Tuesday, August 31, 2004

going soon

yesterday was jacob's birthday. his mom had a great idea to throw a surprise party for him and i was glad to help by calling people. it's still funny to me that i can be in this sort of situation. it was a lot of fun, and it was cool to see that many people celebrate jacob's birthday. more importantly, he and i got music for three more songs. that puts our total for the summer at six. hopefully we can record these very soon. they're pretty good, and i love jacob's lyrics. ingenious. well, i just felt the need to post, since it had been a while. i leave on sunday, and i'm getting more melancholy about it than i thought i would. it's weird because recently i've been talking with some people who are still at wheaton, i'm going to see wheaton people and my brother, and i'm still sad to be leaving these "high schoolers" who are my friends. not much else to say. or there is, i'm just not saying it. maybe.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

multi-twist movies

i hate those movies that set you up and then trick you several times. at one point the plot makes you want something to happen, and it is about to, and then all the sudden everything goes to pot. then you get over it and get involved with the new direction, but all the sudden what seemed impossible is quite possible again, and appears inevitable. and just as whatever you want to happen is about to, it falls through again. the double plot twist. high marks in the olympics, but not in movies.

that's all a lie. i actually like movies that do that, if they do it well. what i don't like is when that happens in real life. like right now for me. the xB was almost mine, then out. then i got over it. then all of the sudden it was a very real likelihood, so we went up today to get it. and then the assistant manager said they couldn't take the dvd setup out, which adds abour $2,200 to the car. so i said there was no way and walked out. i don't think my mouth has had this much bitter taste for a while. contentment with what i have sure seems like a great option, though something that can handle my stuff still seems like the closest thing to necessity without being one that there is.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

the plot twist

sometimes i decide something isn't going to happen and i stop worrying about it, and then what i want falls in my lap. well, this isn't exactly one of those cases, but close. i had given up on the xB, since i couldn't get my color, and it just didn't seem like it would fit with the timing of my trip and all. today my parents called from a dealership in eugene to tell me that my color was there, but instead of a manual it's an automatic. really, that's not a huge deal to me. i was sick of working with the guy from the other dealership in eugene anyway, had wanted to go back to this guy, who we'd talked to first thing when we started looking, and now it's all falling into place. i think i'll go up tomorrow and see if we can't get some things settled on so that hopefully i can get the car later this week. crazy how things work out, or at least how this looks like it will work out. and once again, i'm a consumer whore. (happily)

Friday, August 27, 2004


now i'm trying to find a good used car online. the xB fell through. probably all for the best. if it becomes an option again, that's cool. but i think it will be better to not have too much in extra loans, so i don't get pigeonholed. what the heck does that term mean? no idea. oh well, always good to say things you don't understand.

pet sounds

so i'm still stuck on the movie love actually. i didn't watch it tonight again, but i was talking to my mom about the film on our way back from portland. what's funny is that tonight i finally watched kill bill vol. 2, a movie i've been anticipating, and even though it was a master work of cinema, i think i enjoyed the sappy english chick-flick more. so i'm left thinking about the scenes in love actually that i wish were from my life, and the ones that i hope are never part of my life, and the ones that strike me as amazing, and the ones that for whatever reason i can't get out of my head. right now the song god only knows, by the beach boys, is stuck in my head. it runs through the final scene. great song. it's on the album pet sounds, which is one of the best albums of all time. i suggest you buy it as soon as possible. i suggest that i do the same.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

girls love musicians, don't they? even the really weird ones get girlfriends.

that's a quote from love actually, which is still rattling around in my head after watching last night, and which i may decide to watch again tonight. i really felt like posting, but i don't have much to write, so i'm just writing whatever comes to my head. the first thing to do was to go look at some of the quotes from the movie, 'cause there were some great ones. the one i chose for the title to this is awesome, and i think i've thought about it's content a lot before. it certainly seems that girls love musicians until you actually become one. and then you realize that girls love musicians just as much as they love athletes, or geniuses, or rich guys, or any other special type of guy. then again, i do remember singing onstage at school during our chrictian rock all-stars show, in which we did classic ccm stuff, and watching girls scream in joy as i sang in their general direction. that was weird. i've never felt more like a rock star. i mean, it was really pretty crazy. but other than that, i tend to disagree with what jack black said in school of rock, that you can be the ugliest sad sack in the world, but when you're rocking, girls love you. sure if you make it big that might be true, but then they aren't going for you, they're gunning for fame. no, the cynic in me has taken over completely and decided that appearance, personality, and all those other things that go into making me attractive (or not, as the case may be) to girls are the things that do it, not anything else. well, i somehow ended up writing about the same sort of crap i've been on for a while. sorry. oh wait, who am i apologizing to? ah, the joy of writing solely for my own sake.

love, actually?

well, krispin and i just finished watching the movie love actually. i'm the type of sentimental romantic putz that hates movies like this one because i like them so much. i get done watching and move quickly from my everyday situation, which is being content to not have a girlfriend but still wanting girls to have crushes on me, to wishing i were a lovesick fool who threw my life away at an early age to get married to some girl i thought was "the one." (huge sigh) isn't it great that i can move so quickly from being a cynical bitter bastard to a bleeding heart romantic? i was just going to write several things, and i mention what they were going to be because they come from the two extremes i just mentioned. on the one hand, i was going to write about taking a risk with someone. and on the other i was going to talk about how these sorts of movies set up a false view of what love is. but really, i don't want to write about either of those things right now. instead, i'd like to just wish i had a girlfriend, or wife, or significant female friend whose companionship i value more highly than that of guys, and that instead of writing at this moment i could be spending time with her. those are the feelings evoked from this kind of sappy movie. (another huge sigh) ah well, that's the thing about life, it's both thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly deplorable at the exact same time. i value my freedom and ability to find meaningful and fulfilling relationships in community, and yet i wish that i were one of the silly people i complain about who gets into other people's business because it has to do with his girlfriend, or writes corny notes to her that have all sorts of cliches in them. (wow, third huge sigh) i've said it before, but it deserves repeating: some day i should really grow up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

time is a funny thing...

several summers ago, while working at roseburg forest products, i developed my very own philosophy of time. of course i didn't write it down, but i remember most of it, especially since that fall we studied kant's philosophy, and some parts were kind of similar. this post isn't about that though, it's about how weird time is...well, i guess then it's related to what i thought of then, but not wholly based on it.

this summer i've gotten to spend a lot of time with some really cool kids. i say kids because, well, they are a bit younger than me. i don't mean to be pretentious, it's just part of my point. you see, i would probably judge someone my age hanging out with a bunch of high school people, but here i've been, doing it all summer. all that said, i don't regret it at all. i consider them my friends. so the first funny thing about time has to do with age. it often seems that there are these rigid societal rules for friendship, and that age is an important barrier in keeping society structured the way it should be. the fact of it is, though, i've had meaningful relationships with my friends this summer, much like the ones i had at college, but most of these have developed in a much shorter time period.

that brings me to my next observation about time: sometimes a lot can happen in a very short amount of it. i have some friends from this summer i had hardly ever talked to, or never even met, before the summer started. when i go away i'll miss them like i miss friends from school who i spent four years with. so often people think that quantity of time is a prerequisite for anything positive. while i agree that it is good or can make things better, this summer has evidenced to me that it is not always necessary.

i think i originally had three points to make, but i can't remember the third one. that's another funny thing about time, it can dull even the sharpest mind, inspire even the weakest wit, or anything in between. at school i could write a paper in the middle of the night that was better than anything i could think of during the day, and much more quickly too. or i could write so much crap down that i ended up embarrassed when the paper came back. time is like that, producing different results at different times, never allowing me to predict how it will affect me. then again, maybe i should be trying to predict how i will affect me, instead. and now i've gone to a new subject, which means it must be time for bed. that's the only time that matters anymore, i suppose.

Friday, August 20, 2004

me, or some version of me

i’m not the same person i was last year. nor am i the same person i was four years ago. this is certainly not a new insight, but it is something that i’ve been reminded of all summer. there are things about me that i’ve realized this summer that i’m surprised by, disappointed by, excited by, and perplexed by. something i have known for quite some time is that i struggle with faith. by faith i mean the type of intellectual mindset that we equate with making a conscious decision. during my last few years of college this struggle led me to a reliance on past feelings (or current ones, when they come) to convince me of God’s work or God’s presence. this was a workable solution.

it no longer is.

i don’t think it is good to be addicted to feelings, even good feelings, even God-given feelings. while these can be nice or reassuring, the very fact that they come and go leads me to believe that relying on them is quite unhealthy, and looking for them shoves God—the real God, not the one i think makes me feel nice—into the background. instead, i have come to think this summer, in talking with krispin and jacob, in reading several different books, and in spending time in God’s word, that there is a much better way to persevere through this struggle of faith.

in galatians 5, paul encouraged the people of that church to emulate christ, to “live God’s way” as the message puts it. as i was preparing for my lesson last week i was struck by the wording of this translation and the change in emphasis it produced in my own thinking. it says in verse 25, “since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.” often the dichotomy of head-knowledge and heart-knowledge is preached in evangelical circles. here, paul seems to be flipping this on its head. while he doesn’t say that these are useless, or that we should not be concerned with them, he doesn’t dwell on them either. our focus should not be on having a perfect understanding or a wonderful feeling, instead it should be on seeing our faith lived out everyday in all the spots of life.

this shift in thinking moves me from a dilemma, trying to understand things, falling back on experience and feelings, then realizing that’s not enough so going back to my head, living out my faith daily. i can do this even when i don’t feel like it. i can do this even when i don’t understand God, his word, or his precise calling on my life. in fact, i have seen my faith strengthened by this process, because it forces me to continue serving God even when i don’t feel like God is there to be served.

this isn’t a blind faith, one that just keeps going because that’s what i’ve always done. rather, this is the type of faith that says, “my actions will reflect what i believe to be true, even though i don’t feel like it or understand how.” this sort of faith also reminds me of God’s grace and love. i know that i’ll eventually tire of living this way if God doesn’t give me some feelings or better understanding. but by his grace he will sustain me until then, as he has done so far, and will reveal himself at that point. and if the “until then” doesn’t come while i live on earth, i know that he will sustain me still.

what this means is that i choose to continue serving God in my everyday life. i don’t see that coming in the form of full-time church ministry. at this point i don’t even see that coming in the form of volunteer church ministry. instead, i think this involves loving God’s people well by living in community and serving the body of believers. it involves reaching out to the poor, the broken, and the downtrodden. it involves worshipping God, whether in front of people or alone, in all circumstances. it involves loving my neighbor as much as i love myself.

i still see myself fitting into the academic community. i still desire to study theology, not so that i can understand perfectly so that my faith will be real, but because thinking about God and what he has done and how this affects all of life is really fun to do. i think God is glorified when i do what he has created me to enjoy, as eric liddell suggests in chariots of fire, and studying is one way to do that.

i also enjoy working with people, and this summer has been no different. but that doesn’t change the fact that i’m very tired of “professional” ministry, if i can use that term. by professional ministry i mean being in charge, getting paid, and seeing what happens in the group as based to some extent on my performance. even if this is a wrong view of ministry, which i think it is, i have felt this way this summer. perhaps my mindset could change, but i see “amateur” ministry, living out God’s love in everyday life, as what God has called me to. this could include getting involved in the lives of junior high or high school students, but is simply focused on being the type of neighbor jesus showed himself to be: one that loves well and proclaims the gospel in word and deed.

this paper was written for the youth pastor i've worked with the last two summers, but i liked it enough to decide to post it here in case people wanted to rip it apart or give me nice feedback.

Monday, August 16, 2004

holy crap i'm bitter

i realized something today that blew me away. i've been complaining about all these people getting married. and for good reason. most of them are dumb and have been making hasty decisions. also, since i'm a similar age to most of them, and i'm not at all ready to get married, i think they are probably not ready either. so what do i mean bitter...

well, as much as i don't want to get married right now, and i like not having the responsibility that comes with a serious relationship, i think i actually do envy the fact that for these people there is someone willing to marry them RIGHT NOW. it's crap. why them and not me? i must be way cooler than them. and yet, nothing. sure, it's probably because i say i don't want it, but why aren't there a few girls that would really like me to ask them out, so that i could at least push them away knowing that they have humongous crushes on me. so i'm bitter, 'cuase it doesn't seem to be the case.

i don't care what you think

that title is a lie. i care far too much what you think. different people have different levels of maturity and different ideas about what is appropriate or not. sometimes this is offensive to people, and sometimes i get to be the one that is "responsible" for them. and i let it effect me. i don't remember that these people are not just blindly giving in to society, but are even thinking about their choice as they watch. it's too bad i let guilt take hold, when christ has already washed the guilt away. i hate rambling, but that's what i do.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

just because

i'm getting to the point jacob often talks about, that i just write because i should do it even when i'm not inspired. i made my parents watch school of rock tonight, since i've been compared to jack black a ton in the last year. it was a good time. then i did something that strikes me about myself. some friends were running by and i saw them, so i made an obnoxious noise. they stopped and started coming in. but instead of talking to them, like a friend should, since i DID call them, and since they DID stop, i told them i didn't mean to stop them and that they should continue. not true. for them to stop is exactly what i wanted. i wanted to say hi or talk for a while. i just didn't think through what that would mean, and when it came down to interrupting their agenda versus interrupting my own, i wasn't okay with changing my plans, while playing it off as if i cared more about their's. i may have actually cared, but if so, why did i bother them in the first place? no idea. this is all just random, useless, thrown up thoughts that don't really build to a coherent whole. ah, the life of a 22 year old high schooler. some day i should really grow up.

a few wedding stories

quick funny story: at a wedding, i saw a guy i was in choir with who is a year younger than me. i didn't know he knew either party getting married, but then found out he was going to be a groomsman. my dad was like, "well that's weird, he's so much younger than the groom..." and i go "dad, he's the same age as the bride." it was just funny to me that my dad would think it weirder that the groom would have a young groomsman than a young bride.

the other thing that was funny was when the father of the bride was talking about giving a letter to herwhen she was almost 15 that talked about another man someday taking his place...he said "we didn't know who you were at the time." i wanted to say "you should have tried the military, since he was already there."

a cynical view part 2

i just got back from a wedding. i don't know why i allow myself to be tortured by these events, but i do. watching the bride was both disgusting and engrossing. she responded to everything as if she were a schoolgirl whose celebrity crush was taking her out to dinner. she was just so happy that it was happening. really amazing to watch. i remember taking her to lunch in high school once and her then asking me to a dance, "just as friends." i was wondering the whole time during the wedding if me not turning her down would have been a chance for her to actually be just friends with a guy, or if she would have tried to latch on like i was afraid of. some other comments i want to make that i may have to wait a little bit for so that no one connects them to this wedding and i'm off the hook for offending someone. yeah, i think it's important to take that into account even though i don't think anyone actually reads this...you know, just in case.

Friday, August 13, 2004

not yet a whore

well, we went up and had all the paperwork in process, but it didn't happen. as of now i'm still planning on joining the ranks of the consumers, but i have to wait to see if the dealership gets what i want. so soon enough i may have more debt and a new xB. just not today.


today i'm going up to eugene, and i may be returning with a new vehicle. the scion xB. it is a little box that gets good mileage and can haul all my crap. not too expensive, either. all in all i think it will be a very good investment. and i'll be completely honest, now that i've reconciled being a christian and having little money with getting a new car, i also want it so that i'm cooler than i am now. yes, i still want to be cool. don miller talks about it in blue like jazz, and i agree. i am hopelessly seeking to be cool, even though i think it is really stupid to do so. arbitrary opinions, unbridled subjectivity, and constant change mean that no one will be cool forever (except ray charles...he was always cool, may he rest in peace). but now he's dead, and while he may still be cool, only God knows if being cool took up too much of his life. (note: my apologies for that quick transition from existential honesty to pretentious cliche...sometimes it just happens) well, off to join the list of consumers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


i was going to post something because i feel badly that i've let loyal fans down...then again, i don't think anyone really reads this, and it's time for dinner.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

my foray into consumerism

of course i don't mean to say that i've never been a part of the consumeristic culture, but i like to think i stay on the fringes. this morning i fully dove in while searching for a new car. because i'm not sure what i want to do in the next year, and because my car now (God bless the grand prixx) is a bit old and shoddy, my parents and i decided it would be a wise investment to get a new car. so now i'm becoming obsessed with features, prices, mpg, and colors. it's just weird to be so focused on getting something that a few weeks ago i didn't think i "needed," and now i'm willing to take out more in loans to spend a bunch of money. i really do believe it's a good option for me, a good path to pursue, it's just a bit uncomfortable. i got back from houseboats yesterday, and this is my first post in a while. hopefully i get back on the horse after being gone, since there are so many people counting on my wise and sagacious comments.