piano

So I guess I am not totally sure if I am allowed to do what I am doing. Like I have done two blog posts (this will make my third) in the past couple days. I could say that I suddenly have some topics to write about, but that is not a good enough excuse and everyone knows it. Anyway I am just going to keep doing what I am doing.

Pianos are the bomb da squiggidy. I really have an appreciation for pianos. They are probably one of the most basically built instruments (in a sense, I guess?) but I think that playing a piano well says a lot about a person’s skills and character. We all were forced to learn the recorder in third grade. The most annoying stupid sound on the whole earth (well maybe not the worst, probably the worst is forks scratching on a glass plate.). Anyway, we were forced to learn that. But some people were forced to learn piano. I am not one of those lucky people. I am sure that if my parents made me do piano lessons with the cranky old lady next door, then I would not have the same appreciation for piano that I have today. I do not know if it would be better or if it would not, but I also do not know how to tell.

So I just have an interest to play piano really well. Looking at my hands when I type this right now, I think it can kind of be equated to typing. I am a decent typer (if that is the word for it), I think. And I know a medium-sized handful of songs on the piano. I like to watch YouTube videos and just copy what the people do. My favorite song that I can play is don’t stop believing. I can play clocks by Coldplay, fall for you by secondhand serenade (well most of it), apologize by one republic, part of I can only imagine by casting crowns and some other little lame songs. So I am relatively decent at piano and can entertain people for a total of about seven minutes.

But I have befriended so people here that are very skilled in music theory and that want to help me understand. Jeremy is probably one of my best friends here and he is golden. Literally made of metal. He has been helping me to understand different keys and chords in those keys and which ones are major or minor to fit together harmonically. He is helping me in terms of piano and kind of in terms of guitar. So I appreciate that kid. 

I am taking piano lessons next semester mostly because I have to fill my schedule with 15 credits. But also because I have a desire to learn. Someday, I’m going to be the guy who walks up to the piano at a party and tickles the ivories while everyone else has a great time. And I also want to be wearing a tuxedo. <—life goal.

I want to learn the piano.

trains

So I was at Applebee’s a couple of nights ago with some friends. We went at like eleven p.m. to get the wonderful half off appetizers. It was me, Jeremy, Sarah, Stephanie, and Jodi. We were all having such a good time. Me and Jeremy decided, “hey let’s just think super super deep about stuff and then share it with the group. It was quite a trippy subject to be honest.

As we go throughout our lives, we are always looking for people to impact, for lives to affect in some way. Be it dating, giving to the less fortunate, or just opening the door for the person behind you, you impact people with mostly every action you commit. It can be negative too. If you make poor decisions while driving, or hold grudges or some other sin that negatively affects someone, you still impact them. So I came up with an illustration that explains it pretty well. We are all trains. We are on our tracks heading to the destination we pick and plan out for ourselves. So our goal is to get to the destination we choose. But along the way, we are always looking for little jeeps crossing the train tracks. The jeeps are other people in our lives. Family, friends, significant others, old grandmas at the store. We try to hit the jeeps. Not really to do damage to them (but sometimes we make dumb decisions and therefore “want” to do damage) but to change their course in some way. If you have ever seen a car get hit by a train you know what I am talking about. Their direction before they get hit by the train is forward to them. After the train gets them, they are sort of going in a sideways/forward direction. So you hit a jeep and change its course, affecting someone’s life in a negative, or more desirably, a positive way. You are the train in your life because, as much as we would like to say otherwise, we are usually most concerned for our own well-being slightly more than others. Not many would give all they have to the poor.

Then another aspect of it is that when you are in a group of people in a car, you are a train sliding on ice and spinning and everyone else is a jeep spinning too. So you are going to affect them a lot more when you are in a closed group “alone together”. 

No I am not on drugs.

And no I do not mean to say that we “choose our own destiny.” This is not meant to make God seem obsolete in our lives. I think my illustration just needs some more development.

A line about trains from my favorite movie, “You’re waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You don’t know where this train will take you, but it doesn’t matter. Now tell me why it doesn’t matter!” “Because you’ll be togeth-” if we look at it this way, we can be expectant of other trains to change our course in life.

Amen.

 

this dang paper

Well I will be the first to say that I wish I had done my research paper before now. I am not saying that I am in the beginning stages of it, but I certainly am not in the final stages of it. I have done a lot of revising and stuff like that. But I have so much work to do.

Here we are. About one on a cold Saturday night at Grace Bible College. I am sitting at my desk trying to ignore Facebook and my cell phone for a few hours. And I still do not have much motivation to finish this paper. I know that I am totally capable of it, but I just do not want to do it. The work I am supposed to be doing right now will account for a solid 25 percent of my grade in this class. And yours too. (So I would suggest being finished with it). I pictured it. If I just stop working on my paper right this second, finished the formatting and MLA style stuff and like citations, I would have almost two thousand words. Half the required amount. I could write the abstract and turn it in. but I would think that the highest grade I could possibly hope for would be a 35 percent. And maybe that is high-balling it. I do not know. I am not a genius college professor with unimaginable credentials and a manly, intelligent charm. (Wonder if that buttered you up dr sweet 🙂 haha). but yeah so a thirty five percent with a twenty five percent weight in the overall grade of the class would basically give me (if I understand weighted grades–which I do not think I do) nine percent out of the twenty five percent allotted amount. Assuming I had a 100 or more realistically a 93 percent in the rest of the class, I would think that that would leave me with a 72 percent. And after consulting the handy-dandy course syllabus, I have concluded that I would finish the class with barely a D+. I do not want to finish this class with a D+.

So yeah. I would very much like to be done with this dang paper. I decided that I have a vicious disease called toolazyitis. It is a virus that attacks the mindset of college students the week before finals at the end of the semester. The student tries with all his might to do all his work. But he just can’t because of the globules of lazy bags that breach his mind. It isn’t really a physical ailment, but a “hypothetical disease” if you will. Since it isn’t physical, it is therefore incurable. The only thing to be done is to sleep it off. Or suffer through the hard work that literally hundreds, if not thousands of people have already done and have probably done better. Man up.

But do you know what is super super interesting when you are bored? It is this magical place called YouTube. They have moving pictures with sound! Pretty much any popular song you can imagine on mostly any instrument, funny cats, funny babies, stupid people caught on tape, cool life hacks and more! sometimes the temptation seems too great and I begin to watch a collection of people failing at stunts and then I realize out of nowhere that I am watching a video about how President Obama comes from a rather sketchy (if you can use those words next to each other) background look at the clock and realize it is four hours later.

Filled with regret.

Not done yet.

I am having mental issues.

I am not a poet.

I love it here, but….

Throughout my time at Grace Bible College so far, I have decided that I absolutely love it here. My mood is usually good and I credit that to the fact that I am constantly surrounded by other Christians who care about me. We learn about God all the time. (Shocker I know) using the Bible as a textbook is one of the coolest parts about life and school here. But there are a few things that kind of frustrate me about the way some things are run and some of the people here.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I really love it here. My life has changed in so many ways for the better and I have already seen positive results because of those changes. But one thing I wish would be different is the required ministry. Especially for our freshman class because this year is the first year that the college provided the ministry for the students. I do not know the specific details about what is required of us but I think it is something like “you have to spend at least an hour a week doing some kind of ministry.” and it just so happens that a group called One Wyoming has started a one-on-one mentoring program and takes volunteers (all the other freshman reading this obviously already know all about it). So we go once a week to the Godfrey Lee Public Schools–half of us go to the early education center (k-2nd grade) and the rest go to the 3rd-5th grade students. We all have our “assigned” student. I am mentoring a kindergartener named Xaviair. I love it there. Xaviair is really open to me and he seems to like having me around. The rest of the class likes me too, because a few times Xaviair was absent so I was just a class helper. Anyway, I absolutely love it.

I wish the required ministry was different from what it is. I do not want to complain. But it just puts me (and probably others) in a hard place. We have been told what to do and we are doing it. I am not saying that I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t have to. Not at all!! I love it. But I don’t think I would have signed up for a mentoring program unless I was led to it. I am glad I did, but this whole required ministry thing puts an earthly value on a good work that would have originally been done unto God’s glory. I do not know of a different way they could do things, but it just makes me uneasy that some students are only into their mentor for the grade. If a fourth grader found out that his mentor just pretended to care about him, how would he feel?

 

But either way, it is all just speculation and judgments so I am probably in the wrong for saying that. I just do not want that to happen to anyone. A person who says they care about you and listens to your problems and helps you through them should mean what they say or just not say it.

Why am I a boy from Michigan? What made God decide to assign my consciousness to the body that exists where it does? I could have been born in the middle of Germany. Or maybe on the coast of Australia. Why was i placed here? That is just something i will never be able to wrap my mind around.

Don’t misunderstand me when I say this. I am very happy with my life and who I am and all that i will become someday. It just baffles me when i wonder how many other people there are in this world and how I am only one specific person. Not a different person. I am Ben Anderson, an eighteen year old boy/man/adolescent (whatever you want to call it) who was born and raised in Michigan. I am interested in video games and church and stuff like that. I have never technically had a girlfriend. And I am okay with that. Girls are icky. I believe that I am called to be a pastor. I have a strong desire to spend at least part of my life as a long-term missionary in Guatemala. I go to Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids. I love my life. It is just that sometimes I wonder why I am who I am.

I know I keep saying this, but I am glad to be me. But why? God made me before the foundations of the earth. I know that is in psalms. Somewhere. I suppose it shouldn’t really matter why God chose to make me, me.

This verse just came to mind: Acts 20:24. And it says, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” I feel like this applies here. God chose to make me the way he chose to make me so I would be ‘assigned’ a specific ministry and ‘race’ that i would do/finish to accomplish it and “testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” I am the only one who can fulfill the call God has for me. Maybe it is just that. God put my consciousness in this specific spot in life because anyone else who tried to do what I was made to do would not do it correctly–or at least not the same as I would.

Maybe this could go unsaid, but I am so glad this is a universal truth. It is very good that the Bible applies to everyone. All the people in my life are there for a reason. I am in their life for a reason. All of these other people that I have met and know at college in these past few months as well as all the people back home that I love and care about all have a purpose given directly from God. We were made to give glory to God and nothing else.

I suppose it doesn’t matter who you are or what your past looks like. God made you because he has a plan for you.

Could you imagine thinking in a different language? I mean, of course many people are fluent in multiple languages. But for us less amazing people, I cannot even wrap my mind around it. I think SO MUCH. Maybe that is not totally obvious to everyone else around me, but I do think. However you want to explain it, we all have that little voice in our head that reads things and thinks things and processes our thoughts. But what if that was German? or Swahili? or Greek?

Our entire thought process would be different. We think in sentences that make sense in English. In Spanish, they usually say the noun then the adjective that has to do with it. Their sentences occur in a different order than ours. It is just mind-boggling to me to try and understand that.

Someday, I hope to be a full-time missionary in Guatemala. In order to do that, I will have to be fluent in Spanish and at least have a basic understanding of K’iche’. That is the native language of the people in Guatemala. People in Guatemala who were fortunate enough to go to school are the ones who know Spanish. In contrast, obviously, the people who don’t get to go to school rarely know anything more than basic Spanish. If and when I end up going to Guatemala, I will think in Spanish and finally know what it is like. I am actually really excited to do that.

I want to understand other languages. Obviously it will be a large amount of work to learn other languages, but it is just so eye-opening to imagine how most of the world thinks. Over a billion people in China speak some form or dialect of Chinese or some other language. A billion people in India speak a totally different language. I remember learning that there are hundreds of languages in India, but twenty or so are much more prominent than the rest, with Hindi being the most popular. Skip over to Africa or northern South America. Some people there have the language that only their village speaks. They never see other people ever in their lives. They only learn the language that their parents teach them and never think twice about it.

And here I am. In college. In Michigan. Writing on my fancy laptop about all this just so i can get a passing grade and earn the credits necessary to live life. According to somebody somewhere.

Even if the whole world spoke one universal language, how different would our thoughts still be? That kid in the middle of Africa in the rain forest that does as he is told and asks no questions. What does he think about? We are all the center of our own lives. Of course I care about my friends and family but I wouldn’t want to know what they are doing every second. I want to know what I am doing every second. I think about God and people and school and theology and temptations and jokes and things that probably don’t matter in the same way to the person next to me.

It just hits me like a ton of bricks when I wonder how lost I would be without words or thoughts. Or how different my thoughts would be if I spoke a different language fluently. Crazy stuff man. Crazy stuff.

i got a job

Last Friday or so, Chef John Sprague sent out a collective email to students at Grace. In that email, he said there were openings in the kitchen. So I got a job in the kitchen. I work on Mondays and Thursdays from three to eight at night. Right when I got the email, I replied to it, but he didn’t reply back. So on Monday at like one ish I went into his office and talked to him. I said, I would like to ask about a job in the kitchen.” and his response was “do you want to start today?” So Monday (yesterday) I worked from 3 to 8. It was an alright job.

Back home in Frankenmuth, I had/have a job at McDonald’s. I am a crew member, which means I take orders on the front counter and sometimes in the drive through. I also do the extra chores like cleaning the bathroom, sweeping and mopping the floors, washing tables. It is kind of a not fun job. But anyway, the kitchen here is alright. It is better than McDonald’s. And I still technically work there. When I left for college, my managers said to just call in with my availability anytime I want to. So in December, I am going to be working there a lot. Anyway, it was an odd coincidence that I got a job in the kitchen here at Grace because my roommate, Mak, got a job there too. He started yesterday too. And we just got our schedule for the rest of the semester and every day that I work, so does Mak.

 

Anyway, yesterday we made roast beast and au gratin potatoes and chicken tetrazzini and vegetables. Emily and I made the potatoes. It took a while. But they looked like they turned out alright. There were a total of seven people there throughout the night. When I got there, Emily, Chef Sam, and Kaley (I think that was her name) were there. Victoria (my sister), Mak, and Dave showed up a little later. It was a fine group. Mak and I were the runners for the food. That job was simple enough. It is far easier here than it was/is at McDonald’s. Before the meal, I, like I said, helped Emily make the potatoes, helped Victoria make some no-bake cookies, and helped a little bit with the vegetables. We ended up running out of chicken tetrazzini so we had to make some chicken fritter things. They were really good. I could live off those. At the end of the night, the workers are allowed to take some of the food that would have to be thrown away. So I got four of those chicken things.

 

The cleanup process we went though was probably the worst part about it. I had to sweep and mop about half of the kitchen. I don’t really mind doing it, it just is not my favorite thing to do. Anyway, we finished cleaning up about at exactly eight so then Mak and I went back to our room and that was that. I am really glad I got a job here.

Bread

Have you ever just sat down and pulled out a loaf of sliced bread and looked at it? Because I happen to think that every person living on this earth should do that at some point in their life. How amazing is sliced bread? It has to be one of the best food-related inventions that I have ever heard of. We all use sliced bread all the time. At least I do. Here at Grace Bible College, I have the ten meal per week plan. So no matter what, I get two meals provided to me per day. And even then I have to skip one or two of those so I can eat on the weekends. Other than those ten meals, I have to fend for myself. Well i went home over the weekend two weeks ago and my wonderful mother decided to get me a bunch of ‘snack’ foods. Basically, I got some spicy jalapeno cheetos, some spicy cheez-its, about twenty-five granola bars, and some sandwich materials. And among the sandwich materials–you guessed it: BREAD.

If you are reading this, I want you to do two things right now: 1. stop judging me because of what my topic is 🙂 2. take a seat and try to imagine your life without sliced bread. Go ahead. Try. You can’t. Basically the whole concept of bread has changed over the times to warrant a variety of different applications. McDonalds? without sliced bread, we would have zero McChickens or McDoubles or Big Macs or whatever else you like from McDonalds. Subway? The WHOLE STORE is based on selling you twelve inches of sliced bread filled with your twisted concoction of a sandwich. And it only costs five dollars! At least that is what the commercials always say. But I have gone there and I am sure a lot of other people have too. We all know that they only sell the lame crappy footlongs for five dollars. What a rip off. Although, I do like their buffalo chicken sandwich. Spicy stuff is grrrrreat!

That brings me to another point. If we didn’t have sliced bread, we wouldn’t have sandwiches in general. That is the point I was attempting to make in the previous paragraph. But if we had no sandwiches, we would not have the same kind of McDonalds that we have today. I work at a McDonalds. Without sliced bread, I might be out of a job. I am very thankful for  the way at least some things happened in this world.

We wouldn’t even have cars if it wasn’t for sliced bread.

Okay, maybe we would still have cars. But you get what I am saying.

Now take a step back from all of this. Where would we be without the sandwich? If some genius didn’t decide to put bread food bread and eat it, we would not even have a need for sliced bread. Just the thought of that is kind of hard to swallow. Ha see what I did there?

Anyway, I hope you’ve learned a lot about the wonderful creation that is sliced bread. And I hope you have reflected upon the mere idea of life without it. Maybe the thought gave you chills. Maybe this is absolutely stupid to you. Oh well……

Thank you for your time.

I ❤ BREAD

What a Weekend!

I just went to a concert. It was 98.9 The Bear’s Birthday Bash. It was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I had a truly wonderful time. The concert started at 2:30 this afternoon and it got done at 10. The original plan was for Jake, Makayla, and me to stay at Jake’s house in Garrett, Indiana for the whole weekend. Makayla decided to do something with her life and get a job. I mean who does that? Wow. Just ditching her friends for work (sarcasm…just fyi). The next one to ditch us was Holly. I suppose she never had permission to go so I am not too mad at her. After asking a few other people, by one this afternoon, we finally found a replacement. It was one of Jake’s friends from high school, Logan. For some reason they call him Weng Chung. I don’t know why I just went with it. Garrett, Jake’s hometown, is about twenty minutes from Fort Wayne. The concert was today, Sunday, so we had a few days to burn before the concert. Jocko and I left just after burger Friday at Grace.

We arrived at his apartment in Garrett a little ahead of schedule. Then we just chilled at his house for a while. Next, we went up to his high school to visit his friends in the band. They were doing their marching band performance that night during the football game. His girlfriend is in the color guard. We didn’t see her until we were at the game. Jake’s school’s team lost 28-14 and the marching band performance wasn’t awful… After the game, we went to eat food at McDonalds. It was Jake, Alyssa (his girlfriend), her friend Cassie, and I who were there. We had a great time. They are nice people.

Anyway, Saturday was kind of the same situation. We didn’t have much to do until night time when the big marching band show was going on in East Noble. We went to that and watched a lot of the marching bands. Garrett took fourth out of five in class B competition. I thought they did better than that. Anyway, we went home and hung out with his girlfriend and her friend again. That was a fun time. We just chilled in Jake’s living room and talked. It was great. Then this morning, we had church and that was fun. Jake finally got his friend to go to the concert with us.

We took off at a little after one. The concert was really fun. The bands that were there were: Scarlet Raven, We As Human, Ra, Trapt, Adelita’s Way, and finally Skillet. I was thoroughly impressed with the first two. I had never heard of Scarlet Raven before, but they were a great Christian Rock band. We As Human was amazing in concert. I did not like Ra at all. Maybe I am just not into that kind of music, I don’t know. I just didn’t like it. Trapt was great except the singer kept cussing. He swore a lot. Dropped the f-bomb every chance he got. Their music was really good though. One of their songs is stuck in my head: “Invincible”. Apparently that is really popular. Adelita’s Way was a lot like Trapt. Decent music but always swearing. They played a lot of their “new” music. I really liked it. The main singer looked a lot like Joe Johnson. Both Jocko and I noticed that.

I suppose I should mention this: Jake and I sort of bumped into some girls. There were mosh pits going on at just random times. Like some idiot would shove someone and ten people would join in for a couple of minutes. Me and Jake played “big brother” for them. We blocked off the people from them a couple of times. It was kind of scary. I think it was the worst in the middle of Adelita’s Way’s performance. These dummies were getting rowdy. We made it though. Then it was time for the main event: SKILLET. I’ve seen Skillet in concert before, but it was never this good. They played so many of their songs that I like. I had a wonderful time.

Then Jake and I left for Grace. I slept most of the way while he drove. And here we are now. In our rooms. Ready for sleep. Finally. What a weekend.

Inception. is it possible?

Alright. For anyone who cares, my all-time favorite movie of life is “Inception”. This movie wrecks me every time I see it. i have watched it about twenty times. I am absolutely in love with Inception. Just the whole concept of shared dreaming amazes me. How someone actually came up with it, i do not know. Then, along with the shared dreaming comes extraction and obviously Inception. The possibility of these becoming real ‘tools’ that we can use for finding information someday interests me.

I hope with all my heart that every one of you has seen this movie. And i hope that it has has changed your life as it has changed mine.

The fact that it is a new concept leaves a lot of room open for new additions to the information provided about it. The writer (s) of this movie certainly took advantage of their creative license.

Anyone who has seen this movie probably asks the same question: “Was Cobb awake or dreaming in the last scene?” In my opinion, I do not think Cobb was dreaming. i think he was awake and in real life.

I truly enjoy watching this movie whenever possible. And now, as much as it bothers me when others do this, i have to say “spoiler alert”…

I learned of this theory dealing with Inception on the Internet. It is this: Cobb’s personal totem was not MAL‘S spinning top, but his wedding ring. When Ariadne invades Cobb’s personal dreams/memories and they get to the top floor on the beach, Dom says “In my dreams, we are still together.” A.K.A. That they were still married, obviously. I found there to be a tremendous amount of truth in this suggestion. Throughout the movie, he is laying or sitting in ways that are not specifically necessary which show off his left hand. Every time you see his left hand and he is in a dream, it has a ring on the ring finger. But when he is not in possession of (or wearing) the ring, he is awake. I have watched the movie a few times watching specifically for the ring showing up. And it holds to be true.

I usually watch the movie on my xbox 360 so I have the option to zoom in on a part of a DVD. So i sat down and thought, “I am going to watch this scene until i figure it out.” So I did. After watching the same clip over and over again was kind of annoying. But the answer i came to is that yes “Cobb is not wearing a wedding ring during the final scene of the movie.” Therefore, since Cobb is not wearing a ring, that means he must not be with Mal….dreaming. Cobb is really awake and home with his beloved children. But here is the kicker for me: does it really even matter whether he was? Even if it was not reality, he could still accept it as reality and then would it even matter to. He believes he’s in the world where p