“Smile” by Charlie Chaplin and eventually sang by Nat King Cole

Hey!  So I was doing my Greek summer homework tonight and listening to some Nat King Cole on Spotify, and I came upon a song I have heard before, but have never appreciated so much.  It’s called, “Smile.”  When I searched the song title in Google to find the lyrics to post on here for you all, I came upon much more information than I expected.  This song has a magnificent history!  The instrumental portion of the song was originally created and used for a 1936 Charlie Chaplin film called Modern Times.  Here is the last scene from that film, you’ll recognize the tune:

That was really neat.  I did not know that was the original use and purpose of this song.

Anyway, here are the lyrics of the song, “Smile,” originally sang by Nat King Cole.  I think it has become one of my favorite songs of all time:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying? 
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

[instrumental interlude]

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying? 
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.


Smile.  Goodnight.



And so ends the summer: a good book recommended and thoughts shared.

Hey there.  I am sitting out on my front porch this evening on what is a comparably cloudy day in relation to most of the days this summer, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee.  Despite the cloudiness of today, the temperature is nothing less than comfortable and the breeze is most enjoyable.  Despite the occasional sprinkles throughout the day, the humidity level is uncommonly low for a rainy August afternoon.  The dog is out on his leash and under my careful watch due to the recent reports of a coyote wandering the surrounding neighborhoods looking for roadkill, or the slightly more alive animals.

Today has been a wonderful day.  I woke up this morning and made the trip over to Susie’s house for some breakfast.  Yesterday she made me an amazing ham, green onion, and green pepper omelet, and today she whipped up some French toast.  We both agreed it may not have been cooked all the way, but it was tasty nonetheless.  Later on in the day I went to lunch downtown at Wendy’s with Scotty Kunkel, a good friend of mine.  Wendy’s, as much as I like it, is probably the last place I’d ever want to get a meal downtown, but I am trying to save money and I had a coupon for a free meal making it foolish to go elsewhere.  Lunch was great and the conversation was greater.  Both were free, and I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

This afternoon was spent doing a number of things.  A majority of the afternoon I watched CNN and did some things around the house.  CNN had some great coverage of the fighting, or end thereof, in Tripoli, Libya.  The news network managed to have one of their reporters, female no less, go into the Moammar Gadhafi compound with the attacking rebels, and report on the entire fight and eventual capture of the facility.  It was remarkable television.  I really enjoyed seeing live footage from Libya and seeing the raw emotion and celebration going on inside the tyrant’s backyard.  It will certainly be interesting to see how matters progress over there.

I also took some time, like a whole ten minutes, this afternoon to pick apart some of the items I am taking to school in an effort to figure out what exactly I need to buy in the next two days.  After a short time, like I said, ten minutes, I came to the conclusion that everything was accounted for and that I could go back to more enjoyable activities, like watching folks on the east coast make a mountain out of a shifting molehill.  Thankfully no one was hurt, as far as we know, in the earthquake this afternoon, but you can bet folks in D.C. and NYC were going to make sure people knew absolutely nothing newsworthy happened as a result of it!

After CNN became boring, I decide to get back to reading a book I started a few days ago called, Desiring God.  A few of you may have heard of it.  It is written by a man named John Piper.  I started reading it for a number of reasons.  I got the 25th anniversary revised edition this spring at The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago.  I have read a few other works by John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life not only encouraged me to not waste it, but changed it, and I thought I’d give this one a go.  Desiring God is Pastor John’s most famous work–he named his ministry after it.

In addition to the fact that I love Piper’s writing style and way of thinking, I decided to read this book because I am pursuing the opportunity to work for a children’s ministry next summer called Children Desiring God, their website and addition information can be found here.  Because I may be working for that ministry next summer,  I thought it wise to read the book, outside of the Bible, that their ministry is based upon.

I am really enjoying the book thusfar.  While I have heard the ideas outlined in the books before through various sources, it is rewarding to see the meditations of a Christian Hedonist in their purest form.  Desiring God seems to be the sincere devotions of a man who desperately wants to desire nothing more than the God of the universe and everything in it.  I have finished chapter one and I am more than impressed.

The first chapter outlines the sovereignty and happiness of God, and this may be my favorite line from the chapter.  Pastor John is writing in regards to Hebrews 2:10, which says, “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  Pastor John says:

“God the Father thought it was fitting to perfect the Pioneer of our salvation through suffering. God willed what He abhorred.” (p. 40)

Isn’t that awesome?  Sure, I already knew that truth, I knew that God saw it fitting to make Jesus suffer on the cross, but I just love how Pastor John put it.  The way he writes really helps me organize my thoughts.  (Also, notice the alliteration, “perfect…Pioneer, salvation…suffering.”  Brilliant.)

I don’t want to spend a lot of time recapping the summer, but a summary of sorts is in order.

It was a great summer.  I learned things, made money, and spent a good amount, yet not enough time, with my girlfriend.  I was able to hold two paying jobs and an internship at my church which paid not in dollars, but in experience.  I learned a lot about how kids learn and how not to teach them.  Advisory:  teaching K-4th graders is never a good idea if it can be avoided, you’ll try to teach to a kindergarten level and bore the 4th graders, and then you’ll teach to a 4th grade level and completely lose your kindergarteners.  It’s not a good scenario and is to be avoided at all costs.

Regardless, I learned a lot this summer about patience and teaching simply.  You can never really teach too simply.  Always define your terms, and as you’re writing a Bible lesson or sermon, carefully consider the words you choose, and if you truly know the meanings of them.

This Friday and Saturday, I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend the Connecting Church and Home Conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  I can’t wait to go to this conference.  Dr. Russell Moore of SBTS has graciously paid for my ticket allowing me to attend and learn as much as I am physically able in 48 hrs.  Also, I am going to be meeting with the Director of Children Desiring God, Brian Eaton, while in Louisville to discuss plans for next summer.  Prayer is appreciated for my trip, as well as my interview with Mr. Eaton.

On Sunday, I will make the short trip down to Upland, IN to start my junior year of college at THE Taylor University.  I am excited, and every time I say to someone, “Yeah, it’s hard to believe I’ll be a jun…” I try to catch myself, because it really isn’t that hard to believe.  It feels about right actually.  Being a junior in college doesn’t feel a whole lot different than being a sophomore in college.

Have a good evening.  Thanks for your attention.


Grown men throwing temper tantrums, church kids demanding fairness, a special anniversary, and other random things.

Hey there.  Over the past few days a few things have taken place that I thought were blog worthy, but I just figured I would write a little bit about all of them on one blog post.

First, let’s get this out of the way.  The other night, I was hanging out with my wonderful lady-friend Susie (more to come on her later), and we were watching the Chicago Cubs game.  While we were watching, Carlos Zambrano, a starting pitcher for the Cubs,  gave up a total of five home runs, two of which were back-to-back jacks.  Zambrano, who is famous for his terrible temper, was visibly distressed, and following the back-to-back homeruns, he proceeded to “throw at” Chipper Jones, long-time Atlanta Braves third baseman.  Here’s the video.  The pitch you see on video was the second of such pitches, and the umpire had had enough, and rightfully so, and threw Zambrano out of the game.  Following the ejection, Zambrano cleaned out his locker and told the trainers/personnel in the locker room that he was going to retire.  What a baby.  Here is an awesome story from ESPNChicago.com regarding the disturbance Zambrano is in the Cubs clubhouse.

Seriously.  What a fool.  He has always had temper issues, almost killing Derrek Lee last year, many other, as Bob Brenly, Cubs’ TV announcer calls them, “Big Z moments.”  What a child.  Really?  You’re a 6-foot-5 270+ pounder, and you throw tantrums like my girlfriend’s not-even-two-year-old nephew (but I think Max is better behaved)!

Basically, in my opinion, and in the opinion of nearly everyone in the Cubs’ organization, the Cubs’ need to get rid of Carlos Zambrano, even if it means eating the $23 million left on his salary.  Drop his butt off at an Atlanta bus station and tell him to find work elsewhere.  The guy is an idiot, and not the funny sort of Boston Red Sox idiot.  Ditch him, soon, please.

Next topic, children demanding fairness.  I was working in the children’s ministry at my church this morning, running the sound booth, and I heard a little yell something to the effect of, “Hey!  That’s not fair!”  Now, if you’re a parent reading this, two things:  1)  Stop thinking, ‘Ha, just wait ’til you’re a parent!,’ and, 2) Isn’t it past your bedtime?  It always kinda makes me giggle when I hear kids, or even adults sometimes, demand for something to be fair–particularly, if they’re Christians.  A Christian, really, shouldn’t ever be complaining about something not being “fair.”  Now, this isn’t to say you should not care about justice, but seeking justice and demanding fair treatment are two different things.

See, the problem with demanding fairness, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, and I don’t mean a follower of @jesus on Twitter (recommended, though), is that you have been shown the most unfair act of all eternity.  It is not at all “fair” that you get to spend eternity with Jesus, except for the fact that when God makes the rules, they’re the rules.  If God was truly “fair” with you, you’d be damned to hell.  Bummer.  How about you stop demanding fairness and start showing grace and not giving too much of a care about when things are a bit unfair due to the fact that God was unfair with you.  Unless, of course, you’d like God to be fair with you and send you where your works should be sending you.  Be unfair to others for the glory of God, and stop whining for goodness sake.

Next topic, and my favorite of all.  This past Thursday, I celebrated my one year anniversary dating the amazing Susie Roth.  I am blessed beyond belief and I am incredibly thankful for the encouraging woman she has been to me in the past year.  We went out on a date Friday night, and flowers were in order.

It was a great night celebrating our one year anniversary.  It is so ridiculous to believe that I have been dating her for only one year.  Our first year definitely flew by super fast, but I know here so well that it’s hard to believe we’ve only been dating a year.  We went out to eat at Flat Top and had dessert at DeBrand’s.  It was great.  I love taking Susie on dates.

Small note, Coldplay, arguably my favorite band, will be releasing their new album “Mylo Xyloto” on my birthday, definitely intentional on their part, October 24, 2011.  The first person to get them to come to my dorm on that day and sing me “Happy Birthday” gets a free bear hug.  You know it’s worth it.

I read the Wall Street Journal for the first time the other day.  I really loved it and learned a lot about all things financial and political.  I definitely want to be a subscriber sometime.  Only problem was I read it for upwards of two hours and didn’t finish the whole thing.  I don’t have that kind of time to read the news right now.

Also, as I was reading the Wall Street Journal at Starbucks on Friday, I had my first Americano ever.  I expected it to be stronger than normal coffee, but it wasn’t…  I rather enjoyed it.

Regarding my return to school two weeks from today.  I am rather excited to get back.  However, I’m kinda bummed because I could be ending my last extended stay in Fort Wayne for a long time.  I will be home for Christmas break and such, but I won’t be here next summer as far as I know, and the summer after that I graduate and only God knows where I’ll be, so who knows when I’ll get to spend longer than two or three weeks in the Fort again.  I love this place, and I am going to miss living here badly.  I enjoy everything about it.

I recently stared using a music program called Spotify.  It’s really awesome and I enjoy using it.  Through using Spotify, I have discovered the band Skrillex and the genre “Dubstep.”  I really enjoy this genre, it’s an upbeat techno genre that is great to get pumped up to.

That’s all of the random little things I can think of right now.  I think I am going to go read a bit before I hit the sack.  It’s been fun writing to you tonight.  I hope you got through the angry Zambrano rant and eventually enjoyed the post.  :)  Have a good night.



P.S. It should also be noted that Susie and I both gave each other the same gift for our one year anniversary (outside of the awesome Chicago Cubs experience she gave me), a scrapbook of our first year.  Great minds think alike.  :)