starving for substance

2 things

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 23, 2010

i have two vivid memories from years 0-18 of my life that i feel continue to resonate me and influence my thinking years later at the ripe old age of 22.  they are not “deep” or “earth-shattering,” they simply stuck with me.

1. running out of gas (age ~7).  our car ran out of gas while on some interstate.  luckily, some kind motorist gave us a ride to the gas station (i’m telling you, indiana people are some of the nicest people around).  because of this, whenever the gas light in my car goes on (which is frequent), i get panic attacks.  like shortness of breath, racing heart, the whole shebang.

2. my dad getting laid off (age 17.999999 (this happened a couple days before my birthday i think)).  this might have been a little more “earth shattering” for my dad than it was for me (i don’t think he’s completely recovered…now he’s turned into those korean immigrants that works 24/7).  because of this, i would rather work at mcdonald’s than work for “the man.”  i guess this kinda sucked because i got this resolve precisely at the time when i was pumped up to get an education so i could work for “the man.”

the moral of the story?  always be prepared…bwa ha ha

blogging

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 16, 2010

most people my age who blog never should have started in the first place (myself included).

steve hopkins is a rare exception.

concise, rebuking, challenging.

http://hoppy393.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/children-of-modernity/

scheming

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 12, 2010

during bible study my small group leader told us to think about a time when we schemed to get something we wanted but in the end, despite our scheming, it was God that provided (think abraham having a kid with hagar when he was supposed to have one through sarah).  at first i really couldn’t think of anything, but then she made us pair up and share with another person…so in my pride i was forced to come up with something haha.

so i started saying the first thing that came to mind and i realized it wasn’t too far from the truth.

most of my undergrad has been about money.  my parents never had much so i always wanted a bunch.  heck, the very reason i was in college was so i could get a job and make money.  my freshman year i remember going to sketch poker games at apartments and playing in tournaments at a friend’s dorm.  nothing serious, but the pipe dream in my head was that i’d go home and plunk down a huge chunk of cash on the kitchen table and tell my parents to stop worrying about the mortgage.

mid freshman year and all the way to junior year i discovered ticket scalping and that became one of my main sources of income.  with almost no knowledge, you could clear a couple hundred bucks every saturday morning.  fast, easy cash.  the dream was to buy a car…or scale up my operation to include season tickets to major sports teams and create a steady income stream with minimal time invested.  then my senior year i started coserving and saturday mornings were now taken up by servants meetings instead of ticket onsales.  the cash stream slowed to a trickle (kept alive by a part time computer lab job) and then dried up completely as graduation neared.  the only thing i really had to show for my scheming was a nice big computer monitor (for what it’s worth, i think it was money well spent).

yet now, with pennies to my name, debt that seems insurmountable, i realize what it means that God provides.  my grandfather stopped driving and so i got his car, all the canned food in my apartment now gives me enough time to live without having to go grocery shopping, and people seem to enjoy buying me meals.  it’s like i try and do so much yet when i stop doing what seems so necessary, i realize my “trying hard” was just me not trusting.

psalm 46 has really been ministering to me lately…my brief paraphrase is “everything outside of me is crumbling but i’m safe because God is my fortress; in fact i can sit still right now because i know who He is.”  through some odd circumstances, i found myself at morning prayer one friday morning, my body feeling like it was falling apart but my heart alive and singing.  “therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.”

i’ve always been afraid that money was my master.  yet it was the fear of having no money that really determined a lot of decisions i made.  it was never about money, it was the fact that one day i wouldn’t have any and be without the power it held.  so i guess yes, money was my master, but it went deeper than that.  being forced to face what i once feared, it no longer frightens me.  there will always be daily bread, no matter how bad things get, and if daily bread doesn’t come…well God made me chubby for a reason, hahaha.

and so in these crazy times of uncertainty, i am at peace, not because i know the future but because i know who God is.  there’s no more need to scheme.  this is probably the worst things could be yet things are quite quite excellent.  i have no complaints, life is good. 🙂

when life gives you lemons

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 5, 2010

make a battery.

romantic

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 1, 2010

i keep meaning to do a book write up on God in the Pits but i never end up getting around to it.  but in that guy’s early years, after getting married, he lived in some crappy run down apartment in chicago.  since he was still going to seminary, the only way he and his wife could afford to eat was by returning their wedding gifts for cash.

the only thing i thought was “how romantic.”  >.<

i am never getting married. 😛

here’s why i hate “maturity”

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on February 1, 2010

there’s this notion of “maturity” that i absolutely loathe.  my definition of maturity is depth of spiritual life which should in turn influence the “non-spiritual” life (i’m so eloquent today).

yet it seems like maturity is instead defined as “seriousness.”  if you can take care of yourself and do it stoically, then you are mature.  obviously, there are exceptions and blah blah blah but i like to speak in generalizations to avoid posts that are a bajillion pages long.

what this manifests itself as is “mature people don’t laugh at stupid jokes.”  why not?  because they’re mature.  hello infinite loop.

this past summer at j-gen, one seminar speaker gave a talk on maturity.  i don’t remember anything he said except one point.  he said “be childlike, not childish.”  keep the childlike attitude of wonderment but give up childish petulance.  i really really liked that one.

here’s my problem with pseudo-maturity.  the pseudo-mature are too high on being mature that they miss things or simply ignore things that are simply wonderful.  it’s hard to smell the roses when your head is buried in your butt.

example?  i’m a huge fan of satire.  i used to religiously read “the onion” during my high school years and because of free printing (God bless you libertyville high school), created a collection of articles numbering in the hundreds of pages.  in fact,  if i were to list any influences in my own personal writing style, i would name two.  “the onion” and kurt vonnegut (God bless you dr. kevorkian…er vonnegut).  what i found so brilliant was the number of levels satire spoke out on.  sure, there’s the obvious shock value and the underlying message of most good satirical pieces, but then there’s so much more nuance that each addressed issue brings up.  i’m no wine connoisseur but i’ve read enough food blogs to know that wine has many different levels of flavor.  from the smell to the finish, everything constantly changes and a good wine will keep your tastebuds entertained from start to finish.  i feel like a good satire is like this as well.

but satire can sound so stupid that people miss the point entirely.  a dismissive wave is issued, declaring something so uncouth as beneath them.  but then you miss the roses.

an earthquake rocked haiti a couple weeks ago, yes.  it’s a great tragedy.  i’ve seen the videos, i’ve seen the pictures, but what rebuked me most was this bit of satiric excellence.  please read it, you can call me immature later.  i laughed but i also felt like a piece of crap.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/massive_earthquake_reveals_entire

and so why do i hate “maturity?”  because this definition of “maturity” that society seems to have adopted makes it impossible to be childlike.  the world becomes old, jaded, and our (mine included) hearts grow cold.

here’s a fun christian music classic