Arcade Fire’s Awesomely Weird 30 Minute Concert

Last night was the debut of the new season of SNL hosted by Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire.  I love SNL and think they can do no wrong so I was super excited!  It’ll take me some time to get used to the new cast members and the gaping hole that Bill Hader has left on the show, but overall I think it’ll be great!  I loved all the Aaron Paul cameo’s last night and the return of Drunk Uncle!

I’m not a fan of Arcade Fire.  I have heard of them before but their music never really grabbed a hold of me.  Both times they played during SNL I “watched” but used that time to go to the kitchen and get a snack.  I did like when the girl went into a glass case of emotion while singing the first song though.  But after SNL, somehow Arcade Fire was able to score a 30 minute concert that aired on NBC.  What followed was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen on TV this year (not counting Breaking Bad).  If you have 30 minutes I encourage you to watch it.

With lots of weird costumes, celebrity cameos, fake movie trailers and Bill Hader skyping in from space you are sure to be entertained even you don’t like the music of Arcade Fire.  I kind of hope this becomes a regular thing for the SNL musical guests. I’d really be interested in seeing Miley Cyrus do this next week.

-Jacob

How Can You Help Today

“Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve; it is an opportunity to serve.  As we go through each day, our heart’s cry should be, Lord, where would you have me give, serve, and invest myself to bring hope to the poor?”
-Orphan Justice author, Johnny Carr

Poverty is an issue that we will always have.  I don’t say this to encourage taking no action, but just to make a point.  You cannot simply sit around and say the problem will be gone soon so you don’t have to worry.  Even if every single person on Earth suddenly gained one billion dollars there would still be poor people when compared to others.  The poverty line would just change to mean people with only one billion.

To take it further, Jesus said in the gospels that we will always have the poor among us.  Once again, this is not to give us an excuse to do nothing but rather to show the reality of the world.  There will always be poor, but that also mean there will always be an opportunity to serve.

What can you do today to enrich someone else’s life?  Whether you help someone with a physical task, make a small donation to charity or decide to make a long commitment such as sponsoring a child what are you going to do today to help the less fortunate?  And then when you wake up tomorrow ask yourself all over again.

-Jacob

Shoes

I’m not a shoe guy.  I recently bought a new pair of Vans despite my wife telling me it wasn’t a wise decision because I’ll hardly wear them.  I think I’ve worn them maybe 4 times in a few months.  Sigh… she was right.

I just don’t really like shoes.  And I don’t like socks either.  I just don’t like the feeling.  I prefer to be barefoot or wearing flip flops.  When I went to moved away from southern Texas to attend college in Kansas I tried to go through the winter in flip flops still out of some weird determination to not wear shoes.  I eventually caved but would still only wear cheap $10 shoes from Wal-Mart and I would of course wear them without socks.  But when I saw this picture it really hit me.

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A lot of people in this world need shoes and don’t have them.  Thats why companies like TOMS and Soles4Souls exist and continue to succeed because the need is so vast.  Now you may have differing thoughts and opinions on these companies, I know not everyone thinks they do good for the people they try to help, but I’m not trying to promote those organizations in this post.

Look at the shoes in the picture above.  They are beyond worn out.  I can honestly say I’ve never worn a pair of shoes to that state before.  I used to have a job at a fast food type place on my college’s campus where I had to wear closed toes shoes.  I would get fryer grease and milkshake splatter on them each week and after a few months of wearing them through all that nastiness with the added grossness of wearing them with no socks (yeah, I know) I would throw them away and get new ones.  I wouldn’t even think twice about it.  They were expendable to me.  But I would bet the person above does not have the same mindset.  I would bet those are their only pair of shoes.  They will hold on to them and cherish them as long as they can.

We can’t see the face of the person in that picture.  It could be a number of kids from across the world.  It could the child I sponsor through Compassion, Pascal.  I do not know if he has shoes to wear everyday.  It’s a possibility that he does not.  It could be someone from his town.  It could be someone waiting on the Compassion website right now waiting to be sponsored.  But whoever it is I bet that they are more thankful for those shoes than I am for a lot of things I take for granted each day, including my own shoes.

-Jacob

Change

I hate change.

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Ever since I’ve been old enough to save money I have really hated change.  There is no way to keep it in a wallet, it clutters and weighs down your pants pockets and I’ve never been much of a piggy bank guy.  In high school and college I used to just drop my change in the parking lot as I walked back to my car from whatever store I may have been coming out of.  Sometimes I would be with friends who would scream “bro, what are you doing” and pick it up for themselves, but I just never saw a value in it.  Except quarters, I always keep quarters.

Recently though I’ve begun to see the benefits of change.  I’ve watched my sister stop and pick up every single penny she sees and collect it for a year and was surprised how much money she has now.  I recently took some change to Coinstar and was surprised that it was about $10 more than I expected.  Slowly but surely change can add up.

I love change

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This time of the year is by far my favorite time of the year.  The first day of fall up until Christmas day is the absolute best!  There is simply no debating that.  The leaves on the trees begin to change colors and make for a beautiful sight each and every day.  The weather begins to change and the cooler weather means you’ll be changing your wardrobe along with it.  Maybe most importantly, the Starbucks menu changes into arguably the most popular menu in the world with pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas.

It’s just a great time of year and the changes are wonderful!

We can make a change

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 Making a difference, making an impact, changing the world – these seem like daunting statements.  And they really are if you think you have to do it all yourself.  But making a change in the world isn’t something that happens overnight.  Just like you have to slowly collect change to get $20 at the Coinstar or how it takes weeks/months for the trees to change colors and the weather to cool off it takes small steps to make a big change in the world.  Don’t be discouraged because you won’t be the one to solve world hunger or the one who can donate thousands to end poverty.  Just do what you can.

Talk to a friend who is having a rough time, spend time volunteering, sponsor a child through Compassion or help your family out at home.  Just do what you can. 

How are you going to make a change?

-Jacob