Anyway, as far as my personal walk, like I said, I'm dry, but overall, I'm kind of okay with that. I feel like I kind of need the time off, 'cause before now, I've been at the point where I wasn't cultivating my walk really. The difference between then and now is that then I would get so down on myself, telling myself I was a failure and sucked. I would set goals for myself to "get better," but I fell short. Mad at myself, I would reset my goals again, even higher, and lo-and-behold, I fell short yet again. The cycle would continue, and instead of getting closer to God which is all I wanted, I was just pushing myself further and further away. I started dabbling with doubts towards the foundational aspects of my beliefs. WHY DO I BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE? I kind of realized that it was simply because that had been my whole life. I literally did not know any different. At this point, like everything else in my life, I just wanted to press the reset button and restart myself at 0, which is what I did. I said to myself, "If you really want to be close to God, let it happen how it's supposed to happen... in it's own timing. I'm SICK of trying to force it."

4. I'm a control freak (not in a psycho sense). I like to have everything figured out, so as you can tell from my first three points, control of life has NOT been the case these last number of months, which leads me to my final concept: It's okay to NOT have it all figured out, to not have all the answers. Whether it's with my personal identity, my spiritual walk, my financial matters, my physical fitness, my friendships, my relationships, my morals/ethics/values, my political opinions, my time management, my academics, my long-term future plans, etc... IT IS OKAY TO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS!

And I'm so sick of others that try to shove the "right way" down my throat. The reality is that we are all on our own journey, and when we start stepping out front saying our way is better, all that does is push others away. We're all at different points in our journey. We're supposed to help each other along, regardless of our circumstances, no matter how different. That's the measure of friendship in my opinion, not how similar you are, but how different you are and that you're strong regardless. I've heard it said before that "Love is not how much you care about a person, but about how much you're willing to go through for that person."

SOOOO, there it is, folks. This is who I am right now. It seems kind of radical, even to me, but I'm so content with this mindset. The truth is, however, that I still have a lot of new thoughts about things. My present condition is not set in stone. It's just where I am right now. It's a completely fresh, relaxing, therapeutic outlook in an exhausting, stressful, rule-driven, revolutionary, messed up, horrifying world.

And you know what's crazy? I used to be one of those revolutionaries. That passionate side of me is just as equally present in my life, only now I feel like I could be on the verge of a breakthrough. People that want to change the world often feel like they have to do it through being radically different than the world. However, if you think about it Biblically, Jesus met with prostitutes by wells and ate meals with his followers. Perhaps the most effective way of presenting a revolutionary idea to the world is not by building a stand high enough for everybody to see you. See, the higher the stand (the larger the audience), the harder it is for them to hear you. What if we were to just simply BE and bring our message to individuals on their level? Just a thought.

Signing off,
October 26, 2008
  relax, take it easy Man, I swear I'm always a roller coaster with my thinking. There are times when I really just start to get lost in all my thoughts about spirituality, academics, musical aspirations, relationships, morals, physical fitness/health, time, etc. The thing is, it is good to think about all these things, and it is good to expand our minds with knowledge and growth. However, I think everybody needs to find a point where they step back and just simplify. There are some people that just never stop going. They go and go and go, and I wonder at times how they don't just completely burn out.

This past weekend was just therapy to my soul.
I was completely comfortable and content with my life, and that was good... IS good.

I just feel like I finally don't have to fight so hard against the tide of life.

Life is exciting. 
October 24, 2008
  Butterflies. umm.. I have a girlfriend. :) 
October 03, 2008
  Oh, Politics. Ok, so I'm usually not a politics person. I've been not involved with it these last few months hardly at all. However, in light of the upcoming election, I figured I should start paying a little more attention. I've watched the last two debates (both the Presidential and V. Presidential). Coming at it from a very open perspective (since I didn't know much about either candidate), I've been blown away by the debates. Strictly from the debates (and I realize I need to do more research obviously), I am way more for Obama/Biden than I am for McCain/Palin. First of all, I can't stand Palin. The debate last night made me feel sorry for her, and I really don't understand how anybody could see last night's debate as a Republican win. Palin seemed so unprepared and inadequate for a position as high as VP. I'm not going to lie. She had a few good points that I really agreed with, but in general, Biden was always one step ahead of her, and I feel like she was constantly just trying to keep up. Above even that, she hardly ever answered the questions!! She, for some reason, felt the need to "sum up" her entire campaign every single question many times completely evading the question (or not being specific at ALL). Biden would be talking about how the McCain administration isn't differing from the Bush administration, and she went on a huge rampage about how she loves education, which was totally irrelevant to the question. That was just one instance.

Anyways, I'm not trying to completely slam Palin. Like I said, she had some good points and yes, she's pretty, but I think she waaaay overestimates her "experience" in Alaska, which she referred to oh so many times. On the other side, Biden did have a couple moments of hesitation, but overall, he was MUCH more solid and progressive with his answers and wasn't just looking down at his information cards every 2.8 seconds.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself the tough question. It's not a matter of who would be the better vice president alone. It's a matter of... If the new Presidential pick dies at any point during his presidency, who do you want as the new president? Biden or Palin? Maybe she could do a good job at VP, but under no circumstances do I want Palin as the overall President of the United States of America. She's just not ready.

Final comments: Like I said, I know I still have a lot of research to do. There are two more debates which should be very interesting. I'm going to watch them both. I apologize if I seem really critical, but as of right now, based on the debates alone (which are valid considering the information is directly out of the candidates' mouths), I am actually leaning toward the Obama/Biden administration. Crazy, huh? 

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