Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The rush of recognizing my beating heart...
The sensation in 'love' and all of it's possibilites...

The risk in dancing when there is no music...
The chance to dream and imagine life outside of what you see...

Steps of faith that go beyond logic...
Thoughts of color that cease to exist...

Feel yourself breathe



Slow down to see wind blowing a tree
Reach out and allow the air to wrap itself around your arm
Sit down, close your eyes, and let the sounds of our world tell you a story

Live in hope, color, and confidence

Ignore the meaningless noise

Avoid the dull, the gray, and the timid


Friday, December 4, 2009

.. . ..

"Our spiritual imaginations have fallen asleep on the comfortable mattress of the consumer culture, and before any remedy for the church can be prescribed our dormant imaginations must be stirred form their slumber."

- Skye Jethani The Devine Commodity

Thursday, November 26, 2009


My soul, there is a Countrie
Far beyond the stars
Where stands a winged Centrie
All skilful in the wars,
There, above noise, and danger
Sweet peace sits crown'd with smiles,
And one born in a Manger
Commands the Beauteous files,
He is thy gracious friend,
And (O my Soul awake!)
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake,
If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flowre of peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease;
Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure,
But one, who never changes,
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

- Henry Vaughan

Happy Thanksgiving! - So much to be thankful for...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a walk in the snow

it is truly amazing how much good you can find in moments.

in moments that are forced upon you by the design of nature.

after experiencing a long night and a late morning of walking in the quiet frosting snow I have been gracefully reminded of just how beautiful 'creation' is.

for example:

the wonders of how my eyes take in the light.

the peaceful feeling of being thankful, joyous, and content - amongst the stress and anxiety of city living.

the way my dog fights to be known as either a watchful and poised wolf sniffing and protecting or a playful puppy prancing amongst the untouched white blankets.

the mystery I am engaged to be a part as I allow myself to dream about love, my future, and the complexities of being vulnerable & human.

the miracle of breathing, bleeding, and touch.

the excitement of choice, risk, faith, and destiny.

the passion behind a winter kiss.

the dance of children as a snow man comes to life.

the unspoken music of all who share this magical snow storm.

God - Friend,

-Thank you for your natural wonders.
-Thank you for how you meet us in moments.
-Bring us life.
-Bring us love.
-Bring us out of ourselves.
-Take our hands.
-Take our hearts.
-Take our dirty feet.
-Cleanse our mind.
-Cleanse our dreams.
-Help us understand grace.
-Help us find freedom.
-Help us trust in you.
-Lead our fight to forgive.
-Lead our desire to be known.
-Lead our hopes for letting go.
-Thank you for loving us.
-Thank you for allowing us all into the conversation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kiva Walk 2 - update!

I wanted to share an update.

One: I had an AMAZING trip in San Francisco last weekend. Everything from meeting the incredible Kiva team to taking in the depth of culture hugging the bay area made this trip well worth the time.

Two: As I allowed the creative juices to flow in conversation with Kiva staff I decided on a new route. I will now depart from Lewes, Delaware and end in San Francisco, CA. I made this change for the following reasons:

- Walking towards family, friends, and close community here in Denver - where many have voiced sincere interest in joining me
- Having an exciting goal to physically meet Kiva staff and supporting communities in San Francisco as I finish
- Walking the entirety of the American Discover Trail (, which comes complete with maps, state-coordinators, and turn-by-turn support
- The personal excitement in making this a true coast-to-coast adventure

Three: Total Trip - 5300 miles!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kiva Walk 1 - a rough introduction

Friends, family, and distant seekers -

(As many of you know)...I will be leaving in March of 2010 on a 7-9 month walk from Denver, CO to Portland, Maine. This will be the first of many posts and thoughts related to this 'large' and quickly approaching adventure....yOw!

Why this trip? - my answers are vast and they all center around connecting, observing, listening, and investing in - people!

Exploring well over 2,500 miles of our country at a comfortable pace with my super-mixed-mut-pooch Kanoa through hundreds of culture-rich communities makes me crazy....ahhhhh, the simplicity of a back pack, the clothes on my back, and the unpredictable terrain of my country and her people...

An equal heart-beat that pumps my drive to walk will be the effort in advocating and raising money for Kiva. Kiva is a break through non-profit organization that is changing lives through online micro-finance. In other words, providing small and manageable loans to start businesses for individuals and families in our developing world. Their success in shifting the world of charity towards an easy-to-use sustainable giving model is profound and has captured my spirit - I leave next week (November 5-8th) to rally and kick-off KivaWalk with their staff in San Francisico, CA!

I have posted a 5-minute video that will give you a window into how INCREDIBLE this organization really is.

If you are interested in joining my lending team for the walk please visit:

You will see many KivaWalk updates as March gets closer!

Please watch if you are curious about Kiva and what they do:

a response to .. ... ..

A dear friend responded to my previous 'quote' posted as ".. ... .." (below). I thought his observation/insight was - spot on.

"Although it is foolish to waste time, waiting is not time wasted. Jesus waited 30 years before he set out on his mission. Just because he waited does not mean he did nothing. Waiting gives one time to think and have clarity of mind and to plan and to pray. I see where this is going, but put too simply it can miss a vital point. More haste, less speed. Patience is worth more than gold. Take your time, Jon. You live in the moment and that has it disadvantages aswell. Be wise."

Cheers to the -good- people in our lives who balance us out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

.. ... ..

"Men who have lived significant lives are men who never waited: not for money, security, ease, or relationship. Feel what you want to give most as a gift, to your partner and to the world, and do what you can to give it today. Every moment waited is a moment wasted, and each wasted moment degrades your clarity of purpose."

- Deida (the way of the superior man)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

dear wind,

my eyes fight to stay awake...and yet I stay

my logic races to win...and yet my dreams always win


i just finished a cold sip of coffee.
i felt it go all the way down.
i stared at a bruise from having my blood drawn.
i answered the phone 50 times today.
i watched my dog get straight a's in training.
i ate casserole.
i smiled, laughed, and swapped stories with a great friend.
i shared my work day with my mentee - a rare and special young man.
i prepared for an exciting web meeting tomorrow.
i feel myself digesting a homemade scone.
i am eager to sleep.
i enjoy the smoothness of the keys as I type.


my longings are bigger than a sinlge person.
my longings are greater than a paycheck.
my longings are heavier than validation from friends and family.
my longings are challenging me to remain unsettled.
my longings are writing a story.

a story of faith, love, hope, courage, and selflessness that I am hopeful to better understand each day I get older.


Monday, October 12, 2009


"Whatever the specifics of a man's purpose, he must always refresh the transcendental element of his life through regular meditation and retreat. A man should never get lost in the details of his life and forget that, ultimately and in truth, life amounts to nothing other than what is the deepest truth of this present moment. Tasks don't get a man anywhere more conscious or free than he is capable of being in the present moment."

- The Way of the Superior Man

Sunday, October 11, 2009



I am sitting back in an old chair watching my mix-mut companion, kanoa - breath up and down as he eagerly awaits my responsibility in taking him for a walk.

I had coffee with two people today - my sister before taking her to the airport and a new friend who came back from a trip where he petted Cheetahs.

I read a great chapter in the book "The Myth of a Christian Religion" by Gregory Boyd. It was all about Ceasar and Jesus. It reminded me that working hard to filter thoughts, actions, and investments through the life of Jesus Christ isn't a bad, religous, judgemental, or close-minded effort. It brings me LIFE and it is GOOD.


...isn't JUST another day before a 'better' day comes along.
Today can't be wasted.
Today is full of opportunities, moments, and conversations.

I want to pay attention to the details.
I pray that today tangles me into every seed available.

Help me - help us - to never allow 'today' to become less than great.

I want to run with angels, with 'sinners',
...dream with children,
...learn from wizards,
...sing with women,
...hug the hopeless,
...share with strangers, with friends, the outcasts,
...thank the givers,
and pray for fathers.

Cheers to today.

Make it great!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

...thought spray

Life will fly right by us.

Live in the moment.

Embrace the risk to be alive and passionate.

Have you said sorry to them?

There are many cars driving over 70mph right by us.

The sky gets more and more unpredictable.

Go visit a landfill.

Have you told those you love that they are special to you?

People will come and go. some will stay.

We will break our legs, our cars, and our hearts.

Where is the new sale?

People want you to you love who you are. they really don't need things to look a certain way.

Does being homeless mean that I am heartless?

Why does committed love between two people of the same sex threaten us so much?

What devastating event in our life will force us to better understand the words "we, us, share, give, love, grace"?


what are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

let's dance

In reading the book "SexGod" by Rob Bell I have been strictly re-affirmed in my deep and built-in need to connect with others.

I have always valued this.
The time spent with friends, strangers, family - people.

There is no mystery in observing our growing hunger to talk about others behind their back.

There is no mystery in our flippant usage of profanity and hand gestures when cut-off in traffic.

There is no mystery to the devistating hole that bares its ugly head when we have lost someone we love - whether in relationship or physical death.

There is no mystery to the actions of the quick-fix consumer and his/her purchasing power as a reaction or numbing agent to stress.

Why do we do these things?

- Well, I believe we will always meet reaction in the face of stress. I think it is a part of being human. It is natural.

- That said, I also believe what is natural is how we connect with others. We need to share, ask, question, trust, initiate, forgive, listen, and sit with - more.

We are not meant to be alone - in solitude. We are meant to share this place we walk on, eat from, and swim in.

We must connect more. We must trust more. We must allow others into our life and crave to be a part of theirs.

It is easier to have lunch with, dialogue with, and connect with those who are in our bubble. In fact, many of these friends and family feed us and are in many forms our - life blood - thus, making them a necessary bubble!


I challenge myself and anyone who reads this to be mindful of the 'others': The people who represent the harsh words out of our mouths, thoughts, and actions. The unfortunate souls that continue to fry in our "gossip" world.

Those who annoy us, frustrate us, make us angry.
Those who have hurt us, hurt others, and dis-agree with us.
Those who have been mis-understood, manipulated by, and framed as.

How would all of the areas listed above change if we all spent more time -truly- listening, prodding, caring, and investing into those who became scum in the words or actions we exercise.

We would understand that they make sense.

They have had difficulty.

They need us.

They need a God that is bigger than the guilt, the poster, the sticker, and dare I say the default fix-it: devotional, book, or fancy 10K cross.

They need God in the way we talk about them - to them - and around them.

Our Holy Spirits are alive.

They crave to dance in the the moments we spend with those we don't understand.

We aren't perfect.

We can't fix people.

We will lose patience.

We will give-up for a time.

We will fall and fall in an effort to forgive.

We must keep getting back up.

We are needed.

Fight the good fight.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the penis and the vagina

No...this is not about anatomy, sex, being male or female...and the like.


Curious? Uncomfortable?

I will tell you I'm 'unsteady' in selecting 'publish post' with this title.


Think about it. About our 'cover-up' culture.


I'm not advocating nudity. I'm talking about something bigger attention.


Are we utterly aware of our elephants? You know, those things that we don't tell everyone - or anyone. Back to the title. We are human beings. We have many - alive - and functioning parts - internal and external. Where do you think we would be as a country if we were more open and honest in healthy dialogue regarding our "private parts"?

Take this to another level...

These secrets, beliefs, dreams, experiences, hopes, longings, insecurities, ideas...the list goes on.


Sure, hiding is easy. We have mastered the art of doing so. (cubicles, large houses w/100 rooms, excessive shopping, distracting media, television, fast-food..etc)

These elephants are powerful when they exist solely in our head.
Don't you agree?
Sure we can shove them down, tuck them back, or cover them up - control them.

Let's face it. They are still there.

I don't know if I can describe a more challenging experience then when I allow others - those that I trust - to see these things.

Jesus is an example. He asks his followers to give up their control in exchange for life to its fullest. Give it up to who? I find that in prayer I can muster the words, thoughts, and wishes towards God in hopes that his large magic wand will cast her shiny eraser on my elephant...haha, maybe this works for some. It never has for me. In my experience, giving this control to Jesus - to God - has been the timely efforts of trusting those around me who love and care for me.

These conversations were profound. I allowed other 'spirits' if you will - into my pain, fear, and frustration.

Vulnerable - yes.

Empowering - yes.

I walk prouder, taller, and increasingly confident in a God that loves me unconditionally - a family of people that support me endlessly - and a growing drive to seek continuous freedom for others and myself.

Find people that can listen, support, and help you with your might be suprised at how much they will honor your courage - they may just let you see some of theirs too.

Cheers - to a fuller life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a new day

"When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive -
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."
-Marcus Aurelius

I love waking up...

I love knowing that my past is a lesson...

That my future is unkown...

More importantly I crave the feeling of the air that swirls around my present hopes that it will capture me and in a confident whisper remind me to pay attention.

Inspiring Song/Video: Feeling Good

Thursday, August 20, 2009

muddy love

imagine your hand full of mud.

now imagine your mind, heart, and soul trying so hard to understand, define, label, and make sense of the complexities of God, Jesus, Love, and Time

now, imagine yourself smearing the mud all over your face.

...i can't fully make out what is ahead of me

...i call myself a Christian

...i believe in the life and promise of Jesus Christ

...i have my doubts, questions, and concerns

...i have my stories, experiences, and usually an explanation for everything

...not for this

...i have learned to know that pursuit of truth is essential to a good life there more to this life than the mold, the story, and the outcome that is painted by tradition and religion?

...should one's journey for where he/she stands here and now have as much weight and ecstasy as one's story being told long after they were alive and breathing?

...allow yourself to get smacked by grace and humility once and awhile - if not often

...i must

...ah, judgement - an accepted, embraced, and firmly nourished "SIN" that perfectly fits into the capacity of grace for us all. ;)

...homosexuality = sin. really? - who said? maybe "we" should come up with a new word for committed love between two people of the same sex...might give those who want to live a free and open life a chance to love themselves and develop relationship with God the Father...hmmm, truth might actually have a chance to seep in and heal the hearts of so many men and women burned by religion. gosh.

...ah, divorce. haha. the tolerance here is a crack-up. it's so obvious. but easily ignored. let's continue this...please.

...there has to be room for taking what was written long ago and working hard to make it alive in today's culture...right? holy spirit?

...i won't allow this inner vortex of guilt, fear, and insecurity to win the race today

...i will go to bed a free, thankful, and confident man

...a freedom in colorful pursuit of love - for others and myself

...a thankfulness that blankets every breathe i am granted

...and ultimately a confidence that this ongoing conversation i am having with God is shaping a bright and powerful future more


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


"I can't control my destiny, I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be. There's only now, there's only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today."

- Johnathan Larson (writer and producer)

Sunday, August 2, 2009



Help me be patient...Grow me.

Bring me closer to your thoughts.


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves."

-- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

My heart patiently strums for more of this in my life...


Thursday, July 23, 2009


the onslaught of task, obligation, and e-mail can spit all over us.

every day.

if we allow it.

a month ago my friend Mark and I knew that the fog forming in the cubicle world was going to suffocate us if we didn't learn to take full advantage of our weekends.
we proceeded to plan a trip for this past weekend to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.

we had four days (two of which were driving) to explore these great stretches of land.


this is the kind of trip that sticks with you...challenges you...makes you dwell on the real blessings in your life: your happier moments, your limitless future, and ultimately God...

in addition to the never ending shock of mother nature's magic in these parks, my trip was full and good because of what was shared between Mark and I.

we read (out-loud) a book titled "the Shack" in the midst of our 14 hour (one-way) routes both there and back.

we laughed. we cried. we stretched. we grew.

i am so thankful for friends...and in particular, those that invest on levels that go deeper...those that break down the walls of intrusion, comfort, and safety.

Glacier, Yellowstone, Mack (the shack), and more importantly Mark:

thank you.

for a refreshing jump-start into my faith, my passion, and my excitement for being alive.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Kanoa: "the free one" - Hawaiian

i embraced this big furball on Sunday after adopting him from a local shelter here in Denver.

he is a 2 year old mystery.

lost and found with no history.

a mixed/mut of what looks to be 3 or 4 different breeds.

he's big, goofy, personable, adventurous, and compassionate - perfect.

he is an incredible addition to my life and will be a key player in "next year's" activities! ;)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


"We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our community as members of the same body"
- John Winthrop, 1965

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"a long way gone" - by Ishmael Beah

This biography is a great introduction for anyone who has entertained the desire to better understand or empathize with soldiers and war in Africa.

Prepare to:
& you read.

This book gave me a beautiful and challenging graphic snapshot into the backbone of what it takes to survive in the darkest and most unimaginable conditions.

We are so fragile as people.
We are guaranteed nothing.
Safety and comfort are illusions. this book.
click here with ishmael
click here

Thursday, June 4, 2009


"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast... a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive them."

-edward abbey

Monday, June 1, 2009

thought spray























as the thunder rolls outside. as my garden sprouts. as my feet itch. as my eyes get heavy. as my memories of the day roll by. as my hopes for tomorrow begin to form. as my hairs twitch in my nose as i exhale.

i am another day older.
........another day wiser.

im not promised tomorrow.
may God help me to make the most of each day. of each person. of each opportunity.

i will not be a coward. i will not conform. i will go for my dreams.

i am free.

Friday, May 29, 2009

...letting go

letting go of something that you have held close to you is painful.

the very moment it slips from your reach your heart aches to have it back.

sooner than later the flood gates of "why" you held on slam open and fill the walls of your thoughts with great pressure.

there is loss, sadness, regret, guilt, and a firework display of questions that rage in an effort to erase your recent goodbye.


there is another side.

releasing something that seemed to hold you together for a period of time can be magical.

perspective takes a nose dive into your insecurity, your priorities, your passions, your ability or inability to cope.

it can shake your faith and send threatening vibrations throughout one's spiritual foundation.

life has a mysterious way of showing us where we need to go.

testing us for malfunctions...errors...broken code

it also pushes us to make hard decisions to do what is best.

we can choose to listen and move in the direction that whispers...

or we can ignore the voice and fight for the personal control we so easily seek.


i have let go of something dear to me.

i can't begin to see the whole picture clearly.

i crave answers.

patience and faith.


i will regain my strength.

i will trust the voice that guides me.

peace will soon follow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

thank you.

" the end of the day, all we have is who we are"

im thankful today.

for all of those people who have dedicated their lives to something bigger than themselves.
for all those people who have taken risk for the life of another.
for all of those people who have given up comfort and ease for the greater good.
for the spirit inside of us that fights for us to be selfless and hopeful.

i have learned so much from you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


"where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier."

I read this rough printed nugget of truth yesterday and immediately stopped focusing on how I was going to fit the rest of the jagged fortune cookie in my mouth.

There was a pause that lasted for about ten minutes. I was overwhelmed with comfort, excitement, fear, and uncertainty.

I graduated college on May 17th... After seven years, I not only completed a rigorous series of courses taught by professionals, but I transformed into a passionate, free-thinking, open-minded, spiritual, soul-searching pod of authentic puss. These past seven years have been incredible.

The reality is that the open-mind is difficult. Authenticity is humbling and messy. Free-thought can feed hurricanes of challenge, doubt, and stress. The road that brings peace to myself and to others is a hard one. There is no "mystery" behind patience, faith, and trust....its just plain hard. There is no "surprise" in the peace found in forgiving and giving...its just hard. The journey ahead for the open-mind is not meant to be easy - it is a series of challenges that confront the design of the human race. The foundation of our souls crave to free our ability to freely think from the walls we so easily put up.

Truth moves all around us...and the choice to stop, think, and listen can boil our waters - as well as purify them for what is to come.

The frontier ahead is wide, vast, beautiful, dangerous, and full of surprises. My mind and my heart are open to its many colors and changing seasons.

bring the rain
bring the sun
bring the clouds
bring the wind
bring the birds
bring the trees
bring the storms

im ready


Sunday, May 3, 2009

...a great message from the human race

We the people of the United State of America announce:

$41.7 MILLION DOLLARS is awarded to Matthew Stafford from Georgia to play quarterback as a rookie this year for the Detroit Lions.

Great throw Matt!

Kid's got one hell of an arm!?





Saturday, April 18, 2009

...beautiful stranger

written by Luke White...(adbusters magazine)

On a recent trip to Central America, I was hugely impacted by Guatemala City's 40-acre trash dump. I wasn't shocked by the vultures, the stench or the hundreds of people crawling in and around it like ants.

What got me were the infections.

The first infection I saw was on a withered old Mayan woman, her sightless eyes pleading for any charity I might spare. She wasn't blind in the traditional sense; her right eye had grown into a swollen black gob of puss that pushed her nose across her face and squeezed the vision from her left eye.

After that I began to see them everywhere.

The acrid air kisses every nick and scratch with its poisoned lips. The wounds fester, swell and throb red around the edges. They leak and spit puss, the infection traveling inwards, deep into the bloodstream where it squeezes the organs. Ankles swell until lymph nodes pop and legs shrivel into crippled stems.

If the vultures could, they would sing.

People working in the dump like to get right next to the dump trucks, where civilization's freshly unloaded burden sinks and pops beneath their feet. They work with bare hands, wearing discorded sneakers and blasting found radios. They hack and cough as lungs gargle with the gaping holes and scars of irreparable abuse. Old women set up ragged beach chairs amidst the stinking mess. They sit back and survey their horrid world, laughing out loud through empty gums.

Dear beautiful stranger,

There is a weight that builds in my stomach when I hear about the life you lead. I can't help but to feel sorry, sad, and helpless towards your situation. There are so many places I want you to see, people I want you to meet, and restaurants I want you to dine in. I wish that I could take all of your clothes and put them in our washer and dryer. I want to give you gift cards to a spa, a body store, or to Target so you can see who you can truly be. I want to take you to a dentist and have him work on your mouth so that you have bright white teeth again. I want to give you everything that is available to me here in the US of A.


Who am I kidding, what I crave for you is so much deeper than clean 'looking' things, lots of stuff made by people I don't know, and facebook. I want you to be happy. I want you to be pain-free. I want you to know that God loves you. I want you to know that I also understand the pain you feel, the sickness you endure, and the wounds you develop. The difference is that my pain, my sickness, and my wounds come from the inside. They come from a long storm of selfishness that breeds from uncountable amounts of possession, success, and outward beauty.


I am jealous of your smile.
I am curious of your external struggle to survive.
I am envious of your relationships with the people you love and live with.

Did you know that your smile is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen?


Stay strong stranger,

- Jonathon

get involved:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

God is here.

"...We all finished our request to God and my next sensation was beyond the words of the world. A vibration shot from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, like a current of pure truth pushing out the old Peter and putting in a new me. It still seemed too simple. But I felt clearer, cleaner and different from ever before in my life. Something transforming had happened to me here..."

-Peter Jenkins, A Walk Across America

Happy Easter

He is with us.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

risk taking is free...

to laugh is to risk appearing the fool
to weep is to risk appearing sentimental
to reach out for another is to risk involvement
to expose feelings is to risk esposing your true self
to place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss
to love is to risk not being loved in return
to live is to risk dying
to hope is to risk despair
to try is to risk failure,

But risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chaired by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who free.

- Author unknown

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Curious City

How do activities and terms like clean & trendy, open-lofts, morning-lattes, happy-hours, and fashion seasons get into our system?

Do we choose these investments?
Are they all good? Are they bad? Do we ask ourselves 'why'?

Urban Thoughts:

I will always enjoy the sight of my future in a large condo with clean walls and open space all while happily entertaining the thought of my slippers, bean bag, and art-deco sky chair. This would also include frequent visits to the local art galleries to fill my artistic voids in hopes to become increasingly inspired to extpress my own line of artwork. The small bakeries and coffee shops would strangle my senses and remind me to briefly slow down to have a small treat. This pause in my routine would have me glancing at others with strange arousal in the sight of a reciprocated enjoyment of coffee and pastries, thus feeding my daily stock of unspoken local community.

Is this it though? Is the potential idol of routine the point to why I need my coffee break? My work-out? My new outfit?


Can we get to the place where the things we purchase and the possessions we hoard become a part of the greater community?... as well as embracing and finding joy in the fruit and purchase of prized goods as a result of hard-work and investment?

This collection of thoughts is the product of a short 4 day trip to Portland, Oregon. I enjoyed this place and the people I connected with. I hope to explore much more of what I call 'The Curious City' sooner than later. There is an unspoken mystery to Portland, and any city for that matter... that I can't articulate. What Portland offers is growing and special to those fortunate to be closely involved. With what seemed to be a haze following many of the locals, I also felt an emerging generation of optimism and creativity. I left inspired.

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"to the Irish"

Ah, a wee bit conflicted on this great day...

I am challenged with the task of balancing the great "American" celebration of St. Patrick into my rich memory of my time living in Ireland.

Ireland not only taught me about St. Patrick's incredible faith and path in seeing freedom for the Irish, but I experienced the warmth and community from the Irish families at levels that can never be touched.

I miss the long nights of traditional Irish music, laughter, and story telling in the living room of the Donnelly house.

I crave to watch the young Irish students run around town in their uniforms and jumpers.

I hold onto the rich green colors that consumed my attention in our windy travels on the beaten paths.

The soft but radiant chant of Emma and the deep searching in the hearts of my Galway youth group fly with me today more than usual.

I miss you Ireland and I recommend to anyone and everyone that when/if they get to see this great country: slow down and learn as much as you can from the Irish and the way they choose to live. It will change you!

Happy St. Patrick's day!

"So here's to you and yours and mine and ours. If mine and ours ever come across you and yours, I pray that you and yours will be as kind to mine and ours as mine and ours have been to you and yours!"

Monday, March 2, 2009


To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, February 22, 2009

... ...

I just got off the phone with my mother. With whom an incredible woman who has so naturally given much of her life to others...

We laughed and reflected on the "routine" of modern day living for half an hour.

Can we trust our guts...when we feel like life is "flying-by"...?
Do we have what it takes to burn our schedule to get our spark back?


I build my values on his teachings. He asks us to lay everything down that would drive us further from love (for others and our self)...

What is good and what is bad?

Too much time and energy has gone into this question...regarding our choices...our dreams...our values...our thoughts...etc.

I ask you - & I ask myself to lay down the idea of Good and Bad...put it down...wrap it up. and throw it out.

we are called to live.
We are called to enjoy.
We are called to give.
...and ultimately we are called to something so much bigger than our eyes, ears, and noses can muster up.

Relax - be more present in your relationships - and trust...

Friday, February 13, 2009

empty stares

Why don't you talk to me?

I asked you how your day was.

I looked at you twice...and,

I even turned over a bit to allow...ah

I am sitting right next to you. You must be busy, or thinking about something important.

I have no interest in dating you... I am simply wanting to share this space - this time - this moment with you.

I sat there once.

What is going through the window that is more exciting than what I could share with you...

I have an exciting life. I have good stories.

I would love to hear yours.

Your busy. I know.

I guess that means that I should be busy too.

I do exist though.

I will wait another day for you to say hi to me.

you are worth it.

-j stallz

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”

- Marie Curie quotes (French Physicist, twice winner of the Nobel Prize, 1867-1934)

Ah, 2009 - I am embraced and filled with an exhilerating energy to be thankful, confident, and hopeful for today and the short future in front of me.

As I sift through my unique collection of pictures, cards, and notes of my past, I am quickly reminded of my deep conflict between pleasing others around me vs. living for joy and movement in transparency, love, and faith.

We do hold the power to turn our life onto a narrow path.

This narrow path may seem lonely, dangerous, intimidating, hard, and unknown....but, when you stop to actually see what your walking on, you become mesmerized by what you have just endured...and your eyes become wide and open with what is yet to come.

Thank you God for this week, for today, and for each day to come.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.”

- Eileen Caddy

I am so thankful to my friends and family!

They complete every step I take in this walk of life.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


love walks beside you
...and has nothing to say

love sits across from you
...and looks the other way

all it wants is freedom
...but in another way

you pretend everything okay

my life's bleeding before you
...are you there?

ive rolled in the night with you
...were you there?

love is a raging river
...its not always fair

how do we let someone cover our sun?

how do we easily give all we've become?

i want to run
i want to run

from all that love has done

to follow a new moon
and to chase the living "son".

- Jonathon Stalls - 1/31/2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

a new day

"We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives.
We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance
and truly begin to live our dreams."

- Les Brown

Sunday, January 18, 2009 of many to come: "into the wild" inspirationz

"Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That's why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that's why they write symphonies. Now, you can't advance in this direction without a certain faith. You can't make such discoveries without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one's neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the heart of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then the two basic ideals of modern man - without them he is unthinkable - the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice."

- Boris Pasterniak, Doctor Zhivago
- Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I attended a Sunday morning service with my family this past weekend in Augusta, Georgia. The message was "unity". I have heard this word in Church often and very recently have spent a lot of time meditating on what that looks like in my life.

The hope for, belief in, and reflect on memories of when unity was strong in my life.

I am quickly reminded of my past when I see how my 13 year old brother reacts to a lack of "unity" within our family. I love my family and I value who they are in my life deeply. That said, I am not afraid to admit to the dramatic pits of alienation and negativity caused by the flaws that surround us as broken people. In fact, I am all too quickly consumed with my own inability to confront, express, and work through my own cravings and frustrations with unity in my life.

There is a dark storm brewing inside my heart and my ability to trust. It comes from an energy that I have learned to be the product of isolation and fear. I can get on my knees and ask Jesus for strength all day. This may help to get through moments of intense frustration, however, I know the storm will find me again. Am I prepared for its wrath?

I strongly feel as a man of faith that I cannot take on this battle alone. I cannot control this storm. I have a bag of wounds that will weigh down my spirit if I allow them to. Not only will I be useless and weak, but I will slowly shut down the people I care about the most in my life.

For if I fail to act, I sense this storm will turn me against them.

As I meditate on this topic of unity I search my soul for the strength to fight for it. To be free and to be strong against the storm that tries to bury us in our dirt. I must surround myself with "like-minded believers". I need them. I need to pray with them. I need to share with them. I need to care for them. I need them to care for me. That is Church. That is help. That is the "good fight".

Unity. Together. Brothers and Sisters.

Please walk WITH me, as I want nothing more then to walk WITH you!