15 Things I’m Not Ashamed Of

So, I’m considering myself tagged by both Emil and Raquel. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t really care. I tend to look at that kind of thing as peer pressure, which I resist on general principle. But I decided to go with this one, because I think that Adiel has a point.

And, for that matter, I wonder if this is less “things I’m not ashamed of” and more “things I wish I weren’t ashamed of”. You know, stuff I wish that I could tell you. And now, because it’s just a silly game, I can get away with risking little bits of myself. Because, after all, it’s just a game, right?

(There’s an entire blog post in the power of games to break down social barriers, but that’s not this post….)

So, in no particular order, here goes.

1. I love games. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to people reading this blog. But, perhaps I haven’t really expressed exactly what I mean. I love games the way some people around me love music. I love playing games. I love thinking about games. I love considering game mechanics, and the social impact of games, and how the study of games helps us understand people and social structures and economics and body language. I love the metaphors innate in a game (compare the hierarchy of Chess with the territory of Go with the networks of Dvonn.) Games are serious business, and I love all of it.

2. I’m generally tired of being a “Reformed” Christian. So often, “Reformed” Christians are grumpy people, spreading the “joy” of the Lord by spitting on smiling people and then telling them that being happy is bad and that they’ll get used to it as they become more sanctified. This is also a totally unfair, non-nuanced portrayal that reflects the emotional content of my objections, not my intellectual reasons.

3. I am largely yet inconsistently disillusioned with high culture. I’d rather listen to Nightwish or Lecrae or Pink Floyd before listening to Mozart, Chopin, or Beethoven. And yet, Bach’s “Mass in B Minor” still has a special place in my heart.

4. I’d love to figure out a way to marry a liturgy like The Book of Common Prayer to modern worship music. I also know that I’m not the person who will figure this out.

5. I find singing in four-part harmony to be distracting and, at times, very frustrating.

6. I am far more emotional than I sometimes seem.

7. A while ago, I figured out that Jesus called me to gamble everything on His promise that His way was better. It’s like He said to gamble everything on a spin of the roulette wheel. “Put it on 0,” He says. And so I do. The ball is still bouncing around, but I know that it will land where He said it would.

8. My fondest dream is to be an elder in a church comprised of drug dealers, prostitutes, and abused children, all of whom Jesus has rescued.

9. I am afraid that I don’t know how much #8 will cost me.

10. I don’t really like being on the front lines of a conflict. Really, I generally wish that people would just leave me alone.

11. I like being on the front lines of a conflict. I think that I would be bored if I weren’t.

12. I like music with drums or heavy percussive elements. This ranges from Paul Van Dyk and Delerium to Kodo.

13. I understand my world better through roleplaying games. Other games I play to turn away from the problems of the world. Roleplaying games I play to connect to the problems of the world. Crystal says that it’s because I’m a counselor at heart. I think that she’s probably right.

14. I get overwhelmed by large crowds. They actually make me feel very lonely. I’d rather be with just a couple of people that I can actually talk to than be in a huge crowd of people, all alone.

15. I love Peoria. I love being part of my city, warts and all. And, I’m coming to appreciate the urban life. At one point, I probably would have wanted to stay far away from a large city. Now, visiting Los Angeles sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

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3 responses to “15 Things I’m Not Ashamed Of

  • Micah R.

    #4. That’s a thought I’ve had many thoughts about. I have some ideas but don’t know enough about liturgy to know if it would be appropriate or not. Would it be bad to have an instrumental going over the Nisene Creed or a scripture recitation? In large part, I’m dissatisfied with the content of modern worship music. Have you heard of Mars Hill’s project, Rain City? It’s on my iTunes and I likey.

    #15. Please don’t tell anyone in my family, but I’d have to agree with you on that one. My life could be in danger, though, if anyone in my immediate family and anyone on my mom’s side found out. I really don’t care for my family’s long and proud history of sociopathic behavior.

  • Mick Bradley

    FWIW, this post puts us right back in a place where I feel a lot of spiritual kinship with you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda Tee

    I tried to make myself official and register a username however since I live nowhere near Peoria, the mean login text wouldn’t let me. 😦

    I stumbled across this on your facebook profile so I thought I’d check it out.

    I have just a few comments. In reference to #5? If an activity distracts and frustrates you, why do you do it? Life’s too short to do things that makes you distracted and frustrated. You should take up one part harmony in your shower.

    Also, in regard to visiting a big city… don’t hold yourself back from potential life changing experiences. Sure something may go wrong, but its just as probable for something to go wrong while you’re huddled away at home as the world passes you by. Personally, I’m a what I call sub-rural gal. I love our place just close enough to activities, but also isolated enough to live across from a horse far and another a few doors down. I LOVE that a bird (we named her Penelope) made a next in our drive way. We had the amazing privilege to see nature at work. We observed her from before the eggs were laid to when these tiny, cute mini Penelope suddenly appeared, bouncing around, trying to fly without much success. But sometimes we just need to get away. Spend the weekend in some nearby city. Explore little shops. Eat at 5 star restaurants. Live it up for a few days. I’d probably do something drastic if we don’t get away from out nice cozy nest of homeyness.

    Finally, reading #3 left me confused. I didn’t quite understand what voice you were using. While this blog post is titled “Things I’m Not Ashamed Of,” I sensed a bit of conflict as to if you’re really not ashamed or if you feel like you should have different tastes. Personally, classical music bores the crap out of me! I mean, it was contemporary modern music centuries ago. Why its still relevant is a mystery to me.If you do feel a little bad about not begin into the stuffy classical stuff that you’re told you’re supposed to like, well, that’s your hang up. It’s up to you and you alone if you’re going to let what others think affect you. As I mentioned, the tunes are totally outdated, however the orchestral movements or times yore left modern artists who stay on the cutting edge with tricks and techniques that the average rock band that sounds like every other average rock bank just don’t have the balls to do. For example, one of my very favorite artists who’s passion and actions inspire me and who i love and respect as an art and humanitarian work.. While I’m a little more toned down, I really respect his don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks, will say after, or how my actions will effect other things, since he first came on the scene as a young producer with an ear for old soul samples, everything he’s done has been critically acclaimed. It’s so refreshing to me to watch someone who is so intent to speak his mind no matter what the aftermath may be. Just for his comment on a live Katrina benefit on TV where he matter-of-factly looked into the camera and said with complete honest that George Bush doesn’t like black people. He never stops pushing the envelope. He never stops creating art. He doesn’t give a fuck how his audience will respond, he just does it because the artist inside is compelled. He has written three multimedia books to accompany his albums. After his second album dropped, he had enough money to fund a world tour with a 12 piece orchestra. Known as a witty, solid rapper, on his last album he totally abandoned rapping at all. The entire album was sung using Auto Tune. It was one of the greatest hip-hop albums of 2008. His videos, like many other hip-hop artists use the featured single as a soundtrack to a short film. he keeps things fresh and new. If you look back to when he was an unknown producer on Jay-z’s ground breaking album, The Blueprint, you can see how he’s evolved. What he’s doing to progress the art of hip-hop. That’s what the world needs. More Kayne Wests. What perpetrates that are the fans who don’t want to see any progression or evolution from those generic rock bands. If they change a tiny bit from one album from the next, the fans freak out. They’re in such a horrible state that they *need* the same over and over and over again. The very thought of change terrifies them. When they go to a show to see a band (it doesn’t matter what one, since they all sound the same) they expect and are disappointed if the band’s live show doesn’t sound exactly like the studio recording they have come to be comfortable with. This terrible situation does nothing than create uninspired individuals that drudge through life, nothing more than in stuck at the same place as they wait to die. Hell…they might as well kill themselves as they don’t know how to enjoy life. But whatever… I really couldn’t care less if some idiot chooses not to take the path to a full, inspired, evolved life. Me, I have my bands that keep me inspired, that help me evolve as a person, that help me discover who I am and help me understand my place in this great universe. That being said, i guess i was i a big of a typey mood. Sorry to have typed your eyes out. I won’t be offended if you don’t even reach this point.

    I know I don’t really know you at all, so i may be stepping out of bounds saying this, but I just wanted to leave with you with some words of potential wisdom. If you’re not already, go out and live life. Plan with your wife to both come home during the afternoon while the kids are at school and no one can hear you and just go to town on each other. Make her make noises that shouldn’t come out of a human. Enjoy each others bodies. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You might come out of it feeling alive and full of vitality! You’re lucky wife might come out of it more pleasured than she thought possible. One of the things that separates us from animals is sex for pleasure. it’s one of the best ways to get a taste of what it’s like to truly experience life. Better yet, it’s free! And, unless you’re very selfish, always a win/win situation. And hey… you don’t even need to go all the way to LA to have an exciting adventure!

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