My Compassion International Sponsorship Story

Back before my junior year of college my room mate texted me with the idea of sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  I thought it was a great idea!  When we got to school in the fall we quickly signed up and picked a kid based on what we thought was a cool name.  Through praying for him, writing him letters and receiving letters back from him my life has been changed as I constantly think about this boy I’ve never met who lives halfway across the world in a totally different lifestyle than me.

Compassion International has set up this website for the next month which encourages people to share their story of how they got involved sponsoring someone with the hope that new people would feel encouraged to sponsor a child.  Through my page you are provided to sponsor a child named Aziz who lives in the same country as my child.  Give it a look.  Pray about it.  Share it.  You could make a difference in someone’s life and I guarantee it will make a difference in yours.

http://my.compassionsunday.com/TheBros

-Jacob

Why Is “Christian” Art Considered Subpar?

Every Wednesday evening I get together with a group of young adults aged 18-30 for a bible study.  All of the people within the group are believers albeit at different points in their walk with Christ.  I love the group and we really get into some good discussions about the bible and Jesus.  Tonight, a few people from the group (myself included) are going to a Gungor concert in Boise.  One of the guys in the group does not have a Facebook or any sort of social media which is how we all heard about the concert and posted the link to buy tickets.  So we were talking about it on Wednesday after the bible study and said there are still tickets if he wants to come.  He asked what type of music it was so he could decide if he wanted to come and a girl immediately said “they are a christian band”.  You could see all enthusiasm leave his face as he said “Oh…”.

And I understand where he is coming from!  I am only going to the Gungor concert because I have heard them and like their music.  If this was a concert for an unknown to me band that somebody described as a “christian band” I probably wouldn’t want to go either.

Now this guy is a christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, who just spent the past 2 hours voluntarily coming to a bible study but when asked if he wanted to see a “christian band” he had no interest.  A few year back the lead singer of the band, Michael Gungor, made a blog post on the band’s website titled “Why the Christian Category Shouldn’t Exist” but has since been deleted due to a lot of controversy it caused.  In the article, Michael Gungor argued that the christian music label was “discriminatory” and “offensive”.  He also took offense with the fact that artists like Bono have some songs with lyrics that are straight from the bible yet nobody labels U2 as a christian band.  He even recently wrote another blog post about the backlash he still gets from the original post and tried to clear some things up.  Some similar things happened recently when a lot of people wanted to know if Mumford & Sons were a christian band.  Marcus Mumford said he did not want that label on their music but no doubt has biblical and christian themes within their music.

And it’s not just music.  Currently there are three christian/biblical movies in the theater; Son of God, God’s Not Dead and Noah.  Of those three I only have a desire to see one and it is the one that is getting the most controversy and comments like “it’s not biblical”.  Son of God and God’s Not Dead are clearly created for people who are already christian yet I have absolutely no desire to see them for various reasons, one of which is that they just look cheesy and low quality.  And in my opinion, this is a typical problem with christian art.

What are your thoughts of christian music and movies?

-Jacob

#Selfie

If you haven’t heard the song #Selfie by The Chainsmokers I urge you to pause what you are doing and listen to the song.

You can also watch the official music video here.  But be warned, the video is a little explicit even though it has a great cameo by David Hasselhoff.

I love this song for a two reasons.  One, it’s so dumb its funny.  Like, that fact that this is a song that is getting played on the radio as I drive to work is hilarious.  I like to imagine some older lady or grandpa stumbling across this song and crying for todays youth.  The second reason is that this song epitomizes todays youth so perfectly.  I think that this song is the cry of a generation.  I work in a high school day in and day out and I can honestly see some of the kids behaving in this way.  I think I’ve ever heard kids use “lyrics” from this song in every day conversation before this song was created.

“Can you guys help me pick a filter?”

“I only got like 10 likes in the last 5 minutes do you think I should take it down?”

People getting called a “creep” because they liked a picture on Instagram.

And of course…

“SELFIE!”

-Jacob

March Madness

I’m not super into sports, but for some reason I absolutely love March Madness!  I love filling out brackets (this year I made 5), I love how you can watch all the games for free online or on a tablet (NBA should consider this) and I love the crazy upsets!

Like everyone in the nation except for this guy, none of my 5 brackets are perfect.  But in one of my bracket pools, one with a potential prize of $30 worth of gift cards, I am doing fairly well.  I picked Mercer to beat Duke.  I picked Harvard to beat Cincinnati.  I also picked SFA to beat VCU.  And that SFA game got me the most excited I’ve ever been at a sporting event.  Basically, I was at the point with one other person in my bracket that if SFA won then I’d take a dominant lead and if they lost I would go down in the ranks and it would be hard to come back from it.

The game started of good and SFA went into the half with a 6 point lead.  I was feeling good!  Then during the second half they just could not get it together.  I was actually getting upset!  I saw my bracket going to shambles and the prize slipping from my grasp.  Then, when VCU fouled SFA on a buzzer beater 3 point shot AND THEY MADE IT I JUMPED OUT OF MY SEAT!  I could not believe it!  It was so exciting!  Then they ended up winning in OT and I was screaming!  I have never felt this way about a sporting event in my life.  It was crazy!  It was madness!  March Madness!

-Jacob

MS 150

My mom is doing the MS 150 which is an annual bike race from Houston, TX to Austin, TX.  That’s crazy!  Last April I rode a bike for one hour and my butt and legs were sore for days!  Days!  This race goes over a weekend and covers a distance that I wouldn’t even dream about covering by bike.  The race also raises money to fund multiple sclerosis research.  My mom has set a personal goal of $400.  If you would like to donate to her campaign you can visit this link and make a donation.  100% of the money goes to MS research so your donation will be for a good cause.

Image

-Jacob

Memories of an Old House

One of my favorite shows on TV is NBC’s Parenthood.  My wife got me into it and I love it.  One of this season’s main story lines deals with the grandparents of the show debating on selling their house and how some of the kids deal with it.  The grandma wants to sell it and move and the grandpa and one of the sons have struggles with the idea of that.  To me, it seemed dumb to be attached to a house.  I also know someone in real life who has this mindset and it just seemed to make no sense to me.  I moved when I was in 6th grade and I can honestly say that I was not sad about it at all but that was probably because I would be getting my own room instead of sharing with my brother so I didn’t care.

Today my grandma is moving out of her house that she has lived in for the past 42 years and I can honestly say that I am a little sad that I will never get to go to that house again.  I have many memories in that house, many more than I ever thought I did until her moving made me think about them all.  Some of those memories include:

- Thanksgiving.  This might be the biggest.  I’ve had Thanksgiving dinner at that house 23 out of 24 Thanksgivings.  When I think of Thanksgiving I immediately think of that house.

- Going over every Saturday night without fail as a kid so my parents could have a date night.  I remember playing games with my grandparents and watching Nickelodeon’s All That every week.

- She would give us candy when we’d visit (which I’m sure she will still do), but she had a specific “candy drawer” that you got to go through every time you left her house.

- My brother and I used to try to sneak around into the kitchen when we were younger to sneak food.  We thought we were so sneaky but my grandpa would always catch us.

- Throwing a tennis ball on her roof and catching it as it rolled down.

I have known for a while that she was moving but last night my sister tweeted that it was her last time sitting in my grandma’s house and the reality of it all kind of hit me.  Thankfully, my grandma is just moving.  Next time I go down there to visit I will still be able to see her and talk with her.  I’m not losing her, just her house.  Not everybody can say that so for that I am thankful.  But it is a bit sad that I will never be able to go to that house again.  I can now understand NBC’s Parenthood a bit more.

-Jacob