Problem or good thing?

It’s been an interesting few weeks of life. Some ups and some downs with the downs significantly outweighing the ups. But it doesn’t feel like it. For some reason not many things make me feel pain or sadness anymore. And it scares me. Am I becoming callous? I still feel joy at times, actually very easily so its not that I have lost touch with all emotional reality, its just losing touch with hurt. I know this is is a strange thing to be concerned about because it seems like such a good thing, but I don’t know how convinced I am that it is truly good. Some things still get me down. My mom was sick and in and out of the hospital and that had me worried and scared and all sorts of upset. But other things that seem like they should evoke an emotional response just don’t. Just this morning something happened that really should have hurt. It should have sucked and made me feel bad. But it didn’t. Not one bit. I certainly wasn’t happy, just kind of emotionally empty. I don’t think its some kind of “woe is me, I have been hurt too much to feel anything anymore.” Sure I have my crap but it doesn’t even come close to adding up to the things other people deal with. Maybe it’s just that there are so few earthly things that I really care about at this point that I am just detached from feeling pain over them. If anything were to happen to the people I love it would definitely hurt like crazy. But all the material things I have I just don’t care about. Sure I love my guitar and I love having a car, but I really don’t know how upset I would be if they were gone. One of my guitars snapped in half recently and it was just kind of blah. I didn’t really care. I have been working on setting my mind and hope and joy all on things outside of the world so maybe this is a side effect, but I’m not convinced that is the reason.

I kind of miss feeling pain.

Not that it’s fun or pleasant, but it provides the contrast for joy. Maybe I am an idiot for even bringing this up because God has blessed me with so many amazing things that I just don’t need to hurt over anything. So I need your help blogdom. Help me understand where this is coming from if you have any insight. Is this some sort of emotional defect, or is it a good thing?

Some thoughts and ramblings

Hello folks. Before I started writing this I was amused by the wide number of topics I cover in this blog. From Jingle Twins, to random music to theology. I am a strange person apparently. Anyways, after some conversations with friends in the last few weeks I have some loose ends to tie up and I figured I would write them out.

I think as someone who plans to make a career in vocational ministry and currently works in a church there are times that I get a certain arrogance about my perception of God, the gospel, Jesus and all sorts of things related. I guess the best way to describe it is that I feel like since this is my job I should have a better view of who God is than a lot of other people. Not that I am smarter or anything like that, but that since ministry is my career, I need to have some interesting, unique, brilliant idea of who God is. But here’s the thing… I don’t. I am constantly trying to know Him better and get a better understanding of what He wants from me and the ministries I am involved in. But the big issue is that my human, flawed brain just isn’t capable of fully understanding God. That’s part of why He is God and I am not. I sometimes feel like I have failed if I don’t have all the answers, and granted I need to know more than I do, but I will never have all the answers. If I spend the rest of my life studying God’s word I will still have a flawed view of who He is because my brain can’t fathom the majesty and power of God. To some that may sound like a defeatist point of view. To me it is such a comfort. I’m glad I can’t understand everything behind how this world works and who God is. If I could then there would be no need for a higher power. I desperately want to know more truth and grow closer in relationship with Jesus, but being in ministry doesn’t mean that I automatically have a perfect view of Him.

To go further on this in a little different direction I had some conversations recently about how God can use people despite their sin and brokenness. We can’t have the perspective that because we mess up we can’t be useful. If that were true then Paul was useless. Whatever truth we may know. whether or not we always live it out, we should share with others. God uses our flaws and our weaknesses. He tells us that His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. Part of being in Christian leadership is knowing exactly where those flaws are and giving them completely to God. So often I fall in the trap of giving my weakness and failure to God and then taking it right back as soon as He draws me in a direction I don’t want to go. Its as if I am saying “Ok God, take my sin and repair me as long as you take it somewhere I find appealing. Otherwise, I will handle it myself.” That’s not what surrender is. That is asking for comfort instead of God’s will.

I suppose that is all that is rattling around in my head right now. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

It’s coming…

Okay folks, make sure and sit down before you read this. Word has it that the week or so of March 5-15 will be a time in which modern history as we know it could change. Apparently The Jingle Twins (Yes, THE JINGLE TWINS) are making plans to record their second studio album. We have it from several reliable sources that the pair called “the most influential music duo since K-Ci and Jo Jo” plan to reunite at their secluded studio in the South Carolina foothills and bring us more musical delight. The subject matter for this album is widely speculated but no one truly knows. This writer things that these great men may show their patriotic side and direct the album towards that day with Fireworks in July (the word Fireworks should always be capitalized; write that down). I haven’t been this excited about a band going into the studio since I heard that Creed was making a comeback. OK I can’t even write that as a joke. Let it be known through all the lands that Creed is worse than The Jingle Twins. And everyone else for that matter. Except Nickelback, that’s a tie any way you look at it. That’s all I have for you now, from the breaking music news desk at Rolling Stone, I wish you a good evening.

Peace and Love

Morty Feingold Lieberwitz IV

Christmas Break Part the First

Hello Blog people. I am finally back and settled in from a fantastic Christmas Break that was full of happenings. I don’t know how many parts will be needed to fill you in on everything that happened, but this is the first one.

Christmas itself was fantastic. It was so good to see my family and friends and just spend time relaxing and enjoying the family. I spent a few days in Atlanta before and after Christmas and it was really good. My family is incredibly dysfunctional, but loving and hilarious.  After Christmas I headed to Snellville/Loganville to see some of the rest of my family of the Look Up sort. I saw some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while and then the usual suspects as well. We didn’t really do much, but just spending time with the Loganville folks was great. They are such a wonderful group of people who are family to me.

After Snellville, Matt Casey and I headed to Look Up to start working on the New Years Eve worship night and just to spend some time being ridiculous with Nate and Jamal. Rachael joined us the next day and we actually started getting some work done for the worship service (and possibly seeing how flammable lemons are, and how they react to golf clubs).   The worship service on New Years Eve was unbelievable. Worshiping with people that I enjoy so much is an amazing experience. It’s not that the people I am worshiping with are what its about, but when the people you are up their with are people you are so closely bonded to there is just something that makes leading worship more fun. Voices failed and notes were missed, but God met us in Gainesville and turned our mistakes and miscues into his glory. Singing “O Praise the One who paid my debt” as the New Year came in is the best way to start the year I can think of.

I spent a ton of time over break at and with the Look Up family, and they are such an amazing group of people. Every time I go by whether its Jamal, Nate, Rachael, Walter, Jane, the Boones, the Keigleys, or anyone else at Look Up somebody always says or does exactly what I need to hear or need done for me to keep me going and lift me up. Special shout out to Jeff and Laura this time around as game night at their house was awesome and Jeff’s food knowledge and cooking abilities were put on display.

Second part will come sometime soon. Thats all for now.

A Christmas Miracle

A large man in a red suit with a fuzzy white beard was spotted near Cary, North Carolina today. Being a responsible citizen I felt it necessary to ask him a few questions to see if he was indeed Santa Claus. The interview went as follows:

Me: “Hello there sir, do you have a moment to speak with the press today?”

Santa (or a likeness of him): “Uh… yeah sure I suppose.”

Me: “What do you want most this Christmas?”

Santa (or his twin): “Well funny that you should ask. Just today I heard about a Christmas album that is sure to be the greatest thing that anyone has ever heard. So I would say the thing I want most this Christmas is The Jingle Twins’ new album.

Me: “The Jingle Twins?”

Santa: “Yes. These young men are Christmas heroes in my opinion. Never before has anyone so precisely captured the spirit of Christmas in one power packed album.”

So there you have it. Santa (or an older gentleman with a beard and a red t-shirt) himself wants the Jingle Twins album above all else. He could have asked for world peace, a new series of Arrested Development, or the ruin of the Jonas Brothers. But no, he wants to hear some Jingle Twins.

In related news, The Jingle Twins album will release tomorrow. Yes, everyone is busy with finals, including half of the Jingle Twins, but there is just nothing better to relieve exam stress than hearing Christmas tales of Blurtus, Falcons, and other wonderful characters. We will have links on this blog or Nathan Heffington’s blog tonight and tomorrow letting you know where you can get your hands on this masterpiece. Also, if you help promote the album, you will be an automatic member of the Jingle Twins’ Army of Champions, and could receive other bonus material as well. So let your friends, enemies, and pets know about this event.

In the spirit of Christmas

Harriet, The Christmas Falcon

The first clue

If the weather outside is frightful
But you want to look delightful
The holidays coming quick
You need to be looking slick
Possibly fashioned by Great Aunt Claire
What is this item that you wear?

Once you have figured this out go here to attempt to enter the password.

The answer is all lowercase letters with a space.

Jingle Contest Rules

Ok, so here’s how this crazy contest is going to go.  In order to win you will need to follow these steps:

1) Solve the riddle on on either Nathan’s or Lanier’s blog.

2) Use the answer to the riddle you solved to access the link named “Jingle Clue” (located on the right hand side of the page) on the other blog. (For example, if you solve the riddle on Nathan’s blog, you would navigate to Lanier’s blog through the provided link, click on “Jingle Clue” located at the top of his page, and input the answer to Nathan’s riddle when prompted for a password.)

3) Solve the riddle you are confronted with within the “Jingle Clue” link. Make sure to save the answer that you get! This one will be easier but it is very important! It will eventually get you into the final prize page!

4) Repeat steps 1-3 with the blog and riddle that you did not start with on step 1. (For example, if you solved Nathan’s riddle first, go back and solve Lanier’s)

5) Once you have unlocked both “Jingle Clue” pages and gotten the answers to the final riddles, combine them (with no spaces), and use that as the password to unlock the “Jingle Twins Prize!!” link on the right side of Nathan’s page.

6) Don’t forget to make a comment as soon as you get there to ensure that your prize is safe!

Have fun! Riddles will be released simultaneously tonight at precisely 12:00 AM!