.controlled.chaos.

Everyone knows Randy.

Those who he has had contact with will never forget him. He is an inviter at his core, welcoming strangers into his life with excitement and ease. There is a fearlessness to him. Where some would hesitate to engage someone marginal or worry about social implications, Randy crosses those lines without hesitation. Living in DC now, I imagine that the places he frequents most– restaurants, grocery stores, church, etc– people know him by name. What’s even more incredible to me is that I am confident that he knows theirs as well.

I met Randy halfway through my sophomore year. Within a span of 20 minutes, I had been invited on a road trip that day to Charlottesville to pick his brother up at the airport. Within an hour, the trip had grown to over ten people, searching to have food and fun outside our normal JMU weekend. Where others hesitate in new friendships, Randy tears down walls and endears people to him rapidly.

Upon returning to his dorm room, I knew I had met someone special when he shared with me some of his deepest scars he had collected in his life. There is a transparency to Randy that is engaging and genuine. He invites the world around him to know him. Within less than 12 hours, I knew I had made a friend that would last.

Randy is a man of two extremes, which I credit to the incredible depth of both his mind and his heart. At one moment you could be dancing to house techno with him, then in an instance be in a conversation about the beauty of the Gospel. With him you would find the most exciting time on the weekend, but often you found him in Zane-Shoker (JMU business building) studying for hours on end. However, he would not hesitate to drop his studies to listen to a friend in need and give advice.

I think of Randy when I hear Mark 10:15:

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

There is a sense if wonder and amazement in how Randy deals with the things of God. To hear him speak about the Gospel fills me with an excitement that is often lacking. He lives out the grace of mercy and Christ in an inspiring way.

We were roommates our Sophomore year, which strained our relationship in ways that I am ashamed of to this day. If I’m honest, it was a lack of maturity in all of my friendships at the time, but had an exponential effect because we lived together. I was resentful of the magnetic quality that Randy has with people rather than rejoicing in it.

But I learned much in that year from Randy. I saw what true contrition looked like, as he was always quick to confess and ask forgiveness when he felt he had wronged someone. He was generous, never hesitating to let me borrow his car even though I was a bitter, curmudgeon to him 90 percent of the time. He showed me how to live gracefully with those who are anything-but by living gracefully with me. I can only thank God that years later we could reconcile our relationship.

My fondest memory of Randy, however, is one that he may not remember. It was years after graduation, when he had moved to DC and I was in northern virginia in my “what am I going to do with my life” phase.” He had invited me into the city to hang out, and we were driving around looking for a parking spot, when John Wayne Gacy by Sufjan Stevens came on the radio.

At the time, i would have called Sufjan one of my favorite artists, but had never taken the time to listen and think about the song as Randy did.

The lyrics of the last verse:

And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid

He related to this song in a way that I had never even thought of, hearing the truth of his own depravity where I had only heard a pretty melody and possible cryptic message. I drove out of that city that night dwelling in my own depravity, thanking God for the grace he bestowed on me through his son, Jesus Christ.

Randy continues to invite people into his life that most of us would pass by on the street. His heart is demonstrated by his job at (World Vision and the passion with which he speaks. He is finishing up a masters degree and I can only wait with baited breath to see how God uses him in the future.

His wedding to Sarah this past weekend was a beautiful representation of the man he is, both sacred and unabashedly fun. The room was filled with an eclectic mix of the people he has met along the way but our worlds blended perfectly as we ate, drank and celebrated the covenant he made to his bride. Though I barely know Sarah, I could see that she is the counterpart he had been waiting for by seeing them dance on the dance floor with their family and friends.

I am blessed to call Randy my brother and friend.


.the.dude.ranch.is.alive.

This past weekend I attended the wedding of one of my college roommates, Randy. It was a blessed occasion, filled with laughter and reverence. His wife, Sarah, was a beautiful bride.

It was a mini-reunion of some of the best friends I have ever made in life. These men should given a huge portion of credit for who I am, in life and faith. Our friendships were formed with the gospel as their foundation, and though years have passed, we manage to always pick up where we had left off. Every year, we have a reunion where we remember the past, share our new present, and pray for our futures. It is easily my favorite time of year.

As drove home from Randy’s wedding, I thought about how each one of them has touched my life in some way, and couldn’t help but to feel incredibly blessed.

Romans 12:10 says, “love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

With the warm, early-summer air on my face as I drove, I thought of how I could honor the men who helped sharpen me like iron. My conclusion was to begin sharing how they each have touched my life.

We all lived together in a house called the dude ranch in our last years of college. When we left, we commemorated our time together with shirts that read “the dude ranch is dead.”

The dude ranch is most certainly alive and thriving, it has just gotten bigger. Both in geography, influence, and families, it has swelled to bring a heart-beat that now affects the wider world. These men that have molded my adult life are now shaping others, and though I miss being under on roof with all of them, I celebrate the influence they now bring to their respective communities.

The posts that will come in the next months will center on them and the impact they have had on me.

The series will be entitled “.the.dude.ranch.is.alive.” and the first post will be to honor my sophomore roommate and now husband to Sarah, Randy.


.the.fear.that.shortens.breaths.

I lived a fairly care free childhood. With the exception of a few emergency room trips for stitches I was healthy. I attended only one funeral of a family member, my step-grandfather, and we were never truly close. School was easy enough that even my troubles there were more about me applying myself rather than a lack of success. I worked low pressure jobs. Stress was not even a blip on my radar.

And then it hit me like a Mac-truck.

I was 20 and working a summer camp making videos. One afternoon, I found myself crying in the fetal position, on the floor. I couldn’t move.

“Why?” you ask?

A broken piece of equipment.

Because a broken piece of equipment led to a missed deadline, which led to a less than friendly conversation with my boss, which led to hundreds of dollars of personal money spent, which led to new equipment not working, which led to another missed deadline, etc.. which led to me, on the floor, gasping for air.

Voices whispered to me: “It’s all your fault” “You can’t do anything right” “You’ll never get what you want” “You’ll only screw this up even more.”

I couldn’t move because I was afraid. Not of the dark, not of sharks, impending doom, the elderly (don’t laugh), or thermal nuclear war. I was afraid that I would not meet the expectations that I had for the situation.

Isn’t that what anxiety truly is: A fear of meeting expectations? Whether those expectations are placed on you by yourself or others.

How am I going to pay these months bills?
Why can’t I get her to like me?
Why can’t I seem to do anything right?

We get angry, we get depressed, we spiral down till the weight feels too heavy to carry.

At least for me anyways. It dropped me to the floor, breathing little half breaths.

By the grace of God, it has only happened on that level once. But there are times when it keeps me up at night or wakes me in the morning. It derails my day or even a week. Not often, but once or twice a year is enough to make an impact.

Last night was one of those nights. The cause something possibly even sillier than a broken piece of equipment. I had placed an expectation on someone else that I really had no right to. I could rationalize a reason, but it truly wouldn’t matter. I lay in bed, awake. It woke me up early this morning, and it made work darn near impossible.

I biked to work hoping to exercise it out. 7 miles there, 7 miles back and it was the same. So I went on a run to a park, a place I had only been once before and got completely lost, hoping for the same outcome. I brought a Bible, hoping through prayer and meditation on the word of God my heart would be still.

I found the cry of David in Psalm 4:

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

So I prayed. Then I turned to Matt 6:25-34, which is amazing passage about anxiety about God’s provision. Verse 31-34, Jesus says:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

And here I see what anxiety is on a spiritual level. Just like many other ways that we get distracted in our faith, anxiety is placing our hope in something else. Hoping that if we get more of something that everything will be okay. If I could get that one girl or guy to like me, my life will be complete. When these things don’t happen, we get anxious. When our lives hinge on things outside of God, we get anxious. Our focus is in the wrong place.

Seek first the kingdom of God. When our hope is there, everything else takes care of itself. What worry is there when the only thing our lives and mood hinge on is a steadfast, loving, all-knowing God?

Philippians 4:6:

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Give those cares to the Lord, give those worries, give those fears.

Pray.

So I did.

There is still a twinge of pain in thinking about what happened. However, I know that whether my expectations are met or not two things are true—God is still God and my hope rests in Him. I have given the situation to him, in hopes that it results favorably for me but know that I will not be wrecked if it doesn’t.

My hearts not racing.

I will not lose any sleep.

And I breathe in deep the faithfulness of God.


.awakening.bumper.week.1.

Awakening Week 1= from Jared Hanline on Vimeo.


.run.to.camp.crystal.lake.

When my friends in youth group all turned 17, we went on a bit of a horror flick bonanza. Every week we would rent one or two of the “classics” and enjoy the scares (but probably more laughs). The first series was Friday the 13th.

For those of you who are too old or young to remember, Friday the 13th centered around a serial killer seeking revenge for the death of a boy at camp crystal lake because the teenage lifeguards were too busy off having sex. From what I could gather, the quickest way to die in these movies was to go off and have sex in the woods, scary abandoned cabin, scary abandoned house, etc. But I digress.

One of the first scenes in the first movie followed one of the female, teenage counselors hitchhiking to camp (brilliant start). She is picked up by the driver of a dark jeep, who the viewer quickly discerns is the killer. Within a moment, they speed past the camp entrance. Immediately realizing the danger she is in, she throws herself from the jeep and takes off running into the woods.

To spare you the details, she got caught.

However, any rational movie goer asks the same question: why didn’t she run the 100 ft to the camp entrance instead of directionless into the middle of the woods. Sure, there is no certainty that she would have made it there safely, but still, it was the only direction that any hope of safety existed.

I’ve been going through Romans over the past through months with a couple of guys every Monday, chapter by chapter. For those of you who have read through Romans know that there is a portion that makes you feel awful about the human condition. Paul does an excellent job of illustrating the depravity of man in this section, right around Romans 7, or more specifically Romans 7:24.

Paul declares, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Uplifting and optimistic right? This prompted our group to muse on our own wretchedness and how difficult it was to fight the sin in our own lives. Time and time again we try to stop the things we know to be wrong, time and time again we fail.

Maybe we are looking at sin the wrong way. We examined the sin in our lives and the response was to flee from it– into the woods, with nowhere to go except further into the woods away from what is chasing us.

Do you see the problem in this? The intention is good, but the inevitability is that we will be caught. Just like the girl running from her eventual killer, we are constantly looking over our shoulder. The focus is still on the sin.

The question in our head is this:

How far from sin can I get?

Not a bad question, admittedly, as I said the intention is good, but the results are disastorous. Here is the question we should be asking ourselves:

How close to righteousness can I get?

Just as I screamed at the TV, “stupid girl, run to the camp!” we should be screaming at ourselves to run to Christ. He is as far from sin as can be and is the only safe place we have. If we run from sin, we will always be running, at least until we are caught. If we run towards Christ, and pursue righteousness, escaping that sins that plague us is a by product of that pursuit. It is a Christ focused mentality.

Paul says it better than me, later in Romans:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (rom. 12:21)

Don’t try to outrun evil, rather run to Christ and let his goodness overcome evil for you.

Paul didn’t sit in his wretchedness and despair as we had that Monday night in front royal, rather gave his reader hope.

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

as a note, I wasn’t the one to come up with the Friday the 13th running from sin analogy. That was either my campus minister in college or Louie Giglio, it is sad I don’t remember. However, my thoughts and reactions are all legitimate, as I am prone to yell at stupid movie characters doing stupid things.


Recent Work

Most of you know that I started a job at a church here in Northern Virginia. What you may not know is what I do. Here is a few bits of work that I’ve created recently, some for fun and others for the church.

Upside Down Bumper from Jared Hanline on Vimeo.

Group Link Promo from Jared Hanline on Vimeo.

RGB Trinity Logo from Jared Hanline on Vimeo.


Update

Wanted to give a quick update to anyone who reads. In my last post I mentioned that I went on a diet/bet. It ended yesterday, and I was able to lose 50 pounds in that time, which is awesome.

But.

It’s just the beginning.

I’ve given myself a reprieve for the next few days and I’m going back at it. There is a half marathon that I am running in San Diego with a few of my friends and I want to be much smaller for that run.

I’m thinking that I need to blog more, but I haven’t found inspiration lately. I’ll try to find some.