Sunday, February 05, 2012

"Where Have All the Good Men Gone?"

I was listening to the radio the other day and a song sung by Frou Frou came on entitled, "Holding Out for a Hero" and it dawned on me, where are all the good men, moreover, where are the values, and characteristics that you find in said men?

I grew up on a solid dose of cartoons, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and even Gargoyles. What did all of these men and creatures share in common? Integrity, character, the desire and purpose to defend and protect the weak and innocent. Superman himself was the symbol of "Truth, Justice, and the American way". He's been the depiction of said symbols since 1938. And we all know Uncle Ben's line from Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility." He, Batman, aka the Caped Crusader, and even the Gargoyles stood for what was right and good in this world. Protecting, serving, and seeking out all the injustice in the world. So... where are those Heros now? What do we see in the media today? Tai Chi Chasers, Yu Gi Oh and its spin offs, pokemon? Cards and Chi, Electronic battles, Spongebob??

After my cartoon indoctrination, the next non family/friend source was college. I've seen it at nearly every college, "The school values". Each school has them, something like, "integrity, fairness, respect, and responsibility" no doubt. Then if you're willing, the military. Here you have the LDRSHIP Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. But by this time, isn't it perhaps a little too late to try "teaching" these traits? Shouldn't most people at this time be exemplifying these traits rather than learning them?

At least in my own point of view, I've noticed a severe propensity for people to do what they want when they want, despite what's required of them. Get what they want with no down time and no consequences. I grew up with the adage, "We do the things we don't want to, so that we can do the things that we do." But now I see most with a, "Why do today, what I can put off till tomorrow" mindset. Many of the men I see around me lack a self discipline as well as a level of personal courage to do what they know to be right; to stand up, speak out, act out, shout out, when they are needed most. I don't know if the cause is public pressure, scrutiny, apathy, the fear of what others think, because they don't know what's right, or because they've had their testicles removed. Whatever the case may be, it needs to change. We need to bring back the best cartoons, bring back the backbone, bring back the will and desire to do good by others and ultimately wake up from our emasculated state.
*Soap box finished*

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Secret of Wait

This was a poem shared by a family friend. May it bless all of you as it did me

The Secret of Wait
Scripture: Psalm 40:1

Desperately, helplessly, longingly I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently, said, "Child, you must wait."
My future and all to which I relate,
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT
I'm needing a "yes," a go-ahead sign,
Or a "no," to which I then can resign.
And, Lord, you promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And, Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry,
I'm weary of asking, I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate;
As my Master replied, once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting... for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign."
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun,
I could raise the dead and cause the mountains to run.
All you seek I could give and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you would not know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair,
You'd not learn to trust by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence were all you could see
You'd never experience that fullness of love,
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
The glow of My comfort, late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked,
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have, last.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for thee."
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones, overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss if I lost, what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see,
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still WAIT.

-Russell Kelfer

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Danger Everywhere

Recently my class and I were put out into the field for a training course. Before the course began we were given a safety brief.
"Alright class, here's the down low, everything out here will kill you or injure you. First, there are rattle snakes out here, if you hear them, merely go around them at a safe distance. Next, there is a cougar, she has two cubs. If you see her, don't run, don't turn around. Just maintain contact, and very slowly back away and she shouldn't bother you. Last class saw two brown bears out here. They are in the course area. If you see them, act bigger then you are and that should scare them off, if you find yourself being batted around, play dead, if they start eating you, fight for your life... Coyotes are your next concern, the four legged kind aren't going to bother you but you will hear the two legged kind on your radios. Don't go into the mountains, it's one of their favorite crossing areas. OH! and the trees, that kind over there, there, and there? Those have barbs which can stick up to an inch into your skin which we'll have to cut out. Also, watch where you lay down, the ants and scorpions are not your friends. Long story short, just about everything out here can kill you."

"Good grief, is there anything else? Chupacabras perhaps?"

Sunday, October 02, 2011

C2H5OH and Temperance

I recently was given a book to slowly peruse titled, "The Quotable Founding Fathers." It is from such book that I have finally decided to give up any form of alcohol for the time being. I have thought about this for quite some time and even though I do not believe that alcohol is a bad thing in moderation I find myself with numerous reasons to test its absence in my life. For instance, Washington Irving wrote in the "Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon" in 1820 that, "They who drink beer will think beer." I have found that for many people I watch who drink excessively, their primary thought towards a weekend is when and where and what to drink. I have found myself wanting more and more to hold both thoughts and actions captive and focus more on developing myself deeper emotionally, physically and mentally. To be intentional in my actions and thoughts ultimately.
Beyond this general idea, I find myself in Arizona for several months. The weather is very arid and the altitude higher than I'm used to. Ultimately, I enjoy the idea of not having to excessively rehydrate to counteract the dehydrating effects of C2H5OH. Either way, at minimum, I will not drink anything more until I finish training and leave Arizona.

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Frontiers and New Limits

I have recently been thinking about "To Do" lists and how beneficial they can be. I also recognize that most people go through a day without a goal or idea of what should be accomplished. This isn't necessarily a bad way to live, but I would rather take advantage of every second, to exploit every moment. I want to grow through life rather than go through it. So here it is folks, a list of goals which I want to accomplish. I will continue updating and adding to it as I go. This is my life's proverbial "Bucket List."

Run 20 miles a week
Run a half marathon
Run a 11:30 min 2 mil
Have a resting heart rate 65 bpm or lower
Score a 300 on my APFT - Completed
500 flutter kicks (triple count)
500 overhead arm claps (triple count)
Hang sideways
Hit 200lbs body weight, with no more than 6% body fat.

Learn German
Learn Italian
Learn 20 recipes for memory
Learn an entire Piano Concerto
Compose either a harp or piano piece
Learn to play guitar (more transportable than harp/piano)

Memorize the books of the Bible
Memorize a Chapter from Psalms
Memorize a Chapter from the Gospels
Heal the sick

Write a min of 550 letters
Become adapted to no more than 6 hours of sleep a night.Completed

Additional categories should be added later.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I have for a long time wanted to be the outdoorsie type of person, adventuring, exploring, learning, experiencing. I always thought this personification of self would occur at some climatic outdoor trip, that I would just... dissolve into said idea.

It dawned me today after reading several random quotes I found that so many of us are just waiting for our life to happen. Life will happen, but not the life that we so long and pine for, the life that we hope and dream to live, only life in general will happen, and it will pass us by in a blur. I then realized that we don't remember days, but rather, moments. Jerry Spinelli once wrote,
"Live today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Just today, inhabit your moments. Don't rent them out to tomorrow."

So in the spirit of adventure, I donned my vibram toe shoes and decided to seize the day. After trekking through unpleasant terrain I came across a river I occasionally run by. I followed it hoping to cross. Finally I came to a side gully that fed into it with minimal water flowing. It was here I started my marvelous day. Hopping down onto a small sand bar, I immediately sunk into icy cold water and mud. After following this inlet to the stream I hopped over several rocks and explored the sand/rock bar. Looking around I saw a great deal of ice still frozen around the sand. I decided to experience two miracles at once and walked on water, which by the sheer odd nature of it being polar allows it to freeze. It was there that I stood on a thin sheet of ice and watched as a minnow darted to and fro beneath that layer and me. With my feet beginning to numb I opted to hightail it back to my room, post this and now I shall go and fix my favorite spicy ramen thanks to the provision made by my eldest bro Kurt.

What an exciting start to an exciting change of mind. Absolutely marvelous...