Friday, December 16, 2005

aloha.



i am sorry about not giving you updates on the recording process, but we took a break for aaron to see his friend that is a girl, and for me to take a quick business trip (anberlin) to hawaii. right now im sitting in starbucks (wierd) in the middle of oahu. hawaii is like one huge cultivated disney theme park, its absolutly flawless. we will pick back up and record in january, because i am producing a band called 'the vow,' from lakeland, florida. ill tell you more later, but until then please buy an album from the band 'the innocence mission,' they are all im listening to here.

(if for some reason i should stop breathing on this trip please tell my family that i want 'these days' by nico played at my ending ceremony)

Friday, December 09, 2005

walk the line...

So, I learn from my mistakes. It's a very painful way to learn, but without pain, the old saying is, there's no gain. I found that to be true in my life. You miss a lot of opportunities by making mistakes, but that's part of it: knowing that you're not shut out forever, and that there's a goal you still can reach.
- Johnny Cash

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

fourth




this is so out of my element at points. i forget that im not restricted by a record label or pop formula. this is definitely a growing point in my musical life, i feel as an artist i am exploring into the depths of music without getting arty for art's sake. we came up with an idea on the song 'sheet music' to set the mic up right on the piano so i in essence sing right into the piano. we put books on the pedal so that the piano would hold every note i sang. the outcome is lush and noticeable. when you hear the song you will pick up on it. i really enjoy working with aaron, he has an ear for music and knows where i want to take this music. i have had a lot of cool people hanging out around me during this process. john bucklew, franc, lamar grey, travis mitchels, racheal and racheal, jack, drew, nichole, etc. thanks guys for the support and free coffee.
-estaban

Monday, November 28, 2005

orlando, florida, usa.

tres.

good news everyone. aaron is now officially mayor of space. we haven't started yet today because he had to purchase a sad happy tree day. no big deal.
we have started on the vocals already, and i couldn't be happier. we are going to leave a lot of 'mistakes' because i want the recording to sound real, like your actually in the studio or listening to us live. i have some acoustic shows coming up and will give you more info on them when i get it (including fordham university, nyc in december).
-estaban

*if you want me to play at your university/coffee shop just fly me out and ill do it! email: kyle@arsonmediagroup.com

Sunday, November 27, 2005

seconds.


the second day of recording, and it feels as though it is going to become everything i hoped it was going to be.
yesterday we knocked out all the piano parts, and finished guitars. there are going to be some amazing moments on this EP.
alot of these songs are inspired by future memories. on several songs i pretended as though i was 70 years old and was writing songs about life lived. recently there have been alot of people i have come in contact with that have taught me about the different stages of life. jack and racheal, just starting out. angela and kyle, having first child. ken and michelle, in the heart of life. paul and bonnie arnold, in the winter of life but still in love. fascinating. fascinating that im going to experience all the stages in time to come. we all will.
who will we be then?
when looking back on life what would we wish we could tell ourselfs at this very moment.
i wish you all wiser than your age.
-estaban

Saturday, November 26, 2005

first day of tracking.

the machine that writes the music.
tracking guitar.





yesterday went amazing. after 2 stops at starbucks and lunch at crispers we ended up working 13 hours. i wish all the producers i worked with were this much of a workaholic. i could be like wayne newton (that guy has come out with more than 134 records!!!).

im off to track piano, will write more when i get good pictures.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

project of solo

one wish of mine has always been to record a solo record. please don't spread rumors that we are breaking up because that is not my heart, and that is not happening.

tomorrow i start recording here in central florida with aaron marsh (copeland) as my producer. to distance myself a little from anberlin i am using louis (gasoline heart/the kick) on bass, john bucklew (copeland) on drums, and i'll play guitar and piano. the stuff i have up online (purevolume.com/stephenchristian) is not an accurate portrayal of what is going to occur when you get the four of us in a studio together.

i am debating whether or not it is going to be an EP or an LP. 6 songs are on guitar where 4 are on piano, including a song that i fell in love with by my favorite band and popularized in the book "perks of being a wallflower." but me and aaron will discuss such topics tomorrow morning. so far the song i am looking forward to playing the most is called 'calm yourself'.

ill try to keep updating this site throughout this whole process.
-estaban

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

nothing average ever stood as a monument to progress.

Nothing average ever stood as a monument to progress. When progress is looking for a partner it doesn't turn to those who believe they are only average. It turns instead to those who are forever searching and striving to become the best they possibly can. If we seek the average level we cannot hope to achieve a high level of success.
-A. Lou Vickery

Saturday, November 12, 2005

speaking engagement/orlando

friends,
i am speaking on dating relationships this sunday in orlando, florida.
for more info check out whatsyourstatus.com
-esteban

Thursday, November 10, 2005

live. and live well.

two weekends ago a young pastor from waco texas, kyle lake, was killed in an unfortunate accident at his church.
kyle never got a chance to share his message with his congregation that night at university baptist.
his notes were on the pulpit, ready for him to speak in the evening meeting, but he never got to share what was on his heart.
below is the conclusion of his message, may his last written words inspire your life today.
-esteban


'Live. And Live Well.
BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do
not be future. Be now.
On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and
FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.
If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to
FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE.
Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.
If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.
Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a
project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.
If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be
disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all…
because soon he’ll be wiping his own.
If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well.
At the table with friends and family, LAUGH.
And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day.
Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven.
And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor.
Taste every ounce of friendship.
Taste every ounce of Life.
Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.'
-kyle lake

Sunday, November 06, 2005

burn them and you only burn us out.

in a recent interview i was asked about how i felt about burning cd's bur who ever thought that burning CD's would turn into such a moral debate? this issue is simply one of the considerations those who download CD's illegally must consider when doing so. Here is why it hurts artists when you burn CD's:

Much like any other business or financial institution the music business is simply out to make money. If a product is not making money, then that product is discontinued. If a particular product such as a children's toy has waned in popularity and young kids stop buying that toy, then the makers cease to invest in that particular model and a new and different product is introduced. But if the product is in high demand the company will pour more money into marketing and development, and future toys of that nature will be expounded upon and developed.

It is the same with the music business. If a band is selling records then the company is willing to pour money into that band; they pour that money into the bands marketing, distribution, touring dollars and a bigger budget to record their next record. BUYING A RECORD IS LIKE CASTING A VOTE!!! If you want to see your favorite bands succeed go out and buy their record. You see, if no one buys the albums of the bands that you enjoy, then that band will be dropped from their label, and there’s a good chance you would never hear from them again.

Basically here is a rough sketch to how it works: If a band sells 50,000 records then they are allotted about 50,000 dollars to record their next record. So if everyone burned a CD instead of buying it the band may sell only 25,000 records, which sounds like a lot, but $25,000 isn't that much money when your talking about trying to make a well produced, mixed and packaged record. To put it in perspective, Korn spent over one million on just the producer alone on their last record, and pop musicians can easily spend double that on their records.

This also plays into touring. Do you want to see your favorite band live? Then buy their record so their label will give them money to tour (which is where the majority of musician’s money comes from). Contrary to popular belief, indie bands do not make as much money as one would think. The average musician on the basic indie label (Drive Thru, The Nail, Jade Tree) could make more money a year working part time at McDonald's then being in a full time touring band. Don't believe me? Ask your favorite indie band next time you see them on the road. The average indie band member makes less then half the poverty rate in America. This is not a tangent to make you feel sorry for us (after all we are living out our dreams), it is simply a request to please buy our t-shirts, come to our shows and buy our record! Because without your support we cannot survive.

I heard one individual tell me recently that he burns CD's because he heard that artists see very little of the CD sale if any. While this may be true to some point, follow me on this cycle: If we don't sell albums we won't be given money to make another one; if we don't sell records we cant go out on tour (again, which is where we make our money to live); if we don't sell records we don't get marketing money which tells you when our album is coming out and when/where our next show is in your area.

If you are seriously against giving record labels your money then please come to the band’s shows and buy our CD from us at the shows. Not only do we receive more money than if you would buy them at retail stores, but they also count towards our final sales numbers.

In conclusion: cast a vote for your favorite bands, and then go out and buy their CD. However, if you burn their album then you eventually burn them out of existence.
-estaban

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

kant vs. plato; is there a universal morality?

touching on the topic of inherent right and wrong in the last post , the question now is posed; are we born with a moral law (or natural law) and why?
as far as we know civilizations on average, and as a whole, have all kept the same basic principles (or if i dare say) ‘morals’ in their society. though knowledge and information have excelled, and evolved, human nature has not. i believe we are born with these natural law’s intact, and have acknowledged them from the earliest cultures to the modern day world.

example of what i am referring to are extensive but here are a few:
do not murder
do not eat others of your own kind
do not run from battle
bravery is honorable, betrayal is not
protect yourself (self survival)
protect your family (survival of genetics)
etc.
(i understand that there are exceptions *cannibalism, etc. but even these are under certain rules and regulations established within the give community.)
on these principle’s can we concretely say that we have established as a human species a sense of right (a unilateral sense of truth) and wrong (false) based on these congenital natural standards? and can this be refuted by the modernized plato* theory that truth is relative?
example: if truth is not relative we can then freely judge other’s according to the action’s we perceive as good or evil. as an illustration if i see an adult severely beating a child, whether or not my governing body voted that to be illegal, i am going to defend that child and protect him/her from harm no matter if i was born in mongolia in 400 AD or australia 1983. even a thief feel’s wronged if he is stolen from, so where does this ‘instinct’ come from?
but what if the adults culturally said it was good or right to beat or kill children? do i still have the right to stop the violence? i believe so, and feel i can expect other’s to live up to this standard.
a real life problem of this right to judge good and evil is nazi germany in world war II. they felt that the jews were subhuman and deliberated to the extermination of the entire race. here is where the dilemma rest’s for those who believe that truth is relative. if truth is relative we CANNOT judge them for this genocide and instead must surrender to take no action against the murder of innocent human beings. this is because nazi germany truly believed that what they were doing was right, and condign. so how did we (as the rest of the world) feel that we had the right to judge them as ‘evil’ or not good, and stop the onslaught? i believe it is because we are born with a sense of right and wrong, or universal morality. we know in our heart whether our actions are just or arbitrary.
here is where i am going with all of this, and want the focal point of your opinion’s. could this thing commonly called a “conscience” (or by kant, ‘universal law’) be best explained by the deduction that there is a Higher Power?
can we deduct that there is a God because we desire inherently a harmony among our species? or is this intrinsic concept simply an evolutionary task for the survival of all species?
i of course believe the former but want to hear all sides of this ongoing argument.

forever searching, forever found,
-estaban


*"The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you"
-plato

post script: reading the comment’s on the (il)legislation of morality i have deducted that i you are some of the most informed, enlightened, and intelligent people on the face of the earth.

amendment: while reading the post's so far i have noticed that all those who base their faith in a religion automatically subscribe that God placed this moral law inside us. i want to make sure that those of faith know that it is ok not to believe in a moral standard and still believe in a God. this also can be argued that their is a natural law but God had nothing to do with it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the (il)legislation of morality.

recently i have been thinking a lot about the legislation of morality. meaning: how can any government (all inclusive) tell a human what he or she cannot do. i understand that laws are set up so that the society as a whole will survive.
for a survival instance: if the law of that particular government said that murder was not a crime and was socially acceptable, i question how long that society would last. not murdering could be understood to some as innate, in the sense that when you do something wrong no matter what upbringing, or culture, you were raised in one would feel 'guilty' or some sense of wrongdoing.
here is where i have the problem; because china's government is set up around an atheistic principled governmental system called communism it does not allow the free pursuit of a higher being or any other religious beliefs. now i am not saying religion is moral, but religion usually connotes a pursuit of morality in most case's.
but this is not simply an international delimma but a nationwide enigma.
i am going to get a lot of hate letters for this next paragraph but listen to the entire explanation instead of the instinctual debate for most people.
i don't think that abortion should be illegal. i honestly do not think that roe vs. wade should be overturned. i am NOT saying that i agree with most reasons for having an abortion (as the clear majority is out of irresponsibility and not medical purposes). what i am saying is that i don't feel its right to force my opinions and belief system's on other people with the end result being a government punishment if you don't believe or follow my moral belief system.
i am pro-life, if i had it my way i would beg every pregnant mother in the entire united states with an unwanted child to please have the baby and allow me to adopt every single one of them!!! but we do not live in a perfect world and i can not take in the 4,400 children every day.
what i am saying is that i do not believe in the legislation of morality, i do not feel we should rename 'sin's‚ and call them 'laws'. if one wants to turn to religion (regardless of which one) i feel this is done out of the active pursuit of a higher power and NOT out of the rules of the governing body that have backed them into this decision. i want someone to love God out of free will and the overflow of their heart and NOT as a mandatory law established by any ethological corruptible government (see rome/crusades, socialism, communism, etc.).
-estaban
post script: i would like to hear your thoughts.

amendment: to those who comment: realize this is NOT a debate about whether abortion is right or wrong, but whether the legislation of morality is right or wrong.
thank you,
-estaban

Monday, October 24, 2005

Cadence


so. here i sit at my little coffee shop in winter haven, florida. the hurricane completely missed us except for a couple rainstorms, a little wind, and a lackluster sunset. needless to say as i was sitting here re-reading wendy shalit's "a return to modesty," (which i will dedicate an entire post to later) i received an email from my friends from in ohio.
this is one of the highest compliments and something i am very proud of. this is cadence, named after anberlin's song on blueprints for the blackmarket. his father runs shield and buckler skateboards, and i have had the privlidge of meeting him once before. i feel very honored to vicariously be apart of their lives for many many years to come.

acoustic show; gainsville, florida.

Stephen Christian acoustic w/
Louis DeFabrizio (the kick) and Anna Becker
10:30pm
Christian Study Center
Thursday, October 27th
www.christianstudycenter.org for directions
www.purevolume.com/stephenchristian

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

lorretalux.de


lorreta lux, from germany, is by far my favorite photographer of all time. i first discovered her on a haphazard trip to the chicago museum of art. her pictures were in the far right corner, and could have easily been looked over. but the mint green and dark amber red's was burned on my brain forever. the children could either be from a fantasy make believe world, or your darkest nightmare. either way, lorreta lux is a photographer everyone needs to know about.

university of florida, oct. 26, 2005

i will be speaking @ an FCA meeting Wednesday October 26, 2005.
Wednesday night at 8:30pm, in Gainsville, FL.
For more information about UF FCA visit their website at
www.uffca.org.

direction's:
once you are @ the University of Florida campus:
You will come to the corner of campus at Gale-Lemerand Drive (formerly
North-South). Turn right – Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
will be on your left now, and the O’Connell Center on
your right. You can park in the O’Connell center
parking lot on the right. UF FCA is located in
Touchdown Terrace in the north endzone of the Stadium.
Walk to the front of the stadium facing University
Ave. Take the large winding ramp to the left of the
main entrance – this will lead you up to Touchdown
Terrace. There will be signs about to direct you.

the tragedy & learning the lesson

"It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson." -- Emmet Fox

Friday, October 14, 2005

from thoughts to destiny...

Sow a thought and you reap an action;
sow an act and you reap a habit;
sow a habit and you reap a character;
sow a character and you reap a destiny.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the mouth speaks the overflow of the heart...

Hey Stephen.
I, myself, somewhat fall under the same category as you. I don't believe in
organized religion at all. I don't think you should put "one day" of the
week aside for church/praise/etc.
?'s
-Are you completely against using "curse" words altogether? People
(Christians) say it's a sin, and that I'll go to hell for dropping some
occasional f-bombs, but I disagree. They are just words, yes? They're not
even universal...like, if I went to Spain and started dropping f-bombs, they
wouldn't know what I was saying. It's just the English language that says
these are "bad" words. I don't think God changes the definition of "sin"
from country to country.

-Do you think that Christians are the most hypocritical of all religions?
Just a simple "yes" or "no" answer would be fine with me. I'm just asking,
because, a lot of them (most of the ones I hang out with, anyway) are bad
people. They hate other people for ridiculous reasons, and they are always
trash-talking each other. They lie to each other, and they lie about the
lies. They try and disguise all of this by going to church and saying "I'm a
good little Christian boy/girl". They think that going to Church and not
doing other things (cursing/drinking) is good enough to consider them saved.
I can openly say that I disagree with certain parts of the Bible. I think
that it has been changed a lot "through the years" as it got translated from
one language to another, by Priests/Preachers that wanted to "edit it". But
even though I don't believe in the Bible, I believe in God. And I think that
these hypocritical Christians that I spoke of, are less faithful than me.
(The non-Bible-believing jewish guy that cusses and drinks)...
Am I wrong?
-am i wry?


for starters wry,
i feel cussing simply makes you look unintelligent, people do it from stage and i think it just looks wretched. but i am not perfect, and curse under my breath now and then, (and when i am passionate about something personal*) but i realize that it is out of anger and not apart of who i am. cussing is not "evil" its just immature. (unless we are talking about using the Lords name in vain which is against the beliefs of the Jewish, Muslim, & Christian religion)
in addition it looks to be an oxy-moron of who i want present myself as.
'how can bitter and sweet flow from the same fountain?'
-st. james

no, Christians are not the most hypocritical. every religion has hypocrites, for example the Muslims claim that the word "Islam" means peace, and yet Muslim extremist's kill 3000 people in nyc.
i think you just see Christians being hypocritical because we are surrounded by a "Christian" American culture. so Christians being hypocrites is all we see.

i believe if you are looking for Christ in Christians we are going to leave you wanting.
if you are looking for God through your rabbi he will also leave you wanting.
we must find God on HIS terms, and those are not always our terms. hence if you believe in the bible, Jesus, etc. you must take the entire bible and not pick and choose what you feel is best for you. i call that "spirituality." because spirituality to me is just picking and choosing from any or all religions on what FEELS the best. a belief in a higher power comes with moral restraints, and to step into the unknown, or "faith."
-estaban

(post script: and you are very correct worship should not happen only one day a week, i feel it should be a heartfelt search every day of our lives. "church" also should not be contained in four walls of a mosque, temple, or a church; conversations with God can happen in the still of your heart, @ starbucks, listening to godspeed you black emperor, etc.)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

le ciel?


over australia
7.28.05

Saturday, October 08, 2005

because there's beauty in the breakdown.

"stephen,
personally, i hate organized religion, i was never baptized or had communion or been confirmed yet when I was younger I went to chruch every Sunday and my parents and grandparents are very religious and at a time in my life I really did want to get baptized but I think that is only because I was scared that I NEEDED a religion in my life, now I know you may disagree with a lot of the reasons why I don't like organized religion but I wish that you would not judge me for my beliefs because there is no way I would ever judge you for yours, I think too many people use religion as a way to get out of things, I know many people who can mess up so badly (cheat, lie, have premarital sex, not go to church, don't pray) yet they think that God will forgive them for everything if they just say they are sorry, to me that seems like bullshit, I just cant fathom the fact that you can do so many bad things in your life but you can be relieved of all of that if you confess, I just don't think that's right, but that's not the reason im writing, I listen to your music like its my career, and I don't mean I just hear it, I LISTEN to it, listen to every word, phrase, line, and it moves me, every single bit of your lyrics has changed me and moved me in some way, but is it bad that I feel that I can be moved by Christian music when I don't believe in the Christian faith or any religious faith at all? now I know you are a very insightful kind of guy that's why I am seeking your opinion on this matter, I find that your lyrics relate to my life in so many ways that at times its like your singing about me and my life, which I know many people think, but at times I feel kind of guilty because a lot of your music is based on those Christian beliefs that I disagree with, I will never stop listening to your music, EVER, it brings me to a different place where I can just be who I WANT to be, and that's the best feeling ever..."
-beauty in the breakdown

dearest beauty,
anberlin is not a Christian band.
I personally have a faith in Jesus Christ.
I don't judge you or anyone (that is not my place).
I don't care what color, creed, sexual orientation, or religion you
believe in, I just want you to be touched by the music!
if that brings you closer to God than that is amazing!
if you can learn from my mistakes and failure's than that is amazing as well.
as long as you walk away with a deeper sense of yourself and long to
be a better person than; I have done my job.
YOU DO NOT NEED RELIGION IN YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you do not need a man made set of rules to govern and dictate every
move of your life.
what you need is God.
I'm not asking you to swallow every pill I, or any other faith,
prescribe. what I'm asking you do is to "seek." and really earnestly
seek. look through all the religion's, and all the wise men, and read
every piece of literature that you come across.
I did.
and for me the conclusion that I came up with was that Jesus Christ
was the way, the truth, and the life.
all other religion's seemed very egocentric. all rules, regulation's,
and rituals. but with Christ all his message's are all about grace,
mercy, love, and giving to other people. "this is pure religion, to
love the widows and the orphan's." it is so altruistic. so giving, so
not human (for every fiber of my body is selfish).
please don't look to Christian's to find Christ. not your parent's,
grandparent's, me, or those people on TV. look to Christ, because we
are only human and we are ALL GOING TO FAIL YOU!
for me personally I have found HOPE. hope that there is something
beyond me, something bigger than myself, something after death,
something more than life itself.
so I am asking you to seek, everywhere, anywhere. but seek, and you will find.
God bless you on this journey called life.
I hope this helps a little.
-estaban

Sunday, October 02, 2005

modestyguild@gmail.com


boston, mass.
10.10.04

Friday, September 30, 2005

AP article

i have had several questions about the interview that i did in the current issue of AP. here is the interview in its entirety.

1. What do you think has caused the resurgence of Christian bands in the punk/indie scene?
a "resurgence" would presuppose that there was a Christian indie scene to begin with some time ago. i don't see this as a resurgence as much as i see it to be an integration. the cause is due to the fact that in the past Christian music has been a imitation of anything that was happening in the general market. if boy bands were on the billboard charts then the christian industry would wait a couple year‚'s then sign their own boy band. when creed was cool (well ok so they were never cool), let me rephrase; when creed was selling records the Christian market waited a couple years then signed every creed rip off band that replaced the word "baby" for the word "Jesus."and this is where "the cause" comes into play. finally we in the indie scene who are labeled "Christian musicians" are making original & talented music that is competing with the general market both in sales and in aptness.

2. What'‚s the difference between being Christian and being in a band, or being in a Christian band?
Timmy (from under oath) and myself have talked hours about this subject. we take different paths as to the answer to this question but see eye to eye and respect each other on our different opinions of where our bands take a stand. as anberlin we are Christians but feel our music is not "Christian music‚". C.S. Lewis (a prominent Christian philosopher/author) was once asked "how does it feel to be the writer of some of the greatest Christian literature of all time." C.S. replied "Christian literature", are you saying my writing's have a heart and a soul, as if pen on paper can choose right or wrong? good or evil?."
in the same way i do not think that i write Christian music. i write music from experiences and truth that i have learned (thus God is seen in various times on our albums). if someone walks away from our albums touched or changed by something on our record that is amazing! but i don't think "spiritual" music is limited to those who claim themselves to this or that religion. for me the greatest spiritual music of all time is sigur ros and jeff buckley, neither renowned to be apart of any religious affiliation. i am not ashamed of my belief in Jesus Christ; but music is my profession, i am not on that stage to preach my conviction's i am there to simply to entertain.

3. You don't typically see any Jewish or Muslim punk bands; why is Christianity the only religion actively praised in rock?
this is no debate for me, i listen to a band because they are good, i don't listen to a band if i don't appreciate their music. i have never liked or disliked a band because of their belief's. if a jewish band chose to announce their faith openly i would not judge them for the belief's but whether or not their music is good. and i hope people do the same for all band's including those labeled "Christian." if we suck don't listen, if you like it buy the record. people think that Christian's can be narrow minded sometimes, but its VERY narrow and actually closed minded to not listen to a band because they believe in something greater than themself's.
Rumi (an amazing Muslim poet) once said "if you are considering the different roads, the variety is immense and the difference infinite; if you consider the goal, however, they are all in harmony and are one." in the same way we may take different pathÂ?s but the goal (the goal's being making music and following are dream's in this case) are the same.
in summation religious affiliation should have NO bearing on whether one likes a band or does not. i would hope that people of every race, creed, sexual orientation, or religious preference could enjoy and listen to anberlin. and if there is are any Christian's out there who don't appreciate that last statement than i would ask them or anyone that care's to learn more to read Philip Yancey's book "what"s so amazing about grace."

4. Do openly Christian bands have to sign to openly Christian labels? Do openly Christian labels have to only sign openly Christian bands?
no, i don't believe that Christian bands have to sign to a Christian label. Openly Christian bands are now so amalgamated it is hard to tell whose who, and in all reality they should have the same limits or freedom's as any other general market band. i honestly don't think major label's care whether a band is agnostic, atheist, or believer's. they want to know a band is going to sell record's. from a business standpoint I think it is idiotic to limit yourself to just one audience, and if you truly believed in telling other's about your particular religion why would you limit yourself to marketing yourself to only that particular religious circle? thus: if you are a 'Christian label' and your goal is to tell others about God why would you put obstacles in the way of getting your message out, such as putting your CD in the 'christian section,' and marketing your product as a 'christian CD', or 'christian band?' it's clearly an enigma, and even though we have been labeled by some as a 'christian band' i still don't get it.

5. Is it fair to make money off of your faith? Should Christianity be a selling point?
to paraphrase a spiritual mentor of mine, 'Christianity started in Israel as a movement, then went to Rome and it became an empire, then went to Europe and became a government, then finally it came to America and became an enterprise.'
i have the utmost despite and contempt for those who make a dollar by selling the name of Jesus. since when did God become a marketing bullet point? if you want to write about God in your songs because it is the overflow of your heart than that is great, but if you sit down as a song writer and your ulterior motive is to sell records by adding in the word 'Jesus' or 'God' then that is disgusting. but it happens more often than not. the Christian record industry is the fasting growing segment in music today. i This why now more than ever integrity in music (especially 'Christian' music) is imperative. write music because it means something to you not because the dollar means something to you (and that goes for any musician no matter what they believe!)

6. Punk rock was based off the idea of not falling into a predetermined belief system, which Christianity obviously is. So, is it possible to be Christian and 'punk?'
i have a lot of questions as to what is 'punk rock' music in today's music. the definition is very very loose and open to scrutiny now. such as can a 'punk band' be on MTV or fuse? just the other day i saw a dead kennedy's shirt @ nordstrom's, and a ramones shirt @ macy's! in other word's 'punk rock' has now opened its boarders to include all types of people and all types of beliefs systems. the foundation of punk rock was antiestablishment and against the rules and regulations forced upon the general populace of the time. therefore, would Jesus not be considered antiauthoritarian in his day? a psuedo-rebel if you will who went against the common practice of Judaism and fought the Jewish laws that were in place. im not going to say that Jesus was punk rock' because that is just stupid. i am going to say that the sex pistols and black flag did not invent fighting the predetermined belief system. there is a history full of men and women such as Ghandi, Buddha, Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Jesus, Mohammed, Nelson Mandela, Che, Rosa Parks, etc. that have made more of an impact on this world than anberlin or the buzzcocks ever could or will.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

lowercasepeople.com

please check out lowercasepeople.com
it deals with some amazing issues that faces all young people.
from art to music, all the articles are profound.
my favorite section, however, is the justice page which
deals with some relevant topics that sets out to help make
a difference in this world.
lowercasepeople.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

abstain from regret's

'Stephen,
            I hope I'm not intruding by writing this email, but after reading your post for September 8 I decided I was going to write you on this. This is something that has been on my mind for quite some time now. Well in the religion of Christianity, you are not supposed to believe in premarital sex, and I am brought up to be Christian and it is everything I believe in. I admit I have not taken the time to read the bible. I do not understand it. Since I am young, it’s hard to understand. But what I am trying to get at is I don’t understand how premarital sex is bad as long as you are in love with your partner and he/she loves you back. Being at my age, you get so much pressure to do things that you are not ready for. People will call you a “prude” and if you are a “prude” a lot of people will not like you. And the bad thing is, I AM what people call “a prude” because I have not really done anything. Sometimes I feel ok about that and other times I feel like there is something wrong with me. Honestly, I hate how the world is today because of things like that. It’s what our world has become and I think it’s bad. The thought on how premarital sex is a sin is what kept me awake last night. I can’t get it out of my mind because I was never planning on waiting until I was married, I was planning on waiting until I found the right person, married or not. Sometimes I wonder if these thoughts make me a bad person, and I know I'm probably a bit young to be worrying about stuff like this but I really can’t get it off my mind. It may be the pressure from other teens. I thought I didn’t really care what other people think, but I think everybody does at some point. It’s really hard to understand for me. I tried talking to my mom about it and she tells me “well people do it everyday” (sex before marriage). I have no idea why this bugs me so much but I really need to get it off my chest and you seems like maybe you could help, considering you wrote the song “Ready Fuels”.'
-the innocent

dear innocent,
bulls***. people who tell you that you need to have sex, or everyone is having sex, are full of s***. alcoholics buy you a drink so they themselves don’t feel guilty about drinking by themselves, and justify it by saying to themself’s ‘well they had just as many as i.’
in the same way, to those who have had casual sex with multiple partners feel that they need to convince you that everyone is doing so their conscience does not haunt them day and night.
SEX IS NOT BAD!!! who ever told you that came from parents who had sex. and thoughts of having sex are completely human and natural. you are not a bad person for wanting sex. it is human, and (scientifically speaking) your genetics are made up so you can pass your genes on to a new generation, thus making sure your species survive.
sex is sacred, though it gets marred each and every day by those who cannot control themselves enough to wait for a committed relationship, beyond just a boyfriend/girlfriend.
simply put... WAIT. it is not worth experiencing this spiritual ritual because some one in high school pressures you into it. you can’t regret what you do not experience. the people you know in your school you will not know in 10 years. so why try so hard to impress someone you don’t care about and who doesn’t care about you!
regret will haunt you, but keeping your virginity is something to be proud of. and this reaches far beyond the bounds of religion. sex is supposed to special, something between you and the person you love. well after eight or nine partners how special is it? what set’s you apart from the other people that the other person has slept with?
there is no harm in waiting. in fact it will make sex that much more amazing when you find the person you want to spend the rest of you life with.
but for those of you who have had sex, having sex doesn’t make you a bad person. don’t be discouraged. you have has much worth today as you did the day before. you are still beautiful and worthwhile. don’t give yourself away just because you think you can’t sink much lower. don’t let yourself tell you that your aren’t valuable. don’t let yourself go just because you have had the experience before. reconsider starting over and abstaining until you know there is a vow in place. don’t be nieve to the fact that men want sex and women want to know they are wanted. men go to great lengths to achieve this pleasure and women go to great lengths to show men that they are willing. find value in yourself and hesitate from giving over what is rightfully yours in the first place.
people will respect you for not giving into the pressure that surrounds you whether they say it out loud or not. not everyone is doing it.
NOT EVERYONE IS DOING IT.
you are beautiful and worthwhile, do yourself a favor and wait.

post script. i'd rather be a 'prude' with no heartache's ; than experineced and ridden with anguish and regret.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

acomplished.

sigur ros


one of my favorite bands of all time has come out with an amazing album entitled "takk". imagine going to a museum of modern art and meeting God for the first time all in the same moment. yes. that is what this album is like. for sure.

manchester, england


here i sit in cafe nero in manchester, england. what a dream come true. i don't know how many of you know or care but i am the biggest smiths fan in the world (well not the world but, that i know). morrissey (stephen patrick morrissey) was born and raised right around here, and his mother still lives right behind the all girls school right down the road.
"meet me at the cemetery gates" was a line written about the south cemetery here in the city.
but for me the big event is on coronation street, the salford lads club. i have to take a taxi but i WILL get a picture in front of it today!
last night was so surreal, wondering the streets of london, england alone. this is something i have wanted to do for about 10 years now. i felt like i had stepped into a surreal movie, one i never wanted to get out of. the air was a bit cold but walking through the gardens @ buckingham palace was a memory i wanted to contain in a capsule and show the world. i don't know how life could have got better in those seconds. the entire world fell into place for me. life is good.

Friday, September 09, 2005

the promise

my friend kyscho helped me put this together.
'the promise' is now up on purevolume.com/stephenchristian
i hope you like it.

produced by kyscho@hotmail.com

Thursday, September 08, 2005

of broken halo's; a letter from beloved.



"I'm only a glimmer of the girl you think you know. I've fallen from grace quicker than newton's apple fell from the tree. Like it, I did not fall far, but I fell quick, and hard.
What happened? Where did my innocence go, or was it only feigned all along? In the last four months I've gone from angelic grace to a furious decadence. I imagine my flowery prose is making this all sound much worse than it is, though. It seems normal for 'kids' to be drinking, smoking, and having sex by this age. I guess I still pale in comparison to the general population, I just feel like I've let myself down.
I drank, not a lot, but my intent was to get drunk. I partied a few times this summer. I had a casual relationship with a dear friend, and fortunately our close friendship survived the trauma.
'The bottle holds no answers, her lips can only sway ... desire is close at hand, his lips can only sway ... there's more to life than this, don't give your self away...'
I don't think words have ever spoken to me more clearly. The true path, the ethical path, the good path is obvious to me, but I don't know how much I care to follow it. That frightens me the most out of all these sudden changes. I know what I need to do, but I don't know if I will do it, and I can't figure out why on earth I wouldn't.
Do you practice what you preach? And why should I?"
-beloved

my beloved,
at first i was not going to put this on modesty because of how personal i considered your heartfelt letter. but then i realized you are not the only one in this world that feels this way, or has felt this way.
a lie has appeared in your sonnet though. "It seems normal for 'kids' to be drinking, smoking, and having sex by this age."
what is normal? and if this is normal than call me a late bloomer or insane. either way, following what others around you participate in 1st makes you a decisively indecisive sheep, and 2nd i question who is truly in charge of your decision making and moral standards; you or them.
these are the days that one day you will regret. when you are older you will look at these times as 'nieve' but in the back of your mind it will be remorse that haunts you.
is sex bad? no sex is not bad @ all. i know, beloved, that you struggle with doubt in God but i personally believe that God made sex for mankind’s pleasure. but in the confounds of a committed relationship sealed in a vow.
is drinking bad? no, i love dark beers, and had a couple glasses of wine while watching the wilco documentary a couple nights ago. but did i get drunk? no, because i realize that there is no point. its a mind altering drug that conforms your mind into who you are not and what you don't necessarily want to do. ben franklin said "beer is one way we know that God loves us." he helped found our country. Jesus had wine, and even participated in creating it for a wedding. but in access it can "only sway." and if you know that you cannot handle this harsh poison than wait until you have learned self control.
smoking? i abhor it. there is nothing good that comes from smoking. sex is for procreation and pleasure between those in a lifelong vow. wine is said to be good for the stomach, and known to prolong life. smoking was popularized by weak minded conformists to tax other weak minded conformists. it destroys from the inside out. it is an outward appearance of the ignorance that resides inside. who, knowing that a particular time consuming product would literally take years off your life, would continue to use this toxin with such loyalty? what mind can fathom this?
you are an angel still beloved. there is grace, there is mercy. you feel like you have failed but i don't believe you have. if you do not learn from mistakes than that is the failure. but we will all make mistakes. and as for me practicing what i preach, all i can honestly say is ‘i try’. i try my hardest but i fail so miserably. all the time, every day. but i will get up, dust myself off and learn from my mistakes. i do not count myself as a failure, but as a saint. a saint with a broken halo and some very bruised knees.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

STop LOok LISTEN!

it baffles me to no end how people are so quick to speak out of their own unintelligence, acknowledging to the entire world that they are mere fools. if i do not know about a certain topic i am quick to concede my ignorance and ask several questions in hopes i can learn more.
for instance.
i recently was talking with someone at Joe’s coffee (which is located on 5th ave and 13th street in new york city) about the relationship between the Chinese government and the United States. although i want there to be a positive relationship between the two biggest superpowers in the world certain things seem to be standing in the way.
my friend, we will call him/her dr. e thought that regardless of how we perceive the communist Chinese government we must accept them and their economic stipulations and basically give them what they want, because they are equals.
though i was not arguing whether or not we as humans were equals i did argue that they weren’t playing fair in the world spectrum. i brought up the point that the Chinese government is oddly building up their Chinese military and arms supplies. They (Chinese investors) also just bid on an American oil firm (which could endanger its security).
He gave me mumbling about how they are oppressed and we are only adding to the oppression, but i reminded him that the Chinese are a communist government, and communism is a known oppressor. i also informed my pro-life friend that the Chinese government only allows one child per family and establishes a military enforced “birth quota.” i don’t think dr. e believed me as he had never heard this “myth” before.
after he backed off the conversation he began to complain about his job situation and how hard it is to find a decent job, and i of course had to drive the nail in the coffin by bringing it back to the fact that China has harsh labor conditions and are really making it hard to compete with slave like wages & on top of that we have a huge trade deficit (nearly 200 billion) which take jobs away from here in the US and send them to China.
he looked foiled, truth is hard to swallow.
either way, we moved onto conversations about a wilco documentary i watched last night. but the real question remains. why do people desire to sound so psuedo-intelligent when really they have no idea about the topic??
i am sure i have been guilty of it. but people can see through your ignorance, because they know!
a current example are all these anti current government stickers/protesters here in NYC. do they really know why they don’t like Bush or do they do that because its the thing to do here. and if they know why do they know both sides of the story? have they met with Bush or anyone in his administration and know what's going on behind the scenes?
i am not saying Bush is right or wrong, im saying I DON’T KNOW. and that is better than a solid stance with unstable reasoning.
what about those people that send me e-mails about how im not a Christian, or i am ashamed of God because i don’t give a Christ pep rally from stage? do they know my heart? do they even care? if they care so much why don’t they take a stand at their college or their job? i believe its because it is easier to point fingers and type an e-mail than to actually get off the couch and do something with your life.
you have to learn both sides. you need to take into account your benightedness and learn. but if you continue in your current vein of erudition and never stray into other cultures, religions, thought, or philosophies than you will slowly narrow yourself into a corner of self-righteous ignorance.
i recently had the privilege to play a show at a prestigious religious college. i admired the campus, the student's and faculty treated me tremendous, and the aura of knowledge and learning seemed everywhere. i strayed around for a good while before the show (which is very like me) and ended up in the campus bookstore. there i began to look through the magazines, than wandered into the textbook section, then into the hardback/paperback books for sale. i suddenly realized a peculiar pattern; all the books i had encountered were coming from one angle of thought. it seemed all the books were from one corner of the room looking out at all the other schools of thought and trying to reason why the others were wrong, why the school’s philosophy was right, and what to do about it. i even saw a book called “how to deal with other cultures.” no joke! i couldn't believe it, not “how to learn other cultures” or “how to appreciate other cultures” but “how to DEAL with other cultures.” hey, i love hot-dogs, wall street, and baseball as much as the next American but i do NOT think we are the center of the universe (ok so i don't like hot-dogs or baseball but whatever). the point of all this is
LISTEN, DON’T TALK. LEARN BEFORE YOU TEACH. BE OBJECTIVE BEFORE YOU JUDGE. READ BEFORE YOU WRITE. EMBRACE OTHERS KILL CULTURE EGOISM.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

dostoevsky

Beauty is not only a terrible thing,
it is also a mysterious thing.
There God and the Devil strive for mastery,
and the battleground is the heart of men.
Dostoevsky

Tuesday, August 23, 2005



it is time to finally wake the dead,
though sleepers rest in guilty bed's.
with eyes awake they fall asleep,
their hearts doth toil, avoiding passions ill defeat.

what's become of this called modesty?
who killed what they thought they could not keep?
as if love bought into could not be sold,
we burn the book's before the stories unfold.

who burdened this thing to the daughter's of eve,
to pursue such things that one can not see?
for long hard years their lives revolve,
like a minor chord which seems nor to resolve.

i must admit i am as guilty as they,
to this matter i have been a hard working slave.
for in the beginning it is as a dear friend,
but strike's like slow moving venom quite near the end.

wake o sleeper from shallow of graves,
though you part the memories will remain.
try as you will for you shall never escape,
love in its splendor;
and death in it's heartbreak.


-7.27.05

the orphaned anything's

"when walking downtown here this evening, i intermittently look around at all these people with their armani suits, and the women with there channel handbags and matching scarves and wonder why they were so lucky to be born with everything figured out. they just look like they know what they are doing. if they have any insecurities at all it has been masked by there flawless makeup smiles and grappling, prestigious, and manly hand shakes. how do they get their teeth so white, how did they get success as a genetic predisposition, have they read some timeworn text that i have not yet ascertained? did they figure out who moved the cheese and why and did they get it back?
they look so... found.
and i feel so...opposite.
does money make one gratified? have i missed my calling? we have all heard the saying that money doesn't make a person happy but @ this point in life i have no money and i am not happy.im totally willing to try the whole rich thing. i could be guineane pig to prove or disprove the previous theory.
at times i believe that if i don'’t get enough zeros behind my bank account statement that my family, this society, our populace, and that girl in the lingerie advertising will never be pleased with my life. why is money the mark of success? when did passion and desire become replaced with economic and financial wisdom as the chief character trait desired in a potential life companion? will my spouse never feel secure if i do not obtain? hence and therefore eliminating possibilities of a nostalgic future, with a memory laden past.
the america's are consumed with consuming!
will i never afford a car that goes 0 to 60 in whatever numbers the fastest? will i never have a white picket fence? will my 2.5 kids hate me for raising them in a home wherreverieveire love and loyalty over stocks and bonds?
my reassurancerance in all this is my confusing self inflicted lie that i am a nonconformist, and money would never make me satisfied. i wear my hair like a mop, i wear these clothes because your not, i sell- you bought in. i know who che is, my shoes don't color coordinate with my shirt, on purpose. i have read the communist manifesto, and wrote in the margin's, i don't pay taxes. voluntarily.

i am a nonconformist, just like everyone else. "
-ayden kosacov
the orphaned anythings


so, as a couple of you know i have been writing a book, the orphaned anythings, for about 10 months now. the ending is killing me or i would have let you read it by now. this was a little excerpt. ill tell you more as the story gets closer to getting done.
cheers for now,
-stephen

Sunday, August 14, 2005

.


start a journal. stop smoking for good. write the screen play you promised yourself you would always write. take singing lessons, please. lose 10 pounds. gain 10 pounds in muscle. listen to a new type of music. read about another religion. book that ticket. don’’t call your x. stop looking for mr. right. start becoming mrs. right. start painting, start with your room. take a black and white photo. walk don’t drive next time. look around while walking.start a journal. try a different drink next time, it might be your new favorite. give the homeless man more than your money, give him a conversation. see something beautiful in chaos. see something beautiful in yourself. see something beautiful in both at the same time. call your family, yes all of them. enjoy the sunshine, even though your sweating. write a mission statement. write 10 places you want to see before you die. go to 20. talk to yourself. talk to God. really talk to someone you have never talked to before, even if youv’e had conversation with them. read a book longer than 100 pages. finish college. watch a foreign film with subtitles. do sit-ups. do a pushup, more if you can. visit a nursing home. play bingo. listen to a story. learn from the past. look to the future. go to a museum. forgive yourself. make sure your halo’s not on to tight. find somewhere to volunteer. start a journal. listen to john coltrane’s record “a love supreme.’ try not eating meat for a day. write your grandparents a letter. find a cause. believe in it. fight for it. live for it. share the knowledge. tell her how you really feel. learn something new about yourself. take a chance. realize you are only human. you are going to fail. realize that life doesn’t always work out the way you thought. life is tough, life can be a challenge, life hurts. but it gets better, learn from your failure, learn and apply/ succeed. life has a way of working itself out. life can be an accomplishment. life is good... life is good.
-estaban

Saturday, August 13, 2005

lets find out if this world is endless...

"I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it."
‚ Henry Emerson Fosdick

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

my friend josh tillman is also one of the most refreshing musicians i have ever had the pleasure of listening to. i think when you hear him you will agree.

you can listen and order his new CD from his site jtillmanmusic.com
do yourself a huge favor and check his stuff out.

Please help. Give. be broken.

Please get involved.
this dear women has given her life to help orphans in Tanzania. She would love anyone to volunteer and go to Tanzania to help. If you cannot take the time off please send your prayers or thoughts. @ very minimum please email her and tell her thanks for making a difference in this world. Her email address is: lynnkaziahelliott@hotmail.com
this is a letter she wrote me updating me on her life. Just read her heart below.

Hello Stephen,
Greetings from Moshi in Tanzania on a very hot day! Thank you so much for your word of encouragement, the team appreciates it very much, when their work is recognized... My family and I serve freely, and we try to answer every desperate cry for help... As you will have probably seen on our mission statement, we do not ask for any funding - although - sometimes our need is great, we just wait for hearts to be inspired to send us a donation so we can help more children and more of the unsupported people in the bush..... Each week, we are seeing more and more street children, whose parents have died of the Aids virus, coming to us for assistance. Last week we served over 200 street children at our Boma Kids Club with food, each week more of these poor desperate 'precious' children are turning to Light in Africa to help them..... If you would like to join us in our work, we would welcome your participation. Only when volunteers arrive with funding, can we do so much more to help. At present we have two teams of medical students from the UK who are completing the dispensary that they started to build last year, and they are also helping the medical team with our out reach program's in to the remote areas to assist the orphans and the elderly with medical care - some of whom would certainly die without our intervention... So funding for medicines is always needed Stephen, let me know if you would like any further information, we recommend Shafiq at Emslies if you require a quotation for travel as he specializes in student and missionary tickets, just give him an email and tell him you are considering volunteering for LIA... OK darling, hope to hear from you again...
mama lynn

for more information on her orphanage check out
http://www.lightinafrica.com/
i hope it broke you as it continually does me.
-estaban

dont go back to sleep

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where two worlds touch. The round door is open.
Don't go back to sleep.
-Djalal ad Din Rumi

Monday, August 08, 2005

postsecret.com

ok 2 different people told me about postsecret.com and it is now my favorite site on the web!
people send in postcards that mirror their darkest secret, and announce it to the world anonymously.
i think a lot of things i can see in myself. and i think i love it so much because i almost feel normal.

Friday, August 05, 2005


stephen christian
brisban, australia
the paper girl
7.05

a site that reflects my thought pattern



random
http://www.foundmagazine.com/
it is just random things found across the world
know any other random sites?
-estaban

no one alive will ever see this again.mars. august 27. 05

MARS
from: astronomy magazine.

The Red Planet is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will
rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m.

That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

Share this with everyone. (No one alive today will ever view this again)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

money & the elusive sleep

well its 3:30am and i cant seem to feel tired. jet leg set in, and i guess i have no reason to feel tired since i slept in till 5pm.
the topic of money is so, well im ignorant to the facts of money. me talking about it is like me trying to tell a person how to maintain a marriage. i have never been in a marriage so i couldn't tell you, and i have never had money so i don't really know what it feels like. what i can tell you is that while i have no financial merit i do consider myself very wealthy. i have a beautiful life, wonderful friends, and gas enough to get the local coffee shop. one of my closest friends, however, has a lot of money, but they are more concerned about hoarding it then they are about spending it. i think life is all about making memories, not getting a rush from a once a month bank statement. i read somewhere that while americans are rich in money they are poor on time, and just coming back from australia i saw it for myself. in australia even though the major cities were huge it seemed like everyone knew everyone. the stores would close @ around 5 and families would go home to (i know this is a weird concept) but they would have dinner together. and actually talk!
we place so much emphasis on gathering material possessions that we forget for whom we are gathering these "things" for. we have worried so much about the stuff we need and not who we need it for. i think we should all take a break from watching our stocks rise or fall and go watch our children rise and fall on the trampoline. we need to stop kissing our boss's butt and start just kissing our wives. we need to stop worrying about what tomorrow might bring and truly live in what today may have for us.
drinking in australia seems almost to be a way of life. but it is not the alcohol that drives them to the local pubs, it is the people, the communication, the social circles, and the new faces they will inevitably meet. i wish we had that kind of community built, but aim seems to be a great way to catch up with old friends and internet dating service's (such as myspace) seemes to taken the place of actually looking suitable and developing people skills.
im rambling. i think its 4am by now. i wonder if people remember why they are going to work in the morning. they say they do it for their loved ones. but i think over time they do it for the love of money instead of money for those they love.
i just wish money was not THE main religion in this country.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

'you inspired me...'

i received this this morning. 
‘I've actually always had numerous thoughts run through my head and had trouble getting them out. You inspired me quite some time ago, but its just now hitting me and I'm just now getting around to writing again...for that I thank you Stephen!’
Unexpected Rhapsody
 It's quite lengthy, but I had a lot on my mind. Thanks again, but I think its time for sleep.”
 -kris

i did not post this on modesty to congratulate myself on inspiring, for hopefully that is what each one of us do every day. but i posted it because first off this is a great blogspot, she is very well thought out, and openhearted. and second of all because i hope she inspires you to write out your feelings and be transparent. each of you has the ability to teach someone else something worthwhile. each one of you has a different passion that i myself could learn from.

in the book “blue like jazz” don miller in the intro said when speaking about jazz, ‘sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. it is as if they are showing you the way.’

show us all the way with your passions, goals and dreams. inspire someone. start writing a journal so you can inspire your children’s, children’s. start an online journal. let us watch you love something, so we can to.

'Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.'
-Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

immitation

"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson.

circle circle circle circle etc.

I've been thinking a lot about the entire circumference of life. birth life death. everything in between.
we all go threw all the cycles. take it for granted in the begining. appreciate it only when were nearing the end.
for example.
the other day in the airport leaving NYC i saw an old man who just saw his 12-14 year old grandfather for the first time in what appeared to be a great while.
the grandfather was near tears to see how big the young man had grown. the kid just stood there numb to the entire situation; but the grandfather grabbed him by the face and kissed both cheeks.

i remember being that kid. everytime my grandparents would try to hug/show affection i would back away. make it as quick as possible. i thought they were wrinkled and well... old.
but then i realized that not only do i remember being that kid, but i will be that old wrinkled man one day. i will be overwhelmed @ the sight of my grandchildren. i will love them unconditionally. i will want to kiss both of the sides of their face. i will pretend to put a brick on their head, and say "we should put a brick on your head so you stop growing," just like my grandfather did. my grandchildren won't get my humor, they will give me a courtesy laugh and head for my refrigerator, just like i did.
but my grand kids will be wrinkled one day, and want to kiss both sides of their grandchildrens face. and thus the circumference will continue.
everything is so new to us because were young. we don't realize that generation upon generations have gone before us, been young and stupid, grew grey and wise, and forgot to tell us how confusing life could be, i think that is why i have such a fascination with coming of age books. because i don't feel so awkward when i realize i'm not the only one amateur in this world.

'to be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge'
-benjamen disraeli

the older i get the more of a complete fool i realize i have always been and still am.
-estaban

Friday, July 01, 2005

think global.

"A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. A revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast between poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists in the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America only to take profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: 'This is not just.'"
- Martin Luther King Jr.

clarification.

there are things in life that baffle me. aerodynamics, thermodynamics, love, chemistry, trigonometry, etc. but lately the most baffling concept to me is bands who think that they deserve to be in the spotlight and don't appreciate the fan's that put them there. i know my place, when people come to show's i am there for them, they did not come to see me. i am nothing more than an entertainer and am no more important than any of the people that i perform for. i wanted to say thank you for those who have come to see anberlin; i appreciate every song you have sung along with, every clap of your hands, every moment of your life you have shared with us, and every picture you have allowed me to take with you. i am sorry if i have ever acted like a rockstar to anyone, i would have never intentionally done that to anyone, but everyone makes mistakes. please give me another chance. please don't think you are bothering me when you get on stage and sing along, come ask me for my signiture in a restaurant, or tell me a story of how my music has related to a situation in my life.
i was watching a smith's DVD and one of the coolest things ever is when some people in the crowd fought there way on to stage just to hug morrissey, i thought that was the greatest thing i had ever seen. they weren't getting up on stage to show off or jump off, they were up there just to show the band how appreciative they were of the bands music. i'm so down with that, so if ever you feel the need to jump on stage just grab me, i'll never be mad.
i am on stage because of you.
much in your debt,
-estaban

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

brunderhof on the wilderness of solitude

It is not physical solitude that actually separates one from others; not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. How often in a large city, shaking hands with my friends, I have felt the wilderness stretching between us. Both of us were wandering in arid wastes, having lost the springs that nourished us - or having found them dry. Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

if only "lost" were a place i would be rich off roadmaps...

the human heart is the most confusing vessel in the human makeup. who knows where it leads or why it leads, or at what speed it can be led. why is it when everything seems so right it has the capibility to be so very wrong. if life had a roadmap it would be so easy, but yet so boring. if we knew the future what is there for risk, for adventure, in fear, in love, in destiny and fate. but at points i would trade it all in so that i could never hurt anyone again. so that i didn't question, i just knew.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

appreciate what you have

The World in Perspective:

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.
There would be:
57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both North and South America
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth;
all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need fro acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

The following is also something to ponder...
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness....you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep.... you are richer than 75% of this world!

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married... you are very rare, even in the U.S. and Canada

If you can read this message... you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

Friday, June 10, 2005

dont let this be Rwanda part two... get involved!

if you havent seen hotel ruwanda please go buy it. it will convict your lives forever. it took the lives of millions of people in 1994 and still the violence has not ceased. it is happening again in dafar, help make other people aware of the problem, than get involved. write your local senetors and congressman/congresswomen and tell them that america needs to step in and prevent the deaths of innocent people.
please please please get involved! below is one way to help.
-stephen christian

National day of action on Darfur
Since the Darfur genocide began in 2003, up to 400,000 people have lost their lives. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced, their livelihoods and villages destroyed by government forces and their proxy militias, and thousands of women and girls have been raped.
The religious community in the United States has the power to help end the genocide and quell the humanitarian crisis that has come in its wake. Now is the time to make our voices heard.
Sojourners, in partnership with Africa Action, Cedar Ridge Community Church, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is organizing five Sundays of public worship in Washington, D.C., to focus on Darfur. But our voices will only have traction if they are joined by a chorus of your voices and prayers around the country. Please join us for a National Day of Action on Darfur on Sunday, July 10. As we'll be worshiping and providing political witness at the White House here in Washington, we ask that you join us in your own community. We're asking you to talk to your pastor, rabbi, or faith leader about including Darfur in your worship service on the weekend of July 10.
Sojourners also is compiling prayers, liturgies, and other worship resources, which you can receive by e-mailing organize@sojo.net.
Please join us in raising the voice of the faith community to give real meaning to the words Never Again.
In peace,
Adam, Katie, and Matt
Sojourners' Organizing Team

Sunday, June 05, 2005

blue like jazz

I don't think I have done a book review since middle school, and i am not claiming that this is one, a jejune attempt at best.
i have currently been reading a book by donald miller called "blue like jazz." ’ i cant tell you how many times i thought this guy had stolen my life story to paste into his own book. every other page was filled with amazement, as i felt i was the only one who had been through/thought about what he has. blatantlytly honest, mr. miller tells what people really think instead of what people really say. someone once said "‘the true test of a mans character is what he does when no one is watching," ’ well don miller wrote word for word what one thinks when no one is listening.

anyone have any other books they recommend?

Monday, May 30, 2005

a humbled thank you/ acoustic stuff

thank you to everyone who has kept up, commented, and talked to others about modesty. because of modesty i have been asked to write a alternating-monthly column for lowercasepeople.com (a website that will be coming very soon!) based out of san diego, california! so thank you, thank you, thank you!
also sorry it took so long to get this up on the net
i want to record more soon, but these were done for $25 in a studio in texas.
purevolume.com/stephenchristian
thanks,
stephen

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

final thoughts on final moments

we may not know when or how we will die, but what we do know is the what. what are we going to do with the time we have. i read through the comments and am amazed that such intelligence still exists, people who think for themselves and are not afraid to state what they think and believe.
a person wrote that because someone is Christian they don’t fear death, which from my experience is untrue. everyone subconsciously seeks immortality (the fountain of youth, vampires, etc.) and it is only human to try to hold on to the short life we do have. like i touched on in the first respose to shane, though i have a Greater Hope i am afraid of what i don't know in death i am terrified of getting old. i am scared of not being able to take care of myself, of having to be fed, and living because a machine helps me. as issac asimov said “Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” i would rather pass away to the unknown than to stay here on this earth in the known of a nursing home.
im sorry i don't have all the answers but if i did i would be either God or dead, for only those know for sure. but know that there are those of us who are alongside you on this same path.

Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.
--Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Plato on Death

'To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that is is the greatest of evils. And surely it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know.'
-Plato (the apology)

Monday, May 02, 2005

the final journey; afterlife

'stephen
I guess I'd like to know what your opinion is on an issue that, for as
long as I can remember, has been a big struggle for me. Do you think about
dying, and if so, how do you cope with the fact? I have no idea why, I've
been fortunate to not have to witness much death in my life, but ever
since I was a young child I've been haunted by the thought that I will
eventually die. My dad used to encourage church, but I had some bad
experiences and disagreements with church, and have never gone to church
routinely. When I think about dying, I think about myself not existing, I
think about it all being over. I can't really conceive it, so I don't
think I can explain it well either. I find myself staying up at night
distracting myself from wandering thoughts by watching tv or reading
books, but sometimes the thought just gets to me, and when it does it has
this snowball effect that leads me to this state of panic and fear.

I've never read the Bible, which is my own fault, but I did find some
partial inspiration in some writings by Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet";
however, I realize that they are still only words, manifested by human
thought, and although beautifully written, they are still just words. I
recently read 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich', and at the end the character
experienced a spiritual epiphany, but that's only our mind making sense of
things, because it's in our nature to find meaning.

Lately the only solution I can think of is just to enjoy life, which still
creates a big problem for me. You say we are distracted from truth by
things like movies, music, and daily routine of living, but some of those
are things I enjoy, and how do we know 'the truth' is indeed real? How can
a human mind conceive the answer? I find myself without any motivation in
my transition from college to career, because I'm only focused on living a
good life. I realize I'm going to die someday, so I want to enjoy it. I
want to understand things, like technology, biology, medicine, I want to
travel, I like to write (I hope to one day write a movie), and I want to
enjoy the materialistic things that I find interesting. But it seems that
happiness DOES require money these days, so I'm pushed to pursue a career
with financial stability. Basically I'm stuck in the middle of happiness
and financial freedom, and when I go to bed I'm reminded every night that
no matter what, everything that I am, every thought I have had, every
happy moment I've caused or shared will eventually cease to exist.
Shane'

shane
thanks so much for writing, and i want you to know these thoughts have consumed every man (and women) for centruries before us and after we taste death men will still think on these things.
it is the last great unknown, it is both exciting (it is something that no one has experienced completely and come back to tell of their month long journey) and something to be feared.

i admit a great fear in my life, i am not only afraid of death but of getting old as well. i do not want to ever be incapable of feeding or clothing myself. i never want to be a burden but a blessing on others lives. death is inevitable, the process of learning to cope with it takes a lifetime (literally.) i have not coped with death yet, we who are young are immortal, or at least we think we are to some degree. we never view death as relevant in our lives right now, it is a distant lighthouse and we are still in the midst of the raging water.

but sometimes these thoughts are the raging water, the clamour that seems to involve everyone around us. why are some more afraid than others you asked? hope.
the answer is some have found the lighthouse not as something to fear but something to embrace and actually look forward to. you said you have never read the bible, and that is fine, i think the majority of the people in this world have never opened its pages. but i want to ask you to seek. if truth is what you desire than truth you must lust after. if you want anything of worth in this world you MUST BE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR IT! that goes for material posessions, true love, and truth among other things.
SEEK and you will find, but the key word is seek. i am not going tell you this is an easy road, but hope is the antidote, you must first be stung by the venom of hoplessness. (and that sounds like the stage you are in with sleepless nights, and constant worry.)

what can we do with the life that has been given to us? Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, "Did you bring joy?" The second was, "Did you find joy?"
and that is what we must seek aftert. i want to delve deeper into this subject but my time has been cut short here in norfolk virgina due to my career. but i want to hear from others on this topic. what has everyone/anyone learned on this subject in their own lives.

more coming; this topic could take a lifetime to solve...

Monday, April 25, 2005

i shall not fear?

why is this world resound with so much bitterness? do we as americans really have it that bad? why do people emphasize the negative or pessimistic outlook of this one chance life rather than the good. maybe im naive, maybe this world is truly out to get me and everyone is born a criminal. dark alley's look to me as great opportunities for a black and white photo, not a noun i must avoid in fear.
i am reminded of a song that would not make it on the radio in our current state of unrest. it was by a man named louis armstrong, who did not know the same respect and freedoms as his musical counterparts today. instead of writing about oppression or racism he sang a song called "(what)a wonderful world". listening to the radio you would think hate and violence governs entire genres (see nu-metal and rap).
i choose to believe the best in people.

my mother once told me a story of two young boys which set me on my path for optimism. the boys were between the ages of 10 and 12. the parents of these two boys set out to give each boy a Christmas contrary to their personalities and see how they would respond. on christmas morning they woke the children up from the living room floor and told the boys to go to their rooms where their presents awaited them. the first boy was given every new toy imaginable. stacks and stacks of brand new games and packages were all his. as the parents walked in the room they saw the boy with toys lying on the floor crying. "whats wrong son?" asked the parents.
"all these toys will one day break and will be thrown away," the boy said.
the parents went into their other sons room where instead of presents there was huge mounds of manure. the entire room had a stench that crept now throughout the house. the boy, whose room was filled with manure, was not crying or upset but instead was frantically digging with a shovel.
"what are you doing son?" the dad asked.
"well dad, if there's this much manure there has to be a horse somewhere!"
sure the story is a bit juvenile but that's what i was when they told me the story. the point is that life is all in your outlook and attitude.

what of racism? what did an ENTIRE race of people ever do to you. just because your father hates this or that culture does NOT give you the right to. if a person of another race hurts or harms you than do not PRE JUDGE the entire race for the offence. on one side of my family we come from Germany but i am NOT responsible for any atrocity that occurred in world war II and wish the holocaust never happened. because of my heritage does this give the right for a jew to hate me? Absolutely not. i had no say in the actions of those who proceeded before me. why do you, having full knowledge of the truth, insist on hating those you have never met or ever will meet? People of different backgrouds/religions or cultures are simply that different. but instead of treading in fear under the guise of racism why cant you open your mind and learn. you simply fear what you do not know. this world is beautiful, and the people in it make it that much more beautiful.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
-St. Paul

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

movie suggestion

i dont usually give movie recomendations but i could not pass up this opportunity.
i was fortunate to see a wonderful movie this past week that really inspired me, it was called the motorcycle diaries (http://www.motorcyclediariesmovie.com). im sure everyone has seen it and i just missed the boat, but in case you have a spare moment rent it and tell me what you think. (sorry about the cursing, but just cover your eyes).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

couldn't have explained it better myself.

"Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series?

Are Bach's sonata's Christian?

What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset?

There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more “Christian” than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty. Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music. None of these songs has been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music.

No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing. I am a believer. Many of these songs talk about this belief. An obligation to say this or do that does not sound like the glorious freedom that Christ died to afford me. I do have an obligation, however, a debt that cannot be settled by my lyrical decisions

My life will be judged by my obedience not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that. We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot. You see, a song that has the words: “Jesus Christ” is no more or less “Christian” than an instrumental piece. (I've heard lot's of people say Jesus Christ and they weren't talking about their redeemer.) You see, Jesus didn’t die for any of my tunes. So there is no hierarchy of life or songs or occupation only obedience.

We have a call to take up our cross and follow. We can be sure that these roads will be different for all of us. Just as you have one body and every part has a different function, so in Christ we who are many form one body and each of us belongs to all the others. Please be slow to judge “brothers” who have a different calling and thank you for reading."
-Jon Foreman
SWITCHFOOT

Thursday, March 31, 2005

you will never live if...

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
-Albert Camus

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

the feeling of "LOST."

My name is C UC and I am probably more confused right now than I have ever been. I found your blog site through your myspace, and I hope I'm not intruding...don't worry this will probably be my only email, and i don't expect you to respond or even read the entire message. I have read your blogs and it is quite apparent that you are an incredibly kind-hearted humanitarian, which is one reason why I feel compelled to email you at 2 am as I cry in my apartment in UC Santa Cruz. Another reason is that I need to somehow share my feelings with someone I don't know, and I trust you.

Typically I share anything and everything with everyone, but lately I have been feeling utterly lost. I have wonderful friends and family...but I just can't. Tonight I can't seem to stop crying, and I am starting to worry about how I'm going to get out of this mindset. All of my life I have had goals: go to grade school, go to jr high, go to high school, go to a university, live in France my junior year. Next year I will have accomplished all of those goals, and I'm not sure what comes next. I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for something that would eventually become tangible, but I still don't know what that something is. I want to live to help others, but it seems like even if I spent my entire life helping, it wouldn't be enough.

In addition, I recently had my first heartbreak when I confessed my feelings to someone who I really thought I had something special with, when it turned out to be strictly friendship on his part. I'm 19 and I've never been kissed, never had a boyfriend, and I've only truly liked one person. I'm not hideously disfigured or socially inept, but I'm afraid I'll never find someone. When I read this, it sounds completely trivial compared to others' problems which are far worse, but I can't help feeling this way. I recognize that I am very blessed, but I feel so completely lost.

There is more to this feeling of hopelessness, but I can't figure out what it is. I want to thank you for your music. I really connect with Anberlin in a way I don't connect with any other artist. You are all truly my heroes. I also applaud your determination if you've made it to the end of this email. Thank you so much, venting has been beneficial. I think I'll try to sleep now, and face tomorrow when it comes.

Love,
C UC
_____________________________________________________________________________________

dearest C UC
Please forgive my delay in reply as this is an important topic and wanted to put some thought into it instead of spouting off rhetoric.
What thought you must have poured into this, in a world where we have so many distractions to keep us from what truly matters (TV, music, DVD’s, books, etc.) you have thought to SEEK out truth, a vanishing art in our generation.

“Lost”; what an amazing task. To say you are lost, you are presupposing that you were either once “found” or were on a course and became lost, presupposing that you are on a destination to become found. The task is to figure out which, if either you subscribe to.
First we must look at the fact that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN FEELING THIS! You are not the first to feel this way and you will not be the last. The majority of those who seek face this feeling at one point or another, and it’s totally natural. Let’s go back in history and look at a story found in the Talmud (the Jewish holy book). Here a man by the name of Elijah had just single-handedly won a great victory (1 Kings 18) in the name of Yahweh (God) and had defeated all the other pagan priests and stopped the oppression of his people temporarily. A local government official (Jezebel) threatened Elijah’s life and he fled. While hiding from Jezebel Elijah was tormented with being alone in his belief’s and in life. While talking with Yahweh Elijah twice told God that, “I am alone, I alone am left.” God reassured him that this wasn’t the case as there were 7,000 people just like him in the city, and to return. Feelings of being alone (as in this case), feelings of what’s next, of where I belong, what do I want to be, what do others want me to be, etc. are nothing new. You are human and on a course, YOU ARE NOT ALONE; these are questions we all have to answer.

Next, realize that your feeling of being lost is a clear sign that you are on the right path. Siddhartha Gautama was born around 563 B.C. in what is now known as Nepal, near the India border. He was born into a wealthy family and was of royalty and did not travel outside of the walls of his castle. He was a handsome, short young man and was heir to his father’s throne. Because of a prophecy his dad received about young Siddhartha’s life he made sure that his son had all the worldly pleasure at his fingertips and was never allowed to see death, disease, or decay. But Siddhartha became tiresome of living in the castle walls day in and day out. Finally traveling outside he saw old decrepit man with broken teeth, the next trip he saw a body racked with disease, the next ride he saw a corpse, and on the final ride he saw a monk with a shaven head and ochre robe, and It was on that day that he learned of the life of withdrawing from the worldly pleasures. He felt “lost”, and eventually set out on his own leaving behind the power, fame, and worldly pleasures he once knew. Many hardships made him into what he became over his life, including lack of food/water, literally being lost in the dessert, beaten, and persecuted for his new belief system. He later claimed to have been enlightened because of these hardships and we know him now in the western culture simply as Buddha. But you see he had to feel “lost” to discover “enlightenment.” So feeling lost is not a bad thing at all but the beginning of the discovery of life itself and where you fit in it.

This is life my dear, it’s not always easy. Some say it is a journey, but that begs the question to say that life has a clear end and you have then reached your destination. I don’t believe this to be true because this implies that death is the destination, and I don’t know about you but death is not something I am concerning myself with at this present time, nor am actively seeking out. I believe life is just that… life. You live it and you learn from it. There are two paths, one for those who choose to live a mediocre life and float along and never make anything of themselves. And then there are those that choose to find there passion and go after it with all their heart.

I’m sure the next thought for some of you is “but I don’t know my passion!” and that is human too, that’s why you need to go experience this world by learning, educating yourself, seeking, traveling, growing, and finding/standing for what you believe in. Passion is innate, find something you love and go after it, and don’t be intimidated by finances or what others may think, you must believe in yourself and search. Realize that this feeling of lost doesn’t go away after you found something you love, you will always have questions, there will never be answers every time, but that is the adventure of life.

I still feel lost from time to time. I constantly wonder if I am doing the right thing in life, or if I am on the wrong path. But that is where trust and faith come in. For me, having the feeling of “lost” takes on a different approach because I believe in God, and have put my faith in Jesus Christ. In Proverbs (a book found in the Old Testament) it says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” So you see, for me having the sense of not being in the right place just tells me I need to give it to God and let him show me the way to go. It is where faith/hope/and trust collide.

-estaban

Post Script: and about that not dating anyone/kissing anyone; be glad that you are simply living without for the time being, instead of living with guilt and regret like most of us.