Saturday, September 12th, 2015 :: 8:27 AM

“It is a leap of faith to imagine that other people are actually people and not some kind of complicated experiment, but it’s a leap of faith that makes a lot of sense.” (>>)

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 :: 10:02 PM

“I’m not the kind of person who loves parties, or mountain climbing, or hiking, or ‘let’s go camping’, or ‘let’s have an adventure,’ but I love a good movie, or really great writing, or music… that’s where I really live, that’s what I consider to be my home.” (>>)

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 :: 7:58 PM

“high sensory processing sensitivity” (>>)

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 :: 4:53 PM

“I know trust is obvious, but despite it’s obviousness it’s rare. Cliches are often cliches because they’re true (which is a cliche about cliches). They’re easy to dismiss because they’re well worn, but that’s a mistake. Love and happiness are rare, despite the popularity of those words. We like to believe what we need is a huge breakthrough, a grand idea we’ve never heard before. This is a mistake. Knowing and doing are far apart.” (>>)

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 :: 9:08 PM

“Dixon tells Jane that he wants to demonstrate the futility of Evil. Was that your goal as well?

“For me, Bad Monkeys is more about demonstrating the glamour of evil. Just as the novel tells you up front what the white room is, Jane tells you repeatedly what she is–but the way that she does it causes you to continuously draw the wrong conclusion. Jane lies, and you know she lies, but still you trust her. She kills, and steals, and commits other wicked acts, and yet despite this mountain of evidence you believe that she’s really a good person at heart. She tells you that she’s a bad seed, and instead of backing away you drop your guard. That’s the glamour of evil.

“Do you like Jane?

“Of course I like Jane. I like Tony Soprano and Hannible Lector, too. But liking someone doesn’t change what they are. The key to dispelling the glamour of evil is to not confuse charisma with virtue.

“Your author bio says that you received ‘an interesting moral education’ from your parents. Could you elaborate?”

“My parents were both good people, and I was lucky to have known them, but because they came from such different backgrounds, their approach to moral issues was very different as well.

“Dad started out as a pastor and later became a chaplain, both jobs that involve a lot of counseling, so he was a good listener and a sharp psychologist. He had definite opinions about right and wrong, and wasn’t afraid to share them, but at the same time he wasn’t particularly concerned with getting people to agree with him. If you had a problem you were struggling with, he’d give you his advice, and then it was up to you to decide what to do.

“Mom came from a missionary family. Missionaries do care whether you agree with them–getting you to agree, or at least bob your head enthusiastically, is item number one on their list of career goals. So Mom’s way of dealing with moral questions was a lot more combative, and because she was the moral enforcer in our house, I didn’t always appreciate it.

“With hindsight, I can see merit in both approaches. For working through complex issues, I still prefer my father’s low-key, thoughtful style. But when I need to draw a line and say, ‘OK, debate’s over, this is where I stand,’ that’s where my mother’s style comes into its own.” (>>)

Sunday, October 21st, 2012 :: 4:27 PM

“Probably the first compromise will take the form of a rationalization. You’ll be pressured to do something you know isn’t quite right. But you’ll be scared not to do it — if you don’t, you’ll alienate someone powerful, your career will suffer a setback, your ambitious goals will suddenly seem farther away. At this point, your lesser self, driven by fear, greed, status-seeking, and other selfish emotions, will offer up a rationalization, and your greater self will grasp at it eagerly. As Reinhold Neibuhr put it, ‘hypocrisy… is the tribute which morality pays to immorality; or rather the device by which the lesser self gains the consent of the larger self to indulge in impulses and ventures which the rational self can approve only when they are disguised.’ “

[…]

“Can you identify a personal or career cost to any of your decisions? If not… bad sign. Who will you be offending, and what retribution are you likely to suffer? Who has the power to reward and punish you, and what are you willing to do to risk losing those rewards and incurring that punishment?” (>>)

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 :: 8:31 PM

“Here’s the thing: when someone who means a lot to you experiences a huge loss, what they need the most is to know that you’re there. It’s not about words. Nothing you can say will make it better or really ease the immeasurable pain they are feeling. But what you do? That will be remembered.” (>>)

Monday, March 14th, 2011 :: 5:17 PM

“Patrons don’t want to know that illegal immigrants are cooking their meals or busing their tables. They don’t want to know that the staff’s working for an amoral ogre. They don’t care that the bus girls might not have enough money for food or that their waiter’s sweating the rent. Most customers care about only one thing — getting what they want when they want it. They watch celebrity chefs on the Food Network and think that restaurants are magical places designed to jerk off their taste buds. They don’t realize restaurants are places where people struggle to make a living. I’ve found that most people are cravenly indifferent to what happens in the back alleys of affluence — whether it’s behind a restaurant or a Wal-Mart.” (>>)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 :: 12:41 AM

“You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out what’s going on here. The media loves scaring the shit out of us because it scores ratings and it’s no accident those Big Pharma ads come right after they’re through scaring the shit out of us. If you ask me, the biggest mistake we ever made was letting these companies hawk their wares on television.” (>>)

Sunday, October 17th, 2010 :: 2:51 PM

“On ‘Black Wednesday’ (August 22, 2007), we alerted our users that not all of their funds made it to the intended recipients. Furthermore, we issued a refund for the full amount of the WITEP loss. Thankfully, by that time we had reserved enough cash
to cover the full amount of the refund. The reaction from our user base was telling. Overwhelmingly, they thanked us for our honesty and poured their refunds back into loans to other MFIs on the site. They reinforced an important lesson: whenever possible, be completely transparent. Transparency pays huge long-term dividends.” (>>)

Monday, October 11th, 2010 :: 10:44 PM

“Now I’m sure if I talked to those parents they’d be as nice as pie. Fuck nice. Nice is overrated. Nice is very often a lie. We’ve all been stabbed in the back, exploited, and robbed by people who look ‘nice.’ Con artists are often ‘nice.’ Nice is easy. Decency is hard. Over the years I’ve run into people who weren’t exactly nice but were decent. Even though they appeared unpleasant at first they would do the right thing, very often at expense to themselves.” (>>)

Monday, June 14th, 2010 :: 8:23 PM

“Our plans were shared with friends, but few understood. ‘Going off to find yourself,’ was the standard interpretation. I don’t think that is really our point. We are shaped by our experiences. Our perception of joy, fear, pain, and beauty are sharpened or dulled by the way we rub against time. My senses have become dull and this trip is an effort to sharpen them.” (>>)

Monday, April 26th, 2010 :: 5:19 PM

“And you know what? When I say this stuff people scream at me and they say, ‘What do you care? Let people do what they want to do, it makes them feel good.’ And you know what? You’re wrong.

“Because, I don’t care if it’s the secretary of HHS saying, ‘hmmm, I’m not gonna take the evidence of my experts on mammograms’ or some cancer-quack who wants to treat his patient with coffee-enemas… when you start down the road where belief in magic replace evidence and science you end up in a place you don’t wanna be.

“You end up Thabo Mbeki’s South Africa; he killed four hundred thousand of his people by insisting that beetroot, garlic and lemon oil were much more effective than the antiretroviral drugs we know can slow the course of AIDS. Hundreds of thousands of needless deaths in a country that has been plauged, worse than any other, by this disease. Please, don’t tell me there are no consequences to these things; there are, there always are.” (>>)

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 :: 7:55 PM

“I shared the Cave with three girls and one Boy Wonder, Adam, whom I adored. He was the kind of man who might’ve fished Zelda Fitzgerald out of the fountain at the Plaza, draped his cashmere coat around her shoulders, never asked for it back, and never told anyone the story.” (>>)

Monday, December 28th, 2009 :: 1:02 PM

“More and more evidence points to what is simply common sense — increased exposure to combat trauma increases incidents of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Within IVAW, we experience how multiple deployments are ravaging the lives of soldiers and their familes.

More troops have committed suicide than have been killed in action in either Iraq or Afghanistan this year. This sad statistic does not even account for the number of veterans who have killed themselves, a number we may never know because the Veterans Administration only tracks suicides of those they have in their care (often less than 30% of eligible veterans). Currently there is one mental health specialist for approximately 1,100 troops in Afghanistan. The Army says it hopes to improve that ratio to one for every 700 soldiers.”

(IVAW newsletter, no link available)

Monday, July 6th, 2009 :: 11:23 AM

“Yes, I like your cooking, but I visit for the company. If the only reason to visit you is for the food, you’re not a friend: You’re a restaurant. I’ll be sure to leave a tip.” (>>)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 :: 6:16 PM

“The truth is, the small ethical dilemmas we face are very important. They prepare us to deal with harder, more complex issues with more at stake. Had I followed the leading of my conscience in this small and relatively easy circumstance, I might have found some of the more difficult decisions that I faced in the next few years easier to deal with. Small ethical decisions prepare us for the more important ones. If you can’t stand your ground for the little things, you probably won’t for the big ones.” (>>)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 :: 6:06 PM

“The three of us decided from the beggining that we weren’t going to change certain aspects of it. Descent is about a woman who gets raped and how she recovers herself. It’s about the nature of sexual violence. It’s about how disturbing it can be mentally. We were met with a ton of resistance; ‘Soften the ending’, ‘Make it happen faster’, ‘Give us closure and a perscription of how we’re supposed to feel about each character.’ Every aspect of this story that we held on to as unique we were asked to change. We didn’t. It was a stubborn uphill battle, but ultimately we did make the movie we set out to make.” (>>)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009 :: 6:07 PM

“…a value isn’t a value unless you suffer for it.” (>>)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 :: 5:26 PM

“…like an affectionate horror movie that lets you know that you really shouldn’t go into those woods alone…” (>>)

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 :: 3:55 PM

“What emerged was more of a story of greed, land grabs, racism, power, and machismo than heroic last stand. […] While there are historical figures that I would encourage my daughter to emulate and respect, I’d rather her not be encouraged to admire men who steal and kill for their own vainglory (no matter how history has re-interpreted their acts).” (>>)

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 :: 7:45 PM

You saved my life by not taking yours

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 :: 1:32 AM

“Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. Therefore one with love, courage, and wisdom is one in a million who moves the world, as with Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi.” (>>)

Monday, October 20th, 2008 :: 11:09 AM

“…a lack of certainty is, in many cases, a needed and Biblical virtue and excessive certainty is often just another name for arrogance…” (>>)

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 :: 1:35 PM

“And the first thing you think is, ‘How did I get here?’ And you think on it, and you realize that it didn’t happen all at once. You made hundreds of tiny decisions along the course of your life: you were just a little mean here, you gossiped just a bit there, you went back on your word (for a really good reason, it seemed) here. And every decision felt so small and so inconsequential that you didn’t realize that little by little, you were becoming a colder person. A person you didn’t intend to become.” (>>)

Saturday, August 30th, 2008 :: 8:59 AM

“My father believed in hard work, and I believe that’s how my father expressed love […] I think for my dad it was about getting up early and working hard and making a better life for his kids, and that’s what this man did. Every Christmas in the post office there was something called ‘The Pressure;’ it’s when the mail started to build up and all the postal workers were working 12-hour shifts all the time and it was a crazy amount of work they were doing […] And he worked his ass off the whole month of December, but every Christmas morning he would wake up with me, and my brother and my sisters and help put the presents together. And he must have been bone tired, but he did it, and he never mentioned how tired he was.” (>>)

Thursday, August 14th, 2008 :: 9:00 AM

“At this point, all sense of thrift has fallen away. We grew up in a tightened house, where there was no allowance, where asking for $5 from our father elicited the heaviest of sighs, required detailed plans for repayment. Our mother was far worse — would not even shop in Lake Forest, where everything was overpriced, would instead drive ten, twenty, thirty miles to Marshalls, to T.J. Maxx, for bargains, for bulk. Once a year we would all pile into the Pinto and would drive to a place on the west side of Chicago, Sinofsky’s, where for $4, $5 each we’d buy dozens of slightly flawed rugby shirts, holes here and there, extra buttons, collars ruined by bleach, pink bleeding into white. We grew up with a weird kind of cognitive dissonance; we knew we lived in a nice town — our cousins out East often made that point to us — but then, if this was true, why was our mother always fretting aloud about not having the money to buy staples? “How will I even buy milk tomorrow?” she would yell at him from the kitchen. Our father, who was out of work a year here, a year there, never seemed impressed with her worry; he seemed to have it all worked out. Still, we were ready for and expected sudden indigence, to be forced out of the house in the middle of the night, and into one of the apartments on the highway, at the edge of town. To become one of those kids.

“It never happened, of course, and now, though we are not rich, and there is very little money actually coming in, Beth and I have tossed away the guilt associated with spending it. When it’s a matter of expense versus convenience, the choice is not a choice. While my mother would have driven forty miles for a half-priced tomato, I’ll pay $10 for it if it means I don’t have to get in the car. It’s a matter of exhaustion, mostly. Fatigue loosens my wallet, Beth’s even more, loosens the checkbook tied to Toph’s account. We are done sacrificing, Beth and I have decided — at least when it’s unnecessary, when it involves money, which, for the time being at least, we have.” (>>)

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 :: 9:21 AM

“What is true about you is what is true about you. And no amount of denying and pretending and covering up will ever change that. Sure, you can fool people for awhile, but you are the sum total of all the things that are true about you… What is true about you is who you are. You are not who you want to be. You are not who you hope to be. You are not the person that others think you are.” (>>)

Friday, April 18th, 2008 :: 2:10 PM

“It seems to me that a lot of evangelicals have a religious experience that basically amounts to a kind of protection racket; a Christianized version of paganism, where you beg the gods to keep bad things from happening to you and work out your problems.” (>>)

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 :: 11:20 AM

“You see the world as it is and you see the world as it could be. What you don’t see is what everybody else sees: the giant, gaping chasm in-between… You’re not happy unless things are just right. Which means […] you’ll never be happy.” (>>)

Thursday, December 27th, 2007 :: 11:08 AM

“I am that cordless screwdriver that has to charge for twenty hours to earn ten minutes use.” (>>)

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 :: 8:46 AM

“…the more you let somebody know who you really are[,] the more it feels as though something is at stake. And that makes me nervous. It takes me a million years to get to know anybody pretty well, and even then the slightest thing will set me off. I feel it in my chest, this desire to dissociate.” (>>)

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 :: 11:52 AM

“…we’re foolish dreamers on our best days and hypocrites every other day.” (>>)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 :: 10:59 PM

“I’ve needed to be able to do that all my life” (>>)

Friday, October 26th, 2007 :: 5:31 PM

“[Human] history is largely a record of crime, war, disease, and terror, with just sufficient happiness interposed to give them, while it lasts, an agonised apprehension of losing it, and, when it is lost, the poignant misery of remembering.” (>>)

Monday, October 22nd, 2007 :: 10:17 PM

“I want to be loved by someone, even if it’s a false love. I want someone to make me feel good, to believe in me. And that night I wanted this woman. I wanted her physically and emotionally. I wanted her to help me deny who I really was. I wanted her to take away the sadness. I wanted her to be my savior…

“[But] I don’t know if I will get emotionally entangled with [her] only to be shoved down into the dirt, more bruised than I was before…

“So […] I invite companionship and seek community, need community–But all I really have is God. People are too much like… people; they’re too much like me. I need someone who loves in ways I never could. I need God.

“But, like Jesus, I wrestle with God. ‘Take this cup from me. There must be another way.’ And then I learn that there isn’t another way. I learn that God is unreasonable. In fact, he always has been. Forgiveness is unreasonable. Jesus dying on a cross is unreasonable…” (>>)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 :: 8:46 AM

“I think that we spend too much of our lives insulating ourselves from feeling anything. Which means that feeling something usually strikes us as extremely uncomfortable.” (>>)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 :: 8:45 AM

“i don’t like prayer.” (>>)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 :: 3:29 PM

“If we do not pray for something, will it not happen? Or is prayer a mode of communication between our soul and its creator? If this is true, should we pray in public? Would you put your phone on speaker when you are talking to the one you love?” (>>)

Monday, September 24th, 2007 :: 9:56 AM

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something–a throught, a feeling, a word, a way of looking at things–that you’d thought was special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met; maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” (>>)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 :: 9:29 AM

No man is good enough to judge any other man. Jesus drew a vivid picture of a man with a plank in his own eye trying to extract a speck of dust from someone else’s eye. The humour of the picture would raise a laugh which would drive the lesson home.

“Only the faultless has a right to look for faults in others. No man has a right to criticize another man unless he is prepared at least to try to do the thing he criticizes better. Every Saturday the football terracings are full of people who are violent critics, and who would yet make a pretty poor show if they themselves were to descend to the arena. Every association and every Church is full of people who are prepared to criticize from the body of the hall, or even from an arm-chair, but who would never dream of taking office themselves. The world is full of people who claim the right to be extremely vocal in criticism and totally exempt from action.

“No man has a right to criticize others unless he is prepared to venture himself in the same situation. No man is good enough to criticize his fellow-men.

“We have quite enough to do to rectify our own lives without seeking censoriously to rectify the lives of others. We would do well to concentrate on our own faults, and to leave the faults of others to God.” (>>)

Friday, August 10th, 2007 :: 11:01 AM

“what if the authors of the books I have in my room came alive and had a conversation together…” (>>)

Thursday, July 26th, 2007 :: 12:29 PM

“I think we’ve come to fear way too much in the US… I will not spend my days worrying about whether my water bottle is going to kill me.” (>>)

Monday, July 2nd, 2007 :: 9:32 AM

“I start realizing that this is the first time I have encountered beauty in nature. I’ve read poems that have made my heart race. I’ve read scenes in novels that have caused me to close the book, set my head in my hands, and wonder how a human could so brilliantly orchestrate words. But nature has never inspired me until now. God is an artist, I think to myself. I have known this for a long time, seeing His brushwork in the sunrise and sunset, and His sculpting in the mountains and the rivers. But the night sky is His greatest work. And I would have never known it if I had stayed in Houston. I would have bought a little condo and filled it with Ikea trinkets and dated some girl just because she was hot and would have read self-help books end to end, one after another, trying to fix the gaping hole in the bottom of my soul, the hole that, right now, seems plugged with Orion, allowing my soul to collect that feeling of belonging and love you only get when you stop long enough to engage the obvious.” (>>)

Thursday, June 28th, 2007 :: 8:47 AM

“…like a housebroken gypsy.” (>>)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 :: 9:49 AM

“If we do not come, if we insist on conditions of our own, if we come to someone else, if we call ‘coming to God’ a system to bring God to us on our own terms, we are not answering this invitation.” (>>)

Monday, June 11th, 2007 :: 4:19 PM

“And I think, ‘No, you’ve really confused Jesus with Loki, the trickster god of Norse mythology.’ ” (>>)

Monday, June 4th, 2007 :: 10:05 AM

“[Jesus] insists that we must always remember that the God to whom we pray is a God of love who is more ready to answer than we are to pray. His gifts and his grace have not to be unwillingly extracted from him. We do not come to a God who has to be coaxed, or pestered, or battered into answering our prayers. We come to one whose wish is to give. When we remember that, it is surely sufficient to go to God with the sigh of desire in our hearts, and on our lips the words, ‘Thy will be done.’ ” (>>)

Monday, June 4th, 2007 :: 10:03 AM

“If our great need is to be delivered from the wrath of God, then Jesus is our mediator. But what if our big problem is losing ten pounds? Finding a bigger house? Paying for college? Getting out of debt? What if the guilt that concerns us is the guilt of not having a pool like our neighbor? What if the center of our prayers is the moral life of our kids or our physical health? Do we actually need a crucified Jesus for any of these things?” (>>)

“…whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (>>)

Thursday, May 10th, 2007 :: 10:32 AM
Apartment for rent

I’m renting out the other half of my Duplex. Here are the details if anyone is interested.

Friday, April 27th, 2007 :: 11:56 AM

“A fast-moving car is the only place where you’re allowed to not deal with your problems. It’s enforced meditation and this is good.” (>>)

Thursday, April 26th, 2007 :: 10:57 AM

“…constantly […] waiting for life to come around, expecting it to always be just around the corner.” (>>)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 :: 9:19 AM

“He sipped from his mug as Foy managed to shrug and nod at the same time.” (>>)

Monday, April 23rd, 2007 :: 8:24 AM

“…he was to some extent a youth of our last epoch–that is, honest in nature, desiring the truth, seeking for it and believing in it, and seeking to serve it at once with all the strength of his soul, seeking for immediate action, and ready to sacrifice everything, life itself, for it. Though these young men unhappily fail to understand that the sacrifice of life is, in many cases, the easist of all sacrifices, and that to sacrifice, for instance, five or six years of their seething youth to hard and tedius study, if only to multiply ten-fold their powers of serving the truth and the cause they have set before them as their goal–such a sacrifice is utterly beyond the strength of many of them.” (>>)

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 :: 9:50 AM

“The average hunter-gatherer worked about two to four hours a day to secure food and shelter, then spent the rest of his time swimming, telling stories, singing, playing games with his children and lazily staring off into space.” (>>)

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 :: 9:00 AM

“The Greek word for merciful is ele&#233m&#243n. But, as we have repeatedly seen, the Greek of the New Testament as we possess it goes back to an original Hebrew and Aramaic. The Hebrew word for mercy is chesedh; and it is an untranslatable word. It does not mean only to sympathize with a person in the popular sense of the term; it does not mean simply to feel sorry for someone in trouble. Chesedh, mercy, means the ability to get right inside the other person’s skin until we can see things with his eyes, think things with his mind, and feel things with his feelings.

“Clearly this is much more than an emotional wave of pity; clearly this demands a quite deliberate effort of the mind and of the will. It denotes a sympathy which is not given, as it were, from outside, but which comes from a deliberate identification with the other person, until we see things as he sees them, and feel things as he feels them. This is sympathy in the literal sense of the word. Sympathy is derived from the two Greek words, syn which means together with, and paschein which means to experience or to suffer. Sympathy means experiencing things together with the other person, literally going through what he is going through.

“This is precisely what many people do not even try to do. Most people are so concerned with their own feelings that they are not much concerned with the feelings of anyone else. When they are sorry for someone, it is, as it were, from the outside; they do not make the deliberate effort to get inside the other person’s mind and heart, until they see and feel things as he sees and feels them.

[…]

“It is only those who show this mercy who will receive it. This is true on the human side, for it is the great truth of life that in other people we see the reflection of ourselves. If we are detatched and disinterested in them, they will be detached and disinterested in us. If they see that we care, their hearts will respond in caring. It is supremely true on the divine side, for he who shows this mercy has become nothing less than like God.” (>>)

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 :: 12:17 PM

“So, I began evaluating our lives to think of what is it that stands in the way of us being people who are able to give extremely sacrificially…” (>>)

Monday, February 26th, 2007 :: 6:22 PM

“Christianity isn’t mysticism or gnosticism. It is forever tied to real world events, real occurrences and an ‘either/or’ epistemology. Dropping the resurrection into the category of ‘personal encounters disconnected from real world events’ may solve some problems for some people, but it makes a mockery of Biblical texts that go out of the way, over and over, to tell us that these events are true, real and very much ‘either/or.’ ” (>>)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007 :: 6:49 PM

“It is to be reinvited to believe, to be reinvited into the community of Jesus’ followers.” (>>)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007 :: 6:15 PM

“No one feels things in more dangerous ways than the person who thinks he feels nothing.” (>>)

Monday, February 19th, 2007 :: 1:14 PM

“What we say about those who tell the truth says whether we value the truth, or just want propaganda.” (>>)

Thursday, February 8th, 2007 :: 6:44 PM

“I find it hard to make an unqualified statement. For example, if you were to ask me if my mom was involved in drug smuggling, I would probably say, ‘Not that I’m aware of’ or ‘I think it’s highly unlikely.’ Because hey, she might be and I just don’t know.” (>>)

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 :: 12:45 PM

“…the rampant consumerism in our society leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I try (not always succeeding by any stretch) to live fairly simply and with the belief that all things in my home should be useful, or beautiful…” (>>)

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 :: 6:02 PM

11 Steps to Becoming a Jerk for Jesus [MP3]

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 :: 12:20 PM

“if the thought of driving through the midwest with the windows down on a sunny october day doesn’t bring you joy, you have no soul.” (>>)

Monday, September 25th, 2006 :: 12:19 PM

“My greatest fear is to live a passionless, fruitless existence.” (>>) [MOV] (more)

Monday, September 18th, 2006 :: 9:02 AM

“It was time someone told me the facts of SBC life, and I’m glad he did. He explained it in about 10 minutes, and neither this term nor its definition made any sense to me at all. In all my reading of Scripture, I had never thought to see the Bible in the terms he explained to me. I told him this, only to learn that if I didn’t believe in a ‘perfect’ Bible, I couldn’t have trustworthy information about Jesus, and therefore couldn’t have a relationship with Jesus and therefore couldn’t be saved. I left feeling quite annoyed, as I left with the same high opinion of Scripture and rigorous reading habits with which I’d come in. Only now I was ‘unsaved’ because I didn’t understand this strange thing called ‘inerrancy.’ […] I knew that was wrong, and I just couldn’t be there. It wasn’t an atmosphere that could sustain relationship with Jesus, or the life of the Church in the world. I didn’t know what could.” (>>)

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 :: 7:52 AM

“Do we have to act like Jesus came, ministered to, touched, suffered with and died for beautiful American upper middle class white advertising models?” (>>)

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 :: 8:19 AM

“Fighter jets mixed up with the cross…” (>>)

Friday, July 28th, 2006 :: 10:58 AM

“The Value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.” (>>)

Thursday, July 6th, 2006 :: 7:02 AM

“you either lose your fear or spend your life with one foot in the grave.” (>>)

Thursday, June 29th, 2006 :: 9:35 PM

“Listen. You don’t have to give in to the sharks of the love industry. You really don’t. And it’s easy. Just say no. You do not have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on dresses and caterers and flowers and banquet halls and fancy cakes and the like. There are sharks out there waiting to sell these things to you. They would have you believe that the beauty and meaning of your wedding will be found in the trappings. Do not believe them. They are liars.” (>>)

Thursday, May 25th, 2006 :: 10:51 AM

“he wanders in this manner for a long long time. and it isn’t until something large and drastic and potentially tragic happens that he finally looks up from his own mind and realizes how far off he’s gone, how isolated he is, and that he has no idea where the hell he actually is.” (>>)

Thursday, May 11th, 2006 :: 10:19 AM

“I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall… It may be the kind where, at the age of thirty, you sit in some bar hating everybody who comes in looking as if he might have played football in college. Then again, you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say, ‘It’s a secret between he and I.’ Or you may end up in some business office, throwing paper clips at the nearest stenographer… This fall I think you’re riding for–it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom, he just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangment’s designed for men who, at some point in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with, or they thought their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.” (>>)

Saturday, April 29th, 2006 :: 9:49 AM

“The kingdom of [God] cannot be overcome, even by death. In the end everything will be all right, nothing can harm you permanently; no loss is lasting, no defeat more than transitory, no dissapointment is conclusive. Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” (>>)

Thursday, April 20th, 2006 :: 5:43 PM

“Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the son. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.” (>>)

Thursday, April 20th, 2006 :: 5:41 PM

“The [Christian entertainment business] is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” (>>)

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 :: 9:29 PM

“The scoop? Nothing but media hype. Folks say, ‘oooh, it shakes Christianity to its core,’ but I’ve got news. Gnosticism isn’t new. It does not shed any light on the origins of Christianity. And the only people saying that are sexy historians who make a living writing sexy books that tell you everything you always wanted to be true. Hm, which is actually how lots of people deal with religion anyway. Go figure.” (>>)

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 :: 8:25 PM

“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned; the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” (>>)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 :: 1:53 PM

“torture porn” (>>)

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 :: 9:31 PM

“…so I turned to the Word and God led me to this particular verse which says ‘blah blah blah’ and it occurred to me that I don’t blah-blah enough and I think it’s the same for a lot of us. So I just want to encourage you to blah-blah more and see what God does in your life…” (>>)

Thursday, February 9th, 2006 :: 3:44 PM

“Her faith in God has created in her an understanding that we can’t understand God…” (>>)

Monday, February 6th, 2006 :: 1:18 AM

“The next guy…” (>>) [PDF]

Saturday, February 4th, 2006 :: 9:24 PM

“Words tossed carelessly at pain are an obscenity. What’s needed is a shoulder thrown against the load.” (>>)

Saturday, January 7th, 2006 :: 4:56 PM
Textbook Publishers are Evil

Rip-off 101 : How The Current Practices Of The Textbook Industry Drive Up The Cost Of College Textbooks

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006 :: 4:18 PM

“Reading all the healing stories together, I now detect in the gospels a kind of ‘ladder of faith.’ At the top of the ladder stand those people who impressed Jesus with bold, unshakable faith: a centurion, an impertinent blind beggar, a persistant Caananite woman. These stories of gristly faith threaten me, because seldom do I have such faith. I am easily discouraged by the silence of God. When my prayers are not answered I am tempted to give up and not ask again. For this reason I look down the ladder and find people of lesser faith, and it heartens me to learn that Jesus seemed willing to work with whatever tiny glimpses of faith came to light. I cling to the tender accounts of how Jesus treated the disciples who forsook and then doubted him. The same Jesus who praised the faith of those high up the ladder also gently quickened the flagging faith of his disciples. And I take special comfort in the confession of the father of a demon possesed boy, who said to Jesus, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ Even that wavering man got his request granted.” (>>)

Friday, December 30th, 2005 :: 12:51 PM

“The truth is I have always sort of felt like I am on the outside looking in. I always kind of feel out of place, like I don’t quite fit. The people that like most of the things I like are not Christians and so though we are a like in a lot of ways I always feel different than them too.” (>>)

Monday, December 26th, 2005 :: 6:32 PM

“If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs.” (>>)

Saturday, December 24th, 2005 :: 10:57 AM

“Various scenes in the gospels give a good picture of the kind of people who impressed Jesus. A widow who placed her last two cents in the offering. A dishonest tax collector so riddled with anxiety that he climbed a tree to get a better view of Jesus. A nameless, nondescript child. A woman with a string of five unhappy marriages. A blind beggar. An adulteress. A man with leprosy. Strength, good looks, connections and the competitive instinct may bring a person success in a society like ours, but those very qualities may block entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Dependence, sorrow, repentence, a longing to change — these are the gates to God’s kingdom.” (>>)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 :: 12:21 AM

“…it was the image of johnny cash sitting out by his pool as his family is leaving him that i strangely felt so very personally connected to. that painful confrontation with yourself, when all the act has fallen away and what you’re left with is something completely unsalvageable and permanently ruined.” (>>)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005 :: 5:54 PM

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

“I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

“I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.” (>>)

Saturday, November 19th, 2005 :: 1:43 PM

“Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a ‘new world,’ so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all subjects. The duck was excellent in swimming — in fact, better than his instructor; but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn, so then he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.” (>>)

Saturday, November 19th, 2005 :: 10:30 AM

“In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed—the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders—were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steam roller. This steam roller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told ‘If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.’ None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steam roller.” (>>) [PDF]

Friday, November 18th, 2005 :: 12:38 AM
Suburban Tumbleweed
Sunday, November 13th, 2005 :: 1:24 PM

“Sweet angelic beings used to take me away when I got too scared. That’s how I recall it. I remember flying around the ceiling of the living room and down the stairs, during times when it was intolerable to be in my body. I flew around the neighborhood, soothed by the quiet evening skies as the sweet beings and I soared together over the tops of trees. We sometimes soared over mountain valleys, or over ocean beaches in the moonlight. I think of them as guardian angels. Some people call that dissociating, or dreaming, astral traveling or having an overactive imagination. I don’t think it matters which it was. All I know is that I got some comfort when I needed it.” (>>) (>>)

Monday, November 7th, 2005 :: 3:58 PM

“Today was a vast improvement on yesterday. I think this has a little to do with the fact I spent more time reading and drinking coffee and meditating on Scripture and God than I did watching E! True Hollywood Story or VH1’s 101 Best Blonde Hairdos EVER.” (>>)

Saturday, November 5th, 2005 :: 11:13 AM

“…who wants to discuss anything with someone so sensitive that merely suggesting a contrary opinion gets them riled up? So I propose a ban on any argument of the form ‘Some position p offends me deeply; therefore not-p and moreover, you holding p is somehow immoral/objectionable/unkind/oppressive.’ ” (>>)

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 :: 7:07 PM

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…” (>>)

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 :: 9:01 PM

“I have refused to accept God’s love and grace for so long now that I don’t know any other way of living.” (>>)

Monday, October 31st, 2005 :: 5:50 PM
My Weekend
I'm Waiting For You
three days
fourteen hundred miles
one really cool friend
two works of art
seven photos
one legend
one majestic instance of creation
two buffy episodes
one beautiful movie
one major change of plans
one overpriced hotel room
twenty-two hours of music
zero speeding tickets*


* Ohio could learn a few things from our mullet-loving neighbors to the south. (But just a few.)

Thursday, October 27th, 2005 :: 9:04 PM
Tired of Being at Home

Dayton, OH -> Cleveland, TN (carly)” title=”Dayton, OH -> Cleveland, TN (carly)” /></p>
<p><img src=

“…the biblical story of sin, love and redemption is unfolding in our lives. And for some reason, God tends to use people who have experienced great pain and failure for His purposes.” (>>)

Home

Welcome home.

“In this application of a homily on wisdom and the Spirit, Paul acts in a way very typical of himself. He attacks a problem by going deeper. He sees the real issue not just in a moral weakness, a refusal to be harmonious and loving as a community. He sees the real issue in a blatant contradiction in the life of the Corinthians. The homily in effect speaks of the essential role of the Spirit in the life of all believers. The homily groups people simply into two groups, those who have recieved the Spirit and those who have not, those who are being saved and those being damned, those for whom the crucifixion of Jesus is God’s wisdom and power and those for whom it is a stumbling block. After having made this point in the homily, Paul then turns to the Corinthian Church and says in effect that he cannot speak to them as people endowed with the Spirit (3:1-4). Their jealousies, quarrels, and partisan spirit is in such contradiction to the work of God’s spirit, that he must address them as sarkikoi, a word only difficultly translated ‘hell bent on the flesh.’ Despite the charismatic gifts that the Corinthians feel so proud about, their community behavior puts them dangerously close to ‘those perishing,’ those for whom the crucifixion of Christ is meaningless.” (>>)

carly

I don’t think heaven will be so much clouds and harps, but rather the fullness of the things we feel deepest but only get shadows of in this life, like art and music and love.

“The point is that no matter how twisted things get, no matter how unfair, no matter how brutal, no matter how tragic, Jesus has walked the path and walks it with us still… The only answer I have is that we are not alone, that God has embraced and entered into human suffering and pain.” (>>) [MP3]

“In my life, I feel like I’ve always been about 10 years behind in terms of figuring things out.” (>>)

“I’m trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Jesus and I need to confess right up-front that often I’m not a very good one.” (>>) [MP3]

“I became obsessed with symmetry. If I stepped on a crack with my right foot, I felt an irresistible urge to step on a crack with my left foot. I added more details until this ritual became all-consuming. If I stepped on a pebble with my right heel, I had to step on a pebble with my left heel. If I missed and stepped on the pebble with the middle of my left foot, I had to step on a pebble with the middle of my right foot while still ‘owing’ my left heel a pebble.” (>>)

“They help by making me sad at how hard we all try and at how far short we fall, and the sadness softens me for love.” (>>)

“…grateful to be able to feel at all.” (>>)

“I see my world through my kailedoscope – all it’s broken potential and beauty.” (>>)

“…I think [that] the closer we are to the teachings of Jesus the more on track we’re going to be.” (>>) [MP3]

“God, please help me and forgive me where i get prideful and judgmental.” (>>)

“…leaping across the abyss of doubt with fear and trembling.” (>>)

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O LORD, supported me.” (>>)

“i guess i failed you
i guess i cannot win” (>>)

“I don’t want to divide ‘New Christians’ from ‘Traditional Christians’ or ‘Postmodern Christians’ from ‘Modern Christians.’ I don’t have time for that kind of foolishness, so I think we have to be very careful about the language we use. Please help me try to avoid any ‘us-and-them’ kind of thinking, and if you see me going in that direction, by all means tell me, OK? We’re talking about a new kind of Christian, not the new kind or a better kind or the superior kind, just a new kind.” (>>)

“I can’t tell if I’m being insubordinate in exploring these thoughts or if I need courage to go farther. I feel that I may be falling away from my faith. But then again, if I hold back from honestly pursuing the truth, wouldn’t that be pulling away from you–even worse? If I let go or loosen my grip on some things I’ve never before doubted will I fall away from you? Or could I actually find myself falling into you? Guide me, please…” (>>)

RateMyProfessors.com

Oh, this is too much fun!

“No man is strong unless he bears within his character antithesis strongly marked.” (>>)

“I realized that my best answers didn’t answer their questions because they were asking questions on a deeper level: they weren’t just asking, ‘What’s the answer to my question?’ They were asking, ‘How can you be sure any question can receive a definitive answer?’ ” (>>)

“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics–in physical laws–every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that ‘as you reap, so you will sow’ stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.” (>>)

“be willing to love.” (>>)

“Congregations assume that the best stuff (information, inspiration, motivation, ethos) comes from one source, and should be presented to everyone in a uniform way. Aggregation is a highly individualized process, in which people choose which streams of information to pay attention to… Aggregation ecclesiology implies that people derive meaning and authority from a variety of sources, not just what the guy with the wireless mic and the Hawaiian shirt says.” (>>)

“Life is outrageously black and white. It’s just that that deliniation occurs at a level way deeper than most people want to go, so they take the easy way out and call it gray for sake of not having to make the difficult decisions.” (>>)

“If it seems at times that God cannot be found, there are millions of people across the face of the earth demanding God’s existence. This means something. We demand value for ourselves and for each other… There is something deep and uncompromising within us that cannot look upon the face of a child and consider her to be merely fodder for evolution’s hard turning. And even though we often sin by not living in ways that reflect the values we feel, we are ashamed and dehumanized and repentant. We wish we were better people.” (>>)

Rumors of Home

“There’s something moving in the shadows /
there is that rumor of home”

...there is that rumor of home
...there is that rumor of home
...there is that rumor of home
...there is that rumor of home
...there is that rumor of home

“…reality spits in the face of my so-called good news.” (>>)

“…herein setting an example of charity, with reference to other men’s sin and shame.” (>>)

Questions in Genesis

I finished reading through the prophets and am interested in reading more of the OT, so I started with Genesis tonight, which promptly led to a whole lot of questions. Here are some of them.

1: 6-8 — Is “expanse” refering to the sky, as the Message translates it? But, there isn’t water above the sky. What was the Jewish understanding of earth, space and heaven?

1: 26 — “Let Us make man in Our image…” How did the Jews understand this prior to Christ and the Holy Spirit and the development of the doctrine of the trinity? Is “our” an accurate translation or a trinitarian bias?

1: 29-30 — Interesting that God only gives plants/fruits as food to Adam and the animals, not animals as food for Adam and other animals. Is carnivorousness a result of the Fall? (I hope not, I like burgers…)

3: 3 — Obviously not a physical death, is it a spiritual one? Or, is it refering to the loss of immortality in :22? Which, by the way, God comes across sounding kind of insecure here. And how could Adam/Eve become like God just by learning about good and evil and being immortal; obviously there’s more than separates Creator and creation than that…

3: 12 — Adam’s kind of a pansy… It’s odd that God doesn’t comment on that but almost accepts the answer by then chastizing Eve without further comment to Adam.

4: 14 — When did other people (not Adam and Eve’s kids) get on the scene?

I get the feeling that this is more poetic wisdom than literal history. Thoughts/resources/burning stakes? A lot of my questions while reading the first four chapters had to deal with the cultural/chronological context, anyone know of any good resources for gaining a better understanding of that?

“…I never thought I would find that person for whom I would work this hard or who would do the same for me in return. Thank you for working on this with me.” (>>)

“Please say honestly you won’t give up on me
and I shall believe” (>>)

“God wants us back even more than we could possibly want to be back. We don’t have to go into great detail about our sorrow. All we have to do, the parable says, is appear on the scene, and before we get a chance to run away again, the Father grabs us and pulls us into the banquet so we can’t get away…” (>>)

This Song is Orgasmically Beautiful

“It’s clear you’ve got nothin’ to lose while I’m losing sleep.” (>>) [MP3] [more]

“I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist, although I claim to be rather a Calvinist according to Calvin, than after the modern debased fashion; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist. You have there (pointing to the baptistery) substantial evidence that I am not ashamed of that ordinance of our Lord Jesus Christ; But if I am asked to say what is my creed, I think I must reply: ‘It is Jesus Christ.’ My venerable predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a body of divinity admirable and excellent in its way; but the body of divinity to which I would pin and bind myself for ever, God helping me, is not his system of divinity or any other human treatise, but Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the gospel; who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life.” (>>)

“You shouldn’t confuse being nice with being a tool.” (>>)

“It makes me feel important just knowing that right now the Baptists are doing demographic studies on how to get me in church!” (>>)

“…theology as it works itself out in the lives of human beings who are kind of scratching and clawing their way to try to follow Jesus on a daily basis. It’s a messy endeavor, and I embrace that messiness. ” (>>)

“This world is seriously f—– up. Not just America. Or Iraq. The whole f—— lot of it.” (>>)

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all… ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense- love as distinct from ‘being in love’- is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God.” (>>)

” ‘When I first met you, and I made you that tape, you were really enthused. You said–and I quote–“It was so good that it made you ashamed of your record collection” ‘
‘Shameless, wasn’t I?’
‘What does that mean?’
‘Well, I fancied you. You were a DJ, and I thought you were groovy, and I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I wanted one.’
‘So you weren’t interested in the music at all?’
‘Well, yes. A bit. And more so then than I am now. That’s life, though, isn’t it?’
‘But you see… That’s all there is of me. There isn’t anything else. If you’ve lost interest in that, you’ve lost interest in everything. What’s the point of us?’
‘You really believe that?’
‘Yes. Look at me. Look at the flat. What else has it got, apart from records and CDs and tapes?’
‘And do you like it that way?’
I shrug. ‘Not really.’
That’s the point of us. You have potential. I’m here to bring it out.’ ”

(>>)

” ‘It’s no wonder we’re all in such a mess, is it? We’re like Tom Hanks in Big. Little boys and girls trapped in adult bodies and forced to get on with it. And it’s much worse in real life, because it’s not just snogging and bunk beds…’ ” (>>)

“I don’t want to cope with the sort of unhappiness Laura’s feeling, not ever. If people have to die, I don’t want them dying near me. My mum and dad won’t die near me, I’ve made bloody sure of that. When they go, I’ll hardly feel a thing.” (>>)

Better Days

“Every fool’s got a reason to feelin’ sorry for himself
And turnin’ his heart to stone
Tonight this fool’s halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I’m comin’ home” (>>)

broken

i loved her

but i hurt her

and now i just want to collapse at her feet and bawl

“She loves Eeyore. How cool is that?” (>>)

” ‘You have to take the piss out of someone like that, don’t you? That Leo Sayer haircut and those dungarees and the stupid laugh and the wanky right-on politics and the…’

Liz Laughs. ‘Laura wasn’t exaggerating, then. You’re not keen, are you?’

‘I can’t f—— stand the guy.’

‘No, neither can I. For exactly the same reasons.’

‘So what’s she on about, then?’

‘She said that your little […] outbursts showed her how… sour was the word she used… how sour you’ve become. She said that she loved you for your enthusiasm and your warmth, and it was all draining away. You stopped making her laugh and you started depressing the hell out of her.’ “

(>>)

“When you were looking at Maria in that bed were you thinking about yourself?” (>>)

“…next time you hear someone talk about the biblical model for courtship, blow a rasberry and then stand up, point, and say with determination and volume (volume is important here), ‘Liar!’ You can expand upon this single word however your demeanor and the circumstance mandate, but the most important thing here is that you make it known to everyone within earshot that whoever is speaking about any model for discovering and securing a spouse as being the biblical model is speaking naught but lies. Lies. You know. Fabrication. Fiction. Fantasy. Creative truth. That’s right. Lies.” (>>)

“I’m tired of games. I’m weary of girls who play at being coy. I’m tired of girls who imagine they need to be hard-won. In fact. The girl who plays at being hard-to-get diminishes herself in my eyes. Stop reading books on the ‘Proper’ way to relate to a man – on the ‘right’ way to spark his pursuit. Stop reading Elizabeth Elliot, Joshua Harris, and the Dougs. Simply love God, focus your heart on Christ, and treat your Christian brothers as you would wish to be treated: as a normal human being. Find yourself in friendship with a man. If you like him, let him know. If you don’t like him, let him know. It’s not difficult. It’s not life-changing. But it is a start to a good relationship. ” (>>)

“So, to reach this generation is not going to be tweaking the church service, it’s gonna be starting communities that live the Christian life 24/7.” (>>) [RM]

“Jesus spent the majority of His time here with the most overtly sinful people in culture loving, living, and weeping with them. And ultimately redeeming them. Yet He reserved his most harsh and judgmental language for the arrogant church leadership. The devastating contrast is that we do almost the opposite, and we do it representing Jesus, very much in His name. For that reason, I’m not all that surprised that Christians have such a bad reputation in this culture.” (>>)

“Relativism and postmodernism are not identical. Liberalism and postmodernism are not the same thing. Nihilism and skepticism are not identical to postmodernism. I believe most of the Christian critics talking about postmodernism miss this entirely.” (>>)

“Author Barbara Kingsolver writes that rather than buying into the ‘love it or leave it’ approach to the groups with which we affiliate, a more honorable slogan is ‘love it and get it right, love it and never shut up.’ This, I believe, is the function of evangelical expatriates. These expats have renounced their citizenship in evangelical subculture, but not their faith. They have ventured out into the wider world, but they remain interested, and often emotionally invested, in their culture of origin. They have become skeptical of how the church manifests its witness, but also dedicated to calling it back to its truest expressions.” (>>)

“I think that secretly, our minds walk hand in hand down a side street… smiling at the warm May weather on our way to get hand-made ice cream downtown, even when our bodies are entwined in the throes of an unspent worldly passion.” (>>)

“Increasingly, U.S. evangelicals have allied themselves with conservative politics. Many rallied around Ronald Reagan, the nation’s first divorced President, who rarely attended church and gave little to charity, while viewing with suspicion Jimmy Carter–a devoutly religious President who taught a Baptist Sunday school class throughout his term in office.” (>>)

” ‘Christ’s death saves even Christians from sin.’ ” (>>)

“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘ “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it a “den of robbers.” ‘ ” (>>)

“What do you prefer? Freedom from terrorists or freedom from the government?” (>>)

“One of the things he said was that, ‘In moments like this God is useless.’ And I thought at first, ‘What an appalling thing to say.’ And then I thought, ‘What a brave thing to say.’ And then I thought, ‘What a true thing to say.’ ” (>>)

“The darkness has faded just enough so that for the first time he can dimly see his opponent‘s face. And what he sees is something more terrible than the face of death – the face of love. It is vast and strong, half ruined with suffering and fierce with joy, the face a man flees down all the darkness of his days until at last he cries out, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me!’ Not a blessing that he can have now by the strength of his cunning or the force of his will, but a blessing that he can only have as a gift.” (>>)

“What we must recognize is that Christians should not adopt either modern or postmodern epistemology. Both epistemologies make some important and true claims; and each also makes claims that Christians will want to deny. Some Christians, intuitively sensing the dangers of postmodern epistemology, pan it entirely, reverting to the more familiar modern epistemology. They conveniently forget that epistemological modernism has not always been the Christians friend. Others cherish postmodernism, not least because of its freshness and iconoclasm. They view askance anything that has ties to oldfashioned modernism. So what is required is some evenhanded reflection on both the strengths and the weaknesses of postmodern epistemology.”

“Postmodernism articulates what we should have known but what modernism made difficult to see, namely, that there is more to human knowing than rationality, proofs, evidences, and linear thought. No matter how much we retain the view that evidence and logic are fundamental to human reflection and discourse, we are now much more aware of the way that aesthetic, social, intuitive, linguistic, and other factors influence our thinking.”

“Postmoderns correctly perceive that there can never be, among finite knowers, an uninterpreted truth. But from this they incorrectly infer that there cannot be any knowledge of objective truth at all.”

(>>)

“It is the duty of a man to render himself beneficial to those around him; to a great number if possible; but if this is denied him, to a few; to his intimate connections; or, at least, to himself.” (>>)

“God is good in some marvelous non-understood way.”

“We would only ask, if you accept our critics’ evaluation of our work, that in fairness you abstain from adding your critique to theirs unless you have actually read our books, heard us speak, and engaged with us in dialogue for yourself. Second-hand critique can easily become a kind of gossip that drifts from the truth and causes needless division.” (>>)

Over the Rhine was one of the primary influences on many of us being able to leave the CCM culture mindset without needing to toss out our faith as well. They (along with Vigilantes of Love) were a great example of what real faith could look like in the real world, in real terms, without all the evangelical baggage and superfluous trappings, in a way that was honest and genuine and expressed in a way that a believer could live with and not feel uncomfortable (for lack of a better word) about – not forced or embarracing or pressured to ‘be a good commercial for Jesus.’ ” (>>)

Detweiler/Bergquist 2008: Lyrical Leaders with Long Names

” ‘Theology is a community affair. Consequently theological truth takes the form of a dialogue, and does so essentially, not just for the purposes of entertainment. There are theological systems which are designed not only to be non-contradictory in themselves, but aim to remain undisputed from outside too. They are like fortresses which cannot be taken, but which no one can break out of either, and which are therefore starved out. I have no desire to build any such fortress for myself. My image is the Exodus of the people, and I await theological Red Sea miracles. For me theology is not church dogmatics, and not a doctrine of faith. It is imagination for the kingdom of God in the world, and for the world in God’s kingdom.’ ” (>>)

New MxPx songs. Ian unashamedly jumps up and down drooling like a sixteen year old scene kid.

“Within Christian thought two large theological traditions exist:
kataphatic and apophatic theologies.” (>>)

“Heres the deal. We might be heretics. ” (>>)

“Since the parable was designed to hold forth the prepared and the unprepared to meet Christ at His coming, and how the unprepared might, up to the very last, be confounded with the prepared–the structure of the parable behooved to accommodate itself to this, by making the lamps of the foolish to burn, as well as those of the wise, up to a certain point of time, and only then to discover their inability to burn on for want of a fresh supply of oil. But this is evidently just a structural device; and the real difference between the two classes who profess to love the Lord’s appearing is a radical one–the possession by the one class of an enduring principle of spiritual life, and the want of it by the other.” (>>)

“why are we so weak?” (>>)

” ‘This school and community is no place for students like you, with… your problem.’ He emphasized the words ‘your problem’ as if they were particularly loathsome and he could hardly bring himself to even refer to the ‘problem’ I had.’ (>>)

“My life, quite often, like many people’s lives I suppose, is not what I had hoped it would be. I am not the person I had hoped I would be. I spend so many hours and days and weeks and months and years doing things that don’t seem to be of my own choosing. I want to be a writer but I work at construction 8-10 hours a day and run errands and squander time and get depressed and squander more time and then I have commitments to others which must be kept and some of those are very rewarding but as I keep them the little time I had left to write is seeping away and I try to make time to pray and sometimes I do but it is too often rather dry and lifeless prayer and I squeeze in some scripture but not enough and some exercise but not enough and somehow I’ve been sabotaged–I got old and racked with injuries and lost most of my big bushy head of hair and the girls don’t notice me anymore, not like they used to and Young Adult Ministries has enacted age limits that exclude geezers like me from their functions and the little time I had left for writing is getting away from me and when I do try to write I often fail and my room is a mess and my files are a mess and my finances are a mess and I don’t feel up to dealing with any of it and good God how did it all turn out like this?” (>>)

“…I often find one or other of two less manageable states: either a vague feeling of guilt or a sly, and equally vague self-approval.” (>>)

“We were like strangers who knew each other very well.” (>>)

“when the road seems dreary and endless
the skies grey and threatening
when our lives have no music in them” (>>)

hasidic reggae

“There is no urgent concern for converting people in the New Testament…. There is also no urgent concern for the numerical growth of churches by the efforts of members to convert others. There are no burgeoning church programs. There are no plans to train everyone to door knock and sell Jesus. There is an urgent concern for doctrinal and personal Christ-likeness. There is a concern for leadership, integrity, honesty and obedience to Christ in our personal lives. The idea that we are here to ‘win souls’ and not to know and show God is bogus.” (>>)

“Let’s crap the truth like a diarrhetic goose!” (>>) (via)

“It’s jarring to hear that propositions are not the real deal when it comes to truth, but after-the-fact descriptions of God-events in human history. We have spent hundreds of years trying to come to the right propositions about faith, and wondering why that faith often left us dry, while biblical faith seems at once so vibrant and so elusive. Perhaps it is because the biblical followers of God were not believing primarily in propositions, but walking on in the faith that had been established through God’s unfolding story.” (>>)

Shattered Glass is a very good movie.

“When a natural discourse paints a passion or an effect, one feels within oneself the truth of what one reads, which was there before, although one did not know it. Hence one is inclined to love him who makes us feel it, for he has not shown us his own riches, but ours. And thus this benefit renders him pleasing to us, besides that such community of intellect as we have with him necessarily inclines the heart to love.” (>>)

“And sometimes I am not really sure on things, I have to admit.
God? Yes.
My theology? No.
Bible? Yes!
My interpretation of it? Not really. But sure enough to take a step of faith out into my world. How sure do you have to be? If I was absolutely certain of everything, why would I need faith.
Am I certain of the Biblical meaning of the 4th head of the second beast in the Book of Revelation? Yes!  . . . i mean  . . No!
Do I believe the Book of Revelation? Yes

“Job’s friends were certain of their truth, but they were certainly wrong. Job himself was not certain of why God was allowing his scabs to grow unchecked on his body but he was certain of the One in whom he believed. For what is it worth, and if anybody is listening (this will probably be dismissed and forgotten) but I am absolutely convinced, beyond doubt, in the One True God and his Son Jesus Christ. He is true and his word is truth. He died for sinners and died for me. He is my Saviour. That truth is both propositional and narrative and I believe it both ways, sideways and upwards and downwards and i am living out my life in accordance with that Truth. Dannggittt!!!! Why cant you people hear me??? Are your ears closed???? Or will you only listen to what you want to hear???

“Jesus loves me this i know
for the bible tells me so

“I believe in truth. However, I am not completely sure that my last sermon is the absolute truth. Nor do I think that these words I am writing are absolutely true, and to say that my words, or any other human construct born in the minds of men and women, are true on the same level as the Personhood of God . . . is an insult to God is who far more TRUER than anything i can come up with down here on this side of eternity where i see dimly, as if through a glass.

“[But you didn’t hear me say that. What you heard is; ‘Blah Blah blahBlah’]” (>>)

“…your vocation is the intersection where your greatest desire meets the world’s greatest need.” (>>)

“Your heart won’t heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures” (>>)

Getting Rid of Crap

Inspired by Justin’s sneaky way of getting rid of his crap, I’ve decided to try it for myself. You can have anything in the lists below for free, but I’m busy/lazy, so it works out best if we know each other in real life instead of me having to ship things out. But, I will ship stuff if you don’t live in Dayton and it’s something you really want.

Books
·The Pugalist At Rest by Thom Jones (very good, but I have another copy)
·The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (two copies)
·When God Interrupts by Craig Barnes (recommended by the Reese Roper. Quoted here)
·25 Basic Bible Studies by Francis Schaeffer
·The Great Democracies by Winston Churchill
·Wild at Heart by John Eldridge (good, but I have another copy)
·Under the Radar by Robert Young (autographed. Bob, you might enjoy it)
·Let the Journey Begin by Max Lucado (high school graduation gift from youth group)
·Answers by Josh McDowell
·Day by Day by Billy Graham
·Discipleship by Billy Hanks
·Discoveries by Eugenia Price

CDs
·Jump, Little Children – Magazine
·Jump, Little Children – mix
·Sarah Masen – Sarah Masen
·Among Thorns – Desparate
·Nickle and Dime – When You Come Around
·Sunday Drive – Sunday Drive
·Between Theives – Between Thieves
·The Waiting – Wonderfully Made
·Various Artists – Gas Collection #19 (Rob pawned this off on me the other day, and now I’m pawning it off on you)
·Various Artists – Check This Out Baby (early 90s punk mix)
·Various Artists – Fight for Your Rights (MTV propaganda. Everclear, Green Day, Tori, DMB, etc)
·Various Artists – Go-Kart vs the Corporate Giant (early 90s punk mix)
·Various Artists – At War With Society (late 90s punk mix)

Cassettes
·Elvis Costello – Spike (dub. great, but have on CD now)
·Red Five – Flash (ok. have on CD now)
·The Doormats – A Cup of Tea, a Cookie and the Doormats

Miscellaneous
·A very big Dickies sticker

“Raise your hand if you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. Keep your hand up if you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity because you studied the scriptures and came to a thorough understanding of the Godhead solely through your study. Now put your hand down, because all the people who can affirm the second statement have been dead for over a thousand years. This is not to discredit the doctrine of the Trinity, but to uncover the way we came to believe in it. I personally have not come up with any doctrines by studying the scriptures, and neither have you. If you have, you’re way too important to read my blog.” (>>)

“I think… I think I was overly harsh when I said that you were broken.”
“How… really? How so?”
“I don’t think you’re broken.”
“No?”
“I think you’re… mildly sprained. Nothing that can’t be mended.” (>>)

“I see everyday in my job (a government subcontract) the sunken eyes and the lack of will to question any more the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ and are suddenly satisfied to put in the hours, go home and watch TV, eat and sleep. In so many adults I can see, if not even feel, the dying spirit with the desire to explore, live and enjoy something other than ‘real-life’ TV reruns absent in their lives. I swear this passionate spirit is why children always look at my bike – and the numbers decrease with the advancement of age. I have 3 year olds on my cul-de-sac (yes – I have this bike in a typically quiet residential neighborhood) that come up to me every time I start up the bike or pull in after a ride. They cheer me on – they smile and ask about the bike – even though they have asked the same questions time and time before.” (>>)

“Lord Jesus, I think you have put a desire in me.
If you will help me, please,
I would like to make my offering:
I want it to be my desire, and my choice,
provided that you want it, too,
to live my life as you lived yours.
I know that you lived an insignificant person
in a little, despised town;
I know that you rarely tasted luxury and never privilege,
and that you resolutely refused to accept power.
I know that you suffered rejection by leaders,
abandonment by friends, and failure.
I know, I can hardly bear the thought of it all.
But it seems a toweringly wonderful thing
that you might call me to follow you and stand with you.
I will labor with you to bring God’s reign,
if you will give me the gift to do it. ” (>>)

Not only can you stream songs from Mae‘s new album at TheEverglow.com, you can also play fun little games for rewards (like MP3s).

“The moral theory of the ‘just war’ or ‘limited war’ doctrine begins with the presumption which binds all Christians: we should do no harm to our neighbors; how we treat our enemy is the key test of whether we love our neighbor; and the possibility of taking even one human life is a prospect we should consider in fear and trembling.” (>>)

“…the Protestant and evangelical tradition has not been half so good on the gospels as it has been on the epistles. We don’t quite know what to do with them. Because, I think, we have come to them as we have come to the whole Bible, looking for particular answers to particular questions. And we have thereby made the Bible into something which it basically is not. I remember a well-known Preacher saying that he thought a lot of Christians used the Bible as an unsorted edition of Daily Light. It really ought to be arranged into neat little devotional chunks, but it happens to have got all muddled up. The same phenomenon occurs, at a rather different level, when People treat it as an unsorted edition of Calvin’s Institutes, the Westminster Confession, the UCCF Basis of Faith, or the so-called ‘Four Spiritual Laws’. But to treat the Bible like that is, in fact, simply to take your place in a very long tradition of Christians who have tried to make the Bible into a set of abstract truths and rules—abstract devotional doctrinal, or evangelistic snippets here and there.” (>>)

We Don’t Need No Water

Tonight I was working on the network at my church, running cable to a room that’s currently being used to store lots of miscellaneous crap. While I was moving some stuff around to make room for my ladder, I found a small pile of Jack Chick tracts sitting next to a large pile of matches. I thought to myself, “if this isn’t a sign from God, I don’t know what is.”

If you’re unfamilar with Chick tracts, here are a few examples from what I found and from the catalog on his website:

Chick Tract Example 1

Chick Tract Example 2

Chick Tract Example 3

I don’t know how they got there; I’m hoping they’ve been there since before we moved in to the building a few years ago, but there’s a small part of me that’s afraid someone actually brought this trash into our church. But, no worries, it’s been taken care of:

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

Chick tracts burning

“It is finished.”

“I have never been a risk-taker in life, but in this journey I want to ride far away from home.” (>>)

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

“Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

“But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.” (>>)

“people say things to clergy they would not say to their worst enemies. for some reason they feel at liberty to delve into every aspect of clergy life. they have an opinion about everything we do. they believe it is their god-given right to critique your personal life, your professional life, your emotional state, the way you dress, your use of colloquialisms, your kids, your personality, how much you spend on a car, your friendships, how you drive, how much you fart, the list goes on and on.” (>>)

“A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.” (>>)

“Vincent,” (>>)

” ‘Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!’ ” (>>)

“For those of us who believe in the Reformed doctrine of total depravity, it appears that more than one practicing theologian has a note from God excusing him from something the rest of us have to live with all the time: the pervasive influence of sin in every area of human life, including the intellectual exercises necessary to theology.” (>>)

“I’d say about a hundred thoughts rushed into my head in that instant. But the thing that pushed its way to the surface was a warning thought. ‘Be very careful with her. Listen to her. Don’t speak.’ ” (>>)

Will We Be in Ashes Before We Are One?

“I want to be known and loved anyway. Can you do this? I trust by your easy breathing that you are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me. My love, do I know you? What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other? Why do we not connect? Will we be forever in fleshing this out? And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other? Is this God’s way of meriting grace, of teaching us of the labyrinth of His love for us, teaching us, in degrees, that which He is sacrificing to join ourselves to Him? Or better yet, has He formed our being fractional so that we might conclude one great hope, plodding and sighing and breathing into one another in such a great push that we might break through into the known and being loved, only to cave into a greater perdition and fall down at His throne still begging for our acceptance? Begging for our completion?” (>>)

“Rick says that I will love God because he first loved me. I will obey God because I love God. But if I cannot accept God’s love, I cannot love Him in return, and I cannot obey Him. Self-discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God’s love will. The ability to accept God’s unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return. Accepting God’s kindness and free love is something the devil does not want us to do. If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness, He changes our character with the passion of His love. […] In exchange for our humility and willingness to accept the charity of God, we are given a kingdom. And a beggar’s kingdom is better than a proud man’s delusion.” (>>)

“They call this the ‘Financial District’ but people here never have money to spare.” (>>)

“No one standing at your door”

St. Jude

“Still, I cannot help but wonder sometimes if my vision of the Supreme Reality was any more real than the demons visited upon schizophrenics and madmen. Has it all been just a stupid neurochemical event? Is there no God at all? The human heart rebels against this.” (>>)

“Is, then, the Kingdom of God of such slight value that it is not worth some sacrifice, that we place every little thing of this world ahead of eternal treasures? …happy are they who live and die in God’s love.” (>>)

“The brighter side of breaking up: You get to experience what it’s like to be a depressed, tormented artist… just without the motivation or talent.” (>>)

Anniversary

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9 Miami (20-12-4, 17-8-3 CCHA) hockey team fell one point short of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association title on Saturday night as the Ohio State Buckeyes sent the RedHawks home from Value City Arena with a 5-4 loss.” (>>)

“If you read the saints, they’re pretty ordinary people. There are moments of rapture and ecstasy, but once every 10 years. And even then it’s a surprise to them. They didn’t do anything. We’ve got to disabuse people of these illusions of what the Christian life is. It’s a wonderful life, but it’s not wonderful in the way a lot of people want it to be. … I don’t want to suggest that those of us who are following Jesus don’t have any fun, that there’s no joy, no exuberance, no ecstasy. They’re just not what the consumer thinks they are. When we advertise the gospel in terms of the world’s values, we lie to people. We lie to them, because this is a new life. It involves following Jesus. It involves the Cross. It involves death, an acceptable sacrifice. We give up our lives.” (>>) (via)

Air Force Museum visit

Yesterday’s venture to the Air Force base was much more successful than the last one (not in terms of fun per se, but in terms of not getting pulled over by a van full of trigger-happy 18 year olds…) and resulted in the following dialogue:

  • Nicole: How does this work?
    Me: Well, you know, there’s no gravity in Space…
  • Nicole: I touched a bomb?!?!
  • There was one more thing, and although neither of us can remember what it was, I promise you it was freaking hilarious.

“Sometimes people feel that moving on means forgetting and not feeling sad anymore. They cling to their grief out of fear of losing it, because it is the last thing they have connecting them to the one they loved.” (>>)

Love 101 Weekend

A few products of this weekend:

“Sometimes I think the people to feel the saddest for are people who are unable to connect with the profound — people such as my boring brother-in-law, a hearty type so concerned with normality and fitting in that he eliminates any possibility of uniqueness for himself and his own personality. I wonder if some day, when he is older, he will wake up and the deeper part of him will realize that he has never allowed himself to truly exist, and he will cry with regret and shame and grief.

“And then sometimes I think the people to feel saddest for are people who once knew what profoundness was, but who lost or became numb to the sensation of wonder — people who closed the doors that lead us into the secret world — or who had the doors closed for them by time and neglect and decisions made in times of weakness.” (>>)

“I write to keep on this road of believing the unbelievable. I write, and guess what I find out? There are THOUSANDS of people like me. They can’t deal with the circus. They get sick at all the people [who] talk like God is so real you can almost touch him. They are people who find the feeling of the absence of God to be the most realistic parts of the Bible.” (>>)

“To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, ‘I no longer hold your offense against you.’…We also free ourselves from the burden of being the ‘offended one.’ As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves.” (>>)

“A phrase I keep coming across these days is, ‘There are no lone wolf Christians.’ There aren’t? Why not? Because, see, that’s not saying there shouldn’t be any. It says there aren’t any. If people say they’re Christian and that they don’t go to church…well, that’s impossible because ‘there aren’t any lone wolf Christians.’ So therefore they must not be Christians. Not REAL Christians. … I have a hard enough time ridding myself of the idea that God is the parent for whom nothing I do will ever be enough, without stuff like this adding to the mess in my head. … Not that I’m dissing church. Big fan of church. But saying being part of a community is good and healthy isn’t the same thing as saying you HAVE to do it or you hate [Jesus].” (>>)

“The other volume was the slim first volume in the set, a collection of short essays on the purpose and use of the Great Books. It was called ‘The Great Conversation.’ The authors suggested we approach these books not as a single narrative, or as an education by installment, but as a great, roaring, unruly conversation across the ages. Greek dramatists debating with English scientists. Russian novelists sparring with German psychologists. Gibbon debating Homer. Augustine versus Tolstoy. It was a conversation that never occurred, but was allowed to occur by bringing all these writings together, and then studying them to hear what each writer had to say. This idea, of a great conversation taking place over time and culture, and then selected and presented for my benefit, has become my dominant idea of what is the Bible.” (>>)

Switching to Blogger’s Comments

Starting with this post, I’ll be using Blogger’s built-in commenting system. I’ve wanted to switch to it for awhile, but two things stopped me. The first was that I didn’t like the way they built the interface for handling comments and the second was that I didn’t want to lose all my old comments.

But, Blogger recently changed how they handle comments to a way I like better and I got an idea of how to use JavaScript to gracefully transition between the two systems. Problem solved.

The transition should be pretty transparent to you (well, with the glaring exception of the interface used to submit/view comments), but if you notice any errors or anything let me know.

“The evenings were spent sitting on the porch reading or talking or just looking at the big, big sky. And no one knew what ‘boredom’ meant. They were all too tired from the work each day. He had to move to the city before he ever understood angst and ennui and alcoholism and drug addiction and depression and suicide.” (>>)

“Atop the staircase, I faltered. All those cheerful faces. Devout people. What was I doing there? I pondered turning around, running for my car, escaping that place. I would rather have been anywhere but there. Home was where I really wanted to be.” (>>)

“Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Jeff Buckley’s cover of John Cale’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ is not nearly as good as Jeff Buckley’s cover of John Cale’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ It isn’t even as good as John Cale’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ However, it is better than Leonard Cohen’s version of ‘Hallelujah.’ The poem ‘Hallelujah,’ also by Leonard Cohen, is better than all of the other Hallelujahs except for Jeff Buckley’s cover of John Cale’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ There, glad that’s settled.” (>>)

“We see the other possible response in the behavior of Moses. He does not know what to do either, but he calls to God: ‘Lord, help me! Show me the way!‘ For Moses, the testing leads to a strengthening of bonds with God, to a greater trust. It is important to realize that, in a situation of testing, we cannot stand still; we must either go forward or backward. An experience of testing leads either to a loss of confidence in God or to a stronger, more mature trust.” (>>)

“Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things [1], and as Saviour wills that all men be saved [2]. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life [3]. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator [4]. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair.” (>>)

Bench banner image

I was playing around with a new banner image tonight. What do you guys think? I probably won’t use it with this design, but maybe a future one. I found the original photo on stock.xchng and did some minor adjustments in Photoshop.

“…hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (>>)

“I realized after writing and recording this record that there’s not a second of it that’s not about relationships. Relationships with women and girls, relationships with drugs and alcohol, relationships with family, relationships with God, a relationship with the road, and a relationship with myself. Whether relationships are past, present or future they always seem to shape who we have been, who we are and who we are becoming. I have lived and am living for all of those relationships and somehow collectively find my meaning, identity, and purpose within them.”

True love lives on lollipops and crisps” (>>) [MP3]

Maybe I wouldn’t be so screwed up today if I hadn’t of read all that Poe in 4th grade…

As if you needed another reason [WMV] to buy a motorcycle.

Rocketboom is cool.

Used CDs bought this weekend

This weekend at Second Time Around I got the following CDs for under $20

Freedy Johnston – This Perfect World ($5)
Hoobastank – The Reason ($4)
Downhere – So Much For Substitutes ($3)
Shaun Groves – Twilight ($5)
Roy Orbison – A Cheap Greatest Hits CD Put Out by a Shameless Record Company Looking For Profit But Hey It Was Only Two Dollars And Has Lots of Good Music ($2)

Comments?

(Keep in mind I don’t care how much you think Hoobastank sucks.)

“It’s really sad how we keep trying each other on like worn-out sweaters, knowing that they are too frayed to wear.” (>>)

Iraqi women after voting

Iraqi women show off their ink stained fingers after voting at a polling station in the Salhiyah district of Baghdad.

“No. I’m bad. I do bad things.” (>>)

“I’m not asking you for anything. When I say I love you it’s not because I want you, or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are.” (>>)

The Future Freaks Me Out is a damn fine song and you can download it here.

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (>>)

Tusnami Relief

Whether or not you donated to the tsunami relief effort in the days/weeks after it happened, please consider donating now. There’s still a lot of people that need help.

Doctors Without Borders
WorldVision
Red Cross

Dusty Davis Photos

The open road

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

Kansas

“Loneliness is something that happens to us, but I think it is something we can move ourselves out of. … If loving other people is a bit of heaven then certainly isolation is a bit of hell, and to that degree, here on earth, we decide in which state we would like to live.” (>>)

“The bulletin read like a brochure for Amway. They were always saying how life-changing some conference was going to be. Life-changing? What does that mean? It sounded very suspicious. I wish they would just tell it to me straight rather than trying to sell me on everything. I felt like I got bombarded with commercials all week and then went to church and got even more.” (>>)

“It is important to recognize that nowhere does God give Job an answer to his questions about the meaning of suffering. The answer seems to be that there is no answer. The only answer resides in the conviction that God cares for those who suffer, even comes to them and is with them in the suffering. And Job’s final reply seems to say that this is enough. As another example of the search for wisdom in the biblical tradition, Job teaches us not so much about why we suffer but about how we must relate to God in our suffering.” (>>)

“For so much of my life I had been defending Christianity because I thought to admit that we have done any wrong was to discredit the religious system as a whole, but it isn’t a religious system, it is people following Christ; and the important thing to do, the right thing to do, was to apologize for getting in the way of Jesus.” (>>)

Kerry’s Winter Ride

Kerry's Ride from Globe, AZ to Orem, UT

” ‘Is it true you can say anything you want out here? Anything at all?’ ” (>>)

“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out that there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove he doesn’t exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove he does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care. I don’t believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway? If I walk away from God, and please pray that I never do, I will walk away for social reasons, identity reasons, deep emotional reasons, the same reasons that any of us do anything” (>>)

Playlist Snobbery II Answers

Ok, so Ralph spanked y’all in the second playlist quiz, ending up with 14 points. He wins a mix CD with all of the songs. The rest of you win the MP3s below and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re not as much of a geek as Ralph is. Speaking of which, he’s going to post his own playlist quiz on his blog in a few days, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested in more painful humiliation. I know I am.

1 Point
1) Social Distortion – Story of My Life
2) Switchfoot – Amy’s Song
3) Roy Orbison – Oh, Pretty Woman
4) Simple Plan – I’d Do Anything
5) Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta

2 Points
6) Five Iron Frenzy – Marty
7) Tupac Shakur – Changes
8) Nichole Nordeman – Lookin’ at You (Lookin’ at Me)
9) Ben Folds Five – Uncle Walter
10) Jill Phillips – You Don’t Belong Here

3 Points
11) Movies with Heroes – Someday
12) Plankeye – You Are For Me
13) All – Long Distance
14) The Descendents – Lucky
15) The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl

4 Points
16) Kathleen Edwards – Six O’Clock News
17) The Drifters – Up on the Roof
18) Bliss – Fairytales and Castles
19) Common Rider – Classics of Love
20) Weezer – I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams

lillian

“All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.” (>>)

“It looks so great before you enter into this relationship with Jesus and then you get in and it’s like, ‘it’s not like they promised…’ Our faith seems to be a let-down.” (>>) [MP3]

” ‘100% of the [church] fathers were 85% orthodox.’ ” (>>)

“I watched and had the strangest impulse to take off my shoes. It’s one thing to read about Christ in bibles and books. It’s quite another thing to meet him in person.” (>>)

Indian Ocean Earthquake

“The quake and the resulting tsunamis are being called the worst natural disaster in modern history… The death toll from the tsunamis and the resultant floods was reported to be more than 59,000, with tens of thousands of people reported missing, and over a million left homeless. The head of the European Union’s humanitarian relief operation, Guido Bertolaso, has stated, ‘I fear that in the end it will be more than 100,000 deaths.’ “ (>>)

Extensive information
First person accounts (videos, text)
Donate through WorldVision
Donate through the Red Cross

“A part of me will always be sick, too, for a person I came to know, also in Manchester, during those same years. When the Baptist church, of which she was a member, was without a minister one winter, I took the services every Sunday for a few months, and that was how we met. She was a woman well on into her seventies, very thin, very stooped. She had been married a number of times, and for years, as a widow, had been living alone, on welfare, in the one small apartment left inhabitable in a house that had been gutted by fire a few years earlier. Shaking hands at the church door after the service one Sunday morning, I had said to her–neither expecting nor much caring about an answer–‘How are you?’ and she looked up at me out of her wry, beleaguered old face and said, ‘As well as can be expected.’ Just that and no more, then made her way down the steps and out into the cold.” (>>)

“When I was in college, the fundamentalist evangelical types had no effect when they buttonholed me—I made fun of them. And yet a scientist, who taught of the evidence for God in physics, and who occasionally had some salt in his language, had a profound impact. If he had been different in all things (as Bob means it, if I understand correctly), including his evangelism, I would have ignored him just like I ignored the others who were different in all things.” (>>)

“While she sorts through my mess, I close my eyes and say, ‘please, please, please, please, please let her find something good. If not good, at least something cute and endearing.’ ” (>>)

Playlist Snobbery Answers

I’m a little disapointed that you guys didn’t get more correct answers to the playlist quiz than you did. But I’ll forgive you ’cause that boosts my ego as a music snob (you can politely ignore the impulse to suggest that this simply means that nobody reads my blog, thankyouverymuch). And, since you’re needing my wisdoms bad, here are the answers, complete with links to full-length, high quality MP3s where available.

1) All Star United – Sweet Jesus
2) MxPx – You Walk, I Run
3) Diana Ross and the Supremes – You Can’t Hurry Love
4) Sam Cooke – Twistin’ the Night Away
5) Furthermore – Letter to Myself
6) Kanye West and Mase – Jesus Walks (remix)
7) Jars of Clay – Love Song for a Savior
8) Shaun Groves – Twilight
9) A.F.I. – Girl’s Not Grey
10) Joseph Arthur – In the Sun
11) The Clash – White Man in Hammersmith Palais
12) Dashboard Confessional – Hands Down
13) Death Cab for Cutie – Title and Registration
14) LA Symphony – Champion Bird Watcher
15) Bebo Norman – Everything
16) Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Going Through the Motions
17) Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
18) Too Bad Eugene – Nobody’s Home
19) The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
20) Derek Webb – Marvelous Light

“So many times I have to just stop and sigh and think about the vanity of intellectualized Christianity. In light of the Big Picture, the way we – I – obsess over our livejournals, our ‘Christian’ weblogs, our four dollar cups of coffee, our new laptop, our latest books which discuss the hippest topics like how we can decorate our houses to the Glory of God – it just all seems so trite. So vain. It is very obvious to me that there is no thrust for development of loving community in all these things. They are just cool to us – me – in themselves.” (>>)

“On Sunday, March 9 2014, Googlezon unleashes EPIC.” (>>)

“One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in my life is not to think too highly of myself. At the same time, one of my greatest struggles was a sense of insignificance. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but both were true at the same time. Insecurity can breed arrogance. Pride is a wall that hides our fear.” (>>)

merry Christmas.

Playlist Snobbery

You can tell I’ve royally fucked up some important aspect(s) of my life when I resort to coming down off my high horse and posting something like this to cheer me up.

– – – –

Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 20 songs that play
Step 3: Post and let everyone guess what song the lines come from

1) “Would you sing me now to sleep?”
2) “I’ve forgotten what I’m running for / Maybe I’m running in place”
3) “But I keep on waiting, anticipating / For that soft voice to talk to me at night / For some tender arms to hold me tight”
4) “Here’s a fella in bluejeans / Dancin’ with a older Queen / Who’s dolled up in-a diamond rings…”
5) “A relationship may save you or enslave you / Count on both to happen”
6) “There’s something about this beat that gets me tranquilized / And when I play it at my shows I feel sanctified”
7) “Someday we’ll trust him and learn how to see him / Someday he’ll call us and we will come running”
8) “And so my soul is shared by two / The worst of me the best of you”
9) “I’d send God’s grace tonight / Could it be found?”
10) “If I find my own way how much will I find?”
11) “Why not phone up Robin Hood / And ask him for some wealth distribution”
12) “And you stood at the door with your hands on my waist / And you kissed me like you meant it / And I knew that you meant it”
13) “And all I find are souvenirs from better times / Before the gleam of your taillights fading east / To find yourself a better life”
14) “You wanna come with me ’cause I got Tony Hawk at the studio. Oh, you don’t like videos? How ’bout trips through the city, yo? Did I mention that I’m down with Arsenio?”
15) “I just want you to notice / I just want you to feel the same”
16) “I was always brave and kind of righteous, now I find I’m wavering”
17) “I wanna wake up with the rain falling on a tin roof / while [you’re] safe [here] in [my] arms”
18) “It’s been seven days / My brain’s such a hazy maze / It’s like before we had these rings / I don’t like to think such things”
19) “I am thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images / And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned”
20) “When we wander into valleys far from home / when shadows hover over our souls / find us in your mercy…”

(Click here for the answers)

“The place they weren’t… that was home.” (>>) [MP3]

Hearts of Her Palm

Hearts of Her Palm

Tabbed Browsing Preferences in Firefox 1.0

Last month I posted about how to force all links to open in the same tab/window in Firefox 0.9.2, but today I installed Firefox 1.0 and found that that preference was no longer working. To get the same effect in 1.0, you need to type about:config in the address bar, search for browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs and toggle it to true. Then, go to Options > Advanced > Tabbed Browsing and take your pick under “Force links that open in new windows to open in…”

Spike: What do you know? It’s your fault, the both of you! She belongs with me. I’m nothing without her.
Buffy: That I’ll have to agree with. You’re pathetic, you know that? You’re not even a loser anymore, you’re a shell of a loser.
Spike: Yeah. You’re one to talk.
Buffy: Meaning?
Spike: The last time I looked in on you two, you were fighting to the death. Now you’re back making googly-eyes at each other like nothing happened. Makes me want to heave.
Buffy: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Spike: Oh, yeah. You’re just friends.
Angel: That’s right.
Spike: You’re not friends! You’ll never be friends. You’ll be in love ’till it kills you both. You’ll fight, and you’ll shag, and you’ll hate each other ’till it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood… blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.

(>>)

Pinkerton

“The overriding major theme is the parallel between the album and the opera Madame Butterfly. The story of both the opera and the album are similar; love found, love lost, lover lost. The opera revolves around the love between Butterfly and Captain Pinkerton (hence the album’s name and the name of the final track), while this album revolves around the various rejections and resulting confusion in Rivers’ life. The album mirrors Madame Butterfly in that it mirrors the progression of a confused and painful relationship.” (>>)

“Her heart, she had made clear, was not a tame thing that would come at my call. It was a wild and maybe wounded creature that only appeared in flashes between the trees. Capturing it would require care and caution. And patience. God, the terrible patience.” (>>)

“will i bleed repentance
on the canvas of my pain?
will confession be my evidence
that i want to change?”
(>>)

That‘s a song about commitment, really. I don’t think being married to someone is so easy, really. But I’m interested in the idea of marriage. I think it’s madness but it’s a grand madness. If people think it’s normal, they’re out of their minds.” (>>)

“I wish I could believe in God. I really do. I’d like to go to your church, and sing hymns, and be a part of something bigger than myself. I’m at the end of my life, and I don’t think I’ve made a real difference in the world. My life hasn’t really mattered to anyone. But, I just can’t believe in God, so…”

“You don’t believe in God? So what. Sometimes I don’t either. The important question in life is not a question of belief. What’s really important is whom you serve. I think it’s serving God that makes life meaningful.”

“You mean I could go to church, and sing, and do stuff, and all that, without believing in God?”

“Hell yes. I hope so, or else I better find another fuckin’ job.”

“You don’t believe in God?”

“Well, I do now, mostly. I still have my bad days. It’s complicated. Belief comes later for some people, for people like you and me.”

“What would I do? How would I get started?”

“I don’t know, I guess just come to church and sing.”

(>>)

A good mix.

“The truth in that song captured me long ago.” (>>)

“You’re looking for a cool church, filled with authentic Christians who aren’t judgmental, but also have convictions, and are hip and classic in just the right mixture. A church where people forgive each other, and love children, and worship in meaningful ways. A church with a swingin’ preacher who makes the bible come alive, and tells great stories, and is a wonderful inspiration, and plays disc golf too. A church that isn’t liberal or conservative, but seems to transcend weak-ass categories like those. A church where the hunger for truth is honored, and people can disagree but still love each other and share a plate of tacos. A church where people are committed to ‘The Christ Life’ and it shows in the fabulous and creative ways they love the world.” (>>)

“What, did you think communion bread was baked by little old ladies and delivered in baskets with red-checkered napkins?” (>>)

Banner Image Snobery

I put up a new banner image this morning.* A box of Bill’s Donuts will go to the first person who can correctly name 15 out of the 22 items pictured.

*On a side note, I’m not sure I like it better than the old one, but I ran out of time and just put it up. So, if you like the old one better, say so and maybe I’ll bring it back or work on the new one some more.

“I met a girl on the bus and asked her to marry me.” (>>)

“She was honest. Painfully so. It was still early in the summer and she could have chosen to give all the good little Christian answers and left her walls intact. But she didn’t. She shared what was really going on with her and God and where she was struggling.” (>>)

“I NEED FRIENDS. i don’t need a prayer partner or an accountability group or a rocking worship time. I NEED YOU TO TALK TO ME. you have a kick ass pastor? great! will he know my name and be there for me when i have a problem? no? well then, his sermons won’t mean a hill of beans to me if i think he’s insincere. stop inviting me to a small group and take me out for coffee. quit telling me that you’ll pray for me and freaking TALK TO ME. don’t get me wrong. i appreciate your prayers and the invites and good teaching, but IT’S NOT ENOUGH.” (>>)

“They were as full of doubts as to who they were and what they believed in as the rest of humankind. They were vulnerable on as many fronts. They felt in as many ways lost and bewildered. They were as hungry for something to enrich their lives with meaning and purpose, for something to worship even, as the very passion with which they rebelled against everything that claimed but failed to fill that hunger bore witness. …religious or unreligious, in one form or another we all of us share the same dark doubts, the same wild hopes, and what little by little I learned from those years at Exeter was that unless those who proclaim the Gospel acknowledge honestly that darkness and speak bravely to the wildness of those hopes, they might as well save their breath for all the lasting difference their proclaiming will make to anybody.” (>>)

“God had dangled a bright dream of fertility before a barren couple and then sat on his hands and watched as they advanced toward tottery old age. What kind of game was he playing? Whatever did he want? God wanted faith, the Bible says, and that is the lesson Abraham finally learned. He learned to believe when there was no reason left to believe.” (>>)

“so let’s say you’re a fireman. you’re a fireman with the last name of ‘timan.’ so you, fireman timan, get the joy of receiving a new uniform in which you will fight fires and save lives and rescue kittens. and since you work for a super cool department, you get your last name on your brand new, hella snazzy, ‘i save people with this on’ fireman’s coat. so you proudly write your last name down and anxiously await the arrival of your coat.” (>>)

How to block new_window targets in Firefox

If you’re using Firefox as your web browser (and if you’re a red-blooded patriotic American who loves Jesus, you will be) and you loathe it when self-important web designers force external links to open in a new window, then you can type about:config in the location bar, find browser.block.target_new_window and set it to true. (Yay for run-on sentances! Rob would be proud.) This will force all links to open in the current tab. You can middle-click to open a link in a new tab. It won’t effect JavaScript popups. (Ofcourse, Firefox can easily block unrequested popups if you want it to.) I’m still running 0.9.2, so this may vary in other versions. I’ve heard 1.0 has an option specifically for this in the Tools > Options dialog box.

Update: Tab preferences in Firefox 1.0

“…a gent who gives every appearance of being the type of smug, self-congratulatory, elitist urban lefty who needs to get his ass kicked by some Skynyrd fans pronto.” (>>)

“No.” (>>)

Every Breath You Take

Years ago someone told me that Every Breath You Take by The Police is actually a political song about the Cold War, instead of the you-left-me-but-I-still-love-you-so-I’m-going-to-stalk-you love song that most people take it for. Last week I ordered a Police singles collection and when I listened to it today I remembered what I’d been told about the song. After listening to it a few times, I wasn’t really sure if the interpretation fit or not.

Geek that I am, I turned to Google for answers. Internet what it is, I found a plethora of completely contradictory statements side-by-side. Some claim that it is, indeed, a song about spies during the Cold War. Others, however, claim that Sting wrote it about his first wife leaving him.

So, which one is right? The Cold War interpretation has some lines that fit:


Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you

You can easily imagine this refering to the U.S. and U.S.S.R. spying on each other, but once you get past the chorus the Cold War interpretation breaks down.


Since you’ve gone I’ve been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying, “baby, baby please”

The song was written before the war ended, so “since you’ve gone” can’t be in reference to that, and therefore “I look around but it’s you I can’t replace” can’t be seen as a comment on the military-industrial complex. “I feel so cold and I long for your embrace / I keep crying, ‘baby, baby please.’ “ doesn’t fit the war interpretation either; and judging from personal experience, isn’t that exactly how you feel when someone you love leaves you?

So, I’m siding with the traditional interpretation, even if that does hurt my music-snob image. But, I could be wrong. I did read that Sting confirmed the Cold War Interpretation in an interview, but I haven’t been able to authenticate that. Anyone care to set me straight?

“I love books and I wouldn’t want to be without them, but we don’t learn so much about God from books as we do from day-to-day life. I have a friend who reads two books per day. He is brilliant. But he spends so much of his time in study that he has forgotten what the sun looks like. I have another friend that reads romance novels end to end and yet is scared of boys. She fulfills her fantasies in the stories of others. So it is with the Bible. We read about God’s propititation with the sacrifice given on the cross, yet we do not really accept the forgiveness for ourselves. We really don’t believe we’ve been forgiven, do we? And then there is all this about being altruistic and caring about others. We read that we are supposed to visit orphans and widows, but we don’t. It’s nice to read about these things, but living them out is another issue. We are no better than the woman who escapes through reading romance novels. We read about our religion, but it is all just theory.” (>>)

“Kristin is Kristin. A beautiful girl. My first girlfriend and I miss her. But she and I were never meant to be. She was in between boyfriends and was too pretty to go without. I was there like a number in a bakery. She pulled the ticket, glanced at it, and waited to exchange me for some loaf of bread or cake or pie or feeling that she was beautiful. I’m just a sap who adored her and wanted to hold her hand or sit close or look into her eyes. But I gave her the slip. Came right out of her hands before she could claim her prize and I bet you, I bet you a million dollars she doesn’t even remember that number. She’ll just pull another ticket, glance at it, and wait for them to call her out. She won’t remember the things I said and won’t realize I had never said them to another girl. She’d heard them before and it all ran together like bad poetry. You could see it in her eyes when I talked to her. You could hear it in the way she said thank you when I complimented her dress or the color of her eyes. And I suppose if I’m honest with myself, if I’m truly honest, I’d have to say I loved her.” (>>)

“What I began to see was that the Bible is not essentially, as I had always more or less supposed, a book of ethical principles, of moral exhortations, of cautionary tales about exemplary people, of uplighting thoughts–in fact, not really a religious book at all in the sense that most of the books you would be apt to find in a minister’s study or reviewed in a special religion issue of the New York Times book section are religious. I saw it instead as a great, tattered compendium of writings, the underlying and unifying purpose of all of which is to show how God works through the Jacobs and Jabboks of history to make himself known to the world and to draw the world back to himself.” (>>)

The best way I’ve found to avoid studying all month.

“When I hear suburban churches talk about city ministry (if they talk about it at all, since usually next year’s trip to Guatamala is more glamorous) it’s about raising money so they can spend a week handing out Popsicle sticks with verses on them in Central Park, or so that they can volunteer for one week at a soup kitchen in a ‘rough part of the city’ and come back, triumphant, with the stories of giving hope to the despairing homeless for a big fat seven days.” (>>)

It’s little nuggets of wisdom like this that make Clymer manuals so invaluable:

WARNING
Do not use an open flame to check for fuel in the tank. A serious explosion is certain to result.
My Automotive Harem

Internet, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my automotive harem, Teresa.

Teresa
[ more pictures ]

Rob has started a blog.

“Thinking Is Too Hard. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Washington Education Association, the only union I’ve ever been forced to join if I want to work in this state loved. They do all the thinking for me!” (>>)

“The new record is called Moonlighting. The title has to do with the place music has come to take in our lives… music used to be the main thing… Now we’re all responsible, married, working guys who play in a rock band sorta on the side… we’re not full-time rock star wannabe’s anymore, but family guys who moonlight as musicians.” (>>) [PDF]

Important Issues in This Election

Important Issues in This Election

Oliver

Oliver

“It was one of those moments where the sun is shining and the leaves are all aglow and you catch yourself. You’re not thinking about the past or the future or anything really besides being in the moment.” (>>)

“Attending school with students drawn from the upper reaches of the socioeconomic spectrum, I was acutely aware that our cars sucked, at least in the collective opinion of my peers, the only opinion that mattered to me back then.” (>>)

“I want to remember the fun things we did, the way we were so comfortable. To remember how we picked up smooth worn rocks on the beach for hours and went away with our pockets bulging. The way we felt on our first date. The time we raked leaves and then the wind picked up so much our efforts became futile and we found ourselves crumpled in laughter beside our empty leaf bags not even caring anymore that we couldn’t finish the job. How you asked for me when your mom died because it was me that you wanted with you. The time we ate bad pizza and got super sick together in my tiny one-bathroomed house. That laugh you have when you’re tired and everything is hilarious.” (>>)

“Ah, when you hear the author start questioning the basic meaning of existence, it can only ‘mean’ one thing: yes, it’s ‘existentialism week’ here at Correction. Stay tuned for my three-part series for writers called, ‘Can you Camus?’ and all through September, Saturdays are ‘Sartredays’!” (>>)

made my day

“Avi called me the ‘Analyst’ (as he said it, the ‘Ana-LEEST’), mocking my tendency to gather all relevant data, weigh both sides, develop a critical framework and then analyze and apply before making a decision. Avi had a point, but only to a point. I could never rapidly trade in-and-out of stocks on rumors and innuendo, as he did very successfully, but then I lived for deep understanding, of which he had none.” (>>)

“We must take these threats seriously before they fully maternalize.” (>>) [WMV]

“…there comes a time when you’re tired of your own foolishness. Like a glutton sitting at an all-you-can-eat-buffet, even self-indulgence will eventually become sickening. I’ve come to the abrupt realization: a life that is all about me is not important enough for me to give my life to. I don’t need my life to be all about me. I don’t even want my life to be all about me. But I desperately desire something important enough for which to give all my life.” (>>)

“If you’re a nerd, you can understand how important clothes are by asking yourself how you’d feel about a company that made you wear a suit and tie to work. The idea sounds horrible, doesn’t it? In fact, horrible far out of proportion to the mere discomfort of wearing such clothes. A company that made programmers wear suits would have something deeply wrong with it.

“And what would be wrong would be that how one presented oneself counted more than the quality of one’s ideas. That’s the problem with formality. Dressing up is not so much bad in itself. The problem is the receptor it binds to: dressing up is inevitably a substitute for good ideas. It is no coincidence that technically inept business types are known as ‘suits.’

“Nerds don’t just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.” (>>)

“Nerds tend to eschew formality of any sort. They’re not impressed by one’s job title, for example, or any of the other appurtenances of authority.

“Indeed, that’s practically the definition of a nerd. I found myself talking recently to someone from Hollywood who was planning a show about nerds. I thought it would be useful if I explained what a nerd was. What I came up with was: someone who doesn’t expend any effort on marketing himself.

“A nerd, in other words, is someone who concentrates on substance. So what’s the connection between nerds and technology? Roughly that you can’t fool mother nature. In technical matters, you have to get the right answers. If your software miscalculates the path of a space probe, you can’t finesse your way out of trouble by saying that your code is patriotic, or avant-garde, or any of the other dodges people use in nontechnical fields.” (>>)

“Sometimes, my boyfriend’s feet smell. Sometimes, he forgets to brush his teeth before he goes to bed. I never get flowers as often as I feel I so brattily deserve. He doesn’t understand why dishes have to be done every single friggin’ night. I think he watches too much television. I wish he hated lap dances as much as I do. Have I settled? Have I compromised my values? Is it time for me to get my profile back up on pickmeplease.com?” (>>)

“You’re part of their strategies, you’re partisan hacks… To do a debate would be great, but that’s like saying professional wrestling is a show about athletic competition… You’re doing theater when you should be doing debate.” (>>)

“When I used to see Norman holding Fr David’s hand, and the way this priest treated this wreck of a man, with totally unaffected tenderness and respect it used to make me feel really choked. It seems silly to be sentimental about it, Fr David certainly wasn’t, but even now if I visualize it it makes me fill up. I’m not sure why. I suppose it’s partly because I know I couldn’t do it. I’d have been too embarrassed, too selfconscious, too scared that someone like Norman would demand more and more attention. I could never forget myself enough to meet the need of this human being. But for Fr David it was automatic. It was natural to the man to give himself, not to be embarrassed, not to care about the smell. It was instinctive to him to give time and practical love to the least acceptable person in the parish.” (>>)

“But one thing that many people overlook in the first instance is that the writer of II Timothy was not referring to the New Testament at all. Nor was he even referring to the Old Testament in the form we now have it. ‘The Scriptures,’ for this writer, were the scrolls that were collectively agreed upon as the Holy Scriptures of their time, which do roughly (but not exactly) equate to the Old Testament texts, but could not include the New Testament as much of it hadn’t been written yet, and those parts which had had not yet been agreed upon as ‘Scriptures.’ It most certainly was not referring to II Timothy!!” (>>)

Kanye West has a new remix [MP3] of Jesus Walks out. This one features Mase and is damn good.

“It’s like the pursuit of happiness – if you set out to become happy, you’re almost guaranteed to miss it entirely. Happiness usually arrives when you’re busy applying yourself to something else.” (>>)

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your rewards will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (>>)

“One man from my church said to me following a Sunday evening service, ‘You couldn’t have been in that room tonight and not felt the presence of God!’ I wanted to respond, ‘I was there tonight, sir, and all I felt was the thump of the bass drum…’ ” (>>)

Clay Bennet 2004 Election cartoons

Presidential Debates

Opinion Poll

PATRIOT Act

The Strangerhood is a new machinima series from the same guys who make Red vs. Blue. It uses the Sims 2 engine, whereas RvB uses the Halo engine. A trailer [QuickTime] for Strangerhood is on their site, if you’re interested in checking it out.

“It is the self-righteous person who takes pride in abstaining from that which is not evil. I might as well take Christian pride in an abstinence from eating peanuts – for they are the moral equivalent of a beer. And with self-righteousness, comes a haughtiness with which he of the ignorant conscience actually comes to look down on those of stronger faith, those whose consciences do not bind them in the same manner.” (>>)

“That is the feeling that follows me everywhere I walk. I have had it since I was very young. It is a voice that says, ‘They are out to get you, Schwab. They are just waiting for the opportune moment so they can leap from the shadows and spring upon you.’ I never know when the conspiracy will manifest itself, but it is there, lurking and growing among the people who I am supposed to trust the most.” (>>) [PDF]

“Forcing myself into objectivity, I must confess that the volume of my criticism is not so much directed at the church as it is at my own despondency, having realized that to know church is not necessarily to know God; that they are two separate institutions and one is the agent, or rather an agent, that takes a person to the other. And at this realization I began to consider, in the throes of dejection, that perhaps I do not know God.” (>>)

“Cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars of overtime pay, Wal-Mart employees in 28 states have filed lawsuits. In New York, several hundred delivery workers at the Gristedes supermarket chain just won a $3.2 million settlement; they were paid less than $3 an hour for shifts lasting 10 to 12 hours a day. Similar suits are pending against the national drugstore chain Eckerd and the uniform company Cintas, both of which allegedly misclassified their employees as ‘salaried’ in order to avoid paying overtime to those who work more than 40 hours a week. Employers have noticed the trend, and they’re taking measures to shield themselves. Companies like Circuit City, Waffle House, and Labor Ready are demanding that their employees waive the right to pursue employment-related claims in court. Under these waivers, known as mandatory dispute resolution agreements, workers must resolve any work-related legal claims against their employers through private arbitration.” (>>)

It’s an all-Oldies weekend here on KBBL, the Random. Coming up next we’ve got I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline, Tired of Being Alone by Al Green and Wouldn’t it be Nice by the Beach Boys.

“I’m pretty insulated when it comes to relationships. I give the keys to my heart to a select number of people. If you don’t have a key, you can’t hurt me. I’m very good at this. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect you. It doesn’t mean I can’t relate to you and even be a friend. But you can’t hurt me if you don’t have a key, no matter what you say. That’s how I survive…” (>>)

“I am a comfortador.”

Lillian sent me a link to Amazon.com’s Music Download section today. I’d downloaded a couple Tom Wehrle songs from there a long time ago and they came embedded w/ voiceovers for Amazon, so I didn’t go back (although I kept the Wehrle MP3s and edited out the voiceovers using Audacity ;)). But, Lil told me that they’ve repented of their evil ways and the MP3s are now pure, so I checked it out. They’ve got some pretty good stuff there: Joss Stone, Pennywise, Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, the Dropkick Murphys, the Slackers, etc.

While we’re on the free music kick, PunkBands.com has a few good Flogging Molly MP3s this month.

I thought I’d compare and contrast:

1. Wrist accessories (0)
2. Hair styling products (0)
3. Articles of furniture (7)
4. Threads in my sheets (?)
5. Shoes (5)*

* Ok, I have to explain #5 because I’m feeling a little self-conscious about owning five, FIVE!?!?!, pairs of shoes. The first pair is my regular sturdy Vans for everyday use. The second is my old, beat-up pair of Airwalks used for mowing the lawn. The third is a pair of work-boots I bought ’cause you have to wear boots to MSF courses. The fourth is a pair of sandals I was practically forced to buy at gunpoint (long story, let’s just say it involves a girl.) And the fifth is a pair of Chuck’s I bought for Josh and Meryn’s wedding (Josh and all the groomsmen put them on for the reception).

Phew. Now, I think, I’ve justified myself in owning five pair of shoes. But, just to be safe, I think I’ll go watch a Schwarzenegger movie and play with power tools.

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving way too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” (>>)

“The world’s on fire and
It’s more than I can handle
I’ll tap into the water
I try to pull my ship”

Real Ninja Power

Real Ninja Power

“And giving heed unto the grace of Christ they despised the tortures of this world, purchasing at the cost of one hour a release from eternal punishment. And they found the fire of their inhuman torturers cold: for they set before their eyes the escape from the eternal fire which is never quenched; while with the eyes of their heart they gazed upon the good things which are reserved for those that endure patiently, things which neither ear hath heard nor eye hath seen, neither have they entered into the heart of man, but were shown by the Lord to them, for they were no longer men but angels already.” (>>)

“Soon we began talking about an extended trip; one that would have us living in the van for months, meeting new people and discovering new places. We plotted hypothetical routes up the east coast or north to the Great Lakes. We bought a map and traced back roads connecting Civil War battle sites. We considered the Bible Belt and the Flordia Keys. We pictured ourselves in New York and actually made a call to inquire about Yankee tickets. Paul and I began to consider the trip seriously. We spent days at the library and flipped through glossy pages of mountains and rivers and cities at night. When our dreams gave way to plans, our other friends faded back into thoughts of responsibility and comfort. They became apprehensive; it would mean leaving their jobs or taking a semester off from school. Soon, Paul and I were the only ones willing to go.” (>>)

“I was raised in a family that attended church on Sunday. It has become such a part of my life that I am no longer certain if it is real: Do I possess a personal faith, or just my own learned behavior? I have passed through what modern Christianity has to offer and am standing at the other end, questioning, ‘Is this is?’ Years of Sundays stack end to end on a calendar with church camps, youth groups, mission trips, concerts, seminars, revivals, and retreats. All of them add up to the chasing of an elusive emotional fulfillment, one that slips in and out of my consciousness like a ghost. Still, and despite my weariness with this chase, I am looking for fulfillment in Christ. Something inside keeps me in pursuit. There must be something more. Something authentic. I feel that I have only passed through the shadow of the Christian faith and eluded its consequence and substance.” (>>)

“Oh, crap! How many emails will I get because I said the F-word again? Attention Christian people. It’s just a word, okay? Just some sounds that convey a lot of emotion. If you feel compelled to email me and ask how I can possibly call myself a minister and use language like that, go ahead, but I’ll probably just save your email in my ‘goofy’ folder and never write back. Nothing personal. I’m just out of energy.” (>>)

PBS is running a series of shows on the lives of Freud and C.S. Lewis (which is an interesting topic) and you can view clips from each show here.

And you wonder why we’re not taken seriously?

“I got to spend some time with family that I haven’t seen in months and years which is always good because whenever I spend time with Boones there is always content to bring back to this website. And Internet, have I got content for you.” (>>)

“The prose, poetry and prophecy, of Hebrew thought will often express an outcome as causation, and that cause as God since he is over all. This does not necessarily imply that God orchestrates but rather that he may allow people the full reign or measure of their sinful intent by removing restraint or not intervening. Thus the Canaanites and Pharaoh were ‘allowed to harden’ themselves, God ceased to restrain their intent, they became increasingly callous and God did not stop them even though it would result in judgement against them. On Exodus 4:21, in his Figures of speech used in the Bible, Bullinger wrote that ‘I will harden his heart’ meant ‘I will permit or suffer his heart to be hardened’, regarding it as an idiomatic description of permitting something to run to its worst extent, not actually causing it but rather, allowing it to happen. ” (>>)

“Give me one pure and holy passion,
give me one magnificant obsession,
give me one glorious ambition for my life,
to know and follow hard after you.” (>>)

Okay, okay… so maybe that does border on idolatry. But how can you not worship the most beautiful creature in the universe? I wants it.

“As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.” (>>)

“The younger modern bohemian is entirely underwhelmed by two discoveries he has just recently made. First, he realized that everyone is hopelessly wrong about everything. Second, he discovered sarcasm–his own capacity to make remarks he doesn’t mean about the pathetic world he inhabits. The combined weight of these two discoveries is so enormous that it has carved into its owner’s face the eternal burden of boredom.” (>>)

“I was outside a theater here in town and there was a guy playing a saxophone. And I watched him for a good fifteen minutes, and the guy never opened his eyes, I could see that his soul was really being moved by it. After that I kind of started to like jazz music. It was a real strange event for me because it’s not that I heard a song I really like that changed my mind, I just watched this other guy loving it. And so there have been periods sometimes when I didn’t like God but through these relationships with other people and watching them love God and how they reconciled some of the tension they had [with] God, I was able to follow them and do that too.” (>>)

“They talk like they are martyrs. It is not because we are Christians that the world won’t listen to us. It is because we make bad art. The church at this point in history champions bad art.” (>>)

“Succinctly put, a movie is the art of storytelling by way of motion pictures. A movie is not a sermon. A common mistake in the Christian community is to confuse sermonizing for storytelling. Desperate to convince the prodigal son, the Christian producer employs the instruments of film in the service of propaganda: the propositional persuasion of the viewer toward an idea.” (>>)

“The problem here lies with the film’s contrived, i.e. dishonest, depiction of non-Christians. Their badness is never shown, only talked about. They bear no resemblance to any pagans most of us know, and their experience of redemption becomes a facile and in-credible transaction, soundtracked by heavy-handed Christian music. The formulaic conversions, devoid of actual characterization, rob the viewer of a genuine encounter with the mystery of Christ, and it is this that turns people off.” (>>)

“Is it OK to watch Spider-Man 2? Is it OK to be the filmmaker who spends millions of dollars on Ocean’s Eleven or Zorro? If it’s OK for God to spend divine energy making pomegranates and porcupines and platypuses for his pleasure, for a chuckle or two—for mere entertainment—then yes, yes indeed it is OK, very OK.” (>>)

“And yet is it not at the scene of the cross that we find a confluence of violence, profanity and nudity: the brutality of crucifixion, beautifully and horrifically portrayed in The Passion of The Christ, the how-could-they-not-use vulgar language coming from soldier and criminal alike, and the fact that the crucified died naked? So for the Believer artist, the question is not whether the crucifixion of Christ ought cinematically to be portrayed but how. The answer of course is not gratuitously, as either superfluous to the story or with the purpose to titillate or glamorize sin. This is the addiction of Hollywood. The answer is fully truthfully, fully honestly, and lest we forget the great commandment, fully lovingly. The challenge for the Believer artist is to hold these three in tension.” (>>)

“Jesus can’t help me — maybe I can find the answer in beer!” (>>)

Labor Day Tip: Don’t think about how you have to go back to work tomorrow, it’ll only depress you.

It’s the little things that make life worth living.

“to be truthful, i sort of felt betrayed. i had a definite sense of what i thought the church would be like by the ‘window dressings’ and it wasn’t like that, at all. it feels like a marketing ploy, a way to pretend to be something you’re not, the kind of consumerism you say you want no part of.”

– – – –

“I know each church has its own flavor. I also understand that Kaleo is not going to be a ‘fit’ for everyone. What I don’t understand is why those that call themselves followers of Christ, that read His word and accept it as truth, have become so consumer heavy that they actually think church is about them. The only reason we live, the only reason we are given life to attend church is for the glory of God. Not our artistic preferences. Not our preferred sermon schedule. Not even our favorite or least favorite discussed topics. The attendance of God’s people to church is purely and simply for His glory alone. If at any time we esteem our opinion or perceptions or preferences higher than that one reason, we have [defiled] ourselves and seek to glory in our ‘felt needs’ rather than glory in the maker and sustainer of all things.”

– – – –

(>>)

“I don’t know when the beauty died
or when the breath of God grew stale,
or how the candles were consumed
and engulfed by the darkness.” (>>) [PDF]

(Obviously) I redesigned the blog. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

“If I find my own way how much will I find?
May God’s love be with you.” (>>) [MP3]

“Somewhere in this process of conversion, Bill was no longer self-helping himself into religion. Rather, he learned to correctly see himself as the recipient of an undeserved and saving grace.” (>>)

Obituary

RELATIONSHIP, five and a half months, passed away on Sunday, August 22 after a heated conversation. Although Relationship had been on life support for several weeks, cause of death is still undetermined. It is survived by three children, Loneliness, Pain and Regret. Service scheduled for Wednesday, August 25, 10:00pm at the Trolly Stop. Rev. J. Daniels, officiating.

“Stand up strong,
feel the pain,
when the angels sing.”

(>>)

Roper is a new band with a few members from Five Iron Frenzy and you can hear some clips from their upcoming album here. (Normally clips annoy me and I don’t bother with them, but it’s worth it this time.)

“Thus, Providence will forever trump predestination, which seeks to know God, as you say, the author and not the Creator. No difference between the two? The author as you have it is the creator of both ink and paper and former of letters. Creator makes pen and paper and teaches language and good handwriting and good plot development, and then watches and guides as we learn to write. And that is all the difference in the world.”

– – – –

“When you try to live under the Old Covenant as a Christian who is under the New Covenant, you get Galatians all up in your face.”

(>>)

Ninjai: The Little Ninja

“One missed step can make you stumble,
you set yourself up for a fall.
You punish yourself for each failure,
dogma beat out alcohol.
When all of your principles were fashioned,
you thought your new rules made you new.
But maybe those X’s on your hands,
are what’s killing you.” (>>)

“The Dragon, as many have found, is truly a unique road. In 14 miles there are only two intersections; NC28 to Fontana Dam and the lightly traveled gravel road at Parsons Branch. There are no buildings other than the Crossroads of Time. There are 318 curves in the 11 miles located on the Tennessee side. Most of the time there is very little traffic and the vehicles that do use this road are primarily motorcycle riders and sports car drivers looking for the thrill of their lives. It is remote – there is very little evidence of human population within 20 miles in any direction. Most of the roadway is bounded by United States Forest Service property, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and forested land owned by Alcoa Aluminum who operates the dams located along US129.” (>>)

Defined and exemplified.

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” (>>)

“I must hate them because I want them to give me a formula for how to be a Christian Jew and I know their formula will never be my formula.” (>>)

“…the prevailing culture of the West, though it might have eddies and puddles of Christian influence in its stream, is mostly an agglomeration of postmodern angst, Enlightenment arrogance, consumerist lust and hip irony.” (>>)

“Here’s irrefutable proof that gym teachers are among, if not simply the, worst people on Earth.” (>>)

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (>>)

The Proverbs 31 Approach to Broken Hearts:

“Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.”

“…but I will always remember the way he was standing there, bare-chested and crooked, his right hand on his hip, his left hand cupping the Holy Pink Sacrament, and I knew that he could get me home. I will never forget that feeling.” (>>)

This is for Phil and Jamie.

” ‘What are you drawing?’
‘A liger.’
‘What’s a liger?’
‘It’s my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed.’ ” (>>)

“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, how mercy on me!’ Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.” (>>)

Want Ad

Damaged, selfish, lazy, codependent, cynical, anti-social, mediocre, boring, cheap, bitter, impatient, angry, impure, undisciplined Christian male with baggage seeks beautiful, caring, low-maintenance, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, gentle, pure Christian female with an affinity for punk rock.

If interested, send top-ten desert island picks seek professional help.

You can download the Smashing Pumpkins last album here, and Zwan’s first show here.

Here‘s the story behind the release of the last album, and if you’re wondering what Zwan is, click here.

Update: The Zwan show sounds like it was recorded in the audience, not off the board, so the quality is pretty bad. Not really worth downloading, in my opinion.

“Luther’s pastoral advice was calculated to jar Melanchthon out of morbid introspection. Great sinners know liberation when they have it, but Melanchthon had been a scrupulous, pious Catholic. This, however, did not bring him assurance, but only doubts. For his assurance depended, not so much on God’s promise to the ungodly as ungodly (Rom.4:5), but on his ability to see growth and improvement in his Christian walk. Luther’s frustrated counsel was not an invitation to serve sin, but an attempt to shock Melanchthon into realizing that his righteousness was external to him: The whole gospel is outside of us.” (>>)

“…give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of your great love…”
(>>)

“That old man that you brushed aside? The one you called a liberal and a wishy-washy Christian? He spent the last fifty years with his hands and his heart in the pages of that sacred book. He has wept over it and searched for truth in its stories. His unanswered questions have increased every year until finally he knows nothing at all but the love of God and neighbor.”

“He knows something that you do not know.” (>>)

“You dress a little better, try to think pure thoughts, get in a ‘religious’ frame of mind, say hello to everyone? Smile. Right? But you sense a pervasive dichotomy during the week. You don’t feel like it’s who you really are. This is what I do with romance movies. The ideal relationships on the screen, two-dimensionally, are always, and only, experienced from a distance. They can’t have it. They get discouraged. They seek comfort in a relationship. I’ve turned the natural human desire to believe down a cul-de-sac. It’s the same with church. If I can make people associate God with this dichotomous feeling, they eventually say ‘What’s the use?’ ” (>>)

They Might Be Giants and Strong Sad, together again.

Desert Island Picks II

Top 15 All-Time Desert Island Picks (Continued):

10) Blindside – Silence
11) Social Distortion – White Light, White Heat, White Trash
12) Lifehouse – Stanley Climbfall
13) Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
14) Stavesacre – Speakeasy
15) Elvis Costello – Spike

“…as the rain falls down like laughter from the sky.” (>>)

“C.S. Lewis, in the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, calls it ‘deep magic’, I believe–an answer so deep that it has no words and no real perception, only persistent presence.” (>>)

I’ve got three Gmail invitations if anyone wants one. Otherwise, they’ll be given away on Gmail Swap.

“The sad part is that I can already tell I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. I’m not unhappy there, and the job is going well, I just don’t want to be stuck at a desk designing system specs and running batch jobs until I retire.” (>>)

“If there is resignation in Qoheleth, it is that of one who has left the riddles and painful mysteries of life in God’s hands, while accepting its limited joys with sober thanks.” (>>)

Desert Island Picks I

Top 9 All-Time Desert Island Picks:

(In I-want-you-to-think-I’m-cool-so-I-put-The-Clash-first order)

1) The Clash – London Calling
2) Further Seems Forever – How to Start a Fire
3) Switchfoot – Learning to Breathe
4) MxPx – Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo
5) Shane and Shane – Carry Away
6) Five Iron Frenzy – 2: Electric Boogaloo
7) The Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning
8) Weezer – Pinkerton
9) Caedmon’s Call – 40 Acres

(Continued…)

Tux got his license (WMV). (>>)

“Seriously — I thought he was neat, way back in the day. ‘This guy’s stickin’ it to the man, with his snarky demeanor and corporate crime-fighting chicken!’ was more or less my thought (my inner voice here sounds a lot like Wally Cleaver). But you gotta grow up, sometime, or you stay a dumb teenager forever…” (>>)

“His spirits lifted a little. However bad things were, at least he wasn’t taking care of small children on a bus trip. And he didn’t have to care about the woman with the children, either. She was not his to care for. He didn’t have to care about her or anyone else. He could smile at the woman, mildly empathetic, across a vast emotional chasm.” (>>)

“…but where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

“in the soundless awe and wonder / words fall short to hope again / how beautiful, how vast Your love is / new forever, world without an end.”

“healing hands of God have mercy on our unclean souls once again / Jesus Christ, light of the world, burning bright within our hearts forever / freedom means love with uncondition, without a begining or an end / here’s my heart, let it be forever Yours / only You can make every new day seem so new.”

“It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything else that makes you feel) at the centre of your being, then you can’t afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You’ve got to pick at it and unravel it all until it comes apart and you’re compelled to start all over again. Maybe we all live at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship. Maybe Al Green is directly responsible for more than I ever realized.” (>>)

” ‘You’ve only got forty-five seconds left. You’re gonna waste it,’ I remind her. It was cute – she took her wishes so seriously, like missing out on any opportunity to get something for nothing was enough reason to be brought up on charges. It was her way of clipping coupons, I guess.” (>>)

Free money! Yay! Thanks to everyone who prayed.

“We demand the extraordinary, when God has given us the beautiful ordinary. Or, maybe it’s not that ordinary. Maybe we’re just too used to it.” (>>)

“The case file you’re about to read has been compiled from my memory and the case notes of another securitymonkey-type that worked with me. Like all the case files on this site, the events actually happened – but the details have been heavily modified to protect the identities of those involved. (And to protect my monkey butt.)” (>>)

“Being foreigners ourselves, we Americans know what foreigners are up to with their foreign policy—their ven­omous convents, lying alliances, greedy agreements, and trick-or-treaties. America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don’t think that way. We don’t think much at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you’ve got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags. A fundamental American question is ‘What’s the big idea?’ ” (>>)

“It’s like a really good science fiction movie by Robert Rodriguez with kung fu, gunfights, cynical-yet-romantic bounty hunters, seedy Tijuana bars, a soundtrack jammed with jazz and blues, and it’s in Japanese. And animated really well.” (>>)

“What is truth? Can you recognize it when you hear it?”
“Yes, I can.”
“But how do you recognize it? Can you teach me how?”
“If you will not hear the truth, no one can tell you.” (>>)

Pinkerton.

“Know what the real test is? Not that we’ve now committed a handful of atrocities of our own. Such things occur in every war. It’s in our reaction to them.” (>>)

“I’ll have to find a job and somewhere to live and eek out a living. I’ll have to start paying real bills with real money that I’ve somehow worked to earn. I’ll have to learn what it’s really like to punch a timecard and struggle to pay for all the ‘neccessities’ of life like food and telephone bills and electricity and toilet paper and seven years of post secondary education…” (>>)

“Generally, I would say, most Christians operate according to the same principles as non-Christians when it comes to pop-culture. Let me explain. For the most part, Christians idolize pop icons in the same way that non-Christians do. Maybe we would like to say we don’t, but I believe we do. We elevate Christian pastors, musicians, worship leaders and authors all the time. We place these individuals in places that they do not belong. It’s no different than in the secular industry and sometimes its worse because these people are popular ‘for God.’ That’s a dangerous phrase: Pop icons for God.” (>>)

“Remember the salad days of late 1998 and the entire year of 1999?” (>>)

Cute Little Mouse Crushed to Death by Petting

“They struck up a conversation. The readiness of the fair young man in the Swiss cloak to answer all his swarthy companion’s inquiries was astonishing and without the merest suspicion of the absolute thoughtlessness, inappropriateness and idleness of some of the questions.” (>>)

I’ve got an interview w/ GDITA on the 24th for a scholarship, if anyone feels like praying.

“It’s funny, when your faith finally caves, it goes all at once. You realize you were just a shell held together with hackneyed rituals and desperate hopes. You are not strong. You do not have answers.” (>>)

If you’re using any content aggregators to keep up with this blog, here‘s the new XML feed.

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service is a great song.

Kudos to Lycos’s MP3 Search for being an MP3 search engine that actually works.

This is why I haven’t blogged for a week.

“Maybe all jobs are like this in the sense that there are the good parts and the bad parts, the bad parts occupying the majority of the space because it is a JOB after all. If you have a job where there are more good parts than bad parts then you’ve obviously made a deal with the devil and you’re going to spend the rest of eternity being tortured by fork-wielding elves to make up for the imbalance. I’m just saying.” (>>)

“You just did it again,” Carol said.
“What?”
“You sighed. You never used to sigh. In seventeen years of marriage, I never heard you sigh until these last few months.”
“Yeah.” We kept staring at that spot on the kitchen floor, not talking. Carol reached her arm around my waist and gave me a gentle squeeze. I said, “I keep thinking that there must be this ranch out in New Mexico somewhere. You know, we move out there, I get a horse …”
“And you ride the range all day and never have to talk to anybody. Cowboy Dan.”
“Yeah. The thought of the quiet and the dry air and the big sky—shoot, I’ve never even been to New Mexico, but I’m ready to move tomorrow…” (>>)

“In my story, I am born of a man named Integrity and a woman named Desire. They fled the humid and dangerous lands of their birth, leaving behind the red earth and tall pines to seek their fortune in a border town, nestled in a lonely pass on the far eastern edge of Mountain Time.” (>>)

Maybe it’s like Freecell: when you make enough bad moves… it’s over; and no amount of naive hope will ever fix it.

“Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;
for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
‘Eat and drink,’ he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.” (>>)

“A popular worship song I’ve heard in many venues in the last few years (and which we sing at Cedar Ridge, where I pastor) says that worship is ‘all about You, Jesus,’ but apart from that line, it really feels like worship, and Christianity in general, has become ‘all about me, me, me.’ ” (>>)

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (>>)

I haven’t been able to find any good commentaries on the emboldened verses (17, 20, 23), they all seem to ignore the actual point of the verse and instead address possible misunderstandings of it, or just use it to back up their theology; but none actually explain what those verses mean. What do you guys think?

Drive Thru Records is releasing Hello Goodbye’s new EP (music and artwork) for free on their website. (They’re also releasing Jenoah’s new EP for free, but it’s not as good.)

Untitled by Social Distortion

I’m heading down a lonely highway,
I’m running down a one-way street.
Well, I wanna know, are you going my way?
Is there someplace quiet where we can meet?

And friends they come, and friends they go.
But you were always by my side.
And where it all ends, well, I don’t know.
Don’t cry no more, just hold on tight.

There was a time when I was desperate,
living in a town without a name.
And when things got so dark and desolate,
You taught me how to hide my shame.

And kings and queens and millionaires
may never know what I have known.
And thank the stars I’m the lucky one.
Thanks for the lessons that I have been shown.

I feel rich,
I feel power and security.
And when I’m weak,
You are strong
.
Once in a lifetime,
twice in eternity and guess what?
Nothing else matters anyway.

“…those natural desires for a meaningful connection were clouded by cultural expectations of beauty, excitement and self-actualization.” (>>)

“Ultimately, we are hedonists who, like most spoiled brats, hate the fact that nothing feels real and suffer from a lack of direction and purpose.” (>>)

“Religion may be straightforward for some. The elegant black-and-white simplicity of go to church, read your Bible, pray for George W. and the troops, eat a big fat lunch, come back next week. I struggle with the details. How much freedom do I have in this life? When do I embrace my heart’s urging confidently and trust its guidance? When do I treat my heart like a shifty politician and sift through its words with anxious trepidation.” (>>)

“Greatness comes when all those mundane moments add up. My life is not what is yet to be, it is what it has been, so even now I am creating what my life is to become. This very second, I am influencing the way the rest of my life will work. What am I doing right now? Searching. Drinking a beer and thinking about having a cigarette. Where is the greatness in this moment? How do I know that this is all my life is to be? I search constantly for answers while trying to glean a little bit of pleasure for my sensory existence. The thing is, am I really searching? Or am I just trying to pass the time by pretending to be searching?” (>>)

“OK…I’ll do it. But please don’t make me go through all the messy details about the guilt that I felt about the depression when it first hit me in 1991. I’d really like people to think that I identified the problem overnight and began fixing it over the course of a week. I definitely want them to believe that I had total faith in You to snap me out of it. Let me tell them about how I prayed from 11 PM to 6 AM one night for You to heal me. Now that should earn a few points with my peers. But the part about me being so angry with You for not fixing the problem by six in the morning. That oughta hit the cutting room floor before anyone sees it.” (>>)

Switchfoot has finished the new video for Dare You to Move. The song itself is different than both album versions and the video is very good.

“…what an ethnomusicologist does is, you go and live in another culture that doesn’t have a way of notating their own music. You learn their language and their music and write it down. Eventually you learn how to translate the Gospel into their music system, instead of just dragging the North American and European systems around.” (>>)

“The foolishness of that comment is so deep I can only ascribe it to higher education. You have to have gone to college to say something that stupid.” (>>)

“…in this cold moonlight.”

“The hard held beliefs of only a few years previous had been eroded by time and change of circumstance.” (>>)

“For those of you who aren’t familiar with Compassion, click on the link over there to the right, and you too can purchase a small child online.” (>>)

Mr. Court: “What are you plans for the future?”
Lloyd: “Spend as much time as possible with Diane before she leaves.”
Mr. Court: “Seriously, Lloyd.”
Lloyd: “I’m totally and completely serious.”
Mr. Court: “No, really…”
Lloyd: “You mean like career? Um, I dunno. I’ve thought about this quite a bit, sir, and I’d have to say, considering what’s waiting out there for me, I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don’t want to buy anything sold or processed or sell anything bought or processed. Or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed, you know? As a career, I don’t wanna do that.” (>>)

Now I just need to figure out what I do want to do with my life…

“…I’ve been seriously considering leaving the house – seeing how the hassles of being on the street is sometimes preferable to the hassles of the halfway house. There are hassles in both cases, but on the streets, they are your own hassles, and you can deal with them in your own way – you have more ownership of your life on the streets, than in a halfway house, where you are expected to hand over control of you life to other people, and where other people, so many of whom you don’t know and thus don’t trust, get themselves involved in your life – invited or not.” (>>)

This is a good review of Death Cab for Cutie‘s new album; not because the writer is great, but because he quotes so many great lyrics from the songs.

“…we are called to be fuel for the Kingdom of God. Much like fuel is pulled from the gas tank and burned in order to power the engine, we are called to be available, respond to any call, allow ourselves to be used, and if necessary, completely spent in order to advance the Kingdom of God.” (>>)

“…waste me on You…” (>>)

“Hell is being told in a Sunday sermon that Jesus died in 1st century Judea, that Jesus isn’t alive, that Jesus isn’t coming back, and that he would want that you should ‘follow your bliss’ to find the will of God in your life – all of this when you know now that your ‘bliss’ makes you more depressed every time you indulge in it.” (>>)

Jill Paquette is good. She reminds me of Nichole Nordeman a little.

“Of course sometimes God’s provision catches you off-guard, but sometimes God’s lavish blessing can kick you right in the gut and when you are doubled over, it can upper cut you in the face.” (>>)

“Absolutely objective systematic theology is not possible. A ‘Cartesian’ attempt to establish biblical foundations will always be colored by background assumptions and underdetermined by the available evidence.” (>>)

Happy Birthday

With friends like these

The Decendents have a new album coming out on the 23rd and you can download two tracks from it off of FatWreck.com: Nothing With You and Cool to be You.

While you’re all waiting with baited breath for my next real post, take a second and go to the Breast Cancer site and click on the button in the middle. Their sponsors will donate free mammograms to women who can’t afford them based on the number of people who click on that button. It doesn’t cost you anything ’cause the sponsors get some ad space on the site.

Ralph wrote this. It’s true. Read it.

This is a good blog entry on “speaking the truth in love.”

“On Wednesday he shot down every one of the lame defenses and thoughtless pat answers we offered for the Bible in general and for Jonah in particular — every one. The effect that morning was even more devastating than that of the previous class period. Now we had no reason to believe what we believed about the Bible; and we knew it.” (>>)

Better late than never.

“please keep all comments that include ‘just pray about it,’ ‘just trust in God,’ and Jeremiah 29:11 to yourself. been there, done that, need something more sincere, practical, and lil-specific. not that praying, trusting in God, and reading the Bible are bad things, but just a flippant 3-word bumper sticker response makes me feel worse because that makes it sound like it’s just a really simple, easy answer and i’m the proverbial bad Christian for struggling and not moving on like it’s a quick fix.” (>>)

::drool::

So tempted…

“Questioning the basics of my faith — I’ve never had that. Questioning things of myself and how I fit into that or don’t fit in, or seeing myself differently from how I thought I would and being shaken by that, then yes. And then, I don’t have step one two and three for coming out of that — it’s just a continuing process…” (>>)

I got my $13.68, I think I’ll go pick up the new MxPx album.

Standing on the Edge of Me


“But everything inside you knows there’s more than what you’ve heard,
there’s so much more than empty conversations filled with empty words.”

Every night I get home from work around 9 or 10 and I’m tired, but I don’t go to sleep. I stay up for another two or three hours. I’ll do pointless stuff, like read blogs, but I won’t go to sleep. I feel like I haven’t done anything yet. I’ve actually done lots of things; I’ve been on campus for 4 or 5 hours in class or doing homework, and at work for for another 5 or 6, but that doesn’t count, it’s just work.


“I want to see miracles, to see the world change;
I wrestled the angel for more than a name;
for more than a feeling, for more than a cause.”

I have this vauge fantasy in the back of my mind. I see myself doing something exciting with my life, leaving everything to do something important and all-consuming. Part of me was disappointed when I got into UD; a small part was hoping God would screw up all my plans and take away any hope of achieving the American Dream. But sometimes I think all I want is a great wife and a stable job that’ll pay enough to support a family. I’ll have a couple internship interviews go well and for a few days Corporate America doesn’t seem so sleezy and meaningless. Maybe a normal life isn’t so boring, after all.

There’s a story about a shoemaker who converted to Christianity and asked Martin Luther what he should do with his life now that he was a Christian. Luther told him to make good shoes and sell them at a fair price. But then again, you never saw Luther making shoes.


“I’m standing on the edge of me.” (>>)

P.S. If you’re ever pondering whether or not to write something stupid and personal on your blog, don’t tell yourself that you’ll just write it out and decide whether or not to publish it when you’re done. That same little voice will disable your critical thinking skills just long enough for you hit “publish.”

For shelter from this bitter winter.

“And as I turn and tumble over the clever, wonderful, tiresome, and useless modern books, the tide of one of them rivets my eye. It is called ‘Jeanne d’Arc,’ by Anatole France. I have only glanced at it, but a glance was enough to remind me of Renan’s ‘Vie de Jesus.’ It has the same strange method of the reverent sceptic. It discredits supernatural stories that have some foundation, simply by telling natural stories that have no foundation. Because we cannot believe in what a saint did, we are to pretend that we know exactly what he felt. But I do not mention either book in order to criticise it, but because the accidental combination of the names called up two startling images of Sanity which blasted all the books before me. Joan of Arc was not stuck at the cross-roads, either by rejecting all the paths like Tolstoy, or by accepting them all like Nietzsche. She chose a path, and went down it like a thunderbolt. Yet Joan, when I came to think of her, had in her all that was true either in Tolstoy or Nietzsche, all that was even tolerable in either of them. I thought of all that is noble in Tolstoy, the pleasure in plain things, especially in plain pity, the actualities of the earth, the reverence for the poor, the dignity of the bowed back. Joan of Arc had all that and with this great addition, that she endured poverty as well as admiring it; whereas Tolstoy is only a typical aristocrat trying to find out its secret. And then I thought of all that was brave and proud and pathetic in poor Nietzsche, and his mutiny against the emptiness and timidity of our time. I thought of his cry for the ecstatic equilibrium of danger, his hunger for the rush of great horses, his cry to arms. Well, Joan of Arc had all that, and again with this difference, that she did not praise fighting, but fought. We know that she was not afraid of an army, while Nietzsche, for all we know, was afraid of a cow. Tolstoy only praised the peasant; she was the peasant. Nietzsche only praised the warrior; she was the warrior. She beat them both at their own antagonistic ideals; she was more gentle than the one, more violent than the other. Yet she was a perfectly practical person who did something, while they are wild speculators who do nothing. It was impossible that the thought should not cross my mind that she and her faith had perhaps some secret of moral unity and utility that has been lost. And with that thought came a larger one, and the colossal figure of her Master had also crossed the theatre of my thoughts. The same modern difficulty which darkened the subject-matter of Anatole France also darkened that of Ernest Renan. Renan also divided his hero’s pity from his hero’s pugnacity. Renan even represented the righteous anger at Jerusalem as a mere nervous breakdown after the idyllic expectations of Galilee. As if there were any inconsistency between having a love for humanity and having a hatred for inhumanity! Altruists, with thin, weak voices, denounce Christ as an egoist. Egoists (with even thinner and weaker voices) denounce Him as an altruist. In our present atmosphere such cavils are comprehensible enough. The love of a hero is more terrible than the hatred of a tyrant. The hatred of a hero is more generous than the love of a philanthropist. There is a huge and heroic sanity of which moderns can only collect the fragments. There is a giant of whom we see only the lopped arms and legs walking about. They have torn the soul of Christ into silly strips, labelled egoism and altruism, and they are equally puzzled by His insane magnificence and His insane meekness. They have parted His garments among them, and for His vesture they have cast lots; though the coat was without seam woven from the top throughout.” (>>)

“To sum up our contention so far, we may say that the most characteristic current philosophies have not only a touch of mania, but a touch of suicidal mania. The mere questioner has knocked his head against the limits of human thought; and cracked it. This is what makes so futile the warnings of the orthodox and the boasts of the advanced about the dangerous boyhood of free thought. What we are looking at is not the boyhood of free thought; it is the old age and ultimate dissolution of free thought. It is vain for bishops and pious bigwigs to discuss what dreadful things will happen if wild scepticism runs its course. It has run its course. It is vain for eloquent atheists to talk of the great truths that will be revealed if once we see free thought begin. We have seen it end. It has no more questions to ask; it has questioned itself. You cannot call up any wilder vision than a city in which men ask themselves if they have any selves. You cannot fancy a more sceptical world than that in which men doubt if there is a world. It might certainly have reached its bankruptcy more quickly and cleanly if it had not been feebly hampered by the application of indefensible laws of blasphemy or by the absurd pretence that modern England is Christian. But it would have reached the bankruptcy anyhow. Militant atheists are still unjustly persecuted; but rather because they are an old minority than because they are a new one. Free thought has exhausted its own freedom. It is weary of its own success. If any eager freethinker now hails philosophic freedom as the dawn, he is only like the man in Mark Twain who came out wrapped in blankets to see the sun rise and was just in time to see it set. If any frightened curate still says that it will be awful if the darkness of free thought should spread, we can only answer him in the high and powerful words of Mr. Belloc, ‘Do not, I beseech you, be troubled about the increase of forces already in dissolution. You have mistaken the hour of the night: it is already morning.’ We have no more questions left to ask. We have looked for questions in the darkest corners and on the wildest peaks. We have found all the questions that can be found. It is time we gave up looking for questions and began looking for answers.” (>>)

“Life is characterized by long periods of tedium punctuated by moments of frantic action. Sometimes, I will lament my busyness and lament the fact that ‘I never have anytime to read anything, or read my Bible.’ Then, in a moment of tedium, I’ll sit and whittle away precious minutes sitting in front of my computer and staring. Not even doing anything, just sitting. It irritates me to no end that so much of my life is wasted on things I don’t even enjoy doing. There is this grand paradox about human existence that we will pursue exactly that which will destroy us. And it isn’t a fast destruction like Sodom or Gomorrah. It is the slow, plodding asphyxiation of banality. It is the crushing weight of motionless air and human fat.” (>>)

Chanda witnessed a black hole ripping a star apart. No, not the overpaid, melodramatic brats in Hollywood (entertaining as that would be), but an actual star. There are some animations of what it looked like here (the first is very cool).

“Half the pious ramblings on this site about Predestination, Salvation, Perverse Understandings of Truth, etc etc are just idealistic portrayals of how RealScott knows he should, and wishes he could act and think. And to say ‘Half’ would be flattery. It’s a more than fair consideration that I might not actually believe a single thing written on here. An unhealthy portion of my alleged expressions of humility exist only to ease my strain of guilt from pride. If PretendScott talks to people about how arrogant and prideful he is, then RealScott can avoid having to adjust his actual sentiments, as such supposedly carthatic mournings over sinfulness void out real repentance. Much of what people know of Scott are only ‘crocodile tears.’ ” (>>)

Well, I’ve got co-op interviews tomorrow and Thursday (plus several others that aren’t scheduled yet and a few resume-based positions), and I haven’t had time to prepare BS answers to all the BS questions like, “What are your greatest strength and weakness.” So, I’ll probably go out in a blaze of “uhh”s and “I don’t know”s.

Wouldn’t it be nice if having the skills and character to do a job well was what determined your hiring, rather than how expensive your suit is and how well you can lie? Ah, beautiful America!

Oh well, if you feel like praying, it’d be appreciated :)

“I suspect the answer there is ‘no, not at all, [off] to the stake with you, heretic.’ But I’m not entirely sure why.” (>>)

“Sitting silent wearing Sunday best /
The sermon echoes through the walls /
A great salvation through it /
Goes to the people who stare into nowhere /
Can’t feel the chains on their souls.

“Someday we’ll trust Him /
And learn how to see Him /
Someday He’ll call us /
And we will come running /
Fall in His arms /
The tears will fall down and we’ll pray,
‘I want to fall in love with You.’ ” (>>)

I picked up Better Than This by The Normals and Alien Youth by Skillet for $2 each last night @ Half Price Books. They’re both better than I expected.

I had listened to a couple of the songs off The Normals newest album awhile ago and didn’t like it too much. The vocals were kind of awkward, and a lot of the music was boring, but I remember Rob saying that their older stuff was better, and it was only $2, so I decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The vocals on Better Than This are still a bit awkward, but I think they’ll grow on me as I get more familiar with the songs, like with Carry Away. The music is more full and interesting and the lyrics are intimate and honest.

I was skeptical about Alien Youth because it seemed like it might be a bunch of whiny, angst-ridden Goth songs targeted at teenagers, but their worship album is really good, and, again, it was only $2. The music isn’t as as Nine Inch Nails-ish as I was fearing; a lot of it is just semi-hard rock (ala The Benjamin Gate).

So, $4.30 (after tax, of course) for two good albums. All in all, a pretty good night. Well, that is until Ralph kicked my butt at Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Red Auerbach

This page has a bunch of good tips and tricks for Linux.

Exactly.

I’m looking for summer internships/co-ops in IT, ideally working with networking, Linux or web design, but I’m open to anything. So, if any of you know of any opportunities I’d be very much abliged if you hook a brother up.

Modern Christian Culture and Spiritual Boredom parts one and two, and then two good responses, the first from Christine and the second from Kristi.

“The band is loud and I’m wandering the shadows wishing I was never here.” (>>)

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” (>>)

“Loneliness and the overwhelming desire for magic and romance will drive people to sanity sometimes.” (>>)

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (>>)

I’m such a jerk.

“Who do i think I am? Who do you think you are? Maybe some kind of better breed of sinner than they are.” (>>)

“I guess in that sense I adopted the motto of Augustine and Anselm (my heroes, by-the-by): credo ut intelligam. I believe in order to understand.” (>>)

“If I could be so bold as to agree with McClaren’s major premise: much of what mainstream evangelicalism offers today as ‘Christianity’ is severely lacking. In fact, I have faced the same problems that Daniel Poole is facing in this book, and I expect that the good pastor’s dilemma plays itself out in the lives of pastor’s all over the world. What I am interested to see is what McClaren proposes as an alternative to Christianity as practiced today.” (>>)

“If R.C. Sproul, Jr., son of a better man, starts announcing things ex cathedra, I won’t be surprised.” (>>)

Confessions of a Car Salesman.

Five Iron Frenzy is releasing a live recording of their last show in Denver called The End is Here. It’ll be a two-disk set and also contain their last studio album, The End is Near.

The United Devices screensaver is pretty cool. It’s a grid computing project that uses your computer to work on fighting cancer when you’re away from it. Plus, it shows a really impressive, scientific looking image that’ll probably make your boss think you’re hard at work.

comfort.

“What makes this latest upheaval so disorienting for Americans is its speed. Agriculture jobs provided decent livelihoods for at least 80 years before the rules changed and working in the factory became the norm. Those industrial jobs endured for some 40 years before the twin pressures of cheap competition overseas and labor-saving automation at home rewrote the rules again. IT jobs – the kind of high-skill knowledge work that was supposed to be our future – are facing the same sort of realignment after only 20 years or so. The upheaval is occurring not across generations, but within individual careers. The rules are being rewritten while people are still playing the game.” (>>)

When I was in high-school, my counselor told me that I’d start out making $60,000 a year when I graduated.

“Many Americans have reacted negatively to the Patriot Act’s Orwellian nature. Indeed, 234 cities, towns and counties have now passed resolutions, ordinances or ballot initiatives prohibiting their local police from complying with the Patriot Act.” (>>)

“It was 7:13 on a Saturday night in the University Art Gallery when Renault noticed that his heart had stopped beating.” (>>)

“I used to be a complete dick. From age 14 to 17 I was way too busy with my own little world of teenage angst to concern myself with anyone else. The closest I came was lucky bit of social awareness that I picked up thanks to my desire to rebel against my parents and the rest of the system. But idealism matters little when you don’t live what you believe, and treat the people around you correctly, and I was a dick.” (>>)

“One thing you [still] lack…” (>>)

“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (>>)

“I for one have not dated and fully understand the position that posits dating as a con-job where two people put up false identities of themselves for the other’s amusement. However, this cynicism is unjustified, because I am only speaking from other people’s experiences. Nevertheless, I hopelessly believed in the all-consummating ‘one’ who God would drop from heaven right into my lap. Again, this was naïve; because I assumed I would have to take no risks and that there would be no work for me to do.” (>>)

“…you look like a knockoff of my high school, and a horrible knockoff at that.” (>>)

Rounders

Rounders

“The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (>>)

Here‘s a screenshot of my desktop at work.

Great Rock Song.

Solid rock band with female vocalist.

More.

“Wearing flip flops to church is bad enough, but if you don’t have the common courtesy to keep your feet from getting all janky, you better check yourself before the Lord.” (>>)

Aaron pointed out a good article about bias impacting thought. I’m a little more idealistic when it comes to the possibility of honest answers, but the article does a good job of describing the problem.

“Reasoning about religion is, in one sense, like a game for many people. The players involved know the outcome they wish to arrive at and then rationally use every tool of logic they are acquainted with to justify and support that outcome.”

Beautiful. [MP3]

More.

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.” (>>)

After reading this I feel pretty lucky blessed.

This page is usefull if you ever need information on a process running on a Windows box.

(this is mostly just for the search engines to pick up)

If you’re installing a Linksys WUSB11 802.11b USB network adapter under Windows XP (and 2000?) and it is working for for a short length of time (~20-40 minutes?) but then you lose the signal from the access point, the problem might be that Windows is turning the device off to save power. To disable that feature, do the following:

1) Start > Run > devmgmt.msc
2) Network Adapters (or Universal Serial Bus controllers for the Root Hub) > right click on the device > Properties
3) Power Management > Uncheck “Allow the computer to turn this device off to save power.”

“I fixed the Internet.” (>>)

Someone I know just started working for a company called Primerica. It sounded like a scam so I looked around to find out what people were saying about them on the Internet. If anyone tries to get you in on this pyramid scheme, you should read this stuff first:

Denver Post article

Lots of information and some forum posts:
1,
2 and 3.

1998 Lawsuit

DMOZ Directory of relevant sites

RipOffReport.com

Another forum post

Another forum post

You know you work too much when you’re in the shower and you turn and the water hits your side and it feels like your pager vibrating and your first thought is, “Crap! I don’t have a phone in here!”

“A verb. Really put in a verb. That’s his solution.” (>>)

“So I’ve fantasized about dressing up like the Men in Black when I fly. I’d have on a black suit, white shirt, black tie. I’d polish off the image with sunglasses, an earpiece, and I’d carry a metal brief case. I’d storm through the airport like a man on a mission. Sporadically I’d look down, my finger to my ear, and respond, ‘Yes, mister president.’ ” (>>)

“Betty thought about having the Slakdings over, but the Slakdings had five children and her table only seated eight comfortably so someone would have to eat off a TV tray and that would be awkward and possibly messy on her new, expensive, velour-look carpet.” (>>)

“Nonetheless, in order to make a reasonably objective judgment about whether the United States should have dropped the bombs, it is necessary to go through the process of vividly imagining both what is was and was not like to drop them. It won’t do to dwell just on the actual casualties and then conclude that dropping the bombs was immoral. Doing just that amounts to arriving at a conclusion by looking at only one side of an issue.” (>>)

“If you could just have
a good job, a good wife or husband,
a couple of good kids,
a nice car,
long weekends,
a few good friends,
a fun retirement,
a quick and easy death,
and no hell…
would you be satisfied?” (>>)

The American Dream

“When an ecclesiastical communion rejects sola fide, as Rome did at the Council of Trent, it ceases being a true church, no matter how orthodox it may be in other matters, because it has condemned an essential of the faith.” (>>)

I’ve been trying all morning to think of how to describe the wicked arrogance of that quote without cussing repeatedly and haven’t been able to.

The Door has a good article and a funny trailer about Benny Hinn.

“…the human intellect is free to destroy itself.” (>>)

“If you come knocking at my door and I am not around,
Foolishness came by and we’re downtown.
Please don’t leave, please come on in
and make yourself at home.
I know you’re probably used to being alone.” (>>)

“Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?’ They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” (>>)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (>>)

“Neilo sacrifices his progeny on the altar of our amusement.” (>>)

If this is a joke, then whoever is behind it deserves a round of applause. If not, they deserve to be shot. In the face. And then drug through the streets by a mule until their rotting carcas decays and all that is left of them is the joyous memory of the day their loathesome scheme was cleansed from our collective ears.

“There was not any big bust of shouting or fireworks, but a beautiful peace came over me that night. And a relief that I had stepped out and chosen the way that had been pointed out to me all those years.” (>> – [PDF])

“Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy,
She’ll beat you if she’s able.
No, the queen of hearts is always your best bet.
Now it seems to me, some fine things,
Have been laid upon your table.
But you only want the things that you can’t get.” (>>)

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving reconized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw the large crowd he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” (>>)

On a related note…

“Men come into the world without the God who was our deepest joy, our ecstacy. Aching for we know not what, we meet Eve’s daughters and we are history. She is the closest thing we’ve ever encountered, the pinnacle of creation, the very embodiment of God’s beauty and mystery and tenderness and allure. And what goes out to her is not just our longing for Eve, but our longing for God as well. A man without his true love, his life, his God, will find another. What better substitute than Eve’s daughters? Nothing else in creation even comes close.” (>>)

I really hate family “get-togethers.”

Thank God she didn’t puke in my car.

“We aren’t trying to be different… We’re trying to be ourselves.” (>>)

“There are no fomulas with God. The way in which God heals our wound is a deeply personal process. He is a person and he insists on working personally.” (>>)

I finally got around to buying a cookie jar (well, technically it’s an animal cracker jar) to hold miscellaneous networking supplies in the media office @ Apex. Say hello to our little friend as he takes a tour of his temporary habitat until moving into his permenant dwelling sometime this weekend: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

P.S. — Robin, just to torture you with curiosity… Your Christmas present(s) is/are in that brown mailer in #4. ::evil grin::

Affirmative Action Bake Sale.

Chirac needs a swift kick to the head.

Cool, albeit slightly depressing, background from tinweapon.com

Just found out I got accepted to UD

“In some it is never lit,
straw and cinders smoking forever as they float through ghost-life,
they smother flames in fear,
and die from lack of heat.” (>>)

Best Buy has How To Start a Fire (and other Tooth and Nail CDs) for $8. Guess where I’m going after work…

You know how, when you were a kid and you made a wierd face, your mom would tell you that if you did that for long enough it would stay that way? I think that’s what happens to a lot of us. You BS enough people for long enough, and you just stay that way. It becomes a part of you to the point where you don’t know anything else.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your bothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (>>)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only paths that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (>>)

“Ian, good luck in all you do in the future. You will do well in all aspects of life. Keep asking the hard questions, they make situations better in the long run. All my best, Mrs. Yokajty”

[Senior Year High School Yearbook]

“…but I’m waiting for God to show me what’s behind door #20.” ((>> – November 27th post))

Advanced tickets for The Passion are now on sale.

“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata–of creatures that worked like machines–would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.”

C.S. Lewis

“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves his enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Good is either the great safety or the great danger–according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.” (>>)

I love that feeling you get for the first thirty minutes after buying power tools.

“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.” (>>)

Damn, that boy is smart.

“Tofu is made from little baby seals.” (>>)

“Tom was raised in a Christian home. He made a decision to become a Christian when he was twelve years old and was baptized in his Baptist church the next Sunday. He eventually became a leader in his youth group, sang in the church choir and suprised no one when he went to a Christian college, where he majored in biblical studies. During college Tom helped out in a local church youth group and seemed to have a special gift for working with teenagers. After graduating, he had several offers from churches and parachurch groups to help direct their youth ministries.

“In his new job Tom experienced tremendous success by all measurable standards. The kids loved him, the parents appreciated him, and his youth group grew in numbers as well as spiritual maturity. He married his college sweetheart, who was devoted to Tom and to the ministry that they shared. For ten years things seemed to be perfect.

“One day Tom stunned his supervisor by saying that he was resigning. The supervisor braced for the worst. He asked, ‘Why?’ when what he wanted to say was, ‘Have you sinned morally?’ Tom smiled knowingly and said, ‘No, it isn’t what you are thinking. It’s worse. I don’t know if I still believe everything I say. I’m no longer certain who God is, and I can’t pretend.’ After a series of long theological debates with the supervisor, late-night conversations with his wife and an extended leave of absense from his work, Tom left the ministry and enrolled in an MBA program. There was no crisis in his life that precipitated this loss of faith. He just stopped believing.

“After finishing his graduate training, Tom got a good job with a manufacturing plant and maintained loving commitments to his family. He was supportive of raising their children in a local congregation and continued to sit in worship with his wife, who became a leader in the church’s ministry. Every Sunday the congregation would stand and recite the Apostles’ Creed. Tom could never get through the opening line, ‘I believe in God.’

“He never got used to living without faith. If asked, he would say that he was searching for God or whatever it was that was at the bottom of his life. He was quite successful in his career but found little purpose or meaning in it. He did charitable work in the community, but it offered no hope for him or those he served. Many nights he would come home from work to read literature or philosophers or theologians or anyone who had an angle on the truth. For years the search continued, and he found nothing. Eventually he became emotionally and intellectually exhausted. He was tired of his doubts and tired of his search. As he explained to his wife, he had resigned himself to the fact that ‘there was nothing else out there.’

“A professional move took Tom and his family to a new community. Again he followed his wife to church. But this church was different. The preacher was a well-read, silver-haired pastor who had little need to rehearse worn-out Christian jargon from the pulpit. He spoke honestly about doubt and faith as if they were companions and not enemies. He easily quotes French existentalists but always ended his sermons with a passionate love for Jesus. Tom wondered what held this preacher together.

One Sunday morning the sermon text was from the sixth chapter of John. After Jesus had performed many miracles including the feeding of the five thousand and walking on water, a large crowd of disciples began to follow him. Then Jesus spoke some harder words about who he was and where he was heading. Most of the new followers began to complain because they could not understand him or his ‘difficult teachings.’ and so they left. Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Do you also wish to go away?’ It was Peter who responded, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life’ (John 6:67-68.) It was clear that the disciples did not understand those words any better than the crowd. They just knew there was nothing else.

“Tom sat in the pew and began to weep. So this is it, he thought. His great search had ended not with an illuminating discovery but with a tired whisper. Instead of the intellectual breakthrough to God that he had sought for years, he now knew he would return to the faith simply because there was no place else to go.

“Like Peter, Tom does not understand all of Jesus’ words. He has plenty of doubts but chooses to live as if the words of Jesus are true because he does believe this is the only Savior he has. Also, like Peter, Tom continues to follow this Savior he cannot fully understand. It has to be enough to simply follow.

“After the wise preacher retired, I followed in his pulpit. It has been my joy to inherit the pastoral care he began in the lives of many, including Tom’s family. Not long ago, Tom’s wife approached me at the end of worship with tears of her own and said, ‘Guess who said the Apostles’ Creed today.’

“I have breakfast with Tom from time to time. I very much enjoy our conversations because I like him a great deal and admire his integrity. I also get to watch how faith develops as a response to the silence of God.”

(>>)

“I am so easily satisfied,
by the call of lovers so less wild.
That I would take a little cash
over your very flesh and blood.
‘Cause I am a whore, I do confess…” (>>)

“But what we suffer from to-day is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt — the Divine Reason. Huxley preached a humility content to learn from Nature. But the new sceptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. Thus we should be wrong if we had said hastily that there is no humility typical of our time. The truth is that there is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.

“At any street corner we may meet a man who utters the frantic and blasphemous statement that he may be wrong. Every day one comes across somebody who says that of course his view may not be the right one. Of course his view must be the right one, or it is not his view. We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern sceptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance.”

G.K. Chesterton

worse than the awareness of unjustified arrogance,
is its continual existance in spite of its foolishness.

Perfect Thanksgiving song.

“He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

“Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
we all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.” (>>)

This is already in my “otherLinks” on the sidebar, but y’all should be going to The Hunger Site every day and clicking the little button that sends food to people (it’s free for you).

Aaron pointed out a funny interview The Door did with R.C. Sproul.

Tonight’s used record score: The Latest Craze by Fanmail for $1.

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (>>)

“But somehow I can’t not believe.” (>>)

Triniity Broadcasting Network is suing their neighbors over a bunch of bricks and some plants.

“But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”
(>>)

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid…” (>>)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ ” (>>)

Bob on the building of ApexCommunity.net:

“We bought pMachine and modded the snot out of it…”

This is a cool interview from HM Magazine w/ John Maurer, Social Distortion‘s bass player.

Doesn’t it suck how “days off” are never really days off?

I’ve come to the realization that math textbooks aren’t written to teach students how to do math. They’re written to frustrate the student by not actually showing how to solve a problem, but only showing that the author can solve the problem. Thus, rubbing this fact in the student’s face and stroking the ego of sad little men sitting in their mathmatical ivory towers.

But I’m not bitter…

Leroy and Amber have started blogs. Actually, Leroy’s had one for awhile, but I didn’t know about it.

“After we got settled into our room, the big drama was that we forgot your Dr. Seuss book back at the Chicken Shack in Merritt. You refused to settle down until I told you a story and so I was forced to improvise in spite of my tiredness, something I am not good at doing.

So then you wanted to hear about another animal, and so I asked you if you’d ever heard of Squirrelly the Squirrel, and you said you hadn’t. So I said, ‘Well, Squirrelly was going to have an exhibition of nut paintings at the Vancouver Art Gallery except…’

‘Except what?’ you asked.

‘Except Mrs. Squirrelly had baby squirrels and so Squirrelly had to get a job at the peanut butter factory and was never able to finish his work.’

‘Oh.’

I paused. ‘You want to hear about any other animals?’

‘Uh, I guess so,’ you replied, a bit unambiguously.

‘Did you ever hear of Clappy the Kitten?’

‘No.’

‘Well, Clappy the Kitten was going to be a movie star one day. But then she rang up too many bills on her MasterCard and had to get a job as a teller at the Hongkong Bank of Canada to pay them off. Before long she was simply too old to try becoming a star–or her ambition disappeared–or both. And she found it was easier to just talk about doing it instead of actually doing it and…’

‘And what,’ you asked.

‘Nothing, baby,’ I said, stopping myself then and there…”

Douglas Coupland, Life After God

Bob is blogging again :)

Michelle Branch‘s new single, Breathe, is the perfect pop song.

I’m just blogging this for future reference, but a few of you may find it useful.

If you’re working with a group of rackmount servers (or any computers, actually) that are hooked up to a KVM switch, it can get annoying because you don’t know which one you’re logging into until you actually login. One way around that (I’m sure there are several others, like a different wallpaper for each login screen, etc) is to add a string named “Welcome” to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogin and give it a value of “- %computername%”. That will make your login screen say “Log on to Windows – YourComputerNameHere”. There’s probably a way to edit the initial login dialog box also, but I don’t have any motivation to find one. I know this works on NT Server, 2000 Server and 2000 Professional, but it probably works on XP also.

YouthSpecialties.com has an MP3 of the last message Mike Yaconelli‘s gave before he died last week.

The Door has a really funny article called Bob the Angel in the current issue.

My friend Josh just launched a cool new website, MobPunishment.com. They sell novelty mob punishments for pranks. For instance, you could have a black rose sent to your upper management for their recent decision to outsource your job to India. Or a newspaper-wrapped fish sent to that ex-girlfriend who you saw kissing some other guy a week later.

You all need to watch Four Days in September.

“Unlike most such films, ‘Four Days…’ puts a realistic and human face on all sides; the police, the rebels, and the American diplomat played by Arkin.” (>>)

Ultimate Frisbee
Saturday
4PM
Delco Park

“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

” ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’

“And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.” (>>)

“Like a man with a bad head cold, he has mostly lost his sense of taste and smell. He knows something’s wrong with him, but not wrong enough to do anything about. Other people come and go, but through glazed eyes he hardly notices them. He is letting things run their course. He is getting through his life.” (>>)

“I can’t actually play an instrument … well, except for those years spent learning scales on the piano and organ, which has resulted in a supreme distaste for the metronome. And I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Never wrote a song in my life. Which is highly irrelevant when you are part of the Soundtrack Generation. Knowing the how does not matter as much as the why of music. It runs through my veins and my memories like wine through water.

“I listened to music until it became the backdrop of my life.” (>>)

AudioTreasure.com has the World English Bible (public domain translation based on the NAS) in MP3 format for free.

MARTIN: I’m wondering how you’ve been. How you are. I’d like to catch up with you. If it’s possible.
DEBI: Okay. Let’s catch up. You go first.
MARTIN: Well, there’s not much to tell.
DEBI: I’m sure you’ve done worthwhile things in the last ten years. You’ve had experiences.
MARTIN: Bad experiences.
DEBI: You met people.
MARTIN: Bad people.
DEBI: Watched television?
MARTIN: Bad television.
DEBI: Marty. You’re pathetic. It sounds like you need a Shockabuku.
MARTIN: What’s that?
DEBI: It’s a swift spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.
MARTIN: That’d be good.

(>>)

“Two of my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. They share great British wit, skillfully vivid descriptions, the power of brilliant argument and many other things–but the one that impresses me most is the pervasive sense I have in both their writings that they are totally convinced. They are not hiding secret doubts. There is a sense in both their writings that if one were to lay out all the facts that fill this world on one huge table, then, seen in context, these facts would all point straight to the one true God. Lewis even noticed this quality in Chesterton’s writing. It is about Chesterton he is said to have commented, ‘If one wishes to remain unconverted, one should be careful what one reads.’

“It is the honest questioning in art that makes it powerful. In order to have Chesterton’s or Lewis’ un-defensive certainty, their honest assurance, you have to follow the path they did. And that is true in painting as much as it is in writing, as much as it is in living. You cannot start out assuming the answers or your questions will be dishonest and you will never find real answers.” (>>)

Ok, that was really just plain cruel.

I got a letter in the mail today from UD. A letter, not a 9×12 envelope. So, ok, I’m screwed now. I didn’t get in, and I’m going to spend the rest of my life as a door to door rug saleman, living in a van down by the river, right? Well, maybe; maybe not. It wasn’t a rejection letter, just a letter about their “all students have to buy a laptop” policy. What the hell is that? They haven’t even told me if I got in yet. What kind of sick jerk thought that up?

“Marx fails to see that the issue confronting mankind isn’t so much an external issue of what political system they live under, but rather a crisis of the heart and soul which is a deeply internal matter. Marx basically replaces the bourgeois with the state. The net results are largely no better than before the revolution. The bourgeois were selfish, corrupt and exploitive, and so were the members of the state who replaced them. He kicked out one set of crooks, and replaced them with another set of crooks.” (>>)

grin.

“Hope begins in the dark. The stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing the dawn will come.
You wait and you watch and work. You don’t give up.”

— Anne Lamott

“It’s appropriate that Michael Moore would borrow an expression from Al Franken. I have not seen any of Moore’s movies and I have not read any of Franken’s books. After seeing both of them speaking in various venues, I have no interest in either one. They both strike me as being highly irrational with no interest in any ‘truth’ that doesn’t support their overly-emotional, foaming-at-the-mouth fantasies – basically they are the left’s answer to [Ann] Coulter, who is just as psychotic.

“I really think it’s unfortunate that any of them get the attention they do, but people like a spectacle. I suspect that the majority of Americans are mostly middle-of-the-road. Watching these nutcases go at each other is about like watching a Godzilla movie or Jerry Springer for the politically-interested.” (>>)

This is a really cool painting by Carly.

This post from Reckless Abondonment is very good.

“It’s not that we are sinners because we sin,
but rather, we sin because we are sinners…”

– R.C. Sproul

Robin has started a fotolog.

The trailer (9MB Quicktime) for The Return of the King has been released. You might also be interested in The Fanimatrix (70MB DivX), a fan-made story set in the Matrix universe, and Duality (24MB DivX), a fan-made story set in the Star Wars universe.

“Now – here is my secret. I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I will ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God – that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.” – Douglas Coupland

“My life looks good, I do confess.
You can ask anyone.
Just don’t ask my real good friends,
‘cause they will lie to you.
Or worse, they’ll tell the truth.

‘Cause there are things you would not believe
that travel into my mind.
I swear I try and capture them,
but I always set them free.
It seems bad things comfort me.” (>>)

This is a good article on understanding tradition.

“How are we honoring the saints that have died when we do exactly what they did, the way they did it, for the nonsensical reason that ‘it’s tradition?’ This behavior is anything but traditional. The saints of the 17th century wanted clarity of Scripture, so they read the King James Version, which was the language of the time. The idea was understanding the Word, not reading the King James Version. The KJV was the vehicle for revelation.”

Updated the fotolog.

Thanks to the amazing grace and skill of our good-luck-charm/voodoo-priestess Robin, Jamie and company were handed a stunning defeat on the hallowed Ultimate Frisbee courts at Delco Park.

“The truth, of course, is that ANY organization or even body of ideas that encourages thinking in terms of ‘race’ is racist, because people are individuals, not races. Once upon a time, there were ‘reformers’ who understood that fact, but anymore, race politics in the US isn’t about eliminating racism; it is just about hiding it and trying to create equality of outcomes by quota systems and so on. Nobody, including black people, thinks about actually working towards MLKJr’s colorblind society; they all think about how to get a bigger chunk of the pie for their buddies.” (>>)

If you go here you can listen to 3 tracks from MxPx‘s new album and watch the video for Everything Sucks. Well Adjusted was the song they played during the Super Bowl commerical. Walmart has the CD for $10.

On the actual envelope I spelled “admission” right.

“Yeah, it’s one thing for somebody else to comment on it, but it’s something else…it’d be kind of like putting on jeans and a t-shirt in the morning. You just do it because it’s what you put on. You don’t walk out of the house saying aloud to yourself, ‘So I put on my jeans and my t-shirt because what I was trying to accomplish was the casual look.’ You know? You just do what you do, and then other people go, ‘Oh, she’s going for the casual thing,’ or ‘Oh, she’s going for self-exploration.’ But when you’re doing it, you’re just doing it. It’s not, ‘This is meant to be the vulnerable record.’ It just turned out that way.” (>>)

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John Stuart Mill

I’ve decided that I’m going to switch my minor from History to Religious Studies. I decided that when I realized that I wanted to take pretty much every single 300-level class UD offers. Only a few of the 400-level classes look interesting, but I’ll only need to take one, anyway.

Check out The Insightful Hazards of Being a Lay Theologian and Contra Urbem: Why I Hate the City.

What: Ultimate Frisbee.
When: Saturday, September 20th @ 6pm.
Where: Delco Park soccer fields.
Who: Jamie, myself and anyone else who wants to come.
Why: You’re all a bunch of lazy slobs who need exercise It will be fun and we can look like hippies!

Ok, since no one got the allusion I’m gonna have to give you the answer. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Short story about soldiers in the Vietnam War which uses physical items they carried as a metaphor for the emotional burdens they carried. Basically, it was a cute way of whining about all the responsibility i have.

“You know you’re in a bad place with pride when you think everything you do for God is too much and everything He does for you is too little.” (>>)

Making Hell Freeze Over

CENTERVILLE (AP) – Hell officially froze over this evening at approximately 7:26PM as Ian Dunn attended a high school football game for the first time in his life. Residents of the fiery furnace said that the day began as any other, but as night fell an eerie breeze began to sweep through the depths of the underworld.

“It was wierd,” said long-time inhabitant Leif Ericson. “At first it was nice. It reminded me of the brisk winter nights in Iceland.” But then, residents say, things turned ugly. “It went from a nice desert breeze to a freakish hailstorm,” reports newcomer Uday Hussein.

Preliminary data gathered by scientists working for the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the breeze started at the exact moment Ian purchased his ticket and that the conditions in Hades worsened as he approached the field, culminating in the “freakish hailstorm” once he took his seat and began to watch the game.

The Dark Prince could not be reached for comment, but his public relations advisor, Joseph Goebbels, said that they will be taking legal action. The ACLU has released a press statement offering to take the case pro-bono. “I am personally offended that in this day and age such an intolerable act of intolerance could go unchecked by our failing justice system. The ACLU is commited to protecting the rights of Mr. Prince and all his constituents to be as sultry as they want without temperature bigots such as Mr. Dunn interfering,” commented ACLU president Nadine Strossen.

Insiders tell the Associated Press that Satan has been in talks with Microsoft Corporation to install new Windows-based heating units that can be remotely controlled from a Windows-based laptop. With such a heating network in place, Beelzebub could control the level of torment each prisoner indures from the comfort of his deep, dark pit. Until it crashes.

“The human heart is an idol factory.” – John Calvin

MxPx‘s new album comes out on the 16th and you can listen to “Everything Sucks” here. It’s not what I expected, and might take a little getting used to. But, like I told Bob the other day, even if they put out a Polka album, I’d probably still buy it.

Johnny Cash died this morning.

Five points to the first person who explains the allusion.

Psalm 127:1 (>>)

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.”

This is a great comic from Cox and Forkum. “…not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” is a great ideal. Too bad our society is still judging people by the color of their skin–they’ve just changed their reaction to that judgement.

Larry King interviewed Johnny Cash a few months back and they aired it again Saturday night; here‘s the transcript. His new album sounds really interesting, you can stream one of the songs, Hurt, at MP3.com. Hurt is actually a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song. Why do I get the feeling Johnny sings this more honestly than Trent Reznor ever could?

I ♥ C.S. Lewis

“I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience etc. don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is just when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of his presence.” (>>)

It’s raining like crazy outside.

I hope my car windows are up.

My car windows are up. I always put my car windows up.

Right?

It looks like Bill Watterson understood blogging long before blogging became popular. ;)

“Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.” (>>)

“Be near, oh God. Be near, oh God of us.
Your nearness is to us our good.” (>>)

Why do I waste so much of my life thinking I need a girl to be happy?

Luke 13:6-9 (>>)

“Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?” “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.” ‘ “

Thank you, Jesus. (>>)

Ok, Robin, these are monitor jockeys. The term was coined by my high school friend, Jeremy. From top to bottom, right to left:

  • A picture of Garth Brooks pasted onto a picture of a lion with its mouth open. Josh made this. The expression on Garth’s face is perfect.
  • An Oreilly Linux postcard, from the back of Linux in a Nutshell.
  • An eight-ball sitting in a Pepsi cap. Josh also made this.
  • A Relevant Magazine postcard (with the advertisement portion cut off).
  • A Chewbacca Pez Dspensor.
  • A Dayton Bombers puck. Purchased, not caught.
  • A Lexis-Nexus monitor cleaner; obtained while on a field-trip to said company.
  • A Sacagawea coin that my high school IT teacher gave us all upon graduation.
  • A Homer Simpson Pez Dispensor.
  • The buckle from an Alien Workshop belt.
  • An Odie Pez Dispensor.
  • A Vans sticker.
  • Tux, the Linux penguin wearing a turtle necklase whose strap withered and was cut to fit around his neck.

This is a pretty cool photo.

Grassroots Music Webzine has a good article on Shaun Groves‘ new album. There’s also a cool 25MB Quicktime movie (or streaming Real Player show if you don’t have a broadband connection) on his website about the new album.

Good news, Bob, we’ll both still have jobs in ten years.

Well, I started a Fotolog for pictures that are kinda cool, but not cool enough to be perminantly stored on Snapfish. These are more day to day things.

This is…well, indescribable.

This is a pretty good article about fatherhood from Relevant Magazine.

“…the best way to win a fight is to walk away. The second best is a right hook to the nose.”

Luke 12:15-21 (>>)

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ And then he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ ” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards God.’ ”

Sorry, Carly, but this is the best I can do after a 12 hour day… It’s a pretty good read, though.

Chivalry Tip #582

When exiting a vehicle to open the door for the girl sitting behind you, make sure you don’t shut your own door on her hand as she’s getting out. (Sorry, Nicole…)

How to get rid of the office dullard.

“The prince of despair’s been beaten,
but the loser still fights.
And death’s on a long leash,
stealing my friends to the night.

Love alone is not enough to hold us up,
we’ve got to touch Your robe,
so swing Your robe down low.” (>>)

Isaiah 11:6-9 (>>)

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Slashdot has a good interview w/ Morgan Reed, a professional lobbyist.

CNN.com has a good summary of the recent updates in the search to uncover Iraq’s WMD program. Looks like somebody is gonna be eating crow pretty soon. (And that’s not even from the “evil” Fox News.)

“Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said he thinks ‘there’s a very good chance’ that weapons of mass destruction will eventually be found.”

This is a good example of the various positioning attributes of CSS.

This is sad. If you feel like praying, I’m sure they could use it.

Smile for the Camera

HP PhotoSmart 320Great News #1: My camera (see Sunday’s post) arrived today! Hopefully I should have some good photos to post by tonight.

Great News #2: It’s shaping up to look like Fall will be my last quarter @ Sinclair and that financial aid will pick up most of my tuition @ UD when I transfer there :).

If I start singing “my future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades,” feel free to punch me in the stomach.

Found a couple good articles today. First off, Elijah Wood is saying that The Return of the King will be “a full-on war movie.” Awesome. Then, Relevant Magazine has two great, nonpolitical, articles on abortion; here and here.

Yesterdays‘s Calvin and Hobbes is great.

They say that you find what you’re looking for when you finally stop looking. I don’t know if that’s true about girls, but it’s definitely true about digital cameras. Today I noticed that OfficeMax.com has the HP PhotoSmart 320 for $100 (it’s normally $150), and it comes with a free 32MB memory card (normally $30).

It’s a pretty basic camera, but it’s made by HP so it should be pretty decent quality. It shoots @ 2.1 megapixels w/ a max resolution of 1650 x 1250 pixels, but that’s all I need. It only has a 1.5″ LCD and it’s digital zoom (of course), but a bigger LCD would just be a matter of convienence and any optical zoom camera is gonna be really freaking expensive. So, overall, it’s perfect for only $100.

Not sure how often I’ll use it in day to day life (although I’ve got a few ideas for cool photos), but I definitely want to have it for trips like Mexico and D.C.

“…but joy comes in the morning.” (>>)

Blogs4God had a post today which linked to this post by John Hawbaker where he makes a great quote: “You can ‘claim it’ in faith but you still might not get it.” John also has a link to this really good article on Derek Webb‘s solo album.

Earlier today Slashdot posted this question:

“Personally, I sit at a computer desk for 10 hours a day with very little actual work. I’ve also started to get a little belly and out of shape. I know it’s real bad in my office, especially with all the beer I consume. What do you do to stay in shape? Any secrets? Recently I’ve started to do sit ups, push ups, and running up and down the stairs. I get a lot of odd looks, and would prefer something that doesn’t make the whole office stare at me. I’ve looked through some websites with equipment, but it’s all serious equipment I can’t/won’t lug into work. Any suggestions?”

It has generated some helpful comments. (There’s a few crass jokes and cuss words mixed in with the good advice.)

“the words of the strongest men
could never sway the hearts of the purest souls.”

(unknown)

The Trailer for The Passion is here (22MB Quicktime).

This is a good article on Bill Bright‘s death, which also gives a short biography.

Here are a couple good Relevant Magazine articles:

“Outdated” Ministry Methods Still Minister

“Maybe older paradigms of ministry are still appropriate after all. There are millions of people in the country with varying degrees of church in their background. Surely traditional church methods will continue to meet the needs of some in the foreseeable future.”

Discovering the Job I Hate

“There is no real point to my work—I simply run computer programs that complete the audit for me. And I get paid mostly to conquer the world in Age of Empires II. I’m not complaining I guess, just observing.”

“A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
(>>)

“The Lord detests men of perverse heart
but He delights in those whose ways are blameless.”
(>>)

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”
(>>)

“A fool shows his annoyance at once,
but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”
(>>)

Derek Webb wrote a great journal entry about The Prayer of Jabez. Here’s an except (but I suggest reading the whole thing, it’s really good.):

“i want to be clear about my concern in all this and why i’m so opposed to this teaching. it’s not necessarily because of the horrendous exegetical work. it’s not necessarily because 98% of bruce’s teaching is unwarranted in scripture. it is for only one reason: because it simply undermines the Gospel. this is the only reason that i could justifiably have. please don’t misunderstand me; i do not mean to tear down bruce wilkinson or any other aspects of his ministry (i consider his work with ‘walk through the bible‘ good teaching), i only desire to exalt the Gospel. what is the difference in what bruce says and what the Gospel says? bruce says that even if you’re a Christian that God has withheld His blessings from you (the ‘flood-waters of blessing’ as he says) and that He’ll give them to you if you systematically pray this rather obscure old testament prayer. i would challenge that idea and say that if you believe upon Christ for your salvation today, God has withheld nothing from you. in fact, he has already flooded all of the blessing you could ever imagine into your life, and that IS Jesus. He is ALL of the blessing. He is ALL our reward. He is sufficient for all of our needs and we should in Him be satisfied. what more could anyone possibly offer you? if you possess the very righteousness of Christ, which earns for you a share in the inheritance of the kingdom of God as though you were His very son or daughter, what more could there possibly be? what more blessing than His body and blood? what could anyone possibly offer more that Christ has already provided? this prayer does not, and cannot bring us “extra-ordinary favor with God,” only Christ can. if we truly understood and believed the Gospel, we wouldn’t look twice at a teaching like ‘the prayer of jabez,’ because it would have no power and nothing to offer.”

One of the classes I’m taking this summer is Music Appreciation. One of the requirements is a review of a live show, so I chose the Benjamin Gate show I went to last month. Just so my professor can get a idea of what they sound like I’m including a mix CD w/ the paper. The cover and insert I made for it aren’t as good as Amy’s mix, but I think it turned out ok (which isn’t saying much since they both use professional photos… pretty hard to screw that up.) Here‘s a screenshot of it (67k jpeg).

I used The GIMP to make some small adjustments to the photos, and MediaFace II to make the design itself. I used the Sylfaen, Conga and Georgia fonts.

Relvant Magazine has a decent article on spiritual growth. CNS News has another warning about the growing movement to legalize pedophilia. The Atlantic Monthly has an article about secondary virginity becoming a trend. It’s not really worth actually reading since the author only writes a few lines about the actual subject, and then rambles on for another page or two with nothing but mildly accurate similies; but I’m linking to it because the fact that a major, secular newspaper has a story about this is in-and-of-itself interesting.

This and this are good political cartoons on the state of Iran from Cox and Forkum.

This is a good article on community and political perspective from Meshereth Magazine.

Found this post on The Limey Brit blog about this quiz to see whether you can distinguish between real and fake photos.

“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (>>)

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (>>)

Lipsum

If you ever see a bunch of Latin text starting out with “‘Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet” it’s not just random letters and words garbled together. It’s actual text from The Extremes of Good and Evil by Cicero, a 45BC Latin treatese on ethics. It’s dummy text used when designing something (like, a webpage, for instance). It helps you to focus on the layout instead of being distracted by reading the actual text. There’s some good information, and a lipsum generator at lipsum.com.

Being ‘Cool’: Being Relevant

Jolly Napier makes the most beautiful music you’ve never heard… even if they are Red Wings fans.

Psalm 73:1 — “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.”

Cool thing is… He’s good to the rest of us, too.

“‘We were up against everyone in every other booth giving away free porn, but a Bible was so different than everything else that people wanted it,'” Gross said. ‘Plus, they know deep down that the porn in the bottom of their bags is going to leave them just as empty as when they came in.'” (>>)

Relevant’s Daily Slices is reporting that MxPx‘s new album, Before Everything and After, will be released on August 19th. I’m a happy, happy boy.

“‘Grace’ is the last U2 song we have chronologically, and that is a significant fact. Even if it can’t answer (as no one really can) what went wrong in the first place, it’s willing to acknowledge the source of healing: ‘Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.’ Its soft, patient tone is far from naive; it comes at the end of a hard life of asking questions. But it’s ready to hear God’s answer, when and in what form it comes.” (>>)

“I am hanging on every word you say.
And even if you don’t want to speak tonight
that’s alright, alright with me.
‘Cause I want nothing more
than to sit outside heaven’s door
and listen to you breathing,
is where I want to be.”
(>>)

Bono wrote an introduction to the book of Psalms:

“My religion could not be fiction but it had to transcend facts. It could be mystical, but not mythical and definitely not ritual…”

“…he had the humility of one who knew his gift worked harder than he ever would.”

“How long until creation grows up and the chaos of its precocious, hell-bent adolescence has been discarded?”

The federal government finally has the National Do-Not-Call Registry up and running. You can register your phone number the most telemarketers won’t be able to call you. The exceptions are long-distance phone companies, airlines, banks and credit unions,
insurance companies, political campaigns, charities and businesses with which you have a prior business relationship.

“No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.” (>>)

“Everything inside you knows,
there’s more than what you’ve heard.
So much more than empty conversation,
filled with empty words.
…burning at these mysteries.” (>>)

Some political articles:

“When I’m president, we’ll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day.” (>>)

“This proves two obvious points. First, the Left was dealt a terrible blow when Jesse Jackson stopped teaching them how to rhyme their slogans. Second, these people don’t know what they’re talking about.” (>>)

“Back in the 1980s and ’90s, lots of us chuckled at the spread of the “sensitivity” industry in schools. Words were removed from tests and books lest they hurt someone’s feelings, harm the classroom effort, or impair morals. Most of us assumed that this was a fad that would soon disappear as grown-ups in education exerted the rule of reason.” (>>)

Benjamin Gate show admission bracelet

The Benjamin Gate played their 6th and final show at the Gathering Grounds tonight. It’s their last tour because Adrienne is getting married to Jeremy Camp and, subsequently, the band is breaking up.

It was a pretty good show and overall was a good time. My Existence opened up for them. I’m not really into their style, but they were good at what they did. Bob really likes them, so he was having a good time. The Benjamin Gate didn’t play as long as I would have liked, but covered most of my favorites, except Heaven and Tonight. They ended up doing an extra song (Rush) because the crowd asked for it, which was nice; and they hung out afterwords and talked to people, which is always cool for a band to do.

It’s a real shame that they’re breaking up. It would have been really cool to see what future albums would have been like.

“We need You to come back and redeem Your creation. Make it holy and pure again. Make it a place that glorifies You the way You deserve to be glorified Lord.” (>>)

(Finally) uploaded the photos from my trip to D.C. a couple months ago.

“Lesson One: Stay off the elevator. Instead of riding the elevator at work or in your apartment building, use the stairs. There’s a reason stair-climbing machines are popular—it’s because walking up the stairs is good exercise. Find a well-maintained flight of stairs and frequent it.

“Lesson Two: Nearby parking is for sissies. By the time you’ve circled the Wal-Mart parking lot three times looking for the closest space, you could have parked way out on the perimeter and walked to the door already—while benefiting from some good activity. Next time you’re at the movie theater or the mall or the grocery store, forget waiting. Park as far away as you can and walk the distance. No one else will be out there, so at the least you’ll get fewer door dings.” (>>)

Good article from RelevantMagazine.com about the role of women in the church.

This is a good article from ChristianityToday.com about missionaries in Muslim countries.

Bob and I have been having fun this afternoon reading the following webpages:

“George Lucas quite naturally believes that he wrote ‘Starwars’, when, in reality, he was told telepathically what to write, by the very ‘Force’ to which the films refer…” (>>)

“Armageddon Survival Kit: Now You Can Immediately Discover, and begin learning, the simple plan how to guarantee your freedom, safety and immortality; if you follow it faithfully, without deviation. No other plan will work! Send US $50 (outside of Europe) for your personal pocket-sized Survival-Plan on CD” (>>)

“All of the modern translations of the Bible are WRONG. The only previous translation that is any good is the Original king James’ Authorised Version Bible and even it has been incorrectly translated in places and the Books in it are not in their correct chronological order. However, I have now completed the ‘King of kings Authorised Version of the Holy Bible’ under God’s/Allah’s supervision and I need a publisher for it. Can you help?” (>>)

“There exists a Plan against the New World Order. It is located at http://i.am/jah/plan.htm and explains to begin with, the fraud of all man-made legislation, including the 1787/1789 CON-stitution which most patriots are focusing all their efforts on protecting and defending. It shows clearly how it was given to us by the people of the New World Order in order to distract, deflect, and keep us away from God’s Law. The conspirators never could have set up the New World Order if God’s Law was in force, so they had to put in the Constitution.” (>>)

This is an eDevotion from Mike Sares, pastor of Scum of the Earth. It’s perfect. If something half as perfect as this is said when I die, I’ll be happy. They’re e-mailed out weekly. Instructions on how to subscrtibe are on their website.

Isaiah 57:1-2: “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”

Let’s face it — this life is not what it’s cracked up to be. The longer I live, the more I am confronted with the sorrows and pains of those around me (and my own). Seems like we’re all looking over our shoulders trying to outrun the next tragedy that’s gaining on us while we run headlong into an unexpected calamity.

But we press on. And then one of us dies. We mourn the loss of a fellow runner, especially if he was one who encouraged us in our own races. We succumb to the mistaken belief that this race is all there is. We forget that the goal of the race is to finish so that we can quit running. We are under the illusion that the earth is our home.

Still, some enjoy the running more than others. Typically, the young enjoy it more than the old; but the young man who has seen more than his share of pain and sorrow doesn’t look forward to more. He looks forward to the rest at the end of the race. He looks forward to being in the presence of Jesus. He looks forward to the life that is free from broken relationships, free from physical pain, free from pursuing demons, free from failed expectations. He delights in the life that is everlasting, and thus encourages us yet again.


REID JACOBSEN
Born: October 29, 1973
Died: June 21, 2003
MEMORIAL SERVICE THIS THURSDAY, 7PM
@ The Tollgate, 4200 E. Colfax & Ash
(Where we hold Scum of the Earth)

Reid died when his heart simply stopped beating this past weekend. We will miss him.

Godspeed, my friend.
Mike

This is a pretty cool ad for the Accord. It takes awhile to load, even on a broadband connection, so be patient. The cool thing is that everything in the ad actually happened, none of it was faked.

I’m a loser.

The Vocation of Motherhood

Not sure I agree with everything in this article–the author seems to be making a lot of assumptions, or, at least, not backing them up with anything–but it’s food for thought.

“American children are not starving for food, but they are starving for a more generous portion of their mothers’ presence in their lives. Instead of accepting personal sacrifice for the sake of their children, as do mothers in India, American mothers spend their energy debating how to have both a career and kids without missing a beat. It is tragic. Caught on this success-based, me-centered merry-go-round, mothers abandon six-week-old infants to virtual strangers at mercenary daycare centers. They put their school-aged children in before- and after-care programs that have the kids eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at school. Mothers leave kids just approaching their teens to be unsupervised latchkey kids.”

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (>>)

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

“I am the woman at the well, I am the harlot.
I am the scattered seed that fell along the path.
I am the son that ran away,
and I am the bitter son that stayed

“I am the angry man who came to stone the lover.
I am the woman there ashamed before the crowd.
I am the leper that gave thanks,
but I am the nine that never came.

“My God, my God, why hast Thou accepted me?” (>>)

“We’re always coming and going. Technology has given us convenient ways to leave. You can climb into a moving object tomorrow and start a whole new life, the only thing you have to carry over is the annoying little problem of yourself. Like crawling out of the womb a second time, only less cleanup required, or more. Depending on the situation.” (>>)

There’s a new edition of Marzipan’s Answering Machine up on HomestarRunner.com.

Communique Journal has a good interview with J.P. Moreland.

“Well, one of the greatest challenges I faced was being single until I was 29 years old. I had told the Lord that if He wanted me to be single, I was willing to do that if He would make Himself real to me. It was not what I wanted, but I was willing and I had enough confidence in Christ to know that He would not abuse that. Many of my friends began to get married, and I had to struggle with feelings of being left out, but I was able to work through that, to mature in that trust, and eventually God provided a wife for me and I was married at 29. But learning to work through that was a challenge.”

“C.S. Lewis once said that good philosophy must exist if for no other reason than that bad philosophy needs to be answered. I think that philosophy in recent years has earned the reputation that you’ve mentioned. I think that from the early 1900s up to about fifteen years ago, philosophy tended to be controlled by very secular, very liberal, very cynical, frequently arrogant people who often were not very socially gifted or interested in other people. If you go back, though, and look at the history of philosophy, this is an aberration–it hasn’t always been that way.”

eis•ege•sis noun: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas — compare exegesis.

A quote from Cheap Ways To…:

“STOP SPENDING ON STUPID STUFF

“Not that you don’t actually read Extreme Fisherman, but the cost of the magazine itself could compound over time to be worth more than the fishing boats pictured within. “Stupid stuff” is a space in the budget from which funds seem to never return, a black hole of sorts that eats money available for saving at the same rate as broken-down spacecrafts and other extraterrestrial trash.

“Stupid stuff comes in two kinds: stuff we buy, and stuff we subscribe to or pay for throughout the year. For example, the infomercial-advertised Ab-Flex or your daily Starbucks might fall under the former, while a homeowners warranty might fall under the latter. After all, if you’re paying $500 a year to cover the cost of repairing appliances, you’ll need to replace about an appliance a year to make up for the premium your paying.”

Don’t you hate it when your boss calls you into his office, and his voice is very serious, like he’s going to lay you off or something, but then it turns out to be something completely mundane?

One Day Photos

Finished putting the photos from Apex’s trip to One Day on the website.

Congratulations, You’re a Winner.

“Overzealous to say the least.
Underestimated, how far you could reach.
How could we know,
how far you’d go,
behind our backs to make sure your point is heard?
You’re better than us all.

“Does it really matter how far you go?
Can you get some sleep now,
standing on so many toes?” (>>)

“Why do you feel the need
to tell me about all your victories?
Do you challenge everyone you see?
And you think I’m impressed.
The truth is I’ve lost all interest,
and I’m sick of your B.S.”

“Cause I don’t wanna beat you.
I don’t know why you do,
Just know I don’t wanna beat you”. (>>)

“Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here,
Sin would reduce me to utter despair.
But through thy free goodness my spirit’s revived,
And he that first made me still keeps me alive.
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart.” (>>)

“O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.” (>>)

I’m So Proud!

Guess whose church ranks #1 when you type “church pranks” into Google.com?

Understanding the Separation of Church and State

As promised, here is my PLS102 paper on the separation of church and state.

“…the goal of the amendment is to maintain a balance where people are free to live their lives without the government interfering. Of course, there will be conflicts where one group doesn’t like what another is doing, but as long as that group is not causing reasonable harm to someone, they should not be prevented from freely exercising their beliefs (or lack thereof).”

Not sure I agree with all of it (the bit about culture), and it could use some serious editing, but this is a good article.

“Formulas are not usually successful, but they are a great deal more rhetorically impressive than wisdom, which is what God requires of us (Prov. 4:7). Wisdom requires knowing God; knowing his revelation in Jesus Christ, in creation, and in his Word, the Bible; knowing your divinely given personality and its strengths and weaknesses; knowing your spouse; knowing your children, knowing the particular culture in which you live.”


Theology is the art
of hiding your ignorance with arrogance
and calling it confidence.

John Piper’s views on salvation aside, this is a decent article.

Maybe Nietzsche was right…

Check out this and this. Obviously, they look like idiots and I don’t think many of us would take them seriously. But, then again, check out this and this.

I was all ready to write some joke about how stupid they must be… Obviously their style just looks fake and silly to me (and probably most of the type of Christians I hang out with), but maybe I’m just being a jerk. Teeny-boppers and rich-white-kids-who-think-they’re-poor-black-kids need the gospel, too. Thoughts?

“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (>>)

Not sure what to think about this.

I just finished making an image for the CD insert of a mix I made for a friend. I thought it turned out really well, but when I printed it the colors were a lot brigher and the lines aren’t defined as much, so it doesn’t look half as good. I guess that’s what you get for buying a $50 printer, although it’s worked great for everything else.

Anyway, I thought I’d post the image here so that at least somebody would see it as it was intended…

* before being printed

(boring details of how I made the images below… most of you probably won’t be interested)

For the cover, I wanted to use a drawing and phrase from an MxPx shirt, but that image was too small. So, I used Google’s image search to find this image. That image was an actual photograph of the real shirt, so it had lines and ruffles and all kinds of stuff, which actually turned out to be cool. But, after cropping the actual picture, it still wasn’t big enough for the CD cover, so, I used the GIMP’s “smart enlarge” script to blow it up without losing a lot of quality. Several hours later I had an image that would work. The drawing itself was the right size, but I hadn’t cropped enough of the background. So, instead of going through it all over, I just copied and pasted sections of the background to fill in the extra space, and used the Smudge tool to wipe out the lines and make it look clean. I didn’t like the font “boys are mean” was written in, so I covered that over and used AvantGarde BK BT.

For the second image, I chose a nice deep blue (not sure exactly, but it’s close to #5E8EB2) and made a symmetrical, conical gradient from the lower right-hand corner to the upper-left, leaving a decent amount of pure white in the upper-left. Then I ran the image through the GIMP’s Cubism filter, played with the tile size and saturation a bit, and that was it. Then, inside Mediaface II, I put the track list over top of it using the Conga font.

I wonder if anyone’s ever thought of refering to Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach as “Bert and Ernie.”


I think I’m the first.

Why Catholic?

Just found a very cool blog that documents the journey of a “generation x” (I hate that stupid term) Baptist pastor as he converted to Catholicism. Very well written, very interesting.

“Many Christians misinterpret Jesus’ promise of the ‘abundant life’ to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer. In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect heaven on earth.

“This self-absorbed perspective treats God as a genie who simply exists to serve you in your selfish pursuit of personal fulfillment. But God is not your servant, and if you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, either you will become severely disillusioned or you will live in denial of reality.

“Never forget that life is not about you! You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. Why would God provide heaven on earth when he’s planned the real thing for you in eternity? God gives us our time on earth to build and strengthen our character for heaven.” (>>)

Today‘s Strong Bad E-mail is the funniest Strong Bad E-mail ever.

Quote from Matt Morginsky of the Supertones:

“When I moved from New York to California I had a hard time fitting in. I was, well, a nerd. So at the age of twelve, I adopted a policy of pre-emptive rejection. That is to say, I became a rocker kid. You knew me: long hair, denim jacket in summer, rebellious, rude. It was working too! The problem I ran into was, hormones. Yep, I hit puberty with a vengeance and with it came an obsessive interest in getting a girl to kiss me. However, being shy, un-cool, not cute or even hygenic, proved to an obstacle. But then I got an idea while looking at my Guns ‘n Roses record. Guys in bands were ugly as sin, but they had loads of women.” (>>)

“To the character of Kurt Vonnegut”

Monkey‘s away message tonight:

“you know you have a good sense of humor when you’re still capable of laughing at yourself upon the realization that you just jogged 3 miles with your shorts on backwards. i think my face is turning red.

Quote from Ben

“Got to see Ainsley’s sister and brother-in-law briefly while they were in town for memorial day weekend. Every time they’re visiting, we get free adjustments since they’re both chiropractors. I’ve offered them free exorcisms, but no takers as of yet. =)” (>>)

One Day 2003

Philio just updated his blog w/ his experiences @ One Day. Apex is also having a recap service this Sunday night to give everyone who went a chance to tell their story.

“It’s the return of the…”

Bob and Crystal are back :)

Manhood 101.

“I don’t know what love is.
And I don’t know who I am.
And if I ever wanna find out,
I’ll watch the movie.
‘Cause it’s not me.” (>>)

Awesome quote from Robin, Refering to Mission Trips

“…I remember sitting in the park type area and reading that and thinking that it doesn’t really matter what has or hasn’t gotten accomplished, how jaw-dropping or simple and ordinary the results of our trip might be so long as we did it to glorify God, He’ll take care of the rest.”

HoustonChronicle.com has a good article on religious trends among whites and asians.

John 17:14-19 (>>)

Relevant Magazine has a pretty good article in their newsletter about being in the world, but not of it (seems to be a common theme developing around here…). It’s not on their website, so I’ve created a mirror here.

“Categories evolve into identifying more than activities and soon bleed into categorizing people. Now the Christian is limited not only by activities but also environment, campuses, government, stores and even church. The separatist cannot sanctify culture and so they retreat. They think, ‘Sure it is a depressing life, but we have to suffer for Christ right? This is what persecution is all about.’ They create a subculture filled with Christian books, Christian music, Christian clothes and Christian stores.”

“The Bible seems a little bit too intolerant. Conformists prefer supplemental reading from other walks of spiritualism, in order to relate with their world. They bash the Bride of Christ (the Church) in coffee shop talks with other conformists. In fact, the conformist that can throw the best punch at those separatists often gets the best applause from his or her fellow conformists.”

The fact that we have to jump through hoops like this just to read the Bible is really frustrating.

Ben just wrote a long update to his blog after being down for two weeks. Encouraging stuff. (permalinks are broken, it’s the May 25th post).

Last night Ralph, Phil, Dave, Mixer and I watched a cool movie called Equilibrium, and this morning Phil sent me a link to a webpage that had this cool quote from the writer:

“Action makes my heart pound just thinking about it. I’m in love with the heroic ideal which is probably kind of corny in an age of advancing cynicism but I can’t help it. For a man on film, there is no greater moment than the instant when he suddenly gives up everything he knows or thought he ever wanted and starts whipping [censored ;)] for love or principle.”

If you use AOL Instant Messenger, this might interest you. There’s a site called Buddy Zoo where you can submit your buddy list and see how many other people have you on theirs, get a degree of separation between you and someone else, see which buddies you share with someone else, see what cliques you’re part of, and some other cool stuff.

Business Week has a really good article about the gender gap in education. (Not that I read Business Week, but it was lying on a table at work and had this story on the cover.)

“It may still be a man’s world. But it is no longer, in any way, a boy’s. From his first days in school, an average boy is already developmentally two years behind the girls in reading and writing. Yet he’s often expected to learn the same things in the same way in the same amount of time. While every nerve in his body tells him to run, he has to sit still and listen for almost eight hours a day. Biologically, he needs about four recesses a day, but he’s lucky if he gets one, since some lawsuit-leery schools have banned them altogether. Hug a girl, and he could be labeled a “toucher” and swiftly suspended — a result of what some say is an increasingly anti-boy culture that pathologizes their behavior.

“If he falls behind, he’s apt to be shipped off to special ed, where he’ll find that more than 70% of his classmates are also boys. Squirm, clown, or interrupt, and he is four times as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That often leads to being forced to take Ritalin or risk being expelled, sent to special ed, or having parents accused of negligence. One study of public schools in Fairfax County, Va., found that more than 20% of upper-middle-class white boys were taking Ritalin-like drugs by fifth grade.”

If you’re interested in this stuff, there’s a good book by Christina Sommers called The War Against Boys. Oh, but, girls, don’t go getting a big head or anything… You still need us to squish your spiders and open your tightly-sealed jars ;)

Great quote from Carly’s blog:

“…to be perfectly and utterly honest, I’ve felt quite bitter towards Christians and Christianity as of late. Mostly because everyone who believes the same things I do seem to take to it so much easier than I am able. That may not be true, but it’s the way it feels. Perhaps everyone struggles in the same exact ways, but that’s not what I see. People can lift their hands and they can whisper affirming ‘yes, [God’s] and [‘amen’s] during all the prayers. I can do those things too, but not without thoroughly thinking out every reason I should. Others appear to do things without thinking, without wondering if their actions are a result of how they genuinely feel. Because there are so many things we do that are simply routines that have become just short of meaningless. Not only do the people who practice shallow gestures frustrate me, but also the people who practice pure and honest acts of worship. Just how do they do it?! And why can’t I do the same?! The truth is that I can, but I’m not sure how. People will say, ‘If you know God’s love, then it comes easy to praise Him,’ or ‘God’s grace is enough to humble me.'”

“Honesty is a hard attribute to find
when we all want to seem like we’ve got it all figured out
Let me be the first to say that I don’t have a clue
I don’t have all the answers
Not gonna pretend like I do

“Well I haven’t memorized all of the cute things to say
But I’m working on it
Maybe I’ll master this art form someday
If I quote all the lines off the top of my head
Would you believe
That I truly understand all these things I’ve read?” (>>)

“Don’t believe me
when I say
That I’ve got it down” (>>)

I Visited the American Dream and All I Got Was This Lousy Feeling That I Didn’t Belong

I visited D.C. this weekend. Maybe it was just being around my family (they always bring out the worst in me), but that city just put me in a bad mood the whole weekend.

I spent two hours walking around the Smithsonian…got bored. I stood in the park between the Washington Monument and the Capital Building…was unimpressed. I visited my cousins at the Ritz Carlton…ugliest place I’ve ever seen.

People always talk about how they want to get out of Dayton. I’m so glad I don’t live somewhere else. I can’t stand the pretension and stupidity of it all. Expensive cars. People waiting on you, like you’re some kind of royality and they’re your servant. $5 bagels. Ugly carpet and art everywhere. Not the kind of ugly most people think of. The kind of ugly that’s a throwback to fifteenth-century European royal decoration.

If I could pick anywhere else to live, it would be a third-story loft in Boston. All red brick and hardwood floors. Long rectangular windows looking over the city or Boston Harbor, letting lots of natural light in. But, only if it weren’t a big city with a bunch of people. Of course, I’d also have to convince my church to move with me. Just some place plain and simple. No BMWs. No Abercrombie and Fitch. No L.A. attitudes. No suits, steaks or symphonies. Just people who aren’t fake.

On the bright side, Josh did take some cool pictures, which he’s agreed to get double prints of for me. I know, I know. I need to get a camera and stop mooching doubles off of other people. He actually said that HP sells a decent digital camera for $45, which I’ll definitely get if it’s true. HP and Kodak both have cameras for $150, but I haven’t seen anything for $45 yet. Maybe I can find something on Half.com. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures posted to Snapfish in a week or so.

“I don’t belong here (I don’t belong)
I don’t belong here (I don’t belong)” (>>)

“Don’t wanna be known as a punk in first class.” (>>)

Now That Would Have Been a Kodak Moment

Check this out. Thanks to Heather for the link.

“Of course, there’s also the inevitable arm around my shoulder and the just-under-a-whisper, ‘Hey… You doin’ ok?’ And the automatic response, ‘Yeah. I’m good.’ Followed by, ‘You sure?’ which is quickly cut off by, ‘Yes. I’m good.’ Nodding heads all around.” (>>)

Quote from Matt’s journal (May 4th, 2003):

“I am 24 years old, and I like punk music more now than I did when I was fifteen. People always told me I was so supposed to grow out of it all.

“Maybe I have grown out of a lot. I have. I don’t put on a costume of cool every time I go out. I don’t need things like music or interests define who I am. Most people my age are the same way. Then again, some people define themselves by what car they drive, what floor their office is on, the type of pen they write with-did you know that? There is a whole scene of adults who love writing with expensive pens.”

The Resemblance is Uncanny


I’ve got a paper due for Political Science in a couple weeks and I need a topic. So, I’ve been looking through archives of the political cartoons I read looking for something. Haven’t found anything yet, but have found some other cool stuff:

If you’ve got any good ideas for the paper, feel free to comment…

This is a pretty good article @ Relevant Magazine about Christians and Christian themes in the mainstream music scene. Pretty encouraging…

“‘We need to go back to the way it was 30 years ago, when everybody had Grandma and Grandpa, and we were willing to pass moral judgments about right and wrong,’ said Steven Tyler, 53, the lead singer of the famously hedonistic rock band Aerosmith.”

“One of the best songs on the album is a duet called ‘Joy’ that Jagger sings with U2’s Bono (with guitar from The Who’s Pete Townsend): ‘And I drove across the desert / I was in my four-wheel drive / I was looking for the Buddha / And I saw Jesus Christ.’

This is a pretty good article from Boundless Webzine last week.

“I wanted to love God on more than a purely cerebral and factual basis. I knew who God was, that His Son died for me and that I would spend eternity with Him, but I felt detached. I knew that if someone asked me who God really was, I would only recite dusty Sunday School mantras and prescribed axioms. My heart and mind remained disconnected and I longed to unite them. But how could I ever come to truly know and love someone I couldn’t see? Was it possible?”

Deliverance from Slavery

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did … He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us … the mind set on flesh is death … However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit … if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you have not recieved a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have recieved a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!'” (>>)

We’re leaving here tonight.
There’s no need to tell anyone,
They’d only hold us down.
So by the morning light
We’ll be half way to anywhere,
Where love is more than just Your name.

(>>)

Women in Combat

This is a pretty good, although a bit harsh, article about the women-in-combat debate. The moral aspect, rather than the practice, is the more interesting.

“It will require training men and women to regard the brutalization of women, and a woman’s brutalization of others, as normal and acceptable. To train the men properly, a woman commissioner observed, we must erase everything their mothers taught them about chivalry; i.e., that a real man protects a woman from harm. Instead, they must be trained to brain a woman with a pugil stick in training.”

Let’s Recap the Night…

Let’s recap the night…

1) Young’s Dairy ice cream…good
2) Say Anything… good
3) Missing the off-ramp and almost going off the road…bad
4) That road dead-ending at a military base…bad
5) Convincing the nice MP at the entrance that you’re not drunk…good
6) Making a wrong turn and going onto the military base…bad (just a side note…you’d think getting onto a military base would be a little bit harder than that, ya know?)
7) Convincing a van full of MPs that you’re not a terrorist…good
8) Getting off the military base without getting shot…good
9) Not running over any of the 800 drunk kids running through the streets of WSU‘s campus because it’s some stupid “may daze” day where everyone gets drunk and runs through the streets…good (well, depending on your point of view, anyway)

I think this quote makes it all worth it:

Robin: Is that a cop?
Me: Well, it’s not the ice cream man.

Kudos to Ken for putting together the March 9th article.

Driving home from work I got the desire to do something creative, and this is what resulted. The lyrics are from from Caedmon’s Call‘s song Before There Was Time. Yeah, so it’s not that good, or special; and it didn’t take a whole lot of talent, but I like it anyway.

“As I get older (is this why?) most arguments seem to turn out to be about words, not about ideas.” (>>)

I haven’t really had anything to post for the past couple of days, so I’m pulling this out of my “rainy day” file… It’s a paper a wrote for a Political Science class last quarter. Let me know what you think. For this quarter I’m writing one on “Understanding the Seperation of Church and State”, which I’ll probably start writing pretty soon.

Issue #5 is out over @ 28mm.org. As usual, the photos range from the cool, to the stupid to the pointless.

Kicking it Old School


Does anyone else remember Bobby’s World? I used to watch that all the time, don’tchyaknow.

Will The Real Hussein Please Stand Up? (>>)

Phil sent me a link to this parody and it’s hilarious.

No Words…

Just got two different pieces of spam selling these:

Childhood Memories

One day in third grade we had a substitute teacher. She was probably right out of college and was definitely very pretty. At recess she took our class to the playground. A few kids scattered to go play basketball, or climb on the jungle gym or do some other thing kids do at that age during recess, but most of us just followed her around the way your dog follows you when you’re carrying a plate of food from the kitchen to your bedroom.

At one point we were all gathered near the swings, and, being the stupidly cute kid that I was I figured that I would impress her with a daring feat of skill and bravery, thus wining her heart forever (or at least until three o’clock). So, I ran over to one of the empty swings and started swinging as fast and as high as I could. With hope fueling my dreams a boatload of kenetic energy fueling my body, I jumped.

It would have been great. I would have flown a good seven feet, landing in a thick cloud of dust and gravel. I would have impressed not only our beautiful new substitute, but also all the girls in my class who had yet to fall for my coke bottle glasses and third-grade wit. I would have been a legend… if my shirt hadn’t gotten caught on the the swing. As it was, my shirt ripped in half, I lost my balance and landed flat on my face.

And that has been a metaphor for my love life ever since.

“The kind of faith that doesn’t fade away” (>>) (>>)

Here‘s a really good article about our Secretary of Education, Rod Paige.

This is a pretty good article about the factual holes in Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine film that just won an Oscar.

Thanks to Kevin for linking to this really good article on his blog.

“That’s because, as is my wont, my self-absorption causes me to miss the point and blinds me to the central and distinctive role that memory plays in biblical faith…” (>>)

Those Very Few Times

This is an eDevotion from Mike Sares @ Scum of the Earth. You can subscribe to them by e-mailing Perikatharmata(REMOVETHIS)@aol.com.

The idea of “worship” was never that clear to me. Sometimes I didn’t feel I was worshipping God because I had no feelings when I was at church (then, of course, some well-meaning Christians would make me feel worse by hinting about how unspiritual I was). Sometimes I would want to worship so badly that I would go along and act the part of the dynamic worshipper, hoping the feelings would follow. I felt like a fake sometimes, and other times it was just okay. Some people said worship was singing songs and reciting scriptures; other said no, worship was about what you did with your life. Some people said it was a mindset of “ascribing great worth [as in
worth-ship]” to Jesus. And then there have been those very few times in my life when I was overcome by the love of God and really can’t describe the experience.

So I did a study of the words commonly translated “worship” in the Bible. Here ing in many expressions of thanks to God.

What I derived was that worship is basically two things: REVERENCE & SERVICE.

The REVERENCE part leaves all sorts of room for strong feelings within the course of worship — sometimes you fall face down because you can’t stand up! It also leaves room for very little feeling within the course of worship — sometimes you pay homage or kneel out of respect for the Lord.

The SERVICE part doesn’t require feelings at all — you serve God and others, period. Sometimes you feel wonderful when you are serving Him and others, sometimes you don’t.

Hope this helps,
Mike

If I Ever Get a Dog I’m Gonna Name Him “Diefenbaker”

“Just Pretended for a While” (>>)

You can listen to Blindside‘s newest album here and the new Further Seems Forever album here.

Kristi has started her own blog.

Tracy Apps

Awesome website

Highlights:

The next big threat in the War on Terror…

Rock the Vote

Who thinks Robin should dye her hair blue? Vote in the comments…

Ephesians 4:14-16 (>>)

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it’s work.”

Learning From Our Mistakes

Josh just wrote a good article for his blog about the anti-American/anti-War ideology.

Ahem…

“We find ourselves… facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million –who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will loose this war.” (>>)

You were saying?

Everybody welcome Chris Mack to the Apex Blogging Crew®. And then go listen to Stavesacre. ‘Cause they rock.

1st Kings 19:11-12 (>>)

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

I came across an awesome quote on Lisa’s blog:

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”
-George Washington

It‘s True!

Meijer is selling The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot for $9.58 (after tax). Although, I think I got the last one @ the 741/Alex Bell location; you might wanna try Wilmington Pike.

They also had:

  • July for Kings – Swim
  • Juliana Theory – Love
  • Taking Back Sunday – Tell All Your Friends

for under $10 but I want to download a few songs to see if they’re good before buying them. There are two MP3s from Swim here and two from Tell All Your Friends here.

UPDATE: After listening to those four MP3s, I decided not to go back for any of those albums. I’ll keep “Normal Life” by July for Kings, but the other three weren’t that good.

I just got the funniest spam over ICQ:

131193763: Hey, yankee!! Want 11/9??? No War!!! Go home!!!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003 :: 11:45 PM

1st Corinthians 2:6-9 (>>)

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has concieved
what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003 :: 8:22 PM

Microsoft Has Actually Done Something Useful

This is cool enough to trump any prejudices I have against Microsoft… MSN Autos will actually give you an (incomplete) list of gas prices in your area so you can choose the cheapest! You’ll have to setup an account, then give them your area code and make/model of your car, then goto “Gas Prices” under “My Car”.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003 :: 7:18 PM

Back from Mexico, part three: Favorite Verses

These are the verses that were running through my head and/or impacted me the most last week:

Tuesday, April 1st, 2003 :: 6:17 PM

One Cool and Two Funnies

Kevin blogged about these cool photographs from the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Phil sent me links to this and this.

Monday, March 31st, 2003 :: 9:22 PM

Back from Mexico, part two: Pictures to Prove It (>>)

I’ve scanned the best pictures from the trip and uploaded them to Snapfish. You can check out the album here. (If you don’t already have a Snapfish account, you’ll have to create one, but it’s fairly painless).

Monday, March 31st, 2003 :: 8:46 PM

Psalm 32: 8-9 (>>)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.”

Psalm 62: 8 (>>)

“…pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 139: 23-24 (>>)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Monday, March 31st, 2003 :: 5:15 PM

Back from Mexico, part one: The Pros and Cons

Pros:

Cons

Friday, March 21st, 2003 :: 7:06 AM

Day by Day

Josh just blogged about a new online cartoon called Day by Day. It’s pretty good, check out March 12th, 16th, 19th and 21st.

This’ll probably be my last post for about a week; I’m leaving for Mexico early (very early…disgustingly early) tomorrow morning. I think Ken and Ralph are planning on putting prayer requests on the front page of ApexCommunity.net every day that we’re there, so you can check those our if you’re interested. Hasta luego.

Thursday, March 20th, 2003 :: 6:45 PM

“One of the many nice things about the Garden of Eden was that florescent lighting was not in the blueprints (God, at least, has taste).” (>>)

Thursday, March 20th, 2003 :: 3:22 PM

Another One…

This one looks like Kate Pauling, it’s from tracfone.com:

Wednesday, March 19th, 2003 :: 6:14 PM

All My Best Friends are Actors (>>)

I swear I keep seeing ads on Yahoo Mail with actors that look like Apexers. Today, it was Crystal:

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003 :: 11:53 PM

My Extremely Pedantic MP3 Organization System

Just to give a humorous glimpse into my personality… About two or three years ago, after I had collected maybe one or two hundred MP3s, I waded through them all, making one slight change. That change? I found all the artists who use their name as their band name and made sure the file was in the format of “Lastname, Firstname – Song Title.mp3”. What am I? A doctor’s office or something?

Ralph, you should be happy that all I ask is that you don’t save stuff on the root of c:\ on the Apex Media Creation PC. Which reminds me, you put another video there! Seriously, is it time for some church discipline? (And, by that, I mean a series of very well planned, very public practical jokes of which you are the target…)

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003 :: 5:48 PM

Links

With the help of Ken the blogLINKS and otherLINKS sections on your left now randomly choose 3 links from a list. Each time you visit they’ll be different.

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003 :: 2:27 PM

Check out Autumn Rushes On.com for some mad phatty photography.

Monday, March 17th, 2003 :: 6:16 PM

Corrections, Retractions, Apologies

Correction: No matter what Phil Chuang tries to tell you, I do NOT, repeat, not like Tom Jones! Sheesh, you make one stupid joke about a guy’s chest hair and all of the sudden you can’t escape it.

Retraction: I removed my last post with the quote saying how easy it is to be lazy about the things that make us happy and complete (like prayer and Bible study). I took it down because of the cuss word in the quote. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with it, and neither did several strong Christian friends of mine, but a couple other strong Christian friends were concerned about it. It’s definatly a grey issue, and I’m not really sure if I should have taken it down or left it up. But, I’m too busy to wade through all the minute points of such a unimportant issue. It’s a stumbling block to others, so, I took it down. See Philippians 4:8, Ephesians 5:1-21 and Romans 14.

Apology: Sorry I haven’t updated anything in a week, but I’ve been really busy with school, work, Apex and getting ready for Mexico. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that? I’m going to Mexico w/ Apex for a week over Spring Break to do some construction in Morelos. That, and, I haven’t really come across anything worthy of posting.

Monday, March 10th, 2003 :: 8:29 PM

Robin Just Said the Most Profound Thing I’ve Heard in Months

“I’m not a big fan of geology myself…….
the only thing a rock is good for is throwing”
*

*If you know Robin then you know why that’s so funny coming from her.

Thursday, March 6th, 2003 :: 3:38 PM

“Beauty is not democratic;
she reveals herself more to the few than to the many…”

C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 5th, 2003 :: 6:31 PM

Pranks

Practical jokes are commonplace @ Apex. Like the time we put a couple hundred ballons in Rob’s office or reversed all his books; or the time that Crystal’s Boo doll was hung from the Sanctuary ceiling and she couldn’t find it for days. Most recently, Jamie and I have played a couple good ones on Robin, which she has been kind enough to document on her blog, here and here.

Tuesday, March 4th, 2003 :: 7:49 PM

It’s funny. Laugh.

Can you believe he actually did that?
I can’t decide if it’s sad or frightening.
Actually, it’s both.

 

For a more conventional, and less disturbing, laugh… check out the video (streaming Windows Media Video) for “Sometimes I Don’t Mind” by the Suicide Machines. Or listen to “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen.

Thursday, February 27th, 2003 :: 5:09 PM

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Fred Rogers

Thursday, February 27th, 2003 :: 4:15 PM

Support Your Local Music Scene

Bob sent me a link to a group blog ran by some students @ WSU, which has a link to another group blog which has a link to a cool local band in Alabama who have some free MP3s @ MP3.com. I recommend First and Final and Missing Something.

A good band out of Iowa State University that I found on MP3.com awhile ago is Bolsa De Papas. But their MP3s aren’t there for some reason. Oh well, they’re still good.

If you want to kick it old school (hey, it was three years ago, that counts) then check out Hermon’s Dew. They’ve got some streaming Real Audio; Trees is an awesome song. Apex bands rock.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003 :: 6:35 AM

“Orthodoxy is, in the truest sense, sanity.”

A Blog Apart has a great response to an article written criticizing orthodoxy.

Tuesday, February 25th, 2003 :: 11:22 AM

Department of Defense

The DoD has some pretty cool photos @ Defenselink.mil.

Monday, February 24th, 2003 :: 8:20 PM

The Concept of a Just War

I’m hessitant to post this, because I’m just about as sick of this debate as you probably are. But, if you’re interested, here‘s a pretty decent article on it.

Monday, February 24th, 2003 :: 8:04 PM

Relevant Magazine

I think I may have judged Relevant Magazine before giving it enough of a chance. Obviously there’s some pretty illogical, well-intentioned-but-not-well-thought-out and just plainly unbiblical stuff there, but at least they let more orthodox viewpoints be heard occasionally and have some logical, encouraging, biblical stuff, too. It’s also a good idea to read stuff you disagree with, of course. But sometimes, at least for me, it’s very hard to do that without getting extremely frustrated.

I signed up for their 850 Words of Relevant newsletter, and I’ll probably read some more of the articles on the site over the next couple of weeks… So, we’ll see. In the end, it’ll probably be stuff like this that’ll keep me coming back.

(Bob, I know you read it… I’d apprectiate any insight you’ve got. I still don’t see how you can stomach The Ooze, though ;))

Sunday, February 23rd, 2003 :: 6:10 PM

Rumfeld’s Rules

Ben‘s got a great link on his blog to [Donald] Rumsfeld’s Rules. They’re kinda like Proverbs, only funnier. It’s a PDF document, so you’ll need Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader to view it.

Thursday, February 20th, 2003 :: 8:30 PM

Motive Check

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve got something down, and then you realize you’re not even close?

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1-4

Thursday, February 20th, 2003 :: 8:19 PM

Ghetto Fabulous! (>>)

Ghetto Fabulous!

Thursday, February 20th, 2003 :: 7:10 PM

The Funniest Thing I’ve Seen All Month

Josh had a link to a hilarious video in his away message today. You can view it embeded into a webpage here or download it directly here. It’s an 18MB Quicktime file, so I’d recommend downloading it directly.

Thursday, February 20th, 2003 :: 5:54 PM
Sometimes Truth is More Disgusting Than Fiction

Sometimes truth is more disgusting than fiction

Please forgive me for the crude nature of the following post. But, I feel it is my duty to bring this issue into the cultural dialogue, as it is, in my eyes, one of the most reprehensible habits known to man. Parents, I strongly urge the use of caution in discerning whether or not to let children under the age of 7 read this post.

Ok, so, I’m at work and nature calls. So, I walk across the hall to the men’s bathroom. There’s a man from one of the other companies in the building in the other stall, and, forgive me for being vulgar, but from the sound of things whatever he ate for lunch wasn’t exactly agreeing with him. (Stick with me here, there’s a point to all of this.) Well, this man, we’ll call him Bill, finishes his business, and leaves. What’s wrong with this picture? Why am I not excited that Bill, and the remnants of his lunch, are no longer waging war against my nostrils? THE SICK JERK NEVER WASHED HIS HANDS! Can you believe that? The only thing between Bill’s hand and some incredibly disgusting stuff was a thin sheet of paper…and he doesn’t take 15 seconds to wash his freaking hands? Do you know how many things he’ll touch that other people will have to touch? What if he shakes somebody’s hand? I had to touch the same door handle that he touched! What’s wrong with this guy?

I swear, people should be shot for this sort of thing.

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003 :: 8:25 PM

“Forgetting all I’m lacking, completely incomplete” (>>)

Lifehouse has recorded a worship album under the name “Mr. Tumnus,” a character from The Chronicles of Narnia. The release date hasn’t been announced yet, but it won’t be released on Dreamworks, Lifehouse’s label.

Until then, check out Lifehouse’s video for Spin [ streaming Real Video (low) | streaming Real Video (High) | streaming Windows Media ].

Monday, February 17th, 2003 :: 1:21 AM

Two Contents, Two Realities

Two Contents, Two Realities” by Francis Schaeffer is pretty good. It outlines the four basic things we need to evangelize: sound doctrine, honest answers to questions, true spirituality and loving relationships with others. It’s only about 25 pages, so it’s a pretty quick read. As far as I can see, it’s only available now as part of “25 Basic Bible Studies.”

Sunday, February 16th, 2003 :: 11:32 PM

Some Miscellany to Close Out the Weekend

Listening to one of the Faded Me demos yesterday it hit me how much they rock. You can listen to some of the songs over at their website.

Narnia.com is a cool site w/ info on C.S. Lewis‘s Chronicles of Narnia (Props to Robin for pointing it out). Apparently, there’s going to be a movie directed by the same guy who did Shrek sometime. Awesome. Incidentally, it looks like there’s going to be a Shrek 2 next summer :) Hopefully it’ll live up to the first one.

Pax217 has videos for Prizm [ Real Video (Dial-Up) | Real Video (Broadband) ], A.M. [ Real Video (Dial-Up) | Real Video (Broadband) ] and a few others on their website. For some reason the broadband one for Prizm is 30MB while the others are normal (~10MB).

Found a hilarious quote in the Slashdot discussion over Google buying Pyra Labs:


“Sweet screaming monkeys would that be pointless. Blogs are like dreams; they’re only interesting to the people they belong to. If by some freakish twist of fate I cared about your last trip to Reno or what kind of sandwich you ate last week, I’d ask you.”
(>>)
Friday, February 14th, 2003 :: 11:55 AM

Thieves!

Ok, I can see the name as being a coincidence, maybe. But, check this out. Orange-carpeted building inherited from a mother church? They’re totally ripping us off ;)

Thursday, February 13th, 2003 :: 12:20 PM

You Get a Cookie

Many Kudos to Bob for pointing out that Further Seems Forever has a new video for The Sound. You can view it embedded into a webpage here, or download it directly here [ Quicktime ].

Wednesday, February 12th, 2003 :: 8:12 PM

2nd Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

I guess I just need to be reminded sometimes. Thanks.

Monday, February 10th, 2003 :: 7:26 PM

The Man

Check out Elvis Costello’s video (streaming Windows Media) for “45.” You can tell someone’s a good songwriter when they use that much rhyme and it doesn’t sound stupid.

Ralph, you might like the video itself. I think it goes with the music really well, but, that might be some really simple technique, I dunno. Anyway, enjoy.

Also, “Dope Nose” [ streaming Real Video | streaming Windows Media Video ] and “Keep Fishin'” [ streaming Real Video | streaming Windows Media Video ] by Weezer are incredibly tight.

Oh, and “Spin” [ streaming Real Video (low) | streaming Real Video (high) | streaming Windows Media Video ] by Lifehouse and “My Friends Over You” [ streaming Real Video (100k) | streaming Real Video (300k) | streaming Windows Media Video ] by New Found Glory.

(Sorry, one more…)“Gone” [ streaming Real Video (56k) | streaming Real Video (broadband) | streaming Windows Media Video ] by The Bouncing Souls. Those guys are putting out as much of a good, clean (in the auditory, not moral, sense), energetic sound as The Descendents did on their last record. Kudos.

Sunday, February 9th, 2003 :: 11:05 PM

Behind the Net dot org

Josh had some great links in his away message tonight. And he’s also got his blog finished.

Sunday, February 9th, 2003 :: 10:27 PM

Summit Six12

www.SummitSix12.com is up and running. Mad fatty props to Marty for the quick, cheap, and incredibly well designed website.

And just incase you’re wondering, Summit Six12 is the youth ministry @ Apex.

Saturday, February 8th, 2003 :: 11:08 AM

I swear I’m gonna hit the next person who calls us “the postmodern generation”

Check out Mere Comments for February 8th (I’d give you a direct link, but his archive links are broken). The article he refers to is here, but read his blog about it first.

Lithurgy and all that isn’t exactly my style, but I am getting pretty sick of the arrogance of all those who think they’re saving the church from these old, out of touch people who’ve screwed it all up. Whatever. You’re just as sinful as anyone else, and your churches have just as many problems as theirs, yours are just different problems. I want to puke every time someone says we need to “market” the church. We’re not a business, we’re the church! Jesus didn’t have flashing neon signs, slick TV ads, and direct mailers. He ministered to people. Healed their physical and spiritual sickness, confronted them with truth, offered them a chance to follow Him. That’s it. And don’t tell me that “times have changed.” So we’ve got computers and cars and skyscapers. So what? People are the same now as they were two thousand years ago.

Using a praise and worship band instead of a choir is a valid style of worship, but it’s just a style. It’s your style, it’s what you like. It’s not more spiritual than a choir. God doesn’t smile on your more because you’re so much more modern and hip than those old people stuck in their silly traditions down the street. Using the web and multimedia are valid styles, but they’re just styles. If they’re preaching the gospel and and making disciples, get out of their way.

“Postmodernism is parasitical: it lives off the achievements and failures of modernism but offers nothing positive of its own. Its only construction is deconstruction. True, some edifices need to be demolished, but architectural awards are not given to wrecking crews.” – J.I. Packer

Friday, February 7th, 2003 :: 11:48 PM

From Matt’s journal a few days ago:

“Though some kids got married in high school, most got married in college. That wasn’t too long ago. Here in 2003, marrying that young seems ludicrous. But back then ‘waiting till my thirties to get married’ seemed like a miserable wait for no reason. Today, it’s like it becomes more and more ‘cool’ to wait till you get older to get married. But I don’t believe that crap. That mentality is a response from a society of individuals who never got to know themselves in their youth, and had to waste all of their twenties wearing out their selfish lifestyle. Sleeping around and buying things didn’t make them happy, so they quick get married while they can still have kids that they’ve worked so hard not to have.”

Also, a nice background from one of the websites he designs.

Thursday, February 6th, 2003 :: 11:16 PM

The Valley of Himnon (>>)

You need to read this.

* The “>>” link is to an MP3 file. Right-click and “Save Target As”, then save it somewhere on your computer. Then, find the file and open it. If you need an MP3 player you can get one here.

Thursday, February 6th, 2003 :: 11:52 AM

How to Start a Fire

Bob’s got some useful info on the new Further Seems Forever album over @ his blog.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2003 :: 8:24 PM

Wayhuh*

I’ve officially been blogged about.

* “Wayhuh” is a Jamieism, a southern-accented contraction of “Well, huh.” Which is funny, ’cause Jamie’s from Buffalo.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2003 :: 8:48 PM

I love Ken’s sense of humor

Check out this post on Apex’s forums.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2003 :: 5:27 PM

“You call that talking something out??”

Zits

Yeah, pretty much…

Tuesday, February 4th, 2003 :: 1:26 PM

The GIMP

The GIMP

No, it’s not a teenage insult, a disabled person or a character from Pulp Fiction that I’d really rather not talk about, it’s the GNU Image Manipulation Project; an image editor on par (well, almost) with Photoshop but completely free and open source.

It comes in pretty handy. For instance, I’d been looking for an image to replace the default one that came w/ this blog template–well, actually, I have a good idea for creating my own, but that’ll have to wait until I borrow someone’s digital camera–and I saw “Tuned In” @ 28mm.org. After checking w/ the photographer to get his permission, I replaced the old image with it. But, it didn’t really look right, so, I ran it through one of the GIMP’s filters to create the fuzzy border, and now it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

The GIMP was written for Linux, but there’s a Windows port, so don’t worry if you haven’t jumped off that cliff yet.

Monday, February 3rd, 2003 :: 10:34 PM

Switchfoot

Switchfoot wallapaper

Came across this Switchfoot fansite thanks to this blog. Check it out. Here are some of the highlights:

Monday, February 3rd, 2003 :: 12:00 AM

“Wow”

The Two Towers

Ralph and I went to see The Two Towers tonight. Wow.

I think my favorite part in the first one, and in this one too, is how the film paints the struggle between good and evil. Not the one between armies fighting along clearly divided lines, but the individual one. Where you make a right choice, resist a temptation, only to give into it two hours later. But then you look back and it’s clear that the only way you’ve gotten as far as you have is grace.

Ofcourse, those huge battle scenes take a close second ;)

PittsburgLive.com has a very good article about all that. (The struggle, not the huge battle scenes)

But now the weekend is over, and it’s back to the daily grind (the tedius, boring, you-do-it-because-you-have-to stuff, not the coffee shop on Brown Street). Gotta wake up in 6 hours and go to class. But, at least after that I’m going to the new building to watch Expanets finish installing our phone system, and get some info from them about what I need to do to hook up a few more phone lines and tie in our DSL line once they leave. When they’re done I can also finish a little bit more of our network. And, ofcourse, it’s always fun to abuse Crystal ;)

“His grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.”

(>>)

Saturday, February 1st, 2003 :: 10:01 PM

Children of Dune

The Children of Dune

The SciFi Channel is making The Children of Dune! This rocks! They did a great job with the first one. I can’t wait to see this one. Trailers in various sizes and formats are here, or you can download 320×180 Quicktime movies directly:

Saturday, February 1st, 2003 :: 5:28 PM

I usually listen to music while driving, and last night I realized what a good, solid, underestimated album “Facing Changes” by Hangnail is. As far as signed bands go, they’re one of the smaller ones that you think are good, but don’t really listen to a lot, but that’s just a really stinking good album. I’ve also noticed that about that about “Stereo Girl” by Element 101. Hangnail has a new album called “Transparent” coming out April 22nd; it’d probably be worth getting if I didn’t have so many other good CDs on my wishlist allready.

In other news, my oldest sister Meryn’s birthday was yesterday. I hadn’t had the time to get anything for her earlier in the week, but, a group of us went to O’Charley’s after the Grace Among Thieves show. While we were waiting for a table I went down the street to Half Price Books and did some last minute shopping (I’m gonna be a great husband, I can already tell ;)). I found some cool movies I think she’ll like:

Those, and a gift certificate from DSW Shoes and she should be all set.

Friday, January 31st, 2003 :: 1:30 PM

Country Code Extentions

Ever see a TLD(?) in a URL or e-mail address and wonder, “what country is that?” Here‘s a list of them all. Enjoy.

Oh, and, Bob, here‘s a map of Tonga.

Thursday, January 30th, 2003 :: 5:28 PM

What about Bob?

Bob thinks I should blog. I don’t know.

Time.gov – Exact time in the U.S.

The Summit Six12 website is coming along very nicely. Marty is a really good designer. Should be online in a few days.

The new Apex building’s phone system and network are also coming along nicely, and should be operational soon.

Monday, November 25th, 2002 :: 5:47 PM

pax domini sit semper vobiscum

Insanity test

Monday, November 25th, 2002 :: 5:31 PM

“Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.”

C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 25th, 2002 :: 4:30 PM

An eDevotion from Mike Sares, pastor of Scum of the Earth, a church plant in Denver, CO.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter three

Paul is talking about his life here. He is comparing it to a foot race. I don’t think the prize is a crown of gold or a special edition harp which he will be awarded in Heaven.

Just before this passage, Paul wrote about grabbing onto all that God has grabbed him for. He had been passionately writing about getting to know Jesus. The prize of which Paul writes, I believe, is two things: becoming who we are and fully knowing God, the great “I am.”

In heaven we will become all that we were created to be. Think of the talents we have wasted, the sins that have damaged our souls, the relationships which we cannot mend. Our prize in heaven is that we will finally be perfect and in a perfect universe. All our highest dreams will be within our reach and we will hold them at last. We will be a blessing to ourselves, to others, and to God himself — forever.

In addition to that, the greatest adventure of all will be to explore the love of our Creator. We will know God in deeper and deeper ways, and the relationship will continue unhindered for eternity. We will be falling in love with God without stopping. All our questions will be answered continually, as they come up. We will at last understand how wildly, and fully, and joyfully we are loved by the great I am merely because we are.

By His grace,
Mike

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