Grand Rapids, Hipster or Family Town?

Hipster, a person who is generally in their 20’s or 30’s and values independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. These kinds of people usually reject mainstream and follow more of a vintage lifestyle.

Back in April of 2012 an article was released by Forbes, rating Grand Rapids one of the best places to raise a family in. Many might agree that this article stamped Grands Rapids as a family town, but is it really? Over the past year the Grand Rapids area has slowly been becoming more and more hipster. Eastown Grand Rapids is a prime example of exactly how hipster Grand Rapids is becoming. There are more just a few of local businesses in Eastown, which is partly what makes it a huge attraction for hipsters. Some of these businesses consist of vegetarian restaurants which is also a rather large attraction for hipsters. Art Prize is also yet another attraction for hipsters, however it is also a large attraction for many people and is a great family event to go to. But with increasing amount of hipsters and hipster attractions in Grand Rapids, I’d say it’s is more of a hipster town.

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Meditation

Yesterday I spent 20 minutes in an attempt to meditate. I tried out the Re-Collection technique again to see if I could do better outside of a classroom. Instead of just sitting in a chair like in the classroom, I decided to make it a little more symbolic. So I sat cross legged and put my palms together facing down for releasing. When receiving I put arms up with my along with my palms facing up. I found this to be more effective when its comes to actually feeling the releasing of concerns and when receiving from God. Over all this was a pretty interesting experience and I might continue to do this. Though I think I am going to need to find a better place than my house because there are so many distractions. People are constantly walking around so the floor creeks all the time and there is often a lot of drama around the house. I’m thinking if I trying meditating again I should do it outside in a little storage house we have near the back of my yard.

Next Christians by Gabe Lyons

While watching Gabe Lyon’s speech on next generation Christians his point that Christians should be restorers of the world really struck me. I was never really taught this. My parents focused more on teaching me that Christians are the people who should be setting good examples by not being like the world and separating ourselves from it. I was taught that if you are Christian then it should be evident in your life so that others can see the difference in you.

Personally, I only partly agree with this and I am a little disappointed in my parents teaching. Yes, the world should be able to see the difference in our life, but separating ourselves from the world is not the way to go about it. Christ did not separate himself from the world. He went out and restored it and like Gabe Lyons said that’s what we should be doing as Christians.

In Gabe Lyon’s speech he shows that one of the most common views outsiders have on Christians is that they are all anti-homosexual. I strongly believe this is because of Separatist Christians. Instead of loving the sinner and hating the sin, they get hung up on the sin and separate themselves from the people. Also instead of loving people in the the Kingdom of God they condemn people of their sin. This is wrong and is most likely where most of the common views of outsiders come from. Restorer Christians not only need to restore the world but also the Body of Christ.

Father of Lights

Over the past week I watched the movie “Father of Lights”, which is essentially about a group of Christians going from country to country spreading God’s love to people and baring fruit as God calls his children to. As I watched it I found myself constantly doubting the miracles that we’re shown in this movie. In the film there was a Christian man named Todd who was healing people in Jesus’ name. To me this seemed staged and was what challenged me the most in this film. It’s not hard to get people to fake being sick or partly crippled and then pretend to be healed. 

However, as I watched and thought about what I was seeing more and more I slowly began to accept the fact all the miracles in this movie were real. As I did the movie revealed to me and reconfirmed a characteristic of God. God’s omnipresence. The film also addressed a misconception I had of God. Which was that God still does do miracles through his followers. Before watching this movie I believed miracles were some of the rarest things on Earth. I also believed God almost never used his followers to do miracles. I thought that was more of a Biblical thing.   

In this film the group of Christian use what I believe is the best strategy for evangelizing. When I see someone using this strategy of evangelism, which can be considered loving someone into the God’s kingdom or being the light in presence of complete darkness, it feels as though God has sends a surging bolt of electricity through my spirit, refreshing me and filling me with joy.

Out of the many stories in this film there were three that struck me the most. The first was the story about the Christians condemning nonbelievers and the Christian Group spreading God’s love to them instead of judging them. This struck me, because I often judge those kinds of Christians and consider them stubborn, stupid Christians who have misinterpreted the Bible the most. Another one of the stories that struck me was the one of the Guru. I found this story so amazing. It was fascinating to me that after years of searching for God, it was God who found the Guru. Because in the end God sent one of his followers to look for the Guru and tell him about Jesus. Last but not least the many stories of Todd healing people struck me probably the hardest, because like I said before I did not believe people like this really existed anymore.

After seeing this movie it has caused me to examine my own life and walk with God. And if there’s one thing I want do different now, it would be spend more time with God. I almost never spend time reading the Bible on my own and rarely pray or even communicate with God.

   

New Paganism

Describe God:

There are five beliefs of god

Atheism: There is no god.

Humanism: Everyone is god and humans have infinite value.

Polytheism: There are many gods.

Pantheism: One immanent God

Theism: One transcendent God 

 

How did the faith come to be?

The joining of humanism, polytheism, and pantheism.

 

What are core components of this faith?

To build a heaven on Earth and win by infiltrating the church not opposing it. 

Also things that are absent are piety, absolute morality, and supernatural beings. 

 

Who is Jesus?

He is just a person.

 

What is something faith has in common with Christianity?

Both try to bring good to earth.

 

What are a few differences between this faith and Christianity?

It stoutly rejects the fear of God and denies transcendence.

 

In my opinion this religion sounds like it could be the exact opposite of Christianity. There are very little similarities and it pretty much rejects the belief of the creator God. I also think it takes more faith to believe in a religion like this than Christianity. Mainly because this religion seems very unclear and can be quite relative in certain areas. Also this religion does not explain how the world came to be which is a big part of many religions.

Buddhism

Describe God:

There is no creator God. There are only non-creator deities.

How did the faith come to be?

Gautama Buddha founded/created it in India.

What are core components of this faith?

Desire eventually causes suffering and it includes the belief in reincarnation.

Who is Jesus?

It acknowlegdes he is a great person or good man.

What is something this faith has in common with Christianity?

Both contain the belief their founder was born of a virgin also women are equal in both religions.

What are a few differences between this faith and Christianity?

Doesn’t believe in Jesus’ second coming and reincarnation is substuted for heaven.

In Buddhism the founder Buddha knew and claimed he was a man where as Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and man.

Also Buddhism does not condemn others for following other religions, but Christianity contains the belief that it is wrong to follow any other religion than Christianity.

Personally I think this religion is a little odd because a man who knew he was only a man and nothing more, made it up. Therefore it is more of an opinion than anything else and does not hold much truth to it.

Art Prize Visit

I recently went to Art Prize this past week. While I was down there I went to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Art Museum, the UCIA, and the BOB. There wasn’t very much art at the Public Museum this year. However, I did find one piece I liked, which is called Two Moons. It is made out of green glass and stone and when the sun strikes it just right it makes it look really cool, which is what drew me to it. One piece of art I didn’t like was the Binary Strip hanging on the Public Museum. I really thought this was stupid, because it’s just like a banner hanging and to me that really isn’t art at all. Unlike the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is filled with lots of art. There was one piece here that really grabbed my attention. It is called Origami and was the one where paper was creased to create shadows of faces. One reason I liked this so much is the fact that doing what was done takes incredible skill. Being able to make shadow art with creased paper is completely fascinating to me. Just like at the Public Museum there was a piece I thought was really stupid at the Art Museum. This piece is called BAM POW. It is a bunch of ceramic tube like shapes stacked on top of each other. In my opinion this is weak, lazy art and doesn’t seem like the artist really tried. The UICA was also filled with lots of cool art. My favorite piece there was the tunnel made out of paper bags. I found this to be very creative and interesting. The piece that I didn’t like at the UICA was the wood door with the eye hole in it. To me this also rather lame and stupid and doesn’t seem like the artist really tried. As for the BOB, I thought most of it wasn’t really art because the pieces were used as entertainment for people. For instanced the piece called Impression. People would line up just so they could get their body pressed into large scale kinetic pin screen. It seems to be more like a toy than anything else. However there was still one piece I liked there and that was the Heavy Metal Rock Bad. I thought this was extremely creative and very cool. I really like how the artist used plummer wrenches for the skeletons’ rib-cages.

After going through the pieces of art that I liked and didn’t like or didn’t think was really art at all I would like say that Art has hundreds and hundred and hundreds of definitions, but to me it is a means of bringing people together and is necessary for life and peoples’ progress towards well-being.