beautifully moving portrait of life … new journalism at its finest
August 31, 2008
August 30, 2008
I entered a Zappos contest a few weeks ago and I’m a finalist! I had to take a picture of myself in “mandals” (man sandals) … A poll is located under the video. I’m entry #3. Vote me for me and I get $100 to spend on Zappos, which I will use for someone in need (me! just kidding).
August 30, 2008
If you thought it was hard to find a good man here, forget Australia. They’re suffering what the media is calling a “man drought.”
August 27, 2008
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Michael McDonald, my favorite singer, will be singing “America the Beautiful” at the Democratic National Convention tomorrow night. He is expected to sing early in the program.
Here’s a video from the event.
August 18, 2008
I’ve heard that grief has a way to sneak up on you and attack when you’re not expecting it. That’s what happened to me last night.
I should have seen it coming. I was asked to sing at a 16-year-old’s funeral last night. He was a young boy in our church who also went to the school Jeff taught and administered at until this year. He was in a car accident with two other boys. Only Micah was killed.
His family, our church family and his friends were rocked by the sudden loss of a life that had barely begun. Our pastor, his wife, our youth pastor and music ministry staff put together a beautiful memorial service, in which I sang with our praise team.
I was fine. I did completely fine until the end of the funeral. When they announced that the family had requested a few minutes with Micah and would everyone please exit the building quickly to honor that, a fountain of grief erupted inside me. That same moment in my dad’s funeral, which was not even two months ago, rushed back to me. I remembered how I wanted dad’s funeral to go on and on and not end, and how I didn’t want to leave his body — knowing in my head that he wasn’t there, but wishing in my heart to stay as close to him as I could. I imagined that’s how Micah’s parents were feeling too.
We were to keep singing “Spirit Fall on Me” as everyone exited. I couldn’t get the first note out. Tears started streaming and I couldn’t choke them back or get myself together. I ran off the stage and crumpled into a ball in the stairwell next to it, where no one could see me. I sobbed uncontrollably. I was shaking. I couldn’t get my head out of my lap.
A minute later, our pastor’s wife came and wrapped her arms around me and just apologized over and over. She realized it was too soon for me to do something like this. I told her I thought I would be able to do it — after all, I spoke at my dad’s funeral. She pointed out that I didn’t have the luxury of falling apart then. So true! She was very sweet about not making me feel like an idiot for losing it.
I found my way through the crowd and found Jeff and Madilyn. Madilyn wanted me to hold her and didn’t want me to let her go. I believe babies have a way of sensing when people are hurting. She patted me on the back sweetly. Jeff took me to Sonic to get an Orange Cream Crush, and it was delicious. We also ate grilled cheese sandwiches.
I thanked God for the ability to grieve, and I prayed that Micah’s parents will be able to properly grieve as time goes on. My mother-in-law, who lost her husband (Jeff’s dad) when he was only 43, says funerals and moments like this always have a way to bring back the grief, the memories and sense of loss. In a way, I’m sure that’s good. I imagine the recycling of emotions helps keep us clean inside and allows us to move forward with tender hearts.
August 15, 2008
“The Global Ambition of Rick Warren“
Time, Thursday, Aug. 07, 2008 By DAVID VAN BIEMA
Listen to the audio … great way to capture the story.
August 14, 2008
Some days, even some weeks, it hits harder that Dad is gone. Mainly, I find myself feeling bad for my Dad for dying. I hate that he had to suffer through his sickness and feel himself slipping away, but even beyond that, I feel bad that he’s dead, as if he would be capable of feeling my empathy or something. It’s strange, isn’t it?
It’s like how I found myself wanting to still pray for him in the days and weeks after he was gone. I guess you get into a habit of breathing prayer for someone who is sick. Then when they’re suddenly taken away from you, your mind still dwells on them, but you can’t tangibly do anything about it, like prayer.
Truth is, if what we believe and hope is coming after this life, there’s no reason for feelings of sympathy toward the deceased, just feelings of loss and sadness that they’re not here with you. I have those, too.
The other day Madilyn pointed to the picture we have in her room of her and her “Poppy,” which is what we called Dad for her. And it made me glad that she noticed him, and sad that she won’t remember him.
August 14, 2008
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I now regret not immediately listening to the advance copy of the Michael Gungor Band‘s new album, Ancient Skies. From the fresh new arrangement of “Say So” that kicks off to the album to the final note, this is a refreshing take on modern worship. Soaring vocals, anthemic riffs and passionate drums give a Switchfoot feel but maintain originality. Their MySpace page says the album releases 9/9/08.
August 13, 2008
Cake Wrecks is my favorite new blog. Hilarious. If you need a good laugh, check it out.