Category Archives: Movies

Why I Cried

Last night I cried. Overwhelmed by emotion, I was sad, elated, confused, and oh so thankful. I have never felt so much meaning and purpose in a single moment. Just thinking about it now brings me to tears. 

Last night was closing night of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, this year’s Spring Musical at my school. I played the part of Caleb Pontipee, one of the seven backwoods brothers who learns about etiquette and gets himself a girl. I was the dumb brother and I loved every minute of it. I was able to make people laugh with my mannerisms and then turn around and sing and dance with people that are much more skilled in those departments than I am. I put so much work into this production and now that it’s over, I’m still not sure how to think straight.

After the last curtain call, Mr. Batchelder, our amazing Director, brought the seniors up to the front of the stage and talked about us all individually. When he talked about me, it all came crashing down. A wave swept me up on the inside and forced its way out my eyes. While he was explaining it to the audience, I was imagining my theatrical career at James Madison.

My sophomore year, in drama class, I could not deliver a monologue in front of my class because I was so scared. Just the thought of performing in front of people terrified me so much that I made myself sick and stayed home from school for a week. That was the worst week of my life. I was so depressed and did not want to live. By God’s grace, my mother helped me out of the depression and Mr. Batchelder encouraged me tremendously and gave me the confidence necessary to perform in front of others. The next year, I tried out for the Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride, got the part, made people laugh and had an absolute blast. That year, I was a salesman/dancer/townsperson in The Music Man. Next was Sir Galahad in Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail then Caleb Pontipee.

My journey rushed through my mind, paralyzing me in a state of raw emotion.

And so I cried.

I cried because I was so happy to have the oppurtunity to be in those plays.

I cried because I was so sad that it was over.

I cried because I’ll miss acting on stage with my friends.

I cried because of all the times I laughed.

I cried because of how much I’ve grown.

I cried because I was so thankful for all the encouragement.

I cried because being on stage made me feel special.

I cried because I could not hold it back.

I am crying now because this is so meaningful.


Late Night with Random Thoughts

There is something intrinsically joyful about certain colors. Colors invoke feelings that are bottled up. Same thing with different shades of light.

A good creek bed is possibly the most peaceful place in my mind. Sometimes, that is where I go when I’m tired. That is where I am right now.

Life changes. Places move in and out. Things float by. Memories come and go. One thing stays constent. If it were not for Him, there would be no reason to hope.

I cannot remember the last time I watched a movie all the way through. This is weird to me.

Ever since I read that Matthew Thiessen (Relient K, lead singer) and Adam Young (Owl City) might have a side project in the works named Goodbye Dubai, I have been writing the name everywhere.

Ever since I can remember, I have been under the impression that God has something incredible planned for my life. I do not know why I am thinking about this now. It is just one of those things that I think about a lot.

I remember the last movie I watched all the way through. Simon Birch. If you have not seen, go see it. You will love it, no matter who you are. It is equal parts funny, sad, sweet, and inspiring.

Ok. I think that’s it for now. I am going to bed.

Morocco Highlight Film

Here are some of the best clips from my flip that tell a pretty good story of our journey.

What Breaks Your Heart?

I have not been able to write for some time. It was not because I had nothing to write about. Actually, I probably had about ten topics bouncing around in my head that I wanted to be fleshed out on this blog. But every time I tried to write it was like my brain went dead; just shut off on me. I was getting pretty frustrated because I knew I had stuff to say but for some reason the words could not leave my thoughts. I wanted to write about how I felt God was calling me for something big but unknown. I wanted to write about Muslims, Christians, and Jesus. It’s a book by Carl Medearis, a good friend of my Dad and a truly earnest follower of Jesus. I wanted to write about BoneMan’s Daughters, Ted Dekker’s latest book. I wanted to write about taking pictures (a newfound hobby of mine), creating things, the end of the school year and many other things. But I just could not get the words out.

Today, I was looking through the different blogs I read regularly and I found an article entitled Turning the Pages to a New Chapter by Luke Parrot. In the article is a really cool speech he wrote. And in his speech he asks a question that that kind of hit me upside the soul. 

What breaks your heart?


The things that break your heart are the very things that feed your passions. What are the things that keep you up at night?  What are the things that disturb you the most?  What do you get most passionate about?  What makes you pound the table?  What puts you on the edge of your seat?” – Luke

So I’ve been thinking about it. What breaks my heart?

When I went to Rwanda and saw so many orphans who would more than likely never know what it feels like to be loved by a father and a mother. That broke my heart. 

Knowing that there are about 150 million orphans in the world I live in. That breaks my heart.

Knowing that something around 25 thousand kids die everyday because of dumb stuff like not having clean drinking water or enough food or clothing or shoes to protect their bodies. That breaks my heart.

I cannot even begin to understand suffering. Oh my gosh!!! I cannot stand being comfortable. It does not bring me joy or intimacy or faith. It provides an escape from the harsh reality that cultivates real, gritty good. Living in comfort breaks my heart.

When kids are treated like dirt because they are poor. That breaks my heart.

When kids are brainwashed and made to kill. That breaks my heart.

When kids are torn away from their innocence and sold into prostitution. That breaks my heart.

When the church is focused on pushing a piece of legislature that will further their agenda rather than focusing on loving the people they are trying to fight. When teenagers are looked at as nothing more than a nuisance. When family members bicker and fight over stupid stuff. When I do not understand how much God loves me. At the end of movies when they pop the big question and it is “Do you want to move in together?” instead of “Will you marry me?”. When I drive onto the freeway exit and the homeless guy is standing there and I want to talk to him but I cannot because I am too busy and scared. These things break my heart.

“Allow Him to break your heart for the things that break His heart.  And in that brokenness you will find your way.  You will find your path.” – Luke

I hope the things that break my heart are not just “me” things but that they have been put there by God. I think the ultimate thing in life is being a part of what God is doing and I think He has given me the passions that I have so that I can be a part of something that He is doing or is going to do. I just don’t know what it is yet. Maybe it is happening right now!

A Little Something to Stand On

Great music from around the world.

*official rwanda trip documentary*

way to go joe!

The Watching Of Watchmen


The past couple of days I’ve been encountering the ultra-mania surrounding the release of Watchmen. From the moment I first saw the trailer months ago, I knew this movie would be big. A visually stunning adaptation of a monumental graphic novel directed by the same guy who did 300, it had all the markings of a blockbuster.

Seeing the initial trailer was the first time I had ever heard of Watchmen. My initial reaction was that it looked weird and stupid. After seeing a few more trailers, I came to grips with the reality that I actually thought the movie looked quite cool and that I might actually want to see it. I began to take a closer look into the graphic novel by Alan Moore. I wanted to know what all the hype was about, why the book was so important. Through extensive research on Wikipedia I found out that it was the first real look into the dark side of masked superheroes. It retreated from the honorable, chivalrous heroes of old and marched on with a bleak  realism, highlighting the internal strugglings of its protaganists. It sounded like a very interesting read. The more and more I learned about the book, the more and more I was interested in the movie.

These last two days (the movie came out yesterday) I’ve been reading critical reviews and “family friendly” reviews to see what the reaction was to the movie. Being that it is rated R and directed by Zack Snyder, I figured that it would be pretty violent and that there would be a scene or two that I would need to fast forward. I pretty much banked on the fact that I would not see the movie in theaters but would still see it eventually. After reading what I’ve read, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never see the movie. It is, to be succinct, overtly violent and grotesquely sexual almost to the point of being pornographic.

Normally, I would not feel the need to talk about a movie like this but this one bothers me. Watchmen (and 300) looks extraordinarily pleasing to my eyes. The cinematography is magnificent. Mr. Snyder has an excellent visual eye. But looks can be deceiving. The aesthetic beauty of the film is like a trap for innocent (albeit ignorant) eyes. I have heard numerous friends express their interest in seeing this movie. I feel like they are willingly walking into a trap. I feel for them especially because I have walked into many bad situations willingly and suffered the consequences.

I don’t really have any sort of conclusion to this post. I just felt like I needed to write it. While I’ll never see the movie, I do wish to read the graphic novel at some point. I do like the ideas and themes that it explores. I realize it’ll for sure have some of the same problems that the movie has so I’ll have to be careful. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. ‘Till then… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.