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//cocoa puffs//

May 28, 2008

This is just an observation, but there’s a lot to be learned at 3 a.m. whilst standing in the pouring rain wearing nothing but your skivvies trying to convince your dog to go to the bathroom. As I’m standing there with my pitiful little dog, both of us drenched, one of us extremely hacked and the other completely befuddled I begin pondering the more perplexing things in life.

One thing I’ve realized: I’m a terribly awkward person. I don’t know if it’s a genetic flaw or a social disorder, but I shouldn’t be allowed to carry on a conversation with anyone. Whether it’s a conversation with a new friend while sitting at Sonic, sharing a meal with Life Group as we talk about life and God or trying to convince a dog to take a piss; there always seems to be the annoying reality of disconnectedness waiting to slap you in the face. It’s such an uphill battle trying to overcome it all. Who has the energy to put in the work? Especially when we always end up getting hurt (or at least incredibly annoyed).

The “tasks” of getting to know a person, pursuing candid relationships with those closest to you or simply trying to decide on a place to eat all get screwed up by the fact that we are such different people with such different backgrounds. It’s when these world’s collide that the aftermath almost becomes too much to bear. There just isn’t enough time to wade through the competing realities present when “two or more are gathered in [Jesus’] name.” Why bother? I doubt we’ll ever really get it right and if we do it won’t last long.

But here is what I decided while standing in the rain with my poor little dog experiencing the gnawing dissonance of the “I-Dog” relationship: It’s precisely our diversity that makes our moments of unity, no matter how few or far between, so incredibly beautiful.

I believe there are times when each of us must admit our complete, incompleteness. No [hu]man is an island I guess. Isn’t that what human sexuality really is? Setting aside reproduction and the whole hetero/homo/bi discussion. Our creation as sexual beings is an ever-present reminder of the fact that we were created “one for the other.”

The truth of the matter is that without social interaction/connection there can be no personality. I have no way of knowing who it is that I really am if I’m too gutless and apathetic to leap across the abyss of human differentiation and step into the chaos of communal life with all the kooks and assholes that I call family and friends.

It is in those times that we get to experience the blessing of distance for the sake of nearness, individuality for the sake of reciprocal love/esteem and otherness for the sake of genuine oneness.

I hope this made sense.

Jared.

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//mama, you know I love you//

May 9, 2008

So, I have this rather unsettling obsession with texting people the lyrics to a Boyz II Men song. I’m not sure whether it should be classified as a quirk or a complex,but on an alarmingly regular basis this insatiable desire comes over me and I find myself blessing another with a verse or two from Cooleyhighharmony.

I honestly don’t know where it came from. I mean… I was a fan back in the day. Who wasn’t though? Their blissful harmonies and pseudo-erotic lyrical genius were what made middle school dances, mixed tapes and ID bracelets such formative expressions of our pubescent years.

None of us would be the people were today had they not released the II album. Shit, track nine alone deserves credit for 3 out of 5 of the girls I kissed in the 8th grade. I strongly feel that it is incumbent upon us all to keep their songs in circulation in whatever manner possible.

Well anyways, I usually get a mixed response when I bombard a person’s inbox.

It usually goes a lil’ somethin’ like dis’*:

Me: We don’t even talk any more. We don’t even know what we argue about.

Friend: What are you talking about? We talked this morning.

Me: Don’t even say, “I love you no more.” ‘Cuz saying how we feel is no longer allowed.

Friend: What the hell?

Me: Some people will works things out, and some just don’t know how to change.

Friend: I am so confused. I don’t have any idea what you are talking about, and I’m seriously not responding to you anymore.

Me: Let’s don’t wait ‘til the water runs dry. We might watch our whole lives pass us by.

Friend: … that’s not even good grammar.

Me: Let’s don’t wait ‘til the water runs dry. We’ll make the biggest mistake of our lives.

Friend: You’re wasting all my text messages. You’re going to owe me like 70 cents.

Me: Don’t do it baby…

Friend: I hate you.

I’m just trying to do my part.

Jared.

*translation: “It usually goes a little something like this”

//a franciscan benediction//

May 3, 2008

May God bless you with discomfort,
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger,
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

My God bless you with tears,
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their
pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness,
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

Some photos from Prague.

Weseclas Square

National Museum of the Czech Republic

jared.

//if i can’t swim after 40 days//

April 22, 2008

…to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ… 1 Peter 3:20-21.

Just a thought.

The tumultuous rising waters of a flood come to destroy your life are the very same waters we waded into at baptism.

holy shit.

jared.

p.s. I was working on something really good to post, but I have a meeting to go to. damn responsibility.

More Pics.

March 14, 2008

Us at Johnny’s img_2615.jpgimg_2654.jpgimg_2708.jpgimg_2698.jpgimg_2701.jpgimg_2684.jpg

//from the road//

March 12, 2008

Here are some pics from the BBQ Road Trip thus far. Don’t forget to check out our blog.

Waffle House.

Waffle House

Free Ribs!!! Before.

Ribs....

Free Ribs!!! After.

Ribs...

Barry Woods – Owner of The Little Dooey

Barry Wood.

Us. Outside The Little Dooey – Starkville, MS

img_2598.jpg

Jesus Like BBQ.

Jesus and BBQ

Inside. Dreamland – Tuscaloosa, AL

Inside Dreamland Tuscaloosa

peace out.

jared.

//porkin’ absolutely ain’t easy//

March 10, 2008

It was a long night last night.  We’re at a friend’s house this morning to take a little nap and grab a shower.  Our first stop today will be in Starkville, MS at Little Dooey’s and end the evening with Dreamland in Birmingham, AL.

There’s a new post up on the BBQ Tour Blog.  Check it out.

peace easy.

jared.