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  Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

    As I read about Joseph's unwavering faith in all his trials this book came to mind. I had to read Man's Search For Meaning in a AP Psychology class my Senior year of high-school. The existentialism found in this book had already had a profound impact on me. You do not need to be a Holocaust survior, as Frankl is, to identify with man's desperate search for meaning. Man's Search For Meaning is on my list of top 25 books. A must read!
 
 
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    Be Here Now was my first religious book (long before the Bible). I just happened to come across it in my sister's collection of books. A few months later I meet my best friend, Kayla, who had also just stumbled upon this book in her mother's collection of books. Odd coincidence or divine fate I do not know, but the theories and teachings of Be Here Now brought the two of us closer than I had ever been to another person. It is full of metaphysical teachings and religious aphorisms complete with illustrations. Many Christians might find the teachings a bit scary because they are so full of Eastern thought and practice. However Be Here Now is more of a hippy-dippy way of illustrating Jesus awesomeness. Here is one of my favorite passages:

    There's a Sikh story about a holy man who gave two men each a chicken and said:
    "Go kill them where no one can see."
    One guy went behind the fence and killed the chicken. The other guy walked around for two days and came back with the chicken. The holy man said:
    "You did not kill the chicken."
    The guy said:
    "Well, everywhere I go, the chicken sees."

    This passage reminds me of the sermon on the mount given by Jesus. Sin is in our heart and can not be concealed by holy actions. The foundation of our salvation must be in the heart. An unrighteous heart can not be hidden from God because everywhere he or she sees.

 
 
The best movie ever made!
 
Harold and Maude 02/03/2011
 
Again one of my top 25 movies of all time. Harold and Maude is a timeless classic full of wisdom and humor. I chose this clip because of the importance of being unique. God gave us each individual gifts. Whether your gift is song, football, or simply being a nice person, this gift has been given to you to glorify The Almighty. There is something you have that nobody else has and God wants you to let it shine through!
 
The Truelove 01/26/2011
 
There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.
  I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.
  Years ago in the Hebrides
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of the baying seals,
  who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,
  and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them,
  and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly,
so Biblically,
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love,
  so that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
  because finally
after all the struggle
and all the years,
you don’t want to any more,
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.
 
~ David Whyte ~ 
(House of Belonging)  
for H.T.  
 
Shane Claiborne 01/26/2011
 
I saw this video days after accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. It kept me pumped for weeks. Shane is one of the founding members of The Simple Way a pioneering Monastic community. Claiborne has a colorful way of illustrating the true radical nature of Jesus Christ love and message. He has chosen to live his life among the poor and desperate sometimes putting himself in danger to help the community of Philadelphia.
 
 
"And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing." (Mathew 6:28)

Produced in 1963 Lilies of the Field is one of my all time favorite movies. Sidney Poitier brilliantly portrays Homer Smith, a wandering handy-man. Homer encounters a group of East German nuns living in the desert who believe he has been sent by God to build them a chapel. At the end Homer says that he has built them a chapel but the strict Mother Superior corrects him saying, "God built the chapel." This is a great reminder that all works should be done unto God and that without God nothing is possible.
 
 
Jose Gonzalez has a simple and somewhat monotone style. However, this is exactly what is endearing about his music. There is a sense that he deeply feels what he is singing. Although not necessarily a Christian singer he writes about conquering the darkness, pacifism, and love in a number of his songs.
 
 
Sufjan Stevens is not your typical Christian musician. The lyrics of this song are haunting and desperate. I imagine them to be about both the relationship between God and Jesus and our relationship with the two. A while back I was angry at God for creating us in a vacuum of the self. We are completely alone in this world without God in our lives and our ability to communicate with the divine is shaky at best rendering us almost to the level of orphaned. This song points out how much God wants us to be involved with him or her and how much Jesus gave up for out of shear love.
 
 
This song ignited me. Elephant Revival is a transcendental folk quintet that combines blue grass elements such as the wash board with traditional Scottish and Celtic fiddle pieces. Add unbelievably heady lyrics and there isn't much not to like.  I went a long time as an Atheist. When I found Jesus I realized he was there all along just as the lyrics say. Another underlying theme of the song Forgiveness is that you must experience the evil in this world to know what good entails. "I have become the devil to realize that I'm divine / I have been living in poverty because I could not see my wealth", how beautifully poetic. For a band that is not strictly Christian per say, Elephant Revival hit a note in my heart.