Home at last is on the horizon – 18/28

“How far we all come. How far we all come away from ourselves. You can never go home again.” – James Agee

It has been sometime since I’ve been home, and honestly I don’t know when I left. This wandering and meandering has left me restless, but not hopeless, for I know that home is on the horizon.

In a way I think there have been many catalysts in my life to get me to a place where I have a feeling of homelessness. I do live in a house, there’s a roof over my head more or less. But the nature of calling it my own, coming home to someone I love, kicking my feet up after a long day of work, cooking for someone I love, loving someone I love…I don’t have that in this season of my life. I could kick down this road called life begrudgingly and write love and all that, but I have hope for what isn’t in my life at this time and I am doing what I can to get there from here. πŸ™‚
That’s what I’ve held on to all these tumultuous years, that has been a big part of what has sustained me despite going through a lot of bullshit, learning things the hard way, and learning things first hand where if I had proper guidance I might not have made some mistakes…but even though it has stunted me in some ways, I’m still fighting, and I will keep on going and I won’t stop to get what I want in this life, and for beginners, a home to call my own.

I can’t say if I will be tied down to a 20 year mortgage, the white picket fence, the whole house owning bit…but I do want the wife and I want some kids of my own πŸ™‚ That by far is home to me.

These things take time, I am aware of that, but what better time to start than now? In some ways, I have already started, and in some other ways I am striving towards that goal. One of my favorite words is teleological – essentially it is the process of getting from here to there, what goals set can be goals made for a desired result. I don’t have all the answers, but I am doing what I can to prepare a way out for me, a way towards having a family, a home for myself.

I can never go home again, but I certainly can make a home for myself, my future wife and children, it will be a new home and it will be our home.

~Nathanael~

Whatever dude; the Epitaph of my and the next generation (debunked) – 17/28

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When I was a youth ministry major 8 years ago I was informed that my generation and the generation afterwards would be very casual, that truth couldn’t be spelled with a capital T, that relativism and all things spiritual would be a touch-and-go matter and as long as values didn’t step on the toes of others “whatever dude” would be the mantra.

I write as one who is a follower of Christ, so if you’re from a different faith system, your input would be nice, because I don’t know your side of the coin as well as you do so please contribute by commenting. πŸ™‚

While I do see that there’s a bit more of a liberal nature to my generation, I don’t see the concerns of my professors truly come to be. The thing is as I consider myself post-Evangelical and more in the Emergent camp than not, and my days when I self-identified as Evangelical don’t come back to haunt me (at least, not too much), the time that I was an Evangelical served me well and was a building block in my faith and not a stepping stone; that is, it helped me to where I am currently and going over a means from one side of the pond to the other, something that doesn’t get looked back upon.

So this “Whatever Dude” approach to my generation to things of God and spirituality? Not necessarily so, in fact I think that if anything my generation is doing what can be engage it more on their terms and not going by “tradition” or “we’ve always done it this way, so why change?” means. There is nothing innately wrong with tradition, but not willing to explore deeper waters and being comfortable closer to the shoreline…not quite what I thought of when Jesus described the nature of following him, or even how Dietrich Bonhoffer put it; When God calls a man [or a woman] to himself, he bids him [or her] to come and die.

Even for those in my generation who aren’t followers of Christ, I see a re-reading of religious texts and it not being read for face value either. My Muslim friends aren’t out to kill me or convert me, there’s an understanding and there’s dialogue, and it goes a lot further any day of the week than debate – whether them to me or I to them. I think my generation has a pretty good handle on talking, and even listening for that matter! I’m proud to hear the questions and conversations happening πŸ™‚ To God be the glory in all things!

Lastly for this “whatever dude” debunked post, there’s the nature of doubting and questioning. I truly believe that doubting and questioning walks hand-in-hand with faith, because if one’s able to sum up the entirety of their belief system in an unflinching manner, that’s belief in the belief system and in many ways faith exits the scene. As a follower of Christ I can only speak on behalf of my brothers and sisters in Christ, so here’s something Jesus told his Disciples prior to him going back to Heaven; John 20:29 – Jesus said to him, β€œHave you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Faith is one of those things you can’t really have a grasp on, you really can’t, but then again that’s why it’s faith. You take your life, your journey, and you take God and matters of faith in faith. I am a follower but I am a doubter and very very much a questioner, and I have faith that God will meet me where I am at, but I also have days where I doubt it. But God is bigger than me, God is bigger than my questions, my doubts, my unanswered prayers and questions…and sometimes, not all the time, I am okay with that. I am okay with a God I don’t believe in inasmuch as I have faith in.

~Nathanael~

Or else; the vague threat that scares me a bit – 15/28

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Or else what? Left to it’s own devices or else is one power packed statement for only two words.

There are many times where subject a has to do insert-item-here and if rebellion ensues an or else statement might be the follow up. But what is the or else? It usually a Pandora’s box of uncertainty, and it is a box you certainly don’t want to unpack! Oh how it’s a scary and tricky phrase, it’s the Dirty Harry make-my-day of phrases that’ll leave you in shock and awe, but probably more in shock.

So my encouragement to you the reader is to read my blog more often, share it with family and friends, you know why?

OR ELSE!

~Nathanael~

//

For the love of Blintzes (but what do I know about love?) – 14/28

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I’m going to be honest, prior to looking up Wikipedia’s entry on blintzes, I had no idea what they were. But it looks good, really good.

I am a fan of breakfast, I really am, but I’m no early riser if I can help it. Thankfully there are places that serve breakfast foods at non-breakfast times! Otherwise I probably could go years without eating some wholegrain waffles with fresh slices of strawberries and whip cream…or blintzes…but thankfully I am a capable and adaptable cook. I do like pancakes, crepes, and latkes. So I guess provided I find a decent blintz recipe I’ll fire up my stove top and make some. πŸ™‚

~Nathanael~

Tales from the Kitchen – 13/18

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There are times where I know what I am doing in the kitchen from the beginning of what I am cooking to the finished project. But sometimes, just sometimes, I’m not as confident in my cooking. Thank goodness for experimentation and unintended consequences of a delicious nature!

For example. The first time I made breaded pork chops was a few months ago. I have made pork chops in a plethora of ways before, by breaded pork chops were uncharted territory. I knew about the egg, the buttermilk, the flour…but seasoning? I didn’t really have a clue! So I added some Indian tandoori powder, some garlic powder, some smoked sea salt and ground ginger. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was also partially worried that some of the seasonings would over power the others, but when all was said and done.
Success!

It was unintended results, but good ones, and sometimes life presents those kind of results and you’ve just got to take them as you get them!

~Nathanael~

The road goes ever on – 11/28

http://southcarolina1670.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/lonesome-highway.jpg?w=420&h=315

I am an autophile and I love to drive, which are good things…except for the fact of gas prices being in flux, but all the while…mile after mile of smiles!

The longest stretches of driving (so far) has been going from Phoenix AZ to Aurora IL in the 1988 Toyota Corolla my grandmother bequeathed to my sister, and the one time I drove from Aurora IL to Nashville TN to spend some time with my sister (which interestingly enough I talked about last time there was aΒ  WeWorkForCheese‘s writing/blogging challenge).

Yet lately the road has beckoned again, but this time it will be different from anything I have ever done. My plan is as follows:
1) Peruse Craigslist in southern states (more than I do)
2) Find me a rust free…
https://i1.wp.com/www.dat280z.com/DSC00079.JPG
3) Make sure it is in working order prior to flying out to…said southern state.
4) Drive it back to IL!

***

Yes, I am a fan of the early Z Cars, and preferably I’d like to pick up a 280Z 5-speed RUST FREE version of this car…but I am wary that salted roads ala winter time in IL might not be conducive to such a rust prone car. One of my better friends drives a Mazda Miata, and as tempting as a rear wheel drive Miata is to me, I’d like a rear wheel drive car of another breed.

I am an ardent reader of the SpeedHunters blog and I get Pavlov Dog-ish when I see properly taken care of Z Cars, cars that look so good despite their age! I too want to be one of those Z Car owners, and I really don’t know if I’d keep it clean and stock, or modify it; as there’s a plethora of aftermarket parts, both keeping with the stock theme but also there are LSx swaps and other engine swaps to give it more bang for ones bucks!

I don’t know yet when I’ll do this, but it’s in the back of mind too much of time and only in the front of my mind sometime. Yet I think it will be a worth while trip, a roadtrip, to find a car of my auto-based dreams and drive it back! πŸ™‚

~Nathanael~

I’ll take my 15 minutes of fame, but from behind the scenes – 9/28

https://i2.wp.com/images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/23900000/Behind-the-scenes-harry-potter-23916632-2560-1707.jpg
(I’d rather be the camera guy in this shot, not the wizard)

There’s a phrase I through out every now and then I’m about to be photographed; I rather photograph than be photographed, and essentially that’s true in other areas of my life.

Fame has been something I haven’t gone for, nor could I really achieve it, but then again I do tout that I will put Aurora IL on the map for something else besides Wayne’s World (yet it has been amusing to go to Canada as well as Mexico and that’s the reference :-)).

I think there are 3 types of people in reference to “fame” – 1) those who don’t have it, but don’t mind it 2) those who don’t have it, but don’t mind that they don’t have it and 3) those who don’t have it but want it and will do whatever it takes to have it! The latter is the fodder of all things reality television, for better or worse, though worse is a selling point and boy does fail sell well!

The closest brush I’ve had with “fame” was when photos from the Chicago Gay Pride Parade circulated and there were a bunch of Christians will signs of I’m Sorry…I hurt you, marginalized you, et al. I was there! My friends are in the photo, but I’m not, and I’m okay with that πŸ™‚ I was happy and encouraged to be there, and God willing this year will mark 4 years of doing so, I don’t need to be in a picture that has been widely circulated to remember of God’s faithfulness and the process of reconciliation and restoration paired with engagement over judgment.

I also think that being behind-the-scenes is a good position for a leader to be in; because when the focus is on the leader and not whatever the leader’s leading, the focus is off and people can be disillusioned into thinking it’s all about the leader and not what the leader is presenting. I recognize this in youth ministry, and while I’m not disillusioned or egocentric about the ministry I’m involved with, I do know it’s not about me and the functionality of the ministry should be Christ-centered and not leader centered, and if I am in the way I will move out of the way.

Andy Warhol might be on to something when he said “in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”, I for one would rather have my fame behind the scenes.

P.S. The humorous side of me would simply love to write the skits for Saturday Night Live, ultimate behind-the-scenes work for their talented writing crew. With that in mind I’d make a “commercial” for that show that goes like this… Are you depressed? Do you like Cheese? From the makers of Viagra infused Cheez Whiz…

πŸ˜‰

~Nathanael~