Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I had something like that happen today, and honestly, it's been the first time in a long time where 1. it was completely my fault and 2. there was no getting out of it.
It all happened when I was closing up for work yesterday. I work at a coffee shop, and there's a list of things I always have to do before I can leave when I close. Most of it's cleaning: cleaning the espresso machine, wiping down the counters, cleaning up the grinders, etc. Normally I start the final process of cleaning about an hour to 45 min. before I actually walk out the door. Basically the context was this: I had cleaned up the entire espresso machine, which has several different parts which each have to be cleaned separately with special soap, and was about half way through my till count when a customer pulled up. I looked at my phone for the time. 10 'till close. Dang. I walked up to the window, unlocked it, and opened it to find that the guy in the car was one of our regulars who religiously comes through every day. Apparently he hadn't gotten the memo that today life revolved around me.
"Hey man! You missed it!" I said
"Missed what?" He replied, a little confused.
"I'm just closin' up. I got the espresso machine all clean, and I'm doin' the till count right now. Sorry man!"
"Oh ok...but hey it's still 10 'till"
"Yeah, but you know I need time to do the till count and get everything locked up and closed down."
"Oh. Ok. Well, see ya then."
"Yep see ya!"
Even as I write that I cringe at how much of an ass I was. Granted, I didn't mean to completely blow off a customer before we were even closed. I was just thinking about me. I had to leave, because I had homework, and I had stuff to do that didn't concern other people. Just me.
So I closed up, left, and finished off my night.
Fast forward to this morning at about 7:15. I get a text from my boss. "Hey Colin, I had a customer pull through this morning and said you didn't help him when it was still 10 minutes until closing time. Go ahead and give me a call later."
Ouch. Hand in the cookie jar.
I don't know if you know me that well, but even if you do I want to tell you all something about me. No matter how hard I try to cover it up, no matter how hard I try to make excuses to myself, if I do something wrong, and get called out for it, I feel REALLY bad. I don't just mean guilt. I mean, my heart sinks to my stomach, and I can't focus. I start thinking through everything that could happen, and how I wish I could time travel to slap myself in the face. I feel BAD.
I was going to postpone calling my boss to the latest possible time, but the sinking feeling wouldn't give. I decided the sooner the better. I'm not gonna lie, I even thought "this is gonna make a great blog piece." lol
So I called my boss. I explained my situation, and the context for what had occurred. He gave me a little shpeal about how it's one of his pet peeves and I really shouldn't have done that; the customer always comes first, and he doesn't care if it's 2:00 (the time we close) or 2:10; if a customer pulls through, you help them.
I stopped. I gulped. And I asked for his forgiveness. I was on the verge of tears.
This mere coffee incident brought forth in me such emotion that was completely unexpected! Almost crying, I said I was sorry that my heart had not at all been in the right place, and I asked my boss to forgive me. I think he was caught a little off guard, and even said "well thanks for fessing up."
This morning I did something that I think everyone should do at least once in their lives. I took the hit. I looked at what I had done square on in the face, and I accepted the consequences. It sounds like my boss wants to talk to me some more, and I'm sure there will be some fall out from my poor attitude. "You reap what you sow" comes to mind.
But I'm quite proud of myself. Not for what I did, heavens no. I'm ashamed of that. I'm proud for how I was able to take the hit, give God a quick prayer of thanks, and move on.
God doesn't simply change us. He gives us opportunities where we can choose whether or not we want to change and grow.
Hey- Just wanted to throw on an mp4 of some thoughts I had while up in Bogus Basin last friday. Podcastin' from my ipod- pretty sweet if ya ask me.
You can also find this on my podcast.
Have a great week!
Here's the mp4
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I've wanted to blog, I simply "haven't had the time."
Short explanation: I've been processing life and growing in God.
My heart has been yearning to change, in nearly every way.
Ever since I found my purpose (however rough it may still be) and started this blog, my heart has been seeking change. Spiritual, emotional, and habitual change.
Ground Shaking. Interesting statement, seeing as how it both has to do with being, and with doing.
I believe that as a Christian, that is being a temple for the Holy Spirit, everywhere I go brings Christ. What I mean is that I may be in the most hostile environment, and God can still work through me no prob. Just my being there can change the entire situation for the better. Not because of me, mind you, but because of Jesus. I believe that my purpose, being a Ground Shaker for Christ, ties directly into this belief.
That's the being side of things. I know who I am: I am a peaceful, free, and stupendous man who's mission is to influence, restore, and improvise honor and wisdom in myself and others, and I do this through being a Ground Shaker for Christ.
So what about the doing? I think that as a Christian, and more specifically as a Ground Shaker, it is my responsibility, nay, my honor, to influence those around me through the way I purposefully act, lead, show respect, and even joke.
I think one without the other is futile, and I also think that in order to do, I must first be. Pretty deep huh?
So how does this relate back to anything?
Like I said, my heart has been yearning for change. I had felt like a corked bottle of champagne; I had all this stuff I wanted to share, but wasn't sure how uncork myself, much less pour myself out. Putting it in Focus terms (for those of you that care) I felt like I had all this medicine to give away to some village across a river, yet no way of getting it there.
Then winter camp happened.
As I say that I cringe. I've built up some kind of wall when it comes to winter camp experiences. In the past, I've experienced winter camp as an awesome place to get close to God. Sadly, when I return from such an awesome trip, I've found that realty hits me like a brick, and I once again grow distant from Him. At least that's been my experience up until this year.
Lots of cool stuff happened at winter camp (see previous post), but bottom line was this: I asked God to free me up; to uncork me. Somewhat expectedly, somewhat unexpectedly, He did. It was as simple as that. One moment I was worshipping with anchors on my heart, the next I wasn't. I was hesitant at first that this freedom would be a temporary fix. What I've found, however, is that God's freedom is permanent. He is always true to me, I just have to accept it.
That was stage one: freedom. Stage two came just recently.
I have an amazing friend by the name of Austin Townend. There's singularly no other human being who can make me laugh as much, as hard, and as often as him (with the possible exception of my father.) We've had fun times together, and he even made me a merch/myspace editor of his Hardcore band, Bless the Martyr!
Every once in a while him and I will have an intense conversation; a heart-to-heart if you will. Such was the case Saturday night/Sunday morning (we talked well into the 4am margin.)
I won't tell you everything that we talked about, mostly because it would be incredibly out of context and would take many, many other posts for you to fully get where we are coming from.
I will tell you, however, how this plays into The Rays of Sun that Blasted the Inversion of my Heart (thought that would make a good title due to the weather in Boise lately!)
Warning: I'm not going to pull any punches.
We talked about the state of the Church, specifically that of Vineyard Boise (my current home church, his old one. He now attends the Meridian Vineyard.)
Firstly, we both agreed that the people at the Vineyard (assume I'm talking about the Vineyard Boise) are awesome. I immensely love everyone who is on leadership, and hold no grudges; have no withholds.
We also agreed how there seems to be a spirit of some kind of fear or holding back. From what we've seen lately, people are able to grow to a certain extent, then can grow no more. I personally am not sure if this is directly due to the leadership, or simply the spirit of the congregation as a whole. Regardless, I feel it.
I've seen this spirit not only manifest itself in the main service, but also in the youth church, and even in VCHSC (the elementary through high school that I attend.)
I mean a couple things by a "spirit of fear or holding back." Firstly, I don't see people ON FIRE for Christ. People raise their hand in worship, yes, but how exactly are they uplifting the church? I see people apply for programs, and volunteer for events, but even in that I see no FIRE. I see works. And I know that works without faith, faith in Christ, are dead.
As James 2:19-20 puts it (Message):
"19-20Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but
then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something
wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use
your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two
and not end up with a corpse on your hands?"
Basically I see evidence of spiritual deadness creeping into my church. Whatever the cause of this deadness, the cure is simple enough to guess. Jesus.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I don't want to get all into different genres of music; that could take hours. Suffice it to say that hardcore music comes from a mixture of punk rock and metal, and breaks into several other sub-generas (metalcore, etc.)
- Haste the Day- Amazing Christian Hardcore. Great lyrics, awesome guys.
- The Devil Wears Prada- Also Christian. AMAZING singer, and great song names
- Demon Hunter- Christian #3. Songs make me want to change the world :D
- Gwen Stacy- Haven't listened to much yet, but just got their album. AMAZING so far!
- As I Lay Dying- Great band, and trippy music videos. Not for the faint of heart.
- MyChildren MyBride- Christian band, and very intense. HEADSHOT!
- Underoath- Also Christian. Haven't listened to them much, but they're very popular.
- Bring Me the Horizon- Definitely not Christian. BMtH is intense, but there's no avoiding their f-bombs.
*If you were wondering, I do name many of my appliances/valuables. My old iPod is Clive, and my new Simon. My old phone was LeTronika, and my newer version is LeTronika II. My old snowboard was Lisa, and my new one is Cambridge. Finally, my beautiful Chevy Blazer is named Calvin. Do you name your valuables?
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Joy that is unrefined, authentic. Of the heart, and to the heart. Joy which cannot be explained with mere words, and yet is so uncontainable that one must try. Joy that is more than happiness, more than excitement. The raw stuff. Breaks all barriers. Impacts.
My girlfriend, Kona Estes, gave me the best Christmas present I have ever received from any friend.
Allow me to preface:
When it comes to Christmas I'm a wee-bit materialistic. It's not that I don't enjoy the more "abstract" gifts the holidays bring (happiness, warm smiles, etc) I just happen to think I can enjoy those gifts more with a new iPod, laptop, book, video game, movie, ...ok you get the picture.
For my Christmas present to Kona I gave her an assortment of gift cards to various stores. I also hand picked a number of funny cards with which to hold said gift cards. Finally, I came up with a semi-elaborate scavenger hunt to various places that are special to Kona, or to her and I. At each stop she would get money in the form of a gift card, and a clue to the next area. It ended at my house for a yummy breakfast kudos of my wonderful mom.
And yeah, I'm pretty proud of the whole thing. I think it turned out really well, and Kona said she liked it (always a good sign.)
All that to say, I prepped, planned, and executed (on Christmas eve, I might add.)
I was slightly put off when Kona didn't return the favor that day. Or Christmas day. Or the weekend after. Or New Year's weekend.
In her defense, she stayed in communication with me and timing simply did not work out. Every day she had free to give me her present, I was busy, and vice-versa. Still, it was a little disconcerting.
On an unrelated note (or at least that's what I thought at the time) she invited me over to her grandparents house last weekend to celebrate Christmas with their family in Bowmont, Idaho. When we were about 10 minutes away, Kona informed me that this was her Christmas present: the present of quality time. I would be spending the day hanging out with her family and getting to know them.
I admit, I thought it was a very thoughtful gift, but my first reaction was nervousness. I really did not want to pull a Meet the Parents. But I figured jumping out of the moving car in front of my girlfriend and her entire family would probably be offensive to some degree, so I stayed along for the ride.
I had an AMAZING time! Getting to know new people is always a little awkward towards the beginning for me, but as I got to talking with her grandpa and uncle, I started to enjoy myself. I forgot everything about trying to make a good impression, or sell myself, and I just relaxed. It wasn't that I was focusing on being authentic, real and deep. Rather, I was me. 100% Colin William Mansfield. And I had a fantastic time!
Later that night, while we were packing up and getting ready to leave, I realized, or rather got a glimpse, of what it was I had been feeling that day. I had been feeling pure, raw joy. I had experienced the bride of Christ at her best. It was as though I had left behind all the negativity of life somewhere on the road out of Boise, and all that was left was this immunizing, numbing joy. All I can describe it as is the Joy of Jesus. Even as I came home, said my goodbyes to Kona and the rest of the Estes Clan, and crawled into bed, I could feel the waves of raw joy splash up onto my body.
Did I deserve this? No. Did Jesus still give it to me? Yes. And I stood in awe.
Have you experienced His raw Joy?
P.S. Kona- thank you so much. You have no clue what it meant to me. :-)
And Captain- thanks for driving. ;-)
Also- check out this video by The Rocket Summer. I think the lyrics are really interesting. See how it plays into being a Ground Shaker.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Alright, just wanted to do a brief post and let everyone know that my artist page on iTunes has been approved! It's not much, just a place where you can view both of my podcasts and subscribe to them, but it works!
Check it out, and feel free to subscribe!
Monday, January 5, 2009
The new Mobile Podcast is up and running! The "Colin Mansfield" artist page has yet to be set up, but I'll let ya know when that gets done.
Just so you get understand my reasoning behind the MobileCast:
Basically I set up a way that I can podcast from my mobile phone. These will be similar to my mobile blog posts in that they will be short, sweet, and for the most part surface level. My main podcast will be more in depth, and there will be further time between new casts. Feel free to subscribe to one, the other, or both. My aim here is to create an easy way to get my thoughts out quickly.
Thanks, and keep checking for more updates!
Also, there's a new podcast on my main. Listen here, or from iTunes!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This could be considered my "New Year's Post." Oh come on- you know what I mean. Every blog has one: some kind of reflection of the last year. A sum-up or run-down of the past year coupled with an encouraging word for the year to come. Like I said, I suppose this is mine.
The reasoning behind my waiting four days to get this post out of my head is two fold. Click here for fold one (first paragraph.) Fold two has to do with simple timing. Although according to the Gregorian Calendar New Years started three days ago, my internal clock will not register it until midnight tonight. Why? Simple answer: school. All you older folks may not remember what it was like to be young and in your prime, but it did all come with a price. Teachers, desks, lockers, and homework. And I only go to a two-day-a-week school.
But I digress.
This year's "New Year's Post" is about people. Specifically, those I am close to and who I connect with.
I was spending some time catching up on blogs earlier today and I noticed how much I really enjoy hearing about other peoples lives (specifically when they are being authentic.) So called "experts" are always talking about how our society is moving more towards impersonal involvement and the non-confrontational. They say it's because of huge uses of the internet, IM, text, and other venues where "legitimate" communication skills aren't used or necessary. I disagree. I think our society, that is the society we live in, craves human connection. We use the internet, IM, etc. to satisfy that craving. Granted, some people take advantage of that and may move towards the impersonal. I believe, however, that as a whole people want to talk to people.
Again, I digress.
My main point here is this: I was connecting with friends. Reading about their life helped me to realize that however much I may sometimes feel like I'm the only one living this whole crazy thing out, there are others going through struggles, fighting "the motions", and being authentic about it.
I'm gonna mention some friends specifically who I connect with, who encourage me, and because of both of these, those who influence me. I'll put their name followed by their blog URL (if they have one.) I'll then put a brief write-up about how I know them, what they mean to me, and an encouraging word or two. Feel free to check their blogs out and subscribe.
Dennis Mansfield- http://dennismansfield.com
My Dad is an amazing man. Not only is he an invaluable source for wisdom, he is a bottomless pit of wit and humor! :-) It is safe to say that all 16 years I have known my father have proved to be life-changing. I love you Dad, and thank you so much for challenging me, encouraging me, and showing me what it means to be a man.
Chad Estes- http://captainestes.blogspot.com
Oh Captain my Captain! I remember the first time Chad asked me to call him Captain: it was at a first day of school, who knows how many years ago, when he was VCHSC's Superintendent. Although unbeknown to me then, this name came from the movie "Dead Poet's Society." Funny how things take on double meanings as I grow older. Captain, you have always been a man I look up to. Not only do I admire your laser communication skills and your incredible authenticity, but you make me laugh in ways few people can. And I don't say all of this just because you're my girlfriend's dad; but maybe, just maybe, you'll leave the shotgun in the closet next time I visit. And maybe my visits can be longer then five minutes.
David Wheeler- http://iliketreestoo.blogspot.com
I'm not exactly sure when or where I met David for the first time. It might have been through scouts, it might have been through church. Either way, I respect this Man of God. When I was in early middle school David allowed me to act in his "Tuesday Afternoon" videos for Kid's church. I'm sure I was no good, but David was encouraging and I began to respect him. As I have grown older he has turned from my acquaintance to my friend. David, thank you for your humorous words and your wisdom to the realities of life. And thank you so very much for your bites on my shoulder.
Brandon Freeman- http://hall-e-woode.blogspot.com
Brandon is a freaking wizard. I have gained immense understanding from this guy's endless storehouses of film making and movie knowledge. I've had the honor of working, and just hanging out with him, on numerous occasions; the most recent being our work on his and David's film, The Baseball. Brandon, thank you for being amazing. Like a Transformer, there is more to you then meets the eye. I look forward to more jokes, and movies. :)
Mrs. Angelia Jones
I say "Mrs." because she is, at the moment, is my English/Lit. teacher! Not many people increase their rank in "Colin's ladder of friendship" as fast as Mrs. Jones has. I never really knew what to make of the "crazy eyed lady" that taught younger grades in earlier school years. I have been so blessed to have Mrs. Jones as my English teacher this year. Mrs. Jones, thank you for putting up with us waffle-brained guys, and our sexist comments. I experience you as slow to anger and quick to encourage. Thank you, and I hope to get to know you better in years to come! You have already begun to make an impact on my life.
I could write so much about so many more people! Some other people I will mention, but refuse to write essays on for the sake of brevity, are as follows:
My beautiful mother, Susan
My sister, Meg, and her husband, Caleb
My amazing girlfriend Kona Estes, as well as the rest of the Estes clan!
All of my close friends, Collin, Austin ,Caleb, and so many more.
Let the "New Year" come! I refuse to let the fear, the bondage, and the crap of the world influence me when I have such a great God, and such great friends!
Thanks to all of you who read the blog, and I hope 2009 proves to be a great year for everyone!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I had a fantastic break! No school+Christmas+New Years= Amazing fun. Something I want to bring up today is how so often I take for granted the small things. Like going to a movie.
Christmas morning at the Mansfield house is present-clad, candy-laden, with humor and laughter mixed in. This year it was spent with just my mom, dad, and I. At noon my sister came over to celebrate with us. It was all kinds of fun, and I thought it was one of the better Christmas I've ever had.
New Years was spent in a fun way for me as well. My family organized a dance party for my school. We did dances including but not limited to: The Virginia Reel, the Patty Cake Polka, The Cotton Eyed Joe dance, a plethora of swing dancing, the Waltz, and the Foxtrot. I got the honor of being the MC/teacher of the event, and it was an all around good time!
Something else I had the joy to experience during the holidays was watching and going to see movies with an assortment of people. I saw films such as Valkyrie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Seven Pounds. I even watched Christmas With the Kranks (Maybe sitting next to my girlfriend holding hands had something to do with the 'magic' of that film.)
I guess what I'm getting at is this: the holidays are the holidays every year. The same Silver Bells will greet my ears, and the same red-nosed reindeer will be remembered. The Night will stay Holy, and the Sleigh Ride will always be grand. And the same ball will drop in times square.
The main thing I've been realizing about the magic of the holidays has little to do with holly, presents, or noisemakers. The real magic of the holidays comes from memories. I think all the movies I've been watching have shown me that you don't have to spend $100 to make a holiday memory.
And yeah, I know the above couple sentences are pretty cliche. But them being cliche does not refute the truth involved.
So yes, I will enjoy my new iPod nano, leather jacket, snowboarding beanie, sweatshirt, and spider-man piggy bank. But never, never will I forget the good times I've had this holiday season. Material things pass away, but memories last a lifetime.