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#failalot

February 24, 2012 1 comment

Remember how I said I was going to conquer #2012? I was going to take it by the horns. I was going to treat it like it’s in prison and make it my…well you remember. What a load of crock that was. I think I was a bit arrogant, and of course when I say a bit I mean somewhere between Icarus from Greek Mythology and world-renowned boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather (that’s like a 9.0 on the hubris Richter scale). I mean I had good intentions, and I didn’t claim to be better than anybody, but I thought just the motivation was enough. I started the whole #FinishYear thing and let me say I wouldn’t change that for the world; great idea, great results. But without a bit more action, the intentions and motivation is all for naught. In this episode #hashheads, allow me to get some things off my chest.

I had no New-Year’s resolutions. Why? Because that’s dumb; people don’t even keep those. I still believe that. I made a #FinishList which is indeed much better, I published it on #Hashtagfairytales. I can “resolve” anything; I’ll make resolutions all day, they’re just words. But a #FinishList says that I will accomplish tangible goals. The problem: I made my #FinishList into a bunch of resolutions. The items themselves are fine, and I have not forsaken them, but I cannot accomplish any if they remain simply resolutions.

Recently, I have been doing a lot of work concerning goals and objectives. I was a part of developing a set of goals and objectives at work (shoutout to the Office of Head Start and @HeadStartgov), and started to think that is exactly what my #FinishList needs; in order to accomplish the things on my list, I need them to be goals (with attached objectives), not resolutions. Allow me first to differentiate goals and objectives; @RodrigoJose can testify that the two are quite similar but are distinctly different. A goal is THE accomplishment itself; the finish line; the end. An objective is attached to the goal (often more than one objective to a goal) and it is what is done to get there; a vehicle to achieve the goal; a means to the end.

A gentleman commented on #HTFT a few weeks back his name was @CraigStumpf (incidentally, his name is still Craig Stumpf), his blog introduced me to the concept of #neverfail! In this age of #fail memes, people tripping over their shoelaces, and auto-correct mishaps, it is easy to #fail at a lot of things; not for me. I #neverfail, this is especially true concerning my #FinishList. But if you take a look at Stumpfs blog you will see that when he says “Never fail,” he of course means #failalot. I stay doing that. I don’t just fail, I #epicfail; I #failalot. I fail so much you could call me Norm Macdonald (#TVepicfail).

Friends, I don’t want to #failalot; not at this. I want to thrive. I haven’t failed at everything on my #FinishList, but I have fallen behind on a lot. Do I pray the Rosary daily? No. Am I on my way to losing 20 lbs.? Yes. Do I journal daily? No. Am I taking steps to get published on StuffChistiansLike.net? I am. But I have not read the Bible daily, prayed the rosary daily (at least not the full thing), or journaled daily. Plus, I need to add some things. I need direly to come up with objectives for my goals.

#TableTime

Goal: Objective(s):
Read the Bible daily -Stick to an established reading plan.

-Read seasonally appropriate scripture.

Pray the Rosary (revised) -Pray each “decade” at a certain time to work up discipline.
Journal daily -Journal immediately after Bible reading no matter what.

-Write something.

-Don’t write as though the journal will be unearthed by future generations used as a devotional one day (#legendinmyownmind); it’s just a journal.

Lose 20 pounds -Hit the gym no less than 4 times a week! (less more is more)

-Eat what your body needs, not what it wants.

Get published on StuffChistiansLike.net -Develop your ideas fully.

-Write several drafts.

-Read other guest posts.

Save $5,000 -Save no less than $400 per month.

-Save entire Tax refund.

-Spend only when needed.

-Act your wage (#DaveRamsey; #FPUgrad)

Complete my MA -B’s get degrees…excuses don’t.

-Make Education a priority again; a BA is nice, but it’s not the end.

Added: Produce compelling material on the Cut Down Podcast -Collaborate with Sickboy to develop content for the podcast and Social Media (The team IS the podcast).

-Follow and include current trends .

Added: Commit to the practice of Lent -Commit to dietary restrictions on Fridays.

-Do not do any online shopping for 38 more days.

We all #failalot, and why shouldn’t we? We are all human. What are some Goals and objectives you would like to develop for times when you #failalot?

(I told you this was about me getting some things off my chest…next week will be much more fun)

#cutdown

February 17, 2012 2 comments

Do you follow me on the Twitters? If you don’t, you should @JacobCHoward (#shamelessplug). On the Twitters and the Feisbuk (#foreignfriendly), I made an exciting announcement earlier this week. The announcement was: I will make an exciting announcement later this week.  This, my friends, is that announcement. Today is the day! I have hinted toward it, I have written encrypted messages even the #PolloftheWeek had a hidden message (#notsohidden)! Today is the release of “Cut Down with Sickboy and JC.”

Cut Down is a Podcast; this much is certain. Sickboy and JC are the egos of two men who cannot stand being wrong. Sometimes we’ll be fun. Sometimes we’ll be thought provoking. You might agree with one of us. You might have a crush on the other. Some references might go over your head. Some episodes might blow your mind. You will likely shake your head. You will laugh. You will be entertained in two minutes or less. The Bottom line is this: sometimes its deep, sometimes it’s absurd but it’s always crazy; it’s just two masters of mayhem shooting the breeze.

@SickboyMcCoy describes the podcast as “the love child of Mitch Hedberg and C.S. Lewis.” I agree. Today is the release of the pilot episode of #cutdown and I could not be more excited…well I suppose I could be, but unless you have $17 billion to spare the statement stands. Basically, #cutdown is what would happen if the Blues Brothers were jerks. The Pilot episode of #cutdown is likely the only place you will get saucy interns, Calvin & Hobbes, a high-tech studio, Johnny Cash, Adam West, and general smartassery. Here’s what the critics are saying about “Cut Down with Sickboy and JC:”

“Sickboy and JC are the reason I got into the business! Thank you for the inspiration!” –Edward R. Murrow

 “Our famous ‘Who’s on First’ sketch was lifted almost directly from an unaired episode of this 2012 podcast. So glad to see Sickboy and JC again.” –Abbott…or Costello…whichever was the short fat one

“I don’t get it.” –Kim Kardashian

“I would have them on my famous FDR Fireside chat if not for my distinct disability…you know, being dead.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“If I were to rate this show on a scale of one to one-thousand, I would give it a solid 9-9-9!” –Herman Cain

“This show is the reason I created electricity!” –Thomas Edison

“I love these guys!” –Jesus

This is real life #hashheads! It’s 2012, I can’t just make up quotes and put them where I like. These people must have really said these things about #cutdown. I mean, this is the internet, there is integrity here. The internet is the same place Perez Hilton found fame and Paris Hilton found infamy. It is the place where you can watch a flash mob of “It’s rainin’ men” and where people went wild over Chocolate Rain! The internet has prestige, you can’t just post anything here; that’d ruin the integrity that the great creator Al Gore meant for it!

But I digress. If half of those people were alive, they would have said those things. I am excited for #cutdown; almost as excited as I was to try the new Girl Scout cookie flavor: “Savannah Smiles.”  Almost as excited as the Asian-American Community at large was to see Jeremy Lin succeed or the Atheist-American Community was to see Tim Tebow fail.

Listen to “Cut Down with Sickboy and JC.” Released every Saturday and available now on iTunes.

Mad shout out and props to Natalie Stroble Design Solutions for the logo; Cut Down would not be the same without all of Natalie’s hard work.

(This has been #cutdown; for Sickboy, I am JC and that just happened.)

#HTFTS- So long…

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve realized that #HTFT has one big problem; it has something in common with Rapunzel. Do you know the problem with #Hashtagfairytales? I do. I think it began alright, but then it grew into something else. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m down with Rapunzel; she seems like a nice enough lady. But I have a question: where are you right now? I assume you’re on the move; we are always on the move. The problem with #HTFT: like Rapunzel’s hair, #Hashtagfarytales is so long.

Sometimes I go back and re-read them and get impatient and skip a little. You are on the move; likely you don’t have time to read some two page rant on what I feel about children’s stories. I don’t blame you! Even my most loyal fans—both of you—I’m sure grow weary as the posts grow long. So what does this mean? #HTFT will be shorter. Not #HTFTS short, but shorter than the normal. Sometimes 140 characters is not enough; but sometimes 6,100 characters is too much. Time to find a happy medium.

 Time to be honest.

 Time to make a change.

 Time, to not waste yours.

Categories: #HTFTS Tags: , , , , ,

#in_dependence

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

(It’s my favorite time of the month where I shut up and you all get to read a REAL writer. That’s right, it’s #GuestPost time! Today’s comes from a loyal #hashhead called Emilio Bustos. You gotta see this…)

As I’ve continued to grow I’ve come to a realization: #independence is not what we think it is. My perusing around the interwebs and even the tube (and for you young folks, that’s that #retro thing called television…not YouTube) have called out a certain persona, theme, motto for independence: “I am what I want to be and what I want to do.” (Note: There is probably some more grandiose way of saying that, or even something to add to it, but I’ll stick with that for now.) So, why do I care? It boils down to pride and the status of being called independent. I will do what I want when I want if I want. I am my own master.

You may have an idea of where this is going and if you do, good, we’re on the same page, probably struggling through the issue of independence. And now for my daily dose of fun questions I ask of myself; what is independence? What makes me independent? Who am I independent of?

Well, as I ramble and blab on I hope you ask yourself the same questions. I am the product of a living couple who decided to get married and 3 years later have their first child, me. As any kid, I grew up, learned from my parents, depended on them, got in trouble, rebelled in my own way, learned my way didn’t work, and well, love my parents. I am currently 24 years old with no immediate plans of marriage or moving out. I don’t believe it to be my rite of passage just yet; I have so much to learn from both of my parents that I can’t see myself leaving the nest yet. Immature? I don’t think so, I think it displays the sense of maturity and relation I hope I have with God. He is in utter and complete control, I am dependent on Him.

So, why write this? There seems to be, as previously stated, a desire to be your own man (or woman if you’re not into that whole “Y Chromosome” thing). You want to do your own thing and not be accountable to anyone for your actions. This lifestyle, in my eyes, leads to nothing but chaos. And yes, I know #Joker would say, “The little thing about chaos…it’s fair.” But life in chaos is not life at all. Identity is not found in doing your own thing but in becoming subject to depending on another. It shows the best qualities in a person: humility, love, service, and so on. A seeking of being your own and doing your own without regard to others is simply pride. Pride ain’t no good… #yup.

The need to be your own is most realized when you are dependent on another (#dependonthat). It gives you a point of reference as to who you are and what you are doing. Now, who do you depend on to give you your identity? I put that trust in Christ, yeah, this may be the most preachy #HTFT so far, but I say, oh well… “speak what is in your heart” said the creator of said medium of thought and writing, and I believe I’ve done so.

I may have asked a lot more question that I answered… Good… maybe you can answer some and get back to me with a response. Well, closing my thoughts I point to the book of Joel, Chapter 2, verse 11… pretty much… one finds identity, purpose and meaning in being dependent of God. Dependence on Him is not cowardly or what have you… it produces might, valor, bravery. Paul says it best when he states: I can do what I want, but it ain’t all good for me… You have the freedom to be your own, but not always good for you. Live subject to God my friends.

In ending, my independence is not found in doing what I want or when I want to but having the self control to not do what I want when I want. I find my independence and freedom are best seen when I am in submission to, yes you guessed it, God and His will. Do I have the freedom to do as I please? Sure. Will I do as I please? Nope. My subjection to the sovereignty of God rests on His providence and good will… whatever He has for me is the better than what I could produce for myself. I find my independence: #in_dependence.

(JCH: This guy is the real deal huh? Emilio, how do you be so cool?)

Find out here:

Videos produced by Twelfth Wind (Emilio and the crew)- Arbol de Vida IDD

Find him on Tumblr- Emil

Follow him on the Twitters- @ebustos

#whereyouat

February 3, 2012 2 comments

This has been an #interesting week for me. You know when people say interesting, but they really don’t mean interesting they just use that word in a vague way? Yeah, this is one of those times. That is to say, I don’t know that my week was actually interesting, but I had a few conversations that really got me thinking. Monday, a few people from my church got together to discuss a book that we read concerning the way that people inside the church present the message of the Bible and the effect thereof on people outside the church. (For more information on the book feel free to email me.) I do not wish to belabor that topic, but it sparked some good conversation. The following evening, I had the opportunity to facilitate a discussion about religion at Patten University using that viral spoken word video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” as a launching point. Stimulating discussion, we got a bit off track though, the group was talking about religion as a whole, but I wanted to talk about the sweet Hello Somebody watch that the guy had on—it seems he wears them in a few videos.

Nevertheless, all of this brought up an interesting point in my mind #hashheads: The church is not a comfortable place. I know this is not rocket science but as a Christian, it kind of bothers me that some people (both those familiar and unfamiliar with the church) find Christians to be—for lack of a better term—yucky! If you the reader do identify yourself as a Christian, you too should be put off by the fact that people think you’re yucky. If you do not identify yourself as a Christian, I’d love to buy you a coffee and pick your brain a little bit; for the coffee I’ll wear jeans, for the brain picking I’ll wear gloves (#brainsurgery). Seriously, I want to know why it is that church, religion and Christ are such turn-offs. I mean it could be the antiquated thinking, but there are many liberal Christians. Maybe the belief in the supernatural, but there are plenty “rationalists” in different churches. Or I suppose that the argument could be made that the hefty amount of doctrines, creeds, and beliefs could be daunting for the un-churched mind, but there are some extremely intelligent non-believers. Maybe their problem is with blogs by Christians that continuously make fun of the innocent Orange-American population (#SorrySnooki).

Let me say this, I do not want to suppose that #Hashtagfairytales will answer all questions—hell, I can’t say I’ll answer any definitively—but I do have ideas and I believe they are worth exploring. The gentleman in the video above unabashedly proclaims that he hates religion and loves Jesus, and I think he makes a ton of interesting points (none of which I can truly say are unfounded). Although I think the frame for his argument is a bit faulty. I believe that he uses phrases like “religion is the infection” and “as for religion, I resent it,” simply for the sensation that they cause in the religious world as well as the non-religious world. This can strike a chord for both Christians and non-Christians alike. He uses artistic license for which I am in full support, but I believe the correct frame for the argument is not “Religion vs. Jesus”—these two aren’t at odds—I believe what he is talking about is “Religion” vs. True religion (#notthejeans).

“Religion” is not very good. I think that it’s “religion” that people find yucky about Christians (Sorry for using technical terms like “yucky,” I guess I just use scholarly language). When I say “religion” herein, what I mean is religiousness or religiosity; that is to say being overtly pious or “holier.” Notice I did not say holy, God calls us to be holy and that we should strive for, but God never once asked us to be holier. Now some might read that and say, “Well duh!” But I mean that we are not meant to look at ourselves as holier. As part of my #FinishList, I want to lose 20 pounds. Because of this, I been hitting the gym with my boy Jocxan (do yourself a favor, don’t try to pronounce it). We went to Safeway afterwards one night and he got an item that I told him he shouldn’t get; his will won over what was best for him, but on the other hand, I didn’t get “naughty food” even though I wanted to. I did what was “right” and he did what was “wrong.” Because of this I felt good about myself, but to put it honestly, I felt better than Jocxan. “Religious” people don’t feel good about what they’re doing; they feel better than what they aren’t. Their concern is being proud of themselves that they did better. They are not concerned with feeling good because of who they’re being, they want to feel better because of who they aren’t.  Their call is not—in their minds—to be holy, but to be holier.

As for true religion (with an apparent and intentional lack of quotation marks), James 1:27 describes it better than I can: It is to look after the widows and orphans and not let one’s self be corrupted by the world. Corrupted by the world. That’s interesting. You might say, “Jacob, isnt that a call to be holier?” To you I’d say two things, first, you forgot an apostrophe, second no. Corrupted by the world; one of the world’s biggest corruption is pride, from it stems greed. My #BFF C.S. Lewis once said, pride is not concerned with having, but having more than the next guy. I say again, pride is not being holy, but being holier than the next guy. What worse corruption is there that an attempt to be holier? What say we get all radical and focus on looking after those in need. I know, too crazy to work; but a guy cam dream can’t he?

Friends, I think there is one huge thing that separates the unbeliever—or the casual believer—from connecting with God or the church or however you choose to put it: Christ is invisible. Think about it, the Bible even clearly says, the message of the cross is foolishness to unbelievers (I Corinthians 1:18). It all sounds so silly. “Let me get this straight, Some magician died 2000 years ago and he became a zombie who judges you? And you say the zombie talks to you? Well, I’m gonna go now…” of course it sounds silly, as it should. We are talking to this invisible guy. These people come to the church searching, looking for Jesus and what do they find sometimes? Nothing, an invisible guy.  They sound like an old Boost mobile Commercial and they look for Jesus saying #whereyouat?! (#vintage) But they cannot find him.

What if though He weren’t invisible? That’d be easy huh? It worked for doubting Thomas. What if—maybe they don’t see his whole body—what if they just got a glimpse? Many would probably believe wouldn’t they? We believe Christ is alive; people who are alive can be seen right? If Christ is alive then He ought to be able to be seen; He ought to show Himself! I think He’s tried, but there’s something in His way. Me. You. We are in His way. He tries to show Himself every day, but we won’t let Him. What if someone could from the corner of their eye catch a glimpse of Christ in Me? They’d believe forever. I am not trying to say that there are no Christians who allow Christ to shine through—far from it—but I am saying that if as many as carry the label also carried the Christ this world would be a different place. I do not look down my nose at anyone; what if I carried the Christ as much as I do all this talking about Him? What if I was who God is calling me to be? What if I answered the #whereyouat question and allowed the invisible Christ to be visible?

(#Interesting.)