Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
In the last post we talked a lot about why people get tattoos. But I didn’t mention the primary reason I get tattoos. For me a tattoo is more then anything an expression of who I am at a point in my life. For me the process of getting a tattoo is something like this.
- Inspiration – I often find an image or an idea for a tattoo. If it’s an idea I try to create it with my limited artistic ability.
- Archive – I take these Ideas and archive them in a folder called tattoo ideas. Most of these will never make it on my body
- Meditation – as I live my life I often think about who I am what I’m about.
- Emergence – As life goes on sometimes a tattoo begins to form under the skin. There is a theme in my life that needs to be communicated to me and the world around me in a profound way. The tattoo becomes a part of me, although at this stage it is still invisible.
- Unveiling - This is when the tattoo actually becomes real. I get the ink in my body and the world can see it.
This is all well and good for the time being but after the last post Ed brought up an interesting point.
What happens when devotion changes? What to do when it doesn't mean what it used to? Then is it just like those favorite jeans or old video games that you just keep for the coolness, or for what it used to make you feel like? Things I have thought about, not that I have a problem with tattoos, but was wondering what would one who has many do with this possible outcome?
If you are getting a tattoo because you think it looks cool, or for fun, or for all the reasons we talked about in the last post this is a real issue, however I think if you get a tattoo because it is truly a manifestation of who you are at a given time it can work. You do need to go in with the understanding that this tattoo is simply a snapshot of a moment in life (a pain, a lesson, a devotion, an element of your life that makes you you). It can change, but if we are always afraid of how things will work out in the end we will never move, we become incapable of standing up for anything, taking a risk, or letting the possibility of failure set us free to live our lives.
So this whole time you’ve been asking what any of this has to do with Jesus. I wasn’t even sure myself when I started writing this. All I knew was that every time I got a tattoo I felt close to God, and in that there seemed to be a resonance of the way of Christ.
Jesus’ actions were never motivated by human opinion. The danger of regret about a decision didn’t register anywhere on the radar when he plunged head long into a life that would culminate in his execution. WHY?
Jesus knew who he was, and knew that the only reason for his being here was to be who he had come to be. He got his marching orders from a heavenly call not the cultural expectations of the culture around him. He lived here for a brief time, but in that time he changed everything. He didn’t hold back and lived every moment with his identity and call in mind.
I don’t claim to be anything close to Jesus in my own life. But I do hope to be more like him every day. I want my life to glorify God, proclaim what he has done in my life, and reflect the calling Gad has given me.
Like it or hate it. I feel called to be tattooed. For me it is one of the most profound ways I worship God. As a friend of mine often says to me,
“Your body is the temple of the lord, decorate!”
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I got an E-Mail this morning from a friend and I thought I'd post it and my response. I think it's an important issue to think about.
This is one of those issues about which I am completely torn apart. I know a lot of people reading this will differ greatly so I am asking you guys to respond in love. Thanks!
Hey Billy, this is an email that I sent to Matt, and I think I'd feel comfortable sending it to you to see what you think. All the things I said to/about Matt go for you as well.
On Feb 5, 2008 1:15 PM, Adam somelastname
Hey man, I really don't want this to come of the wrong way, so please don't be offended. I am doing my best to try not to judge, but understand. I have heard more Christians say that they plan on voting democrat this year than I can remember. Most of them are young (18-28).
You and I have talked before about how neither party is all good or all bad, and that the goals of each are probably mostly good - with one exception. Abortion.
I do know that the Prez has little impact on policy when it comes to abortion. The line of thought right now, is that the judges appointed by the Prez will have more of an impact than the Prez (I completely disagree for a whole host of reasons. Judiciary isn't supposed to make law, and I don't see any majority of conservative judges overturning Roe V Wade anyways...to name a few.) The real way to end abortion is a change in heart that leads to a change in policy, probably not the other way around.
That change in heart is a big deal. That is why I have a very hard time understanding how pro-life Christians can put someone in office that not only supports abortion in general, but voted for partial-birth abortion (Obama).
(note from Adam: I made a mistake. Obama didn't vote against the partial birth abortion ban from what I gather, he publicly opposed the ban. I don't think he was in the U.S. senate at the time.)
Even if the president does nothing about abortion his entire term, the fact that the top leader in our country supports life or murder is a big deal. It kinda shows that the people of this nation actually care about it.
I know that abortion is not the only issue, but isn't it the most important? I am probably the most politically nerdy person that I know, and I care about all issues of politics (domestic, economic, foreign policy, health care, social justice, etcetera). I think that taxes are an important part of a politicians platform. But if there was a politician that i disagreed with on taxes, military, and virtually all issues except abortion, basically a pro-life democrat, I think I would have to vote for them if there was no pro-life alternative.
I know that abortion matters to you, and you are on of the only people with the views that you have (Christian and democrat) that I feel like I can ask this question. Some people are easily offended and many people feel judged if questioned.
I just want to let you know that I respect you as a Christian man, and that you have continually challenged me in a positive way. I admire the work that you are doing and the fact that you will stand on your principles even when it might not be easy. Please let me know what you think about this.
“The real way to end abortion is a change in heart that leads to a change in policy, probably not the other way around.”
I agree completely
In other things I think I have a bit of a different focus.
I have a very very serious problem voting for a pro-choice candidate; however I also have a very serious problem voting for McCain. I’m really torn on this one.
(side note: I’m so thrilled that Mitt is out. He was the one that really scared me. McCain just scares me a little.)
In my humble opinion the most important step we can take on the abortion issue is creating a world where people don’t feel as If they need to abort the baby. We’ve begun changing public attitude, but I think if we want to see dramatic drops in the numbers of abortions being preformed (the point of all this right?) we should look at programs that are helping keep children fed, healthy, and cared for. These sorts of programs are often cut along with the taxes in republican plans. Cutting subsidized child care, school food programs, health care, and other programs designed to help families that would struggle without them can lead to higher abortion rates. Cutting these programs often hit lower class minorities just working their way above the poverty line the hardest, and coincidentally it’s in these areas that abortion rates are disproportionately high.
I always found this graph to be interesting… the first dramatic downturn in numbers came with a pro-choicer…
I still don’t know where my conscience will lead me… probably third party or write in. These are just some thoughts.
here is what my friend matt had to say
I have looked at it, but I haven't had time to respond well. I'm extraordinarily busy and my "Followup" email folder is 31 emails long, so I have a lot to get through. Basically, however, my point would be that single-issue voting is a terrible idea. I tried it with Bush (for abortion, even), and as a result our nation is at "war" with a concept (as much as some people try to justify it, "terrorism" is not a country for us to declare war on, but being "at war" has been used to justify endless acts of government impropriety), we've lost significant civil liberties, we're trillions more dollars in debt, education has been cut and new education initiatives have been introduced that have significantly (negatively) impacted the quality of American education, we're further separated from our international allies, we're occupying another country, and nothing has changed about abortion. People told me then that single-issue voting was a bad idea, and I didn't listen, and I've since learned to listen to that viewpoint; i've also looked into how much impact the president has on abortion, and how much he has on other things, and I've learned that his impact on abortion is small and his impact on economics, education, war, foreign relations, public health and security and freedom, and other vital things that are going down the hole right now is HUGE. So I'm going to vote based on those, not based on something he has little to no impact on.
I guess that's a decent response. The response I had hoped to write would have had my research better cited, but I think you at least can get where I'm coming from. :)
Thanks to Charlie... he posted a really interesting response in the comments section check it out!