Things I’ve been inspired by (6.29.12 edition)

I don’t really have much to say this morning other than the fact that I am starting to pursue writing in more than just a sporadic way nowadays and I am loving it.  Hopefully, a lot will be put on this blog and other various venues.

But for now, here are some of the books, movies, and music artists that I have been enjoying:

Books
The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman – Vic Armstrong
The Resolution – Stephen Kendrick
Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
Gospel – J.D. Greear
5 Languages of Apology – Gary Chapman

Comic books
Hush – Jeph Loeb (story in the Batman universe
Manhattan Project – Hickman & Pitarra
Morning Glories – Spencer
Thief of Thieves – Kirkman, Spencer, Martinbrough, & Serrano
Ultimate Spiderman – Brian Michael Bendis
Ultimate Comics Spiderman – Brian Michael Bendis
Batman (current arc) – Scott Synder
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Eastman & Laird
Saga – Brian K. Vaughn

TV shows 
The Wire
Game of Thrones
SNL on Netflix

Music
Royal Royal
Worship Central cd
The Black Keys
Jesus Culture
Seryn
Andrew Heath Band
The Postal Service

What are you reading/watching/listening to these days?

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I yearn to learn

There are quite a bit of things on my to-read list at this moment and I’m honestly not sure where to begin.  That’s a dilemma I never thought that I would face 10 years ago when I graduated high school.  In fact, I don’t remember reading a single book in high school for fun.  That is so sad to look back on and realize.

I’ve been asked quite a few times why I read so much and honestly, I point to the results of the Strengths test I took a few years ago.  I don’t remember all of my strengths but I do remember that my top 3 were Input, Woo, and Adaptability.

I used to think that Woo was my strongest one but now I am seeing Input outshine that one and all the other ones in a decisive way (imagine the Heat overpowering the Thunder).  For those who don’t know, WOO is winning others over.  It is the ability to find a connection with new people and then win them over.  It is being someone who is liked by almost every person they meet.

Input is craving to know more.  That is me to a T.  I yearn to learn.  And it is something I am not shy about.  I have talked previously about how most think that I am an outgoing person but if given the choice between a book and a person, I will choose the book.  And honestly, I have actually hated myself for this through the years but I am now yearning to embrace it.

I don’t just want to learn about something because I wish to be smarter.  I truly want to use it as a connection point to others.  And it has worked a lot through the years.  I have made connections with comic book geeks, scientists, English majors, teachers, musicians, and a vast number of other diverse groups.

Have you taken the Now Discover Your Strengths test with Marcus Buckingham and Gallup?  If not, I encourage you to do so.  If so, what are your strengths?

Wallet v. passions

My wallet can’t keep up with my passions.  I know that I am not the only one to struggle with this.  In our day and age, people in America have all these diverse dreams about what they want to do.  There is no American dream, if you ask me, because we daydream too much.  We have all these things that we wish to do.  We want a boat, an Escalade, a beach house, a music career, a series of books published.

To most people who play the lottery, they think about the money and then their dreams stop there.  I am probably changing jobs soon and a financial increase is there and I have made myself stop thinking about all the things that I can get (or really, buy) and think about what dreams I have for life.  How can I let my wallet fund my dream?  Not buy me new toys.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to do all that you want to do?  Not because you aren’t actually pursuing the things you wish to do but simply because you can’t put forth the money to do what you wish?

I have developed a renewed fondness for comic books and I wish to purchase all that I can at this moment.  In fact, there are 5 series that I wish to join in with right at this moment (if you must know, they are Mind the Gap, Morning Glories, Batman, Action Comics: Superman, Ultimate Comics Spiderman) and a few more that I’m on the fence about (Saga, Secret, Walking Dead, Manhattan Project, Locke & Key, Avengers, Flash, and TMNT).  But my wallet can’t keep up with my passions.

This dilemma can lead to two avenues:  1) Buy as I can. or 2) Get all you can for free.

I have learned that there are options for those who wish to start their dream before they can actually fund it.  You can search around for free options.  These paths are out there, if you look.

For me, with comics, I spend time in the stores reading the comics before I buy them.  Yeah, the store might get angry at me, but I don’t care.  I eventually buy what I enjoy and they have made me a stronger customer because of it.

But for music, I have learned that I can listen to all kinds of albums on Spotify without having to buy them.  I use the mobile version which costs but I could sit by a computer and listen to the music for free at home.

For leadership books, I had to learn the hard way that most of the books I wanted to read are accessible for free at my local library.  I didn’t need to spend a paycheck on all the books I wished to read.  I have a way to read them without breaking the bank.

My whole point in this longer-than-expected post is that don’t make excuses.  Go searching for what you want and you can get it.  And you’ll be surprised how much you learn.

Bueller and stories

There are a bunch of great stories in this world that I wish to read.  The classics could be included here such as the stories of Oliver Twist, Roland, Huckleberry Finn, Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, and many, many more.

But the stories that I most wish to hear are stories involving you.  Stories of hardship and redemption.  Stories that overcame the odds.

We all yearn to be a part of a greater story and I believe that this is something that God put inside of each of us so that we yearn for the journey that He wishes us to embark on.  This is something that has captivated me over the years and is something that I am getting more and more into as each day begins.

I don’t want to go through life without stopping to see what is going on.  As the prophet, Ferris Bueller, once said,

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

So today, I encourage you (and ultimately myself) to stop and hear about someone’s day.  Catch up on the story of their lives.

hobby v. career

I heard some great advice the other day.

If you want your hobby to become your career, treat it as a career and stop treating it as a hobby.”

That is great advice because it showed me that I have left things on the table and have yet to pick them up and go ALL IN with them.  I want to be a writer.  I want to be a musician and I want to be in full time ministry.  But how much time do I put into those things?  How much of my day are devoted to those things?  How much money do I put towards those things?

My level of commitment is directly tied to how I view what I do.

Do I view music as a hobby?  Then it will always be that way.  Or do I view it as a my life’s calling and a career I will spend my last days doing?  Then I will spend the time necessary to do it.

Enemies of the Heart

I love this book. Almost anything that Andy Stanley writes, I read. He is just that good. Even though this is a book that was previously published under another title, I loved it.

Clearly going through the Enemies of our hearts that can truly destroy us if we don’t take action now, Andy points out that we must always be on guard with what God is calling us to and live within His parameters for our lives.

I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to many others.

4 out of 5 stars.