Author Archives: Samuel

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I had a listening party with Rachel Platten and it was so beautiful

You all know I am a huge Rachel Platten fan. It goes back more than five years ago. Look at all the things I’ve experienced with her.

It all started with an announcement:

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Filed under Adventure, Music

Meeting Chris Jericho was a dream come true

One of the best things about living in LA is that there are a lot of events everywhere with celebrities. Well, my favorite wrestler of all time Chris Jericho was having a book signing and I had to be there!

I unintentionally cut in line to get my wristband, hung out in the area all day and got back into the line when it was time for the signing. This was the entrance of Jericho above. It was a thrill to be around so many wrestling fans.

I approached Chris and told him about how awesome it was that we are both journalism majors. I shared about my idea of using his entrance at a wedding and he gave me some wise advice. I even showed him my 1,004 holds list and he told me it was Raven’s idea.

He’s a cool guy. What a trip! I love wrestling!

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Fake Christianity’s existence and our own living testimony of Jesus

We continue to pray for Houston right now. My church is part of a relief team out there. You can help by donating here.

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Did you all see this? The Joel Olsteen backlash got real heated and now people are once again accusing him of being a fake Christian. You can read the narrative yourself from the attached Today Show tweet. But this got me thinking some.

First of all, I don’t know anything about Joel Olsteen. I have never heard him preach. I don’t know what he’s about. I didn’t even know about this mega church he had. As a Christian, was I supposed to know this? Well, I can’t judge so I don’t know if he is a fake or not. And frankly I don’t care.

But here is the thing that does matter. The people are right. They were right to question how someone who is supposed to be a big face in Christianity (well, aside from Jesus I guess) didn’t do the Christian thing. Olsteen didn’t open up the doors to his church until the backlash happened and then he went to say that he wasn’t asked to help initially.

Yeah, that’s some fake Christian stuff.

The same can be said about how some people have been labeling Donald Trump and his followers who proclaim Christianity but don’t do Christian things. And of course even people from the KKK believe in Jesus but they don’t act the way Jesus would.

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The other two guys on the cross with Jesus

Something I wrote earlier today for the prayer team.

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On my drive to work today I was listening to a sermon and it talked about the two criminals who were with Jesus on the cross. One criminal mocked Jesus while the other one recognized Jesus and asked for forgiveness.

I think about how this can parallel to what we go through today. When we are in times of trouble where everything seems to go wrong (and in this case, these guys were going to die) how do we respond? Do we mock God and blame Him? Or do we recognize God despite the hardship and praise Him?

This has become a common problem even among Christians. We claim to be Christ followers but once when something gets tough, we don’t turn to God with acceptance. Instead we blame God, we try to find a way out without God. Because somehow God is not good enough and God doesn’t love us.

It’s hard to be reminded to turn to God in times of trouble. We want to be in control all the time that God is not even in the equation. But if we look at the criminal who asked for forgiveness, he saw God being with him despite his ugly past. And his sadness of death turned into happiness in being in Heaven.

In hard times, it’s easy to blame God and sometimes not take into account our own actions. But I pray that we are more like the criminal who asked for forgiveness. Only with God can the hard times pass and we are led to paradise.

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Netflix’s ‘Death Note’ was trash and here’s why

It’s quite simple. You white wash this classic Japanese story you will get some confusion.

Of course if you watch this with no knowledge of the original you might think it’s OK. But even at that, this story had no character development and felt rushed. The attempted infusion of Asian culture (or lack thereof) in this sense is not good either. Worst of all, it felt so confusing.

The plot is good but what makes this so bad was that it’s a complex story that you can’t fit in only 100 minutes. The characters need to develop. The background of L needs to be explained more. The love interest needs to be so much more complex.

This movie lacked a lot. On its own, it’s OK. But if you know the original, then you know that this was just an awful attempt to make an extra buck off someone else’s great idea.

I watched it. I wanted to like it. But I couldn’t. It just fell flat.

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And after five years, Madi Diaz and I are back at The Hotel Cafe

You know the story of how I met Madi Diaz during the Rachel Platten show over five years ago. Well today I was back at The Hotel Cafe to watch Madi Diaz perform.

She had announced the day before that she was doing a free show.

I got there and it was so cool to have her perform live at the same stage. It was all new songs from her upcoming EP. She told me that it should be out in September and that she had the itching to perform live, which is why the owner of the venue gave her the platform.

She was so glad to see me wearing my Riothorse Royale shirt and said that it would never go out of style. There’s something about Madi that I like so much. Her attitude is just so chill. She even shook my hand telling me how much she appreciated my support. She was even down for a selfie after the show.

It was pretty cool to be there and hear all her new songs from her EP. I really like them. I have two of them in this post. I can’t wait!

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The problem with Christians using political accusations following Charlottesville horror

When the news broke over the weekend and I was gathering information as it came through my Twitter feed, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to react to the horror in Charlottesville. I knew that I was upset that something like this is still happening in America. How can hate, racism and violence like this still happen?

Then the incident in the above photo happened. I have yet to watch any video of it because I don’t want to get even more upset over the injuries and death of the victims be embedded in my mind.

My heart is broken. I am sad. I am angry. I am wondering why this is happening.

Many times throughout my Christian faith journey when horrific things happen, I try to ask myself what the best reaction to it is. It’s OK to be angry and sad, but what would be the next Christian thing to do? The most obvious choice would be to profess love and peace in the name of Christ.

Right?
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