Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's a great day for a mask, right?

Driving down Main St. this evening, Bowling Green was packed with monsters, witches, bees, Spidermans, walking pumpkins, Lady Gaga's, and far too many Snookies.  (No offense to those who thought dressing up as Snookie was brilliant -- her "Bump-It" is STILL brilliant, no matter how many times I see it).  Not only were the streets filled with innocent little kiddos and young-at-heart college students, but also with creepy fog and crazy colored lights -- thanks to my dear friends' neighbors' Halloween brilliance.

And let's put this out there --'s one of the best ideas ever thought of.  What little boy doesn't love the idea of strapping on his cape and getting free candy?  What little girl doesn't love the idea of strapping on her princess crown and getting free candy?  It's absolutely genius.  

As I got to thinking about dressing up, gearing ourselves up in our costumes, and shoving our faces with candy corn (and those even more delicious little candy pumpkins), I started thinking about how I, in essence, seem to play Halloween everyday.

Everyday, it seems, I roll out of bed, hop in the shower, and think through my own mask that I will wear for that day.  I wonder "will it be the mask of, 'I'm confident,' or 'I'm funny,' or 'I'm tired,' or 'I've got it all together today,' or 'I don't want to be approached today,' or 'I've got the answers, why don't you ask me?'"  I've got options of the masks I tend to wear...and honestly, throughout the day, they frequently change.

I don't want to wear a mask.  It's entirely too exhausting.  It's entirely too much work.

I am fighting like hell to live life unveiled.  Fighting like hell to take on the world without a mask.  To allow the world to see the blemishes, the flaws, the imperfections, the mess.  And there's a lot.  I am so far from perfect.  I am choosing to let the world see the junk.  And I'm simply asking my creator to speak words of beauty and of life into this unresolved mess. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are We Understandable?

I constantly struggle with understanding myself. I feel like what Brennan Manning calls himself – “a bundle of paradoxes.” One moment I feel delightful, the next I'm loathing my very own undelightfulness. One moment I feel bold & confident, the next I question where I could find a shell to hide & bury into. One moment I feel like nothing in the world could shake my “pie in the sky” attitude, and in the very next moment, when I find the teeniest blemish on my face, I feel as if my world just collapsed (Hiroshima proportions, if you will). I'm dramatic. And I'm sanguine-melancholy. It gets messy being me. Maybe you too?

I desire to understand myself better. I want to know what makes me tick, I want to know more the things that make my heart race, I want to know more fully the things that bring me life, and I want to know more fully the things that bring death to my spirit. I want to know more how I convey myself to others, I want to know how I convey the life of Christ better to the world, and I want to know the things I do that jades the world I encounter to the Christ I love.

I found this post interesting as I walk through the muddy paths of discovering myself more and more. Welcome to the twentysomethings, I guess. We're one big, fat enigma.

Do You Understand You?

OCTOBER 27, 2010

For leaders, one of the hardest things we have to do is self-assessment. We have a much easier time giving feedback and positive criticism and providing helpful advice to those we lead, but being able to honestly assess where WE are as a leader is tough. But, self-assessment is one of the most important things we can do to make sure we continue to grow and get better.
A few thoughts on this:
1. You are never too good at what you do or who you are to need honest feedback from yourself, your peers, your family, and your friends. Seek it out constantly.
2. Your ability to correctly provide a self-assessment is many times a reflection of your humility and appropriate self-confidence as a leader. The more humble you are, typically the more self-aware you are. The more arrogant you are, typically the less self-aware you are.
3. Can you and do you laugh at yourself consistently? Are you taking yourself way too seriously? If so, chill out. You’re not that important and you need to relax. Sometimes the more platform and position we get, the more serious we take ourselves. Don’t.
4. As a follower of Jesus, we MUST rely on the Holy Spirit for correction and discernment on areas of our lives where we need to improve and grow in maturity.
5. At the end of the day, no one really enjoys self-assessment. But you can be CONFIDENT that those around you on your team, your friends, your peers and your family are way more aware of you and your style and the things you can improve on. As a leader, you have to be willing to swallow your pride and look yourself in the mirror and correctly assess who you are. A more self-aware leader becomes a way more Confident and followable leader.
6. No one wants to work FOR or AROUND a leader who doesn’t understand who they really are. Many times these leaders lack a clear sense of reality. A good friend of mine Ken Coleman calls this REALITY DEPRIVATION SYNDROME. Unfortunately, many leaders live in this world, and end up making decisions based on their false intuitions and assumptions because they don’t have a clear sense of who they are and how they are viewed by their peers and what reality really looks like.
7. Know very clearly your areas of strength and areas of weakness. The more personality tests and self-assessment tests you can take, the better. Strengthsfinder, Myers-Briggs, Personality tests, etc. All of these are helpful in giving you a perspective of the type of person you are, and the areas you need to be more aware of that can become problem areas.
8. Once you understand who you are, create a game plan for constant improvement. For example, one of my tendencies is to use cynicism as a source of gaining power and making others feel weak. I am VERY aware of this tendency I have, and have tried to create some barriers in my life that will harness this. Another example for me is that I will end up doing everything myself, instead of naturally delegating or allowing others on our team to take on responsibility. Because of this, I’ve had to be very intentional about making sure I don’t micromanage. It’s still something I find myself doing, but am very self-aware of this and work constantly to improve.

Friday, October 22, 2010


IndyCC consistently proves itself to be one of my favorite things I get to experience every year.

IndyCC (formerly known as Indy Christmas Conference) is one of [CRU]'s largest conferences of the year, gathering over 2,000 college students from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.  With over 2,000 college students, we investigate deeper the claims of Christ, we explore the deeper realities of spirituality, we laugh a lot, we dance a lot, we sing a lot, we invade the entire city of Indianapolis, we care for those in need, and we simply celebrate way too much.  It's a blast.  And it tends to change the lives of those involved.

Would you consider coming with us?  I can safely say that I don't think you'd regret it.

Check it out a bit more:

Indy CC from Indy CC on Vimeo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Myths Singles Believe

As a single, I found this Perry Noble post interesting:

18 Myths Singles Believe…

#1 – Being miserable is the result of being single…getting married will solve all my problems.
#2 – I’ve messed up in my past and do not deserve anyone good. (See I Corinthians 6:9-11, especially focus on verse 11!)
#3 – Ephesians 3:20 isn’t true for me and my future spouse…I need to settle.
#4 – This relationship that I am in isn’t what I would like my marriage to be like..but when we get married I can change this person.
#5 – Having sex will simplify things and cause the person I am dating and myself to have so much more in common.  (See I Corinthians 6:18-20)
#6 – This person is not God’s best for me…but if I rush through the process of dating and getting married then I have God backed into a corner and He has to bless me because He loves me, right?  (See Deuteronomy 6:16)
#7 – Marriage isn’t that big of a deal…if my first one does not work out then I can drop them and start over.  (See Malachi 2:13-16)
#8 – Getting married isn’t going to alter my lifestyle…I am still going to be able to live like I did when I was single, the only difference is I’m going to get to have more sex.
#9 – I am going to get to have sex anytime I want.
#10 – We are going to cuddle all of the time.
#11 – The things that really get all over my nerves about this person won’t bother me as much when we get married.
#12 – The fact that we do not agree on what we believe when it comes to Jesus and the church will not impact the way we raise our kids. (See II Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3)
#13 – We should live together before we get married to give it a “trial run,” after all, you would not buy a car without test driving it first.  (See Hebrews 13:4)
#14 – I need to keep as many secrets about my past from this person as possible; after all, my past issues won’t impact this relationship at all.
#15 – All of my friends are married…I am not…something is obviously wrong with me.
#16 – The way I handle my money now will not impact my future marriage.
#17 – When I get married my spouse will meet all of my needs.
#18 – Dating is tough…marriage is easy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This makes me laugh so much.
And makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First 6 Weeks...

6 weeks.
42 days.
1,008 hours.
The most important 1,008 hours in a college student's life.

Studies have shown the first 6 weeks of a college freshman tend to be the most influential weeks in a university student's life.  These first 6 weeks set the trajectory for how they will spend the next 4 (or 5) years of their life.  And, if we are all honest, these 4 years on campus, the decisions made while on campus, affect the rest of an individual's life.

College students are in the most formative years of their life; the most impressionable they may ever be.  And thousands of voices scream, beckoning for the attention of these impressionable adults.  The search for love allures, the search for an identity summons, the search for a place to belong calls, and the search for acceptance invites the college student in.  And students decide for themselves.  Decide where they will find love, an identity, a place to belong, and where they will find acceptance.  [CRU] longs to be a gentle voice, amongst the clamor of other voices.

As the first 6 weeks on campus draw to a close, it's with a thankful heart I reflect.
Some pictures to capture the journey:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grab your Kleenex

For whatever reason, I never tend to gravitate towards videos like this.  However, this particular video prompted the tear ducts and provoked a wrenching of the heart.  Cue the tears, people!

I'm struck with the thought of how sweet it will be to return home, once THE ultimate war is declared finished.