Mind Militia #1

“Every great fiction movie,

Every great fiction book,

Every great fiction story,

have one thing in common.

A battle between good and evil. But what is good and evil that makes us so irrationally angry, sad, or ecstatic? Every human has evolved to a level far more advanced than their ancestors. Due to the unwavering and unmistakable natural selection which by itself has brought about the epitome of greatness found in homo sapiens we no are no longer held captive by animal morality. This is why we must make advances to embrace morality for what it really is. The advancement of the human species. During the latest process of evolution, emotionalism was coupled with morality for the purpose of a continuation of the progression of the human species. If human logic would have found the unimportance of moralities true origins (basically not from a transcendent being) humanity would have abandoned morality altogether and reverted back to beast mentality. However, evolution has once again succeeded. It used morality to bring us to where we are today. Morality exists only to prolong and advance the human race. Let us abandon our strong held emotional moral beliefs and look towards the advancement of humanity. Now that we understand this foundational truth of morality we can move forward, set aside our differences, and become (most likely) one of the greatest species in the universe. Set aside all morality that is illogical for our advancement. Hold strong to all morality that truly promotes progression. Not letting our vague and pointless emotions determine our actions which should be found solely in our own evolutionary advancement. No we don’t need to murder anyone or commit genocide. Just leave the poor alone. Let their lack of intelligence be their end. Let the weak mourn and do not comfort them. Let their lack of strength be their ruin. The religious will soon die out as their beliefs become so illogical that any connection to religious statutes leaves them jobless, poor, and starving. That kind of unevolved mistake will soon perish. So, what is good and evil that makes us so irrationally angry, sad, or ecstatic? It is our own progression towards Godhood. Embrace your salvation” -Fallen man

Sometimes I like to play Devil’s advocate in my mind. Most of what I have written above I have heard out of the mouths of real people. The last bit is what the progression of such logic should bring a human to understand. Due to our culture, expansion on this logic to its fullest degree will not be realized due to its overwhelming immoral and sadistic conclusion. It’s a conclusion that Hitler understood. However, It would be much to intolerant for this time period. Ironically, to ignore this conclusion is to be stuck in the world of which modern man claims to be escaping. “Absolutes founded by God.” Richard Dawkins can make snide comments about abortion, which is completely justified by his evolutionary worldview, but be forced to apologize by todays culture, a culture that accepts and practices Dawkins exact worldview. This has brought me to my own conclusion. That humans are become stupider and stupider. Demanding tolerance, practicing intolerance. Espousing philosophies, ignoring their conclusions. We live in a world ruled by emotional, illogical, confused, and intolerant people that demand importance and purpose. Today we are looking at the most unevolved man to ever exist. A man constantly becoming stupider as time moves further and further from the days of perfection. The mind of fallen man is a sick, destructive, degenerative and dangerous place. The mind of God is a redemptive, restoring, regenerating and safe place. The mind of God is Truth. The mind of God can easily be found. Just take a trip to a bookstore or check the drawer in-between the two beds of a holiday inn.

There are so many problems with the philosophies of man that if I were not found by Christ I would try to believe nothing. Not nothing like you think. Nothing is always something. A person who believes in nothing truly believes in something because they cannot fathom nothing. Their nothing is not nothing but something. Their nothing may be to disbelieve all religions, atheism, which is the belief in disbelief. Their nothing may be to believe it is impossible to truly know the answer, agnosticism, which is the belief of “idk.” Their nothing may be to believe in confusion. This is a new one to me that I just recently stumbled upon. That once an answer to existence is determined to be correct you stop living, therefore confusion is mandatory for existence. This may be the strangest of the nothing philosophies I have heard so far. I tell you right now that it is impossible to believe in nothing. Why? We have never experienced nothing because we are something that lives somewhere created by someone.

I hope by reading I have helped you somehow in your search of existence. I can tell you without doubt that Jesus is the only answer to the most important questions ever asked. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light.

Categories: Theology, Utila | Leave a comment

July 9th 2014

This is my 4th week of volunteering for Rio Coco in Utila, Honduras. Next week I will be heading to Vero Beach, Florida. So far, in the 23 years of my life, I have never had plans change as drastically as they have this year. Right now I am supposed to be in West Virginia hiking to Maine on the Appalachian Trail raising money for AmberFund Scholarships. One of my greatest passions is hiking, enjoying the beauty of creation, and today as I sit on the back porch of my current residence I am overwhelmed by the view. A vast body of water of which I live right next to. I have had the joy of snorkeling, swimming and paddle boarding on the clear waters of the Caribbean for nearly 4 weeks now. During which I have had plenty of time to ponder. During the months of March, April and May I felt as if my life was on hold. My knee was ruining one of my greatest dreams. A dream that I had been thinking about everyday for almost 2 years. I am not a person who gives up and for one of the few times in my life I felt as if I had been beaten. I was injured and was put on the bench until further notice. X-rays showed nothing wrong with my knee. My MRI showed nothing wrong with my knee but lo and behold when I hiked 3-4 miles with ascents and descents the pain started and to continue forward was a battle I knew I couldn’t face, especially for 5 months on the Appalachian Trail. So my starting date of April 15th passed by. With no clue where to go from there I applied to 5 ministry jobs. 4 of which I got called back for interviews and 1 of which I was offered. I applied out of a feeling of lack of purpose. Once I realized that a ministry job in the states could be a reality I prayed for direction. To my dismay I felt sick to my stomach about taking any of these jobs. There was no peace. 1 month later I found myself still in Vero Beach, Florida. While hardly making any money I began volunteering at a “Humanic” Coffee Shop. Rio Coco Beans. The first I had heard of Rio Coco had bean an early morning in college over 2 years ago. I woke up to the smell of my roommate making coffee. He offered me a cup. I noticed the words, “Rio Coco” on the bag of coffee beans, drank the coffee, and went to class. Who would have thought that just 2 years later I would be overseas volunteering for that very coffee shop.

This has been a tough few months for me. However, since my time here I have realized a few things.

1. Purpose is not found in a well paying comfortable job.  Yes, logically I know this is the truth. That purpose is found solely through Jesus Christ. I’ve known this for quite a while. However truly applying it to ones life is a different ball game. Knowing its completely safe to jump off a bridge with a bungee chord attached to you versus actually jumping off that bridge with the chord is much different. Intellectually understanding that purpose comes only from Jesus is one thing but Mentally applying it to your life is another. It requires you step off that bridge. Which can be terrifying.

2. I am not as flexible as I would like to believe. I grew up in a church with the Acronyms COP which stand for Cathedral of Praise. All of those heavily involved knew they stood for something else, “Change Of Plans.” I’ve always assumed that I am very flexible because of the practice of change I received from my home church. I was wrong. I learned how to be flexible with things that aren’t of high personal importance. Such as changes in music, messages, chair arrangement, meeting times, etc.  These things were never truly changes in my plans but changes to a group of peoples plans. When my personal plans of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail went out the window it was very difficult for me to cope. No one could really tell but inside of me was a overwhelming theme of, “unsureness” which threw my mind into chaos.

3. Sometimes what I want is not what God has for me. Some of the greatest advice I received was from one of my worship pastors back home. When I didn’t know what God wanted me to do with my life I went to him and asked for his advice. I told him I had prayed and prayed and prayed but had not received an answer. He said to me, “Nick, what do you want to do? Because when you are close to God, his desires become your desires.” I took that advice a little to far. Staying close to God and reaching for my desires while rarely asking him for direction. I still think this is great advice however I would add that sometimes it is the wrong advice. Sometimes what God has for you is not what you want for you. God knows me better than I know myself and I wonder that if I would have truly sought God on the decision to hike the Appalachian Trail in one go if I would have had a peace about it. Asking for God’s direction, staying close in a relationship with him and chasing healthy desires both mine and his are all vitally important.

As for now, I have 1 week left here in Utila. There are so many people here that I connect with. These people are backpackers. They come from all over the world. New Zealand, Australia, France, Israel, Chile, Argentina, United States, Canada, England, and many other places. Their stories are riveting and sometimes shocking. Many of these stories I am trying to grab on film to show the world. I have 9 days left and would like at least 3-5 more interviews. So if you are reading this pray that God intervenes and brings to me people willing to share their stories so I can share them with you.


Categories: Utila | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UltraLamina 15 Review

This is a review of the Ultra Lamina 15 degree bag from Mountain Hardwear.

UltraLamina pic #1

UltraLamina pic #1

I have used this sleeping bag a lot. Most of you can tell just by looking at the pictures. It is starting to look sorta pitiful. It has seen multiple section hikes and when Im not using it someone in my group probably is. Its been compressed a ton and has until recently been my go to bag.

UltraLamina pic #2

UltraLamina pic #2

Im going to be honest. I do not like this Sleeping bag. There are to many things I dislike about it to give it a good review. However I want to discuss the good things first. This bag has a great hood. Cinches really good and is very comfy through the night. I have the six foot version. I am 5’6. It is plenty roomy for me. I can sleep on my back, side or stomach without feeling restricted. It’s a nice looking bag. There are no cold spots in this bag. The insulation is consistent throughout the bag. I love not having to fret about the bag getting wet. One night on a section it got wet because I had the bright idea to put a trash bag around the foot area to keep water from getting to it. I woke up and the lower half was a little more than damp. It dried fast, kept its insulating properties and didn’t lose its warmth.

UltraLamina pic #3

UltraLamina pic #3

Another great thing about this bag is it packs down crazy little. I have yet to see another synthetic bag pack down this small. Its crazy. People say down packs down smaller than synthetic and that is very true. But this bag brings the competition between down and synthetic closer. That said I just purchased an EE Revelationx 30 from Tim at http://www.englightenedequipment.com and that quilt packs down 1/2 the size of this bag. You may be thinking, ” Yea but it is rated at 30 and the ultralamina is rated 15 so that makes sense that it packs smaller.” Wrong. The UltraLamina is not a 15 degree bag. It is more like a 25 degree bag. Here is were I begin the negatives of this bag.

UltraLamina 15

UltraLamina 15

I have never experienced such hate towards such a small object. A zipper. When I have to urinate and the zipper of this bag refuses to let me do so it is terribly irritating. When the mice in an AT shelter get at my hiking bag and I cant get out of my sleeping bag to get at those little peckers it is terribly irritating. When I wake up in the morning and it takes me 5-10 minutes to get out of my bag because of the zipper it is terribly irritating. Point made. The zipper is terribly irritating. It gets worse. I thru’ed Georgia’s AT in May 2013 and stayed at mountain crossings. I slept using this bag but it was warm in the hostel. Maybe high 60’s and due to the fact that the zippers (which are on both sides) only zip down 1/3 of the bag my lower body was super hot. Why couldn’t they use one zipper and make it 2/3 length rather than having 2 zippers at 1/3? It gets worse. this bag says its rated at 15. This is not true. Its good maybe to 25. I sleep just slightly warm when I have enough nourishment and when I used this bag in the teens my feet were frozen. March 1st 2013 near blood mountain temps dropped to about 18 degrees. I wasn’t terribly cold but I wasn’t warm. Yes, I used a pad. Yes, I was in a tent.

Conclusion: I give the Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 15 a 4 out of 10. I do not recommend it. I have retired it. And I probably wont sell it. Its not versatile. It’s not warm. The bags temperature rating is at least 10 degrees off. However it is somewhat light 2lbs 10oz and packs down pretty small. Its definitely not worth the 260.00 it sells for. Do yourself a favor and buy a different bag. Last thing. This is not a Mountain Hardwear issue. They make great gear. I have another bag made by them that is exceptional and a rain jacket that is top notch. This particular item though, kinda sucks.

Categories: Gear | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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