"'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." (>>)
"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." (>>)
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.
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.
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."
"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?
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
"…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.
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.
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." (>>)
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
"It's the return of the…"
Bob and Crystal are back :)