I was having trouble giving You these things.
When we become born again, we get a little annoying.
It’s like we just discovered the most amazing thing!
And it is!
Like we just found the secret to happiness and we want to let everyone else know!
Our lives are changed and we’re so happy about it and we want to share it with everyone!
And then…! ….. Then we also realize that our non-believing friends are in danger!
We want them to be saved, too!
We want them to be loved and accept the Lord the way we did so that we will see them in Heaven! It’s such a burden… We want to drag everyone to church with us and hope that they have the same experience that we did so that they understand, but unfortunately it’s not that easy. Most people aren’t interested in going to your church. Most people, even if they are Christians, aren’t interested in things when you’re over-excited about it. It’s a little exhausting actually. Chill out, baby Christian.
I’m not talking about the judgmental people that build a bubble around themselves and call themselves Christians and then use that to ridicule and put other people down. I’m talking about true followers of Christ who only want to see your familiar happy faces in Heaven.
I was “born again” unintentionally in 2009.
“Do you eat quinoa?”
You don’t pray???
How could someone who lived over 2000 years ago die for my sins???
Everything in its own time.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
I don’t think the problem is that there aren’t talented, intellectually stimulating, interesting, and challenging individuals out there. I don’t think there is a shortage of people who are amazing and inspiring. I think the real problem lies in that many people are afraid to be who they are truly meant to be. Fear prevents people from being different. Fear prevents people from digging into their own subconscious and getting their hands dirty.
I recently participated in a project by Kati Driscoll for Delaware Fun-A-Day in which she interviewed and photographed twenty nine women with the theme centering around what it’s like being a woman, or how we define the word “woman” and compiled them into one book so that the reader can see the different points of views from women of all walks of life.
Well, I just finished reading it and I have to say that I absolutely love it. Not only are some of my long time friends included so it almost felt like a post-high school yearbook, but I read some of the stories by women I’ve never met or spoken to before and was surprised by the different opinions we had about gender identification or gender roles in our personal lives and society. Surprised in a good way!
I have to say my favorite was Brielle. I’ve never met Brielle, but she uses the term “gender awkward” and talks about how difficult it is to present herself under any of the pre-established labels because she doesn’t feel like she fits completely into any of them. While she’s happy being who she is, it seems to make other people more uncomfortable when they don’t know which box to fit her in. I think it’s important to understand that we don’t all fit under one category not just in gender but in life in general. I love it when people are comfortable enough to admit that they can’t be fit neatly into any box.
What really stood out for me in the book was that we all feel the pressure to become wives, mothers, and sexually attractive starting at young ages. For some girls as they grow older they go with that flow. They are pretty, so they embrace it at a young age. They like the attention from boys, so they dress provocatively and flaunt their bodies and it works for them. They may be creative, intelligent, or bold in their opinions, but they might also decide to set those things aside because let’s face it… being mediocre is easy. And it’s much easier when you follow a path set before you by society. You’re young, you’re pretty, you can get a boyfriend and have fun. When you’re older, you get married and you have children and build a home. There is nothing wrong with that and building a home, raising a family, and being a wife are completely challenging life choices so I respect that. But that’s not the only thing women were meant to do with their lives and it doesn’t make us any less of a woman if we decide not to do those things.
Men go through a similar pressure. They have to deal with society pressuring them to do what makes them “manly”.
I think when it comes down to it we have to remember that being a man or being a woman is only part of who we are. God put us all on this earth to be much more than a body. We are more than baby machines (and I’m including men in that term, too). We each have unique skills, talents, and abilities that define us. We each have our own sense of personal style that doesn’t HAVE to fit into any one particular form. We each have the opportunity to take our lives and do amazing things with them. Create beautiful things. Inspire people. HELP each other. Everyone has something to contribute to the world. Let’s stop focusing on how nice of a home you keep and how many children we have and start thinking about what makes us different than everyone else and what makes someone unique (and therefore beautiful) because that is just what the world needs.
Hey everyone (anyone?)
I’m doing a little pre-spring cleaning and I decided I should probably drop a little note on this ol’ blog.
What’s going ON!?
Well, a whole lot. Unfortunately, a whole lot of it is not music related. But it’s still a lot of good and yes, I’m still singing and writing music.
I had to step off the stage for a little bit to get some things in order, more specifically, start my own business. This came as a surprise to some folks but most people close to me know I love to bake and veganism is extremely important to me. When I realized the opportunity I had to leave my “day job” and start my own business as a vegan baker, I hopped on it! But it’s time consuming and it’s hard work, so music has temporarily been put on the back burner. I still write in my down time and I still sing every day and I’ve even got some projects coming up in the future, but as of now if you want to show your support drop on by the facebook page or follow me on instagram!
Okay, so I know I didn’t make the announcement here on my blog, but earlier this month I posted to my band’s youtube page that we would be releasing a new music video today for Lives Lost.
The thing is, I thought I could compile a bunch of photos of loved ones over three weeks and put out a heartfelt video. Nothing complicated, just a basic slideshow of people we love, but something happened while I was reaching out to friends and family… I realized this could be something bigger and better and more meaningful than just a handful of pictures. I’d really like to make this video something really good for the soul.
I’m no videographer, photographer, or visual artist by any means, but everything I do I do it from the heart. So I’m apologizing to you, for those of you who have submitted photos and those of you who were patiently waiting for the release. I’m apologizing for not releasing it today, but I realized that I want to take more time on this one. I want to put more love into it. I’m not going to give a release date as of now, but I am going to be doing a little more outreach and (regardless of my saying this wasn’t going to be a PSA in the video) I’m going to put more information in it. Maybe it won’t reach many people. Maybe it’ll only get a few hundred views and never make it on any charts. But if our song can make you smile, if it can give you a little peace, or if it can touch one person who’s struggling with addiction or suicidal thoughts, my job is done.
On that note, I can at least do one thing for you today. Here it is, the full song, downloadable on our ReverbNation page.
Please listen and enjoy and if you like it, share it with your friends. If you’re still on the fence about sending your info, contact me.
evangelinaandtheboys @ gmail.com or though fb: http://www.facebook.com/veganvita
Here’s the direct link:
I never liked the “my style is better than your style” attitude that rolls around the world of Martial Arts.
I do believe there is some truth to it at some levels, yes. I personally believe that some styles are less effective than others, but for the sake of this post, I’m not going to get into which ones and why–plus, I might be wrong. No reason to open up that debate at this time.
What I really wanted to blog about is specifically “Kung fu vs MMA” or really “Kung fu vs anything”.
I love kung fu.
I have been raised with kung fu and I have been personally training and teaching kung fu for thirteen years.
I also love other styles of martial arts and I do enjoy watching MMA fights. Now I don’t know the names of the top fighters or have any favorites or anything like that, I just like to watch them when they’re on and I like going to live fights, that doesn’t mean it’s my passion. In the martial arts world, I definitely would say my passion is kung fu.
That being said, lets take a moment to explore the term “kung fu”.
Kung fu translated means “learned skill”. So in essence, kung fu can be anything. I have amazing cupcake kung fu. Holy crap I should name my business that. “Kung Fu Cupcakes!”… Don’t steal it, it’s mine now. Anyway, What most westerners mean when they say “kung fu” is actually “wushu” which means “war art”. In today’s martial arts world, “wushu” refers to the performance sport. Like below:
(This is an old video but one of my faves)
That’s pretty amazing, right?
But “wushu” didn’t start as a performance sport. It started out as fighting and later developed into a performance sport due to many different reasons, most of which having to do with government crack downs on martial arts practitioners in China and introducing kung fu into dancing, theater, and the rest of the entertainment world–watering it down and taking out the application aspects. There’s also some that would argue the elitist attitudes of some schools/teachers in their refusal to teach their styles to outsiders and their refusal to allow their students to cross train due to their own pride, is hurting the styles themselves. I’ve seen that happen so I can believe it.
But really “Chinese martial arts” includes so much, you can practice many many different styles and they would all be considered “kung fu” so when I started hearing people dissing kung fu vs mma, I was very confused. Especially because everything I saw the MMA fighters doing… I had seen kung fu practitioners do in various forms.
Believe it or not, kung fu has grappling, submissions, boxing, kickboxing, etc etc etc. All of these things can be found in various styles of Chinese Martial Arts. The hard part is finding a good school/teacher that will train you how to actually USE your kung fu. You can’t do it alone and you have to be flexible (mentally.. and sometimes physically).
A good teacher is a good student. A good teacher will teach you how to be a good student. And a good student learns from every situation they’re in. I see kung fu in everything I do, inside and outside of the ring. What people need to focus on is not whether or not MMA style fighting is better than kung fu, they need to focus on the athlete.
If you train only kicks and you refuse to learn how to punch or block, guess what? You’re going to get knocked out. If you train only punches and never learn how to kick or protect yourself from kicks, you’re going to get kicked in the face. If you train only throws and submissions, you just might get knocked out before you get the person on the ground. And I’m sorry to break it to you, but “kung fu” or Chinese Martial Arts has a method for all of these things.. so in a way Chinese Martial Arts are a form of MMA. Maybe not in the technical sport fighting sense, but in the literal sense.
I’m rambling now, but the point is… it’s not the style, it’s the athlete. The best athletes I’ve known are the ones who learn to adapt to other styles even if they’re maintaining their own styles. So be open to learning everything you can and stop trash talking my kung fu. ;)