In the mean time…

Over the past year or so, I’ve been blogging on a self-hosted wordpress.org blog. That is, until, my host provider decided not to offer that hosting package any longer.

I’ve bemoaned the loss of that blog long enough, and for the interim between wanting to blog something and having the time to build a new site, I decided to revamp this old address.

To keep me occupied between blogging ventures, I’ve tumbld. More frequently, I tweet. And you can always face my book(/wall? timeline?).

Transforming Theology

Welcome Transforming Theology Bloggers!

If you’re looking for my Theo-Blog, and where I’m writing on Harvey Cox’s Future of Faith, I’ve changed my link to here.

Sorry for the confusion… :)

Addictive Distractions, or How I Re-Learned My Mantra at Disneyland

7718_175751211042_659641042_4310226_1519358_nSo a week ago, I relived my childhood. Remembering what it was like to glow in fascination, and wonder at the ordinary.

Through a series of fortunate events, a new friend was able to sign me and a friend, @Brandt, into Disneyland for a free day of fun. (I can’t publicly say what role my new friend played in the park, but I will say she has an incredibly convincing British accent.)

To tell you the day was “Magical” would be trite and cliche; but we did all have a great time. Prior to Taiwan, I frequented the park with an annual pass, but that’s long since expired. To be able to spend the day there with a new group of friends was an unexpected treat.

Disneyland is funny like that. It doesn’t matter how many times you walk down Mainstreet, with each new group and new visit, the experience is different.

For example, this group decided to begin our trip in Fantasyland, which means the first attractions to conquer were some of the oldest in the park: Snow White, Pinnochio, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…

It was on the third of the three that I noticed a pattern, or even a formula, for these rides:

  • Happy Beginning
  • Conflict
  • Abrupt Ending

So abrupt. Shockingly so. Almost as if to say that the ending of the ride isn’t the point. As if Walt himself sent me a message saying “You didn’t get on Snow White’s mine car just for it to finish. Enjoy the Ride.”

The purpose of the ride isn’t when the doors open and the car winds back round the track to the sunlight of “reality.”

The purpose is the ride itself.

The Journey.

Not the Destination.

I’m glad I figured this out on the first few rides. Sad to say, many didn’t. Brandt and I made that comment early on. He said he wanted to start a Disneyland Ministry just to cheer people up in the park, provided the Mouse (yea, that one) pays his entrance fee. I told him that sounded like being an employee.

I felt like a little kid thinking to myself “Why are there so many unhappy people at this place of happiness?!”

Not until I rode the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride did I discover, what I consider, the problem.

Mind you, Pirates is the ride that’s so dark for so long, I forget it’s high noon by the time it’s up. Also, it’s a fairly slow ride, so you tend to absorb what’s going on around you.

As we passed through the epic battle sequence, I realized the lady in front of me had not stopped texting since the ride began. The soft, obtrusive glow suddenly became louder than the cannon bursts and drunk animatronic seamen.

What was so urgent that she couldn’t enjoy the ride she’d waited in line for? Or was it “urgent” at all?

This brought me to a thought: Are we addicted to distractions?

I wondered about my fellow passenger in front of me: Did she ride that ride before? (Did she not realize its potential to be different every time?) Or was she coasting through, waiting for a big finish? Because there wasn’t one.

Upon returning from Taiwan, I realized how cluttered my life is. Why is it that I need music in my car when I drive? Why am I tempted toward store displays for more stuff? Why can’t I lay down my phone for a day; especially after going a year without one?

It was then I realized myself to be no better than my fellow passenger.

I want to de-clutter. I want to rid myself of stuff and distracting habits. I near dread Christmas. I value websites like The Minimalist Path and people like @Leo Babauta who stress Less is More.

My plan is to take the next few months to do just that. As a forewarning, this may lead to less blogging. But I’m not leaving forever, and only do so to prune back the clutter and nurture productivity; to cultivate life-giving habits — because frankly, I refuse to be addicted to distractions.

There was a moment, almost sad for me, when the young boy in front turned to the texting lady, all aglow, and exclaimed, “Did you see that? Did you see it just now?”

And prying herself from her white-noise screen, she replied,

“See what? I must have missed it.”

Life is a Journey, friends.

Enjoy the Ride.
Don’t miss it.

*Photo Credit: Fellow Disneyland-goer, Olivia Hales’ Facebook Album.

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On not finger-drumming my life away, and being around others who feel the same

Upon arriving home from Taiwan, I’ve made one thing lucidly clear to myself: I like spending my time with people that inspire me. Conversations that dive past the heyhowareyou’s and the didyouseekanyeonmtv’s and the lykeomgwhatisshewearing’s.

Instead, I like to fill my time with conversations of the “How are you, really?” and the “What do you think about X” and the “Where are you going with your life” variety.

In short: I’ve discovered I want to spend my time with people who want to change the world, and are willing to do something about it.

I’ve also realized something else. Not everyone shares my sentiments.

Off the bat, let me say, That’s Okay. Not everyone is meant to change the world, and maybe I’m being just a bit too headstrong in wanting to put myself in that group (I don’t think I am).

If you disagree, maybe it’s in our definition of “World Change”.

To me, Changing the World doesn’t have to mean starting a revolution and usurping the respected order of control… though it can.

To me, Changing the World can be simply following what you’re passionate about, finding the one thing that makes you tick, and using that to serve others.

But here’s the secret that doesn’t get out too much: You have to find what you’re passionate for.

A friend in the blogosphere (and a guy I look up to greatly) gets this. His name is Adam Baker and he started manvsdebt.com. He’s a man of passion, but he’s constantly honing in on what he’s passionate about. His site started off being passionately against debt. Though that hasn’t changed, Baker has redirected his focus to being passionately FOR life.

Recently, he got my wheels turning with his post “The ‘Sh**-that-doesn’t-inspire-you’ factor“. When I read this entry, I realized something:

We’ve misplaced our passions.

In the post, Baker encourages readers to ask “Does this inspire me?” in our daily decision making. Why? Because we’ve programmed ourselves to do just the opposite.

We’ve filled our time and thoughts with such mundane triffle that we’ve forgotten what makes us tick – whatever that is for each of us. We’ve chosen to do mere nothings over filling our time intentionally. It’s as if Nothing has become a way of life.

In his satire The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis pens:

“Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.”

I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life, and realize I finger-drummed my way out of an existence. It’s a good thing I’m discovering this now, because I do an awful lot of finger-drumming.

As Baker’s post encouraged me to reconsider my passions in my day-to-day choices, and I’ve continued reflecting on my journey home, I realized how energized I am to be around passion-filled people. It’s the kind of passion I found at The Refuge in Taiwan, and it’s the precise type of community I hope to cultivate here.

“Drumming of Fingers” aside, I know that a life worth living is an intentional one. And I happen to believe being surrounded by other equally-passion-filled people with an unquenchable desire to Change the World makes that life all the more worth it.

I’ve talked a bit of Intentional Community here on the Drift, and I hope to cultivate that here back home in the States (who’s with me?). I love the different online communities I’ve lived among for the last year, but look forward even more to spending some face time with my friends.

[Photo found here through Flickr’s Creative Commons]

Changing plans and showing photos

Life is a Journey…

And sometimes when you think you’re ready to set off down the road, you decide to sit it out and put your car in the shop first.

I’m talking, of course, about my planned Road Trip. About 10 hours after I announced it on here, we decided to cancel. Instead, my dad flew out and back to Florida today, and we both decided the trip will happen at a later date… hopefully :)

A couple updates on this end of things:

I’ve posted a new entry on The Taiwan Drift. It includes pictures. Here’s one that gives you an idea, but didn’t quite make the cut. (Consider it from the B-Sides Reel…)
Car Lexi 1You can see the rest here.

Also, @Kelvin over at DaretoThinkDreamDo asked me to guest post! Check it out :)

Next week, I’ll be featuring different faces from the Drifter Community. Leave a comment if you know this handsome mug:

(Picture found on Flickr)

(Picture found on Flickr)

(more to come)

A Domestic Drifter?

View from the Road: A California Sunset

View from the Road: A California Sunset

In the US, I have two homes. Homebase is the place I grew up in: Suburbia, CA. But I have another home in Florida. At the moment, my dad is working out there, but he’s taken about three weeks off to welcome me home. This week, he’s going back and he decided to let me come along.

We’ll be driving there together; a trip that should last 4-5 days. Our plan is to stop in Colorado to see my grandpa (his dad), and after a night or so, drive straight (24hr trek) to New Orleans. We’ll spend our day there in the city, eating po-boys and beignets. After successfully gorging ourselves on authentic Cajun cuisine, we’ll finish the trip with an overnight-run to Southwest Florida. That’s the plan anyways. And plans change.

For example, we were supposed to leave tonight at midnight. That’s not going to happen. And that’s okay. It’s all a part of the gettin there.

But once we do get there, I plan to spend a week or so in Florida visiting friends, kayaking, and enjoying the Taiwan-esque humidity.

After that, I’ll return home in the family wagon. This time, flying solo. Three years ago, I made the same trek with two of my best friends. We had an incredible time, and I’m sure this trip will stir some dust off of a story or two worth sharing here (if you ask politely).

Driving alone will be a whole new animal. But I’m looking forward to it. Really. Maybe it’s a year of riding in the back of the bus alone, or traveling solo to places like Hong Kong or Thailand, but the idea of conquering the road on my own excites me.

@chaseandre

@chaseandre

Our actual departure date is not yet set in stone, but I’ll be sure to update from the road best I can. If we haven’t yet, let’s connect on Twitter, or click the bio page for my facebook and email.

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Launch Day

DriftOver the past several weeks, I’ve been working on a new home for The Drift. Because my Journey in Taiwan is over, I knew that I must take my blogging elsewhere. I’m stoked to announce, it’s finding its home at http://www.ChaseAndre.com. BUT, the real chaseandre.com is still in the works. In the mean time, I’ve created a this site to be my temporary holding spot.

Basically, this is not quite yet “The Drift 2.0″… In all honesty, it’s more like “The Drift, 1.5”

Later today, I’m leaving for my next journey. It’s a bit shorter – I’ll imagine around three weeks time in all – and it’s a bit more domestic – won’t be drifting abroad this time. If you care to follow along with me, the only place to get the full story is here (or, in a conversation with me).

@chaseandre

@chaseandre

Also, if we haven’t done so already, Let’s connect on Twitter. My direct messages are on, so when you add me to your list, drop me a line. I’ll be on the road and might not have consistent internet access, but I will be updating through my Tweets.

I’m looking forward to this next step in our journey together. In addition to updating you about my new set of travels, my first batch of posts will be showcasing some of my fellow bloggers who have made the Drift Community possible. Anticipate that launching next week.

If you see any glaring obvious errors, or anything I’m lacking, anytime throughout this transition process, let me know. I know I’m not perfect. You reminding me won’t crush my spirit. Honest :)

Oh, and one more thing. Be sure you Subscribe to The Drift to keep up-to-date with all my posts. You can also Subscribe to The Drift by Email.

Thanks again for drifting along with me. More to come.

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Countdown

Stepping StonesIn Three Weeks, I’ll be on a plane leaving Taiwan and headed home for California. At some point near that time, I will officially launch this site.

I’m excited for the future of my blogging, as well as the community that will be built here. I hope it’s a place where people come to be challenged to live beyond “Status Quo”. And by “people” I mostly mean me. :)

Happy Driftings.

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Coming Soon

New blog coming soon. In the mean time, I’m still posting at The Taiwan Drift.TaiwanDriftB

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