Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Call for Transparency...

With everything that's been taking place on campus this week, there have been a lot of questions posed, with very little answers given.

Some of us are scared of what lies ahead. Some of us are invigorated by the opportunity to start all over.

Now matter what end of the spectrum we fall on, there is one common thought amongst all of us...


In a matter of three days, THREE DAYS, our fate was decided for us.

Sure these issues didn't just pop up over the weekend like a bad rash; they had been building for quite some time.

But keep in mind this was a decision made by a board of directors that none of us, at least to our knowledge, had the pleasure of ever meeting, let alone the opportunity to state our case.

Do not be fooled. This was a tough decision for them, to be sure, but it wasn't made with the best interests of the students of TUFW in mind. It was made for

Let's call it like it is.

We don't speak these words out of bitterness, We speak them out of what little understanding we have of the situations that have been brought to light.

It's still too early in the game to fully comprehend and understand what's happened, all the reasons for why it happened, and who really benefits the most from what's happened.

But since we haven't been given any answers as of yet, we'll let their words and actions speak for them.

First, we wish to point you towards the
Chronicle-Tribune of Grant County...

Dr. Steve Bedi, provost of Taylor University, said the move will probably mean student growth in [the] Upland campus, and will help the university reach its 2016 goal of 2,500 students...

So wait, Taylor University Fort Wayne is was expandable? We knew we could find some sort of good out of this whole situation, but we didn't think about the benefits this could have for Upland. Wow, how selfish of us to not keep that in mind.

We could look at it this way, the closing of TUFW makes funding for Upland's new building projects a little easier.

Oh wait, you didn't know about those?...

Plans for a vast extension of the Nussbaum Science Center are currently under way. The proposed building extension will more than double the current size of the Nussbaum Science Building.

Doubling the size of an already adequate building is usually a good plan when another campus has been financially bringing you down.

And don't forget, it can get pretty cold in Upland...

Research is being conducted to assess the usefulness and functionality of a tunnel which would act as a campus backbone for fiver optics and other utilities. Additionally, this tunnel would be a prime pedestrian route in unfavorable weather...

We understand that we're students of the Fort Wayne campus and all, so it maybe it's just beyond our own comprehension, but that sounds like a pretty fancy tunnel.

In another article describing the ambitious science center...

Yet this building is no typical building project and it reflects much of what is distinctive about Taylor University...Our attention to value engineering opportunities, that is, to more economical ways of achieving the same goal, reflect our stewardship of material resources...

One campus is floundering in financial ruin because of poor decisions and the inability to act in a timely manner. Another campus continues its steady growth in elaborate facilities while closing down the previous campus.

Yep, sounds like good stewardship to me.

Lastly, we want to point out the "real" reason our campus is being closed down...

...the university’s president announced Monday, citing a poor business model and a “downward spiral” of enrollment as the chief causes...

Poor business model? Well, who's fault was that? Wasn't TUFW a part of
Taylor University as a whole?

Who implemented the business model? Where are the decisions regarded TUFW ran through? Oh yes...the answer to those questions is simple: Taylor University Upland.

It was Upland's job to put someone in place to run this campus in a way that was "financially viable". They did that. It was just eight years too late.

Giving Dr. Kilty two years to turn this campus around, when it was already apparent for many years prior that we were on the downslope, was poor, inexcusable management.

"Whelp, we bought you with the intention of making money off of you, but that didn't work out. So, see ya later..."

As for the "downward spiral" of enrollment? Didn't this year see a huge leap in freshmen enrollment? Weren't there some positive, money-making ideas floating around the campus?

This whole semester we were led to believe of some major improvements taking place around TUFW.

Honestly, this semester had been one of the most encouraging and exciting ones for me, in light of all that was going to be taking place here. Unfortunately, we were never given enough time to prove our worth to

We understand that we may come across as "whiney, immature reactionaries" in all of this, and you would probably be right in labeling us as such.

In fact, it may even come across as hypocritical, seeing that I, Jared, wrote a post for the school's student blog, extolling the virtues of not becoming bitter and understanding that God will see us through the troubles we are now faced with.

We both still believe that. We truly do.

But God did not cause TUFW to close. We don't believe He had this plan in place all along. Did He know it was going to happen? Of course. Did He WANT it to happen? We can't imagine why, though we are not privy to His thoughts.

This was a result of men and women. The closing of TUFW was the decision a board of directors made. We believe they were sincere and good-intentioned in their search for answers, though we are not pleased one bit with their decision given the evidence that this was NOT an unavoidable outcome.

Before you even say it, we know.

We weren't in those meetings. We don't have all the facts before us. We don't know the statistics. We don't understand the business side of it.

Yada yada yada...

You're right. We don't know. And THAT is the problem. We are calling for transparency in this matter.

Complete and utter transparency.

We deserve that.

TUFW deserves that.

Jared Murray and Tyler Morningstar

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm just saying...

At times in my life, I can be a pretty cynical human being.

I think I've seen, heard, and done enough things to make any good Christian boy question the motives of most people.

About a year and a half ago I took my jr. high youth group to a three day conference at Anderson University called Believe.

They had a featured artist. His name was Robert Pierre. He was fourteen years old.

The kid could definitely sing, but I was more embarrassed than I was impressed by him. Over the course of the next three days the event staff deemed Robert's talent decent enough to force feed us his songs, commercials, and music videos.

Reason #47 why I have such a disdain for the Christian subculture: Robert Pierre's music video...

Someone please put this kid in little league and get him a girlfriend.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Guilt vs. Freedom

I read this article today on

It's funny that this topic has been popping up in a lot of what I read lately, because it's one that I've been contemplating in my own life the last few months. Then again, maybe I'm just drawn to the idea itself.

Either way, some things that stick out to me:

"We [Christians] feel guilty if we stay out too late on Saturday and sleep through church on Sunday morning. We feel guilty if the physical components of our relationships with our girlfriends or boyfriends 'go too far.' We feel guilty if we don’t give money to the Church or spend the right amount of time in prayer. Unfortunately, many believers are driven to do these things—pray, tithe, attend church, remain sexually pure—by a rabid sense of duty."

I agree with this statement in the sense that many of us DO do these things out of a sense of guilt, but where I may want to stress understanding is that we can not let this thinking divert us from holy living as well.

There have been many times in my own life when knowledge, or what I perceive to be the truth, has afforded me the opportunity to exercise my sinful nature, just because I was telling myself I shouldn't do the opposite out of guilt. Sometimes guilt can be a good thing, at least in the sense that it motivates us to no longer continue in what is making us guilt ridden.

Too often though, we can allow our guilt to stiffen our actions; whereupon it becomes this apathetic, dry religion that we claim, instead of the passion filled, adventurous faith we can live.

To sum this post up, I can think of no better way than to leave you with the author's final paragraph:

"It seems a passionless faith may be one reason so many find our faith unattractive and disingenuous. We must revive the great idea of our great God. We must rediscover the great commission and great commandment. We must pursue a passion-driven Christianity. If our faith is to become a transformative, redemptive power within the culture, we need to flee guilt-driven, duty-centered puppetry and call down a passion for the great idea of the Gospel."


Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Edition of Push Ups Different From All Other Editions...

Having pretty much taken the whole summer off from posting, I've decided it's high time to get things going here at PUSH, and to kick us off, we're going to hit the ground running with a new feature.

At the end of each week, I'll post the top links that Tyler and I have come across in the previous days. Some of these items may be informative, while others could just be there for our own random amusement. Either way you slice it, I'm in charge of this blog, and you are not; so you'll take it.

Without further ado, I give you the first installment of Push Ups. (Because our name is PUSH, get it????)

  • Burnside had this to say and I can't say I find much to disagree with...

That's it for this week. Tune in next time.

Oh, we'll feed you, baby birds...


Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yes, we are back. Sorry it took so long! Jared and I got really caught up with what we were doing with our jobs and what not that Push had to take a backseat but hopefully we'll be back and up and running more smoothly and frequently as the school year gets closer to starting.

Anyway, I put up a post for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because I just wanted to make sure you all knew we were still alive and that Push is also still alive.

The second reason is because I was thinking that we never really got the type of community interaction we were looking for. Like we've said from the very beginning, we want you guys to submit things to us whether it's on Facebook or email. That way we can make them actual posts and give you credit to your ideas and make this a "community" type of blog as opposed to just two guys that blab the whole time. So with that said, please add some style to the blog! Add some of your creativity and thoughts! Let's try to mix things up a bit that way Jared and I don't feel like we have to come up with something new and awesome every week or whatever.

The third and last reason I made a post was because I wanted to share something that I read that really hit my heart and I'm not going to go into detail about what I think about it. I'm just going to share it and I'd like to know you're first reactions and thoughts and hopefully it will spark a discussion. My first reaction was sympathy for the man that said it, shame for the church, and a sudden determination to make that type of alienation terminate forever.

What I read was from the book What's So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey and in this book he (Yancey) was talking to a gay man for awhile and then he turned to Yancey and said, "It's easier for me to find sex on the street than it is to get a hug in a church?"

What do you think about that?


Thursday, May 22, 2008

This is why I'm hot...

I had a dream this morning that the world was coming to an end. For some unknown reason, the Earth had been knocked off its orbit and thrown closer towards the sun. As a result, we were all gonna burn.

In that dream, I prayed wholeheartedly that God would spare us from our impending doom. I think I may have even cried. It just seemed completely contradictory to what Revelations talked about. I actually remember feeling kind of mislead, as if God had somehow swindled me like an infomercial guru.

The most vivid detail I can recall was getting down on my knees and praying like it was about to go out of style.

Imagine the joy in my heart when I opened my eyes and I was laying in my bed.

Now, do I thank God for answering my prayer, or should I just shrug it all off on the count of my silly imagination and fears?

I won't lie, I've thanked Him multiple times already.

I think He appreciates that.


Monday, May 19, 2008

God...So Easy A Caveman Could Do It...

I guess I can just come right out and say it...

I have a short fuse when it comes to people using God.

Now, we all in some fashion use God for our own purposes from time to time, myself especially. What gets to me though, is when we use Him for insurance purposes, like those neanderthals from the Gieco commercials.

When there's an accident.

When there's trouble on the horizon.

When it's convenient.

Don't get me wrong, God wants us to go to Him when we are unsure and in need of guidance. It just seems to me that, at least in my own life, it happens more out of convenience as opposed to necessity. Ultimately I NEED to engage God, but WHEN I engage Him is something I exercise at my own will.

I think God intended for it to be this way, but it creates some issues.

How do we, here on this Earth, ascertain the meaning behind other people's actions? How can we identify their intentions? It's cliche, yet true, that we can not judge for ourselves the intentions of others. Although this notion brings me little comfort. I still struggle with it.

I used to think that this selfless act on God's part, seemingly blind trust in us, was just that: Him trusting us to "love" Him for the right purposes. But then I realized that it's not at all about trust. It's about God's assurance in Himself.

He doesn't need any of us. When we act poorly and in sin, it breaks His colossal heart, but He can still make through to the end of the day.

It's funny.

Funny how even in the smallest moment of the day, we can so easily forget how reliant we are upon Him, even if we acknowledge His existence or not.

I don't know. It's 4:30 in the morning and my body needs sleep, so you should take this post with a grain of salt. Or a heaping amount, whichever you prefer.

You may commence with the eye-rolling.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name...

Time: 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard

Place: Brew Daily's Cafe, Auburn

It's good to be home. Or at least in some place that resembles what you considered home to be. Although, it wasn't as if living at school took me across the country; I only lived a half-hour away. But rarely would I make the trek back into Auburn. I had no reason to, nor any desire.

Now that I'm done with school and living with a family I just met (so far, so good), I figured it would be good to return to my roots. At least the ones I sowed at Brew Daily's.

Nothing has changed in the months I've been absent.

My favorite table is still in place. The coffee is still top notch. And the same regulars are sitting on the couches, as if they never moved since I last visited. There's a few that I wouldn't be surprised if that idea were true for them.

It's a good feeling. Kind of like this...


The greatest thing about my newfound time and availability for all five of you readers? More posts, more often!

Stay tuned...


Thursday, May 15, 2008

F.I.N.A.L.S. (Fine. I Never Actually Learned this Stuff)

I took my last final today, and before I set my #2 down, I knew I had done well. Skipping a night's worth of sleep would not afford me anything less, of course.

Now that school's out, I suppose that means I'll have time to relax, right? After all, isn't that what a student's summer vacation is all about?

Eh, not so much.

I have a few days to catch up on a semester's worth of sleep before I start my internship with Grabill Missionary on the 20th. I just found out today that they were able to secure a family for me to live with during my time there. I'm excited about meeting them. I find that it's an incredibly selfless act to welcome a stranger into your home for an extended period of time.

Even more so when that stranger is me.

I'm not particularly nervous about how I'll interact with them. I think that I'm a pretty easy going guy.

My main concern is how I'll do with the church. Mostly because it's been a few months since I've even been active in one. After resigning at County Line before coming to school, I decided that God wouldn't be too upset if I took a sort of sabbatical from church. How long that sabbatical was supposed to last, He did not specify.

Either way, I'm about to venture back into the grind of what my life will be all about: church. More specifically, community.

It'll be good to recharge my academic mind, while strengthening my vocational one.

I believe that seasons like this are to be embraced. Too much of one thing for too long can lead to apathy. And we all know that's just the easy way out.

There's a quote that was shown to me not too long ago:

"That which is without period of rest will not endure."

I'll take that.

Here's a list of my goals for the summer, in no particular order:

*save as much money as possible*take a couple of online classes so I can raise my GPA*invest in some running shoes*run in them*actually use the calender in my Palm Pilot*remember that I actually have a Palm Pilot*increase in my knowledge and understanding of theology through contemplation and prayer*become a better dribbler with my left hand*just become a better dribbler in general*keep myself from raiding the $5 DVD bin at Wal Mart*along with Tyler, figure out the direction we want to go with PUSH*actually head in that direction this time*gain a working beginner's knowledge of photography*invest in the lives of the students of Grabill Missionary*

I hope your week is going well,


Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Letter to a Friend...

Dear Driver's Side Hubcap,

Where did you go?

I was under the assumption that our arrangement was binding and for you to just take off without proper notification leaves me amiss.

I miss you, Driver's Side Hubcap. Think of the memories we shared.

The road trip to New York City.

The four different proms we attended.

The casual drives through Berne, Indiana. For no reason, whatsoever.

Sure, life together wasn't always as bright as rainbow sherbet.

The winter of '03. You remember the winter of '03, right? Yeeeaaahh, you do. We got up close and personal with each other during that time. How many times did we get stuck in a ditch? 3? 4? 8? But that's ok, Driver's Side Hubcap; even though you're extremely small in stature, and not intended for off road winter action, we still made the most of it.

You're sorely missed. Without you, Driver's Side Back Seat Hubcap is all alone. Don't even get me started on Passenger Side Hubcap. She's thinking about taking a leave of absence to grieve. Without you, we are incomplete and asymmetrical. And if you step far enough away from the car, she looks like she's winking at you.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, come home. Without you, Driver's Side Wheel is just plain tired.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Sorry that we haven't been putting up any news posts lately. We are in the middle of a very stressful week or so of final projects and final exams. We'll be back in about a week. Talk to you guys soon.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Jesus...scaring the hell out of people since circa December 25, 6 B.C.

In one of my classes today we had a slight discussion about a popular church production called "Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames". It's a common tool for evangelism, or if you prefer a phrase I believe is more appropriate: fear induced salvation.

Fire. Brimstone. Sulfur. Weeping. Gnashing of teeth. Etc.

All of these unfortunate, hellish concepts are mentioned vividly in the Bible, but how much attention are we to give to them? Am I advocating that we drop them from conversations with Christians and non-Christians alike?

Forgive the pun, but....Hell no!

Someone in class stated that more so than any topic in the Bible, Hell or eternally damning ideas are mentioned and proclaimed.

While it's true that it is mentioned often, and with great emotion and weight, I don't think this is necessarily true.

I believe that where one may possibly head in the afterlife is a legitimate discussion point with a non-Christian, but I would prefer to discuss with them the aspects of Christ's love, service, and sacrifice; all which save us from damnation.

I'm not about peddling "fire insurance". I'm not about fear-mongering, which is what tends to happen too often with evangelism.

I do believe that there is an element of fear, but it must be properly placed.

Hell terrifies me, but it's not what makes me love Jesus.


Monday, April 14, 2008


There are days when I feel as if the best thing for me to do is rip someone's head off.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ain't not party like a...

Here's the deal...

We want to get the word out about this blog. We want as many people to read, write, and contribute in other fashions as possible.

To encourage that, I'm asking for your help.

We are a start up, there's no denying it. But I fully believe that we have the potential to go a long way as time progresses.

To inspire and possibly bribe you to get the word out, we are going to throw a party.

When we hit a thousand profile views, and I believe this is well within reach in the near future, Tyler and I will throw a bash to end all bashes. Or maybe just a barbecue.

Once we've hit the goal, all of you are invited, even if you've only read the blog once or twice.

So get the word out there. It's going to be awesome.

Not unlike this (Yay double negative!)...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Small Request

From now on, when ya'll leave us a comment, could you please leave your name so we know who you are? We love all the comments but we would love them just a bit more if we had a name with it. Thanks!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's gettin' pretty esteemy in here...

Culture tells us that we are the most important things in our own lives. While I gather that to some degree, we should hold ourselves to be important and of value, to go so far is contradictory to what God calls from us.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14-16) and much more valuable than the sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31), but if we focus so much on our worth, we lose sight of our brokenness and the pain that comes with that

I’ve struggled with issues of self-esteem my entire life, like almost everyone else, but I can honestly say that having exercised certain struggles to the point of being able to look beyond them, I’m able to see myself in those moments for what I really am: a beautiful creation that has gone awry.

I’m not what was originally intended. Death was not a part of the plan. Disease was not a part of the plan. Divorce was not a part of the plan. Molestation was not a part of the plan.

It just so happens though, that these things became a part of the story. My story. Each one has provided along with it’s occurrence, a blow to the gut of my esteem. My perception of not just myself, but even others has been tainted by the crud of my past.

But it’s verses like the ones stated above that remind me I am not what and who I tend to think I am. Though we are a messed up work of art, we’re still the work of an Artist.

Our society though, tends to not think along these lines. Self-esteem is seemingly wrapped up in possessions, careers, sex, body image, etc. True, all of these things are aspects of self-esteem for Christians and non-Christians alike, but they are not, and should not, be the ultimate measuring stick for who we are.

If we stripped ourselves of our fancy clothes, flashy cars, and sexy relationships, what’s left? We are left with ourselves. Unfortunately, not enough people in this world really know who they are because they are blinded by the brightness of all that surrounds them, like deer in headlights.

How then are does one respond to a culture that reminds them that the most important is me, myself and I?

It takes integrity, honesty, love, and courage. You could even mix it up with a touch of bluntness.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I'm not a big fan of people who constantly criticize my school, even though from time to time I could be considered one of them. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I need to inform you that there are of course positive aspects about this place to counter the negative ones. Unfortunately though, the negative seems to be what we as a people tend to focus on the most. I think you could go to any small Christian college, or even a giant state funded one, and nearly every person there, when describing their perception of their respective schools, would overwhelmingly focus on the negative tenants of wherever they are.

Perhaps that's just human nature.

So, allow me to indulge my human nature.

I firmly believe that a majority of the people at my school lack the social awareness of a fruit fly.

Sure many of them grew up in homeschooling environments or Christian high schools, so their social skills weren't always encouraged or given the best room to grow. Please understand that this is not an indictment of homeschooling or Christian education. I'm a product of the latter, and I believe that I've come out of it with moderate to decent social ability.

So there IS hope.

My issue arises when I'm walking down the sidewalk and virtually every person I'm passing the other way has their eyes planted to the ground, so as avoid eye contact, which lead to the inevitable awkward interactions and exchanges. I'm not asking that everyone look me in the eye and ask me how I'm doing.

But come on people, can we at least ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that there are other people around you on this forsaken planet?

It's not even the sidewalk exchanges. So often I see everyone either freeze up, blow up, or just give up when presented with the opportunity for interaction. It's completely mind boggling to me. I understand that I need to be loving, but consider this a case of tough love.

Grow up people. The world is bigger than you. Find out what's going on in it and you just may be inspired to act for once in your life.

I was going to apologize for any of this sounding slightly incendiary, but I could not, in clean conscience, do that. I firmly believe in everything that I've written.

I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads and wondering what the heck is going on in mine. Let me assure you, not even I know that sometimes.

With that said, how 'bout them Jayhawks?


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Some things to think about...

I thought I'd share some of these that I came across.

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

What is the speed of darkness?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?

If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?

Do married people live longer than single ones or does it only seem longer?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Did you ever stop and wonder......

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I’ll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum."

Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?

Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Stop singing and read on……. Yes, it caught me too!

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Hope you all enjoyed those. Talk to you soon.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Call to a Conversion of Gumpism...

One of the first paintings that Vincent van Gogh created was a portrait of the home life of peasants. A bold and courageous statement, nonetheless. He captured in that moment, the heart of poverty, working class, and reality; all at the same time, encasing it in beauty and expression.

I want to be a lot like Van Gogh. Except of course, for that whole ear thing. (Women. Go figure.) Although, most of us know that my ears are pretty much just for decoration anyway, so maybe I can still aspire to be like him in more ways than one.

But what I mean is that before Van Gogh even had his start, he was striving to portray truth in an unapologetic, brash, and engaging way.

We could all learn a lot from this highly emotional, strung out drug addict. (Yes, that’s pretty much what he was. He was just really really really good at coloring and stuff.)

Truth should be unabashedly proclaimed. It should not be something to be skirted.

Yes, there are times when it must be dressed up in rather appropriate attire, such as love and tactfulness. But really, as long as you're proclaiming it, do it shamelessly.

For some of us, the proclamation of truth comes in the form of vocally expressing our ideas and thoughts to all who listen. To others, it can come in the mode of music, drawing, and maybe, just maybe, athletic endeavors.

For me, nothing rings more true than the laughter of good friends. It is when I'm surrounded by the billowy guffaws of those closest to me that I'm reminded of the pace of life that I should be taking. A pace that takes the time to reflect and enjoy the mundane.

Seriously, there's a lot that should just make us want to break it down and dance.

But aside from the joyous aspect of truth, there's the less-enjoyable portion of it. The portion that makes us wish that people would just lie to us. The side that makes us just lie to people. Or not give the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

In this world, there is so much to grasp and comprehend without cluttering it all up through negative means.

Famine. Disease. Cheating. Lying. Divorce. War. Death.

It's easy to lose a sunny outlook on life when there's such a promise of pain.

It's not difficult to forget that this wasn't how things were supposed to be. No, there was a Great Deception, and we are reaping the "benefits".

I do not blame God.

Sometimes, I do not even blame myself.

One of my favorite scenes from Forest Gump involves the protagonist running (literally) across the United States just because he "felt like running". Along the way, a man runs beside him and proposes the idea of a business deal to make merchandise with a special slogan. The businessman notices that Forest just ran right over a steaming pile of crap without even flinching, and brings it to his attention. When told, Forest replies, "Well, it happens." To which the businessman replies, "What? Shit?" In a moment of infinite wisdom and clarity, Forest answers, "Yep."

Shit happens.

And not always for a reason.

Hallmark would lose out on a lot of money if people started accepting that truth.

There isn't ALWAYS a purpose. True, there are times when God intertwines Himself with time and space and intervenes in some way. In fact, my life alone is full of examples of such moments.

But...what about the pain and death? Did God ordain that? Was that a part of the predestined existence we were all created to live?

My hope is that you are able to come to what I believe to be the proper conclusion, not because what I believe is true for me, but because I firmly believe that it is true for everyone.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to come to that conclusion. You may still be blaming God for past tragedies, and perhaps are looking for more justification to pin a present one on Him.

I've been there.

And it's the easiest thing in the world to blame it on God. It really is.

The hardest thing in the world, is to accept that these things just happen. Sometimes there was an unseen force behind it all, but more often than not, it's just a reflection of what was never intended to be.

That's not what would be called a "tough pill to swallow". It's more like trying to digest a rock.

But most importantly, I don't think we should give into fatalism. I don't think it's good to tip toe the line of shoulder shrugging a bad moment and just allowing the cookie to crumble the way it may.

We are active participants in this messed up production. In fact, you could even say that, because of the Great Deception, we are the producers, but I'll digress from such a cheesy statement.

We should not sit by when injustice prevails. We should not turn our eyes at the unsightly. We should not deafen our ears to the cries of the voiceless.

We can not run FROM the chaos, rather we must run TO it.

We must run INTO it.

We have to get not just our hands dirty, but our feet, legs, backs, foreheads, etc.

Maybe getting them dirty isn't even enough. Maybe they'll have to get bloody.

But we must be WILLING in order for it to happen. We can't wrong every right, that's not our place. But we can attempt to address it.

We can't do it alone. God has given us a task that is far greater than us as individuals, and even as a collective. It is a task that is temporal, yet carries with it the weight of eternity.

Eternity starts now, not when we die.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Your opinion matters...most of the time...

Take a look at the right side of your screen.

Hopefully you see a few links that we recommend, one of course being a link to the Burnside Writer's Collective website. For some time now, I've been enjoying the articles, pictures, and videos they post, and I feel it is necessary for you to share in my joy of all things them.

Specifically though, there was an article I came across today that made me question my own political assumptions; it's a little long, but worth the read.

You can click here for more, because I have done some mega researching on how to do uber-cool things on this blog, like link a word or a phrase to a specific URL, so that all the reader has to do in order to view that URL is click on the colored word or words written into a phrase.

Give your comments and feedback in the obligatorily named "Comments" section.

Run-on sentences are fun.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Suck Again...

I've been fortunate enough to experience some encouragement from some of you since my last post, and for that I'm thankful; if only because it shows that someone is reading this crap.

Tonight I sort of had an epiphany: I'm afraid of failing.

That's not really so much of an epiphany as an admission, I suppose.

I think this fear is at the heart of my recent trial. I'm afraid that if I make this decision, or it is made for me, it could be the wrong one.

There are so many variables in life. Now, I just have to find out how to eliminate them from affecting my conclusion. At least that's my hypothesis. (A shout out to my science nerds.)

Thinking about this has got me...thinking?

What are some of your biggest fears? What keeps your from overcoming them? What are some of your favorite stories of overcoming failure, doubt, worry, etc?

Comment with your answers.

I guess there are worse things to fail at in life...

Can you hear me now? Good.

Making tough decisions is rarely easy.

Holy crap, could I have written a worse statement than that one?!?!

Of course it's never easy, that's why it's called tough. Sometimes my stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

Anyway, I have a decision that needs to be made soon, or at least I feel a burden to make it soon. I've done the usual steps to achieve clarity: prayer, seeking wise counsel, fasting (although not so successful), Russian Roulette, etc.

So far, the only real guidance I've received has been a sympathetic nod from a friend, and a dial tone from the Big Man.

I just want a direct line Upstairs, and when I use the line, a sweet/sassy/sexy sounding voice answers and puts my call through to the Head Honcho and He hears my plight.

More importantly, I hear Him.

Anyway, I'll rarely use this forum to incur your prayers, save for the moment.


Monday, March 31, 2008

A Philly Steak and Cheese Epiphany

Saturday, I was at the mall and to be more specific, the food court. I started to walk along the restaurants looking at all my choices. I was really hungry but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted exactly. Taco Bell? No, I had that last night. Burger King? No, not really wanting a burger at the moment. Subway? No, not that either. The last time I got Subway here, it was cold when it was supposed to be toasted.

I continued to look and along the way I was offered a free sample from one of the ladies standing in front her restaurant (is restaurant the word I should be using when talking about the food court?). I stuffed this sandwich in my mouth and it was so good. That convinced me, I wanted a Philly Steak and Cheese sandwich.

I proceed to get in line and eventually I gave the guy my order/payed and I moved down and waited for my food to come up. I took my food and waited for Steph (my gf) and we went to find a place to sit down. I sat down, took my drink off my tray, put some salt on my fries and looked at this beautiful sandwich that sat before me. I couldn't wait to stuff the whole thing in my mouth and then it hit me.

I just got served a Philly Steak and Cheese Sandwich by three Hispanic guys and an Oriental man. What an ironic and beautiful thing. These men have all come from various cultures and here they are making an iconic American sandwich. I don't necessarily mean that they are from another country themselves but what I do mean is that they or their families are from different parts of the globe just like ours are or were at one point. And at one point or another, somebody in their family and ours chose to come here and when they did, they brought their culture with them. Maybe that was something that they did themselves. Who knows? But that's not the point is it? The point is that we are the melting pot of the world. We take everybody and nobody is excluded and they have the freedom to be who they are. The freedom to be who God made them to be. Granted, racism is still a major problem but the ideal is so awesome.

I then proceeded to look around the mall at all the different types of people. That's what's so beautiful about this place. We are all in this together. We take all cultures and we make them our own. We accept them and find the beauty in them and they become a part of the bigger picture. It made me proud to be an American. It was a good moment.

There really isn't a teaching point here or anything. I just wanted to share such a divine moment with you all.


Jim Halpert is my homeboy...

I'm a huge fan of The Office.

What twenty-something male isn't? It's essential in order to be considered hip.

One of my favorite running gags is the never-ending, all out prank wars between Jim and Dwight. It's more so one sided than anything, as Jim always gets the better of Mr. Schrute.

With April Fool's Day upon us, I felt it necessary to provide any inspiration some of you may be needing.

But first, allow me to introduce a primer to our topic.

Pranking 101...

A prank should be funny.
It may not seem funny to the prankee at the time, but it should be something that by the time it is being retold, should be funny. Compare:
1. So, we set this church on fire and it burned down. (Not funny)
2. So, we put thirty for sale signs in front of the school. (Funny)

*Know your target.
First - you should actually know the person you are pranking - or have the involvement of the someone who does (same rules if it is a place). This is also important because the bigger the idea is the more important it is to know if this person will sue you or have you arrested. (This is the world we live in, unfortunately).
So if you build an indoor pool, your targets need to find this funny. If it's more along the lines of a whoopee cushion thing, this will be less crucial.

*It needs to be fixable.
Anything that causes permanent damage is not funny. There might be little leeway along the lines of "we painted the roof", but not really, as long a the roof can be painted back. Which brings us to...

*You need to then clean it up.
If you turn someone's office into a beach (hilarious, by the way), you need to also be willing to clean it all up after everyone has had their laughs. If you are not willing to do that, then you might want to stick to something more along the lines of salt cookies instead.

Standard Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any consequences should you decide to re-enact any of the examples listed above or below.




Now, if you fancy yourself a tech-savvy person,
then here are some interesting ideas.

Hopefully this was able to tickle your imagination. If it made you pee your pants, let me know. And get yourself some new pants.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Promises promises...

Today I took a long look at my last post and realized something.

I've failed. Miserably.

I've failed to uphold the standards which I've set before myself in regards to this blog. I've failed to keep the promises I've made to you to provide anything of substance. (All four of you.)

Guys, it's only been a week or so since Tyler and I started this, and I'm already beginning to have doubts.

Not doubts about the idea, but doubts about the execution; at least the execution on my part. I don't want to force anything on here. I don't want to just provide white noise in order to fill up a post entry. I want this to be separated from the already billions of blogs of wax poetry and emo verbalization.

Dear God, I don't want to be a CD liner note for Dashboard.

I'm pretty introspective at the moment. I blame it on a conversation I just had with Matt Stine, a wise old sage.

Not to mention a muscular one.

He's like a miniature very large Bhudda. With hair. Gratuitous amounts of hair.

So, all of this to say that in the next couple of days, you will see some changes within what we are doing here at Push.

Much promised interviews, current event related articles, and music drops will be posted.

Also, we've gotten some feedback from a few of you concerning articles of your own that you were interested in posting. Please, never hesitate to approach Tyler or myself with an idea. We listen to and ignore all ideas equally.

With that said, keep on doing your thing people.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Art of Being Creepy...

If I were to be completely honest, I would wholeheartedly admit that I have failed to keep my end of the bargain as far as consistently posting goes. Of course, if you haven't been checking this blog on a daily basis, that would make two of us. Or three, just in case more than one person besides Tyler and I read this thing.

But, I'm not exactly an honest guy. So, I'll just explain it all away under the premise that it's been an extremely busy and productive spring break for me, and that to find time to write is a novelty I can not afford.

Sure, that's believable.

Currently I'm sitting in a coffee shop; Brew Daily's to be exact. I used to come here way back when I didn't live at school. You know, about two months ago.

Many a thoughts, ideas, capers, etc. were developed within these gloriously roast scented walls, so I figured spending as much time here as possible would help to pique my creative interests.

About the only thing I've achieved to do so far is down a delicious cinnamon roll, buy music, and witness an event so peculiar it makes a Charlie Kaufman/Michael Gondry film collaboration seem like a Disney Channel special.

I do not understand the female species. That obvious statement leads me to this peculiar event.

I was lounging at my favorite table with some of my favorite people, when we were approached by a rather peculiar looking man, with a peculiar look on his face. He gave a peculiar request to one of the girls sitting with us.

"May I take your picture?"

Of course, I already know what she's going to respond with, which would be something along the lines of incredulistic intrigue, yet feigning disgust.

Oh Jared, you have much to learn...

"Ummm, sure!"


When the guy left to get his equipment, I told her that this could only lead to one thing.

More after the jump. ( Ohhh, I feel like such a cool blogger now that I've finally gotten to say that!)

Our gentlemen photographer proceeded to "snapshot" my friend in the bay windows of the coffee shop, followed by some street "candids" and even an alley set.

All of this, of course, under the watchful eye of your's truly.

If anything unfortunate were to happen, I would be the person you would want with you. I'm trained for this sort of thing, you know. Try to beat me in dialing 911 sometime, it ain't gonna happen.

Anyway, to make a long story short, when the photo shoot was over with, he informed my friend that he would get in contact with her via email and once the photos were properly developed, he could begin building her "portfolio". I just think he was building his own special kind of portfolio, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Hmm, that ain't creepy.

After Creeps McGee left, she was given the obligatory hounding as to her actions.

"But he was kinda cute, right? I mean, he's artsy."

Hmm, and Charlie Manson was a family guy too.

Women, you never cease to amaze me.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to finally believe the notion that it is possible to have too much time on your hands.

To give you an example, as I write this post, I’m currently sitting in a desk chair, spinning around in circle with my laptop on the top of my lap. (Ohhh, so that’s why they call it that.)

I expect by the thirtieth consecutive turn I’ll be a little queasy, but will have successfully burned at least a minute of my day of zilch.

I was thinking that Spring Break would be nothing but loads of fun for me, and so far it has. But I know that in the coming days of absolutely zero activity, my ADHD will kick into high gear and I’ll probably end up building massive forts out of Brad Grimes’ couch cushions.

Where have the days of G.I. Joe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures gone?

They’re probably stored away in some box in my mom’s attic. All dusty and stuff.

I brought a few books with me to read while on break; nothing fancy, just some essentials.

A few Donald Millers, God’s Blogs, Generous Orthodoxy, and a C.S. Lewis classic.

I don’t think I’ll get around to reading them all, but as long as I carry them with me wherever I go, people will think that I’m good humored, trendy, and intelligent for my choices of literature. (This would be misleading because I actually needed to use spell check to write “intelligent”. Make that twice.)

Since I’m without zero to do today, perhaps I will make some much needed updates and postages on Push.

But the key word there is “perhaps”. I’ve found that with the more time I have on my hands, the less I actually get done. I don’t know what that means besides the fact that I’m a horrible time manager. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t work for Rolex. (ZING!)

Anyway, there’s no real point to this post, other than to feel slightly more productive than I already do, and to give some other bored people something else to read concerning another bored person. Maybe whoever else is bored should come on down to Auburn and we can talk about being bored together.

Sounds like time well spent to me.


Pick up the Styx...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Change Begins with Yourself

guys i love the s a story for ya that i actually told at graduation because I believe it with all of my heart...

A kid goes out and decides that he is goin to change the world...he goes out and does everything that he can to change the world...he goes and tries to help all the peoples of the world...he did everything he could to change the world but then he realized that the world was still in similar shape that it used to be

so as he got older he decided to just change america...he did everything he could to change america...he wrote letters to the president he wrote letters to congress..he protested things he felt strong about..he did everything he coudl to change the he got older he realized that there wasnt that much of a difference

he decided to change his state...he did everything he could to change his state...he wrote letters to the governor...he joined groups that were state wide for causes he believed in..he did everything that he could to change his he got even older now...he realized that again it wasnt having the kind of impact that he wanted

so he decided just to change his neighborhood...he visited all the people close to him...he helped elderly ladies across the street...he did everything he could to change his neighborhood but as things were people moved in and out and he wasnt making the kind of difference he wanted to...

as he was getting into his late years he realized that he had tried so many different things to change the world around him...he decided you know what ill just change myself...and as he changed himself he lived his life differently being the kind of friend he would like to have and the kind of person that he would like to be was by changing himself that he actually changed the world..

By Luke Zeller

Why I'm doing this...Part Jared...

I've always been the kind of person who likes to share ideas. Now, ask me to share my food, and you'd more than likely get a less than genial response.

(I apologize for the immediate hostilities; I just bought some Cadbury
© Eggs and I'm feeling slightly protective.)

When Tyler and I discussed the idea for PUSH, we may have been overreaching in our immediate goals, but they are without a doubt something to overreach for.

Personally, I love the idea of a place for like-minded (and even different-minded) people to come together and discuss thoughts on life, culture, God, etc.

My goal is to post thoughts, ideas, articles, interviews and other little tidbits (seriously, what's a tidbit anyway?) at least once a day, with the knowledge that it will more than likely happen a few times a week.

I look forward to hearing from you guys, and please, don't be afraid to put yourselves out there.

Because it's safe in here.

Keep on pushing,

A little somethin' for all you fly muthas...

Well, I guess it's my turn.

I don't know what more I can add to what it is that I would like to see happen with this blog. I guess for me, I want to keep searching, digging, or "pushing" (lame I know) for more. There is more to this life than school, than money, the buildings we build, the safe-guards we put up, and the kingdoms we create. I feel that sometimes we miss the point of life entirely.

Each day is a gift that I think we are all guilty using for our own selfish wants. We miss those opportunities that are free gifts to us to change something or somebody. Those gifts are unveiled daily but in the midst of the clutter of our eyes blinded by culture we often don't recognize them. I want us to help each other to see. To see those missed things. To see God when we would normally just walk right on by.

How does it grow? It grows by you guys, the readers and contributors to this blog. Where does it go from here? That is the question that only time will tell. I look forward to reading things from you all.

I look forward to learning, laughing, pondering, and wondering right along beside all of you. I love not knowing what's around the corner. I hope you all are excited about this as we are. Thanks for the encouraging words. Posts and stories will soon follow. Thanks and God bless.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And so it starts...

Well, here it is. An idea in it's infant stage. And we want to make it grow but we cannot do it on our own. Push is a blog that has been started by us, Tyler Morningstar and Jared Murray.

We came to this idea to start a blog about things that are relevant to our world and to the world of those around us.

We came to the conclusion that this would be the best way to get the word out to the masses.

We plan to have stories, discussions, ideas, and whatever else comes into play.

We want this to be a place where many and all feel free to comment and contribute. If there's something that you would like to talk about, feel free to email it to us or leave a comment about it. If you'd like to write a story, poetry or whatever for the blog, just let us know.

We want this to have an impact on those in the 20-something demographic. If the major networks can target you as their main audience, why can't we?

We want this to bring up the issues that you/we feel are important. Not only just to bring them up and to talk about them, but to see what we can actually do to make a difference in the world around us.

We want to get this out to everyone that lives in Fort Wayne or the surrounding areas.

We want to affect the city.

We want to change our world.

We want you to help us with this. Your voices will shape the future of the world and what we do today can change tomorrow.

Tell us what's going on around you. What can be changed? What should be changed? How can it change? What does Scripture say about it?

So spread the word. Get it out there and "Push" people.

Push them to make this world a better place, A more peaceful place. A more loving place.

We look forward to your input. Thanks for reading.

Tyler and Jared

WE instead of I

You can reach us either through Facebook or Aim. Flapman15 is Tyler and pass da rock yo is Jared.