Showing posts from May, 2017

Book in Review: "The Prince"

The Prince is a short classic where author Niccolo Machiavelli looks at lessons learned from political leaders (princes) of the past and looks to give some advice for an aspiring price.

I will begin by saying: Machiavelli is not known for his morals. He sports a pre-Nietzschian “will to power” philosophy in which the expedient, self-advantageous option is always the right one. For Machiavelli there is no undergirding philosophy to which he is fastened to. There is no absolute ideal to which his prince is to daily strive. There is only power. There is only the acquiring, preserving, and expanding of your kingdom by any and every means necessary. Cruelty and deception are no worse than compassion and justice—as long as it serves your personal aims it is a tool to be used.

Such pragmatism is a brutal philosophy that has assailed the human race for as long as there have been humans. It also sounds to me like an exhausting, miserable way to live; not to mention quite contrary to a Biblical w…

Be Real with It

Stories are powerful things. I was encouraged this past Sunday at church as several members stood up in front of the congregation to share what God has been doing in their lives. What followed from one person in particular was a personal story of severe brokenness and addiction—and how the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ never let Him go.
I think it is important that personal stories of Jesus’s victory over the chains of sin are shared frequently in the church. More frequently than is common. Too often we dress up in our “Sunday bests” and put on our happy faces when we go to church. We clean ourselves up; and ensure that everyone sharing our last name looks good and is on their best behavior. There, of course, is nothing wrong with cleaning up and looking good for church, and I am quite thankful the people who sit next to me in church don’t smell too bad! The problem is the motivation: Why are we so concentrated on putting our best foot forward when we go to church? While some …

Life Change

So, I am going to be a father. Montana and I announced on social media a few weeks ago that we are expecting a third member of our family this November. That is what we call a big change. One might even call that life changing.
We are both excited, a little scared, and Montana at least, has been really sick for the past several weeks with nausea and dehydration. We have since got her on some medication so she has been doing better this past week as she enters her second trimester. Life is coming at us the only way life knows how to come: fast.
Bring it on.
My wife will tell you that I am a slow guy, and generally big life changes and major risks freak me out. In a perfect world I would like to know everything at a minimum 5 years prior; that way I could then comfortably prepare for the next chapter of life. If I could somehow catch a glimpse of 2022 I could see what sort of job I would have and make the necessary preparations today. If I could peer into the crystal ball and see myself se…

Book in Review: "Endurance"

Imagine being sentenced to months of polar exposure with nothing but seal blubber and penguin steaks for food. Your sleeping bag is perpetually wet. Your last remaining pair of clothing is continually soggy with ice water. Imagine further still being over a thousand miles from any remnant of human civilization, left on a God-forsaken pack of ice without any hope of being found. Your only chance at survival is to hope your ice flow drifts close enough to one of the Southerly islands, where you and your crew can make a mad break for it in three 20 foot boats--on the roughest, most unpredictable seas in the world.

Yeah, count me out.

Yet this was the sentence of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition that got stuck for months (and who's boat eventually was crushed to bits) in the Wendell Sea. As the journey homewards follows, every discomfort, every breaking wave, every stormy gale—becomes a desperate battle between life and death. The crew must face it all: the frostbite, foot amputation…