Monthly Archive for November, 2008

Quote of the Week (a.k.a Parable of the Week)

People come to a farm; they find there all that is necessary to sustain life, – A house well furnished, barns filled with grain, cellars and store-rooms well stocked with provisions, implements of husbandry, a life of comfort and ease. Each wishes to profit by this abundance, but each for himself, and begins to seize upon all that he can possibly grasp, without thinking of others, or of those who may come after. Then begins a veritable pillage; they fight for the milk and grain; they grasp more than they can consume. No one is able to sit down to the tranquil enjoyment of what he has, lest another take away the spoils already secured, to surrender them in turn to someone stronger. All these people leave the farm, bruised and famished. Thereupon the Master puts everything to rights, and arranges matters so that one may live there in peace. The farm is again a treasury of abundance. The comes another group of seekers, and the same struggle and tumult is repeated, till these in their turn go away bruised and angry, cursing the Master for providing so little and so ill. The good Master is not discouraged; he again provides for all that is needed to sustain life, and the same incidents are repeated over and over again.
Finally, among those who come to the farm, is one who says to his companions: “Comrades, how foolish we are! See how abundantly everything is supplied, how well everything is arranged! There is enough here for us and for those who will come after us; let us help one another. Let us work, plant, care for the dumb animals, and everyone will be satisfied.” Some of the company understand what this wise person says; they cease from fighting and from robbing one another, and begin to work. But others, who have not heard the words of the wise man, or who distrust him, continue their former pillage of the Masters goods. This condition of things lasts for a long time. Those who have followed the counsels of the wise man say to those about them: “Cease from fighting, cease from wasting the Master’s goods; you will be better off for doing so; follow the wise man’s advice.” Nevertheless, a great many do not hear and will not believe, and matters go on very much as they did before.”

Leo Tolsoi – “My Confession, My Life, My Religion” pg 129

And so it is, A life lived for yourself is a life of pillaging and robbery. Only is it when you allow yourself to be concerned not with your own needs but the needs of those around you that you choose the road of selflessness and compassion. A world of individuals is a world where only the tough survive. A world of communities is a world where everyone has enough.

Quote of the Week

“The most intimate relationship with the Lord is expressed from out of the reasoning process. The believer is to seek to be transformed by the renewing of his perceptive abilities of his mind; to put the issues of life to the test… reasoning things out, seeking to percieve what the Lord’s will is for each situation.”
– Bill Klein
Greek Thoughts on

The Conflict Between Self-Worth and Selflessness

Self worth is a tricky bastard. A person’s personal self worth, or what the individual thinks his own worth to be, is a need just as necessary as air and water and in my life I think I’ve sufficiently proven that life just can’t function with out it. Although, this is the place at with which I have found myself. What I have found is that I’m having trouble reconciling the idea of my self-worth with my goal of becoming more selfless. It seems as if my life has become a sort of negotiation between me and those closest to me in my life. “This is what I believe my life to be worth, what will you give me for it.” And those who I believed valued my life and my contributions to their life began to present really low bids, making me feel under valued. I deserve more! I am worth more! Why give myself to these ungrateful people, maybe I could find someone who would think I’m worth more. I often find myself angry, hurt, or just utterly dysfunctional because I believe that I deserve more care, concern, attention, or just plain love. So, then I thought maybe it would be easier to be selfless if I believed myself to be worth nothing. So obviously that didn’t work, it didn’t really make me want any less, it actually did the opposite, made me desperate for more. So what is the answer? Because I don’t believe life to be about getting what you deserve or about getting anything out of anyone. Life is about the giving not about the taking. So I can’t help but think “what is wrong with me.” “Why can’t I just not care about what I get.”
How am I supposed to just not care when I give my all and all I get in return is a slap in the face? So now I’m back trying to re-discover my self-worth after my little failed experiment, but am completely clueless about how I am going to learn to be satisfied with whatever treatment I get, because after getting the biggest slap in the face of my life here recently I’ve found that I’ve become rather cautious when it comes to giving everything I have. It feels impossible to overcome the pain, anger, and depression that has become life. Not to mention the longing I have to not walk this path alone. I long to find someone who wants this lifestyle of selflessness. A person who will walk along side me, someone who needs the same help, the same encouragement, the same accountability. How do I just not want? How do I become content with walking alone? How do I become selfless when I know I’m worth so much more.

Making Stuff…

I’m definitely not even close to working out all of the stuff going on in my world, but I at least had a thought today, who knows if it will stick with me. I was cooking this Pina Colada Bread Pudding for a group of friends tonight when I realized that life is kind of like cooking. You take all of this random stuff and you make something of it. And if you are good at it then the final product is something beautiful and delicious all in one.
I really need to learn to take all of this random painfully gross stuff that happens in life and craft it together into something beautiful and delicious. Some of us have better ingredients to deal with than others though. I feel like I have some pretty crappy ingredients.
So it’s just going to take a little more trial and error then some. I hope the relationships I have in my life are strong enough to take some trial and error, because it’s going to take a life time to get it right.
Don’t get me wrong… I love who I am. I love the person I’ve become. But I don’t like my life, my circumstances, I’m not happy because of external conditions; things I have no control over. Those are the ingredients of which I speak. Those are the things I need to learn to accept and use to my advantage; like taking random ingredients and putting them together to make the bread pudding that is my life.

Anyway here are some pictures and a really good recipe for Bread Pudding I stole from Disney.

Serves 12
1. Preheat Broiler. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes, spread on a cookie sheet, broil until golden brown.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Combine Toasted Bread and Pineapple in a Mixing Bowl and then spread into 13x9x2 pan and drizzle with melted butter.
4. Warm Milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not boil. Whisk in eggs, heavy cream, sugar, coconut milk, and rum. Remove from heat.
5. Pour custard over bread mixture. Use fork to push down bread until bread is well soaked.
6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

For Rum Sauce
1. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small mixing bowl, stir until smooth.
2. Combine 1 cup milk, tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
3. Whisk egg yolk mixture into saucepan.
4. Immediately pour into a bowl in an ice bath to prevent curdling. Add 1 tbsp of rum and whisk thoroughly.

KEvin as an Inanimate Object

So now I know. Now I know what it feels like to sit in a corner, unused, untouched, and ignored. Now I know what it must feel like to say “When somebody loved me everything was beautiful.” You know what I think the worst part is, the waiting. One day you are being used, played with, and you have a purpose and then it just stops. So you spend everyday thinking, is this the day I will become useful again, is this the day someone will find a reason to give me a purpose. It’s definitely the waiting that drives you crazy.
I remember when Jacob dropped my 300gb hard drive. I’m sure if it had feelings it got tired of the waiting because there is a process you go through when things break, an analysis process. You have to decide whether or not it is worth the time, effort, and money it will take to repair that object or if you should simply replace it. Yea… the waiting has to hurt the worst. It’s like an innocent prisoner being convicted and waiting on his sentence. The story with my hard drive, ended well for him (not so much for me). The hard drive held so many unbacked up, unreplaceable memories, in the form of documents and pictures, that I couldn’t just replace it, so I needed to fix it. So I invested over $2,000 into fixing that thing and holding onto those cherished memories. It was worth it… for me and for him.

Kevin now knows how it feels to be a broken inanimate object waiting and wondering if he is worth fixing or just replaceable.