Friday, July 30, 2004

lake shasta

well i'm out of here for a week. headed down to lake shasta with the youth group for houseboats. you might ask how that's possible, since i'm clearly not in high school anymore...i'll explain. i'm going as staff. yup. staff. see you in a week.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

a tale of generosity

one day a woman, ratty, dirty, and coarse, walked into a very clean middle class church. she asked for some money, explained that she had just been released from jail and hadn't seen her daughter for 3 weeks...maybe two months. she appeared to be coming down from some drugs, had a prison wristband on still, and wanted to get up the freeway a few hours. one of the church employees decided to write a check for her, from the church, to buy bus fare up the freeway.

well, maybe we can help her. or maybe i'm just giving her money to throw away on something that isn't going to help her at all.

she thought this as she handed the woman a check and watched her walk out the door...not the swagger of a drunkard as some might expect, rather the limp of a broken woman.

i hope she doesn't just throw this money away. we're pretty tight right now financially, and she doesn't even go to our church. God, please use this to draw her to yourself.

this thought and this prayer were thrown up as the employee headed back off to a staff meeting, and then her mind let it go as the week brought other things onto her plate.

on her return from lunch one day a week or so later, a surprising card was found on her desk. it was a thank you note. it appeared that valerie, the woman who needed help, had indeed made it up the road, and a friend was overwhelmed by the generosity of one hard pressed church who didn't know if they were helping or not.

the note explained that valerie made it up the freeway, and was really surprised that someone would take a chance on her. in the words of valerie's friend, it made her reconsider her own life. valerie's friend sent a check to cover the bus ticket, and then sent a little extra money because she thought it was worth supporting a church that really cared about people and was doing what jesus told them to do. those weren't all her words, she may not have even been a christian. but that is what happened, and she saw jesus whether she knew it or not.

that's some pretty powerful stuff from a bus fare. pretty powerful indeed.

a cynical view of marriage (cynical read: realistic)

i really felt like i had good things to write when i opened up this page. and then, i get here, and the profundity is gone. i guess i should talk about a conversation i had with two married friends today. both are women in their late 20s. one has been married seven (yeah, seven) years, and the other for almost one. they were both talking about how hard married life is, and how stupid so many people are when they get married, not having any idea what they are getting into. this is a sort of vindication for me, since i have been ranting for almost a year about my idiot cousins and their engagements/marriages. you see, i get this feeling that they think life will be awesome because they are "in love," but they don't realize that that really isn't enough. there is a helluva lot more that goes into marriage than being in love. my mom has been telling me that i am being rude/arrogant/insensitive because of the way i've been talking about these people, but i think they deserve to be reminded (though not outright, i'm too proper for that, sarcastic asides are more my style) that they are under 24, have NO idea what life is really like, and don't even know what they want from themselves. all these things just make me think that their marriages are going to get really f*&^ing hard really quickly. i mean really really hard. in talking to these friends and telling them that i'm content to be single, i remembered that i really am content to be single. so even though girls are really pretty, my hormones are annoying, i have a pretty good community around me, and i think that it would be really nice to have a girlfriend, i'm quite happy to be single. quite happy indeed. i think that's all, turned out to be a pretty nice post, from my point of view, which is all i really care about right now, i suppose.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


most of you probably expect that this post is related to the movie bottle rocket, since andrew wilson (luke and owen's older brother) plays a character by that name in the movie. in actuality, this post is related to the show i went to tonight in the park, for free. you see, the drummer, who actually mainly played a synth drumitar, was named futureman. more importantly, his brother, the bass player, is named victor wooten. that's right, bela fleck and the flecktones rocked roseburg tonight for free. it was a great show, and reminded me again that i absolutely love music. it was a very good time, and victor did things that are nearly unbelievable, nay, they ARE unbelievable. i didn't have much more to post about tonight, just thought i should float it out into cyberspace that i got to see these guys tonight. i may start a countdown of days until i had better know what the hell i'm doing next year, but not yet...there's too much time still.

Monday, July 26, 2004

me at a show

me at a coffeehouse show during sophomore year of college Posted by Hello

my school id picture

me from freshman year of college Posted by Hello

me and my brother

this is a picture of me and my brother during his senior year of high school, my sophomore year of college. Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 25, 2004

trial picture of my friend becca

this is a friend of mine from wheaton, with the city of tegucigalpa, honduras, behind her. just thought i'd try to put a picture up on the blog with this new program, so that i can eventually put pictures of myself up. yes, i'm a self-focused person.

a few links

just thought i'd put some cool links up every once in a while, cool stuff online really:

this is a great page. i repeat, great page.

this is a really cool site that has powerpoint slides and audio from a conference at wheaton that was pretty sweet. click on john walton's picture to hear some things about genesis from a guy who knows his stuff...he wrote the NIV application commentary on genesis, so there's some credibility if you needed it.

one of my favorite places on the internet, a great writer who has clever and insightful things to say about sports, culture, and whatever else he writes about.

this is an awesome website related to a very cool magazine. they have links to news stories, reviews of all sorts of things, devotional thoughts, and challenges that are worth reading. i start most mornings at work by checking this site out to see what really is "relevant." (cheesy i know, but true)

most people have probably seen this by now, but it's still worth hearing about in case you haven't. hilarious stuff on this site. i mean really funny. go there, now. i'm not joking. now.

if you are still reading i'm disappointed, you should be at homestarrunner. oh well, more links to come...

moral elitism

last night at church i was worried that the sermon would get me quite riled up. the topic was relativism, and while i think this is an important subject to discuss/think about/reflect on, i feel like the approach taken by evangelicals is off kilter. i dreaded it even more when i realized that he was specifically going to talk about moral relativism. you see, my area of study in college was ethics, and so anytime i hear someone talk about morality i start comparing them to other ethical theorists and get disgusted by their lack of thought. now that my elitism has shown itself clearly, i can say that gerry's sermon was really cool...even if i thought he misrepresented a few ethical theories. the biggest points that i agreed with are these: the bible doesn't prescribe a morality for every situation (in fact, i think that most of the places with law are intended to reveal more about God to us...though i don't think we should dismiss the commands, just focus on what they say about God, and then, since we know that we are seeking to obey him and be more like him, we can act accordingly), there are grey areas even for christians (morality is messy like that), and our focus should be developing character, not just obeying rules or seeking the best consequences (and that's the part i think is the most important). want more? read after virtue, by alistair macintyre, he's awesome. another good one is common objects of love, by oliver o'donavon. both are pretty tough reading, but worth it.

quick note: from reading this post, some might think that i am extremely cynical. in fact, i don't believe this to be the case. i often tell friends of mine that the best way to make a point is to define yourself against something else. this may sound reactionary, and very well may be. but i hope that in my writings i will end up defining my own positions against previous ones, so that i can clarify what i think, not only for the sake of people who may read this, but for my own sake (and vice versa).

Saturday, July 24, 2004

lambsticks to you, too

so i am beginning my own foray into the realm of blogs. this will probably be a place where i can wax philosophical and process the things i'm thinking through. the nice thing about doing it in this sort of context is that i can get feedback from people, if they stumble across my page. i'll start by describing where the name comes from, because it ties in with something else i enjoy thinking about. i was out on a boat with several friends one day, and we'd been in the sun for a while, so things weren't all that sane. at one point one of them just started saying "lambsticks." so i did too. now we say it to each other all the time. as the original (or unoriginal, as the case appears to be) title of this blog, "work in progress," was already taken, i decided on lambsticks.

this makes me think about the way we use language. i can say lambsticks to either of these friends in a number of situations and it will carry meaning. they may not always end up understanding my intended meaning, but there will be meaning, even though it's a nonsensical word creation. a lot of language is like that. it "means" one thing, but in the context of friendship (or something worse, like enemy-ship) it can mean things that most people wouldn't know it could. there aren't too many other things to say about this, just that i often think about the way language functions in society. another good example i get stuck on is the "how are you?" greeting. most of the time people don't actually stop to find out how someone is. this bothered me for the longest time, but then i realized that in most cases they aren't asking a question at all, but performing a ritualized greeting process that our culture has taught most everyone. so i'm no longer offended when someone asks me how i'm doing and then just keeps on moving. they care enough about me to give an accepted greeting, and that's pretty good.