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Project 2: Baker by Baker
Transcript of Project 2: Baker by Baker
In Creative Writing class, we discuss how there are two modes to writing: first-writing, in which you write out a brand-new, from-scratch story. Then, comes the revision process, which is often harder than the freewriting process, because it demands a renewed commitment to the text: to making it the absolute best. A part of me rejects this new covenant because I've gotten my emotional high from the first composition process. The rest of me is dominated by the critic. Butcher Paper I listen to a writer named Donald Miller who's speaking in a church, and he discusses how God leads us in life. To illustrate, he poses, "Suppose that you go to a friend's house, and the father of the house says during the meal, 'Son, I want you to eat your peas now, and then eat your biscuits and gravy, and then go to bed, and get up and go to school tomorrow, graduate, go to this college with this degree program, etc.' Is this a functional or dysfunctional family? Later in his talk, he proposes that the life God has given us is less about Him telling us everything He wants us to do and more like a sheet of butcher paper like we would draw
on when we were kids. God wants to see our sketches, our ideas for what we want to do. Example? You: God, I want to be an architect. God: That involves a lot of math, and you've hated math since kindergarten. You: Oh...well, what about being a concert French Hornist? God: You could do that, as long as you keep practicing. But those people don't make much money. Is that alright with you? Paper
Sand Volleyball Brand X Music - The Quest Modern Warfare 2: Opening Titles Simcity 4 Soundtrack - Metropolis Feel free to listen to any of the pieces of music throughout the presentation! (Select the song on the play bar to play it while reading) Paper A preacher named Mark Gungor tells how he believes that much of Christianity today is based on a faulty view that God is the most glorified when He tells us everything to do..."So why do some people wait so long to hear anything?" In the book of Acts, the disciples went everywhere and preached the Gospel not because Jesus was constantly having to tell them where to go and what to do; they were simply following Jesus's command to "go and make disciples of all the nations." Mistakes Though Jesus did occasionally speak specifically to the disciples to go somewhere and do something specific, they were never just sitting around waiting for such a sign. Mark believed when he was a teenager that God had called him to the ministry...and he wasn't to find himself in this position until he was in his late 40's, during which he tried and failed many times in the ministry and in entrepreneurship. Now, Mark is the pastor of a budding church as well as a national marriage conference speaker. He is touching thousands of lives every day. Wisdom So, if everything isn't about being told what to do, what's the goal? To seek wisdom; using your good judgment, seeking the counsel of people who know you and want what is best for you, and make a decision.
Finally, something strikes me: I have always had a fear of making decisions, and now I see why. A decision that I make is suddenly a decision that I am responsible for. And an erring decision damages my self-identity. The presentation will periodically relay you back to this menu so you may start a song if you choose. Note to self: repairing self-identity consists in overcoming perfectionism (forgiving yourself) and learning from not only your mistakes but the mistakes of others. Disciples Someone who follows the teaching of someone else. It means following in the footsteps of a master...which takes hard work. If it doesn't take hard work to follow in someone's footsteps, they probably aren't a master. Discipleship is a challenge to become something more than you are. It is when you ascribe to the discipline of your master. Obviously, there's many different masters for many different fields of expertise. For example, an Augustinian ascribes to a certain philisophical outlook. A Buddhist ascribes to a certain religious system. A tae-kwon-do student learns a certain form of martial arts. Discipline also has a context of punishment: "You need to be punished because of such and such." However, I think the two are connected; it seems that there is a certain moral disicpline that everyone is expected to ascribe to. Things like, "Don't murder anyone; don't take what isn't yours; etc." If you do perform one of these crimes, then you are considered dangerous to society and are punished. Of course, you can sometimes achieve something on accident; you may coincidentally find yourself with Augustinian philosophical ideas without being an Augustinian. You can also accidentally perform a karate move without even being a human. Even so, you aren't considered a student of karate unless you are or have studied under a teacher of karate and have earned some level of ability to consistently perform martial arts. The same with being a Christ follower, an Augustinian, etc. In addition, if you are trying to teach a discipline - say, mathematics, and someone fails, then there is a punishment in that their grade suffers. This is not callous; this is simply realistic. If the child recieves no consequences for his or her error, then there will be no reason for him or her to change what he or she is doing. Between mathematics and morality, it is difficult for me to see anything less than an absolute truth. Two plus two will always equal four; a second-grade boy cannot go up to the teacher and say, "But my feelings don't agree with this." Murder is wrong; a man who murdered his wife can't say, "But I'm trying to save the children in Africa by decreasing the population in the United States." Murder: Killing in cold blood; different from fighting soldiers or self-defense. This conclusion of absolute truth brings me into direct conflict with the relativistic mindset; I have no delusions about this. But here's my thought: Philosophy, mathematics, science, and culture itself are based on certain assumptions about the world, namely that there are absolutes. Science assumes that no matter what you think about gravity, it exists; society assumes that no matter what you feel about murder, it will not be tolerated. "You can't legislate morality" is true in that you can't take the morality of one group of people in a culture and enforce it on everyone else. However, there also has to be some common ground in a society, or there is no possibility for society to develop. If no one in our culture could agree that murder is wrong, then what would stop someone from murdering if they wanted to?
In my mind, to reject the idea of absolutes leaves no room for anything. If there is no absolute truth, then what's the point of science, philosophy, mathematics? Some would say to bring pleasure, but why is pleasure desireable if there is no absolute? Why should pleasure be more desireable than pain? Fantasy Two Steps from Hell - Smell of Victory X-Ray Dog - The Prophet Sonic Symphony - God of War Audio Machine - Messenger Shockwave Sound - Call for Heroes As a child, I was a sponge for anything related to fantasy. With a very active imagination, I took anything and everything that I was exposed to and created my own fantasy world. Before long, I was absorbing ideas from everywhere: Star Wars, Star Trek, and various other fantasy- and science fiction-themed television shows, books, games, and anything else I could get my mind around.
Sounds fairly typical, right? Well, for me, I spent a good deal of my time taking these different ideas together and creating my own personal fantasy world right up until I was in high school. I was also not stereotypically introverted, either; I simply spent a great deal of time taking these ideas and creating fantasy/sci-fi mash-ups. The Purpose of Fantasy Early On The human ability to imagine is baffling to me. Because of imagination, we can take ourselves to a Caribbean island that we've never been to, witness the construction of the pyramids, or relive any memory from our past in vivid, high-definition. We can even create experiences that we've never experienced before; I could place myself in the perspective of a Hebrew fisherman that lived 2,000 years. I could stand in the shoes of a Roman Legionnaire, a Japanese Samurai, or a British Redcoat. The human imagination can take us to fantastic places and allow us to see fantastic things. However, what is the purpose of imagination? Does it have any real meaning, or is it just an escape to other worlds? If, as the Bible teaches, we are created with the ability and the drive to dream, is there any practical purpose to it?
Well, as a believer in the Bible, I must accept that there *is a purpose in this very fascinating faculty of the human mind; this is an assumption that not everyone will go along with, but perhaps even those who don't will be interested with what I see. Dreams If God created humans, then I don't think He accidentally gave us the gift of imagination. So...why?
Some of the most successful people in history were people who had dreams and went out and started making things happen. Take Martin Luther King, Jr. He had a dream to bring about change, but he didn't let it stay a dream. He took his dream and started sharing it with people who would help him make that dream a reality. People fought against his dream with their own dreams, but he persisted. Although it is debatable if King's dream has come about, it is certain that he has left his impression on history with his dream. Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.
--Martin Luther King, Jr. I wonder if this is the purpose of the dreams we have (assuming they aren't immoral). I wonder if God creates people with dreams in their hearts. Actually, this does tie back to the idea that God doesn't tell us everything to do; though he doesn't tell us what to do, he does give us abilities, dreams, and desires, and He wants us to bring life to a dying world with what he has given us. After all, there are lots of people like Dr. King in the world's history - many of whom weren't even Christians, but they used their abilities to spread the word about their dream and how it would bring about a better kind of world. Perhaps even the dreams and imagination given to mankind is meant to benefit mankind (as individuals).
Cautionary Note: I'm not saying that every great leader in the world's history brought about good change. Hitler was an excellent leader, and the world at large condemns him for the deaths of millions of people. I would argue that if he spent his time espousing giving to the poor, he might have helped millions of people. Interestingly, as I grow older, I seem to simply compartmentalize my fantasies more; no more quoting random lines from movies to myself in the hallways, no running through a store imagining that the entire store is a giant death-star size space station under the control of a tyrannical emperor; no more picking out good places on the tops of buildings where a sniper would have a good position.
But still, the fantasies remain. The noble warrior still fights to rescue the princess from the castle of the cruel sorcerer. The war for righteousness carries on, albeit no one else sees it. Instead of an externalized fantasy that I live out, it still plays out on the projector screen of my mind. Heroism "Wild at Heart," by John Eldredge: A book addressed to Christian men encouraging us to be men. He points out that Christian men in this country have been given the impression that we can't be strong men without being evil. Instead, we are feminized, i.e. domesticated and stripped of our dreams. His thesis is that a man was made to be strong. Why? Because there is a battle to be fought, not with guns and swords and not for an earthly kingdom. Our battleground is the minds and hearts of those who are hurting; our goal is to set them free from their pain; and our weapons are the Bible and our personal walk with God. Again, man's normal, healthy aggresiveness can be twisted for evil; however, there is a healthy use for it when it is used in the service of the Good. Crusader: No Remorse - Mission 1 Soundtrack Diablo II Soundtrack - Tristram The Sand While I'm playing, it feels great. Between plays, I just let the soft, cool sand sift through my feet. It calms me, focuses me, prepares me for the next play.
Of course, there is a trade-off; while it relaxes me, it also limits my ability to jump or move quickly. Perhaps I'm simply not used to running on sand, but it simultaneously relaxes me and makes it hard to be mobile and agile during the game. A Game of Chance Sand Volleyball Flexibility is necessary because no play is the same. It's like baseball; a game a chance. A person could play every day of their lives, and there would still be things to learn. There is no such thing as the perfect form; the ball will never go to the same place. There is no formula to it.
Of course, why should that be desireable? Mexico At the end of the mission trip, we spend the last few hours at the campground playing a soccer game. It's the first I've ever played, so I just play as the goalie. It's a brand new experience for me, though I do well. However, I again notice that there's no formula to the game. There are some basic strategies that can be used, but nothing is the same from game to game or even play to play. Then, I remember that my personality is always pushing toward a formulaic expression of something. I don't just want to make my own honey mustard; a part of me wants to have exact proportions of the ingredients figured out so that every batch of homemade honey mustard tastes the same. I fall into patterns easily; I form habits that allow me to finish things quickly and efficiently. I want to reduce life to a science. The Formulaic Wake up an hour before class every day. Take a shower. Dry off, put on clothes, eat breakfast, brush teeth, go to class. Formulaic, efficient...boring.
The formula is meant to give me more time to be spontaneous, but inevitably, there reaches a point where I am restrained by the formula. Instead of giving me the freedom to be spontaneous, the Formula tells me instead that the spontaneous is dangerous, unpredictable. It has to be domesticated. The spontaneous has to be tamed. The subversive thing is that this formulaic approach soaks its way into my lifestyle slowly. I never consciously think, "I never want to do anything unexpected again;" quite the opposite, I want to be spontaneous, untamed. The Formula promises more spontenaity if I simply subscribe to it more and more.
So I go play more volleyball. The Sand...Later After I leave the sand pit, I notice that the sand that was such a blessing on the volleyball court has become an irritant. It is all over my body, my clothes, my arms, everything, and it itches. The sand frustrates me not just because it is an irritant but because it used to be such a comfort.
Something similar happens when I'm moving home at the end of the semester. I've been blessed with lots of books that I enjoy reading; I've been blessed with a nice computer that can do almost anything I ask it to do. But when I begin packing to return home, it becomes something of a curse. I have to carefully take it apart, keep it all together, pack it up and get it home. The Purpose of my What is the purpose of my fantasy?
I want to show people that pure and faultless religion still has a valid place in a modern world.
James 1:27 NIV - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I want to show people that there *is evil in the world that is hurting people, and some of these people that are causing the most pain are the ones that come with the promise of healing.
Finally, I want to help bring about a system better than the current one, because I am convinced that we can do better than we are now. Pearls "Paradise Lost," by John Milton:
One of the central struggles throughout is that Satan is constantly trying to take the good God has created and twist it to achieve evil, while God is constantly taking Satan's evil and recreating it for the good. The trope isn't just evil vs. good, but evil trying to twist good and good trying to untwist evil. "A grain of sand enters a mollusk, which becomes an irritant to the animal. Over time, it causes some reactions within the creature until the grain of sand becomes a pearl."
This is a widely-believed myth. A pearl is formed not by a grain of sand, but by a parasite, other organic tissue, or something else that the mollusk begins forming into a pearl. However, I wonder if the trope still holds up; a mollusk may even begin forming a pearl because of damage to itself. It's possible that the pearl formation is a total accident...yet it becomes a very rare and valuable piece of jewelry when it comes to fruition. "This is good; this is evil." Perhaps these statements are a little simplistic. Not to say that evil isn't evil, but perhaps good can come of evil, and vice versa.
I listen to a writer giving a message in church (the same one from "Butcher Paper"), and he states that he was abandoned by his father as a young boy. Because of this, he went through struggles and pain that he wouldn't have dealt with if he had his father in his life. However, now that he is a fully-grown successful adult, he has stated that as a direct result of the pain that he experienced as a youth, he has started a ministry who's goal is to mentor young, fatherless boys.
Yes, there are good and evil things that happen. However, perhaps circumstances are merely raw materials by which we bring about greater good or evil. Evil men can take the best of circumstances and create evil with them; good men can take the worst of circumstances and bring about good. That is the conclusion of my project. Thanks! (Enter Fullscreen Mode at this time) Works Cited-type Stuff Pictures "book_open-3". 4/26/10 <http://www.aclibrary.org/eventkeeper/Graphics/CTV/book_open-3.jpg>.
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Miller, Donald. "Donald Miller". 4/29/10 <http://www.donaldmillerwords.com/index.php>. Jesus had Twelve Disciples (Mark 3:13-19). Throughout his ministry, they followed him wherever he went and listened to his teaching. He said, "Shoulder your cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34). The Disciples became known as Christians not because they called themselves Christians but because people called them Christ-like...and they meant it as an insult (Acts 11:25-26). Perhaps they were simply called "Little Christs." Fantasy & Reality If my theory about dreams is true, then the very purpose of imagination is to influence reality. It does seem that fantasy influences reality whether we want it to or not. A man who imagines himself being a president someday may indeed be the president someday if he works toward that goal. I heard once that you are more likely to feel romantic feelings for someone who feels romantically for you. Fantasies tend to become reality.
"And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong." (James 3:4) Perhaps fantasy is the rudder by which the world is changed. (This is the title page of the fantasy novel I'm writing.)