spring car cleaning

Now playing: ghetto-old petra songs... that make me feel like getting together with 30 or 40 other musicians and signing a lame song to try to raise money for aging Christian rockers. Seriously, John Schlitt, Louie Weaver, and Bob... I can't remember Bob's last name... are going to need pensions pretty soon, and I understand Larry Norman could already use one.

So, it's that time of year that everyone loves: Spring. In spring, bible college students form couples like it's going out of style. In spring, people start to exercise again, cause winter's over and the extra layer of blubber is no longer necessary (unless you live in ohio, where you can possible have 30 cm of snow on the second last weekend of april. Gosh.). And, in spring, you get to clean your car out. You know what I'm talking about... wrestle out the shop vac, try to figure out why it smells like it got in a fight with a Christmas tree (always take the easy answer - it must've just got in a fight with a Christmas tree. Way better than finding out that your dad loaned it to the local sawmill to aid in clean up efforts. Gosh), wipe down all the dusty surfaces, try to figure out what all the new noises under the hood are. Of course, with my mechanical capabilities, I was able to determine that my car had a motor. I felt like I had made a substantial discovery, so I celebrated by giving up and getting back to cleaning—at least I understand that part. It's nice to have a clean car - nicer if it's a nice clean car, but I guess i can't win 'em all.

Life just keeps on rolling. And, that's a good thing, but sometimes it all just seems weird. If I could sit down and drink coffee with you, I'd tell you stories, and you'd be like "a, he's self absorbed, b, God's plan is funny and awesome, c, no one else thinks in lists like me, so no one else would get to c." Anyway, things are going well, I am happy, and I think (for todd and matty who will care), I actually wrote a song the other night.

Alright, i gotta go. I smell like I was operating a shop vac that got in a fight with a Christmas tree. Go figure.


remember when?

i'm listening to various rock and roll songs and enjoying it.

Do you remember when you lost your imagination? I remember even up to the age of 13 (i know, loser?) playing some serious lego with my brothers (who will remained unnamed for their own protection), and man... we had imagination. We would make whole cities... okay, more frequently they were army out posts... and we'd have people who had lives... or at least armies... and we'd have a blast.

WHAT HAPPENED? How come I can't think that way anymore? It's almost like with the media saturation I've put myself in, I don't ever have two creative thoughts to rub together. I stopped caring about the fantastic and instead became obsessed with the mediocre. I think that, to some degree or another, that's probably true of most of us. I'll concede that there MUST be exceptions, cause otherwise we wouldn't have things like Calvin and Hobbes (come back Mr. Watterson, please, come back!), or Ender's Game, or the Lord of the Rings... at least, the books. But, I think that for most of us, reading other people's imaginitive spewing forths is probably as close as we get. We're constantly surrounding ourselves with noise and things to occupy us. Even as I'm doing this, my computer features Hootie and the Blowfish (pre-burger king ad days), there's some dvds waiting to be watched, and some laundry to fold and stuff. Mundane. If i try real hard, I can explain it away with "well, that's real life." Realistically though, that' s not real life -- it's life the way we've fashioned it. And it's not cool. So, take the time to imagine something... there's nothing wrong with imagination. Or playing with lego, either. (Is legos the plural of lego? does it matter?) Gosh, a little more media saturation, and we'll all be brain dead.


someone else's words

I'm sitting here, listening to Andrew Peterson's Carried Along album. This guy can write. BUY HIS ALBUMS, seriously. I did, and I'll never regret it.

And actually, Mr. Peterson is the focal point of this particular post. He's been very candid in his last few journal posts on his website. I recommend that everyone who is a fan of Christians playing music go read his words, just in terms of understanding what their world is like. He also has some ideas for what we can do to help, which brings up pretty well my favorite quote:

You can also let other people know about the
music--especially that they don't have to force themselves to
like every song on the local Christian station. Being a
Christian doesn't mean suddenly liking the same kind of
music as every other soccer mom-Sunday School teacher in
your city (which is the demographic I've heard Christian
radio bases their format on). I always ask myself, "What
about the rest of us?" Those of us who are more ministered
to by songs with artistry, honesty, music that's raw and
compelling? I believe there are millions of people in the
world who would prefer the kind of music I'm speaking of to
what they hear on the radio, but they just don't know it
exists, or where to find it. You can spread the word.
(from andrew-peterson.com/journals.php)

Some good words by a good man and a great musician. I wish I could've said that, but since I didn't, I'll rephrase... I don't care what genre you like, be it punk, pop, or a little down-home folk-rock—find musicians who are genuinely good at what they do and write good music that says something. Then, support those musicians. Go to concerts, talk about them in your blogs, do everything you can to let other people know that they are out there. Darn it. I dunno, i guess it just gets frustrating how Christians tend not to support the real artists in their communities and beyond.

In other news, well... I'm mostly working, spending a fair deal of time making long distance phone calls (to antarctica, I swear. I run... ya, I run an arena penguin football team. We're trying to draft some new talent, and it's not easy. It's not like I'm calling a girl. Gosh! :-) ). I'll post more this weekend—for once a weekend where I'm not travelling around! YES!

Keep it real.



now playing: Noel and Liam and their buds. Although, with as much as they hate each other, you'd think they'd have a hard time finding anyone else to jam with them. I guess there are advantages to making lots of money.

I'm embarking on my 22nd circling of the sun. It's kinda exciting and daunting and all of those things, but it's also kinda... blase. I guess it all depends on what you do with it; what you pursue. I hope my 22nd time around is better than the 21st. I think I'm learning some things lately. I want to share one of them with you. There's a danger in even saying it outloud, for, as the same author I'm about to quote points out later in his book, it can be easy to become good at being a teacher or a pastoral type (ie, sounding wise) without actually ever knowing God.

I picked up a copy of JI Packer's Knowing God the other day. It's possibly the best book money I've spent lately. It's a pretty good book. You know a book is going to be amazing when you're floored by the intro.

"In A Preface to Christian Theology, John Mackay [no relation to yours truly] illustrated two kinds of interest in Christian things by picturing persons sitting on the high front balcony of a Spanish house watching travellers go by on the road below. The 'balconeers' can overhear the travellers' talk and chat with them; they may comment critically on the way that the travellers walk; or they may discuss questions about the road, how it can exist at all or lead anywhere, what might be seen form different points along it, and so forth; but they are onlookers, and their problems are theoretical only. The travellers, by contrast, face problems which, though they have their theoretical angle, are essentially pracical—problems of the 'which way to go' and 'how to make it' type, problems which call not merely for omprehension but for decision and action too. Balconeers and travellers may htink over the same area, yet their problems differ... In relation to evil, the balconeer's problem is to find a theoretical explanation of how e4vil can consist with God's sovereignty and goodness, but the traveller's problem is how to master evil and bring good out of it... Or take the problem of the Godhead; while the balconeer is aksing how one God can conceivably be three, what sort of unity three could have, and how three who make one can be persons, the traveller wants to know how to show proper honour, love and trust toward the three persons who are now together at work ot bring him out of sin to glory. (p. 7-8)

A quick clarification: JI is certainly not arguing that theology is bad, just that without application it is useless. He's right. It's time for us, especially us who climb the steps to the balcony so easily, to get down again, and start walking the road. Remember how I said it was easy for me to be cynical and presume I'm better than everyone else? This is why. Cause I sit in my balcony all day long and critique everyone else. Eventually, if we stay in the balcony, we end up like the old guys from the muppets. Kinda amusing to listen to for 10 seconds once a week, but otherwise quite pase, cause they're irrelevant.

21:retrospective... sitting in the balcony just won't do.
Get walking.


there's looking for a date, and then there's desperate

Given the topic at hand, somebody told me by the killers seemed appropriate, or not.

Hi kids. Before I launch into a post on the topic of dating, i want to say that the serious side of me agrees with my friend megan when she talked about dating. I know where she's coming from and was there fora while myself. God plans the seasons of our lives for a good reason. When the right person comes along, that's an awesome thing. But if they haven't yet, that's an awesome thing too, cause God's still working on stuff. In making light of dating below, I certainly don't mean to be frustrating to anyone, nor to slight God's sovereignty even in these things.

Now, on to inane-ity. Read this. Yep... now you don't even need to go to one of those dating websites to find a date... just do your shopping like you normally would! Except, with a red bow on your cart. Go figure. Man, I wonder if Walmart will start offering some discount relationship counselling, too? That'd be great. And perhaps a "valu" wedding chapel out back... wait, they'd just have to convert the flower section. Great! You could get hitched in one evening at Walmart. I laughed pretty hard on this one. What's next? Is there no institution that Walmart will not try to become a part of? What a strange, strange world.

Thats it for now!


thought process

You'll never believe this, but I'm presently listening to High Noon by Andrew Peterson again. Shocking? You know it! It's a great song. I recommend Mr. Peterson whole-heartedly.

I have another shocking revelation for you all, though. I'm a jerk. Now, you're thinking, "here we go, momentary conscience attack" but that's not it at all. I've been sitting here trying to come up with something to talk to you guys about, scouring the internet for inspiration. I've looked at news, at Christian commentary, at music info. All i can say to any of it is, tell me why I care. I don't care that Amy Grant is getting a reality show. I don't see what it matters that the pope thought about resigning — it's like football stats. I find it just passably interesting that Relient K is opening for Simple Plan and Good Charlotte.

Now, it's all fine and good to not care about pop-junk-info. (a.k.a. 3/4 of what the news media reports.) My problem is that this often sweeps from my view of culture into my view of people. It's easy to despise people for being petty, self-obsessed, and caught up in a super-lame culture. the problem with that is, most of the time I'm petty, self-obsessed, and caught up in a super-lame culture. But, I don't think of that. I just marginalize everyone else, and act like I'm the king of everything. Self deceit is an interesting thing, i think. I'm good at convincing myself that I'm good, fair, important, right, and all those other things. Everyone else is a moron... me? Great. And not even regular great, but Tony the Tiger... GRRRRRREAT!

Anyway, the moral of my story is, I ultimately found something to talk to you guys about. Click here to read it. (Also, the connection may not be perfectly clear... and that may be a reflection of how my head works. Either way, it's a good read) It's an interesting little meditation by John Piper.

It's easy for me to try to be a firebrand and to tell myself that "It doesn't matter what people think." But, there's an important aspect of my Christian calling that does put some weight to what people think. And while, as JP points out, there is the possibility that they will hate our message, if we act like I've outlined above, they won't ever get around to looking at the message—they'll be too busy hating us.

Thats it for now.

High Noon

now playing: Andrew Peterson can seriously give me goosebumps. Especially in the song "High Noon." Easily the coolest "Jesus conquering sin" analogy I've ever heard. Also, it's in dadgad, I have chords if you want them. I like this song so much, I'm going to share the first verse with you guys.

High noon in the valley of the shadow
When the deep of the valley was bright
When the mouth of the tomb shouted,
"Glory, the groom is alive"
So long, you wages of sin go on,
Don't you come back again
I've been raised and redeemed;
You've lost all your sting
To the victor of the battle at
High noon in the valley
In the valley of the shadow

buy this guy's albums!

So, it's been a while, i guess you could say. In fact, it's been so long that I'd wager no one will check this. Hehehe... we'll see how it goes. Anyway, I'm back for a while... back to the land of thinking i have something to say to the world, even if it's small and pointless. Heck, everyone else gets to have a platform, why not this kid? Wait! You're not supposed to answer that.

A quick side paragraph about grammar and composition.

First, a note about Satan, based out of something I've observed a lot lately. This may come as a surprise to some people, but... I'm pretty sure Satan—if he's even aware of it— isn't insulted when you write his name without a capital on it. In fact, I think it takes more time to conciously think about lowercasing it than is healthily spent on the topic. Satan doesn't really care if you violate the rules of the English language because you don't like him. So, how's about we just follow the rules of ENGLISH and keep the exceptions for meaningful things? Capitals on proper nouns.

Also, while we're chatting about grammar and composition, excessive use of exclamation marks doesn't help your writing. It makes it seem like you're self-obsessed to the point of exclaiming everything you say. For example:

I went to the beach today! It was great! I walked in sandals! My reef sandals are pretty well the best I know of! This one time, I got hurt at the beach! But, I didn't get hurt today! Yippee skippee!

Now, did any of those sentences stand out from the rest? No. Why? Because when you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.

So, that's it for my grammar lesson for today.

In other news, last time I wrote, I stated... " I think I'm going for a bit of a road trip. It should be awesome. I'll follow up and let you guys know how it goes..." It's funny how you say something, and people really hold you to it. I can think of a few people who have been waiting to read me at least say something about the whole thing. I'm prepared to make a statement. It won't be as elaborate as the ones I usually make on behalf of my little brother (who, by the way, is dating that girl again. Remember, back when I issued the retraction? For the first time ever, I'm retracting a retraction). I did go on my trip. I went to the great state of West Virginia. It was a fantastic trip, although the driving was a little scary at times. I had a great time visiting friends. Oh, and also, I guess mentioning (for those of you who haven't already either heard it "through the grapevine" or seen it on my face) the fact that there's this girl down there that I'm crazy about could be relevant. Yeah. Probably. Hence Luke's comment on my last post. It's not a long distance relationship, though. It's a distance challenged relationship. :-) She's great, and she's also reading this, going "Gosh Mackay!" so I think I'll leave at that. Suffice it to say, if you bump into me and I look giddy and slightly mournful all at once, you know why.

Alright, i think that pretty well covers my return to blogging. You know what's interesting about blogging? There's supposed to be this element of commentary on web sites that one is visiting. Hmm... hopefully I'll have some comment in that form for you guys... there's a lot of stuff I'd like to get others thoughts on. So, help me out.

I'm done for now. Keep it real.