Hear This…

As a former music major and lifelong music enthusiast, I will admit that I’m a music snob. So, it’s always a pleasure to find a Christian musician who not only has “uplifting” content but is actually a good musician and lyricist too.

Meet Josh Garrels.

I realize that I might be a little late to the party, but I’m grateful that a friend tipped me to this guy.  And if you haven’t heard of him, you’re in for a treat.

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A Foreign Affair

I think a lot of our ideas about attraction and “mating” are very specific to our culture.

Recently, I watched two documentaries on Netflix that gave me some food for thought about how we, as Americans, think about attraction and marriage.

Meet The Patels, centers around an Indian-American actor who is on the cusp of 30. According to his cultural expectations, this situation is unacceptable. So, after some thought, he agrees to let his parents intervene with his love life.  And ultimately, he agrees to a modern-day take on pursuing an arranged marriage.

What I found fascinating about the film was the idea, that marriage is such an important part of his culture and community, that the older generation didn’t leave partnering up to chance.  In addition, there seemed to be an intentional goal of passing on the traditions, morals, and values of previous generations.  It also appeared that this “rite of passage” was/is so important that people created a process to ensure that like-minded individuals could meet and marry each other. I also liked the fact, that the community was vested in making sure that the potential couple was vetted for compatibility, character, interests, etc.

Granted, I say this as an outsider to the Indian/Indian-American community, so I don’t have a grasp on the nuances of reality of this idea. But some of the concepts presented were interesting and compelling.

I grew up in the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” pandemonium, which although good intentioned, brought a lot of confusion and hang-ups to the single, Christian community.

To that end, there is a tendency for many singles to “date in a vacuum”, which is isn’t particularly beneficial.   I think there’s tremendous value in having the previous generation pour into our lives.  And I also think it’s very valuable to have married couples weigh-in on our dating decisions. Through this interaction, there’s an opportunity for people to share their mistakes, successes, and the tips that have helped them weather the storms of life in a partnership.  I feel that we need this knowledge and I wish it was more freely offered and given.

The other film (Love Me), profiled American men, who after various failed attempts at finding love in the States, decide to take a chance on a “mail-order bride” from another country. Yes, this concept is extreme and some of the men are “interesting”.  However, this film made me think.  It made me question the concept of attraction.  In fact, the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind.

If we’re honest, there is some level of reciprocity in relationships. The value of  the”goods” is often determined by culture.  Meaning…what we find physically attractive, the amount of value that we place on physical desirability or the ability to provide, etc. is often determined by the society around us.

So, it was interesting to see men, who some would not find desirable in the US, being desired and valued elsewhere. Granted, I realize that the ideas presented in this film are complicated at best. (I am not advocating the mail-order bride arrangement.) However, it did make me think about my American concept of attraction.  Is it possible that I, we are missing out on good people because they don’t fit our preconceived notions of what is desirable in our culture.

What are your thoughts?  If you’ve seen the movies, weigh-in.  Even if you haven’t, what do you think about today’s approach to dating and marriage?

Meet The Patels

 

Love Me

Dating in the Digital Age

Just in time for the season of love…
I keep hearing statistics on how online dating has become a major player in the formation of nascent relationships. But, unfortunately, that has not been the case for me.

Although, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting educated, attractive men, who don’t live in their parent’s basement, I’ve yet to form a meaningful connection with someone I’ve met online.

However, in spite of my past experiences, every so often I yield to the siren song of “possibilities”. That is when I find myself dipping my toe into the cyber,social sphere of potential matches.

So, for the next few months, I am halfheartedly, “putting myself out there”. Because…”you never know”.

So, if like me, you find yourself sampling the singletons of the cyber-world, you may enjoy the following advice of Matthew Hussey.

To that end, feel free to share your own personal do’s and don’ts.

*I know that I’ve been MIA,but I hoping to get back on-line soon. 🙂

Thou Shalt Be Entertained

Entertained.Youth2

Media. It’s everywhere.  From the grocery store to the doctor’s office, we are exposed. Exposed to ideas and philosophies.  Many of these ideas give us cues for what is socially acceptable or normal. However, God says….

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  Isaiah 5:20

Is it possible that the messages that I’m receiving through the media are “putting darkness” for light?

During my Bible reading, I came across the 10 commandments.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

If I’m honest, a lot of music, magazines, television shows, movies, etc. encourage me to do the exact opposite of these commands.  For example, I was watching a family show where one of the main characters was justifying his desire to commit adultery because he needed to [follow his heart and embrace his truth].  And of course, the story line was written in such a way that I felt compelled to sympathize with the character’s plight.  However, as a Christian, is there ever a situation when adultery is okay? According to God, the answer is no.

When it comes to media, perhaps we are facing a great spiritual battle in regards to our hearts, minds, and desires. Through the guise of a catchy lyric or an entertaining plot line, how often are we exposing ourselves to lies?

…Did God really say? …Will you surely die? (Genesis 3)

Some may say that they are not affected by the media, but I would argue that God makes it clear about the power of our thoughts and influences:

  •  Luke 6:45-A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
  • Galatians 6:7-9– Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
  • Philippians 4:8– Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble…think about such things. 

I’m not saying that one has to completely disengage from the culture. However, I am questioning the role that entertainment has in my life.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m voluntarily bringing evil into my life and allowing my heart to be consumed with messages that are anti-God. And I’m wondering if entertainment is an opportunity where the enemy can plant seeds for sin.

Consider:

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving…8 Live as children of light…10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:3-11

What does it mean to live as children of light?

What does it mean to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness?

Is a song just a song if it encourages me to have sex outside of marriage?  Is a movie just a movie if it encourages me to seek out revenge or makes murder look cool?

Perhaps it’s time to recognize that we are engaged in a spiritual battle for our hearts and minds and take that into consideration when it comes to our entertainment choices.

What do you think?

 

Keeping The Sabbath

I’ve been going through the Bible In One Year plan on my YouVersion app. Recently, my study took me through the Ten commandments.

Most of us can rattle of some of the more familiar commandments such as “Thou Shalt Not Murder”or “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”. But how many of us think of the one that says

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates”

I’m not much of a theologian, so I’m not going to get into Old Testament versus the fulfillment of the law in the New Testament. But… is there something to be said, about setting aside one day of the week to rest? I mean, even the Creator of the universe  took a break on the 7th day.

I’m the kind of person who has a never ending “to-do” list.  (I’ve got the apps and lists to prove it.) However, I’m coming to the conclusion that while it’s important to get stuff done.  Sometimes, it’s important to not get stuff done. To that end, I’m realizing that in this busy and hectic culture, I need to consciously choose to simply rest.

In the words of Sara Groves…

There will never be an end to the request upon your time/
It’s your place to stand up and tell the world you’ve got to rest awhile/
And everything is important but everything is not/
At the end of your life your relationships are all you’ve got”

Just One Thing-All Right Here

So what do you think?  Do you think it’s important to make time for a Sabbath? What does that look like to you?

 

 

 

When Life Hands You Leftovers…

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been “waiting for lightning“. Waiting for some miraculous sign that life is going to change for the better.

Instead of actively engaging in the world around me with passion and skinned knees, I’m just…waiting.

Waiting and receiving life’s “leftovers”.

It’s like I’m trapped in a cage, hoping for someone to open the door. But all the while, the key is sitting on floor. All I have to do is find the courage to pick up the key and leave.

The choice is mine.

I can move towards freedom or cling to my fear. My fear like an familiar ache that leaves me tense and paralyzed.

The choice is mine.

I don’t want to waste my time,  living a life of mediocrity while clinging to leftovers.

I want to live.

I want to live a life of meaning and purpose, not squandering the fleeting remains of my youth in a cage.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”-Reinhold Niebuhr

*I’ve been on a hiatus as I wrestle through some issues in my life (work, relationships, health, etc).

As time permits, I hope to share snippets of my journey in the future.  We’ll see. 🙂

However, my current theme song, as I wrestle with my struggles, is “Run Wild”.

I hope we all can have the courage to run wild/live free/and love strong.

Merry Christmas

Who doesn’t enjoy a little Christmas music during this time of year?  So…enjoy some timeless classics from a very talented group…Pentatonix.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! If you’re traveling, be safe.

Water Fitness: A Hidden Gem

I’m finding that as I get older, my body is becoming  like a temperamental poodle that needs to be coddled and handled with care. However, since I’d like to keep physically fit, I’ve realized that I need to strike a balance between “feeling the burn” and feeling like something’s about to break.

Luckily, a while ago, I discovered the joys of water aerobics. At first glance, water aerobics may not sound too strenuous, but with the right instructor and/or exercises, you’d be surprised at how effective a workout it can be. Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun and easier on the joints.

So, if you’re inclined to try water fitness, check out your local gym or rec center to see if they have any classes.

To give you a sneak peek and some ideas, here are some of my favorite workout videos.

Enjoy. 🙂

Road Rage

If I’m honest, I’ve had my moments of frustration trying to navigate the perilous terrain of the big city. 😉 Dealing with people who drive too fast/too slow, fail to use their turn signals or take forever to change lanes, does not encourage the better parts of my nature.

However, it’s good to be reminded of the importance of being on one’s “best behavior” even when one is behind the wheel of an automobile. So, I present to you, Disney’s Motor Mania.

Enjoy.

Hiatus

Hey guys,

I’m in a transition phase of life and unfortunately I don’t have time for frequent updates, so I’m going on hiatus. I hope to return to the blog-sphere sometime this summer.

In the meantime, I leave you with one of my new hobbies…online work out videos.

My “Peruvian” friend alerted me to the plethora of exercise videos on the web.  Below are some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

 

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