Thursday, May 25, 2006 

Moving

For those of you who have made your way to this page it's probably because you have bookmarked my blogspot address. I've moved over to wordpress for a few reasons, mostly because I like the fact that I can categorize my posts and it's a lot more user friendly (me being the user and being html illiterate).

At any rate, you can get to it by going to andrewsikora.com. Please go regularly and post as many comments as possible because I feel validated by them.

Thanks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 

How Am I Not Myself?

If you've ever seen the movie I Heart Huckabees you know that this question plays a central role in the way that the main characters discover what is actually real about the lives that they live. Every now and then I'll throw this question into a conversation with a wink and a nod and those in the room who have seen the movie will laugh for a second, but the conversation continues because obviously it's not a real question, it's not like I'm looking for a real answer.

Tonight I want to tell you how I'm not myself.

I lead this really complicated life that finds me being at least 3 different people in different situations. If you're reading this you probably know that I work for a church, and if there's anywhere that you would expect someone to be 100% it would be church, but the thing that you aren't factoring in when you think that way is how a church actually works. Depending on the type of church most of the time you only really know about 50% of the people who are in leadership. Why?

Because if you really got to know us you'd run.

Well, that's probably not true, if you got to know us you'd probably stop beating yourself up and we'd probably all be able to finally speak freely.

You see when I'm at work I have to tow the company line. Support ideas and only give feedback when I'm asked directly so as to not upset all that God is "doing". When I am with my other associate staff members I'm not really able to be myself because if I really let what I thought or how I felt come through there's a chance that I'd cause some sort of division, and if that's what happens when I talk to the people on staff there's no way I can ever talk to those in the church about these things because the fall out would only be worse.

Here's the really sad part, when you're not really yourself in 80% of your life it makes it extremely difficult to be honest in the other 20% of your life. If you spend most of your week trying to figure out what you can and can't say, what emotions you can and can't express it makes it difficult to really just cut loose when you're with someone you can trust, like your wife or friends from out of town for instance (just for instance, I'm not talking from personal experience or anything...)

If you ask me this is really bad news.

Why? Because I don't think we were meant to live divided lives.

I've been reading this great book called The Gospel According to Moses, and in the second or third chapter the author talks about a prayer called the shema that the Jews would pray every day, the start of which comes from Deut 6. I haven't been able to get much passed the beginning of the prayer either which starts like this...

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

I think it's important for us to realize that the Lord is One. He's not two or three. He's not different things in different circumstances. He is one.

Now the author goes much deeper with this idea and what it means theologically, but I think I've figured out how I am not myself through the beginning of the shema. If I am made in God's image and I spend my entire life split. If who I am over here is not who I am over there then I am divided. I am not one, and this is not good, it causes much distress.

And why do I allow myself to be split? To protect myself? To protect another's wrong doing? To give people what they want? There is no freedom in that. There is no abundance in that kind of living.

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

What's New at Social Truth

Matt and I have been really tearing through the headlines lately. Every day I'm going to try and update all that we're talking about over at socialTruth.com!
"Women not welcome in Men's Sports":: This week Keith Hernandez and Wimbledon both said they think men are the superior gender.
"Chernobyl horror remembered":: It's been 20 years since Chernobyl, and the effects are still being felt.
"Fox News anchor takes White House job":: Finally, a fair and balanced perspective from the white house.
"Bush takes aim at rising gasoline prices":: Finally, fair and balanced gas prices (not really).

 

Thinking while Sleeping

Work has been so busy as of late (not in a bad way, just in a busy way), so today my friend Bryan and I went for a little stroll through the church's parking lot and ended up standing at the top of a huge mound of dirt that was being moved to put in more parking and an exit road. Standing there, looking at the big yellow construction vehicles hard at work we caught up on all that had been taking place in our lives as of late (most of which were what was going on at work) and we talked about what we do when we're exhausted. We both agreed that when we're tired we end up just shutting down, but the funny thing was that we both had different definitions of what it meant for us to shut down.

When I shut down I don't want to do anything that requires any kind of thought. No reading, no writing, no phone calls, nothing. I just want to sit on my couch and watch reruns. That's not how Bryan does it, he said that when he's exhausted he reads a bunch, plays guitar and writes all sorts of things.

So maybe I'm missing out. I wonder what would happen if I started trying to use my brain when I was tired. Maybe I would feel more refreshed or renewed or something. I'm going to try and do things that require some thought when I'm tired and see what happens.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Isn't It Funny...

How easily I forget about my blog?

I know that you are probably one of the few who are stopping by on a daily basis to see if there is anything new happening in my life. The funny thing is there's so much that goes on in a normal week that I forget to update, or I just don't feel like I can muster the mental strength to get it done. It got me thinking about busyness.

It seems that people either can't motivate themselves to do a darn thing or they can't stop doing stuff. I think that I find myself firmly in both camps. There are days that there is so much going on that I don't even have time to check your blog, and then there are days when all I do is waste time, not really accomplishing much of anything.

I wonder how I find balance? Is it even possible to live a balanced life, or maybe the better question is, do I have some sort of false view of what I think balance is.

All this to say, I think I'm going to always be a failure at posting on this blog, and all I can say to you is that I will try and be a little less of a failure.

Have a great day, hope to see you soon.

Friday, March 24, 2006 

The phrase that people always use when something breaks down is, “How can they put a man on the moon and they still can’t make a good (insert: hair dryer, waffle iron, etc.)?!

I think maybe it’s time we just accepted the fact that putting a man on the moon wasn’t that hard.

(taken from "Bits of Life" by Aaron Donley from Burnside Writers Collective)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 

My Idol


From the first day that Taylor showed up on American Idol I've loved him. I can't tell you how much it makes me smile every time he's on the show. His voice is so amazing and his dance moves are so spectacularly bad that you know they are 100% legit and not rehearsed.

Please oh please oh please America, do this one thing for me and I will never ask you for another thing... please vote for Taylor to be the American Idol. If you don't I don't know if I could ever believe in America again.

 

Yesterday...

I was at Panera meeting a LifeGroup leader for lunch and I got up to get a refill on my Doctor Pepper. Of course there was about a million people trying to pick up their orders as well as fill their little cups with the sweet nectar of soda. There was this one old guy in front of me who motioned for me to go ahead of him, so of course I did because I really needed some more D.P. While I was filling my cup I heard him tell a few more people to go ahead of him. Someone said, "oh know, you go on." He said, "no, I'm retired. I've got all the time in the world, you people are all in a hurry, so go right ahead."

I'm not retired, in fact I'm soooooo far from it, but come on, isn't this perspective fresh? When I live like I've got all the time in the world I'm able to put others ahead of me. This old guy had already quit his job, there was nothing that he felt like he still had to do, and therefore he could put others first. It's pretty awesome to have an old retired guy remind me that I'm already dead, and since I'm already dead, there's nothing that I'm in a hurry to do.

Go ahead, I'm dead. It's no longer I who live, but it's Christ who lives in me.

booya!

Monday, March 13, 2006 

New Friends

I would like to introduce you to some of my friends that I just added links to. Take some time and check them out.

Jonny Rice:: It's kind of weird that I left him off the list originally. I'm not sure why that is, but now he's getting a nice shout out. Jonny and I went to school together and worked at camp together, but most importantly he's my brother's roomy (you can read from their ridiculous blog here, you won't regret it). Jonny's a smart cookie and a great writer. Take some time to enjoy.

Matt Kitchen:: Matt's the guy who thought up most of socialTruth and is just using me for my good looks and killer personality. We're in the same LifeGroup and are becoming better friends each day (yes, this is Mr. Rogers Neighborhood).

Ryan James:: I've never met Ryan James, but I like him. He has connections with 707 and designed their current web page, and the redesign that will be launching soon. He's spent some time with Relevant (mostly designs things there, like their webpage and some nice sports cars for the launch of RelevantCars). He's on the move to the great state of Maryland, and more than anything I think he's a pretty awesome guy. Check out some of his thoughts and art over at eskimoNation

 

SocialTruth 1

We've "officially" launched socialTruth.com. If you were lucky enough to see the pilot you know that we (Andy Sikora & Matt Kitchen) might just be the two most engaging personalities around.



It's more than just about us though. We want your thoughts and input. You can register, tell us what you think about what we're talking about, vote in our weekly poll and tell us where you see truth in society.

Head on over to socialtruth.com and join in the fun. Check it out, we're taking over the world.

 

Running in The Rain

Today was the first real "spring" day here in the Cleveland area. We had a lot of rain at times, but the temperature was near 70 for a good portion of the day. It just so happened that I had scheduled to meet my friend Zach for a run. There's a great park about 5 minutes away that has an amazing trail that runs for over 50 miles. So we started running with partly cloudy skies, 65 degrees, and a strong wind. Half way through the run a light sprinkle started. With about a mile to go the rain and wind was so strong that neither of us could see more than 3 feet in front of us and the rain was hitting us so hard that you could hear it smack off the others body. It was truly the worst weather I've ever run in.

Oh yeah... and I loved it.