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#dreamon

December 31, 2011 4 comments

(Though this post first appeared September 16, today it’s New Years Eve, and people are thinking about goals for 2012, let this be an encouragement to you: Accomplish your goals, reach higher heights, live your dream! Number 1 in the countdown; the very best of the #BestofHTFT; I implore you my friends: #dreamon!)

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Real men love poetry. It takes a real man to write it, and it takes a real man to read it. I am not sure how, but over time, poetry has been taken as a sign of weakness for men. Men who like poetry have been seen as “sissys” along with men who can cry, or can express themselves. Let’s not forget that poetry was written by the truly #badass: Walt Whitman, Bill Shakespeare, Keats, Yeats, T.S. Elliott to name a very few! I love poetry, and I am going to reference my favorite poem quite a bit this week on #Hashtagfairytales.

The name of the poem is “Ebb and flow.” It was written by a #BA named George William Curtis and can be found here in its entirety. The poem starts like this:

I walked beside the evening sea,

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only – “Dreamer, dream no more”

That’s right my friends, in accordance with the prophecy, this week we are talking about dreams! Last week we had a bit about being a good #Quitter (with the assist provided by Jon Acuff) but what about after you quit? What about the dream that comes next? I believe that our dreams are the most important things about us and without them we are nothing. About that poem: this person is walking on the beach and he (at least I assume it’s a “he;” mainly because I am a “he”) is dreaming “a dream that could not be!” I love it, this guy is a dreamer. Last week I said that sometimes our day job and our dream job can seem worlds apart; that is how it should be is it not? If your dream is not out of this world, you aren’t dreaming big enough.

The gentleman in the poem is dreaming so big that he cannot see the fruition of the dream, he can only say that his dream is so great that it cannot be. #Hashheads, if you say you have a dream and it is not out of this world, give it up. It isn’t worth it. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have big dreams, thanks for coming, but this post probably isn’t for you. But if you ever dreamed a dream that could not be, you’re in good company. If you have ever had the urge to reach for the stars, pass them up and grab the moon out of the friggin’ sky, then this post is for you! I dream a dream that cannot be: I am a Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist by day and an Assistant Director of Residential Life by night, I am from Oakland, California and my dream above all else is to one day provide play-by-play announcing for World Wrestling Entertainment. THAT is my dream; that is the dream that Jon Acuff mentioned on page 229 of the book #Quitter.

Back to the poem, the waves on the shore of the beach—nature itself—is telling the man to dream no more. Yup, that seems about right. The dream is so big that it seems everything, everyone, and all of nature is against it. Give it up, it’ll never happen. Dreamer, you are wasting your time. Your talent isn’t niche enough, your skill isn’t good enough, your work isn’t interesting enough. There is always some reason to give it up and throw it all away isn’t there? The waves are right, I’ll never win, I’ll never make it (#depressing). Chup, that pretty much sucks, but luckily there’s more to the poem.

In the second stanza, he continues to walk along the beach and the waves are crashing even harder and speaking even louder, but this time they are saying, “Dreamer, dream again.” How’s that for mixed messages?! But as ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra used to say, #thatslife! Sometimes it feels like the same people tearing you down are then building you up, and vice versa. Dream no more, actually, dream again. That’s kind of confusing, but did you notice the one consistency? He was called “Dreamer” both times. He continues to dream no matter whether he is encouraged to dream on or he is told to just let go of his stupid idea. “You’ll never be a Sound Engineer.” “Being a Lonely Planet Travel Writer is what you were born to do!” “You can forget about the WWE man, you just aren’t good enough!” “You absolutely need to continue trying to start that bakery!” The words go on and on and vain is their united cry; you must continue to be a Dreamer. Dream a dream that could not be.

Then, there’s the last stanza. The man returned to the solitude of his own home. The gloom of life weighing down upon him, he heard a sound, but it was not the waves, it was not his friends, it was his own heart. Like the sea itself it banged within his chest and it said these words, “Dream on!” and “Dream no more!” I love it! The heart is speaking truth, we must #dreamon because we ought never cease being dreamers. If your dream is to be a big time rap artist, you ought to not be satisfied with one person telling you that, “your music is dope, I believe in you.” There can be no satisfaction with the release of one album. Listen to your heart oh, Dreamer; #dreamon. Just listen to Aerosmith: Dream on, dream until your dreams come true!

The heart is not only saying to continue dreaming, but is also saying #dreamnomore. How appropriate! You must always further your goals, no matter what heights you reach, but there comes a time to stop dreaming and start doing. Dreamer, dream no more, make a plan, take some steps. Stop looking up what you need to do to start your accounting firm, and go file some papers. That is what #Hashtagfairytales is to me, it is an actual step. If I can entertain, and make myself known, create a platform, I can accomplish more and beyond! My favorite part though is that I don’t do it alone. Every reader, every commenter, every #PolloftheWeek vote, every #hashhead makes what I do worthwhile. With no readers these are words with a web address, with you all, it is the next step in a 10 year old dream! There comes a time to dream no more, and my friends, the time is now. The heart cries out to us all #dreamon and #dreamnomore.

A few people who are striving to live their dream:

Bad Blood Bandits

Becoming threeFifty Cakery

CTM Designs

Iglesia Vida/Life Church

James Elliott Photography

Kanoa Utler Photography

Malee Kai

Natalie Stroble Design Solutions

Nate Davis | copywriter

Support these Dreamers who #dreamon and #dreamnomore

(It appears I have gotten pretty clumsy, because I dropped more names than ever before! Acedo down to Utler. All in all, in my opinion, good 20th Episode no?)

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#jacobsexyhoward

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

(I have to thank Emily Lindquist and Jessica Levey for the title of this post; thanks to you I AM #jacobsexyhoward! This bad boy was posted on July 8th and it was the first time I used a “swear.” #jacobsexyhoward is number 2 on our #countdown! Enjoy! #BestofHTFT)

I’m an ass man.

I’m not really, but it grabs your attention. Some loved that I began this episode of #Hashtagfairytales with a “curse word,” and other #hashheads are dreading the sight of a cuss (#sorrymom), but we all know what this is referring to do we not? Sexiness! There are tons of things that make a person sexy. In our modern day western culture, sexual attraction is key isn’t it? We have known for years that sex sells, and in adverts we have seen nearly every part of the human anatomy to sell the strangest things. Sure, I’ll buy that burger, but only because of those fine legs in the commercial; Yeah, I’ll buy my husband your jeans if his package will look like that in them; Count me in for that exercise equipment if I’ll get abs like those. (Well, I suppose that last one makes sense, but you get the point)

Different people like different things right? I’m a lips man. Oh, I’m an eyes girl. I’m a foot guy. Yeah, I like a nice smile. I like melons. I go weak in the knees for biceps. It’s all about a kissable neck. Well, all my guy needs is broad shoulders. I mean the list goes on and on. Now let me take a page out of Pastor @MarcoAmbriz‘s book and begin with what this post isn’t about.

This post isn’t a condemnation of 21st century advertising. I am a student of the media game, I get it, I agree that sex sells and if that is effective go ahead and do it. I don’t think that sex in ads makes us as a people slaves to anything. Purchase is all in the hands (and pockets) of the consumer. If I don’t want it, no matter how much sexiness is present I won’t buy it; I dare you to gussy up a commercial about Southwest Airlines, if I don’t have travel plans I won’t buy. But once I do need to travel I may remember that commercial, so more power to sex selling, let’s just be responsible consumers.

This post isn’t a condemnation of each having their own preferences. Have at it, people like what they like and there is nothing wrong with that. We are attracted to certain types of people. If a person likes guys with broad shoulders, their guy friends will probably have broad shoulders, our preferences don’t stop at sexual attraction (they don’t begin there either) they spill over into our friends. People like certain things and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Friends, allow me to share what this post is about; it is about what I perceive as the sexiest thing about a person. That’s right #hashheads, I am about to give you the pinnacle of sexiness. I will teach you all how to be a #sexybeast like @IAmJericho. After all who better to give advice than #jacobsexyhoward? My conclusion is this: Humility is sexy! Yep, I said it, humility IS sexy! In the words of my friend Marche, #hashtagthat; good advice Marche, I will!

#humilityissexy

Think about it, the first 3 months or so of dating is all about giving compliments when you see the other person, which sucks for me, because I am terrible at catching new things. But the first part of the relationship is all about that back and forth complimenting, “I like your hair.” “Oh thank you, that shirt looks great on you!” Now don’t get me wrong, the compliments ought to keep coming all throughout the relationship, but the beginning of the relationship thrives off of it; it’s that mutual give and take—the #quidproquo that pushes a relationship. But how do you carry on with a prideful person? “Hey, that blouse really brings out the color of your eyes.” “Do you really think so? I bought it the other day for like a ton of money and I thought I looked great in it, but my friend Shirley—who is totally jealous of me because she has an acne problem—told me it was kind of ugly, but I told her that…” Let me tell you now that relationship will not work.

It behooves me now to say that I am not against confidence, that is sexy too, but pride is not! Confidence says, “I really think my solution would work best.” Pride says, “Those idiots wouldn’t listen, I had the best idea and now they’re just going to fail.” One is inherently ugly isn’t it? Humility is so sexy. I’ll tell you what; I go weak in the knees for a girl who can say, “Maybe I was wrong, you do have a point.” And I am sure any girl would love a guy who can look her in the eyes and say, “I. Am. Sorry.” That just made chills go down somebody’s spine. I am telling you humility is sexy!

This my friends is why #Hashtagfairytales is sometimes a breeding ground for insults to the Kardashians and Snookie, there is this idea that sexy is a big booty, or sexy is a spray tan, or sexy is sleeping with an entire football team, or sexy is having no talent but being on television anyway! This man disagrees! Just an ounce of humility goes a long way. My BFF C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” When I see this in a person I usually say, “Eww gross!” If you are humble, you are #winning!

Humility is a beacon of hope in this dark prideful world of ours. Have I attained everything I am talking about, certainly not, but I would love to. I envy the humility of some. The major misconception is that humility is a sign of weakness, but that is far from the truth, it takes a great amount of intestinal fortitude to be able to know what you are saying is right, and still stay humble while others walk over you. It takes immense testicular fortitude to stand in front of people who only mean you harm and look them in the eye and say, #LoveWinsBreh! I know a guy who did that once, and he ended up dying, but then he came back three days later. Why you ask? Because—to quote Pr. Ambriz—#Jesuswasabadass!

(10th episode anniversary! I said a naughty word AND called C.S. Lewis my BFF. It’s a good day)

(Note: Above, I mentioned a friend named Marche, tomorrow is her birthday; Happy Burfday Marchie!

#paininthearse

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

(Welcome back to the #BestofHTFT series. Originally posted on May 21 [or as I like to call it, the first time that the world ended in 2011] this was the 3rd ever HTFT post and it is number 3 in our countdown!)

Boy how life is grand! Isn’t it? The sun is ever-shining, the birds chirping away. #5.21.11 (or as Family Radio Worldwide called it “Judgment Day”) has come and gone, and we are all yet in one piece. Spring has sprung, #Hashtagfairytales is in full swing, and somewhere in the world, there is a baby laughing which means an angel just got its halo! Life gets better everyday doesn’t it? We grow and we only get better with age like a good wine or fancy cheese. Osama bin Laden was killed earlier this month, and that means evil has left the world! That’s quite the illusion is it not? Sure, life has its benefits, and our world contains many good things, but overall, life is a #paininthearse isn’t it?

On the worldwide scale, there is death; there are tsunamis, hurricanes, and strife. On an interpersonal and emotional scale, there is immense of pain and hurt; that’s just a part of human relationships. Even on a physical scale there are tons of things from paper cuts to bullet wounds that are painful. The problem of pain is a huge issue that many people twice as smart as I am have addressed, and I have had a few thoughts on pain that I want to share. No friends, this is not a guest post by Debbie Downer; just the opposite. There is a general perception of pain throughout a vast majority of western thinkers (if not the world over), the perception is: Pain is bad. I however would tend to disagree, Pain—my friends—is good.

Now before you click over to ThreeFiftyCakery, let me say that I haven’t lost my mind! I understand that pain feels terrible; of course, who could disagree? Pain sucks, and no matter which branch of the above-listed pains we deals with, we are left with a very deep and profound conclusion. The conclusion—and I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it—pain hurts. I know, heavy stuff right? Just let that wash over your spirit. #sarcasm

Yes, pain hurts, but I cannot help but live by the maxim: Pain is good. Now I don’t mean that old pansy arguments, “Pain helps build character.” “No pain no gain.” I cannot buy the fact that pain is good because we get something on the other side! That’s totally bogus! (Did I just say bogus? Oh #hellothere1995 ) This argument does not truly say pain is good. Pain is still the bad guy, but whatever comes next somehow rescues us? That’s some lazy logic! No, pain itself IS good.

A few weeks ago I had a bruised rib (or at least I think it was, I know that it hurt to breathe deeply), I started thinking, “Geez, this hurts, something must be wrong, maybe I ought to see a doctor to try and get this fixed.” Pain communicated with me didn’t it? Whether it hurt or not, my rib would have been in the same condition, the pain just let me know, “Hey breh, somethin’ is wrong here.” Pain comes alongside us and says, “Um, I think something is wrong here, I wanted to let you know before it kills you.” Some say that pain is punishment from God; I disagree fer sure! When our physical body goes through pain, our cognizant mind says, “This isn’t ok with me.” We then go on a quest to fix it; why wouldn’t this apply to other types of pain?

When a relationship starts getting tough, someone starts to feel something different; a little pain here or there likely occurs. The two people ought to either fix it or end it, but some action must be taken. Why? Because a bit of pain presented itself and gave no other option. And how bout that worldwide pain. When tsunamis hit Japan, and hurricanes rage the south, people die, and natural disasters cripple people and economies, we all as a people must look around and say, “Hey guys, something isn’t right here.” This cannot be it. This pain is saying to us, “Fix it, please! It can be better.” Pain is calling out to us. Pain is on our side. Pain is telling us, look beyond this, there is healing and restoration somewhere, now, go and find it. Pain is good.

(Wow, that was deep, I think I’ll go eat cotton candy and play Frisbee now)

#istayinnarnia

December 25, 2011 2 comments

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(Merry Christmas #hashheads! And thank you for dropping by on Christmas! For your warmth and pleasure, I have added the very special yule log to glow on this Christmas day! What better way to commemorate the coming of Christ into our world than by looking at the coming of Christ into another world? #BestofHTFT number 4; #countdown!)

As I said last week, C.S. Lewis is my BFF despite his overwhelming handicap of being dead. I have known him for years, but we really got close my freshman year of college. We never experimented or had any drunken nights, but we did have some crazy nights in bed if you know what I mean. Recently, I decided that I would try to read any one fiction book and any one non-fiction book every month. So far, I have read non-fiction like Father Fiction by @donmilleris, Churched by @jesusneedsnewpr (a gift given to me by @sacedo83), and the ever infamous Love Wins by @realrobbell. It is the fiction, however that I am most proud of; among other books, I recently acquired The Chronicles of Narnia written by my BFF C. S., or as I call him, Jacks.

Here on #Hashtagfairytales, we have tackled a lot of controversial topics and issues, but this once may be the most controversial: The reading order for Chronicles of Narnia. Now I may lose a few #hashheads here, but maybe I can gain a few #hashswaggertaggers, but I think, nay, I know that the chronicles ought to be read in the order published and NOT in chronological order. The copy that I was given by my friend, @lpeezeeto was in chronological order as decided by the publishers at Barnes and Noble, but I must respectfully disagree. The order published is frankly the only way to read them, and if you got a problem with that, I got two words for ya: sorry man.

When you read The Chronicles of Narnia, you are to read them as follows:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Prince Caspian

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Silver Chair

The Horse and his boy

The Magicians Nephew

and The Last Battle

This is the only way to read the Chronicles, especially for first-time readers! Though I feel like I could write a two-episode blog about the reading order, I will not belabor that point, or beat a dead horse, because that is not a hill to die on, no, at this point, we’ve got bigger fish to fry! (#clichéking) The Chronicles of Narnia is a great series that every human being should read. That is a big statement, but start to finish The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe all the way to The Last Battle, seriously gave me chills and goose-bumps; not that I know much about goose epidermis or poultry dermatology in general, but again, please allow the cliché. Lewis does not invite you into Narnia in these books, he grabs the reader and pulls them into this “other world;” while reading the books, I had no desire to come back to our own. But let me share with you, let me tell you why #istayinNarnia!

#cmongethappy- Throughout the chronicles there is always reason to be terribly unhappy. If it isn’t a white witch (not a racist statement) or talking monkey (also not a racist statement), it’s a magic lady or a creepy uncle (not the kind of creepy uncle that your mom won’t let you get ice cream with, but one that practices dangerous deep magic). However also throughout is a reason to be happy, and usually that reason is Aslan, the titular Lion from the first book of the series (we’ll talk more about him later). Aslan always has an ace in the hole, and it usually involves a few children from our world who end up being the heroes. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, and for how many hundreds of years they’ve been this way, if you see a few kids in knickers, tights, and suspenders that look like they ran away from a tour of Oliver Twist, you know things are gonna be alright! (#pleasesirmayihavesomemore) I really love the slow reveal of Lewis in his stories, and as @SickboyMccoy has helped me realize about myself, I tend to focus on the rythm of a writer; I love the rhythm of Lewis’ writing, and the way he reveals the reasons that there are to be happy and hopeful among the chaos is absolutely brilliant. Seven books and seven reasons to be happy!

#epic- The only way to describe the Chronicles as a whole is #epic! From the overarching storyline to the crazy names, Narnia is where it’s at! For the storyline, SPOLIER ALERT: it’s really good! Lewis’ tendency to be meticulously descriptive lends itself in a great way to the “grass is greener” land of Narnia. In Narnia, I can see the rich colors, I can taste the thirst-quenching water, and I start to whisper when sneaking around the giants. While reading, you start to saying, “I have no idea what that means right now, but I know that’ll come up in another book!” What’s more, the names of the creatures are crazy enough to make Lady Gaga seem normal. There are the one legged dwarfs called Dufflepuds, horses named Bree and Hwin, a badger called Trufflehunter, a Marshwiggle called Puddleglum, and of course the faun named Tumnus. I mean in Narnia things are better named in general, they call their most famous dwarf Trumpkin, where in our world our most famous dwarf is called Snookie.

Plus there are philosophical implications for days. Another SPOILER ALERT: Narnia is a supposition (as versus allegorical). Lewis wrote in a letter to a woman named Mrs. Hook, “In reality…[Aslan] is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.” This is some #epic stuff! Not to mention Lewis’ allusions to some Rob Bell sounding stuff in The Last Battle; that’s #hashtalk for another day though. Also, don’t get me started on the “Problem of Edmund” which will one day be a topic on #Hashtagfairytales no doubt! Narnia is an epic place and here is the most epic thing about it!

#Aslanislegit- There is a reason that Liam Neeson was chosen to be the voice of Aslan for the most recent film series; only a man that is badass could voice such a character who is a supposition of a man with the testicular fortitude of Christ (see last #hashtag of last week’s episode). Aslan was the hope of all of true Narnians; hope in the unseen is key for a true Narnian. Puddleglum said the most memorable phrase in The Silver Chair, and for me the line that resounds louder than any other in The Chronicles of Narnia. When faced with the possibility of Aslan being a figment of his imagination and simply an idea in his own “play-world,” Puddleglum says, “I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can, even if there isn’t any Narnia.” It is this that I leave you with, Aslan is not a tame lion, and Narnia is not a normal place; but normal is no longer good enough. That my friends is why #istayinNarnia!

(I slipped a Gaga reference in? I suppose one Gaga in hand is worth two about Bush. Also, this has been the most cliché-rich episode ever by far, but when in Rome)

#Hashheads! Take a minute to share some love and learn to live like a true Narnian; check out: Live Like A Narnian

#lovewinsbreh

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

(The first of the #BestofHTFT series! The top five posts #rehashed and here my friends, is number 5; #countdown. Enjoy!)

“Farewell Rob Bell. http://dsr.gd/fZqmd8

This is how thousands of people were introduced to the latest written work of Pastor @realrobbell of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI called, Love Wins. That quote was a tweet by Evangelical preacher @JohnPiper and the link is to a blog post by Justin Taylor entitled, “Rob Bell: Universalist.” What can be understood from Pipers tweet is that given the ideas embraced by Bell (which were presumed to be universalist), he can’t be part of the figurative evangelical circle anymore.

(Now I am sure that my true #hashheads could tell that this one was a bit deeper based solely on the mention of “evangelical” but we’re gonna try to have some fun with it too!)

This has been quite the little controversy in the evangelical world and as a young man who was raised in the conservative Holiness Pentecostal tradition I feel like I can chime in a bit on the topic. The full title of the book is Love Wins: A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of every person who ever lived. This is what most of the controversy was based upon. Oh and by the way, all of the judgment calls were made before the book even hit shelves. That’s right; apparently #dontjudgeabookbyitscover only applies if the cover is agreeable. Most of those who cast judgment on the book did so before its release, and based their conclusions on the title and a short NOOMA style video Bell released.

Now call me old-fashioned, but I thought I would save my two cents until I had actually read the book, I finished it back in April, but I thought given the level of hoopla and hubbub about the book, #Hashtagfairytales would be a good place to discuss it (sorry for using technical terms like “hoopla and hubbub” it’s this darn Communication background); and so, I give you a few thoughts:

#whatthehellRobBell- This thought is included for two reasons, the first: I wanted to say “What the hell,” the second: many condemned this book believing that the subtitle (A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of every person who ever lived) and the general tone suggest that there is no hell and everyone goes to heaven. Having read the book there is nothing that says that there is no hell. Bell discusses both heaven and hell before delving into any thoughts that could be confused for universalist and he affirms both heaven and hell as very real very true realities.

The only caveat here is that while he affirms them, he condemns the thought of them as simple future destinations for all of us. Heaven and hell are both very real now and later; it is as my New Testament professor would always tell us of Jesus’ teachings, “There is this feeling of ‘now and not yet!’” That is to say of heaven that IT is not what we ought to be concerned with (#HaroldCamping), but there are elements of this world that are both heavenly and important. Heaven—my friends—is not the “blessed hope,” Christ is. Getting to heaven ought not be our “escape plan,” but showing the living Christ our daily routine. Are we to say to this world, “So long and thanks for all the fish?” No, We are to work in this world to continue the work of He who sent us.

As for hell, can we truly say that there is nothing hellish about this life? Conservatively and traditionally speaking the term “Prince of the air” has referred to “ha-Satan” (Hebrew for “the adversary;” Traditionally called Satan [Bible Nerd shout out to Marquito]), and if we have said that there are both good and evil spiritual forces at work in this world then we must say that there are hellish elements about our world. That is not to say that heaven and hell do not exist, but it is to say that they are not so much places as they are realities about this life and the world to come. They transcend our physical earth and there’s no need to think of them as destinations.

#Letstalkabout…- One much softer accusation that has been cast in the direction of Rob Bell (preceding this discussion)is that he is not really “edgy” but he’s a sensationalist; what he says is nothing “out there,” he just says it in a catchy way, but at heart he is saying the same old stuff. Sure man, I’ll allow that. I would agree, Rob Bell is truly concerned about orthodoxy, and an orthodox Christian can’t also be Universalist. This book has less to do with ruffling feathers, shaking cages, pulling tails, and other strange but violent animal-related analogies, and more to do with starting the discussion. Love Wins is not an answer book, it is a book challenging its reader—regardless of their own convictions—to really look at the traditional views of heaven and hell. Let us challenge our preconceived notions and enter the discussion that’s been going on for thousands of years.

#Lovewinsbreh- I think one of the biggest problems with this book came in the misperception of the concept of Love Wins. The perception says that there is a wrestling ring (Step into my analogy won’t you?) and at the end of the match—because Love wins—Love has it’s arm raised high as the winner and on the opposite side of the ring is the loser, Justice. The perception was that the book would be Universalist and bad because love wins and justice loses. The thought was everyone goes to heaven because love wins and justice loses. Let me say though that this is not a correct analogy at all and it is certainly not one that Rob Bell has painted. Love and Justice are tag team partners; they are the tag team Champions. If Love wins, justice wins too. Bell paints a picture, not of a God who loves in spite of justice, but of a God that loves in, through, and because of His justice.

#justdoit- What then shall we say to these things? What is the conclusion of the matter? What can I take from the book? Well friends, I can tell you what I took; whether this was the point of the book or not, only Pastor Bell can say, but here is what I took. Every human being on the face of the earth, be they Catholic, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, Baptist, boy, girl, Jewish, Muslim, Swedish, Hindu, Buddhist, or even—take a deep breath—atheists have value. Every last one of us has worth. We are worth something because God loves us; we are all loved by the God who created the heavens and the earth, and His love wins. Since we know that there is a love that wins somewhere off in the distance and in the future, we ought to pull that love into the now, and make it both now and not yet.

We need to make that love a part of who we are today. If and since we believe that God is in very essence love and He loves everyone, then we need to love everyone; escape, seclusion, and hate is not what God is about, He is about love. We don’t just kick people out of our little clubs and help circles because they don’t agree with us. Should I refuse to be kind, respect, or love a Muslim? Certainly not! I know that Love wins somewhere beyond space and time and it is my honor to love whenever I get the chance right here, right now!

#boomshakalaka

(btw, #hashheads love freely and laugh often)

#HTFTS- “We were on a break…”

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Some of you will recognize the title of this #HTFTS as a quote from #Friends in an episode where Ross was defending his escapades with a woman other than Rachel after the two had an argument. You will now recognize it as a good idea put in motion. I recently read a blog post by Sensei blogger Jon Acuff (@jonacuff) that suggested that bloggers hit the pause button on their blogs this Christmas. The idea made me nervous at first: What if the #hashheads don’t like me anymore? What if they feel betrayed like Rachel did when Ross said THEY were on a break? My response was this…a few days off will hardly a scorned reader make.

You all haven’t come this far to leave me; I know that. Those who supported me and read all of the good and the bad in 2011 won’t give me the Judas kiss in 2012. I believe this. Also, this is not to be a time of mourning for lack of content, as a matter of fact I’ll produce better content in January upon return, and in the meantime, I’ll produce MORE content. That’s right; more! Upon the suggestion of Sensei Acuff, I’ll post a few treats! Instead of a “once a week” thing, starting December 23 and going through the end of the year, every two days, I will repost a popular episode of #HTFT! That’s right, starting THIS FRIDAY you will see an old post—I actually should say #classicpost—every other day. I’m calling it the #BestofHTFT series. December 23, 25, 27, 29, and 31 I will post the top five episodes! I am super excited about this, but at the same time, I’ll kind of dread it, so stick in there with me. Thank you #hashheads for your love and support! You all take a break also. Love your friends and family…and tell them to read #Hashtagfairytales! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

#myfavoritethings

December 16, 2011 5 comments

This is the lesson I learned from Christmas this year: I’m gonna make it big one day. I haven’t quite worked out all of the details, but it’s my only option and Christmas has made this ever so clear. But I don’t want to make it big because you get fame, anyone can be famous, look at Kate Gosselin. I don’t want to make it big because of all of the money, that’d just be shallow! I want to make it big because I believe that world is in need of one specific thing that I can offer. I believe the world needs me for something specific. Everyone has their purpose, and Christmas has taught me that I need the fame, but not for myself, for the sake of the goodness I can bring. Of course I’m talkin’ about a Christmas Album! I should one day make a Christmas album! That #Beiber kid has one, and I am older than her! That Michael Bubbly dude has one and I am twice as American! Even Mariah Carey has two now; c’mon Mariah, you say “All I want for Christmas is you,” but I know you mean “All I want for Christmas is to shot-block a Jacob C. Howard Christmas album” (it’s in the subtext of the songs).

I ‘m not quite sure what my album would be called, but here’s the shortlist of ideas:

#hashthehalls (produced by Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen)

O’ Come all ye #hashheads (featuring duets with readers of #Hashtagfairytales)

#winterholiday (to be sensitive to Christmas ignorers)

#myfavoritethings (instead of an insert with lyrics, it would include my Christmas wish list and mailing address)

#douyouhashwhatihash (sounds funny)

#letitsnow (all duets with TV’s Craig Ferguson)

#JacobCHoward (the “C” stands for Christmas)

One small detail I need to mention: I don’t sing very well. I mean I can carry a tune (of course I can #imblack), but I’m no Robin Thicke…I’m more like Louis Armstrong. Nothing against Louis of course, but his voice was anything BUT melodic! I could at least do that much I think, at one point in my life I was doing solos in High school choir, I suppose I could pull it together for one album. Even if I couldn’t, there’s always auto-tune. I could do a few songs with T-Pain, Cher, Lil’ Wayne, or Ke(dollar sign)ha. But listening to music now days, it’s clear that even a mediocre voice isn’t necessarily needed, what I need is songs!

It’s obvious that I’m skilled enough to write original music and lyrics, I mean, look at my sweet writing skills, but if I were to make my own album, I would do classic Christmas songs. I want my album to be something you can listen to while decorating the tree, or putting up the lights, or partaking in typical, greedy, American, non-moral, consumerism; you know, the traditions of the season. So friends, allow me to share with you the playlist for the Jacob C. Howard Christmas album and why!

1. Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree– Allow me to be honest #hashheads, the reason I want this song is immature. My friend LP brought it to my attention that in the original sang by Brenda Lee, the line that says “later we’ll have some pumpkin pie…” sounds like “some f**kin’ pie.” I want to recreate that.

2. Sleigh Ride– We’re talking snuggling, Currier and Ives prints, AND a bullwhip for the horses?! Um yes please; count me in! With the lyrics or without, it doesn’t matter. #PETA: watch out!

3. Carol of the bells– It’s so good that Mormons do it as well as Metallica, I could not leave it out. My handbell choir played it in high school. I played the deep notes because I was too clumsy for the complicated high notes. History will need to repeat itself.

4. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch– It’s a classic. I know it is—at its core—a negative song, but it says the phrases “nasty-wasty” and “nauseous super naus” so its #BA! I couldn’t top Thurl Ravenscroft (who could with a name like that?), so I’d probably sample the song. I would ask ol’ Thurl to do a duet, but he’s got that same disability as former President Franklin Roosevelt: he’s dead.

5. Do you hear what I hear?– My boy JR Cano says that this song is a bad game of telephone, but what he doesn’t get is that it’s a good game of pass the blame. The star passes responsibility to the lamb, who passes it to the boy, and on to the king, and on to the “people everywhere.” It’s a story about laziness and people who know me know that I’m etc.

6. Linus and Lucy– This one is an instrumental and I have no say about it. It’s from Charlie Brown—for those who have lived under a rock or in #Iowa—and is largely a piano solo. I can’t play the piano, but I’m a percussionist (which means I play “maracas and stuff”) so maybe I could re-arrange it and play a little bit of triangle or something. I smell a single!

7. Little Drummer Boy– Pa rum pump um pum! It don’t get no better! I wouldn’t show boat like some people (I’m looking at you Josh Groban), but it’s about an innocent child who played a snare for the baby king, so as a percussionist I’m dedicated! Plus, the ox and lamb kept time which is a feat of its own!

8. Jesus, Oh what a wonderful child– Since I grew up #HolinessPentecostal, I have to add in the obligatory gospel number! I’m talkin’ the Patti Labelle, organ blaring, hand-clappin’, foot stompin’ kind of thing! I’ll get #backtobasics again with that music!

9. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas don’t be late)– Christmas ain’t Christmas without Alvin and the Chipmunks…or actually Christ, but you know what I mean. I just love the way Alvin wants his hooooo-la-hooooop, imagining a chipmunk trying to #hulahoop is hilarious, and I want to share that joy!

10. Santa Baby– I know what you’re thinking. I don’t really, that’d be creepy, but you may wonder how a guy could sing a song telling Santa about the “fellas I haven’t kissed,” but Michael Buble has a wonderful version that is Y-Chromosome-friendly that says time and again, “Santa Buddy;” #icandigit

11. My Favorite Things– Not a Christmas themed song, but I dare you to deny that it has ascended to the likes Of Christmas-dom! Julie Andrews rocked this song in the Sound of Music and I think I could bring a bit to the table…plus it says “schnitzel with noodles” #funnywords.

12. Baby it’s Cold Outside– Once again not a Christmas song, but a fun little number. I loved the version by Zoey Deschanel and Leon Redbone for the movie Elf (#adorableasusual), but also, there is a version by Ray Charles and Betty Carter that is great. I only have one problem: one line in the song goes “Gosh, your lips look delicious…” How do you know Ray?!

I think I have a good album here! Expect it on iTunes Winter of 2021 or never…one of the two!

What are some songs you’d include if you were producing a Christmas album ?

(Christmas is about God’s gift to us and God coming near. Remember that. Also remember to enjoy your family and friends; they are also a gift from God.)

(#MerryChristmas from #Hashtagfairytales!)