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19

Oct

normality is overrated

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From the cradle to the grave the pressure is on to be normal. My guess is that there was a time - perhaps when you were very young- when you had at least a fleeting notion of your own genius and were just waiting for some authority figure to come along and validate it for you.

But non ever came.

enter Jesus.

27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. 1 corinth 1:27 NLT

alive.freedom.created.purpose{{FREE TO BE}}dreams.potential.fly.flourish.soar

01

May

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free
» Wendell Berry »

21

Jan

blessa

prayer is reaching out for the unseen, fasting is letting go of everything that can be seen and touched.

some christians imagine that everything that isn’t positively forbidden is permissable to them so they try to retain as much as possible of this world with its property, its literature, and its enjoyments. the truly consecrated soul is like a soldier who carries only what he needs for battle because he frees himself of all unnecessary weight. 

God Bless America

God bless your journey to shed all those things the world deems necessity

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19

Jan

whoops! I’m published again

read an article about the girls I met in strip clubs off fulton industrial: HERE

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08

Jul

americAn girls

be careful

don’t make the mistake of assuming that human trafficking is an isolated, clandestine problem buried in the folds of the mountains of nepal or the disclosed in the dusty misogynistic deserts of the middle east. traffickers in your suburban neighborhood may prey on younger girls, even in middle schools, grooming them by posing as ‘boyfriends,’ buying them pretty things, saying all the right words, slipping drugs or alcohol causing substance abuse, instilling fear and division between girls and their families, and so many other psychological constraints. i shouldn’t even have to reiterate it, but stay involved and informed in loved one’s lives and know who and where they are spending time with.

and even if it wasn’t an issue in america … injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (mlk jr.) so let your heart see across borders to where others are fighting for their own freedom

15

Aug

Take a look at Thailand through my eyes. The entrapment of human trafficking is running rampant in this country and these sweetly gracious people broke my heart because of their helplessness in the hands of manipulation and exploitation. I hope this video moves you and that you can experience a little bit of what I saw.
kb

13

Aug

Sometimes I am torn between genuinely being in a moment and wanting to capture it forever. Trekking far corners of the world present endless possibilities of these circumstances. In between running up a cloud of dust and playing games with the kids of this Korin hill tribe I was able to capture their simple contented joy… for now. These kids are illegal and stateless. Running to escape an oppressive militaristic government and a lack of work in Burma they have run to Chiang Rai to hopefully find work inside the safer Thai borderlines. We noticed many children and older village people, but no one within the ages 13-30. These are the people sent to work… and most often trafficked or falling into slave labor. Unfortunately… regardless these children smile, playing with garbage. They won my heart over at “sa wed ee ka” if ya know what I mean Jerry McGuire.

10

Aug

To Life

I won’t do it justice. I can’t. Not even with the finest vocabulary in all of the land.

Neither will a camera, especially not my point and shoot. And since my feeling is that the government here would make it difficult to upload unscreened videos, I will do my best with words from the images that my starving eyes have consumed: (cue an Enya song for dramatic effect, go ahead, youtube that ish!)

Rice fields stretch for miles, gingerly plotted green grids dotting sanctuaries of water that perfectly reflect and mirror the blameless, rapturous clouds of felicity sauntering along tree lines bordering dignified ancient mountains. An occasional unassuming farmer is harvesting the crop donning the conical paddy hat while dirty kids ride rusty bicycles along the crude muddy road. But I don’t care how dirty they look, there is still a polished air about them where no frown has ever crossed their determined faces. The looming mountains that form a bordered frame around this scene laso in all shades of green. There is no other color in the spectrum that contends for real estate here. Unadultered, the only adjective that belongs is ‘lush.’

But this scenery is only a back drop.  Weaving in and among the rice fields, we made our way over make shift bridges hovering on top of cat fish farms to a clearing of bamboo huts and cement buildings that comprise Child Life. Precious children of all ages call this place home, sans parents, only a handful of volunteers drift around like elementary school lunch room monitors.

And these children are precious, believe me, but they are also especially clever. These are the ‘Artful Dodgers’ of Asia. These are the street kids that hover on the border of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) and beg. These are the kids that are notorious for their habit of pacing around, rarely without sniffing a plastic bag of glue attached to their faces. Its a lose-lost situation. They are starving, dirty, and wandering the streets begging, but you give them money, they either sniff glue with it or have to hustle it off to the older kids that run the network of gangs. It is beyond an unsafe life for them.

The glimmering light of hope is the safe haven tucked back deep in the rice fields where Child Life has harbored these children and given them survival and an education. But when you talk about ‘invisible children’, these kids are absolutely elusive. The biggest problem is they can’t belong in their home country (usually Burma) because of the oppressive militant government and injustice of poverty, but Thailand doesn’t want them either as they bring their misfortune and poverty into their country. So where do they belong?

I see it as one world. Erase the borders and see that we are all just trying to pursue life. Who will claim these prodigal footloose children?

**the photos used in this blog are not mine, I had to borrow until I can upload my own.

09

Aug

Pineapple Farms

I wish I had a wrecking ball and a bull dozer to tear down language barriers like Berlin Wall style. When you have so many questions and curiosities, sign language and pantomiming won’t get you far. Or will it?

Today we flew from Bangkok to Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. It was about an hour flight but the minute we landed I already could draw a deeper breath. Lush mountains and rice fields blanketed the scenery for miles. Low clouds hung mid way up the mountains exposing their faces in a higher atmosphere. A sight that makes you want to grab the closest vine and swing through water falls and tree canopies.

From the air port we met the director of the Mirror Foundation. Our transportation was a caged in bed of a truck. Imagine Jim Carey in Ace Ventura Pet Detective when he is driving in the jeep and throwing his head like he maneuvering rough terrain and picture us, minus the acting. Our rollercoaster ride on roads like I have only seen in Costa Rica led us up into hill country. One word: breath-taking, like a thief this landscape will rob you of oxygen and leave your eyes pleading for more gorgeousness to seep in.

Mirror works with the hill tribe people that have fled neighboring countries and crossed over to Thailand looking for work. I was able to record copious footage of these gracious people ( I tried to upload videos today but the internet is too slow so I will wait until wifi speeds up to share… sorry for all the blank posts and false alarms just sit tight!) There are about 100 volunteers that come for a month or two or up to a year to help educate these people and work with them to gain citizenship. These volunteers come from all over the world to give of their lives to helping assimilate these immigrants and refugees into a functioning and self sufficient life style.

The children were so pure, brimming over with smiles. I only wonder when that demeanor will begin to fade away with harsh reality. Here’s the thing; we live in the same world, but we don’t. We do physically, but not socially. In the world that these kids live in, not too long after they turn about age 10 they will be pressured to help earn money for the family. Boys are more encouraged to study than girls, so because their education is important, the girls go to work to support. These darlings are sent to the city where there are more jobs and when they are unable to find jobs because of a lack of citizenship, education, cultural knowledge, or vocational skills, there is little left than to be completely taken advantage of.

I immediately scooped up the first child I saw and just wanted to hold them. Of course my mind was reeling with uncertainties; what if these people just think we are a group of white people that pass through thinking we are better than them, wanting to take pictures, play with their cute little kids, have a little travel tour experience and leave. But the neat thing is that beyond all race, culture, style, religion, age or philosophy every person in our group completely meshed with this village. Our group has every flavor from Hindu, Jew, Christians, Agnostic, Eastern thought ages 17-40 and yet we all sense the overwhelming value of human life and so we are only able to exude a love beyond ourselves to these people. It is so natural and so after sharing a meal in their hut we all took polaroid pictures ( My prized photo is with a toothless man smoking his opium pipe and wearing an Indiana Jones hat) and then did a native tribal dance around the fire with all the women.

I don’t know exactly what they were singing in their native language but I was gazing up at the stars and feeling the love of God pouring from the thick black night sky on these people confident that they have a hope and a future. Love is a toxic remedy that when shared and can change one life at a time. I would rather spend my energy while breathing on this earth loving these people and rescuing them from the traps of vulnerability then concern myself with monthly payments and a destined career path. After all, i dunno maybe its over used, but here is an easy acronym that when in doubt WWJD.

stay tuned for moreeee and vids!

02

Jun

You are my microphone

I might over-examine things. Actually I do. Not in a bad way, more in a soaking wet with curiosity kind of way. For instance, I know we have this thing called culture. Its just how we do things. But how do we simply walk into it and adapt to its waters and never question it?

So, I’m talking to my friend Twohill yesterday and we were laughing at how people will dish out millions of dollars for little animals (we love animals too bear with me haters). Like there was an animal rescue org in CA that had this huge campaign to nurture some little seal. They raised millions of dollars to concoct the creature a specific comfortable aquatic sanctuary, nurse it and harbor it. After some time, the organization sponsored an enormous local event where they were going to launch this million dollar stock investment back into the wild. Animal obsessive enthusiasts came from all over to cheer this little blubber nugget on its way out into the vast primeval oceanic jungle. Not five minutes after the beastie gyrated its ways through the Pacific layers, a monstrous killer whale swooped in outta no where and intercepted the seal into its destined killer jaw cage. All of the hard earned “American Dream” dollars lobbied for the support of this animal chunk were swallowed into oblivion without so much as a drop of ketchup.

All that extensive tale to question, what is wrongggg with people in our culture that we are so quick to pump extra cash into the unnecessary care of wild animals while at the same time there are people that are desperately fighting to barely survive life in this world.

We feel so accomplished when we support a child by donating a few bucks a month or tossing some change in the orphan bucket on our way through the grocery line, but how is our culture NOT in a state of EMERGENCY based on the catastrophic imbalance of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness (fahget about prosperity!). Our culture is so egocentric, how do we even sleep at night on our perfect tempurpedic mattresses (where a chick can jump up and down on it and the dude’s glass of wine doesn’t spill) when there are places in the world where 30 kids sleep on a floor in a one bedroom house with no mother to tuck them in or no promise of breakfast in the morning and the constant fear of being trafficked because their life has little to no value. WHAT kind of a culture are we living in? Who do we think we are?

I know that people are drowning in our culture. I know that people are numb. I know that my emotion might not jump off this screen into your heart or soul. I know that these paragraphs might even be too long to even hold your short attention span. But if nothing else, please examine our culture… your reality, and expand your perspective outside your excessive comfort and feel a little less comfortable knowing that there are cycles of unnecessary evil in the world and you can do something to end their perpetuation.

29

Apr

There is a latent, quasi-functioning, comatose being that runs deep in all of us. Bursting at the seams of our very flesh is a resonating vibration that keeps beat to the metronome of our heart and pulsates streaming through the endless road map of our veins. Screaming for relief, huffing and heaving burdened breaths for pure unadultered oxygen. Fighting for life, fighting the flat-line.

But the cry for life, the hyperventilation from weeping in frustration, exhaustion from kicking and screaming, the opportunity to burn away the fog for clarity is suppressed by falling back again. Falsely self-prescribed and medicated. More. More. More busyness, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, lovers, tv, internet. All distractions to what is really going on beneath the surface. We are self sufficient but sinking and drowning in the depths of our oceanic issues and remedies.
 
But don’t you dare go there. Because what lies beneath is too much, too unbearable, too unrealistic, too scary, too beyond me. Any other option for restoration is too unfamiliar and outta bounds. So we all keep self medicating and numbing ourselves until we forget once again, until we are distracted for at least another hour. Limited by our own minds. Trying is lying. Its pitiful. PitiFUL.

We are so content to play in the dirt. We just roll around in filth and sess in this temporary home… when, we have missed it. We missed treasure that is right there, within reach.

If any of you know me well then you know my personal struggles and strongholds. A daily battle of maintaining. We all fight our flesh and America does an A+ stand up job of feeding the coma and keeping us numb to truth. John 3:30 says “He MUST increase and I must decrease.” Its an art to loose yourself. Every day we must fight to die to ourselves and what we selfishly want. My hope for you and for myself is that one day at a time we will deny ourselves what “drugs” our flesh shakes and convulses for to separate us from the love of God. Abandon your heart.

This song and dance beautifully paint a picture of how we entertain our flesh to whatever your drug of choice is. I feel like this girl sooooo much on an hour by hour basis… ughhhh

Great Great story
“Two years he walks the earth.
No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause “the West is the best.” And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to <span style=”font-weight:bold;”>kill the false being within</span> and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. <span style=”font-weight:bold;”>No longer to be poisoned by civilization</span> he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.
— Alexander Supertramp
May 1992″