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.
"Orthodoxy is, in the truest sense, sanity."
A Blog Apart has a great response to an article written criticizing orthodoxy.
Department of Defense
The DoD has some pretty cool photos @ Defenselink.mil.
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.
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.
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
Ghetto Fabulous! (>>)
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.
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.
"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.
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."
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." (>>)
Right, ok, it's Valentine's Day. Here's How it's Gonna Go Down…
I'll head over to the library to pick up Grosse Point Blank. I'll go in, see the movie, and, just as I reach for it, the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my entire life will also be reaching for it. We'll both politely draw our hands back and say "oh, you can have it." Being the chivalrous gentleman that I am, I'll insist that she take it. And, being the noble woman that she is, she'll gracefully accept. Then–and, here's the part where my pathetic scheme pays off–she'll notice my Apex fleece, and say something like "Oh, wow, you go to Apex?" I'll say yes and she'll explain how she just moved to Dayton from Montana (her dad's an engineer with the Air Force, you see) and she's been coming to Apex for a few weeks and thinks it's where God wants her to call home. There'll be an akward pause, and then I'll ask if she'd like to watch the movie together.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Normally that would sound like a stupid pick-up line from some jerk who's just trying to take advantage of a beautiful, Godly woman; and, normally, she, of course, would refuse. But this isn't normal. This is divinely appointed.
So, being the divine appointment that it is, she accepts. We hit it off instantly. She has the most amazing countenance: quiet and peaceful and full of joy (Yes, even more joy than Kristi Gleason!). We make jokes throughout the whole movie, and it's feels like we've know each other our whole lives. Her personality fit perfectly with mine, and after two hours we both agree that we were meant to be together.
So, don't be surprised if y'all get a wedding invitation in the mail next week.
Update, 6:40PM: Oh Lord, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
You want to know what happened? Ok, here it is. I checked that stupid "eCatalog" before I left and it said that they had Grosse Point Blank in stock. But, just as I was heading out the door, a thought occured to me: "hey, this would make a good post to your blog" "huh, you're right, good thinking." So, I sit back down, login, and type out my beautiful plan. Then, after it's spell-checked and reworded four or five times, I hit "publish" and I'm on my way.
So, I get there, and, after holding the door open for a pretty young lady who, I thought, just might have been my aforementioned future wife, I headed over to the movie section. Well, guess what. It wasn't there. Nope. Someone had allready gotten it. And you know what? It was her. Yeah, the girl from my plan. I missed her, all because Bob conviced me to start this stupid blog. Instead of running into the girl of my dreams, I was at home, alone, at my computer, on the Internet. It's all your fault Bob! "This is the burning of a dream"
Oh, and, ofcourse, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day if the world didn't torture me just a little bit more… On the way home I noticed that I was almost out of gas. So, I pull into my friendly neighborhood Shell, and ofcourse, the only pump available is the one without Pay at the Pump. As if that weren't enough, the magnanimous OPEC Cartel has decided that we, quite frankly, don't pay enough for oil, so it cost me $18.38 to fill up my tank. Eighteen dollars and thirty-eight cents to fill up a four-dour sedan. Oh, and I owe the IRS $138, because, you know, they really haven't taken enough out of my paychecks already. Perfect.
I've always known that God had a dark sense of humor, but this is a little much, even for Him.
You Get a Cookie
2nd Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
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.
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.
Behind the Net dot org
And just incase you're wondering, Summit Six12 is the youth ministry @ Apex.
I swear I'm gonna hit the next person who calls us "the postmodern generation"
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
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."
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.
How to Start a Fire
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.
I love Ken's sense of humor
Check out this post on Apex's forums.
"I'm about ready to take [the Ooze] and all other emerging ministry sites off my bookmark list. I may change my mind later about this, but all they do is blame other churches for the existence of unbelievers. Until they pick a new enemy, I'm signing off…" (>>)
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.
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."
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:
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:
- Good Will Hunting (VHS)
- Pocahontas – She loves Disney stuff; although, I guess this one isn't Disney, it just looked like it because of the case. Hopefully she'll like it anyway.
- Murder (Alfred Hitchcock) (DVD)
- Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Home Video – Mostly a gag-gift. It was only $1. (VHS)
Those, and a gift certificate from DSW Shoes and she should be all set.