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Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’

#pickupabook

May 4, 2012 4 comments

With Mothers day coming up this month, it has recently occurred to me: there are few things as invaluable as a mother’s love…and of course by invaluable, I mean valuable. You know, the English language is so difficult (that “mothers love” crap can wait). I work with a lot of people who speak English as a second language and this week I tried to teach a native Spanish-speaker how to pronounce the word “bag.” Sure, easy word for us native English speakers, but in Spanish—I have come to learn—there is no short a sound; her “bag” usually ended up as “bog.” I’m just saying; English is frustrating.

Any old way, back to the invaluableness of a mother’s love. Many people are difficult to love; we all have our quirks and…you know what forget it, I can’t do this. Do you want to know what is truly valuable? Mastery of the English language. But how many of us take it for granted? How many of us when typing a tweet do not bother to differentiate between “your” and “you’re?”Allow me to be honest #hashheads, one thing that frustrates me is a wreck less disregard for the English language. Is that to say that I always have perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation? No, but rest assured you will never get a text or tweet from me that says,

“Dis week is kilin me more than u no. i cud use a vaca. and its only monday smh”

As a matter of fact, it took me 20 minutes to butcher that sentence; I’m just not cut out for that kind of stuff! Don’t get me wrong, I am no Ted Mosby (#HIMYM), but I’d like to think of myself as at least a cadet on the #grammarpolice force . People who hang out with me—or are my friends on #thefacebooks—will know that I am one to…”assist” with grammar, spelling, and all around book-learnin’. I cannot lie, I used to read the dictionary and Encyclopedia for recreation, (some read that and hear, “I’m brilliant;” others hear, “I’m a loser.” Both are at least partially correct) sure, I know off the top of my head how many US presidents were named James. But I’m not asking the same from everyone; I know that English and grammar aren’t everyone’s forte per se; I know that the Latin and Greek origins of our Germanic language can throw many for a loop. I just ask that we all try to #pickupabook!

Go ahead, end a sentence in a preposition if you can’t get yourself out of the pinch you are in. (That sentence wasn’t funny, but the #grammargeeks can see the ironic punch line) I don’t mind a mistake here and there, but let me tell you, if that tweet that you call a deep philosophical truth is riddled with spelling errors, Fred Nietzsche you are not. If your theological revelations/status updates need to be read 17 times in order for the reader to formulate a sensible sentence, then give up your dreams of being a G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, or John Piper (you, still have a chance to be Mark Driscoll though).

Is this in part a scathing warning to our school system? I suppose so. But more so, this goes out to the adults who don’t read Hunger Games because “it’s stupid;” the adults who haven’t picked up a book recreationally because books are too long and boring. Are you one of those people? Here’s how you can tell: Are you reading this? Then you probably aren’t one of those people. The same people who won’t #pickupabook, will likely not read this blog, which is why I can be mean to them! It’s perfectly fine to write mean things about people who don’t read; they’ll never see it. It’s like speaking ill of a deaf person (#toofar?).

Friends, my point is this: strive for perfect grammar; sound out those words that are difficult to spell; remember the lessons you learned in third grade phonics. It isn’t difficult. Above all, May the fourth be with you! (#wordplay)

(The answer by the way is 6: Madison, Munroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, Carter #presidentialfacts).

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#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.)

#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!

#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

#bottomsup

November 18, 2011 2 comments

…or maybe tobacco isn’t your thing. Maybe that isn’t a concern of yours at all; you don’t want it, you don’t care about it, it’s not a moral issue with which you concern yourself. Maybe your issue of choice leans more towards hops and grains. That’s right my friends, today on #Hashtagfairytales we will tackle the second part of the series #illallowit: #alcohol! Tobacco was kind of a tame issue I suppose; not many are super passionate about tobacco use—for or against—any more these days. But when people talk about #alcohol I have sensed a lot of strong feelings. Most people that I have had the opportunity to observe are either head-long one way or butt-strong the other (#sh*tmygrandmasays). This issue is a bit more serious I think and a bit more morally telling.

I have seen this issue rear its head a lot and there has always been tons of debate. As I’ve said before, I was raised Holiness Pentecostal, so drinking #alcohol was completely disallowed. As a matter of fact, when kids in my class—at my Christian school—would try and argue for #alcohol (mind you none of them old enough to imbibe it) the majority of us would look at them as rebels; those bad boys that would be okay with #tobacco and #alcohol and guns and motorcycles; those girls that’d be okay with pants and kissing and makeup and hard drugs (In the Holiness mind in which I was raised it’s a very short jump from makeup to hard drugs).

As a Bible-believing Christian this seems like an open and shut case; Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) specifically says not to “get drunk on wine” (Ephesians 5:18) #boom #done #caseclosed. Who’s to say otherwise? I’ll tell you who: Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus). The very same man who wrote not to get drunk also wrote the words, “a little wine is good for the stomach” (I Timothy 5:23). So I hear you saying not to get drunk, and also to have a little wine; the same guy saying don’t do it is also saying #bottomsup. Let’s put this in context. Timothy (to whom Paul wrote the second statement), was sick of the water in the city where he lived. I mean he was literally sick, he tried to follow the first statement and only drink water, but that was making him ill, so Paul told him to drink a little bit of wine.

The fermenting process ridded the liquid of some of the impurities of the regional water, but he still wasn’t getting drunk. This does not show that drinking is ok, but it certainly does not show that drinking is an absolute sin. Paul himself makes absolutely clear one thing: that the issue of #alcohol is at best an unclear issue. #Hashheads, when it comes to #alcohol, I have to say, #illallowit. Once again, it proves most useful to state: I am not trying to defend myself or justify any of my own actions. Let me make this ever clear: I was raised viewing alcohol as the sinner’s beverage of choice; I have never taken so much as a sip of alcohol; the absolute closest I have come is having food cooked with #alcohol (#beerbattered shrimp; #JackDaniels steak; #tequilalime fettuccine; et al.) and even an occasional drinker will tell you that doesn’t count! The only reason I choose to talk about it is because it is interesting and I think that it can spark meaningful conversation.

Let me say, this has been a difficult road for me; taking my deep instilled moral values and deciding at a later age that I do not hold to them as strictly as I was taught. I myself do not drink and never have, but not because I am morally opposed; I am not. I know that not everyone will agree with my ideas; proponents and opponents alike, but after wrestling and struggling with the ideas I have found these things to be true about my beliefs and ideas about #alcohol:

#cosmopolitanculture– It is a wide-accepted fact that #alcohol can change ones ways of thinking after partaking in it, but I have a problem with the changes in ones thinking that happens before they drink it. This only applies to a fraction of the proponents of #alcohol, but it frustrates me nonetheless. There is a culture that comes with #alcohol nowadays and I can’t say that I like it. #Alcohol has become to certain of these more recent generation as “the first hunt” was to the Native Americans; as the bar mitzvah is to the Jews; as the high school diploma was to our parents. It’s some sort of sign of growth or badge of honor to some people. I blame it on movies like Old School with Will Ferrell or shows like Sex and the City with the long-faced Sarah Jessica Parker. You are a REAL grown up when you can go out and get drunk; you have truly made it if you are drinking a Cosmopolitan cocktail at 1:30 in the afternoon. That is how we know you are mature; that is how we know you are cool. Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha, and Carrie, I’m calling your Bull!

#drunkonlife– That first scripture mentioned above talks about getting “drunk on wine.” In this man’s opinion, not for nothing those words are used. I believe of course, by saying wine, what is meant is all #alcohol or fermented drink, but what is specifically stated is not to get drunk on these things. Alcohol has a tendency to alter ones personality or actions (some say it makes the person more themselves), and I don’t believe that is what we are called to do. I do not believe that any Christian ought to get drunk. #Period. I believe that is more clearly stated in scripture. Besides, drunkenness is hardly attractive—I’m looking at you Snooki. I mean I get that some like it, but eventually we all need to grow up (this extends beyond Christianity), and I think a huge part of growing up is moderation.

Also, along the same lines as the last part of this series, addiction to alcohol is—while a very tough and debilitating sickness—wrong. I think people—Christians and non Christians alike—ought to consider professional help for addictions such as these. This is no easy or light matter many real people are affected by this and I believe as a people of God we must embrace those affected thereby; I 100% endorse 12 step programs. I was honored to once attend an AA meeting (as a guest) and it was phenomenally touching. If you know someone who needs it, out of love, encourage them.

#lessfilling/#tastesgreat– A softly chilled pinot grigio with a garlic infused roasted turkey breast; a cool but room temperature cabernet sauvignon with a fine cut of properly tenderized and fire-grilled steak; Beer with pizza. Whatever one’s preference, some #alcohol simply complements food. When consumed in moderation what is wrong with a bit of #alcohol with an appropriate meal? Mind you, I cannot speak from experience in this area, but cooks and food scientists agree that due to the chemicals and proteins in foods some foods (and beverages) complement each other; that’s just a #fact. Eat, drink, and be merry!

It is my holiness roots that says that Christians ought to conduct themselves in a way separate from those “of the world.” I agree. Christians ought to not get drunk, its unattractive and ungodly—once again, one man’s opinion. In the same way Christians ought to conduct themselves differently than worldly people in that those of the world tend to faction off. There are the Democrats and Republicans; the Asians and the Latinos; the 99% and the 1%; Team Jacob and Team Edward. What if the Holy people of God really were different? What if they stopped pulling away and started unabashedly, unashamedly, caring for and loving people. What if followers of Jesus believed when He said, “Other sheep I have that are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice and there will be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16)? What if Christians showed love towards everyone no matter their moral posture? What if we gave a glass of water in the name of a prophet, or said a short prayer for a person who needed it (Christian or non-Christian)? What if Christians lived out that #lovewinsbreh. Never mind, that’s just dumb.

To finalize my thoughts on #alcohol: ultra conservative Bob Jones said this about my best friend C.S. Lewis, “That man smokes a pipe and that man drinks liquor—but I do believe he is a Christian.”

(It’s all about moderation. Also, concerning coming back to the series, sorry for the abrupt re-entry.)

(#thatswhatshesaid)

#istayinnarnia

July 15, 2011 1 comment

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, Jacksie.

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

#jacobsexyhoward

July 8, 2011 1 comment

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)