Category Archives: for us

UP FROM GROUND

so my artwork has been selected

for an exhibit in Los Angeles

titled UP FROM GROUND.

it will be held on May 8th

at a vintage warehouse gallery

called La Founderie. amped.


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Snowtone, L.A.

in the coming months I will be photographing my favorite LA locations, part one

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an interesting take on healthcare

a complete media compendium

001 ► personal beliefs

002 ► hawaii

003 ► the apparent trap

004 ► pregame

005 ► the summit

006 ► senator interview

007 ► new gov idea

bonus ► from last dec, highway to health

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not black or white. or gray. color.

the past few months, i have been quiet. marginal.  listening and watching.
i have been looking for hope.  love that breathes.  a world that isn’t black or white or gray, but color.
i am beginning my Mix.
my scene. interp. midrash. explanation. perception. yoke. way.
parsing reality, arranging the universe.
i draw on the walls.
and if you are going to trust me about the depths of reality,
i need to know what i’m talking about.
trusted with not just a few things, but with many things.
psychology, sociology, anthropology, technology, media, film, music, economics, geology, astronomy, physics, culture.
transparent, legit, no showtime switch.
never diva, never poser, never pretentious.
not out to win a popularity contest,
with nothing to prove,
knowing who i am and why.
my job is to pull from the world and ‘make of it something more.’
what i have read. what i have studied.
i started a me map, tracing experiences and mistakes,
what i’ve learned and what i still need to learn.

my Mix  starts with five elements. they are a beginning, not an end.

ONE ► I’M WRONG

i am a learner, student, novice.
there are many things i don’t know or understand.
i will encounter new things.
i will have to let go of some of the things i thought were true
in order to grab hold of these new things.
humility. perpetual imperfection.
never leaving the wide-eyed wonder of discovery.

TWO ► HUMANITY

i do not consider myself a Christian. i do not consider myself religious.
i consider myself a pastor. and a disciple.
i have a worldview.
and a rabbi.
religions always begin, even today, when spirituality is hijacked as a control.
and it’s not surprising that many religions
have grasped different aspects of the human story.
i trust that our world is good, and headed somewhere better,
that the story of humanity is a dance that hums with the heartbeat of the universe,
embracing original Eden wherever it can be found.
i believe that i have a role in the story.
and so do you.

THREE ► HEALING

i have learned that in a room of any size, there is great pain just under the surface.
i believe that the world needs healing.
individually.
systemically.
completely.
sometimes we need soft words,
words that remind us that there is no need to compete or compare,
no need to be thinner, faster, smarter,
words that create a space to breathe.
other times, we need a kick in the throat stiletto-heel style.
we need to be asked difficult questions,
and we need people who expect us to find the answers.
we need to be pushed,
and reminded that we don’t exist just to be loved, but to spread the love.
the dialectic tension between pastor and prophet.
sometimes we bring the thunder.
sometimes we bring the rain.

FOUR ► KEEP IT CLASSY

this idea has had many names over the centuries. honor, chivalry, nobility.
not birthright or classism, defined by one’s actions.
a way to interact with the world in mutual respect, and gravity of soul.
a peace that is wider than circumstances, and deeper than emotions.
family argument?
keep it classy.
breaking up?
be classy.
public humiliation? false accusation?
divorce?
keep it classy. honorable.
living love.
if you have a heartbeat, a pulse, a brainwave, it’s the right time to love.
at no time, in no place, with no person
is it ever appropriate to toggle off the love button.
with others,
and with yourself.

FIVE ► MIXED DRINKS

this only works with all of us.
you have knowledge and wisdom that we need.
your experiences can teach us, shape us, and drive us forward.
the human family is unnecessarily dysfunctional at the moment.
and while there will always be a level of conflict, disagreement,
and needed resolution,
there is a difference between healthy tension + alternative perspectives,
and a nuclear wasteland of soul trashing.
we crave unity, and we don’t have it.
the diversity of humans is infinite,
and therefore styles, preferences, and opinions will always be infinite.
we are one body, but can we walk as one body?
because right now we’re not walking, we’re sort of having an epileptic seizure,
spasming while attempting self-mutilation,
trying to chop off the parts that we don’t like,
or that don’t look how we think they should.
we can fix that, we can make peace in our Self and coordinate our movements,
and thoughts,
and connections.
and when we finally get the walking thing down, then we can try running.
and maybe eventually leaping.
and twirling.
and discoing.
what if instead of fixating on all the ways that we are different,
we focused on all of the ways that we are the same?

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something like a headrush

lampgirl6

Competition usually helps. It focuses evolution, buffering unoriginality and imitation, allowing us to create at a level worthy of the world’s attention. Open, honest criticism forces us out of mediocrity and into a global, magnetic web of collaborative art and vision and invention.

But competition can also nuke your soul. Since arriving at Fuller, I’ve noticed a quiet selfishness growing the in cracks, lacing words and smiles with hints of ego. Not a Princeton level of cutthroat, but subtle and selfish, thousands of micro-comparisons every moment. Envy. Factoring “personal success” into “changing the world.”

Which, unfortunately, keeps it unchanged, and eventually becomes intellectual rape and pillage, night-sticking friends and family the back of the knees just to jump past them on the social success ladder.

Because we aren’t really a materialistic society, are we? We don’t really want “things” as much as we want the social rewards that those things offer. We want “this” because we think it will change how others see us.  And if I have “that,” then “they” will include me, or “he” will respect me, or “she” will love me. But eventually, we begin to realize that it doesn’t work, and that it isn’t really a ladder at all. It’s a flow. A shifting swarm of collisions and interactions every moment. And that we’re all in this together. Your successes are my successes. And my successes are your successes. Almost like we’re one body. And that low self-esteem isn’t linked to failure, but rejection.

There is always a gap between how we want our lives to be and how they are.

“Life balance” is bollux, no one can be a rockstar at everything. Pouring into certain things causes other things to suffer. And it takes a while to stop wishing we were someone else.

It’s interesting that jealousy doesn’t explode at distant superstars. We envy our closest friends. The more like us they are, the deeper the resentment.

Until we understand that creativity is far too big to define as “better” or “worse.” ”Higher” or “lower.” And that success and failure are two sides of the same LP. What if we embraced both?

What if we fueled each other like a well-oiled machine, letting the “better” in others fill our own shallows? What if working with someone “farther on the journey” wasn’t a slam to identity, but seen as a gift? An opportunity to leap forward. The married friend. The published roommate. The celebrity sister. A new, radioactive fabric of innovation that creates it’s own feedback loop, building on itself through a churning torrent of creative collusion.

Identity and individuality are important, of course, but personal work could be better, farther, original. Competition redirected from undercutting and outshining, channeled into cooperative collaboration. Something that amps us. And explores us. Something like a headrush.

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deep dish breakfast

girl and radio

Recent families serving petrol and toothpaste,
years of dating, midnight laughter, tears and case-by-case trust,
childhood friendships turned creative collusion,
are still not enough to discover the end of a human.

Even marriage.  Trust essential because our heads and hearts need expression, an always separation requiring explanation and interpretation, usually clarification.  “Misunderstandings,” “misconceptions,” “mistakes.”

It’s hard enough to manage face-to-face on quiet porch steps, nearly impossible with electronics and the buzz of mushrooming responsibility.  Divorce because “I don’t know her anymore,” when really “I never knew her.”

Judge and dismiss.  Roll “biggest fears,” “repressed desires,” and “current attempts to change” into irrelevant cover-speech and clever tangents.

Another way to move.  Under the static or above it.  Rare and soundless,
with a poet’s nod,
discovering what another person finds beautiful,
or the unbearable ache,
we never acknowledge.

Another time/place/life if only he/she/we had/hadn’t/would’ve
stopped
started
and continued.

Add layers of glass until “nothing new” becomes a starfield,
and cereal boxes become a muted city skyline.

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fuller app essays

laskyline

one

Reflect on your past Christian experience, including the most significant spiritual event/influence in your life, the role of Christ in your religious experience, the effect your faith has on your worldview, your involvement in Christian service, your perceived gifts/calling for ministry, and your reason(s) for attending your church. (maximum 500 words)

event

I spent my childhood glued to the inside of a nanoscale set of Superman pajamas. Mild-mannered block-stacker by day, Huggies-clad crime fighter by night. Superman embodied everything I wanted to be and believe, a demigod that shaped my world.

Seven years ago, I decided against radiation therapy and was given six months to live. I wasted time and waited for death. I found other, less honorable heroes to follow.

But I didn’t die. I began to read Foucault, Wilber, Wright, Yunis, Mandela, McLuhan, Zinn, Plato, Thoreau, and Diamond. I began networking feeds from the BBC, Google News, Economist, NY Times, Digg, Diigo, and TED.com. I explored centuries of midrash and tradition. I utilized iTunes University to learn from Stanford, Cambridge, Cornell, Yale, and Oxford.

And the lights came on. God became real, my head popped out of the sand, and ignorance gave birth to awareness. I discovered a God that I could not help but adore. I have joined him.

role of Christ

Dear Yeshuah,

It took a long time to love you. And honestly, I’m still not there. There are moments when I feel fractured and alone, when I want to melt into the ground at the end of the day, and never return. But after every death, buried beneath difficult interactions or impossible situations, you bring resurrection.

I trust you, and your vision for our splintered world. You are a brilliant mystery, a rhetorical ninja, and I desperately crave discovering you endlessly.

You demonstrate true humanity, our lost Garden state rediscovered and reclaimed, and reveal an existence that pulses with the heartbeat of the universe. I once saw the world as a dichromatic sketchbook, each frame of reality a harsh monograph in white and black. You brought color to my world, and the vibrance of your Way has become my lifeline.

I cannot be alive without You.

worldview

My faith has re-framed every paradigm and impulse I possess. When I look at the world, I see a human family with endless opportunities for restoring shalom.

service

I have led worship, served homeless, launched churches, produced media, and served as lead teaching pastor.

Soon, I will assist urban development in Cape Town by generating community expansion and stress-testing experimental social business models.

gifts/calling

I love people easily, and feel at home with a crowd. I understand the dynamics of a smoky bar or wealthy conference room.

I welcome the dialectic tension between truth and grace, confrontation and compassion, transparency and tolerance. Prophet and pastor.

I work to lead with integrity, and crave criticism and accountability.

I create. Film, music, design, poetry, theory and useless humor. I owned a successful video production company for six years.

I journey with others through divorce, doubt, rape, inadequacy, loss, poverty, and addiction.

I feel called to be a pastor.

church

Church is an integrated pattern of threads that stretch and sustain, a fabric that absorbs pain, dissipates suffering, and distributes love. I attend church to offer and accept the healing power of God.

two

Reflect on how attending Fuller Theological Seminary would complement your present Christian experience and/or help you to achieve your future professional and vocational goals. (maximum 500 words)

Fuller will provide an integral and intrinsic corpus of traditional historic scholarship vital for leading and maintaining a dynamic, nuclear community of Christians. Paul was trained by the leading scholars of his day, Moses was handed the knowledge of an empire, and Jesus astounded distinguished contemporaries with nuanced linguistic genius. While it is true that God conquers the mighty with the strength of the weak, he also uses those who have worked to maximized their own effectiveness.

I am called to love God with my whole heart, but also my whole mind. Loving God leads to loving what he has made, and I want to immerse myself in a wide gamut of academic fields and embrace God’s truth wherever it surfaces. I want to absorb the scriptures, unravel sources beyond the Bible, and learn to discern the message of Jesus for Christians today. I want to bring the totality of my being under the reign of God, and that includes education. I believe Fuller will provide the tools necessary for navigating truth both personally and globally.

I believe that the endless midrash of the centuries needs a face. Scholars are adept at generating thoughtful discussions, forging complex connections, and expounding on the mystery of the scriptures. However, high scholarship is largely inaccessible to much of the Western Christian collective. I believe that Fuller will hone my ability to capture the imagination of the masses and serve as an agent of knowledge, relating gospel truths and opening the scriptures in simple and innovative ways. I want to learn the art of ascending to truth by liaising academic theology in a way that allows the Spirit of God to resonate deep within the core of our culture.

I want to contribute to the next phase of Christian thought. Contemporary commentaries outline the flaws in our current Christian paradigm, reveal gross scriptural misinterpretation and misapplication, and unmask systemic oppression embedded within our society. However, moving from ignorance to awareness is not enough. I want to move from awareness to action. I want to conceptualize tangible structures that integrate the Kingdom of God into lifestyle and worldview via direct exposure to genuine, self-sacrificial, Christ-like love. Essentially, I want to create a community that actually does what Jesus says to do.

Fuller will provide the spiritual technology I need to discern truth, apply knowledge, conceptualize change, and align my heart and mind with an active God. In humility and compassion, I want to accurately and compellingly describe the heart of God and revive parts of the Body that have become dead or dormant. As Christians, we are called to the highest standard of life, and the academic dexterity that Fuller maintains is crucial for maximizing my own effectiveness and beginning what I have been created to do.

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