Category Archives: Nathan’s Essays

Beautiful Eulogy – Selected Songs

Amazing message! Praise Yah – all to His Glory!

Enter Wonderland

Today is a little bit different, as I review one of my favorite albums.  To call this a review is generous, as that implies objectivity.  I have no intention of being objective.  My hope with this series is to introduce you to new music, and in response, I hope you will leave your suggestions for me to check out!


I’m not going to pretend to be well-versed in hip hop culture.  I’m not going to offer in-depth analysis or compare their work to others.  What I am going to tell you is that I have never heard an artist that so consistently produces songs that leave me breathless and in awe of God.  Sometimes, it seems they are writing these words straight out of my own life.

The lyrical talents of Braille and Odd Thomas combined with the production of Courtland Urbano combine in this album to create a 44-minute…

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The One for the Screw-Up

Does anyone actually want to go through their 20s again?! No, actually, we want all the wisdom we gained and the physical strength, but we don’t want the growing pains – it’s just tough.

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A canvas from Carnival del Toro, Ciudad Rodrigo 25/2/2017.


When I went to Ciudad Rodrigo last weekend, I was severely tempted to run with the bulls.  To my mothers’ (not a typo, you know who you are) relief, my friends held me back.  Later, with a more clear head, I realized I would have been less of the agile, suave toreador, and more like Munch’s Scream transposed.  Less confidently handling what comes at me, and more terrified cries for help.  I’m not an art critic, but in the original, despite signs of civilization, no one appears to be answering the figure’s call.

I like to think I’m a pretty competent person.  You know, maybe not the best at anything, but alright at a lot of things.  I like to think I can make things work out.

I’m also pretty sure God sees that and laughs.

Last Monday night during discipleship…

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Salamanca: Language and Intercambios

Can a mom’s heart burst with pride, frustration, and worry at the same time?

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Only two weeks late, here’s an update on my life in Salamanca!

Today marks the end of my first month in Spain.  Thus far, it’s been a rollercoster of emotions, which is uncomfortable to hear from a guy, but whatever.  Honestly, there are many days where it’s hard to find the will to get out of bed and face my roommates (who are Mexican, though they speak excellent English).  The largest barrier is language: no amount of mental exercises can prepare you for the difficulty of live in another one.  Living here is giving me a peek into the daily life of an introvert, I do believe.

We’ve all heard those stories, the ones where the stupid American says something funny in another language by accident.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve become the stupid American in too many of those stories.  They started before I left the States, when I told…

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And of These Chains

Enter Wonderland

This is San Juan de Los Reyes, a monastery in Toledo.  On one wall hangs shackles and chains, a monument erected to symbolize the freeing of Christians during the battles of Malaga and Almeria against the Moors.  During this same period, the Spanish monarchy was instigating the Spanish Inquisition.  The irony is as real as the cold, hard bolts that secure them to the wall.

I don’t like to judge persons with the advantage of hindsight, but it seems that perhaps humanity should take more time to introspect.  It isn’t wrong to celebrate the hand that brings freedom, but perhaps we should take care to make sure we aren’t overlooking great injustice in the other hand.

“With a grace that takes the place of chains”

– Disciple, Beautiful Scars

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Giralda

Enter Wonderland

Bell tower of Catedral de Maria Santa de la Sede.  Also known as Seville Cathedral, this is the largest cathedral in the world – though both St. Peter’s in London and the Basilica are larger churches, they are not the seats of bishops and thus, not cathedrals.  I will have a series of posts over the next couple days with stories of my travels and time here in Spain, so keep an eye out for that!

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Diá Cero: Sick in Spain

He made it! Still sick, though – buggers…..

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8:08 am, touchdown in Madrid. After ~12 hours of flight it’s good to put my Chuck’s on solid ground again. Lydia, our coordinator, and Karla, another team member at En Vivo, pick Rachel and I up from the airport. We eat the traditional Spanish lunch of *ahem* pizza and calzones *ahem* for our first meal in Spain, then go to a small coffee chain before hitting the road for Salamanca.

I sleep most of the way there and wake up with un garganta that feels like it went 9 rounds in the boxing ring. Karla drops us off at Rachel’s apartment, then the blitz begins.

Stay awake, beat jet lag. Say “ciao”, not “hola”. Doors lock behind you. Once out opens, twice in double locks. If a car is coming as you cross the street, go, they will yield.

I’m shivering.

Welcome to the plaza. You’ll look like tourists, but…

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Salamanca: One Day More

I take Nathan to Kansas City airport in the morning. Will i cry? yup, can’t help that, but i’m excited and thrilled at his hard earned opportunity.

 

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“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matthew 6:34, NIV

“One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calvary.”

Jean Valjean, Les Miserables


Sometimes I wonder if this icestorm isn’t a godsend. I would probably be much more stressed about leaving for another country if we weren’t blockaded by horrific weather. Instead, I’ve been worrying about whether or not I’ll be ableto leave.

All kidding aside, people often ask if I’m scared or excited for this semester, and since I hate to disappoint, I feed both their vicarious travel dreams and inate fear of the unknown by saying, “both, really.” The more accurate, but far less interesting answer would be neither. Although I am a worrier, I worry about things right in front of me: where’s my next turn to…

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