This is the blog of Ash. Being a designer, i will feature some cool design stuff, but i also hope to contribute some of my thoughts on other topics.
“this is the day that God has made.” [psalm 118]
really-this day? the one with wars and poverty and divorce and addiction and betrayal? this one?
yes, this one.
this one because there’s a difference between analysis and awareness.
analysis pulls things apart, looks for cracks in logic,…
- Stephen Tobolowsky,
Overheard on The Tobolowsky Files
Phil Rosenthal, creator of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, on getting a TV show made.
Overheard on Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show
Isn’t that a great phrase - “luck is the residue of design”? I like it - you have to be lucky, but that doesn’t mean sitting on your ass waiting for luck to strike.
Every year I try and come up with a poem for my kids when we celebrate their birthday, trusting that one day I’ll be able to present them with a collection of poems commemorating each of those special days.
Today we celebrated my daughter’s fourth birthday, and here is today’s prom:
Hey, my buddy Justin seems to be joining the ranks of the Best People in the World - AKA tumblr people!
These poems he does for his daughter and son’s birthday each year are cool - keep at it, cruiser, even through the teen years when all you’ll get are eye-rolls and ‘lame, daaad’. It’s a worthy pursuit, keep at it.
Watched American Beauty again. It’s so strange to watch these movies from the 90’s again. What a strange thing it was to be a teenager in the 90’s. So very different from today, I think.
But then, I guess, even though everything changes, nothing changes."
— John Mayer, Speak for Me (Born & Raised, 2012)
Damnit, he’s good. I really don’t like this new album, and then he comes out with a line like this.
It just really sums up how I feel about what’s up in my life right now - I’m not mad about (not angry), but I’m not mad about it (not loving it).
How clever is that turn of phrase? He’s brilliant.
This is my thousandth post to hashcool.tumblr.com. Now, most of it is reblogs and photos of things I like, but I have tried to use this as a place to catalogue my musings on topics that fascinate me - design and faith primarily, because these are two of the major pillars in my life - two gifts from God. The first I believe is what God built me for - to create with design. The second, faith, is not something I earned either, it’s simply another gift from the preposterously generous dad we have. He loves to give us amazing gifts, He really does.
When thinking about what I should blog about that’s worthy of my first quadruple-digit-numbered post, I guess it’s a good a reason as any to take stock, look back and look forward, and share.
When I look at my life right now, the overriding feeling I have is calm. This is wonderful - its been many years since that is a word I can describe my life with! Life has been a roller coaster these past few years!
Spiritually, I’ve been on an amazing journey the last 3 years. As I write this, I cannot believe I’ve been on this mad journey of getting to know God, falling in love (and out - and back in again) with Jesus - I’ve been on this road for 18 years this year. 1994 was the year God took me, shook me, and changed me into a different creature. He showered me with grace and forgiveness, filled right to the brim - so full, that as I walked away from that experience, still unsure why I felt taller and cleaner - I ran into another student (I was at school - detention), he said to me - “what’s with you?! What did you take???”. I didn’t know what he was on about, until I stopped in the bathroom and saw the goofy, grinning idiot staring back at me in the mirror. I was high. Amazing Grace, how sweet it was.
Wow, what a day!
And then my mind immediately goes to the darker days, the ones in 2010, where I was convinced that God not only didn’t like me - but that he was actively hating me. What a confusing terrible time - but I thank God for that awful time more than the wonderful afternoon in 1994. It was in the dark that I truly realized that I was God’s, and that He was mine. That crisis of the soul was as much my salvation as that first day.
It’s something I’ve begun to realize more - we think of “being saved”, or “becoming a Christian” as a single event, a single decision, a single moment in time. But I don’t think that way anymore. I think it’s more like the way a tree grows - every year we add another ring of growth, and our salvation is each and every ring. God saves us every day. He transforms us a little more all the time. Keeps forgiving us - cos we keep being human. Keeps turning us into new creatures.
My thoughts also go to everyone who hasn’t experienced this awesome journey with God. Many of them have been shown hate by God’s people - we are often so misguided! When non-Christians think of us, many of them think of us - as a group - as unintelligent, full of hate, and hypocritical. I’ve been all three before. Often still am. I can be dangerously stupid!
My journey, going forward, is to make sure in my own life, I get rid of these things. Focus on Grace - God gave it to me, so I need to spread it around a lot! Being informed. And lastly, to avoid being hypocritical - the way I’ve tried to fix that one is by being honest and transparent and authentic. It’s not OK to say everything is great when it’s not. We need to be honest!
These days, when people ask how I’m doing, if my bank account is empty and I’m stressed, that’s what I tell them. But I also remind them - and myself - of the 10 years of God giving me money when I needed it.
It’s not easy, being open about failure or about matters which culture deems sometimes as personal. Please understand - I know what’s appropriate and what isn’t - but often our culture of privacy means we all serve time in solitary confinement. Will someone truly open up at church about their shambles of a life when every person they meet says that they are just doing “AWESOME!!” because God is good (“all the time!!”), and that they’re just doing so well because they’re living in the favor of the Lord. Is the person racked with addiction or broken relationships going to feel like its safe to open up? There’s a reason addicts go to AA and not to church, and church has better coffee, so it’s not that. (just a disclaimer - please don’t think I’m being down on AA or mocking, or somehow suggesting church should compete with AA. I love those 12 step programs - they are God’s church on this earth, I truly believe that. Jesus sits in every AA and NA meeting around this world, I know it. Ask him when you see him. It’s true.)
So for the poor bastard who’s bank account is empty and there’s more bills than dollar bills - does that mean God’s favor is not on them? Is God not good all the time then? (I’ve been that poor bastard - so I know the answer - they feel alone and forsaken by God)
So I guess my journey going forward will be to continue to struggle and strive with God. Work out my salvation with Him. Wrestle with Him and ask Him questions. Live with Him. I’ll keep trying to live a life emulating Him.
As for people? I’m gonna love them, forgive them, shower them with Grace and point them to Jesus. He knows what he’s doing. His plan for them is so complex and ridiculous, if He told me what it was, I’d just say, “oh no, that’ll never work, you know what you should do? Lemme tell you…”
So I’m gonna try and show people how he loves us by loving my wife with all my strength. Showing his forgiveness and grace by doing that for others.
I’ll fail, of course, and I know that, and so does Jesus. Perfection isn’t what I’m after. It’s the journey.
Knowing that success isn’t my goal is quite liberating. (it’ll be nice, of course, but it’s not my goal). I want to finish this thing up and know that through it all, I can lay my head down knowing I did my best to get to know Jesus and live with Him. It won’t be perfect, it will be messy, but sheesh, it’ll make for a good story, and I’ll tell it to Simon Peter when I get to heaven… I think he seems the sort to have a hearty booming laugh, and I think he’ll enjoy a good story. :-)
And now, back to your regularly schedule programming of cool design, funny memes, sarcasm about politics, and the occasional glimpse into my life.
Onto post 1,001!!!!!
So this is the amount of time between the first democratic elections in South Africa, known as Freedom Day on our calendar, and Black Tuesday, when they began removing Freedoms, starting with the media.
17 years, 6 months, and 26 days.
Life will go on, just remember that. It will get harder, for the entire world, that is a given. But Life will continue.
So in spite of having a cabinet straight out of idiocracy, remember to not give politicians so much power that they remove joy from your life with their stupidity.
The ANC is consume itself, it has begun the downward slide that all “freedom fighting” organisations do. They will ruin many things along the way.
But be sure to continue loving people, enjoy the simple things, and have a sense of humour at the ready - it’s your best defence.
- Stephen Tobolowsky, quoting someone else who’s name I didn’t catch. Overheard on the The Tobolowsky Files Ep. 51 (The Light of the First Day)