"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." (>>)
"I don't know what love is.
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).
"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."
"Don't Wanna be Known as a Punk in First Class"
Well, it seems that a lot of people missed the point of my DC rant. That's probably my fault for not re-reading and editing the post after I initially got the emotion down on paper. So, I'll try to clarify.
This is one of the fundamental parts of my "personal philosophy," or whatever you want to call it. It's the same reason I take the stairs instead of the elevator. It's the same reason I stand there and hold the gas pump handle instead of pushing the little lever that will hold it for me–even when it's cold and snowing. It's the same reason my computer is about 4 years old, even though I'm a "computer geek" and, if I really wanted to, could afford to buy a really fast new one. It's the same reason I never want an $80,000 a year job in business, a big house and a BMW.
I heard that line from a PAX217 song, maybe six months ago, and it's been stuck in my head ever since. "Don't wanna be known as a punk in first class." That's the best way I can describe it. Who am I? I'm not cool, or rich or smooth. I'm not. I never have been, and I've lost that stupid middle school desire to be. I struggle with pride, but I don't have a big enough ego to actually think I deserve those things. It just doesn't fit. All those people who think they look elegant, smart, sexy, successful or whatever…don't. They look like fools. They look like they don't know who they really are. Or they know, and they're trying to cover it up.
I still don't think I've really articulated this very well, but hopefully you can figure out what I'm trying to say.
"I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (>>)
"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun." (>>)
"And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (>>)
"Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind." (>>)
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (>>)
"Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world." (>>)
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!" (>>)
"Rip the tags off mattresses,
you'll buy more anyway.
Is the paint on that SUV
some brand new type of gray?
Believe in anything,
you're so hollow." (>>)
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." (>>)
"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:
The Full Ramifications of Umbrellas
Will the real racists please stand up?
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."
Proverbs 11:23-25 (>>)
The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
One man gives freely, yet gains more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
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.
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." (>>)