so. late.

i still am not sure why i'm still up. i'm beyond my ability to do anymore work. i've been spending my time lately doing arrangements for a new worship music resource site a friend is developing. tomorrow i should finish the last of the five songs i was supposed to have completed by last week. and, i'll be going tomorrow to pick up some files to start the next project, which is going to be alot of work in a little bit of time.

this has been a strange few months. i'm more overwhelmed than usual. i'm trying to do too much, but for good reason. nobody pays me anything. i've got a 30 hour job that doesn't support my family, so i've gotta do free-lance stuff "on the side" to make up for it. the only problem is that my "on the side" jobs probably could add up to a full-time job themselves. some of them are simple gigs that make me an easy one or two hundred bucks. some have been much more involved, but have promised nice pay. they just haven't actually paid. half of the stuff i'm working on right now doesn't pay up front, but could actually make some good money on the back end. i'm hoping for that.

i feel like it's a huge ball that i'm trying to get rolling, and there's lots of obstacles and it's really hard, and i'm distracted, and discouraged. but once that ball gets some momentum, i won't have to push so hard. i'm not sure where they come from, but i get brief glances of what my life could look like, and that keeps me working toward my goals. i've never had to work so hard towards something. most of the time i just let life happen and i roll with the punches. but i've set my sights a little higher this time, and realized that there's a bit of a journey to make it where i want to go.

i'm learning how i work best, and what i really love, and even new things that i'm good at. this year has been enlightening like that. my main obstacles are time and money right now. i need to spend money to do the things i want to do to make money. i'm trying hard to find the balance, and i think it's good to have incentive to work hard when it means paying off the bills from those investments. time is hard to control, too. it's really frustrating to have a job that requires so much time spent on meaningless things, when i know i can work a quarter of the time for the same money. but, a salary is steady income. that's important right now.

this blog wasn't really for you, reader. it's 3:45am and i'm just venting. i'll look back on this post in a few months and probably not remember writing it, but i'll remember feeling this way. or i'll read it tomorrow, regret being so open, and erase it.


Merry Christmess

I just read a great blog by Jason Boyett here.

He rants a bit about a large conservative Christian organization that is waging a "war" on the "secularization" of Christmas in retail. They have a place on their website where you can rate a store based on how much they remove Christ from Christmas. The short of it is this: places that don't say "Christmas" are bad, places that do are good. I love the points Boyett makes on this, and agree.

Last year the thought hit me that we tend to spend ALOT of time trying to find the "true meaning" of Christmas. My conclusion was that the true meaning of Christmas has become talking about the true meaning of Christmas.

What frustrates me about the rating system is how far from the "true meaning" of Christmas this truly is. If you really want to get holy, wouldn't buying any gifts at all lean towards the materialism that we should be avoiding? So then why would it matter if a store says "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas?" Retail stores have NO POWER over the true spirit of Christmas. They control sales and marketing. To say that their actions are removing Christ from this holiday is to give them way more power than they have. Could you imagine witches and satanists complaining about churches' Fall Festivals? How dare we take Satan out of Halloween! I'm being sarcastic, but I think the point is there. Why would we expect a world (especially the part of the world focused on buying and selling) to involve religion with their business?

If the Church is removing Christ from Christmas ... then we have a problem. That's what the church exists for. Retail exists to sell things. I think most large churches are shining examples that business and religion can't co-exist. So, stores, sell your things. Sell them well. Market to people and make them want to give gifts to each other. Church, keep Christ in Christmas. Keep telling everyone His story, and about His gifts to us, so that we will have reason to give gifts to each other.