8/4/2011 -- A good friend of mine told me several weeks ago that I should continue blogging my life, not necessarily for any of you that happen to read this, but for me. So my goal with my new start is to reflect on things that have happened, how they've changed me, and how I can apply what I've learned to the future. Feel free to follow along or whatever, I got things under control even if no one ever reads this.

First post is something like half done, expected time of arrival: 1 week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To be, or not to be...


 It's hard to believe that it's a whole 'nother year already. A New
year is a point that marks passage through time. It's when you realize that
in Columbus' time, they wrote 1492 and here we are writing 2011. Crazy
 Something that has always intrigued me, is that the pass into a new
year is a time when people realize just how much time they've wasted and
make the resolutions to fix them. Why just at the start of a new year? Why
not at the start of every month, week, or even day? Well I would guess that
it's easier to do something when there are a lot of people doing it.
 But running with the idea presented at this time of year makes me
think of a couple of songs: 'If Today Was Your Last Day' by Nickelback and
'One Day Too Late' by Skillet. Both play off the theme of making the most of
each day as "if today was your last day" and tomorrow is "one day too last".
Good songs too. I like them.
 Hearing the songs and thinking the thoughts they instigate, makes me
wonder what is the best use of my time? The obvious answer as a student
missionary and as a Christian, is to serve God. Then, from that, makes me
wonder: What things in my life are simply a waste of time?
 Oh man, that is some deep stuff and opens my mind to realize that a
lot of what I do is just to pass time. Let's take watching a movie for
instance, (I love a good movie) what value is there in watching a movie? It
takes anywhere from an hour and a half to something like 4 hours (Lord of
the Rings Return of the King extended version) and what comes out of it?
Well a lot of times you see a different perspective on something
(Braveheart), or you might wish for some futuristic technologies presented
(Avatar), or you might even just think about how cool but unrealistic the
fight scenes were (Expendables). All in all, what good comes from all of
 One could easily argue that there is educational content within
movies, and I would agree. The Ocean series (Ocean's 11, Ocean's 12, and
Ocean's 13) teaches you how to rob Casinos, the Men in Black movies (Men in
Black I and Men in Black II) teaches you how to shoot aliens, and movies
like Jumper or The Departed teaches you that theaters do in fact charge too
much. Then you also have movies that people would say are truly good
movies, ones that are Christian and have a good theme or plot like The
Ultimate Gift or The Passion of Christ, but even then, is it truly a good
expenditure of your precious life here on earth to take the time needed to
watch a movie?
 I don't have an answer.
 That sparks another fire of thought, what does it mean to wholly be a
follower of God? To actually be a Christian?
 Before I answer that, I would like to share an opinion of mine (keep
in mind that this is MY opinion, you can believe whatever suits you): A
person cannot be a Christian simply because he/she believes there is a God.
Even Satan believes that God exists and I think that you would agree with me
that the Devil is not a Christian in any sense of the word.
 I am now left wondering: what is a Christian? In the simplest
definition, I would say that a Christian is a follower of God. This said, I
would then venture a guess and say that a follower of God is one who follows
God. If I were to follow someone, he'd be leading me, and that would mean
that I would be a patron of his words, the Bible, and I would be then be a
follower of such words.
 That, my friend, is a Christian (in my opinion). One who reads the
Bible and acts on it.
 Hmm. Just something I've been thinking about. I do realize this is
kinda in the form of a proof, but I would like to state that there is
nothing professional about this proof, this is the way my mind works. So it
is just the pathway my mind walked to reach that a conclusion.
 Well in the life of Anthony, last week I spent the week up in
MonteVerde with my Grandparents friends. Saw the cloud forest, which is like
a rain forest, but different. A cloud forest get's it's moisture from the
clouds because it is at such a high altitude.
 That was pretty sweet and was made better by the fact that Jonathan
and I were able to go on one of the zip line tours through the forest!
Imagine sailing along a kilometer long cable that starts in the trees and
flies you across a valley keeping you something like 150 meters above the
ground. It was pretty much awesome.
 On Sunday we jumped on a bus and went out to the beach at Manuel
Antonio! With my grandfather's sister's (great aunt?) daughter, Helga, (my
second cousin, once removed?) and her daughter and husband, Claudia and
Adreano (second cousins?) and their kids, Antonio and Julia (second cousins
once removed??). No idea how exactly they relate, but I just looked it up
and I think that's right, not that it matters a whole lot, but just to
satisfy my curiosity.
 Anyways, they were telling me that Manuel Antonio is the international
gay beach. Weird. One of those pointless pieces of trivia information.
 Anyway, just got back from surfing and hitting up the Manual Antonio
National Park and now it's time for some relaxation. I'm just trying to get
everything caught up before I go back to Peru. It's kinda weird though, as
much as I miss home (and you have to realize that I miss home like crazy) I
miss Peru a bit as well. I haven't been able to determine if it's the people
there that I work with, or being able to actually do something with my life,
but either way (or both) it's good that I miss it because I'm going back

if I didn't miss it.
 So you should know that I'm doing good, not sick or anything, just a
little bit sore from surfing. Going to the beach really made me miss home a
ton. I love the beach back home much more than the one here, that is for
sure. I'm still trying to get ITT to send me an email so I can talk to them
about attending their school, but they don't seem to have any interest in
talking to me at this point. They called my mom and she told them to email
me and I had already emailed them a month and a half ago, but got nothing.
So I'm starting to look for another tech school that is relatively near to
home. We'll see what happens.
 Not sure if I mentioned it before (and I don't feel like looking), but
the other two SM guys aren't coming back. They made the decision to stay
home instead of coming back after break. That sucks, but me and Jonathan can
pull up the slack. Keep those two guys in your prayers.
 Things I'll miss the most about Costa Rica: the internet, the cool
weather, the warm showers, and the granola my grandma makes, best stuff in
the world!
 And if you guys have some easy recipes you think would be perfect in
Peru, email them to me, always looking for something different
(anthony.howell[at] replace [at] with @).

 So live for what you believe in and be careful with those that try to
tell you what to do.

Peace, hope, and love,
Paz, esperanza, y amor,


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  2. I have enjoyed your day to day happening blogs, but I like knowing what your thoughts are also. I like your definition of a Christians - one who reads the Bible and acts on it. I hope you have a great year.

    An Arkies Musings

  3. Hey thanks, so far so good. Just have the last 4 months to go! I appreciate the support.