Purpose - Direction - Faith

A single thing worth fighting for

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is our President a Muslim?

I usually disdain from posting something like this.

However, if you are a Christian, and you honestly believe our president is a Muslim, and base this off his rhetoric and affiliations with the muslim culture. Please stop and think about this. I am a Christian and I value exposure to other cultures and religions.

If we are to love our neighbors regardless of race, class, religion etc how can we do anything less then "reach out" in friendship and unity to other religions. If you believe this isn't possible, as it would contradict your own faith. I would encourage you to re-evaluate the principals you believe in. Through perseverance of faith are we made perfect and complete, learning about the world and other religions and befriending them, ie Loving them, does not threaten our faith in Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 - Something(s) to remember

Its been a while since I've written in this blog. I would imagine this just reinforces that paradigm that blogging is a state of mind, and that one only blogs for specific purposes relevant to the season of life they are in. Regardless of reasoning, as i feel is a constant theme in my life, blogging and indeed the events of 2010 have transpired quite wonderfully. Being used by God to teach me in one way or another equivocally for my benefit. And as 2011 rises on the horizon its with better judgment that i feel the need to reflect on the year, and document those lessons and events which have shaped and continue to shape me, according to God's purpose for my life.

So, in authentic fashion, i'll take a moment to spill out in one attempt words that capture 2010 in my life.

The year started with good friends and good community, much as it is ending. Although the cast is different it in no way undermines the impact each has had on me. January was cold, filled with my first trip to Whistler and first attempt at skiing. I was hitting the gym and swimming in an overly chlorine filled pool. My spirit was adrift in this careless prideful desire to make my life worth something. I read the book called the "Futureist" a biography on the life and times of James Cameron. I was lost somewhere in Pandora and filled my mind with visions of greatness and successful, or fame and fortune. It was in this spirit that i lost sight of my life. I wandered admist the dreamers of Hollywood and couldn't see my own two feet.

February brought me back down to the ground. Riding the wave of regular trips to China for work, my body suffered. The bags under my eyes proved it. I edited fun videos of China, friends, and Disney movie sing-a-longs that will remain unnamed. I repp'd the American flag in Vancouver BC and met a very wonderful person. According to my nature, I miss-understood the purpose of this person in my life and this took me through March. Spring was knocking on the door and cherry blossoms were blooming. I was being exposed to the beautiful of the world seem through an artistic eye, preferably the lens of a Canon MkII.

April brought somber reality. One could say the April showers hit. I sat, metaphorically speaking of course, in the rain waiting for someone to tell me it wasn't raining. Life seemed to be crashing down in all areas. I was learning the lesson of patience, but was enacting it in the wrong area of life. As May knocked on the door, patience seemed to be painful as I realized my Ironman race was weeks away. With one last trip to China this month, along with a feeble attempt to use Chinese workout equipment I knew i was NOT ready for this.

June brought the sun. I picked up a friends camera, and thanks to some inspiration from a very wonderful person. I brought it to a friends wedding. My friends were slowly leaving me for better "roommates" indeed the best kind. With one last hurrah, what I called "Hell week" i tried to get ready for the race. I finished out the month with the race, by far the most difficult experience of my life. But more importantly a great life experience to quality the term perseverance.

July was hott. Yes with two T's. People getting married, videography starting to take off. Who knew i could make something that brought people to tears? So fullfilling. A great life? Life of greatness? Seattle's the new Hollywood anyways. Spent the fourth among friends, fireworks and a great view. Community was changing, but not for better or worse.

August was about committment. A trying period of time. I partnered with Phil to read the bible in a year. It was a long deep conversation in his, newly waxed, truck. After a few more weddings I realized i had something going. Finishing the month with a trip to Alaska and a, in all respects straight up appreciation and fascination with the last frontier. I'll be back (i think in May).

September was trying. It started with the first of many trips to China. Consequently missing out on the Fall in Seattle. Major bummer. I caught up on editing, learned some more chinese and passed out snickers, coke, and cookies to a factory full of Chinese girls. Life's little pleasures. My house filled with new guys. They kind of bonded without me while i was gone, solid guys none the less. The house was starting off on a good foot, Christ center'd and intentional.

October was a big reminder. I turned 25. Some would say old. Yeah. I flew back from China on my birthday, first ever 36hr birthday. Quite fun, minus the 18hours of travel. Celebrated in Ballard, will never have a rum and coke again now. Added a few more notches to the filming belt. Holloween was nice, aside from the 6am flight to China. Oh and I dressed up as a double rainbow. Very difficult to maneuver on the dancefloor.

November was a month of revelation. From people in my life, what purposes they really play. How remarkably blessed I really am. A clear sense of direction. God showed up alot in November, filling in those "what the heck is going on" times. Often sitting me down in the living room and, over a crackling fire, speaking through my roommate on just how I have it wrong with my life, or at least how I perceived it. I know this, but as I get older in life, I will see November 2010 as an important month. Alot of my life feel into their places, really the spring ending.

December brought Joy. So much to be thankful for. Loving family, a niece on the way, amazing community, great friends, convicting holy spirit, beautiful God. I went to NY, dressed as a Santa among others, I tried new things, stepped out. I prayed. I danced. I cared.

So here I am. Still living one year later. I'm still me, but not. Still learning, but have learned so much. I'm not day dreaming in Pandora, but I am video editing. My heads not in California, or stuck on some girl. Its on my Lord and creator, and the things he puts in my life. Its remarkable. Even now, after just writing this. Remember who i was, how i felt, through each of the last twelve months, i can see His hand. Its holding my head. Caring for me.

Thank you so much for walking me through the pain, the joy, and the life that happens inbetween. Thanks for 2010.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Gchat conversation with Kyle Doherty

Three hour layover in Taipei.

Don't ever focus on the bad and choose to see only the despair in life. Its easy to do, I know. We're conditioned to choose this fate. It comforts us, in a very intrinsic and deep level, when we are confronted with the grace of Christ. Grace is a pill we easily choke on, because we are sinful creatures. The weight of this existence weighs heavily on our morality when we come face to face to a life devoted to God. As a result we cower, we see the bad, we choose, albeit unknowingly, to live in constant reminder of the inadequacy of ourselves.

Here's something. Thats selfish.

"We rob Jesus of glory when we do that too, cause we are basically saying, Sorry Jesus, your death wasn't good enough to save me, there needs to be something more" - Kyle Doherty

Humble ourselves not only to God, Christ, but to our own misgivings. Choose to see His glory. Its a choice, an action, one to be made continually as an act of faith to our creator. Don't live the lie of inadequacy, because you aren't being honorable, you're being selfish, trying to satisfy your own sinful condition, justifying it on some level. Don't. Jesus died for you, don't waste that. Always live into the freedom and love that He gave to us by dying on the cross.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ramblings from China - Unedited

Warning: This is entirely a uncensored thought explosion while bored and awaiting progress on a production line in China.

I wish I could live my life like it is right now for a while. I don't want to freeze time, but I'm not exactly in a hurry to get on to the rest of my life. I mean, lets take a look at what I have got going on for myself. I'm in the middle of my twenties, by far some say, the funnest years you will ever have. I'm young and energetic, I've got a healthy body capable of much more then I probably give it credit for. I have an undoubtedly amazing community of friends and family. I really can't say that enough. I live with and have lived with (as most just got married) stellar and genuine guys. These are the type of friends I know will be in my life when I'm into my 50's and 60's. I live in Seattle, a place unbeknownst to the whole world, otherwise they all would move here. I'm financially independent, I can pursue hobbies and interests as I develop my passions. These not restricted to, wedding videography, artist, music consoler (spelling?), goof ball, friend, son, brother - my life is really amazing right now. God's given me so much and I'm blessed in so many ways. I don't know understand why it has to move on with? At least for another year or two? Please God?
You may be asking why I'm venting this out right now. Well its my family. I've kind of always been use to my family dynamic all my life, maybe thats cause i grew up in it. But well, its ALWAYS consisted of my beautiful and loving mother, quick witted and courageous, always a hard worker, my diligent father - who will build a house during the weekends while working a full workweek. My brothers, who lived close enough to catch a movie or visit at church..…alright. Well I'm really avoiding writing down what is really bothering me.

Here is it.

People are getting older, and things are changing. Have you ever thought about your childhood? Your house? What it looked like when you came home from school? What your room looked like? How it felt to have your mom kiss you good night? Do you remember your brother harassing you, and then being the older brother and looking out for you? Remember high school? The soccer fields? The lunch room and sitting on the tables when they continually asked us not to? Remember what it felt like to make your parents proud..…the list goes on.

They are memories. I can never get back to them. I'll never see, feel, experience those things again. Its sad. They helped make me. They are so important. Yet they happen only once. It's a heavy weight that lays on my heart when i ponder these things.

Time won't rewind, won't stop, and won't slow down - regardless of how much I plead with it. Things move forward. "You will never be here again." I heard that in a movie, i think it was Troy. Funny, such a good quote from a mediocre movie. Its true though.

I will never be here again.

Swallow that Alec. I could end this with the standard cape diem. Something insightful to get us to savor life more, to live it to the fullest and enjoy it. I'm not going to though. I would not pay homage to what i am feeling right now. Rather I will leave you with this,

Try. If you can, to re-imagine your life as something that is vanishing. Its somber, i know. But rather then fall victim to your discouragement, CHOOSE to live into that title. Your life is disappearing, indeed moving towards eternity with God, but in the meantime, is vanishing. Feel the weight of loss in that, and grip your life. Ha i guess seize the day. But don't do it out of some stereotypical motto that has no foundation in emotion, or your soul. Seize it out of desperation - a source of motivation that only arises when we are faced with the end, the harsh truth - you will never be here again. Time to live or die. Push yourself to the limits of fear of uncertainty, and embrace the unknown, find that inner strength that quality of character that God has so lovingly endowed us with. Once you have found that, live! Use that strength to overcome your fear, good over evil, humble over the proud, build your life! One wonderful beautiful memory and experience at a time.

I hope you can see what I'm saying. Course I did give a disclaimer. We'll see if I post this.

Friday, September 3, 2010

An Alaskan Adventure

How ridiculous is my life? I am so blessed.

First off, let me just say my boss rocks. She really looks out for me, as it was her who suggested that I go on this trip. So props to Laura for being the world's best boss. Truth be told, I am getting ahead of myself. Okay.

I spent 8 days in the Alaskan wilderness outside of Healy, AK. Which, if you don't know where that is, which you probably don't because I went to school with more people then live in that town....anyways its about a two hour drive south of Fairbanks (I can make it in 1.5hrs, just ask Eric Porter). This was the most epic camping trip i've been on, not just because of the amazing surroundings, but I had the chance to work with some of the most sick downhill mountain biking pros. I was the tech guy for my company's camera, which may sound geeky, but there's nothing geeky about;

1. Hiking 2-3 hours a day to remote locations.
2. Drinking more beers in one week then I had all year.
3. Learning the trade with the most professional pros.
4. Learning what a tundra wookie means.
5. Watching Eric Porter tailwhip a MTB bike off a bar. Yeah.

The trip was legit, I met a bunch of rad guys, including a 6 foot 5 kewi from New Zealand. They aren't as bad as people say, all bark and no bite, the guy was legit. All in all, the trip was a success and we got done what we needed, mostly on the last day too. AND I'm stoked to say I got paid to be there, so could I have it any better? I don't think so.

Anyways, I got the chance the use my interval controller with my 5D while I was there. Course I didn't bring a battery charger, so the time lapses aren't as long as I'd hope, but whatever the edit is cool. Check it out.

Alaskan time Lapses from Alec Cattarin on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Female Sailors

I've heard stories. Things people do to help them get through the work day. After all, we don't live in Spain and get a siesta in the middle of the day. Regardless. I deviated from my normal routine of teriyaki chicken and bought a sandwich, coke and newspaper for lunch. And then I walked.

Kind of had this image in my head of a grassy hill overlooking the sound. I mean, I work at Denny and Western, two blocks off Elliot Bay. Well, needless to say, in about ten minutes I found said hill, and said view. And it was marvelous.

In 30 seconds, bare feet were out, my pant legs were rolled up, top two buttons of my shirt undone, and I officially had transformed from work attire to Saturday morning basking in the sun attire. I laid back on my elbows, looked around at the Sculptures surrounding me, smiled, and unfolded my newspaper.

Ten feet down the hill, some guys were strumming and singing some worship songs (how cool is that!) I found myself singing along to "Yes Lord" without even realizing it. Got to chat it up with the guys over a cool convo of trying to remember the words to "Blessed Be Your Name". Nice guys. Pretty inspiring evangelism.

Read some not so great news articles, surprise surprise. Think tomorrow I'll bring my book instead. Luckily i caught an article in the NW Weekend on Sailing in the San Juan islands. Story was on this tall ship called the Zodiac that was taking women out for three day excursions to learn how to sail. Kind of wish I was a girl.

Why do I mention all of this? Simple. Its memorable. A means to enjoy and take advantage of something otherwise uneventful and dull. Work is a wonderful place…to work. Not to live. Sometimes we need that siesta in the middle of the day, to remember that we only work at work. Life was outside today, among female sailors, tall works of art, and passionate talented Christians. Not to mention a sandwich with a little too much ketchup :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eckhart Tolle

Came across Eckhart Tolle just now. A friend posted on facebook a link to a video of Jim Carrey describing his spiritual discovery through Eckhart. Nothing against Eckhart, I think he has some very powerful ideas and perspective on life.

But after reading through his site a little, I couldn't help get the picture of him and his teachings being a sort of "answer" or "savior" for people. How HIS teachings are the key to the meaning of life. I couldn't help think that people will inevitably come to see him as a role model for this type of teaching.

Eckhart's teaching require the individual to experience and maintain or strive for a, lack of a better term, enlightened point of view of life. THIS focus is on the individual and their capacity. Which unless the person is perfect will never suffice. Even Jim Carrey was quoted with conveying his need to get back to that frame of thought. This leaves the individual in a constant or at least inconsistent state of contentment.

The reality is we aren't perfect and never will be. To maintain this perspective of enlightenment isn't possible (some may beg to differ - that is fine). But the world will time and time again distract us, pull us back, and ultimately keep us from maintaining this "enlightenment". We just don't have the capacity to do it. Whats left then? An individual in a state is frustration and disappointment at their inability to maintain this. While these emotions may not be exhibited so cut and dryly, they will still work against the overall quality of life as the person sees it.

Simply put, we can't rely completely on ourselves to achieve a blissful state of life where one understands the meaning of life or is detached from the world (as Carrey describes it). And through extension, we cannot hold up someone like Tolle as the man with the answers. Cause I would be willing to bet, that he suffers from the same hardships we do.

I think what he teaches has alot of worth to living a happy life. But to depend on it as the purpose and meaning to life. To strive for it as religiously as he promotes, isn't healthy.

I am happy to know that as a believer and follower of Christ. I do not depend on myself, but Christ. What that looks like may be argued and ultimately used to express contradiction by others in what I say. So be it. However, I acknowledge that I am broken, that I am a horrible person at times. That I cannot maintain this perfect relationship with Christ or in parallel the type of enlightenment that Tolle talks about. BUT the key here is the word grace. I don't deserve the relationship, the communion. I don't deserve the enlightenment, the knowledge of the purpose and meaning of life. However, God loves, He loves me, and through Christ STILL enters into relationship with me. Embracing grace is the key to life, in MY opinion.

If I am left thinking I deserve the meaning of life or any kind of enlightenment, then I will be really upset with myself or the world when my problems don't go away. No matter HOW differently I look at them.

Pain is pain people. Watching you mother die of cancer sucks the same for the atheist, the christian, and even the "Tollite"