Dec 11, 2007

Is this statement offensive?

Wireless internet is down again…thanks Ore…so I’ll just write this in Word then upload it later.

Tell me if this statement is troublesome – “What do atheists and the Grinch have in common?”

This is what we wrote on the whiteboard at the contact table today, including a very well drawn picture of the Grinch. Yesterday we had “Communists and the Grinch.” (I think we should go for broke and write “Atheists, the Grinch, and hundreds of millions dead”) This seemingly innocent question seems to pack a lot of heat. Grant, a former atheist, came up with it.

“That statement is horrible! It really offends me! I’m gonna go report you to the campus union, you shouldn’t be saying such things on public property! Your grammar is incorrect (we had “does” originally). You are turning away people with statements like that; they can’t find Christ because of you! You should change it to “Jews and the Grinch”, that would make more sense. It’s an unfair comparison that presupposes things. You aren’t Christian, you aren’t showing Christ’s love!” Etc etc, just a handful of the things I heard at the table during 45 minutes.

Is that statement really that troublesome? Or do most atheists have such shaky convictions that the littlest thing offends them? We had one guy stop to argue the question (he acknowledged it was a question!), and I asked him if atheism was a religion. To his credit and to my surprise, he answered “yes.” It took me back. We then asked if he was an atheist, and he stormed off after telling us it was none of our business. Still, I’m proud of the guy, and I told him so.

The question was written by Grant primarily as a way to encourage discussion as well as a way for him to share his testimony (former atheist). People automatically became reactionary, viewing it as a statement instead of a question. Not only that, but they seem to only remember parts of the Grinch story. No one knew how it ended.

I found out that a girl I work with in the bookstore is a Christian; she shouldn’t have mentioned she only listened to Christian music. Then I probably shouldn’t have said that I listen to enough Hillsong already, because of church. That set off the discussion. I mentioned I listen to a lot of Christian music too…my favorite band is U2. She gave me a look at that. jjEventually she asked about Maranatha (I mentioned the table and the drama we had today) and what the drama was about. So I told her.

“That is SO offensive!” She then turned to another girl and repeated it. Both of them drew the conclusion that we were saying that atheists had no heart. Wonder how they got to that one. I explained who wrote it (Grant), what his brief testimony was (saved from atheism), what the point of the question was (discussion), as well as what the answer was (Grinch tried to control Christmas, eventually repented, etc). Nevertheless, both of them came to the conclusion that for a Christian organization to say such a thing is not only wrong but offensive and dangerous to other Christians.

So I asked the first girl more about her testimony. Grew up in a really large Lutheran church (nothing wrong with that), but didn’t realize that you needed a personal relationship with God. Within the past year or two, she has gotten truly saved and is now attending Mercy Vineyard. She didn’t know any of the names I dropped either, says she’s only been there for about a year and is just now getting involved with ushering duties and stuff.

So…here’s a prayer request. Pray first of all for this girl (don’t remember her name…call her Ms. Blonde), that God would continue to speak to her and help her grow, as well as allow her to realize the importance of asking such questions and engaging other for Christ. And second, pray for the people on campus, not only for those who stopped to talk and here what we had to say (and a few responded!), but also for those who grew mightily offended and yelled at us. They need Jesus too…I think.

Nov 21, 2007

My Friend Stu by Grant Buse

God gave me a brother and his name is Stu
A few rough edges but a faith like glue
When he hears the word it pierces his heart
And even though fear may try to interrupt in part

Not this time and never again
God sends His angels and keeps us from sin

Sure honesty's a treasure that goes deep within his lair
Even though sometimes its hard to get up off that chair

But that's why I love Stu cause God showed him the meaning of true
And he said, "That's what I'm gonna do."
Love it, live it, be it for You
Jesus, for You
Cause my name is Stu

Thanks Grant. Love you, brother.

Nov 17, 2007

Hard hitting sermon

I'm not sure if it will be posted or not, but Bruce's sermon tonight is powerful and hard hitting. Basically, he's taking our church to task. He knows that some stuff has been going on that shouldn't be...sexual immortality and the like...and he is preaching it hard. 1 Corinthians 5.

Do we want to be a church with standards and rules based on the Bible? Or do we just want to be a place where we can meet and gather and gossip and fellowship and try to pick up a date?
I know my answer.

I remember having a confrontation back during my Campus Crusade days. I proved through Scripture that it is Biblical to kick unrepentant believers out of the church, and a few people got extremely angry over that idea. Grace trumps all, they said. True, but Christ still has standards for living.

For those of you who have never visited this podcast, November 17, whenever it gets posted off of THIS is why I go to this church. I'd have never heard this anywhere else.

Thank you Lord...and thanks Bruce for preaching the hard stuff.

Oct 16, 2007

OSC strikes again

And since the Smart People (aka, Liberals) try to avoid ever meeting or spending time with any of these Stupid People (rural Americans), the only thing they can do to get control of the parts of the American power structure they don't already own is to lie.

The Smart People don't even think they're lying, though. They don't count it as a sin (they don't even believe in sin) to lie to Stupid People. It's sort of the Santa Claus principle. You tell them whatever you need to tell them in order to get them to let you have your way.

You tell them we're losing a war we're winning. You tell them that the best-behaved army in history is routinely committing atrocities. You tell them that the war that has the lowest rate of civilian casualties in history, proportionate to the number of combatants, is the cruelest. You tell them that a fully justified war based on many principles of international law and historical precedent is "based on a lie."

That's the favorite one. Your best lie. You accuse the Stupid President of lying all the time, though in fact that's the Smart People's primary tactic. Like pretending that Rush Limbaugh meant something that he obviously didn't mean and making a huge deal about it -- while declining to condemn the outrageous lies of MoveOn.Org as they slander a fine commander.

The biggest lie in this little flap about Limbaugh is not what they say about Limbaugh. It's their pretense that they actually care about American soldiers.


You have no idea how hard it is for me to hold my tongue in class nowadays...

Oct 13, 2007

Regarding certain rumors...

The answer is...yes. But a limited yes. Macbook Pro with Windows XP running via Fuzion. Best of both worlds in one little package. See ya Dell...hello gorgeous!

Faith via Bartleman

Been reading through that Azusa Street book by Bartleman. It's been a pretty illuminating read. Did you know that nearly every revival that has occured throughout history has brought the church one step closer to it's apostolic origins? Some revivals emphasized Bible, others doctrine, still others the social angle of the gospel, and fairly recently the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

There is a thought that has been brewing in my mind while reading this book. It's one of those stupid yet simple things that has happened to me before. Where you finally realize something that totally illuminates and changes your soul but that everyone else takes for granted.

Faith. Such a simple word, but loaded with so much meaning. As Bartleman and others in the book recount, everyone during the period of Azusa and the Wales revival believed by faith that a revival was coming. They didn't know how, they didn't plan or try to manufacture one...they just believed, trusted in faith, that it would happen.

AND IT DID. What's to prevent us from having such a thing again? Ourselves it would seem. God...well, requires faith in order to operate. Obviously he doesn't need faith...but he tends to work when faith is present. So if enough of us pray and believe for revival...if we build up our faith...then it will come. And it will be glorious.

This actually has some personal significance too. I need to build my faith up. And continue to exercise the faith I already possess. I need to truly believe that God will provide for my needs; stop worring about money, a car, education, etc. God WILL provide. In my mind, it needs to become a foregone conclusion. Not, "God will provide if I don't mess up, if I read my Bible every day, if I witness at work, etc." NO! God promises to provide; therefore...HE WILL. Forgone conclusion.

Faith. I really want to blog about something extremely personal regarding faith...but I can't. Not yet. God won't let me. But it seems I've been living in faith for some things for a while now, and God is using this as an example of how everything in my life should be. And based on the testimony of a few people here at church, I'm certain more than ever that my faith is grounded both in God and in reality.

I delight in my faith and the objects of my faith. I'm anxious, but faith sustains. It's hard to explain...but the word "joy" comes to mind. Not happiness or some fleeting emotion...but true joy and satisfaction...and anticipation.

Thank you Lord.

Sep 1, 2007

Frat house and Balaam

So I'm sitting here at the frat house, fighting the internet connection...

Did I say frat house? Yes. I've moved in. Room with a view (and an escape) too!

Pictures might follow up.

Coming up on my 100th Blogger post. Not every post has been memorable; I'm sure I've done at least a dozen video blogs. I'll think of something somewhat memorable for the 100th post.

But back to the topic at hand. I have moved out of my parent's house and into my church's frat house on the campus. School starts for me next week, probably the same day I will be able to buy books. Always fun to not have books for the first day of class.

Other than that, life has pretty much been the same. Yes, some things have been going on behind the scenes, but those are only need to know.


Something of a substance. Finished reading through Numbers today, start the next book tomorrow. (It's late, I don't feel like spelling the book out. We will call it Deut for short.) Those first few books of the OT are really...different. Moses and the Holy Spirit needed a copy editor. Whole chapters don't make any sense in context. People's actions, and especially God's, don't really make much sense either.

Here's a good one: Balaam. God tells him to only say what God wants him to say, and that he should go with the foreign king's men because they came so far to get him; Balaam agrees with God. So he sets off to go bless Israel. And then God gets mad at him for going! Later on God uses the donkey to speak to Balaam and reconfirm that Balaam should only use the words God wants him to use.

See what happened? God TELLS Balaam to go, and then immediately gets mad at him for going! Since when does God get angry at us for doing what He wants us to do?

I'm sure there is a rational and logical explanation for this, but it's eluding me.

Aug 12, 2007

A quote from Bruce Shelley

Decided to finish Bruce L. Shelley's book on church history; blitzed through maybe 200 pages in an hour or so. An excellent read that book was, thanks Bruce for giving it to me. (Although it does get a little dry...say from 800 to 1600 AD.)

A quote really stuck out to me while reading though. The context doesn't matter; something to do with 19th century religious Liberalism or something. But this quote was so powerful I immediately wrote it down...on paper, no less!...and started dwelling on it.

"(Salvation) begins with the question 'What must I do to me saved?' But if the question means, 'How can I go to heaven when I die?' then it's a theoretical question. To be saved means to live a new life, to be saved from sin, selfishness, fear, and guilt."

The only true conversion point in my life that I've historically held on to was when I asked my mom, at the age of 4, "How can I go to heaven? I want to become a Christian."

Since that time, I've literally gone through a pattern of every few years doubting my salvation. No kidding, but I can list the times and places when I've gone through this. And near the end of each time of doubt, someone will always tell me just to rely on Scripture. It got to the point where I could "prove" my salvation using any numbers of Scripture; yet I didn't feel like I was living a redeemed and holy life. I had no relationship with God to speak of, and I certainly didn't "love Him because He first loved me."

So now I'm learning to walk in faith. I cannot point to a specific thing in my life...a place, an event...and say, "THAT is my salvation story." I do not even know now if I should be able to do so. It's suddenly unimportant to me. What's important to me is walking in faith, building an actual relationship with my Lord, and continuing in it. I want to learn to love and worship my Saviour.

"I'm ready...I'm ready for what's next."

Aug 9, 2007

Health and life update

Little bit of an update.

As many of your know, last Wednesday the 35W bridge fell down. I was half a block away, at my church's frathouse. I was reading a book and listening to music at the time so I didn't notice much, other than what I thought was someone from the worship team messing with the lights. I guess others heard a loud explosion and at least one person felt the house shake. Everyone ran outside a bit later and we tried to get as close to the crash as possible.

It was insane for a while. EVERYONE was trying to get as close as possible, and calling all their friends to tell them what had happened. I saw a firetruck literally stuck in stop and go traffic because of all the cars trying to get as close to the downed bridge as they could. Morons.

Thankfully, no one I know was hurt.

However, two days later, I started having ankle problems. I'm guessing it was from running around the area, climbing hills and barriers, etc. Who knows. Basically by Friday night I could hardly stand on it. Went to work on Saturday, was limping badly, got sent home early; later in the day I went to Cub Foods and was in sheer agony.

Sunday, my day off, I felt fine. Little sore, but fine. So I went to work on Monday. By the time I got off on Monday, it hurt to stand on my ankle, and I couldn't turn it inward at all. Any pressure...even an ice pack...hurt. So Tuesday I went to the doctor for x-rays and blood tests. They were unsure if it was an infection (my ankle, almost all the way up to my knee, was red and inflamed) or gout. Gout is a distinct possibility, as my dad has had it for years; although my diet does not consist of those things which normally bring on gout.

The blood test was funny. It was about 7pm, and I hadn't had anything to eat since 9 am, and very little too drink. The guy took two vials from me, and I immediately became very cold and sweaty, felt like throwing up. Some water and cold packs cooled me down, but I never fully recovered. I was running a fever the rest of the night. I was even sweating at Target getting my meds because the air conditioning was cranked too high. Took a little nap when I got home, but had such a bad headache and fever that I never really got any rest.

After praying for healing, decided for some odd reason to take a hot shower, not a cool one. Raised my body temperature to the point where I got dizzy and threw up. Then cooled myself down and felt fine. I'm thinking God was the one who gave me the crazy idea to heat my fever up and try to burn it out, so thank Him for that.

Went back to the doctor today for a follow-up. I'm supposed to take some gout medicine for the next 5 days, and if the redness persists or gets worse to go in for another visit. However, my ankle for the most part feels fine. It's this weird fever from the antibiotics shot they gave me that is killing me right now. I feel warm even though my actual body temp is hovering right at 97.

Been praying for healing throughout, and I believe God is definitely working. I already have the next two days off of work, so I can still rest my ankle like the doctor said to. Don't want to go put another 9 hours in at work and come home and not be able to stand on my ankle again.

All in all, a really weird situation, and one that I'll be able to put behind me soon. Cabin fever is already starting to set in...!

Jul 9, 2007

Summer rain

How about that rain, ya'll? Loved it. Made me want to go outside and just get soaked.

Anyways, I didn't have time to blog about the rain before...was too busy moving from one room to another room in the house (step one of my grand plan). Then people came over and eventually had to go see Transformers (someone owes me $9.25 for that movie and $8.25 for Silver Surfer). But the rain inspired me to write a blog.

Well...since I'm too stupid to actually just go to bed, I'm gonna write that blog.

Normal rain doesn't inspire me; today's rain was different. It was hard and fast; really big drops that hurt when they hit. "Bring the rain," etc.

Only the Bay City people know this, but back in 1999 and 2000 (or was it 98 and 99? Eh...), I went on two missions trips to Mexico. None of this New York City nonsense that my brother is currently doing; I pray God blesses their efforts, but wow, what an easy trip. Mexico was different; we stayed over night just over the border in Texas, and then every morning would drive into Mexico. We'd spend pretty much the whole day walking around going up to people and following our printed list of Spanish questions, either straight up sharing the gospel or inviting them to come to the meeting we'd be holding.

I did many crazy (to me now) things during that time. Stopping traffic in the street in order to hand them a pamphlet was probably the worse of it. I remember lots of soccer games and prayer huddles...and sadly the occasional emotional drama between team members.

The meetings were pretty simple. A few of us would badly sing a hymn in Spanish as the special music, there'd be a puppet show for the little children, and the evening could cultimate in a chalk drawing by a talented young lady while the missionary would preach a gospel message. The chalk drawing was preprepared; she would draw on it, creating this really nice picture of heaven, but turn on the black light and it showed hell as well. This chalk drawing was eventually done for us in a special service in our home church, but that was months later.

One of the nights in Mexico, we had had a pretty weatherly day. One of those days where it just couldn't decide what was going to happen; was it going to rain or just be humid all day long (great thing about Mexico - you drip, all the time, and yet are never 'hot'). Eventually the decision was made to just continue with the meeting.

Well, near the beginning of the chalk drawing for the adults, it began to threaten rain. So we hauled out a giant tarp to hang over the chalk and the woman working it. Somehow, possibly because we were both close to 6 feet tall, I and an old friend named Nate (might have been his older brother Chris, but I remember it being Nate) got the 'privilege' of holding the tarp. It was tacked down on one end, but the other end, near the drawing, we had to hold up while everyone else worked the crowd, prayed, did who knows what else.

Then the rain hit. I will never forget that night. I got soaked. It was that heavy hard hitting rain that we experienced today. The kind that hurt if it hit you directly. And there were Nate and I just getting pelted, and to add to that, all the runoff would just go straight on down us. Water falling out face, having to constantly brush our hair away or just spew water. I remember Nate and I just looking at each other and just laughing. We held that tarp the whole service; we were both exhausted by the end of it, and both of us spent the rest of the evening in sopping wet clothes and fell right to sleep when we finally got back to the mission. We did get a nice long look at her working the drawing though.

I don't remember the event as me "serving" anyone. I certainly didn't do it out of any sense of obligation or service to God. Quite the opposite. It was just something that needed to be done. That seems to be becoming my whole idea of ministry in my life now. If it needs to be done, I'll do it. I do not believe that I am cut out for walking up to someone and asking them if they know where they are going to go when they die. That method does not work, in my opinion. I'd rather be manning the table than walking around with the cross.

But since that night, whenever that hard heavy rain comes, it reminds me of Mexico. It reminds me of a time before I started questioning the doctrines and teachings of my old church; before my rebellion, as it were. Not against God, although I went through that too; but against the established church in His name.

When that rain falls, I want to run outside and just be in it. I want to go walking with no regard for the lightning, wind, or discomfort. I just want to get completely soaked. I just want to experience and relive it all.

"It's's pouring...but I ain't complaining...because I love the rain."

Jul 5, 2007

Windows Vista vs OSX, as told by Orson Scott Card

"Running a machine that runs Windows {Vista} is like buying a car -- only it comes with a chauffeur, and he's the only one allowed to drive your car, and he will only take you places he thinks you ought to go, and you have to sit in the seat he tells you to sit in, and he takes days off without any advance notice to you.

"The only difference between Windows and Apple, by the way, is that Apple's chauffeur takes fewer days off, but goes to even fewer destinations, and only one of the doors has a button. So don't tell me how I should switch to Apple and all my problems will be solved.

"I have an easier time believing that if I vote for Pedro, all my dreams will come true."

Jul 4, 2007

Red Skeleton

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"

I (me, an individual, a committee of one.)
Pledge (dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.)
Allegiance (my love and my devotion.)
To the flag (our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!)
United (that means that we have all come together.)
States (individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.)
And to the republic (a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.)
For which it stands, one nation (one nation, meaning "so blessed by God")
Indivisible (incapable of being divided.)
With liberty (which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.)
And Justice (the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.)
For all (which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.)

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...


Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?

God Bless America!

Jun 12, 2007

Friends, and Frat Part Duo

Ever judge the quality of your friendships by how much time you spend on your friends? Do you ever worry that you really don't care about certain friends simply because you never talk to them or interact with them? It's kinda scary if you give it much thought. Really shows who is truly important to you in your life.

But anyways...

Finally picked up my AA at NorthHenn. Wow, what a wonderful experience it is dealing with those admissions people. I have never once had a helpful experience interacting with those offices. Everyone is always rude and put out to help you in any way. And that guidance counselor I met with years ago? What a bunch of help. "What do you want to do? Ok, get your AA and then transfer. Now get out." Sheesh.

My goal this summer is to be out of the house by the end of said summer. I think it's about time, don't you? Sure. I'm just curious how I'm going to do that. Already I'm strongly thinking of getting out of the bakery. I do not ever want to work another graduation season/thanksgiving/christmas in that place. Any other department that doesn't involve food, perhaps, but not the bakery. And honestly I'd rather just get out of Costco all together. I'm not too keen on working in such a big Fortune 500 place, even though managers start at $50g. Life's not all about money, right?

As I explained to my manager in a little talk one day, the most important reason I could never stay at Costco is the cost to your personal life. Managers are expected to work at least a 12 hour day, one day off. And those hours can be from 5 am to 10 pm or really at any time. Can I get married and raise a family on that? "Shoosh, kids, daddy needs to sleep. I know it's only 6 pm, but he has to be at work at 4 am."

No thank you. So really, other than Supervisor, I'm as far as I want to advance at Costco.

So I'm seriously of finding another job. Problem is, I can't accept less than $12, and I'd prefer not to have wrist killing 60 lb bag manual labor. I shouldn't be living off extra strength Tylenol and Tylenol PM in order just to stay asleep at night.

I'm already thinking of how to move out of my parents and into the frat. First step is to do something with all this crap I've accumulated. The wrong answer is to toss it all. I'd have all of college paid off if my mom hadn't sold off my vintage Star Wars collection for pennies. And yes, she realizes she messed up, lol.

So, I've got some purchases to make before I can move into the frat. One, storage boxes that are water proof. Those will be for cd cases, books, magazines, etc. Misc stuff, really. I went through all my mags a few weeks ago and threw about a foot high stack away. What's left are keepers. Preferably I'd like to send them to a bindery, but that'd cost. My boxs of comics can be stored safely at my parents. They've been tucked away for three years now, with me just pulling them out to inventory or add to them on occasion. Those are fine.

(BTW, just Star Wars comics, I'm sitting on over a grand. Maybe two or even three grand.)

Next thing is obviously clothes. What's really important to bring to the frat, what can I leave her and grab when I really need them. But the most important thing, at least in my little world, is my television. Space is at a premium at the frat, and I definitely need my TV for dvds and games. (Might even buy a 360 and Xbox Live on the frat's high speed connection!!) So I'm strongly thinking of abusing Best Buys' return policy in a paycheck or two and trading in the SlimFit HD for maybe a 32" LCD flat panel or something. I love my TV despite it's flaws, but it's still too big for the frat.

So I've got some goals. Which I'm dwelling on daily. Still, it's gonna be a while before I actually make the move.

Pray with me on this.

Jun 4, 2007

Frat house

The last few days I've been giving serious thought to moving into the frat house. But here's the thing...


Just like I didn't want to go Summit; didn't want to go to college classes; didn't want to go to church; didn't want to go to work; didn't want to do nearly anything.

And yet I do, and need to, and will do so.

I recognize I need to get out of my comfort zone. Life will not improve at this rate, and nothing will change unless it is forced to.

Could I afford to live away from home? Yes, I probably could. I'd have to get real creative with my finances, and the thought of paying for school and having debt over my head terrifies me. School is the big thing hanging over my head; the thought of owing someone $50,000 really scares me. But then again, a friend of mine just bought a house, and I imagine that is freaking him out although he hides it very well.

I do not want to move into the frat house. It's not how I pictured my life going, and it's certainly not a "fun" thing to do. I'd much rather move in with Haueser and Joe, but there are other factors preventing me from doing that...not the least of which is that Joe stole my room. Seriously...

But there is something Jonathan told me that has been stuck in my head. To paraphrase, moving into the frat would be a great place for me to grow both in Christ and with others, teaching me not only how to better care for myself on my own, but how to relate to other people my age, and especially how to treat Christian women. And all those things are what I know I need. Just as how I came back from Summit with a desire to learn to cook, so I have the desire for all these other items too.

I do not want to end up living in the frat for the next 10 years with no ambition to move out and get my own place, content to just keep serving on the campus and living with a bunch of peeps. I have goals and dreams in life; marriage is one of them. But am I willing to live at the frat for a year or two before getting on my own feet? Sure, I guess.

Another part of me does not want to give certain people ("holy pricks") the satisfaction of having me live in the frat house. These are the same people who I'd rather not give the satisfaction of seeing me baptized in the Spirit. No kidding, if these people came up to me right after I was baptized and wanted to lay hands or give me a word, I'd either tell them to f*ck off if I was feeling nice, or I'd turn around and deck them if I was mad. I DO NOT LIKE THEM, and that is something God will have to change for me.

I do realize that those are very childish emotions, but I'm learning. Baby steps.

Other reasons why I do not want to live in the frat house...Well, first off, I'm not sure I could have a roomie. I know how I sleep, and as my friends can testify, I'm not easy to sleep in the same room with. Frequent nightmares, talks in sleep, occasional sleep walks, etc. Even if I don't remember them the next day does not mean they did not occur. Oh, the stories I could tell. So I'd have to go solo probably. (I imagine this is something God and I will have to work on when I get married)

Also, I am not at all crazy about living downtown. I barely feel safe walking the streets of Crystal at times. I can't imagine going out for a late night stroll downtown alone. Parking on the loop is better than parking behind the frat too, and yet I don't enjoy that. I enjoy it even less when it's below zero.

Also, and this was a big reason for me staying away from Christian universities, I am not cool with people going all holy and legalistic against me. If I want to listen to some U2 while playing a video game after working a 12 hour shift, don't you dare come in my room and tell me I should be listening to Hillsong United while reading my Bible! I will not put up with it. Period. Go be holy on someone else. You can encourage me, but the instance you start telling me how to live my life, we've got problems.

Ok, those are my biggest issues with moving into the frat. I'm trying my best to be partial and weigh the pros against the cons. I'm praying about it too, and hoping for a word from the Lord...beyond everyone from church coming up to me and saying it'd be good for me. That's advertising; not helpful.

I doubt there is some way I can snag Jelani's old room as a single; that'd be ideal. Cause I'd prefer to be upstairs with Cole and Ore and Chris and everyone, as opposed to tucked away in the basement...although down there I can listen to my music and play my games and movies without fear of disturbing or offending anyone!

So we will see. Keep me in your prayers. Thanks.

Passion and Purity by that Elliot chick

So I've been reading through Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. It seems to always show up on the "Hit Lists" of Christians, along with titles such as Mere Christianity, My Utmost for His Highest, assorted works by Watchman Nee, and I Kissed Dating Goodbye (I'd advise staying away from that one).

Still don't understand why most Christians have never read The Screwtape Letters, though. But I digress...

Overall, I'd say it's a good book. I have maybe 15 pages to go or so, so not completely done, but I've enjoyed what I've read so far.

This Elizabeth Elliot chick seems to fit the mold of a lot of Christian ladies that I've known throughout my life. It's like they've become the spitting image of the woman as they've described themselves in the book. The only major difference is that there is no Jim in their life; and some of them are well into their forties. But highly used of God.

I do question Elliot's theology a bit though. She seems to like to pull phrases from the Bible at random to either confirm or deny her feelings on subjects. When questioning if it's lawful for someone to desire marriage, she pulls verses that basically call her the "whore of Babylon" in order to say that the desire is wrong. She takes scripture and twists it, whether intentionally or not. I don't understand how she can pull obscure Old Testament verses out instead of just reading through what Paul wrote on the subject.

And based on the quality of their letters, if that is what people talked like back in the 50's, I'm so very glad I live in the 00's! We like da way we talk, and you ain't changing us one bit!

Overall though I'd say it's an excellent book, far better than anything by Josh Harris or the Ludys (it's ok, I've met them, and while they are odd, they're ok), although the Ludy's book was pretty good.

It is a bit of an odd mindset this book has put me in, though. You start thinking of everything in life taking longer, as if that's the real grand master plan God has for everyone. I'm glad God does not have a chart somewhere in heaven where He checks off everyone's progress, keeping everyone to say the same rule and time. He's more hands on than that, thank God!

Guess that must be what the Spirit does...helps push us along and build us up. You know, all my life I've always thought that it was God who helped us, God who kept, God who did this and that for us. Reading through the NT over and over these past few weeks, I've begun to realize something. While yes it is God that is doing all these things, in reality, it's the Holy Spirit.

So why have I been fooled into thinking for so long that it was God the Father who worked in us instead of the Holy Spirit?

May 24, 2007

Acts 10:44-48

You know, I've read this multiple times over the years. The whole book. The whole chapter.


A group of people are filled with the Holy Spirit BEFORE getting baptized?

Why have I never heard this preached in church before??

Now I'm pissed off...

As far as I'm concerned, this completely blows any arguments out of the water. It's the Bible, for crying out loud! I can't argue with it.

There is NOTHING in the text that suggest these people were already "saved." As it reads, they just now heard about Jesus from Peter. And IMMEDIATELY the Holy Spirit filled these men. Not just filled, but caused them to speak in tongues!!

And then it happens AGAIN in Acts 11:15-18!!

That's it. I'm pissed, and it's over. People have a lot of explaining to do.

May 23, 2007

WHOA!! Just saw this a sec later

Video of the Kaiser Chiefs performing "Oh My God" from Trocaderos, back in April...


Oh, and this is my favorite song from them. At least to see live...

Both times I've seen them, this song was the standout song of the night. They let the audience finish singing, accomplished by throwing the lead singers mic into the crowd.

Not the best of sound quality...but an idea. Too bad you don't see me...I'd be almost directly underneath the video camera.

The band had some guy with a high quality handheld walking around the show all night, so the possibility exists that I might show up on some official video later on.

I mean, I was like 3 feet from the lead singer at one point...and only about 5 feet from the guitar player all night. Stranger things have happened.

The Rock Connection...from the Beatles, to U2, to...?

"There are many things I could be proud of, if I'd only invented them...such as the wheel."

Kaiser Chiefs are rapidly becoming the new U2 in my little world. While they might not be big enough to sell out stadiums (except Live 8), they very much remind me of a young U2.

There is a theory floating around the internet that rock and roll is coming to a close.

This theory is based almost primarily on the album art from The Beatles and U2. The guy argues that The Beatles set the ground work for rock and roll. Then U2 came along a few decades later and took what the Beatles did and expanded it.

The theory goes that the last band of the Big Three is already winding up. The author believes it's Coldplay, based on this whole album art conspiracy thing.

Me? It's the Kaiser Chiefs, definitely.


One more shameless plug - U2:3D comes out to IMAX this summer. I'm going to arrange a showing, try to invite as many people as I can to go. It might not be the same as going to the concert...but on an IMAX screen, and with this new 3D technology, it's going to be nearly as good!

Would love it if you'd come.

May 20, 2007

Reflection on tonight's sermon

We are going through the book of Acts at church. We're up to chapter 9...and it's been, like, 22 parts already, so for a few months now.

Anyways, we are just finally hitting Saul's roadside conversion and subsequent 3 day fast/blindness/visit from Annias. (Mispeled)

I hate to call it a revelation...but I kinda had this weird insight during the sermon tonight. And now I'm having a hard time remembering it. (I don't take notes during service...I find I concentrate too much on the note taking instead of listening)

Whatever it was I thought of, it was scary. And yet also very powerful. Like, so powerful, that if I could write it up into a decent essay, and submit it to, oh, Relevant Magazine, it would likely be rejected. Or, it would get printed, and nearly every one of their readers would be up in arms about it.

Essentially, I stumbled upon the Gospel. I had the Gospel message, all in a nutshell, but told plainly and in a way no one had heard before. Or at least in a way I hadn't heard or understood before.

And it's killing me not being able to remember it. I might have to actually install the dreaded iTunes and download the podcast to try to remember.

Figured something else out though that I do remember. Saul is our modern day church goer. What was Saul? He knew the scriptures intimately, held them first in his life, believed himself righteous, kept a list of laws daily, and strove to do God's "work." Well, how did that turn out? He met Jesus, and realized how self righteous and lost he really was.

It seems that that is what a good number of current Christians are like. We see many people being reared in the church, brought up knowing nothing but the Bible and the Christian faith. They learn their Bible intimately, know how the church service goes, and know why it shouldn't go any other way. (This was me a few years ago.) A good handful of these people feel they are called to ministry in some form; a calling that simply seems to be someone telling them week in and week out, "go evangelize" or "minister."

(Perhaps that's a reason why so many would be pastors or youth leaders fall away from the faith. They were never really called. If God has not told you...if the Spirit has not told you that you should be in missions or ministry, then really, what right do you have to pursue something you aren't supposed to be? Churches break up over the stupidest things nowadays; ministers can't even control their flesh and end up leaving their flocks. If all our pastors, missionaries, and youth leaders were truly called by God to their posts, we'd have a much stronger church.)

Why do people go to seminaries? Typically to prepare for some kind of ministry. There are people going to Central who are over 35, have been taking classes for years, and just generally coasting through life, all in the belief that they are preparing themselves to serve God. Seminaries are there to train and instruct people in ministry, not just theology. But if someone goes because it's what "they are suppose to do next," isn't that the wrong reason? Will God bless them?

Should He? We are doing His job for Him. We are telling him, "I can be a preacher! I can be a leader!! It's what I'm suppose to do!!!" Shouldn't God be the one who tells you that you are going to be a preacher, a leader, etc? Yes, we have the Biblical command to share our faith. But not everyone has the same callling. "To some he called to be ministers; to some, deacons; to some, etc..."

As always, I really do not know where I am going with this. My thoughts are all jumbled and hard to put down. Perhaps I'm simply being heretical; I've been accused of it before.

Putting it down in as few words are possible:

Why do we do what we do?

Oh, and one more question - Why is ministry all too often narrowly defined as being a pastor, missionary, church planter, church worker (including youth and children), or

May 16, 2007

An open invitation

Should of done this a long time ago...

Ahem! If anyone wants to come visit Marantha (my church) with me sometime, please, feel free to email me, leave a comment, a message with my parents, or whatever! I'd be more than happy to have you come with me. Provided you behave! (lol)

We meet Wednesdays and Saturdays, both at 7. For directions, leave a comment.

I don't know...I've been getting this feeling recently that a number of people are going to leave my life soon, a certain house mate being one of them. I just get this feeling that these people will be...lost, I guess, unless I can convince them to come visit my church. I realize this is stupid, as they are already Christians; but the difference between what I was like and what I'm becoming is staggering, my eyes have been opened to so much more, and I just want to share this with others. I want them to understand, to see for themselves.

So...I'd really appreciate it.

Also, there have come up numerous options regarding school and living locations. More prayer on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Apr 28, 2007

The Truth is cooling

Wow, things just seem to be getting better and better. Found another little story, err, I mean, study about global "warming."

The part I specifically liked?

Gore, ignoring the advice of several key Clinton Administration officials, took a last-minute flight to Japan in November 1998 to sign the Kyoto Protocol even though the Energy Information Administration, the official forecasting arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, found that meeting the treaty's requirements could increase gasoline prices by up to 66 percent and electricity prices by up to 86 percent, and throw up to several million Americans out of work.

The Clinton Administration, however, never sent the treaty to Capitol Hill for ratification, in large part because the Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging the Administration not to seek approval of any global warming treaty that "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States." President Clinton even signed appropriations bills in 1999, 2000 and 2001 prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from using any funds to "issue rules, regulations, decrees of orders for the purpose of implementation, or in preparation for implementation, of the Kyoto Protocol" unless and until the treaty is ratified by the Senate.

The Bush Administration, now struggling to move the country out of a recession, pretty much delivered the coup de grace to the Kyoto treaty last year when President Bush announced that the United States would withdraw from Kyoto, although it would continue to participate fully in the international meetings that developed it. On June 11, 2001, the President committed his administration to support for greater levels of funding for scientific research into climate change.10

In light of the new information, President Bush's decision to pursue more research seems especially perceptive.

Yeah, I'm getting fed up with all this bs. Please let it stop in 2009, one way or another.

Apr 25, 2007

April 26th's Realization

I plan on writing a post about going to see the Kaiser Chiefs last Saturday, as well as another post offering a review of Jeffrey Overstreet's "Through A Screen Darkly," but that will have to be for later. For now, here's something I wrote on Facebook a while back. Thought I should share it with a wider group of people.


I'm slowly realizing something. (See, I get like this when I'm alone and thinking..) What I realized is something pretty important I'm guessing.

It's...what, 2007? I graduated from high school in 2003. Now, if I had played it safe, I could potentially be graduating from a Baptist college this summer, probably with a degree in accounting or youth ministry or something.

Odds are I would be in much better physical shape, probably have a girlfriend if not a fiance, maybe even have an internship lined up at Fourth or some other big name Baptist church.

But I would not be where I am now.

All those things above...those are things I want. A college degree, a wife, a job with a certain amount of prestige to it, better physical fitness...etc.

But...and I can't help but think this...

I would be spiritually bankrupt. I would be living a lie. I would be serving a false god, made up out of rules and regulations culled from theology and the church. I would have more in common the Pharisees than I would with the believers.

So...while I see all my old friends graduating, getting married, living the "dream" as I've had it...I should not complain. While the last few years have been tough, and especially have had their low moments...ultimately, God has a different path for me, and it's not what's expected.

The future scares me. But also excites me as to it's possibilities. It's time I get more serious and embrace that future.

A friend of mine who I graduated high school with has admonished me on occasion that I seem to hate all Baptists; that the name Baptist automatically carries bad connotations with it. That's not true.

I don't hate Baptists. I respect, admire, and even love many Baptists. But I do hate the religion that has sprung up around it. But more importantly...seeing where they are at, what they live for and strive for...

I can't help but be thankful to God that He has chosen a different path for me.

Because I could not live life as a Fundamentalist Baptist.

Apr 18, 2007

New addiction...I mean, addition

See that new box on the bottom right hand side of the page? That's a LastFM box. Basically, it will show you the last ten songs I have listened to on my laptop, all courtesy of the amazing website LastFM.

My complete profile is right here.

While I'm still trying to figure out how to get that box to show completely in the corner...need to resize things somehow...I'm probably going to keep that design since I tend to like it the best out of all the pre-made ones they have. They DID have a U2 themed one, but the text was way too dark for the image they used.

Ah, but I haven't explained precisely what LastFM is. It's a free service that tracks the music you listen to via a plug-in that is available in a wide variety of players. It keeps track of which artists you listen to the most (U2), both weekly (U2) and overall (U2), as well as top tracks (Kaiser Chiefs??? Wahuuuh?).

Obviously since 1 out of every 3 songs I have on my computer is a U2 song of some form, that tends to dominate the charts. My only complaint is that the program does not differentiate between different albums. A song that was played at my Minneapolis concert, like Vertigo, will just show up as Vertigo from the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album. I could listen to 5 different versions of New Year's Day, remix, live, or single edits, and yet it will still show either War or The Best of 1980 albums. A handy plug-in that allows you to edit or supply albums and artwork would be nice.

One other nice feature of this program is the ability to choose which songs you "love", as well as tag songs. Tags can be pre-selected (rock, dance, country, whatever) or you can make up your own (all time favorite, great live, remix, spiritual - rock, etc). REALLY addictive.

I must admit, I have a little bit of apprehension putting this ticker on such a public place. I don't know if really everyone needs to see what I listen to. Most of this apprehension comes from past experiences, where someone would condemn me on the spot for listening to something with a drum beat, or was "secular" vs Christian. But you know what I figure now? I'm really not ashamed of the music I listen to. In fact, I'm rather proud of it, and desire to freely share it. U2 in particular has opened the door and allowed me to share Christ with people. I am definitely not ashamed of it. And yes, I listen to Metallica too. I have my reasons, which you can disagree with.

And besides...anything that is not of faith is sin, right? I think I have the faith to listen to rock and roll...


Kudos to Granticus for All Because of You. We really need to get you and Dean a Memory Man unit.

Apr 17, 2007

Virginia Tech shootings

Those of you from Marantha who are on the campus talking to who man the table at the hall...

This is going to be very important for the next few weeks.

I don't know how to say this without sounding like we're trying to "profit" from this tragedy...

But those of you who went to Summit know just how important this is. We know firsthand just what series of events led to this shooting. And we know what we can say about it.

I'll be praying all day. Let this event be for good.

This does not need to happen again.

Apr 6, 2007

Laptop Update #2

Sitting here waiting for the DivX codec to got a minute or two of time to kill. Kinda nice to be able to blog from the comfort of my own room.

Ok, more new laptop impressions. Yes, I hate the mouse pad. I'm sure there is some way to tweak the settings, legally or otherwise, so that will happen later. I'm having an easier time typing this with the laptop actually sitting in my lap than on the kitchen table before.

Ok, have to mention this. The first cd to be played on my laptop...nay, the first official music on my laptop, not counting YouTube badum...

U2-Zooropa!! "What do you want?" indeed...

Great cd...great song. Sounds pretty good too...sore spot number one, cause it could sound BETTER...cause I am paying for it to sound BETTER!! Yet no better soundcard...stupid Dell.'s the main deal with the laptop. You can not buy a new PC without getting Vista. Vista is too new, nothing runs on it, and I don't want it. So...we had to scrub out Vista. Complete deletion, reinstall with XP. We decided to create a smaller partition for XP in the hopes that we could get both XP and Vista installed; dual boot as it is called.

So far, only XP. Need to call Dell to ask some questions about the crappy discs they sent with the computer before we want to attempt to install Vista. Right now XP has maybe a 30 gig partition even though I have a 120 gig drive. Not to worry though, I have a 250 gig external sitting around somewhere...

Mad Dog, as it is called.

Now that I have this laptop...and keep on accidently hitting the mouse pad when I type...which pisses me off...anyways, I was thinking of trying something later on.

Live blogging from church. I sit there, have lots of questions, lots of observations, and tend to forget them after the sermon is over. Well, now I can blog them! Might be interesting to try sometime...

Ok, back to the updates. Later.

Final thought a minute that I've listened to both Zooropa and Babyface...I'm already hearing parts of the songs I've never heard before. You know how awesome that is?? Hearing a new part or harmony or lick or something in the background....


Laptop Update #1

Well, I got my laptop. Actually got it last Tuesday. It' a lot of work to be done yet. I have it for the weekend then I'm giving it back TPTB to fix it some more.

Already the mouse pad is driving me nuts. The mouse icon bounces as I type this. WAAAAY too sensitive, I'm afraid I might delete the whole blog if I breathe on it.

More on this later...

Heh..."Granticus"...I am entertained.

Mar 28, 2007

What's not to LOVE??

Inspiron E1705, Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7200 (4MB/2.00GHz/667MHz)
17 inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WUXGA, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
2GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm, for Inspiron 9400,E1705
256MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON X 1400 HyperMemory, for Inspiron9400/E1705
120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive for Inspiron 6400/E1505
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, English
Vista, PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
Integrated 10/100 Network Cardand Modem, for Inspiron
Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0, for Inspiron
Roxio Creator Basic
8X DVD+/-RW Drive, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps) for Inspiron 9400/E1705
Trend Micro PC-cillin InternetSecurity, English, 15-Month Subscription
80 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition
3 Year Limited Warranty
CompleteCare Accidental DamageProtection, Inspiron, 3 Year

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Gonna be here in a week or so...

Pictures to follow.

Money to dissipate.

Mar 26, 2007

Blogdump time...Life's fiber.

Time for a blogdump. Why? Cause I'm sitting here at the computer, the windows are open, it's just a little too nice outside, there is a freshly poured glass of RC Cola sitting here...and I have lots of thoughts right now. Plus I have the day off...


First off, a new link out of the way. The Secret History of Star Wars. Just ran across this on one of the forums I infrequently frequent, and while I haven't read it completely, looks to be an excellent read. If you want to know what went wrong literally anywhere in the course of the Saga, here you go.


I've discovered an interesting thing about my Bible reading habits. Unless I'm forced to my a "Bible in A Year" plan or something, I will never choose on my own volition to read anything pre-Psalms or post Ezekiel. I know it would be good for me to read more of those books, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Spiritual failing or laziness? You decide.

Recently though I've been reading through Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Acts. Yes, kinda diverse and random, but that's just where I'm at. And I've come to the conclusion that Proverbs and Eccl. are two of the more depressing books in the whole Bible. It's a two part thing; one, depressing because it shows just how far I have to come in terms of general wisdom and reliance on God; the second is it reveals just how messed up everyone else in the world is too. When you look around and all you see are the "fools" Proverbs is fond of, you start to get a little down. Add a dash of Rush Limbaugh and a scoop of today's "popular" culture, and you start despairing of life in general.

Ok, something specific from Proverbs that stuck out to me. Proverbs 26:4-5: "When arguing with fools, don't answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are." And then verse 5: "When arguing with fools, be sure to answer their foolish arguments, or they will become wise in their own estimation."

So which is it? Please, feel free to enlighten me...I value input from Baptists, Centrals, and Pentecostals, and the occasional PenteBaptistcostal.


A thought - Why do people who listen exclusively to Bach, Beethoven, and other forms of classical music tend to elevate their musical tastes over others? I understand simply preferring one form of music to another; but what is it that sets it upon a pedestal as the epitome of music?


Picked up a copy of Jeffrey Overstreets' book Through A Screen Darkly. So far...not bad at all. I only meant to read the introduction before going to bed, but then I got through two chapters before putting it down. I'll write a full review of it later.

Jeffrey's website.

The search for a laptop continues. One of my fellow coworkers suggested I look into Dells because of their financing options. I'll admit, the idea of spending $100 or less a month toward a laptop, as opposed to $1500 all at once, is enticing. So...with that idea in mind, I've visited two Dell kiosks (Dell Direct, excuse me), one at Southdale and the other at Rosedale. Southdale had a really nice laptop that I'd consider; it even had HDMI output. We messed around with some settings online, and came out with a really nice product.

The next day, I went to the Rosedale store to look at it again. Except, "it" wasn't there. In fact, they claimed that all kiosks had the same models, and they had never heard of that one. And the internet didn't have it either, although a day before it did. So now I'm fairly confused about the whole situation, and really don't want to drive back out to Southdale.

Plus, another guy at work told me that even though he was married, owned a car and a house, and had a full time job, he still couldn't get financing through Dell. And that scares me, since I've got nothing compared to him. Just more charm is all...


I suppose I should wrap this up. But one final thought or two before I log off.

God has recently been bringing to my attention my attitude regarding certain people, be they from work, my school past, church past, future, or whatever. Namely, He has been saying "Be bigger than that. Get over it!" I will readily admit that there are plenty of people I DO NOT LIKE, for various reasons. Whether it was the person who decided to invite himself to my church and then proceed to make out with his girlfriend in the back of my car both to and from church; the former manager at work who abused my time and abilities and tried to set me up for the fall; the woman who taught me in my senior year while treating me like a four year old; the professor who would abuse prayer to God in order to use it as a tool to control a classroom; or the old youth pastor who publicly took you to task for trying to find God in other editions of the Bible besides the holy KJV.

There is a song that comes to mind when I think of these people...older song, goes something like..."You took Jesus from me"...or something...think the real lyrics were "I saw Jesus in you" but that can't have been the case...

But God is working. Get over it. And so I've been making steps to try to correct my thinking and change things around.

I might not still like you. I might choose to avoid you and not have any contact with you. But I do not want to be chained by you or embittered toward you anymore. For that I sincerely apologize.

It is way too easy to empower people unknowingly...


Anywoo...time to sign off.

Leave a comment, I'd appreciate it.

Mar 22, 2007

OS X and XP

Now THAT is something I kinda like. I don't know why, not really...but I like it.

Macs. Interesting machines. Granted, most of my user experience with them is on that insanely crappy machine running in the Harpel's know, the Mac that takes a day and a half to open eye(sore)Tunes, can't view videos online because of it's dying screen, and has that annoying mouse that tends to forget it's attached to the machine.

Or are those just hardware issues? Hard to tell at times...

I should probably take the time to post a whole blog about this...later though. But I'll just say this up front here:

If I could get a Mac to do everything a PC does, and do it as well as a PC without relying on "illegal" programs to provide basic user compatibility, or any gimmicks (making movies, podcasts, "hey look a camera!"), can natively play any computer games I might already own and that I might wish to own in the future (within graphical reason), all for under $1500...

I'd buy a Mac. Although 95% of the time I'd still hate OS X with the exception of one or two programs.

I'm already learning slowly but surely to hate Windows Vista. Yes, it has only been out for a handful of months and needs time to shake the kinks. Yes, I still wish I could do everything in DOS cause I like having control (OS X, Vista, and to an extent the 95/98/XP family does the same thing).

It's the OS I can't get over. That and the Dashboard...ugh.

There will never be a perfect computer. This I know. The most I can hope for is an easy to understand and use experience. Which seems to be screaming Mac nowadays.

But so help me if I become a self-absorbed materialist left-wing jerk who appears in commercials...

Mar 20, 2007

A Very Convenient MisTruth

I've been getting really tired of many things recently. I'm really tired of Al Gore and his global warming...excuse me, climate change...agenda. Getting really tired of people telling me that Hillary Clinton "makes sense" and would be a good President. Getting really tired of people telling me that it "is so unfair!" that we are in Iraq.

Getting really sick and tired of all the stupid ignornant morons who are convinced that they know the truth without doing any research. REALLY. SICK. OF. IT.

New rule with me - if you think you have an opinion on a political subject, and you think your opinion is valid, then I'm going to ask you a few simple things. And if you have no idea what I am talking about, or try to work your way around the questions, then just shut your mouth. You are an ignorant cog in the masses. You are, simply, NOTHING. Grow up.

I'm thinking of several people in particular here, but I will not name names.

And finally do away with all this nonsense about global warming, read this.

An Inconvenient Truth To Promote A Cause

My title, not the authors. Excuse the lame but intentional pun on Gore's "picture."

Mar 19, 2007

God of Work, The Sequel!

Little bit of good news I should probably post on here, for those still wondering. I've been told that within the next week to 10 days, I should finally be able to take over the late baker's position, netting better hours and hopefully better pay.

Hopes are high...although I've heard this exact same thing (minus the time frame) a few times over the last few months. So...soon at least.

Hmm...kinda sounds like the withdrawal from Iraq talks. Oh wait...politics. Can't go there.

But anyways...I probably will not be able to get to church right at 7 with my new schedule...but depending on my level of nastiness and sweat, I should be able to be there by 7:30 or at least 8! Just in time for "the good stuff"...

Although, hopefully, I would love to be able to be there by 6:30. As I was talking to JP, I'd love to take over, or at least help with, the recording of the service and running of the soundboard. I've been doing it for several years now, already enjoy it, so it seems a perfect fit.

One last thing before I shuffle off...THIS is what has been taking all my time and attention recently. And it is amazing.

Mar 17, 2007

Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, Live from Target Center

Wow...has it really been almost a year and a half since this show? Amazing...

The song of course is Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, from the Achtung Baby album. Just a little different arrangement from the original.

While the Minneapolis show was special because it was here in MN, obviously, as well as being the show where I officially "introduced" U2 to Joe and David...personally, I think my previous show in Chicago was better, May 12 (a few days after Bono's birthday). While the Chicago show was my very first U2 show, it was better for more reasons than that.

The one thing that bummed me about the Minneapolis show was the number of acoustic songs. Don't get me wrong; we got an awesome show, one that is always listed in the most downloaded Vertigo Tour shows online. "The First Time" was played, "Crumbs From Your Table" was played live for the first time, the above "Wild Horses" was also special...really, great song choices all around. But, in my mind, it was lacking.

What I really wanted, and especially wanted my friends to witness, was U2 overload. Specifically, the "ZooTV lite" segment on most Vertigo Tour shows: "Zoo Station," "The Fly," "Mysterious Ways," and "Until the End of the World" (especially this one). I got to experience this in Chicago...with the exception of "Zoo Station"... and it made my day. We in Minneapolis were treated to a variety of rare and acoustic songs; in Chicago, we got to see U2 rock out.

The more I look back on it, the more that Chicago show was the "perfect setlist" for me, or at least perfect for my first show. I got almost all the songs I've always wanted to see performed live. And I'm lucky enough to not only have audio cds of the show, but a really decent dvd of the show too (except for that annoying time delay in parts). For Minneapolis, I've only got a halfway decent (aka crap) audio copy. I know there are various cam shots from the show, which the above footage is from, but the only way I can get those is from a torrents site, and my internet connection doesn't have the horsepower to do that. One day...

Still, I'm grateful for the shows that I got. Never mind that a friend of mine was literally on the edge of the ellipse during the tour opener, got to see them maybe 6 more times during that first leg, as well as getting to go see the last show of the tour in an open air stadium in Hawaii...

I'm still grateful.

Looking forward to the next tour!!


You know, if people were to try to get to know me based solely on the strength and topics of this blog, they'd think I was obsessed with U2. I'm not. At least not entirely. I know that more people read this blog than I know of...I'm always hearing about someone else reading or at least knowing about my blog. And if they don't want to take the time to comment, that's ok. I'll do my best to keep you entertained.

"Your mama is so fat...on a scale of 1 to 10, she's a seven-forty-seven." -Sharpton to Obama

I really need to start to diversify my blog posts...

Mar 11, 2007

XM gospel and The Secret

Been hearing about The Secret a lot recently. Oprah seems to be on a big kick about are others. Well, I think I figured out what the secret really is...

A few days ago, as I was walking back to the bakery to get to work in the morning, pushing my 3 or 4 shopping carts (we somehow use them all), I had a lot of things on my mind. This is typically normal for me; but this past week or two I've been in a different kind of funk. Not depressed, just lots on my mind. Most of it has to do with only getting the occasional day off, and not two days in a row or anything; so just a general feeling of being tired and weary (shovelling snow, 50 lb bags of cake mix, and moving pallets of food around can do that to you).

So...I was just walking back to the bakery, pushing my carts, lost in my own mind (but still alert for forklifts). Scene set. We have XM Radio or some other satellite service that pumps music throughout most of the store; our little corner gets nothing but our blown out boombox. Normally we tend to listen to a lot of 80's hair metal...yick...but they decided to put on some hit list station for that morning.

Two songs in particular stuck out to me. First, that one song that all the radio stations can't seem to stop playing...that one song that Jelani likes...goes something like:

"I keep on waiting, waiting/ Waiting for the world (song) to change."

Or something like that. Hideous song, equally stupid music video. Bad artist all around. Anyways, the song seems to be the current message that keeps being said around the world: everyone wants change. They don't know what they really want, but go ahead and change the status quo anyway. Anything is better than what we currently have, right? We got the war in Iraq going on, Bush is still in office, the Vikings suck, everything just seems to be going downhill, huh?

So as the song closes..."Keep on waiting, waiting...waiting for the world to change," the next song that the playlist (or DJ) decides to play is essentially the answer to that cry.

See the world in green and blue See China right in front of you See the canyons broken by clouds See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out See the Bedouin fires at night See the oil fields at first light and See the bird with a leaf in her mouth After the flood all the colors came out

And then later...

What you don't have you don't need it now What you don't know you can feel it somehow What you don't have you don't need it now Don't need it now It was a beautiful day

's Beautiful Day, if you haven't figured it out. And once again, Bono's lyrics speak volumes. A song of hopelessness followed by a song that practically shouts "HEY! It's already better! Things got better a long time ago! There is a way out, that you can take, right now! How can it not be a beautiful day?"

I don't know. Once again, I'm having trouble writing what I'm thinking, or remembering how I felt at the time. But it just struck me as important, you know? Yeah, this world sucks. It's pretty messed up. But things are going to better. Christ is coming, and in a sense, is already here. While we might still struggle in the dirt, sometimes even enjoying it, ultimately we are clean and will be clean. And the only way that is accomplished is through Christ.

You understand me?

Feb 24, 2007

Where-in I root for a team and ponder on podcasts

Tonight my old high school's basketball team, starring my brother, is in the championship game for the local Minnesota Athletics Convention. I'd be at the game, but I look outside, and I cannot see my street. My car already scares me in the snow (more so because I just found out my front right axle or something is broke...$300 broke) and I'd rather not take any chances.

So...go Warriors. Win one for us (finally).


Update on job situation- I'm pretty much getting the late baker's position. Better hours, better pay, better everything I hope. Unfortunately, I probably will not actually start that position until a few more weeks. We are currently looking for someone to fill my stocker position; a position that, when I was hired, was told that three other people had held the job in the last few months before I did. Still, I remain hopeful.

And even though I'm confirmed for the new job...I won't truly believe it until I'm done waking up at 3 in the morning.


Updated a bunch of links to the right of this blog. Most of them are websites I frequent, or contribute to, on a daily or semi-daily basis. I even know the owner/manager of one or two of them. Go check them out, lots of good stuff to be found online.


Since I'm missing certain people's email addresses, and currently are too lazy to actively search them out, I'll just post a question here.

What are podcasts encoded as?

I'd love to download Bruce's sermons, but lacking an mp3 device (I do accept nano donations), I'd be forced to either sit at the shared family computer or burn them to a cd. If they are in MP3 form, I could put multiple ones on a disc, which would be ideal.

Hopefully though I'll be able to actively attend church regularly again...once that new job kicks in.

Although I must confess, I really don't like having church in the frat. So small, so confining, so...big pole in the way, and it's not right having the band spread out. Drums behind, guitars front and center!


Ok, that's it.

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Feb 2, 2007

No doubt in my mind

I mean, c'mon, how can anyone seriously argue that Bono and his fellow members of U2 are not Christian??

This alone should prove it.

If your heart is still hard, try this...

I realize to like 90% of the people who read my blog agree with me, but for those stubborn few...

Jan 31, 2007

Salt and Light in Blogger u2.0

And I've converted to Blogger 2.0. Why? Cause it wouldn't let me do otherwise. Sigh...I've "Made the Switch."

Two thoughts tonight. The first...I've noticed that it is getting easier and easier to not go to church. Part of it has to do with the schedule I'm on. Having been up for work since 3 am, unless I manage to grab a few hours nap in the afternoon, come 7, 7:30, I'm dragging. I'm sure I'd feel really good and coherent come the end of church around 9:30.

I know I need to be at church. I want to be at church; preferably on Saturday night so I can see my friends, but Wednesday works just as well. Pray that God will change my work schedule so that I can begin attending regularly again. There is a possibility I might get a part-time baker's position, with hours closer to 1-6 pm than my current 5am-10am. Pray that something works out.

Ok, the second thing for this evening. I was reading through One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen (actually a really, really terrible and poorly written book), but some scripture he used struck out to me. Specifically, Matt 5:13-4 (salt and light of the world).

(EDIT- Ok, the book is not horrible. It's by far not the worse book out there. I've just noticed some errors with it, both factual and textual, that I didn't like. I apologize if I came across as unduly critical. I guess it's the editor in me...)

What is meant here by "salt" and "light?" Since they are two different words, defining two different objects (one physical, one, I'm gonna assume that they are referring to two seperate things. But the usage of both words is similar, and really kinda mean the same thing. So what is that thing (or things)?

What put this thought into my mind was the way the author of that U2 book, as well as Jesus, used these examples. Right now I'm lacking the words to explain what I was thinking, but these words sort of stuck with me and I can't seem to get rid of them. I'm just really curious what is being referred to specifically here. I've always heard these verses/words interchangeably, but I somehow doubt that is the case.

I'm wondering if a proper Biblical study will yield some answers.

Any thoughts?

Jan 28, 2007

Demo of new U2 song

I think Blogger really, really wants me to switch to their new version. It's "Make the Switch" all over again...

Anyways, this is a fan made video of a new U2 song/demo. Basically a guy with a camcorder hung around outside Bono's house in the south of France (summer home) back in the summer and recorded some tunes. This one is actually my favorite of the ones I've heard so far.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling this is far from the finished product. The song just seems to start abruptly and not have an ending, two things U2 needs to fix. But otherwise, it's perfect!