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One Wild Life: Wolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and Body


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If you have been following me for a while, my usual challenges carry over and are implied. I'm in the midst of another Soulcon challenge, but for my challenge posts I want to try something different this time.

 

This challenge is themed from an album trilogy titled One Wild Life by one of my favorite bands, Gungor. The albums are named Soul, Spirit, and Body, so that is what each section of my challenge will be titled.

 

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Soul:
  • Pray every morning upon waking
  • Daily scripture study and devotional reading
  • Integrate prayer throughout the day
  • Continue to work through the Soulcon spiritual challenges
 
seven-days-of-creation-ii-sushobha-jenne

 

Spirit:

  • Begin each challenge post by sharing, meditating/reflecting on the lyrics of a song from the Gungor One Wild Life trilogy.
  • Meditate every day for at least 20 minutes.
  • Sit still in silence every day for at least 5 minutes.
  • Be the first to greet people when I encounter them (inspired by Gabby Reece: "I always say 'go first'....That means if I'm checking out at the store, I say hello first. If I'm coming across somebody and make eye contact, I'll smile first. I wish people would experiment with that in their lives a little bit: Be first because - not all times, but most times- it comes in your favor. The response is pretty amazing.")
  • Start a Gratitude Journal: List at least three things I am grateful for every day.
  • Less talking, more curious listening (and eye contact).
  • Write a "Thank You" letter or send a "Thank You" message once/week to someone who deserves it.
  • Call mother every day.
  • Hug and kiss queen and princesses before leaving for work.
  • Spend time alone every day with queen (unless impossible due to work, etc.).
 
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Body:
  • Do at least 50 burpees/day.
  • Do at least 50 push-ups or dips/day.
  • Continue to work through Soulcon physical challenges
  • Primal/MovNat workout at least 3 days/week.
  • Hike or trail run once/week.
  • Intermittent fasting to help with weight loss/muscle building
  • Spend at least 30 minutes/day outside.
  • Get to bed before 10:30 pm.
  • Like 6

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

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Skip to the bottom if you're not interested in my meditation and just want to know how my goals are going.

 

 

"I climbed up a lion of rock.

There overlooking the swirls of the world

All the shifting of sands that I saw

Conflicting energy giving and taking

The fluid grace of it all

Billowing shadows of clouds in the sand

While the waves lay down all stretched and taught

Folding and wrinkling back to the source of it all

 

Every breath is give and take."

 

-- Gungor, "Lion of Rock"

 

The first bit of this song catches me off guard because I think about this sort of thing all the time, the dichotomy of the universe, opposing and conflicting energies that nevertheless work together in a graceful flow of give and take. What better example of that than the ocean? It's also important to note that he climbed up to a higher spot (literally a rock that looked like a lion) to get a different perspective, where he could see the "swirls," "shifting," "folding," "wrinkling," and then "back to the source of it all." From this place he can see creation in all its masterful grace and glory and how each movement of it can be traced back to the source, the Creator.

 

The chorus is simply one sentence repeated: "Every breath is give and take." That use of the word "breath" is both metaphorical and literal: The earth "breathes" and every life form upon it "breathes," each exhale is giving and each inhale is taking. "Every breath is give and take."

 

"I love you oh gentlest of ways

Who ripens us as we wrestle with you

The great homesickness we cannot shake

You, the great forest surrounding us now

In silence it's you that we sing

Billowing shadows of heaven on earth

As we lay down our lives stretched and taught

Folding and wrinkling back to the source of it all

 

Every breath is give and take."

 

Like a great poem, the second verse mimics the first, only now he is speaking to God, referring to him as "gentlest of ways." Such a powerful image to think of God as gentle. And this time, we and God are the conflicting energy, wrestling with Him as he "ripens" us, making us better each day, with each "give and take." I also love that he refers to God as "the great forest surrounding us now." An unpopular thought among some Christians, the idea that God is in the trees, the rocks, the rivers, the ocean, because they worry it leads to the worship of the creation rather than of God. But a close reading of scripture would suggest otherwise: "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." Romans 1:19. The glory of God is revealed through nature. In the lyrics, he refers to "billowing shadows of heaven on earth," again referring to the Spirit of God made manifest in nature, "As we lay down our lives stretched and taught, folding and wrinkling back to the source of it all," again using the ocean and "breath" metaphor to refer to the graceful flow of "give and take" between us and God.

 

"I see it all like a hymn

The constant refrain of the echo and change

And all is beautiful

There is no giving without any taking

There's no love without any loss

Everything everyone building and breaking

Oh I see the grace of it all

 

All is beautiful."

 

What an amazing thought, that the grace and flow of creation/Creator relationship is "like a hymn" and is indeed beautiful. 

 

"And suddenly everything came into focus

As I saw her taking a walk

The tiniest speck, just a grain in the wind

But oh how much great in the small

The tiniest body containing the glory of heaven and angels and God

I climbed down the rock and

I ran to the sand and my love."

 

Okay, so something I know that you may not know. Michael Gungor actually did climb up a rock shaped like a lion while he and his wife and bandmate Lisa Gungor were at the beach in New Zealand. From there, he could see the ocean and the beach and the forest beyond, and then he looked down and saw Lisa walking alone, just a tiny speck, but like the rest of creation, contained within her is also the glory of God. So, like the rest of creation, the glory of God is made manifest in us, in humans. We are a part of the great hymn.

 

  • 4:30 wakeup
  • Lord's prayer and a more personal prayer to bring God glory and for my wife and daughters
  • took dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless; worked through some stretches
  • started my push-ups for Max Week (do as many push-ups as possible in 24 hours): final total push-ups between 5:15am Monday and 5:15am Tuesday -- 520
  • talked with a friend later about a rough day she had at work; suggested some scripture as guidance to help her direct her thoughts and react wisely.
  • Did two sessions of Wim Hof breathing, as well as breathing + 25 push-ups and a reversed balance.
  • Hugged and kissed my queen and princesses before leaving for work.
  • The weather was erratic yesterday, fluctuating between rain, sleet, snow, back to rain, then snow again and so on; regardless, my steps total was 13,525.
  • Greeted several people I passed on campus; most returned the greeting, but a few just looked and one seemed like she was just trying to survive the crazy weather.
  • I am grateful for: Larabars (great way to satisfy your sweets craving), snow in Spring (seriously, the beautiful mix of budding trees and snow), and the strength to surprise myself with 520 push-ups in 24 hours.
  • Did not call my mother, but I plan to today; she just returned from her cruise, so we have a lot to talk about.
  • Worked with my mentor cleaning out his van and taking care of the ducks and chickens.
  • Spent the evening finishing a late school assignment and completing others early.
  • To bed with my queen around 10:00pm and slept really, really well.
  • Like 3

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

 

"You are the sun

You are the sun

You shine your light on everyone.

 

I am the moon

I am the moon

I come alive because of you."

 

I have seen this metaphor before, in which Jesus is compared to the sun, the object that gives light and life to all things on earth. I have also seen the comparison to humans as the moon that reflects the sun's (Son's) light. In his book It's Not About Me, Max Lucado says, "Apart from the sun, the moon is nothing more than a pitch-black, pockmarked rock. But properly positioned, the moon beams. Let her do what she was made to do, and a clod of dirt becomes a source of inspiration, yea, verily, romance. The moon reflects the greater light." This song is a meditation of that idea, that God is the sun and we are the moon. He shines his light on us, and we come alive because of Him.

 

"Love will swim the oceans deep and blue
Sail across the sky ‘til the sky is through
Reach between the space of solitude
Span all other worlds just to get to you."

 

Another term that Gungor (and other Christian artists) uses to refer to Jesus is "love," because of the strong message of love that he taught and represented and that is found in scripture, especially in the gospels and New Testament. So this could be interpreted as either the love of God or of God Himself swimming "the oceans deep and blue" and spanning "all other worlds just to get to you." Just as you cannot avoid or escape the rays of the sun, so too will the love of God reach you no matter where you are. It will go to great lengths to find you at the most unexpected times in the most unexpected places.

 

"You are the heart
I am the soul
The separate two become the whole."

 

Again taken from scripture, this verse references how when we accept Christ, we are given a new heart, a heart that reflects that of Christ. The prophet Ezekiel spoke about this, as well: "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." Ezekiel 36:26. This was accomplished through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Salvation in Christ is not just about getting into heaven. It is about being given a new life, a new heart, and becoming one with God because of that new heart.

 

I also love the imagery in the video (as eccentric as it is), especially the ending in which the girl is given a new heart, but she has to step into the ocean first, into the mystery, into the unknown, to be immersed in the love of God. Water is also a very strong Biblical presence, found all through scripture both literally and figuratively. Perhaps she also needed to be cleansed (baptized) before receiving her new heart.

  • 4:30am wakeup, said the Lord's Prayer, and then crawled back into bed with my queen until 5:45.
  • took the dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless, worked through some stretches and movements
  • no cold shower because I slept in; washed my hair in cold water instead.
  • read the Soulcon devotional and daily challenge
  • no sit-ups yet for Max Week.
  • hugged and kissed my queen and princesses before leaving for work
  • have not talked to my mother. :-/
  • my time on campus was brief; Gracelynn wet herself twice at school, so I left to pick her up and take her to the doctor. She has a uti.
  • said "Hello" to a few people in the waiting room at the doctor's office; all returned my greeting with a smile.
  • ate lunch at Bridge Cafe and Bistro; had a blt on sourdough toast and sauteed vegetables.
  • took Gracelynn home and took a brief power nap
  • worked at the movie theater from 4-9.
  • Sat at Wendy's to wait for my daughter and used their wifi to finish up my schoolwork for the week.
  • read a few chapters of The English Major by Jim Harrison; Harrison is not a writer for everyone: his works are a kind of unapologetically hyper-masculine and rigidly honest fictional stories that present raw and often biting criticisms of the ills of modern society. But he's a damn good writer, which is why I enjoy his stuff. Also listening to an audio version of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (which broke me this morning; I was literally crying as I drove to work).
  • Because I was restless when I got home from picking her up form work, I did not get to bed until after midnight.
  • Like 3

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

I just remembered an excellent interview with Gungor I read a few years ago in Sojourners Magazine. I'll post the link below, but a few of my favorite quotes from the interview:

 

"I can’t speak for the purpose of other people’s music, but for us we make music to express and open the human heart. Music helps me to more fully experience the transcendence and magic of existence."

 

"Christians are people. Music cannot be Christian or not Christian any more than it can be the color purple or not. Music is music.

As to my own experience in making the music, I feel I am in a freer place than ever before to explore all of life in our writing. And all of life, to me, is 'sacred.'"

 

"I think everyone has a spiritual pulse. We just are all at different places in our journeys and we all express our spirituality differently."

 

"When you place the highest value on convenience and pricing accessibility, you end up getting McDonalds, but not necessarily good art."

 

You can read the entire interview here.

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

Recovering from a stomach virus that swept through our house and finally made its way to me, but here goes:

 

 

CHORUS:

Brave the rise and fall
Go on and feel it all
I wanna feel it all
Love the rise and fall
Go on feel it all
I wanna feel it all"

 

The title song of the album, "One Wild Life" is very much about embracing and loving our one life, both the good and the bad ("the rise and fall"), to feel it all. It can be easy to embrace life when things are going well, and tempting to retreat from it when it's not so great. But this song is a call to brave all of it, to feel it all.

 

VERSE 1:

See it as a wave, particle, sun
You could call it what you like
Could call it light
See it as a fight or as a gift
You could call it circumstance
Or call it magic
These are the days we've been given
What will you do with each of them
What will you do with your one wild life

 

Whatever you want to call life, whether you want to see it as a fight or a gift, a matter of circumstance or of magic, this is our one life that we have been given, and we can either waste it or embrace it. "What will you do with your one wild life?" That... is an incredible question to ponder. It mirrors the question of so many philosophers, religious leaders, scientists, gurus, self-help authors, monks, and on and on. "What will you do with your one wild life?" Will you embrace it and live it fully ("Go on and feel it all"), or will you waste it by hiding from it, closing yourself off from it, or numbing yourself to it?

 

VERSE 2:

See it as a loss or as a chance
Is it random chemistry
Or is it poetry
These are the days we've been given
What will you do with each of them
What will you do with your one wild life

 

You can either view life as a loss or as a chance, as a failure or as an opportunity. This verse also explores the idea that life is not just random chemistry or circumstance, but rather as divinely created poetry. This song also very much reminds me of the Walt Whitman poem, "O Me! O Life!"

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Much like the song, this poem is a call to contribute to live, to "the powerful play." Whitman begins, though, with common problems in society, some of which is himself is guilty. So what good exists amid these problems? What's the point of it all?

 

That you are here to brave the rise and fall, to feel it all, and to contribute a verse to the great poetry of life.

 

I think this song has become my manifesto for how I want to live life: to feel it all, to brave and love the rise and fall, to not waste my one wild life.

 

What will you do with your one wild life?

  • 0445 wakeup, but went back to sleep for an extra hour in hopes that more sleep would help me fight the virus; it did not.
  • Said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer for healing (myself and the family) and for safe travels in the rain.
  • Read Soulcon devotional
  • Continuing to read The Secret Wisdom of the Earth and listen to an audio version of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
  • I also ordered some books by Roger W. Thompson, We Stood Upon Stars and My Best Friend's Funeral.

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  • spent most of the day in bed recovering from the virus; limited trips to the bathroom, but they were enough to keep me from work.
  • Food (one my stomach settled): no breakfast, whole wheat toast with apple butter and peanut butter for lunch, hot and sour soup for dinner. I also sipped some chai with honey and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
  • Called mom and talked for a few minutes; she's really not much of a phone person. I may stop and see her tomorrow.
  • I am grateful for: a job with available sick days, carbonated water with organic lemon-lime, long naps.
  • No push-ups or burpees today; starting tomorrow for sure.
  • Like 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post
1 hour ago, annyshay said:

Feel better, and thanks for the poem!

 

You are welcome. It is not an exaggeration when I say that Walt Whitman's poetry changed my life.

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post
2 hours ago, Drake Alexander said:

Give that microflora a kick in they're microscopic heinies!

 

I totally sipped on a bottle of kombucha yesterday afternoon. Added a few drops of apple cider vinegar to my matcha this morning, and I'm looking to snack on some skyr later today. :)

  • Like 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

 

This is the song that brings tears, so I'm going to try to write about it without getting too emotional, because emotional = long rambling post.

 

VERSE 1:

I see the world
Breaking and falling apart
And I don't know what to do with it
What to do with it
I see hate
Building up all of the walls
Turns family into enemy
What to do to do with it

 

The first verse of this song hits so far home that it hurts. I do see a world that is hurting and breaking and falling apart, and most of the time I genuinely do not know what to do about it. That makes think of a parent talking to a child or any loved one talking to someone who has disappointed them or let them down. "I just don't know what to do with you." Or, in my case it brings to mind students I have struggled with since the beginning of their time with me who have let me, their parents, and themselves down repeatedly, again and again, poor choice after poor choice.

 

The lines "I see hate building up all of the walls...," etc. seem especially relevant to our world right now, with literal walls being discussed and planned, families literally turning into enemies over differences in politics, faith, beliefs. I just don't know what to do with it.

 

CHORUS:

I see love rising like a hurricane
Rising like a dead man coming up out of the grave
I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like the burning sun into the day

 

But there is hope. On some days, in spite of the bitterness and disappointment I might feel towards the world, I feel an unexplained love rising above all of those emotions, above the negativity. I love the image of it being like a hurricane, because on the best days it really does rise and swell with the strength of a storm, and those are the days that I weep for the world, not because I hate it and have no hope but because I love it and I am reminded there is hope. I feel alive again, like a dead man being revived. The image here is one Gungor has written about before: the dry bones being brought to life in Ezekiel; it could also be a reference either to the resurrection of Lazarus or the resurrection of Jesus (the source of the love that indeed rises like a hurricane). This love is like the sun burning into the day, burning away the fog and the cold and bringing light and warmth to the day.

 

VERSE 2:

I see a world
Aching and longing to be
All of its wars over and gone
In peace finally
And every heart
This is where all of it starts
You and I, and our differences
And what we do with it

 

So what is the solution to a world that is "aching and longing to be," a world without wars, peace both externally and internally ("and every heart")? It begins with us, with all of our differences, and what we do with those differences. It is through love that we will work together to make the world a better place, to make the world what it is longing to be, a place of peace that welcomes every heart. But it has to start with me, and it has to start with you.

  • 0445 wake-up, Lord's Prayer plus a more personal prayer for a chance to bring honor to God with my words and actions, as well as a prayer for my wife and daughters.
  • took Minnie and Luna outside while shirtless and shoeless, worked through some stretches, and held a deep squat for 3 minutes.
  • read Soulcon devotional and did 50 push-ups.
  • 50 burpees done throughout the day (in increments of 5 or 10).
  • read a devotional on Youversion based on Roger W. Thompson's We Stood Upon Stars.
  • hugged and kissed my queen and princesses before leaving for work.
  • greeted a few people on campus as I walked, but there weren't very many as it was rainy.
  • I took a break from work and drove to Wine Cellar park for a trail run. In only shorts and barefoot shoes (the same shoes I plan to use for the Spartan race), I started on a back trail that has been formed by ATVs. It was muddy and slippery (been raining for two days), but I was able to stay on my feet and maintain at least a light jog. I ascended a small mountain by following the trail up about 1/4 mile, then back down to the main trail. I stopped briefly to pick some wild onions and chew on them as I followed the main trail along a creek. In one spot, the creek flows through a large draining pipe, large enough for a person to crawl though (which I did, of course). Then I went off trail again up a muddy embankment and deeper into the woods up the mountain. Here, I noticed I was hidden by deep forest and there was no one else on the trail below, so I stripped down to nothing at all. I stood like this for a little over a minute, enjoying a "nature bath," and then I scrambled up to the top of the mountain. The feeling of the soft, cool rain on my bare skin and the freedom of running naked like this was very cleansing. After a few minutes of this, I put my shorts and shoes back on and descended the mountain back onto the main trail. I followed this up a steep but short hill to the lake. At the lake, I paused and saw a man who had just caught a largemouth bass. "That's a good sized fish," I said. He smiled and thanked me. I sprinted back down the grassy hill, taking care to not slip or fall, and followed the main trail back out to the wine cellars. I returned to the part of the creek that flows through the drainage pipe and also pools on one side of the pipe. I laid down in the pool and closed my eyes, allowing the cool water surround me and the sound of it to drown out everything else. I did this for about two minutes and then hopped up and ran back to my car, leaping once over the creek and rolling in the wet grass.
  • Went on a date with my queen; we did some shopping together and went to the movies to see Blockers.
  • I am grateful for: chicken wings with dry rub, cool rain, strangers whose smiles are genuine.
  • In bed at 10:20.
  • Like 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Following. 

  • Like 1

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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I have to write about this.

 

Wednesday, I was helping my 83 year-old mentor by carrying branches brought down by the wind and tossing them over the hillside. He called for me to help him unload his truck, so I carried some things from his truck down to his basement garage. As I was about to walk back up, I hear a very loud and distressing, "God...dammit!" I look up to see my mentor falling hard onto his back and right side. It was like his feet had just been swept out from under him and he dropped. I sprinted as quickly as I could around the wall between his basement garage, which is at the bottom of the hill, and the driveway at the top of the hill. This was the worst feeling, that I felt like couldn't get to him quickly enough. He laid there for a second, but by the time I got to him he was already trying to get up. I tried to tell him to stay still, but he kept saying, "No, no, I need to get up, I'm okay." So with my help he leaned on the tire of his truck and used my arm to stand up. I could see that his arm was scraped up enough to be bleeding in a few places, but nothing looked broken. He kept insisting he was okay, but as I was carrying more stuff down to the basement he asked me to call Pat (his close friend and business partner) and tell her he had fallen. She was there within a few minutes.

 

All evening, I couldn't get the sound of his yelling and the image of him falling out of my head. I tried to distract myself, but it kept haunting me. Since my daughter worked last night, I stayed up to wait for her, and then I couldn't get to sleep. I finally passed out around 1:00am, and when my alarm went off at 4:30 it literally felt like I had just went to sleep. 

 

So, Thursday morning I was cranky. Our house is a mess, my daughters aren't very helpful with the chores, and my wife hasn't been feeling well (allergies). So I've been cleaning as much as I can on my own. My wife made a comment about needing me to clean, and I just went off, arguing that WE need to clean, not ME, that I need her to help. Which is true, but I wasn't just saying these things. I was yelling them, loud enough that everyone else was quiet and looking at me, concerned. It got ugly, and she yelled back. She almost left for work without saying anything to me, but I caught her outside and with teary eyes I apologized. I explained to her what happened and why I couldn't sleep. She understood, and we kissed before she left for work.

 

Then I embarrassed myself at Sheetz (it's a gas station/convenience store/restaurant/coffee shop hybrid, for people who aren't in the states and don't know what it is). On my way to my car, a small German Shepherd puppy ran up to me, and I knelt down as she snuggled close to me, licking my face and greeting me like we were old pals. I started sobbing as I cuddled this dog, like full-on ugly crying, and she just kept nuzzling me and licking my face. When I went back to my car, I saw her follow another person who called for her and she walked to the house across the street.

 

I've been fine since then. I texted my wife another apology, explaining that I was just having a rough morning. Then I texted my daughters an apology, as well.

 

I just had to get this written as a sort of therapy, I guess. I still feel troubled, but I'll work through it.

  • Sad 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post
23 minutes ago, Wolfen said:

I have to write about this.

 

Wednesday, I was helping my 83 year-old mentor by carrying branches brought down by the wind and tossing them over the hillside. He called for me to help him unload his truck, so I carried some things from his truck down to his basement garage. As I was about to walk back up, I hear a very loud and distressing, "God...dammit!" I look up to see my mentor falling hard onto his back and right side. It was like his feet had just been swept out from under him and he dropped. I sprinted as quickly as I could around the wall between his basement garage, which is at the bottom of the hill, and the driveway at the top of the hill. This was the worst feeling, that I felt like couldn't get to him quickly enough. He laid there for a second, but by the time I got to him he was already trying to get up. I tried to tell him to stay still, but he kept saying, "No, no, I need to get up, I'm okay." So with my help he leaned on the tire of his truck and used my arm to stand up. I could see that his arm was scraped up enough to be bleeding in a few places, but nothing looked broken. He kept insisting he was okay, but as I was carrying more stuff down to the basement he asked me to call Pat (his close friend and business partner) and tell her he had fallen. She was there within a few minutes.

 

All evening, I couldn't get the sound of his yelling and the image of him falling out of my head. I tried to distract myself, but it kept haunting me. Since my daughter worked last night, I stayed up to wait for her, and then I couldn't get to sleep. I finally passed out around 1:00am, and when my alarm went off at 4:30 it literally felt like I had just went to sleep. 

 

So, Thursday morning I was cranky. Our house is a mess, my daughters aren't very helpful with the chores, and my wife hasn't been feeling well (allergies). So I've been cleaning as much as I can on my own. My wife made a comment about needing me to clean, and I just went off, arguing that WE need to clean, not ME, that I need her to help. Which is true, but I wasn't just saying these things. I was yelling them, loud enough that everyone else was quiet and looking at me, concerned. It got ugly, and she yelled back. She almost left for work without saying anything to me, but I caught her outside and with teary eyes I apologized. I explained to her what happened and why I couldn't sleep. She understood, and we kissed before she left for work.

 

Then I embarrassed myself at Sheetz (it's a gas station/convenience store/restaurant/coffee shop hybrid, for people who aren't in the states and don't know what it is). On my way to my car, a small German Shepherd puppy ran up to me, and I knelt down as she snuggled close to me, licking my face and greeting me like we were old pals. I started sobbing as I cuddled this dog, like full-on ugly crying, and she just kept nuzzling me and licking my face. When I went back to my car, I saw her follow another person who called for her and she walked to the house across the street.

 

I've been fine since then. I texted my wife another apology, explaining that I was just having a rough morning. Then I texted my daughters an apology, as well.

 

I just had to get this written as a sort of therapy, I guess. I still feel troubled, but I'll work through it.

 

It is understandable for you to feel like that about your mentor. He represents an important figure in your life and the thought of seeing him "out" because of a fall, made you place a lot of scenarios in your mind of the "what if". Thank God, he is alright and it didn't become anything major.

 

Marriage is a balancing act in itself, right? Two souls sharing the same place and devoting themselves to little combinations of yourselves running around the house and creating their own life and experiences. It takes a huge mental and emotional toll on anybody. It is good that you could identify that situation with your family and work a way to solve it. Even as an issue arose, the right thing is to come forward and face the situation in order to create a new way to prevent it in the future. You seem a reasonable man and the care for your family is a strong trait in you. Try to open your mind to understand the real situation in front of you. I have a problem with creating a thousand scenarios of "what if's" and that's good for some aspects of life but not in moments like this.

 

As a Christian, praying and talking with my wife alone in the dark helps me to pour out any ideas I might have that could be bothering me. I hope your mentor stays strong and your family as well.

 

#Forward

  • Like 1
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8 minutes ago, Drake Alexander said:

#Forward

 

Thank you, sir.

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post
I'm gonna take this another level when you're ready for it [mention=56607]Wolfen[/mention]...
 
Spoiler It's especially understandable as you're still grieving your grandpa. *HUUUUUUGS*
 
That's... Yes. That's exactly it. And then I feel bad for projecting my grief and fear onto my mentor, but I can't help it. Thank you for knowing this and for saying it.

Wow, I love this guild.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post
4 minutes ago, Wolfen said:

That's... Yes. That's exactly it. And then I feel bad for projecting my grief and fear onto my mentor, but I can't help it. Thank you for knowing this and for saying it.

Wow, I love this guild.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

This is all totally normal. You've already started making things right with your family because you are an AWESOME husband and dad. You're gonna be ok.

  • Like 2

Love as thou wilt.

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When the lines are drawn
When you’re in or out
When it’s us or them
And we shame the doubt

It is all a lie
All we ever really need is love
There’s no need to shed more blood
Look upon the cross
Look upon the cross

 

I cannot express strong enough how much I love, love, LOVE this song because it speaks to what I have been arguing about with fellow believers for far too long. It is important to remember that Gungor sometimes refers to God or Jesus in poetic terms ("light," "love," "heart," etc.) or using the pronoun "You." In some cases, though, their lyrics do directly to the point. The opening of this song right away hits the message: If you think being a Christian is about us vs. them, you're wrong. It's a lie. "There's no need to shed more blood." Jesus has already took care of that on the cross. All we ever need to love them. It's not "us" or "them"; it's us FOR them.

 

See the face of Christ
See the mercy in His eyes
Every valley shall be lifted high
Now our enemies are blessed
The heavy laden rest
For His judgement is love
His judgement is love

 

I don't know what more to add to this. Christ came to bring mercy to the sinners, not to punish or condemn them. He literally embodied what he preached in the sermon on the mount: love others, including your enemies. His judgement is love, not hate. Yet so many Christians are filled with hate, pointing fingers and blaming or demanding. If I hear one more word about persecution of the American church, I just might scream. I tire of pro-life arguments out of one side of a mouth while the other side praises the bombing of Syria. I tire of Christian leaders who demand to be heard and obeyed, as if they are better than any other person on the earth. And I tire of Christians claiming "they" are taking God our of _________________________ (fill in the blank). He's God! He can go wherever He wants, and no one can take Him out of anywhere! Maybe you're just ignoring him because you're too busy being angry? This is not who Jesus called us to be: 

 

"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." [emphasis mine] 

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

 

I could keep sharing verses, and they would all point to Christ's call for mercy and love, not anger and hatred.

 

There is no more guilt
There is no more shame
All our darkest sin
All our deepest pain

Blessed are the poor
All the lonely broken lost and torn
See a kingdom comes to us
A war that’s fought with love
Our only war is love

 

Jesus also spoke of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, and he said "The Kingdom of God is here among you." Everyone from theologians to amateur Bible readers debate this expression all the time. Is Jesus referring to Himself or us? The answer is "Yes." The Kingdom of God is love. It is a world of pure, unconditional, unhindered love. It is a world in which all are accepted because all are forgiven, all shame and guilt is washed away, "all our darkest sin" and "deepest pain" cleansed and forgotten.

 

I am especially drawn to the line at the end of this part that says, "Our only war is love." So many people miss that the most revolutionary thing about Jesus was his message of mercy and love during a time of conflict and suffering. The Jews thought their Messiah would come as a warrior on a horse, ready to wage war against their enemies (at that point, the Romans). But that's not what happened, nor is that what was prophesied (not exactly). Even today, pastors, preachers, evangelists, and ill-informed followers are waiting for God to come in a fiery vengeance, hoping for the end days to come soon, and they quote Revelation to prove it. And even if it were true that Christ will return to punish the wicked and reward the righteous, that's not OUR war or OUR responsibility. Our only war is love.

 

Prepare the way of the Lord
Wielding mercy like a sword
Every mountaintop will be made low
Know, He holds the earth like dust
And His judgement comes to us
And His judgement is love
His judgement is love

 

This reiterates the point that our weapons are the same as Christ's: love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, kindness, humility.

 

We will not fight their wars
We will not fall in line
Cause if it’s us or them
It’s us for them
It’s us for them

We reject the either or
They can’t define us anymore
Cause if it’s us or them
It’s us for them
It’s us for them

 

The message of the song is there in these two verses. We will not (nor should we) participate in the "us vs. them" mentality. It should be us FOR them. There is no place for "you are either for us or against us" discussions among those who follow Jesus. It is not us OR them, it's us FOR them.

 

"For even the Son of Man [Jesus] came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -- Matthew 20:28 NLT

  • wake-ups have been between 4:30-5:15
  • Lord's prayer every morning, as well as more personal prayers
  • 50 push-ups every morning (25-25)
  • taking dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless; working through stretches and movements
  • continuing to read Soulcon devotionals
  • reading We Stood Upon Stars one chapter/day; this is a perfect book for this because the chapters read like a mix of travel/adventure writing, personal essays, and reflections on the glory of God in nature.
  • most active day this weekend was Saturday: breakfast at Bridge Cafe and Bistro with a friend (coffee and a pulled-pork sweet potato pancake), 3 mile trail run at Valley Park, then took a power nap at home and worked the evening shift cleaning theaters. It was our busiest weekend ever
  • greeted too many customers to count at work this weekend, but many of them were responsive and friendly
  • finished all schoolwork for the semester; I feel lighter
  • I am grateful for: cool streams, almond butter, old friends
  • Like 4

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

That’s some solid wisdom there, and I wish it were more widespread in our culture. 

  • Like 1

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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Give and take
Snow or sand, it's all the same from far away
You and me
We're the stuff of stars and dirt
With eyes to see

I can't meet you eye to eye
But I can take your hand in mine

We are better together
We are the ocean tide
Freedom and the anchor
When we're together

We are better together
We are the day and night
Together we are stronger
We are stronger

 

In a similar vein to "Us for Them," this song tackles the differences we perceive in each other and proposes that we are all stronger together. I love the use of contrasting images juxtaposed against the statement that we are better together and stronger.

 

A starry sky
Solitary sparks that find a greater light
Desert land
Sprawling miles and miles with only grains of sand

Oceans from drops of rain
Everybody made the same

 

And now the song drops the contradictions and instead uses the imagery of each of us as stars in the sky "that find a greater light," grains of sand in a "sprawling" desert, and drops of rain that form the ocean, restating the line in the chorus "we are the ocean tide."

 

We are better together
There is no real divide
The winter and the summer
We are stronger
All together

 

The line that catches me here is, "There is no real divide." How often do we, as humans, place labels on ourselves and others that often become (whether intentionally or not) those labels become barriers. The song suggests these perceived divisions are fake, that we are all one, stronger and better together.

 

Every black life matters
Every woman matters
Every soldier matters
All the unborn matter
Every gay life matters
Fundamentalists matter
Here's to life and all it's branches

 

The bridge of the song apparently ruffled some feathers, as expected, because of its declaration that every life matters. The band posted about this on their blog. You can read it here. The last bit of the song uniquely blends both choruses and a second bridge, mostly repeated the message that we are all one, and we are stronger and better together. It's better listened to than read, but I will post it:

 

All together
We are stronger
We belong together
All together
We are stronger
We belong together (We belong together)
All together (We belong together)
All together
We are stronger
We belong together
All together

 

We are better together (All together)
We are the ocean tide (We are stronger)
The freedom and the anchor (We belong together)
When we're together (All together)
We are better together (All together)
We are the day and night (We are stronger)
Together we are stronger (We belong together)
We are stronger (All together)

 

We are better together (All together)
There is no real divide (We are stronger)
The winter and the summer (We belong together)
We are stronger

  • wake-ups between 4:45-5:30
  • most active days since my last post: Monday I ran 4.52 miles in 58:18 out a back road near my home, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather; Saturday I ran 3.3 miles in 33:35 down a nice suburban backroad in Hurricane that followed the railroad tracks and a small stream. Both runs were mostly quiet (a few cars passing). During the backroad run, I saw a dog I have admired since I moved out here: a malamute mix, such a beautiful, fluffy ball of love, the kind of dog you can run trails with and then lay on like a pillow when you're done. The dog has a home, but it's very nomadic (I have seen it miles from its home on the other end of town). I thought it had been hit by a car or taken, but halfway through my run it greeted me like it has just seen me yesterday rather than over a year ago.
  • still taking the dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless and working through some primal stretches and movements
  • cold showers daily
  • daily prayer, reading daily devotionals and working through Soulcon challenges
  • I was mostly faithful to Hell Week; there were a few slip-ups, like the day my daughter had an outburst that led to an argument with my queen, and her apology to us was brownies. I couldn't bring myself to make the situation worse by turning them down. I also goofed when I visited a new coffee shop and ordered a sandwich called the "Wannabe Reuben," which had Swiss cheese, roasted red-pepper hummus, tomato, sauerkraut and banana-pepper mustard (made in Montgomery, WV--about an hour from my hometown) and served on locally-made marble Rye bread. Bad news: the bread and the cheese were not Hell Week approved. Good news: It was delicious, the coffee shop is cozy, and the lady who owns it is delightful (she's the one who recommended the sandwich).
  • My weight is down lower that I would like, so I am taking some steps to build muscle mass. I don't wan to look beast, but I also don't want to be scrawny. So I bought some protein powder (my first time ever making such a purchase; they're just so often too expensive). I bought the most affordable meal replacement powder that is plant-based (pictured below); I don't know if it's the best choice for me, but we'll see if it is effective.

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  • Been doing daily push-ups, as well as some other bodyweight exercises, including pull-ups and pull-up leg lifts from my porch railing.
  • Took Princess Arabella out to play in the rain yesterday. We sprinted and crawled through puddles, laughed at the mud squishing between our toes, and enjoyed the soft rain falling around us.
  • Been meditating 20 minutes daily, including morning "affirmations." I am especially fond of Sarah Blondin. Her 10-15 minute meditations are so life-affirming and full of love. You can listen to her meditations on the Meditation Timer app or through her Youtube channel.
  • My stepfather took my mother to the hospital for gall bladder pain; she will need surgery, but it wasn't urgent.
  • My buddy Rick just found out yesterday that his 6-year-old daughter has Type 1 diabetes, so his family will need prayer.
  • I am grateful for: plant-based proteins, blender bottles, and the mix of rain and sunshine.
  • Like 4

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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I found this excellent article by Lisa Gungor about modern Christian music.

 

Highlights:

 

"The way of Jesus is anything but safe, anything but comfortable; all of the insiders were called out, all of the outsiders called holy and blessed."

 

"I have found, sometimes when I try to cover the ache with something positive, it only does that, covers. But when I let my heart plunge into the place I am running from and face it, peace is found. My pain isn’t covered, it is seen and shared."

 

"I am a huge believer in sharing our pain because it is where I have felt the most profound moments of my life."

 

Some of her points about Christian music mirror arguments by Bono in this similar Huffington Post article calling for Christian music to be more honest. The article actually discusses a documentary about Bono's friendship with author Eugene Peterson. I'll post it below because it's relevant.

 

 

  • Like 2

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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