thinking about my purchases

so there are a couple of purchases i made recently that have me looking at my spending habits and personality among other things. first off, i bought a pair of checkerboard slip-on vans last week. back in the hardcore ska days i would have killed for these, and now i think i bought them simply out of love for fast times at ridgemont high. i'm looking at my feet now and wondering if i really needed another pair of shoes. the more i think about it though, shoes really can say a lot about a person, esp when they dress relatively non-descript like i tend to do. baseball hat, navy t-shirts and blue jeans are the norm in my wardrobe, which is why my friend's wife makes jokes about signing me up for what not to wear (i keep a constant lookout for cameras). anyways, i realize that my shoes are really the only outlet of dress that i take advantage of to express myself, so buying a pair of off the wall (get it... vans... off the wall) shoes isn't necessarily something i should regret. i wore them out tonight when i went to go grab coffee with nurse girl and i got several compliments about them. it was kind of cool because i think people assumed i was confident enough in myself to wear something somewhat out of the norm. i'm not really sure how true that is, i just know they make me laugh because i think of jeff spicoli. i also think of the last purchase i made because of a movie character. a couple of years a go i bought a Detroit Tigers hat, and my friends thought it was because my name starts with a D. in actuality, i thought it looked cool on Doughboy ( ice cube in Boyz in da Hood).
another purchase i made recently was the new bad religion album. not really a typical purchase for a devout christian, but man i love their harmonies. i know they are outspoken atheists and all, and their previous albums (that i justify having in my collection because they were copies given to me) touch on the religious issue, but with intellectual debate. this album was really tough to listen to though, because they are so much more outspoken on this record. i started really reading through the lyrics though, and i noticed several interesting things. first, they really seemed to view christianity as coming back into mainstream culture, and having an impact on the world. i know that may not seem like great news to some, but to me it was encouraging to hear the other side concerned about the upswing of christian culture again. secondly, bad religion is known for their potent social commentary, and the more i read into their lyrics the more i realize that they really do promote ideas that are founded in christian fundamentals. i really find it ironic that they criticize christian culture, then turn around and make suggestions to improve society like respect, kindness, compassion, freedom of choice, and love that come directly from biblical teachings. lastly, i see a common theme in their defense of there not being a God that seems to be pretty typical, and seemingly well thought out. suffering is a problem that many people struggle with, in terms of the existence of a higher being. how could a loving God let people suffer? i wish i knew a sure-fire answer, but my own personal beliefs will have to suffice for now. God does not create suffering. suffering is caused by humans acting out of selfishness. or, for those who seem to 'not deserve it', suffering is meant to be a way to lead by example. i look at my dad's battle against a brain tumor as an example. he has done nothing to deserve to suffer, but do we complain to God? no. because we all have had opportunities to do good because of it, in spite of it, that would have never existed if he lead a 'normal' life. my dad has been living on what some consider borrowed time, and because of that he has made sure to never miss an opportunity to love his family and friends. i know my decision to become a youth minister is directly tied to my father's example. my sister and i have a great relationship with each other, or families and our friends. not the kind of relationships that come about by superficial interests, but deep down, soul based feelings that we have. so when people wonder about suffering, i look at the opportunity for good to happen. to me the fact that a child can smile when a tapeworm is literally eating them alive is proof that there is a God, and he has every intention of giving them eternal bliss.

oh yeah, i bought a pepsi and some rolled tacos today at buenos dias too. gotta love socal.
one love, one heart.

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