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Chill Time


I'm going to second Connor's part of his last post when he said he's starting to get nervous for the end of school. Finals, grad parties, graduation ceremony. But I'm not dwelling on that right now.

At the present, I'm chilling with my aunt and two cousins in our hotel room. Watching soccer highlights from last year's World Cup, Twin's game tonight and lovely conversation. Needless to say, we are chilling. And I'm loving it.

So take some time to enjoy your family and do something fun to make a memory. Especially you seniors that leave next fall. Enjoy your family while you can. That's what I'm starting to learn.

One last thing. Verse of the day for my boot tomorrow: 1 Timothy 6:8 "If we have food and clothes, let us be content."

peace,
-sam
Song of the Day: Wonder of the World by Rush of Fools

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Island


Today indeed marks a first.


First post from Lutheran Island Camp (where I will be staying for the duration of the summer)
First post from my wonderful friend Tuxie's laptop. Tuxie also happens to be an adult.
First post with my wonderful newly acquired friend Flash.

It already feels like something amazing is happening, just being on the island.

Well I suppose you should see the island before I continue

www.islandcamp.org - The camp's official website
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvnlww-aFLo&feature=related -a video shot by a production crew to help promote the island.

I'll be the first senior to say (in blog form) that I'm nervous in blog form. I have too many things to do (and in walks my new friend Theatre) Finals to study for, homework to make up for my internship. AHH! (Caps are tacky, but necessary and effective?)

But for some reason I can't think about school...

I'm going to a rant about camp for a post.

This place is beautiful. Green everywhere, grass, trees, from the sky it's an emerald in the midst of the blue surroundings. I don't actually know how to put words to this.

The community. I have only been here for a night or so and met a little of the staff and they are already welcoming and receptive. It seems that I always encounter the good people in life. I probably have a crew of people that won't enjoy my company waiting for me later on. Let's all hope I'm prepared for when that day comes.

I have a grad party to attend to bloggers, it's for a good friend of mine. Congratulations Stephanie! Your speech was wonderful. I'm actually going to be running into you in a little bit.

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Spliff


Tonight is going to be another big post, hopefully because today is going to be a crazy day.

But I'm going to quick do this post cause it's been on my mind for a while.

I posted about my next oldest brother, now my next next oldest brother has one coming. I hope by getting these out I can come to grips with how much I am actually going to miss my brothers, which will be a tremendous.

Straight up, you scare me. It's scary to see someone so much like you because the whole time you're seeing that person you wonder. Am I someone they should really look up to. Am I good enough. I find myself over analyzing what I do. So I might be better. I even feel like I'm setting the bar too high, the whole time knowing and expecting you to jump over it with ease.

I suppose the reason I get annoyed with you is because you are so much like me. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows it. That's probably why you are one of my best friends. Probably why it's so common to find us hanging out playing video games, or rolling our eyes at the same thing. I could write on and on, but before I go off to camp. I'm gonna make time, we're gonna beat Army of Two: 40th Day. I'm going to promise you that right here and now in writing. So all our readers have to keep me to it. I am going to miss you like crazy when I'm gone.

This goes to you and all brothers, I'm going to miss you way too much in St. Paul.

Two brothers down, one to go. Your post will come before I leave, worry not.

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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Wedding Day


Today is the day this trip is all about.

The Wedding.

This morning at 10 is when it goes down. This blog post goes out to my cousin and his fiance. I love you guys and make no mistake that we will be praying for God's blessings in your marriage. I look up to you both in your faith. Keep reflecting the Light and loving each other like Christ does to the church.

Peace out, readers.
-sam
Song of the Day: Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath

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Repentence


This one has been on my mind for a while.


I've been seriously pondering it.

I also want a disclaimer. You can choose to take this or leave this.

I was reading Blue Like Jazz the other day and Donald was talking about a time when he was at Reed college (which is largely atheist) and he talked about how he was abandoning the term "Christian" (don't freak out yet) by abandoning he meant this

"Hey Don are you Christian?"
Well, I suppose you could say that, but I think of myself as a follower of Jesus.

He did this because there has been so much done in history in "the name of God" (i.e. The Crusades, Columbus' genocide of the indians etc.) and it was horrible. He had heard from so many students on campus about Christians judging them in "the name of God" (granted a lot of this depends greatly on the situation, so don't jump to large conclusions). Even that wasn't the biggest thing that rocked my mind.

Reed College closes campus for a weekend so students can run around naked, drink, smoke weed, use LSD, and other things that God would frown upon. During that weekend Don and his friends built a confessional in the middle of campus with a sign "confess your sins here". You would think this is appropriate with all the sinning going on at campus.

There was a twist.

Don and his friends would be confessing their sins and sins of past Christians. Apologizing for the Cruades and Columbus, even apologizing for their own shortcomings and how they failed to meet the standard Christ set for them.

In this fashion. I would like to apologize to you readers, I have been short of the standard Jesus set, I have judged, I have insulted, I have lusted, I am a lowly sinner that has fallen short of the expectations.

I hope you can forgive me and my forefathers that have done horrible to you or your ancestors.

I also hope that if you find fitting, that you pray for me in my journey. This time is not the first time I have failed, and it won't be the last.

"If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus."

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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The Word

Where are getting our info?

Often times, and a lot more lately for some reason, I find myself getting good quotes from books and preachers I've been reading or listening to, respectively. But I've been thinking to myself, "Where am I getting my food for the day?"

Of course when I say food I don't mean physical food. Don't get smart with me. ;)

I mean my spiritual food. What I learn from. Where I get my substance. And lately I've been realizing that it all seems to come up empty. Don't get me wrong, there are some ridiculously good quotes out there that I adore, but when it stands by itself and that's all we listen to, how am I getting my fill from that alone?

I've been putting too much weight on these books and quotes. I need to get back to what I was doing before.

Revelation 2:5 "Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first. If you don't turn back, I will come and take away your lampstand."

There we go. It's all about...

The Word
-sam
Song of the Day: I Am New by Joel Hanson

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Turn


So as I was fretting about earlier, here's a special preview of my "It's Our Turn" for the Echo:

Being the photography intern for two weeks has be a privilege, especially at the Echo Press. But I'm not going to write about being the intern, nobody wants to read an article about how a high school student learned how to take pictures and edit them. How he managed to lose valuable equipment while on the field, well it was a pretty important camera battery. At the least, I don't want to read that article.
Readers want something that's fun to read, something that will leave them with a little lesson to take away from the experience. (I'm actually generalizing the readers, I hope it's a good generalization) Most of all.
People want a good story to read.
To be able to forget about everything going on in life and press the pause button. Only to realize the remote doesn't work. In Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years life is compared to a story lived by each individual, and like all stories, some are fun to hear and some aren't. In fashion with other books that provoke thought.
I wanted to apply this book to my life.
What had I been doing to make my story fun to hear and take part in? Graduating high school? Attending college next year? One of the main components of any good story includes a character (me) overcoming conflict to gain something they want. (actually I don't even know what I want from life) I just know for sure that I want my story to be told and enjoyed.
Now is the time I should zero in on a topic I suppose.
One of my favorite quotes from the book has to be along the lines of
"When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are."
In the social driven world we're in today that quote sounds like the skeleton key to unlock all of our problems at the workplace, home, and everywhere. Personally I tend to, “raise the bar” for my family, peers, and coworkers. By that I mean. Everybody should know what I want and do things my way. So whether I'm working or taking y turn to be the consumer, it's not uncommon for me to be a bit...demanding. Ironically this brushes over the famed “Golden Rule” to which we teach our youth to value and make decisions based on. I'm going to make an assumption: I'm not the only person that forgets the Golden Rule.
Treating others the way you would like to be treated is such a wonderful way to start a new chapter in your story. It's been a work in progress for mine but I'm noticing differences already. Being a cashier in my occupation has brought out the best, and worst in both me and at times customers. If you were to poll retail associates across all time and space about their favorite customers, one similarity would stick out. Patience, and cooperation are the most dynamic components of a good customer, even from the customer point of view. I find that when I don't blow up my purchase of eggs into something much more than a minor transaction, everything flows better.
So next time you roll up to your local grocer or retail venue, think about this mere column you read, and write a better chapter into your life.

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Bees


It's an early post from Connor!


For some reason I can't seem to post during the day, I get worried about vampires reading my posts, not right away? But that's beside the point.

I'm feelin the pressure shaker readers, for me, that's an odd thing. I'm writing a column for the paper I've been interning with and I can't nail it down. I can write blogs whenever I want. I can give my graduation speech in front of my class, parents, and friends (On June 13th that is). But for some odd reason this one is getting my goat.

I just can't do it.
According to Chiodos "All the world's a stage" and this is my first big taste of it. Unlike our blog to which our readers are amazing and the number of them remains anonymous, the paper. It's in every grocery store, every gas station, and in those dispensers where you put in a buck for one and people take like ...three.

I realize this blog is another short one kind of, but it's a jittery one. I gotta make my one time in print count. Then again hopefully it isn't just one time. If I could get together with the shakers and write a book. That would make me beyond happy.

"...to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people...That is why God tells us so many times to love each other."
Donald Miller

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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The Trek


Here we come, Kentucky.
My family and I are making a trek to Lexington, Kentucky.

Day 1- No casualties... Yet. My bro made some glances at me that made me think he was getting shifty but I think all is well in this clan so far.

I'm very happy in making the choice to come and spend this time to make one last endeavor with my family -whom I love to no end- instead of going to conference. Although it turned out that I couldn't with the whole ordeal with my foot.

Anyway, just to keep you guys posted, everything is well. I will ask for prayer though tonight as I climb into the bed I have to share with my bro-bro. Pray he wouldn't beat me up in his sleep or kick me as hard as he kicks the soccer balls on the field. The past record has been clean but there are firsts for everything.... :)

Have a good night, my friends. Love somebody. Don't get nit-picky on details between each other. Love them for who they are and continue to grow in friendships. This is what I'm trying to do also.

Peace,
-sam
Song of the Day: Born Again by Newsboys

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Dragon


Today was just like a Monday, but my calendar says "Tuesday"
I don't know if I have a full post in me. Let me sleep on it. I might wake up in a frenzy with inspiration. Lets hope so.

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Your Welcome

Your wishes have been granted fellow readers! I linked each post with the name of the writer. So now if you have a favorite author you can just click on his name and read each of his posts, without having to search our entire blog.

Also, everyone is now allowed to comment. You do not have to be a follower of the blog or have a g-mail account. I changed the setting so anonymous readers can leave a comment. Feel free to leave your name, but we're not pressuring you to.

Hope you enjoy the new settings!

---Joe---

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Gentlemen Lesson #3

What's going on with me? I haven't had a gentlemen's lesson since forever! It must be the crazy weather we've been having. Snow, rain, 80 degree weather, all in the last month.

Ok gentlemen, it's time to step up your game and 'wow' everyone out there. This lesson is focusing on giving up your seat when someone is looking for a seat or who looks uncomfortable standing up. I know this is going to take some sacrafice--standing on your own two feet for who knows how long! It can really take a toll on you. Of course I'm kidding! Partake in a little physical activity and let someone else enjoy the relaxation of sitting down on a comfy chair or couch.

There are some situations where you should not give up your seat, however. Let's say you're having a conversation with someone on a couch. Don't give up your seat and be rude to the other person who you were just talking to.

Once you have given up your seat try to act as cool and comfortable as possible. If you look awkward and uneasy people will notice since you have now become the center of attenion. Make it seem like you actually enjoy standing (even if you don't). Lean up against a pole or wall, talk with other standers, start an aerobic exercise, whatever it takes to remind other people in the room that you have no objection to standing.

I garauntee that your good deed will not go unnoticed. No one will probably ever say it to your face but everyone in the room will be thinking how nice and considerent you are for standing. This is especially true when giving up your seat to a grandparent. They'll go up to your parents and tell them how you are such a nice young man. They might even give you a quarter. A WHOLE QUARTER!!! So keep your eyes open for the opportunities, keep your legs in shape, and stand.
---Joe---

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Farewell


Guys and Gals
It's late
If you are actually awake to catch this posted somewhat live
You are beyond words

Today is another one of those days
I'm sure all of us have had those days, where its a turning point
Closing doors in the seemingly never ending hallway of life
Opening doors that lead to new hallways
New stories with new characters

If you were wondering as to why the sentimental intro
today will mark my last day at the grocery store where I work
I know there is a crowd in the audience, if you could please stand up
You know who you are, the group that is in their mind thinking
I've been there, I'm so excited for you to just get out of that job.
Okay you can sit back down
This one is going to be tough
No I may not be leaving permanently
It feels like Office Space slightly
Where you have a crew of people you love to be around and work with
while the system is slightly...."off"

I am in the process of leaving one of those workplaces

It was tough to leave officemax because we were such a tight knit team there
I'm actually starting to get deja vu
Let me ride this one out readers,
That eerie feeling where, "I've done this before, this is so familiar"
Almost.......
Good

I suppose being the fan of shout outs I am
This is one
To all the people at Eldens that have worked with me
All the people that have made those long days bearable
and the long nights
To any customer that came through my line,
I hope I improved your day somehow
I tried

This is to all of the coworkers that I will get to see again,
because I want to
because you put a smile on my face
make my heart light
let me know that I'm worth spending time with

I've been talking about Donald Miller constantly
I want you all to know
You have added to my story
Playing as various characters
Heroes, Jesters, Princesses, Lifeguards, Friends
Helping to make some average guy's story a little more worth listening to

Readers, thank you for reading my shout outs, I hope to give you all the one you deserve
Everybody alive should have their name praised
If not for anything, let it be in celebration of their miraculous existence
To be born is a miracle in itself
Two humans to create another
Wow

So to all the readers,
Thank You

Also, Aunt Amanda this is a brief snippet of a shout out coming your way in the future
Thank you for reading
It means more than you know

It feels like a promotion from babysitter to somewhat author
But you gave me some amazing cousins
I would never say no if you wanted me to babysit them
The first cousins I knew personally and had the privilege of getting attached to
The first helper cousin that helped me pack for camp
The first baby cousin to fall asleep in my arms

Thank you.

Once more thank you readers
From myself and the other shakers

"Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe."
Donald Miller

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Master of Emotions


I don't think I've written for a while because I'm getting a little lazy. Hahaha when I saw Connor's last post I was like, "Holy crap... It's so long." hahaha

But anyway, I've been trying to make the best out of the situations I'm placed in. For example, I'm getting really anxious about leaving for college. But I'm feeling the need to try and pick out what I love about the present instead of complaining about the stuff I don't like. I think this is what God is telling us about when He told us we can live life to the fullest if we stick with Him (see John 10:10).

He wants us to experience all of these emotions that He has created in us. Sad, happy, angry, confused, helpless, joy, being content. Once we have experienced them, we can learn how to deal with them. Once we learn to deal with them, we master them (with the help of God of course). It's at that point where we can truly experience all life has for us.

I'm not saying I'm at that point at all. I'm just thinking out loud and trying to understand stuff with you.

Peace,
-sam
Song of the Day: Like It, Love It, Need It by dc Talk

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Tomorrow, my friends


i'll be writing tomorrow.

Sorry i haven't written in a while. i've been busy.

Love ya'll,
-sam
Song of the Day- All My Balloons by Children 18:3

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Story




Now that my internet is not freaking out I can update you guys on everything (that being a big assumption you care, but since you are reading this I will assume you do)

Let's roll back to Friday

Good day, consisting of wrapping up my first week at the Echo and I got to cover the mock car crash at JHS, some sweet photos came from that. Pool day for track, another win. Shake Day! yet another win. Got home and didn't work till 11, so I got to nap. In the mail came "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller, major win. I had been waiting for that book for far too long.

The best thing about that timing. I had all night to read it.

I devoured that book, Donald Miller has such a wonderful voice and way of approaching things and his views on his own life are out of this world, but I will rave about the book more later.

On to Saturday. (I think a frowny face would be appropriate) =(

Read well over half of my newfound book and friend by 7 am when I was leaving work. At home I put the book down in hopes of sleeping before track at 9. Lo and behold 8:45 rolled around and so did I. The same tension in my head occurred between the lazy Connor and the "goody-goody" Connor (as quoted by lazy Connor).

"Go to track!"
"I can miss a Saturday, nobody will be there anyways"
"Go to track!"
"Eh, Ludwig and Sam aren't even going, why should I?"
"Go to track!"
"You are really getting annoying there you know."
"Go to track!"

As you can see, goody-goody Connor won that battle. To track I went. Meanwhile the heavens opened for a brief period of time with booms and tiny falling wet reminders that I should have brought a rain coat.

9 rolled around sometime when I rolled into the parking lot and proceeded into the school to wait. I wish I could tell you I was waiting a short time for practice to start. Scratch that I wish I could tell you I was waiting to win a car, or a full ride scholarship for the next 5 years.

But I wasn't.

I was waiting nearly forty-five minutes for the supposed "nine-o-clock sharp" practice to start. On an hour and forty-five minutes of sleep, that's a long time to wait for something depriving you of a prolonged experience of eye-shutting. Throughout practice lazy Connor was echoing in my head how wrong goody-goody Connor really was. I had to agree with him while I was running way too much, and while my legs were pounding I think they agreed too. To top it all off I managed to give myself a bloody nose. Brilliant. I only have a few silver linings in this day, and after running my workout came one of them.

Putting away the High Jump pits.

Yes, doing physical work and lifting heavy things came to be one of the better points in that day. Some time to talk to my coach/counselor/anything else you need her to be, it was enjoyable to say the least. We got to talk about my horrible attitude and how it is such a rarity. (I try to stay upbeat, but today it wasn't happening.) Along with that I got to talk more about Donald Miller, which led to C.S. Lewis, which ended up with "The Shack" which I think I need to pick up and read eventually. Just one more time through Donald Miller though. I am glad that happened, it made the practice somewhat worthwhile.

Home! Sleep! Being woken up by some kid at work that wanted me to pick him up an energy drink. Driving to do it (goody-goody won out again) I was thinking to myself "How did Jesus do it? How did he resist the urge to think badly about people and punch them in the face?" Some days I think God sets the bar way too high, and He knows it, He also pushes me through it all and tells me to look at the bar again. Whether I knocked it down or not. It ended up being way below where I was that morning.

After the energy drink delivery...(dramatic tension) SLEEP!

Another silver lining coming up.

It seems moms can read minds. Whether that be good or bad, it was good this time. Waking up at some point in time, numbers matter not. My Mom swept into my room with this heroic glow about her, as if she knew at the point in time she was going to make everything better.

"Hey, yeah we picked you up an Arbys melt, Jamocha Shake and Curly fries."

Best statement I had heard all day.

After that I slept more and went to work where I hung out with my main man Lenny, but that's all for another post.

Back to "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" because that book is all I can think about. In it Miller's previous memoir "Blue Like Jazz" is going to be made into a movie, and throughout the process he is learning about how his life was "boring" and things to improve it. The whole time he is with the people that write scripts and screenplays and a lot of emphasis is put on "story" and what makes a good one. Relating that to life he talks about the essentials of a good story and how those can make the "story" of our lives better. Granted I could tell every element he discusses but in short:

A good story must have a character that overcomes conflict to gain something they desire

A good story involves sacrifice of the character

A good story has good scenery

Those being just three of the main points he covers (don't worry I will post more of them later on) It is an inspiring book that invites you to improve the story of your life.

One of my favorite analogies (or speculations) he states is one where he thinks that once it's all said and done we will be in heaven with God talking about our lives and telling Him all the stories we had shared with Him and our loved ones, and Miller feared he wouldn't have anything to say to God.

Later on in the book he is talking about Ecclesiastes and the advice on living a meaningful life boils down to this.

Find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God

"It's as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help"

I want to leave you all with that hoping that you will either pick this up or pay attention to further posts about this book by me. I hope you all with that brief knowledge of the book think about your story. Is it interesting? Is it an easy story where there is not challenge or conflict or growth?

One last quote from Donald and I will leave you.

"We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them."

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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Down

I am terribly sorry readers. I will catch up when my internet is up. Remind me of Donald Miller. My horrid saturday with silver lining and camp


Much Love

ø Connor ø

0 comments

Footsteps

It's apparent that we shakers are becoming huge fans of C.S. Lewis. His ideas on Christianity are simple thoughts, spun around to create a deeper meaning and understanding of how we live as Christians.

Lewis masterfully created The Screwtape Letters--an insightful series of letters, written from a high end demon to his young cousin apprentice, on how to defer a young human man from God. The letters reveal our own faults as Christians through the eyes of those who try to lead us toward sin. In a particular letter, Lewis writes "He [God] wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles."

We're not perfect!

How lucky are we to have a God who knows we have faults yet still loves and cherishes us with all his heart? We sin everyday but God loves us if we realize our sin and repent towards him for forgiveness. Our goal should be to work hard each and everyday to realize our sin and find solutions to try and resolve our sins. There are going to be times where we stumble and fall but I know that God will help raise us up if we are WILLING to put forth 100% of our efforts and devote our entire lives to our Savior.
---Joe---

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Return of the Ginger


It's upon us.
The redhead is home today.

Hide the children, lock your doors, get your guns at the ready.

I'm joking, this particular ginger is my brother. Don't shoot him. Or hide from him. That would hurt his feelings. He's a nice guy.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. If you can't tell, I'm pumped to see my brotha from another motha, Luke Eberly.

This post is for you buddy.

Lemme tell you what, we've got some great days ahead buddy. From touching Crowder's beard, to living next to each other when we're old and our kids being best buddies. Dude, continue to be rock solid. You have been someone I've looked up to for quite a while now. Even before I knew you I admired your leadership in FCA.

I'm going to miss you this summer. But I'll see ya tonight, buddy.

You're the man.

To everybody else, continue to shower your friends with mushy love notes. ;)
Joking. But make sure they know you care about them.

Go serve your King,
-sam
Song of the Day: Oh Happiness by David Crowder*Band

0 comments

It's all Love


Short one tonight then I'll do a deeper/longer one tomorrow.

I miss Connor.

The moral of this blogging story is tell one of your friends that you love them tonight or tomorrow.
Let them know you care.

I love you Con. You're the man.

Peace,
-sam
Song of the Day: I Love You by Sanctus Real

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Keys


It feels bittersweet to be writing this and feel as well rested as I am.

Bitter-Locked my keys in my truck prior to the track meet and couldn't manage to get at them before the meet.

Sweet-Locked my keys in my truck prior to the track meet and couldn't manage to get at them before the meet, so I proceeded to hang out with my very good camp friend Dwight for the afternoon and ended up seeing Snuffy, Grover, and their nephews.


Just to elaborate on how amazing it was to hang out with Dwight. Dude is like a big brother. Going around town just doing stuff with him and his friends, I was pretty happy with the day. Going to Officemax, Taco Bell, Wendys, and KFC was even fun. Especially in the summers, he's going to be one key person I miss this summer (one of many). He took a week of yard work on a who knows how many acre island and made it fun like. Runs to recycle bottles, hard earned "breaks" from working. It was an absolute honor to share a bunkbed with that gent. If anyone deserves a shout out from today, it is him. He is the guy that came and picked me up when I locked my keys in my truck. He also helped me change my tire this past summer when it got flat. He also gave me a place to stay over halloween weekend. Here's to you Dwight.

It was no doubt an eventful day.

In other news I'm loving the newspaper internship! Taking pictures, touching them up for the paper or slideshows online. I'm thinking the soonest my pictures will premiere in the paper will be next monday or wednesday. It's a good thing to do what I love for two weeks straight.

Taking pictures.

It's also a bad thing. Tonight I plan on ending my lazy streak and getting caught up on homework and all of that wonderful stuff associated with graduation and senior year. It's going to be a tough change.

I also want to take a blog paragraph to tell everybody at JHS (my high school for non-local readers) I miss em. Lots. Every class that I have people with and don't get to see em for two weeks. I miss you. Even teachers. It is by far one definite change in pace to not have everyone around me all day. Take care, I will see you in a little over a week.

This also goes to Echo Press staff (if any read this) Thank you for creating such a wonderful, welcoming work environment for me to come into. No doubt I love that. It is also a definite change in pace that I enjoy. It's great to be cube mates with the office "candy jar". Trust me Echo Press staff. You are all a fancy group of people. I don't mind coming to work in the mornings (granted as a photographer I can leave whenever to take pictures assuming a story is developing =D)

To Everyone, Thank You

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Ooops (thanks Sam for integrating


Well I don’t really know how this is going to work. You see. I'm texting my post right now. Internet’s down in my house. It actually feels more natural seeing I can as text like a fiend on my phone. I swear on my storm I have at least 50 words per minute. Anyone that sees me text can vouch for me on that one. Apparently this is going to show up as like 50 posts. I will try to migrate them all to one post. Or hopefully another shaker will help me with that one. I suppose this is the best place to share everything that has been happening in the past couple days. I got through the audition process and now have the privilege of speaking at my high school graduation :). I will obviously post the speech after I give it. Got into a big argument about money today. Hated that. Hate money actually. It’s needed I suppose to establish value and such but wow is it a hassle. Other than that I have been loving may term/ my internship. The newspaper is crazy. I love how each day has been different and I get to do what I love. Take pictures! All around with cameras I can't even dream about. It’s absolutely amazing. I suppose I should try to wrap this up eventually because this is going to end up being like 20 posts because text blogging isn't the same. disappointing. Thank you for your patience shaker readers and have a wonderful night and evening and morning and the whole she bang. I will return with a weekly challenge next Sunday. Continue having a great week and gear up for a better one next week.


Much Love
ø Connor ø

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This one's for my Mum...


Hey Mom,

First of all, I want you to know I love you. No matter what decision or advice you have for me, I consider it. Even though I don't like it, you are the voice of reason in our family and I weigh your opinion fairly.
I'm sorry that it seems like I've been going against you. It might just be me wanting to go to college and be independant. I've got to work on that.

I'm sorry that I have such a bad memory. Even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes, I am trying. It's hard focusing on things when life blindsides me. That's no excuse because that's life but I will do better before I leave this fall.

I'm sorry when I tell you I will do something and I don't. Often times it's when I'm playing games and I just shrug you off. This is tough for me to write because I'm starting to realize how annoying some of these things are....



I'm sorry.


I'm sorry for not spending a lot time with you since this is my last year here. I should be more sensitive to what you are going through. If you could just be patient with me. And I know or at least have a little idea with how patient you have been with me already. For that, thanks mum. I love you.

Finally, I'm not writing this on a public blog for my own reputation or build myself up. I'm writing this on here because often my writing flows a lot better on here.

So mom, what i'm trying to say is... that even though I still want to hang with my friends especially being my senior year and grad parties are coming up, I will try to devote more time at home and spending time with you.

I love you mum,

-sam
Song of the Day: Be Praised by Michael Gungor Band

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Insomnia


It happened

Working overnights wrecked my sleep cycle. The worst part of it all is that I'm just starting my internship, work, and saying ahead on schoolwork somehow.

Enough whining though because today was awesome.

I had the privilege to take pictures for the Echo Press (local newspaper) as a photo intern and get to continue with that for the next two weeks. As well as track was amazing, I got reunited in high jump with a fellow shaker and it was bidness to say the least. On top of all of that my brother's longboard came in the mail. Big thanks to www.bustinboards.com for delivering quality longboard products. It's hard to make that day better.

Oddly enough though I don't even feel complete in having a good day like today without thanking the proper authorities.

God, thanks. It seems like such a stretch to say that someday. Keepin all the glory for yourself (don't worry I've had those days) isn't that satisfying. It's even more fun when you thank God for your amazing days and when you share them.

Granted the frequent readers have me dialed in by now. I love people. Especially letting them know that I love them. Personally I don't think there is a better thing to do in this world than make someone feel loved.

So in a relatively small post I just wanted to let my readers know, I love you.

Thank you for reading my posts and the blog this far.

2 Timothy 1:3 says it best "I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers" (NIV)

Also Sam does song of the day, I think I want to start intermingling quotes throughout

Here goes

""Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe."
Donald Miller"

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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The Gospel


The following is what Christians believe to be true:

We are sinners. All of us. Christians, non-Christians, Caucasians, African-Americans, men, women. All of us. No one is left out. Romans 3:23 says it pretty clearly.

"For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God."

From my theological background and extensive research, the word "all" means "all". I'm just saying. None of us are good enough to make it into Heaven. The Bible says that even our greatest acts here on earth are like dirty menstrual rags to God. We are wretched.

But thanks be to God that this isn't the end of it. He sent us His son, Jesus, to come and live a perfect life. Jesus was fully God but yet fully man, also. Which really blows my mind...

Jesus came so that He could atone for our sins by dying on the cross. He took the sins of the world, people in the past, present and anyone yet to come, upon Himself. He did all of this just so that you can spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

If you don't make this decision to accept the gift He's given you by repenting of your sins and turning from your old, sinful ways, you will go to Hell. It's a real place.

(Just a quick break from the action, please do not think I'm trying to be mean or pushing anything on you. I do NOT want to come across that way to anyone. This, however, is the Truth. And if you kind of feel like you are getting your toes stepped on, maybe that's the Holy Spirit getting at your heart. But I am saying this because I love you guys and I don't want any one of you going to Hell.)

So if you haven't made a decision to accept Christ into your life and repent your sins to God, I strongly urge you to think about it. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and eternity is right around the corner. If you have any questions about this, please don't be afraid to come to me (Sam Olson) or your pastor.

Love you guys. Keep it real.
-sam
Song of the Day: Praise and Adore (Some Live Without It) by Wavorly

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Nap Time

When I was a kid I use to hate naps with a passion. The thought of sleeping, when there were so many adventures and games, angered me beyond belief. I would just lay down in my bed and make it my priority to not sleep just in spite of my parents. I sure showed them ;)

But as a kid I had nothing to worry about: no job, no financial burdens, no school worries. These things my not affect you right away but day after day they just continue to add more and more weight on to your shoulders. But I realized that if you lay down the weight no longer rests on your shoulders but on a comfy bed or couch. With all these hectic ideas flushing into my life I need some sort of get-away from reality. Those envious moments of rest allow your body and mind to recharge to take on each day with as much purpose as the next. So when you're feeling like life is just too much at the moment, turn off that phone, take those socks off, curl up with that homemade blanky and let your heavy eyelids droop down into sleep. Take a nap......you deserve it.
---Joe---

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Relationships

There are times in my life that I really want a girl. I want a wife... Though, whenever I say this around someone who is married, they always tell me to enjoy being single. Not that it's necessarily an awful thing being married or totally dreadful. I can understand where they are coming from but I just want marriage, you know? It's just one of those things.

Although I am going to wait for a while, the feeling always pops up periodically. This is, from what I can tell, a lesson on patience.

We have to wait on God and trust that He will do what's best for us. And it's that faith that gets us through these situations.

Take heart, shaker-followers. When you are getting impatient, hang in there. It's in these trials and tough times that God grows us. (see James 1 for further reference on this topic)

Over-and-out,
-sam
Song of the Day: ...And Then the Liver Screamed "Help!" by Chiodos. (Connor is going to be happy seeing this post.)

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Monkey


Just woke up from my overnight recovery, and the worst thing is


I work in two hours.

That's beside the point though, I love those eight hours from 11-7 that I can just read and what not. This post is for a good friend of mine. Something special is going down you see.

He's in Seattle.

He's doing May Term with his brother for Athletic Training. Those of you wondering what May Term is: It's something our school is offering during the last 2 weeks of May for seniors to go and shadow and get job experience in their field of choice. No doubt he is going to have a ridiculous awesome time with his brother in Seattle.

I just want to informally tell that Monkey (we'll call him Monkey for theatrical purposes) to take care and have a good time. He's no doubt a stud and its gonna be a long week without having him to do shenanigans with during school (granted I'll be taking pictures for the newspaper during that time) but after school and track bidness. It's easily the best thing to be giving speeches with that guy or goofin around at track meets.

Actually one of the better days in school was when I snook into his team sports class with our fellow shaker Sam. Despite Sam being injured, Monkey and I were a regular one-two combination up and down the floor. It's fun to play ultimate frisbee with a Monkey.

So Monkey, this one's for you man. Take care, have lots of fun. If you meet Bill Gates, ask him for a million. That's chump change for him apparently. =D

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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A Boot, a 1/2 Marathon, and a Pleasant Surprise


Some things to catch you up to speed on...

I'm currently chained to a boot. It's hot. It's sweaty. But thankfully it's not terribly heavy. Just cumbersome.

Also, this morning was the first annual 1/2 marathon for FCA. It was a fairly big success in my opinion. It will be even better in the future, so stay tuned for more on that next year.

Finally, I had a very unexpected visit from a friend. it was very nice to hang out for a brief time with my good buddy. I'm glad she had a great first year and since the other shakers have been making shout-outs, I think I'll make a shout out to you, Carrie. :)

Congrats on the great first year and it's good having ya back. My song of the day will be dedicated to you.

Have a great day everybody. Stay frosty.
-sam
Song of the Day: Our Love is Loud by David Crowder*Band

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Worth


If it hasn't been noticeable to our readers.


I'm in a slight rut.

Like, I have been living it up. Loving every second of it. Working, Morphsuiting, Bonfires, Meeting people left and right. Something about it, isn't fully satisfying. Even when combined with reading C.S. and Timothy (Lewis and Keller that is). I can't follow through with the happy exterior I'm displaying. This is going to actually be my blog about myself. Sorry readers, it's gotta happen sometime, you are reading my "digital journal" (for lack of better words)

The place I'm at is stemming from a lack of confidence, I think the psychological term for it is "learned helplessness" Literally sometimes it just feels like I can never win. No no I'm not clinically depressed, just pessimistic at times. It just seems like there isn't a realm of success for myself. Athletics...I don't even think I'm going to touch that, too many memories my splintered rear end from all that bench warming. Academics...I don't think barely grabbing a 3.0 gpa by the last two weeks in senior year is anything worth writing home about.

Looks like the only two ways society (seems to) scale worth and I failed at both of them.

What does that leave for me?

Friends are amazing no doubt, and we've actually been shouting out to our amazing friends whenever it needs to be done, but can friends establish worth?

This actually stems to a greater question

What is worth?

Worth-The quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable

I know this is a Connor pity party but I'm going to turn this around in a paragraph or so. Give me some time here.

So even in friendships and relationships this trend continues. I just don't feel like I'm worth it. Don't spend time with me. It won't be worth your time. Don't go on a date with Connor, it won't be desirable, useful, or valuable. Don't hang out with me on a Friday night. It won't be worthwhile. I had it down. I knew my place. For a kid that wasn't a star athlete or a scholar, I sure knew where I fit in. I knew my worth...

Worthless.

Pity party is over kids though.

Although that whole thought process may take ten, maybe eleven minutes in my day. At max. I look beyond that.

I see love

Everywhere I see somebody that needs to be loved, or somebody that loves me. Friends, Family, people I encounter daily. People that see me, a guy who views himself as worthless at times, and find someone worthy of loving. It astounds me.

It inspires me.

"So I have come to understand that strength, inner strength, comes from receiving love as much as it comes from giving it." -Donald Miller

I encourage you all today, despite finding little worth in yourself. Despite knowing you may not be worth it. Ignore it.

Silence those voices.

Find the worth in others. Be a person that sees past the current broken state someone may be in, and find the fully alive person underneath. Let someone know they are worthwhile.

Everyone is

As Miller previously stated, be able to receive love as well as give love.

This right here, this post is for all of our readers. As well to everyone that assures me that I'm worth it. That I may be broken, uncoordinated, and not as intelligent as most, but that doesn't matter.

Much Love

ø Connor ø




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Guys

Today at lunch I reaffirmed the hypothesis that guys are the coolest people ever! I struggled to catch my breathe, from laughing so hard, when one of my friends karate chopped a plate full of applesauce. I don't know where the idea came from but I'm sure glad the event played out the way it did. Of course applesauce exploded everywhere which added to the enjoyment.

I guarantee that every female reader is rolling her eyes right now.

I'm sorry ladies but hanging out with the guys is a million times more fun without a female influence. I always wondered where male stereotypes came from but I'm starting to realize now that they come from our true actions.

So if you're feeling gloomy just follow the trail of applesauce towards some fun. We'll be waiting for you.
---Joe---

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Drink my hot kool aid!!!!!!!!!!


If you get the chance, go to youtube and search "julian smith hot kool aid". Then sit back, relax and you'll know what my title means.

Back to current news, I've got nothing philosophical for you today. Simply an update of what I've been going through as of the past couple weeks.

A couple weeks ago, I got my foot stepped on and kinda jammed from a fellow shaker of mine (I'll not name names but he's the one that hasn't written a blog post yet). Through a couple weeks of pain, I found out yesterday that it's a fracture of my third metatarsal. I was not thrilled by it to be honest. I go in to get fitted for a boot today during last hour.

I'm trying to trust that God has a plan for this but it's tough because my mobility will be a lot more restricted i'm thinking... But God is good and I will give him praise all the more.

Prayer for healing would be appreciated.
Thanks guys. Love ya.
-sam
Song of the Day: Don't Waste Your Life by Lecrae

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Sky


I have to admit


While I haven't been blogging, I've had so much to blog about. I'm glad I have a Joe to remind me of that.

First off big big big big big BIG thanks to God, wow between C.S. Lewis, Timothy Keller, and Rob Bell, He's been rocking my mind and life lately. I've never been more excited for camp this summer. Problems don't seem like a big deal anymore. Life is just good.

I think I'm going to echo Joe's post actually and conduct some shouting out.

First to my Aunt. She's new to the family as of last year. That's not holding her back. She's already taken an interest in being amazing. Right now she may be in labor or birthing my new cousin. Keep thinkin about her and prayin.

Also, I am standing by my refusal to have a bad day. If you are surrounded by good company. It's not possible.

Really, it's true.

I want to get that other shaker posting because he's had a lot going on, at least it's been a privilege to hang out with him and perform our usual track and post track shananigans.

This is actually going to turn into a pouring out of happy, or will it?

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Thanks!

This post is dedicated to the friends who are there for you NO MATTER WHAT!

I just got back from the worst track meet in history. It was about 45 degrees and a drizzling rain that just made life miserable. I was optimistic at first, thinking to myself that I could just suffer through the cold and still have a good showing. But optimism flew in the wind as I received a 12.5 inch bloody mess on my right shin (yes i actually measured it), gladly given from a deeply disturbed hurdle. It definitely made me feel better when a few of my friends had to scream to everyone at the meet to "watch out for the injured kid!" and "Hey everyone! Look at this kid's leg!". My scraped up shin was a perfect symbol for how the day went. I had terrible times in the 2 hurdle events and terrible distances in the 2 jumping events.

And then I got home and was quick to realize I had a true friend there for me no matter how bad I did or how depressed I was.

I was at home, sulking in my sorrow for a couple of hours and sure enough she texted me to cheer me up. We both talked about how bad our day of sports were but the difference between us was that I was still sulking and she tried nonstop to cheer me up. Her positive words and good heart inspired me to get off my butt and write this blog to simply say, thank you. "Thank you" is a term thrown around pretty loosely these days but this one has a ton of meaning. I know I make fun at her for not being able to stir hot chocolate but she has so much skill in everything she does that it just makes everyone else look foolish. I'm thankful that I get to wake up everyday and see her and I believe that God has huge plans for her. I just can't wait to see her live up to His plan. Friends are out there whether you see them or not.......sometimes you just have to open your eyes.
---Joe---

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Spike




to be honest,

I need to make more time for you guys so I can give you another blog. of considerable quality.

I realize me reminding you isn't helping

Hopefully another shaker will step up and knock yer socks off.

Thank you for your patience while good posts are in the oven.

Much Love
ø Connor ø

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Stress


It gets to all of us. (stress)


Doesn't it?

I'm gonna try to rush though this post (sorry readers), because at the moment I have way way way lots on my plate, no kiddin around. Graduation stuff, Internship stuff, Work, Track, College, Camp....AHHHHHHHH.

So it's going to sound odd for me to encourage all of you to live some days like this. It will make you a better person in the end that can handle deadlines and bidness. I wish I had more to tie it to today but I'm beat beat beat.

Much Love

ø Connor ø

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Thought(s) of the Day


Sorry followers. In response to my lack of blogging, that is. I'm not sure why I haven't been feeling it. No matter. Here I am. So here goes.

A couple things that have run across my brain in the past couple days:

I was talking with John Amundson the other day about all stuff John Piper (a super solid preacher. Look him up) and we were talking about a couple of his books. I'm currently reading "Desiring God" and John A is reading "When I Don't Desire God." The thing both of them are writing about is that God is most glorified when we are full of joy for Him. Which is a crazy thought. God is most glorified when we are giving Him praise and taking joy in Him. Think about that.

Second thought: I heard this quote a while back and I was very surprised to find out that Rob Bell said it. I was watching the Nooma video entitled "You." Here it is.

God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you way too much to keep you that way.

I love it.

Third and final thought: I've been reading "Mere Christianity" also and I've rediscovered something.

I love C.S. Lewis.

I share in Connor's enthusiasm about him and I see that Lewis really was a revolutionary. Something that he was talking about last chapter was that there is a Law of Nature for humans. He calls it the Law of Right and Wrong, too. He uses those terms interchangeably. And he raises the point that deep down humans have a sense of right and wrong. No matter where they were raised. But he also talks about this want in society act in "descent behavior", as he calls it. So if we want that there has to be a right and there has to be a wrong. Absolutes.

I know that's a lot to take in but take what you need from it.

Be blessed shakers,
-sam
Song of the Day: Hold my Heart by Tenth Avenue North