Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
If you haven't seen this movie in its entirety you should. It brings forth some incredible concepts and it really made me think.
What I love so much about this clip is how the teacher, who the students are asked to refer to as 'Captain', asks them to see things differently. He demonstrates this by example in that he teaches his class in a completely different and original manner. He doesn't teach the class simply so they pass the test: he teaches the class so they learn.
Today, being both a Saturday and a part of Christmas break, was very conducive to sleeping in. I slept until 11, and then got up for my morning ritual. Put the dog out, feed the dog, hug my parents, mosey around, read the front page, eat breakfast (if readily accessible), check my email, check the blog stats, then go look at the calendar to see what I have today. Half way through accomplishing this, I remember that I had forgotten to take a shower in above ritual. Argh.
Sometimes I wish showers weren't necessary. Or hygiene for that matter. Shaving is a pain, brushing teeth wastes time, and without deodorant people stay away from me (still haven't figured that one out). Yes, I know all of those must be done so I do them. But come on, you have to admit you wish there was a national "Sit around in your PJ's and don't worry about hygiene" day. Or is it just me?
Anyways, I forgot to take a shower. So I go back upstairs, pick out my clothes (most of em are dirty so I just pick the ones without grass stains and BO), grab a towel, and hit the bathroom.
While standing there, letting the hot/cold water run over me (I say hot/cold because my mom was using the faucet upstairs for something. Brrr.) I looked at the ground. Then I sat on the ground. I don't know what bridged the gap between the motion of my eyes and the motion of my body, but nonetheless I found myself sitting down inside my shower.
Interesting, thought I. So I looked up. Interesting.
I could only look up for a few seconds: the water was hot and semi-chlorinated after all. The shower-controller-thing was about 2 1/2 feet above me. It looked smaller, even from that short distance.
The shower head was a completely different matter, however. From up close I would never think such a thing could look so menacing. From a farther distance, say 4-5ft, this simple little water dispenser looked like a cycling vortex of death. That's right, death. I almost wanted to stand up just to show it who's boss.
Giving myself encouragement, I continued looking. The built in soap-holder that my shower has was dull. Normally one can see what it holds: usually soap. From down below, however, it looked like no more than a useless brick.
Then I looked down close to me. Well that's cool, thought I. Normally the most strenuous part of my shower is the shampoo bit towards the end. Imagine this: after a nice soaping down and rinsing, I have to bend all the way over to actually grab my bottle of shampoo that sits on the ground. Then I have to stand back up straight so I can properly squirt the shampoo. Then, after that feat has been accomplished, I have to bend back over to put the bottle back on the ground, then stand back up. It's ridiculous. Sitting on the ground, however, made this easy. It was just behind-and-to-the-right of me. Phew, saved some calories from the fiery furnace of my body.
After the whole washing gig was over, I continued to sit. This would make an interesting blog post, I thought. Then I decided against it: after all, who would want to hear about my experience in the shower? Creeeepppyyyy...
I stood back up, turned the shower off, and commenced my day.
As I got to thinking about the whole shower ordeal, I saw how it related to that Dead Poets Society clip. Looking at the world differently is really interesting. I wonder if I would see more aspects of my life if I tried "sitting down" or "standing on my desk?" I'll give it a go and let ya know how it works. Maybe I'll even try it on the whole principle of Christmas and see if I get some sort of epiphany. Then again, maybe I'll just see some kind of useless brick.
Lol, I'm already seeing how this gets me to think!
Anyways, hope the holiday season is treating you well.
Oh, btw, for all you people that appreciate "Dead Poets Society" I decided I might as well throw possibly the best scene of the movie on here.
Take this post further
Friday, December 19, 2008
It's like I have all these magnets in my brain that are all repelling each other. I need to find how to turn them around so they all come together and connect.
All that to say, if I don't post for a bit, it's not out of neglect.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Well, after much reading, browsing, and information gathering I have done it! I've created my very own Podcast and made it viewable/downloadable on iTunes!
Here's the specs you need to know:
What: It's like my blog, only you can listen to it. And download it on your iPod.
Why: Well why the heck not?
When: Right now.
Where: Now that's the question! Well, you can check out the iTunes page here. If you click that and have iTunes open, it'll send you straight there. If you don't have iTunes open, it'll do everything for you. If you don't have iTunes, get it.
Now what? Once on the Ground Shaking podcast page, you can choose between the episodes at the bottom and download each individually, or you can hit "subscribe" towards the top. If you subscribe your computer will automatically download the newest podcast as soon as I release it.
For right now the episodes I have listed are simply readings of a few of the posts I've put on the blog. I used them partly as test files, and partly so that new people that may stumble onto me on iTunes can have some sort of context for future posts.
A couple last things. I am searchable on iTunes. If you search the iTunes store for "Ground Shaking" or "Colin Mansfield" you will find me quickly. Also, I'm gonna add a button on the sidebar. ---> Clicking on it will also send you to my podcast page.
I think that about covers it! If this is all mumbo jumbo to you, no worries. The blog will still be my primary outlet for communicating. Conversely, the podcast will be a step up if you do want to dive a little deeper...or just laugh a little more :-D
Update: New podcast will be on by tomorrow!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Fitting title however, because yesterday was a pretty crazy day in the life of Colin Mansfield.
Let me start by saying I'm a rehabilitating procrastinator. I say rehabilitating because I choose not to own the statement "procrastinator" as part of who I am. I have a tendency to put stuff off, and I'm working at fixing that. But let me tell you, last week was not a good week for me in this aspect. I was simultaneously trying to learn how to manage this blog, get a podcast up and running, and do pre-calc/trig and chemistry all at the same time. Not a good combo, especially with Christmas-fever kicking in.
Mind you, the excess of school was due to "events" that were "outside of my control" (ie: hanging out with friends, and spending time staring into nothingness wishing math would disappear on its own accord.)
All that to say I had created my own worst enemy, and not like that lame show on NBC. My Monday was destined to be jammed full of last-minute school.
And what do I find out when I wake from my slumber? My phone won't turn on. Awesome. After I had "gotten some school done" (comprised mostly of staring at my math book wishing for a miracle once again) my mom and I headed off to the Sprint store to see if we could piece Humpty Dumpty together again.
No such luck. After an hour of sitting there talking to a "representative" (whatever that means--does he even work for Sprint?) we we're told we had to pay $35 for them to replace my phone which, by the way, was still under the manufacturers one-year warranty. Freaking cell phone commies.
After leaving the store with my mom, I went into a rage. I gave all the reasons why those idiots at the store were...well idiots. Bla bla bla.
Later that day (after more "school" was "finished") My whole family went down to a different Sprint location and talked with a nice guy there. I probably think of him as "nice" because he was helpful (in that he actually did his job. I ask again: did that other guy even work for Sprint?) He got us on the phone with some lady who, again, was demanding $35 of us. My dad, being the expert salesman he is, was able to get the woman-on-the-phone to waive the fee. We walked out of the store happy customers, and with a new phone on the way. If all goes well I should have LeTronika II by Thursday.
For the record, I was able to get my school work done. Yeah, it took a while. Yeah, I got a late night talking-to by my dad. But I got it done. Lesson learned: don't procrastinate, especially when it comes to high school homework. Now to finish up this home-stretch and make it to Christmas break. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Anyways, all this got me to thinkin' about pride. Was my reaction to the first salesman (does he even work for Sprint?) one of grace, or was I playing the "my-way-right-now" proud customer? How else am I prideful in my life, whether or not I mean to be? Interesting questions, and worth exploring further. What do you think?
Well, I'm off now to get our new Qwest Broadband set up (Cableone was charging up the u-kno-wht). Have a great day!
P.S. Get ready. The podcast is coming.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Last night, true to my word, I went and saw 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'.
Rather then give a "plot synopsis" (whatever that means) or a "thumbs up or thumbs down" (never accurate) or tell you what I thought about the film AT ALL, I'll let my dad do the talking.
That's right. Check it out.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
"But Colin," you may be asking "what exactly do you mean by 'dosage'?"
Well, reader, I will tell you.
Firstly, everyone needs a good dosage of swing music:
|Squirrel Nut Zippers - Put A Lid On It|
|Found at skreemr.com|
|Squirrel Nut Zippers - Hell|
|Found at skreemr.com|
Secondly, you need a good dosage of cowbell:
And finally, you will need a good dosage of coffee with yummy orange-cranberry bread.
Sorry. Can't help you with this one :)
Hope today proves to be a wonderful day for everyone!
Friday, December 12, 2008
There are some classic movies that simply would never be good if they were re-made. To me, the Back to the Future trilogy is a prime example. Anybody besides Christopher Lloyd simply could not do Dock Brown justice, and that's that.
Then there are movies that ABSOLUTELY should be re-made.
The Day the Earth Stood Still was made in 1951 and is considered a "Sci-Fi Classic"
From what I read in school "Classic" does not always mean "good"
And yet it got an 85% on RottenTomatoes.com (great movie review site.)
The remake, aptly named The Day the Earth Stood Still, came out today, Dec. 12th, and has a grand 24%.
I haven't seen either of the films.
I know you can't read a book by its cover; neither can you read a movie by its trailer. Just by comparing these two trailers, however, you tell me which movie looks more thrilling and entertaining.
I hope to see both movies eventually. The latter of the two I will hopefully see tomorrow night, but I'm inclined to think the former will be a while.
How about you guys? Any films you think should be re-made? Any ones you hope will never be re-made?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I had an interesting discussion in lit class yesterday that i thought might be a good thing to throw on here. I'm not exactly sure how the discussion started, but I'm pretty sure it was pretty shallow. Seems like often deep conversations are bred by shallow ones Lol.
In any case, the question was asked 'does God have responsibilities?' I'm pretty sure that's one of those questions I'll only know the answer to when I'm dead, in heaven, and chillen with God. In any case, our lit class began to explore the topic. Does God have responsibilities?
The word 'responsibility' often makes me think of cleaning the bathroom, doing my homework, or in general doing something I'd rather pass up on. Maybe that has to do with my upbringing Lol. Naturally, to me, the
thought of God having responsibilities made me think of him vacuuming the living room of heaven. Or worse, having to watch earth. I really think it would suck to be God. Maybe that's because I'm human, and maybe that's why I'm human. In all honesty, I think it would suck to run a daycare, much less the entire earth. Then again maybe that's why God gave us free will, Lol. That way he can love us, but not have to control us.
Anyways, back to responsibility. My buddy Austin Townend brought up a good point in class. If God had responsibilities, it would mean there was someone, or something, greater than Him. I only have a responsibility when I submit to a principle, idea, or authority bigger than me. I choose to submit myself to that, so I feel responsible for it. God cannot be that way because He is God. He is the maker of the rules, and is outside of them. The only way God can be responsible is if He chooses to by making a promise/covenant. God always comes through on his promises because He holds Himself responsible for them. Pretty mind boggling stuff if you ask me.
While I'm in boggling-of-the-mind mode I'll throw something else out there.
Putting God in a box. I don't think there is any way to not put God in a box. Yeah, you can call me the antichrist and spam me with '666' comments, but only after you hear me out on this one.
When someone says "God can't be put in a box" what have they just done? They've put Him in a box! They just put God in the box of "no boxes!" So where does that leave us?
Well, I want to use an example to demonstrate my point.
Take infinity. If I were to explain the abstract concept of infinity to you, how would I do it? I could just say infinity goes on forever, but that concept is still difficult to fully grasp for a human mind based on the finite. What if I were to give you the example of numbers? Infinity is like counting. You give me any number, and I can tell you one above it (yeah, for the math geeks we could go into countably infinite and incountably infinite: but bear with me). This "number line" example would help a person grasp infinity. It doesn't explain infinity in it's entirety, but it gets the idea across. Basically, I put infinity in a box.
With God it's a little different, but I think the basic concept is the same. How could there be any possible way for us, as humans (finite, corruptible, and inherently sinful) to grasp the omnipresent and omnipotent deity, who is God, in his entirety? All through the Bible metaphors are used of God to describe him ("The Lord is my shepherd" from Psalm 23 for instance.) How is it different when we put God in a box?
I don't think it is, so long as we are not nailing our cute little "box Jesus" to the floor and telling Him to stay there. What I mean is that as long as I put God in a box simply to better understand Him, and not to define Him, it's fine. It may even be necessary. The second I say I can define who God is in his entirety is when I get in trouble. I will never fully understand God, and I'm cool with that. I think that's the way it's supposed to be :)
Realize that I am no Bible scholar, and some of my theology may be off. If you think so, please feel free to comment and let me in on my error.
Hope this post has made you think if nothing else!
Listen to this post
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Those are questions I always find myself asking when I'm in a room with "that guy."
Well, here I am sitting in Heritage Hall at the Vineyard. I look over to one of the many tables littering the middle of the room, and low-and-behold, there sits "that guy."
Now, I don't like to judge people. I think it's a pretty cheap shot, mostly 'cause I think you can't/shouldn't read a book by its cover. But I can tell you right now that I judged this guy 100% the first time I saw him. He had it all: long hair, off-brand baseball cap, semi-creepy hand motions, and a slurring, droning voice.
I'm the type of guy where when I see someone like this, I start thinking what I would do when he pulls a gun on a 2nd grade passerby. Maybe I'm paranoid. Or maybe I'm just safe. Point being, I sized this guy up immeadiatly. I heard his ultra-awkward conversations with people walking by, and was able to judge him down to his least common denominator.
Then a cliche thought hit me: what if "that guy" could hear what I was thinking? Would he appreciate it? Truth be told, he'd most likely start to feel hostile towards me. And probably within a couple of seconds, lol.
So then the gears in my head began to turn. What was good and Christlike about how I assesed "that guy?" What was bad and...well I guess Satanesque would be the opposite of Christlike. So we'll go with that. Satanesque.
I guess my point here is this: how can I love this guy the way Christ loves his bride when he's such a creap? I guess that's where God comes in, right? There is no possible way I could love this guy. The human side of me rejects him with all that is in me. The only way for this man to be loved, is not through me, but through God.
And that opens up another internal discussion inside me. If I can't love this guy, how can I love anyone? As Donald Miller puts it in his book Blue Like Jazz- love is not a currency. It's not something to be spent on select few people, and witheld from the "that guy" audience.
So if love is not currency- not something that can be spent or selectively given, what exactly is it that I choose to give and withold? Is it love counterfit? Is it some misconstrued "like"? I really don't know the answers to these questions; I'm still reasoning with them myself.
What I do know is this:
Love, that is true love, is of God. God is love, and because of that everybody who has God has the ability to truly love. When we have Christ we don't have the ability to withold love. Maybe that other fake stuff, but not love. When we are spot on with Christ, love should work through us from God into other people.
Makes sense to me at least.
So yeah, "that guy" is pretty weird. He's not the type of guy I'd enjoy talking to while sipping Starbucks and listening to a Potterybarn album. And yet I am still to let Christ's love seep through my poors of hatred and humanism and wash over all 6'2" of "that guy's" gangly frame.
Isn't it funny when you hear Christians try to use PC terms about people that are straight up weirdos? I think PC terms in the church are funny in the first place.
Pardon me if I sound blunt throughout this post and those to come, but I truly do think that sometimes to be real one must be blunt.
But maybe that's just me.
Listen to this post
Monday, December 8, 2008
I've spent I good portion of my morning trying to get the mobile blogger thingie to work. I can put text up, but no pics :(
Too bad Sprint is lame.
In any case, if you're ever on the blog and a posting has no title, it means I posted it from my good ol' phone LeTronika.
And how 'bout that snow today? I woke up and was like "Finally!" December is indeed here ladies and gents. And Father Christmas is on his way.
Happy Monday! Only 10 more days until "BOOM TIME"
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thanks Captain for challenging me to share my journey. I suppose I'm too used to the shallow waters of elevator talk that normally occur between people and have yet to get used to gutting myself for everyone to see. I'll do my best in the posts to follow. ;-)
My journey has been a long one. Yeah, I know I'm 16. Teenagers aren't "supposed" to even have a journey yet. But we all do. Every single person has a journey, no matter the age. And trust me when I tell you teenagers are no exception to that rule.
As a share my life's voyage with you through this blog, bear with me. Like a puzzle being dumped out, pieces will come out jumbled and turned over. Try not to get too lost and overwhelmed in my mire of thought. This part of my journey, the part which I'm blogging about tonight, starts many years ago.
Holy cow, I must have been about 9 or 10 when this whole thing started.
My sister, Meg, took part in the Homeschool Graduation ceremony. When she was facing the same hurdles I am today being in High School, she participated in what was called the "Enrichment Program" not too dissimilar to the school I attend. The person who she walked down the graduation isle with was, what some may call, an odd duck. His name was Curtis Barrett, and I don't think my sister had a clue that he would have an impact on her younger brother's life.
Curtis faced his own hurdles after High School. Namely, college at BSU. I'm no scholar of his life, so I can't tell you all that happened to him during these years. I do know he was uncertain about what his life held in the future. Growing up a Christian, Curtis knew the cliche "God has His hand on your life." so he didn't worry too much. After college, Curtis connected up with a middle-school aged boy by the name of Colin Mansfield. Curtis had kept his connection with the Mansfield family through college: Mr. Mansfield had been a part of his life in previous years. Now that Meg had moved on to do the college alternative, some call it marriage, the natural step for Curtis in connecting with the Mansfield family was to get to know Colin. On top of that, Curtis and Colin had had many an experience with each other through their many years of AWANA together: Curtis as a leader, Colin as a sparky/grayshirt. All that to say, Curtis would invite Colin out to eat periodically and ask him questions about his life. He'd ask him about school (finding a common ground where neither liked english as a subject) and about his plans for the future. These meals would take place once every couple months. Colin found them a bit strange at first, but free food is free food.
Fast forward a couple years. Colin is now a sophomore in High School. One day Curtis calls up Colin and sets up a time for them, along with Mr. Mansfield to go have a meal and talk. The three do end up spending a good portion of the planned afternoon together. After listening to Curtis' life, Dennis suggests something that would forever change Curtis' life. This something, although pretty blurry for Colin at the time, was an event called Focus. Although to this day the details of the adult focus seminars remain unclear to Colin, the proof is indeed in the pudding. Curtis came out a changed man. He acknowledged areas in his life where he needed to change, and he confronted those areas. He was able to build a meaningful answer to the question "Who are you?" In short, Curtis had begun a whole new journey in his life.
At about this time a few months later, Colin gets a call from Curtis. Curtis wanted to start a Bible study and work through the book of Proverbs. Colin came diligently to each study, and he was able to learn new things about the Bible. He learned new things about wisdom, understanding, and knowledge and the differences of each. It was a good study.
But to Curtis, something was missing. The Bible was there, and that was great. And yet he felt like there could be so much more. It was as if a certain depth was missing. Through a series of events only Curtis can explain, that missing link became clear. It was Biblically-based personal development.
Colin and Curtis began meeting once a week at various locations. They met at Zen Bento downtown, at Mongolian Bar-B-Q, and at Gondolfo's (both of which are off of Milwakee by Shopko.) Curtis had had an epiphany. The grand scheme of the epiphany was too much for even Colin to fully grasp, but the general idea was clear. Curtis wanted to start a group for people who are ready to start the process of Biblical-based personal development in their life. Colin was the first person he asked to join this group. And Colin, being the extroverted adventurer he is, said yes.
Fast forward to the last couple months. Colin, or I, had been enjoying this group temporarily dubbed "World Changers."Every week that Curtis and I would meet he would challenge me on different issues. These meetings became so beneficial we decided to do them twice a week. He would ask me questions, not just about what I wanted to do with my life, but why I wanted to do it. Every week he would give me a new book to take a look at or consider. Curtis was an ever-growing storehouse of knowledge being fermented into wisdom. And through all of these meetings, possibly the biggest question he asked me was "What is your purpose in life?" I had small bite-sized possibilities, but I could never land on something.
Fast forward to the near present. I know God wants me to impact people's lives. I don't feel inclined toward the teacher or pastor roles: I fit more into the categories of the apostles of the Bible. They would go from city to city sharing Christs love. They would go and make ripple-like drops into the lives of people. Through these people starting churches, and these churches growing in number, more and more people's lives would be impacted. It was the ripple principle at its finest.
I recently felt as though my purpose was to be a ripple for Christ. I really liked that analogy of something touching something else, and having impact on more than anyone could ever know. And yet it still didn't feel 100% there yet. And this is where Curtis came in. He wrote me a letter, and it inspired me. I had been sharing him my thoughts on the ripple principle. In his letter, he confronted me saying I was downplaying my possible growth; my potential. A ripple is a good analogy, and yet it can make its mark and then disappear. A ripple is silent and still. My personality fits neither of those. Because of this, Curtis suggested I take up a different analogy with the same principle involved. He's the one that first suggested the earthquake analogy to me. And the moment I heard it, I loved it. Just saying it inspires me to my very core: I am an earthquake. But not just any earthquake. Many earthquakes are destructive and do more harm then good. That is why I am not just any earthquake. I am an Earthquake for Christ. And that makes all the difference.
Phew. This is a LONG post! And no, I'm not gonna go back and re-read it for grammar errors and spelling mishaps. If some things don't read quite right, I hope you will forgive me.
That's the journey of my purpose. My purpose is to be an Earthquake for Christ.
Well, I think that's enough for this time around. :-) Hope everyone has a great rest of their weekend.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Let's get some stuff straight. This isn't one of those blogs about gardening. This isn't one of those gamer blogs. And no, this isn't one of the many infamous "political" blogs...whatever that means (lol). I don't know that I would put this blog, my blog, into any particular category. I guess the first step to defining this weblog would be to explain the name.
'Ground Shaking' is a direct result of what I believe my purpose in life to be. Haha, I know right? That's a pretty intense statement. In all seriousness though, I've put a ton of thought and prayer into this aspect of my life. I've been challenged to think and re-think. Eventually, I was able to land on a one sentence phrase which I believe sums up my purpose. My purpose is to be an earthquake for Christ. I know that as time goes on, how I define my purpose will probably be sanded down and polished. It may even be broken in two and completely re-made. As I stand now, however, this is what I believe my purpose to be.
For the sake of brevity, I won't bore all of you with the gory details of how I came to the above conclusion. If you are interested, however, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to the blog. Basically this is going to be an area that I'm gonna poor myself into, and be completely genuine about it. You may not like what I have to say, and you may not agree. I hope some of the things I have to say will start discussions; I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few start debates. What you will read on this blog will be Colin; it will be me. I'm going to take a leap and be 100% real on here.
So what's 'Ground Shaking' summed up? It's a blog where I, Colin Mansfield, will share my journey, thoughts, and musings on pretty much anything that strikes my interest.
I think that about covers it. Any questions? Good. Let's go shake some ground.
Listen to this post