One thousand views! Gracias

My blog just hit 1,000 views!

I created this blog more than a year ago, but only began taking it seriously sometime at the beginning of the year. Just as I was consistent with my clarinet practice, I needed a regular writing schedule even if that meant writing once a week.

In a way, it seems it has taken a long time to get to 1,000 views. On the other hand, it’s taken almost 500 different visitors, and I think that’s quite a lot of people. Although, who knows how many views may be my own.

While Of lovers and fools is primarily a way for me to cultivate discipline through a weekly post and a biweekly podcast, I am happy some readers and listeners can find my content to be worth their time.

I hope to deliver better material each week and perhaps get to another 1,000 views in less than a year.

Thanks for reading, listening, liking and sharing!

¡Gracias!


¡Mi blog acaba de alcanzar mil visitas (o vistas?)!

Creé este blog hace más de un año, pero comencé a tomarlo en serio hasta principios de este año. Así como era consistente para practicar clarinete, necesitaba una rutina para escribir constantemente aunque eso fuera una vez a la semana.

De cierta manera, parece que ha tomado bastante tiempo llegar a mil visitas. Aunque a tomado casi 500 diferentes visitantes y creo que esa es mucha gente. Pero quién sabe cuantas visitas sean mías.

Aunque Of lovers and fools es primeramente una manera de cultivar disciplina mediante un post semanal y un podcast quincenal, estoy muy contento de que algunos lectores y escuchas aprecien el contenido.

Espero compartir mejor material cada semana y poder llegar a otras mil visitas en menos de un año.

¡Gracias por leer, escuchar, dar like, y compartir!

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I should not worry, but I do

It has been less than two months since I wrote about feeling so overwhelmed about graduating from college and entering a new phase that brings more responsibility. In fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it.

I began my last year of college five weeks ago and I have not stopped worrying about what will come next. In these last two weeks, I’ve been unable to relax. The pressure is not external, though. It comes from my self-consciousness.

When I last wrote about my worries, I quoted Matthew chapter 11. Jesus said we could find rest in Him. If we just come to him, we can lay down our burdens and take his.

As I said last time, I don’t really need to carry all this pressure I put on myself. Yet, I still do.

This week in his daily devotional email, the campus chaplain wrote about the promise found in Matthew 6:33. Jesus says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I’ve read this passage many times and I always find some hope in it. Before this well-known verse, Jesus tells us not to worry about food, drink or clothing. He’ll take care of that. He’ll take care of our basic needs. We just have to prioritize him.

The birds don’t work endlessly for their food, yet God feeds them. Wouldn’t He take care of us in this regard? The flowers show such beauty attained with no work in their part. Wouldn’t God make sure we have clothing?

God promises to take care of all our basic needs. Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I can definitely agree with the last sentence and I believe the rest of it. But there is more to life than just the basic needs. I still want to have some kind of impact. I feel I was born for more than just having my basic needs covered.

This is where things get complicated when they should not.

If I can remember that my purpose is to be with God and whatever failures, big and small, surround my life really don’t matter in my relationship with God, then all I need to worry about are my basic needs. And if God will take care of them, I can just enjoy time with Him.

On the other hand, there is definitely a world that requires us to pay attention to what happens down here. A career is part of it, a family is part of it, church is part of it. These things bring stress, eustress and distress.

At the end, I know that if I prioritize God, I will have peace. Perhaps I’ll be able to quote Paul and say, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12).

Yet, I still I worry.

May God help me spend time with Him and stand on His promises.

#006 – Abner Campos

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This week, Abner Campos is on the show! He currently works as vespers coordinator for the campus ministries office at Union College in Lincoln, Neb. Our conversation goes from the negative view a lot of students have of campus ministries to Abner’s personal struggles in his relationship with God. Also, Slade Lane, who will be on the show next time, appears as co host.

The song featured in this week’s episode is “Ven a Jesús” from Guillermo Ximenez’s soon-to-be-released first album. You can listen to episode 004 to learn more.

To support him, please visit the Indiegogo campaign at http://igg.me/at/guillermo-ximenez.

Knowing

Some people want to know everything. I am one of them.

I wish I had even a basic understanding of chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, calculus and economics. Then, I would also like to have some expertise in symphonic repertoire, chamber music, community development, political science, peace and God.

Perhaps I’ll acquire some solid knowledge in some of these areas, but I don’t think I can do it all, especially with the market’s current demand for specialization. The market changes and demands more and more of people. It pushes for higher specialization but also for a varied set of skills.

And so, we go on and on wanting to know more and never being satisfied. There is always more we can learn. In school, you are expected to gain solid research skills for graduate school. You finish college and you feel like you know only a little more than you did before. What you are really aware of is how much there is you do not know.

You may have more experience and feel like a 21-year-old kid who thinks he can write because he bought a web domain doesn’t know a thing about knowledge.

You may be right. I don’t know a thing. When I begin to think I know something, I am quickly reminded of how little I know. I mess up constantly. I fail quizzes. I neglect people. I forget God.

I don’t know what happens with all the data that enters my mind. Where does it all go? Why do I keep messing up?

Each day I feel like I know less. Things get more complicated and I drown as I realize I don’t have the skills required to survive.

Sometimes I feel like I have no idea about anything. It scares me. Knowledge is power and each day I have less.

Nonetheless, I’m still trying to gain knowledge, constantly reminding myself that it’s now about knowledge for its own sake. That’s futile.

I know two things: God loves me and He has a plan.

If I can remember that all the time, perhaps the moments of hopelessness I experience will begin to appear less often.

Sickness

I’ve been sick for three days. I think I got the flu, but I am almost fully recovered. So I expect to feel great tomorrow.

On Wednesday night, I began feeling this really awkward pain in my throat going up to my left ear and I knew I would wake up the next day with a sore throat and other symptoms related with the flu.

As a music student, it is never a good time to get sick because I have to stop practicing and might get behind on learning a certain work. But the timing cannot be worse when you get sick two days before a performance.

Since Thursday, I spent a significant part of the day lying in bed so I could recover as soon as possible because I needed to get back into a practice room. But the fever and congestion made me slow and pretty much useless.

If practicing was not an option, at least I could listen to some symphonies I need to get familiar with. However, I felt too tired and fell asleep. By the time I woke up, two symphonies had gone by.

I went outside and instantly felt better. There is truly something magical about getting some sun and fresh air. (Okay, maybe it is not magical but you get the point). I walked over just one mile, and although I felt tired by the end, it really helped my mood.

During this walk, I though about sickness. I could not wait to get better. I wanted to feel like I did a couple days before. I wished to have the same energy and not feel so tired at 10 am.

While I was thinking about all that I would do when I recovered, sin came to my mind. Although seemingly unrelated, the topic had been on my mind thanks to a class I am taking in college this semester. We had been talking about Adam and Eve and how sin entered the world.

Perhaps this is why I thought, How would it feel to be without sin? I know what it feels to not have the flu, so I long to be healthy every time I get sick. I know all the things I could be doing and need to be doing, and I am aware of how sickness keeps me from accomplishing those tasks.

I have no idea what it feels to be sinless. Is sin like a handicap? Could I be doing more, better things if I was not being bogged down by sin?

Adam and Eve were sinless once. They knew how that felt. After they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they became aware of their nakedness. As the snake promised, their eyes were opened.

I don’t know how they felt being kicked out of the garden, but I can imagine Adam and Eve wanting, longing to go back to how things were. They had become sick. Things were not so easy now. Sin came with its symptoms.

As I experience the last moments in my recovery from the flu, I think about how it will be when there is no more sin. How will it be to not experiences any headaches from all this meetings and tasks we put in our calendars and planners? What things are we going to do when are lives are no longer congested with materialism, envy and greed?

Right now I am sick. I am a sinner. Thankfully, that is not the end.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

Revelation 21:4,5a (NIV)

#005 – Shaina Adams

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Shaina Adams is back on the show. We recorded this conversation before the school year started. In it we talk about Shaina’s semester abroad and summer camp. I was so interested in listening to how those two adventures  affected her life. She had deliberately put herself in two situations pretty far from her comfort zone. You can read her blog here.

Also, we have Amanda Ashburn on the show telling us a summer camp story. Like Shaina, she also worked at a summer camp this past summer break.

Finally, the song featured in this week’s episode is “Ven a Jesús” from Guillermo Ximenez’s soon-to-be-released first album. You can listen to the previous episode to learn more.

To support him, please visit the Indiegogo campaign at http://igg.me/at/guillermo-ximenez.