Churchill: Imperfect Man, but a Man with a Mission

December 19, 2007

I just finished reading a biography on Churchill and was fascinated to learn a ton about a man who I previously knew nothing about. I only knew of Churchill the strong Prime Minister who stood up and made a country believe they could defeat the Nazis.  I had no idea of Churchill the soldier, writer, the loser (in elections), the spendathrift, and the painter.

Yet by far the most intriguing part of Churchill’s life is seeing how all of his prior failures and experiences played a part in shaping the man who was ultimately THE statesman of the 20th century.  Churchill’s finest days were undoubtedly in the crisis of the century, WWII.  He would later describe how he felt,

“All my past life had been a preparation for this hour and this trial and I was sure I would not fail.”

This, from a man who had failed quite frequently (especially in WWI as an officer).  Churchill was not perfect.  But he was never afraid to believe in his abilities and to lead others.  I love how the author summed it up:

Churchill had many faults but he had great virtues; courage, a clear sense of right and wrong, a determination not to compromise with tyranny, a belief that right would triumph in the end. Above all, he had a willingness to lead, to take the initiative in this fast-spreading war and fight it out to the end.


Why I Write…And Why I Want to Write More

December 4, 2007

Reading this post by Fred Wilson made me think about writing.

I’ve always been a writer. Check that – I’ve always liked to write. Growing up, I don’t think I realized what a unique trait this is. Now that I’m in the working world, I’m amazed at how many people simply hate to put thoughts to paper. To me, it’s always come fairly easily. And I’m only beginning to understand just what a blessing this is.

As much as I love to write, I’m definitely not a writer. You see, I’ve tinkered with the idea of trying to formalize my passion for scribing into something that would loosely be called a profession. But the idea of writing for someone else, on their timetable, has always been completely unappealing.

I’ve found that the joy of writing, for those who’ve tried, is that it unlocks passions and emotions that one doesn’t always experience in the commotion of everyday life. In my day to day life, thoughts bounce around my head like the Mexican jumping beans that make up the static on your TV set. It’s hard to make sense of static.

But then you put pen to paper or fingers to keys, and a picture begins to appear. Perhaps it’s faint. But after dealing with static for any length of time, even a faint picture is at once exhilirating and unfulfilling, as it leaves the creator wanting more.

Blogging has become a means of relieving static in many people’s lives. It’s why I started this blog. And now blogging’s evolved, and original writing is enhanced by pictures, videos, links, quotes – any and all types of media which help to tell our story. Which is why I have this tumblog.

It’s not always easy. Many times I can’t figure out what in the world I want to write about. The things that are worth dedicating real energy to – faith, love, life itself – are so precious that I don’t want to lessen them by giving anything less than my best.

It’s then that I realize what I’ve known all along – It’s not about getting everything buttoned up or every point covered or the absolute perfect tone.

I’ll leave that to the writers.


Jason Ray: Life Lived to the Full

October 16, 2007

Many Carolina fans remember the Tar Heels loss to Georgetown in last year’s NCAA basketball Elite 8.
Yet true Tar Heel fans also know that the loss paled in comparison to the tragedy of a few days prior, when Jason Ray was hit by a car and lost his life.  Ray was the “man behind the mask”, serving as UNC’s fabled mascot Ramses.

As news spread of the accident, there were numerous accounts of Ray which all painted him in the same light – as a giant of a man who had a unique air about him.

ESPN has composed an incredible look at Ray and the many lives that were changed forever through his death.  The piece is excellent, and worth the 20-30 minutes it will take to read the whole thing.

As I read the article yesterday, I was overcome with a deluge of emotions.  I never knew Jason Ray personally, though I found out soon after the accident that we attend the same church in Durham and that one of his roommates is an acquaintance of mine from UNC.  The article is incredible, though, because by reading it you get such a powerful look at Ray and who he really was.  He was a man who lived life to the full, compelled by his faith, and was committed to sharing this life with others.  In the end, that’s exactly what he did.


Thoughts from a Labor Day Weekend

September 4, 2007
  • The Bourne Ultimatum lived up to the hype. If you haven’t seen it yet, see it. If you’re not familiar with the story line, read this, and then go see it. You’ll be entertained.
  • David beating Goliath never gets old. Watching the blocked field goal amidst a crowd of exuberant Mountaineers at Champps was pretty awesome.
  • I heart Butch. It feels good to win games by 20+ points in Kenan. Something tells me things in two years may be even more interesting.
  • I’m ready for those patented North Carolina “crisp October nights”. I can feel the weather turning, and the next two months should be excellent.
  • If you go to Costco, buy some of their chicken salad. It’s life-changing.
  • Cheering for James Blake is like eating family style at Maggianos – you know it’ll be time well spent, but 3 hours later, your stomach will hurt and you’ll be completely drained.
  • When Tiger’s in the chase, it’s must see TV. When Tiger is chasing Phil, it doesn’t get any better.
  • Putting up a tile backsplash in your kitchen can be messy, grueling, and altogether miserable.

Drywall

  • Putting up a tile backsplash in your kitchen builds character and is completely satisfying.

Final Product


Summer Beach Bumming

August 27, 2007

Tracy and I have been fortunate enough to have taken 3 different trips to beaches over the last 5 weeks, with both sides of our family and some great friends from college. Add these trips to our unreal California trip this summer, and you have quite a bit of time spent near the coast. I have to say, it’s been amazing.

Outer Banks with the Mansfieldsmansfield-beach.jpg

Myrtle with the Millers/Huitsingszack-jacob-small.jpg

Atlantic Beach with the Applegates, Walkers, and Iveysapplegate-beach-group.jpg

The summer has absolutely flown by. I can’t believe September is almost upon us. If its going this fast right now ( and it does feel like it’s flying by) how fast will it be many years later when there’s much more to worry about/care for/do/see/experience? Guess we better take time to stop and let it all soak in.