Monday, April 25, 2011

d.i.g.: Baalbek

Everyone knows the Parthenon.

Everyone knows Petra.

Everyone knows the Coliseum.

In general, the great architectural marvels of the past are now commercialized and remain if only to offer wealthy travelers a chance to minimize their bucket list and get a frequent flyer pin.

Being generally intrigued by the mysteries of the world and owning up to a strange affinity for geography with the rest of my family, I naturally decided it was time to start a new series: discovering. inconspicuous. geography: d.i.g.

The site Atlas Obscura, shown me by my brother Kyle, has helped me find plenty of lesser-known spheres of life in my free time. However, it was the book Tea with the Hezbollah (a great read about loving your enemies...set in the Middle East) by one of my favorite authors, Ted Dekker, and amazing speaker Carl Medearis, that breathed inspiration into this first post.

Baalbek, Lebanon.

In it, Ted mentions a beautiful ruin-clad mountain-top with historic roots reaching all the way back to Cain in the book of Genesis: Baalbek. Heres a teaser:

"What is amazing about the archaeology in Baalbek is the unique tale it tells of changing religion. Behind us were the remains of the Phoenician temple to Baal, the god to whom ancient worshipers sacrificed animals and children. On top and around these excavated ruins from which Baalbek takes is name stands the two-thousand-year-old columns from the Jupiter temple, built by the Romans. Among these ruins lies what remains of a Byzantine (Christian) church, and finally, the ruins of the walls of a Muslim citadel and mosque."

Does that not sound amazing?

See for yourself:

Monday, March 21, 2011

I reached my arms out over the table at El Azteca last night in an effort to stretch my muscles. My hands landed in the salsa bowl. I just did that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

beautiful distraction.

A couple weeks ago was the TSC retreat, and I attended as always. I've been battling a barrier between me and my King, and He chose this weekend to reveal this analogy to help me understand how to choose Him (whew, that was a mouthful!).

This barrier is a chasm. Me on one side and Christ on the the other, beckoning me to be with Him. But a many chasms are, it a beautiful distraction, and Christ looks small and feels distant. The rushing river below is deafeningly loud, stealing my attention. I can see that it is deep and dark and to fall would be certain death;the darkness consuming, the swift tide sweeping, or the collision shattering.

I call out to Him and I can see that He is calling for me too, but the roar of the river is too loud. Yet I know, He hears me. I yell for help-- for a way to reach Him--and like His refining character, He provides a bridge for me to labor over towards Him. He does not simply close the chasm as His power might suggest, but in His sovereignty chose to give me a way to choose Him.

I step onto the small but firm limb and with each step realize what He is allowing me to overcome. The gorge still plunges, reaching for my heart, claiming fear in the darkness of the unknown. But as I change my view from void to His face, my step becomes light and my foothold sure. I begin to race to the other side, confident of the promise He has made to be all that I need and want. But yet I run to the end of the limb and find that it does not reach the other side. I am confused, but I know that I must cross to conquer for once this gaping chasm. And then clarity comes as I see that this is not an end but an opportunity for faith. I fix my eyes on Him and slowly step where I know there is no support. I do not fall. I blink in astonishment and He is there beside me. He picks me up and carries me across, lifting my fears and expectations from my shoulders to His.

He speaks only these words, "My child, I am so glad you have come."

We walk together and time escapes as He shares Himself and His love for me. The chasm I once knew so vividly still rages behind, but as I walk with Him the roar becomes a mumble and then a whisper until I can hear it no more. Still I never forget what lies behind us because I know that if I were to part with Him, I would find myself back at the gorge or one of many others like it. To cross back over the the other side, I know, would lead only to death.

I remain content, and even filled with joy to walk with Him as he leads me ever into the thickening forest, along the path which He has promised to lead to His home. My home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


May I introduce you to my favorite new tab to keep open on my browser at all times for comic

Handerpants. Underpants for your hands.

Just say it.

Usually, it comes out of my mouth more like "Handapanz." And it makes me smile everytime.

What? They even LOOK like tighty-whities?
(Not sure what the intention was there)

Also mentioned is that they are, apparently, 'sexy.' Justin Timberlake probably should've sought out some professional help from these guys when he tried to Bring Sexy Back.

Population: Narwhal Aficionados, Ninjas with Delicate Hands, Hobos, Assistants to the Magican's Assistant, British Sitcom Stars, Jerks and m
any, many more. My personal favorites: the elderly, senior citizens, old people, grandparents, and retirees-- just to cover all the bases.

Uses: Girly Stuff, Sanitary Handshakes, Night Blogging...

and of course: the elderly.

I know, I know, at this point, you must think this is all a scam. I did. But I did my research. I went to the website, which is just as ridiculous as the video, and then clicked the "Buy Yours Now!" button, which took me to a website that sells them along with emergency underpants, instant underpants, and an 'undercap'.

They have serious obsession with undapantz.

But they earned my respect with their description of squirrel underpants:

"Are you sick and tired of squirrels running naked in the trees around your house? Have you had to hide your children’s eyes when a tiny furry streaker crosses the sidewalk in front of you? We’ve got the answer, Squirrel Underpants! Each pair of tiny briefs has a 3" waist and is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Also good for hamsters, frogs and gerbils."

Also to their credit, they like mustaches. Mustache bandages, hipster staches, switchblade mustache combs, mustache soap leaves, and other manly things of that nature.

I feel like I just stumbled onto a goldmine.

Friday, March 4, 2011

For Real?

I'm betting that when you think of wind energy structures you think of this.

But there are some pretty amazing innovations in wind structure technology.
Like this one in Saudi Arabia.
Or this one in Japan.
Or this one...which I think is in Dubai.

But the coolest ones are definitely the proposed ones. This one is for the Atacama Desert.
An echo chamber design for Taiwan.
Not sure where, but it will be awesome.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So I saw this ad in one of marketing classes, and I thought it was simply genius. I couldn't find it anywhere on the web but here, so just ignore everyone's negative comments. They obviously aren't marketing or advertising students...what would they know..

Hopefully you know that I am just kidding. But seriously...genius stuff.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I had one today.

Let me clarify: Jesus gave me an epiphany today.

I often mull over how much I love being a goer, how I love being used by the Lord to share the Good News with those who haven't heard. I get to hear about it from the Bible and people with crazy awesome experience at Perspectives, and also from a lot of my close friends. I have also been blessed to be a goer myself at times, most impactfully (?) to South Asia.

Here is my faulty thinking. I often say I'd love to return to South Asia as a goer and reference my love for the people there, the culture, etc., and that I want to share the gift that is Jesus with them. But I've got it all backwards. I need to love Jesus first and more. Why should I be a goer? Because Jesus is my Saviour, my treasure, and my pleasure to share and I want bring Him glory.

Seems so simple, and my head has known this for a long time. But in the action of loving internationals here as I would those nationals overseas, my heart lost track of the ultimate treasure. I began to love internationals from my own limited supply of human love, instead of being filled with His love through meeting with Him. I shared him as a gift, not a treasure.

Now, the adventure begins again. I get to re-discover my King as the indescribable beauty He is.